Friday, August 30, 2013

Desert Places

Desert Places
Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow, 
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it--it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less--
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars--on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.                              Robert Frost

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to school

Parenting breaks you wide open.  We all know it and think we are already open but there is always room for more, always.

This week, youngest went to middle school for the first time.  She of the wild colt energy took such care with preparations, I had to hold back tears every step of the way so she didn't think I had some rare disorder that causes inopportune crying.  She laid out 4 different red shirts one evening to examine the differences in hue, sleeve length, and feel.  We went back to school shopping in June as Staples is one of her favorite stores, and she has rearranged pencils until they need to be sharpened again.  The night before the big day she washed and braided her hair so it would bounce the first day of school.  No detail was overlooked.  She was ready.  I am never ready but have learned to fake it just a bit.

Eldest was also going to a new school for the first time since kindergarten without his best friends, who moved to the next town.  He bravely told me about sitting alone in the cafeteria and rushed to add "I know you are going to worry about this mom but don't, I will figure it out."  And he did.  I didn't even have to email the assistant principal, his homeroom teacher, or the adjustment counselor.

I didn't feel anxious this time around but continue to fight back tears.  I see the people they are becoming and I know that I will be broken apart the widest when they are ready to leave for good.  Until then, I will continue to practice. sis is bringing up my nephew to college this week-end.  We get him close to us for the next several years.  Yippee!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Put some Teeth Into it.....

My dentist is a great guy.

Episode One

Several months ago, I did a week-end certification program to become a yoga teacher.  It was great fun but left my legs a little wobbly.  So that was the perfect time to go on a trail run with my hubby who likes to see how far I can stretch before I break.  As I rounded the bend on Cold Harbor Trail (no water in sight) I caught a root and went down.  In a heroic attempt to save my IPhone, I took all my body weight on the non-phone carrying side.  The phone was saved.  Whew.  Alas, I jacked up my hand, chipped a tooth, and banged up my leg.  What to do?  Immediately call my dentist.  Lovely Betsy asks if I can get into the office in fifteen minutes.  Of course I can as long as I don't stop to wash off the twigs, blood, dirt, and possibly a couple of insect remains on my person.

I walk into the office and lovely Betsy almost falls out of her chair to get me hustled to the back so I "don't scare people."

"What is wrong with you?"
"I chipped a tooth."
"Why are you covered in blood?"
"I tripped on a root, thus the chipped tooth."
"Teeth don't bleed."

You would think the folks in the dentist office would be used to a little blood but I learned that day that they like it to remain in the mouth.   Nothing to be done about the tooth but they all encouraged me to go home and wash up. Dr. P was a champ.  

Episode Two

My hubby likes to give me running advice.  I can get a little persnickety when he offers me tips on what to do when I run.....wear a heart monitor, tell people the route you are running, watch out for roots, etc.  I decided to turn over a new leaf.  He offered me gummy protein blocks so I wouldn't bonk on the Rail Trail, a longish hot run in mid summer.  Love in a gelatinous form.

At the midway point, I stopped at the trail head and popped a gummy block.  As I was chewing, I became quite confused as it seemed there was a small nut in the middle of my treat.  I spit it out to take a look.  Imagine my surprise when the top part of my tooth, the cap, was embedded in the block.  I was so surprised that I had to share the news with an older gentleman who was trying to use the Porta Potty:

"I just lost a tooth", I said to him as I moved in to show him.  Sadly, he was backed against the Porta Potty and had no where to go, really.

"That is unfortunate", says he.

Now we seem to be good buddies because he is there for me in my time of crisis:

"What should I do?" says I.

"Put it in your pocket and call your dentist."  Wise man.

As it was a Saturday, I got the crisis number which turns out to be my dentist's cellphone.

"This is Steve (name changed to protect my dentist who has to take patients like me)."

Me, thinking that Steve and I are good buddies because I saw him 4 months ago, reply with,
"Steve, it is Kayla"
"Who is this?"
"I'm sorry Dr. P......, this is Kayla D, one of your patients....I've got another running related tooth injury."

Some take aways for you:  when your dentist tells you to cut down on your running to save your teeth, something is out of balance; be very careful when you try and hang with my husband, and true friends can always be found near a porta potty.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Pics

It is about that time. Time to say goodbye to the easy rhyme of summer and gear up for the frenetic pace of back to school, back to soccer, and new this year, badminton tournaments in far away cities and states.

I didn't accomplish what I thought I would but as my dear friend said this morning "perhaps we have hit these roadblocks because we need to sit with our research for awhile."  I just finished a painful book entitled "Crisis in the Modern World", written by a French metaphysician.  That should have been warning enough, really.  He talked about the Western need for action vs the Eastern ability to just sit with things the way they are.  Gross stereotyping but some kernel of truth.  How do we learn to just sit with what is?

This summer, we lost Bill and have struggled to accept the cancer diagnosis of a loved one.  These things are out of my control, as is the past and all that could have been said or done differently.  I continue to  work on  being fully present for it all, but admit to watching all of "Orange is the New Black" on NetFlix in one binge driven day.  "Luther" was next but I think I got it out of my system.

As I look at these pictures, I am reminded that amid all the pain were moments of pure joy.

Fruitlands, Purgatory Chasm, and Max.

Goodbye Summer 2013, we hardly knew ye.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book of Awe

This is our Book of Awe. I usurped the idea from a creative blogger whom I can't remember so can't properly credit. I decided to start last week after attending a dharma talk with Geishe Dondup on compassion. He supports this wonderful organization:

My son and I both wrote about his talk in our first entry. Emma wrote about jewelry making, and Scott about climbing. The idea is to write together, as a family, once a week about something that has moved you.

This week, we talked about connecting with old friends, a beautiful wedding, and the joy of meadow runs and crashing waves. Cultivate Awe. It is a habit worth strengthening.