april's rain

grief dances 
in waves 
through april's 
rippling rainstorms


The Golden Age

The Golden Age -- a historical period known for its peace, harmony, stability and prosperity. Or those in their mid-late sixties. During the Easter holiday, I found myself spending significant time with the Golden Girls -- Mom & Auntie.  Included were a rental movie, lunch at The Cove and a road trip to Dock & Dine in Old Sayrbook along the Connecticut coast.  For the most part, I appreciated their contribution to what I like to refer to as the 'Wisdom Pool.'  But every so often, I had a couple of un-nerving moments when I reminded myself, These are my Golden Girls in their Golden Age who have raised me.  So I need to let their not-so-golden moments just pass.

In all of their Life Wisdom, my Golden Girls have taught me so much about womanhood, motherhood, wifedom, interdependence and most of all, family.  Having received all of their breath, love & light through my entire life and ongoing, that old Maori greeting, hongi, rings true.  When you see a loved one, you touch your forehead & nose to theirs . . . I breathe the breath of life into you.  My one-year-old nephew, J., seems to have learned this real fast as this is how he often says hello to me.  

Immense gratitude to my Mom &  Auntie for their Golden Wisdom and their never-ending sacred sharing of themselves. Hongi.

i breathe life into your day
as you breathe life into mine
we exchange
breaths of life for each other

the widow
her tired, pale face
stares off into the distance
like a lost doe in the forest
her eyes, dark with anguish
wail in unbearable sadness
she continues on 
wandering through emerald grasses
along a rippling brook 
whose water's edge escorts her
into flourishing freshness
without her dearest buck


Easter lilies period (.)

So much talk the entire Lenten season about the "Risen Lord." I couldn't help but think about my Dad. Not rising from the dead himself, but what Easter must be like for him, wherever he is. Supposed to be a seasonal timestone of renewal and hope. Hopefully Dad's some place that resembles some kind of heaven. I imagine with lots of light. I suppose it's what believers refer to as 'eternal life.' Peaceful and yet like a big fiesta. Lots of local color -- people, food, music and especially passion. And maybe lots of Easter lillies too.

So in between Mom & Auntie insisting on not eating any meat the entire week & reserving their appetites for a massive celebratory meal over the Easter weekend and in the midst of long distance calls to family members across the country or overseas, I was confonted with my mother's response to relatives asking, "How are Sheelagh & A.? Are they pregnant yet?" Usually I am accustomed to hearing the question. What I didn't expect was my Mom's response, "Oh, they are weak in reproduction." That's the English translation. In Ilocano (Filipino dialect), it's Na kapsut da. Which actually sounds worse. Even if my Mom's been thinking this, I didn't expect to hear her say it out loud. Not in front of me and so non-chalantly. I know she didn't mean it maliciously. But that's how it translates. And it's still hurtful to listen to. Sure this was my Dad's response many times, but it never surprised me as he was rough around the edges like that.

And as I was running errands with the Golden Girls (Mom & Auntie) this afternoon, the issue of not being pregnant kept following me like a bad cough . . . all the way to the Stamford Town Center. As I made a sarcastically observant comment about a crying child ot Auntie, (Glad I don't have one of those right now . . . as I'm torturously reminded that I'm probably going to bleed soon since I've started to feel a little crampy ) she says to me, "You'd better be sure you want kids." As if A. & I haven't already given lots of thought to having kids. Screaming inside my head, Yes, we want kids! . . . That's why we spend so much time with our nieces & nephews . . . That's why we send them packages . . . That's why we've researched a dozen adoption agencies for the past two years . . . That's why we've attended adoption info sessions . . . That's why we've spoken to adoptive parents/friends first-hand about their experiences . . . That's why we've come up with a handful of childcare plans . . . That's why we're hoping to sell our 1BR in Jersey City at the right time because that's where most of our adoption funding will come from! Yes, we want kids! How can you not know that?! Of course, this is the same woman who actually thought we were joking about possibly adopting an older child.

My breasts are sore. I must be getting my period. Again.


i am a dove woman

With all of my gender studies and self-esteem-building education since grammar school and through college, you'd think I'd get over the self-consciousness about not being stick thin.  Not that I think I need to be.  I've always known that I'm not a thin woman. Petite, yes.  But definitely not thin. Maybe healthy.  But why is it when I have to go to extended family events, the sick-sick-sick twiggy waif police are always right behind me warning that I could be trying just a little harder to eat healthier and exercise more intensely and more often too? Eckhart Tolle would tell me it's my ego.  Still working on that. Always working on not letting my ego get the best of me. 

Just when my ungraceful self-consciousness gets the best of me, I am reminded that I AM A DOVE WOMAN.  And there's absolutely no shame in that.  Sure, I could be eating better than I am.  I could be exercising more than I am.  I'm doing what I can.  And for what? Certainly not to look like the women in the magazines, especially when most of them don't look like me.  Because I want to be healthier.  And if I do feel healthier, isn't that what counts?  

Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty is a wonderful ongoing billboard for girls and women of all ages and from all backgrounds.  A heartful PSA whose message screams about freeing ourselves and the next generation from beauty stereotypes. 

i am a dove woman
four feet and ten inches (or 58 inches total), that's how tall i am
34C, that would be my bra size
on a good day, my jeans are a size 5/6
on my fat days, i might be a 7
my abs don't have ripples, maybe a bit of a soft pudginess
my muscles aren't what someone would call toned
on any given day, depending on my stress level, my skin is usually not so clear
and if you look closely enough, sometimes my left eye looks smaller than my right
my eyebrows have always looked like i hedged them myself in the dark with my eyes closed
while makeup's a sure way to enhance my physical beauty
my true glow comes from strength in knowing that,
i am a dove woman


eat pray love

Time off, and this is what I've been attempting to do mostly.  eat  pray  love The first two are usually easier than the last, I think. The first is definitely easiest. The second has become second nature with the practice of yoga & meditation.  The third, sometimes not so easy.  How to love what is in the now?  Still no job.  Not even a couple of leads lately.  How to love what someone else seems to have -- might be a career full of passion, might be a pregnant glow, might even be someone else's child?  How to love what will happen in the future but is not ours now?  How to love myself when negative energy overwhelms my heart & thoughts? How to love what is when I make every effort on a daily basis to eat & pray mindfully? 

Simplicity has its role in life.  Doing laundry this afternoon, I watched Love's Long Journey based on the Little House on the Prairie-like books by Janette Oke.  I used to love watching Little House on the Prairie for its simple & humble life.  Ma & Pa. Running through a vast, golden meadow.  Bonnets whipping off into the wind.  Grateful for the sunrise, a day's work and the people in your life.  Hearts softened by hard work and not hardened by humble beginnings or ongoings.  Blessed by a garden's abundance or the neighborly ways of strangers as well as a cohesive community. 

It's a shame that some of today's young families don't value the simple & humble life.  Gone are the nighttimes when family members would wind down to actually chat, read aloud or play music for each other.  Now there's TiVo and lots of it!  I, too, have become a slave to the pleasures of 2009.  It's hard not to get sucked in.  Not to mention Materialism, whose hard paddle-balled hand grasps both suburbanites, urbanites and especially their little ones.  Gone are the intimate birthdays at home. Instead, the most blessed occasions are opportunities for extravagance and pretentiousness.  And if you're not one to partake or have partaken in the complicated lavishness, then you just don't understand.

There's lots of education around modern-day eating & praying. Tons of websites, magazines, books, dvds even.  I've had my taste of them.  Love, though, can certainly be a long journey, especially in the metro-NY/NJ vicinity where time escapes pretty easily.  The challenge is delving deep within for self-awareness, so that we can love others even when they can't see (or love) beyond themselves.  

Great Spirit, 
Help me to see the Truth of what is.  Allow me the wisdom to appreciate my generous blessings as they are.  Your grace supports me to constantly work at being a better woman.  And in my not-so-great moments when I carry on in negativity, I pray that Your Light fills me, so that my heart may open once again to thoughts of love . . . because Inner Peace is the greatest gift. Amen.


Goddess Love

"I feel it in my fingers / I feel it in my toes / The love that's all around me / And so the feeling grows . . ."  ~ Love Is All Around by Reg Presley

My sitter from childhood.  My friend from middle school.  My 'little sister' in high school.  My college roommate.  My mom. My cousin.  My auntie.  My sister-in-law. Women in my young and not-so-young adulthood who came of age right alongside me.  Goddess Love has been all around me.  Goddess Love continues to follow me.  

In high school I was the one who never had the boyfriends, and the boys never came a-courtin'.  In college I was focused on my studies, activities & friends -- so no boyfriends then either.  And in grad school thereafter, well, it was all about living fiercely independent. I never brought any boys home, and Dad even asked me straight out, "Are you a lesbian?  If you are, it's okay!"  And I used to respond, See what 13 years of all-girls, private, Catholic school has done to me?!

Married almost four years to a wonderfully intelligent, creative, ambitious & compassionate man, I still find myself embraced by Goddess Love, which has never left my side through rounds of self-evolution.  A week or so ago, I reconnected with one of my old sitters, V., via skype.  Only four years older, yes, she was my sitter. Our conversation lasted almost two hours! Her dad had given away my mom at my parents' wedding more than 40 years ago.  Just last Friday, my college roommates and I spent a day together.  It's great that B.'s back in Jersey, & we're just a drive away from each other.  And yesterday with the help of fb, I met up with another old sitter, M. in downtown Jersey City. In an hour, we tried to squeeze in about 20+ years of catching up. Even our waitress, who seemed heartened by our meeting, noticed that it'd been a while since we'd last seen each other and even took our photo on our way out.  

As I hung out later that afternoon with Mom, I found myself  in awe of the Goddess Love in my life.  Some women like to talk about the greatest loves in their lives, usually mention of an old boyfriend or girlfriend or two . . . lessons learned.  I like to talk about the greatest loves in my life -- each woman who has somehow contributed to the fire within me that makes me . . . ME.  
Thank you, Great Spirit, for the Goddess in Every Woman.  The light within me honors the light in Every Woman.  To Goddess Love's blessings.