May 12, 2012

happy birthday mom

I've been privileged to live nearby my parents since they've retired in 2001. Living near them means I get to enjoy the delectable delights of the culinary goddess that is my mom. We've partnered together and created an heirloom cookbook called Incredible Edibles a few years back that we're in the process of updating with some of her more recent recipes.

While she is known far and wide for heirloom treats like kuchen and blueberry varaniki, she even makes the simplest things like macaroni salad taste better than anyone elses.

It's her birthday today. Happy birthday mom, from the bottom of my happy little heart. I wrote this poem for you in 2003 and I'd like to share it here again.

May 11, 2012

curiosity

I was born curious. Curiosity is a significant driving force propelling my discoveries like my collection of 3,200+ different musical artists in my MP3 collection including small labels (or no label) talent from Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Australia and Sonoma County.

Curiosity flings opens the door to explore and learn. Like traveling to Costa Rica and photographing tree frogs in the middle of the night, taking a new job, learning a new Photoshop technique or trying out a new food. Even driving from California to Texas with a ski boat behind me to work for Dell when I only knew 1 person there. It makes the unimaginable possible.

Curiosity is key to life. It propels us forward, around the bend, to whatever's next. Curiosity inflames courage and ignores fear. Curiosity is unafraid of being wrong because it wants to know the truth. Curiosity doesn't dawdle in the past, it wants to know what the next hour brings.

Curiosity allows us to delight in mystery. I am drawn to men who are not obvious. I love when there's something mysterious, thoughtful, or intriguing that requires peeling back. Curiosity is the vision of the explorer, the anticipation of the lover, the baited breath of the athlete.

Curiosity allows us to revel in surprise and anticipation. Not knowing what is wrapped in that present under the tree. I love the surprise of comments on my blog or readers who respond when reading my poetry. I'm compelled to write and photograph and express even if no one else sees or reads what I create, yet, I still wonder what you think. And when you comment in anonymous fashion, it enhances the tension and fuels the imagination. I want to know who you are. And yet I love the curious intrigue when I don't.

Curiosity is what keeps us alive. It thrives discovering what each new breath unfolds. Cherish and nurture your curiosity. For when you know all you wish to know, you then but know how to die.

May 10, 2012

being human

I lost my wallet last Monday. Uhh, I can't blame it on being stolen. It was misplaced by moi after buying a small housewarming gift for my new neighbor and running to join the BBQ. Later, I forgot I had tossed my wallet hurriedly in the bag as I scooped up the shopping bags and tossed them into the recycle bin before wheeling them out to the curb for garbage pickup day.

After an hour searching through the house looking for it, I mentally retraced my steps from the day before and realized that once again, I had been presented with irrefutable evidence of my human foibles. Determined not to let the next 4 hours of my life be depressing, I found ways to have fun as I contacted banks and insurance companies and joked about how I had lost the wallet.

But the fun really developed when I went to the DMV to request a replacement driver's license. It occurred to me as I was directed with my form to an area with ledges to fill out the forms, that those around me were filling out this SAME form. It was a quiet, crestfallen looking crowd. After I filled out my form, I joked, a little loudly on purpose with the guy next to me how my garbage can had stolen my wallet. He told me how he lost his. Then someone else chimed in... and another and another. This group was now all grinning and laughing. By the time my number was called, I was standing at a window next to 2 other windows that were ALL processing driver's license replacement requests. I asked my service rep how many she processed a day and she said usually 50-80. Now the reps got to join in on the laughter that was expanding in our section.

Earlier that morning, when I first realized my wallet was accidentally taken hostage by the recycle bin, I thought it would be a bad day. In fact, it was just the source of sharing laughter and life with a group of strangers who were rotely (or sheeplishly) going about their day in mundane fashion. I uploaded a photo to Facebook with the description "now serving 492 people in front of me".

Ever notice how the funniest stories we tell are ones where something went wrong or we goofed up? They may not have seemed funny at the time, but later, we tell the jokes on us. It's what BONDS us as humans. When we tell stories of our success, people can cheer us on but they may not relate--they might even be a little envious. But when we laugh about being human, it connects us.

Never forget, you have power to make a difference. What difference will you make in someone's life today?
waiting at the DMV

May 09, 2012

yellow

I've written prose since 1st grade. I've loved taking photos since 10th grade. A few years ago, I began integrating these personal passions illustrating my prose with my photographs as artwork that I display in a personal art gallery of sorts (home). Since it's Spring, I just put this one up. It's dedicated to friends and family who brighten and buoy my life every day.

May 08, 2012

mental embroidery

I was reading comments on a friend's Facebook photo (circa the 1970's) of what they remembered about when the photo was taken. It was a room of teenagers living life out loud. 40 or so comments later, they were still giggling about who was there and whose hands were steady enough to take a photo that wasn't blurry. Forty years later, they cherished the comradery and memories.

Then one participant said it. Mental embroidery. It was the term she used to describe remembering something differently from the others and this gentle forgiveness we give ourselves when we can't remember something. I loved it. What a perfect phrase.

That's what our lives are. A sweet and sour collection of things we remember. As one of my friends said to me last night, some events stand out in our minds like they were neon yellow highlighted. Like the slow motion of my near-death accident. Weird things. Like the price of gas at our local gas station when I was a child. My starting salary with IBM when I graduated from college. The first poem I ever wrote. My phone number when I was 7.

Then there are things people remember about us. As I've reconnected with former classmates, I've found what they remember most about me is my laugh.

Then there's stuff I don't remember that my friends tease me about like apparently I had a parakeet in the 1980's. I had to dig thru old photos and sure enough, my ex-husband had a parakeet. I ended up leaving both of them. 

Our memories are the fabric of our lives. It's this beautiful embroidered tapestry that is ours to hug, hold and keep. The colors and textures embroidered into our life and soul are what made us laugh, cry, learn lessons, get frustrated or feel exhilarated. Woven into each thread are the moments, places, events and people we love and used to love.

That mental embroidery... cherish it. It is the tender, fragile, strikingly beautiful and unique fabric of your life.