Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Traffic is abysmal.  Solid lanes of cars crawling towards London impede progress through the roundabouts towards Heathrow, the overcast day is mild, the cab's radio is too loud, my friend isn't answering the phone, my Blackberry has no new mail, I'd hate to miss my flight.

The news is hammering away at Gordon Brown, improper contributons to the labour party from a billionaire. My driver cleverly rips through traffic where he can as Madonna croons and wails; Slow, fast, slow.  We get to Terminal 4 - I'm out.

Bloody Hell! Terminal Fahking THREE for Miami?!?

The polite, calm BA lady tells me to take the lift, if you hurry you're alright, then the free train 4 minutes to the next terminal....
Security checks delay the train, queuing for lifts, queuing for train, running to the terminal, checked in! Whew!

 Queuing for security of course, laptop out, liquids out, 'you want my shoes off?' No.  Pass through, beep beep beep, get felt up head to toe by big firm security lady.  Into the hall, another layer of security, shoes off now and through the new machine!  Bloody hell!

Two items I must buy: then through another random security check without the groping.  Line up with the other passengers to find out the wheels are being changed on the aircraft. One hour delay.

Blackberries out, we all tap away, queue up, stall, wait, and finally, finally, finally I stow my stuff and sit down. 

For the first time ever, and I have flown hundreds of times, I slept through take off.

8 hours later, Miami, what a mess! Big bilingual airport where no one seems to speak either English or Spanish properly.  Immigration doesn't even have posts and ropes to guide the crowd to the officers; people jostle and line up and cut in line and generally make more mayhem than needs be there.

I usually go to BOS or JFK but this time I'm headed to Florida to spend time with my recently widowed octagenerian mother. Tiny, loving, sad and lost we find ourselves sharing our burdens in a strange pair of mirrored lives. She is tinier and more loving and sadder.  But she has had more practice.

I'm home.


Sunday, November 25, 2007


Arrived Saturday night, blew through immigration on the IRIS line (spooky eye scan/reading technology that eliminates need for passport control). Mine was the first bag off the plane (it helps being the last one on). Text messaged my cousins who were right there waiting at arrivals; I made it from airplane to auto in under 20 minutes and that included a stop for a tinkle in the very clean Heathrow lavatory, Terminal 4.

Cousins, Chateau de Grave claret, home cooked meal and a lovely guest bed I know and love.

I dreamt of a train ride and a lover kissing me while another man touched my hand.

Sunday filled with Christmas craft fairs and lunch and walks around town.

 Dark now the rain splatters the taxi window. Alone through the dark I travel the short distance to the hotel near work, where I put out my armor, my costume, my uniform. Tomorrow I become something else, a cautious diplomat, a calculating mover, a smiling shaker. 

And the next day? I have a date the next day, a date with a temptation, a date with a dare, a date with a friend and a stranger.

Rain and dark welcome me here and here I feel welcomed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

T day Menu in Massachusetts

Deep Fried Turkey
Parma wrapped roast Turkey
Dr. Pepper glazed ham
Vegan stuffing
Traditioanl stuffing
Celery root leeks and grapes, roasted/baked in dill and grape jelly
Sweet potato marshmallow pie
Cajun string beans
Honey glazed carrots
Mashed potatoes with horshradish butter
Cranberry almond chutney
A variety of cheeses that out did themselves in texture, flavor and super smelliness
Super choco layered brownies
Olive oil lemon cake
Scottish apple pie
Pumpkin creme brulee
Good coffee and lots of "to go" boxes!

No! I was not the cook, but the guest!

I am thankful for my friends, and for my family, odd though it may be. I am thankful for my job, I am thankful for my work, I am thankful for the special folks who make me happy in secret ways and those that can make me happy in open ways. I am thankful to strangers who take the time to say nice things.  I am thankful that life is too short to squander and that I have learned this half way through. I am thankful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cork it!

Visiting an ailing friend, a friend on the mend from cancer, we discussed the healing nature of conversation, courage and cabbage. Really, I am wrapping her in cabbage every night for a week, to discourage lymphedema. She is an earthy, heal-y person, works as a body massage, body rebalancing expert when she isn't layed up with life threatening diseases.

"How is your body feeling through all this?" she asks-

"well my chronic back pain and headaches aren't around anymore. but my arm goes numb at night, wakes me up, and that weird nerve around my ear is painful too. "

She diagnoses cervical vertabrae un - aligned - I ask, " Is that something you fix?"

My chemo brained, disorganized and flaky friend gives me the most emphatic "YES!" I have ever heard. "Oh yes I can, I can FIX that! ... But until I am healthy enough to work on you try this."

She takes out a bag of corks. "Find one that you can put in your mouth (you are supposed to be able to put your first three fingers in your mouth.) " Not surprisingly I can not find a cork small enough to fit length-wise. Tight jaw.

No corks are small enough for me but a Champagne cork when put between my teeth from the fat end, holds the jaw open just so. She recommends that I leave it by my bedside and while I make my bed in the morning I use the cork as a stretcher. Just enough time at just the right time to open and stretch the muscles.

I love this. Do two things at once, and even throw in a bonus third; a prayer to the universe-- to make sure that if what comes out of my mouth is not contributing to the good, let this image of my filled and corked mouth fly into my head. Cork it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tempus Fugit

A blessed weekend, yes, it was, thankfully and gratefully. The trip from NYC to BOS was by car and long and rainy and full of waiting for more cars to snake their way north than could possibly have fit on the road going more than 20 miles an hour.

My big sister drove.

So a visit from sis, who lives in the same house, in the same town we grew up in, sis, who waves to her neighbors on Sunday in church, sis, who despairs at her daughter's attire, sis, who hasn't come up to my home in over five years, braves the weather, braves the traffic, braves her daughter's choice of clothing, and braves my tough and gritty hood to pay a visit.

I am exhausted.

I can travel from TGL (Berlin) to HKG to LHR to BOS with less stress than this little trip.

We drove, we stopped, we ate, we drove, we slept, we ate, we went to a tourist attraction, we visited a sick relative we drove we ate we drove we slept. She went to church with the kids, I ran with the dog on the coast.

"Father Wayne said that people who don't come to church don't aspire to heaven." she says over an omlette at Angela's.

"Heaven is the ocean crashing against the rocks, spraying me with salty bits sea. God's majesty speaks to me from every drop. I don't need to aspire to heaven. The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

I slurp coffee.

Her daughter smirks at me. My son rolls his eyes.

Sis loves me huge. She says "hmf."

Nothing got done. The laundry is piled high, the groceries were still on the shelf at the store, the presentation to the CEO was still raw, unseasoned, uncooked, the bills were disordered, unread, the blog was quiet.

She left on Monday and I collapsed. Precious few minutes left to the weekend. The time flew by and nothing got done. I couldn't do anything.

She told me my house is cluttered. She worried for my soul. She cooked me the most fabulous french toast for breakfast. She listened to my worries and counseled me with the best intentions. She even drank beer with me.

Tempus fugit. My little world invaded, time slipped, my goals reordered, my soul exercised, my patience tested, my love given a new puzzle between my sis and my niece. My heart grew. The chores can wait.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I took this pic at about midnight thirty. NYC. Place of my birth. Home. The most forgein place I ever go. I was born walking distance from this spot. Everything here is walking distance, eventually.

I stay at the Millenium hotel, steps from this Times Square the place millions flock to - the place everyone has heard of. Eerie music filters into the room from the street below during the day. It is the Lion King or some other such musical filling the air with the flute and drums sounds now closely associated with some mythical African story. In my room. This advertising is actually in my hotel room that I am paying an OUTRAGEOUS sum for, that is actually lower than 95% of the rest of the residents are paying. (I am in Travel after all...)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Repeating her-story

The son's report is published online with various requests for parent teacher conferences.  That is what tuition buys these days, online communication and electronic recommendations.  They mean well, work hard but haven't found the odd key that will fit my son's reticence to study.  High potential, low performance, high doses of emotion and low doses of conformity.  I'm frustrated because I know what binds him, I am helpless because I can not unbind him.  I am delighted because we actually like each other.

Long ago when I was just starting out as his mother (I am ever a new mother because I have but one child and I am ever new at mothering whatever stage he is in) I had a dream of standing in a green and flowing field among many other fields lined by stone walls.  I had my arms and head thrown back in submission to the heavens.  I was worshiping the universe in an open bodied prayer, arms wide, back arched, eyes and mouth open.  A thought crossed my mind, that my  odd and spiritual ways would endanger my boy, my baby, my son. Could my love and religion of the earth hurt him?  I held this thought like an odd piece of glass or rock, turning it in my mind, seeking every way to look at it.  As I folded my arms in to myself and as I brought my head down to see the green rolling hills before me an ancient and wizened man holding a rake appoached me.  He smiled with infinite love as he leaned on his rake, and said " your love could never hurt me, Mommy". I woke up with a start.

I see myself today decades away from the wild unruly girl who somehow found the road that led through pot and otherdrugs and boys and school and adventures and danger and dreams and ambitions into a life I hold now, precious and fought for, firm in all its faults as mine, earned, what I share with him, the son.  What would I have him learn? What would I have him know?

The son walks his path, a fretting bird of a mother, trilling and cawing above, hopping ahead to show the way, flying high to scout the path, cooing softly in the dark to comfort -if possible-

As I see him find and fight what binds him I love and know him and find as well some love for and memories of myself.  What gift can a child give greater than an opportunity to know yourself a bit more clearly, and in so knowing give your child that which you may have craved, that which you may have needed, that which you can only now understand.  Time folds over and returns, history, herstory, repeating and reforming our selves through time.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


My son sits hunched over a tiny sidekick typing to a few friends, mates, neighbors at a time, tiny snippets of conversatios that zip along in an bizarre abbreviated speech pausing occasionally to login to his online game where other friends await, as far away as Australia or England to gang up on each other and participate in their fantastic medieval society that eats lobsters and saws yew logs to get money to buy capes and dragon armor. He romps through the game sitting in his baggy work pants bouncing between the pair of key boards, one the micro the other the macro.

Soon his music is kicked up, Lost Prophets play "A town called Hypocrasy" - he doesn't think it is manly enough to write about but he knows the guitar riffs wont throw me over the edge like the shredder bands he likes. This morning he woke up suffering wishing for bed dragging anchor all the way to school, swearing he would go to bed early tonight and now pumped, tuned in, online, in touch he has nothing of the kind on his mind.

My mother turned Eighty something today. She wants to make a change. I need to make a change. All Saints Day. All Souls day. Day of the Dead. Samhain. We share the dark veil birthday season. 81 I think. Time to make plans.

I wake up and look for the gratitude I can express. The dark morning jeweled by the planet in the east the warm blankets the warm days the pink edge of morning the light traffic our health the view the dog the evenings together I am thankful.