Monday, December 31, 2012

new year's eve

It's 9:20 on New Year's Eve.  The children are asleep.  I have my special candles going, some mellow tunes, a glass of wine.  I just made Jeffy play literatti reflection with me.  Then we did new year tarot.  It was awesome.  It was great.  I feel with my whole self that this is exactly where I want to be at this very moment. 

The day after Christmas, life told us to settle down.  It told us to get the kids on antibiotics, get far away from our busy world, our dinner dates with friends, our proximity to school, our in and outs and all arounds.  We drove north and settled into a beauty spot, bigger and more luxurious than the one we actually live in, cable TV and multiple hot tubs, long days with just us to play with.  We bundled up the kids and gave them adventure after snowy adventure.  All sorts of skis, chair lift rides, sleds and many, many promises of hot cocoa.  It wasn't, at all, always easy.  It was far from perfect.  But it was just us, building moments, being moments, breathing moments.  There was one moment when we were all four riding up the chair lift at the little mountain (at The Big Mountain).  I felt such incredible perfection in that moment.  Such closeness.  Soli was snuggled into Jeff.  My arm was holding Elie's knee.  We were a mess of goggles and down, unnatural in our pokey skis and cold breaths.  I thought, this is one of those moments.  This is what I am giving to my children.  This time together.  This cold, mountain air.  The toughness that comes with seasons.  Solomon's absolute, natural ease as he moves on skis for the first time.  Eliana's awesome attitude through coughs and snot.  I'm not always sure how I got here, but I know it's where I am supposed to be.  For now. 

I love how no matter what Pandora station I have on, I always hear Stevie Nick's, "Landslide."  It's such a song for me and I'm pretty certain that the Pandora peeps have a good handle on what I like.  I sit here after our ceremony.  I look at my handsome husband on the sofa.  I think about the cards we drew for our relationship.  He's Friendliness.  I'm Flowering.  Together we are Possibilities.  Our composite energy...get this...We Are The World.  It really couldn't have been more perfect.  Even Jeffy's Friendliness.  Because for all his dicky attitude, he has a tremendous heart.  He always has.  He is growing into his power, into his goodness, into his patience.  He rocked his job these past few months.  Was really amazing.  Everyone saw it.  Felt it.  Me too. 

I love that about relationships that move over a long period of time.  You so know the essence of someone, see them move through it, around it, back to it. 

I am feeling the possibility of all we can be.  I am feeling us take hold of our family.  I am feeling the way our children feel us.  Feel the power that is our unit, our choices, our journeys and foibles and time.  Our challenges.  Our grace.  Our wisdom. 

There were some intense moments in the great outdoors this past week.  Sick Solomon with cold hands in the backcountry of Glacier Park is a force not to be fucked with.  It's loud and screaming and really, really sad.  Eliana as she tries to navigate her role as big sister.  Her disappointments when her bro is freaking, her frustration when he clocks her on the floor out of nowhere, for no reason.  Her absolute delight in every hysterical thing he says.  In the way he loves to run around naked.  Dance.  Talk really, really loud.  In complete and awesome sentences. 


They play Family.  Soli is always the big brother.  Eliana is always the baby sister.  I am...can you guess it...always the mama. 
I like that.  I like always being the mama.  I like escaping my mamadom.  Heading into the yoga studio, into the wine bar, on to the trail with a girlfriend, into my classroom, my book, my bath.

But I always like coming back.  Those moments that go from complete frustration and chaos to total hilarity.  The unpredictability of it all.  I could just sit here and smile, breathe in, all the beauty that we had during our little escapade.  Eliana on cross-country skis for the first time.  Eliana in the mighty, great, bounty that is Glacier park, scooting ever so gingerly, through the snow, one choppy glide at a time.
  I had built it up.  Now this is Mama's favorite winter sport.  Isn't it awesome, Eliana?  Breathe that beautiful air!  Feel it move through your body! So simple!
Admittedly at that goofball moment on my part, I totally got why Eliana is gonna be way more into downhill skiing.  It's fun.  It moves fast.  You can just let go and fly.  And I even had a few moments like that on the Big Mountain, a few, okay...I kinda get's kinda fun....

But just seeing your little ones trying something that you so love?  It's awesome.  And when it all went to hell because Solomon was a cold and cranky little old man?  Well, dang.  And Jeff's face as he hauled their cranky asses on the sled through the snow after he gave me the time I needed to get in my special solo ski.  Dang again.

So when the hell is it the new year already?  It's only 9:50.  I don't think we'll make it.  But gosh am I glad to be here.  Glad for this time.  This little home.  The smell of my sacred candles.  My friend Pandora.  The really expensive bottle of wine that a parent at the school gave Jeff for doing such a great job running the joint.  This is a good place to be.

Happy new year, my sweet and beautiful friends.  I think its you Melis, you mom.  Jody maybe.  Hollace?  Hilary?  I think those are my loyal fans.  Maybe Jeffy's mama? Kelli?  I am so thankful for this public space for reflection.  I am a stronger, more thoughtful person for taking this time to be with my thoughts.  My journal is all images and fragments, bits and pieces.  Thank you for giving me this space to flow.

And happy birthday, beautiful Brandon.  I've spent lots of time with your voice today.  Your words.  Our memories.  Happy birthday Gang-Gang.  I wish I knew you now.  Would love more insight into my past, my DNA.  Appreciate my propensity to over-accessorize from you.   My love of rich foods.  My delight in abundance. 

And to the living, happy birthday, beautiful sister Erin.  You are such a bright light of all that is good and love.  May I tap into more of that as I move into this new year. 

Here's to the age of the feminine, this time of 2013, this time of new.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas eve


It's midday, Christmas eve.  Soli's sleep is wracked with deep, hacking coughs.  Elie's fever burns as she rests in my bed.  This wasn't what we had planned for the day.  We were supposed to play on the rope tow and eat pizza at Snowbowl, maybe head for a family cross-country ski, our visions sunny and perfect, far, far from fevers and coughs and all things ruinous and unpredictable.

But things have been pretty all over the place lately.

I've been pretty scared to even sit down at this computer after the school shooting a week ago.  I know I can't bring an ounce of bow-tied closure or understanding to that one.  It hit me hard.  Like I could barely read a book to my students' without crying that afternoon kinda hard. I have a kindergartener kinda hard.  I've always suffered from extreme anxiety kinda hard, but schools are my sacred place kinda hard.

So I'll take the fever and cough, a simple change of plans, a day folding laundry and celebrating the simple and mundane.  We are all here.  We are all tremendous.  There is so much love.

My daughter fills me to the brim right now.  She's so eager and spritely and creative, even when resting at 102 degrees.  She takes weird, artsy pictures with my phone and then looks at them over and over again.  She loves to draw and is learning to read.  I hear her feet pitter pattering my way, curls wild and akimbo, skin a bit paler than usual, eyes bigger, dark circles, sunken.  Now she's squeezed up next to me on the sofa and I just told her about this blog, how I started it when she was in my belly, how I don't write as much as I used to but how it's still super important to me.

****days later****

Needless to say, I didn't finish that post with the little miss next to me.  What we did do was go back and look at pictures and read tidbits and watch videos of when she was "little."  Because she's so big now.  I was filled with gratitude for this space, this forum for reflection, for memory, for keeping time. 

Christmas was a sweet, simple affair. The kids were still sick and not their best selves.  Jeff woke up early and picked up his dad so Poppy could watch the kids open their stockings and gifts.
   The kids loved their books and puzzles, a yukelele and cool ABC train from Gran, candy canes and barrettes and all sorts of random stocking fillers.  
Eliana so purely believes in Santa Claus right now.  It's awesome.  When we were at Bobby and Jo's for Xmas eve dinner, he made a brief appearance.  Eliana held her hand over her mouth and stared in shock.  After a few of her older girlfriends went up and told Santa their wants, Eliana gathered courage and went up.  She was the picture of sweet innocence.  And her brother?  Well, he had no reservations whatsoever. 

Interestingly enough though, a few days later, totally out of the blue she said, "Mom, that wasn't the real Santa Claus at JiJi and Solan's house."  When I asked her why she replied, "The real Santa wears red pants.  That Santa's pants were white." True indeed.

I had splendid ideas about cross country skiing or sledding or general nature discovery on Christmas.  With our two little sickies and the amount of time and effort it takes for us all to get out the door, especially when snow sports are involved, well...we weren't out for long.  Soli ripped it on his little skis though and the sun was out, the sky was blue, and, well, it was worth the collective effort. 

Even if little man passed out hard in the car.  And didn't sleep again that day.  He's so big these days, so insistent on not being "a baby." 
Christmas dinner found us hosting some of our MIS colleagues and their little families, an international and motley crew enjoying steak and wine and chatting in Spanish.  I love having people in my little home. 

 Which brings us through the big Navidad.  I felt so glad for the quiet time at home, for Facetime with my mom, for real time with Jeff's dad.  I also felt mildly relieved to wake up on the 26th and know that it was all over.  The build up.  The chaos.  The stuff.  I'm ready for phase two which will find our family up in the mountains, our own little snowy vacay.  Until then, much love, much merry, much gratitude. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

running up that hill

We continue to crest towards the holidays.  I feel myself slow this week at work.  Feel the kiddos rev.  They finished their big show, yet they have two more full weeks until the break.  They want to chat and sing carols and count down the days.  "Only fifteen more days til Christmas, Gillian!"  That sounds so short, yet the days til then exhaust with the all the glitter and sheen that is Christmas.
And this year, Hannukah.  Jeffy seems to be owning his Jewish faith pretty hardcore this year.  I imagine it's because Morty, our favorite local Jew, may be experiencing one of his last.  On the first night of Hannukah, Jeffy was lamenting the fact that we don't own a mennorah.  "I'll just make one," he said with confidence, heading into the garage.  Hmmm.  I thought.  My husband the handy-man.  Sort of.  Not so much.

But then he returned.  Perfect piece of plywood covered in tin foil.  Foil nests to hold candles.  Sticky Tac holding the candles to the board, one a bit higher representing the Shamus.  It's rad.  So Jeffy lit the candles and sang the song, the kids flailing behind all, "Barukah, lalala....".  It was after we cut down and put up our tree.  The house was ablaze of tradition and history, of then and now.


Tonight is the fourth night of Hannukah and I think we're all getting the hang of it.  Eliana declared in the car on the way to visit Poppy tonight, "I LOOOVE being Jewish!  But mommy's not Jewish, right?  Just you, Dada and me and Solomon and PopPop.  But not mommy."
Sigh.  Let the games begin.

Jeffy tried like the devil to find an actual mennorah to bring his dad tonight.  He finally found himself in Target asking some chick named Nature where to find one.  Needless to say, he was sent all over the store.  And they didn't have the proper candles, so he bought birthday.  Rainbow.  And they didn't have gelt, so he bought a chocolate bar.  With some Hebrew wrapping.

PopPop seemed to sort of get it.  He was certainly glad to have us all there.  And he used the word, "Nosh," wish means he was thinking with his Jewish brain.  I loved it.
And I feel so wrapped up in this big, full, life right now.  It feels so fitting that we aren't going anywhere exotic, that we're just hunkering in our little home, the tree full of handmade ornaments, the table a pile of laundry to folk, homework to do, shirts to iron.  My husband took out the iron tonight.  That's how real life we are these days.  He's the BMOC (Big Man On Campus) and he irons.

I'm so, so proud of how hard he's worked these past few months.  Eight more days of being boss and then Julie returns and our lives can have some sense of normalcy again.  He's been awesome, though.  I can't wait to take him out on Friday to celebrate.

We did go out for a bit this past Friday.  And a weird old lady at the Union Club came up to our table with her old camera and said, "I do feet."  I think my white tights and red boots and Jeffy's white, polyester bells caught her eye.  We took off our coats and reveled our whole get-up.  Next thing we knew, we were in the girl's bathroom posing.  Jeff was mortified.  I loved every second of it.
We're figuring out how to rock this thing together.  Our eyes grow wide again and again as we listen to our daughter who seems to never stop talking, moving, singing, putting dreaded curls in her mouth.

 And Big Sol.  Who is so damn articulate and beautiful and greets me each afternoon with big lip kisses.  He's the best kisser ever. Hopefully he won't destroy all the ornaments.
I swear Elie sang Christmas songs for three hours during our tree love fest.  Jeff took a break and Soli slept and Els and I busted Pandora Holiday and talked all things heirloom and tradition.  She loves the word heirloom.  Everything is an heirloom.

When Soli was finally up and Jeffy back, we were ready to hang.  At which point all Soli wanted to do was run his wagon as fast as he could into the sofa and all Jeff wanted to do was get the tree perfectly straight which was a huge task.  Elie and I should have hung without the boys.  Because they are so not sentimental like that.

But we love them so. 

holiday blast off

 We blasted off into all things holiday last week.  It's been such a whizpop, I haven't even had a chance to do much recording.  Now all things Christmas are starting to lurk, so it's time to get up to date.

Oh how much we needed Thanksgiving break!  Fall madness was beginning to mount.  Five full days without having to be anywhere besides a big table full of food was very much appreciated.  I took some time to get back into my body after so many full months being so in my mind.  I can't believe how much I needed a few days of yoga.  It was like drinking water after months in the desert.  Oh how I need that movement.  I remember Melissa telling me when I was a 23 year old freakazoid of a new teacher in the 'hood, how she thought I'd really benefit from yoga.  That was a turning point.  And that was sorta how I felt in class last week.  Like, how have we been away from each other for so long?  How could I have let you go?

Thanksgiving asana was followed by a gratitude hike with my lovebugs on Jumbo saddle.  Watching the three of them walk ahead of me, play hide-in-seek, the golden grass and big, sheltering sky, well, I'll take it.  And then a delightful big meal with our favorite friends and family.  Super swell.
I have those intense moments of missing my parents and sisters, especially when I'm not with them for holidays.  But it's been so many years since I've had a California Thanksgiving.  This is what my children know.  This is where they want to spend their holiday.  I feel like it's taken five years for us to settle into this.  This is the family that we made.  Traditions begin to follow.  Thank goodness for Face time. 
Our post feast day found us at a lovely house down in Ennis.  The papas wanted to hunt, the mamas wanted to chill, the children wanted to be goofballs.  The hotsprings wanted to be bowed down to by this tight and worn-down chica.  Montana is one hell of a state.  The drive home was like a light show of colors and peaks, sunlight streaks and shifting clouds.  We needed some space from the intensity of now.  Space from school and laundry baskets and buckets of responsibility. 


Time is moving way too fast.  Eliana and I were looking at some of her baby pictures today.  I was a baby too!  Age seemed to hit me fast and hard after Soli was born.  Lately I feel like I'm a series of lines and streaks and strange, unusual folds.  I need to remember to give my self the water that is time in my body, time with my friends, time that is slow and casual and light.  I barely got dressed today.  It was heavenly.  My girlfriend and her daughter stopped by around noon and laughed at all of us because we were still in our jammies.  I need to buy some mud mask, some new candles, and hereby declare monthy Sunday spa days, stay at home days, cook broccoli soup and shuffle in slippers days.  It's the only reason I have the juice to write tonight.  Because I took it so way down today that I  am actually functional at 9:00. 

Because we have officially entered the season of this.  And my little elves are ready to blast off. 

Monday, November 12, 2012


I went to yoga with my BFF Melissa on Saturday.  I've read about the studio in Yoga Journal and heard about the teacher from my girlfriend for years.  When Melissa asked the teacher how she was, she responded, "I am just really, really grateful."

It's a quote I want to remember for a number of reasons.  But that is certainly how I feel in this moment, as I look back on my splendid weekend.  Grateful.

Working backwards, I don't even think I knew how grateful I was until I got home.  The kids were so happy to see me, but just generally so happy.  So gorgeous and silly and honest and real.  Eliana looked huge and confident.  She went down the big water slides all by herself at the party!  Even the dark tunnel one!  Her eyes were red from chlorine, her voice extra raspy and tuckered.   How was your trip, mama?  So pure.

Soli and I just kept touching each other.  We're more primal like that.  I read them the new books I found in the funky SF bookstore, Sol and I snuggled in close, hand in hand.  His curls looked longer and thicker, his skin felt extra soft.  And then, just like that, they were asleep.

They did so very fine without me.  Jeffy took care of all the house business and Nana helped with weekend loving and after-school pick up.  So there.  Mama can go away for the weekend.

And what a weekend it was.  We arrived in the city to be greeted by the goddess of love and airports herself, ready to take us wherever our hearts desired.  The stars aligned and I soon found myself walking towards one of my favorite, old college buddies and his fantabulous lady friend.  It was one of those energy bursting moments that set the tone for the night.  We rocked it pretty hard after that.

I am such a true fan of sparkle.  Dave and Liz are total sparkle.  Melis is sparkle too.  And us three homies from Montana weren't too shabby either.  It was rad.

Perhaps one of the raddest bits was the first margarita....wait,  the energy charged reunion...wait, the fabulous Senegalese dinner...wait, when our hot mama server suddenly cleared our table, pushed it aside, and smooth as silk, a sultry DJ in the corner began spinning beats.  And everyone moved from clay pots to loose hips.  As it should be.  Always and always.  I think I'll start clearing the table at home, dimming the lights, and busting Soul II Soul.
Back to life, back to reality.

We rocked that pretty dang hard.  And the evening continued to flow with absolute, meant-to-be, sparkle like perfection.

The next morning I was a bit rough around the edges, but so appreciative of the sunshine, the aforementioned "grateful" greeting at yoga.  The lovely practice had me back in my body in new ways.  I was so dang thankful to just be a student of yoga.  No need to hold everything in my mind, to think of ways to channel that practice into what I teach.  I was just there.  Hoping I wouldn't hurl all over the beautiful floors, the morning's latte a sloshy, lactose-laden poor choice.  But I'm that kinda girl.

One of my favorite life packages are called burritos.  They make them really, really awesome in San Francisco.  And that was next on the list.  Burritos and boutiques, meandering and sunshine, beautiful people, energy charge, little details to soak up everywhere.  Like the security guard who stood outside the burrito joint.  Or the three person mariachi band that wandered in halfway through my carnitas.  Or the joy of watching two of my best girls, one such a huge piece of my past life, one such a huge piece of now, chatting and laughing over beans and salsa together.  As Melissa said, "You know how to pick 'em."  I'll take it.
The weekend continued to move with ease and serendipity.  Our Saturday evening was mellow, tom kha soup and salmon panang, hysterical travel stories and sweet girl time.

I woke up early on Sunday feeling refreshed and ready to make the most of our last day.  I found myself walking down Clement Street, watching as the Chinese shopkeepers stocked their stands with lychee and persimmons, oranges and bok choy.  A man pounded out long strands of noodles, rolled them in sesame seeds and fried them in huge vats of oil.  It was early, but I was ready.  I found myself in line for the early morning treats, cha su bao and shu mai and adzuki bean mochi.  I was in Gillie food heaven.  I loved sharing stories of Japanese school carnivals with Donna Uchimura or dim sum blowouts with Joe Tung.  Coming full circle with the food.

And with the place.  I have a whole bank of formative memories of the Bay area.  The Boho Revolution was meant to be set in San Francisco, as that is where my story began, twenty years ago.  The first time I lived away from home.  Weekends spent driving into adventures set in dusty bookstores, steep, foggy streets, damp woods.  Baggy jeans and corduroy jackets, cruising with such purpose.  We cruised with that sort of purpose on Sunday. On and on through the green wonderland of Golden Gate Park we cruised.  Past roller boogie rockers and baby strollers.   Through every kind of tree, every texture of bark and leaf.

 It's such a magical spot.  Almost other-worldly, this ginormous park that is set in the middle of a huge city.

We walked on.  Past ducks and geese and Barbie's cruising around on remote control toy boats.  We walked towards the sea.

And there she was.  My heart.  Waiting.

The sun was perfect, the sand asking to be lay in, moved on, fully and wholly loved and appreciated.  I felt a lightness on that beach.  Like I really was twenty again.  Fifteen.  Five.  A whole lifetime of memories poured from me.  My seventeen year old birthday when me and my four best buddies went to Santa Barbara for the weekend.  Lay around on the sand and chatted.  Ate burgers and stayed up late being goofballs.  I had that same exact weekend.  There I was, messing around on the sand with my girlfriends.  Talking about where we'd eat next.  Simple, shared delights.

Our adventures continued over hill, over dale.  More ethnic food consumed.  More miles covered.  Another urban bus ride to get us going a bit faster, help us cover ground.  No real plan, no real needs, just moving, appreciating from place to place.

Our final evening was upon us.  How much would we motivate?  How much could we rally?  The fates were on our side again and, when after a series of taxi mishaps we were about to throw in our taco towel, Joellen said something like, "Unless a cab comes by right now, we are going home."  And there was the cab.  And we hopped in.  As it should be.

There is much to trust in the universe.  Trust that your children will thrive when left without you.  Trust that the ocean will be at the end of the line.  Trust that your feet, when put one in front of the other, will lead you to something triumphant and gorgeous and wholly unique.  

So thank you.  I am feeling really, really grateful.  Grateful for history.  For fabulous friends.  For a kind and good husband.  Soft skin and little fingers.  For this huge, wide world filled with people from everywhere.  For colors and smells.  For difference.  For risk.  For trust.  For adventure. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

election night

It's election night and I'm all weird and could stay glued to that little red and blue map.  Eliana kept chanting, "Go blue, go blue!"  She was worried that if Obama lost we'd have to move.  Perhaps she's overheard too many political diatribes from her Drunkel Matt.  I reassured her we'd be right here in our, "rainbow house" (her term...perhaps I did get a bit too crazy with the paint colors...).  What better activity than this bloggy to pass a bit of this knuckle cracky time.

When I was pregnant with Solomon, my girl Kay gave me a beautiful book about Barack Obama.  She wrote a note to, "Little Man Kessler" in the front cover.  He didn't even have a name yet.  I read it to my classes today and each time was so moved by his story.  That President Obama, too, was once just a little man who was taking in his world. And, later, this smart, kind, hard-working, driven man who, in trying to find his place in the world, found the path of helping others.  The kids wrote about the changes they would make if they were president.  They were so pure.  So passionate.  So thoughtful.  They were all, from age seven to age fourteen, totally into the assignment.  It filled me with the hope that themes the book, that themes what this man has tried to do.  Hope is good.

I gave a similar writing prompt four years ago.  My, my how time moves quickly!  Only one of my kiddos, now in middles school, commented, "Didn't we do this before?"  Most of them had me when they were younger as well. It felt so good to remind her of how much she's changed in four years and that her hopes and dreams may have shifted as well.  And, if they haven't, it never hurts to actualize your dreams more than once and know that the powerful ones live in us forever.

I'm having lots of old dreams come my way these days.  I think life is circling back.  Maybe it's some cosmic thing.  I remember everyone telling me about my Saturn Returns when I hit the end of my twenties.  In the blink of an eye here I am, hitting the end of my thirties.  I feel some super shifting, some super circles.  I have to set up a date with a friend who knows about this sort of thing.  I'm totally intrigued.

I wrote about it a bit the other morning, after my Dia de los Muertos early morning hike for Brandon. I find myself thinking about my early twenties a ton.  Wanting to listen to Tori Amos again and feel her feminist passion, her dreamy, freaky soul.  I want to light candles and stretch and create sacred space for myself.  I'm reading a ton of poetry, books I haven't pulled from the shelf in over a decade.  So much of the past few years has been about navigating my space with two new little souls.  I think I'm integrating (thanks, Melis, for that term).  It feels awesome and very, very right.

This weekend I'm going to San Francisco with two of my best girlfriends.  Alone on a plane not for work, or family, but for me.  I'm all dreamy just thinking about it.  My girl Melis will pick us up from the airport, my girl who was a key player in the me of my twenties and keeps hearing me talk about what I've termed my, Boho Revolution.  I'm ready to meander into a bookstore and lurk and linger without a thought of the time, of what comes next.  I'll walk and walk and walk and check out whatever looks fabulous or fascinating and then walk some more.  And don't get me thinking about the food.  I literally got up out of bed last night and read menus for Mexican, for Spanish tapas, for Burmese, for dim sum, in the freaking dark.  Then I got so hungry I had to make toast and pretend it was flan or a samosa. 

So yay for San Francisco. 

Another funny thing about the Boho Revolution is the people that I've been reconnecting with, a few who I hope to see this weekend.  An old boyfriend who I haven't seen or heard from in forever called me the other night.  It was so out-of-the-blue. But it didn't feel weird at all.  Because Vince was a key figure in my earlier revolution.  When I was super in touch with my creativity, with my demons, with theatre and words, listening to music to hear each and every lyric, exploring and theorizing and writing.  I started talking about how I've been seeing my life as a timeline.  And how certain people would get their names written in bright bold colors for how they influenced me.  Brandon's death is what started the timeline theory.  But all sorts of signs seem to pointing me back lately.  The circling. 

I feel the circling in my marriage.  That Jeff and I are in love like we used to be.  When I look at him I see the kind, amber of his eyes, I see how well we fit.  I look around our rainbow house and see how each artifact, each piece of art, each photograph or child made craft, represents part of our history.  Our living timeline.  It's so vibrant and rich and alive.  I need to remember to think of it that way tomorrow when I come in from work, exhausted, and my children have unearthed every last piece of crap out of every last drawer and corner.  And the sink is full of dishes.  And Jeff's boxers are on the bathroom floor.  Remember the soul of the rainbow house, Gil.  Remember.  Everyone will like me better this way.  Especially me.

Like, when I was twenty, I don't remember really caring if the house was a disaster.  I don't remember fretting about getting laundry done or what I'd cook for dinner.  If there wasn't bread, I didn't have to go to the store right away.  I certainly didn't wipe down the counters a whole lot or vacuum during my lunch break (yes, I did this just yesterday).  What the heck?  I mean, I do need to feed my children, but nobody but me gives a hoot if the rug is covered in little fall leaf bits, blown in from my crunchy leaf jumping children. I don't want to go too into housekeeping but, really, I need to chillax on this one a bit.  Boho Revolution, baby. 

Speaking of the revolution, this Halloween, I wanted to just hunker with my homies.  My job is so beautifully social that at the end of the day, I don't always feel like being around a whole lot of people beyond my little freaks and their hot daddy.  So after a visit to see Poppy (who was all decked for the occasion and eating dinner in his boxers), and much needed burritos, we hit our little rainbow hood. 

The kids are at supremely cute trick-or-treat age.  They would literally run from house to house, hand in hand, and stand, expectantly on doorstops, knocking and eager.  What an amazingly cool holiday for kids.  I think dress up is the A, number one, favorite activity for them followed, or perhaps preceded, by eating candy.  Little person perfection. 

So we walked up and down Jackson Street until it was time to stumble home.  They dumped their buckets on the kitchen floor like I so clearly remember doing when I was a kiddo. They aren't exactly candy experts yet, so they didn't really know what was what but I think just the sheer display of wrappers, of colors, of shapes and sizes, was wholly satisfying for my two little sugar hounds. 

We made it through the night without any major meltdowns and Jeff and I happily closed the door on that big day with a satisfied sigh of relief. 

And then I stopped on Halloween to check the election results.  And now I'm crying.  Because we can stay with hope.  We can stay with revolution.  We can continue to move forward.  Yes we can. 

day of the dead

This is when I could use more than half an hour before I have to be at work.  When I'd love to sit and write and process and drink coffee and listen to music.  After an early morning hike towards the sacred tree, darkness everywhere, fog settled like memory, Brandon singing me through memories -  Azure's candy eyes and my Hilary who never cries, sobbing on the highway.  I have a new appreciation of this day, this Day of the Dead, this celebration of those we loved, their legacy.  I was all over the place this morning.  On the stage jumping high with jazz hands, my alto harmony doing her darndest to chant, "Think about your life, Pippin, ah, ah, your life....". I remember how pure that felt.  Like that was the absolute best moment there'd ever be.  Watching you in your white hat and sparkles, waiting for Anna to sing about the angel of the morning that's calling out your name.  I was thinking about that angel of the morning this morning.  That ultimate act.  Today you're my angel of the morning.

Then I was up in your room, watching Hilary spin while you sang, me stretching, smiling, taking in the act that was the two of you.  This was our life then.  Days of music and movement.  Responsibility an afterthought.  Papers to write or books to read and then, later, little people to teach, dances to choreograph, plays to direct.  But it all came back to this.  This creativity.  These long days that morphed into the next.  Loud music and deep thoughts.  We were constantly giving ourselves space to create, to celebrate, to be. 

When did that become a luxury?  Why would that ever become hard?

That's the revolution I'm trying to reconstruct.  That creativity is and must be a daily act.  Personal, professional, from what colors I chose to wear to how much time I give myself to write, to carefully listen to at least one song, to play with my children, to love on my husband, to enjoy every moment of teaching little people, to see the light and color of the sky, to breathe clean air.

 I'm super excited.