Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Emily Goes to Cape Coddy

Hello, it's me, Emily. I am on my way to Cape Coddy with kj and JB, where I will play in the sand, sneak out at night when every one's asleep, and meet my friends so we can all bob in the ocean. I had to tell my mother that kj is sick and needs me to help her because I was not sure my mother would let me miss school to go to Cape Coddy and I was certainly not going to miss a fun trip, so I told her kj needed me to help her and I hope I do not get caught. Sometimes you have to tell little lies just to keep things rolling the right way and as long as kj or JB do not blow my cover, what's the harm really? Besides, I wouldn't be surprised if my mother has an idea I may be stretching the fact that kj might be sick, you never know, after all...
Here I am preparing in the car and in my purple polka dot bikini. This makes me a little sad because it makes me think of Bella Sinclair who has given me advice NOT to model for money
and I hope she is feeling better and I hope she knows that I like her.
Cape Coddy does not really have trees like this but hopefully you get the point. I'll be relaxing in the sun and in the shade and having a grand time plus there is a garden where i can sneak in and help myself to radishes and carrots and maybe some lettuce. No tomatoes yet but I don't like tomatoes anyway so that is fine with me.
These are my Cape Coddy friends Muck Ruck and Truck Duck. I met them at the beach three years ago and the four of us bob in the water together. They quack a lot and I really don't understand what they say but they are very fun and they float and bob very well so sometimes I just hang on to one of them and they pull me around, which I like very much.
Maybe I will show you more of my time in Cape Coddy next week. I'm not sure, but if you want me to I might. Please don't mention to kj that I sneak out at night because I'm not supposed to but I meet up with a squirrel named Gregory and he shows me how to climb trees and roll in the grass and that is so much fun in the moonlight I highly recommend it.
Yours Truly,
Emily Rabbit
I hope you have fun everybody.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Good News

There's a lot going on with me lately, and it's all good.
For starts, it's summer. That means longer days, lush gardens, leisurely moments. About a two miles up the road, you'll find this take out joint where you can buy a large lobster roll for $6.95. I know many of my blog friends do not live in America, so just in case, let me tell you
$ 6.95 for a large lobster roll is the deal of the century. And nothing pretentious about this little food place: just fabulous lobster rolls.
2.. I've just finished a three day workshop on memoir writing. I didn't know it at the time, but what I've learned will be the basis for my next book. The instructor, an enthusiastic and passionate woman named Nancy Rose, teaches the craft of writing, and seven woman, myself included, spent three Saturdays with her learning how to spin a transformative yarn. That's what a memoir is: a 'section' of one's life that not just happens but transforms.
2. Speaking of transformation, my next book is currently 15 or so pages of crazy and nonsensical thoughts and ideas, but this Wednesday I will begin my summer in Provincetown. It's not full time--I'll be commuting back most often for three days of work each week--but I will settle into ocean living in a way that lets the words slide and glide onto the page. Provincetown is a crazy, creative, anything-goes kind of place, at the ocean's edge, and it is a place where artists and writers of all kinds find their muses. I'll be looking.

3. My second little grandson Mr. Drew was baptised today. He is 3 months old and he smiles. I have no doubt I will love and adore him as I do Mr. Ryan, but the absolute best part of all of this is seeing my Jessica as Mr. Drew and Mr. Ryan's mother. She is a wonderful mother in every way. And she is my beloved daughter. I'm taking a bullet for this girl, anytime, anywhere.

4. JB made potato salad for the occasion and I bought this cake, which was almost too beautiful to eat but once cut, it tasted as good as it looked. I'm so into color these days. I love to visit Aimee's blog at http://www.artsyville.blogspot.com/ because she splashes color every which way.
5. I finally pulled out and tried on my summer clothes and YIPEE-DO!: I've lost weight. Almost everything is either too big or, best of all, finally fits. Sometimes I almost feel cute, which is ridiculous for my age but what the hell. The kjbabe project chugs along.
6. My friend lolo is on her way to the part of the world where I live. That means we'll be within a couple of hours of one another and that means I will have the privilege and joy of spending time with this special woman I quite love and admire. We laugh alot--lolo and I--and we feel like kindred souls. And sometimes I think we just might be.

This, my dear friends, is one of my offices. Well, I'm using the term 'office' pretty loosely. This is the back of a stage in an elementary school where I see two children for psychotherapy. I see them here because there is often not room to see them anywhere else. That's fine with me and them because this area is a bit magical. Can you tell?
And last, I'm loving the blogs, the visits, the comments, and the community of friends I may never meet in person but clearly know and share with and warmly give and receive in spirit and affection. I wouldn't have believed it--this ability to actually care about and love people in this way, but I do know it's both possible and true. Thank you so much. You know who you are.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Just a 4 mile drive home from dinner:
Summer time, and the living is easy....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Bad times have a scientific value:
these are occasions a good learner would not miss.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Know what I want to hold on to after a difficult and sad year?
Gratitude. Awareness. Tolerance. Empathy. Patience.
Wisdom. Loyalty. Kindness. Self Protection.
And Love.
Know what I don't want any part of?
Bitterness. Hostility. Resentment.
Anger. Revisionist History.
Know What I've Learned?
We're all works in progress...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Emily's Advice on Friendship

Hmpff! Would you believe kj put up a poem she wrote on the one day of the week I write what I want to and charge her $ 10 for it which sometimes she pays me and sometimes she doesn't?
I don't know if she forgot it's my turn or what because she seems to be looking back and looking ahead at the same time, which can make anybody very dizzy but for some reason kj thinks that is a good thing for her to do and I will admit she seems happier some of the time. Maybe she didn't want me to do this story on friendship because she had a hard time with someone and she is still sad and sometimes pathetic about it. Anyway, I told her kj to just get over it and she gave me a scowl look that made me think she is not going to pay me my $10 this week.
But that is okay because my best friend Marianne sent me another of her fantastic hand painted mandalas and told me I could sell it for jellybeans, which I might do but I am also thinking about buying a rubber raft for Cape Coddy next week or maybe another polka dot bathing suit.
My best friend Marianne is from the Neverlands which I think is a very interesting name for a country. kj told me I am not pronouncing or spelling it right but I know I am so the heck with her for now and maybe for tomorrow too.
Anyway, my best friend Marianne also sent me this, which she drew especially for me.
I put it under my pillow every night and I'm starting to have a dream where I am lying on my back and someone is feeding me all kinds of color jellybeans while rubbing my stomach and gently pulling my ears. That is a great way to fall asleep so I recommend that you try it soon.
So this is the first rule of friendship: Give your friends
little special presents, including drawings, stomach rubs, and ear pulls.

Then as many of you know I also have a portrait of myself being Jubilant which was done by kj's favorite good friend, lololo. kj really likes her because she says she has this really nice laugh and when you compliment her she says, 'awwwww," which I actually like too because she sounds like she means it and maybe even she gets alittle embarrassed when you say something nice to her. Anyway, lololo drew this for me because kj cannot do a very good job of it and I thought that was thoughtful and she made me look very adorable and of course Jubilant. And besides that she listens to kj talk and sometimes she gives her advice and sends her cards telling her to knock it off and cut it out.

So that is rule # 2: Tell your friends to smarten up in a nice way but then in a loud way if you need to so they can save time and not worry about stupid things like someone they liked hurting their feelings or pretending to forget them.

Another picture I like is the one that Ribbon sent kj about world peas. At first I thought it had something to do with the garden, but then I saw this bird flying and kj said it was a dove carrying some kind of peace plant. kj likes that she got this from Ribbon because she thinks peace is a good thing. I like peace too--a peace of apple pie, a peace of radish, even a peace of a peanut. And of course I like all kinds of peas.

RULE # 3: Don't fight with your friends. Try to be nicer to them than you even really are because then they will be nicer to you and there will be peas. (You don't have to be that nice, just nice enough)
Next, here is something that kj found on Bella Sinclair's blog. Imagine this: She drew this bunny island before she even knew me. That proves that she has good intuition and that she knows alot about rabbits which I now know is the reason why I like her and I let her give me advice. Wouldn't you just love to live here in Bunny Island? I would. By the way, don't forget to pray for Bella because it will help her feel better and that is even more important than anything, even a year's supply of free jellybeans.
Rule # 4: Be good to your friends even before they're your friends. You never know when something you do might be very special to someone else and make them happy, and if you make them happy they will probably want to make you happy too.

and last, Rule # 5: If you can help it, don't just disappear and leave a friend sad and worried. Try to remember that when someone cares about you that is important and you don't want to hurt or worry their heart because they will be sad and if they are sad then everything might change and that won't be good because you might lose someone you like and then you will be sad too. (kj says to tell Anonymous Bird she is still thinking of her, and wishing her and Queen Jackie everything good)
Now do you think kj should pay me $10? I do.

Yours Truly,

Emily Rabbit

More Poetry

At the time I wrote this, I didn't know how prophetic it would become. It comforts me to know somewhere inside I knew and prepared myself for something that would not endure, could not maintain the threads needed over the long haul. Still, I'm glad to know then and now that sometimes I know what I don' t know...
Can’t Do
Could you?
I’m at the beginning:
Accept, Accelerate, Acquiesce,
and sprinting to the L’s,
Long, Loosen, Lighten up,
Onto to the T’s:
Trust, Turn in, Truncate,
Then to the final stop:
Zero. Zilch. Zenith.
I am plucking words,
Seeking sounds,
And mixing colors
To explain why oh why
You are there
And I am here
And the in-between
Is alphabetically and phonetically speaking
All Wrong.

For the Crow, Shiny Things

I have not heard from my beloved friend Human Being (aka crow), who lives in Iran and is unable to communicate freely since the election there. I think of her and pray not only that she is safe but that her wishes and hopes for herself and her people come true in her lifetime. Human Being is a poet, a mother, a sage and a muse. She has loved and inspired me. I imagine myself sitting across from her, having tea, meeting eachother's gaze, sharing ourfriendship and our hopes for our countries and the world.
These poems are for her. I wrote them at a time
I was simply into rhyme,
not worried about meter, or edits line by line.
My dearest Friend, know you are loved and protected around the world. The seed is planted.

So Sad

So sad

So absently glad.

So nothing new

So clearly true.

So many times

Lost in rhymes

So many tries

And lovely lies

So many tears

So many years.

So sad so sad

(When you return

Please let me learn)

So sad so sad

So utterly bad

So lovingly mad

So sad so sad.

Flight in Rhyme

I dwell inside the foyer
And crouch along the wall
Waiting for a miracle
To break my gruesome fall.
Out the window
three blue foxgloves sway and wave
as though I could be that free too
If I would just let go.
You see, I really try to welcome fate
I don’t complain when it is late
I spread my fingers and willingly wait
But I’ll be damned: what does abate
Is often hope instead of doubt
I wonder why I shrink just then
The foxgloves bid me to spread wide
But I forget to bend
That foyer has an open door
Where visitors pass by
I often smile with open arms
And greet them eye to eye.
They tell me I am whole and fit
I tell them hardly, then I sit.
But they persist until I might
Flap my wings and pray for flight.
I could walk out the door
Into the light
I could raise my chin
And raise up my sight.

I could give up first
And sit down last.
I could whisper thank you
In the silver grass.
I could even agree
To heal my amends
And bypass the beginning
Until I get to the end.
I could and I would
I should and I might
Forget about shudders
And fly into the night .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Advice from the Peanut Gallery

Three thoughts for the day:

1. When you need something from someone, give them a way to hand it to you.
2. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat. (Woodrow Wilson, 1916)

3. Step out of the way

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What I"ve Been Up To...

I love beautiful cities. I don't spend enough time in any these days but last weekend jb and I were in Boston for the day. One of these days, probably when I am better with my camera, I want to photograph Boston and do her justice. Meanwhile, here's the quickest glance at one of my favorite American cities:

It was a hard sad week. Not all of it, but enough that I found myself looking for signs that everything was not slowly falling apart. These are the times I look for light. My friends Mike and Clara provided that last weekend: their daughter Dani graduated from high school and graduated from Project Step, a stringed instrument program that takes children of color from kindergarten all the way through high school, many of their graduates on their way to performing in symphony orchestras. Dani was flawless. After, about 12 of us sat around an outdoor patio, chilly enough that the restaurant owner gave us each fleece blankets (something I've never experienced before while dining), and we ate, drank, ate and drank some more. (I like the way this sounds but I guess I should add I can't and don't drink anymore. I'm not always happy about that, but I'm way better off because I don't.)

Two weeks ago Mr. Ryan came to stay for the weekend. He is almost two and a half and if you rule out the exhaustion he generates, he is absolute fun. Just watching him learn, hearing him put words together, chuckling over his very real and very playful sense of humor: it's just irreplaceably precious. I don't know if either of these pictures show his purity, but I hope so. For some reason I especially love this shot of him sitting in what we tell him is the "Big Boy Chair."

I have children in my life. Lots of them. Besides for Mr. Ryan and Mr. Drew, somehow half of my clients are children, ages four through seventeen. I'm in this weekly clinical supervision group where the teacher has a background in art therapy, and every week we do some kind of art while she talks and teaches and we talk and learn. So I've told my clients that over the summer we'll do that: coloring, clay, paper, drawing, writing stories. I've never ever done this before with kids, adults or myself, so it is both stretch and an adventure. Here is fifth grader D's 'Ollie Octopus' and grown up kj's 'Gregory Druid'. This clay is easy on the hands, pliable for hours, and slowly hardens after a day. So far, the kids and I love it.
Do you have phobias? Are they major? Because I have a couple and one is very major. The dentist freaks me out. Finally, I now get laughing gas to drug me, and it works. My dentist looked at me this week and said, "You like this stuff, don't you?" I was embarrassed but too happy to care...
Anyway, lovely high aside, I'm lying back in that dental chair and what do I see when I look up? I almost burst out laughing. I could just hear Ms. Emily Rabbit thoroughly enjoying this.
(It's me, Emily....Blow this picture up and it will make you smile. I'm especially telling this to my best friend Marianne.)
Next: jb and I are driving to our friend's when a cardinal flies by our windshield and lands in a tree nearby. Can you spot him/her?

And finally, I don't have a personal or special relationship with Bella Sinclair, but like many in our community of bloggers, I am utterly sad and mournful thinking about her and her unimaginable loss. I came across this beautiful photo--an angel reaching out and down--and I thought of her and her husband and her children. . Love to you, Bella: in time I pray you and your girls will be okay. I believe you will. xoxo