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


  1. what a busy week. i love the openness of your posts, you say it like it is. that suits me fine. the work you do with kids is so important and i so wish i could join you in the summer and we could 'play'.and i find that when i work with kids, i get so much out of it myself too.

  2. What a beautiful post KJ. The angel, the cardinal and the rabbit were sent to heal and gladden. Keep happy, and your hands in the clay! :)
    *And just to top it all off, the Word Verification says: winall. :) :)

  3. I used to hate going to the dentist and in fact avoided it for many eyars. Then I saw one who specialized in phobic patients. Tried the nitrous once andit gave me a panic attack! But my curernt dentist is good - very patient and manages to numb my mouth so thoroughly I rarely even feel the shot.

  4. aw loved the pictures...emily why you looking down in KJs mouth? LOL..

    Phobias....yes a few..drowning(dont like to swim), funerals, and noises in the dark..

    Love the clay..looks great.

    S xoxo

  5. That was quite a lovely trip to Boston. Love the bunny at the dentist! Wishing you a lovely week. Deborah

  6. You don't know this about me but I hate cities, esp Boston because that's where I grew up in poverty.
    I like going to museums and restaurants in some cities, but all I see is despair when I'm in a city. I lose my breath and can't get out fast enough. That said....I like the rest of your post!

    Emily cracks me up. I think she just went along with you to get a hit off that gas!

    And big boy Ryan, what a cutie ;)

    Cool clay thingies KJ. You and "D" are very talented!

    I wish the angel pic would enlarge. It's beautiful. I wonder how Bella's doing.

    hey, have a happy Monday girlfriend!


  7. soulbrush, i think you might consider a trip to new england, laong with a number of your friends, to play and paint and hug and giggle....

    kay, you notice all the little things that matter. :)

    cs, i understand the panic attack! i've worked that into numb and dumb stoniness! i think you are brave to do this on your own.

    sonia, hugs to you.

    deborah, a lovely week? i'm still at your pool party. it's a blast!

    lo, i'm glad i don't live in beacon hill girlfriend!

  8. Lovely post kj; all of it.

    By the way are you feeding Mr. Ryan chocolate. No wonder he loves going to grandma's house.

    Beautiful thought of Bella.

    Love Renee xoxo

  9. renee, of course chocolate.

    for breakfast....


  10. i used to be scared of dentists right, terrified. now i am not sure what has happened, but stellan LOVES the dentist, he has the most perfectly beautiful teeth ever!! He adores the dentist and somehow on my journey with him and the way he talks about the dentist and teeth i have lost my fear!! I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago to have a tooth redone that i had broken years ago, it had stained along the join, so there i am in the dentist chair and while they worked on me I FELL ASLEEP!!! not once, not twice, but THREE times!!
    I dont know how he did it, but now I LOVE going to the dentist :)
    Call me crazy, call me in love, or maybe a little of each LOL but either way it is nice to know that I am free of the fear :)
    I think he may even help me with my fear of flying, brought about since sept 11...i really do think he will cure me of that too.
    aint love grand!!!!!!!!
    have a lovely week kj :)

  11. Great city photos...
    I love a good city too!
    I live in one, but it's sooo small that I don't think it really rates as a city :-)

    I'm not a bit fan of the dentist either... it's the dentist's bill that scares me!

    I also worked with children for a time and found it very exhausting and rewarding :-)

    lovely post kj

    best wishes

  12. Lovely post. It was a hard week for me too and I appreciate the upbeat tone :-). Love that you will be doing art with your young clients! Yes,I have phobias too! And one is the dentist, but I am better about it these days. Love to Bella. xoxo

  13. P.S. I love that Emily showed up at the dentist :-).

  14. sweetmango, you are in in in in in in love. :)
    ribbon, i'd like to see where you live. xo
    annie, i know it was a hard week for you. here's wishing you $$ for starters, right? xo