Saturday, November 27, 2010

Comfort Zone

Last weekend, Herself had the pleasure of another desert adventure with her Beloved and her cherished friend.  It was the maiden voyage for the Suzuki Samurai, too.  It performed well and Herself's Beloved was quite pleased.  She is very happy for him.

The three of them went out to Aden Crater, New Mexico, also known as the "Sloth Hole" because the remains of an ancient ground sloth were found at the botttom of a fumarole hole in the crater.  Although they had first thought it would be similar to Kilbourne Hole, it was, in fact, vastly different.  The landscape was moonlike, with lava rocks, crevasses, holes, and fascinating geologic formations.  It was quite windy.  The three of them hiked about, poked in corners and pits, and looked under and around and through lava tubes and cracks.  There was one small cave-like crack in particular that they explored more thoroughly.  Though it was not terribly deep, it descended under the surface and required a flashlight and some squeezing through narrow passageways to access it. 

Herself has difficulty with enclosed spaces.  Though she is not quite phobic, the idea of crawling through tight rock formations is frightening to her.  The thought of getting stuck positively nauseates her.  Nevertheless, that day she stepped out of her comfort zone, and crawled down into the depths of that little cave. 

She was not going to miss the opportunity to investigate such an interesting place, particularly when her two companions appeared to be enjoying it so much. She saw that they were at ease and could get in and out without difficulty.  So, with the security of knowing that her Beloved and her friend were there, one below-ground and one above-ground, she ventured forth.  And she was not afraid.

It pleases her enormously to have had this adventure.  To be so very ALIVE.  She is grateful. 




Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

Now that we are all satiated, and are ensconced on various couches feeling the tightness of our belts and yet still eyeing that delicious pie over there, let us pause and give thanks for the very many blessings in our lives.  Herself speaks:

So many blessings, where to begin?

I am thankful for my Beloved.  He loves me deeply despite my many flaws, insecurities, and failings.  He is my joy, my comfort, my consolation, and my companion.  I am the person I am today because of him.  I cannot imagine my life any other way than with him.

I am thankful for my Offspring.  They are lovely, witty, kindhearted individuals, so caring and thoughtful.  Wise beyond their years at times.  It is quite a miracle that I somehow brought such delightful people into the world. 

I am thankful for my in-laws, who bestowed my Beloved upon the world, and also welcomed me with open arms and loving hearts from the very first day they met me.  It is a blessing to be considered part of their family.

I am thankful for my parents, who gave me life, and made every effort while raising me to make all opportunities possible for me.  They are still here for me at the drop of a hat, should I ever ask.

I am thankful for my brother and sister, who shaped my childhood and who remain my steadfast supporters and friends in my adulthood.  Though we live far apart from one another, we are always close in heart.

 I am thankful for my internet friends, who are a valuable source of humor, support, and care, even though we have never laid eyes upon one another.  The miracle of technology, bringing people together in this way. 

I am thankful for my old friends with whom I have reconnected because of FaceBook.  Another miracle of technology, enabling me to eliminate time and distance and to enjoy them once more.

I am thankful for my El Paso friends.  They are an endless source of joy for me.  Their companionship, their support, and their kindness bolster me when I struggle.  They entertain, enlighten, and enliven me.  They provide me opportunities to care for them and to help them, and I feel useful and valuable.  We talk together.  We work through difficulties together.  We have adventures together.  We laugh together.

I am a lucky woman, to have so many individuals as blessings in my life.  The Universe is kind, and I am grateful.  Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cowboy Hat

Happy birthday, my friend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cosmic


The Captain's wife played the harp; she had very long arms, silvery as eels on those nights, and armpits as dark and mysterious as sea urchins; and the sound of the harp was sweet and piercing, so sweet and piercing it was almost unbearable, and we were forced to let out long cries, not so much to accompany the music as to protect our hearing from it.

- Italo Calvino, The Distance of the Moon, Cosmicomics

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Endurance

Let's talk for a few minutes about our favorite sport of tae kwon do.

Herself is now a red belt. Two more steps remain, if all progresses as hoped: testing for red belt/black stripe in December, and then testing for black belt next July. It seems hard to believe that she is so close now.

Lately, she has been attending the red/black belt classes twice a week, in addition to her regular classes. The primary population of these classes consists of the teenage black belt and red belt/black stripe students, with the occasional "mature" student besides Herself. She wants to attend these classes, and yet, they test her mental and physical endurance to the very limits.

She is often frustrated by her inability to perform certain kicks or other movements. She understands in theory how things are supposed to work, and yet is unable to force her body to do what should be done. It's "comprehension vs. compliance." She feels old, slow, stupid. Inept.

It would be easier not to attend the classes, to excuse herself as being physically unable. And sometimes that seems a reasonable excuse - her hips pop, her knees hurt, her old ankle injury flares. But is she hiding behind fear and age? If she only tries harder, could she perform properly? How much must she push? Shouldn't she be more protective of her body? What if she injures herself? Is it truly physically impossible for her, or has she just not tried hard enough yet? Will she ever succeed?

It has been a long journey. Some days she forgets that it is a miracle that she is able to do tae kwon do at all, that a few years ago, such a physical challenge was an impossibility. She would do well to remember. She does the very best she can. Ultimately, that will have to be enough.
 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Twins

And once more, my minions, we delve into slightly adult matters.  Those of you who are squeamish about functional body parts should go poke about in other parts of the Internets.

Herself woke up exhausted this morning, and explained to me that she spent much of the night dreaming about having newborn twins.  One boy, one girl.  Quite cute, she said.  The girl was wearing the little one-piece suit that all of the Offspring had worn home from the hospital. 

The crux of the dream was nursing the babies.  She dreamt vividly about positioning the baby correctly, tickling the little chin so the tiny mouth would open enough, helping the baby latch on properly.  Burping the baby afterwards and seeing a bit of milk trickle out of the corner of a gassy smile.

When the Offspring were little, Herself was one of those mothers.  Not a militant breastfeeder, mind you, but one of those perceived-as-slightly-crazy women who nursed beyond each child's first year.  She can't explain why it was so very important to her to nurse the babies.  Part of it was a touch of guilt in having to leave them to go to work, I'm sure.  Another greater part, though, was her visceral desire (practically a need) to give of herself to these tiny human beings that Nature had seen fit to bestow upon her.  Besides, she muses in retrospect, isn't that truly what breasts are for?  We know they can be decorative.  They are also quite functional. 

She struggled through poor latch, mastitis multiple times, leaking at inopportune moments, pumping at work,  and other associated difficulties and indignities in order to ensure that the nursing process was successful for each of the Offspring.  She poured her heart into the effort.  And it paid off.

Each child weaned in his/her own good time, after their respective first birthdays but before they reached a scandalous-in-the-eyes-of-the-general-public age.  Herself was, in fact, relieved (though slightly wistful) when they were each finished.  There.  A job well done. 

How cruel the psyche, to dredge up such vivid dreams at this time.  Is she sad? Nostalgic? Longing?  I cannot tell.  She may not know, even, herself. 




Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Patience, Grasshopper

Herself has realized that as she has waded through her own sorrows and frustrations of late, that her patience for others -- even for her Beloved, who is closest and most dear to her -- has been quite short.  She is bereft to think that she has treated him with anything less than the unmitigated kindness that he so deserves.  She asks for his forgiveness and understanding, and vows to try harder to act and speak with the patience that is so warranted. 

Grasshopper, seek first to know your own journeys beginning and end. Seek then the other journeys of which you are a close part. But in this seeking, know patience. Wear that travelers cloak, which shelters and permits you to endure.

- Master Po, Kung Fu

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote!

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.
- Lyndon B. Johnson

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monthly Love Letter, the First

Herself was thinking back this morning to those long, long years when she and her Beloved lived in separate states.  It was a nearly every-day ritual to compose a letter, whether short or long, to her Beloved. She truly enjoyed taking that moment to let him know she was thinking about him, missing him and looking forward to their time together. Although her letter-writing abated once they were finally married and together, she still thinks quite fondly of those days when words on paper would bridge the distance between them.

Now in the present, so busy they are, and so mired in the daily grind of LIFE, that oftentimes she feels like she does not have adequate moments to remind him that he is loved, treasured, admired, desired, and needed. In an effort to ensure he knows the depth of her feelings for him, she has asked that I allow her periodic space in the blog for an electronic letter to him. It is not enough, she states, to tell him in person; she wants the the Internet, with its eternal and wide-ranging presence, to hear as well. Only by shouting from the electronic rooftops, she says, can she begin to explain how she feels.

And without further ado, her letter today.
___________________________________________________

My Beloved,

Today I am thinking about the very first month that we spent apart. You'll remember, I was sweltering in the northeastern humidity, and you were home in the dry southwest. My coworkers that long, hot summer would periodically ask me questions like, How can you be so *sure that he is The One? You only dated him a month - how do you know he feels about you the way you feel about him? How can long distance possibly work? It was so difficult to listen to negative comments; and yet despite hearing them, there was never any doubt in my mind.

For I knew, from the moment I met you, that there was something different about you. Something special, something important. Something I needed to learn. I knew then that you would be a shining light on my path of life, providing me hope and guidance even when I was at my most despairing and most lost. And so you have been, day after day, no matter how near or how far apart we are. I am so grateful.  I owe you more than I can ever repay.  Thank you, my Beloved. 

The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through eternity. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Now and always,
Yours