Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Slice of Life - being called a writer

My laptop is back with the Geniuses at Apple and I am attempting to work on the big family computer. Not much success. The computer is at a little desk at the front of the house next to a tiny window that lets in all of the noise and none of the breeze. I set up a fan nearby because it’s over 95 degrees today. Still, I feel so weighted down by the humidity I can’t focus. My arm sticks to the desk, and my wrist doesn’t sit right so I get sore, and let’s face it, I’m grumpy.
I did manage to work out some ideas for one class, and even posted to my newspaper blog, but this week has not been as productive as I had hoped. I’m getting discouraged and short tempered.
Here’s the little bright spot that has kept me from quitting completely. When we were at the Apple store last night and my dear husband was trying to convey the urgency of the problem he said “My wife is a writer and this issue has been interfering with her work for two months now.”
My husband called me a writer. Smile.
So, I’d better go write.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slice of Life - On sunburns and junk food

It’s Tuesday which means my girls and I spent the first half of the day at the lake with our friends. It is my favorite day of the week.

I’ve been trying to remember this summer that the girls are growing up and can take care of themselves in many ways, so for the past few outings, I had them pack their own lunches. I’m still nearby, probably in the kitchen packing my own lunch or gathering shared snacks, so their not completely on their own. No totally chocolate lunch would get past me.

Todays choice was peanut butter on rice cakes, and goldfish crackers. I threw in some fruit to balance it out, and reminded them they might get thirsty. Not a bad lunch, though heavy on the carbs. However, when we got to the beach, they not only ate the treat we packed, but those their friends brought to share as well. What a belly-aching day of chips, goldfish crackers, and chocolate chip muffins.

The other area I’ve been encouraging more independence is sunscreen. I give them easy to use sticks to coat their faces, and all sorts of spray bottles and lotions stashed around so we are never without. Today, I was distracted and though I remember asking if they had put on sunscreen, I didn’t actually see one of the girls apply it.

We were home for about an hour when my oldest came over and said, “I think I got a sunburn, my shoulders are sore”. When she turned to show me I moaned so loud my youngest came down the hall to see what was the matter. My normally pasty white little girls was fuchsia. I apologized for not reminding her to reapply sunscreen after lunch and that’s when she admitted she hadn’t put any on in the first place (though she told me she had).

This is too painful a lesson for me to be glad that she’s learning it.
But, I do hope she has learned it and will never again feel like putting on sunscreen is too much bother.
A slice of life I could do without.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spiritual Atheism - morning ritual

If asked whether magic exists in my day to day life, my honest answer would have to be “no.” I’m seeped in reality. We chug through most days barely noticing the work of fairies. It’s in the bloom of the lilies, the leap of rabbits. But wait a minute, maybe no isn’t quite the right answer either. After all, we all stop to watch the rabbits when they come in the yard, everyone comments on the remarkable growth of the tomato plants, or the cucumber vines, or the lilies. Thea will call us over to see the sunset, Anya will point and laugh when the squirrels play tag. We see the magic.

Perhaps what I’m missing is some sort of ritual around the magic. I truly enjoyed the ritual and tradition of the Catholic Church. The purple vestments of Easter, the smoke of the incense, the hymns we all knew by heart. We joined weekly in the same rituals, looked forward to the special additions on holidays and feast days, and so kept the religion before us in a very concrete way. The magic of nature and of the spirit that I lean on today has neither ritual nor weekly gathering. Except this: On warm mornings, I bring coffee cup to the porch, and a book and my laptop, then ignore all of them and listen to the birds. I look around the yard to see where the sun is giving nourishment, where the trees are sheltering with shadow. It is my ritual, starting the day by seeing my world.

I don’t burn incense (well, I do sometimes, but not in the mornings), I don’t sing hymns, I don’t even offer up conscious words of thanks. But, my day is more centered when I can begin with this time of observation; I connect myself to the world. It’s a simple ritual, but still, it brings me closer to the magic.