Tuesday, 30 September 2014

We feed children

 "We feed children in order that they may soon be able to feed themselves; we teach them in order that they may soon not need our teaching." C. S. Lewis

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A place for that.

We are taught from an early age not to yell for help when we are swimming in case we unduly alarm the people around us.  I took this lesson right to my heart.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I have somehow  trained myself to resist help.  Pride is partly to blame, never wanting to be accused of not being "helpful" is also a culprit.  For whatever reason, I feel compelled to tackle most of everything I do solo.  I repel help by not asking for it and assuming it's not needed, until it is.

I have, in turned, trained the people around me not to expect that I need their help and I have almost (almost) forgotten how to ask for help.

This weekend I needed help. I had a stressful situation on my hands (our hands) and I completely absorbed it.  My lips were trembling I was so stressed out, I could not think straight, my heart was racing.


I took my son to basketball. The sun was strong and gorgeous and we walked slowly  home together.  I asked him to help me, not by discussing my stress, but by saying yes to his request to walk through the public gardens. I kept saying yes to looking at the geese, and taking all the detours I too often railroad over. I asked and he eagerly took the lead.

I accepted his help and it helped.


When I got home,I asked for help from my husband. I said out loud:  "I can't handle this, I don't want to feel this way any more, help me get perspective."  And he did it, without question.  Just like that.   Within minutes, the adrenaline drained away and my whole body regulated itself again.

Now that I have asked, and they have helped, I know one thing.  I need to keep on asking and yelling for help.

Thursday, 25 September 2014


Green tinged sunshine floods the kitchen.  It blinds me for a minute  to the rotting compost and unfolded laundry (dirty and clean) just a short pace away.

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?
Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Googly eye witness

Adding an eye to a piece of paper instantly suggests a mouth and soul are not far behind.
Without fail an eye can animate some felt, a sock or rock or a lock, even a scrap of garbage.
Attaching an eye to anything, can turn once listless objects into witnesses.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Last day of summer

We were completely taken off guard by a "storm day" yesterday. The very last day of summer ended up being a day off due to wide spread (albeit brief) power outages. We spent the rest of the day doing what we did all summer, scrambling for childcare and taking turns doing paid work.

It was a fantastic gift. A day of being outdoors after the first few weeks of adjusting to sedentary indoor work.

Scramble scramble, shimmy, hustle, lurch and then, sit, Just sit. On a tree or next to one, one more time, before we will officially be doing it in a new season.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Saturday morning.

Saturday mornings I wake up so empty. I don't mean empty in a bad, nothing kind of way, I mean empty of all the plans and angst and requirements in the form of permission slips and notifications and agendas that slowly but surely get piled up inside of me through the week.  The pile of expectations, hopes I can't quite articulate and just plain pieces of work is stacked up, lopsided, one on top of the other inside me, the big receptacle. 

As the week starts chugging up Monday, and staggers around icy hair pin turns Tuesday and Wednesday, the pile eventually falls right over on Thursday in the middle of the afternoon.  All I can do is stuff all those little post-it notes and unopened envelopes, the things "I keep meaning to tell you" all back inside  and do my best to keep them stacked until Friday. Then at the end of the day on Friday , a big hole is punctured in the bottom of the bin and they all leak out.

I wake up Saturday empty.
A whole day, a whole weekend, a whole week of chances to stay empty stretch before me.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Light pouring through it.

I am standing at the curb. I am anxiously thinking ahead.  Kids have been dropped off -- the second the bell sounds signalling it is legally okay for me to walk away from them at the school yard, I run.
From a distance, I must look like a covert spy on a special op, instead, I am just going to the next in a series of pre-scheduled times "I need to be somewhere". 

And then, as I wait impatiently for my drive, I look down. a tiny, fraction of a leaf is standing ever so briefly upwards. This leaf is on its way to an appointment with being carried on the breeze, perhaps it will get swept up with chip bags and candy wrappers and be buried, or perhaps it will degrade into soil and feed the tree it fell from. 

Either way, it is glowing in this moment. It is still and light is pouring through it.

The drive pulls up and we drive off.