Friday, May 29, 2015

NRU mish mash

I happened to hear this piece on NPR about Lecrae -- had never heard of him before -- and I was beyond fascinated, inspired and impressed by this young man and his strength of character.  I hope he continues to do well in all aspects of his life.  I am so grateful that he sees giving back to the world as part of his duty.

I had just read another piece about a fb exchange going viral and being picked up by the local news ... and who knows who else, when I saw this thoughtful piece on the perils of "going viral."   Though this piece, and the previous one, were both in the Los Angeles Times, they have decidedly different tenors.  Sadly, though, I think the piece misses one key point -- it is not just about the will to turn anything political.  It is also about the way we have tangled up gawking with journalism.  In any case, it is disturbing, to say the least; and, it should give pause to anyone who is not purposefully trying to flame someone/something online.  If this was your intention, then, you win.  But, as this man's story demonstrates, you could be putting yourself into the eye of a storm you did not intend. Grousing on fb is not the same as telling a story to your friends over dinner and getting some high fives...

Ugh... then there this is.  We still have so much to learn about how to help people who are different from us ...

You just have to love Jon Stewart ... at least you have to respect and admire his integrity.

This little story about someone looking for the grave of a unique storyteller and musician was interesting but not fascinating.  I stayed with it because the need to find someone's resting place and bring him "home" struck a cord.

Hmmm... glad that thongs are going away or at least becoming less popular, but $40 for underwear to cover your butt? Seriously!?  If only we could really get guys to stop wearing saggy jeans, my life would be complete.  Just kidding ... it would not complete my life, but it would be nice.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Poetry Thursday

Grief drives men into 
habits of serious reflection, 
sharpens the understanding, 
and softens the heart.
~John Adams

Apparently a favorite angel at Mtn View

Friday, May 22, 2015


Many yummy things come out of Oakland ... wish they got more press like this.

I don't think this is what we thought global warming would look like... but it is possibly more heartbreaking than those dust bowl scenarios.  I think we are courting disaster either way ... and we don't see our part in it at all.

I have an uncle who moved to the high desert a long time ago because he was stationed out there, but he never came back.  Whenever I asked him why, he always told me that Oxnard was going to fall into the ocean and he would have beach front property some day.  Well, that has never come to pass, but it looks like the geologists are starting to side with my uncle now... time to head for the hills?

Hooray for BEES! I love them probably because I have never been stung, so I don't have the sense to fear them.  All I can think of are those pollen crazy bees rolling around in the middle of beautiful poppies at the Getty Center.  HOORAY FOR BEES!

This is heartbreaking, and not just because I worked for an organization whose stated goal was to close the gap.

Well, this NRU has taken a dark turn, and I grudgingly include this here because the story has emerged (again) due to the suicide cluster in an affluent, overachieving part of Silicon Valley. The truth is, as the article points out, this is not a problem only for the rich or the smart, it is an issue for all teenagers.  I loved the best advice this psychologist (M. Levine) offered to parents on On Point: say no more often. Children need to learn, from an early age, that they cannot have what they want all the time, right away, or even, sometimes at all.  It is an adult's job to teach children that it is not, in fact, the end of the world when things are not just right, right now.  We should also help children to understand that waiting for things to pass/happen is also a way of the world.  For all of you that think that kids will pick up on this on their own, meander over to an elementary school and have a candid conversation with the principal about the kinds of "behavior" problems he/she witnesses every day.  It is our job as adults, and primarily that of parents, so, yes, the fingers will be pointing directly at you - get used to it, or do something about it with your children. [Getting off the soapbox - the great thing about the blog is being able to spout off knowing that hardly anyone reads it, therefore, many tiny feelings intact in my non-internet circle of people.]

Ok, in an attempt to take us back into the light, a little pop culture that is Los Angeles inspired but the story is really about Mexico and a band called Mexrissey -- and this is really for Joel, who if he hasn't seen this, would LOVE it.  Taken me so long to post this, here is the follow up on how it went.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Poetry Thursday

Soneto VI

En los bosques, perdido, corté una rama oscura
y a los labios, sediento, levanté su susurro:
era tal vez la voz de la lluvia llorando,
una campana rota o un corazón cortado.
Algo que desde tan lejos me parecía
oculto gravemente, cubierto por la tierra,
un grito ensordecido por inmensos otoños,
por la entreabierta y húmeda tiniebla de las hojas.
Pero allí, despertando de los sueños del bosque,
la rama de avellano cantó bajo mi boca
y su errabundo olor trepó por mi criterio
como si me buscaran de pronto las raíces
que abandoné, la tierra perdida con mi infancia,
y me detuve herido por el aroma errante.

~Pablo Neruda
Cien sonetos de amor 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I read this post and tears came to my eyes, but lightness to my heart ...
wow... what a gift to teach your child these life skills -- I was going to write coping strategies -- but they are much more than that -- skills with which to not only deal with challenges, but how to pursue life, or adventures, as they like to call them.

I am writing run-ons with abandon because I have been grading written responses for endless hours these past few days... and no one here can stop me from writing run-ons....

...and flowers seen in Denver


Friday, May 15, 2015

NRU mish mash

**you will see from the collection here that I have been collecting these for quite a while ... alas... this news round up may be anything but timely -- *not new news* -- enjoy anyway.

I am not sure I *believe* in marriage -- its value or necessity -- but I sure do oppose the hypocrisy that this young woman describes as her reason for speaking out.

The tragedy in Nepal is stunning on so many levels -- but what strikes me is that in this world there are so very many things that we cannot control, like earthquakes (for the most part), that wreck havoc.  Then there are all those other things, like climate change, which we may not control but certainly have a hand in.  We could do a little more to keep that tragedy from happening ...  here all we can do is dig deep and help in whatever way we can.  But, I was struck by this author's take on the resilience of the Nepali -- and their relationship with impermanence:
"We Nepalis know suffering. ...
But my people are also resilient. Already Nepalis are uniting to deal with this most recent tragedy. They are digging through the rubble for survivors."
This was a fantastic piece ... compassion and empathy and soothing of our guilt for not being *perfect* at handling our parents growing old ... for all those who are caretakers or ponder the wisdom of becoming their parents' caretakers.

The affects of climate change are everywhere ... and in many places that we have never even worried about. Here is one.  At every turn, our planet is asking us to consider what it will mean to give up all of these things, to set in motion the destruction of so many things, little or big, just so that we can continue to eat beef, drive gas guzzlers, air condition EVERYTHING and not consider our role in any of it.

Everything Frida Kahlo -- or at least the latest... enjoy. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Poetry Thursday

Entre tu verdad mas honda
y yo
me pones siempre tus besos,
La presiento, cerca ya,
la deseo, no la alcanzo;
cuando estoy mas cerca de ella
me cierras el paso tu,
te me ofreces en los labio.
Y ya no voy mas alla.
Triunfas. Olvido, besando,
tu secreto encastillado.
Y me truecas el afan
de seguir mas hacia ti,
en deseo
de que no me dejes ir
y me beses.
        Ten cuidado.
Te vas a vender, asi.
Porque un día el beso tuyo,
de tan lejos, de tan hondo
te va nacer,
que lo que estas escondiendo
detrás de el
te salte todo a los labios.
Y lo que tu me negabas
-- alma delgada y esquiba --
se me entregue, me lo des
sin querer
donde querias negarmelo.

-Pedro Salinas, 1855
La voz a ti debida

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Taking another break from home ... and California, this time...
I may or may not be posting more than NRUs and Poetry Thursday.

We'll see where and how the spirit moves.

Monday, May 11, 2015


I am in denial about how quickly time passes ... and that it is already May ... it is beyond me that this could be true.

However, the signs are every where ... the other day, when I was still in Oxnard, I was sitting at the kitchen table at the animal hour.

Every day, I have noted, around 10am, the street has quieted down sufficiently (less cars, hardly no people) that all the birds (and sometimes other animals, like WILD BUNNIES) take over.

Sometimes they are so loud, I actually go outside to see what is going on -- usually it is the larger birds having dirt baths outside the kitchen door.

So, this day, I was sitting there, having my breakfast, when all of a sudden two birds barely made their landing attempt on a plant right outside the window.   As I looked at them, I realized that they were young ... though big, perhaps mockingbird juveniles.  They looked at each other, seemingly proud to have not bonked into the window or fallen on to the ground.  And then they took off again.

I sat there happily imagining the tale they would tell their parents as they returned to the nest they no longer fit into... think teenager stoner voice "it was sooo cooool, we both landed, like, together, and it was AWESOME!"

Throughout that day, I noted small birds traveling in packs, nearly bending over branches as they all wanted to land simultaneously. I imagined that after so much togetherness in the nest, it was hard to imagine going anywhere not stuck to your brother or sister bird.

Friday, May 08, 2015

may days

The early May birthdays in my family are now a jumble of happy and sad memories.

We said goodbye to my sister on my dad's 80th birthday.  So, while we celebrate more time with my dad, I know that there is not one of us that doesn't also think of my sister ... and her loss, especially as we look around the table.

Today is another one of those days.  My nephew turned 11 ... and my brother would have been 55.  For my brother's 50th, we had a big double celebration at my uncle's ranch.  We were all together and more than happy -- the two birthday boys were celebrating big.

I am missing my nephew's birthday for the first time since we lost my sister. 

I celebrated with him on Tuesday and will give him more birthday love when I return.

I have to say in some way it is liberating to be far ... and feel sad if I want to because I miss my brother.  In family, there is a need to always be public happy ... or at least not sad ... and it is exhausting.

Happy birthday to two of my favorite guys ...

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Poetry Thursday

Time heals grief 
and quarrels 
for we change 
and are no longer 
the same person.
~Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


A friend of mine identified this the year of forgiving ourselves -- of finding that compassion we want to lavish on others, and applying it first to ourselves.

I wish I could remember this without having to drag myself through the mud first.

I still have not become skillful enough to recognize how I am causing my own suffering without piling on to that suffering by berating myself.

I have to say, not super helpful.  In fact, not helpful at all.

So, wishing you all the awareness with a large dose of forgiveness and compassion for your tender soul.

We may do it [slip, fall, even wallow in our self-made suffering], but we rarely mean to do it [make ourselves suffer more].

Monday, May 04, 2015

happy bday, pops!

Dad with his sisters and cousins
Happy 82nd to my dad.  He drives me crazy in his old age, as I am sure I drove him crazy in my youth.  He is still my favorite Taurus... the man with the most integrity, compassion and generosity I have ever known.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Practicing Gratitude

Let us be grateful 
to people who make
us happy; they are the 
charming gardeners 
who make our 
souls blossom. 
~Marcel Proust 

I have the best friends in the world.  
They are so much more than family.  
And they save me everyday.
And I am ever so grateful.  
They tend to my garden when I cannot find the strength to pull the weeds and water the plants.