My good friend Karen and I are signed up for a short story class, beginning in October! I'm allowing a brainful of words and ideas to slowly steep, in preparation for writing a tale. With the help of my excellent, brilliant sister Serendipity Rose, and the benevolent librarian at our 'North East Library', I've accumulated the inviting pile of books sitting before me. Today has been one of those crazy fall days, which finds Bens and I each snuggled in an armchair by the crackling fire reading in the morning, and, rather suddenly, mid-afternoon, turns into a warm, sweet-smelling blue-sky day. So I'm sunbathing atop the warm hot-tub lid, with my tomes, as follows:
Buckley, T & Gottlieb, A 1988 Blood Magic - The Antropology of Menstruation, University of California Press, Berkeley
Coutinho, E & Segal, S 1999 Is Menstruation Obselete?, Oxford University Press, New York
Grahn, Judy 1987 The Queen of Swords, Beacon Press, Boston
Grahn, Judy 1993 Blood, Bread and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World, Beacon Press, Boston
Gray, Miranda 1994 Red Moon - Understanding and Using the Gifts of the Menstrual Cycle, Element, Rockport
Houppert, Karen 1999 The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York
Rich, Adrienne 1986 Of Woman Born, Norton & co., New York
Swigart, Jane 1991 The Myth of the Bad Mother: The Emotional Realities of Mothering, Doubleday, New York
In reading thus far, I'm realising assumptions within myself about menstrual blood being unclean in a deep spiritual and psychological sense. Becoming aware of the wonder, beauty and magnificence of my own body, of women's bodies, is a process being incorporated into the writing of this short story.
AAAAAAARGH!! It bein' talk like a pirate day in nigh on an hour, 'tis time for the return of Bilgewater Bessie! "Avast! Ahoy! I've cracked a hundred men's skulls between these here thighs... Would you like to be the 101st?" Ah, Bilgewater Bessie is indeed a fun character to play!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's to all ye pirates out there aroamin' the high seas!
PS That's my good friend Jeannie in the first photo, next to me, wearing a blonde wig, and my good friend Mary, again next to me, in the second!!!
Today was Coco's first day of preschool! She and Eowyn rode the bus together. What big girls they are! I am delighted they are so happy at school. I cried, walking down the front stairs into school (I rode the bus in with Coco, and big sister Eowyn said "I'll take care of her. I'll look out for my sister Coco", and sat with her on the way home!) Eowyn's bus picks her up from our front door at 8am, Coco's at noon, and they're both delivered home safe and sound at 3.30pm!!
Coco's special first-day-of-school brunch treat was pancakes, filled with huckleberries and blueberries Eowyn and I picked for her on our mountain hike.
Last night, Bens and I celebrated BB King's 82nd birthday with him, and led by Etta James, sang "Happy birthday dear BB!" Bens' meal was a New York steak and mine Maine lobster! Bens drank a Mac 'n Jack's ale, whilst I indulged in a delicious Mandarin Drop!
I'm almost finished Harry Potter #7, and revere JK Rowlings' genius! Her writing is helping me experience release from my long-time fear of death! "By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the devil's hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death." Hebrews 2, The Message
1,500 feet climbing to the summit on the Pacific Crest Trail! Wahoooooo!!!!!! LOTS of delicious wild huckleberries and blueberries, singing 'The hills are alive with the sound of music', laughing at each other's remarkable wit and meeting people who'd been hiking the trail for 6 months all the way from Mexico!
My good old friend Jen has tagged me - I have to tell 7 random things about myself, and then tag 7 friends!! I like random. It kind of takes the pressure and expectations off, doesn't it?
7 random things about me...
I love the word 'scuttle' I think of myself as being Celtic, and love Celtic spirituality and my Celtic ancestry I don't like to number lists, and be sequential Despite being a peace loving hippie, I really get into some violent movies I fantasise about doing a 6 month camel journey in the Middle East, with my laptop and camera, and writing a book I struggle with knowing how to be a source of healing and goodness in the world without treating people in a patronising and disrespectful manner I long to know God tangibly
And I tag Arenda, Gimena, Stephanie, Bens, Jonathan, Simon & Eva, Rachel & Victor, Seren & Justin!
This is Coco's cheetah! She is exceedingly fond of cheetah, and gets excited whenever she finds cheetah again! OOOOH Mummy, look! There's my cheetah! She right now has a complex drama being staged throughout the house, with scores of soft toys in each room, little conversations in low voices, and made-up songs to tunes from the Sound of Music. I'm feeling really sad about Coco starting preschool next week. I'm going to miss her! And dear Eowyn. Oh, our faces are green from ... you guessed it! That avocado face mask!
I'm writing as Coco sings...
"I want children to sit where they're supposed to be
Up on the whale
There's a monkey
Up on the sail together
One jumping up
two Jumping up on the sail
Pop up onto the bustop. How did you like that?"
(Coco is singing, and dancing, and moving little toys up onto the windowsill...)
This summer shall go down in my memory as The Summer of Lunches!
Today, Jennifer, Coco, Ruth and I dined on shrimp salad, oysters, wonderful conversation, stuffed mushrooms, laughter and homemade bread, fresh from the oven! In the corner of the bread pic is the beautiful Portuguese hand painted jug my cousin Judy gave me for my 21st!
Bens is a lot better than me at making our kitchen sparkle!!
I have just finished Chaim Potok's excellent book "In The Beginning".
Here are some quotes:
"They destroyed an entire civilization. The Nazis have taught Western civilization that not only making cars but also committing murder can become a mass production industry...If Western civilization is finished we are all finished. There will be nothing with which to water the roots."
"A man who does not struggle is a fool."
I think Chaim Potok is my favourite author. His detailed, finely arranged words convey so much of what it is to be human, to be caught in the gray of uncertainty, to not know why anything is happening as it is, but to still have to keep going.
Bens doesn't mind me telling you about this. He has for months been experiencing depression. It saps his energies - He said it was a huge effort to clean the kitchen. (Thanks Bens for doing it anyway!) It's been incredibly difficult for me, as the depression means he doesn't have a whole lot of time or energy for the girls and me. I've been for the most part having to manage the household and care for the children without the help he usually gives. He started on medication last week, which hopefully shall bring healing. It's pretty heavy and ongoing and exhausting for all of us. I find it difficult not to take it personally when he pushes me away, simply not having the emotional strength to stay engaged.
Seattle is ever so hilly - it's difficult to find a flat place to bike-ride. This little stretch of footpath is about 10 seconds from our front door, and our favourite spot to practice. Somehow or other it always takes alot longer than 10 seconds to come back home. Why is that, I wonder?
Remember the Martyrs? Jen has just put a whole lot of pics on a fabulous new facebook group named "Stoned Stephen and The Martyrs - former members, friends, fans (?)", which is/are reminding me of so many wonderful and amazing people from my teen and tween years!!!!!! These pics are from random parties, "Risky Business On The Harbour" & Forster Beach Mission 87-88, the Martyrs 1st time ever gig, (lining up with The Pharoahs, The Forster Beach Babes, Minimites, Keenites, Sixty-sevens & JTs!!)
I feel homesick for Australia!
"I can ride my bike!" Eowyn just cried gleefully!! Without training wheels, at that!! Yeeehaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!
Eowyn awoke me at 5am this morning, MOST excited to be starting school! She decided she needed an avocado face mask, so into the bath we popped, and gave each other facials. (See our green faces?! On the topic of green, Coco loves frogs, and has a Thai book in which the froggy says OP OP, so she goes around with her little green frog saying OP OP!)
Coco and I rode with Eowyn on the yellow school bus, all the way to school. Eowyn's teachers Angela and Laurel were waiting to greet their class. Kindergarten was just too much fun!!! And Coco's teacher Tara was there too - Coco asked for a photo with her, and here it is!
Eowyn just came in, DELIGHTED to find Aliya the slug she fed and watered this morning in a large bush out the front is still here! She also has a pet spider (named Charlotte).
Eowyn just came in ... and was SHAVING HER LEGS in preparation for kindergarten, and has a wee cut! Mother isn't ready for this!!!! Eowyn says she's not shy, because she knows some people already, and she's not really excited. And she just read 'kindergarten' over my shoulder! She says I'LL BE ABLE TO WRITE LETTERS!
I'm so emotional about Eowyn starting school on Wednesday. I'm teary and my heart feels sad. It's such a big milestone. She is excited! We met Angela, her teacher, (who is just adorable!), and Eowyn found out her friends Aliya and Mario shall be in her class, so she's ready to go.
Mother, on the other hand, is clasping her hankie and weeping secretly in dark corners.
Here is baby Eowyn. I love her so! And Cosette, and Bens. What a beautiful family, and what a wonderful gift to me they are!