I'm toying with the idea of applying to do an MFA at the Writers' Workshop, University of Iowa, in 2008, for which I have to write three short stories. My friend Mary and I are thinking of having a small writing group over the summer, which is exciting, and would create a space where these stories could grow and become... (like Springtime all over again!)
Hello! Coco and Ciona didn't want to go home today from school! Usually, she greets me by running across the room and leaping into my arms, saying "MUMMY'S HERE!" Today she just said "Ciona and I are having a picnic and we're not yet finished!" This sparked a conversation amongst we Mothers gathered about the slow and painful process of letting go of our children and not being number one any more.
Eowyn is very excited about starting Kindergarten in September, and for "Eowyn-And-Mummy-Time" her current number one activity is spying on the Kindergarten class together.
Bens has just written a magnificent essay in Spanish about Argentina (where we met) and the lovely community building habits of drinking yerba mate and kissing people on the cheek when you greet and farewell them. We both adore Argentina, her warm breezes, lively music, amazing people, delicious aromas, vibrant colours. One is more alive in such a land!
I am utterly exhausted. I cooked for 60 people yesterday - clams rotini, oven baked capsicum stuffed with cherry tomatoes (skins individually pinched off 'n all!), fresh marjoram and fresh basil... (and, always, ZE GARLIC!) and for dessert, Australia's very own LAMINGTONS, 300 of them, delectably celebrating ANZAC day! The girls helped, and Bens was an absolute super-star, cleaning the kitchen afterwards, which he's MUCH better at and more thorough than me!!!!!! It's man's work, really!
We are spending the weekend in Canada, with our lovely friend Arenda, at her family's peaceful riverside cabin. I am very excited!!! And it's lovely to get some draughts of pure commonwealth air!!
Skype has been the excitement of the last weeks - I've spoken to Seren, Caro & Martin, April, Dave, Taylor, India, Ethan (and delightful views of Baby-The-Next in April's beautiful tum!) & Sam & Becca thus far ... each time with its share of technical hitches! I cried for ten minutes when I saw Seren. Certainly all this technology makes being so far away from so many I love a little easier!
Eowyn and Bens picked this bouquet for me on the way home from school! Coco has just put George Bush (well, the mocking little doll Dad gave Bens!) in time out AGAIN! He's a very naughty boy, invading all those countries!!!
Guess what? I have a ticket to Boston, in July, to see Sam and Becca! For the rest of my week, I have the delightful options of Acadia National Park, Maine, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, The Old Man of the Mountain, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, the Boston Insitute of Art... I think poring over maps and planning adventures must be one of my favourite things to do!
Not so my Bens! He is a homebody, and would much rather stay at home, warm and snug, curled up with a book!!
We've just enjoyed a lovely glass of red wine by the fire. Tonight we saw the movie 'Iraq in Fragments', which gave faces and voices and colour and light and stories and names to people affected by the war. It was a sobering experience for which I am thankful. It's almost as if the war in Iraq was just a concept, a nebulous idea, until watching this film. The Kurds in it appreciated the USAs having intervened on their behalf, whilst those in Baghdad and the South considered US oppression worse than Saddam's reign. Perhaps surprisingly, amidst horror and sadness, the movie was imbued with hope. I think we humans have a tendency to hope, even in the most appalling circumstances...
Today we're going as a family to the Tulip Festival, which the girls have been to almost each year of their lives! The first journey we took Eowyn on was to the Tulip Festival!! AND the sun is shining today!! Hooray!!!!
What an amazing miracle - a touch of divine. Life and death coming face to face. Mother, struggling, in pain. Father, retreating, coming near, in wonder, in fear. Midwife, helping mother believe in her power, her strength as woman.
Impossible, straining, striving, giving up, trying again... And suddenly there is a new person in the room! A tiny beauty, with liquid blue eyes, so clear, so wonderful! Mother engages her with love, Father with tears, Midwife with joy. She is real and she is tiny and she is HERE!!
I'm thankful and honoured for the wonder and delight of sharing this wonder.
...having just finished Yann Patel's 'Life of Pi'. (This pic is by Becca's sister Triona.)
The little girls (and I in a tick) are jumping REALLY high on the trampoline. This afternoon I'm going to be labour support person for a friend who's having her first baby - prayers and good wishes for her, boyfriend, baby and me much appreciated. My wonderful Bens is coming home early from uni to look after the girls - he really is an amazing, reflective, humble, giving, sensitive and wonderful man. I'm thankful for him, Eowyn, Coco, and you, my wonderful blogisphere community!!