Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sushi Girls....

It was an evening of laughter, plum wine and sushi. It had been weeks in the making, emails flying back and forth confirming and reconfirming attendence and the occasional scare tactic to unnerve the newbie. I hadn't really eaten sushi before, so they delighted in taunting me with eel and fish heads. Undaunted, this was a new adventure for me and so we laughed, we talked and experimented with new textures and flavors under the gentle care of my compadres.

We all mused over how the years have brought us all together. Although all of us went to the same Junior High and High Schools, we really didn't know each other. Some of us were in classes together, even knew each other's names, but we floated in very different social circles. The first of us came together at the 20 year reunion. However, it was the 30 year reunion that acted as the catalyst that brought us all together. It was the first time we all really sat, talked and got to know each other.

Much has happened to each of us over the years, a life time in fact, or hopes and dreams, trials and tribulations, each of us shaped and weathered by an ocean of life experiences. Ironically, we have never really been far from one other and now life has brought us back together again bonding us in ways that cannot be explained.

Unfortunately, not all of us could be there that night, but there will be more sushi and tequila nights. All of us know that even if one of us is unable to attend for whatever reason, we will all be there in spirit. We have become more than friends, we have become sisters.

In the Company of Women...

Women in my family have always played a major role in my life, shaping my sense of self and identity, fluttering around like ancient midwives ushering me through life's passage. They were my foundation, the earth that anchored me in place and in the blink of an eye, they were all gone, first my mother, then my aunt, and finally, my grandmother. To me, they were the embodiment of the Triple Goddess, Mother, Nymph and Crone, and without them, I was lost, uprooted, unconnected, alone.

The Universe has a funny way of taking care of its own. Out of nowhere, a forest of women rose to take their place; older ones to share their wisdom, contemporaries to nurture, and younger to renew an enthusiam for life. In their capable hands, I have now been ushered into a new phase of life. Where once uprooted and thrown asunder, my roots have reconnected with the earth and new growth, tender and green, reaches for the warmth of the sun and the sky's infinite possibilities. It is the cycle of nature, out of death comes rebirth, and I am born again. The Goddess is strong. Her presence surrounds and comforts me, forever, in the company of women...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


As I walked through the campus, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of nostalgia and angst. It had been many many years since I had just simply wandered the campus on which I had spent so much of my young adulthood. I felt caught between worlds, between eras and times. It was all so different. I tried to look for what was familiar in the midst of all that was new. Buried behind all the new buildings and landscapes was my past, glimpses of the familiar in the midst of so much that wasn't; forgotten reminants of a life so long ago. As I walked along beautifully sculpted walkways, melancholy began to creep beside me. I was out of place, out of time. All around the new totally obscured the past leaving nothing but ghosts of memories and times that once were, and now forgotten. The new had obscured a part of my life that was a simpler less complicated, a period of innocence and wonder, a time full of hope and possibilities. I sighed heavily and suddenly felt obselete. I thought to myself "Maybe I should just get a coffee."

As I quietly entered the unfamiliar space of the snack shop, resignation weighed upon my soul. I wandered about, got my coffee and got ready to just move on. As I stepped up to pay for my purchase, the cashier was staring at me. I smiled and met her eyes. There was something familiar. Tentatively she asked, "didn't you go here?" She caught herself, "you just look... familiar."

I looked at her again, this time our eyes really connected and the vale of time melted away, almost 30 years worth. I was an undergrad at the time, a relatively shy teenager who often kept to herself. Lilly worked in the old Student Union the other end of campus. In midst of all the newness and waves of students she must have negotiated all those years, she remembered me. In one simple moment, the past had reached out comforted and validated me in a way I could never really explain except that she remembered me...

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It really started as just little things said here and there over the years. He didn't like my perfume, so he picked out a new one for me, encouraged me to change my hair color. He took me clothes shopping and picked out clothes for me. I was flattered. He was interested in me. I thought it meant he cared, that I could do better.

As time went on he complained about my music, he didn't like my choice of restaurant, renamed my dog. In the end, he didn't like much of anything, unless it was something he chose. Of course, when he 'fixed it', I was grateful. It was all so subtle. They were insignificant little incidents spread over a 20 year period. All too often, he was simply dismissive and uninterested. I was invisible. The most frustrating part is that I didn't even realize it was happening.

An accumulation of little things untended become an avalanche.

One day he said "you just won't change, I have finally come to accept that." Two days later, he and twenty years of my life, were gone. Luckily, there is with every ending, a new beginning.

Through much reflection, I have come to realize the process of becoming invisible began many, many years before. It began as a pre-adolescent trying to be perfect, but never quite good enough. I now understand, I chose him because he was a mirror, a manifestation of my self image, my own reflection. He was my insecurities made manifest.

I always swore my life would be different. But in the end, I am more like my mother, my grandmother and great- grandmother than I could have ever anticipated. They, too, were invisible. Each one now part of a series of funhoused mirror images, one within another, going back for generations looking back at me. It is a stream of consciousness, a thread that binds us, offering a greater understanding of not only myself, but of them as well. Maybe, in the long run, that is enough to change the future, break the cycle and free us all from our mirrored prisons ...

The Spinner Weaves
The Weaver Spins
and Laima Dreams