Ever since I was a little girl, my sense of self and identity has been shaped by the women in my family, living and dead, good and bad. Each on has a story of survival and overcoming the odds and the dream of making better for those that follow. Of all the women, my mother was the most influential. In a sense she was a composite of all who had preceded her. The voices of generations were vocalized through her - she was the keeper of the tales, and now that honor has been passed on to me. Momma always said as long as we tell their stories they will never die - immortality is in the remembering....
Where to begin to change the world? So much beyond our control, overwhelming in size and scope and yet... The simplest answers often reside in the simplest places... Taken for granted, invisible in plain sight A single step all that is needed to begin...
I so love rainy days. Maybe it's because I live in a desert and they come so few and far between, but there is something elemental about rainy days, especially in winter. Unlike summer rains, it isn't so much about being surrounded by it, as being insulated in it. It's about being cocooned in the warmth of a comforter and candle light as if snuggled in the arms of one who loves you. It's about being surrounded in gentle waves of liquid kisses and the steady rhythm of sweet release cascading nature's endorphins through the subconscious to a place where nothing else exists, a deep and peaceful slumber.
Home is not so much about a place, but about relationships, the people around the hearth, around its heart. For me, home was a sanctuary from the outside world, a place of safety. Home was a place of warmth and nurturing smells like Italian sausage sandwiches on rainy days, radio theater and candles when the lights went out, and broiled chicken wings and Godzilla's tinny roars on a Saturday afternoon. Home was cuddled crock pot warmth emanating its richness to fill the emptiness of a wounded latch-key heart; a sincere attempt to soften a broken home's lonely reality. The comforting smell of food connected us beyond barriers of time and space. She wanted us to feel her presence, her warmth, her safety even if she wasn't there. She was sunlit beams streaming across the floor, warming us like outstretched cats, filling us with the light and goodness that was her. Home wasn't a place. Home was my mother...
When she died, the house that was once home became nothing more than a shell, an empty facsimile of the life it had once been; no more warmth, no more smells. Evidence that was her life faded away as the house was emptied and prepared for sale. It only became real when the child before me began to cry... "It doesn't smell like Grandma anymore..." He felt it too, and yet....
We shut the door one last time and went home. Even though she is gone, I still find warm comfort in the smell of a simmering crock pot, sausage sandwiches on rainy days, chicken wings and Godzilla movies on a Saturday afternoon. To this day, when sunbeams stretch across the room and warm my face, I feel my mother's touch and no matter where I am, I'm home. I sometimes wonder what my son will remember when I am gone. Whatever it is, I hope it's home....
Liquid movement of the mind Streams of thought carried through time our primordial past just to exist to simply be Connect to self Identity discovered in the rustling leaves... Breezes kiss the Creators mind in search of stillness Rejuvenate Renew Become Whole again.....
Life is full of ironies, most of which you don't really catch until you take a step back. Sometimes, the message is in the big picture. My life has changed so much over the last couple of years. I was a daughter, a granddaughter, a wife, a mother, and asundry other roles to varied to mention. Now, all of my elders are gone, my son is grown, and I am single again. I am left to ponder my life, past, present, and future.
When I was young, my focus was always about moving forward; finish school, get a career, get married, start a family. At the same time, I had time to explore myself, be myself. I liked to write. I was a freelance journalist for a while. I liked to workout. I was in a body building contest. I was even a Guardian Angel. Everything was an adventure. I wanted to change the world. I was relatively confident and self-sufficient. I had dreams. Life was challenging, but good.
Somewhere along the way, I lost something. I am still trying to figure out how it happened... I sublimated who I was to meet the needs of those around me, my students, co-workers, family members, and especially those of my husband and son. Things I wanted to do, things I loved, things that made me me, took a back seat and were scheduled around what everyone else was doing and their expectations. Now I am single again, on my own with no obligations, no purpose . I suddenly realized I have no idea what I want to do. I didn't know how redefine myself, my life.
Oddly enough, the Universe has a way of bringing you around to what you need to learn. Maybe that is the greaatest irony of all. It is almost as if the Source must be revisited before you can move on. People from my past have been cropping up left and right; high school classmates, former lovers and friends. They've reminded me of who I was before the roles and expectations took over. The feeling is familiar yet, strange, comforting and awkward at the same time. I am a kid again only better, just older and hopefully a little wiser. It seems I don't have to redefine myself after all. I just have to go back to being who I always was. I just have to come home.
The Spinner weaves The Weaver Spins And Laima Dreams
Goddess of fate
In rythmic cadence
on a wheel
the web of life
into what is
meant to be...
into the tapestry
of Laima's Dream....
According to Lithuanian mythology, Laima is the eternal spinner, weaving into the tapestry of life patterns of existence, destiny and fate. She is the beginning. We are connected to her by threads of consciousness woven and spun throughout the ages. My Great-Great Grandmother sat before a spinning wheel, as did generations before her, binding threads woven into a piece of cloth. It, like her dreams, were passed down generation after generation, mother to daughter, to me. It is the spinners that bind the family and hold it together. The connection is deep, almost primal. In learning about Laima, I better understand the women who shaped my life and ultimately myself. She is our mother, and we, her daughters.....
The Spinner weaves The Weaver spins and Laima dreams.....
A boyish smile An impish grin Joyous laughter An anchor To save my life From setting adrift In times of dispair Purpose Salvation Amidst the Chaos Of pandora's box Promise Of things to come My heart... My soul... My Son...
He was once the butterflies I felt in my womb, the tiniest flutterings of life announcing his presence. Today he stands before me on the brink of manhood. Suddenly, I am humbled.
Parenthood is a crapshoot at best. Who knows how it will turn out. The best you can hope for is a whole happy, healthy human being. When I first heard his heart beat, I remember thinking what an awesome responsibility this was going to be, that every decision I made would impact this life forming within me for at least the next 18 years. It wasn't about me anymore.
From the moment he was conceived, he touched something in me. He brought out the very best in me. I wanted to do right by this beautiful little boy. More than anything, I wanted him to know he was loved and valued, that I would be there for him. It was all I knew how to do. I prayed it was enough.
As I look at the young man standing before me, I am amazed. He is everything, I hoped he would be. For the life of me, I am not sure how it happened. I wish I could take credit for it, but I can't. It is just who he is. The one thing I do know is I have enjoyed every single moment with him, every stage of his life. He taught me what was important and filled me with a sense of joy and purpose I never thought possible, and for that, I am eternally grateful, eternally blessed.
Now the time has come to let him go, to find his own way in the world. As he takes his first steps into manhood, I am overwhelmed by the realization that I don't just enjoy spending time with my son because he is my son, but because I enjoy him as a person, as an adult, as a man.