Saturday, April 29, 2006
This 1937 photo piece is called The Red Badge of Courage by Man Ray. I like it. I like it for where I am right now. I am about to embark on a journey. Not to a really far away and exotic place but on a soul searching journey. I guess you might say that it falls into the territory of “Who Am I and How Did I Get Here?” I have taken such treks before in my life, in my early 20’s and then again after I had my children around my 30’s. I am overdue and late for takeoff on this trip.
It seems to me that the days rolled by, my children are almost grown, I changed directions and before I knew it I found myself in a different land all together than the place I headed out for. I am not really sure how I got here. I am not even really sure if it is a good place to be or a not-so-good place to be. Have you ever driven to work or the grocery store and not remembered the trip? Sometimes I drive to a place that I go to often and I don’t remember the streets or the stoplights that I passed – I just sort of got there. I need to reflect back on the trip a little.
I think that as women we must take such journeys at strategic points in our lives. I think it is a natural instinct for women to give so much of themselves to children, husbands, friends, and to whoever displays the sad puppy eyes of need. I think it is easy to lose the personal pathway. I need to re-evaluate and re-map my personal pathway. I’ll need to take a look at the places I have been to get a good idea of where I am headed.
Caution needs to be taken on these walkabouts as the natives can get restless. Some lands are like third world countries and some are very civilized. My trip itinerary includes visits to the wonderful hills and valleys of Self-Esteem, and crystal blue waters of Self-Love and the challenging expedition tour of Making a Difference. I hope to backpack through Goal Setting and take in the sights of Personal Challenges Yet to Come.
I have to travel alone to these places. I am not always a fearless traveler. I get worried about taking the wrong train sometimes. I am not sure how long this trip will take but I will check in with you from time to time with scenic observations. Well, I’ve got my hat, my bags are packed and I’ve almost got my lipstick on straight…so wish me Bon Voyage and away I go…
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I just finished reading "The Secret life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, it was totally enjoyable. I really liked the relationships that bound the women in this book. I think this book would make a great movie with Oprah playing the August Boatwright character. She is strong, noble and courageous as well as a fine beekeeper.
I was given this book to read by one of my customers, Agnes, who used to come into my shop everyday on her way home from her office. She was a family counselor working in the village. She loved my shop and used to buy bath effervescent balls every few days. I figured she was taking a lot of baths to relax at the end of her workday.
One day Agnes came in and we got to talking more than usual, it turns out she had cancer and was given only a few more months to live. I was very blown away by this. I lost my mother when I was 15 - it is not easy. Over the months our friendship grew, we talked about lots of different things from books we liked to trying to decide if she wanted to go through chemotherapy. We talked about her daughter a lot and how complete she felt with her and her whole life.
After a few months I did not see her about in the little village where my shop was. I sent cards every week to cheer her up. Then the call came - from her husband that she had passed. A few months later I saw her husband, he is such a sweet man, also a counselor, but with the church. He was going into the pub next to my shop. He smiled a great big smile and we talked about Agnes. He said, "Oh she loved you and that shop of yours, I don't know what those pretty smelling ball things are but she sure worked up a collection of them". Hmmm, I thought Agnes was popping those balls into the tub every night to relax and here she was just using them as an excuse for us to get to know each other.
So, now that I have converted the shop to an on-line shop I have much more time to read and I finally read this book that Agnes gave me many months ago. A strong theme running in the book is the idea that we can have so many mother figures in our lives. At that time in my life, in that little shop, Agnes was a mother figure for me. She taught me so much about the comings and goings in our lives, what types of things are really important, the completeness of our relationships and about reaching out to people you do not even know. It is funny but it was all put so very neatly in the book as well. I am so grateful to have known Agnes. I am so grateful to have read this book and to know there are little angels that will show up from time to time and step in as my mother figures. Life is truly amazing...
Thursday, April 6, 2006
Nina and I bought this wonderful cake pan from Williams-Sonoma two years ago. At first we made a ton to these little rose cakes. We made them in chocolate and raspberry and lemon. We took them to school functions, bake sales and parties - we ate lots of them and then we OD’d on them. Somehow it went to the back of the bake ware cupboard with all of the other forgotten pie pans, bundt pans and muffin pans. Last weekend while attempting to organize I found it! I am so excited about using it again. I think it is perfect for a little Spring baking and it sounds like the perfect Kim and Nina project to do this weekend.
Sunday, April 2, 2006
It is a quiet day but I am listening to Camille – she is so lovely and so sweetly French. I don’t understand the lyrics at all, except “Ruby” that is the only song in English but there is not much to it. I don’t suppose I would sing a very involved French song if I had to so I am happy with what she’s got here and it sets a nice little mood.
Everyone has gone and it is so peaceful. I am supposed to be at the park on a picnic but I have so many things I needed to pay attention to – bills, files, laundry etc. Besides, these picnics we go on with Matt’s family go well into the evening, long after you would normally leave. It usually involves all the men playing soccer and Sylvia (my best friend and sister-in-law) and I sitting and reading magazines and talking and laughing. This year Sylvia is on a business trip. So how boring would it be to sit there and watch the guys play soccer all day? We do this once every year and I just sort needed a time out. So, I cooked up a big pot Loubia Pollo, that is rice with beef, green beans in a little tomato sauce and cinnamon and sent them on their way without me. Persians don’t do the sandwich thing at their picnics – no way. They like full on meals in big pots with tea in little glass cups and baklava! It is all very civilized. Today is the end of the spring festivities for Persians and everyone goes to the park. It is like an unwritten rule – “ya gatta go to da park”! Well, I have been partying with these guys since March 18th and I am all partied out! I’ll not hear the end of this for being a no-show. But I do love the peacefulness and I am getting a lot done.