Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mama Manifesto #1 .:in progress:.

When I started this blog, I thought long about the motivation behind it, and overall, had a hard time defining what I wanted it to offer - both to myself and to the community of people who may encounter it. My lack of clear direction held me back from beginning it at all for some time. I decided finally that maybe that could be the direction - a space to help me sort out the process and the work.

The subtitle of this blog is : a rambling path through art, food and motherhood. Lately in my life I feel the truth of that statement as a description of my habits... the truth is, I am interested in just about, well, everything. I'm addicted to learning, to joy, to books and community. I feel that it is necessary to attend the meetings at Tenzarelli's Waldorf School, to be the driving force behind the children's group at Deer Park, to knit, to sew, to hoard food like a squirrel for winter, to read A Wrinkle in Time again, to take on the project of installing our wood and tile floors in the house that love is building, and to get the boys enough outside time. No, my house is not clean today and the contents of the refrigerator are, um, suspicious...

But I'll defer to Louise Erdrich on that one... that amazing writer whose fantastic Birchbark Bookstore I recently made pilgrimage to... Her advice sounds pretty true to the two boys whose photos in their moments of joy make me sure there is nothing more you could want than all of this.

Advice to Myself

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

Louise Erdrich from her 2003 poetry collection, Original Fire

Thursday, August 13, 2009


(Here is Dorje, just a few days old)

My Jampaloo is ONE today. From that tiny babe (OK, not SO tiny, at 10 pounds, 3 ounces) to this amazing boy, who hammers at his pounding bench and has a grin that melts hearts all over town. The "stinker face" cracks us up without fail...

You're a boy who loves to eat... who loves his big brother....who loves to see the neighbor's ducks each day (and can even WALK after them now!)

Dorje Edmund Pema Tsagong, Happy Birthday!
Your joyful heart and tender spirit are gifts to the world.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Knitting for Jampaloo

Finally sewed the buttons on the Pebble - "manly baby vest". It knit up super fast and was fun, then it took me at least 2 weeks to add the buttons...

I think it'll be a perfect fall vest for my lotus boy. Some Tenzarelli knitting action is on the needles now (I started to feel guilty about how little knitting I have done for him when he said "what are you making, something else for Dorje?" so I figured it was high time I made something for him.) It's a surprise for his birthday, which comes around the festival of Michaelmas... so a hint... it's something any true knight would need...

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Late July has felt so full.

The house that love is building

Painted lady butterflies emerging in Tenzarelli's butterfly treehouse

A frog found in the nearby Bark River jumps for glory at Dousman's annual Frog Jump (not the winner - but this big boy did jump TEN feet for Tenzarelli!)

Jampaloo discovers popsicles (our favorite so far: honeydew with cream, honey and pistachios - and yes, Martha made up that recipe, bless her!)

Baby friends

More baby friends (I can't resist)

Cup Cake Walks with some good pals who missed our Cake Walk at the May Faire.

In just this past week, I've shared stories and laughs and babies with three of the sweetest ladies I know 'round here. PLUS the Shutter Sisters gave me a picture of HOPE to hang in the studio that is under construction in that new house that love is building.

AND I have 5 pounds of blueberries in my refrigerator. 'Nuff said.