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Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 in Awake
This year’s Black Friday was too literal.
We got up that morning to wear our blacks and greys to pay tribute to the life of a wonderful woman.
The long line of cars led not to the mall but to the cemetery yard. An invisible thread held together by friendship and blood. Other vehicles paid respect by letting us pass.
The light that went out when she left forces us to make new fires with old stories and new stories. We huddle together in tears and embraces to keep warm. In meals together. In pictures unearthed in old books.
Death stings. The sharp cut of pain sharpens the focus of the present moment and gives the gift of seeing the people left behind. Seeing our elders as little ones, and sisters and cousins. Young just like us once. And frail, as we know we will have to say goodbye to them too.
We squeeze each other’s hands a little tighter as we walk back into the sunlight.1 Comment »
Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in Awake
Little fingers wobble across the keys. Like baby fawn legs, unsure, getting more sure each week. This school year will mark fifteen years of professional teaching. And I love it – not all of it – it’s a lot of hard work – but I am finding my groove.
I’m also finding that it’s easy for a groove to turn into a rut. And to set my brain on autopilot and be annoyed at anything and anyone that causes turbulence. And to look down.
Charity challenged us at writer’s group to think about people in our everyday lives – that we forget to look at.
The people I see everyday, all day, are children. It’s easy to look down – at fingers, at hand positions, at assignment books – and forget to look up at them, long and hard – and smile. To say, “I love to hear you play,” to each child, every time, especially the last ones of the day, when I’m super tired. To say, “Make your mistakes big,” because confident playing leads to better playing.
I’ve realized this because I’ve recently been interacting with other colleagues a decade younger than I am – with way more energy and wildness. I’m remembering my first years of teaching – relationally, I did a lot wrong – but professionally, I threw caution to the wind and didn’t “save back” energy for the next day. Tomorrow would bring its own trouble, but its own inspiration as well.
So this year, my fifteenth year, I’m keeping the skills and the peace and the grace that I need to survive in business. But I’m also returning to the first year and thinking – If my life were marked only for today, how would I live it?
I’m reminding myself to look at the kids “eye to eye”, and what it was like to be young and unsteady and unsure in a new challenge. Remembering to put in the necessary energy to motivate both of us to better music.
And the more energy I put into it, the more I get back from my students. And the more I’m left with for the next day, not less.
Use it up.
Use it all up.
This story is a part of the “Eye to Eye” series.4 Comments »
“It’s Not a Fairytale: Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest” – Clare Leschin-HoarNo Comments »
I am honored to part of Kelli Trujillo‘s “Just 3″ series.
Follow the interview link toKelli’s place.
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Spring comes slowly, then all at once. Sap and chlorophyll-life twisting into grass and shrubs.
Waiting for tallest trees to wake and fill skies with skirts of life.
We tied and twisted our own color to limbs. Fumbling fingers. Trying to get the best light. AJR assisted me and was such a good sport with the wind. In between shots he was a human scarf hanger.
It’s overwhelming to consider where clothes and accessories come from – to cut ties from sweat shops and human slavery through forced labor. I try to shop second hand, use the Free2Work app, and stay in budget. Sometimes it feels impossible. But the decision to partner with CGI to distribute their fair trade scarves was an easy one.
I met Whitney, a sales rep, at an anti-slavery event. We hit it off and AJR and I decided to partner with them. We were impressed with the quality, pricing, and stories of changed lives. This partnership helps 42 women support themselves and their families in Cambodia. It also helps us to fund our music and writing.
These are just a few of the seamstresses. Strong, talented, beautiful women.
To kick off the opening of my online store – get 25% off these beautiful scarves - normally $20, now only $15 (includes free shipping!), but only through Tuesday, May 14th. This is a great Mother’s Day, graduation, or ‘just-because’ scarf.
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