|Aunt Dianne & Ann|
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
My dad visited recently. Nothing can quite describe watching my dad with my little girl. Finley had a cautious curiosity about him which lasted only hours and then they were quite taken with one another. Here they are sharing ginger cookies... the picture says it all!
|Finley & Grandpa at I Can't Believe It's A Book Store in Washington NC|
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
There was a really nice mention of MOI in this recent article about the NEW yoga studio in my little NC town where I'm very pleased to be a member of the faculty.
Getting down with yogaPublished 12:37am Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
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Friday, September 16, 2011
|Finley wanted to paint the BIG BAD WOLF and Swiper the Fox.|
It must have been due to all the wind huffing and puffing our tree limbs down!
|Without power we began to eat the contents of the freezer...ice cream FIRST.|
The storm surge raised the river ELEVEN FEET. These boats didn't have a chance.
|This my friends is the EXACT dock |
we used to keep our sailboat on.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
I come from a family of pack rats. My Granny Dodie had an entire bedroom in her two-bedroom apartment devoted to boxes of stuff she wasn’t using. My mother had sets of good dishes we only looked at, and never used, unless it was a special occasion. My sister saved paints and markers lest they were used up rather than enjoy them for creative endeavors.
I have acquired a lot of stuff. This stuff takes the shape of family heirloom antiques, photos and memorabilia from my childhood and now my daughter’s. I’m really getting tired of carting it around and I’m wondering if I could be just as happy to walk away from it all? I’m an emotional hoarder if not on some level a material one too, and it’s beginning to hamper my freedom.
Recently, my favorite baby dolls were liberated from an old box for my daughter to play with. “I would have thrown that out if I’d known you were keeping it all these years.” Steve said to me.
My husband has little attachment to anything material. He buys and sells his toys as soon as a new one catches his fancy. He does not affix an emotion to an object. That’s one reason why we fit. If only I’d met my husband before I chose to buy a breed of dog that lives for 20 years. Sigh.
The Indian sage Patanjali says; the essential companion is non-attachment. Learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities clouding the true self is the way to freedom. I meditate on this logical concept with every yoga practice trying to make my peace with the release of the burden of my attachments.
Roaming my neighborhood I discover two very curious looking white houses situated side by side. From my vantage I can see the front porch of one house has a narrow pathway clear to the door, otherwise both verandas are piled high with junk. In the corner of the second house by the top step sits one of the most gorgeous mirrors I have ever seen. I decide I want this mirror. I’m already attached to it. Curiosity over the house has got the best of me. What does it look like inside? Is it filled with cats? Clearly this is the home of a hoarder.
According to the Mayo Clinic definition: hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. This is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder often triggered by an emotional loss.
The hoarder spots me and waves a greeting. I compliment her on her hydrangeas, which are heirloom in size and grandeur, full of beautiful blooming blue flowers.
“Come.” She says, “I have a knife in my pocket, I will cut you some.”
While she works at cutting branches off the hydrangea she says; “ I’m Velma I’m 95 years old, I was born right here in this very house!”
Without pause, Velma launches into her history. She tells me of the train stopping on the track behind her house to let all the circus animals off to bathe in the river before the handlers marched them in a parade up Main Street. She tells me of the ice and milk truck deliveries and of her brother in-law named Lolly Pop running his butchery in the out building behind the second house, now crammed with junk. She points to the trees, each one planted for her four sisters upon their first birthdays.
Waving her arm towards the front porch she tells me she wants to have a garage sale but has been too tired to sort through the piles. Then Velma plunges into another story and I see my opportunity to ask about the mirror slip by. Taking Velma’s mirror would come at a cost too great for her, I could not ask after this kind soul so freely gave me a reflection from the mirror of her life. Unlike Velma, I learned I truly do have the capacity and freedom to move, houses, states and countries. I can move beyond my stuff.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Eight weeks into working for The Comedy Network, I’m sitting with my boyfriend Steve at a VIP table at a comedy club. It is my job to meet talent, pair them with producers, meet producers, take pitches for TV series and take them all along the production line from development to on air. I love comedy, I love socializing, and this new job is a perfect fit! Most of all it is the perfect distraction from the life I lead outside of work. Outside work, life is not funny.
Concentration failing me, I miss most of the comedy. A shock of applause brings me back to the room, clapping I and throw a smile of encouragement toward the performer. I grasp at the neck of my shirt feeling as though don’t have enough air.
Arriving home from the club I surrender to bed. The phone rings, Steve still awake answers.
“Hello, yeah? Oh, okay. Michelle it’s for you. It’s your sister.” He hands me the phone.
“Hi.” Sue says.
“Hi.” I echo, a silence comes over the line.
“The nurse called and told us mom looked like she might be going. We were just there. We left the hospital to go out for dinner. The phone was ringing as we came through the door at home. Dad said to sit tight we’ll call ya with an update.”
“Okay.” I hang up.
“Oh.” I break from his grasp and calmly head to the armoire to pull out all the black clothes I own and begin to stuff them into a suitcase. Steve watches me. Next, I move toward the sink and begin to wash dishes. When my world spins out of control I clean. I can control the dirt.
A telephone ring cuts the silence. Quickly I grab the extension before it rings a second time.
“Hello.” I say.
“She’s gone. Can you come? They’ll hold her here in her room until you can get here.” Sue’s voice is shaking.
The drive from Toronto to Ottawa is fast. We pull into a vacant spot on the street in front of the building. The wet shiny road is sprinkled with the cheerful reflection from Christmas lights. The dark night sky is broken by the waltz of large fluffy snowflakes. It’s almost five o’clock in the morning. Steve places a hand on my back encouraging me forward. I look up at the hospital and see a giant black raven perched on the overhang of the front entrance. It takes off into the night. I move forward again with a little coaxing from Steve.
“I’ve never seen a dead body before. Like, not before they are done up at the funeral home.” I say to Steve.
“Hurry sweetie, a body can only be held so long before it must be moved and they’ve already been waiting five hours. You’ll be okay, your family is here.”
My father ushers me into the room, “She told me I was handsome, then she was gone.” He hugs me tightly pulling Sue into our embrace. “Your mother loved you both so much – the only thing she ever wanted was to be a mother.”
Looking over his shoulder the vision of my mother in bed shocks me. She is so tiny, considerably smaller than she was when I saw her last. She is not peaceful looking. Her face shows signs of fight and struggle and her mouth hangs open. Tucked under her hands is the little bear in a bee costume along side a Beanie Baby that looks just like my sister’s son, little gifts from my sister and I.
“Let’s not let anything ever come between us.” Dad says hugging us tight. We hold each other and cry both out of sadness and relief. After six years it is finally over. I replay this scene over and over in my head wishing his statement rang true. So much has come between all of us.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Cruising the Carolinas afforded my husband and I opportunity to meet all kinds of characters. In Wilmington we made acquaintance with one swarthy cat. A wiry man of indeterminable age with skin like tan shoe leather. The dude would disappear for a few days and then reappear. He seemed agreeable enough but I didn't’t figure it would take too much to set him off. I was happiest when he was at a distance.
Our paths crossed for the first time in the upscale marina laundry. He had a little white Lhasa Apso with him. This dog struck me as being an odd fit for a guy like him.
I bent down to greet the dog. "What's your dog's name?"
"Mutton.” He sizes me up. "Inherited her. Name was Muffin, but that was too faggotty so I call her Mutton. It works."
"Good name - she looks like Sheri Lewis' Lamb Chops." I say.
He looks at me blankly. Perhaps my Canadian accent trumped him or more likely he had no idea who Sheri Lewis and Lamb Chops were.
“Which boat you on?” He asks.
“A sailboat.” I am purposefully vague. My instincts tell me to be cautious.
"Tell your Mister to see me if he needs work done.” Then he adds, like it’s a selling feature, “I’m a cash man. Live aboard a boat on the ocean, what do I need to pay tax for?” He raises a hand to his head to tip an imaginary hat and passes through the door with his small bag of laundry. The dog reluctantly follows. “C’mon Mutton! Ain’t got all day.”
I return to our boat and swing the bag of clean clothes up over the safety lines to my mister. “ I just met the salty dude. He said you should get-up with him if you need any work done.”
“That guy is used to taking on jobs for boat owners. We are sailors not boat owners we do our own work.” My mister says.
Later I return to the slip to find the salty dude up our mast. The boats in their slips are rocking gently in the breeze. Lines clinking against masts sound like a percussion of spoons tapping a water glass. Mutton is tied to our hookups lounging in a small bit of provided shade.
"Hey, what are you boys up to?"
My Mister winks at me to let me know he caught my joke. “ Jesse is giving me a hand with the wind gage.”
“Hey, why so far from home? Canada too cold?” Jesse shouts as he repels the mast in bare feet. “I’m from West Virginia in the mountains. Too fucking cold there and I knew soon as I was old enough I was getting outta there. Ain’t never go back cept to burry my kin.”
“I’m also allergic to winter.” I say as I head below to grab a notebook. This was one conversation I had to record.