Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's the simple things

If you look closely, you can see the faint image of a second larger rainbow off to the side. Stunning. Man, today is going to be a great day! :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Over my Shoulder

Time stands still and I wait for it to catch up,
Looking over my shoulder, trying to decide if it's following me or hiding away.
I want to grab it, hold it in my hand, slow it, seize it,
Somehow tame it.
It has left so many soul scars and calling cards around my eyes,
I wonder if it will recognize me when it catches up.
This is the best time, I want to embrace the walk,
I want it to exist closer, trusting that I will take care with it's fragile wings.
I didn't know before if you held tightly it crumbles.
I didn't know if you looked back too much for it, it would become hard to see.
With patience I sorely lack, I will wait for it to catch up,
I will beg, on my knees to God, to make it walk slowly.
I promise to treat it gingerly now, so I can drink it all in.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Life is Good

It's strange to think that when it seems too early for some things, they really show up right on time. This weekend marked the eighth annual celebration of little monkey's arrival in this lifetime. I was blessed to share it with some special people, including one that I had not seen in twenty something years. I have thought of little else but him since July 6th when I was awakened by a dream I didn't quite understand. It is both comforting and scary the things you know when you are young. I didn't know a lot but I knew things about myself, what I liked, what I needed, what would make me happy, that life managed to systematically crush out of every part of me. I didn't understand any of that at the time, but, I did know things. It seems so foreign to have someone know every part of who I am and who I was and be completely accepting of that. I feel like I am still dreaming.

I want to figure out how to help my kids both trust their instincts AND make rational choices. Geeze. No problem right? UGH. I am hoping I lead by example because God knows, I don't always know the right way to do something. I am trying to listen to what that small part of my soul that stopped speaking loudly a long time ago has to say. My greatest wish for birthdays and beyond is that they all learn to have faith that time can heal all pain and bring extraordinary joy sometimes at the same time. The key is being awake to see it happen. Man, I am so ready for this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

In my dreams...

the strange thing is that though i feel it, i don't show it often on the outside or i get in this twisted game of acting precisely on the outside how others want me to be, even if the inside detests the charade.

life is so short. we waste so much time. each day brings so much magic yet most people brush right by it, missing countless opportunities for growth, goodness, doesn't make sense.

when i close my eyes i imagine there is a way to be the thing you are and not what everyone expects. i dream that the stinging disappointment of the things i didn't do to make others happy is over shadowed by all the people i did manage to inspire, uplift, love and urge to smile. my heart hopes and longs for it to be okay one day to not move so fast, to enjoy the air, sounds, tastes and song of each life step along the way.

i wake up a little more each day, hanging tightly to those things i only see when my eyes close late in the night and walk, slowly, into the sun. it is brighter than i imagined and its glow fills my soul. i am finally home.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WTF is the purpose of a gnat?

So I head to my car, the sun is barely up and my car is wet and covered in a family of gnats that decided that was their spa destination vacation. I am watching them, completely grossed out, partying like rockstars in the droplets. I recall a recent walk around the block with two girl monkeys in which we were mobbed by said rockstars and were picking them off us like the gorillas at that the zoo. This begs the questions, what the fuck is the purpose of the gnat? I mean I get the whole circle of life crap but really? And the way its pronounced? Really, they should be called G Nats and have a group or a posee or something. They are just so annoying...almost so much that it conquers my absurd ant phobia. Yeah, really. If there is an ant in the effing room, it bites me. UGH.


Monday, July 14, 2008

I've met Jesus, he's a trucker.

This weekend, I realized how lucky I am to have so many amazing people in my life as part of the spiritual journey I am on. I think it's rare in any life if you can continue to evolve and manage to push away the pressures that society, our employers, our families, and our own demons place upon our hearts and souls. I have been trying to work through some worries I have about Littlest Monkey and I was reminded of a story I haven't told for 8 years. For some reason, it seems necessary to tell it now.

Christmas of 1999, pregnant and sick, Monkey's dad and I were headed to Houston to pick up the two oldest monkeys and traveling the very congested I 45. I had been sleeping as we left Dallas because it seemed like that was the only thing that pushed away the churning in my stomach. My experience carrying Little Monkey was much like eating cotton candy and jalapenos all day, sweet and fluffy but a lot of fire. Today, the fire overrode the fluffy in a big way. I am not really sure why I woke up and a million times over I have considered how that single moment, sitting straight up from a dead sleep, quite possibly saved Little Monkey's life. Immediately, I knew what was necessary.

"I need you to pull over."

"Are you okay?"

"Right here, just pull over for a few moments."

The rest stop seemed to appear out of no where. I got out of the truck and went in to pee, because as you know, pregnant women can pee on five minute intervals. Once I had managed to relieve the bladder receiving such uncomfortable pressure, I returned, hopped back in and buckled up.

This is another moment, in recounting this story where I always crave the details that escape me. How long was I at the rest stop? How long were we back on the road before I met Jesus?

I don't remember the clock time, but I can tell you the answer as clear as day.

Just long enough.

When I say that the next 30 seconds played out like a movie. I am not exaggerating. On the north bound side, I saw the exact point in which she hit the gravel on the left shoulder and lost control of the car. I quickly pointed this out as little monkey's dad was changing lanes from the right to the left. I don't know why, there was not a car in front to pass, yet he was compelled. I watched as the car turned in slow motion, end over end so quickly that there were no options for corrective measures. At the precise moment of the lane change, her car flew over us and landed upside down EXACTLY where the truck had been. In this whole journey, had anything varied by 30 seconds, I would have been crushed underneath that car without ever meeting the amazing child I carried.

The next 30 seconds, unlike the previous in slow motion, played out in fast forward. A trucker pulled up behind the scene to block traffic and got out with blankets for her. We and the car behind us, pulled over to assist. In a brief exchange with the other driver, we discover his back window had shattered from flying bone fragments. There were no other drivers out front. After an argument with monkey's dad, I was restricted to the general area of the vehicle and not at the scene because he was concerned what seeing it up close and personal would do to me, and by default, monkey. I stood there in such disbelief as I watched the most callous drivers edge around the 18 wheeler and flip us off because we were inconveniencing their holiday schedules. There were pieces of her every where, littering the asphalt and being treated like grains of sand amongst broken glass, twisted metal and Christmas packages that had flown from her backseat. I kept thinking in my head, what the hell am I going to do, I have to pick these pieces of her up? Some one loves her, someone shared a life and has hopes and dreams with her and people are driving over it like it was nothing. The EMTs arrived, in a similar callous fashion, jumped out of the ambulance laughing, taking their time and in general were uninterested in the same questions that were plaguing me. Unfortunately, they bored the brunt of my pain and anger on the side of the highway that day.

"You guys are stepping on pieces of her! Is there no one that is going to reach down and pick up these pieces?"

They stopped laughing and looked at me. I had no idea until later that they already decided she was dead. I was mortified. Maybe I was hysterical, I don't remember. I wasn't crying but I kept wondering if I was saying any of these things out loud or if it was in my head.

"It will be alright."

I was going mad. I jumped because everyone that stopped was already on the scene. I turned around and noticed an 18 wheeler parked on the hill ahead of the truck and a long haired, bearded, barefoot trucker standing in front of me. Neither he nor the truck had been there before.

"He wouldn't let me go up there.". I said, pointing an angry finger in the direction of the wreckage. "I am pregnant." I offered as explanation for the slight I felt at the moment.

"It will be alright.". He said again as he walked, barefoot across the broken glass, like it was water.

I was confused. None of this made sense. He kneeled beside her for what seemed like only a few moments and then he walked back to me. I was so angry at these people, so confused about what was happening, too idealistic about possible outcomes. The trucker came back to where I was standing.

"She went in peace. It will be alright."

I searched his face like trying to understand a foreign language. No one of this was processing. He was so tall and looked like all the pictures a Southern Baptist would recognize of Jesus in paupers clothes.

"Take care of that baby. That is a special one. You will be alright."

It was as if the entire world exhaled. I realized that things were winding down, the road was clearing. I looked back up the hill to catch a glimpse of my roadside saviour but he and his truck were gone. Of course, I knew he had not had enough time to walk back up the hill. I knew there was no noise of a truck starting, no exhaust smoke, no air brakes releasing. Some how, a mind that couldn't accept one damn thing that happened on that stretch of I 45 that afternoon, accepted that.
We loaded back up and headed off and I couldn't speak for hours. I had hoped that when the sheriff took our contact information, someone from her family would call. I just wanted to tell them that someone cared about her, a small handful of people trying to change the world, helping one soul at a time.


I look back again, on the impending birthday of my special little monkey, and wonder whats in this lesson for me and whats in store for her. She has a comprehension that is sometimes above us all. She seeks the path of peace and healing. Sometimes I think she is too grown. One of her favorite things to do is to bounce into my room and ask me what I am praying for today. Last year, my sister gave me a box of little ceramic birds, each inscribed with a prayer, to use to remember what I am meditating on. Little Monkey wants to know each time they change what I am asking for. The last time she asked, my response was:

"I am praying for Joy."

"You need some Joy?"

"Yes, I do baby girl." I promptly burst into tears. She thought that was a simple request.

That afternoon when I came home, hanging on my doorknob to my room was a 3 x 5 index card with a hole punched in it and strung on ribbon. She had drawn a smiley face with a caption that said "I am so happy" and underneath in bold letters she wrote JOY. She never asked if I got it, never wanted the approval some of her art projects require, it was a simple, tiny answered prayer.

Much like Little Monkey herself.

I am so lucky, raising three fantastic kids that I find myself once again, on the side of the road, trying to understand the things life has hurled at me, that I am with a small group of people working to make life better for those around them, one soul at a time.

To Val, I so appreciate your love and support. I don't think I would be nearly as inquisitive, nearly as focused and nearly as engaged in building a new life for my family, had it not been for you there holding my hand, one step at a time.

To Krissy, thank you so much for such interesting conversation and being so open. I am so lucky to have met you while you are on a journey of your own.

To Kevin, I so appreciate the lessons in peace you have begun to teach me. I look forward now to sitting still, breathing deeply and knowing that all is right with the world.

To Beau and Susan, thank you for showing me that a house of worship can be a place for friends, fun and support. I would not have started a deep, soulful look at what I want my life to be had it not been for your demonstration of unshakable faith, even in hard times.

My children are so lucky to have the opportunity to know each of you and feel the difference you have made in the lives of their mom. I only hope that some day, I am able to provide such uplifting influence in the lives of each of you. I am so grateful for you all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Devil Cats Rock

Nothing like being greeted at the back door at 5:45 AM by a talkative ghetto cat and a dead rattlesnake. Not exactly what I thought I would be doing when I let the dogs out but definitely better than coffee to wake you up quickly.

Masa is a rescued scrappy ghetto cat that lived a previous life in a industrial manufacturing yard, surviving on leftovers and the kindness of undocumented workers. At the time, she was skinny as a rail with noticeable signs of abuse. From a couple of places she has been burned and hair won't go grow back to a broken back from being kicked or thrown, she is certainly been a survivor. The latter resulted in her last couple of vertebrae being crushed so her tail no longer can wag or raise. She came to live with us until we could find a home for her (I am already over loaded with two dogs and two old cats of my own) and so far, no takers. Compounding matters, she quickly enlarged to five times her original size because she was pregnant. We thought for sure they would not be born alive or at the least without serious problems. As luck would have it, as I am stepping on a flight to Chicago, a call comes from Judgemental Monkey (a whopping 14 years old at the time) who proceeds to deliver four furry things and save the life of the runt that almost didn't make it. (Jack is pretty, but not real smart and I had to rescue him again, six months later when he decided to jump in the jacuzzi tub full of water and couldn't swim...geeze).

The two girl cats were adopted right away but homes for Masa and her twin boys Jack and Harvey have eluded us. I can't keep them but I can't drop them in a shelter, at their ages (4 yrs and 2 yrs respectively) they will not likely be adopted. The expanding financial crisis in our country is also resulting in massive numbers of animals left in abandon homes or dropped off at shelters, all over the country.

Masa would be great as a companion for someone that has no other animals (she doesn't care for pets, she only really likes people) and the boys are so much fun but will be HARD to separate. (They sleep in a yin yang pattern and bathe each other still). Please give me a shout if you know someone that would be a good candidate for any of them. They have been raised as good liberals and I would like them to go to a house of the same...:)


It is not a secret that we are music nuts in our house. Consistently, one of the few bands we can all agree on is Better than Ezra. Middle Monkey has dubbed them "the happiest band in the world." This is funny to me because sometimes they sing about pain, unrequited love and the horrible things humans do but they capture so accurately the feelings attached to those things. They are amazing in concert and you should add that to your to-do list if they are ever in your area. Last night, tired as hell from 4 days of 2 hours of sleep a night, I cranked up the Ipod for a while and discovered how poetic and beautiful this song is. I don't think I have ever listened to it the way I did last night and felt compelled to share...


Here you are now
Fresh from your wars
Back from the edge of time
And all that you were,
Stripped to the bone
I thought you'd want to know

That when you feel the world is crashing
All around your feet
Come running headlong into my arms
I'll never judge you
I can only love you
Come now running headlong
Into my arms

Lay down your guns
Too weak to run
Nothing can harm you here
Your precious heart
Broken and scarred
Somehow you made it through
I only ask that you won't go again

When you feel the world is crashing
All around your feet
Come running headlong into my arms
I'll never judge you
I can only love you
Come now running headlong
Into my arms

So glad to see you smiling
So good to hear your laugh
I think that you've found you even
Missed yourself
I'm only asking this because I think that
Truth be told
Oh, you'll never go again

When you feel the world is crashing
All around your feet
Come running headlong into my arms
I'll never judge you
I can only love you
Come now running headlong
Into my arms

Just beautiful...go here and check out "Breathless," letting the words fall on your soul like rain.

For the same reason, I love Blue October (check out "Hate Me") and the Burden Brothers (check out "Beautiful Night" and "Still").

Monday, July 7, 2008

Middle Monkey is all grown up now!

This MySpace bulletin greeted me this morning:

Boys are STOOPID.

Like, the kind of stupid you have to spell wrong.


Hit me up.

I am so proud! She finally figured out what I have been trying to explain to her since puberty...hehehe. I wish I learned that at her age.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's too early for this...

I sat straight up in bed,

Trying to understand what's in my head.

It has been twenty years ago,

Since I left your smile and made it so.

Many things I wish I had said,

From when we last shared a bed.

So strange that now it rushes back,

To fill the spaces with peace I lack.

I learned a valuable thing today,

Sometimes truth never goes away.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thanks but no thanks

"Darby is so cute, and look, here comes Jack." giggles inserted here "He is smelling Jack's butt!"

"Oh, that's just how cats say hello. Aren't you glad you aren't a cat?"

"Uh, yeah, because that is GROSS?"

"Can you imagine if you had to go to school like that? 'Ah hello, sniff, sniff.'"

big huge belly laughs inserted here

"Can Darby sleep in my room tonight?"

"Sure, just no smelling butts."

My bedtime stories are WAY better than yours...:)


Somedays is just great to see something in the news that finally went well.


For right now, all is right with the world. May those families be reunited with the joy they deserve and may they adjust to freedom swiftly.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The best of the best...

This morning I offer you the most important stuff that you must not miss...

Over at VetVoice they remind us that there is a pending VA investigation. Too much comes across in the news and it's easy to get pushed to the side. Do you know anyone that is a Veteran that is using or has used a VA hospital? Check the list and forward their link to any one you know that may have one of the listed senarios. It's important that they gain as much info as possible.

My heart breaks today for Tina and her willingness to share. For those of you that know of what she speaks, please offer her your love and support. She will need it so she can give that to her baby. She offers us peace and light everyday so it's time to give that back.

I ADORE the PostSecret project and have a book that I received as a gift. I was so happy to find that they have a weekly posting on line as well since I just can't get enough. There is something poetic about truth.

The week is almost over! Be good and love each other out there. PEACE!