{fade in…} I was being driven by a chauffeur through a scenic area. We stopped at a day camp area because I wanted to check it out. I had a baby I was responsible for, but didn’t want to carry it around so I decide I could leave it in the car because I wouldn’t be long.
In the dream, I kept getting distracted by conversation or things to look at. I knew I needed to check on the baby, but by the next day, I still hadn’t taken the time to check on it. Finally I went down the hill (it was a tough walk – a dirt road while I was wearing heels) to the car. I was pretty sure the baby would be dead, but I figured I had enough money to hire a lawyer if I got into trouble and would be ok. I was also feeling a little relieved that if it was dead I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore.
I got to the car and opened the door. The baby was in the front seat — and almost dead. I fed it (somehow I was lactating in this dream with the borrowed baby?) and it was ok. Then I remembered there was another baby on the floor in the backseat. It was wrapped in a blanket and I was pretty sure it was either starved or smothered or both. I lifted it up and its face was all grey and wrinkled. It looked pretty dead, but as I held it up a breeze blew in the window and it started breathing. Immediately the color came back into its face and it was alive. I remember thinking simultaneously “it’s still alive!” and “it doesn’t really happen that way; things don’t get better so quickly.”
Then this baby started pooping. Like, extremely large torso-sized poops. It was all over the backseat and did have anywhere to put the baby nor anything to clean it up with, and of course the poop was starting to get everywhere.
I had the chauffeur drive us to get some wipes at the store [this is the point in the dream where I stop remember what happens exactly] but I couldn’t find anyway. At this point, I was kinda getting tired of those babies again… {fade out…}

::::::::::::

i have a pretty good idea of what this dream was about… but would love to hear any thoughts…

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2010 resolutions

January 18, 2010

I don’t want to overwhelm myself and then get all angsty as the end of the year rolls around and I realize this list could become one more indication of failure, but I gotta try at least, right?

2010 — starting out the decade:
~I will cut down on my homework procrastination (obviously i’m already sucking at that one)
~I’d like to post on this blog at least once a month
~start some yoga so when i’m 80 my back will still work
~let go of some of that sadness and anger. repeat. repeat.
~be in the moment (and keep figuring out what it means/looks like to actually do that)
~make my lunch for work in advance ( =more snoozing!)
~floss

that’s all i can think of now… ok, stop procrastinating…

nonviolence in action!

July 19, 2009

My friend, Cassie, went to the Episcopal General Convention last weekend. She told me this story (third hand, so this is basically the gist of it) and i LOVE how it shows the creativity, grace and beauty of nonviolence in action.

Apparently Gene Robinson, one of the first openly gay Episcopal bishops, spoke at the convention. Outside the hall protesters held up signs and chanted about the ‘immorality’ of homosexuality. Most people simply ignored them, but one woman decided to take on the protesters in a beautiful and graceful way: she asked the crowd to “sponsor a protester” with the money going to something like overturning Prop 8 or AIDS research.

She raised her voice and asked people to donate, make a pledge, whatever! And what could the protesters do? They could stay — but their presence was now being used to support a cause they had not intended. Or they could abandon their protest, and leave the convention-goers in peace. Such is the beauty of nonviolence — facing head on the hateful bigotry of the protesters and twirling, moving, restoring it, to make the world better.

By the end, the group gathered around the protesters began to sing “Jesus loves me” — those beautiful simple words lifting up the dignity of all people, and, i would assume, exposing the shame of the protester’s hatred.

Amen! Thank you Jesus for showing us this ‘third way’!!! Let’s sing a little “Jesus loves me” today! 🙂

sometimes…

July 18, 2009

… there’s nothing better than a j and lolcats.

On my way to visit a friend i was stopped at the light and noticed an empty potato chip bag suddenly lying next to the car in front of me, one lane over. I realized, ‘they just threw that chip bag into the street!’

For a split second my jaw dropped. (I don’t think I have actually witnessed anyone throwing garbage out of their car in years… in fact, i don’t remember the last time). After said split second, I laid on the horn — right as the light turned green. The kids (yes, they were stereotypical punk teenagers) turned to look at me and I snarled “don’t litter!” and then I added “pick up your trash!!” As we pulled forward to go our separate ways I heard one of them say “f*** you!” …and so I gave ’em the peace sign. (yeah, i really did…)

Instead of that exchange, however, I wish I would have just gotten out of my car, walked up to them and handed it back, or just picked it up myself and said, “hey, i got this one – you can get the next one” — or something wise and pacifist like that.

Didn’t happen though.

Littering pisses me off because it shows their lack of concern for themselves and others, which is, in some way, a product of the fact that we live in a ghetto, so I can’t really blame them. But I do. They are better than that and they oughta act like it. (I wish I would have told them that too.)

So I’m kinda disappointed in myself and sad about being so snarly.

But, I still hope the next time they want to throw something out their window they’ll at least check to make sure some crazy white lady isn’t going to holler at them about it… maybe they will. 🙂

thanks ccdsd & hhsa

June 26, 2009

just went out to dinner with an old co-worker, Amy. She is about 60 years old, a former nun and Catholic lesbian. She was always one of my favorite people at Catholic Charities. One thing I remembered about her as we looked over the menu at this great little hole-in-the-wall mexican restaurant is that she loooooves beef. 🙂

we had this great discussion about the paradox of life — her motto, she said, was something like, “everything changes, nothing lasts; and everything changes so things can last.”

we have both been going through similar transitions lately and it was awesome to share the perspective of sadness and mourning along with the hope and anticipation of what change can bring.

We talked about how we can have faith that even in those moments of hell, there can be a purpose — we just have to give it time, respect the process, and be open to what we can learn.

We laughed about how our re-connection occured over a work related matter — the County Food Stamp Office had erroneously denied one of her program participants Food Stamps, so she got in touch with me to help sort it out… so out of that frustration (although it is much more frustrating for the participant, I’m sure) we were able to connect have have such a great time together… And as nutty as Catholic Charities can be, I’m grateful for the amazing people i have the privilege to know who keep it going each day.

good times

June 24, 2009

Ever have one of those moments where you’re just ‘in it’ — like you’re in the vortex of all the good things life has to offer? The Indigo Girls have some lyrics in their song “all that we let in” — planets whirling, atoms splitting, and a sweater for your love you sit there knitting — i love that somehow the small act of knitting a sweater for someone is easily in league with the miracle of atomic process and the grandiousness of the universe.

Sunday nights i’ve been going to Tom & Larry’s for a potluck and planning the neighborhood float for the pride parade. We ate, had a short meeting, and got to work on our banners. I sat with my back to everyone, stitching up the edge of the banners on the sewing machine; most folks were behind me cutting out stencils, cracking jokes (lots of double entendre!); there was good music playing and i was singing along… I’m sure the glass or two of wine I’d had was a contributing factor as well, but I got this great sense of peace and happiness: I was with my cool new neighbors, we’d had good food (and people loved what I had brought), and we were working together on a project that I am really excited about and represents my values… it was so great… i just took it all in for a moment… imagined all those planets way up in the sky, and all the atoms doing their thing, right as we all sat on the back patio in the dwindling sunlight with our scissors and smiles…

new favorite poem

March 20, 2009

saw this last night in the bathroom of the rubber rose (totally recommended, by the way) and love it. I need this reminder, encouragement, hope, joy, mystery… you can actually get the poster (along with a few other totally rad ones) for $2+shipping at crimethinc.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into the dank
submission
be on the watch
there are ways out
there is light somewhere
it may not be much light but
it beats the
darkness.
be on the watch
the gods will offer you
chances
know them, take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death
in life,
sometimes.
and the more often you
learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in
you.

-hank

another gratitude post

January 27, 2009

Monday and Tuesday this week I went to a hunger advocacy conference put on by one of our funders. Monday night they had a speaker –the director of the California Endowment — Robert somethingorother. His talk was great but one part at the beginning stood out to me: At the beginning of his talk he asked people to raise their hands if their parents had grown up in poverty, if their grandparents had, if their great grandparents had. i thought back to my dad working his full time job and coming home to work another parttime job or more; my mom going back to school when i was 11 or 12 and all the sacrifices it entailed; my mom’s stories about the parsonages they used to live in that were barely inhabitable and all that my grandmother had done to make them into a home; and my dad’s mom’s stories about about how when they were kids during the depression her dad would go hunting and they would eat whatever he could shoot (possum, squirrel, raccoon – which wasn’t her favorite); and my maternal great-grandmother who had to dig a path with her young sons through a blizzard to make room for the coal truck so they wouldn’t freeze to death in south (?) dakota…

I raised my hand every time… along with about 80% of the rest of the group.

the speaker talked about how our ancestors who had struggled through poverty had, at some point (at many points), made decisions to help our grandparents and our parents, and us to live a better life… and how all of that in so many direct and indirect ways had led us to our presence there that evening in a nice hotel with a delish free meal.
he talked about how making those changes was difficult — just like the issues that we are facing now — but because those choices were made, and that vital hard work was done, our lives were all the better for it.

i appreciated the way the speaker reminded us that our work, while difficult, is so important; whether we ever get to see the results or not, there will still be benefits beyond measure.

On a more personal level it also made me realize a little more fully that people I have never met have done more than i can imagine to ensure I could be where I am today — healthy, happy, smart, secure, etc. So much I will never be able to repay…

Except, I guess, I can pay it forward a little by doing what i can to live a life that honors all that hard work, all the difficult choices and all the doing without, without giving up hope…  I hope we can all live lives that show we don’t take any of that for granted…

16 things

January 22, 2009

16 random things about me…

Tiana put this on her blog, and wanted to get a response in kind, so here it is…

1. As most of you know I have a scatological sense of humor. Tiana and I like to say “any joke that includes poop-n-pee-n-farts-n-piss…” Lately, one of my friends gets all worked up about it, (“How do you get poop into every conversation?!?!”) which makes it even better.

2. I usually am not good at picking up after myself. Like a lot of things in my life, I let it all build up until I just go on a binge to clean it up again.

3. I’m totally stealing Tiana’s number 13 – I also like eccentric people. Well, mostly I just like people, but the more eccentric the better—as Tiana said, “they are so unapologetically themselves and seem unmoved by people’s judgment…even better, maybe they are even unaware of it? YES, they are weird but they are so special…”

4. One of my secrets – exposed!!: When I was 19 and worked at an onion plant, I once agreed to have dinner (a date?) with one of the truckers who had picked up a load of onions from us. He was a Russian immigrant and when I went to his truck to tell him I’d meet him at the truck stop back across the river in Oregon, he was reading his russian/english vocabulary book (which i thought was cute, like there were specific words or phrases he wanted to have prepared???). I felt likeI shouldn’t tell anyone cuz they’d think I was crazy but I guess I was up for an adventure. From what I vaguely remember the food was terrible, and I felt really self-conscious about being there surrounded by truckers, but I had a nice time. He told me about his life on the road, that it was lonely and he wanted more chances to practice his english. Before I left he gave me his cell phone number and said I could call if I ever needed anything… I know it was pretty risky, but I’ve always been kinda glad I went. He was a pretty nice guy. (this probably goes along with my number 3 in some ways.)

5. I have a bad habit of picking at my cuticles when i am nervous or bored. I recently started rubbing neosporine on them in an attempt to heal them and give my hands something else to do. It still pick them, but they don’t look so gnarly and bloody anymore.

6. I realized recently that many of my greatest friendships have been forged since i moved to San Diego in 2000 – while George W Bush was in office. I like to think that now, as good as those friendships have been, with Obama and all this hope and optimism leeching into our brains and souls, well, I like to imagine that my relationships will have something new and hopeful about them too…

7. I LOVE reading tabloid headlines in the grocery store checkout line. Sometimes if the line is extra long I’ll even pick one up and thumb through it. But I would be too embarassed to ever actually pay money for any of them.

8. I like writing letters partly because I like to imagine the recipient opening the mail box and, between the bills and junk mail, seeing a colorful envelope and a handwritten address. And of course, I like receiving letters too. So much better than email….

9. I am working on being more decisive – not just deciding for the sake of making a decision, but making a conscious effort to think through the options and come to a conclusion. I am learning this is a much more exciting way to live than to hem and haw and let life pass me by…

10. I have a friend in recovery from substance abuse and I admire their determination to get to the heart of things, work the steps, and maintain a sense of humor about it all. I feel kinda lucky that I get to share the journey a little with such a cool person…

11. I think the mind-body connection is fascinating… like how much sensory stimulation/deprivation can affect moods and ones ability to cope. Like, just swimming out in the ocean past the breaks and (in between worrying about sharks) feeling the pull of the water as it pulses around ones body. Isn’t it crazy and amazing how much just that sensation effects the mind!?! I think stuff like that is one of the Gifts of being alive. There’s more to this (human touch, being around animals, vocalization of pleasure or pain, more than I know for sure…) but I’ll just leave it at that for now.

12. I like to listen to books on tape while I make crafts. I especially like whodunit mysteries and stuff from NPR like The American Life. These are times when I get in the zone and I don’t want to talk or be interrupted at all. I’ll finally be tired or hungry a few hours later and come back to ‘reality’ but it will feel like it has only been 30 minutes (another crazy mind/body thing!).

13. For the first time in my life, I really really love my job.

14. I wish I could somehow squish the distance btween Northern Oregon and Southern California so I could spend more time with my nutty family that I love so much.

15. Sometimes there is nothing like a good hard cry to just get a fresh start… it’s like going outside after it has rained really hard all night and all morning… the air is a little fresher and things seem a little newer…

16. Today a took a dump and it smelled like that smell when you drive down the freeway with your parking break on.