Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Personal Reflections

Perception is a tricky thing. One minute I'm heavy, exhausted, bags under my eyes, hair wadded up in a ponytail holder, last night's tee shirt still rumpled around me after noon, feeling like a misfit, a loser, an unaccomplished wanna-be. The next minute I splash some cool water on my face, revitalize a bit, dab on some under-eye concealer and lipgloss, rip out the hair binder, shake myself loose, step into some well-fitted clothes and voilá, minutes later I feel different, more alert, self-assured, accepting, excited even of all the possibilities, of my capabilities, of the new alliances and collaborations that have been revealing themselves to me. With a twinkling of an eye, and a shake of the head, suddenly, things are possible, new directions are opening, ideas are flowing, and I don't feel so alone or so stuck or so limited. I actually feel quite good, quite capable and downright excited about future possibilities.

Tricky thing this perception. And what is it about confidence? How can some of the most confident, capable women in the world feel so inadequate at times?

We might not be able to have everything we want, or all at the same time, but we surely always have exactly what we need, even if we can't always see it.

As I watch the proliferation of millions of predominantly women-mama bloggers with their comments in the double digits and subscriptions in the hundreds and thousands, as others go through their gratuitously open lovefest, supportfest, rising popularity and cross-bloginating jump on the bandwagonfest, I start to question my voice, my reasoning, my raison d'etre. My POV. (Point of view.) Why am I blogging?

And as for my writing, the book, I ask myself where's the angle? Where's the framework? Where's the ladder? Quick get the wading boots.

My tendency is to stop, reflect, pull back, rather than glom on. I never have won any popularity contests. I never was trendy. I never did grab the brass ring. I did always, however, have an opinion. I did always speak my mind. There was, always, my heart of knowing, my truth. Perhaps I never was reaching for the brass ring afterall, perhaps I was striving for gold. Platinum. Perhaps my victories will be small, personal, hard won, luminous.

While out walking today, this little bauble presented itself to me:

"It is not so much your words that offend, but rather, your silence."

I took that as an answer to the question, why do this, what's the point? To mean carry on, tell your story, don't worry so much about it being perfect, or agreeable, or popular, or accepted, or validated. It is the silence, especially women's silence, the silence of shame and struggle and victimhood, the "I'm fine I can manage all by myself thankyouverymuch," which cripples and keep us in the dark, isolated, unknown, and unhealed.

Yet it is the very assertion that I am valuable, my pov is valuable, I have a right to express my life and my story, there is a place for me, there is value in it, perhaps even universality in it….and the telling of it releases the secrecy, the inner struggle...and already I am healing. I am becoming my own light of knowing.

And so, like that inflatable punchbag clown who keeps popping back up, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep going.

Today's "Mama Moment" brought to you by Bozo the Bop Bag, a brisk hilly walk and an ice-cold cup of water.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a happy and abundant Thanksgiving.

As I sit down to relish this year's feast, I am reminded to take a moment to be thankful not only for the family I came from, but also for the new family I've created and the many wonderful circles in my online writers circle, the families in our preschool circle, the local moms circle, and mamas across the internet felt but not seen whose presence and collective consciousness have guided and supported me throughout my own journey.

I am grateful to be included in such ever-growing, ever-connecting circles and am awed by the care, compassion and support you've all shown me. I wish you a joyful peace as I bid you a heartfelt thank you.

With gratitude and many blessings to all,


Friday, November 17, 2006

Threads Of Compassion

As I back up against the decision, the almighty decision weighing heavily on my mind these days, I see with either outcome the bell jar will drop, rendering instant death or suffocation of a dream…a dream so close I can almost taste it at times.

I am not a have-it-all kind of woman. Not yet anyway.

I have been in the backyard of my dreams. So close. On the property even, yet hidden behind gates and fences of limited resources, time, exposure. Let's face it, I have become the thing I had always been taught to despise. The dirty word.

"If you can't cut it, why don't you move to Connecticut and have babies!" my professional dance teacher in New York would swagger if someone couldn't retain his excruciatingly long chains of choreography.

Even the musical A Chorus Line, (a show I toured with for several months), has the Diana character longing to leave the business, have babies, and finally get fat.

My mother Alison disdainfully referred to them as housewives. Housewives--useless, spineless, brainless women who couldn't carve out a life for themselves, women who relied on a man's security and identity. Mrs. Henry P. So-and-So. Ack.

I suppose she was bitter because she had to go it alone. She got to do it all. She couldn't rely on her husband's security. He basically divorced then deserted us until we were grown.

Housewife. Mother. Smother. It conjures up the smell of coffee and coffeecake, surface conversation about the weather and gardening, and the joys of those darn little ones! Brainless needy dependents.

I hate boxes. Don't box me in. I will struggle and resist and break down those walls…

OK, I am a housewife and a mother.

There. I said it. I am a backyard woman whose dreams and aspirations haven't materialized…who is essentially supported by her man while raising the baby-child. And with each passing year, the time to make choices is running out. My fertility. My ability. My business plan. Which do I choose? But denial doesn't work where age and fertility are concerned. This is do or die time. Am I really a failure? Have I failed to launch?

With this emotional revelation, I have untangled one long vermillion thread, a main artery that runs the length of my own intricate magic carpet.

I begin to pull at a tangled mess of collective history of loss and grief, sadness and pain…and the death of my self, for there is surely a death of sorts, of freedom and autonomy, in becoming a mother…and then there is the death of the babies I've already lost…three of them.


Like the three of Alison's children, the bell tolls for each one. Each loss marked…

my brother,
my sister,
and I.

I slip away.

* * *

My dad left when I was three.

My mother was in over her head with three.

Our nest was damaged and broken, not only by his absence but by her inability to cope and nurture.

After my third inexplicable loss, through the cottony haze of numbness and disbelief, hot sprays of shower water run down my swollen breasts and fully vacant belly attempting to wash me clean of defects. An overwhelming intuition prevails, shocking in its boldness, announcing that my soul had decided to take it on. I chose to bear the grief of our three childhoods lost with my own three losses. My role, my destiny was to heal our family. Surely she wouldn't do it.

But why would I agree to that? Why would I take that on? Why carry Alison's burden after all she put us through? Who did I think I was? Child-mother to my mother?

I cannot say why I would make such an agreement to carry this kind of karmic load, or if any of this is even true, but the awareness is there just the same. Haunting. Loaded. Devastating.

I try to wrap this idea around my brain. It slithers snake-like, around and around, without rest. Incomprehensible.

I, the baby, am pallbearer to our three lost souls...with sacrificial offerings…each of my three dead babies…return the weight to zero.

A psychic once told me that the first two miscarriages were the same soul trying to download, but not being able to complete the transaction. She said the soul was in agreement with this plan. She didn't speak of the third one at that time, as it hadn't happened yet.

A Maori healer told me last summer that I had created this blockage in my womb, but that it was released and healed now and that "the apples would come when the tree was ready."

Would I ever be ready? Could I attempt another journey so intense?

What had I done? Had I blocked the threshold of the womb? Was my uterus defective? Was the thought of stepping aside for 2-3 more years to raise another baby just unbearable to me? Had I really created this? We were not infertile. In fact, conception was never a problem. It was keeping the baby. No amount of testing could explain why they kept slipping away. They found nothing.

Perhaps I was aware of the realities of motherhood this time. I was already broken, no longer naïve to its personal toll. The joy, the love, the divine magnitude of the gift--yes-- but the price…the personal price of motherhood, especially to one with dreams and ambitions, and limited resources in an escalating cost of living.

Could I even attempt this again? And face a potentially fourth loss? Or, had I paid my debt to my mother and this time it would be fine?

Then there's the laundry list of issues…the age thing…the fear thing…the labor thing…and the grief thing. Oh yes, and the body thing. And the sleep thing…or lack thereof. I am already stretched pretty thin. It is already more than a lot. Where did I think that reserve was going to come from? Dare I suppose I can step it up a few more notches, and take on more, as in another baby? Do I have more surrender in me? That is, were we to be so lucky to come to term this time?

Who's to say there's one more chance anyway? It would surely have to be a miracle baby, a magic child to get through this fine web.

But as my husband put it and I agree, one of the things we do well, perhaps even best, is parent. Look at our daughter. She's incredible. To be able to bring another soul forth like that and watch it blossom would be so amazing. Godly.

My determination to persist is there. I am not afraid of hard work. I am not afraid of being broke.

I AM afraid if it will all be for naught.


Sadness washes over me with the realization that underneath it all--all my fighting, scratching, and clawing to "make it"--in addition to being validated, and perceived to be valuable, is my need to be totally independent.

As I dig a little deeper, under that…is the need to need no one. To trust no one.

Aha! That's my mother's fear. That's HER projection.

It is hard for me to sit still and be dependent, especially with the idea of another baby, for that means I'd really have to slow down and trust him, at least initially, huh? Trust him to provide for me, to feed me, shelter me, protect me while I nurture another baby. It's hard to feel that I would be worth protecting even, without having to be productive or prove worthy, without contributing my financial independence to the familial kitty. I've always had to earn my value, my keep. I never got a free ride.

It's such a great feeling to never feel quite OK enough just in your own skin, for who you are, that you always have to be more in order to be accepted.

This is far too great an entanglement of needs and desires to unravel in one session. But the thread is there hanging. I have uncovered it.

One strand…blood red and pulsing…dangling. If I pull it, will it result in a disembodied unraveling of my tightly woven security blanket, sending me tumbling into a downward free fall…?

Or instead, could it be the ripcord to my golden parachute?

Either way, it will be quite a ride…and a certain death as well…whichever I choose.

I have no clue.

I don’t see a clear solution. I'm not sure there is one. I will have to trust in the higher powers to untangle these knots.

* * *

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's A Groove Thang

I have a very complex, love-hate relationship with music, more specifically, the nature of the business of music and what it takes to "get over" these days. Sort of echoes my take on that last post. Sometimes thinking about it all just makes my heart feel, well, heavy.

My relationship with music runs deep and wide. It's complicated. It has been my joy, my passion, my escape and my blood. Perhaps also my curse.

Both my parents were classical musicians. From the time I could toddle I was singing. Supposedly I walked up to a piano in 1st grade or something and played through Silent Night with chords having never had a lesson before in my life. I studied cello and played in string quartets, youth orchestras, sang in choirs, ventured into show tunes for a brief foray into musical theater, then got my first record deal doing techno dance-pop in the mid-80s before going on a quest to find my own singer-songwriter thing. My musical influences were all over the map. I was diverse. Where my own tunes were concerned, I eventually evolved into more of a rootsy, pop-rock sounding chick, but that was then.

Cut to now. I haven't been very interested in making my own style of music much lately. Not post-kid. Not post-9/11. Not post-remind me why I'm going broke banging my head upon a closed door being just another chick-singer in a sea of chick singers kind of thing. The fire seemed to have drained out of me. For a long time I would just as soon listen to silence. Seemed like a luxury post-kid.

In defense of my tuning out, LA is well-known for its bad radio, repetitive formulaic playlists and celebrity talk. Talk, talk, talk. Hey, I have enough talk going on between what's been banging around my brain and my non-stop preschooler. I don't need more mindless chatter about who's doing who, who's about to come out with what, or what bullshit someone else is getting rich hawking…

Spare me the drive-time radio crap and stupidity. There's not enough room to squeeze much more into my already full and under-slept brain. I don't need it.

What I DO need is groove. Music that makes me feel gooood. Especially this morning.

This morning, on the way to the preschool, what I need is to wake up! I need some Tunes because that cup of coffee I chugged on my way out the door just isn't cutting it.

Part of the problem is that darn CD changer in the trunk. I know they put them back there so they won't get stolen, but it's just that I never seem to remember to actually go back there and change it out. For 6 months now, those same 6 CDs have been sitting there. 6 months! I can't listen to them anymore! Yet every morning it's the same. I still pile into the car with my daughter, despite my only 4 or 5 hrs of sleep, and have to get it up to get her across town to school.

Today I was particularly groggy.

Looking for inspiration, anything, I start flipping around the dial, er, bandwidth, seeking something other than drive-time sketches, commercials or talk radio. But no one is playing music. No one. Come on! Work with me here, people. I need something. I need a lift. I need more than that mindless chatter.

Miraculously, yet quite by accident, I stumble across Hot 92 Jamz…mega-old school and today's R&B.

(He, he.)


Then, after a few beats, it occurs to me…I feel good…I have a smile on my face…

I am actually…

(wait for it…)

…startin' to feel HAPPY!

I am gettin' a groove on to Earth Wind & Fire's Shining Star. You gotta feel happy hearing that. Even Sienna is listening. "Shining star for you to see, what your life can truly be…"

Then, Atomic Dog starts up. Ooh, "bow wow wow, yippee yo yippee yay, bow wow, yippee yo yippee yay!" P-Funk, can ya believe it. How long has that been?

The Dazz Band's Let It Whip gets to whippin'….whip it all night! C'mon…you gotta be happy now!

Just thinking about Rick James and Give It To Me Baby makes me laugh out loud.

"Mommy, what are you laughing about?"

"Oh, nothing. Just some songs from when I was a kid."

It occurs to me that what we need is to dance. DANCE. I used to dance. No, I used to dance non-stop for hours. No one ever dances anymore. Not in my world. Not any more. Not since music became just about making money.


Groove, people.

Shallow, pointless lyrics all intent on you gettin' a groove on. Party over here.

Shakin' my thang in the carseat, I bookmark my new groovin' station. I don't care if it's before 9 am folks, I feel good. And that is a new kind of alright.

As I'm driving around town doing errands and listening today, I let out one righteous shit-eatin' grin from ear to those ass-grinding grooves and visions of my lily-white bubble butt bumping and grinding my way through my past, fill me with joy…

Prince: I Wanna Be Your Lover.
Earth, Wind & Fire: Let's Groove Tonight.
Cameo: Word Up…"Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care, glide by the people as they start to look and stare…"

I am fully laughing at the thought of codpieces and sculpted hair. Is anyone with me here? Word Up!

Then they hit me with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes: If You Don't Know Me By Now. Wow, now that's a song!

See… Life IS a buffet…something for everyone…room for all types of grooves and personalities.

We really should dance more. And laugh more too.

"How ya gonna do it if you really don't want to dance, by standing on the wall, get your back up off the wall... Get down on it, get down on it, come on and get down on it, if you really want it…"
-Kool & The Gang

I'm a non-partisan music lover.

"whoa, whoa, you got the best of my love, whoa, whoa, you got the best of my love…"
- The Emotions

I'm not cool...I'm Old School.

(…at least for today…that is, until another mood strikes.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Escalation Of Cool Commentary

A GoMama'ntary:

Hey everybody, Andi Buchanan's just posted her fantastic piece called "The Escalation Of Cool" which she presented as part of a panel discussion about memoirs and women writing their way through motherhood at the recent ARM Conference up in Toronto. She comments on the proliferation of the new "bad mother" tone and the edgy, hard angle one seems to need these days in order to get their writing published, and what that may be doing to constrict the identifiable definition of motherhood even more than being a "good mother" did.

In some ways I feel it dovetails with some issues I've struggled with while hearing about other writer's childhoods, thinking that the ante of horrors one has to survive in order to compellingly write memoir is so "upped" now, I really should just shut up already. If it isn't a freakishly hellish life, then maybe it isn't interesting or "competitive" enough a memoir for the marketplace. I don't know.

And then that multi-faceted gem we've been tossing about, what is memoir, what is nonfiction, what is truth, what is literal, what is artistic reinterpretation or "heightening of the story," seems to rear its complex head again. Perhaps we should just blow all categories out altogether…"here's a story…fact or fiction, you decide"…and force everyone to sharpen their own truth or bs detectors.

Props to Jen at tomama who likened the whole thing to fashion, saying that "bad is the new black." It's much harder to push grey, or knotted, isn't it? Authentic and real has always been a tougher sell. It isn't sexy. But as I said before, perhaps like a pot that is about to simmer over with trendy "hip" marketing strategies, once those boil off, it's the real and authentic that endures.

Not wanting to hijack Andi Buchanan's comment section, I thought I'd post my commentary here and widen the dialogue. Feel free to jump in anytime.

Here's my take:

So what if it's funny, it's edgy, it's hip, or it's untrue? It sells, baby. It gets optioned. It makes the bucks. So what if it is over-dramatized, re-slanted for publication, non-representative of the mass reality? Who cares? We love a good story, right? We just as giddily lap up the Desperate Housewives' soap-opera for the same empty, glamorous thrill it delivers. Real depictions of women? No, it's candy. Not even smart candy. But we, as a nation, eat it up.

Just to get something off my chest, one of the books cited in Andi's piece, at least the excerpt "Prenatal Guru To The Stars" from Brett Paesel's Mommies Who Drink, is creative fiction. Now I don't know Brett, I haven't read her whole book and I certainly don't wish her any ill-will because she seems like the kind of smart, sassy woman I'd love to hang out with, but I also happen to live in LA and recognize the "yoga guru" she writes about. I was in "Rananda's" pre and post-natal classes every week for almost 2 years. She's the one who personally recommended Pema Chodron's When things Fall Apart to me when I needed clarity. Except for the graham crackers and tea presented, much of the ensuing star name-dropping dialogue is completely out of character and nothing that "Rananda" would actually say, but hey, it's a funny read. Yeah, I laughed. I even laughed knowing who she modeled the piece after. But was it true? Not really. More like fiction. Very loosely based on a real situation.

I haven't read all the other books on Andi's list, but I can't help but believe Christie Mellor's Three Martini Playdate was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. This wasn't classified as memoir or nonfiction. This was comedy, right? Had to be. C'mon, no one really took her seriously when she instructed you to teach your child to make and fetch cocktails for you, that we should revert back to the seen and not heard era of child-rearing, did they? Are we to believe she was completely serious?

Perhaps publishers need to come up with some new book classifications. Perhaps people need to start to think between the lines and define their own personal truth.

Maybe what we should be asking instead is what is the truth and what is entertainment? And then, who are the truth police? How do we as people, specifically as mothers, determine what rings true for us personally?

I think the difficulty comes in trying to fully identify oneself within the mainstream any arena. I don't look to the media to tell me who I should be. We as people are unique, complex people, and cannot be defined by labels, facades, or stereotypes. Just because I might not resonate with being represented as the hip, cool, bitchy, hot, drunk, depressed mama as suggested in recent books and printed media, doesn't make my experience as a mother any less authentic. I might identify with some of those experiences at times, or I might not at all. Either way, my experience is valid, even if it isn't accurately represented in the media.

If anything, we should be media-savvy enough by now to know how much of this is manipulated and driven by the bottom line. This is capitalism, the free marketplace. Once we understand this concept, we can stop looking for our identity, acceptance and validation externally, and can refocus on what is true or authentic for each of us.

I like to think of it as a buffet. There's all kinds of sh$t out there, from twinkies to cognac-infused flaming duck a l'orange. There's something not just for everyone but for every mood. We each get a plate and can choose whatever we want. But it's up to us to choose wisely, and to feed ourselves well.

In my circles, I feel that there's plenty of authentic, non-extremist writing being done via blogs, smaller online mom e-groups, and literary magazines which do embrace the whole messy experience and attempt to build virtual support and community for one another. Maybe they aren't getting published as loudly or as much in the traditional way, but the voices are out there for those who seek them.

Perhaps replacing the "good" perception with the snarky, the drunk, or the "bad" one is just another step in the right direction of shattering ANY one-noted view of motherhood, or life for that matter. It's personal. It's profound. It cannot be encapsulated into a mask. We can write and talk about it until we're blue in the face and we still don't get it quite right. Like love, or survival, motherhood continues to surprise me…its an uncontainable evolution; its ramifications are far-reaching for myself, for my family and for our collective future.

Until we can embrace our uniqueness, our perfectly (human) imperfectness, and still collaborate together instead of pit one against one another through judgment and shame, we will not be progressing.

Good, bad, indifferent, hands-off, or hands-on, I say, there's room for us all.

What do you think?

Friday, November 03, 2006

On The Down Low

I seem to be coming across more and more cases of "the writer doldrums," sometimes combined with a mysterious yet unidentifiable case of the "blahs" (for lack of a better word), and a downright complexity of moodiness across the blogoshpere….here, here and here.

Is it the weather? The seasonal change, fall giving way to winter? Are we overworked? Burned out? Is the reality of motherhood taking its toll? For those without kids, is the reality of writing, gasp, a book, not just any book, but a deeply personal one, terrifying the Bejesus out of us? Is it real or imagined? But more importantly, is it contagious, because I seem to be battling a touch of it myself these days.

Thank you ladies. Good to know I'm not alone.

I wasn't going to post about this but since it reflects a current mood, I'll add my own echo and observations. Add to that a big ole mug of chicken soup, or beef phó, or soba noodles in dashi. Whatever works. May it bring comfort.

* * *

Bills due. Library books due. Essay due. Life due.

Today was work. Work getting up. Work getting out. Most definitely work doing the work-out. I feel as if I'm hitting a wall. Definitely feels like resistance and those all so familiar streams of writerly self-doubt…an LED display across the Times Square of my inner psyche:

…"What are you doing this for again?"…"Remind me why it's so important?"…"Didn't so and so already cover this?"…"What's so special about your story?"…"How is your voice relevant?"… You know the drill.

I know this is just the sound of my inner critic…thank you for sharing…NEXT!, but I seem to be having a hard time focusing. I seem to be gaining weight, despite all the workouts. I seem to be accumulating writing, but not on my project. I seem to be spinning. I feel lost, as if the thoughts are draining out of my head quicker than sand through a fishing net. Can't seem to stay anchored. Can't seem to catch any fish either. And I'm always tired. Tired.


Perhaps if I wasn't so damn tired, I could combat this fear streak more effectively.

Recently I was doing some research on adrenal fatigue --a rather common occurrence for mothers of young children. Think of it as being in continuous crisis mode…No, don't touch that! No, put that away! Be careful! Don't make a mess! OMG, I'm coming, hold on…! Not to mention serious sleep deprivation, hyper-vigilance and constant noise.

See what I'm saying?

Being a mother of young children puts one under enormous risk for depleted adrenals because we are living in a constant state of crisis aversion, management, diversion, organization, and cleanup with limited rewards and unlimited interruptions. Yet the adrenals are only supposed to kick-in in extreme situations for short periods of time. They are a reserve tank meant to offer a burst of energy via adrenaline, for a life or death situation, for fight or flight response, not to be siphoned from as a way of life. To continually deplete this energy reserve is not ideal, and frankly, it is dangerous to your health. Yet we do it, we continually do it, I most certainly do it, and it becomes a vicious cycle of unending exhaustion and reliance, leading to more of the same.

There is a connection between sleep deprivation, fatigue, overreaction, moodiness, gastro-intestinal issues, weight gain, low immune response, and the spikes in cortisol resulting in other hormonal imbalances the body creates in order to combat every type of emotional, mental, physical and environmental stress.

Look at it like this. Your adrenals are responsible for maintaining your cortisol levels, among other hormones like DHEA, which is the precursor to estrogen, progesterone, testosterone. When they become overtaxed, hormone production can get all disorderly resulting in some of the following symptoms. Ok, play along with me…

fatigue - check
insomnia - check
weight gain - check
depression - check
poor immune function - I'm getting stronger though
moodiness - check
hormonal imbalance - check
decreased sex drive- hate to admit it, but check
skin problems - not so much
autoimmune disorders- that was last year
intolerance to cold - pretty much
reliance on caffeine/stimulants - check, double check
(are cocktails stimulants? I thought they were depressants?)
craving for sugar/carbs - oh absolutely!

Bingo! What do I win?

Why, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances and burnout.

Hormonal imbalances post-pregnancy are to be expected, and again for a few months after breastfeeding ceases, but in my case, post 4 pregnancies in 3 years, a serious case of insomnia and a history of intermittent depression, it's whack. How do I get the balance back?

I'm having a crisis of self-doubt lately. Oh, just snap out of it I tell myself, as my thoughts disperse, focus averts my concentration and points elude me.

Take a nap. Walk in the sunshine. Read a book. Just relax. Go to bed early for once, my husband nudges.

Man, I wish I could. I really do.

But the productivity expectation meter is pegged! Must. Be. Productive. Must. Grow. Business. Must. Grow. Income. What. Will. I. Do? How?


Meanwhile, it's not all bad over here. Sienna is turning into a lovely little whipper-snapper ballerina-fairy-princess with a mind of her own. Bedtime routine no longer a 2-hour ordeal, she helps clear and set the table for dinner now, and with a wee bit of coaching will even do precursory exercises in straightening her room. She puts her dirty clothes in a pile over there, books on their shelves, shoes in the closet, markers in the pail. So it's not all bad. In fact, a lot of the time it is quite delightful actually.

These are the squishy years I'd heard about.

Why, just the other day she made paper crowns for all of us--even the cat--and we played The Royals of Colonia….

"Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing The King, The Queen, and dat, da, dat, da…Princess Sienna of Coloniahhhhh." And the crowd roars.

Princess Sienna was stunning in all her pink tulle finery. We had a procession around the halls of our house. I looked quite glam in my burgundy throw, er, cape. She even brought us fancy shoes to wear, even the King. The King must wear Kingly shoes, not sneakers, Daddy.

"These are King shoes," she said, handing him the black dress shoes from his closet. It was all very serious. It was a lovely respite from the churning my mind's been doing lately. I was lapping it up by the royal saucerfull.

As for writing as well as life, energy can't help but transform. That is its very nature. To expect anything else is, why, naïve, unreasonable, and damn near impossible. There is inspiration, the idea, followed by thought, conception, gestation, et voilå, manifestation. Gestation might include repeated visits to the drawing board, revisions, a sharpening of focus, throwing out what doesn't work…is anything working here…and inspiration might come only after a period of dormancy and self-reflection.

Still, we expect the height of manifestation and productivity to be sustained forever at such a high rate, yet it cannot. Eventually, anything shot straight up into the sky arcs, and reverts downward. It's the pull of gravity. The nature of a wave cannot continually peak without first crashing and rolling back out to sea.

Every person eventually needs to sleep, to restore, perchance to dream again.

I am on the down slope of the wave. I feel it today. I feel it lately as the season turns to crisp, crackly leaves scuttling across the early morning sidewalks. The air is starting to chill. The summer fire that raged in my belly has become glowing embers of memory, as I long to cuddle up with a glass of wine and a good book by the hearth of my soul, tending to those internal fears and insecurities.

So much could be solved with adequate rest.

Snuggle buggle. Safe as a bug in a rug.

My daughter, in my arms, wrapped in love and security, her love fusing with my own... Warm. Safe. Needing rest.

Hold me close while I recharge.

I wish you all peace.

And rest.