Saturday, February 7, 2009
1. My office moved last week to a Community Center closer to my house. Our old office was in a gloomy old building that used to be a funeral home. The other offices in the building always had their doors shut and no one talked to us when we passed them in the hall. Our new office is the exact opposite. The Community Center houses a youth program, a free clinic, a sliding scale daycare, a theater company, HIV AIDS outreach, Parenting classes in Spanish, Somali, and Hmong, a computer resource room, a bike shop run by homeless youth. Like minded, content people are always roaming the hallway, stopping by our office, chatting, asking us about our work. The free clinic, which is a hybrid Eastern Western health clinic that has acupuncturists and Western medical doctors providing consultations together, is right across the hallway. On Wednesday and Saturdays, they offer free acupuncture and massages to anyone who shows up. When the clinic's calming music drifts across the hallway, I am reminded of sanity, holistic solutions and the kindness of strangers.
2. Ellis isn't crawling yet, but has begun to pull himself to stand by tables and chairs. I wonder if he will skip crawling and go straight to walking.
3. Last weekend the city smoothed down a path for cross country skiers and snow shoers that goes all around the frozen lakes down the street from us. On Saturday night they lit the path with luminaries, and set up hot cocoa tents and warming stations with fire pits. We went to watch crowds of skiers circle the lit up paths.
4. I went to one of the art programs my organization runs in Special Education classrooms last week. The students wrote a poem called Mad, Sad and Life, about how to get through a bad day. The last line was, "I don't worry about it. I keep going. I get on with my life."
4. Ellis is still refusing solids. We put him the highchair and try different foods everyday. When he sees the spoon coming he clamps his mouth shut. We have begun to let him stick his hands in the bowl of food, and to hold the spoon himself. I food milled one strawberry the other night that ended up spread all over the dining room, Ellis' toys, my clothes and his clothes.
5. It warmed up at the end of the week, to double digits, 10 degrees, then 20 and today a high of 38. On double digit days, Dave goes down the street to the park to play pick up hockey, and we can take Ellis out for short walks. He blinks at the sun as if he's never seen it before.
6. My mother would always laugh at my tendency to think of things as half empty, rather than half full. She would call me out on it, remind me that no matter what was happening in my life, I was in charge of the way I saw the world, that I could be deliberate in how I saw and experienced it. A few days before she died, they released her from the hospital. After a harrowing car ride through Amsterdam, the last time she would see it, she and I arrived at her beloved art studio. She was so happy to be there. She could still walk then and she shuffled around her easels and tables, looking at her half done paintings, shifting through her found junk and sacred relics. She found a piece of paper that she had typed a quotation on, and she handed it to me."There, this is for you, this is what you need to remember." she said. The paper had these words on it:
"The single most important decision any of us will make," said Albert Einstein, "is whether or not to believe the universe is friendly."
I read it, and my mother said, "Chose friendly, Bree. Chose friendly." She then put on one of her favorite songs, turned it up loud, closed her eyes and danced.
Posted by bks