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Write Your Life

Two weeks ago I attended an all-day Write Your Life workshop facilitated by a friend. The invitation read something like this:
What would your life look like if you felt empowered to manifest your dreams?
How are you using your gifts and talents to reach your highest potential?
Are you ready to explore your choices?
This interactive workshop will take you on a transformative exploration to help you to articulate, visualize and identify ways to practice the art of creative living.

That workshop challenged me to acknowledge my Bankruptcy and Subsequent Divorce to a group of relative strangers. Somehow that was much more difficult for me than acknowledging the BASD to people who already know me. Why is that? My friends already love me and understand who I am. These new people... well, they're amongst the first to know me in my new persona: poverty-stricken divorcee. What does that look like to them? How do I define myself when I've renounced a role I've held for 17 years? I'm no longer defined by my relationship to DH. That's interesting to me.

One of the exercises at the workshop invited each of us to describe our perfect place, our idea of heaven. This is what I wrote:

There's a big wooden house with spacious interior and a massive wrap-around porch. On the porch are comfortable places to sit and lie down---suspended chairs and hammocks and rockers. It's usually sunny and warm, almost too warm, but that's OK. It's flat and dusty but only a mile distant (to the north) rise incredible mountains, snow capped and vicious, protecting that house with the wrap-around porch. A mile south is a CA beach with tide pools. Every afternoon the wind picks up and a storm rolls in off the coast. There's an amazing lightning and thunder show that lasts about half an hour. Then it smells like rain, like creosote and wet concrete. Otherwise it smells like jasmine from the vines curling up the porch stanchions and railings. There's a garden that provides all the fresh vegetables I need, and an orchard providing the fruits I like. I have no refrigerator because each meal is harvested as I need it. The whole place is solar powered and there's lightning-fast internet with streaming Netflix. I putter around daily, maintaining my self-sufficient, self-sustained property. I am always happy for a visitor but don't often issue an invitation. I teach myself to fish and dig clams and trap crabs and lobsters. There's a horse but I don't often ride, he just follows me around like a dog would. There's a room inside for crafts; there's a room inside that's completely empty. There's a room inside holding only a grand piano. I play and when Jack comes to visit me he fills the house and yard with music.

Most notable: I am almost always alone.

Why is that?


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wotd: temporize

temporize \TEM-puh-ryz\, intransitive verb:
1. To be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time or delay action.
2. To comply with the time or occasion; to yield to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
3. To engage in discussions or negotiations so as to gain time (usually followed by 'with').
4. To come to terms (usually followed by 'with').

It's easy to tell yourself that you'll write a daily blog entry using the word of the day from dictionary(dot)com as a prompt, and equally easy to temporize your daily entry by waffling over what to write about, or evading your obligation by procrastination. There. Bedtime.

expanding my culinary horizons

After last night's culinary debacle, today's culinary surprise was particularly welcome. My dear friend Rukmi brought me lunch! Rukmi is Sri Lankan. She cooks the best food. I ate a fish and egg croquette, lentil curry, saffron rice, all with delicious chicken and what I thought might be tuna. I asked Rukmi what the meat was, and she told me it's all chicken. "The flat, triangular meat? With the spices? Is it tuna?"

She laughed lightly. "That's a wegetable," she said, in her lovely Sinhalese way.

"Oh, yeah? Like a beet?" That made sense, because it flaked like tuna steak or like beets might.

"It is jackfruit."

Jackfruit? Jackfruit! I ate jackfruit today. Rukmi told me all about it: she used canned young jackfruit she bought at G & L Market on 22nd St.; fully grown jackfruits are gigantic and if one fell on your head it could kill you. When fully ripe, jackfruit is full of big pods that each have a seed in the middle, like a po…
Jack doesn't have many "activities." I don't relish the thought of driving him to soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, tae kwon do, KidzArt, swim team, T-ball, so on, and so forth. Not to say that I don't recognize the value of these activities, but I witness firsthand the toll a full schedule takes on little ones. On Monday nights Jack and his cousin participate in Young Champions of America Karate, which is more about learning discipline, respect, and self defense than it is about martial arts.

Recently we've picked up a new activity, which is also about learning discipline, respect, and creativity: Tucson Lego Club.

He was invited to join by Nathan and Lucas, friends from church who also attended the preschool a few years ahead of Jack. Here he sits between them, at a table surrounded by 6 other boys, each of them building a lavish Lego creation.

Members spend an hour building and fraternizing, sometimes more fraternizing than building, but at the end of the h…