Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Retreat... away from home, away from noise, away from the spotlight. Retreat

This past weekend, The Captain and I left the children with his parents and then went to Penuel Ridge Retreat. Well, first we went to Whole Foods so that we could get some water and some Chlorophyll ( when I run out, my iron drops, I slur words, I forget things, and basically I become a raving lunatic). But then we went to Penuel Ridge. It was amazing. Let me just tell ya. I was soooo happy to get away and to spent time with no tv, no computer, no Wiggles. Basically, all weekend we just sat around drinking hot tea out of gorgeous mugs (I learned that I really love pottery and I want some), playing board games, and reading. We sat in front of a fire for several hours. He stomped my butt at this game but I barely beat him at this one. He made Smores. I ate chocolate. I wrote and wrote and basically finished "Letters to my Dead Mother". We lived off of Amy's amazing soup and apples. We slept. We hiked and sat in the Well (their chapel) and we plan to go back again. As soon as we get a chance, actually.

After spending so much time in silence, I realized how much my soul craves it. And I also realized, upon reading some things about happiness and zen, that some of the things I've been saying yes to might not exactly be the best things for me right now. I was really wrapped up in the notion that I had been invited to NYC to present my one woman show in a workshop format. I mean, on the surface, it is totally flattering and huge great big fat deal, right? Still, I felt unsettled about it. I began to examine why I felt like I needed to accept this invitation. After all, I could always wait until 2009. See if the show goes over well down here. Use the next year and a half to work on it, spruce it up, make it pretty. THEN take it to the top, right? It was almost ridiculous and weird to have such things handed to me on a silver platter. I should have to work to reach the top. Furthermore, my husband has been having some insecurity issues and some personal problems. Money is not so good these days. I have no idea where I would be staying up there but no doubt it would be pricey. I felt that there was no way I could do my show justice in just a few short months. And in May, I have my own Mamapalooza event to coordinate, don't I? Upon closer examination, I realized that the only reasons I was planning to do this were a. I had to, b. I wanted to grow closer to reaching my goal of a successful acting career, and c. I thought that I wanted to be famous. Well, guess what? Maybe I don't. Maybe I have realized that if my husband and my children love me, then screw the rest of them. Maybe I've realized that as long as I'm healthy and I have my home and I'm doing something that matters, big fancy shows in NYC are totally irrelevant. And maybe good things come to those who wait and if my gut is telling me that this is not the year, then it's not the year.

So, I'm going to stick around here. Do a little show called VDAY and say vagina too many times. I'll do my Mamapalooza and I'll read my show aloud for a few unsuspecting audiences. I'll get a lot of feedback. I'll start working on two other show ideas that I have. I'll work on Artsy Mamas. There is plenty going on around here. No need to go all the way up there for anything!

He-Man almost lost his puppy. Blue with a party hat. But we found him/her at Blue Coast Burrito. I was really upset at the idea of him/her being gone (Blue has gender issues). I think I was more upset than he was. I really imagine one day that I will sleep with that puppy tucked under my arm. For once he is too big to snuggle with me at night, I'll need someone to keep me warm.

When I reduce my anxiety, I no longer feel the compulsion to be online all day long. So, as a result, I've been hanging out with the kids. And when Donut is asleep, I've been hanging out with just He-Man. This is very special time for me. I wrote a poem. I don't write poety, except for when I do.

I love to watch him
The scratchy sound of the washable marker on the paper, creating a snowman of bright red
He sticks his tongue out of the right side of his mouth as he meticulously scribbles
Hard and then soft
He stands and slowly, silently walks to the chair and places the paper on top of a purple Santa head
His face is serious and morose as he returns to his chair to put away the markers
The hairs on my arm stand up
Please don't speak, it will break the spell

I love to watch him
Quietly he moves the magnetic pieces on the board, trying to learn how to spell the word cat.
He's in his pajamas. He whispers to himself.
I hold the board on my lap.
I could easily not be there.
But I'd rather be no where else.
He glances at me, notices I'm staring.
He winks, nods, and gives me a look.
I feel so relaxed and calm in his presence.
We are best friends at this moment.

I love to watch him
As he grabs the basket of mardi gras beads, I settle in for my fifteen minutes of zen.
This is one of my favorite mommy activities.
The basket is on our coffee table, a mixture of colors and textures.
It is our ritual.
"Can I put the necklaces on you, Mommy?" he whispers.
I immediately feel tingly.
There is little talking, just the gentle placement of one strand after another.
"Red or purple?" he asks, barely audible.
"Purple", I always answer.

I love to watch him
Carefully he places the quilt on the learning tower.
He steps inside and places the Superman shoe box next to himself.
He's created a puppet theater.
I wait.
Slowly I see his arms poke out.
Sea creatures on fingers.
His soft voice tells a story that I cannot hear.
I listen anyway.
Gradually the story turns into sea creatures in a pile on the floor.
And I watch anyway.
For I cherish these silent moments when little sister is sleeping.

Right now, On Demand has episodes from the first season of "One Day at a Time" available. First of all, I cannot believe that Richard Massur's character was 26 years old. And I cannot believe that I'm nearly Annie's age. And Bonnie Franklin was an awesome actor. And I now understand why I always connected Mackenzie Phillips with Elton John (apparently her character Julie was a huge fan). And in 1975 that show must have been very controversial. And why the heck didn't Annie call the police on Schneider? So many musings for such a stupid little sitcom.

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