Well, it's a little crazy around here. We closed on our new house today, so packing now really needs to get DONE.
I wish I had some pictures for you, but I left my camera at the new house. To summarize today . . 80 degrees, a bike ride to the huge playground a block away, a half hour at the creek and in the yard before we set foot in our house, 2 fishing trips in the backyard creek that made us feel SO at home...we have lived close to the Mad River and Garcia River for all the children's lives, except for the brief stint this winter. To have this running water to fish in, throw sticks and rocks, watch the ducks, and gauge the seasons...truly priceless.
I found this trailer through Kristi . . . let's band together and spread the word: sticks and rocks and clouds and mud and love are really all we need, hmmm?
Pictures to come, I promise. We're at that phase where getting the camera and computer and internet access together could be a bit dicey.
Well, isn't it funny? I hesitated to send my last post about plastics. Yes, I love that I can spout on whatever I want here in this space since, unlike a letter, my being here doesn't make you feel obligated to read it. But I felt a little too preachy, too sure of myself. When I got a comment from fellow navel gazer (and I mean that in a good way :), Candace, I realized that maybe I put myself off as living perfectly. Or--cringe--being overly dogmatic and judgmental. Trust me, I'm way too much of a curious cat and a dilettante to be consistently dogmatic.
I really was just trying to share my struggle and that great trailer from the movie Tapped.
And then, the next day, we found the most wonderful piece of plastic that has already given us all hours of joy.
A stop at the local used children's store with a big box of outgrown clothes to sell (profit $7) led to a sighting of a Playmobil pirate set with about a hundred accompanying pieces (spent $40). Well, if you know Playmobil, you know it was a score. The children love the Playmobil toys they've been given as gifts. If you know me, you won't be surprised to know that I've been eyeing Playmobils in the toy store, ruminating... "nice German plastic, could I live with buying it new?"... and then wondering if I did buy some whether I would buy what appealed to me...fairies, farms, and snowpeas in wheelbarrows...or what Isaiah wanted...pirates and knights. Yes, the rumination goes on and on...just be glad you don't live inside my head.
And now, literally, hours of fun. Inside and outside. Alone or with friends.
A bit of proselytizing today. I've often been asked why I deprive the children of all the fun plastic toys out there, and don't always have a good answer. "I don't like it; It just doesn't feel right; it comes from so far away." I hate to be "anti" anything, but really, what is there to be for in plastics?
The New Yorker had this article about a nice British trustafarian living in San Francisco and his Plastiki boat project. I'm sure I'm the last person on Earth (or at least the Internet) to know about the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, but now that I do, I'm fortified in my resistance, just in time for the summer picnic season when I was toying with the idea of a new set of lightweight plastic dishes to carry down the stairs in our new home. (Recommendations for bamboo, recycled or other plate options are welcome!)
And there's more . . If you are only going to click on one link here today, click on this movie trailer. I'm so glad Tapped has been made. Thanks, Amanda, for the alert.
p.s....Great documentary narrated by Alice Walker today on 60 years of independent radio on today's Democracy Now!...more important now than ever, me thinks.
We dressed up for the second night of Passover to go to our synagogue's community seder. Lots of fun, treats, and such curious children. Isaiah seems to be the pious one, taking after his great grandpa, grandpa, and uncle. . . so curious about every prayer sung, every candle lit.
Next morning at dawn . . . Isaiah: When's Easter? Me: It's coming up. We're invited to Milan's house for an egg hunt. Maybe we should color some eggs today! Isaiah: I love celebrating everything! We're so lucky. Nonni and Poppop only celebrate Easter. Grandma and Grandpa only celebrate Passover. We celebrate Christmas and Passover and Easter and everything! Me: Mmm-hmmm.
We do like to celebrate around here!
Egg dye is good for so many things. We couldn't let those bowls of beautiful color go to waste, so pulled out some paper and paintbrushes and kept on going. And then came the hunt . . .
So many questions arise when raising children, not the least of which are deeply spiritual ones. We've been bumping up against a lot of God and Death lately, pondering what happens when dogs die, celebrating the liberation of our ancestors, finding peace in our breath and the moments. Now that we've dipped into the conversation, I find myself daunted, yet also less intimidated since I see that all we can do is approach it with the best of intentions, honesty, and deep listening.
And . . . on a completely different subject, if you have a chance, check out Amy's show today during which she interviews the brilliant Noam Chomsky. You know, Noam is 80 and we are so lucky to have his lens through which to view ourselves. Some interesting stuff. And, if you're in California, you probably know that Amy is in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Berkeley this week (or maybe you had a chance to see her in Arcata last week?).
Hello friends. Passover seems a perfect time to rekindle this connection. The time of liberation, breaking the external and internal chains that bind. The binding chain that's kept me low profile on these etherwaves--being in deep grief over Belly's death--isn't going away, but maybe at least unkinking a bit.
Amid the full house of children, grief goes a bit underground, waiting for quiet moments to come out and play. Nighttime, evenings, naptime . . . I've been feeling the emptiness, appreciating the blessings.
Preparing for last night's seder brought me deep into that space. As I unwrapped my grandmother's china, I thought about the hands of beloved relatives touching each spongy protector between each dinner plate, first course plate, dessert plate, saucer, and tea cup before the raucously fun seders presided over by my sternly serious yet big-loving grandfather. As I cooked brisket, kugel, charoses, and matzo ball soup, the aroma of my kitchen transported me to my mother's and grandmother's kitchens. As I prepared each course myself for a seder where my children and I were the only Jews (we invited a curious family of new friends to join us), I battled feelings of loneliness and feeling sorry for myself, but knew I was stepping into a new role of matriarch for my own young ones. As I ate the macaroons and toffee matzo and my friends expressed their gratitude for both the food and the meaning of the service, I felt full in a balanced way.
Being sole cook and rabbi was a daunting undertaking, but as usual, I didn't really think much about it when I decided to do it. And really, what was the option? Not doing it? In the end, we all found so much to be grateful for here in the land of the heart.
And we saw our first purple crocus today. A miracle, I tell you, a flower coming out of the ground. A true spring miracle.