Sunday, July 27, 2008

little girl giggles ...

We only exist in this moment;
let's live this moment together
with joy, wonder and possibility.
No limits, no judgements.
We are beauty and light.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Whew! What a great weekend I had last weekend! I took Friday off, picked up my two granddaughters and off we went to the county fair. I love the fair! I love the fair in a butterflies-in-the-stomach, wide-eyed, jumping, excited way. (Not necessarily a dignified look for a grandmother, but what's a girl to do?) Carnival rides, exhibits, shows, fair smells and screams. The fair has been a summer ritual with the granddaughters ever since they were born. When summer rolls around, they begin asking "when's the fair?" and I begin planning my day off to take them so we don't have to go on a crowded weekend day.

We rode rides galore, screamed, laughed, played - oh what a great time we had. I love roller coasters the best. My dad used to take me on a wonderful roller coaster when I was little and I remember sitting there, glued against the side of his body, so excited and scared as the ride took off, the anticipation as the car climbed higher and higher - and then the screams of excited joy as we dropped and turned and dropped and climbed over and over again.

All rides were a dollar before 7, so the grandgirls and I rode rides all afternoon long until we'd ridden all we wanted. Taking a break, we wandered over to one of the performing stages and sat down to await the next performance. "The Bolts" the sign said. Others started gathering: families, older couples, and then we noticed there were a lot of tweens/young teens in the audience (some even in handmade t-shirts with the band's name). The band turned out to be a LOT of fun, a local group of young men who were great with the crowd, playing covers with a lot of energy and few of their own songs, too. It was such fun to see the band's "groupies" standing up by the stage, taking cellphone pics, making googley eyes at the boys in the band. My girls really loved the boys, too - lol!

Later, we went to the Art exhibit hall where my friend Chris, a glassblower, had entered three pieces for exhibition and judging. One of them won a third-place ribbon. Way to go, Chris! Wandering the exhibit space, we were really impressed by the photography, ceramics and paintings displayed, the girls calling out "oh! come look at this!" when they found something especially interesting.

At the end of the day, with our feet throbbing, we finished up our day by getting "tattoos" for the girls and mehndi (henna art) for me. It was a long, fun day and we were ready for home.

The girls spent the night and I took them to yoga with me Saturday morning. They were directly across the room from me and boy, they had me nearly laughing out loud as they struggled with some of the poses. But they were troupers and gave it their all! A couple of times, they broke out into little girl giggles, which just made me smile. I can hear those little girl giggles even now. Delightful!

After yoga, I took them to my stylist for haircuts, long layered looks like Ashley Tisdale and Selena Gomez (of Disney Channel). They turned out great! I started missing the girls as soon as I dropped them off later that afternoon. They are just so great and such fun to be with. I'm such a lucky Nana!

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Be sure to wear ... some flowers in your hair ..."

I remember very clearly one day when I was in elementary school and Mom was looking through the ads in the paper. "Oh, look! There's that album by that new band, The Beatles. I hear they're good!"

I can still see the ad in my mind's eye, an album cover with a price on a page filled with other album covers and their prices. Always into music, Mom bought that album ... and I began my love of 60s music.

There's an undercurrent throughout much of the music of that period, an undercurrent of peace, love and harmony, of the world being one.

"Everyone is a part of everything anyway."
- Happiness Runs, Donovan

"... and the world will be as one ..."
- Imagine, John Lennon

Lovely ballads like those of James Taylor, beautiful harmonies like The Mamas & The Papas. The Youngblood's Get Together is one of my favorite songs ever: "C'mon people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together and try to love one another right now." These are the songs that make my heart smile.

I found this fun, happy video of Donovan on the Smothers Brothers Show (another fave of my youth). I play Lalena on my piano very often; it reminds me of simple, happy times and hopes for a world of peace and harmony. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

random rose ...

A random assortment of thoughts late on a Sunday night ...

I was very happy to go to church last night. I was there about 15 minutes early and got to spend some time in meditation and prayer before mass. Just lovely. This is only the 2nd time I've been to Saturday 7:30pm mass but I think I'll make it my practice. (It will be nice not rushing for 8am mass on Sundays!) The Saturday service is less crowded, a bit older ... more experienced - lol! With the smaller congregation, it felt more intimate. I love to go to Mass. During communion, I watch all the long lines of faith-filled parishioners respectfully waiting for their turn to receive. And I often imagine all the other churches in my county having mass and communion at that same time, all the long lines in their churches ... and all the people lined up in the state, in the country, in the world. Lines and lines, their hearts and thoughts intent upon the action they are about to take. I'm not alone in my faith.

Our priest last night was a Vietnamese brother; he's been with our parish for a few years now and has told us stories of growing up in dire circumstances. I am grateful that I can openly practice my faith so easily, that there's a church right here with its doors open, that there's a community of good, caring people who I can share my faith with and be supported. I don't have to hide in a basement to have mass or fear any government reprisals. Freedom is such a gift. Watching this brother and knowing of his struggles, I am humbled and grateful.


I fully embrace the greeting "Namaste." Its essence is "I honor the Divine in you that is also in me." "Nama" means "bow, "as" means "I" and "te" means you ... "I bow you." Namaste recognizes the Divine with one another ... and smiles. How wonderful to great each day with the intent to honor and greet the Sacred within one another! Doesn't it just make you smile already? Makes my God within just want to dance with joyful abandonment. Whee!


I found what looks like a wonderful movie: I've watched a few clips and smiled through each one. (Thich Nhat Hahn's among them, of course; he's such a favorite of mine. I could listen to him read an insurance policy and be enthralled.) To hear great spiritual leaders talk about God, about fear, about the Oneness of humanity - I'm going to download the movie and spend a couple of hours enjoying it thoroughly. I already know I'll be smiling throughout. "Peaceful Warrior" is another movie in a spiritual vein that I recommend very, very, very highly.


There's a big shift that I can sense in my life right now, a subtle excitement in the undercurrent of each day. I can feel it within me: whereas I was at a plateau for a few months, there are just so many good things coming into my life lately (books, stories, experiences, people) that are stirring me to grow further in my consciousness. Someone once told me that not everyone is seeking a higher consciousness, a deeper connection with the Divine. I accept that. And I accept that I am one of those who is seeking. We are each who we are. When I was young, I found that people generally thought you were a world-class weirdo if you acknowledged some of the "God experiences" that I believe most of us have. I always wanted to talk to others about them and my thoughts, but it's such a personal thing and there's not a lot of acceptance of "woo-woo" talk.

Some years ago, I became friends with a wonderful woman who said I needed to give myself permission to be who I am, not who others wanted me to be for their own comfort. I needed to stop restricting myself and embrace my "inner woo," if you will. Big, gigantic breakthrough for me: I gave myself permission to embrace every nook and cranny of who I am and what I experience without reservation. And then things started to flow into my life once I opened that door: people, experiences, words, music, yoga - a wide variety of gifts that pulled me further along my path in a rush.

I make different choices, choices that suit me. Always a person of peace, I started to become very aware of the subtle ways that violence permeates our lives and I make choices to avoid that violence. I don't see movies with gratuitous violence - killings, car chases, that sort of thing. No violent sports on TV. I'm not a big fireworks fan. I don't play games for competition but just for the fun of the game. Competing makes us separate, me vs. you. I want to embrace Oneness instead.


And speaking of oneness, how about happy dancing with people all over the world? Pure joy!

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.