Monday, May 28, 2012

On long weekends ...

Long weekends are the perfect time to do a little of this ...

To sit and watch and let the heat soak out all the stress and worrying. The mind stills and almost falls asleep. Lovely.

It's fun to play and dig ...

It's good to be reminded by little ones how to let go, to sing in the waves no matter who is listening, to dance in the water even when it's up to one's neck and one cannot swim. To shake and laugh and have the best time. Really embracing the moment.

It's a good time to do a little of this too ... practicing letting go.

Lately I have found it really hard to make the time to paint, not feeling inspired at all. I took Flora's course in February but am still working my way through the lessons now, months later ... thanking her for leaving the website open till now. She's such an inspiration, just what i needed. And her book arrived in the mail for me a little while ago too, so I have lots of beautiful words and pages to get me going.

On that note, some books I am waiting to buy .... this one, and this one too.
And from Flora's course I found this music and I am loving her album for painting to, but even at night when it's time to calm down and I happen to have this album playing, two crazy hooligan children suddenly quieten down and the house feels all blue-shadowed and peaceful and the fighting stops and everyone winds down. Aaaaaah.

On that note, in a quiet and early evening shadow filled house it's time to wind down and prepare for the week ahead. I wish you a good one.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A night in Toronto ...

Long cups of tea over lots to catch up on ... berry muffins and delicious organic coffee ... a walk on the lake beach .. sunshine and people-watching ... straw hats and wagons with children-ice-cream-licking ... time away and new perspectives .... just what i needed this weekend, thank you Toronto.

   and back home again ... hello New York ... 

Here's hoping you had a lovely weekend too.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

In the garden ...

In the garden-late-afternoon it is enough just to breathe in and out ... to smell summer arriving and to savor the drip of orange slices, sweet and warm from the sun ... to feel the cool moss soft under my feet. Just to be. 

Yes, it is enough.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Mother's Day ...

Last night we watched 'The Iron Lady', the movie about Margaret Thatcher, and there was a quote she said as a young woman which really struck me. She was talking about marriage and career and she told her future husband :

'One's life must matter ... beyond the washing and the cooking and the children. Once's life has to mean something. I cannot die washing up a tea cup.'

I love this quote. It says it all. Although she wanted to be a mother and a wife, she wanted her career too. She didn't want to lose herself in the roles of mother and wife, no matter how much she might have loved them - didn't want to be defined by them.

Not everyone who is a mother feels the need to work, or feels that constant pull between the two worlds. Some woman have to work, want to work, some love love love being home. I think it's important to honor all the ways in which we exercise our choices, if we have them, and how different everyone's idea of balance is - that there is no right or wrong - one size does not fit all. But that washing of the tea cup is not just about work vs home ... to me it's really about making sure that we remain whole, rounded and multi-faceted as women. That we don't neglect the other sides of ourselves once we become wives and mothers.

On this day where we celebrate Mothers and for some of us, ourselves as Mothers ... where our hearts are full for the friends and loved ones who want to be Mothers but who are not yet, or cannot be ... on this day let us also remember to mother ourselves. To make sure we put some blueberries on our plates when we make lunch for everyone else. That we get enough sleep and a little time to sit in the sun or go for a drive to the beach to sit and be. To read a favorite book or go out for dinner. That we nurture our own dreams and aspirations for these lives of ours. Over and above the roles we may take on for everyone else around us, let us keep a little mothering and caring for ourselves too ... to make sure we find time to do the things which feed our souls and keep us feeling passionate and excited about life and our futures. That bring us joy and that deep feeling of purpose. 

May we pay attention to ourselves so that we can teach our children to strive for their dreams from a strong place where we are doing the same, not from a place of envy or tiredness because we never gave ourselves the time, or the chance.

Here's to Mothers everywhere ... to being the very best nurturers we can be ... and to living life wider than the bounds of where the tea cups are washed.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Wayfare Magazine

There is a little too much going on in my neck of the woods at the moment. In my house (piles and piles and total chaos), my head (more on that later), my calendar ... we celebrated two birthdays in our house in the past week, there are baseball games and school events and long list of things to do and research and think about.

Sometimes we need a little distraction and I found one today ... I was going through old emails trying to get to the bottom of my inbox when i read about a new online magazine on a decor8 post - it's a gorgeous online magazine called Wayfare (click on the top left hand button 'launch wayfare' on the site). It's a beautiful pilot edition and it's all about travel - my favorite thing in the whole world. Stunning photos and articles and just really nicely laid out and put together. 

For those of you on Mexican beaches and far away from newstands, it's the online equivalent of soaking in a bubble bath with a new magazine and a big glass of wine - dreaming dreaming of new places and other lives.

In the middle of personal chaos and a too messy house, there is also always a pedicure and a little time to oneself to escape, and if they offer a complimentary massage, all the better.

At least my toes are happy and sorted. One tick off the list.

Wishing you a peaceful and organized weekend. Maybe a bit of wishful thinking on my part but at least I'll be happily drooling over travel photos and looking at my gleaming toes while i watch the clouds float past and make lists in my head.


Friday, May 4, 2012

A few weeks ago I was lucky to see a beautiful dance show in Manhattan as a birthday gift from a good friend ... we drove into the city, had a long slow lunch, and got to watch the show in a small intimate theater. It was so good to be watching dance again, to make that little window of time just for ourselves, doing something we love.

It got me to thinking about how hard that's become. Maybe always has been. At varsity (college) it was easier - it was all about what i wanted then. What i wanted to do with my life. Or my weekend. Where i wanted to go. What i felt like doing. Long conversations into the early hours about life and dreams and what we wished for. Hoped for. Desperately. Making lists of what mattered and what we wanted to have achieved by the time we were 30. Which seemed like such a long long time away. Now ... well well on the other side of 30 my life is richer and has a lot more focus than just on myself - 2 children will do that to you - but it's also easy to get lost in all the wife, mother, friend, colleague, daughter, sister. All the roles we play. All the people we love. It just happens slowly, over time - the making less time for ourselves and the things we used to do.

I remember the wedding of one of my first friends to get married. She loved ballet and at college we used to take dance classes together - go in at night or on the weekends and turn the music up loud and just dance, fly, let go. He, the groom, he was not a dancer - he loved hiking and the outdoors. In his speech at the wedding the father of the bride said something about it now being the time for her to hang up her dancing shoes and to put on her hiking boots. I felt like crying. I understood what he meant to say - that marriage is all about shaping a new life together and that means sharing each other's hobbies sometimes, doing what the other person loves too. But the way he said it made me think of her giving up everything she loved to become the dutiful wife ... putting him first always and losing herself along the way.

It's hard to keep those parts of ourselves alive and well - to give them time and to nurture and protect. Those parts that need to clear the living room furniture and dance like crazy ... dye hair pink ... paint or sculpt or play rock music loud. Make daisy chains in the garden. Watch the sunset from a mountain top with a glass of wine. Just to play. Our deep creative parts of ourselves ... the most essential parts of who we are. To not lose that deep soul-joy in the process of becoming wives and mothers. Working. Running homes. The day to day routines and demands can become all-consuming and it becomes harder and harder to hear that voice.

Going to the dance performance reminded me how important it is to keep those windows open and to tend those gardens. To make time for the things which are good for my soul, and which have nothing to do with being a mom or a wife. Reminded me how much i used to love turning on the music loud loud and dancing like crazy across the floor. 

Here's to you dancing your own little (big) dance this weekend.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In the studio today ...

It's raining - the kind of day where old memories are floating around and I don't feel like talking. Quiet and music playing. I registered for Flora's online class months ago and never had the time to get beyond week 2. Today i put one of her recordings onto my ipod and got my hands full of paint, something i haven't done in a very long time. 

I could write a post about feeling lost and not being sure where to go next. It's reflected in the fact that I haven't painted in months. No direction. A bit lost. Very. Very lost. And not just to do with painting. But for today, it was good to throw paint and make a mess and not to worry too much about the end result.

Here are a few pieces in progress in my studio at the moment.