31 December, 2010


Reflecting on this crazy year with good friends this December 31st, we had a discussion about 2010... some called it "bad", some called it "hard", and then my friend K said it was not necessarily a bad year, but it was a difficult year.  And I had to agree.  It was a wonderful and difficult 12 months!

In January, I began my maternity leave.
In February, I had a baby.
In March, I returned to work.
In April, I got engaged on Easter.
In May, I began writing for a mom's blog.
In June, I got married and baptized my baby (in the same month!).
In July, I contemplated religion and motherhood and life.
In August, I began my journey as a vegetarian.
In September, I began writing thank you notes for everything (and I'm still not finished!).
In October, I turned 31.
In November, I celebrated Baby G's fist Thanksgiving.
In December, I celebrated her first Christmas.

All year long, I was a mother - for the first time.  I became a wife, a true partner - for the first time.  And that is not easy.  It's good, it's wonderful - but it's not easy. 

Aloha, 2010. 
Aloha, 2011. 

13 December, 2010


I'm a caretaker.  I follow in my mother's footsteps - she takes care of everybody.  And I like being a caretaker.  Today included providing for Baby G in the morning, providing for people at work all day, tucking Baby G into bed, making soup for my under-the-weather hubby, then cuddling up in our bed with him to sooth the ailing away - a long, good day.

12 December, 2010


It's the day of the show, ya'll.

The choir concert was tonight.  I got to St. George's for the final-touches rehearsal at 2:30 and about an hour later my wonderful husband and my beautiful baby girl were waiting in the back of the church to get their seats for the performance.  As I'm usually the one standing with her in the back of a church while her daddy sings every Sunday, it was a nice switch to have the shoe on the other foot.

I was proud to be up there, singing my heart out - for myself, for my family, for a greater community; and I was proud to be supported by J & G.  I was blissfully "in the moment" during that two-hour concert.  And it was over too quickly.

11 December, 2010


I've written a few times about "90 DAYS"... but I can't even imagine 90 years.

My grandmother turned 90 today.  

How's it feel to be nine decades old?  Well, according to her:
"It could be better." 

As I was chatting with her on the phone... "I heard there was a party for you today, Grandma. How was it?"  "Oh there were SO many people there... like ten or twenty!" she said.  (It was more like 50.)

It's also my mom's birthday today.  She was born on her mother's birthday.  I used to joke about the labor process and how "oh, yeah - what a great birthday present to go through that."  But being a mother now, I say it without sarcasm:  what a GREAT birthday present.

09 December, 2010


I'm a really good actor.  So good, I've convinced myself that I didn't really miss performing... but it turns out that I do.  I miss it so much more than I fooled myself into thinking I did.

Wonderfully, I opened an email the other day from a dear man for whom I love to sing - he's a great conductor, pulling music out of me that I forgot I owned, making me want to work harder for the beauty of the song.  He invited me to sing in his choir for a holiday concert and I jumped at the chance.

I walked into the chapel at St. George's with smiling butterflies in my stomach - and I walked out with tears in my soul.

It was emotional - to be singing again (and such beautiful music), to be working with this conductor I adore, to be part of a group making a glorious noise... and to know that it would all be over within 3 more rehearsals and 1 short performance.

I came home that night and cried in my husband's arms.  And he held me tight while I gave in to missing it, while I saw through my own veneer.

04 December, 2010


I went to "my old 'hood" this evening... the neighborhood in which I lived during a hard time in my life.  A neighborhood so high up in Manhattan that we lovingly/hatingly nicknamed it "upstate Manhattan".  I headed up there to go to a holiday party at my good friend's home.  She lives a stone's throw from the apartment where I used to live, (although her one-bedroom is much much nicer than mine was).

Sometimes it's weird going back to a place.  I'm a different person than I was when I lived there a few short years ago - although it seems like a lifetime has passed since then.  Then - I was tired, I was struggling, I was unhappy... in short, I was not myself.  Now - I am full of life, I am loved, I am joyous.  And being this person in that world was - well, weird.

It made the neighborhood - all that I remember, all that I liked - seem sad and lonely.  I'm in such a lovely place in my life and being back there made me feel... well, not quite guilty for being happier - but something like that.  Something that I didn't like feeling.

Strange how the physical world can have such an impact on your emotional world.

03 December, 2010


"His love of music shimmers off of him."

Julia Cameron

My husband is a musician.
He oozes music.  It seeps out of him.
He cannot help himself.  It is him.  He is it.

This quote I read today, in a book all about being true to your creativity, made me think fondly of him.  And his music.  And the way it shimmers off of him.  All day long.

02 December, 2010


I had an experience dealing with 2 agents today... 2 people with the same job - in essence - with the same relationship to me and my job, yet SO different it's hard to believe my relationship to them actually was the same.  And I suppose the short answer is that, it wasn't.  It was not the same relationship.

With both agents, I discussed details of deal memos for their clients: things they wanted that I said "yes" to, things they wanted that I said "no" to - the basic conversation I have with all agents... but attitude is everything and, in this case, it caused an absolutely lovely exchange between myself and one agent and an absolutely frustrating one with the other.

It was a lesson learned - rather, reinforced - for me in how I should deal with others.  A reminder of how far simple pleasantries can go.

01 December, 2010


You could not presume to know 
what life was or what it might hold. 
by Kim Edwards

This morning, I began again.  Morning Pages.  A tool created by a woman I admire.  I've done this many times before - always drifting away, and always coming back.  It's a lesson in the written word.  Written - not typed.  Using a notebook.  And a pen.  Remember those?

So a notebook is what I sought out.  And memory is what I found.  In a small pink leather-bound book with "Journal" etched on the cover, I discovered a page from June 2006 with a list of "the things I'd like to be more disciplined about"...

Practicing piano
Taking voice lessons
Taking dance/aerobic classes
Daily yoga & meditation
Writing more often
Watching less television
Listening to more music
Working less often
Being outside more often
Eating more consciously
Living a purer lifestyle

Funny how over 4 years later, I still want to be more disciplined about these things!  At least I still want the same things - I guess that means these are actions that truly do make my soul happier.  Let's get started then, eh?

30 November, 2010


No, no... it's not "Folgers in your cup" (I prefer the over-priced sweetness of the Red Cup myself). 

It's become our routine that my husband puts our daughter to bed each night and I get up with her each morning (while he uses the snooze a few more times).  I'm definitely the more "morning person" of the two of us, so this arrangement works out quite nicely.

The added bonus for me is this: my daughter has the cheeriest disposition of any human I've ever met.  You know that Inner Happiness, that feeling of being completely and simply happy in the moment, that elusive happiness most of us adults struggle to hold onto?  She's got more than enough to share... and that's exactly what she does. 

This morning, she slept in until just after eight o'clock - and then I heard her softly cooing to herself in her crib.  I got up, took my shower, made her bottle, and then went into her room.  She was standing up, holding on to the side of her crib - this is how I find her every morning - and when I say "G'morning Grace", she looks up at me with a wide grin, gives a small "hello" of sorts, and reaches her arms to me.  As I pick her up, she immediately nuzzles her chubby face into that sweet spot between my neck and my shoulder.  And she giggles.  And I can't help but giggle in return.

And that is the best part of waking up.

29 November, 2010


As requested by a friend, here is the recipe my parents taught me for the ever-popular and delicious holiday treat: spinach balls.  This is the first recipe posted on this blog and, appropriately, it's an easy favorite.


1 bag frozen chopped spinach (thawed)      
1 box stuffing mix *
2 eggs *
1 medium onion (diced)
1 cup shredded cheese *

* Vegan-friendly alternatives: vegetarian stuffing mix, an egg substitute like Ener-G or silken tofu, Daiya or Follow Your Heart vegan cheese.  Although I can't say how these vegan spinach balls compare with the standard quite yet, I'll be making them for this friend's holiday party in 2 weeks... so I'll let you know once we try them!

To Make:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix spinach, stuffing, onion in a large bowl.
Add cheese, eggs - continue stirring - mixture should clump together.
Form small balls (1" - 1.5" in diameter) with your hands.
Line spinach balls on a greased or non-stick baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bottoms of spinach balls start to brown.
Serve hot and enjoy with good friends.

25 November, 2010


This Thanksgiving morning I woke up in a house that is starting to feel like my home.  To my husband, it's his childhood home - his parents' house.  To my daughter, it's Grammy & PopPi's house - where she even has her own room.  To me, it's complicated.

Although I don't love the term "in-law", I love the two people who own this house dearly.  They made me feel, from the first moment I met them, like part of the club; and then, shortly after that - in a church pew where my future mother-in-law and I cried tears of joy and held hands - like part of the family.  Or, more accurately, like a familiar extension of my own.

Growing up, every year for as long as I can remember, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions was making (and eating many!) spinach balls.  Though the name is perhaps less than mouth-watering, this simple 5-ingredient appetizer always garnered a delicious center of attention... and I usually ate way too many of them - fresh out of the oven, chewing with my mouth slightly open to let the cool air combat the steaming, bubbling spinach and cheese.  And when I left home for college, I looked forward to coming back for this and the many other blessings Thanksgiving offered.  And when I graduated college and moved to New York, I made these treats for friends and family there - always to the pleasant surprise of my fellow eaters, most of whom immediately asked how to make them.  Never a year without them, as they reminded me of my parents and my grandparents and made me feel at home no matter where I was.

Late last night, I realized that this year there will be no spinach balls.  And I realized it as, almost, an afterthought.  It didn't immediately upset me by any means, it was just more of a hiccup in my brain while climbing into bed.  But it made me think of traditions.  And family.  And how unexpectedly beautiful and heart-wrenching life can sometimes be.

This Thanksgiving morning I woke up in a house that is starting to feel like my home.  And it doesn't mean that I don't miss my own childhood home, my own parents, only that I am lucky enough - blessed enough - to have more than one home.  It's where the heart is, right?  I wonder sometimes if my heart will explode with all the love that is poured into and out of it.

My mother and father - my whole family, in fact - gave me a love that is both as deep as an ocean and as free as the air.  They taught me how to love fully, openly, with abandon.  And the same breath that says, "I wish I was at home with them today" also says, "I am at home."  And that is a strange and wonderful and heart-wrenchingly beautiful breath.  And I am ever so thankful for it.

And if I really, really need them, I can always make spinach balls tomorrow.

20 October, 2010


Tonight was "Ladies' Night" at our home.  Dad had to work late, so G & I were on our own... and for the first time, we shared a dinner.  We had couscous with sauteed zucchini, beets, and slices of apple.  And G ate a little bit of each thing - like a champ.  It was a nice glimpse of things ahead, when making one meal for the whole family to share will become a nightly ritual.

16 October, 2010


A reflection on my 30th year as I embark on my 31st... whew!

Around the time I was turning the big 3-0, I saw the first "photo" of my daughter.  She was in the womb, hand in front of her face, but it still melted my heart.  I helped to open a new musical in a 62-seat theatre.  And I celebrated with my big day with this guyThis guyAnd this guy.

The next month was a whirlwind of childbirth classes, getting on our first wait list for a day care we didn't end up using, I stumbled across my favorite pregnancy cartoon, and we had a beautiful celebration in Ohio for all of my family and friends to meet the amazing man I love and to send good wishes to my soon-to-be-born baby girl... oh, and Thanksgiving dinner was delicious.

Then there was the purchase of our first Christmas tree together, and a pre-natal massage (SO GOOD), and a surprise baby shower at work; we graduated from childbirth school feeling almost prepared, we saw Avatar, and I woke up on Christmas morning not in my childhood home as I had the previous 29 years, but in my own home, away from my family... and with new/more members of family.

After the new year, I finally made it to "full term" and the Braxton Hicks were in full force; we re-covered a car seat, we found the god-send day care superhero Mary Anne, and I had my last day at work before my maternity leave began; I was invited to join a Moms Blog and write from the perspective of a new mother in NYC... which was, conveniently, just before my laptop died.  And our due date for our baby girl came and went.

The day before Groundhog Day, our incredible daughter was born.  And less than a week later, she watched her first Superbowl, cheering on the Saints.  She met her Grammy & PopPi and then she met her Grandma & Papa... and we, as new parents, we so grateful to have our own parents there with us for those few weeks.

The next month, Aunt Allie & Uncle Kyle visited and so did Aunt Meghann.  I discovered a few international bloggers I enjoyed and Baby G slept through the night for the first time.  And then I began - slowly - to return to work.

April showers brought May flowers and spring was upon us - we got engaged on Easter morning (what a rebirth indeed!) and branded ourselves with a logo.  My writing was picking up, as I reformatted my blog and went to my first blogger event (coming away with a bunch of "swag").  Then just a few months after I joined, the NYC Moms Blog ended and I joined a new "book review" group called From Left to Write - in an effort not to lose all "adult" conversation after becoming a mama. 

On June 18th we had a ceremony to mark our wedding; on June 20th we had a ceremony to mark our baby's baptism.  It could not have been a more perfect weekend.

At the end of the summer, we drove up to Vermont and spent a weekend with family... where G started to "bunny hop" (her first motion toward crawling) and went "swimming" for the first time.  We also started reading books like this and this, effectively upending our life of ignorant bliss and starting us on a journey of "locavorism" and sanctioning factory farms. 

As my favorite season of autumn came back around, I learned to ask for help from a husband (and a daughter) who has become more dear to me every day.  I'm still struggling to finish up thank you notes from our wedding, the baptism, and even some from pre-natal baby showers (you've got one year, isn't that right?)!  Work has been busy for both of us parents, and Baby G spends 5 days a week at a delightful day care (where they must sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" every morning because it's by far her favorite song right now).

And these are only the blessings I wrote down!  There are so many more... and I am grateful for each one.  Not sure how year 31 could get any better.  And it doesn't need to - I'll just enjoy the goods I've got :)

03 September, 2010


Our wedding was just lovely.

When the-perfection-of-the-planning met the-honesty-of-real-life, the kinds of memories that defined it as our wedding were made.  The unity candle that wouldn't stay lit because of the nice breeze.  The bride who interrupted the final song because she wanted to make a few announcements.  The adorable daughter who fell asleep halfway through the photos. 

These are the things that we'll remember; these are the stories we'll tell to that sleepy daughter someday.  And now we have one more story to add to the list:  our wedding thank-you notes.  We spent a long time procrastinating figuring out exactly what we wanted our stationary to look like.  Should we have only our first names?  Should we have a monogram?  Should we have just the initial of our last name?  One line or two lines?  Uppercase or lower? So many options - truthfully it was a bit overwhelming.  So we decided on both of our full names; and we chose a simple silver accent color, with engraved lettering.  The proof online looked absolutely perfect.  And I loved it.

Cut to about a week later when we received the small, heavy box with note cards and envelopes.  I open the box with anticipation, the perfection of the online order in my head... only to find the real life version looking like this*:


Long story short - we decided to chalk it up to just another one of those quirky things that we'll remember years later with a laugh.  Really nice card stock.  Shiny silver border.  And no space before or after the "&" sign.  The perfectionist in me finds it a bit hard to believe that I'll actually be laughing at this in the future... but if someone told me 2 years ago that my life would be what it is today, I'd have found that hard to believe as well.  Anything is possible.

* Names changed to protect the innocent.

02 September, 2010


Sometimes my husband is wise beyond his years.  The other night we were having a good conversation about making sure we continue to communicate with each other as best as we are able; we're usually very good at this - communicating - but on this particular night, a deep rooted habit of mine was getting in the way: the fear of being a "nag". 

I am my mother's daughter.  99% of the time, I put others' needs, others' joys, others' wants ahead of my own - I'm a people pleaser.  And quite often, doing something to make another person happy in turn makes me happy.  But there is a time when this habit can get in my own way: when I need help.  Mostly, I'm not very good at asking for help.  I multi-task.  I cook almost every night (even when my beau offers to make something).  I don't even use the intern at work for much - I make my own copies, reconcile my own bills, do my own filing.  Somewhere along the line, I began to think that asking for help - asking someone else to do something I could probably handle on my own - was naggish, was whiny, was just not me.  I'm the people pleaser!  I'm the do-er! 

As we may very well have learned from Dubya, ("I'm the decider!") sometimes it's best to ask others for help instead of thinking you can handle everything yourself.

Maybe all I needed was someone to tell me it's okay to ask for help.  Just make the ask.  And when you do, perhaps you'll get what you need.

14 August, 2010


For several years now, I've been toying with the idea of vegetarianism (and more recently, veganism).  After reading Fast Food Nation and watching Food, Inc. and turning the last few pages of Eating Animals, those toying thoughts are cementing themselves into my brain and turning into actions.  I'm learning more about the food industry as a whole and it makes me frustrated.  I'm feeling inspired by people I know who are veg-heads like my good friend and my sister (who hasn't eaten meat since 4th grade!).  I'm discussing the details of family meals with my husband as we decide how to raise our daughter and whether or not we want to feed her the antibiotic-and-hormone-filled, inhumanely killed animal products that are so hard to get away from in our culture.  And I know it will be a challenge.

One of the recent conversations I had about this idea of not eating meat resulted in this comment from a woman I know & respect... she said she couldn't be a vegetarian because "God wants us to eat meat."  Now, that one took me by surprise.  Of all the things I expected to come up when talking to people about seriously considering a non-meat-eating lifestyle, (Where will you get your protein? What will you eat at thanksgiving? Won't you ever buy your daughter a happy meal?) beginning a discussion about what the Bible says was one I didn't see coming. 
Now, pulling quotes from the Bible can be a dangerous game.  I personally do not believe that this work of literature should be a literal rulebook of DOs and DON'Ts, but instead perhaps, as many of the stories it contains, a parable reminding us on the whole to live by that Golden Rule.  There always seems to be a one-for-one in the Bible.  A vegetarian can site Genesis 1:29, "Behold I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food" as the a vote for not eating meat; and in the same book, only a few chapters later, a fervent omnivore could retaliate with Genesis 9:3, "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." And it's not just how we should eat that can be debated within these pages, it's everything from homosexuality to marriage to child-rearing to giving money to the church to how the world will end.  And the debates can be funny or serious or thought-provoking.

So many things to consider when one is making a decision about food - it affects more aspects of our life than a first glance might lead us to believe.

10 August, 2010

THIS THING CALLED LOVE (From Left to Write - Book Club)

"I just can't have you calling it adrenaline, when it was love.  It was love.  Big love.  And I've held onto it all these years..."

by Maddie Dawson

The word "love" is so slippery sometimes.  I've heard it said, (because there is so much of it?) that Eskimos have 26 different words for snow... and I often think we humans - with our complicated emotions, jealousies, desires, hubris - need at least double that many words for love.  Those four simple letters, two vowels, two consonants... well, they just don't seem big enough to hold all the meaning inside.  All the hurt.  All the joy.  And all the confusion.

Like all feelings - sorrow, happiness, fear - love is beyond verbal definition.  How do you know you're happy?  You know when you feel it.  How do you know you're in love?  You just know.  Or do you?

The love that we're so sure of in high school can turn out to be merely a path toward discovering your sexuality.  The love that we're so sure of in college can turn out to be a stumbling toward figuring out where you will most easily be accepted.  The love that we're so sure of in our mid-twenties can turn out to be an attempt to make a statement of what our life should be, grasping whatever (or whoever) is nearest that we think might fit that vision.

And always, in the moment of love or of passion or of wanting-to-be-wanted, we think "This is it.  This time must be the real deal."  And often, with the bittersweet weight of hindsight, we think "Ah. Well.  Suppose that wasn't the it I thought it was."

“Quod me netrit me destruit.”
("What nourishes me also destroys me.") 

Love can, at times, feel like a drug - pushing us to the limit, allowing us to soar higher than the heavens and then, just as quickly, tossing us like a ragdoll onto the cold, hard pavement and driving us deep into those dark depths... and yet it is amazing how quickly and how readily we are willing to pick up the torch again and begin forging another path through its jungle.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: This post was inspired by THE STUFF THAT NEVER HAPPENED by Maddie Dawson. I received a copy of this book to read and discuss as a member of From Left to Write.   The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.  Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.

05 August, 2010


"So the Google-Verizon deal can be summed up as this: 'FCC, you have no authority over us and you're not going to do anything about it. Congress, we own you, and we'll get whatever legislation we want. And American people, you can't stop us.'"

Big Money.  Sigh.  Sometimes things like this make me feel incredibly helpless and frustrated.

READ MORE of the full article on The Huffington Post.

04 August, 2010


There's lots of controversy over this one... and though I haven't read much about it, (nor do I want to - I tend to think there are so many bigger issues to get riled up over than something like this) I did read this.  And I liked it.  A lot.  So I figured I'd share it here... and let the opinions fall where they may.

"When we tell the world, 'Yes, we are a country that will even tolerate a mosque near the site of 9/11,' we send such a powerful message of inclusion and openness." 

READ MORE of this NY Times op-ed piece here.


30 July, 2010


Rambling thought on this Friday...

Went to Starbucks this morning (a treat for myself to get the weekend off to a good start!) and after about the 4th person who was in line behind me picked up their drink from the exhausted-looking barista, I came to the conclusion that my drink had gone missing from the queue.  So I quietly, politely, without raising a fuss, asked the overwhelmed lady by the espresso machine to make my iced tall vanilla latte.  And she apologized and made me my drink within moments... but it wasn't quite my drink. It was a venti (read: too large for Rachel).

For those of you unfamiliar with Starbucks (and I suppose I'm mostly addressing my immediate non-coffee-drinking family here), a "tall" is the smallest size - and even at that, it's 12oz. - which is more than the amount of a true "cup of coffee".  Regardless, the 12oz. version is now widely considered to be the one serving that an 8oz. cup used to be.  Keeping this in mind, let's consider the "venti" - the largest Starbucks size.  The iced (having a cup that holds more than it's hot cup equivalent) is a whopping 24oz. which, if we're all keeping up with our math, is double the amount of coffee I requested and three times the amount that I actually needed... and yes, I realize that you could argue the point of whether I "need" coffee at all or not.

For those of you familiar with my coffee drinking habits (and I suppose I'm mostly addressing my husband here), on a good day, I can barely finish 1/2 of my tall (small) iced coffee.  So a venti - although intended, I'm sure, to be a kind way of making up for a mistake - seems daunting to me... and yes, I realized that there are those out there who would trade places with me any day to get 24oz. of iced deliciousness while only having to pay the tall (small) price. 

(And I suppose paying only $3.55 for a coffee is another blog post all to itself!)

27 July, 2010


"Just because people are fed up with organized religion doesn't mean their appetite for spiritual things has been swallowed up, too.  I know because I was one of these [40 million] who dropped out of active involvement in organized religion. But unlike the majority of the other 33,999,999 dropouts, I was a religious leader when I did."



Last night, my beau and I were discussing the fact that he will always figure out the most efficient way to accomplish a task (even if it means taking a little extra time up front), while I will usually just do what I know... even if it means more work or less efficiency.

Until today.

When I took the time (all of 5 seconds) to figure out the automatic stapling feature on our copy machine at work.  And my life will never be the same.

(Yes, I have been stapling my own copies of things for the past several years.  I know.  I know.)

21 July, 2010


I'll not comment on the politics and opinions swirling around Irena Sendler, but assuming her heroic story is true, there's no doubt that this was an incredible woman.

20 July, 2010

ON AGING (by George Carlin)

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? 
If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. 
You get into your teens, now ... they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!

And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . . YOU BECOME 21. . . YES!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED, we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40.

Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 . . . and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.

And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I was JUST 92." Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"


An excerpt from a speech President Obama gave to the White House audience last night just before they watched some of Broadway's talent perform a few musical numbers:

Now, as we’re about to see this evening, there’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. At its heart, it’s the power of a story -– of love and of heartbreak; of joy and sorrow; singing witches, dancing ogres. Musicals carry us to a different time and place, but in the end, they also teach us a little bit of something about ourselves. It’s one of the few genres of music that can inspire the same passion in an eight-year-old that it can an 80-year-old –- and make them both want to get up and dance. It transcends musical tastes, from opera and classical to rock and hip-hop. And whether we want to admit it or not, we all have the lyrics to a few Broadway songs stuck in our heads. (Laughter.) 
In many ways, the story of Broadway is also intertwined with the story if America. Some of the greatest singers and songwriters Broadway has ever known came to this country on a boat with nothing more than an idea in their head and a song in their heart. And they succeeded the same way that so many immigrants have succeeded -– through talent and hard work and sheer determination.

Over the years, musicals have also been at the forefront of our social consciousness, challenging stereotypes, shaping our opinions about race and religion, death and disease, power and politics.

But perhaps the most American part of this truly American art form is its optimism. Broadway music calls us to see the best in ourselves and in the world around us -– to believe that no matter how hopeless things may seem, the nice guy can still get the girl, the hero can still triumph over evil, and a brighter day can be waiting just around the bend.

As the great Mel Brooks once said, musicals “blow the dust off your soul.”


About 8 months ago I wrote about a woman who crossed her fingers for our baby-to-be.  And yesterday, on our way to the car, I saw her again - this time with the bundle of joy tugging at my neck and clinging close to my chest.  Just as sweetly and as if she recognized us - I don't think she did, but who knows? - she stopped for barely enough to time to make the sign of the cross in front of us, as a blessing, and sputtered in her broken English "Good Luck" (if you say it to yourself as "Gouda Luck" you'll get a better idea of how she actually sounded).  Everything comes full circle, doesn't it?  And I am reminded, as I often am, what a small neighborhood New York really is.

19 July, 2010

WAKING DREAMS (From Left to Write - Book Club)

"It's amazing how we talk ourselves out of our dreams."

by Laura Munson

A few days ago, my husband and I had a talk about our dreams. Big Dreams. Dreams with a capital "D".  And although I always knew it about him - that he had Big Dreams - having a real conversation about them, (especially as a newly married couple, and with all the implications those dreams would have on the life of our not-yet-one-year-old daughter) shone a bright light into the depth of his passions.

Reading Laura Munson's THIS IS NOT THE STORY YOU THINK IT IS stoked the burning embers of my own dreams.  And these past few days since I've finished reading her memoir, often quite funny and downright heartbreaking within the same sentence, my mind has been swirling with all the possibilities that I've been able to talk myself out of - all those elusive waking dreams that I have put on the shelf, waiting for a better time to start them (or more money to start them with).

There are writer dreams, singer dreams, motherhood dreams, wife dreams, travel dreams, dreams for my parents, dreams for my daughter, dreams for my siblings, weighty dreams like what kind of legacy I will leave, frivolous dreams like fitting into the same size jeans I did in high school, and realistic dreams (an oxymoron or an attainable goal?) like doing what makes me happy and feeling good in whatever jeans I'm wearing - no matter the size.

Telling me that I can be "too accommodating sometimes" is my mother's gentle reminder to me that I have the ability to be an absolute pro at talking myself out of my dreams... and not in a way that makes me unhappy, but in the way in which I more often than not put others' dreams before my own (and while it truly makes me happy to support those I love and see them get ever-closer to their dreams, it's not the same as shooting for your own stars).

Munson's reminder to me has been swirling in my head since I lingered on the last few pages of this book: "So what if I had to ask? Sometimes we have to ask."

My husband asks for his dreams.  He asks the world to make room for his work.  He asks his boss to recognize his contributions with more financial stability.  He asks his family for their support and love.  And so what if he has to ask?  So very many things would never happen if we never asked for them.  Tonight I will take a page from both these books, Munson's and my husband's.  And I will dust off those dreams.  I will take them down from their safe places and give them room to run.  And I will ask.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: I received a copy of THIS IS NOT THE STORY YOU THINK IT IS by Laura Munson to read and discuss as a member of From Left to Write.   The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.  Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.

07 July, 2010


I dig this girl. And her perspective on the last 10 years of her life.  And I especially love where she's ended up (not that it's anywhere near the end - far from it!).  I appreciate her honesty and her think-of-me-what-you-will-I'm-still-gonna-be-who-I-am mentality.  I feel I could use a little dose of that confidence in my life tonight.  Glad to have read this spark plug's thoughts this evening. 

(Happy Birthday, Old Lady!)

06 July, 2010


On this exhausting, sticky, uncomfortable-is-an-understatement day, I overheard this on the street:

GUY 1:  "It's hot as HELL out here."
GUY 2:  "Actually, I think Hell is probably a few degrees cooler."

Agreed, Guy 2.  Agreed.

05 July, 2010


"To open heart:
Ignore what is irrelevant to who you are.
Choose beliefs that align with how you want to feel
And what you want to create."

by Katherine Rosman

When I read the subtitle of this book - A mother, a daughter, a reporter's notebook - I thought to myself, "Uh, oh. Break out the tissues."  (As a first-time mother of a five-month-old daughter, I tend to cry at even the slightest mother/daughter comment, or blog, or stranger passing by on the subway who says my beautiful girl looks like me.)  And then when I read further on and realized it would be about a daughter's account of losing her mother to cancer... well - I made sure to have a whole box of Kleenex at the ready.

But in a sweet surprise, the book is filled with stories both sad and silly, powerful and emotional, heartbreaking and uplifting.  And I found myself wanting to share it with my very dear friend who lost her mother in her mid-twenties.  And I dog-earred passages that reminded me of another friend who loves dancing, and whose children (I presume) will one day love the fact that their mother dances.  And I wanted to call my own mother several times while reading it - and wished my daughter were old enough to tell her my own stories (soon, Lovebug, soon enough!).

Some of the things that most endeared Katherine Rosman's writing to me were the hints at spirituality and faith and a general way of living your life to the fullest - something that those of us who, thankfully, are healthy can often take for granted.  And I also loved witnessing a daughter beginning to see her mother as more than being defined by her motherhood alone - something I am just now starting to view in my own mama, and something I feel about myself as a newbie to this group. 

I intended to take one or two aspects of this memoir and relate some sort of funny, insightful, full of spirit post that would delight myself and my readers alike... yet, there are too many stories, too many ideas to which I can acutely relate - I cannot boil it down to a simple blog entry.  I will only say that as a woman who is a daughter and also a mother, this book fills me with an even deeper sense of gratitude and a reminder that this life is oh so precious.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: I received a copy of IF YOU KNEW SUZY by Katherine Rosman to read and discuss as a member of From Left to Write.   The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to order your own copy of this book.

01 July, 2010


It's a little hard to believe that only 5 short months ago we were in the hospital waiting for you.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  And I wonder if I always will - or if that detailed memory will fade into a sweeping feeling instead.

We headed to the hospital at 9 PM on January 31st, bellies full from a delicious "last meal".  Although we knew we had the right time, the nurses weren't expecting us until the next morning - but our incredible Dr. Catherine swooped in and had them set us up anyway.  The room was big - bigger than I remembered from our hospital tour.  (Good thing, since there would be about a dozen pairs of eyes and hands gazing at you and helping you adjust to the world when you finally joined us.)   We opened our bags and put on our comfy clothes and FlipCam-ed our first thoughts, capturing our anxious energy.  An IV was put in.  A heart monitor was hooked up.  Water was broken and the contractions began just before midnight.

We turned on the Grammys and half-watched them through the bad TV reception.  Nurses came in and out.  We hooked up our iPod and played the "Rachel's Zen Garden" mix we'd made a few nights before.  A med student interviewed us.  We wished you well on your journey from water to world.  And we waited.  Until a couple hours later when the Doc came in and told us you had pooped in the womb - which is not ideal, which could mean that you were a bit distressed, which resulted in the administration of Pitocin to help things along so you could get to us faster, which led to more contractions.  Not just contractions.  CON. TRAC. TIONS.

For about 6 hours, you showed off your strength.  The doubling-over sharp pangs came every two or three minutes, barely long enough for me to catch my breath in-between, and not nearly long enough for me to stay as calm and collected as my Type-A personality would've liked.  We moved from laying on our back, to squatting, to crouching on our hands and knees, to walking, to swaying, to finally finding our trusted pattern: bouncing.  Bouncing on a birthing ball for those fleeting moments between overwhelming sensations.  Bounce, bounce, bounce.  And oh, here it comes... my fingers grabbing the sheets on the bed, grasping for any kind of comfort.  Your dad's firm hands pushing hard on my lower back (harder!) and encouraging me with every point of pressure and soft, supportive words.  And our doctor - who had stayed overnight so she could be there for us - coming and going, coming and going, a present but not pushy presence.

Nearing 24 hours without a wink of sleep - the last 6 being a flood of pain with a gain of merely one centimeter - we were exhausted.  The truest example of "blood, sweat, and tears" we have ever witnessed or been a part of.  And so, while the New York City streets below were bustling with Monday morning traffic, a pair of gentle anesthesiologists gave me an epidural - and I slept like a baby, while you (my baby) and nature (with the help of modern medicine) did the rest of the work.  By lunch time, Dr. Catherine woke us up and said, "You're at 10 centimeters - it's time to push."

And I was nervous.  And excited.  And scared.  And relieved.  And tired.  And anxious.  And filled with another emotion which I only now know to be an incredible love for you.

So we pushed.  Your dad on my left, a doe-eyed med student on my right, our head nurse and doctor in the middle.  And we pushed.  One cleansing breath, then a deep breath in, (and hold it!) while smiling and pushing - 1...2...3... to the count of ten.  And repeat.  More helpful hands arrived.  A mirror let me glimpse your shiny black hair.  Nurses were at the ready to weigh you and measure you and make sure you were alright.  And we pushed.  And there was laughter.  And there were tears.  And we were dubbed "cutest couple" by the hospital staff.  And we pushed.

And finally - and quite suddenly, it seemed to me - you arrived!  Head first, then the rest of your tiny body, and without a sound from your lips (or maybe you did make a noise, but we couldn't hear it over the shrieks of "You did it!" and "Look at all that hair!" and your dad whispering in my ear, "We have a daughter.")  It was all I could do to keep my heavy eyes open to see your smooshed face.  They laid you on my chest.  And we just kept saying, "Hi.  Hi.  Hi."  And you blinked back and slowly opened and closed your tiny fist, your long fingers almost waving at us. You were beauty incarnate.

Almost 18 hours after we arrived at NYU Medical Center, you were born:  February 1, 2010.  2:49 PM.  8 lbs. 9 oz. 21 inches. Black hair. Long fingers. Button nose. With opportunities ahead as far as your wide blue eyes could see.

22 June, 2010


Although it was only for a few short months, I have really enjoyed writing for the NYC Moms Blog (a branch of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog).  Because of the extra support and encouragement they gave me, I have been able to focus on writing about my experience as a mama in the mother of all cities, to read a handful of books I may otherwise never have picked up off the shelves, to interact with other bloggers at cool events, and to re-energize my own creativity.  As of July 1, 2010 the Silicon Valley Moms Blog will no longer be active.  I've collected my postings from that site and placed them on my NYC Moms Blog page here.

I am grateful for my time as a member of that terrific group of women.  And I will miss it.  How does the saying go... when God closes a door, He opens a window?  I'm on the lookout for fresh air.

05 June, 2010


Man, it's so hard to read this book while holding all these things.  Let me put down my Dunkin' Donuts hashbrowns and coffee (milk and two sugars, please).  That's better.  Now what's this guy have to say...

"Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants."


28 May, 2010


"The #1 movie of the year"
- announcer for an ad for the new SHREK movie

"The #1 movie of the year"
- announcer for an ad for ALICE IN WONDERLAND

"The #1 movie of the year"
- announcer for an ad for AVATAR on DVD

How can that be true of all of those films?  And what exactly is the criteria that makes the movie #1?  I'm curious...


In a little less than a month, my partner and I will be "baptizing" our daughter.  We're not necessarily Christians in the purest sense of the word, but we do want to welcome our baby girl into this world surrounded by family and friends and a sense of ceremony.  The thing is, we're writing our own baptism ceremony... and I'm not really sure how to do that without following the standard Catholic baptism rites I grew up hearing in church.  How exactly does one baptize a baby when the baby isn't being baptized into any specific faith?

CLICK HERE to read my full post at NYC Moms Blog

26 May, 2010


Isn't it funny how you sometimes end up right back where you began?  I often do this with my outfit each morning (my beau can attest to the pile of options that ends up on our bed as I stumble out the door)... starting with one look, trying on a dozen others, only to end up wearing the first thing I picked out.  And now I've done it with my blog.

This current format is the one I used three years ago when I first began blogging as a way for my family in other states to keep up with my crazy New York life.  The minor differences:  the background was black instead of white and the columns were switched (blog on the left, other stuff on the right).  And then, I got antsy.  I got bored.  I wanted to change it up.  It started with the picture I had at the top near the title - I changed that from a pair of hands, to an OM symbol, to a pregnant tummy.  I changed the color of the links and the headers.  I changed the order of the side bars.  And then I changed the template.  I went from two columns to three columns - whoa!  It was wild!

And now, after a few days of bouncing back and forth between several different looks, trying them on like a dozen different outfits... only to end up back where I began - in the same black top & jeans (my "go to" classic style).  It's comfortable.  It suits me.  It makes me feel like I know where I am, what I'm doing, where I want to go.  And I like it.


25 May, 2010


Boundaries.  Security.  Comfort.  It was a lesson I'll remember long after I forget how to conjugate verbs or diagram a sentence. And ever since then, I've been aware of our need, as humans, for boundaries.  Spacial security.  Comfortable structure.  I see it on the subway, in conversation, and even in the crib.

CLICK HERE to read my full post at NYC Moms Blog

24 May, 2010


Trying out some new formatting on my blog.  With my writing starting to pick up more and more attention, I'm trying to streamline a bit and figure out the best way to move forward.  Hope you'll bear with me over the next week or so while I dabble around... and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the changes (likes or dislikes or suggestions - whatever!).

22 May, 2010


"Film is art.  Theatre is life.  TV is furniture."

- Author Unknown
(Or at least unknown to me!  Let me know if you know the source.)

21 May, 2010



"How 'bout that party last night, huh?  She was wasted!  And she kept being like 'Hey! Why aren't you drinking? You look like you need a drink. I'm buying you a drink!'  She's a mess..."

This particular "overheard" is one that hits a little close to home.  I was in an elevator with these two guys while they were discussing said party; we were on our way up to the 12th floor of a rehearsal hall for a staged reading of a new musical.  And although they didn't know who I was, I knew who they were (the theatrical community is small, people!).  And although they had no idea, I was also at that party the night before (did I mention how small it is?).  And the most uncomfortable example of this small world... I knew the "she" they were talking about.  She's a friend of mine.  They had no idea.  So, I guess I mean that it was uncomfortable for me - they were oblivious.

What a wake up call for me, though!  A reminder that New York isn't as big as it seems, and the theatre world has a million small connections - you never know who you might wind up in an elevator with.

20 May, 2010



Vera’s reasoned argument for the aesthetic and moral power of the novel is among the stronger speeches in the play. “As a reader you construct the world of the book with the author,” she says. “You’re in essence a performer. A creationist."

19 May, 2010

ADVANCED PLANNING (NYC Moms Blog - Book Club Post)

Reading a book about puberty, periods, breast development and "the first time" when your daughter's only 15 weeks old... crazy or brilliant?  I'm choosing the latter.

Honestly, I was not sure what I expected from The Body Scoop for Girls, Dr. Jennifer Ashton's delightfully spirited book on those oh-so-awkward years somewhere between childhood and adulthood, but I found myself right back in high school wishing I had this book 15 years ago.

As I turned each page, I was launched forward a decade from now when my own daughter will be experiencing the amazing, confusing, wonderful, awful time of puberty and self-discovery.  And my reading was peppered with laughter as I thought of her ever-loving father trying to field answers to those confusing questions and offering her the timeless advice to "go ask your mother".  I wonder what she'll be like as a tween, as a teenager, as a young adult - making hard decisions, and forging her own path in this world.  And I must admit, being reminded of those embarrassing first few periods, those uncomfortable sex-ed classes, and the pressures to "do it" before I was ready have really made me think about the challenges my daughter will have to face as she grows up.

I've always heard about how mothers (and fathers!) want the best for their children, want to be able to support them, want to be able to make their pain go away when they're hurting.  And now I know what that feels like.  I'm truly looking forward to being able to have those difficult conversations with my daughter.  And I'm also scared to death.  I suppose I'll tell her my own stories of having to wrap a sweater around my waist when I unexpectedly started my period in the middle of math class, feeling left out when a group of my friends lit a joint in one kid's attic and then teased me because I had the courage to just say no, and how my heart ached and ached for what felt like an eternity when my high school boyfriend broke up with me because I wouldn't have sex with him.  And I'll tell her about my less-than-ideal choices as well, like when I was caught making out with a guy I liked in the music rehearsal room at school, and when I threw up all over someone's front lawn the first time I drank one too many strawberry daiquiris.

However, there is one line from this book that really sticks with me:  "The truth is, girls are smart. Given the right facts, they usually make smart choices."  Oh, how I hope this will be true for my daughter.  (And for her mother!)

Disclosure: I received a copy of The Body Scoop for Girls by Dr. Jennifer Ashton to read and discuss as a contributor for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton is a Board-Certified Ob-Gyn, who specializes in Adolescent Gynecology. At Hygeia Gynecology, her private clinical practice in Englewood, New Jersey, Dr. Ashton has emphasized a return to old-school medicine with a new-age approach. You can purchase your own copy of her book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Indiebound.

Click here to check out other posts inspired by this book.

18 May, 2010

quit facebook day


I love Facebook.  I cannot tell a lie.  I love it.  And I'm definitely on the verge of being addicted to it.  I check it often, more often than there are actually updates to check, and I find it engaging and entertaining to read my friends' wall posts and see their new pictures and keep up with their lives via the world wide web.  I doubt that I'll join up with the other near 5,000 people pledging to quit Facebook on May 31st... but all things in moderation, right?  So perhaps I will take part in the June 6th one-day protest regarding those pesky Facebook privacy issues. 

What will you do?

17 May, 2010



Remember yesterday afternoon when I went to my first-ever blogger event?  Remember how people asked if I had a card and I started thinking to myself that I needed to get some of those?  Remember all the cool products that were being discussed?  Remember the tasty free samples?  Remember this?  Remember how you felt to be part of that trendy, hard-working, fun, normal, active moms' group?

Oh, you don't?  Well... that's just because I haven't told you about it yet.  Stay tuned!

01 May, 2010

90 DAYS (a third time)

A while back I wrote a 90 DAYS blog.  And after that I wrote a 90 DAYS reprise.  Today is our daughter's 3 month birthday and it makes me reflect on that 90 day cycle yet again.

So much has happened in these past 90 days - giving birth, visiting family, learning to parent, leaning on each other (well, let's be more honest, clinging to each other) for support, going back to work, fitting back into my clothes, getting engaged, planning a wedding... it's all too much sometimes!

Too much of a good thing, that is. 
And I've heard you can never have too much of that.

Here's to whatever the next 90 days may bring...

26 April, 2010


Mommy & Daddy sittin' in a tree
First comes love, 
Then comes marriage, 
Then comes the baby in the... 

Oh, wait.  FIRST comes the baby.

21 April, 2010

R.A. + J.W.

Less than 60 days before I get hitched... and I can't think of much else!  If you want to keep up with what I'm doing/thinking/planning for over the next 2 months, visit WHILE WE LOVE.

i want to grow old with you
so you can lend me your arm
as we take slow walks around the mall

& you can kiss my cheek during the day
& my forehead at night
& I could sleep safely in your embrace
from our first day
until our last breath
& my pains would be yours
& your joys would be mine

& we could eat at little diners
& notice young couples
glancing at us 
while we love
still as our wrinkles
& gray hairs have become abundant

& our speech softer than it used to be 
& our hands would feel empty
if not filled with the other’s heart 
& soul
& our bodies would wither
without the warmth of synchronized touch

& time will be less important 
& age won’t matter

19 April, 2010



Remember when it was the beginning of April,
And now there are only 10 days left until May... 
How did that happen exactly?!

04 April, 2010


this year
and from now on
"Happy Easter"
will have a whole new meaning

03 April, 2010


"I am nothing special; of this I am sure.  I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life.  There are no monuments dedicated to me.  And my name will soon be forgotten.  But I've loved another with all my heart and soul.  And to me, this has always been enough."

by Nicholas Sparks

I think back on my life a year ago.  
And I reflect today on how lucky I truly am.  
 I'm loving two others with all my heart and soul.  
And that, to me, is more than enough.

02 April, 2010



"Are you crying 'cause you had to come into work?  That makes me cry every day."

(overheard a colleague say this to Grace when I brought her to work today)

"Son, if you're gonna have sex on the beach..."

(overheard on the sidewalk just outside of church - for reals)

"A mom on the subway just forced hand sanitizer on her kid before a snack. Same mom missed the kid liking the subway pole right before."

(over-read on facebook...thanks, lexy!)

01 April, 2010



"My dad said, 'You sound depressed... Why are you getting good at something you don't like doing? What would you want to do if you didn't have to make money and no one would be impressed at your job?'"

If you have about a half hour to re-imagine your life:  Click on that link above and listen!

In the spring of 2007, I had the pleasure of working on a show called AMERICAN FIESTA.  It was about a man who's mid-life crisis took the form of an Ebay addiction to buying Fiestaware... but it was also about so much more than that.  And it was written and performed by Steven Tomlinson.

Steven was a sweet, smart, sensitive guy I really admired - he wasn't an actor by trade, he just loved the theatre and seemed to stumble into this Off-Broadway run.  So, recently when I stumbled across a video of his inspirational speech on the blog of another guy I really admire, I was delighted to be reminded of Steven's passion for life - and the passion he is able to infuse into other people's lives, too.

"When I got to Austin I sought out the man that I heard was the wisest advisor... and I went to this wise counsel and I said look, I love teaching but I hate research.  And I love theatre and I somehow want to get into that.  And I love theology and the big questions - that's what jazzes me.  So you tell me what to do and whatever you say, I'm gonna do.  Do I hold my nose and get tenure at UT?  Or do I quit it all and go to New York and write plays 'til I'm discovered?  Or do I just chuck it all and go back to seminary and become a priest?  And he said, 'This is the stupidest question anyone has ever asked me. You're telling me that you love three things.  And you're asking me which two should I cut off so I can limp along on the third one into mid-life unhappiness.'  I said, well what am I supposed to do?  He said, 'You're supposed to do all of it.  So, I want you to now go and don't discard.  Don't discard.  Spend an hour a week doing each one of those three things with full engagement...'  I said, I don't know how to do that.  He said, 'If you're not gonna do it, don't come back 'cause I can't help you.'"

"If someone told me when I was in college that I could get a job as a Corporate Spiritual Playwright, I would have majored in that.  It would not have been a hard choice.  ... my experience with bootstrapping was this: number one, don't discard.  Whatever it is that you love is a reliable source of inspiration and if it stays in the mix it's gonna create your unique brilliance.  The people who bring the pieces of themselves back into the mix find power, find energy, and come up with stuff that's marketable that no one else can think of. "

31 March, 2010

30 March, 2010



There are just too many baffling thoughts I have about this...

Will it be news or "news"?  Will the conversation be scripted?  How much free reign will she have?  What in the world will LL Cool J and Palin discuss?  How is it possible that Fox is coming off it's most successful quarter ever?  What constitutes a "Real American Story"?  Will I be disgusted?  Will I be offended?  Will I be embarrassed to admit if I watch it (like when you can't help looking at a car wreck)? 


28 March, 2010



I cannot see the word "alchemy" and not immediately think of the wonderfully personal novel by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.  It has a common plot of dreamers who seek adventure/treasure out in the world, only to truly find it at home... though there is something whimsical and honest about the book that pulls right at the strings of my heart and has allowed me to read it several times over - gaining a different perspective and different insights each time I turn those worn pages.

The subtitle of the book is "a fable about following your dream", (a fable being defined as a brief, succinct story meant to impart a moral lesson - think The Tortoise and The Hare: "slow and steady wins the race").   I like this idea - a lesson about following your dream.  And note that it isn't plural.  It's not more than one dream.  It's a single dream.  The Dream You Have For Your Life.  Doesn't necessarily mean the same dream throughout all of your years - which is what I love about the book.  Each time I've read it, it seems to mean something different to me depending on what's happening in my life just then.  If it's heartache, I see that in the book.  If it's love, I see that.  If it's needing a sense of direction, that is what is presented to me.  If it's feeling far from family and home, that feeling leaps off the pages.  

One of the definitions of what alchemy is pertains to alchemists looking for (or trying to create) the "elixir of life" - a magic potion that would cure all disease and allow you to live forever.  Now, although dying is something I hope doesn't happen to me for a very long time, I don't think I'd want to live forever.  Doesn't sound very appealing.  But the idea of following my dream forever, whatever that dream may be and in whatever time I have to follow it... well, that appeals to me very much.


MOTHER: You think I smother our child?

FATHER: It's not your fault, honey... "mother" is part of the word. 
You never hear of anyone being sfathered to death.

27 March, 2010



"So many people walk through life in this town - and few of them see the beauty that is striving to make itself known between the multitude of sky-high buildings and the cracks of crowded sidewalks.  But it makes me happy that I notice it.  And I know that you would, too."

These words were written by my hand on the back of a postcard dated December 2002 that I apparently never sent.  I found it in a wonderfully worn old notebook of mine... a small cloth-bound book with many blank pages and a dozen or so old memories I stuck in there over these past years in New York.  This and two other postcards that were stamped and addressed and never mailed.  A list of Theatre To See, plays and musicals that aren't even running anymore.  A picture of a pregnant woman, cut out from a magazine and tucked away here like a foreshadowing of a dream that's only just come true.  A thank you card from my brother.  "To Rachel (heart) Edward Norton" scrawled on a piece of scrap paper.  Photos of her garden from one of my favorite college teachers.  Quotes hastily written on post-it notes.