Archive for March, 2006

Nephew #4

Four boys!  My other sister-in-law gave birth to a healthy little guy (her first) yesterday afternoon.  We'll have to be special pals because yesterday was also MY birthday 🙂

Thanks for the encouraging comments to the post below.  I'll be writing soon.


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I find myself unsure of how to proceed on Boomerific given that we do not have any progress to report along the adoption front, and probably won’t for a while.

But while adoption is a big part of my life, and always will be, it isn’t the only thing I have going.  So maybe I’ll just write, just noodle around and journal and see what comes of it.

Right now I’m working on the Prospectus, which is a kind of proposal for the dissertation.  I’m having a tremendous amount of fun with it, because it’s my favorite kind of investigtation of all: scrutinizing prevailing scholarship.  I like what’s been written on Irish poetry and culture from 1930-60, but I don’t believe it’s complete; there’s a lot yet to be done, and I’d like to get cracking on it.  I’m finding a lot of obscure, out-of-print poetry that I hope, when I actually read it, will point to a vibrant if generally unknown body of work in those seemingly stagnant years.  It’s thrilling, really.

The puppies continue to do well and also to drive me up a wall from time to time.  Lenny, who you will recall was the puppy from hell when we got him last year, who had to be on a leash in the house at all times, who took the better part of a year to housetrain, and who had no clue about how to give and receive affection, is simply a delight these days.  I just spent an hour working on the Prospectus with him at my feet, chewing contentedly.  If you had described such a scenerio to me a year ago I would have called you a crackpot visionary.  Heidi is good, too, as she was from the beginning, but she is a trial in her own way.  Mainly she is frenetic in her licking, and we are working to curb that.  It’s hella annoying.  She is also a barking machine outside and that REALLY makes me want to scream.  Anybody have suggestions for training strategies?  I don’t mind a bark or two but I do mind the going ballistic everytime a dog goes by (and now Lenny is doing it too, because of her), and the neighbors seeing an attack dog when really she’s a sweet little girl.  On the whole it is great to have these two nutty companions when I am home most days grading and reading.

It’s not so bad.  It’s getting better.

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This appears on the website of musician Tim Carbone.

The Lord’s Prayer
(Aramaic to English translation – rather than
Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English)

O Cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out
a space within us where Your Presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be
empowered to bear the fruit of Your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance
with Your desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share
what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us,
as we release others from the entanglement of
past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which
would divert us from our true purpose,
but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For You are the ground and the fruitful vision,
the birth power and fulfillment,
as all is gathered and made whole again.


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New Life

As of yesterday afternoon, Attic Man and I have a new nephew! He’s healthy, Attic Man’s sister is healthy, and we are all very, very happy.

One out, one to go.


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I’m back.  It was lovely, thank you.

It was also hard in a number of ways.  First, of course, was the fact of being thrown off my usual crutches of television, reading, and blogging.  Second was what happened when I had to face myself in all that quiet: ouch.  I was, as the saying goes, one hurtin’ cowpoke.   Also, did I mention that there was no internet?  At all?

But it was good.  Angelspring is an unpretentious little farm in the Laurel Highlands run by two highly educated, spiritually-minded, yet incredibly grounded women with sufficient degrees and training to provide massage therapy, meditation guidance, art therapy, and a whole lotta other things I didn’t take advantage of.  In fact, Karen and Charleen don’t insist on any of the extra services; if you just want to hole up in the cabin and be completely undisturbed, you will never see them.  I had two guided meditation sessions (basically a review of techniques; she didn’t take me deep so I wasn’t in the position of being too vulnerable with someone I barely know) and other than that they left me alone.  My meals came in a picnic basket placed on the cabin porch.  The only way I could tell they were coming to deliver the meal was that the deer I was watching would suddenly perk up and bound away.

I won’t go into detail about what I went through personally during the retreat.  It’s not so much that it’s too personal, but that it’s too close to the experience to really process yet.  I did take a lot of walks in the fields and woods, and I made a very revealing mandala.  I was also startled by an enormous turkey.  According to a book Charleen gave me, the turkey is a totem for abundance.  Good sign, if you ask me.  I’m supposed to expect a year of harvest.

One thing was clear enough to relate here.  In my second meditation session Charleen asked me to prepare for the mandala by gently asking for guidance.  I asked, “what am I supposed to learn?” And almost immediately it came:


I have this frantic sense that time is running out on me.  Yes, it’s running down for all of us, ultimately.  But we had this plan, this time in which it would be most expedient to have our first child.  The closer we get to our self-imposed deadline, the more panicked I get.  But what if there are different kinds of time?  What if I were to let go of my idea of what constitutes a proper timeline for a child and just…wait?

Peace.  Relaxation.  The right way to be, in fact, to best welcome a child.

For what it’s worth.

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Ugh–up at 1 a.m. because of poor sleep hygiene.  I really shouldn’t have had that nap, but my bones were screaming for one.

Tomorrow (um, later today) I head out to Angelspring for a two-day personal retreat.

I’ve been trying to do a personal retreat for about five years and have never been able to sync time, location, and finances until this week.  My plan is to have no plan, other than to have a guided meditation session, walk the grounds, sit, listen, and…

NOT bring a pen.

(gasp!  what WILL I do?)


a book.

(except my yoga book, in case I feel lead to practice).

I have no goals.  I am not planning to work anything out or come up with a new direction for my life.  I will not attempt to solve any problems or to reach enlightenment.  I am going to just ‘be’ for a couple of days.

Prayers for you all.  Be back Friday.

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I’ve been hanging on Babycakes’s every post. She’s seven days past ovulation in an attempt to conceive through donor insemination. Although I can’t relate to her journey directly, I know exactly what she means when she says,

“But hope also hurts like a goddamned mother fucker. It digs at your soul and tears you into tiny pieces. It chips away at your connection with reality. It lurks in the corners of your heart, waiting to pounce and remind you that you are not one of those people who are truly deserving of such things. Only other people are allowed hope.”

Her description of suffering through two-week waits between ovulation and the start of a new cycle (or a pregnancy) sounds remarkably like the days and weeks leading up to Daisy’s delivery. We wanted to have pure, unbridled hope, but there was always the feeling that a lurking monster was just waiting to destroy our dream.

I wish profound peace to everyone who is trying to adopt or conceive, or waiting to hear about getting into school, or hoping a loved one gets sober, or dealing with any other of the myriad of nail-biting waits.

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