Yes, Sandy’s little boy. I’m captivated with Lou. Ever since I saw them on the cover of People Magazine a few weeks ago. She’s one of the few celebs I “like” in the way one can like someone they don’t really know.

Even got a torn up copy of People from my hairdresser after she’d looked at it — I have it on my porch and every time I look at the cover I smile. Couldn’t get the picture out of my head — so much so, that I even had a dream —

I was babysitting the little guy, and was hanging out in my son’s basement with him
(the babe, not my son; my son doesn’t really have a basement). In the dream, I was spying on my son because I was afraid he was addicted to drugs (he’s not, I don’t even think he has ever done them, I could be wrong, people change, but let’s just say I know my boy. Drink yes. Smoke cigs yes. Drugs? Highly unlikely.).

So there I was hanging out in the basement spying on my son and Louie’s diaper needed a change but I’d forgotten to bring diapers. So what did I do? Turned the one he was wearing inside out — even though it was sopping wet, I figured it was better than nothing. You know how it goes in Dreamland.

This entry was posted on May 25, 2010, in dreams.

Millbillies and the Mainstream

 I keep putting off this post but every week that goes by I want to write something for Siobhan. I have never watched American Idol except in occasional blips when my daughter’s had it on telly.
When I have caught it, I find it to be a rather cruel show like many of these competition shows seem to be.

That being said, last week was glorious and sunny, and I decided to finally get out and take photos of all the banners around town supporting Siobhan. At the vet a few weeks ago, my son, John and Susan (our vet and his wife) were reminiscing about the high school days when Anthony would be jamming in the basement with Colin, Rory and Mike, while Siobhan ran around upstairs chasing Colin’s younger brother Miles. Molly came home from school one day in high school and said to me, “remember Anthony’s friend, Rory? you should hear his sister sing — she should be on American Idol.” And so here she is today, a big girl on American Idol. Marching to the beat of her own drum. Which is very hard to do in our culture with more “I don’t get you Simons” out there than “this is who I am Siobhans.”

Perhaps Simon would “get her” if he knew the context of this place called Cape Cod, where Siobhan is from. I left for almost twenty years, and when I came back I felt like Rip Van Winkle. Many of the players were older but they were the same players running the show. And when they weren’t the same, it didn’t matter — it was still the same act, just a different face and name. Sometimes, I feel like an outsider here among the SUV and hydrangea painting fans. But there is an underground offbeat culture that permeates the backside of this peninsula and that is where I feel most at home. I’ve found it through music, dance, nature, offbeat cafes and other venues of creativity. I seek the subculture out as best I can.

There’s a dusky mauve Cape in Marstons Mills with a big banner for Siobhan in the yard — possibly her house, as it looks like a house that has lots of kids and energy (she has about 5 siblings). It’s a burst of magic in the midst of the mediocre. Many years ago, when I first saw her dad at one of the boys’ concerts on the town green, I was thrilled to see a long-haired, tattooed sleeves guy (also a musician). The whole family is a quirky, talented and creative blend of renegade Cape Cod natives, something I’ve sorely missed. It’s good to still find it here.

** You  might have to click on the collage to see the whole thing…

Gray Days

No, not the weather. Cool, huh? From here.

Leave it to London…I’m still dreaming of the underground cable TV show I’m envisioning. A take on Ab Fab meets Wayne’s World.

And totally f***ing awesomo — discovered it yesterday via Dottie Angel (thanks Corinne for reminding me about Dottie!). Art, Culture and Education — yay, ACE! Three things that rock my world!

This entry was posted on February 25, 2010, in dreams.

To Dreams and Miracles

“The dream was always running ahead of one. To catch up, to live for a moment in union with it, that was the miracle.”
~Anais Nin


Made a few changes to the retreat which you can find here and here and here. So if you’ve ever thought of creating your own love bomb, everything’s in place for it, just get your group together and we can make it happen!

The BIGGEST changes are:

1. BEDS are NO LONGER SHARED, they are all individual

2. Spots are limited to 12 on-site participants

3. I am considering offering a small number of spots to commuter participants — cost to be determined, and it would include lunch and workshops both Friday and Saturday

4. COST for on-site participants has been reduced to $450. inclusive

** image from here, copyright 2007 Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust (one of my favorite cards in my deck and very apropos for me at this time).

The Ruby Slippers

“Our soul is about the process while our ego is about the product.”
~Julia Cameron

Laura’s reference to Julia’s quote synchronized with what I had read in Petra’s post about process and product the other day. In the midst of writing and rewriting a comment to her post, I checked my email to discover an email from Christine Rathbun, a spoken word performer who was unavailable to teach at Bear because she has another performance debuting that weekend.

Turns out we have a mutual friend, Diane Hanna, who is teaching at the retreat. And Christine was inviting me to join her in February at O’Shea’s open mic to present my work. Which brought me back to Petra’s post about her first photography show. Because this would be my first performance sharing my writing through storytelling, a path the sweetest Jen Lee inspired me to follow. (Incidently, Jen is hosting another retreat in April with this teacher, someone I hope will teach at the November retreat, along with Christine, Antje and a couple of others).

Petra mentioned how much she loves the actual doing of her art, rather than the results of her effort, something I can totally relate to. I love process, pulling things together, all my varied interests — people, food, places — but once I get them all together I’m at a loss as to where to go from there. Because, like her I’ve had my fun, and I get bored doing the same thing repeatedly. Which is why the retreat’s a little different for me. Each time can bring together different people, different processes, different ways of being in the world and so on.

I like that process is so important because it’s my favorite part. But once I reach my goal, I’m usually ready to try something else. I get bored easily, I like constant change, movement. But I haven’t reached my goal with this yet. Or have I? I’ve said from the very beginning of this process that I wasn’t sure where it would all lead or what I would learn from it or even if the ultimate product was an actual retreat or if it would morph into something else. I started out creating this retreat simply because creating something like this is play for me. I have a ball doing it — connecting with people, traveling, checking out chefs and menus, meeting new people, and doing the proverbial pig in sh*t dance I do whenever I get near anything to do with expressive arts, the soul, tools for gaining deeper self-knowledge, the collective psyche and just plain hanging out with kindred spirits. I like the many twists and turns a path can take.

Unexpected adventures arise. And reading the Julia quote and Petra’s post reminded me that this is why I am one of those people who hasn’t yet figured out what to be when she grows up, what to do with her life, what her calling is. I have so much fun with the process, I forget about the original product. And I’ve been realizing, what if the retreat doesn’t end up being the product after all? What if most of it’s about journey, in my case, my journey home? To myself. Who knows?

I do know that while originally I wanted to offer a retreat scholarship, I realized it would be more fun to do pledges to favorite causes. It’s a way of nurturing the social justice activist in me. Like Petra wrote about her photography show, she doesn’t really like framing her work or promoting it. Ditto — me neither. But what is fun for me and is something else I’ve always wanted to do (besides creating retreats and other ways for women to gather) is to play philanthropist. So, I’ve mentioned the Uniform Project before and I’m going to mention it again. Books, schools, kids, India, I love it all. My goal now is 20 retreat registrations by the 2oth of February, the deadline I’ve set for making a go of this retreat project. If I meet that goal, I have told Jessica at the Uniform Project that I will write a check for $600 (the cost of attending the retreat) to the project. And then I can look forward to moving ahead with the November retreat and another cause.

A Story — Part 1

I used to love talking names with my pregnant aunts, then my pregnant self and friends and even business names with folks birthing a business. I once named a sewing shop for someone — I was just talking off the top of my head, but she liked the name enough to use it, so the Nimble Thimble opened in Newport, Vermont back in 1980. Still have a thimble and ruler with the name stamped on them.

Personally, I don’t like trite, or something that sounds too limiting. For example, even though I refer to my retreat as BEAR, for Bay End Art Retreat, I don’t necessarily want to call it that. My first two retreats will be at Bay End, but who knows? I love to travel and may want to create retreats in different venues. So no names that are venue specific. I’m not sure what it will be but something that is wordplay of a sort, branding — when someone types in BEAR, this retreat will hardly be at the top of the search engines. Now I bet if I googled Squam it would be right up there. Or Verizon, Comcast and so on. So as this dream unfolds, so too, will a name.

Now, go make a cup of tea and maybe grab a snack (I have some salty oatmeal cookies that I love), because I can have a knack for making a short story long. (I rarely write long blog posts because it’s hard for me to read other’s long blog posts — too much info on a screen rather than a page can overwhelm me sometimes).

I’m not sure I fantasized about creating women’s retreats when I lived in Vermont, but when I moved back to Cape Cod twelve years ago, I mourned my beloved Vermont (I still do). Was I crazy?? What was I thinking? I beat myself up for giving up not only an incredible house, but also a strong support network I’d built of friends and local community. There was always someone I could connect with in person, so important for me. I didn’t have to seek hard to find connection when I needed it. A few weeks ago I reread my pros and cons list I wrote when I struggled with the decision to stay in Vermont or leave, I didn’t have the distance from it that I do now — clear as day! — 2 negatives and 6 positives for Vermont, and 2 positives (one, a job that I left within a year after moving back), and 6 negatives for the cape — go figure.

I found a wonderful, very cool (and very old) psychiatrist to help me work through parenting struggles, guilt and grief. Her office was in her home down lanes that twist and turn. The bathroom wall was a mural of Lascaux. She turned me on to Jungian psychology, Carolyn Myss (and her book The Anatomy of Choice, to help me come to terms with my choice of leaving Vermont), synchronicity, the Celestine Prophecy and so on. Those books led me to others and I started dancing, too (one of my longtime friends at the library had told me about belly dancing). Katrina, my dance teacher turned me on to more books and resources — Goddesses in Everywoman, Women Who Run with the Wolves, and more. I was insatiable. I even went back to church for a while — at a church in Baltimore I heard a priest tell us for the first time about the divine feminine, who was there in the very beginning — Sophia — wisdom. I was thrilled to finally hear a priest speak of a feminine power beyond Mary.

Each step I took brought me deeper into a wonderful spirituality and connection I’ve found hard to maintain over the years, and yet that was what sustained me at that time, brought me joy, made me feel good, and gave me a great community to heal and grow with. The community changed over time, as communities do and with that change it became harder to sustain. I stopped dancing, but never stopped reading. I turned to blogs more and more and found another community, still not enough.

I think blogs are beautiful; they have been lifesavers for me in very lonely, dreary times, but I still long for conscious connection in real time, however I can get it. Finding kindred souls is not easy. Maintaining connection is not easy. It takes time, and many people are too busy with hand to mouth survival to take that time. It’s hard, but I do believe it’s something we all need — to take the time.

What I am learning is maybe I need to take the time to be the person to create the connection I seek. And so I begin. Again. More in tomorrow’s post.

** the above photo, taken almost 5 years ago, represents a piece of me that’s still in Vermont

Favorite quotes

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
~ Brian Littrell

** photo is a couple of local kitchen stars — Mama Louise and her youngest son, Michael of Il Maestro ~

Blank –> Tall Skinny Bitter

I had a post in mind earlier this evening on our way back from Roche Brothers but by now I have totally forgotten it. Wish I’d noted it someplace but oh well. My — all of a sudden I realized what it was! My eggnog latte made me think of it! Had stopped at Starbucks earlier to see if they were hiring because I have been bitten by the barista bug. I found the book Tall Skinny Bitter in a coffee shop a couple of weeks ago and love it! It was written by a Northwestern barista, and while they don’t like Starbucks, pickin’s are slim here on Cape Cod, and I just want to learn the trade. It could be fun, it could be hellacious, but I won’t know until I try and it certainly looks fun — and all the people in the book say it is fun, so why not? AJ, the Starbucks barista I’ve known for a few years now, was there tonight, gave me an app, and she said it is a lot of fun, so I’ll see. Granted, most baristas are half my age, but they’ll catch up.

While Amazon’s image was better, Sasquatch Books is the publisher. I’m on my way over to request their catalog.