Monthly Archives: August 2008

Little Bird

bird on a wall, sf, Canon Rebel Xti

When considering my favorite songs these days, I noticed that something strange was going on. They were all called Little Bird! or something like it. If I could make you a mix cd of my little bird songs, the mix would go like this:

Little Bird of Heaven by the Reeltime Travelers: I have played this song so many times, I think I ruined the cd! It makes me weepy and happy. Give a listen here, and if you want to have it for yourself, you can buy the album here.

Little Bird by Jonatha Brooke: This is off of Jonatha’s new album and is my favorite track. It’s the sweetest little song in the world.

Little Bird by The Weepies: This is from their newest album Hideaway.

Little Sparrow by Dolly Parton: This album came out in 2001 and made me fall in love with Dolly. I didn’t know how amazing she was until I fell for this track.

The Littlest Birds by the Be Good Tanyas: Another fantastic album you must listen to.

I’m Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado: Remember this one? Poppy and sweet… I still love it.

I will wade out

Karen Walrond, Oregon coast, Canon Rebel Xti

I will wade out
till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
in the sleeping curves of my body
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
Will I complete the mystery
of my flesh
I will rise
After a thousand years
And set my teeth in the silver of the moon

-ee cummings

new music and other things discovered at the taqueria*

sand and sky, Oregon coast, Canon Rebel Xti

The other day I was taking a much needed clear-my-head-so-I-don’t-hurt-anybody mama time bike ride and stopped at a local taqueria. Behind me in line was an older man who struck up a conversation with me by making a pun about guacamole. I was immediately charmed.

He was with his family (including his 4 year old granddaughter) and we had a lovely chat about living in Berkeley, being artists and what it takes to make it these days in the Bay Area. We only had a short time, but he was one of those people I immediately adored and could have talked with forever.

We asked his granddaughter’s advice about what to do about a baby who is almost two and still doesn’t sleep through the night. “Hmmm… she said, considering the question seriously, “Wait til he’s three.”
This is the best advice I’ve gotten in a long time.

He then left me with the name of his other daughter who lives in NYC. “Her name is Rachel Garlin and she’s quite a well known singer/songwriter. I think you might like her.”

Who knew that such a delightful music recommendation would come this way! I think you might like her too. Give a listen to Bound to Be Some Mountains.

wish giggle hope

Giggle hope tickets by Tim Holtz, Canon Rebel Xti

Sara Groves video called I Saw What I saw

Wrap up Africa: My friend Denise worked on this web site and I was moved by its mission.

Who Does She Think She Is? was passed along to me and I was delighted to see that I know one of the artists. Just the trailer alone will inspire you.

Kelly Rae’s book called Taking Flight has just come out! It is a treasure…with so much to learn and enjoy.

and Swirly’s beautiful book has just arrived in the world too! I am excited to see it and soak up the magic.

Jen Lemen and two of her real life sisters launched a parenting blog over at PBS. Besides my own sis, Jen is my go to girl for parenting advice. We are all so lucky she is sharing this gift with the world. And after my own heart, it is called Supersisters.

And these awesome adage tickets above are by the incredible Tim Holtz. I am not a scrapbooker, but was totally blown away by this man’s creativity. Take a peek at his site and you’ll see what I mean.

this face

Ben and his favorite new ball he lifted from the park, Canon Rebel Xti

As I look at this photo everything I was about to tell you flies out the window. All the stuff about how exhausted we’ve been, how Ben has been crying off and on all night for months, how we need to rock him to sleep each evening for fear that if he starts crying he will throw up. I was about to tell you that Matt and I are so overwhelmed by our work that this sleep thing feels like pure torture.

I was going to tell you how out of it I’ve been, how I left my Nia dance class yesterday barefoot and didn’t realize until I got to the car blocks away that I wasn’t wearing shoes. I forget to eat dinner, I forget appointments, I have no short term memory. We feel like brand new parents (in a perpetual haze) all over again.

And then I look at this face! and all of that complaining about no sleep seems so small and doable and so what if you are woken up every few hours? Just the fact that that face exists is enough. How can I do anything but celebrate, when upon returning home from Oregon, this little person developed a sense of humor and now walks into the living room with a colander on his head, grinning to see if we’ll laugh. Waka waka waka.

People ask me all the time how I do it, how I balance a creative life with motherhood. And really, I haven’t mastered it. By the time Ben falls asleep I am ready to crawl into bed myself… to read a few pages from my vampire bookand then pass out.

My point in all this is that there is a tendency for us to think that other people have it figured out, that their marriages are better than ours, that they are happier, that they’re having more sex, that they don’t get depressed… when the big secret is that we’re all struggling. We are all suffering from one thing or another (parents or not) We are all questioning if we’re okay, if we’re the only ones. We are all wondering what is wrong with us that we don’t have what they have?

I realized that the last few weeks have been filled with so much more laughter than I have experienced in a long time. Something big was dislodged from my heart while I was in Oregon (through an amazing conversation with Brene Brown) I literally felt my chest soften and I could finally breathe again. Healing can often sneak up on you.

It’s like when the dam breaks on tears and you can suddenly cry again. I had a little dam break on laughter. My friend Kim and I were making a quiet getaway from a wedding we shot last weekend. It was in a beautiful, peaceful place by the ocean and it was perfectly quiet outside save for the ocean waves. Suddenly, the alarm on the car we borrowed started honking LOUDLY. We couldn’t figure out how to turn it off and ended up throwing all of our camera equipment in the car as fast as we could, slamming the doors and driving away, honking the entire way home. We laughed so hard I could barely breathe… and something in me came alive again. Healing can often sneak up on you.

In the last few days I’ve noticed a lot of laughter in the studio I share with the fabulous Kelly Rae. My first thought was, “Oh! I didn’t realize she was so funny!” but I think it’s me… there is new space in me for laughter now.

I am still tired. It’s still hard to chase a toddler by day and soothe one by night. It’s hard to balance parenthood with a creative life. But my heart feels softer and more open these days. I love that Ben, who I am so connected to, whose pain is my pain, whose joy is my joy, started laughing right around the time I did again. We are learning together…

Winners of the giveaway!

The talented and amazing Tracey Clark, Oregon coast, Canon Rebel Xti

Thank you all for your entries! That was so much fun… I love the energy it stirred up! It was a sweet celebration for Jonatha’s cd over here.

The winners are:
Lisa who said, “I have loved Jonatha Brooke since “The Story”- one of my fave songs ever is “So Much Mine”!
Kim who said, “I never win anything. but i love trying.”
and Tara Cole who said, “Love trying new artists! Good Luck with your new release also!”

Please email me if you are one of the winners!

Ali Edwards is a Life Artist

Ali Edwards, Manzanita beach, Oregon, Canon Rebel Xti

Ali was one of the people I was excited to meet in person on this retreat. I’ve known her work for years as a scrapbooking queen/Life Artist and almost forgot we hadn’t met in person until I saw her at the airport. She was as inspiring in real life as she is on her blog. I love how straightforward she is, funny and tender, wise and confident, powerful and gentle.

On her blog today is a post about choosing a theme for the year, one word that acts as a focus. Since it’s halfway through the year, they are doing a checkin on how their theme is going.

I love the idea of doing our own Mondo Beyondo checkin. How’s it going folks? Have we all forgotten about our themes? I declared 2008 as my year of partnership and romance. I am learning so much in this area… this means that it is hard and wonderful all at the same time and there is room for lots of growth. Being a parent has called me out to be a better version of myself (the old ways don’t work anymore). I am called to be more generous, more patient, more loving… I also need to trust myself and Matt more than ever before. We are learning together. How is your theme going? If you’ve forgotten yours or never chose one, what can you declare now as your theme for 2008?

Giveaway! Jonatha Brooke’s new cd

Jonatha Brooke, photo by Sandrine Lee

I was a fan of Jonatha Brooke for many years before we met in person. She has been my soundtrack through falling in love, breakups, moving to New Orleans and San Francisco. We used to sing out loud to her songs at the clothing store where I worked when all the customers had gone. I never dreamed that we’d be friends one day. You should know that she has the dearest and most tender heart in addition to being a total badass rockstar.

Her most recent album is a collection of Woody Guthrie songs that have never been set to music. It is beautiful and soulful and I can’t wait for you to hear it. It will be out August 26th but she is taking pre-orders right now.

We’re going to give away 3 autographed copies to you though! Just leave a comment on this post and we will randomly pick three lucky winners. (Just push “post” once and wait a moment. The comment should appear)

Giveaway Guidelines:
-You have until 9pm PST on Monday, August 18th to enter this giveaway.
-Just make a comment ON THIS POST to enter.
-One entry per person, please. (Just push “post” ONCE and wait a few seconds. The comment should appear)

Myriam and the moon

Myriam, Manzanita beach, Oregon, Canon Rebel Xti

“That’s why I came,” she said, and pointed to this picture on the little screen of my camera. And I understood her completely. We got to see ourselves this weekend. We got to see our spirits reflected back to us. In a world where all we notice is what’s wrong, how far we have to go, what we need to fix…it is a rare gift.

What an incredible thing, to see ourselves as we truly are, the magic of ourselves, the gift of us. Not the better lose this, trim this, icky, what’s my hair doing, scrunch of the face we often do in the mirror, but the seeing the best of who we are reflected back to us in someone else’s eyes.

We didn’t plan it this way but I saw it unfold all around us. Unspoken or not, there were whispers in the cool, salty air…I see you. I see how wise you are, and funny… Wow, you are so powerful and tender all at the same time. You are a safe haven, it’s good to be near you…

It’s hard to put into words. We vascillated between deep talks and tears that surprised us to silly dancing around the bonfire with wigs and outrageous laughter. There’s something special that happens when girls get together. It’s intimate, it’s fun, it’s silly, it’s sacred.. This was all of those things.

I look forward to sharing more photos and stories with you…

off for a few days*

Jen Lemen and me, Kirtsy Alltop party during Blogher weekend, photo by Kirtsy girly

Off to spend a few days with some dear friends by the sea. I look forward to laughter and writing and wine and long walks in the wind and fog. I also look forward to sleeping through the night without getting out of bed. Heaven!

Have a wonderful week and thank you for all of your awesome support recently. It came in so many different ways and was such a gift. You are wise and kind and I am proud to have you in my orbit. Thank you…