Monthly Archives: September 2006

Vote for Shiner

Mike Doyle, wearing a seaglass superhero necklace, Canon Digital Rebel

This is my gorgeous friend Mike Doyle. He is an actor (you may have seen him on Law and Order or last week on the premiere of Smith) He also wrote and directed a short film called Shiner that went to Tribeca, Atlanta, and DC Shorts.

The film is now part of a ‘New Arrivals’ competition in The Netherlands and the audience gets to vote on their favorite film. Here’s where you come in! If we all vote for Shiner, we, can get this film to win. Just click here to vote (it is in Dutch, but I trust all you savvy folks will figure it out)

Thank you!!

If you would like to see the film in its entirety, it is streaming on the web site.

learn to fall first

cactus, Self Realization Gardens, Encinitas, Canon Digital Rebel

At the Ice Rink

I came here to fail
And to fall
But not so well
As that man careening over the ice
Sliding into the wall as if into second base
Shambling up, grinning, like a great bear,
And taking off again,
Saying, over his shoulder,
“You’ve got it backwards.
Learn to fall first,
Then skate.”
I end up clinging
Barnacle-like to the sides,
Inching around the perimeter like a caterpillar.
Wall-hugger. Nothing has changed since I was eight
And my parents paid for skating lessons
In hopes I would become more balanced.
Now as then I am wobbling, terrified,
Feet frozen like blocks of wood at the ankles.
Not loose-limbed and easy like Hilary
Who rides the ice like a North wind scouring the plains,
Nor deft and graceful like Ruth
Picking up her feet and kick-gliding
In time to the 70’s pop muzak.
But what can we do
When fear throws its rustiest pickaxe
Dead ahead in our path?
Mince. Inch. Stumble. Pray
For the grace to fall
And not be rescued, pray for the scramble-up,
For the liberating laughter that knows
It is not in our control.
There is the center, gleaming like a fish-eye,
Little girls spin on it, twirling their bright skirts.
It shines under its white scars like a destiny.
Alison Luterman

This poem was used as a prompt in my wild writing class with Laurie Wagner last week. I love the wisdom of it… Learn to fall first, then skate. Isn’t that how it always goes? It’s the prospect of falling that stops us every time. Why even begin? we say. Why endure the humiliation? or just, I could never do that.

The willingness to fall.

This is something I’ve had to learn over and over as a life coach. That first practice client two years ago, who I stumbled and stuttered with, how I felt I said all the wrong things, how I got off the phone with her knowing she was so much smarter than me… And how, even after she asked me for more coaching later, how she wanted to hire me, I couldn’t bear it and ignored her emails. Not willing to fall or fail.

It’s easy to tell others. “You don’t wait until you’re confident enough or qualified enough or good enough to begin! You just begin, and do it badly and that’s how you build confidence. One does not come before the other.”

What happened to that 10-year-old girl who choreographed dance routines to every song on the Flashdance soundtrack? who wrote novels and recorded her voice in song and drew portraits of Ralph Maccio? What happened to the tiny gymnast who was willing to do back handspring after back handspring across the floor until she finally got it – if you bend your arms, your head will hit the ground.

And yet, even as I write this I know that some of it is a lie… I always wanted to be perfect. I never laughed at myself when my head slammed into the gym mat. I was always keenly aware of the watchful eyes of parents, coach, peers.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been willing to fail.

Still, I know it is the key to everything. “Be willing to do it badly,” SARK says in her books. Willing is the key word. Be willing to do it anyway, alongside the imperfection, alongside the fear.

What are you willing to do badly?

National PARK(ing) Day was amazing!

Park one, downtown San Francisco, photo by Kathryn Aaker, Canon Digital Rebel

Off to a coaching course for the weekend, but wanted to share with you that PARK(ing) Day was a big success! As most of you know, my husband Matt Passmore and his collaborators at Rebar have been building parks in parking spaces since, well, last November. Thursday was National Parking Day and organizations and individuals built parks all around San Francisco and all over the world. There was a park in the mayor’s parking space at city hall, a lemonade stand in a parking space near Union Square and many other creative and wonderful temporary green spaces.

Matt and John Bela (co-founders of Rebar) were interviewed for All Things Considered on NPR. Some of you let me know you heard it! I’m so proud and excited for them… Give a listen here.

precious cargo

self-portrait, 25 weeks, San Diego, Canon Digital Rebel

As a pregnant woman, I have become fearful of things I don’t normally think about. I’m afraid of knives, or rather, people holding knives. Even if someone I love and trust is holding the knife (ie. Matt) I will casually make my way out of the room.

Then there are dogs. Big dogs. I am a dog person! and will normally ask the owner if I can pet their dog at any opportunity. I especially love “leaners.” But these days if I see a dog, I immediately cross the street and try not to make eye contact. Or I plan my attack and contemplate how I would take them down if I had to.

And then there are the dreams. Sometimes there are sharks. A few weeks ago it was a mountain lion. I am always trying to protect myself/my baby in these dreams. These dreams feel primal and powerful, like a warrior part of me is rising up. A part of my fierce womanhood I have not known yet.

Oh yeah. And the dreams about Matt leaving me. A few weeks ago I woke up in tears and exclaimed, “You left me in my dream for three wives!” He responded, “Oh honey, I wouldn’t leave you for 8 wives!” and hugged me close.

I have never felt quite so powerful in my life and vulnerable at the same time. I feel precious and sacred, like precious cargo in every vehicle. I also feel very conspicuous, like I could be a target for a variety of bad things. I am the opposite of invisible. I can’t even go to a public restroom without thoughts of kidnappers running through my brain.

Did any of you have this? Does it just get worse when the baby arrives?


John Curry, Starwae, Sonoma, CA, Canon Digital Rebel

I just returned from a most magical retreat with SARK at a bed and breakfast called Starwae in Sonoma. I’ve been trying to plan pre-baby getaways for myself and when SARK told me about this event I leapt at the chance to assist her.

It was an intimate weekend affair with 20 amazing women. We laughed, we shared, we made art and we ate some of the most delicious food I have ever had. (Made by the talented John Curry and Janice Crow, the owners of Starwae)

Janice and John are incredible artists and have made Starwae into so much more than a bed and breakfast. It is a place to be nourished creatively and transformed. It is filled with art and sculpture and gardens, birds and fruit trees and warm air.

SARK will be leading another workshop the weekend of October 28th and 29th. There are a few more spaces available if any of you are inspired to go. It will transform you!

If you look closely, I think you can see his tonsils.

feedin time, Self-realization gardens, Encinitas, Canon Digital Rebel

Current delights:
Mamma Mio tummy rub smells unbelievably yummy and will hopefully prevent stretch marks.
– The most gorgeous artist journal… You can paint, paste or write on the pages.
– This Ylang Ylang Citrus Mint dish soap is heavenly…
– My favorite notebook….
– And oh my god how cute are these?!


Cam and Jeremy’s wedding, Stinson Beach, CA, Canon Digital Rebel

A huge congratulations to our dear friends Camie and Jeremy! Their wedding was a perfect reflection of who they are: silly, beautiful, tender, moving, creative and eclectic… with SO much laughter. Hooray for more goodness in the world!

and The Weepies on Weekend Edition… whee!


clouds at sunset, San Diego, Canon Digital Rebel

“She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.”
– Brian Andreas

Off to a wedding this weekend at the ocean…

If you are looking for something to do, Little Miss Sunshine is the best movie I’ve seen all year. Enjoy!

me at Sea World with Purina, San Diego, Canon Digital Rebel


Denise is the Boho girl, Canon Digital Rebel

Meeting Denise last weekend was extra special. As some of you know, we met via email through our shared experience of (in)fertility. As much as every friend of mine helped and supported me during those years, there was nothing like having someone to walk alongside who knew firsthand what it was like. We could share the ugly stuff of it, the jealousy, the anger and the fear and know we were completely understood and held.

At one point we talked about what it would be like when it happened to one of us first (we have never doubted that we will both have our babies eventually) We agreed that we didn’t know how we would feel, that we might feel jealous or want to pull away, and that those feelings were okay. We had room in our friendship for all of it.

Although our journeys are slightly different now, Denise said it well, “I still feel as though our roads are side by side.” I am in awe of the power of deep connection and friendship. It can hold more than we could ever imagine.

And I so look forward to the day when I get to hold Denise and Carsten’s baby in my arms.

Photo Friday: Silver

silver fish in the shark aquarium, Sea World, San Diego, Canon Digital Rebel

I just returned from the most fabulous weekend in San Diego visiting my dear old friend Cindy and my dear new one Denise. As I flew over the ocean coming into the airport a crazy thought leapt into my head, “I want to swim with the dolphins!” the thought said. Not being a dolphin person particularly, I had never had this desire before… (it felt like a special request from the wee one that I’m carrying) So of course I had to find a way!

We looked online and sure enough Sea World San Diego has a program where small groups of regular folks like you and me can play with the dolphins. Miraculously, there were two appointments left for the Saturday afternoon before Labor Day. Go magic baby mojo!

We had a 30 minute classroom session where we learned about bottlenose dolphins and then we all got into wetsuits and into the water. There were four people and a trainer assigned to each dolphin so we had a lot of one on one time with “Purina.” When the trainer introduced us, the dolphin immediately came straight up to me and put her nose on my belly. The trainer got a little freaked out and pulled her away… She said she probably knew I was pregnant and was curious, but didn’t feel comfortable letting the dolphin get that close. As I type this entry, I googled dolphins and pregnancy and found this: 

“Therefore, dolphins have been trained to swim close to pregnant women and emit their calls. Some even “kiss” the women on their lips or stomach. In Spanish-speaking countries, this practice is known as delfinoterapia, or dolphin therapy.”

So I guess my babe wanted some delfinoterapia.

The whole experience was a thrill, getting to feed her, pet her and learn training signals. Pregnant or not, I highly recommend this! It wasn’t on my things to do before I die list, but maybe it should have been.