Monthly Archives: November 2009

HOLIDAY SALE* this week: Earth

Each week something new will be on sale! This week is the ever popular earth necklace… perfect for fall and holiday season!

The simplest things*

Yellow leaf in Tilden Park, wish fortune cookie by Rae Dunn, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Grateful for the simplest things today… Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

and the winner of the Take Me with You Journal is…Beth! who said, “anything jen related would be perfect in my hands….pick me pick me”

creature of the world*

creature at the Academy of Sciences, SF, Taken with iphone

I’ve been reading and listening to Eckhart Tolle a lot lately. Like I said in a previous post, the book sat on my shelf for years until I picked it up again recently. (I was inspired by the Oprah podcast called A New Earth)

Yesterday, we took Ben to the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. He is obsessed with the creatures of the world, most especially with sea creatures, and it was pure joy to be with him while he sprinted around the museum squealing with delight at every new animal. “What’s deese?” “What dat?” “Why he not moving?”

As we looked around I remembered a lesson from the podcast that I loved. Tolle suggested we try to experience things as much as we can without labeling them with our intellect. To be present, to simply experience nature (a tree, an animal, a flower) without knowing its name (or choosing to forget for a moment) gives us space from the rational mind. We can experience its essence without shutting ourselves down with labels.

The museum was a perfect place to practice this.. There were so many creatures that I didn’t know the names of. Strange, enormous fish with huge snouts, bright orange cylindrical things jutting out of the bottom of tanks (plant or animal?) and even large animals in dioramas like the one pictured above. Without a name, I could simply experience it without my preconceived ideas.

We do with this people all the time… adding them up in our minds, labeling them by race, class, size, etc. We cut ourselves off from the essence of who they are; we do the mental math before we even allow ourselves to connect.

For a moment, I got a window into Ben’s universe-seeing things for the first time, having no name and therefore nowhere to put them-leaving them simply as they are: A wonder, a delight, a wild and extraordinary creature of the world.

Take Me With You Giveaway*

Photo of Jen with camera by yours truly, Andrea Scher, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

We have a great giveaway this week! Jen just sent me a copy of her new journal, Take Me With You and I just love it. She describes it even better than I can here: 

Sometimes you need to examine what’s holding you back. You need to practice moving your pen across the page until words all your own come fast and furious. If you are on a journey of waking up to your life or if you want to be, these pages will be your sage companion. Take me with you, and together we’ll unearth the power and prose that’s been waiting there along. If not now, when? Take Me With You: A Journal for the Journey is a fill-in journal and writing guide.

One lucky winner will get a copy. For the rest of you, I encourage you to grab your own copy on her website. (update: They are no longer sold out!)

Giveaway Guidelines:
– You have until 8PM PST on Sunday, November 22nd to enter this giveaway.
– Just make a comment ON THIS POST to enter.
– This is a random drawing
– One entry per person, please. (Just push “post” ONCE and wait a few seconds. The comment should appear)

by inches*

Lake Anza this morning, photo turned upside down, Berkeley, CA Taken with iphone

Another poem by my favorite, Maya Stein 

By Inches

You want it here and now, a remedy for everything
gone wrong. A magic wand, perhaps, alighted
on your shoulders. An angel whispering
sweet nothings while you sleep so you wake benighted
with certainty that you are whole once again. You realize
your patience is diminishing, and yet what’s required is the reverse.
This will not be some biblical miracle before your eyes,
a transformation of movie star proportions. No, healing is a slow nurse,
pausing bedside with drips of water, a hot cloth, a murmur of a touch.
By inches, a change sneaks into you, even if it doesn’t look like much.

proud of my man*

Photo by SF Bay Guardian photographer

Feeling incredibly proud of my man (with his art group Rebar) for gracing the cover of the SF Bay Guardian today… The headline is: “How Rebar and other artsy renegades reignited a movement to reclaim the urban environment”.


You can check out the rest of the article here. Go Rebar!!!

Random goodness*

Me in my Topo Ranch sweatshirt, Manzanita, ORCanon Digital Rebel XSi

Random good things:

My Topo Ranch Duster that I have barely taken off since I purchased it three months ago. Even Ben has taken to unzipping and demanding, “Take it off!” but I refuse.
Birthday breakfast with Brigette at Rick and Ann’s.
Birthday lunch with Maggie at Boulette’s Larder.
Birthday dinner with Matt at Chez Panisse. I could have eaten vats of their little gems lettuce and green goddess dressing.
My fantastic coach, Laura Neff. (tell her I sent you… she is amazing)
This video
(even just sixty seconds will do) will change your whole day.
The Kirtsy book just came out! (several of my photographs are a part of it)
Seeing Ben’s favorite band Octopretzel perform live.
Dinner at Dona Tomas with Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her husband.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (it took nearly five years of resistance to finally pick this book up again. Now I see what a revelation it is)

A rainbow outside the library:

Ben’s collection of Schleich animals:

Seeing sunset out on the pier at the Berkeley Marina:

A random chair on a porch that caught my eye:

And a conversation with Ben the other day:

Ben: (whining and dragging his feet behind me as we walk home from school) I’m roaring and crying.
Me: You’re what?
Ben: Roaring and crying.
Me: I know just how you feel. I roar and cry all the time.
Ben: I’m sad.
Me: What are you sad about?
Ben: I don’t know.
Me: Why don’t you just roar and cry then?
Ben: Okay.

cart full of treasures*

apples from Flatwood Farm, Berkeley, CA Canon Digital Rebel XSi

There is a magic cart at my public library.

I’ll admit, I didn’t find it until a few weeks ago because I didn’t frequent the library. Sure, I love books and book stores and reading, but I somehow missed the memo on how cool the library is. It took a full blown moratorium on dvd watching and a case of swine flu to inspire me, and now I’m hooked. So is Ben.

I can’t believe you can have anything you want for free! that they’ll transfer whatever you like from the main library, that you can look books up online and reserve them that way, that they don’t even charge late fees on childrens’ books… And then there’s this magic cart. It houses the most recent returns of nonfiction books and every time I choose something randomly from this cart, it rocks my world. My most recent finds:

Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess
Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas
Storycatcher by Christina Baldwin
And a book I found through the Mondo Beyondo community that I fell crazy in love with is called An Awesome Book.

Superhero Necklace meditation*

illustration by Linda Davick Linda Davick

I’ve gone into the jewelry cave. The pre-holiday dash to make lots of Superhero goodies for the season. I’ll admit, I was a little worried this year that I might be over it. Won’t I finally be bored after nine years?

Turns out I still love making them. It might be the juicy colors I get to play with, or the simple act of using my hands that I love the most. Maybe it’s the radio stories I listen to while I work (audiobooks, podcasts, This American Life, Fresh Air….) or that I can chat for hours on the phone with a dear friend while I am whittling away.

Maybe it’s the quiet.

As I add some new and exciting projects to my plate, I will be shifting around my jewelry business to be more limited edition. I will have a specific number of pieces to sell twice a year (Holiday time and Mother’s Day time) and when they’re gone they’re gone. I am excited about this shift.

I’ve always had the intention that each necklace is a talisman, reminding the wearer of their courage, their wisdom and their joy… I send out this little prayer as each one goes out the door. Hoping you’re feelin it out there.

as good as it gets*

Ben dragon, Berkeley, CA Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Here is Ben trick or treating for his very first time. He could hardly believe his luck, incredulous when we told him. You mean you just walk up to people’s houses and they give you candy? his eyes seemed to say. It was too much to compute.

Turns out being an adorable dragon on your maiden voyage as a trick or treater will also get you Beanie Babies, plastic toy snakes, king size Snickers bars and glow in the dark bracelets. He trotted behind us, chocolate smeared all over his face, glow stick around his arm, in pure heaven.

We were headed to a street party in the neighborhood, a place where there would be friends of ours, real food, and fun. We shuffled along slowly, encouraging Ben to hurry, bribing him with chocolate, trying not to be frustrated with the pace of a toddler, wishing we had brought the stroller…

At some point though, a little voice inside me whispered: This moment right here might be as good as it gets.

We were living as if the street party was somehow going to be better than what was happening now, that this whole walk was just a pesky thing we had to do to get to the real stuff. I noticed how the distraction of a destination was keeping me from fully enjoying this really sweet time.

“Matt, the street party might not be as fun as this. This might be as good as it gets for tonight-and this is pretty darn good. Let’s not miss this.”

A few minutes later we ran into our friends. Turns out the street party had already dismantled and everyone was trick or treating. While we were hurrying Ben, trying to get to some moment we thought was superior to the one we were in, the party was already over.

It was suddenly so clear to me what a fantasy the future can be, that we imagine it either better or worse than where we are now. And it’s irrelevant whether we are right or wrong. It will just be what it is.