Friday, March 13, 2009


I woke up today grumpy. The drip, drip, drizzle of rain and the gloomy dark of 7 am (now that we're on DST) made me want to call in, keep the kids home, go back to bed for an extra burrow.

But I got up, because it's Friday, and tomorrow will be time enough for sleeping in.

I drove the kids to school, listening to an old Jackson Browne album; never a good call if you're trying to cloudbust the mental thunderstorm, because that man is dark. But it fit my mood.

I came home, thought about writing, then thought better of it.

I surfed. I read.

Why was Maggie Dammit posting again so soon?
This was why:

Paul NZ said...
Dear friends of Braja, my name is Paul (Prananatha das) and I'm a close friend of Braja's from NZ. I'm currently staying in Mayapur. It is with great sadness that I must inform you all that Braja & her husband Jahnu had a serious car accident on the way to the airport. This is NOT a joke. Their taxi collided head on with a truck at high speed at aprox 6am yesterday morning. She and Jahnu are in the ICU at Kolkata Apollo hospital. Braja has suffered a broken arm, facial injuries and possible hip injuries. She had plastic surgery on her face yesterday. She is conscious. Jahnu has suffered broken ribs, punctured lungs, punctured liver, broken legs and arms and has a fractured skull. He has not regained consciousness since the accident. He has a 60% chance of survival. We all devotees here in Mayapur are very shocked and saddened by this event. We are praying for their swift and complete recovery and ask with folded palms that you all will add them to your prayers. I am here in Mayapur till Sunday 15th March and will follow this blog as much as possible and send through information as it comes to hand. Yours in service to Lord Krsna and His devotees, Prananatha das, Sri Dham Mayapur.

Suddenly my gray skies and grumpy mood mean exactly zero in the bigger scheme of things. Please send her a good thought today, or go by and wish her well in person. And then hug all your loved ones today, because that sweetness we crave in this life? It's right there in front of you.

Braja at Lost and Found in India:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Alas Poor Chubby

October 1990 - March 8, 2009
Jasper Louise, aka Chubby Ann, died this past Sunday evening, after a rapid decline in health this past week. She was never the prettiest or the most lovable cat, but she was loved nonetheless, for her quirky sense of humor and her assertive personality. She was buried in the front yard, in a private twilight service, and laid to rest with a peanut donut between her paws, and a Japanese maple overhead.

It's just been one of those weeks, you guys. I'm sure you know the kind: dying animals underfoot, requiring round the clock attention; children on a bad brat kick, because you're not paying attention to them (grrr); I've caught Bea's cold, or something like that, and to top off the fun here at the Edge, my left eye is all red and swollen up. Pink eye? Pollen? Excessive crying messing up the tear ducts? Who the hell knows.
Plans for Bea's Not My Birthday Party/Vernal Equinox Celebration are moving ahead. If you're going to be in the RDU area on March 21st, and want to come, let me know. The more the merrier! After Ms. Q's visit this past weekend, with a rainbow of Izze fruit sodas in hand, we've decided that Izzes might be the perfect mixer with vodka for the big day.
Apologies all around from me: I've been a bad blog friend this past week, what with all the hoopla going on. Forgive me, I will be trying to catch up this week.
Bea, the girl who used to blog, is armpit deep in beaus right now. I know - she's all bemused by this turn of events as well! I keep telling her that she should spill the dirt with all of us, via writing a post (hint, hint, Bea!), but she's keeping her cards close to her much sought after chest these days. Tell her you want to know all the dirt, won't you?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Letter to an Old Friend

(Because this is where my mind is at these days)

Dear _____,

It's funny, I was just getting ready to drop you a note, and here's one from you! I've been pondering the haiku, and wanting to write one, but my head is just not there right now. Jasper, my oldest cat at 18, is, I believe, in the last throes of dying right now. I'm mostly okay with it - she's ten days older than God, for crying out loud - but it's still the end of an era and kind of depressing, to watch her "go gently into that good night" before my eyes, leaking her life on towels laid in strategic spots. Not my best poetry writing kind of mood (although it's apparently good for prose!), unless I'm going for the teen angst type, ya know? So I'm going to owe you a haiku, as soon as the funk clears.

I was thinking of the question you put to me, the other night - what do I do? I never feel like I answer that question very well, not because my life isn't full or busy or satisfying, but because it's hard to explain that money isn't part of my equation for happiness, especially since we as a culture have come to think that one equals the other. I don't deny that I blew my academic chance, that I shoulda coulda woulda done more with what potential I was given. I never had the tools necessary to do well in school - hell, I never did homework, never wrote a paper any sooner than the morning it was due, and what a chip my parents gave me about the educational system! Nonetheless, as an adult, and as a parent, I can see where I went wrong, and decide to not make that same mistake with my own kids. I always knew I would have children, even though I was ambivilent about having them. I think I was 34 when The Professor was born - not exactly a career mom, starting that late (and there are more than a few sagas to fill in that time). But I had always felt that if I was going to have kids I wanted to really be a full time mother. Art did take a back seat to mothering, but I've often thought that maybe I'm just not crazy, or self absorbed, or driven enough to really be a serious artist. I mean, doesn't it seem like a lot of the career ones are kind of wacked and unbalanced? My childhood was such a roller coaster ride that unbalanced doesn't really appeal to me.

So back to the question: what do I do? I am:
> a full time mother, who really loves being that to it's fullest sense.
> an educational volunteer with 2nd-5th grade children 6+ hours every week.
> a history researcher, family historian and history buff
> a writer, of both family history, and a blog, where I try to hone my literary skills in a forum with more accountability than journalling.
> an artist on hiatus, though that is changing as the kids get bigger and I have more time.

These are all things that make me happy doing them, but I understand, that to the corporate world, I am considered to be a failure; that working without monetary compensation equals failure. It bothers me sometimes, that I don't measure up, but I realize also that I've never wanted to measure myself by the same yardstick as the rest of the world, which does make it easier to thumb my nose at the negative nay-sayers.

I had a vision as a child. It was a dream, but it's portent has never left me. I wondered for years why a dream at the age of 4 would haunt me into my adult life, and then I read "Black Elk Speaks". Black Elk had a vision dream when he was a small child that defined, for him, his purpose for living, and upon reading his story I knew what my dream had meant. The things I do, the things that define who I am are all expressions, or fufillments of that dream. I might not measure up to the warped standards of a consumer-driven society, but I am whole.