Thursday, January 29, 2009

the economic downturn hits home--maybe

I learned today that my husband's company is going to be laying off some folks in a couple of weeks. Rumor has it that some of them will be in his department. Well he's one of the newer employees so who knows what that will mean...I'm not surprised and I am scared...

So we'll just have to see

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sir Ken Robinson

I heard this man speak for the first time and found myself nodding continuously as I listened to what he had to say. He writes about, speaks about, teaches about creativity and educational reform with an eye to children's and adult's different ways of learning.

His conviction is that everyone is creative, but that it gets buried in most of us at an early age. He advocates adults excavating their own creativity seeds. He also calls on adults to be protectors and nurturers of our own and our children's(in the "it takes a village"sense) creative potential.

I feel as if i've been living under a rock to have not heard of him before. But the timing couldn't be more providential as I allowed myself to fantasize just last nite about what I'd like to see happen at my church: art and craft workshops put on by our own parishioners and open to the neighborhood for a donation of whatever they can afford; an after school program for school-age children that is a safe space for completion of homework and tutoring but also a space where creative pursuits are encouraged and supported.

As Sir Ken said (my interpretation) excavating our creative potential and developing it in ourselves, each other and our children would go a long way towards curing what ails our country and world. Now is the time for creativity, innovation, thinking and doing outside the box.

Nothing new here really, but maybe finally the time is ripe.

Check out his website:

Monday, January 26, 2009

My birthday was yesterday--i've begun my 50th year...

Why is it that time flies even when you're not having fun, after a certain age?

Faster and faster and higher and higher and i'm running trying to catch up and i just cant seem to and i still haven't figured out how to fly...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The twelfth day and the Epiphany

Last nite was the twelfth nite of Christmas. I don't know of anyone who takes this 12 days of Xmas stuff literally, but my daughter and I have decided that we want to somehow. For me, at least in part, it is a rebellion against the total commercialization of the holiday, one that starts the day after Thanksgiving(or earlier) and goes thru the 25th(although just barely) followed on the 26th by the holiday of "Sale Shopping".

There are so many reasons why this is a good idea. This year, and probably from now on, we made lots of our gifts. As a late bloomer in every aspect of my life making lots of gifts has me scrambling(or feeling I should be) to get things ready and in the mail for friends and family to be there by Xmas. With the celebration of the 12 Days of Xmas some of that pressure to have everything(or anything) mailed in time to arrive by the 25th is removed. Finishing up with gift making during those 12 days is one way to keep my family, who are far away, closer. As I work on completing their gifts I hold them even closer in mind than I might normally. Now today is the Epiphany(the day after the 12 day of Christmas) and i've still put nothing in the mail, but I'm much closer than I was Xmas Eve. I think celebrating the 12 Days of Xmas will help me be less behind than I normally am.

I'm not sure what other forms this developing celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas will take beyond what I've already described. Maybe it won't be much different than when it was called Winter Break. Framed in the context of Christ's birth, which I like to think of in metaphorical terms in addition to the celebration of the actual birth of the actual person, for me, opens the door to discovering meanings which are life-affirming and renewing.

When I think of that precious baby Jesus it's hard not to think of all babies, and how precious each of them is. From there I think of precious birth in terms of what might be trying to be born in me and how might I support and nurture that humble birth in me and such births in my daughter, my family ,friends and the people I come into contact with as I move through my days. As Christians we are charged with seeing Christ in the face of even the most unlikely person. Why would that not include seeing Christ in ourselves--seeing that innocence that potential, that preciousness of that baby and later, as he grew, that strength, wisdom, compassion and vulnerability in ourselves?

Perhaps this quote I stumbled upon is at the root of some of these musings.

"The secret of Christmas:your own heart is the manger in which the birth of Christ takes place." Puran Bair

May your hearts be blessed with many "precious births" in the days and years to come.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Here's to a new year where compassion, creativity, innovation, thoughtfulness and an attitude of hope are more the rule for our country than the exception.