He is such a lovely and thoughtful boy. I am not nearly patient enough.
If you read or see something that resonates with you,
please leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!
I haven't been here for so long. But it is fall again and I find myself warming to the idea of coming back home, so to speak...into the house more, yes, but also back to the comforts of home. We moved our dining table last week so suddenly our small space has opened up into a huge living area. Tristan is so happy to have more space...I don't even think he realizes how happy he seems at the wider space. Do you like it, I asked him. Yes, he said. But he sits in his little rocking chair, reading a book happily, rocking gently back and forth. I am surprised at how content he is to read on his own, even though of course he doesn't read words, just looks at pictures and surely remembers the story from an earlier reading, but he talks quietly to himself while reading and he is content. He is growing so fast. I miss him as a baby but of course wouldn't trade him back for anything. He wakes in the morning, full of ideas and things to say. Mommy? Do you know what I don't want daddy to do? I don't want him to burn any ropes. What? I ask. Do you remember, mommy, do you remember when we lived in the other house and he burned the end of that rope? Yes. I remember. To keep it from unraveling. But Tristan doesn't want daddy to do that again (did he have a dream? How and why did he suddenly remember this?) He tells his daddy this and daddy says, o.k., he won't do it again.
A surprise note from a very old friend has opened my heart. I am not the only one who reaches out on occasion, at the risk of seeming silly or overly emotional. I think that is why we were such good friends.
My lovely son seems to be getting scared of things, looking to daddy for protection. This makes me so sad. Of course I want to protect him from all fear. If I hug him enough, it should go away, but I know it won't.
tired now. sleep.
I really miss writing on this blog! It has been so long. I had such a wonderful time last spring starting this blog and really caring for it. School has taken over my free time now and life has become so busy lately. We have moved and somehow, even though I am now sharing an office space with my hubby, I am blissfully happy here. This home that we have moved back into after a 16 month hiatus has welcomed us back with open arms. It loves us here. We can feel it. While the larger home we were in for that short while had its benefits, more space for example, this is where we belong. For now at least.
My sewing machine is on my desk, and I made two small things last week. First, a little holder for my phone out of a pair of wool plaid blue pants I got specifically for this project. I also made "woman's cloth." I figure, since we've moved to this space where there is virtually no yard, and therefore no more compost, I have to make up for that in other ways. I am attempting to go "green" in other ways. It sure feels weird now to throw my veggie waste into the trash...eesh. I am still using my homemade deodorant and using baking soda and water for shampoo, although I recently have decided I need to use a hair gel. My hair is too unruly without it and it looks shabby unless I washed it that day. So, for now I'm using Burt's Bees hair gel for men, for which there seems to be no info on the cosmetic safety website. But I did find a hair gel recipe where flax seeds are boiled in hot water, then it turns into a gel and you can add essential oils! That may be my next project!
"A miracle is simply a shift in perception. The more we align ourselves with the principles of love, the more empowered we become."
-Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace
I was reading this book in the middle of one sleepless night recently, and this jumped off the page at me. Thought I'd share it.
I know this is a controversial subject, but I also know that most of the people around this space parent away from society's norm. My question that I would love, love, love feedback on is about the upcoming vaccination for the swine flu. Are you getting it? Are you going to have your children get it? If not, please tell why? My concern is that it is untested (goodness knows, even many of those vaccines that are tested aren't necessarily "safe"), but the thought of my little boy going through a flu, fever and weakness makes me unsure about what to do. I wouldn't normally vaccinate him for a flu, but all the hype around the swine flu definitely has me thinking.
Eventually we will all follow our own instincts, but I would love to hear whatever anyone has to say about it.
well. Thank you for your comments on my last post. I wrote a comment in that post summarizing much of what I'd read from you all. I hope you have a chance to go back and read it. I am so happy to have met so many amazing people with similar goals!
On Monday, I start school. I may have mentioned it before - I can't remember! The year I was pregnant, 2006, I completed two semesters of school for my Master's degree in Public History. But when Tristan came and I barely had time to take a shower, I knew I'd made the right decision to take a break.
I am signed up for two classes but I may need to reduce that to one. I am nervous. I am excited. But mostly I am excited. I love history. Especially personal history and place history and thing history - and these are what make up public history. My husband and I have a little joke - whenever someone asks me a question on world or ancient history I always look to him because really, I don't know much about world history! In college I focused on 19th-20th century American history...boring right? At least as compared to the history of the world? But my hubby came from Iran where schooling was learned and tested in much greater ways. I remember studying Alexander the Great in junior high, but I couldn't tell you much about what I read. My hubby knows all about that stuff though. I think he thinks it's pretty funny that I majored in history but couldn't tell you much about the Silk Road or the Roman Empire. Except from what I watched on HBO's Rome. The last show I enjoyed when my son was a little one. I don't watch TV anymore. Movies occasionally, but T.V....are you kidding?
So when will I study? I'm not getting a nanny and Tristan is not going to day care. I will study in the mornings, during his naps, and if he goes to bed early, I will study at night. Occasionally I can't sleep so I will keep a book near my bed. I've heard people can do all sorts of things with kids, even finish a degree. So I suppose I can do this. But other things will suffer - this blog for one. My crafty projects for another. I hope to post here occasionally though. I use this blog as an outlet for writing, among other things, so when I get excited about something, be sure you will hear about it here.
If for some reason this whole going back to school thing doesn't work, I think my life may change in other ways. I guess I always give myself an out, in case of failure (and not wanting to look like a failure!) But the thing that always motivates me is asking myself, "Is this the life I want to lead? --No? Then what needs to happen so that I am living the life I want to live?" This served as the impetus needed to divorce my first husband, apply for school when I started the master's program, have a child - so many life changing events began with this question.
The next time I write here may be a blast from the past...or maybe just some inspired thought from my classes or reading!
(this is quite a long post, but I hope you'll stay with it and give some feedback from questions at the bottom!)
Before New York -Rediscovering the Wilderness of 1609 by Peter Miller
This is the title page article that has beckoned me for several days now, from the September 2009 issue of National Geographic. I guess I'm predisposed to gravitating toward such an article because I'm a history nut, especially this sort of anthropological history, which takes an educated stab at what Manhattan looked like 400 years ago. By using a map made by the British Army dating back to the Revolutionary War, and by taking one animal, the beaver, which happened upon the banks of the Bronx River in 2007 after years of restoration, one ecologist and a huge team of people were able to weave together an ecosystem where the beaver both depended on and was depended upon for food, shelter, water, trees, and many other animals, insects and elements. The artist - well, ecologist, -who spawned this idea of finding out what Manhattan looked like before too many people came, was able to come up with a virtual look at a wild Manhattan - a lovely forest with animals and trees that once had potential to be a park on par with Yellowstone.
What stood out to me the most about this article was this thing called the Muir web. "Consider a beaver that lived at Times Square in 1609. If you grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and lifted him out of the web, you'd find lines connecting him to a slowly meandering stream, to the aspen trees he ate, and to the mud and twigs he used to build a lodge. Not only that, you'd also find lines to the bobcats, bears and wolves that depended on him as prey and to the frogs, fish, and aquatic plants that lived in the pond he helped to create. 'The beaver, it turns out, is a landscape architect, just like people...You need him to flood the forest, which kills the trees that attract the woodpeckers that knock out cavities that wood ducks use for shelter.' Lifting a beaver out of the web disrupts cores of other residents which demonstrates how important it can be to think about an ecosystem as a network."
After reading this I began to think about what it would be like if someone in my "network" were lifted up out of this particular ecosystem. Individually, I thought, we may not have too much of a physical impact. For example, if I were lifted up out of this ecosystem, the environmental impact might not make too much difference - the air conditioner would still hum, the water would still run, gas and electricity in my house would still be used. I don't drive all that much, but that would be slightly lessened...you get my drift here. The husband, wife, father, mother of a household contributes different things to the survival of that unit, be it food, money, shelter, keeping the house clean, laundry clean, whatever. Ok. That said, we all know the bigger impact of an individual loss is the emotional one, even when the fallout affects other aspects of one's life. So it's interesting for me to think the same way about an actual ecosystem, like that of Mannahatta (Lenape people's name for Manhattan meaning "island of many hills" according to NG) 400 years ago, as individual species slowly died off in favor of infrastructure, people, "progress", growth, etc...a smaller picture of what is going on worldwide today. So what here is the emotional impact of our environmental destruction? A tree, for example, may continue to grow in the worst smog, drought, or poor-soil environment, but will that tree be as strong and healthy as a similar tree in a clean-air, soil-rich, healthy environment? Of course not - though they both may continue to grow at a similar rate. The effects of the environment on that first tree may be unseen, perhaps the seeds may be altered in some way though, and that will affect the way the next tree grows from that seed. This perhaps is the psychological equivalent to a child growing up in a family that doesn't function well or doesn't love the child.
In the way that invasive, non-native species often take over a piece of land, choking out native species and all the intricate, woven lives that surround them, we too, as a people are doing this at an alarming rate, causing so many different kinds of impacts we cannot possibly foresee. So what can we do? People, for now at least, are here to stay. A non-native species is invasive, as we are. My only thought is to come up with some life guidelines for treading lightly on this earth we call home in order to have the least impact with the homes that each of us live in.
Use the earth you have wisely.
Use the conveniences you have wisely.
Love your children as though they are the very seeds you plant for survival.
These are so general and I would love to hear what each of you have to say about this. Aside from the extremes like Low-Impact Man, what thoughts can you come up with that contribute to a general life set of guidelines for creating the least impact while still living where you are (meaning, I don't think too many people are willing to live in a Manhattan apartment without using electricity like Low-Impact Man)? And also, what are you doing that is "extreme" or out of the norm for where you live - or anywhere, for that matter?
by the way, if you want to see what NYC looked like from some random street 400 years ago, visit the Mannahatta Project here.