Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How big can a family be?

On the one hand, I'm pretty blissed out nowadays. I've been practicing mindfulness, trying to be present to the beauty that surrounds us, the kindness and joy of our daughter, and the love of our families and friends and even of the people with whom I walk down the street. Just, so much love coming to you, it breaks your heart open sometimes. Which makes it that you have more love to give.

And then here we are, waiting for even MORE love to come to our family. It's been about two months now. Waiting, for a child still unknown to us, but probably she is somewhere in Ethiopia, maybe struggling or suffering or maybe doing okay -- maybe in an orphanage already, or with a relative, or maybe still with her mamma. This time in the adoption process is charged and strange to me: to see that nothing, really, differentiates this unknown child, who deserves the world, whom we will love unquestionably, unfathomably -- nothing really distinguishes her, at this moment, from any other child in the world. She could be ANYone. And so I realize my responsibilities to the children of the world are greater than I had previously allowed. And that is heavy and hard, especially in these heart-broken-open sort of days, when so much love is coming to you.

The fact is, if I went to Ethiopia today, I might walk right by my child on the street. If she were begging, I might offer her a banana or a boiled egg. I might not realize that she is the child I am to love as my own. And if the next day, walking down the street, they said, "This is your child!" and they chose her from the throng of children, what if I asked, 'Well, why not the one next to her?' And if they said, "Sure! That one, then!" I mean ... doesn't there seem to be just something false about the entire construct of it? That we will love one and not the other?

For me, the question is raised: How do I draw the line? Should I draw the line? I could be the mother of any of them. Or, if time shifted just a little bit, 20 or 30 or 40 years, I could be mother to any of the men and women I pass by on the street each day. Where does my responsibility end? To my child, to the things I take responsibility for. What is the difference between "my" child and any of the children of the world?

The randomness and arbitrariness of it and maybe even the falseness of it -- that I love and care for this child but not that one -- breaks my heart. Because the immensity of the responsibility and of the potential for love and for, dare I say, the peace of the world is all in this one seed of realization: That the divisions between us are all but imagined. And that we must love and care for each other. But, like, seriously do it. Maybe we can't undertake parenting all the people of the world, but surely we can at least act like we're all friends.

Is what I'm thinking.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kreativ Blog Award

A few weeks ago my friend Zoe (chasingsaints.wordpress.com) was kind enough to name me as one of her seven favorite bloggers. Which is great! I'm glowing!

There are rules, of course.

1. Thank the person who awarded it to me (thank you thank you thank you Zoe!) and link the person’s blog on mine.
2. Identify seven things about myself.
3. Award seven bloggers with the “Kreativ Blogger Award,” post links to their blogs, and leave a comment on each of their blogs, to let them know of the honor. To quote Zoe, "I"m not sure what a Kreativ blogger is… and why can’t it just be spelled right? Or is that just me not being very “Kreative,” thereby proving I don’t deserve this award?" Ha ha ha. I do like that Zoe.

But I can't choose favorites! I will just say that I follow all the blogs to the lower right of my screen, with the addition of oneworldnotthree.blogspot.com. I love them ALL. Really. And I will just say that even though samsamuelsammy.blogspot.com almost never blogs, when she does it is wonderful. And that Quest for Bearable Lightness of Being (lazyhighhock.blogspot.com/) forges into the darkest saddest parts of our collective heart and then bravely documents it all. And that itsasmallspot.blogspot.com/ had not written for five months but now she has again just yesterday AND she is promising to write again soon (which she has said before but maybe this time she means it? Ah hem?) and she her writing is so worth watching for.

The regulations stipulate that I now write seven things about myself, but in fact, I'm not going to. Too boring. A Kreativ way of following the rules, no? Ha!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bored of Spain posts?

Me, too! This is the last one.

This is Montassir de Montserrat, a sad place whose former glory has been sold out to shopping centers, eateries and tour buses. We walked along some of the paths leading to the hermitages up above. Perhaps we should have just taken the furnicular??!



We didn't take it. It just seemed too unnatural.

And then this. Is this funny?


Here we are in Madrid outside the CaixaForum, where every exhibit was closed except for one on Palladio; he's the architect who invented Palladian windows. Which, I don't even like those.


However they did have this -- the whole exterior wall is thick with plants. I want one.


Here we were just walking downtown on our last day looking to buy Spanish ham for a friend in Dakar and we came across ... a parade! With horses! It looks pretty chaotic behind us in this pic, but it was a fairly organized mile-long parade of horses prancing by. I just love Dessi's face in this one.


Walking along a wall in the Prado. I could have stayed here all day, several days...


... but Dessi was not into it and making a lot of noise. She was in fact sort of on the cusp of bad behavior this whole day.


And here we are, eating lunch outside the Guggenheim (I think). Aren't these two just stupid cute? They sure do love each other.



And that is all. No more Spain!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

All in a Day's Work

I would like to just point out that all of these pictures were taken within 75 seconds of each other. AND that nothing really happened, good or bad, one way or another. Something in her world just shifted for her. We've been having a bit of that lately.





Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We went to The Gambia, walked, played frisbee and collected shells along the endless beaches, swam in the pool, walked along the curbs (this is her new favorite thing -- to try to balance as she makes her way along these 4" blocks of concrete), and counted our blessings. This being the main one:


Doesn't she look kinda like Kim Jong-il? Li'l bit. Right? Li'l bit.

We swam a lot, and in the pool we played a game where Dessi stands on my hands and I lift her up out of the water, kind of balancing her on my palms. I don't know why it was so funny to her, but you would not believe the laughing. On and on, over and over.


There's a zen koan that asks, How many more times in your life will you watch the full moon rise? The parenthood equivalent: How much longer will your child be small enough to bathe in a sink? Either way, we must not waste a moment.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Can't help but to sing

Here we are on a VERY grumpy day this past summer. I just love this video, though, because it shows how she can't NOT sing. Even when she reallyreallyreallyreallydoesn'twanttomamma. The whole day was like this, though -- just her whining and me pulling us along. Barely. I think you can hear me sigh loudly at the end of this.