Monday, April 30, 2007


1. Oh yea? Who's gonna make me?
2. I know you are, but what am I?
3. It takes one to know one!
4. You're not the boss of me!
5. Who do you think you are, my MOTHER?
6. I can if I want to!
7. Big deal!
8. Who cares!?
9. No duh!
10. I am rubber and you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to YOU!

Sunday, April 29, 2007


1. If you're going to wear a visor, make sure it matches your robes
2. Even enlightened beings need something to deal with the glare of the spotlight
3. Life is harder to take so seriously while wearing a visor
4. When you make a mistake, giggle, wear a visor, and say, "Oh! Sorry! I make mistake!"
5. When sitting cross legged all day, you're gonna want to sway back and forth gently to keep your butt from going numb
6. All world religions/traditions teach love, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, peace of mind
7. There must be mutual respect, therefore, for different religions, which are fundamentally the same
8. The Buddha (literally, the awakened one) himself taught different people differently, depending on their dispositions
9. Ignorance underlies all afflictions
10. Ignorance is not an UN-knowing, but a MIS-knowing

Saturday, April 28, 2007


The Universe conspired to send me quickly and dramatically to San Francisco to receive teachings from the Dalai Lama. Thursday evening I was minding my own business, 12 hours later I was a world away, being instructed on Dependent Origination, what is said to be the heart of Buddhism, by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.

I'm sorry, perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I RECEIVED TEACHINGS FROM THE DALAI LAMA! Oh, yea, there were 4,999 others there too, but who cares, I know he was talking straight to me.

The intense and heady teachings were broken into three 2-hour sessions. Long about hour 5 1/2 my friend sitting next to me leaned over and whispered, "You realize you're in the stream, don't you? You realize you've just received teachings from THE DALAI LAMA. All that's left is for you to take refuge."

"Taking refuge...." I thought to myself. Hmmmm... What do I think about that. I decided to do the "When in Rome" thing, stop thinking with my mind, and listen with my soul.

Sticking one toe into Buddhism was fine for awhile, plenty. Then I learned that wading could be nice, too. The water was warm, nothing to bite or sting. Do I want to dive in head first? What's stopping me? What stands in my way? What part of all that is real? What part of resistance is within, and what is without? As within, so without. Emptiness. Universality of suffering. Ceasation of suffering. Confusing thoughts making my mind work harder than it comfortably can. My body though? My soul? My "being" has never felt calmer. That has to be significant.

I am sure the Universe will compassionately bring me another teacher, when I'm ready for my next teachings. I'm not sure where you go after you've been taught by THE master, but I can't wait to find out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


1. Let him "shuffle".

2. Let him "deal".

3. Let him divide the "go fish" pile into as many piles as he wants - do not be concerned that they will be confused with his "books", which will also be turned face down and eerily resemble the go fish piles.

4. Pretend not to see him cheat. Pretend he is not planning what he is going to ask for, depending on what is next in the go fish pile of his choice.

5. Never get a book of Aces or Tens. Those are always his books. Always.

6. Never win. You can get up to five books, but that is all. Better if he gets all 13.

7. Everytime you ask him for a card, accept that he will say, "NO! GO FISH!" even when you know he's lying.

8. Everytime you tell him to "go fish" accept that he will say, "got one!" even though he is lying.

9. Everytime he draws a card, plug your ears, because he is going to shout, "GOTTA BOOK!"

10. Play Go Fish before meds kick in, pre-dawn, pre-caffeinated, and try not to kill him.

11. Play Go Fish after meds wear off, pre-brewski, and try not to kill him.

12. Always say, "Yes! I want to play Go Fish!" because if you don't, he'll hunt you down like a dog and not relent until you do. The sooner you say "yes", the sooner he'll cheat, win, and put you out of your misery.


The latest album I'm obsessed with is Mary Chapin Carpenter's new one, "The Calling". WOW!!!!!!!!!!! I'm especially perseverating on "On and On it Goes". Here are the lyrics:


River starts with a drop of rain
Somewhere in this world
Light years shape this arc of sky
And sand a precious pearl
And you will light a stranger's life
By letting yours unfurl
And on and on it goes
Sparks upon the wind
Like a July 4th, a crown of stars
And a good time grin
On and on it flies, on a new bird's wing
In a beating heart, the moon that rose
And the gift of spring

You can say that you'll never matter
Lose or win
The world won't care and it's hard to bear
Such a lonely wind
Buy you can change a stranger's life
By letting yours begin
And on and on it goes
Chance is everywhere
Like the train you took,
The rain that fell on the summer air
On and on it flies, like the time we've lost
It's either running out,
Or covering all our dreams in rust

Every night the TV shows
One more bad day's news
A world away from what I know
And what I do
But I could save a stranger's life
If I had a clue
And on and on it goes
Attention must be paid
Before it seems we're one soul short
And a second late
On and on it flies across the stratosphere
At the speed of love, if you stop
And feel it you will hear
On and on it goes
Sparks upon the wind
Like a July 4th, a crown of stars
And a good time grin
And on and on it flies, on a new bird's wing
In a beating heart, the moon that rose
And the gift of spring

Monday, April 23, 2007


When you have a child that defies all definitions, you must do one of two things, let go of the need to "define", or expand your list of definitions. I've tried to do both. What has been most helpful to me is Buddhism. Here are a few basic concepts/vocabulary terms. Take a look...

The Enlightened (or Awakened) One.

When spelled this way (capitalized), refers to the Teachings of the Buddha.

The Path of the Fourth Noble Truth: Right Understanding, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Attitude, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.

A blessed state in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains Nirvana.

Suffering. Suffering has a cause. Suffering has an end. There is a path that leads to the cessation of suffering (see Eightfold Path).

Literally, "action." Often translated "cause and effect."

Loving kindness.

METTABHAVANA - A meditation practice that develops loving kindness toward all sentient beings.

Absolute extinction of suffering and its causes.

A contemporary Vietnamese Zen monk and campaigner for peace. Among other things, he has suggested a 'positive' interpretation of the Precepts: Reverence for Life, Generosity, Sexual Responsibility, Deep Listening and Loving Speech, and Mindful Consumption.

three conditions that determine the moral quality of unskillful volitional actions, viz. greed (lobha), hate (dosa) and delusion (moha). Sometimes translated in other ways, e.g. lust, ill-will and ignorance.

three conditions that determine the moral quality of skillful volitional actions, viz. non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion.

For more handy definitions click here .

Enlightenment Mandala

Friday, April 20, 2007


Dreamed last night I was in high school, trying to remember my locker combination (I've got Dyscalculia, remember!) and suddenly there was a stranger trying to open his adjacent locker. He asked, "Do you always wear gowns to school?"

I looked down and noticed indeed, I was quite dressed up, which is really funny considering as I write this I am on day 2 of the same clothes, no shower, slept in these even, and am seriously considering finding the right hat to pull the whole outfit off again today!

I did put a lot of time and effort into what I wore and how I looked in high school. Funny. I've never been thinner, less grey, less wrinkled, less saggy, and yet I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to be beautiful! Now? Ummmm... again, just need the right hat and I'm good!

Beauty in high school is skin deep. Now I finally believe the old addage, "Pretty is as pretty does." The humans and muppets I consider beautiful now, are the ones that I admire, respect and seek to emulate. Botox? Hair color? Liposuction? I say if they make you feel better about yourself, then go for it, if you don't feel good about yourself, you're no good to others. But, that's the key, I think, do it for YOURSELF.

The dream ended with that stranger coming over to my house where I promptly put on an old flannel nightgown and said, "So? Still think I'm all that?" He didn't. I didn't care. I've made a lot of progress, at least when I'm asleep!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My friend Toeless just sent this to me. It made this non-cryer cry. Get ready to have your whole life re-evaluated! Be sure to watch the 4 minute video! It will do you in!

Please read the attached story and then watch the video. So when you think things are tough realize that you CAN accomplish anything.
[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''

And the video is below....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007



Rojo: Mom! You are not following directions! I said WAFFLES! Not THAT syrup, the OTHER syrup! Not THAT fork, the OTHER kind of fork!

Me: You're SOOOOOOO bossy! What makes you think YOU get to be the boss?

Rojo: DUH! It says so on my UNIFORM (done in the voice of Josh from "Drake and Josh" TV show)!


I go to my desk and see that Rojo has defied the rule to NOT TOUCH MY DESK PERIOD! Pens without caps, long strips of staples separated and everywhere, tape unrolled and stuck to important papers, Sharpie writing on notes that I can no longer read, I'm about to fume, when out of the corner of my eye I find a Post-It note. It's my "stickies" that say, "I meditate. I burn candles. I drink green tea... and still I want to smack someone." On there he has written in his scrawl, "ROJO AND MOM."

Drat, foiled again!

Monday, April 16, 2007


I'm not a theologist, but I play one on TV! Fortunately for you people, I think I know everything, and am all too happy to share each and every opinion of mine, freely with you! Worth every penny, always!

Two of the most amazing explanations of heaven have come from things I've recently read. Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love tells of her Indonesian medicine man explaining to her that heaven is seven levels of consciousness up to love. I get that. What I had a harder time reconciling was his definition of hell, seven levels down in consciousness, also to love.

Perhaps the purest definition comes from the clear thinking of an autistic child. Read this and prepare to ponder! Let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about this lately. We frown on those individuals that don't know how to delay their gratification. We call them impulsive, impetuous, immature, pain-in-the-asses.

We are taught to put-off our gratification until "later."

I would hate living in a society where everyone did whatever the hell they want, whenver they want, just WHENEVER, but "later"? Would you please tell me exactly when "later" is? It's kind of like "tomorrow", it never comes.

For me, and most everyone I know, we over-learned the lesson of delayed gratification. My dad died with gifts still in cellophane, the dog he always wanted but never got, the house needing a complete "face lift" but never getting one... Later, later, later DEAD!!!!

"Someday I'm going to paint/write/travel..." I hear.

Tomorrow, someday, later, they are arbitrary nothings. You are the boss of your life, not arbitrary nothings. Don't put off gratification until it's too late!

Friday, April 13, 2007


A friend's son in speech pathology, struggling with "l" words, is shown a picture.

"Light," instructs the speech path.

He looks at her confused.

"Light," she prods.

Turning the card upside down he corrects her, "That's not a light, that's a martini!"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Subtitled: Don't You Wish You Lived At Our House?

Just came across this excellent list of common learning "differences" (we don't say disabilities, they are differences). Check, check, check! We have them all going on here! I take FULL credit for being the one with Dyscalculia! If you've ever enjoyed a drive with me or had the thrill of travelling with me, you know what I'm talking about. Don't even get me going on my math phobia/anxiety/panic/shame!

DYSLEXIA is primarily used to describe difficulty with language proeessing and its impact on reading, writing, and spelling.

DYSGRAPHIA is the difficulty in expressing thoughts in writing and graphing.

DYSCALCULIA involves difficulty with math, the abstract concepts of time and direction and sometimes the location of the numbers on the face of a clock and/or the geographical locations of states, countries, oceans, streets, etc.

AUDITORY DISCRIMINATION is necessary to "break the code" for reading. It involves being able to perceive the differences between speech sounds, and to sequence these sounds into meaningful words.

VISUAL PERCEPTION addresses the ability to notice important details and assign meaning to what is seen.

NONVERBAL LEARNING DISORDERS (NLD) is primarily used to describe an inability to comprehend nonverbal communications, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction.

ATTENTION DEFICIT (HYPERACTIVITY) DISORDER (ADD/ADHD) may co-occur with learning disabilities. Features can include: marked over-activity, distractibility, and/or impulsivity and inattention.

Thinking this all through, I can identify just about everyone I know with one or another of these, which begs the question, "What is 'normal'?"

1) Sit on Daddy's bed in the master bedroom and watch "Bewitched".
2) When it's over it's time to walk myself down to afternoon kindergarten, three blocks straight from my house to Frances Willard Elementary School.
3) See Marty Hathaway on the playground, waiting for the doors to open.
4) Watch him flap his arms, close his eyes and shrink down to the ground pretending to be the Wicked Witch of the West from the "Wizard of Oz".
5) Listen to him say, "I'm mellllltttttiiiiinnnnggggggg" all the way into the classroom and most of the afternoon.
6) Repeat every day of kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade.
7) Always wonder what happened to Marty Hathaway.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You know you've hit the big time when your book shows up at Target!

Congratulations, Monica! You've ARRIVED!!!!!


Got a really interesting question posted on my blog today...

Anonymous said...

"This is amazing but not surprising. I truly believe that the world needs to hear your voice via the yellow couch as a perfect medium. But what will be your message...? because some will want to limit or eliminate these babies, children, teens, adults...and aren't we enriched by the likes of Rojo???"

Indeed. No question the world is better with more Rojos in it. Rojo is a HAPPY, JOYFUL, PAIN-FREE child. We need much more of these. I wouldn't wish the suffering of so many autistics on anyone. Anyone. I don't want to eliminate "special" children at all, but suffering, I'm all for eliminating that.

Like some of the parents on the Oprah interview, what I wish for is more compassion. That is the single biggest gift Rojo has given me, profound compassion. Loss of judgment. Much more patience. Much more "letting go". Although one of the Noble Truths is "There is suffering," I still strive to bring the antidote to suffering. These kids hold the secret to the antidote. They are here to teach all of us, if we'll learn, that truly, love, peace and compassion are all that matter. Nothing else. Nothing at all.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Once upon a time there was a little girl that lived in a house full of crazy people. The little girl read books. The books took her head out of the house with crazy people, and into the minds of others.

In junior high the girl read an obscure book, For the Love of Anne, a book about a family struggling to raise a daughter with autism. The girl was fascinated with this disorder, and never quite forgot that book.

In high school the girl had to write a term paper. Long before computers, this girl fought with Liquid Paper and poor typing skills, and turned in 10 pages of research on the subject of autism. In 1980 there wasn't a lot of information on autism, the girl read all that her library had.

The girl went to college and eventually became a teacher. She found she had a propensity for the "special" kids, the ones nobody else wanted in their classrooms. She tended to get more than her share of the discipline problems and the "slow and low" kids.

Eventually the girl became a woman and had children of her own. She continued to teach part-time, until such a time that her own child, her youngest, a son, was diagnosed as both slow and low. With each diagnosis came more inherent therapies the woman realized she alone was responsible for carrying out.

Words like Pervasive Developmental Delay and Autism were thrown around, then dismissed. Autism- with that "aut" for "auto=self" did not truly define her son. Although he certainly had the speech delays/communication issues, the "off" social skills and plenty of repetitive/odd behaviors, this boy was NOT about "self". This threw him out of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder into No-Man's Land. He remains to this day, the boy with 8 different diagnosis but no syndrome.

This woman noticed a fascinating trend, everyone around her was starting to have one of "these" kids, too.

"It HAS to be the water!" some said.

"The east side of Portland is worse than the west side," she heard.

"They're looking at the wrong generation," some felt. "They should be looking at OUR generation, the mothers and fathers. It was all that Tang and Space Sticks we ate growing up."

More questions than answers came up. Soon the woman was hard-pressed to think of one single family she knew that DIDN'T have a "weird kid" of some sort.

Again the woman hit the books. With the advent of the Internet she found herself able to research anytime and all the time. She did.

The woman still continues to learn. She knows that every 20 minutes a child in the US is diagnosed with autism. Autism is epidemic. They know there is both a genetic predispostion/susceptibility, as well as an environmental "trigger(s)". What the trigger is/isn't is highly controversial. Read my friend Michelle O'Neil's blog for much more on that subject.

The woman now is much more interested in what to do about these kids, than in what made them this way in the first place. She appreciates that there are those tireless souls doing that for her, so she can focus on preparing for the epidemic to hit the school systems, HARD. Schools are ill-equiped to deal with this epidemic. Schools that are equipped are small and expensive, and not an alternative to most. The woman knows it is one part of her calling to be on that end of this situation. These kids aren't going away. They are going to be hitting our systems in droves. It will force an educational revolution. Teachers will HAVE to teach differently. "Other people" will HAVE to look at disabilities differently. Progress will HAVE to be made in how we fund these expensive kids (estimated $10 Million to provide for an autistic person's lifetime expenses/care). Our justice system will have to be re-educated and re-structured. Our healthcare system will need a re-vamp. Our environmental awareness will need a big push.

Autism is a bigger health/public crisis than breast cancer or AIDS. We all ARE affected by it already, some just much more up close and personal. Fortunately, I read this from the Dalia Lama, and I have high hopes that our world will meet the challenge. We are in a renaissance of sorts, profound shifts, for the better, are being forced because of these kids. It's a great time to be alive and part of the revolution taking place!

"The world in general... is changing for the better. In recent times there is definitely a greater awareness and appreciation for peace, nonviolence, democracy, justice and environmental protection. The recent unprecendented response from governments and individuals across the world to the tsunami disaster victims reaffirms that the world is truly interdependent and the importance of universal responsibility."

Again, I'm so appreciative that Oprah did a show last week on autism. Can't wait to sit on that yellow couch and tell her in person!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


3 weeks ago...

"Mom, we're going to celebrate Easter and Dode's (my mother-in-law) birthday at my house. Do you want to come and bring a Jell-O salad?"

I am handing her a gift on a silver platter. She ADORES Jell-O salads. No holiday meal is complete without a Jell-O salad. Less than 1/2 of us will touch Jell-O, but nonetheless, it's a staple.

1 week ago...

"Where's that recipe for the Jell-O salad everyone likes at Thanksgiving?"

I show her the recipe.

"Oh, my goodness, SO much sugar! Do you use all that sugar? There's already sugar in the Jell-O, you know! I think I'll make one with less sugar. None of us need all that sugar."

"Sounds great. Make whichever recipe you'd like."

This morning...

"I know you're not answering the phone because you don't recognize my cell number on your Caller ID. You really ought to write this number down somewhere so when I call you'll know it's me calling. I hardly use this thing, I don't even know the number myself, but when there's an emergency, I need you to recognize the number when it comes up."

I check the time, 9:24, the call came in at 9:11 (how appropos). I had the hairdryer on, didn't hear the phone ring. Called "the" number immediately...

"Oh good, it's YOU! I'm sitting in the Safeway parking lot waiting for your call! I didn't want to drive ALL the way (3/4 mile) back home since I've just been to church and the church is practically next door to Safeway. The Jell-O salad I made for the brunch is a disaster. I'll just pick up something at Safeway and bring that."


"Potato salad?"

"No - we've got a hot potato dish."

"Green salad?"

"Got that too. Why don't you just not worry about it, we'll be fine with what we've got."

"No. I want to bring something."

"OK, how about fruit?"

"Fruit. Yes. I'll bring fruit."

(And Vodka, I pray silently to myself. Lots and lots of Vodka.)

While sprinkling extra garlic salt on his already heavily salted sourdough toast, kicking the breakfast bar wildly, humming and higher than a kite from having already eaten 1 lb. of Easter candy, Rojo says...

"Mom? Duh! It's not the Easter Bunny that puts out all the eggs!"

"It's not?"


"Who is it, then?"

"Duh! It's his DAD!"

"The Easter Bunny's dad?"

"Duh! His name is Deevohn"

Saturday, April 07, 2007


To answer all those pesky grammar questions, go here: Grammar Girl

Thursday, April 05, 2007


1. Gorgeous weather
2. Long walk with great friend in gorgeous weather. Solved all the world's problems.
3. Planted flowers in the gorgeous weather, now planters look gorgeous
4. Lady that rear-ended us called to see how we're all doing, and thank us for being so nice to her
5. Oprah did a show on Autism and now the world will re-calibrate accordingly. 1 in 87 boys has Autism. Not enough can be made of this.
6. I listened to beautiful music and filled all the plastic Easter eggs today instead of what I was "supposed to do"
7. I took an hour and a half nap instead of doing what I was "supposed to do" today
8. My husband had a business meeting that went really well today, "when" he gets this project, lots of exciting things will happen for him and for us
9. I tried to park at the grocery store but a wayward cart was in the way and a stranger dropped their groceries to move it for me.
10. I'm really liking the word "gorgeous" - it makes me happy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I'm always saying, "There are no accidents!" So I'm going to have to say that when we were rear-ended yesterday, it wasn't an accident. It was an incident. If I had a nickel for every time the four of us are all in the car together, I'd have myself about ten cents. Yet, yesterday we were. All four of us on the freeway off-ramp at 9:15 AM on the Monday morning following Spring Break. Ironically, we'd just stopped for gas and to put air in a leaky tire, as to avoid any trouble along the way.

The cars in front of us stopped suddenly, my husband stopped quickly but the Prius behind us didn't react in time. She stopped only when the impact from our car drove her engine within inches of her steering wheel. Two air bags and a seat belt later, she walked out of the car injury-free. The four of us, 4 seat belts later, also walked away without a scratch.

Could have been worse. Could have been much, much worse. Everyone was insured, we already have our car in for 3 weeks of body work, and a rental car. Nothing more than a minor inconvenience on a Monday morning.

There are no accidents!

Monday, April 02, 2007


"Emptiness should be understood in the context of dependent arising and it should evoke a sense of fullness, of things created by causes and condidtions. We shouldn't think that self is something that is originally there and then eliminated in meditation; in fact, it is something that never existed in the first place."

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I'm not a big toucher. I'm fine with the hugs, handshakes, the occasional pat on the back, but I wouldn't describe myself as a touchy person. If I could erect an invisible fence, like dogs have, in my king-sized bed, I'd give my husband a zap every time he dared to let a toe move over the line. Beds are for sleeping. How's a person supposed to sleep when someone else is in their space? I totally don't get that.

My kids' shrink says humans were meant to sleep together. We sleep better snuggled up next to someone. I don't know what the hell he's talking about. This has never sounded like a good idea to me. What with the moving, the bad breath, all the other things bodies do when they relax, no thanks.

Last week I was treated to a massage. It was a gift from a friend. I've had a few massages in my life, always a pleasant experience, some better than others, but always a nice thing. This one was different, though. This massage therapist had the most amazing "touch." She never spoke. I never spoke. Everything was communicated through touch. As the massage transitioned form one stage to another, she took my limbs and so carefully and gracefully tucked them back into the blankets. There was such grace. Such tenderness. Such "touch." Perhaps had I experienced more of this kind of touch in my life, I'd have grown up liking it.

So much damage, so much good can come from our touch. I'm thinking I've not made enough of this phenomenon. I'm thinking it's time to get in touch with that.