I had a very hard time with my Mother, her words mostly wounding, her anger terrifying. It was my father’s kind and loving heart that saved my childhood and my spirit. So when Mother’s Day comes round a tug of war ensues. I feel my heart segue-ing not to memories of my own childhood but rather to my experience as a mother – and that, too, is complicated and bittersweet because of the loss of two daughters.
That and the fact that we never know the truth of parenting until we do it ourselves – the sacrifices, the hard work, the unselfishness, the solving of unsolvable riddles – all that our parents gave and did stands out in bold relief as we struggle to do as well as they did, never mind better. So for me, the emotions of this celebratory day are exponential and complex. Continue reading “A Few Thoughts on Mother’s Day” »
Posted on May 9th 2014 in Family
Western women never reach higher than the 5th level of orgasm,” my Chinese Medicine teacher told me. As he was both a Master Martial Artist and an MD as well as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, I thought I’d better pay attention. “In China, the ninth level would be considered minimal expectation. One thousand strokes would easily produce such an orgasm.”
“A thousand strokes?” I repeated, trying to wrap my head around the visual that provoked. Continue reading “Chinese Sexual Secrets So Secret, Nobody Knows They’re There” »
Posted on March 28th 2014 in Health
, Martial Arts
Shared history has immense power. I didn’t know how much until my divorce. It wasn’t only my future dreams that vanished with my husband, but the comfort of shared history that had been far more a source of strength for me than I’d realized. We were the same age, so we shared the same jargon, memories, music, flashpoints in history… I had no idea how difficult it would be to find a way to re-create that comforting commonality.
A few years after my divorce, I began to date a much younger man. I thought he was 10 years older than he was, he thought I was 10 years younger than I was. When I realized there was a near 20 year discrepancy in our ages, I panicked. I called a male friend and colleague twenty years younger than I and asked what I should do. “That’s easy,” he said enthusiastically. Continue reading “A Shared History” »
Posted on March 14th 2014 in Life
I’m in love with my dog. There’s really no other way to express it. He’s a former pound-puppy, rescued from the Humane Society at 5 months, now grown to 120 pounds of pure, unadulterated love and devotion.
When Dakota went off to college five years ago, and my nest was disturbingly empty for the first time since I was 22 years old, I knew I’d never be able to face life alone unless I found a dog to share it with me. Not just any dog, of course – it had to be my perfect dog, because during a long and circuitous life, I’d been blessed by the gods with perfect dogs, as well as a couple of clinkers, so I knew the difference. Continue reading “I Love My Dog” »
Posted on December 21st 2013 in Family
I’ve been having an imaginary conversation with my heart lately. Not the physical heart exactly, although I admire its pluck and constancy enormously. But the metaphoric heart of me that loves, not necessarily wisely, but pretty well, and that has taken a lot of hits over the years.
It occurred to me one day, while reading a Chinese medical Text that explained how the heart is the seat of the intellect, the emotions and the spirit, as well as the fountainhead of love – that this is a really big lot of stuff to be in charge of. No wonder one in three women now dies of heart failure. So I decided to acknowledge my Herculean heart as best I could. Continue reading “Heart Murmurs” »
Posted on September 29th 2012 in Happiness
, Loving Life
I confess to feeling slightly foolish blogging about Titanic, but the phenomenon of Dakota and her pals going to see it in Imax 3-D – for their 34th lifetime viewing – set me to pondering what on earth could have precipitated that kind of devotion to a movie. OK. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit I’ve read all three volumes of Kristin Lavransdatter eight times, sobbing through every one of the readings, so maybe this is just this generation’s great love story, but still…
It made me remember the first time round when she and her friends – then 8 years old – fell under the enchantment of what turned out to be a life event. Let me explain:
No longer did they play Barbie or American Girl Doll, they sat instead listening rapt to the Titanic CD, or they put on Rose and Jack costumes and went down with the ship in tearful splendor. Dakota and her friend Sydney went Trick or Treating dressed as the Titanic and the Iceberg, and made the local papers! Continue reading “You Jump… I Jump…” »
Posted on September 22nd 2012 in Family
You can’t grow up to be a writer of love stories, if you aren’t an incurable romantic.
Despite my own history of picking lemons in the Garden of Love – and oxytocin notwithstanding – I’ve found that I need to believe in true love. I have seen it – not often – but enough to believe it possible. My Apache friends say you only need to see one white crow to know all crows are not black.
In the darker days when heartbreak threatened to teeter me into cynicism about true love, and I almost succumbed to a disbelief in its very existence, it comforted me to remember that much of the world’s greatest love poetry had been penned by men – ergo, somewhere, sometime there have been men who loved-deeply, truly and forever. So it isn’t an impossible dream (at least that’s what I told myself.) One White Crow, is all you need.
So I offer you just a few of my favorite love poems for your heart’s delight:
Continue reading “Loving Love Poetry” »
Posted on January 13th 2012 in Love
, The Philosopher’s Teacup
Ever wonder why women have sex and think they’ve fallen in love, while men have sex and think they’ve just had sex? I may have stumbled onto an answer worth passing along. I’m not sure I can affect anything in the interaction of the genders by making this information public, but if it could simply make women more aware of the source of our own vulnerabilities, perhaps it would be worthwhile knowledge to possess.
Continue reading “Biology in the Bedroom” »
Posted on January 11th 2012 in Love
, The Philosopher’s Teacup
I wanted to love and be loved forever. I wanted to grow old with the man I loved. Like Yeats with Maude Gonne, we’d love the sorrows of each others’ changing faces, and it wouldn’t matter one whit if we weren’t young and beautiful anymore, because we’d laugh together at the losses and infirmities, and we’d see each other on the inside, where our hearts and souls would still be lovely as before, and we’d bask together in the beauty of a life well-lived, a family well-raised, shared accomplishments to look back on with pride and affection. Continue reading “What I Learned About Love” »
Posted on October 21st 2011 in Love
, The Philosopher’s Teacup
“Language instead of tears. Anger instead of pent-up misery. Action and change instead of acceptance and self defeat. A warrior instead of a victim.”
—Nellis Wong, Poet, founder, the Women Writers Union
I was married for twenty years to a man I loved far too much for far too long. It never, not even for one minute, occurred to me that I wouldn’t be married to him forever. All my dreams — to say nothing of my time, money, reputation and even my business life — were all inextricably intertwined with his, in that comforting entanglement that grows with the years and makes you feel loved and safe. Continue reading “Divorce… and the Grace to Go Forward with Courage” »
Posted on October 14th 2011 in Love
By the grace of God and a fast outfield, I find myself the mother of a 21 year old, born so many years after my first two daughters, it might as well be considered a separate lifetime
Dakota is perched on the precarious edge of womanhood now, and she’s a deep one, never precipitous in her approach to life, always observing and assessing. Because of the difference in our ages I sometimes wonder when we speak of important question marks in life whether she’s tucking away what we say to each other on the great tape-recorder of soul, for some faraway day, when I’m just a memory, and she’s standing at the kitchen window, wishing she could share a cup of tea with me again… just as I often find myself wishing I could sit down with my own parents, now long gone, to share some thoughts on what the years have wrought. I wonder if whatever I say now will seem quaint and old fashioned by then, or if whatever comes directly from the heart, never ages at all.
Posted on December 4th 2010 in Family
, Loving Life