Monday, March 24, 2008

A Poem written against Despair

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
Naomi Shihab Nye

She walked around the circular block of her neighbourhood
and saw that it was good.
She saw lawns newly cut, hedges neatly trimmed,
gardens clipped and tidy.
She saw chrysanthemums flourishing in pots, purple and gold.
She saw asters and brown-eyed Susans in abundance.

She saw three children in the playground.
One toddler, hands full of cookies, came to pat her dog.
(Maggie saw that it was good).
She saw the fresh pavement on the driveway,
where a new family had just moved in.
She saw the sumacs flaming orange and red along the
soccer field, and maples’ tips torched with the same fire.
She saw the houses, driveways and lawns,
each one more beautiful than the last.
She saw the sky was blue and the sun was warm,
and she told herself that it was good.

And that, in spite of the continuing war in Iraq,
uncommon famine in Darfur,
continued violence in Afghanistan and Sudan,
the Aids epidemic in Africa,
junkies in downtown cores and homeless children
all over the civilized world,
that to be alive, right here and now, was good.

She took a deep breath, and told herself,
Just for today, all I can do
is quiet the war inside of me,
give up the struggle in my own heart.

If just for today, one person gives up despair
and practices opening her heart to hope,
then peace in the heart will be her gift.

@ Jennifer Boire

Friday, March 14, 2008

Honour Your Inner Diva with a day off

Have you seen the Tampax Pearl ad (I saw it in January's People magazine) that says, "Divas don't take days off"?

I'd like to change that ad, rewrite it to say, Divas dive deep on down days and take a breather.

How unfortunate that our 'joining' the masculine world of work has made us forget our feminine centre and our need for rest. We want to be up and running 30 days out of the month, but that's not healthy.

On a slightly different topic, I was visiting a friend who is a busy mom at home, with a 6 year old and a 2 year old girl. She reminded me what it was like to be at home with small children: no time to pee let alone read my emails, is how she put it. It reminded me also of how I struggled to feel 'productive' when I was in that stage. Children are so right brain, and non-linear, kind of floaty and still close to a dream state of imagination. And as adults we are in the linear, 'get to Point B from Point A' mode, so we push and pull them to get somewhere on time, make them fit into the linear, square box of pre-school or 'world out there', when really they are still round pegs, connected to the feminine, not able to fit into the 'productivity' and time-centered world of big people.

What would it be like to just accept that non-linear mode, enjoy life in the slow lane. Not even try to get out to a playgroup in 3 feet of snow with a stroller that can't roll on sidewalks, but invite other moms over to play and chat instead, with no structure or deadlines.

What if a woman could take a day off work right before her period, or on the first day, when she is feeling like she needs some down time, quiet time, to withdraw and be silent.

What would it do for our relationships if we could create a sense of sanctuary for our couple, time and space to be alone together without having to be somewhere, do something?

All this 'lack of time' and getting places on 'time' causes so much frustration. So let your sense of time be suspended when it's that special time of the month. Honour your inner diva.

Divas do take days off, and they are better women for it.