Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Gift of Drew

Jenny is a brilliant teacher. Beloved. She has a sterling reputation in the county. Her soprano high notes are clear and sweet. A few years back she directed Godspell and gave so many of us the opportunity to grow and shine. She sings with Seattle Pro Musica - an elegant, classical choir that surely causes the angels to applaud. 

Jenny makes Italian food infused with goodness and love. She crams 38 hours into a regular day. If you want something done, call her - it will be a glorious success. Her passion, intelligence, playfulness and generous heart have dripped on all of us. We are blessed to call her friend. I do not think she will fully know the influence she has had on these children, or us - at least in this life.

The ripples go out forever.

I asked her to retell this story. It moved me greatly when I saw the pictures last week. Thanks Jenny. 

I’ve had the pleasure of teaching thousands of children in my 21 years.  I don’t think there is a type of student that I haven’t taught.  Each child is special and unique in their own way.  I have enjoyed learning how to make these children into musicians - some easier than others - some not so easy, but worth all of the effort.  I’ve loved them all, even the ones that thought I hated them because I was too hard on them.  They have all inspired me through my career to learn to be a better, more understanding and caring teacher. Sometimes, my strong, passionate personality is not well-received. 

Lately, a present student of mine has had a lot of attention due to some pictures I posted on Facebook.  I’d love to tell you about Drew – probably one of the most unique children I’ve ever taught. 

Drew is a 10-year old student at my school.  I’ve taught him since he was a little first grader.  To me, Drew has always been a puzzle that I haven’t been able to solve.  He comes across as very emotional and at times secluded little boy.  Many times, it seems as if he’s not paying a single bit of attention in class.  There have been many times over the years where Drew has gotten in trouble in my class for not paying attention, social issues, personal space issues and not following directions.  There have been many times when Drew has cried, been extremely sensitive and dramatic.  He goes in cycles. Over the years, I’ve come to know the times of year when he is going into his more difficult modes.

According to Drew’s mother, he was an almost silent baby.  He never spoke until he was nearly 2, when he looked at a women’s room sign and spelled out the word “W-O-M-E-N.”  He also attended pre-school for 3 years because of his silence. 

1st and 2nd grade were tough for Drew – not academically, but socially and maturity-wise.  I think many people have tried to put a label on Drew.  His mother said that he’s been labeled “Autistic” by a doctor.  I think many of us have drawn up a “diagnosis” where Drew is concerned.  He is truly unique.  But Drew’s mother refuses to attach a label to her son and let’s Drew be Drew.  She does recognizes that he is different and has made some “unpopular” decisions where her son is concerned. 

Drew has been in the Highly Capable program at our school.  In second grade, he had a teacher with whom he worked well.  Drew’s mother decided to keep him in that class for 3rd grade, as well.  She thought that this would be best for his maturity.  This did not mean him repeating second grade, however.  Instead, Drew worked independently on a 3rd grade curriculum in his 2nd grade class.  Because of his brilliance, he also attended 5th grade math classes with a teacher who had a particular interest in Drew. 

Drew is a genius.  On his ITBS tests, he scored a perfect score.  All of his teachers have said that he is the smartest kid they have ever taught.  I think we expect so much out of him because of his brilliance.  We expect a certain maturity level to be associated with someone this intelligent.  He is very articulate, well-read and at times…..ok….most of the time, is quite “puffed up” when it comes to his intelligence level. 

Drew’s mother decided to have him skip 4th grade this year.  People found this to be odd since she chose to hold him back maturity-wise the year before.  We all questioned how Drew would be able to handle a 5th grade environment.  How would the kids react to him?  Would he still cry at the drop of a hat?  Would he be able to handle the curriculum?  Ok...none of us really questioned this…..but I did when it came to music.  For me, this meant that Drew would skip two years of music.  How would he be able to keep up with kids that have been reading music more fluently than he was being asked to in his 2nd grade music class? 

I started a violin program this year.  I don’t play the violin, but wanted to put a higher level instrument in my students’ hands than a plastic recorder.  Drew was particularly taken with the violin.  There were days in the beginning when he would cry - because he would make a mistake. There were days when the class would be independently practicing what I asked them to practice and Drew would be done with that and go on to his own activity.  One time, he called me over and said “Hey Mrs. Price, I think I’ve figured out Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  And of course, he had.  I knew Drew was enjoying the challenge of the violin, but I guess I never realized how much until 2 weeks ago. 

I had 30 students play their new violins for the board of education.  I tried to pick a variety of kids for this presentation.  Drew was in this group. I think he liked the challenge of being with kids who were picking up on the violin like he was.  I prepared the kids for that performance that afternoon and then had them back that evening to play. 

The kids did a fantastic presentation.  I was so proud of them.  They showed the audience and the board so much…so much of what is good in children, what is good in school and what is good within the human spirit.  They were so poised, proud and so sure of themselves-at least it appeared so. 

At the end of the presentation, I asked the audience to ask the kids questions.  Our superintendant asked the kids “What is it that you love the most about playing the violin?”  Most kids gave great answers…but no child gave a more passionate and heart-felt answer as Drew.  Drew said “Well…’s just so much fun..and I love it so much and I look forward to playing it so much…and I just wish I had a violin of my very own.”  The audience smiled and sweetly moaned a happy moan at how sweet this little boy was.  I too, was charmed by the young Drew.  But I also giggled at his somewhat “over the top” dramatic tone….one that at times made me wonder could this kid be for real?

 Later that week, I found out how “real” Drew was where the violin was concerned. 

The next morning, a staff member who attended the board meeting emailed me and asked “Jenny, who was the little boy on the end?”  I told her who it was.  She asked “Does he really want a violin?”  I answered back, “I believe he would love one.”  She asked “How much does a violin cost?”  When I told her that a case, shoulder rest, bow and violin cost about $200.00, she wrote back and said “Tell me more about Drew.”  

I told her about him.  Her email back said “Boy, can I pick ‘em or what!!?!!  Yes, I’ll get him a violin.”  I was shocked.  I didn't expected that kind of response from that performance.  I never expected Drew’s answer to have the kind of reaction that would compel a person be moved enough to buy a violin for a student.  

Throughout this meeting, all I could think about besides my kids performing well, was that I needed to sell myself to the board.  To sell music.  To show them how important music is to these kids so they wouldn’t dare consider cutting our music program at such hard economic times.  

Little did I know that one of the reasons for that performance was so a little boy could be given a gift -and a benefactor could give of her heart - to make the difference in the life of a child she didn’t even know.  

I learned a lot from that meeting!

I called Drew’s mom and spoke to her of this generous gift.  She was so excited.  I could hear the tears in her voice.  She shared with me a story about her older son who had just gotten a bunch of hockey equipment from Craig’s List.  Mom had also been looking online for a violin for Drew, but was having no luck. 

Drew sadly said to his mother, “Isn’t there just a little bit of extra money for me so that I can have a violin?”  When she told me this, my eyes filled with tears. 

I called Drew down to my room to tell him of the generosity that was being shown to him.  He was in shock….cried……excited……..  We discussed being gracious and not sharing the story with everyone, so that other kids didn’t feel slighted.  He understood. 

Drew’s violin showed up this Wednesday.  I called Drew out of class and had him come to the office.  I pulled Drew’s violin out of the box and unwrapped his precious gift for him.  As he walked into the office, he burst into tears.  The office staff and I watched this young boy hold his greatest treasure –  his first violin.  

He sobbed as we cried along with him.  Drew hugged his violin saying thank you over and over as big crocodile tears fell from his eyes.  I could barely hold my camera still as I tried to take pictures of him.  I hoped that the camera would capture what my eyes had just witnessed.  What a beautiful moment Drew gave me.  

For once, I didn’t put up my hand and tell Drew to “turn off the water works – it’s not going to work.” Instead, I let him cry all that he needed to cry. 

The secretaries asked Drew to play a song for them.  Since Drew is a beginner, he needed tape marks on his fingerboard so his hand could be in first position.  I wondered if he could handle finding those pitches without the tape being there.  Why I even questioned his sense of pitch, I do not know…but I was fascinated at how his little fingers adjusted the pitch when he was slightly out of tune - a proud moment for his extremely pitch-sensitive teacher. 

My violin assistant – a community member who is a string player and helps me teach violin - took Drew aside the next day and told him that she would give him lessons if he promised to practice.  Something tells me, Drew will do nothing else. 

This Friday he took his violin home.  I wonder how big his calluses are on his fingers! I will probably hear all about it on Tuesday when I see him again. 

I have learned so many things from this experience.  I’ve learned what it is like to work with a young, sensitive boy who takes pleasure in the simple joy of loving music. What a beautiful thing. I’ve learned about being a benefactor to a complete stranger and what a gift that can be.  I’ve learned to be a better and more understanding teacher.  I’ve learned that I never quite know what it is that I will teach, that will reach even the most unique and challenging students.  Maybe it took me taking on a violin that could reach someone like Drew.  In any case, I’m glad I took that step…because in the end, it made the difference in the life of a child. 

Thank you for that lesson and for this experience, Drew.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget you over the years.  And maybe someday, when you are in some major symphony, you will think back to the day you received your first violin and will share the story with someone else.  

Friday, February 26, 2010

Contagious Flamenco

Before I started writing this , it was a temptation to google, study and read about this subject. I declined my inclinations because I wanted only speak from my heart, instead of my head.

Our oldest daughter took Flamenco dance classes for 2 years. The first year it was one on one. The second it was with a famous teacher here in the PNW.

I have been to a few Flamenco performances and watched many practices.

We have a young friend who plays flamenco guitar. He was an exchange student in Spain for a year. While there, he had the good fortune to be invited to experience a flamenco gathering with the locals. It was in a cave-like place with real artists, not the caricature of talent performing for tourists. As he described it, it affirmed what this dance is about.

At these gatherings, often the young girls will perform first. Flamenco is very interactive. The audience participates with appreciative gusto using their body, voice and hands. Clapping is refined innuendo. The guitarist has full stage presence with the dancer. The circle is all inclusive. Overlapping. Symbiotic. Synchronistic.

This warm, intimate circle of feedback and encouragement goes on and on. No one becomes fatigued. Often, the best is saved for last. It is usually an older, wrinkled crone. Grey hair skinned back from sharp cheeks and a round body belying the gift she is about to give.

She is the most deeply honored and revered person in the room. Completely at odds with the shallow, airbrushed way we compare beauty in our culture.

Her elegant hands mesmerize. Strength and gracefulness mesh as one, from the top of her noble head and proud breast, to the repetitive strikes of her heals reverberating the windows and floor. The very air vibrates with passion. She takes your breath away.

There is nothing more magnificent than this matron of honor. Yet, if you are able to take your eyes off her, there is nothing more magnificent than the crowd with shining eyes pushing her beyond herself to duende. If your eyes come back to the stage, you realize confusedly, that the lone guitarist is really the one to whom all honor is due. What a gorgeous thing to be confused about.

If you see flamenco with a male and female dancing together, bring a cup of ice to rub on your neck and keep a fan in your lap. It makes me want to do the thing that leads to families. It makes me want to live...... full throttle, until I birth something grand. Passionate artists create desire in us to procreate.... art. 

It is possible to be drunk without alcohol. A community of artists causes me to wake up blinking and find myself pregnant with ideas, fresh thinking, new insight and passionate inspiration. The circle never ends.

Don't be afraid of drinking the water. Do. Great gulps of it.

This is a tribute to the lovely souls who support, endorse, applaud and stand shoulder shoulder in the ongoing effort to encourage and inspire one another. You know who you are. Thank you. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sex, Lies and Religion Book Review

The book I just finished is Sex, Lies and Religion by Randy Elrod. The acknowledgments at the end of the book made me weep with envy. The good kind. He has an astonishing group of friends supporting and surrounding him while he bravely proclaims a truth and uncovers lies. As I finished reading, I felt included; lifted by these witnesses.

Dr. Kevin Leman, who wrote Sheet Music, is the only other Christian author I've read, who pounces on the subject of our sexuality with playfulness, humor and an easy way of dialoguing. Both of these guys are unembarrassed. I stand with them. Unashamed and unembarrassed by the invitation to this wild banquet we've been asked to attend. This table is filled with wonderful things beyond our imagination - we don't have to starve. I can joyfully eat my fill. Crumbs and berry juice, butter and honey dripping from my chin.

For years, I've wondered if it is hard for men to comprehend the wonder of being 'the bride of Christ'. Being men, how could they? Men enter, they don't receive. I think every man can explore this metaphor and easily relate. Finally.

Is it pornography or art? The discussion here leaves no doubt where the dividing line is drawn. There is a wide, black demarkation line making a huge difference between these two opposites.

Long ago, someone was puzzled when I shared how beautiful I felt when Craig desired me, wanted me and pursued me. We had a different paradigm. My paradigm spiritually and sexually matches what Randy is sharing. I kept saying yes and yes as I read. Someone put into words, beautiful words, how I feel as a Bride and as a bride.

We invite Him into the sacredness of our bedroom, locked in, locked into a 3-way embrace. Randy is the first person who says it out loud. For this, I'm grateful. My little voice is shouting along with his big voice. Join in, we'll raise a ruckus and make the mountains rumble. Tumbling the lies to rubble.

Here are some quotes from the book:

"Our Creator alone earned the right to act as our ultimate authority and thus is worthy to receive the reciprocal gifts of intimacy and wild abandonment. He desires both our soul and body more than our religious minds can comprehend." 

"Could it be, as one writer puts it, that every knock at the door of a brothel is actually a knock at the heart of God?"

"Aquinas writes in his magnificent work....that three things are needed for beauty: harmony, wholeness and radiance." 

"When the elements of beauty mysteriously connect the artist with the viewer, there is a sense of satisfaction and revelation. The wholeness, harmony, and radiance provide the viewer, as Luigi Galvani calls it, 'an enchantment of the heart'. But this is vastly different from  the act of viewing pornography."

"These pornographers trivialize and exploit the naked body and sex act as merely selfish entertainment and choose to ignore the potential for sensual and spiritual intimacy and healthy love."  

"....engaging the power of mutual imagination in sexual intimacy should send us soaring in the heavenlies, wild and free."   

Since I don't want to spoil the rest of the book, this is my last quote and my favorite; the shivering, tingling favorite:

"Without imagination, there is no understanding. But with it, there is every possibility we can imagine and more. It is power. It is potential. It is transcendent. It is wonder. It is replete with unexpected gifts. Unless we use our imagination, we are not fully alive. Wendell Berry says it this way: 'The imagination is our way into the divine Imagination, permitting us to see wholly - as whole and holy-what we perceive to be scattered, as order what we perceive as random.' Imagine the possibilities if we expanded the power of our imagination to utilize sexual fantasy as a bridge to a deeper and exciting relationship with our lover and with God." 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Play Emily's Way

The intent of this spot is to engage others to share how they play. Emily is a young mother of two daughters. She is a homemaker - a homesteader at heart. Her home is peaceful and full of grace. She makes brussel sprouts that taste like candy. I will even eat them. She lives in redemptive time...chooses it.  

Last week I needed to get out of the house and play. I wanted space. I wanted nature. Not concrete or plastic. Which meant (sorry kids) no park today.

I loaded up my two little girls and we started driving. Looking south in the rear view mirror, I could see the blue sky. Usually, we chase the blue sky...but it was stubbornly situated over the concrete~and I was stubbornly headed into a downpour. We kept driving. Finally, we found a quiet beach to play on. 

We didn't have a plan. I didn't pack a picnic, a blanket or beach toys. Rocks, saltwater and driftwood seemed to satisfy us all. It didn't rain on us. The cloudy, grey sky gave the softest light for a few great pictures of two little sisters.

Growing up, our play was usually too complicated for my taste. My parents would plan a 'vacation' and they would argue all morning while we were packing and trying to leave at a certain time. Lists were made so that we wouldn't forget anything. Late night shopping sprees were made to the grocery store the night before and someone would always be up late (or all night) getting everything ready...just so. 

I still remember the feeling of driving away from the house with everyone in the car and the trunk packed wondering, "Isn't this supposed to be fun?" There were actually times when 1 or more of my siblings would decide to stay home...I didn't understand. I still don't.

Here are the happy memories. The memories that keep me playing and seeking adventure...

My dad used to take us backpacking. We would disappear into the mountains for days at a time. We'd carry all that we needed on our backs. Once we got to a spot to set up camp, we could fish, rock climb, lay and read a book, swim in pristine mountain lakes, or (my favorite) explore! No schedule. Invited to live simply for a few days. One time we almost got lost. The trail came to an end and we were miles from the car. But instead of turning around, we bushwhacked our way for a couple of miles and I heard,  "Just over the next hill!"  about a dozen times. 

Instead of fear setting in, I felt invigorated. Excited. This is what "playing" is all about for me. Exploring. Adventure. Spontaneity. And (please!) simplicity.

Author Emily Hamblen

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Drug

The intent of this blogspot is to invite, endorse and promote other's thoughts on the subject of play. It is a bit elusive at times. My friend Bree took me up on the offer. She manages a fine coffee shop. She is a gifted barista. Here is her contribution today:

I didn’t laugh enough today, I can feel it in my countenance.  That’s kind of like saying I didn’t breathe enough today.  You see, last weekend, God showed me or rather reminded me, what it’s like to laugh, play and have fun. Since, I’ve been trying to incorporate that lesson into my everyday life. 

I learned another lesson today, it’s more fun to laugh and play with some people, than others. 

Today, work started out really great~I didn’t have to be there till 8:30. I prayed most the way. When I got there everyone seemed in a good mood~a great day in the making!  It started getting busy. The guy on the register started getting flustered. The gal leading the floor didn’t get enough sleep last night~so she wasn’t really deploying people properly~chaos began to set in.

I requested to be parked behind the espresso bar so that I could just concentrate on being fun; trying to lift spirits. Then came “ohhh I wanted that extra hot” after I had already steamed the milk. I made playful fun comments to employees to invite them to playfulness at work, only to be shut down by their bad attitude.  

Our registers then went down, which created even more chaos.  I still tried to stay light hearted shouting out to the line that we were going old school and getting the abacus out to add up their orders… I got a few chuckles.  

Now, had the people I really enjoy playing with been there, there would have been soul-deep chortling going on….but not from this crowd.  With one last ditch effort, when the registers finally came back up, I belted out a “yeeee haw” and only got strange looks from everyone. 

I sit at home now, alone, longing for that someone who makes me laugh at a day like the one I had today, laugh until it all goes away…melts away into what WE want to laugh about. Before I know it we’re giggling, chortling and loving one another and I’m ready for whatever the world has to offer, once again.

I’m going through withdrawals…from the very thing that makes me WANT to breathe. 

Bree Mills 

Surely Goodness

The sun was out framing the bluest sky yesterday. Craig walked in the door to a pile of jackets and blankets ~ Maggie and me waiting to pounce on him or pummel him into saying yes ~ before he knew what he was saying yes to.

He said yes to the invitation; make it to the bluff under the Deception Pass bridge before the sun set. We stopped at a little cafe and ordered a picnic in boxes.

We kissed.

We layed our blankets on the velvet moss with wild flowers blooming all around us. Far below us the tide was coming in,  as the sun was going down.

We kissed.

Sure enough, my big daddy sea lion showed up to entertain us. A few calloused, fishing boats shot through the current under the bridge. The captain waved.

We kissed.

The sunset was stunning over the Sound.

We kissed.

I saw 2 shooting stars before the night was over; blessed indeed.

We kissed goodnight with full hearts and souls, dripping with goodness. Simple goodness. Free goodness.

We heard a conversation drifting down from the bridge, "Honey look, we could do that - come with some bread, cheese, wine and bring the dog."

It made me wonder if they'll do it. I hope so - and soon. Free memories like this can't be bought. They can only be had.

Have one on me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Full Sail-Full Steam

These are some of my favorite quotes from Seth Godin's latest book ~ "Linchpin".

Part poetry, part balm, it gave me a push towards being resilient again. The quotes in bold gave me life giving mouth-to-mouth CPR.

I am so thankful for his words of life. I forgot what I knew; he reminded me to play again. Create again.  

There is a fresh wind in my sails. I don't feel like this anymore; all washed up. 

(Photo ~ courtesy of my friend ~ Jim Martin)

"If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely."

" is a poor substitute for respect and thanks."

"Not only must you be an artist, you must be generous, and you must be able to see where you can help, but you must also be aware. Aware of where your skills are welcomed." 

"...Instead, there's an ever-enlarging circle, a circle where gifts are valued and passed on."

"The most successful givers aren't doing it because they're being told to, they do it because doing it is fun. It gives them joy."

"The intent of the giver and the posture of the recipient are critical."

"Artists don't give gifts for money. They do it for respect and connection and to cause change, so the best recipients are the ones who can reciprocate in kind."

"Every artist I've ever met wants to build bonds, wants to cause connections to be made."

"For some artists, the benefits are all internal. Creating art is an intrinsic good, something they enjoy. They don't want anything, don't see anything, and if they're particularly resolute, won't get anything.'

"It is possible to destroy an artist by refusing his gifts."

"Some people are gift givers by nature. They love their tribe, or they respect their art, and so they give, not for an ulterior motive, but because it gives them joy."

"A priceless gift has been given, one that can never be valued monetarily or paid for or reciprocated. The benefit to the artist is the knowledge that you changed in some way, not that you will repay him."

"If I give you a piece of art, you shouldn't be required to work hard to reciprocate, because reciprocation is an act of keeping score, which involves monetizing the art, not appreciating it."

"A surplus always creates a surplus as it spreads."

"Art is a gift, a gift from the artist to the viewer, the listener, the user. The moment it ceases to be a gift, some of the art is lost."

"There are many forms of equity, and few of them involve cash."

"When you invest time or resources into someone's success or happiness and your payment is a share of that outcome, you become partners."

"Real gifts don't demand reciprocation...the best kinds of gifts are gifts of art."

"When we meet a stranger, we do business. When we encounter a member of the tribe, we give gifts."

"It's difficult to be generous when you're hungry. Yet being generous keeps you from going hungry. Hence the conflict."

"You best give a gift without knowing or being concerned with whether it will be repaid"

"The people who have experienced this and fought back-by quitting when they were stuck, tell me that the feeling of liberation and new potential is incredible. Suddenly, they can get back to doing the work, to making a difference, and to engaging with a community."

"There's not a lot to fear when you're stuck in the dip, not a lot that can threaten your standing."

"When you set down the path to create art, whatever sort of art it is, understand that the path is neither short nor easy”.  

"So it's just a matter of throwing myself under the bus and crawling my way out."

"It takes crazy discipline to do nothing between projects."

"Where did your art go while you were tweeting?”

"Anxiety is needless and imaginary. It's fear about fear, fear that means nothing."

"Letting silence into your day gives the daemon (genius) a chance to be heard from."

"Embrace the itch from the start, but don't scratch it. To do otherwise is to lose all perspective."

"The quiet strength it takes to withstand the urge to flee builds confidence in those around you."

"Waiting isn't easy, which is precisely why it is so effective when engaging with other people."

"...over come your fear of creativity, brainstorming, intelligent risk-taking, or navigating a tricky situation...sprint."

"It takes preparation and effort to set the world up so that your ideas are more likely to ship."

"The brevity of the event is a key part of why it works."

"When it find a useful crutch, a loser's limp, the resistance will milk it for all it's worth."

"Play only for people you like, with people you enjoy. How can the lizard brain object to that?"

"The resistance is working overtime to be sure that you won't actually do anything remarkable."

"Power used to be about giving, not getting" 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hey Playmate Where Are You?

Eve Ensler was quoted at TED today as saying  "I hope girls will learn to play, not please." I don't know what she stands for or what her talk was about. But, there is some truth to explore in her quote. Do I endorse her ~ I'll get back to you. Endorse this quote~YES.  

Playfulness is enticing. Sauciness. Flirting. Teasing. When did the cart come before the horse? I know women who live to please their husbands, making both miserable.

I've gone through all the myriad hormonal seasons of child-bearing, PMS and now menopause. As  I age, I want to fight becoming crotchety,cranky, bitter and cryptic. It would be sad to end up flat and shriveled up inside too. This is 'NO' to becoming dull and brittle.

Why did we ever begin trying to win their approval, instead of simply enjoying life and playing with them? We had their approval in the beginning, already. They were pleased when they chose us. 

There is nothing more attractive than an enthused woman. Sparkling eyes alive with interest are magnetic. Having fun and laughing costs less than a face lift or cosmetics. We do all this stuff to our hair, skin and bodies trying to look airbrushed, but miss being his playmate. And I'm not talking the puffy tailed- rabbit eared kind. Sensuous and romantic is about so much more than sex. It's about a way of living and seeing. It's a way of experiencing life in 3D. Laughing raises endorphins and a good hard belly laugh is almost as good as...

The irony is, if we're playful, there is nothing that pleases more. Men seem easily pleased. It's why they married us - then we change, forget, get serious, scared, resentful and dutiful. I think they miss the playful girl they fell in love with. 

Remember that song when we were little~ "Hey hey hey playmate, come out and play with me..."

Happy Valentine's Day - See you on the playground girlfriend. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Valentine

Our girls are longing for a mate, a companion. This is natural. As we talked the other day, I asked them to consider a list of ten things that were really important to them. Equally yoked spiritually, is a given.

They randomly thought of things to put on their list. I then asked them to pick only two which they could not do without.

For one, it was a combined love of and appreciation for music and someone who is comfortable with affection.

The other is still coming up with hers and narrowing it down.

Mine before marriage? I wanted and needed someone who would play with me. I also couldn't thrive without physical touch and affection. Both easy for him.

His wanted a woman who offered warm food and a warm body. Not unique for a man. Simple and both easy for me.

Craig and I are total opposites in every way. We are the cliche; he is weak where I am strong and vice versa. But we have our two necessaries met. Everything else is learnable and doable because we care about each other. When we fail, the two necessaries hold us steady and remind us we belong together.

This doesn't make love all smarmy and electric, but our basic needs are being met, which allows us to focus on the other areas of living, loving and learning.