I had dinner with a friend last night, one that I rarely get to see, but who goes way back. She shared that recently she’d wanted to pull out every hair on her head (one by one), make a nest out of them, crawl into said nest and die. This was the way she felt after losing her shit on her kids. She described her violent spewing of f-bombs and desire to murder after witnessing one of her children repeatedly hit the other with a gaming controller. She painted the picture so very clearly. I was grateful for and felt reassured by her honesty and vulnerability. Witnessing child against child violence and responding with violence and rage is all too familiar for me. It is one of my biggest nemeses. It is the very thing that brought me to a mindfulness practice, and when I slip up, it is the very thing that makes me believe momentarily that I should quit, because can a person really teach while in the throes of learning? Continue reading no masks friendship
I retired from teaching college Spanish in May, and since then I really haven’t thought too much about any one particular class. Until recently.
In one of my first years teaching, the textbook we were using had a culture segment about the impacts of globalization in Latin America. Taking advice from a colleague, I showed the documentary Señorita Extraviada, which investigated the incredible number of disappearing women in Juarez, Mexico where an outcropping of maquiladoras (foreign factories) had sprung up after the signing of NAFTA. The movie packed a punch. I watched it with the class in complete disbelief. I couldn’t believe that so many women were disappearing, some found after having been brutally raped and cut into pieces, and others never found. I couldn’t believe the foreign companies didn’t investigate when their workers went missing en route to and from their factory jobs. I couldn’t believe the indifference of the Mexican police. I couldn’t believe the disinterest (ignorance?) of the U.S. I couldn’t believe how powerless the Mexican families were in seeking answers about their missing mothers, daughters and sisters. Continue reading Classroom flashbacks: we are all the same
I was supposed to be landing in Phoenix right about now on my way home from Oakland, CA, where I came to meet my newborn niece and kick it with my soul sister, who is also my sister by blood. But because of a giant Midwest ice-storm, instead of breathing stale airport air and hustling from one terminal to another, I’m lounging on the bed in the spare room with the sun streaming onto me from the window, open to the sounds of the street just a few feet below. From my perch I can see the trees surrounding Lake Merritt and the bus stop equipped with the belongings of the mute homeless guy who calls it home. When the breeze blows just right I can hear drumming from a large group of men playing not far from here, and in the span of a few minutes I can hear a multitude of languages spoken by the passersby below. I can smell the inside scents of a 100 year old building and the outside scents of the sea and the Mediterranean restaurant next door. Continue reading Five days in Oakland
Yesterday was Winter Solstice.
We still don’t have our lights up nor our tree brought home. I haven’t purchased many gifts. We haven’t baked much either. Continue reading The season’s a changin’
My quest to be more mindful is a constant process, but every once in awhile I have a mini breakthrough that seems life changing. One such breakthrough occurred Sunday… Continue reading Thanksmas shift
At dinner last night TJ and I discussed our upcoming 13th wedding anniversary, and we also acknowledged that next month we will be closer to 40 than 39. Both of these conversation tracts reminded me of a blog I’d written last summer but never shared. I revisited it, and it still seems relevant enough to post: Continue reading Birthday clarity
The first time I was introduced to the idea of the feminine with enough gusto to wake me up was while working with a shaman a handful of years ago. After watching me throughout a night of ceremony, he said,
“Katie, you even move like a soldier. How can you access the feminine?” Continue reading a strong call for cultivating the feminine
“Our children may be at risk for developing a primary attachment to electronic devices rather than human beings. And so may we. “ –Jon Kabat-Zinn
And so may we.
Maybe this is the part of the equation that has got me so flabbergasted as to how to negotiate the world of social media when it comes to my 12 year old. Maybe this is more about me and my attachments than it is about him. I know that’s what he thinks, as he asked me just yesterday, “Why can’t you let me have a normal teenager’s life instead of one you have to control?” Continue reading the smartphone: control and communication
I hung up the phone with TJ this morning, a bit teary and immersed in self-doubt. I had voiced my frustration to him about Max having missed school basketball tryouts last week and Ted walking up to school today late and upset because his homework was incomplete. I said something to the effect of “I feel like every time I glance away from our kids for a split-second everything falls apart.” Continue reading the universe via Rosemond (and yoga)
I was all set to post this morning. I have a beautifully written blog with just the right number of words, mix of alliteration and mindfulness verbiage. I even found a great photo to go with it. I spent a great deal of time trying to say precisely enough while sparing details to protect those I love. Continue reading Round two – shining light on the mushrooms