"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Monday, July 29, 2013

This One Time? At BlogHer?

This one time?  At BlogHer? ....   I fell in love with all the people.

It all started when I got the email that BlogHer had chosen my post as a '13 Voice of The Year for Heart.

Immediately I was honored, I was excited... I was scared.  Because now?  Now, I had to hop down off the fence.  Before receiving that wonderful e-mail, I had been wavering over the decision to go to the BlogHer conference. It was in Chicago, I could drive, and I could go with minimal days away from my family.  I wanted desperately to meet all of the women that I had come to love through their words and pictures.  But there was a problem... For me? A pretty big problem.

You see, I often like to spend time with fictional characters more than I like to spend time with real people So the thought of 5,000 business-card wielding women with shrill voices and manicured nails who "squee" kind of, ok, totally - freaked me out. 

But in my heart I knew that I had to go, even if I spoke to no one.  So I compromised, getting a one-day pass.  I knew from the days spent inside my house with only my children for company that I could most definitely survive 24 hours without engaging another soul in adult conversation. So, I slipped on my travel jersey knit over my big girl pants, and away I went.

And wouldn't you know it, the minute I had registered and started walking towards the Newbie breakfast, hoping to find other lost souls: eyes wide- deer-like, the scent of despair - practically coming out their pours... 

Up the escalator came my Fairy BlogMother, Alexandra.  As the Universe would have it, she was signed up to be a Newbie BlogHer Mentor, and let me just say, I couldn't have asked for a better one.  I knew what a force of good Alexandra was from my time with her doing Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee, so when she said, "Follow me," I did so gladly. 

Throughout the day, I met many wonderful women.  Some, I knew my heart already belonged to, and now, I was finally getting the chance to meet them in person. Others, I was delightfully swept off my feet by their presence for the first time. You guys.  I even passed out business cards.  Without laughing.  Because the fantastic part of it all was that, all of the women I met were genuine.  I'm sure there were a few in the crowd of 5,000 that wouldn't have been on the same page as me, but honestly? With each person I met, I was more and more impressed with the caliber of women who surrounded me.

By the time the Voices of The Year keynote started, I knew I was a BlogHer conference convert.  Never again would I scoff at the posts of "what-to-pack", "what-to-expect", because I now knew that behind every practical tip was a genuine motive to offer to others the same type of experience I was having right now. 

And when the lights dimmed and Queen Latifa(!!) took to the stage, I was proud.  Not proud to be somewhere that a celebrity was, no.  While that is certainly fun, I was proud that Queen Latifa would get the privilege to hear the stories of my women.  It was right then, my arm brushing lightly a new formed friend to my left in the darkened ballroom, that I knew what I was experiencing wasn't just a well run conference, what I was experiencing was, community

Even without the giant board with my name and words on it...

Even without the parties in the breathtaking suite with free booze and a desperately awesome photo booth....

I knew that moment-by-moment I was being introduced to members of my tribe.

And when I got home, no longer would I mumble under my breath that, yes, I was a blogger. 

Because in that one day, I had become a BlogHer.

{Linking with my fellow BlogHer'er Heather , and #iPPP}

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Release of: Dreamcatcher

The day has come. 

The day where I step out of the way of myself and offer you a small piece of me.

This is a heart project. In chapbook length.  It is not grand sweeping, or overachieving.
But I've never felt comfortable with large productions of anything.

I like to keep my bare feet in the soil -
Let the cool earth remind me that I am but dust,
let the poplar leaves whisper to me the secrets of the sun that the trees hold within their trunks.

So today, I offer you a small bound version of myself and motherhood.

It is the day that I place my own dreamcatcher next to the one I am making with my children,
let the bow of the tree bend a little with the weight of my trusting my life, my dream.
let the wind blow my words into your hands.

Without further ado, I would like to offer to you, Dreamcatcher.

 ($10.00 + 5.00 S&H) 

A collection of poetry and essays capturing life's small moments
that are woven into the beautiful tapestry of mother and child,
 learning and belonging to one another.
I'd also love to share with you the title track, Dreamcatcher, as was performed in Milwaukee in May for the live readings of the  Listen To Your Mother show.  

Finally, this past weekend, I attended BlogHer 2013 in Chicago, where I was insanely humbled to be honored as on of BlogHer's 2013 Voices of the Year.  It was a magical day. That included Queen Latifah. Seriously.  

All of these wonderful experiences have lead me to this place of being able to offer you Dreamcatcher.  I am so excited (and terrified, but let's focus on the excited part) to see where this leaving your dreams hanging on a tree will take us.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This Galaxy Called, Mother


We sit side-by-side on our front stoop.

Hands held, fingers no longer fitting perfectly in mine.
Your hand is clammy as if even your very pores are impatient for me to release you.

Yet we sit chins up,
allowing the moon to pull our shadows long behind us as we count the stars.

You whisper that you learned in school
that by the time you can see the stars, they've burned out.

Extinguished from the sky before anyone
ever had a chance to tell them they were beautiful. 

But that you?  Oh, my firstborn son.
No. You don't quite believe them.

You think that we are witnessing the stars entering a new galaxy.
That they aren't dying but going to a place beyond our own sky, yet to be named.

A place made to rest from the burden of having to burn so bright, and for rebirth.
Because, you see Mama, if souls can be reborn, then surely stars can too.

And when you look me straight in the eye and tell me that sometimes it feels like you've been there,
that you remember the star atmosphere like you can still feel a dream when you're awake?

I see that galaxy in your seeking brown orbs.
In the irises dancing, the twinkle of trapped star dust.

These are the moments that I know long before the seven years I have been given as your mother,
your soul and mine were knit together.  Forever linked by Mother Moonlight's hum.

Her lullaby still rocking us to sleep each night.

I hold you in the space between my heartbeats.
The place where the soul exists but science cannot yet place.

Never has there been a more breathtaking teacher
then that of your own flesh molded by the Divine.

When you came into my arms, I was but a 22 year old girl.
Overcome. Afraid I was never to be seen.

But just like with those old stars, you took to my breast
with each draw of your life on mine, letting down my anxiety and worry as you seemed to whisper:

"I see you. 
 Rest now. 
 You burn brightly enough for me...

 Enter into this new galaxy I've named for you.  
This galaxy called, Mother."

{Joining sweet Emily today and the Moonshine Grid}

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

And She'll Go Sailing No More

We dipped our feet at the edge of the shore,
the sun getting tangled in the curls sliding down your back.

Your profile illuminated by the morning light
leaves me breathless for the woman you will become.

But for now,

I sit frozen by your side drinking in the sounds of your mind
taking in the raw beauty around you and watching you spin your own magical delight.

Every dragonfly that lands beside you brings an urgent message from the fairy queen.
You, the queen of the mermaid kingdom, protector of the diamonds that glitter on the lake top,
send return news to the queen that all shall be well.

"Do you see those ships Mama?"
You point to the silky clouds floating past on the watery blue sky.
"Isn't it terribly sad that they are missing all this life down here below?"

It is my darling one. Terribly sad.

I have been on those ships you see my daughter.
I know how hard it is to stop.
To get off. To not get pulled down stream.

I have retreated to a mountain top like the prophets of old
to remember my voice, to listen to the new timbers that make up your own
to hear clearly the rhythm of our hearts and revel in the mystery that they beat together.

For I wish never to sail past you.
To never forget there is magic everywhere.
To grab a place inside your kingdom - always to return with a message to whisper in your ear.

We ease our bodies into the cool water
submerging ourselves so that only our eyes and noses remain visible on top of the surface.

But I can tell that you are smiling
for the water droplets catch in the crinkles, that mirror mine, around our eyes.

Our warbling reflections bend and stretch
pulled away and back again by the breeze until they bleed into one.

I hope that this is how your heart will always find me...

Our reflections intertwined
as my eyes take in the wonder of you unfolding before us

beneath the sky full of ships passing by.

joining with :  Jennifer