Monday, June 30, 2008


A "joey" pokes its head out from mama wallaby's pouch.
Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

I booked my flight to my favorite place in the world, yes, that's right. Australia! Originally I was going to try to fly through Auckland, New Zealand and spend a couple of days there, but that fare got snatched up...

I went blueberry picking with Amy and Carmen again tonight. I went the other day too and have several pounds of berries in my fridge now that are soo yummy. I've gone every single year since we moved here. I remember the first year, Sam was just a baby and by the time we finished picking and got to the car and I changed his diaper, there were blueberries in it. I was astounded that something could go through the digestive system of a human - even a child - that fast! Clearly they were not well digested.

I found this quote interesting:

It can be stated with practically no qualification that people in general do not know how to listen. For several years, we have been testing the ability of people to understand and remember what they hear... These extensive tests led to this general conclusion: Immediately after the average person has listened to someone talk, he remembers only about half of what he has heard - no matter how carefully he thought he was listening. What happens as time passes: Our testing shows... that we tend to forget from one-half to one-third [more] within eight hours.

- Dr Ralph G Nichols, University of Minnesota quoted in "How to Deal with
Annoying People" by Bob Phillips & Kimberly Alyn.

I also read this great essay called What Shamu Taught me About a Happy Marriage from the New York Times. It came out in 2006, so it's old news now, but it's a humorous and interesting article, for sure!

I have a headache and am going to bed. I'm giving up caffeine (which I do periodically), so the caffeine-headache is upon me. Hopefully it will be gone tomorrow. On another note, there is a really weird knocking noise coming from somewhere near my computer monitor. At first I thought it was my stomach growling. It will come on at regular or heck maybe irregular intervals and it's totally bizarre.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


"God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages." — Jacques Deval
Some groovy Bots in Berkeley, California
(C) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

I've had a lot of insights into myself in the past couple of days. Not too pretty, as usual. But first, Tolle writes in Chapter 1, "To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence," and "The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology but the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness." Wow.

He defines insanity not in the traditional sense but as any dysfunction, any "sin" or such. He says the difference between someone walking around talking to themself out loud that we may label as a "crazy person" and all of us who go around with a constant stream of words going through our minds is just a matter of degree. He implores us to be more present, more living in the present reality, in our physical form, and less in our "minds" which can be the domain of the ego. We can and should use our intellect, but only insofar as it does not feed the ego (which he says is the root of all "insanity" or dysfunction).

But what I realized about myself: I am a commitment-phobe! I pulled out this book on my shelf, He’s Scared, She’s Scared which I'd bought in immediate post-separation/divorce phase of my life. It hit the nail so squarely I about fell out of my bed. I’ve thought all along I’m so scared of loss and abandonment, because I've had so much of that. But this makes complete sense with my utter inability to make decisions sometimes (which I've blogged about before), especially when they affect someone else, or are really important.

These are the characteristics of the "active" commitment-phobe: sends mixed messages, afraid both of committing to a more serious relationship & to leaving (which is also a "commitment"), acts out to force the other away (hoping subconsciously they will end it or be so hurt it’s damaged). They go from one extreme to another afraid to make the wrong choice & strongly desires freedom, hence confusing & hurting the partner in the process.

On the other hand, the "passive" commitment-phobe gets heavy & serious right away, projects and fantasizes about how this relationship could be “so perfect…”, drawn to unavailable partners (emotional or physical distance or both), trusts too quickly, then lives in constant state of intense yearning for the relationship once rejected. Interestingly I've been both active and passive in different relationships, and in fact normally follow a particular pattern but it's seemed to have flip-flopped. And so that is in itself interesting. Anyway I love insight into myself, because only through awareness can we change. I welcome it, even when it's painful insight.

Also in the A New Earth workbook, one of the questions is: "What makes you feel more alive and open, less dense, less bogged down by heavy thoughts and feelings, and could this be the beginnings of what A New Earth is pushing toward?" What I wrote quickly, without thinking:

Yoga, running, sunshine, dance, jumping, spinning around, swinging.

Then I realized, wow besides "sunshine" those are all physical activities. (I later added another item to the list, which shall remain unspoken because children read this blog! hee hee) :) I am such an in-my-head intellectual, always questioning, pondering and I realized that what makes me happy is actually what he’s calling us to in the book already to just live in the NOW and be present. Quite interesting.

Oh and the Berkeley bots pic resonated because I went to see WALL.e with the kids yesterday, plus it reminds me of how much we, or I, rather, can sometimes act like robots acting out these crazy subconscious issues of the past. Hallelujah for awareness and enlightenment!

Friday, June 27, 2008

il bel far niente

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, Sausalito, California
(c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

Which means, in Italian, "The art of doing nothing." Today was one of those days. Well at least part of the morning. No I don't speak Italian, but I read that phrase today in Eat, Pray, Love which I'm reading for the third time. Yes, three times now I've read that delicious book. Well technically the first time I "listened" to it. Anyway, it's been a rough couple days on the emotional front, so I got up, meditated 20 minutes instead of ten, prayed, had some breakfast, then went back to my bed and snuggled up with my cozy red blanket and my down comforter and read The Bridges of Madison County. The whole thing.

It was my second time reading it. I came upon it at the library, which sells used books for like 50 cents so I picked it up. The first time I read it the person I was with got so offended that I adored this book. He thought it "glorified adultery" and I guess felt so threatened by that not only didn't like the book but despised me for liking it. I felt it was lyrical and poetic and magical. I'm drawn to tales of deep and true love like a magnet, always have been. Always have been searching for that one love that will take my breath away and make my heart stop and include passion so intense it makes you weak in the knees. I have experienced that love. But Francesca and Robert only spent 4 days together... what would have happened had they tried to make their relationship work? It's not always so easy. But I suppose nothing worth having is ever easy.

Robert being all "the last cowboy" and this certain breed of man that is disappearing and quickly becoming obsolete in this technological modern world also struck a chord. A gypsy, an intellectual, a passionate who follows his own way, marches to a different drummer. I know why I was drawn to this story initially and I loved it all the more the second time.

In other news, I went picking blueberries with my friend Amy the other evening. There aren't that many berries this year. Some years they grow huge and just explode all over the bushes. We really had to get inside those bushes to get some this year, and being that it's been raining every day we got soaking wet. But they are absolutely delicious!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A New Earth

Sunset at Drum Bay, near Galveston Texas
(c) 2005 Wendee Holtcamp

So today was one of those crazy mixed-up-rotten-all-wrong-inside-out-everything-goes-wrong-days. But honestly nothing major. Plans just kept changing like a million times! Ah well. mama told me there'd be days like this...

I took my friend Marian Haddad, who I met at the 2006 University of North Texas Nature Writers Symposium where we both were invited speakers, to the airport and she is on her way to SYRIA! That is her native country, where her parents were born, but her first time visiting. She is blogging about it for the San Antonio Express News so you can check that out and follow along her journey!

I watched the first video of Oprah and Eckhart Tolle last night for the global "Summer School" and it was an hour and a half! It was kind of humorous because he was talking about how we should live in the now, live in the moment, and be fully present. So many people are mult-tasking so instead of fully listening to someone, you are also checking your email, or instead of paying attention while brushing your teeth, your mind is off somewhere else (and I am the queen of multi-tasking). It's a very Zen thought to be in the moment. But the video was so long I was checking my email and replying... kinda ironic. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

I liked that at the very beginning, the first question Oprah got on the video webcast was from a listener who wanted to know how Oprah reconciled her Christian beliefs with A New Earth which seemed at times to use wisdom from other spiritual practices or apparently contradict with Christianity. She said that with 6 million people, she did not believe that Christianity is the only path to God. She said it's her path and her tradition. But A New Earth is more about the spirit than about a "religion" per se. It's actually quite brilliant and philosophical. I am loving it.

Of course I must add James Dobson would probably, certainly, accuse Oprah of "distorting the Bible" as he did to Obama. That man is out of his mind! I have a great deal of respect for a lot of what Dobson has taught about Christian living but when he starts to muck with politics, or science, that starts to raise my hackles. Jesus is not a White Anglo-Saxon Republican!!!! Plus, I tend to agree more with Oprah than Dobson on these matters of faith when it comes to other religions and that I am opposed to fundamentalism and extreme literalism. However I believe something that is a little bit different than Oprah - or maybe she didn't get into it in the time she had to answer the question. I believe that although there is wisdom and there are central truths in other religious traditions, still Jesus came to bring a new message that is not present in other religions, and that is grace, mercy, forgiveness & the message that we can not "work" our way to God or achieve God's favor through our own efforts. I'm not saying Oprah doesn't believe this because she surely does if she's a Christian.

I don't know the totality of her beliefs, so I'm just making my own comments here, but though much of his teaching throughout his earthly life IS shared by other traditions, I believe that there is a new order, a new covenant, a new message - good news - from Jesus life and death nd resurrection that is not present in the other religious traditions. It's there - He is there - to pull the world toward a better way of living (and Tolle quotes Jesus frequently in his book). Though all the wars and hate would make you think it hasn't made a difference, I do believe it has, and it is. I know that in my very most personal life I daily continue to see God's love and life in action manifested through the people He brings into my life and the way they show their genuine, continual, grace-filled, merciful love for me. Truly it is a miracle.

Monday, June 23, 2008

crazy universe

My beautiful friend Paige at her amazing wedding which I shot the pics for!
(c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

Boy the universe is sending out some crazy stuff to so many friends right now - marriage and relationship struggles, breakups, illnesses, stress, struggles. It's just a rough, tough time. We need prayer warriors! For the most part, I am doing very well and am grateful for that. The pic above is a friend who is actually not one experienceing that craziness, just a photo I wanted to share, with her permission! She and I had homebirths with the same midwife, Shelly Girard (I made her website ages ago) and have known each other since our babies were babies.

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I just finished a project and that always feels great! I was hoping I'd have some time now to work on my book - I have 12 months now to write it - but then a couple other things came up, but soon I will be working on my book! However, right now I'm going to take a break and watch a documentary because my brain is completely sick of sharks... even though I think they're incredibly awesome! But that's what working nonstop on them for days will do to ya. Sending love and light to everyone.

I watched Emmanuel's Gift the other day, which Oprah narrates. The story about the man is truly inspiring but the doco itself was so-so. It was good, but it left some questions unanswered and didn't flow as fast as some of the documentaries I've seen lately. The cinematography was gorgeous though. Every scene was like a National Geographic photograph. The man, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born with one leg deformed, yet went on to become a world class athlete, and he biked across Ghana to raise awareness for the something like 10% of their society that have deformities or are disabled (2 million people), so that they can have more normal lives and not beg. He since got an artificial leg in the and spends his time inspiring people, and raising money and awareness for them. The guy is going to end up winning the Nobel Peace Prize one day, mark my words. And if you didn't know, the name Emmanuel means "God with us."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

sin and ego

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Monarch butterfly at Guadalupe River State Park, Texas.
(c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

Blech, disgusting! I returned from spending the day working all day on shark research at a local spot with Wifi to poop. Yes, poop. No, I do not mean my own. I mean that the cats had somehow dragged their poop, or it plopped out of their behinds, onto the carpet. Not only that, one of the cats had thrown up on my son’s floor. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled. But maybe this is payback for the fact that HE left the toilet clogged with totally disgusting poop of his own! And I know he’ll love me for announcing this fact on my blog but sheesh!

Other than that, I’m actually quite happy. Besides a great sadness and empathy I feel toward some of my friends going through some really tough struggles, I feel really good about things at the moment. I’m trying to live in the now, and I am. I love my life, actually, and things are pretty darn good. I came home halfway through the day and took a nap, then went back out to work. I can’t seem to focus too well at home these days so getting away seems to help!

So I am really digging A New Earth. I also am still grooving on that new Alanis CD. That song Underneath actually touches on a point that Tolle makes in his first chapter, which is the parallel between the way that we are in our personal lives and the problems around the world – whether hate or greed or war or other social ills. They all start in our hearts, and though we may say “I would never do that” like I would never murder, for example, even Jesus says that if you hate your brother (not necessarily sibling brother) you are just as guilty of murder as a murderer. If you say “I would never cheat on my partner” (or "I have never cheated") but you have lusted after someone in your heart, or had feelings for someone in a relationship with another person, you’ve committed the same sin. It’s one of those spiritual paradoxes, because you can easily say that actual murder is “certainly” worse than just hating someone, or cheating is certainly worse than merely lusting in one’s mind or heart, right? Sure. But only in this world. In spiritual terms, no, they’re the same. But so we’ve all done something like one of these things, right. Exactly the point. We are all guilty, and so we may as well just stop judging others for the sins they make that appear “worse” but really are not in God’s eyes.

Tolle says that translated from Greek, to sin means to miss the mark. “It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus to suffer and cause suffering.” Well again, of course, we ALL sin and we all miss the mark. But the conscious life and the spiritual life is to become increasingly aware of one’s sin and hence to be transformed and stop judging ourselves and others harshly, and to become more and more like God in terms of “God is love.” Tolle also writes that “Fear, greed, and the desire for power are the psychological motivating forces not only behind warfare and violence between nations, tribes, religions, and ideologies, but also the cause of incessant conflict in personal relationships.” His solution (though I’m only on Chapter 2) is not necessarily to let go of fear and greed and the desire for power, but to recognize and become conscious of the workings of the ego, which cause these things, and recognize the ego as separate from the “I” that we each believe ourselves to be from the self that we truly are, which is more than the ego - and includes the spirit. We are more than our ego, more than the collective memories, thoughts, beliefs, traits and so on that we use and the things we associate with “I am….” More to come. Interesting stuff.

Friday, June 20, 2008

life goes on

Kemp's ridley sea turtle hatchlings just released at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas
(c) 2006 Wendee Holtcamp

I must say, I just don't have anything much to say today. I've been working on a shark project, keeping busy... I was going to go out of town tubing this weekend but I have to finish this project so I'll be home instead. Oh joy! Been a bit stressed, not really sure why though. Such is life. So I'll leave you with a photo instead...

And here is one of the hatchlings once it made its way to the ocean. I love the light. So soft and beautiful. Padre Island National Seashore (c) 2006 Wendee Holtcamp

Thursday, June 19, 2008

a flower

Flowers in Glacier National Park, Montana
(c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

I just started reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, along with some girlfriends, the same ones who I was reading The Artist's Way with. I picked it up on the way back from Australia at the airport because people kept talking about it. I flipped through and at first it didn't really strike a chord but since my girls are reading it, I said ok let's do it. So just the other day, I read Chapter 1 and actually this time I really loved it. I had a couple revelations. He talks about how a flower is like a leap in evolution, and kind of symbolizes a leap in consciousness. This symbolism is interesting since I've just been buying myself flowers again, and was just talking about that as an act of self-love.

As I mentioned, I've also started trying to meditate for 10 minutes per day, and Tolle tells a story about a group of monks whose teacher came to lecture and he simply brought a flower. After a long time, one monk started to smile. He was apparently the only one to "get" the sermon. So besides trying to smile in my liver, I'm trying to meditate on a flower.

This is normally how my meditations go, something like this:

I envision a flower. A lavender rose, the ones my daddy planted for me. I can almost smell it. Then I see fields of wildflowers. I'm a wildflower person.I love wildflowers. Stop thinking, focus. Flower. Flowers. Lots of colorful wild flowers everywhere. Lots of different colors of flowers, like a giant field overflowing with flowers - blue, red, yellow. A single lavender rose. I miss Sean. I wish it was easier. I love him. Lord, help me to know do I follow my heart or follow my head? Problem is, my mind can see both sides of any argument, and I often don't know which one I really belong on. Stop intellectualizing Wendee. Focus. Flower! I should blog about this. [Start composing blog in my head.] I have monkey mind. I wonder how Daline is. Focus! Flower. Flowers. I am hungry. I need some coffee. FLOWER! A simple Gerber daisy. Red. That's Sus' favorite. I have some on my table. Flowers represent a change, a growth, an evolution, a flowering and blooming of consciousness. I want to be there. I want to be a flower. I want to evolve. Flower.

And so on... Ah well, at least it's a start. Liz Gilbert actually has a funny passage about meditating in her book, Eat, Pray, Love.

Anyway Oprah made A New Earth her book club pick, and she is doing Summer School where people can read the book together, do the workbook, share in the Forum, etc. Here is a page with a video interview -- you see several authors in rotation on the page. One is Eckhart Tolle & there are 3 videos. But… the thing that is for the book is called Summer school and you go to this link for Oprah's 10-part series

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

savies shark facts

Mike deGruy and Richard Fitzpatrick with a couple of whitetip reef sharks on the Undersea Explorer out in the Coral Sea off Australia
(c) 2008 Wendee Holtcamp

I'm working on a project now writing shark facts for a "game" and I came into my office, and Savie says to me, "Mom this is so easy. I've already written down all the facts you need. This just takes a couple minutes!" Here is what she wrote. I think she is a creative genius! ;)

1. Sharks have fins
2. Sharks have scales
3. Sharks are fish
4. Sharks are not humans
5. Sharks have skin
6. Sharks live in the ocean
7. Sharks live in salt water
8. Sharks have teeth
9. Some sharks are little
10. Some sharks are really big
11. Some sharks eat krill
12. Some sharks have spots
13. There is a tiger shark
14. There is a whale shark
15. There is a thresher shark
16. There is a great white shark
17. There is a reef shark
18. Humans can eat sharks
19. The Japanese shark fin
20. Sharks have blood
21. Sharks have eyes
22. Sharks have brains
23. Sharks have hearts
24. Sharks do not have lungs
25. Sharks have gills
26. Sharks are not purple and yellow
27. Sharks have mouths
28. Sharks have tails
29. Sharks have guts
30. Sharks have heads
31. Sharks are not birds
32. Sharks are not mammals
33. Sharks are not cats
34. Sharks are (most likely) not from Mars
35. Sharks don’t have fur all over their bodies
36. Sharks are not worms
37. Sharks are not vegetables
38. Sharks do not eat chocolate
39. Sharks reproduce
40. Sharks are (above all) SHARKS!!!


Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
(c) 2005 Wendee Holtcamp

I’m sitting in my backyard enjoying the quietude, drinking a banana soy smoothie and eating a wrap. I feel peaceful and content in my soul right now. I just got back from the gym where I did Pilates and then meditated in the steam room. Urpppp, back up. (ROFLOL when I reread that it read like I had urped up my food or something - ha ha!! I mean to say, I need to back up in my story!) So...I joined the gym! I hadn’t been a member since my divorce. I have been running instead because it’s “free” but finally I feel like I can afford to join the gym again. So many of my friends go there, and several teach there, so it will help motivate me. My kids are members too! The Pilates was amazing, and I feel that sort of yoga-high I get when you really work the muscles but in a stretchy, peaceful way. I loved the instructor, she had this beautiful smile and a gorgeous accent and this fun and peaceful demeanor about her. In my life I’ve met a few people like this who just radiate. Liz Gilbert seemed like this when I saw her on Oprah. I have always wanted to be like that. I think that it comes from being in a state of internal peace. I‘ve had that peace a few times in my life but mostly I’m always struggling, questioning, stretching, wandering. I hope that through meditation and focus and prayer I can get to that state too. I want inner bliss, calm and joy as a state of mind, and I want to be able to pass that along to other people just by being me. I want to not have my mental state dependent on outcome or circumstance, but on a peace that passes understanding.

I finished my article, and trying to work on another project and still feeling the pull of the lazy child artist inside. I recall how somewhere I read recently, maybe in the Snow Leopard, that when butterflies emerge from a cocoon they have to sit still and let their wings dry. If they rush off into frenetic activity, or get all cramped up, their wings will dry funky, or tear. So I’m trying to be gentle with myself and know that I’m emerging from a cocoon, I’m in a new state, and I need to proceed slowly, cautiously, patiently. Hard for someone who can be very impetuous!

I thought I’d share this really awesome soup that I love to make but my kids think is disgusting. I don’t really have a recipe but it is something I make after every lemonade cleanse I do, but I just make it now and then anyway. I fill a crock pot ¾ full with filtered water and then throw in whatever veggies I have on hand – either fresh or frozen. This time I put some lima beans and spinach and then a little of the frozen veggie pulp I save from my juicer (which is carrot-apple-cucumber-spinach-celery-ginger aka Dr Oz’ glass of fresh!). Then I add maybe 1/3 cup of quinoa. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp curry, 1 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp cumin, and some cayenne to taste. I love it really super spicy but this time I forgot the cayenne! Then let it cook for like 8 hours. Then when you serve it up, top with chopped fresh tomatoes and cilantro. Yummmmm!!! Super healthy and super low-cal. I told Savie the other day that I was full but hungry and did she ever get like that? She said, “That’s because you eat rabbit food!” LOL. Apparently that is Harry Potter lingo for vegetarian fare.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kids with Cameras

My best friend Daline had mentioned this documentary to me when we traveled to Peru, because the kids loved the cameras so much, and I finally got to watch it. When in Diamante, Peru we spent time outside showing them how to shoot the camera, and they showed us how to shoot a bow and arrow! I loved these kids. They had such amazing smiles and personalities! I sent back copies of photos to their community. Wonder what they thought of them...

Anyway so the doco Born into Brothels - which won the Academy Award - is an incredible story of a woman photographer who goes into the red light district of Calcutta India and befriends the children of the prostitutes there, and teaches them photography. Ultimately she is able to get a few of them into a couple of different boarding schools and also to sell their photos as art to raise money for their educations. During the film, one boy, Avijit, got selected to travel to Amsterdam to represent India in a photo show. The whole story is truly amazing. The woman, Zana Briski started a nonprofit organization Kids with Cameras which has now expanded into other countries. You can buy the prints of the images the kids shot with their cameras, and the website has updates on how the kids are doing now. So cool. It's so inspiring to me how they went in there and just through their love touched the lives of these kids. There has been some criticism by one guy involved in the film saying that the kids' lives were not improved, etc but I don't see how he can say that. He must be disgruntled in some way. I'm sure several of the kids perhaps are back there and you never know what they're doing but several of them have made changes and been given opportunities that they never would have had. It's a gritty and heart-wrenching yet ultimately very inspirational story. You so want everything to work out for these kids.

On another note my friend Elise just left and I have never laughed so hard in all my life. We are hatching up a great plan for a parody on a popular reality sitcom show which I'll keep to myself for now, and we have been dying laughing so hard tonight my throat is sore!!! That pic to the left is her at my house this evening - she was cracking me up with her hood!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Galapagos tortoise, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Archipelago
(c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

So many friends of mine are having relationships struggles right now! It's crazy. And this Alanis song on her new CD, Straitjacket, is sooo apropos. I love it. Wish the radio would play her again, she so rocks! I'm not too keen on the Y chromosome at the moment.

Something so benign
From me construed as cruelty
Such a difference between
Who I am and who you see
/snip part of lyrics

This shit's making me crazy
The way you nullify what's in my head
You say one thing do another
And argue that's not what you did
Your way's making me mental
How you filter as skewed interpret
I swear you won't be happy 'til
I'm bound in a straitjacket

Talking with you's like talking
To a sieve that can't hear me
You fight me tooth and nail
To disavow what's happening

Your resistance to a mirror
I feel screaming from your body
One day I'll introduce myself
And you'll see you've not yet met me

- Straitjacket, Alanis Morissette on Flavors of Entanglement

That is the most absolutely perfect brilliant description ........... yep.

On another note, I've been trying to meditate for 10 minutes per day. I've been wanting to meditate on a regular basis for a long time but never had, except maybe like once every 2 years! Someone recommended just setting a timer at 10 minutes so I've done that for two days now. OK so this is how I meditated today: I sat in silence and drank coffee and ate part of a croissant with my eyes closed. Ha ha ha! I'm laughing at myself! While meditating, I try to "smile in my liver" the way that Liz Gilbert says in Eat, Pray, Love. I need to read that book again!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


All this cryin all this fightin simply ain't my style
Though you're one of the most important people in my life
I love you from the day we met, I know you love me too
But at this point walking away is the best thing we can do

These eyes never saw you leavin
This heart is in need of some healing
These arms are letting you go
Our life is the greatest story never told

Are we meant to be man and wife?
The answer I don't know
Of life's many mystery's what intrigues me the most
Is who our children would have been
I guess we'll never know
Even as I walk away I'll always keep the hope

- India.Arie, These Eyes on Testimony Vol 1. Life & Relationship

Sunset on the San Jacinto River, Texas (c) 2006 Wendee Holtcamp

I’ve started to pull myself out of the cocoon that has enveloped me for the past few weeks. Making some decisions that need to be made, which gives alternating feelings of peace, restlessness, anxiety, sorrow. Just in the last few days, I have started to exercise again, I've gone running and also walking with some girlfriends in the evenings which is therapeutic because we talk and talk and walk... And I am trying to resurrect some of the self-care rituals I used to engage in. When I first separated from my ex, 5 years ago, I created a safe haven in the apartment I had then before I bought my house. I decided I’d buy myself flowers every week, because one of my (somewhat inane, perhaps) frustrations in that relationship was that I wanted to be given flowers not just on special occasions but randomly - to show he loved me. Well you can’t manufacture that – it has to be spontaneous, no? So anyway, I decided I can treat myself to that self-love, which is just a manifestation of God’s love for me. I don't need to demand it from anyone else. I had also decided I’d buy lots of candles and light them throughout the day - I love the flickering flames.

Lately, though, I’d gotten away from these practices so I’ve been restarting them up again. I got a spa pedicure today with bright thunderbolt blue paint. It is so cool! I also sat at Starbuck’s and got some work done. I am amazed that despite my complete cocoon of resting and sleeping sooo much, and watching tons of documentaries, and just generally being lazier than I think I've ever been, I still finished two articles in the past few weeks! I really wasn’t sure I’d get this last one done. I was really stressing over it, but completely unable to focus day after day. I often would just stare at the computer screen instead of typing… or go sit outside, or go back to bed... but somehow it got done. Well almost done. Gotta wrap it up. I tend to be a workaholic so methinks my inner artist really desperately needs some self care and rest!

While getting my bright blue toenails, I finally finished reading The Snow Leopard. I thought it very interesting that the author, Peter Matthiessen, went on this search for the elusive snow leopard and for him it was a spiritual quest, but in the end he didn't find what he sought. He writes, "In spiritual ambition, I have neglected my children and done myself harm, and there is no way back. Nor has anything changed; I am still beset by the same old lusts and ego and emotions, the endless nagging details and irritations - that aching gap between what I know and what I am....For all the exhilaration, splendor, and 'success' of the journey to Crystal Mountain, a great chance has been missed and I have failed."

In some ways it sort of paralleled the frustration I felt at the end of my own Nepalese trek (see reflections on non-attachment), though I wasn't on a spiritual quest per se. Matthiessen's ex-wife (and mother of his son) had just died of cancer, and he left his young son, still mourning, at home while he went off on this journey. I got to wondering though, because following after one's wanderlust, the traveling and seeking whether on distant lands or in reading hundreds of spiritual and self-help books, can not in itself cure our inner failings and make us better people. It also reminded me of my own personal disconnect between what I want to see in myself and my reactions and behavior when I am under pressure and stress - whether external or internal. Ultimately, we must be transformed from the inside out, by seeking God and His way first - daily, hourly, minutely - and allowing Him to transform us. That's the only way to continue to grow on the spiritual path rather than stagnate and lapse continually back into our incessant human failings - or to think we're growing but really we may just be following our own way, not His.

At the end of the trip, Matthiessen writes that he was very grumpy even though he’d observed the Zen-like state of the Sherpas who despite having to tote all their gear and serve them, always had polite and kind and serving demeanors (particularly one, Tukten, who Peter ultimately believed to be his 'Teacher'). He writes, "not once have I seen him down-hearted or tired, nor has he responded with sullenness or rudeness to my own evil temper of these recent days.... his soft deep voice as soothing and pervasive as this southern wind."

If only we could all live that way...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

button pushing

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God's gift, that's why we call it the present.
- Oogway in Kung Fu Panda (originally the quote is from Joan Rivers)

The Himalayan foothills of Nepal, near the India border.

I've decided to start randomly putting up some photos that I have that haven't made their way online. I have so many, and in my funk-of-late when I just sit and stare at my laptop screen rather than focusing, the photos go by every few seconds and I think, wow, I really have a lot of cool photos and many are not on my blog or in my photo galleries. So I'll put some up when I don't have other photos. The one above was at the top of a hill when we'd trekked up and stopped to camp for the night, where the porters tried to put my tent right on top of a fresh cow patty! I was like, umm, I don't think so! Yes there are cows in this beautiful wild landscape. There were cows (caks - cow-yak hybrids) on the most insane hilly slopes. They are everywhere... This was the spot where Brian got sick and we took a couple days out. There was a lean to that Tim slept in that reminded me of the kind of ramshackle hut Jesus could have been born into! It was a shelter indeed for shepherds passing through (or technically, cow-herders).

Went to see Kung Fu Panda with the kids which was cute. I like the theme that the unexpected person - the one no one ever thinks would be - can become the savior, the hero. So very very true. I also like the concept that there is no "magic ingredient" - what makes us succeed and achieve is believing in ourselves and our power to just be ourselves, and manifest the vision and follow the unique path the Creator gave to each of us. The thing I wish was true in real life is that so quickly the creatures opposed to his being the Dragon Warrior end up befriending the panda as he serves them noodle soup - even though they still don't believe he's the Dragon Warrior. I just wish in real life, befriending happened so easily.

Why is it that those who are so deep inside our hearts, those we love, can push our buttons so easily and vice versa whereas good friends just love and support? Can there be great passion and love without the button-pushing? I mean, really??? Is it possible? Anyone anyone out there? Is it possible?!!! What do you think? I honestly genuinely have no clue, and I'm curious...

Friday, June 13, 2008

parallel universe

only in the figments of my mind does this mythical creature exist who can set down his crown and hold up mirrors and see through walls and gently wipe tears and listen with hearts wide open torn but caring bleeding but blessing. ask how can i serve and love and care how can i not hurt you how can i listen how can we together we be greater than one and one. the mythical one. the unicorn. - (c) WH

So many of Alanis' lyrics on her latest album speak to me, right here, where I'm at. This first one is really beautiful. It's on the second CD/DVD set you can order off her website, I don't think it comes in the one you can buy in stores. The concept of an orchid really speaks to me - an unusual bloom, not like every flower but different, beautiful, unique, but needing special care for the plant to blossom.

(Photo Copyright 2007 Wendee Holtcamp, Orchid in Nepal)

I'm a sweet piece of work, well intentioned yet disturbed
wrongly label-ed and under-fed,
treated like a rose as an orchid

My friends, as they weigh in,
get understandably protective
They have a hard time being objective
So inside we cancel each other out

I'm a sweet piece of work,
well intentioned and unloved
enabled and misunderstood,
treated like a rose as an orchid

So I've lived in my blind spot
Thought myself usual when I'm not
And your garden is a nice spot
As long as it is brave and where you are

For this sweet piece of work,
high maintenance and deserted
I've been different and deserving,
treated like a rose as an orchid

- Orchid, Alanis Morissette

This next one is from Madness, also on the 2nd CD. It's also a beautiful ballad. I heard once, I think in a Beth Moore bible study that relationships allow us to learn and grow, they allow God to refine us as iron in the fire, and remove our impurities as they reveal themselves in the fire. Sometimes when there's pain, there's a thorn that needs removed. And the scratchiness and discomfort of the situation can still bring a more beautiful person out in the tomorrow, post-fire.

Oh, thank you
Much thanks for this bird's eye view
Oh, thank you
For your most generous triggers

It's been all too easy
To cross my arms and roll my eyes
The thought of dropping all arms
Leaves me terrified

Now I see the madness in me
Is brought out in the presence of you
Now I know the madness lives on
When you're not in the room
Though I'd love to blame you for all
I'd miss these moments of opportune
You simply brought this madness to light
And I should thank you

I'd have to give up knowing
And give up being right
You, inadvertent hero
You, angel in disguise

- Madness, Alanis Morissette

I declare a moratorium on things relationship
I declare a respite from the toils of liaison
I do need a breather from the flavors of entanglement
I declare a full time out from all things commitment

- Moratorium, Alanis Morissette

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I watched the documentary The U.S. vs John Lennon, which was really interesting. Lennon was my hero when I was in high school. I loved peace symbols throughout pretty much my whole youth. As a young kid, I marched with my dad against a nuclear power plant, in college boycotted Mitsubishi for their rainforest destruction activities, and when I came back from Australia in 1991, I went to a peace protest against the first Iraq war in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. I used to wear peace pins and had a peace necklace for as long as I could remember, until I met a certain someone who shall remain unnamed but who criticized and called me a "Peace faggot." Not to mention the fact that it was just a derogatory thing to call me, I don't like the use of the word "faggot" either because I don't like to call anyone any negative derogatory terms that serve no purpose other than to isolate and separate and divide and insult.

Anyway said unnamed person used to call everyone who was a peace-loving flower-child hippieishness person like myself a peace faggot and so I guess I just fit into that category. Kind of made me feel like crap, so, I changed. I didn't really change, but I changed my externals to suit the person I was with. But inside I was and still am - and thank God it's back out in the open in my life - I am a peace-loving flower-child bohemian hippie-ish freak and proud of it whether anyone likes it or not! There are so many parallels between the Vietnam War and this one... it's uncanny. There are certainly differences, but much commonality.

So back to my point. I LOVED Lennon as a teen, still do but haven't really been as into him or the music in the past several years. When we had to do an essay in English on our hero, I chose John Lennon. (I also wrote an essay on the Abuse of Authority by Parents, Teachers, and Police - and that essay still cracks me up. I also wrote an essay on LSD, which my teachers just loved, let me tell you, and I'm pretty sure Lennon was mentioned in that one too). Anyway so I really loved his song Imagine. It's brilliant and beautiful and sort of the theme song of my youth.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
- Imagine, John Lennon (part of it)

I learned a lot about him from this movie that I didn't know! I thought the title was just a play on words but apparently there actually was a court case where Immigration tried to get him thrown out of the country! The Nixon Administration wiretapped his phone and felt very threatened by him, and particularly his friendships with radical activists Abbie Hoffman and John Sinclair. It was really intriguing to see all these Nixon Admin people and FBI agents who engaged in these tactics now coming out and saying what they did was wrong. Every one interviewed from the "other side" had changed their mind on whether what they did was "ok" or not, pretty much except Gordon Liddy, who hadn't changed his perspective much it seemed.

One thing that freaked me out (don't know why, it shouldn't surprise me...) is that after Lennon made his statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, the radio stations did the exact same thing they did to the Dixie Chicks!!! They had everyone burn Beatles record albums and stomp them, and they boycotted their songs. Wow! What a trip! Man, people are such followers, that is what scares me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the park

So this evening I went to the park alone and just laid on the big hill and read a book. I'm trying to finish The Snow Leopard which I started when I went to Nepal but never finished. I liked to watch the trees sway back and forth in the gentle breeze, and to watch the insects crawling in the matted grass beneath my sweater, and to see the various children come, play, and then go. I listened to music, and read, and then wrote about what love is, which basically i have no freaking idea. Just when you think an answer whispers, it runs away, it laughs in your ear and you don't know if you heard something or if it was your imagination.

I have a friend who was on her own in many ways since she was about 11 or 12. I feel very much the same. Even though externally it might have looked like I was raised by a seemingly normal suburban family, in reality I was totally raising myself. I rebelled against every act of authority. And my mom would alternately yell at me and "run away" or kick me out of the house. So I'd go with my friends and do my own thing. Even lived on the streets of Portland at one point, sort of, living in abandoned houses and sleeping on park benches, eating from a children's shelter with the other street kids, and hanging out with them. Did whatever I wanted. Not always a good thing, but I learned a lot and basically ended up pretty responsible in the end. But when you take care of yourself so much, it's hard to let someone else "in," into your heart. I've been working since I was 14 years old, making my own money, and taking care of myself. Anyway so I think I've learned how to be a pretty good friend, and I have the best most amazing friends in the world. But can I love? I don't even know what the hell that means. So whatever.

Love what is love is it longing or laughter or glue, is it me and you is it true, is it a chain or am i a caged bird fluttering? I don't know what this means or whether i can even give it i don't know anymore if i want it or my freedom didn't i say that the only love worth having gives more liberty than it takes away can love live hand in hand i don't know i have more questions than answers this time funny how that changes. love what is love can i give it can i have it can i make you feel it when i don't i fear i can i feel i don't know anymore how to receive it i only know when my friend says to me, you are young, you are beautiful, you are wildly talented, mother of two fantastic kids, you are a heroic, bohemian, writer ninja you are a mighty, mighty warrior, i cry tears joy and sorrow, why do i not know i do not know what love is i just want a friend not the end of me.


Sometimes I just go sit in my kids room and talk to them and bug them. I was in Sams room just now lying down on his bed, bored and we're all bored really. He's cleaning his room for entertainment if that tells you anything. So Savie comes in and we're talking about being bored and I said I feel like I need an injection or something. I feel like I need an injection of happiness. I said maybe I should get on crack. LOL. Savie goes, "Mom! Don't say THAT!" ROFLOL.

Sam then started telling me to get out of his room, and I start to sing, "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I think I'll just eat mud." Then I go wait, is it mud or worms? I can't remember if it's mud or worms. He goes, "Why would you eat mud when you can eat cereal?" Oh and by the way the rest of the song is, "Long fat juicy ones, Skinny, thin, slimy ones, See how they wiggle and squirm."

Sam had a tooth sitting there on his bedstand. Savie said, that's disgusting Sam you have teeth lying around everywhere. I said the Tooth Fairy didn't come for your latest tooth, did she? He said, no the Tooth Fairy doesn't like me. (to be clear, we really do not believe in tooth fairies, they know it's "me"). So when he wasn't looking me and Savie took some money out of his wallet and put it under his pillow and said, Sam look, the Tooth Fairy came! So he looks and says oh! cool! the Tooth Fairy came! (FYI He just read this and said, MOM! You are Evil!)

Anyway so I'm totally freaking bored out of my skull. I'm feeling the urge to travel. I have been blindly watching the photos going as a slideshow on my laptop and thinking man I have been to some cool-ass amazing places. Wow! I can die happy already. I've lived! But it brings out the wanderlust in me, and I want to travel!! I desperately want to go to Africa. I want to just ditch everything and travel around the world for like a year. I actually sort of want to do that when my kids go to college. I want to go to an island, or the beach and just live the sort of laid back surfer girl life. I can write there. I really feel so imprisoned in this suburbia sometimes!! It's so boring!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

um, ya, ok

Oh. My. God. I am laughing! Just got back from taking my kiddos to dinner at On the Border, and well I found out that on my latest credit card bill,my daughter has rung up quite the cell phone bill - due to text messaging. And guess what her text messages are about?

S: I like goldfish and OJ

A: LOL goldfish. LMAO. Apple juice is better...


A: Apple. It could totally beat orange in any time.

S: Nuh uh! Lol. Orange is the best!

A: Of course not. Apple. Orange has pulp and stuff.

S: That's why u get pulp free. Ah hah hah hah!

A: Apple juice is less healthy

S: Orange juice is orangyer

A: It's applier

S: Whatcha doing now?

A: We won (A and another friend were together arguing the merits of AJ)

S: Huh???

A: We won the the apple vs orange battle


This was over SEVERAL HOURS... oh my. My kids are fruitloops (and their friends!) :)

Then at dinner we had a conversation about whether I was a freak, and whether they were freaks or not. Their argument that I was a freak? I hug trees. Savie was analyzing everything, like, when I said that George W Bush had some of the worst ratings of any President in US history and she goes, "Well how do you know because they didn't have polls and all of that back when say George Washington was President." I was like, "You are such a scientist!" Which is, of course, a good thing. She was also analyzing everything, which was quite hilarious. Sam was doing the same thing too.

Oh and if anyone needs a person to do auctions? My daughter can talk like 9 gajillion miles per minute!! I mean, REALLY! I need to record her and put it on this blog. She can not even breathe she will just talk and talk and talk and talk like sooooooo fast you're like, slooow down!!! OK like RIGHT NOW she is doing it and she is saying: Savannah is cool, nobody is cooler than me because I am a freak because I am a freak. You are a Democratic freak. No I didnt say that, I said you are a different kind of freak. I am a good kind of freak. You're not a bad kind of freak you're just a different kind of freak.

I think she had too much root beer.

Monday, June 09, 2008

oceans in between

A distant sorrow from the life we could share, but not yet, not yet i must wait ever waiting. Now we could sit at the coffee shop, we together, sharing, looking into each other’s hazel lion eyes we could talk we could laugh we could share our dreams and hopes and name our theoretical children and plan where we could get married maybe one day we could as we have already we could now even now. you could live in my home, could share my time and my love and my bed and my heart but instead instead only my words across a distant line do we share, spinning our wheels. Loneliness and a solidarity we share. A common hope and a common dream we share. A struggle to hang in, hold on, to a memory, memories of love and laughter of beaches and ocean and spinning around and falling down and walking down paths unknown futures carts before horses and yet prayers answered. Where do we find ourselves now, so far so many miles between us and so many hours spent I want you now.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


I watched the Michael Moore documentary Sicko and really LOVED it. A documentary producer friend of mine said after Bowling for Columbine Moore started to get "loosey goosey" with the facts and that well may be true (though I'm not sure exactly what doco my friend was referring to, or all of them), but the essential messages of his films pretty much remains clear and intact. I also got a copy of the book, "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man" which clearly is a non-biased portryal. Clearly. But, seriously, I wanted to see what some of the criticism was about him. This book was written before Sicko but it talked about how Moore splices together various speeches, to make them seem like a single speech (he did this with NRA President Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine) and made incidences (like an NRA speech) seem like they were occurring closer to say a school shooting than they did. I don't agree with these tactics in journalism in any way, but I also honestly do not think they substantially alter the points Moore is trying to make, nor the message of the Bowling for Columbine movie, or if he did the same with Sicko of that movie.

Sicko talks about the American health care system and how even those people who have health insurance end up thinking they're "covered" but often when they get ill, they end up completely in debt, bankrupt, and often turned away by their health insurance companies and unable to then get the treatments they need. It shows several people who died or whose relatives died because of failures of the health insurance to cover treatment, and compares it to universal healthcare in England, Canada, France and Cuba where despite criticisms that people wait forever or don't have adequate coverage or that the doctors don't get enough money that all these things were false. I am sure someone somewhere has torn apart his facts, but to be honest no matter what, the doco still shed some light on a medical-pharmaceutical-insurance industry that puts money - NOT human lives - as their bottom line. When that happens, when money comes first, that will always be a corrupt and morally bankrupt system. There's just no way around it.

There's an interview with Che Guevera's daughter, Aleida Guevera, M.D., in Cuba as well as a Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, and Marcia Angell, M.D., author of The Truth About Drug Companies: How they Deceive Us and What to Do About it. Angell was the first woman editor-in-chief of one of the most well-known medical science journals, New England Journal of Medicine. She's also a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical. The DVD has extended interviews with these people and they're fascinating.

The most hilarious thing though, is that at the end (spoiler alert!) is that Moore sent an anonymous check in the amount of $12,000 to one of Moore's biggest critics, Jim Kenefick who runs the site, when his wife became ill and they needed that amount to pay for her illness, beacuse either he'd have to take down the website or pay for her healthcare. Moore sent the money anonymously so that his wife could have the treatment and Kenefick could keep the site going. What a trip! Also it's pretty crazy that they snuck into Cuba and got completely free medical care for a handful of 9/11 rescue workers featured in the film who the U.S. government has refused help because they were volunteer fire fighters or EMTs rather than employed by the city or state.

I've still been feeling lazy, but to put a positive spin on that, I'm nurturing my inner artist! Really I've done a lot of sleeping, watching documentaries, sitting outside, hanging with the kids, etc. I am getting work done bit by bit - exploring some new ventures. And I have some big news to announce in the next week or so! I'm like "Pinch me am I dreaming?!" I may be going back to Australia in July - including going diving with dewarf minke whales - when the kids go to their grandparents. We'll see. Some things have to fall into place. PS Somehow the formatting on this blog changed a lot of my past and new entries, and it's quite annoying! I liked the spacing it used to have. So I apologize for it, but there's nothing I can do, it's something blogger did.

Friday, June 06, 2008

shut up & sing

Last night I watched the documentary, Shut Up & Sing about the Dixie Chicks and the controversy they stirred when lead singer Natalie Manes said something in a London concert against George Bush and the invasion of Iraq on the eves of war. The audience cheered huge, but before long, the controversy their comment caused back at home was insane. Country radio stations stopped playing their music - and at the time they were the best-selling female band of all time - and yet the radio stations and media fury led to an essential boycott on the Dixie Chicks. The radio stations themselves set up trash cans outside their offices, encouraging people to come drop off their CDs and smash them to bits. Then, Natalie Manes even received a legitimate death threat from someone the FBI had a file on, for her concert in Dallas. They used metal detectors at the concert, had FBI and other security, but they went out there and sang.

This is all I have to say about this: I am not a big country music fan. I loved their song Landslide but had never bought their CD, but AFTER this controversy went down, I had great respect for them. I first saw the song "Not Ready to Make Nice" at the Grammy Awards, and that was when I knew I had to buy the album. Their singing of that song at that awards show was so powerful, and emotional, and I wanted to get this album. And I absolutely love it, as do my kids. I love several songs on it. They rock! Here's to Free Speech, and that our country might wake up to the ridiculousness of attacking people for speaking their minds, even when it goes against the most commonly accepted belief of the day. When they made their remark, the President's ratings were at an all time high. Three years after they made their remark, his ratings had dropped way down, and now, 5 years later they remain at all time lows for a President. Not only that, since then governmental and interagency committees and reports have revealed so much evidence has that Bush, Rumsfeld etc made faulty claims regarding intelligence about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction and that they may have even known they were faulty, yet went ahead with the invasion, hoodwinking the American public. The sad thing is, I was one of many who put their faith in Bush at that time. I won't say I was a big Bush fan, but I trusted that our President of our country would make wise decisions. I definitely was let way down.

And speaking of President how about that Obama! No matter what you think of him, what a truly historic time in our country. I'm so happy to have seen such a historic race, and such an incredible outcome! As I've blogged here before, I saw Michelle Obama speak, and have read Barack Obama's book, Dreams of My Father and loved it and wrote that despite some people saying they didn't think he could get elected, I believed he could. Like Caroline Kennedy said, I believe Obama can inspire and unite our nation in a way no President has since JFK. Godspeed!

At any rate, this DVD was great. I watched it with Savannah and she liked it too. Here's their Myspace page for Shut Up & Sing about free speech: and here's the Youtube video for their song, Not ready to Make Nice at the Grammys.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

being in charge

I've been a bit frustrated lately, and grumpy, and thinking about parenting and such (have been struggling with some challenging behavior - ah teenagers), today I was in my office and I was talking to Savie and I told her, "I like to be in charge. I just like to order people around, to tell them what to do, and they do it without arguing. I don't like people to have other opinions!"

It was kind of hilarious, I mean I said it in all seriousness, while knowing how awfully ridiculous it sounds. I think that in truth, without realizing it, a lot of people are like this. In general we human beings are not very good at negotiating or often at communicating. Parenting like a dictator doesn't work so well... (nor other relationships) but sometimes in parenting of course you do have to take charge. I have really enjoyed being a single parent (and single person in general), as opposed to being married, because in my house and my life, I make the rules. I can spend my money how I want to, I can do what I want to, I can tell the kids what to do without discussing it with anyone...

Well in reality my ex and I have pretty much the same feelings about everything kid-related and we discuss everything and luckily we agree on pretty much everything, so that makes it easier. M and I have not "fought" in any way in the past 5 years since we've been divorced -well right at the beginning it was challenging. Why do people get along so much better when there is no "relationship" than when you're "together"? I don't get it. Like I said, I like to be in charge and I'm not too great about having to change for someone else, even when they're not exactly asking me to change. Relationships (of all sorts) are put there to help us learn about ourselves - often the scratchy parts. Blech. I just would rather live in a hole sometimes than to have to see these things!

There's this parable that always spoke to me because it was so darn confusing. I didn't get what it was in the Centurion's behavior and words that made Jesus think his faith was so great. I think I get it now, or am starting to.

The Faith of the Centurion Luke 7 1:10

1When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

I love this song Not the Doctor by Alanis. Full lyrics here or somewhere on her own website

"Not The Doctor"
by Alanis Morissette

I don't want to be the filler if the void is solely yours
I don't want to be your glass of single malt whiskey
Hidden in the bottom drawer
I don't want to be a bandage if the wound is not mine
Lend me some fresh air
I don't want to be adored for what I merely represent to you


I don't want to be the sweeper of the egg shells that you walk upon
And I don't want to be your other half, I believe that 1 and 1 make 2
I don't want to be your food or the light from the fridge on your face
At midnight, hey
What are you hungry for
I don't want to be the glue that holds your pieces together
I don't want to be your idol
See this pedestal is high and I'm afraid of heights


I don't want to live on someday when my motto is last week
I don't want to be responsible for your fractured heart
And it's wounded beat
I don't want to be a substitute for the smoke you've been inhaling
What do you thank me
What do you thank me for


Those are just some of the lyrics I particularly relate to!


Nothing too exciting here.

Last night, I went to see Hollywood Agent Rima Greer speak at the Women in Film and Television-Houston meeting with my friend Elise (the one working on "buying the Astrodome" to turn it into a green movie production studio - See Houston Chronicle article: The latest proposal for the Astrodome? Movie studio). The talk was cool. Elise's partner in the Astrodome project is the President of WIFT-Houston, Cynthia Neeley. Elise was my biology student 8 years ago!!! She's so cool! Another Cancer like moi :)

I finished my bobcat article and I'm pleased with it. It always feels great to finish a project! Now I am about to start writing on another that I've already researched, not to mention get caught up on email that has piled up since I went to Australia the FIRST time!

Lots of cool things going on. I'm learning about documentary production which is so cool and I'm really excited. I have several ideas I'm going to start pitching around and see what happens. I'm also considering buying a videocam and just start doing some of my own filming for various things. One thing Rima said is how much the wave of the future is internet TV. She said one day there will be online channels dedicated to 24/7 or and that is where people are going to be making their money. So if you can, go scoop up some of those domain names!

Anyway it's late and I'm braindead and going to bed.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Wow this new Alanis single really speaks to me. I love her! Lyrics below the video.
by Alanis Morissette

Look at us break our bonds in this kitchen
Look at us rallying all our defenses
Look at us waging war in our bedroom
Look at us jumping ship in our dialogues

There is no difference
In what we're doing in here
That doesn't show up as bigger symptoms out there
So why spend all our time in dressing our bandages
When we've the ultimate key to the cause
right here, our underneath.

Look at us form our cliques in our sandbox
Look at us micro kids with both our hearts blocked
Look at us turn away from all the rough spots
Look at dictatorship on my own block

There is no difference
In what we're doing in here
That doesn't show up as bigger symptoms out there
So why spend all our time undressing our bandages
When we've the ultimate key to the cause
right here, our underneath.

How I've spun my wheels
With carts before my horse
When shine on the outside springs from the root
Spotlight on these seeds of simpler reasons
The core, born into form, starts in our livingroom

There is no difference
In what we're doing in here
That doesn't show up as bigger symptoms out there
So why spend all our time in dressing our bandages
When we've the ultimate key to the cause
right here, our underneath.

Sex & the City

I went to see Sex & the City the movie with a girlfriend today, and loved it! They did a great job, and I laughed and cried. It really moved me, especially all the ups and downs of the love stories. I am not a big TV watcher, and in fact over the past 10 years have hardly turned the TV on. Ever. I do rent movies and that is pretty much it. There have been a few exceptions, and one of the shows I watched was Sex & The City. I actually started watching it when I was in a book club that I jokingly called the Vagina Dialogues because every time we'd have a book club someone would say the word Vagina. Usually loudly! That started when we were at the very first book club I had attended (it had been going on for a while before then). We were at one woman's house, who has since moved, and she had a teenage son upstairs. Somehow the word came up and K was like "Shh, my son is upstairs!" and G, who is hilarious, was like, "He's a TEENAGER. Do you think he doesn't know the word vagina? VAGINA! VAGINA! VAGINA!" We were all cracking up as K continued shooshing.

Then the word just seemed to come up every book club for some reason or another. That book club was as close as you could get to Sex & The City (though we were all married, and living in Houston...), and we talked about some of the same things. We even went to see Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues when it came to town. Whch was fantastic and moving, by the way. (You can rent this in DVD and I'm going to have my daughter watch it with me).

Anyway so the book club used to watch Sex & The City episodes now and then, and I got hooked so then went and rented all the back episodes. I've seen them all. It's such a fantastic show because they talk about so many real relationship issues including of course ones about sex. Even though some people think it pushes the boundaries, and was over the top, I loved that about it. I love that Carrie is a writer-journalist and I related to her a lot. In the movie, I especially related to the Carrie-Big relationship. I've mentioned it here on this blog before (in wild heart in 2006, I quoted Carrie as saying "Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with."). Their love is so big and intense and yet there are many obstacles they each had to overcome to be able to give in to the love to make it work. And it took ten years, several relationships in between, and them growing up and realizing (or him realizing...) that it was the One. They loved each other so much, but they got in their own way.

I don't think love or relationships are ever easy. That is fantasyland. They can be amazingly beautiful and intense and gorgeous and fun, but they involve real people with imperfections. I heard a quote recently that love is about half give and half forgive. And that is interesting because forgiveness is a big theme of the Sex & The City movie. (Spoiler alert!) Carrie advises the lawyer Miranda, who analyzes everything out in her head and on paper on whether she should try to work things back out with Steve who had cheated one time during a 6-month dry spell in their marriage, she advises her to go with her heart and her feelings. And then at the end when Carrie just throws all the logic aside and runs into Big's arms... love defies logic sometimes. Love is a real and powerful force that draws people together despite obstacles, oceans, walls, reason. Even sometimes when you had stopped believing in it.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

the artist vs the adult

I've been a bit stressed. Probably PMS. Anyway, I've also been laughing a lot. Savie and I have been cracking each other up which is fun and cute. I actually don't laugh a lot for some reason. I'm not sure why. I used to when I was a teenager. Some people really make me laugh. My girlfriends and I laugh together. But I'm not the kind of person that laughs all the time. I do have a sort of satirical sense of humor. I think I need one of those Happy Bunny shirts that says "I'm laughing on the inside."

So I laid outside today on a blanket (I Love being outside. I just want to be out there permanently!) and I was reading The Artist's Way, and some things in Chapter 11 really spoke to me. I was thinking about how I have these two parts of my personality that are sort of in conflict. I have my very free spirit, bohemian, hippie, party girl, flower child, artist, writer, creative side. It likes to hang upside down from the monkey bars, swing super high, stand on my head, spin around and around in circles, do cartwheels, laugh my fool head off, dive with sharks, swim in the ocean, take naps, be lazy, travel around the world and shirk all responsibility. Then there is the very responsible part of me who never misses a deadline, pays all her bills on time, is a perfectionist and control freak, never drinks and drives, gave up smoking and drugs years and years ago and is a bit too lofty about that, works out and obsesses about things.

God just reading that makes me want to wretch. Actually they both are me all the time! That is the weird thing. I am not responsible only part of the time. My inner artist is a very responsible bohemian! Ha ha! That is kind of funny. Even when I'm traveling and being a bohemian adventurer, I'm still paying my bills, meeting my deadlines. Well maybe there is a tiny bit that is sometimes slightly irresponsible, just a tiny wee bit, but any time I do something wrong that responsible nerd reminds me and bugs me until I feel guilty. But there's just a little part of me that feels like the prodigal son and wants to let loose, and go back to my younger days when I didn't really worry so much about responsibility and could just have fun without consequence - or in reality so I thought there were no consequences. There always were. But I just wish for a bit I could have that whole mindset again, and just be wild and free. I have such a free bird living inside my heart and she so struggles with the responsible side. It really kills me sometimes.

So in Artist's Way Chapter 11, Recovering a Sense of Autonomy, it says:

"To a large degree my life is art, and when it gets dull, so does my work."

"As an artist I can literally die from boredom. I kill myself when I fail to nurture my artist child because I am acting like somebody else's idea of an adult."

"To be an artist is to recognize the particular. To appreciate the peculiar. To allow a sense of play in your relationship to accepted standards. To ask the question, 'Why?' To be an artist is to risk admitting that much of what is money, property, and prestige strikes you as just a little silly."

"As artists, we are spiritual sharks. The ruthless truth is that if we don't keep moving, we sink to the bottom and die."

These quotes and the whole chapter spoke to me because it helped me understand WHY I am such a bohemian! There are just some people who are like this -- the cultural creatives! I also came across this quote as I was reading the end of Chapter 10 today, Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection, which spoke to me, "It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." - Somerset Maugham.

I also thought today that maybe I would like to start painting again. I am not good at it, but when I was going through a hard time around 2000 I bought some watercolor paints and brushes and M and I used to sit around and paint. Course he ended up being brilliant at it, and I was putzing around so I gave it up. But it was fun, and another way to creatively express, so I am just feeling compelled to maybe pick it up again. Just something to do.

Well since today is the Sabbath that is my excuse to do absolutely no work! I went to church, laid outside and read Artists' Way and now I'm going to go eat some Soy Delicious Peanut Butter Zig Zag (this stuff is divine! but a wee bit too fattening for regular consumption - save for stressful days) and I'm going to watch The Kite Runner! I am almost done with my bobcat article though, then it's on to Biomimicry, then to write a book chapter for Losing My Religion based on my trip to Colorado!! Lots to do...