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My Soliloquy...

Sometimes it's important to remember that we are not now, nor will we ever be, the center of the wheel. Especially in the workplace. But it doesn't keep some of us (well, okay, me) from whining about it. And I whine (oh, how I whine!) even though I have a wonderful job, in a wonderful department, at a wonderful college. I'm grateful that I can't even imagine how it must be to work somewhere that is truly awful. I know how lucky I am, but I'm in rare form and feeling feisty, so today, between trips to the water cooler, I composed the following that I call:

Soliloquy for the Seriously Cynical Slacker (um...that would be, again, ME!)

Note: The houselights dim and a spotlight shines on my solitary figure on stage. I look heavenward and begin:

Woe is me!

Behold! I am the Middle. Verily I say unto you: I am the peanut butter twixt dysfunctional slices of Upper Managerial Bread. Yea, even the Crusts crush my soft interior and stand at idle attention, grimacing at my precarious position til they flake and fall...littering the carpet with their Crumbs. I cry out in despair - such utter despair, "Whither goest yon Jolly Jelly that might stand nigh and be a friend? Whither??? And, if there be not a Jolly Jelly, might not step forward some small trifling speck of Frivolous Fat to butter my pride and sooth, in meager measure, my exquisite pain? Am I nuttin' but a forsaken go-between ? A placeholder?? A schmuck???"

Alas and alack this be my fate, for no one careth whether I be Smooth or Chunky...nor even whether I need be stirred to make mine oils as one with mine solid nuttiness...

Note: Speech completed, I swoon and die with great drama... the lights dim, the crowd is momentarily silent with awe. As the crowd bursts into thunderous applause, I bow. Then they Stand. For my performance and the Truth of the Words. They stand..every last one of the audience stands. Aaaaaaaah....

What's life without a little whining and drama, 'eh?


Amazing Grace...

Today I attended the funeral of a wonderful man who knew how to flirt with women of all ages, how to jitterbug with the best of them, and how to make a mean Whiskey Sour! And while I am sad that he's not in this world any longer, I'm grateful that he's now with his beloved wife whose passing pained him more than any physical ailment he quietly suffered. A dear, dear man...

When I was younger, the thought of dying someday scared the bejeezus out of me, but, happily, somewhere along the way that fear stopped gripping me at my throat. I realized that nothing is static. Change happens - a fact that has made the bad times endurable, and the sweet, quiet moments of each day come alive with magic.

The certainty of the cycle of life is a comfort to me; evidence of divine grace. I've witnessed the birth of new ideas and relationships, and the death of dreams and innocence. I know now that each waking is a birth of sorts and each going to sleep a dying. But while I'm awake I try to be alive - fully and completely. The better to flirt, the better to dance, and the better to enjoy a mean Whiskey Sour in Bill Fry's memory. That's more than just grace - that's Amazing Grace.



Looking both ways on the way to becoming...

Yesterday morning I woke up from a vivid dream that has been on my mind ever since. I was standing on the sidewalk across the street from where I work. My dog Jake was on the opposite side of the street and off his leash. He looked up, saw me, and started across the street, dodging the cars and a huge truck, finally making it safely to my side. We turned and began walking north - away from the street and away from the building where I had worked. Had worked...

I've felt for quite some time that I am in a period of transition and the dream confirmed that. And, if it's true that we are every living thing in our dreams, then, as Jake, I'm moving across the street, away from one way of living my life to another. Indeed, in the dream I am already there in some sense and I'm waiting for the rest of me to catch up. The cars and the huge truck seem to be the challenges I'm confronting as I'm making the transition, but I'm relieved when I remember that in the dream I wasn't particularly afraid. I knew that all would be well, so I just watched and waited patiently.

It's clear to me from my dream that what I am in the midst of is more than a simple change; more than a career change or retirement. This feels Important. Like coming home to who I remember being long ago. Like getting to the crux of who I am and who I am meant to be. Still Karen Anne. Always Karen Anne. But the best Karen Anne.

You can bet your bottom dollar, though, that when I cross that street tomorrow on my way to get coffee, I'm not taking any chances - I'm looking both ways before I step out into the street!


Food for thought...

From Harper's Index:

"Estimated amount of glucose used by an adult human brain each day, expressed in M&Ms: 250"

Works for me! 'Specially since they come in the dark chocolate variety now...


"To resist is futile!"

Suffice it to say: my will power caved.

My inner resources were nowhere to be found.

I admit it.

I indulged. A lusty glutton throwing every good intention to the winds. Resistance was, indeed, completely and utterly futile. I lost all sense of time.

But it's done. There's nothing more to resist and Dean has promised me he won't let any more in the house.

Starbuck's Java Chip ice cream.

Beware. It's in a store near you...


The importance of playing dress-up...

My daughters loved to play dress-up when they were little. Brides and princesses made regular appearances at our home.

But the kiddos aren't here now. They are back at college or in Edinburgh as I write. I really miss participating in their play by helping find the odds and ends to transform them into various imaginary beings. Now I find myself decking Jake, our dog, in various snazzy bandanas - he likes to choose which one! My husband tolerates donning the plethora of handpicked, colorful ties I can't resist giving him. (He does like the compliments they garner!) And then, of course, there's my adventures into faerie land...

We all should enjoy a bit of
dress-up - no matter how old we are, shouldn't we? It's all about the long floaty stuff for my friends in the priesthood (and those heading there) and especially for me when Lillianna comes to visit. Middle aged women playing dress-up! Is there something wrong with that? Quite the contrary. There's something very right with that. It's wonderful to come full circle. It's wonderful to return to the place where we started and to the time we were most ourselves. Playing dress-up allows us to remember who we were - and who we could have been and now, finally, who we have become.

I have another middle aged friend, though, who told me today, "I hate playing


I wonder what some serious playtime would do for her. Would she find some relief from her stress? Or some answers to the many questions she has? I think she would. I wrote the other day, "there's
more reality in make believe than I ever would have imagined." I wish she would take time to make time for some good ol' fashioned make believe, some dress-up, some play...

Ah well.

I've got trunkloads of old clothes. Wanna come play? We can play
dress-up and then have a tea party!


The Hug...

Today I celebrate the hug in all it's forms; big, small, with pat, without...

A hug can emphasize the words we speak,
and speak for us when our words fail.

I wish for all of us the comfort of a warm hug on this very cold day!


Make believe...

What I realized today: As my dreams have always revealed my secret truths if I would but look closely, so to, does the character I've chosen to be (or did she choose me?) since I've allowed myself to participate in these wonderful moments of make believe.

In donning the persona of Lillianna Bluestocking, Pocket Faerie,
I've discovered that I have a lot more confidence than I've given myself credit for. I'm more in tune with the natural world than I thought. And, as Lillianna, I see the world quite clearly and have no trouble making decisions. It does not surprise me that I feel her spirit carrying over into my real life.

This is an interesting journey.

I'm glad I've given myself permission to play. There's more reality in make believe than I ever would have imagined.

Imagine that!


Button, button, who's got the friggin' button???

This will have to be short. It's the twelfth hour and I just remembered I promised to sew the buttons on her peacoat since she needs to take it back to school with her tomorrow. I had promised to do it at Thanksgiving but forgot. Like I did in September. But I didn't get the replacement buttons until last week so I couldn't have sewn them on in September OR November, now could I?

So.... Sssssssssew.... (Does that sound like Ed Sullivan?)

Back to the buttons. Yes. I have to replace ALL the buttons because ONE fell off. Lost. Gonzo. (Or as Lillianna would say, "POOF!") That's t-w-e-l-v-e buttons mind you. As in: Because of course it's asking too much to be able to find ONE that will match the other eleven... And the one inside - that little extra one sewn inside at the bottom? Gone. Of course!

Enough whining. Time to get to it.

But thank goodness my bellybutton is firmly attached. Because if THAT fell off, well, shoot...

I guess my butt would fall off, too.
(They're attached. You didn't know???)


Feeling boxed in?

I read this today and wanted to share it:
"Think hard before you do this, " one said to me when I told him I wanted to be ordained. "Right now you have the broadest ministry imaginable. As a layperson, you can serve God no matter what you do for a living, and you can reach out to people who will never set foot inside a church. Once you are ordained, that is going to change. Every layer of responsibility you add is going to narrow your ministry, so think hard before you choose a smaller box."
- Barbara Brown Taylor in Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
Something worthwhile to consider regardless of what you choose to do for a living, huh?


The Remembering

Today I am grateful for women friends who listen with their hearts, who care deeply, and who feel, as I do, that something is amiss... but we just can't quite remember what.

I am grateful for the glimmer of remembering that shimmers in the mists of our collective memory, because it gives me hope.

Hope that each new day brings us closer to where we know we should be.

Closer to each other and Spirit. Nuturing, loving, and blessing all.

It is good to be a woman and to not be fearful of unfoldings. We are used to waiting, to listening, to holding a quiet, peaceful place deep inside us. Our bodies recognize the quickening that is occurring. We wait with open arms.



Stacks O' Crap

Stacks o' Crap. For those of you who don't know, that's the name of a store I've fantasized about opening. Once it proves to be the highly successful endeavor I'm certain it will be, I'll open up a second called Piles O' Shit. A bit crass I admit - but perfectly descriptive of what I would gleefully foist off on my unsuspecting customers. "Why, this is just what you've always needed!" (hehehe.) And why oh why would I want to open such quaint places of business, you ask?

Simple: To rid myself of the excess stuff I've accumulated in 56.5 years.

Stuff. It’s everywhere. Over. Under. Behind. Between. Hidden. Weighing me down. Demanding to be dusted. Filling me with guilt when I don’t comply. How did all that stuff get up in the attic? (Even I don't believe that it's “functional insulation” anymore.) Who put all that other stuff in the basement? And don’t even get me started on the garage...

I know I'm not alone feeling this way. My friends and I have talked about the issue almost as many times as we've discussed our intentions to lose weight. At some point, though, I have to realize that talking about doing something it isn't the same as - OMIGOD! - actually doing it.

Hmmm...well there you have it, Ms. Clutterbug. You are confronted with the Truth and there's nowhere else to turn. Perhaps you've discovered one of those magic doors you wrote about, huh? So whatcha gonna DOOOOOOOOOOO???? Got the courage to go through yet? Huh???

WAAAAAAH!!!! I'm too tired it seems like too much I'm too attached it's worth money it's, it's, it's... how can I put it?

Try this :“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.” Gotta love that John Ruskin. Hit the nail right on the head. I am : W-E-A-R-Y of it all. But I think I'm finally weary of being weary and I feel the teeny-tiniest bit of hope sneaking in. There it is! Over there! See it under those dust bunnies next to the pile of magazines that are three years old that are under the dead plant? (Geez. I'm not alone in this am I???)

So. I will take stuff to Goodwill one bag at a time. Bless it and send it out into the Universe without expecting anything in return. Then I will take a deep breathe, take another bag, and go forth! I will repeat this as many times as I need to. Until I feel the lightness - the relief - that is there...somewhere...and the peace.

And get this, because this is BIG: I finally want that sense of peace more than I want the stuff.

Whoa, mama!


The Journey...

A dear friend told me today that she has decided to start her studies to become a Buddhist priest. A wise and thoughtful woman, she said she didn't fully understand why she was being pulled so to become a priest, but that she just knew it's important, and time, for her to start the journey. I told her that's how I felt about "becoming" a Pocket Faerie; that I didn't know why I was to do it, but neither did I know why I shouldn't.

Now, I know that being a priest is BIG compared to being a faerie, but she's known me long enough to understand what I meant. She nodded and said, "I really think it's all about wanting to do something where we can still play dress-up!" And there is a certain element of truth in that...

One thing I know for sure: Be it in robes or in wings, we're both ready to take flight and soar - even if we're not quite sure where we'll land. And you know what? That doesn't seem to worry either of us.

It's all about the journey, after all.

It's all about the journey.


Can you see me now?

I'm 56 and a half. According to some sources, I've been invisible for the past six and a half years and will never be seen again.


I certainly don't feel invisible. And surprise, surprise - I just checked in the mirror and I'm still there - every wonderful square (well, make that round) inch of me. Just the way Spirit made me.

Invisible? Not if I have anything to say about it. And that's just it - I have everything to say about it. No one can make me invisible unless I buy into the premise, and trust me, I ain't buyin' what the croneaphobes are sellin'!

Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever!!!

Amen and so be it.


Am I Blue??? Nope - only Lillianna is!

(I've agreed to be a Pocket Faerie at the Spoutwood Fairie Festival that will be held 4/5/6/May 2007...hence the following.)

Lillianna Bluestocking,
Pocket Faerie is guiding me in bringing her to life. What I know so far: She is a Mature Faerie who is happy with her life and with all the things that make her Unique. Her first name is Lillianna because her mother loved the sound of it and proclaimed "one can never have too many l's or i's or
n's or a's in a name." Her middle name is Bluestocking because A. she wears them and B. she is one. (As per Merriam Webster: Bluestocking \BLOO-stah-king\ noun: a woman having intellectual or literary interests.) But I digress...

She was born without wings so she has two friends (butterflies? dragonflies? one of each?) who sit on her shoulder and come to life when she says The Magic Word. They have always flown her wherever she wants to go ever since she was a tiny faerie. One is named Goodness and the other Mercy (and surely they follow wherever she goes - get it? She really gets a kick out of that since she chose their names...) She's been around the world multiple times and loves collecting Neat Stuff and Trinkets. Good thing she has a Magic Wand and doesn't have to pay postage to get things back home!

She's not a fluffy, glitzy faerie - she's been around a while and she likes using other peoples' cast off clothing and jewelry - doing whatever needs doing to make them her own, showcasing her special, personal Flair. She loves to wears layers - all in shades of blue - some solids, some prints - since she can add and subtract them depending on what climate she's in. Thus far she has a blue multi-patterned tiered skirt under a high waisted button-up-the-front dress (made of a simple blue hibiscus Hawaiian print - she picked it up last time she was there) over which she dons an all blue embroidered 3/4 length empire waisted loose top. She pins the dress up in spots with flowered pins to make it kind of poufy and expose the skirt. She drapes an open, yarny, ribbony shawl on her back and Goodness and Mercy hold it on her shoulders. So far she has three Pocketbags for treats - two original fabric/bead ones she found and one that has dangles of flat abalone shell that make a wonderful tinkling sound - sort of like she imagines a crystal chandelier would. She likes to wear turquoise tights topped with mismatched socks and her flat mary jane shoes are decorated with ribbon flowers. She's fussing around with her crowny thing - and thinks she wants it to be Not Too Big and to sit on top of her head and be made of a combination of bead and fabric flowers. She stretched out a copper mesh scouring pad she found in her kitchen and likes the way it sparkles, and it fits well on her head, so she may use that as the base for the flowers. And she may add some rayon seam tape streamers to the sides (and maybe some to the 3/4 top). She also wants to add a few sparkles to the whole ensemble (all the layers and bags) - nothing over the top - just something to catch the sunlight and "still be washable for heaven's sake!" Oh and teeny tiny bells - she wants some of those attached to her hems so she sounds sparkly, too! (She says she likes her clothing and accessories to activate as many senses as possible... so I imagine a signature perfume is important to her, too.) The wand thing is giving her fits right now ( her old one fizzled out after sending home the last batch of Neat Stuff and Trinkets) so I'm taking her to Home Depot and WalMart later to see if she can work her magic on anything there. But she keeps telling me it's hard to work magic "without the damned wand". I told her that I thought that sort of language didn't become her even if she is a Blue Faerie. She just snorted and flicked me on my head.

She ain't no wishy-washy faerie, that's for sure- she KNOWS what she wants and I like that about her. She's got gumption, and sense of humor, and an incredible sense of style. And she's friendly. I'm to say "hi" to you from her. So: HI!

She's dragging me off to the studio now to show me what else she wants done - I'll report back as I complete her "look". Can't wait till I find out what kind of makeup she wants!


Happy Birthday, Megan!

Today Megan Elizabeth Glick turned 23! Hard to believe that it was that long ago that I was in labor thinking that only for the birth of this wonderful child would I be missing Tom Selleck on Magnum PI. (Yup - she was born on a Thursday and I was in labor at 8pm...) I have never regretted missing Tom - not for a minute!

Thank you, Megan, for all you have brought to my life and for all you have taught me. You opened my heart wider than I ever thought it could be and filled it with so much love. I'm such a better person for having become your mom. I love you - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


Headlines: "+21,500"


Think peace/pray peace/BE peace.


"Knock and the door shall be opened..."

It occurred to me today that maybe sometimes answers aren't revealed to us until we're ready to ask for them to be revealed. Sometimes answers and insights come easily - with barely any effort or thought. But some answers don't come when we think they should, so we fuss and fume and try to take shortcuts. Maybe for the Big Things we need to have our sincerity, commitment, and readiness tested. Maybe we need to arrive exhausted from all our detours - and maybe we have to realize first that it's a door we're looking for. Because doors are for going through and maybe we need to know without a doubt that:

The only way out is through.

"Oooooh. Through the door?"
"The door, Karen Anne!"

And almost before we can raise our hand to knock, the door is opened...


"Ask and ye shall receive"

I remember times when the girls were little and they'd ask for something and, instead of providing whatever it was they wanted, I'd say, “Not now!” Being children and (could it be???) because they might have actually needed whatever it was they were asking for, they'd persist and I'd try to ignore them after issuing an angry glance. I'm not proud of the memory. They were kids. And, looking back, I'm sure that whatever they wanted was secondary to needing my attention. At the time, I wanted to stop being interrupted - but I know now that what I needed was their soft little arms around my neck.

What if, instead of assumptions and dismissing eyes, I had taken a moment, listened to them, and given them what they were really asking for; me?

The girls are grown now and seem no worse for my moments of not-so-great mothering. (Proof of God’s grace and understanding!) But I still wonder how those moments might have been transformed - for each of us - if I had paid attention and discovered the needs that were under the wants.


Liminal State




Oblivious of standing
at the threshold of a magic door

Feel the wind

Follow it’s lead

Or not.


In which the Universe flicks me on the head...

Oh. Yeah. Now I remember. Stay humble, right? Right. And in case you forget and get a bit big for your britches and think you're a hotshot, the Universe is right there with a big grin on it’s face, ready and willing to help you remember. Case in point:

Just for a lark I thought I’d Google Scones and Crones to see what turned up - confident that I would see this little blog flash at the top of the list in response to my query. What did I get instead? That little Google question line that asked me: “Did you mean Scones and Crohns ?”

“Um… no. But thanks for asking. I'll just go crawl under a rock somewhere now if that's okay with you.” Geez.

Gotta love a Universe with a sense of humor! (I swear I heard it snort between gasps and guffaws...)

I’m glad I have no problem laughing at myself…I get LOTS of practice and will, not doubt, get plenty more. (Snort!)


"Home is where the heart is..."

Peter Pan would focus on the second star on the right and fly straight on 'til morning to make his way home. Dorothy finally realized she needed only close her eyes and click her heels three times to be back in Auntie Em's house, and that "there's no place like home, there's no place like home."

Home. Just saying the word makes me feel better. And tonight it feels extra special to sit here surrounded by all the wonderful, colorful, clutter of the life I've made with my family. It's warm and cozy and safe and blessedly just right. Not too big. Not too small. Just right. Absolutely perfect in every way.

Tonight as I sit on my comfy red couch, my eldest daughter is in Scotland trying to make a bed in a hostel feel like home, and my mother-in-law is winging her way toward her own little bed - the best of "homes" when you're weary - far away from here. I shutter at the pain she must be in - and questioned the decision to undertake such a brutal "adventure" to get back to her nest. I wanted so much for her to stay in the bed that is still made up in the dining room. And the part of me that is more Smother than Mother would have delighted in never having my daughter leave on her own "excellent adventure". But the call to return to an old home and the desire to make a new one can be strong. They needed to go and I respect their decisions.

But I hope they both know that they have a home here, too, and that the door - and my heart - will always be open wide and ready to welcome them for however long they wish to stay whenever they wish to come. All they need do is focus on that little star on the right or click their heels three times. Or simply close their eyes and remember. Home. Right in their hearts. Always and forever. Amen.


Mother Birds, Faith and Hives...

Today I rejoice in the fullness of life even when there are moments I feels like I'm overflowing. I rejoice in the miracle of feelings -fear, joy, sadness, concern, empathy, rage, love, ambivalence, disbelief - all of which have coursed through my veins this morning. And, no, the trouble I've had with my laptop (who's name is Skipperdee after Eloise's turtle who also had a hard outer shell) hasn't been the sole cause of the myriad of emotions, though the angst I've felt about calling the Dell folks was certainly palpable...

No...the feelings stem from watching those I love trying so hard to find, on one hand, the way to the life they are meant to live, and on the other hand, the way to a peaceful resting place here or with Spirit. The feelings stem from wanting to be confident when I reassure them that in letting go they will find the answers they seek. Like the mother of little birds waivering on a branch wanting the courage to fly, I'm helpless to do anything but issue chirps of "You can do it!" For indeed they can - and they need to know that and own it.

Oprah often asks guests, "What do you know for sure?" I know for sure that Spirit asks nothing of us but to get up each day and put one foot in front of the other in Faith.

Sometimes that's easier said than done. Which could explain why I woke up with hives this morning. (Ya think???)


This morning...

This morning I rejoice in being a woman. The little things we might do for another woman, particularly an older woman, to show her we care - washing her hair, massaging her with lotion, even plucking her "chin feathers" in fulfillment of a long-ago promise - all these little things connect us to all the women before us that have cared for and nurtured the women close to them. It's an honor to be part of this circle. It feels sacred. Perhaps because it is. As we share ourselves by taking care of each other, we become keenly aware that we hold what is sacred within us. A deep, sacred well of caring. We need to remember that as we go through the day.


And so we begin...

It occurred to me that it might be fun to carve out my own little corner of the web where I could share some goodies and gabbing with like-minded folk. So here we go:

Welcome to Scones and Crones where I hope we will all find a brief respite from our busy lives and take a wee bit o' time to share a little tea and a little wisdom!