Tuesday, January 31, 2012

oh January

you have been good to me
this first month of a sparkly new year.

there has been much gratitude.
and so much fun.
there was fresh  snow
and wonderful dates
to share with loved ones.

there have been many lessons learned
and a whole lot of hot tears.

journals written and painted and glued in
balance sought and sometimes found.

more pain than i have experienced during this journey
and an understanding of some of the many  gifts that are being given to me.

i dabbled in poetry
and we rearranged our house.
i continue to work away at my resolutions.

i feel that today,
after emerging from six long days of pain
that January has been more than i could have hoped for.
i am learning to slowly embrace this year and all that it holds for me.
there has been this crazy bouncing from solid to shaky
back to solid again
because i am seeing that

when i am fatigued everything is louder...you know?
the wonderful and the hard.
just louder.
i am striving to listen.
January has begun to teach me how.

Monday, January 30, 2012

finding the good.

what i also call,
"finding the good"
looks like this these days...

when you walk downstairs and find your white slipcovered couch splattered with spagetti sauce
you decide, instead of freaking out,
 "what great motivation to wash the slip covers..i hate that job but now i have to do it- yay!"

when you hear comings and going at all hours of the night
you use the next morning to have a firm chat and re establish the hours of acceptable comings and goings with your favorite man-boy.
the house should be quiet after 10 from now on if all goes according to plan.

when you need to sit and have an IV in your arm for 3 hours or so,
you use that opportunity to catch up with your wonderful mother
and rest in the quiet of not having to do anything..
because you can't...you're kinda stuck there.

when you haven't any energy, have been crying most of the day and reilize it's date night,
so you grab your poetry books, turn down the lights and read to each other
and find it to be the funnest night of the week.

when your daughter homeschools and spends all day with you
it is okay to occasionally let her sleep in.
late, very late
so that you can have a quiet morning to do absolutly nothing at all.

when even though yesterday was the hardest day ever,
you look at your gratefulness list that has become so habitual that you forget you are doing it sometimes
and you see all sorts of blessings and wonder on the pages.
and you remember that you actually are very fond of winding rivers
and mucking about in boats.

if you look hard enough
the gift is always there.
i promise.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

building a bigger boat.

(journal sharing-from my trusty blue notebook
so these posts tend to be raw, unedited and long)

they speak of building bigger boats.
vessels to carry me along this journey.
they being
the writers of the words i am clinging onto
as i navigate this stretch of river.

i call this whole "unwell" process my river.
this oh so winding, and much longer than i could
ever have imagined river.

costructing a bigger boat-
making room and space for the new me.
the me that will somehow mysteriously birth from this never ending labour.

oh i thought i was prepared. i could sense a few months back
the potential for complications.
it was looking as if this transition would be painful,
but i thought i kew what to do.

(and perhaps, i do)

prepare the environment, create places of rest and nourishment,
read the right books, learn the language of healing,
attend to the issues at hand, make peace with God.
consult and trust the doctors
and the ones who had walked this path,
walked the path
that led to the shores of my river before.

but oh no, that hasn't been enough.
the books pile up, open, bookmarked,
underlined, carried close.
and the places of rest call me and i visit
there and find no comfort.

and this vessel. this boat, they call it.
well, if it is becoming bigger, if i am building a wider, sturdier, solid vessel

i can't tell anymore.

i am  journeying in one of the trecherous sections of my river.
 this must be the place the maps put little notations beside
warning of rapids and the need to be prepared.

(and i didn't read the finely printed danger signals on the contract i suppose)

i didn't agree to  this part of my journey just as others didn't agree or sign up for sections of theirs.
i get that. i know i am not the only one.
this does not bring comfort.

there is a bone aching, head clogging, heart slowing wearing despair that is growing
fiercer and louder and more powerful than the day before.
each morning
(this week at least-  but the optimist whispers "maybe not next")
i start up with grand intentions and often befoe i even rise from the pillow
on my bed,
the pain has come to join me.
and she does not leave. oh no
she grows stronger as the hours pass.

perhaps this part of the (winding river) journey
is so beautiful, somewhere, that i can't yet see,
that pain wants to join me.
perhaps, but i can't see that. nor do i accept or really believe
that even as i write the words down.
it is a stretch for me...
thinking this way.

can i embrace this pain as a friend?
as a companion that will help me build that stronger, bugger boat?
is this pain actually the very stretching that needs to.
wants to. is asking to
help me become.
can i - will i
 possibly be able to reframe pain that much-

to actually welcome her in?

Saturday, January 28, 2012


candles and poetry
commencing soon...
my house.
my sweetie and i.
pretty excited
not gonna lie.

Friday, January 27, 2012

relearning to talk

i have no idea
how the discord began today.
i find these
adolescent years
impossible to navigate

is it best to say
to say everything-
to stumble over words
as if i am

relearning to talk?

a small piece of me
clings to my
supposed intelligence
but during times like this

i feel as if
i am stripped

 bare of even
 my most basic
 conversation skills.

left with only tangled,
intentions i wish to share

with you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

i had an "ahha" moment today.

it occured as i was cooking dinner,
just a moment ago.

earlier today
i spent a few hours in the company of a good friend.
the kind of friend who has seen you at your best
and your worst.
it was awesome.
just what i needed today.

but that's not the ahha moment.
it was during our visit
when two mutual friends walked into the coffee shop
and we all happily connected briefly with hugs and how are you's and all the usual greetings that are exchanged.

off they went
treasure hunting
and we continued our tea.
chatting about books and jobs and the human condition.

tonight as i am cooking dinner i am thinking
random thoughts and suddenly i reilized this.

because i am chosing to learn to walk an authentic life
i share my story
in a fairly honest and personal way here on this blog
and in my daily interactions with people.
i am far more honest than i have ever been about
my struggles, my journey, my blessings
and the ugly-beautiful
transformations that occur every day.

so today,
in that coffee shop,
when we exchanged the usual pleasantries
it felt deeper than normal.
i looked into their eyes as they asked
"how are you?"
a casual, standard greeting we all use everyday.

but when they asked,
i knew that they knew
they might not get the standard answer
because as a sharer of my life
they know
at least partially,
my ugly-beautiful stories.
they were aware that my answer could go either way.
and it could remain simple and sincere
which it did because that was what was appropriate for the setting
but it could have gone deeper.
and they would have been okay with that i think
because they have witnessed me
in my vulnerable spots
through the stories i share.

this is what just clicked for me.
when i share my stories
when i am vulnerable and honest
it doesn't mean people will think less of me.
there isn't going to be crazy judgement
there is going to be a deeper connection
during every day encounters.
people are going to connect deeply with one another when we
share the truth about our lives.
we are going to look at each other
and see understanding and acceptance and love.
that's what i witnessed today,
they might not even reilize
what occured for me there today.
but it did.
i have taken risks with my writing
and in exchange,
i have received love.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

take what you need...

i'm gonna make some of these
wanna join me?

patch a few words together.

my computer won't upload a photo this morning.
i am chosing not to fight it.
but there does seem to be a nakedness about this post
which is unsettling.
images speak for me often
do you hear what they are saying-
or is it just me?

"it doesn't have to be the blue iris,
it could be weeds in a vacant lot,
or a few small stones; just pay attention,
then patch a few words together
don't try to make them elaoborate,
this isn't a contest
 but the doorway into thanks"
-mary oliver-

there is a growing desire in me to write.
this terrifies and exhilarates me at the same time.
perhaps i will share them one day.
i know nothing about the mechanics of poetry
but they are drawing me in.
slowly and gently.
and i find myself scribbling on scraps of paper and in notebooks.
even my iphone notes app holds two now.
last night the storm forced words out of me
in the wee hours of the night.
i couldn't not write them down.
(how weird is that)

"this isn't a contest
but the doorway into thanks."
i get that.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"that's a good question" he said.

i wouldn't ask for a blanket
and instead of being warm and comfortable
i shivered
under a pillow and small pink scarf.

i didn't want to bother her
and for some reason wouldn't use my voice.
it was small that day.
it is often small
in the presence of professionals
i've noticed that.

the very professionals
who want to care and nurture and help.
she told me later that they have lots of blankets.
lots.and lots.
next time.
i said
with a sheepish look in my eyes.

i wouldn't ask for a blanket
to stay warm as the medicine
chilled my body right down to the bones,
flowing through the iv tube.
iv medicine makes me cold.
than i usually am.

but more than that,
i didn't let him ask either.
and in his way,
he let me be
to learn what i needed to learn
to feel what i needed to feel.
offering up opportunity and willingness
 no, i said.
and he respected.

that night,
 buried under lots of blankets
feeling braver, at home,
i whispered to him in the dark
"why wouldn't i ask for a blanket?"

"that's a good question" he said.
and i laughed quietly at myself.
hot tears
gone and waiting for another day.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

this week's gratitude...

beautiful, soft snow. such a quiet morning. bread rising. art journaling. celebrating Thad's birthday.caring for Caleb.warm hoodies. tylenol. warm hands from washing dishes. a random dime from a stranger. indie stores with quotes handwritten on the walls.

instagram conversations. refund money. snow photo shoot. boys sledding and snowball fighting. candlelight.a happier Tejan according to his mommy.

banana bread to share. perspective gained. thank you notes on napkins. fingerless gloves. the whole family home tonight.the ability to take caleb to the dentist. drop in visits from mom and dad. a whole lot of laughter upstairs. the drip, drip, dripping of melting snow. candlelit lanterns. blog love. wooly tights. letters to mail. letters in my mailbox!

the arrival of a cookie fairy. unexpected dinner guest.

a quiet morning with a hot cup of tea. Gid's last day of school!
homemade almond milk hot chocolate (danger!danger!) handmade celebration signs. poetry that arrives in the mail. a family that is growing closer all the time. sweater warmth.

date night!

Friday, January 20, 2012

journal sharing...

january 20, 2012

sometimes i delight in the feeling that everyday feels like a Saturday and there is no sense of urgency to do much of anything. my daily rhythm is void of schedules and time demands. what doesn't happen toay can simply happen tomorrow. there is a great sense of freedom to this. and not alot of panic. But the flip side of such freedom is lack of motivation or direction. there is no longer any external stimuli pushing me along and i know for a fact that in the past i have been most motivated by others- their expectations, desires, needs etc. and suddenly i no longer have that as a driving force in my day.

no one here cares if i don't do my hair or get out of my pj's before noon. and there isn't any pressure at all to be brilliant in my daily offerings to the world. there isn't anyone arriving to check my daily work progress and certainly no one to motivate me in my activities.

nope. just me and i am finding that i fluctuate between being a tough, demanding task master or a sweet, laid back companion. (it must have something to do with the phases of the moon or some other unexplaiable force, this flip flopping i am engaging in)

i wonder. what would be the benefit of putting myself onto some sort of schedule? would my daily accomplishments bolster my self esteem and ensure i continued to derive my sense of worth and personal satisfactions from accomplishments that are visible to others?

or, perhaps i might continue this experiment, because that really is what my life feels like some days, a mad science experiment..lets see what happens if i eat a banana!?,
perhaps i will continue to watch what unfolds as my days flow like a winding river, never quite sure what is behind the next bend. imagine the freedom and maturity and the growth that could arrive when i reilize

that i, tania, am not what i do, but who i am.

regardless of schedule following abilites or people pleasing activities.
 i imagine that if i allow this year to play itself out
(and by play i mean meaningful, open ended, pleasurable, organic activity)
i will find a productive, balanced, fully engaged, joyful woman
who has learned to quiet down the outer voices
and learned what she really sounds like.

( i keep a daily written journal..this is today's writings..i just felt like sharing)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


there is a great freedom that comes
from owning our own stories
and having the freedom to rewrite them.

was a tough day.
not gonna lie.
my six word summary
(part of my 41 day collaborative)
hot tears ran down her face

it would have been easy to blame the curly haired girl
or the colitis
or the financial restaints we are learning to live with
or the snow
or a multitude of other happenings, conditions or circumstances.

but you know what,
it was me.
my choices.
my reactions.
my lack of ability
(for yesterday at least)
to walk away, find some space, keep my mouth shut, take pain medication
do what i needed to do for myself.

i chose to engage
and i didn't need to.
she was fine. she was being a teenage girl,
who despite our minor squabbles,
cleared the driveway of snow
was a gracious and loving host to her aunt during a visit
while, i sobbing and undone, hid in my room
 (sorry Corrie)

my life is so abundant and rich.
i am surrounded by beauty and a natural environment that feeds my soul.
i am blessed with a loving family
and a circle of friends who adore me.
and most days, i deal very well with chronic pain
and a ridiculously limited diet.

i forgot that i am the writer of my story.
i choose the direction the day will go.
and i am grateful for the reminder.
i am thankful that i can still cry hot tears
and then move forward,
make my apologies,
immerse myself in love
and finish another day.
i am grateful i have a family
that extends grace and love to me
day after day.
and i am blessed that today
the story is being written very differently.

has the situation changed much?
i still have the unending pain
and the teenager girl
and the tight budget
and whatever else i could, but won't  search for that might be tough
my perspective is right again.
i am choosing the path of gratitude and abundance and much love.

and oh how good that hug felt this morning from the teenage girl
and how blessed i felt to be able to drive the man-boy to the dentist
and how wonderful it is to have honey to add to my kefir
and how beautiful it is outside - all sparkly and bright.

i have a beautiful life
hot tears and all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

they are not mini-me's

i need to remember.
i need to remember that they are not me.
i need to remind myself
 that my identity and emotionally stability
needs to not rest in them.
they are not  mini me's.
i will be disappointed time and time again
if i expect my children
to be miniature copies of myself
or even of what i hold to be true and dear to my heart.
they have their own desires and habits and ways of viewing the world.
they speak a different heart and head language than i do.
they are still on their own journey
just as i am on mine.

i continually have to remember
to lay down the ownership, the false sense of responsibility,
the pride,
the lies that we are told and tell ourselves
 and believe about
"what good families look like"
the false belief  that when there is conflict
it must mean dysfunction or damaged people
and that any sign of conflict must be immediately dealt with

why does it never just mean things that are simple to fix
cabin fever or pms or not enough protein.
or boredom or the rocky road of adolescence.

why do i
(i don't know about you)
 in particular so quickly forget
and stop trusting
that we are okay.
we are more than okay.

why must this parenting relationship be so fraught
with scary big words and assumptions.

can't we just be having a bad day?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

not all who wander are lost...

i have been
wandering these past few weeks.
hesitantly, unwillingly, slowly
at first.
not sure if i had invited myself to wander
or in a sense been told to.
( i dislike strongly being "told" to do anything)
but each day,
each morning as i wake up
and ask myself
"what do you want to do today"
i find myself enjoying the wandering more and more.

i have three saying above my computer
that help me focus my intentions each day.
one says
"speak only workds that make souls stronger"
and one
" check your balance"
and then
"not all who wander are lost"

this helps me remember
that the path isn't alway clear cut and straight.
the path is sometimes fast and furious
and other times very slow and steady.
sometimes there are obstacles and boundaries
and detour signs.
but along the path,
there is learning and growing and stretching.
 and suprises!
and laughter and tears too.

i am blessed beyond measure
to have a year that allows me to ask myself
"what do i want to do today"
and i am taking it very seriously..
in a lighthearted sort of way.

today my wandering looked like this:
reading a very important book that is propelling me along a spiritual journey.
doing "chicken" chores
school work with hannah
sweeping and cleaning
a winter wonderland photoshoot
searching endlessly for my bucket of gesso
organizing a closet
editing baby bump photos
blog hopping
dinner preparing
so many cups of tea
lots and lots of dishes
(our DW is broken but i love doing dishes)
staring out the window alot at the beautiful snow.
joining a 41 day collaborative

i am far from lost.
it's good for me to remember this.
my wanderings may be slower and more quiet
than i am used to but they are teaching me so much.
so much.
and i am grateful.

Monday, January 16, 2012

simply given.

a hand written note.
homemade bread.
fresh flowers.
a box of tea.
a compliment.
a pot of soup.
a helium balloon.
a prayer.
a beeswax candle.
a post it note happyface.
a collection of seeds.
a link to an inspiring article or talk.
a cupcake.

simply given.
simply received.

we can happy up our little corner of the world today.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

standing knee deep...

(gratitude list 2 of 2012)

a shared cup of tea/coffee with owen before he left for work. sister time with dorothea. To-do list done by 10am!steaming pot of stew on the sotve. gideon's strong hands kneading bread. thesmell of the fresh baked bread(oh my) faith for provisions.

owen able to take the day off. an excellent IV nurse.the power of Benadryl. A beautiful sky. a nap. Encouraging friends.The power of words to draw people together that otherwise would be apart.

The day got easier instead of harder.The beach is always beautiful.The weight of a stone in my hand. Hot soup. Hand warmers. The photo that captures the moment. My mothers great love for me. golden light as the sun sets. So much laughter. Preparing for the chicks. Meat free meals that please everyone.

Family time in the morning. Hannah talking about her growth. Sparkly frost. Midday lunch visits from a best friend. So much laughter. Thoughtful gifts.

So many amazing email connections. The joy that comes from simply creating. Spoken word poetry. Extra layers of warm blankets. Fragile and new baby chicks. Optimism. candlelit spaces. A supreise hair appointment that I really needed. Another full envelope to deliver to sides. So many letters to pop in the mailbox today. TED talks.

i ate a banana.

Friday, January 13, 2012

indulge me...

i never knew how much
one could be in love
with baby chicks.
until today

(thanks hannah for the editing)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

so much laughter...

there's been a lot of laughter at our house recently
she with her beautiful wide smile
and me
along side crooked and crinkly.

sometimes we are laughing at each other,
sometimes at ourselves
at the ridiculousness of her english or
a million other little occurances that strike us as funny.

 laughing is ringing through the rooms
and occasionally the boys
come down from their rooms to see
what the rucus is about.

i can feel it in my bones and my heart and my soul
all this laughter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

dear you,

-kelly rae roberts-

there was no preparing for today.
for the nausea
the pain
the flare that came

there was no preparing for today.
for the ear ringing
the depression
the bone chilling ache of cold.

there was no preparing.
it is just here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

making peace with disappointment

unfulfilled expectations, being let down
betrayed, hurt, a broken trust

all words that describe disappointment.
 i have been living with
all of these.
i am disappointed in my body.
true fact.
so very disappointed
and that i am beginning to understand
 more deeply
can spill over into being disappointed with myself
not just my body,
but my soul and my heart and my creativity
and all the little parts that make up who i am.

there is bound to be disappointment
when two years of medication
and special diets
and ridiculous restrictions
make absolutly no difference at all
(at least long term)
there is bound to be disappointment
when  my body continually fails to respond to the care
and attention and prayers and rest
and investment we have given it.

of course,

it is perfectly normal to be disappointed.
we all suffer from disappointment and suffer is the correct word
it truly is heart breaking
a trust has been broken and while often disappointment
is about another person, in this case
it is all me.
i am disappointed with myself.
with my body.

that could be damaging
and i don't intend any harm for myself
so i am working out a plan
( i love plans - almost as much as projects)

i have felt the emotion
named it..read about it. defined it.
now i need to forgive my body and move forward.
much like a damanged relationship,
there are sorries to be said and forgiven.
i need to accept and forgive my body
and almost more importantly

i need to love myself
i need to revererate love all over this tired
yet amazing gift of a body
that i have been given.

one of my intentions this year is
to learn to trust my body again
because honestly, i don't right now.
we are not getting along particularly well these days
i know that  a key part of trust for me is reliablility
i need to be able to rely on my body
in order to trust her.
so i am working on getting stronger.
regardless of whether my medication works or doesn't
regardless of how i feel
i can become stronger.
this i can control
and so my plan has been just that
each day
i am doing something physical to make my body stronger
so that i can trust her to carry me wherever i need to go.

" disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal;
it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it."
-Eliza Taylor-