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18 February 2011

Jake emailed this to me.

Pedal and breathe.

I rode the Greenway as training. It's 7 miles long, but closed for the last 1/2 mile, so 6.5 out and back is 13 miles. In the race I'll only ride 8.
Perfect 70* weather. The Ellsworth. Yoga pants, a long sleeve white polo tee, and a pony tail. Bury me like this.
Finding my rhythm and staying in the moment, I pedal and breathe.
The first stretch reminds me of home. My house in Byrnes Downs backed up to the Greenway. I remember fondly those years of my life as I pedal by. I also remember the mosquitos from the drainage ditch.
Focus.
Breathe and pedal.
In the moment,
I don't even notice the bearded man in camouflage cargo shorts who might try to kill me,
the two poles marking the entrance and exit I must balance between.
I don't even notice, the root on the single track that my tire effortlessly hurdles,
the one bird flying from tree to tree.
I pass Timmerman.
I don't notice the crunching of the leaves or the shake of the gravel.
the smell of the barrel fire in the backyard,
I fail to see the spandex clad Kenyan training for another race,
the heat or the balls of my feet moving those wheels.
I pass the Ford dealership, Farmington
I don't even notice the stretch of Clemson's garden, dead and vacant
fenced with barbed wire
The charcoal white clouds that cover the periwinkle sky
I stop at the river, the dock, the water gushing through one side of the pipe,
both times, 5 miles, 8 miles
I hardly notice the cars as I cross streets between neighborhoods
the Coburg farm
I hardly notice the marsh
the other lone biker as I pass him.
Breathe and pedal.
At 6.5 miles I don't even notice the trail closed
I turn around and hardly realize
the wind in my face, the rotation of my legs
slower
I don't notice the difficulty until after it becomes easy again.
I shift gears 5, 6, 7, 5
Pedal and breathe.

One week before the triathlon adventure race in Santee.

15 February 2011

The Delete Button

A student came to me today and said, "I feel like my whole life is falling apart."
To which I could only reply, "It is."
He said, "my brother is out of control. He isn't here for me right now. He didn't come with me to the viewing or the funeral, and he said he would. He's out drinking, out of his mind, calling me in the middle of the night, not even knowing he's talking to me. This weekend my mother had to go get him. I'm worried about him."
I listened.
His wound has been reopened. He knows how this feels. He doesn't want to feel it again.
Consider this from his perspective.

03 February 2011

When everyone's heart is wide open, raw, no matter what message you send it will be heard. With great care choose what message you send.
This is the message I choose:
Matthew 11:25-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

02 February 2011

S@*%, D$^#, F!#&

After reading What to Expect When You're Expecting as if it were the pregnancy bible, and then What to Expect The First Year as if it were a comedy, I abandoned learning about motherhood from books. Every single thing I did was against the rules. I drank coffee in my third trimester, gained 40 pounds from eating double, deplored the get to know each other games in Lamaze class, and wanted only to know how soon into labor I could get the epidural. Pregnancy was more an illness for me than a journey. I went to the hospital before ever having a real contraction, begged for the drugs, hallucinated on the Nubane, and gave birth to a daughter that made being a mom feel easy. I didn't breast feed, and I didn't make my own organic baby food. I did put my children on my schedule, which included bed time at 8:30 (which we still live by) and taking them to the beach before they were six weeks old.

I have a lot to learn about being a mother. Abbey, experiencing hormonal changes, could be my undoing.

While Jake was in kindergarten he told me that I shouldn't say the s word anymore because his teacher said it was a bad word. I thought long and hard wondering which s word did he use in front of his teacher. Did he say shit? or sex maybe?
"Jake," I said, "tell mommy what is the s word?"

Jake hesitated, "no, you aren't going to trick me; I won't say it."
"Please," I begged. "I'm not sure I know what it is. Do I say it?"

He leaned up to my ear, and only after making me pinky promise that I wouldn't tell his teacher, he whispered, "stupid."

I was relieved and horrified. However was I going to avoid using the word stupid? I immediately decided I would try really hard to use dumb in its place.

Abbey just recently asked me if crap is a bad word.
"Not really bad, but definitely a potty word." I explained.
Her teacher told her it's one of the big ones, the worst.
That's because she's a well bred Southern lady from a world where a nice young belle would never say any word that deals with the bathroom.
Abbey thought quietly for a moment then said, "well I'm a sweet Southern girl, but I said crap twice today."

I reassured her, "yes you are a sweet Southern girl, but you have some Yankee breeding, and we don't give a shit about stuff like that."

She laughed. She likes my humor.

I think she expected me to give my words speech, something from Alice in Wonderland. The one where I explain words are just our lame attempt to give ideas form. They only have meaning when we give them meaning. But instead,

I lectured:
In life we find ourselves in houses with many rooms. Whenever we enter any room, we need very quickly to assess where the walls are and where the doors are. Then we must be careful never to walk through a wall. Use only doors. Occasionally there will be a window. Know where these are too. From time to time you may need to escape through one. When the assessment is slow or uncertain, stay in the hallway.

Abbey laughed again.

I wasn't being funny.

She said, "My teacher won't even say my last name."

I said, "Have you told her your middle name is kissma?"