Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Grace’

The way we are

May 29th, 2009    -    24 Comments

As a farewell to backpedaling Mercury, whose retrograde ends this Saturday, thereby closing reopened chapters and resolving unfinished business, awkward pauses and anxious backward glances, I offer this parting remembrance of last year’s fire:

We evacuated the house yesterday, probably the last people to be evacuated, because as soon as we drove away the mountain cooled to a wispy simmer and they started letting folks return. We had already loaded up a week’s worth of clothes, assorted papers, dusty photo albums and baby videos, the dog and the dog crate, with the potholders, yes those very potholders, at the bottom of the suitcase. That talisman alone probably turned history on its heels.

And for the record, as Georgia swept through her room choosing those few things she would rescue, she donned her pink Disneyland cap and her Girl Scout vest. She strode out bedecked with badges and pins, under a pair of mouse ears. That precious glimpse of who she is, who she is right now, was proof enough that there’s no need – ever – to look back.

***
My 400th post. Proof enough of the wonders ahead.

Originally published on April 29, 2008 as my 200th post.

Like sand through the hourglass

May 12th, 2009    -    8 Comments

Another spring.
Another carnival.
Another gallon of distilled water every week.
Introducing Zippy and Bubbles.
Newly installed and counting the days in this life everlasting.

A morning memorial.

Photo by Georgia Miller


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What to make of it

May 10th, 2009    -    11 Comments


Last night at a neighborhood party, my daughter and her nine-year-old friends put on a show that was shocking and lewd.

I was embarrassed and alarmed.

Frank Rich’s column in the Times includes this fact “more than 60 percent of Twitter users abandon it after a single month.”

I’m still afraid the future will sail without me.

On speakerphone so we could wish her a happy mother’s day, my mother-in-law asks, “What will your mommy do today?” My daughter says, “Exercise and write by herself.” My mother-in-law replies, “Doesn’t she do that everyday?”

I never know where she’s coming from.

Wish Studio posted this essay describing my creative process, which seems like a misnomer. My output is painstaking and small but I get a big kick out of looking the part.

Break the bottle, make a space and let it be.

The squiggly wigglies

April 23rd, 2009    -    3 Comments

I’m off for a three-day retreat at my practice home starting tonight, because this silent spaciousness is where all stories begin and end.

Before I leave I want to share some recent inspiration.

First, the Shambhala Sun has reposted my piece on the Dharma of Barbie. Even after you think you’ve tossed her, the old girl never dies. And there’s always a new generation of parents for her to haunt. If you scroll down to the end of the story, you’ll see the announcement that I’ll soon be launching a blog on their site named after the stuff that is always near to my heart. Once I sort the lights from the darks, we’ll see what comes out of it. Leave a comment over there and let them know that I’m not just full of suds.

This column in the New Yorker snapped, crackled and popped my eyes open earlier this week. It’s a fascinating look that could leave you wondering about how much you’re willing to commit to yourself during troubling times.

Speaking of troubles, I was touched by this letter to fellow practitioners. Not just because the need is urgent and the time is now, but because of the sheer delight in seeing that, even to a Rinpoche, practice is just pretense. We must all pretend harder!

Lastly, I was so moved by Cam’s reflection on loss. It reminds me that the why that has no answer is the very why we keep going, and that love and loss are never separate.

And just for a parting grin, this snippet of conversation two days ago over a sleeping dog.

Mom, you know what I’ve figured out?

What’s that?

A well-trained dog isn’t that much fun.

Why not?

Because you don’t get to wrestle it, and have trouble with it. You don’t get to be mad at it.

I see.

So a well-trained dog isn’t the best kind.

You think?

If we ever get a new puppy can we name it Squiggly or Wiggly?

The problem with your work ethic

April 16th, 2009    -    7 Comments

I’m going to share this with you because, well, she said it.

Dad, what do you do when you are at work and you are done with your work?

I keep working.

No, I said when you are done with your work.

I’m never done with my work.

Pooh! That’s no fun.

The eye that never sleeps

April 14th, 2009    -    15 Comments

The infinite universe stands always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small.Verses on the Faith Mind

I’ve just downloaded the trip pix from her little pink camera, and since these eyes of mine haven’t slept, thought better of adding a single qualifying word to what she saw in Amsterdam.







Genuine fulfillment

March 17th, 2009    -    20 Comments


To chop the soft and blemished fruit into a past-due breakfast parfait, lace with warm oatmeal, then cajole my daughter into eating it instead of the Trix she finagled from the cereal aisle and which I’m certain will give her sugar-induced pea green diarrhea.

To rise from my sickbed to do the weekend laundry, resurrected from my habitual resentments, appreciating this simple task as the essential business in a whole and healthy life.

To tenderly, mindfully, as though approaching an altar, hang nearly every item of my daughter’s laundry to air dry, because although it is our fervently futile wish that she never grow up, I can still do my best to ensure that she not too hastily grow out, and starvation is not an option.

To notice that, within the full hamper of cleaned clothing, not one pair of her socks had been worn in the previous week, meaning she is suitably free of her mother’s fastidious conventions.

To hear my grace, my Georgia, against her willful inertia, practice the piano and deliver to me the most lovely praise songs, thus knowing that my own mother, standing in her own kitchen, despite my fumbling artistry, once received the same sweet cup of satisfaction from me.

To flush and fill the fish tanks with fresh gallons of distilled elixir, a weekly baptism, comforted that in the vast mutabilities of this life, I can pour this gold into the goldfish forever.

To watch my husband and daughter circle each other in wary regard, to wrestle and shout a messy wreck of feelings, to see them suffer their deep adoration of one another, and leave it be, well and good and theirs alone.

To receive, sort and distribute 1,700 boxes of Girl Scout cookies into and out of my garage, ennobling each girl with the triumph of her participation, relieving each parent by the discharge of their duty.

To take, one by one, copies of my book to the good old United States Post Office, knowing these recipients by name, the readers by heart, and remembering full well that I can “wait a year to get rich.”

To see without doubt that when my dog places her muzzle on my left thigh while I sit here at the cockpit of my ruminations, it is indeed time to take her for a walk, because dogs are never confused about what time it is.

To relent and allow, when my daughter asks by name for an afternoon snack, the bowl of Trix she favors, and makes for herself, apprising me in the process that she had a bowl of the same yesterday and it didn’t turn her insides green.

To have all of this, to forget it, and then remember again, remember again, remember again.

Getting around the peanut ban

March 12th, 2009    -    11 Comments


She rolls into the room with a salty grin.

Mom, here are two things I think would be fun.

First, I want a sister. A little sister. I just think it would be neat and fun. Is having a sister fun?

(Pause)

OK, then, how about a Wii Fit?

A little off the top

March 10th, 2009    -    9 Comments


I am working on a long post which probably won’t be half as revealing or uplifting as this one, courtesy of Georgia:

OK, so there’s this contest at school called WordMasters and you fill out this paper and turn it in. So today at lunch I see my friend M and run over to her and start to hug her, then these two girls in her class come over to me saying that I won the contest and I got excited, so I went over to my friend C and told her what they said but I wasn’t quite sure if I believed them. Then C and I went on the bars and told JL, H, and JG. They got so excited that they picked me up. Then we went inside and I got a paper that said: Congratulations! Your child, Georgia Miller, will receive recognition in the next Spotlight Assembly for their achievement in the WordMasters Meet. Grade: 3 Award: First Place!!!

Oh and I also got my bangs cut.

Grace in acceptance

February 23rd, 2009    -    1 Comment


The first time to watch the Academy Awards is overwhelming for any young girl, especially an aspiring actress. We carried her crying to bed, her heart overcome with imaginary acceptance.

Mom, do you know what would be nice? If they gave the ones who came in second at least a medal.

The one who comes in first, of course, gets a shampoo bottle.

Aha moments

February 18th, 2009    -    9 Comments



Hey mom, I have an idea to make money.

What’s that?

Let’s invent medicine that really works.

Why hasn’t anybody thought of that?

And that tastes good!

***

Mom, you know what worries me every time I fly?

What’s that?

You know when they say in the event of an emergency landing do not take your personal belongings?

I’ve heard that.

What if I’m carrying my American Girl doll?

We’d get you another one.

Just checking. That’s what Dad said too.

***

Mom, I’m worried about some of the kids in my class.

Why’s that?

Well, they are in third grade already.

Yes they are.

And if they don’t know anything by now how will they ever graduate from high school?

***

Mom, I feel sorry for God, you know why?

Why?

Because he has to create like a billion, million jillion fingerprints.

The call of the child

February 3rd, 2009    -    13 Comments

Update:
Georgia has sold enough cookies to win the license plate, beach towel and Love Your World t-shirt, which says it all.

In case you don’t have a barefoot scooter-propelled cookie impresario on your block, you can borrow mine.

Does anyone want to buy at least 8 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to be shipped to their home or office? (Are there even any offices left in this country?)

My daughter Georgia will sell on credit, being the only solvent lender left on this planet, and pay for postage, because these days a good customer is that valuable, and the product is, well, a mint.

As economists predicted, the pedaling on our street this year is uphill. What can I say? It’s the money.

For this year’s selection of tantalizingly classic confections, look in the cookie cupboard. (But you might want to overlook the price, $4 per box.)

Her goal is to sell enough to win a personalized license plate for her scooter. The kind that costs $5 and requires her to sell $600 worth of cookies. What can I say? It’s not the money.

The sale ends this Saturday. Your regrets won’t arrive for a month. But when they do arrive, they are guaranteed not to last!

The Malia chronicles

January 22nd, 2009    -    12 Comments

Dear Malia,
My name is Georgia Miller. I’m 9 and from California. I watched your Inauguration at school today. What is it like at the White House? What I really want to know is if you want to be pen pals. I would love it if we could but it’s ok if you don’t want to. I hope to get a letter from you!

When my sisters and I were really little, we were lovestruck by our handsome president and wished that we could be his darling princess daughter. Then came the teen throbs of Lynda Bird and Luci to moon over. I understand what we have going on now in our house. I understand it completely.

It’s Malia time all the time.

First, she wrote and mailed this letter. Then she decided to name the lead character in the story she’s writing “Malia.” Then she wrote a one-act play last night after dinner about a girl named Malia, age 9, doing her homework.

Malia: Ugh! More homework! I’m already on my third page!

It’s not a pure love, you see, because romantic love never is. It’s subtly and insidiously self-serving. “You see,” she says bright-eyed, “I think everyone will be writing to President Obama and Malia won’t get any letters. Mine might be the first! And if we become pen pals then she might invite me to the White House.”

Later on she asked her dad if he might ever run for president. She’s scrambling to cover all the routes of admission, you see, since she’s heard there are 132 rooms in the building, a movie theater, a bowling alley and the Jonas Brothers.

Last night I tried to coach her (my mistake) through an intense monologue she’s doing in her theater class. “Say it with the kind of feeling you have for Malia,” I offered, intending to stir up passion and enthusiasm.

“You mean, like I’m jealous?”

***

All that aside, click here to see why I no longer worry how she gets her feet wet.

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