Posts Tagged ‘Hand Wash Cold’

Triple strength stainfighting color booster with fragrance crystals

November 8th, 2009    -    6 Comments


If you come to the end of another week feeling as though you’ve missed out on something, this will help.
If you have difficulty relaxing, this will help.
If you think you can’t live without your iPhone, your computer, your TV or your Baby Cry Translator App, this will help.
If you struggle to go to sleep most nights, this will help.
If you are afraid to turn on the news, answer your door, speak to a stranger or knock on your neighbor’s door, this will help.
If the thought of the holidays, and the end of the year, fills you with anxiety and guilt that you have not accomplished enough so far in your life, this will help.
If you are worried about your partner, your children, your parents, your job, your health, your finances, your HDTV signal or anything at all that might fall apart tomorrow, this will help.
If you think you’re not good enough, this will help.
If you think to yourself I’m not getting any younger, this will help
If you think to yourself I’m not getting any wiser either, this will help
If you are afraid, this will help.
If you are angry, this will help.
If you are sad, this will help.
If you are confused, this will help.
If there is no way you have the time to do this, this will help.
If your alternative is to stay at home and scream at the kids, this will help.
If you tried meditation once and didn’t like it, or if you don’t know how to do it, or think you’re doing it wrong, or think that you’ll never be able to do it, this will help.
If you want to know where the truth comes from, where the love comes from, where the words and music come from, this will help.
If you think this is something you’ll get around to doing someday, this will help.

Beginner’s Mind One-Day Meditation Retreat
Hazy Moon Zen Center
Los Angeles
Sunday, Nov. 15, 9-5
Register here

If you wonder how doing one thing can possibly help in all these ways, it’s because it won’t hurt.

Why will I be there? All of the above.

Holy clothesline

October 7th, 2009    -    8 Comments


An early start on an easy load!

(Taking pre-orders before it’s even dry.)

When the last bluebird sings

September 28th, 2009    -    8 Comments


I’ve been watching it for some time now, anticipating the end and knowing what it would mean.

When I left my lonely life of accomplishment behind, when I first moved with my husband to this house, to my stark empty-handedness, I called my mother soon after. She had raised three independent daughters, three whiz kids, and I had never said the words that tumbled from my blubbering lips:

I need you.

She came to visit, but before then she sent me a houseplant. It was the kind of plant sold at grocery stores and florists, just a pot of common ivy and indistinguishable indoor greenery. For decoration, it had a slender spike stuck into it with a bluebird on the end of it. I’ve had it since then, all 12 years, in one spot and then rotated to another. I treated it like a talisman, and then a memorial, thinking to myself:

This is my mother.

About a year ago it started to fade. The ivy yellowed and dropped off. The other stalks shrunk. Little remains but the spike with the bird on top. It seems to have bugs now, or some kind of blight. I know it’s time, and so I moved it to the patio. As part of every morning service at the Zen Center we chant this line, and so I chant it now:

The four elements return to their nature as a child to its mother.

It’s time to let the old girl go, to let it all come to rest. My mother is telling me to go, to take flight, to sing my own song. A few weeks ago I heard myself say, as if reading my own heart, “I don’t want to write about parenting any more. Motherhood is about so much more than the kids.” Yes, it’s true the kids are part of it, I said, pounding my chest, but my life and work have moved to a larger purview now. Like what, you might ask, if I haven’t lost you in this pile already. And so I tell you:

The laundry.

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Barefoot and pregnant with meaning

September 24th, 2009    -    5 Comments

Going to sit a three-day sesshin on this anniversary of September anniversaries.

Details to follow.


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Things you can do when you are home alone

September 2nd, 2009    -    4 Comments


1. Rent a movie without special effects. And watch it.
2. Borrow a fat book. And read it.
3. Not make breakfast. Not make lunch. And not eat it.
4. Talk to no one but yourself. And write it.
5. Miss them.

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The road traveled

August 18th, 2009    -    7 Comments

Spying the untouched package, realize this is the last doll.
Watching her take a bath, realize this is the last of childhood.
Counting the days until deadline, realize this is the last draft.
Lifting the carton from the shelf, realize this is the last Mint Chip.
Tasting the grounds in the cup, realize this is the last coffee.
Facing the shrinking summer, realize these are the last lilies.
Remembering everything, realize this is the last regret.
Nearing the horizon, realize this is the last stretch.
The color! The color!
This is the road traveled.
None traveled less, none traveled more.
Everyone travels the same, alone and yet never apart.
Hello, traveler.

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Tiny bubbles

August 2nd, 2009    -    29 Comments

Celebrating the news that my next book, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life, will be published by New World Library in time for Mother’s Day 2010.

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Sister’s keeper

July 6th, 2009    -    2 Comments

The incandescent Jen Lee asked me to scribble a line or two to introduce her newest collection Fortunes, and so I did, and here they are, almost ready to count and keep for yourself. You will want to keep one for yourself, and you will want to give away a dozen. What we give always comes back to us and thus fortunes multiply.

She returned the favor by giving me more profoundly blank pages of her Don’t Write journal, which has worked a kind of reverse osmosis on me. (Sorry, the magic is sold out.) The empty lines of that book have filled with more unfiltered prose than I ever didn’t write, and I’m looking there to find the finishing stroke for my second book this summer. Reverse osmosis generally takes a lot of pressure and is fairly slow, but it works.

I trust what Jen knows, and even more what she doesn’t, and she told me as much herself:

“My feeling about your book manuscript is that it is already written, somewhere inside you or outside of you. There’s just a good stretch of dictation left for you to take down. The hardest work is the way such projects rewrite us as they are gestating, and eventually born.”

The due date for my labors is Labor Day, naturally, and I’ve no doubt the baby will arrive on schedule. After that, I’ll be free to fall up north, plunging into a golden pile of overdue forgetting. The treasury opens by itself.

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Daily bread

May 24th, 2009    -    9 Comments


My grandmother set her bread to rise each day before the sun yet dared to dawn, wresting two loaves into the oven before a shadow had stirred. She saved a handful of the dough to roll into the morning’s coffee cake and topped it high with buttery struesel. By the time I tramped into her ancient kitchen on summer mornings, the air bloomed with the sweetly sour greeting of yeast. It was breakfast time, and no one needed to ask.

Her house is now flattened, ground into the dust of the earth’s eternal crust. She is gone and the time has passed. But what she fed still ferments on my tongue, and I recognize my place and lineage.

I made pancakes today.

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