Kiss The Fiddler

Ramblings, moments of humor, random thoughts, experiences, insights, simple wisdom, and whatever else I feel like sharing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's in a name? Luci

My son's name is Luken Emery Kestrel.  Had he been a girl, his name would have been Luci Roisin Kestrel.  

His last name, Kestrel, is the same as my last name and the same as Kara's last name.  Shortly after we were married (not recognized by the state we live in), Kara and I went to court and petitioned to have our names changed.  We wanted to have the same last name as each other like many married couples.  We chose our name.  Kestrel.  We each kept our maiden names so both of us have four names in our legal name.  Anyway . . . 

When, during pregnancy, we began thinking of what to name our child, we knew he'd have our last name.  That was comforting.  No going to court over that.  Simple.  And, for me, it was important for my child to have a "Lucy" name.  There's a reason. 

I know somebody named Luci.  She is one of the most amazing people I know.  She saved my life.  Luci has for years struggled with her existence.  She's seen things people should never have to see.  She knows things that people should never be forced to know.  Yet she persists.  And, not only does Luci persist, she does it with such beauty and courage.  Luci has not had much Light in her life, yet her name means "light".  When my son was born, I wanted to honor Luci by naming my child after her.  So I named my son Luken, which means "bringer of Light".  

Luken is such an appropriate name for my boy.  He indeed brings much Light to my life.  And, every time I consider his name, I get to think of my dear friend Luci.  Luci, who's Light shines through her many scars.  Luci, who dares to find the Light in those whom the world has trampled.  Luci, who opened the door to redemption for me.  Luci, who continues to struggle daily with the things Life has handed her.  

Dear Luci, may your Light shine long.  May you learn to embrace it.  May you learn to let the Light comfort and heal you.  And Luken, may you continue to bring Light.  

Luci and Luken.  Two of the most amazing people I know.  My son.  And my friend.  I love you both more than I have words to say.  I hope that the Light is kind to both of you.  Precious souls. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013


If I'm going to think about and practice letting go, then I have to get honest about what binds me.  Less binds me now than used to.  

I used to be quite bound by my past.  I lived as though my past was something I needed to escape from.  And, really, it was.  And I did.  And it was hard.  Now I live in the present.  Yes, my past has shaped me.  It's helped me grow wiser.  It's taught me many things that most people don't tend to admit that they know if they do.  I don't regret my past.  And today, my past doesn't bind me. 

My own expectations bind me sometimes.  I expect that certain aspects of my marriage will look a certain way and then I'm upset when they don't.  I expect that my body will be able to do certain things, and when it can't, I'm upset.  

Sometimes I feel bound by society's expectations of me.  I "should" do this or that or be this or that or act in a certain way, be thinner, have fluffier hair, a nicer car, etc.  It's hard, I admit, to not let the culture I live in push me in ways that might not be healthy for me.  Spend more.  Be the perfect wife (what is that?).  Dress with flair (ha ha ha).  Achieve a higher degree.  Marry a man.  Push your kid to conform.  Have a greener, more manicured lawn than your neighbor, etc.  I don't very often buy in to society's pressures to conform.  Or at least I try not to.  I drive a wrecked car and quite enjoy it.  I'm a woman, married to another woman (gasp).  I have a beautiful "less-than-society's-perfect" child whom I cherish.  I mow my lawn twice a year so it can grow pretty and delicious dandelions.  But, once in awhile, yes, I do feel bound by society's expectations.  I look at my body with less than kind eyes because "I'm fat".  I examine the sweet wrinkles around my eyes in the mirror and wonder if they "make me look old".  I worry that I'm not "contributing enough" (bullshit).  

I think the thing that binds me most is fear.  Yes, fear.  I'm afraid that I'm not a good enough mom.  I'm afraid that, in the process of loving Luken, I'll hurt him.  I'm afraid that I won't wake up in the morning.  I'm afraid that I've taken for granted too much.  I'm afraid that I've risked too much to believe (what if it's a trick?).  I'm afraid that I'll always have migraines.  I'm afraid of lightening.  I'm afraid of fish biting me when I'm in the river.  I'm afraid of mice.  I'm afraid of puking.  I'm afraid of not measuring up - to myself.  I'm afraid of some things that i should be afraid of and lots that is well, silly.  

What binds you?  And how do you set yourself free?  I guess if we knew, that'd be the key, eh?  For me, acknowledging what binds me is the first step in getting free of it.  So, there ya go.  My bindings.  More for me than for you but that's mostly what this blog is anyway.  



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Close Call

It's a stick.  About 2 and a half inches long.  Maybe half an inch in diameter.  A little stick.  That's all.  

This afternoon Luken and I were playing with our dogs in the back yard.  We were kicking a soccer ball back and forth and the dogs were taking turns chasing the ball, chasing each other, and fighting over a stick.  We were all having a blast! 

That is, until I heard this terrible wheezing whine coming from Belle.  Her mouth was open and she was clawing at her face and scraping her head on the ground.  There was blood dripping from her mouth.  I could see she was desperate.  Fizz was clueless and continued to try to chew on Belle's feet.  Luken sensed that something was wrong and started up to the back door to call Kara for help.  

Lucky for me, Belle didn't run away from me when I approached her.  She was panicked and I had a hard time getting her to be still so I could assess what the problem was.  I finally had to sort of throw her on the ground and straddle her.  I wedged her mouth open and turned her head toward the late afternoon sun.  What I saw horrified me. 

Past the back of her throat, almost far enough for me not to be able to see it, was a stick.  It was lodged sideways across the inside of her throat, behind the back of her tongue.  Every breath she took spattered blood out of her mouth.  What else to do but carefully put my hand in her mouth and try to take the stick out?  So that's what I did.  It was stuck in there pretty hard and I was afraid it'd hurt her more taking it out.  I was afraid if the stick stayed there, it could go farther down her airway.  So I yelled again at Luken to get Kara and I tried again.  The second time, the stick dislodged.  

Belle immediately stopped struggling and we just rested there together on the back lawn for a few moments.  By then, Kara was there asking if we were okay.  Gladly, yes. 

Belle seems a bit more subdued than usual.  But she's okay.  No bleeding that I can see.  She's breathing well.  She enjoyed her dinner.  I'm glad.  

Such a big scare.  Over such a small stick.  Live and learn, eh?


Open House

Today the church I attend held an open house.  All were welcome.  

I like that about my church.  That all are welcome.  I attend the church I do because I walked into a different church one Sunday a coupla years ago and asked if I'd be welcome there with my wife and son.  I was polite.  I wanted to know.  No use in wasting my time if I wouldn't be welcome because of a part of me that I'm unwilling to fake my way out of.  Anyway, they said that perhaps I'd be more comfortable elsewhere and suggested I instead try Faith Lutheran Church.  So I did.  And when I did, I asked the same question.  Will I be welcome here?

The answer was a resounding "yes!".  And it's proven to be true.  Today, during the sermon, Pastor Brenda read something I'd written in my blog a few days back.  She'd asked my permission first and I'd given it.  Now, I'm not one to hide who I am.  I live my life pretty out there.  If I have something to say, I say it.  And I knew that by having my blog read during the sermon, I'd be "outed" to everybody who was there.  I life my life "out" so the only people who didn't know I'm a lesbian are people who've never taken the time to know me or people who are trying not to know.  

Anyway, Pastor Brenda read that blog post.  She challenged the congregation to welcome my wife if she came to church.  She challenged the congregation to step in and help moms with kids who don't sit still.  She challenged the congregation to welcome ALL into this House of God.  I'm proud of her.  And I'm proud of the congregation.  I've never felt anything but warmth from them.  While I'm wary to call any church my "church home", this church is coming closer than any others have in many years.  

Welcoming people you don't know, people who might be different, can be kind of risky.  Thank you for taking the risk.  Keep welcoming.  You do it well. 


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Letting go

And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  – Anais Nin

This rings true for me.  Over the past several months, the "tightness" I experienced around a particular story in my life became unbearable.  But the risk that it would take to excise or aire and heal the story was enormous, almost too much to bear.  I reached the point where this story ruled my conscious days and made unwelcome visits to my quiet nights.

With a friend, I planned a safe release.  I shared.  I cried.  She held me in safety.  And then, a week or so ago, we drove from Montana to the coast.  And midst many many tears and gut wrenching sobs, she helped me set a small fire and burn the items.  When the ashes had cooled and fire burned itself out, I walked into the surf and sent the ashes of the remnant items representing the story out to see.  I gave them back to God.  We commended them to the Deep.  And it felt finished.

My friend took me out to dinner and drove me back to where we were staying.  I don't remember going into the house but I remember lying on the bed, my friend sitting next to me talking softly.  She told me how courageous I'd been, how brave. . .  Suddenly, I didn't feel brave or courageous.  I felt small and sad and panicky.  Letting go is hard work.

After I let the panic and more tears wash over me, I slept.  I slept long.  It was nearly noon the next day when I awoke.  I'd expected to feel joy over my new freedom from carrying the burden of my story.  Instead I felt sad.  So, so sad.  I wanted the items back.  My heart felt empty without them.  I wasn't sure that God was carrying them for me.  What could I do?  Drive back to the coast, wade into the water and will bits of ash to gather in front of me?  Silly.  No, I'd let them go.  I had to keep letting them go, over and over again.  And it hurt over and over again.

In the days since, I've cried often.  I do feel lighter, freer.  And I feel sad.  I feel sad for the story.  Sad for me.  Sad for the "what" and "who" I was letting go of.  I find that I'm looking for a way to honor the enormity of what happened there next to the ocean that beautiful day.  I know I'll never forget.  I know I can't have "it" back.  I'm looking for a new sort of balance.  It really does feel like there's a hole in my heart where for so long I carried this story.  Now that the story has been given to God, I need to find something equally precious to put in that sore empty space.

How does one let go of something they've carried so close for so long?  I'm sure it's not a one time event.  Because daily I let it go.  Daily I "give it back".  It's hard to trust that a story I've protected for so long will be well cared for by some other than myself.  God ought to be big enough to handle it.  That's what I keep telling myself.

In the letting go, I found forgiveness.  Not necessarily from God although I'm sure God forgives me.  But I found forgiveness from myself.  For myself.  This forgiveness has been ever elusive for me and I've gone through contortions to try to find it - to allow myself to feel it.  And now I do.  Forgiving myself for my part in the story, forgiving myself for surviving, forgiving myself for the heaviness and the grief.  That has been the biggest gift so far of this letting go.  Which is not to say that I don't still grieve.  I do.  I will.  Over and over again, I'm sure.  But now it's different.  Now I can be free.

I know I haven't shared the story here.  I'm not going to.  I speak in vagaries and you might not understand what I'm saying.  I'm clearly talking "around" something big for me.  Let it be that.  I'm trying to write about my experience while protecting the sanctity of my story.

How do you let go?  How do you trust and move on?  How do I dare to take a step away, turn my back, move forward, and find it in me to trust?  I don't know.  I do it one breath at a time sometimes.  Sometimes one day at a time.  Sometimes one prayer at a time.  I ask for help.  I ask for Light.  And I take time to notice that life goes on.  Calves are being born.  Buds are swelling.  The laundry piles up.  Yes, life keeps going.  And I choose to join it, lighter, forgiven, and free.  With my memories and my tears.  But moving forward.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Help with a Headache

If you read my blog at all, you know that I struggle with
chronic and severe migraines. They suck. 

About a month ago, I took eggs and gluten
out of my diet. 

The migraines have been better. 
TONS better!

The other day though, I had one.
And Luken, being the sweet child that he is,
found a way he could help me. 

So, as a break from the profundity that's been my blog as of late,
here's his solution to my headache. 

Mommy, I'm sorry you have a headache.
Sit down.  I'll fix it.

Uh, can you unwrap this for me?
It's tricky. 

Wait, I got it.

Mommy, be still! 

Is it helping?

There's room for one up here too. 

These things really are kinda tricky.

Almost got it.

There, another one.

It's helping already!


Getting a little help from Kara.

Mom, it stuck to your thumb!

Be still.

Almost done.

For a good cause, eh?

All better!

Thank you, Luken.  It really did help.  I love you so much!


More Spirit Song

Last night, I had the privilege of being up late.  The sky was beautiful.  It was crisp and cold outside.  Bright stars shown through the patches of space between the clouds.  Beyond the relative din of the fire department incident I was on, I could clearly hear the Sky's Spirit Song.  It said to me, "Look up.  Plant your feet on the earth.  And look up."  So I did.  And I do today.

That started me thinking about other Spirit Songs that I hear.  I think I hear the Spirit Song of cows.  I spend a long time watching cows during the spring.  I watch 2 particular herds of cattle near my home.  I can sense when they're ready to calve.  If I think about it too hard or try to hear it, I miss it.   It's kind of like trying to see something with your peripheral vision.  If you look straight at it, you can't see it.  If you just let it be near the edge of your awareness, it becomes clear.  Sometimes I will stop what I'm doing at my house or wherever I am and be aware that a particular cow is calving at that moment.  Then, next time I go to watch them, sure enough, that cow will have her baby.  I don't know how it works but it does.

Another Spirit Song I sometimes hear is that of the dying.  This can be unnerving for me.  My job, when I hear this Song is to remain present and fully grounded.

At times, I hear the Spirit Song of Loss or Sadness or Dispair sung through an individual.  It's usually not something the person wants to share with the world so my job is to listen and remain open.

One of the most fun Spirit Songs I sometimes here is the Song of a new person.  Before the mama knows she's pregnant.  I have to be careful with saying anything about this precious sweet Song.  Sometimes these "new" Songs don't stay.

Do you hear Spirit Songs?  If you do, don't be afraid to listen to them.  They can teach you.  All too often, in our Western society today, admitting that you hear or sense something that's not tangible is looked upon as "crazy", "psychotic", etc.  I do not believe it is.  I believe it's a gift.  Listen for it.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Seeing the Face of Christ

This past weekend, I drove to Oregon with a friend and stayed at her folks' house.  My friend loves me just the way I am.  She knows me and she accepts me.  I'm lucky that way.

Her folks though, are much more conservative in their beliefs.  They think that homosexuality is wrong.  Period.  And here I am, living openly as a lesbian woman, married to another woman, raising our child together.  I don't hide who I am.

My friend's folks are deeply Christian.  Christianity is something I've struggled with for years.  I like the God that Christians speak of.  And, so often, the human-ness of people seems to cloud how I see their God.  For me, a lesbian, I have grown wary of Bible thumping, God speaking Christians.  Their reproach hurts.  I tend to lump them all together (as they might lump all queers together).  All too often, I fail to see what might be the Face of Christ in them.  Probably because I feel hurt and am not trying to see it.

But this past weekend - it was different.  I was so warmly welcomed into this couple's home.  Welcomed with open arms.  Literally.  I was given a very comfortable bed to rest in.  They fed me.  They loved me.  They gave me safety.  They gave me space to just be.  The woman called me "her girl" and paid for fuel for my car and a nice lunch out.  All this was so freely given.  Given by people who didn't agree with who I am and loved me anyway, without trying to change me.  Their gift showed me what might be the face of Christ.  The love they showed me wasn't dependent on me doing or giving anything in return.  It was free.  That's how Christians say that Christ loves.  Isn't it?

How often do you see the face of Christ in others?  I challenge you to look for that of Christ (or, if your language likes it better, that of God, that of Light, etc) in people you meet this week.

Another thought, If God really is a god that's bigger than all, then God can only be ween in what He/She/theLight/Spirit chooses to show us of God's self.  It might not be what we expect or want to see.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spirit Song

Tonight at church, I had the privilege to listen to Dr. Vernon Finley speak.  He is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. 

Dr. Vernon Finley, is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and was born and raised on the reservation. His early years consisted of spending much of the time with his grandparents who had a very significant impact on his life. They were fluent speakers of the native languages and practitioners of traditional culture. Much of his worldview and perspective comes from being brought up in their home. His western education consists of graduating from Polson High School, the University of Montana, Oklahoma City University, and The University of Georgia with a high school diploma, Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Master of Education, and Doctor of Education degrees, respectively. He currently resides in Polson with his wife and two children.
Here's what I learned.  

1.  Listen.  Listen to the stories.  Listen for the Spirits' song. 

2.  Before there were humans, there were Spirits.  Each Spirit had its own individual and unique song.  The Spirits didn't have bodies or beings.  They had the Song. 

3.  Everything has a Spirit.  Everything has a Song.  

4.  Live like there is always someone listening, someone watching.  There is.  

5.  Dances to the Song are prayers.  Don't stop dancing. 

I could have listened to this man talk for hours.  He spoke wisdom.  He has heard the Song.  Sometimes, I think I hear the song too.  

Listening to him speak tonight reminded me of a girl I know.  She's a spirit girl.  She lived over 100 years ago.  I don't know her name.  She follows me sometimes.  Sometimes I see her and she's dancing.  I can't hear the Song she dances to but I can see the Dance, her Prayer.  She is a young Native American girl with long black hair and beautiful brown skin.  She wears a simple dress and has a simple blanket.  She dances in a circle.  Spinning.  She tells me that her family died of spots and that she can't find them.  When I listen, I hear that her family didn't die of spots as she thinks but it was she who died of spots.  I don't know if this spirit girl is lost or if she is just dancing on the earth on the ground she lay on when she passed over.  She is Dancing her Spirit Song.  She is beautiful and free.  

I wonder, what is my Song?  How do I Dance a Prayer to the Creator?  Let my Dance bless my road.  Let my Dance bless the roads of others. 


What I've Seen

It's been a profound past several days for me.  I have a lot of sort of weighty things to write about.  They're brewing.  So, while they brew, I'll tell you some of the neat animals I've seen in the past week.
Sadly, I didn't get pictures of any of them.

On my way home from the coast over the weekend, I passed a herd of Bighorn Sheep.  They were very close to the road and there wasn't much of a shoulder so I didn't pull over for a picture.  They were so neat.  Their horns were huge!  And looked so heavy.

On Monday, driving into Missoula, I saw a pair of Bald Eagles.  They were flying all crazy like.  Then they grasped tallons and entered a free fall.  All the while, they were being pursued by a third Baldy.  How cool!  I'm guessing that the display I saw was part of a mating ritual.  It was really neat, whatever it was.

Today, whilst on my errands, I saw a coyote.  I hear them often at night.  I don't often get to see one up close though.  It was grey and kinda scruffy looking and was trotting right along like he was on a mission.

Then, after I picked Luken up from preschool, we went up to look at the cows.  It's calving season and it's fun to watch new life happening all around us.  Evidently we weren't the only ones waiting for calves.  There was an eagle standing on the ground in the paddock.  It was mottled in color and it had feathers all the way down it's legs and on it's feet.  I tried to get a picture of it after watching it for awhile but when I stepped out of the car, it flew away.  It was waiting for a placenta to eat.  I don't know if it was a juvenile Bald or if it was a Golden.  Either way, I felt lucky to see it.

I'm so lucky to live where I do.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In fairness

Coupla weeks ago, I posted about a local church that had "America needs Jesus" on it's reader board.  

About a week after that post, I saw that they'd changed the sign to read "Boycott Violence".  Now, that's a message I can agree with without having to re-define or change it.  I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the new words or I'd share them.  The sign has since changed again so I missed my chance.  

I'm about half tempted to walk in and start a conversation with the pastor there.  I don't need to fight.  And I have the closest thing to a church home as I ever have.  I'm not looking for a new church.  My motivation behind starting a conversation is just that - for the conversation.  Maybe they have something I need to learn.  I keep noticing and thinking about what that church puts on their reader board.  Perhaps it's time to stop noticing and start asking.  Isn't that how we grow?  By asking questions?  By encouraging thought?

I'm pretty sure that the theology presented at this church isn't theology that I'd be comfortable with.  But that's okay.  I'm pretty sure they'd not be exactly comfortable with an intelligent lesbian asking questions so we're even.  

To me, this opportunity for conversation feels important.  It feels like a path to respect perhaps.  I'm very often quick to poke fun at churches.  I generally don't trust them.  

Last sunday at "my" church, the sermon was a challenge.  It was a challenge to

  • Think!  Think about who Jesus is to you.  And what that means to your life. 
  • Speak!  Talk to someone about your ponderings.  In the Bible, Jesus asks, "Who do you say I am?"
  • Listen!  Keep an open ear (and mind) to Jesus in scripture, in creation, in others.  
I so easily jump to conclusions and make less than flattering assumptions about churches.  This is a good challenge for me to take on right now.  In the next coupla weeks, I'll approach the pastor at what I've been calling the "sign church".  I'll be open and polite and ask for the conversation.  Sometimes learning involves risk.  And that's okay. 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Circle of Stones

Sometimes, when, in a moment of quiet I sit, words come to me.  I write them down.  What follows may seem dark.  Take it with a grain of salt (or a salt block if you need to).  Just because what I write seems dark, it doesn't mean I'm necessarily in a dark place.  No need to be worried.  It's just poetry.  Please dont' ask me to explain it.  I won't.

circle of stones

she sat in a circle of stones, 
of shadows and shards i
n the secrecy of darkness 
and her soul cried out...

she sat huddled 
under a rough blanket
peering at the scene around her
and her soul cried out...

she sat in the circle of silence
no more would they cry in hunger.
no more shiver with cold, 
never again scream in fear
or look up with expectant hope.
she heard the silence 
and her soul cried out...

she sat in the circle
of the night of her creation day
and smelled the pungent sweetness of blood
and the searing stench of burned flesh
and fife and wood;
and her soul cried out...

she sat there shaking 
as their spirits became ghosts
before their tiny bodies
were even cold,
and her heart became hard as stone
but her soul cried out...

and today the bodies are gone,
the blood is washed, 
the grass grows clean. 
But she still sits in a circle of stones
and her soul cries out...


Friday, February 8, 2013


It's been a busy week.

Luken had a bout of stomach flu so nobody really had a chance to get out.

Our excitement was to go up and see the cows.  Moo . . .

Here's to the weekend!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Calling All Angels

Lately this song speaks to me.  It's called
Calling all Angels. 
It's by the Wailin' Jennys.

A man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries
And high above, the church bells start to ring
And as the heaviness, the heaviness, oh it settles in
And somewhere you can hear a mother sing

Then it's one foot, then the other
As you step out on the road
You step out on that road
How much weight? How much?
Then it's how long? And how far?
And how many times?
Oh, before it's too late...

Calling all angels
Calling all angels
Walk me through this one
Don't leave me alone
Calling all angels
Calling all angels
We're tryin', we're hopin'
But we're not sure how this goes

Oh, and everyday you gaze upon the sunset
With such love and intensity
Why, it's almost as if
Oh, if you could only crack the code
Then we'd finally understand
What this all means

Oh, but if you could
Do you think you would
Trade in all, all the pain and suffering?
Oh, but then you'd miss the beauty
Of the light upon this earth
And the sweetness of leaving

Calling all angels
Calling all angels
Walk me through this one
Don't leave me alone
Calling all angels
Calling all angels
We're tryin', we're hopin'
But, we're not sure how
Calling all angels
Calling all angels
Walk me through this one
Don't leave me alone
Calling all angels
Calling all angels
We're tryin', we're hopin'
We're lovin' and we're hurtin'
We're cryin', we're callin'
Because we're not sure how this goes...

Wish I could claim it as my own but I can't.  Go find it.  Listen to it.  Let is peak to you.  Someone once told me that tears are holy.  I believe she is right. 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

How do you choose?

I find myself pulled and stretched too thin.  

I am many things. 

I'm a firefighter.  I used to be a good firefighter.  I know wildland tactics.  I'm good at motor vehicle crash incidents.  I love the technicality of extrication.  But for the past while, I have barely made any calls.  I sometimes hear the "guys" go out.  And I miss it.  Firefighting used to be such a big part of my life.  I loved the training.  I loved the calls.  I loved the community.  Yes, I miss it. 

I'm a social worker.  I have a Master's degree in social work.  I'm good at listening to a person.  Really listening.  And I'm good at finding resources.  I'm good at helping a person or group find and work from a point of strength.  But I don't work these days.  And I miss it.  I miss using my strengths.  I miss helping people.  And yes, I miss getting paid.  

I'm a musician.  I play fiddle.  Or I used to.  Back in "the day", I could jump in to just about any Celtic session and be able to play along.  I probably had hundreds of tunes in my head that I could play if and when asked.  I had so much fun playing fiddle.  And I could play Bach too.  It's been years now since I've really played fiddle.  I miss it.  A lot.  

I'm an artist.  I love to create things.  I like to draw with charcoal.  I love to take photographs with an old school do-it-yourself camera.  I like to sew - quilts and hats and bags and dresses.  I can make things out of yarn.  Beautiful warm soft things with wool and silk and cotton.  And now, it's been too long since I've created anything.  Yes, I write this blog.  And that's creative.  Sometimes.  But it's not enough.  I miss being creative. 

I used to explore new places.  Pick a trail or road I'd never been on and just go there for the fun of it.  I don't do that anymore. 

I used to attend concerts.  All the time.  Lots of different music.  And I used to dance.  I don't anymore.  And I miss it.  

I used to do TaeKwonDo.  I wasn't especially good at it but I was progressing.  It was deeply satisfying.  And very hard.  And I loved it!  I miss it.  

There are several reasons why I don't do so many of the things I used to do.  I have headaches that limit me, yes.  I am often depressed, yes.  I am tired, worn down, etc, yes.  And so many of the reasons boil down to being a mom.  

Now, before you say, "duh, motherhood isn't a piece of cake, you maybe should have thought about this before you got knocked up," I know that.  I don't think that anybody can be fully prepared for motherhood.  Motherhood changes you.  Yes, though, I think I knew that.  

Please don't read what I'm about to say and hear that I'm blaming.  I'm not.  I'm simply stating how it is.  

I'm a mother of a complicated kid.  He's more complicated than most.  I'm not complaining, honestly, I'm not.  I love him more than the moon and all the stars.  And I wouldn't trade him for the world.  Still, being a parent of a "special" child takes more than I was prepared for.  

I look back and try to find the point of Luken's life where things maybe started to diverge from so-called normal development.  Was it early early, when he was a newborn and I was so sick?  Was it when he wasn't crawling by a year old?  Was it when he wasn't walking at 18 months?  Was it when he started having "seizure like episodes" when he was one?  I don't know.  I can't pinpoint it.  He always seemed "young" for his age.  And big.  And beautiful.  And amazing.

Whenever it was, I guess it doesn't matter.  Hind sight isn't always 20/20.  He is autistic and I love him.  My son is autistic.  Sometimes that is still shocking to my mommy heart.  But I know that my mommy heart has known that all along.  And, if anything, it's made my love for him more fierce. 

But, back to my question.  How do you choose?  How do you choose what to give up?  How do you decide what is essential for your sanity?   People tell me, "Oh, you can't give up music, you have to keep playing."  Yes.  With what time?  And, where?  

How do I choose?  It is such a tricky thing to find the things that feed me - the things that I really must have (really what I mean here is "do" more than "have").  I don't know.  I don't have the answer.  



I live in pain.  24/7.  All the time.  Sometimes it's the bland sort of "just kind of makes you tired" sort of pain.  And sometimes, like tonight, it's the sort of pain that makes me wonder if I'm dying.  

Lemme just say that migraines suck.