Summer's End

August 31, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments

Oh late summer, you great bringer of things, you.

:: a second bloom of roses ::
:: fresh lemons from california ::
:: huge zucchini's and summer squash from mom's garden ::
:: a booze delivery from california ::
:: mom's late season blackberry pie from berries picked yesterday ::
:: friends home ::


On the dual nature of decisions and other reasons why it sucks to be an adult

August 29, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Do you remember the focus of desire we had as children?  You know, the wanting something so clearly, the life of black and white decisions.

For example, if I wanted a bite of my sister's huge sucker that she had worked for weeks to judiciously preserve after a trip to Disneyland (torturing me piece by piece, I might add) then I wanted that and only that.  I wasn't concerned with the injustice she must have felt when my mother suggested she share (when I had been given the very same sucker at Disneyland, but didn't make it home with it. "I ate mine all gone").  I had no knowledge of the long day at work my mom probably had, only to come home to a bratty child insisting on candy and having to be patient and kind enough to give both my sister and I the attention required at that moment (at a moment where, no doubt, dinner needed making.  Did I mention she was a single parent of four?!). I didn't at all think of the sugar I had already enjoyed that day, nor was I concerned with my health or figure in general.  Hell, I wasn't even aware of the cost of the lollipop, not to mention the immense financial hardship of a day at Disneyland (which my mom scrimped and scrounged all year to give her four children).  I never thought that if I chose to eat a sucker, I would no longer get a popsicle after dinner.

Perhaps that is one of the many objects of parenting, to assist your offspring in seeing all sides of a situation, to become well-rounded, considerate, gracious, and open-minded, to point out the feelings of all parties involved.  But perhaps the flip side to this is that it creates a bunch of indecisive ninnies.  If only we had been allowed our narcissistic future, perhaps we could have ended up a despot or celebrity at the very least.  Now those crazy fools know what they want, damn it.

I did nothing wrong in this situation.  I was a child with a child's perspective, "I want what I want when I want it."  But that, my friends, that's what I miss.  I haven't heard anything even remotely focused emerge from my soul since the days in college where I knew I wanted to be a teacher or in my 20s when I met and wanted to jump all over Joel.  I wish I knew desire in single-mindedness again.  I want to see only one side of the coin, to stare at it long enough, to be gifted just enough oblivion to believe there really is such a thing as a right choice.

I keep thinking about several of my friends who are on the brink of major life changes.  They have immense anxieties even concerning decisions they feel good about.  If only us MAKING the decision meant in turn that we BELIEVED it was the right one with zero creeping doubts.  But we are forced to make choices that mean turning our backs on other choices and it can be so exhausting - this spinning about, this dual nature of decisions.  

This currently hits me in my gut because I am still undecided about being a working mother.  In my early pregnancy, I spent several nights tossing and turning with the inability to decide what I truly wanted.  Was I going to join the ranks of women having children only to have someone else raise them?  Or would I decide that the financial sacrifice would be worth the joy of being home with Bowie, seeing her first laugh, catching her first steps?  My therapist and I decided that I would wait to make the decision until I was actually on maternity leave and had all the information necessary to make an informed decision.  That was very relieving at the time.

But I am now on maternity leave and the decision is not any easier.  I was laid off in July, so I suppose the universe did weigh in on the decision, but I also don't want to just let life happen to me, reacting to its changes like a pinball in a crazy maze.  I want to be proactive, to intend my life.  

Sidenote: you can learn a lot about a person by how they make decisions.

I want to scream from the skyscrapers of life, "I WANT IT ALL."

And so I go about my days trying to conjure up a career that will give me everything I, purpose, and intellectual/interpersonal stimulation; I also want family life, quiet time at home, and an uncomplicated schedule.  Instead of truly committing to one or the other, I waver in the between because more accurately than wanting it all, I actually have no idea what I want.  I never imagined I would say this, but I miss being told what to do by teachers, parents, and authority figures.  However, the minute anyone tries to, I buck up like an unbroke stallion (horsey people, is that a thing?).

So we make blind choices, jumping into new chapters with nothing but blind faith and a sloshing martini to give us courage.  Right or wrong (which I cannot believe exists with life choices anymore - perhaps it's more precise to say right or wrong for each person), that's what it means to be human.

Today I think I choose to hide in my house, throw my hair back in a pony tail, read a book, and hold my crying baby (because yesterday I chose to ingest more than a fair portion of chocolate torte).


what sundays are for

August 26, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Ah Sundays. Dad's home and Mom can do the important things like organizing her flickr photos, thinking thoughts, and sipping coffee while it's still hot.

Bliss I tell you, Bliss!


Five Things Friday*

August 17, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments

  1. These days, breakfast looks like frozen left-over pancakes, MAYBE some eggs if I have time to cook them, and coffee made from the weekend.  I've taken to making a french press and then refrigerating it for the week so I can grab it quickly.  All of these things are sad.  However, one should not have to chose between food and showering, so I am trying to make food as easy as possible.
  2. I'm off to the DOL to get my licence renewed.  It has been expired for some time, but I was kinda too busy having a baby to notice.  I chuckled to myself last week when the store clerk pointed it out while I bought wine.  Huh.  That would never have happened to previous Candace.  Does having a baby mean I get to be more oblivious to things?! Seen this way, it can be an exciting prospect.
  3. Cicero believes that the aim of mankind is to "uncloud the mind."  This is a beautiful notion, Joel pointed out, until we consider developmentally disabled humans.  He said he wants our daughter to be ever filled with wonder at the universe, eternally curious about things like trees, and I couldn't agree more.  Well, I could agree more if she ALSO became the perfect fusion of Terry Gross, Allison Goldfrapp, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Tina Fey.
  4. What did women do before breast pumps?!  I suppose they didn't have three Campari Greyhounds (86 vodka, substitute gin).  Well, today I had to pump and dump NOT because of booze, but because of dairy.  I tried an awesome baked Mac N Cheese last night, and it was just too much for her.  Oh so sad to see big tears streaming down her face with stomach pain.  Back to the no-dairy trial for me.  I am very glad to have a plethora of frozen (dairy free-er) breast-milk to offer her.  She takes the bottle like a champ, so I am very happy about that.
  5. Drink the drink mentioned above.  Recipe is as follows: 
Fill a shaker with ice
Pour in 1.5 - 2.0 ounces of gin
(note: feel free to use a lower-grade gin here since the Campari will mask it anyway)
Fill the shaker roughly 3/4 full of grapefruit juice
Pour a float of Campari to taste.  I use probably a 4-second pour.
Shake vigorously.
Pour into highball, garnish with rosemary.

Also,  I wrote 80% of this blog post one-handed.

*I am unabashedly stealing this from Umber, so my apologies to her, though I know she require none.


One Summer's Eve

August 15, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments

he came home with Vietnamese tacos
and a desire to sup out of doors.
we would keep our evening simple
to work then on his gardening project
in the cool summer breeze.
she came out with us,
wrapped in daddy's well-worn sweater,
really took in the yard.
we had passed the  point of conversation
and I retrieved my book
and dainty glass of port.
it was the last of it.

it's been a good week.


Writing away the knots

August 12, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments

I woke up this morning, wait no.  That isn't entirely accurate.  I should begin with when the sun was up and I opened my eyes, not knowing if I had slept for 30 minutes or 3 hours, I noticed there were significantly more knots in my soul than when I went to bed.  We had a particularly hard night, and the lack of sleep combined with a healthy portion of feelings of incapacity made it all twist up and suffocate my qi.

I cannot tell you how many times I've pepped-talked others with the very same words I needed this morning.  So, I wrote them down so they could burn into my brain today, burrowing their truth into my soul's knots, working to unravel them like a plumber in a hair-filled drain.

I could say that no one told me I would feel this way as a new mother, but that would be a lie.  I fully knew things would be hard, but I keep looking over my shoulder for the teacher to catch me doing something I shouldn't and chide me.  Similarly, I keep looking around, wide-eyed, wondering where the instructor has gone.  I know the results I want, and I can even tell you how to get them.  But suddenly, I look at Bowie and  I am more unsure than ever of my resolve.  I am checking out books for instructions and trying to find time to research ways to inform ourselves, to gain any level of confidence and knowledge on the subject, but I have to say - there is so much SHIT advice out there.  Theories I don't agree with, decisions to be made, people to nod at and ignore. In essence, I feel like I'm doing everything wrong in some vague manner.  One person says, "Do whatever you need to do to enjoy your daughter."  Another says, "Oh you really shouldn't do that - it's best for the baby if..."

But I don't logically believe there IS a wrong way to raise a newborn, for the most part.  And if I know that to be true, I also know that I cannot possibly be doing everything poorly.  But how to convince my soul to release these knots so I can go about my new life feeling good and peaceful?  

And here is the question lying in the mud, staring me in the face.  I know this place, it's an old question re-demanding an answer for this new life.

"How do I transfer something I KNOW to be true into FEELING the truth of it?"
My answer then might be my answer still today.

Write it out.


Bowie meets...

August 08, 2012 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Bowie has met several of her adoring fans this last week, including Aunt Kelly who came to stay for a week. We had a lovely time, and I have to say that it was wonderful just to have an adult home with me during the day.  Bowie is a fascinating person, but her conversation skills are a bit lacking.

Scenes from the week:

Joel's dad recently returned from Thailand where he and Jean stumbled upon a celebration where lanterns were sent up into the sky.  He bought one and all in attendance (Joel, myself, Kelly, Mom & Dad, and Aunt Julie and Uncle Tim) wrote a little note to Bowie and sent it into the sky.  I wish I had more photos of it (Kelly will hopefully share those), but Joel grabbed this one with his phone just before liftoff.  It was such an epic, memorable, truly beautiful moment - just the kind of ritual I crave in this life. 


On the things we cannot do for ourselves

August 06, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments

It used to be pedicures, but I am pretty sure I cured myself of that.  Now it is buying ceramic mugs.  A few of my lovely and bestest friends manage to prioritize this - and while I admire their collection so much, there seems to be a tour de force between me and that etsy purchase button. 

I was therefore bequeathed the most perfect of birthday presents from her.  I am in love with this wonky mug with clouds on it.  Since I am home on maternity leave, I now drink coffee from an actual mug rather than a paper cup at work.  It feels only natural to honor that 'being home' with something that truly helps me feel my soul's cornerstone.  Clouds, handmade art, friendship, and the reminder that I am worth an indulgence.  

There are a myriad of things I have ZERO problem buying myself.  Expensive makeup, as many pair of shoes and jeans as I can manage, books, plants, wines, designer hair products, magazine subscriptions, furniture, jewelry, fancy underthings, restaurants, airplane tickets.  In general, I take rather good care of myself in that regard.   But leave it to your soul friends to find the thing you just cannot do for yourself, and not only buy it for you, but make you challenge the inner wall surrounding that particular item.  This one gift somehow seems to give me permission to begin my own collection, and in that - Kelly told me it was okay to  be who I am, yet again.

For you?  What is it that just makes you cringe to purchase, but that you want really badly?  This is truly not about amassing a collection of stuff, but about living your life intentionally.  For me, this means supporting artists and items having meaning.

To climbing the insides of our souls,

p.s. Link to the ceramicist