Thursday, July 30, 2015

{Wallop}

“How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
 you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.” 
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
wind
This is perfect
Rainer gets it.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

{Rolling Down the River}

“In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.” ― Jeanette Winterson, The World and Other Places: Stories 
AND 
For everything there is a season -Multitude of wise people thru the years jul28 july28b July28c

A few months ago I was musing about vocation and the hunt for the perfect job. It's funny to me that when I feel I have figured out the formula to the universe's flow, I'm reminded in gentle, amusing ways that this is SO very not true. And that's cool Universe; I can't compete with Divine Knowledge.
 
It usually comes as intuitive uppercuts to the gut that strike as I'm buzzing quickly to work or in the long hours I spend in my car, spacing out to NPR and commuting to a new job site for a client visit. 

Ahhh yes, to everything there is most defiantly a season and that formula I'm no where near figuring out. I really dig my new job even though it's been an overwhelming training period. Working with people and having colleagues to team with to support people is something I've missed. It is, however, not quite what I expected but the surprises have wonderfully unfolded.

When I took this position I mistakenly thought it was a non-profit company. It was just a natural jump to conclusion from past experience and misreading the job company mission. Nice one for me. It is a for-profit social service agency and working for an organization like this my first experience. The differences are quite striking and I can't say that one is better than the other, expect for this season of my life it is close to perfect.

 I like feeling appreciated, respected and having professional colleagues who believe that "burn out" can be avoided by setting such things as boundaries and working 40 hours (give or take 10-15:)...) is healthy. Completely new arena for me. I'll call a spade a spade and say public education does not hold this mentality. Not to ruffle feathers, but I wouldn't wish burn out on my worst enemy. It's a dark place and difficult to manage. I also get the professional respect to flex my work day based on my caseload and paperwork (sooooo much eye-twitching induced paperwork) which is also perfect for how can be wired for success in all areas of my life. Thank you Universe!

 I'm off to a training an hour outside the Cities, and this drive I'm looking forward to as it takes me through some pretty parts of the Northwest Metro area. Mother Nature still calms me down even if it's only glimpses outside my car window. For the reason I enjoyed being a school counselor, I won't be doing the same thing I did yesterday. The day will be hold the variety that keeps me creatively invigorated and inspired.

 Wrapping it up, last week we had a management meeting and interspersed with professional development speakers and meetings we got to make art for therapeutic purposes and to be displayed in the office!

Stations of art projects were set up and colleagues were up to their knees in melted crayons, paints, paper products and glue.  The sounds of blow dryers buzzed in the background, and frequent surges of power outages occurred.  People not making art and working on their computers at their desks grumbled in the background.... It was messy art making at it's finest and everyone seemed to be relaxing and enjoying the process.

One  outside assignment was to photograph parts of Northeast Minneapolis, a area of the city I'm not familiar with. South Side, I know like the back of my hand. It's where I raised my kids and spent a majority of my life. I had this image of the NorthSide being ghetto and need I say boring. I slowly figure out through working in this area that the North Side is a collision of cultural, social and creative experiences.

So, I think I cried with joy from my desk when I got the emails with the details of the project. Good thing my-workers are cool and just chuckled at this display of delight. These are a few pictures I got from St. Anthony Main and the parking lot of my new favorite lunch spot the Rusty Taco (who, shout out, has the BEST black bean tacos...sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and goat cheese goodness). And with that, I sum up saying when work doesn't feel like work, at least 65% of the time, then I think one has stumbled upon true vocation. This is my newest formula..Now if I could figure out the secret to navigating major Highway Closures...I might have life figured out.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

{Discussion}

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” ― Mark Twain -july17a July17b I just really adore these pictures and thought I'd post them with random musings. One of my favorite parts of watching his games is the deliberation that takes place in between innings and such. I wonder what they are talking about with those 9 year old minds. As a mom I find in adorable. And the black marker shine that they put under their eyes also is interesting to me. I'm sure there is a formal word for it, but what I enjoy is how important it is to each of the boys on the team. I was talking with another mom at one game, curious if it made a difference. Like me, she had no idea. She hadn't even thought about it and gave me a smile. And last, the Hubba Bubba gum (in tow with it's giant bucket) and sunflower seeds which are trademark game snacks. For many reasons, I prefer the gum, as the sunflower seeds project a disturbing image of my son spitting chew at the tender age of nine. The game always ends with a snack given out by the coach's son who dangles it before the boys and runs around the field. The boys chase after and despite the win or loss of the game,grab their popsicle and head towards their loved ones. These games hold all sorts of summer delights and remind me of the simple things that make life great and what made my own summer precious when I was just nine.

Monday, July 6, 2015

{Counted}

“Do I dare 
Disturb the universe? 
In a minute there is time 
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” 
― T.S. Eliot
riseup

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

{Rising Up)

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
Maya Angelou
July1
I'm insanely tired from moving and training with my new job but I want to record even a 1/3 of my thoughts.
In the last week I have been humbled and floored by the people I will be working with. Their strength in the face of every adversity possible is indescribable.  I leave each day feeling as if they are the ones that helped me instead of vice versa.
Every job I take seems to always put me in the face of new places and faces.  And I love that, believe or not,  even though the initial stress and transition makes me want to crawl under the covers to hide.
Over the course of my 40 years on this Earth I have not had much interaction or work with people with severe/profound mental and developmental disabilities.  I'm slowly, through training and observation learning the human experience of fearing the unfamiliar.  It's nasty...or beautiful. It's a gut, fight or flight reaction and takes interaction and emotional connection to bridge that deficit.  Or else you retreat back into more fear and isolation.  There are so many global events in the last month that have shown this in a very basic level. It should be obvious.
This course of my life changed in a short span of about one month; in a way that I never anticipated. I'm sure there is a reason. I'll figure it out....I am figuring it out I should say.  Or maybe I don't need to at this point. That is what the heart is for...sappy point here.
I feel a flow and a connection with people I have haven't felt for sometime and it's stronger having endured the previous challenges in my own life.
We are all phenomenally weaved together. Needing each other. Not ever in the way I thought we did but even better.
Peacefully out for the night-


Monday, June 22, 2015

{Kiwi}

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”
― Charles Dickens
june22

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

{Micro-ball}

“I feel so intensely the delights of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own, with pictures and music and everything beautiful.” ― Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out June16c June16b June16 I'm getting back into the habit of trying to take photographs daily. It's good for me and my work. My favorite subject is my children and I have a lot of catching up to do. They are at the age now where it's more challenging, although both have said to me "Mom, I am used to this now..." so I feel like I have conditioned them long enough where such documentation is normal. I still try to be cognizant of not embarrassing them though since they are at the age where everything I do embarrasses them. Such is normal adolescent child development I suppose. Sigh.
 I'm trying to work on action photography but I am not equipped with the right lenses and also not very good at it yet. There will be lot's of opportunity for practice. And I'll make do until I can upgrade lens wise. However, in all the sports pictures my children look like lego figurine micro-people. Somewhat, frustrating. Increasingly more frustrating when I watch another parent role into the game with my much coveted Hubble sized,  zoom lens in town.  Alas I put envy aside and I document on. I'm just blessed and thankful to be back in the position to photograph my children regularly. Maybe this can be my niche.
 On a different note, I believe this game was my son's first win of the season.  The boys were very proud of themselves and worked hard. In the last few games, it seems they really took what their coach said to them during their post game huddle and worked on building their skills. That's pretty neat to see. His coaches are great with the boys and very energetic. In fact, most of the MFAC teams and their coaches are pleasant and not too intense. The coach from the other team last night was particularly entertaining. I was convinced he must have had minimum 5 pre-game Energy drinks as with a spring in his step, he spoke loudly and rapid like a machine gun the entire two hours. All his syllables were punctuated. Enthusiastically he coached his team of boys and I found it amusing at one point when he instructed a boy to not concentrate on the velocity of the ball, as opposed to usual choice word of speed. Must be a physics teacher. Just a guess.
All and all,  It was a beautiful, almost perfect Minnesota Summer evening of Micro-ball.  Filled with young and old boys with big hearts, large vocabulary and red bull sized energy.