Showing posts from September, 2011
Lingering lunches.
Random wafts of conversation.
Streams of light in an English tea room.
Fresh air and motorists.
These little moments may seem pedestrian but that's the beauty of it to me.
Today I will discover a bit more of what it is like to simply "be" in Gidea Park (Romford).
I wish you were here.
There's a low rumble of the organ;
The hum of tourists off in the distance.
Here, I am nestled in a corner of the prayer chapel at St. Paul's Cathedral ...
Feeling the cold stone pillar on one side
And warm wood to the other,
I'm cushioned in a respectful silence.
It is peaceful here.


Gentle spirits. Vibrant spirits. Generous spirits. When they all combine, I have to say that the celebrations are sweet!  Truly, my life doesn't hold enough of these.  I'm used to the work side of life, but I'm not used to doing much more than coming up for air until the end of a project.

Thinking through the few number of days we spent together, it's surprising how much room there was for celebrations with each other.  We worked hard. We had tea. We celebrated our project, each other and even  birthdays. No one was a taskmaster. We breathed, laughed, shared, collaborated, overcame, and built together.

I could go on and on about the people involved ... and I find it hard to accurately express what my heart has felt ... but it was quite amazing to me.  The pace, the productivity, the peace, the people.  To see it culminate together and be part of it all is a rather overwhelming honor.

This is part of what I need to bring back with me when I go home.

Abandoned Spaces ... KEEP OUT

I woke this morning thinking about the different direction Imogen's song has taken (spoken word, garden perspective personified, gathering into anger) with an overwhelming realization ... that's what happened to me!

Imagining a personified garden being confused when people dwindled, frustrated by its own efforts going nowhere, wondering why all the good things it once knew were so far away, not able to see the "keep out" signs someone else placed on its walls ... I saw the same struggle in myself with the "married years" (and even still struggling deeply with some of the effects).

Tears came then.

Recording for Immi

Today was extra special ... not only did we hear an update on "heapsong3" from Immi, but we recorded some things as well! I guess technically, one can say that my recording hiatus is over.  I have one line ("I'm forbidden.") in the midst of many lines, plus screaming, groaning, vowels, hushes and whispers with the group.  HA!  It will be interesting to see what is used in the piece!

Of course, like many things, it is being filmed.  Of course, I'd always rather be behind a camera than in front of it unless there's a good reason.  This?  It's a good reason, but still rather uncomfortable ... especially since there is NO chance to even try and improve one's appearance when sweaty and dirty in the midst of garden restoration!

If you'd like to share in some of the real time experience, I took a few video clips with my tiny camera (not quality - just good memories):


We were challenged in one “circle time” (when the group gathers in a circle to learn and discuss) to recall something we noticed … but not just on the surface.  Noticing to the point of thinking or studying or delving into some aspect of it deeper.
I didn’t share with the group at the time because the conversations seemed to spiral into plans of the day … but what I was thinking about was the patterns in nature.  Just earlier, I was contemplating the balanced growth of the trees we were clearing and cleaning with branches sprouting opposite in one way and then the next pair up at 90 degrees. As I sat there, I thought about the thin-leafed swirls in a flowering plant, the thorns on some of the vines, the buds of the berries, the patterns of leaves, even the interesting elements of the weeds we pulled … all different, all very patterned, and all with specific purposes. 
It made me wonder if we could learn from them.  What makes the tree strong?  Could it be applied to life principles? …


While the day was huge … my first work day, meeting (and kissing) the English and those from many other counties, sitting by Imogen, and just being around so many life-giving people … the overriding thought of the day was that of being vessels.

Alan, a practicing Buddhist from the San Francisco Bay area, was sharing about how he viewed relationships as being vessels for one another … and in one context, vessels that could hold the hurt and help the other heal.  In one case, a friend shared something that was too much for him to hold, and what made an impression upon me is that he recognized it, communicated that capacity to her, and was able to gracefully support her within clear boundaries.
Maybe that sounds like a bunch of words, but for me it’s quite significant.  I’ve had a challenge with boundaries.  And people close to me have challenges as well (some with running over boundaries and others with over extending their own).
I like thinking of boundaries as vessels, actually.  Th…

How To Dream Again

Tonight I met my first friends from the Garden Angels team after I got to the hotel and joined them for supper (my first English Pub – The Ship).  There were four countries around the table: Sovakia (Andrea), England (Karsten - via Germany), Scotland (Colin) and the USA (Alan - California and, of course, Me - Oklahoma).

Karsten works for Clear Village and is the project manager of the whole garden project.  I was asking about the work they do, and the answers I received started making me think!
What do you do when you go into a place that has lost hope?  Help its people dream again.
What is the key? Trust. 
When they still can’t dream, what do you do?  Have them share their stories … memories about neighbors, children, their own childhood, relatives, etc.  And as I listened to him describe how it has worked, it seems that through the very simple action of sharing stories their dreams were jump started again.
Trust … Dream … Stories … Dreams.  I see the connections.  And I know there…

Celebrating 19 Means 20 Has Launched

Today he is REALLY 19 ... well, in all actuality, he has completed 19 years on this planet and is STARTING 20! It's hard to believe the little guy who surprised me into motherhood is an adult, much less a father as well!

I say surprised because babies weren't being pursued as a goal on the horizon. There was an expectation of 3-5 years of marriage first.  I experienced a little over a year of marriage.  Then ... MOTHER FOREVER.  Some of the journey so far has been amazing, some excruciating, some entertaining, some exhausting, and all of it an adventure one way or another!
So in light of life and change and miracles ... here's to more!  Happy Birthday, Jeremy!!!

Imogen Adventures

For the primary benefit of my dad who got a little update from Facebook (but I haven't been very diligent to chronicle everything) ... here's a recap of my Imogen Heap Adventures so far:

Andy (left) is the designer doing the digital CD artwork. During a video stream (daily during the project), they highlighted one of mine (shown above).  It didn't make it into the top selection out of the thousands of submissions, but it (and I) DID get mentioned in the broadcast!
However ... eight (YES - 8!) of my images made it into Andy's favorites for the CD artwork.

Most proudly, one of my images made it on the first inside page of the CD art ... and was very significant because of the "Welcome In A Heartbeat" lyrics because Aiden (my GRANDSON - yes, GRANDSON) was born then.

I'm in the credits! ... but not just for photos, for VIDEOS!

During another livestream, Imogen talked about seeing a clip of a sunflower swaying in the breeze and how it reminded her of her mothe…