Friday, April 25, 2008

Mother Time

We sleep and wake at odd times: our tiredness, we discover, has many layers.
-Tony Cohan, On Mexican Time.

Lately I have been feeling like every day is at least two days long. And in that space of time, I am not quite sure what happens. I don’t even know how it happens. It’s as though time is actually dissolving before my grasping hands. I wish I could momentarily step out of the earth’s gravitational pull and somehow slip through the gap of a day: An entire 24 hours devoted to my renewal and to the tying up of loose ends. Unfortunately, life does not give time outs, and I am deep in the midst of a space I like to call *“Mother Time.”

The idea of “Mother Time” came to me when I started reading the virtual book club’s pick of the month: On Mexican Time, by Tony Cohan. I was immediately struck by the title and, as I delved deeper into the story, I could sense the peace and calm Cohan was trying to convey in his “sufficiency of days.” Having spent time in Mexico, and other like-minded places, I do understand this way of experiencing time on a superficial level: I enjoy it, I strive to be that groovy, but still I am a westerner…with a puritan work ethic…steeped in an ideology of production…set in the “having it all” mindset.

I have to say, however, I am beginning to cave. I hate to admit this, even to myself, but I am really tired. And besides that, I am very NERVOUS because compared with a lot of other women; I don’t think my plate is even that full. I am not a single mom and I’m not a working mother.

But still I feel like the work never ends. All the gardening, house cleaning, dog walking, baby swinging, cooking, dishes, entertaining, trying to exercise, maybe look nice, buy some new glasses because your baby broke your very last one and now your drinking coffee out of a shot glass from your college days oh OH and then try to find time to write because it clears your mind but there is no time by the time you try and then sleep beckons and oh yeah maybe I should try to seduce or be seduced but my mind is so cluttered because I haven’t had time to write and sort my thoughts and by now I have a serious writers cramp and my swirling thoughts collide in the air above my head creating such a cacophony I wonder if I might be making less sense than Babou’s first attempts at communication which makes me wonder if it was only coffee I put in that shot glass or maybe I should be using something stronger.

And that’s when I realized I am in “Mother Time.” That it is ok. The rules I once applied to myself no longer work or even really make sense. The rhythm of my day is not an agenda as much as a tango between loosely held goals and the needs of my family. The one goal and agenda I am holding firmly onto is that I will not lose myself in the fray. This is what I have come to call “Mother Time.”

My name is Jo, I am in Mother Time. Please don’t break my shot glass.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weekend Wishes

After a long week of both myself and Babou being sick with colds, I am more than ready for a little rest and relaxation. I am heading south, down to visit my love and enjoy the incredible weather. I am so excited just to be in a hotel and not have to worry about dishes or laundry or watering or weeding...just to be for a bit. I am especially excited about starting "On Mexican Time: A new life in San Miguel," by Tony Cohan, the Virtual Book Club's book for this month (check it out at

Surviving this week has made me think there should be a book called "Mother Time." I am surprised there isn't one yet. I can't speak, of course, for all mothers, but my sense of time has changed drastically since the birth of my daughter. I like this way of time much better than the goal-oriented sense of time I had before, but it can be...errr...challenging. My sense of time is more cyclical now, more malleable, more flexible. Much more natural. Sometimes hard though; it is a balancing act trying to get stuff accomplished with a baby. Mostly I feel its a challenge that keeps me fluid and flexible. At least that's what I say to myself to keep myself going on days that are too much, but it is mostly how I truly feel.

But, back to the weekend, here is some inspiration. Listen to the words of this song or, better yet, play it if you have it, and imagine dancing barefoot with someone you love. On a summer evening. In that perfect moment between light and dark, when things are fuzzy, but just clear enough (just like the perfect amount of wine!). Feel the fragrant, still warm grass under your feet. Even if its snowing, it still can be summer in your mind!

"Into the Mystic"

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when that fog horn blows I want to hear it
I dont have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it
I dont have to fear itI want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic
Come on girl...

-Van Morrison

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of (her) dreams, and endeavors to live the life which (she) has imagined, (she) will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
-Henry David Thoreau

Thank you all so much for all the birthday well wishing! I am indeed such a lucky lady! Yes, I turned 32 this Friday and had a wonderful day filled with lots of good friends and wonderful food and yummy cocktails, litchi martinis being the cocktail of choice (mix half litchi juice and half vodka, add a couple of litchis themselves to the bath and viola)!

And I got a gift that will be of great interest to the virtual book club ladies! “T” presented me with a hardbound, SIGNED, copy of “Eat Pray Love!” Am I THE luckiest or WHAT? It actually says…”To Jo with blessing…Elizabeth Gilbert! Anyway, I thought you guys would get a kick out of that! You can imagine how excited I was!

I was also pampered with beautiful flowers, jewelry, and a massage and facial! I think I may have started snoring in the massage--it was all just too delicious and my Babou has been running me RAGGED lately. Literally, DC I think I have you beat as I am just over thirty and QUITE frayed!

Actually, I am very happy to be in my thirties. I am quite enjoying them. It seems to me that the twenties, at least for me, was all about fitting myself into what I thought I should be—they were all about achievement no matter the expense. It seems for me that now the thirties are all about consistency and discovering what fits me instead of the me trying so hard to fit into whatever mold the world thinks I should fit into. I have to say this is a lot thanks to my little ones…baby and dog. They are teaching me so much about rhythms and being yourself and being happy. They are truly blessings although needy little buggers!

Yes, I’d better close as they are both letting me know without a shadow of a doubt that we are LATE for out daily walkabout!

Thanks again for all the lovely Birthday wishes—I could not ask for more!