25 February 2004

heart full of herbs

Today while shopping for Ayyam-i-Ha gifts, I ran across one of those pillows filled with lavendar and other scented herby things that you can warm up and put on varioud body areas to relieve things. It was shaped like a heart and velvety. Mmm...

This morning I went to the doctor and I was sort of excited but also a little nervous. Nathan came along to support me, but of course he couldn't come into the examination room.

I thought that the doctor might be a woman, since the nurse who took care of me was, and I imagined she was also my doctor, but then when he came in, I forgot that doctors don't do that blood pressure stuff...

Anyhow, the examination was okay, and I didn't feel uncokfortable or anything, but afterwards, I felt like a cow, or some other sort of livestock. Not that I was white and spotty, but I felt like the doctor had no concern for me as human, but just wanted to finish his job and be done with it.

I suppose I expected a different atmosphere - one where I felt heard. I wanted to ask questions, but I didn't feel comfortable to do that.

Anyhow, I was able to sit with these feelings today and sort them out, in a nice relaxed manner. It was nice. And now I am able to articulate them to you!

Oh, by the way, my examination was normal, and I will be going in to get another ultrasound in about a month, so I can check on my ovaries and see if they're normaler. :)

23 February 2004

Mr. Rogers

Today, Bahiyyih wrote about Mr. Rogers. And that got me thinking about Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood, and how I loved it! And then I figured out a cool thing! Want to hear? Read on!

I love trains. I love the idea of them - they are fun and rolley and they have tracks so they don't crash. Well, not often. And I want to go on a train for Spring Break. Not just a Metra or subway train, but a full-fledged train with a dining car and a sleeper car and all the bells and whistles that go along with it!

And I realised that part of this love of trains comes from Mr. Rogers. Do you remember how Trolley (with his fun theme song) would take us to the Neighbourhood of Make-believe? Well, that was about my favourite part in the whole show. I didn't like it when we got to the Neighbourhood of Make-believe any other way. I didn't like the little models that Mr. Rogers would take out of the cupboard in the kitchen, or once when we went out to the sandbox - I didn't like that, either. I liked Trolley. Trolley and the tunnel. Maybe that's why I like tunnels, too...

So - hooray for trains! They make February funner!

21 February 2004

paint on me fingers

I have paint on me fingers. Luckily, none on the floor, because oil paints are hard to get off. So this morning I painted my first oil painting ever. Inspired by Nancy Wong's venture into oil paints, and a desire to create something, I donned one of Nathan's old shirts as a smock, and got to work.

I am still trying to figure out how to show it online, so that you can see it.

It was a really wonderful experience - I was able to create in an environment where I felt safe and spiritual, and I knew that whatever it looked like when it was finished, I would like it.

And I do!

20 February 2004

weepy like a storm that rumbles its way through and then dissipates

Tonight, at a spiritual parenting class (no - we're not pregnant - we're just preparing) hosted by my wonderful friend Bahiyyih Baker, we went through a guided meditation. For those of you who've not experienced such a thing, the format is thus: all members relax and close their eyes. Someone with a soothing voice (in this case, Bahiyyih) then verbally guides the group through a mental journey. In this instance, we were reflecting on our spiritual nature and the spiritual nature of our [future] children. We were told to think loving things to ourselves, like living with happiness and ease, and living without suffering.

In the second part of the meditation, we were then told to think of our children and tell them the same things: live with ease, be happy, live without suffering. At about this point, I started to cry. Not a heavy snotty cry, but just a teary one - thinking of my future babies - and realising that I am scared about a lot of things in reagrds to babies and children. Namely, that I won't be able to have any.

We closed the meditation with thie quote from the Baha'i Writings, the Words of Baha'u'llah:

Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty."

I thought on the beauty of these Words, and of the idea that in a sense, we have this sort of relationship with our children - they are created with love, and we love them and protect them because of this. Of course, on a lesser scale than God.

Anyhow, I excused myself and went to go and cry it out. I needed to experience the feeling, as Jessica's reflections on Erica Toussant's (is there an "i" in there somewhere) workshop on joy and happiness have inspred me to do. I realised that although I've been feeling pretty confident about my reproductive capabilities, there is a deeply rooted fear that I won't be able to create children with my husband. That's a scary thought.

I know that whatever the case, things will work out, but I think I am coming to realise the importance of experiencing emotions as they come. Thank you, Ms. Gaines!


I am eating a salad. As I sit here and ponder the magnitude of the sacrifice that the plants gave so that I could eat them, I am reminded of a greater sacrifice, one of which I was only just recently made aware.

A few weeks back, I went to a programme at the Spurlock Museum (the University's cultural history museum) which was entitled, "Winter: a Time of Storytelling; Native American Women throughout history" or something like that. One of the speakers was a very dynamic lady from California, who had written a book on Pocahontas, based on her cultural understanding and historical perspective. Her story was very interesting, but the most important thing that she said completely changed my frame of view of the "conquest" of the Americas by Europeans.

She said that some of the Native peoples who were here at the time of the immigration of Europeans knew what was going to happen - the mass persecution and annihilation of thousands of people - and that these who understood it, saw it as a sacrifice. A sacrifice so that these poor masses from Europe, who suffered from spiritual maladies as well as social and political ones, would finally be able to be cleansed. The sacrifice of the entire New World was given for the benefit of the human race.

This blew me away. I had never before thought of this. I recall my past view of the matter having some concept of what the Native peopels "did" to "deserve" this fate. However, as I just recently learned from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha (see my past entry on "Honey"), we don't suffer because we "deserve" to, but because the physical world brings pain. We choose to experience suffering by ignoring our connection to the spiritual world. The sacrifice that these people, for whom I now have a deeper respect, made is immense.

Thank you.

19 February 2004


Today, I had a wonderful time being married. Not that I don't most times, but I really was able to sit back and appreciate it.

Nathan and I are taking a class together - it is called "Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao." We have it Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3.00-4.20 PM. For me, it comes after three other classes, so thank goodness that it's interesting, otherwise I'd fall asleep.

Today, as usual, we wrote notes to each other in between taking notes from the lecture. I asked Nathan if he wanted to go out to eat with me afterwards (usually, he is so busy with drilling - for his Speech for the American stage class - or rehearsal that we have to rush right over to Krannert Centre - the performing arts school - where he practically lives). After a little more discourse, we decided to go to a yummy Indian restaurant.

So we walked there (it is on Green Street - the main strip near campus) and found that we had a bit of time to kill before they opened for dinner. So then we just walked around and chatted, and ran a few errands. Then we went and ate yummy vegetarian food (did I mention we've become veggheads?) before taking the bus and walking home. All in all, it was a pleasant time.

The reason that I am enjoying being married in particular today is because, contrary to popular belief, students have practically NO time to spare (if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing - namely, studying) outside of school work. And married students (like us) are therefore left with the really early hours of the morning and the late late hours at night to spend together. Unfortunately, I am a morning person and Nathan's a night owl, and so we are really left with only sleepy acknowledgements of one another before rolling over and drooling on the pillow.

Today, though, we were able to just walk and talk and be together - to share the rather mundane things that make up our daily lives. However, it was far from mundane - it was a fun and relaxing evening! Being married is such a blessing.

Now off to homework!!

18 February 2004


Here's something else that I like: honey.

Honey is so wonderful and yummy! I just had a yummy soy steamer with honey in it and was reminded of something that my wonderful friend Martha told me when we were in Arizona a few years back. She said that 'Abdu'l-Baha, the son of Baha'u'llah, said to take a spoonful of honey and then recite "Ya Baha-ul-Abha!" I looked into that quote, and this is what I found, in the book Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha:

"O thou wonderful leaf of the Tree of the Love of God! All that thou hast written was perused. It was read from beginning to end, and it caused joy and fragrance. But we write a brief but useful answer, on account of the lack of leisure. Engage thou in commemorating God at every morn and turn unto the Horizon of Mercifulness. Take some honey, recite "Ya Baha-ul-ABHA," and eat a little thereof for several days. For these thy prevailing diseases are not on account of sins, but they are to make thee detest this world and know that there is no rest and composure in this temporal life."

This was written in response to a letter from a woman ("leaf" in the Baha'i Writings indicates women) who apparantly was not feeling well (either physically or emotionally). 'Abdu'l-Baha counsels her in a loving manner to use honey as a healing medicine, along with remembrance of her Creator. What a lovely image. It is also comforting to note that her sickness or sadness was not because she had done some horrible act to "deserve" such things, but because that is the nature of this life. The physical world can bring us pain, but the spiritual world brings only joy!

Additionally, it got me thinking along the lines on which I have been wandereing this past week or so - particularly about my spiritual nature and my overall emotional state. Winter can be a yucky time - less sunlight (and therefore less Vitamin D production by your body), windy cold weather, and grumpy people who want to be home in bed under blankets.

I have been thinking about how often in the winter I get the blues, and how in such a state, I easily berate myself for my shortcomings. However, as 'Abdu'l-Baha says, it is not that I am a bad person, but that this world - specifically attachment to the things of this world (materialism) - is merely a stepping stone - a lifetime of preparation for the next spiritual world.

So yay for honey! Go right now to your cabinet, take a spoonful of the yummy stuff, and think how wonderful you are! You are a creation of the Universe! Things will be getting better! Have a wonderful day!

17 February 2004

A pinch of pollen

The Navajo have a tradition where they wake up just before dawn and greet the rising sun with a pinch of pollen (a sacred pinch). At least that's what I've read. Either way, it's a lovely idea: greet the new day with love and thanks for being alive to move around in it.

So today, rather than stress about my upcoming test (which I plumb forgot about), I will greet it as a challenge with joy, since I am alive in this Day!

It sort of goes back to the idea of "women's work" being trivial. In the same way, I've allowed myself to forget about the joy of little things (like appreciating the thrill of a challenge - how can I fit all of this information into my brain in only 2 hours?).

I love to rediscover things and find the common Thread in everything! For instance - this morning I went to fish some raspberries out of my refrigerator and found that they had all turned fuzzy and white - two days ago, they were fine! However, I am absolutely thrilled because that means that there is life everywhere! My refrigerator is the host of a community of life! How cool is that?

Maybe I'm sounding nuts, but I love the possibility that the sun shining through my eastern windows brings. A new Day. New possibilities - new life!

Good morning!


It's also very comforting in this time of global chaos. People spouting off conspiracy theories, and end-of-the world stories. I don't mean to discount the real crises, or to turn a blind eye. However, I have chosen this path that I am on knowing that in time, I will be able to address those challenges that I can (like, wouldn't it be cool to go to South Africa and work with youth there?). I'm not going to beat myself up for not being able to save the world right now. My circle of influence isn't that big. So I will do the things I can do - like educate myself - and then I will hack away at the world's problems in my own way...

Right now, I'm going to try and reconnect with the divine within myself, so that I can be ready for action when I need to be.

15 February 2004


I ate four cookies before I went to sleep and I had a most interesting dream.

I dreamt that there were only a few people left alive, and that one of them was responsible for killing everyone else. He was a king or something. Anyhow, the other people found him and were deciding what to do with him. So I put him in a pillowcase and slid him around the room, picking up the dust that everyone was leaving (we were all cleaning this particular room while deciding what to do).

After we were finished cleaning, we all decided that we should each move back into the town (we were in the country) and that this king should stay alive (he was pleading with us not to kill him) but live in the country. He apparantly did not like this - he wanted to live in the town, and so he cited a law that stated if a family had two or more people, hey should have more space, and suggested that Nathan and I move into the country.

I think I woke up about then, but the dream had me thinking along the lines of the familiar Armeageddon idea: everyone in the world is gone except a handful of people. What do you do?

Then I was thinking about all of the conveniences that would be gone, like electricity, etc. Where would we go? Then I got thinking crafty thoughts, and planning out how we would manage to survive. It would fun - sort of a Robinson Crusoe adventure. Solar panels and geothermic heating and gardening and I would have a goat.

By that time, I had completely shaken off all of the sleep and was a bit more reasonable, but it was an interesting thought nonetheless.

I like the idea of roughin' it - but only if I have to. I still struggle with camping sometimes, especially when there's a warm motel nearby. With a pool.

14 February 2004

Owie (part 2?)

(I had meant to post thie earlier, but it didn't work out. SO here it is!)

Yesterday I woke up, stumbled out of bed and headed for the potty. I grabbed a prune on the way (I love prunes & prune juice - I'm a old lady already!). After said business was completed, and I was getting ready to leave, I had a sudden sharp pain in my abdomen. I nearly doubled over with it - It felt like really really painful gas, but in all the wrong places.

After a bit of scurrying by Nate and I, we ended up at McKinley health centre (which is the university's clinic, covered by my fees - how beautiful!). I love going to the doctor's, but at one point that morning, I remember thinking that my appendix had broken and that death was imminent.

It's funny now, but not so much at the time!

After being shuffled around to various desks and filling out various forms, I was admitted to see the doctor. He asked me some questions and then poked around a bit and went "mmhmm" a few times. Then he asked me to go and pee in a cup, because he wanted to run some tests.

About this time, I had begun to feel rather sheepish. I have a tendency to use sickness as a way of getting attention - not that I become sick on purpose, but sometimes I exaggerate a bit. I wondered, 'am I being honest? Am I really in that much pain?' The pain, on a scale of one to ten, had been at first an 8, but now it had subsided to a dull ache - maybe a 2. To make matters worse, I had already emptied my bladder that morning, and the cup business wasn't going too swiftly.

However, among the opinions in my head, there was one that seemed to have her wits about her, and she told me that even if it was merely gas, that I was doing the right thing. I had felt absolutely horrid, and that sort of pain just doesn't appear. There was a reason for it.

To make a long sotry short(er)(I've been doing a poor job at that so far), after a urinanalysis, a blood test, a liver test, and later on in the day, an ultrasound (which was not like the ones that you see on A Baby Story), I found out that

1) Nathan and I were NOT pregnant,
2) My liver was healthy,
3) My blood was healthy,
4) My left ovary was twice the size of my right one, and
5) I had a cyst on my left ovary that had burst and left about a tablespoon of fluid floating around in my abdomen - that's what had caused that morning's pain.

The Nurse practitioner then said that I needed to see a gynecologist for a full check-up and then after my next cycle began, to have another one of those intrusive ultrasounds (which I thought was really cool - I was able to see inside of me!).

Apparantly, ovarian cysts are common enough - approximately every woman has at least one during her lifetime. However, just to be safe, and to check out my ovaries again (which are pearl-colored - isn't that cool?!), I am going to have to be under surveillance for the next few weeks. If anything funky shows up, I'm to report immediately to the doctor again.

blood orange

Have you ever eaten a blood orange?  They are so good!!


Just a quick update on my father - he's doing fine - no immediate danger.  However, he's had to cut back on dairy, sugar, and meat.  Those are his favourite things (and mine, too!), so I've been thinking about my poor Mom trying to find some food that he will like!

Thanks for thinking about him!  I know your thoughts and prayers helped.


Aside from all of that medical stuff, I read last night that problems with the ovaries are indicative of problems with jealousy, which I've been noticing more and more recently in myself.  Furthermore, the cysts on the left ovary are indicative "of the wounded feminine in this culture (the right ovary representing to more analytical "male" side)."

"Many women try to imitate male ways of being in the world that don't always fit their inner needs."

When I read that last line, I started to cry - a lot - like I had suddenly released.  This, I think, is tied to my jealousy of tohers.  I find that I am often jealous of women, but it is moreso the male approval that I am seeking.  Not so much anymore, but especially when I was young - I was often mistaken for a boy and sometimes wished that I was a boy, just to save myself the hurt of trying to "prove" that I was a girl.  I think in this way I learned to value the male standards more, and in fact remember a time when I was gleefully beating the pants off of one smarty fellow in my social studies class' version of Jeopardy.  I had proven that I was better than him, and therefore worthy of my womanness (of course it didn't come out like that in my 8th grade brain at the time).

This greater valuing of 'male qualities' (don't ask me to define that idea succinctly, it is more of a feeling) is especially apparant to me when I look at cultural trends.  My mother taught CPR when I was in high school and I often tagged along.  One of the things that the medical community is now noticing is that women are experiencing increasing rates of heart problems, directly realted to their entrance into the workforce.

If you think about it, since there are possibly twice as many people in the work force as there were before women left the home (now both parents work), there is simply more competition.  Even though we are as a culture slowily overcoming the glass ceiling effect, I think that girls who have grown up in this time learn to devalue their own intuitive natures in favor of a more aggressive and competitive outlook.  We are having to PROVE that we are worthy of merit.

I sometimtes feel that those tasks that I do around the house that are traditionally female chores are not really that worthy.  I should be doing them anyway since I am a woman.  It's not a big deal.  However, the more I sit with this idea, the more I realise that those things ARE a big deal - they are worthy because they take a lot of work and skill that I've developed over 23 years.  Some may scoff at the idea that housework requires skill, but I know it does.

Anyhow, I'm sure that I've come to a conclusion with this idea yet, so there may be more in the future.  For now, I'll just leave it at this.  I value the work that I do.  I don't need to prove to anyone that I am noble.  God created me that way.

slackerville USA

Hi - I've been slacking off a bit in terms of being a vigilant and regular writer at this!  I remember when I was young attempting a regular diary.  When I went back to check, I found that the entires were about a year apart in some cases.  Good heavens!

So many things have happened.  From now on, I'm going to try to do this at least every other day so that there isn't one big huge honkin' entry to wade through...

04 February 2004


Part of me is feeling inspired to write.  Another part is feeling rebellious, since there are so many of these going around that I feel almost too conform-y when I write on it.  Is this a bad excuse for interpersonal relationships?

But then again, no.  Simply an enhancer - it keeps you close even over distances.  And if you're already close geographically, it enhances your understanding of one another.  Right?

Anyhow, I am struggling with jealousy.  And ego.  Together at last.  I wish I could be rid of them at last!  When confronted with certain stimuli, there is some little programme in me that turns me into a competitive and jealous beast.  Sometimes it's a person's words or deeds, and sometimes it's the mere mention of a person that sets my blood cold in my feet and hot in my face.

It's really a horrid feeling.  I don't know if there is something to be said for just feeling it (because half of the time, I am berating myself for feeling it in the first place) or trying to let it go.

And it's not something to discuss, especially since I feel as though most of it is in my head.  I wish sometimes that I could dump everything out, clean it off, and then out everything back in - like in Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain.