Sunday, April 20, 2008


I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with the rain. After living in the North of France, where you notice more often when it is not raining than when it is, the sound of the drops hitting the pavement has become less romantic to me. I also experience a healthy amount of fear and anxiety when I happen to be driving (especially on a busy interstate road in the dark, like I was this evening) with the pouding of the water blurring my vision and loosening my traction...

...but then I come home, to my welcoming home, and sit, in my warm and inviting study, and open the door to let the voice of the thunder and the smell of the showers outside remind me of how lucky I am to sit where I sit. This is especially true when I had been sitting here, quietly cursing the extra work I had to finish before the end of the night and feeling just a little bit sorry for myself. Tonight, I will go to bed and be lulled by rain. Ahhhhh....

Huge Weekend

This weekend was enormous. Not huge... enormous.

Friday night, we had a lovely Belgian dinner. After dinner, we went to the theater and caught a whole slew of friends (and made a new one) doing fine work. After the theater, we met up with two old friends I was able to introduce Maura to.

Saturday we took a great walk, did some grocery shopping, spent a bunch of quality time lounging in the sun and doing some wedding planning, then we drove to Baltimore for a lovely Passover dinner with the family.

Today, after a sweet morning at home, we headed out to do some registering for the wedding, then drove out to Mt. Airy, MD to see one of my oldest friends in the world... and to ask him to perform our wedding ceremony. (He said yes.) On the way home, we finally knocked an annoying errand off our to-do list.

Perhaps the most important event of the weekend, however, happened in the car this afternoon. While riding in the car, sitting beside Maura, I had my first ever bite in my entire life of... a banana.

Yes. I'm 39 years old and until today, I'd never eaten a banana.

I was scared of them. The smel turned my stomach. But you know what? It wasn't all that bad.

Now, I've still got a ways to go. I still think I'm far away from actually desiring a banana. But I got over the hump. I took a small bite, put in my mouth, chewed it up, and swallowed. And it wasn't at all terrible.

I'll keep trying. And that's what I'm grateful for -- that I'm open to new experiences, new flavors, new textures (nobody told me they were so MUSHY). I hope that no matter how old I get, I always keep my mind -- and my taste buds -- open like that. Don't you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Confidence and the Lack Thereof

I'm generally a pretty confident person. When I walk into a meeting with a client at my day job, I'm relaxed, curious, inquisitive, eager to meet whomever I'm meeting, and generally pretty sure I can accomplish what I've set out to accomplish. When I enter a creative collaboration, too, I feel good and strong, able to communicate what I want, ask questions when I don't get something, put myself out there, listen to my collaborators, and pretty much just plain like myself.

But sometimes there are moments... and tonight I had one of those moments.

The details aren't important, not really. Suffice it to say that for about two minutes, I felt anxious, riddled with low self-esteem, confused, and not generally myself. It happens from time to time, of course -- to all of us, I realize -- and it passes, even if it sometimes lasts longer than we'd like it to last. But in recent years, I never really let myself get into such situations. I avoided them; I put myself in situations in which I was likely to be successful, to feel good about myself, to be without self-doubt. I was, quite simply, afraid.

So what I'm grateful for is that I've now entered a period of my life in which I'm able to feel those uncomfortable feelings. I think it means that I'm taking new risks, challenging myself, daring to open my heart more, to risk. And even though it makes me feel pretty awful -- and sometimes makes the people around me feel awful, too -- it's a good thing, in the long run. I'm sure I'm bound to learn from it... assuming I keep moving through it and examining it properly. Which, I am quite happy to say, I am eager to do.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Take Me Away

I am so bloody grateful to be leaving for Boca Raton in a couple of hours, you have no idea.

Even if "Boca Raton" is Spanish for "mouth of the rat."

We'll be at the beach all weekend if you need us...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Little notes

I got a great little note today in the mail from my aunt Barb. It consisted of two sentences: I thought you might like these. They were quite the pair. She was talking about pictures of my grandparents, both of whom just passed away, within weeks of each other, actually. Altogether, there were three pictures, including graduation headshots of each of them along with a lovely "live" shot of them together on their wedding day. oh - and there was a tiny snapshot of my grandpa as a little boy. These pictures will soon be framed and hung up on the wall as part of my new home with Gwydion. It was an extraordinary gift to receive. The pictures were, of course, the focus when I received the envelope Barb sent , but I am still compelled to think about her choice to include a little note with it; and to think about the note that I immediately wrote her in response. What I am coming away with is a reminder that it does not take a great, eloquently written letter to communicate something meaningful. -- this is certainly something I am continuing to learn more about from my Midwestern family in their inability to waste time with words that don't matter. It is a very beautiful thing to say it like you mean it, especially when it comes directly from the heart. And if it arrives in an envelope, with a postmarked stamp on its cover, it is simply an added plus.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hidden Lessons

So last evening, my friend Scott and I were at the theater watching an amazing production of Death of a Salesman. We'd arranged beforehand to hit the Kennedy Center afterward so he could take a photograph -- he's a photographer for a living, and he'd set up a gig for 10:30, having first called the theater box office to make sure the play would be over by then. Well, he'd been told the play ran until 9:30, giving us an hour... but at 10:15, with the all-important funeral scene still to come, we were still sitting in our seats. So with great regret at what we were about to miss, we waited for a transition between scenes and made for the exit.

We hopped in his car and sped out of the garage, driving as fast as we could... and just as we were coming into view of the Kennedy Center, with minutes to spare, his phone rang. The gig had been cancelled. Scott, who was naturally annoyed, chatted with client while he drove -- a big no-no, of course, but we were on the verge of running late -- and in the middle of the conversation, we were rear-ended.

Before you worry, don't. Everyone was fine, and both cars were pretty much fine, and Scott's client even offered to pay him for his time because the cancellation was last-minute. But we both couldn't help thinking: what if we'd just stayed in our seats till the end? There were only 15 more minutes in the show. He'd have been a touch late for his gig... only he wouldn't have been late at all, since it was cancelled. And then we wouldn't have been rear-ended, either. In other words, making an irresponsible, selfish choice to indulge our desire to stay in our seats would have spared us a good bit of heartache, and everything would have turned out better.

What I'm grateful for, though, is that we didn't. We made the good, honorable choice, did the right thing, and lived to talk about it -- and had a nice story to tell. This is how life is supposed to be: you make commitments and you honor them, even when it's hard, and things work out in the end the way they are meant to, not the way you mean them to. Life is just like that sometimes.


Last night, Maura and I made a silly mistake. The details aren't important, but suffice it to say that we made it together, that we both instantly regretted it, and that we won't make it again. What's wonderful, though, is that we both responded to it together, as a team, communicating and figuring out what went wrong... and I'm so very glad for that. Life is indeed FULL of mistakes -- if you're living big and honestly -- and the important thing is to forgive yourself for making them, and to learn from them, and to move through them. The fact that we did that -- that we always do that -- makes me incredibly happy.