Friday, April 18, 2014

a night of big dreaming

Chowgirls Parlour


I went from a day full of child vomit to an evening full of public speaking - versatile and adaptable is the best way to describe a Gemini Lotus and her life.

Last night was the unveiling of our expansion plans to the Co-op Owners. Usually we have less than twenty people at these events (counting a few spouses). This year we has nearly 200! And we were stunned by the turn-out. There was standing room only in the back. It was a great event and I had to begin the meeting with a little update about the Board's work. Phew! Glad that's over.

The EFC expansion rendering
 It was a surreal experience for this low-tech, flip-phone girl. People were tweeting things I said and posting real-time photos and updates on Facebook. Nonetheless I loved talking to the Owners who seemed super jazzed about the plans. An article in our local newspaper got the scoop about our recent property acquisition along with the architectural renderings which probably explains the large turnout. We also aired the new video that was filmed last Thursday.

It was all very exhausting but all very, very fun.

first time seeing a washboard in action

I got to end the night with a drink at the 331 Club in NE Minneapolis where I also got to hear some awesome music from Mike Munson and Mikkel Beckman.

In the Fall of 2013 when I began "big dreaming" I put it out to the Universe that I wanted to be a community leader. And that's exactly what I felt last night. It was all that I imagined it would, everything except the day full of child vomit and 5 loads of laundry.

Now I have to switch gears and prepare for the class I will teach this Saturday morning. It's my last class of the year and I'm looking forward to the break and the opportunity to focus in on these other parts of my life: family and board service, but...ummm...hopefully without the vomit.

I look tired, don't I?   photo by Kristina Gronquist

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She did it!


For the first time, the Lotus Bud made it through her school concert!!! I am so ridiculously proud of her! Last year it didn't go so well. She broke down in tears when she saw the large crowd and I nearly cried watching her trying to brave it out. This year I was nearly in tears and they were tears of pride.

She even surprised us with the special song where a group of five kids got in front and sang about clouds. She didn't tell me about this ahead of time and I was stunned by all the cute-ness.

Ever since the last concert fiasco, we've been encouraging her to practice in front of big groups of family and that strategy seems to have worked.

That silly goose did so very good!

And I'm glad she had a good time because the very next morning she got hit by a stomach flu. It's been all vomit and fatigue since then. The bad with the good, the natural way of life.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

out with the old


Make room for new life, new seasons, new possibilities.

I had little idea of how much it would snow today. I had no idea that the day would get me frustrated and frenzied.I had many things to do today. I had no idea that this day would lead me to this re-design yet I'm happy to have tossed everything aside for what little that I have accomplished. 

There are lessons in the pine cones, right? This precious evidence of life must contain a lesson other than the one about reproduction. There must be a lesson about randomness and uncertainty, faith and perseverance, adventure and serendipity. I have no idea what they are exactly only that there must be some truth in it somewhere.

Anything to distract me from the snow.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

attitude of gratitude: strange frenzy

There is a strange frenzy in my head,
of birds flying,
each particle circulating on its own.
Is the one I love everywhere? -- Rumi


I started having visions of Lotus Bud's future. This is a first for me. I imagined her with her own child and the thing that brought a huge smile to my face was the words "Grandpa Dave." More revelations came quickly thereafter. My mother had an "arranged marriage" and while I was growing up there was a lot of talk about "arranged marriages" and "love marriages." That was followed quickly by the idea that I would also have an arranged marriage. Is it no wonder then that I eloped with my man? I married for love and never looked back. I reached out and took that which was denied to me in my childhood: love. Now I think when my little one grows up she will have the chance to understand what it is to love oneself above all else. This is important to me as I struggle to not only love myself but also to be my own friend. This is what generations are for, are they not? The opportunity to seek out what was denied in the previous generation.

Truth is I wonder every day whether I can love my child as much as I love my husband. But it has taken me twenty years to realize the intensity of love I have for my man so I will cut myself some slack and have faith in the fact that the love I feel for my child grows steadily everyday. And for that understanding I am grateful.

Because I know that my capacity to love and to know love is as great as the sun and the moon and the stars, the first few shared favorites of this week have to do with the sun and the moon and the stars.

What if the other planets were as close as the moon?

Eclipse fest for the next 18 months....yeah, talk about strange frenzy.

Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Moon

And my favorite pins about The Sky and The Stars 

I've decided that after I'm done with board service I am going to focus on my love of bookmaking with some classes at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. But first I'm going to try my hand at some diy paper-making AND binding my journals in leather. Any ideas about where to start with the paper-making?

"Books make you a glutton for life."

In my role as board president I compile monthly reading lists and on those list I always include some "mind candy." This is one I will include for May: The bizarre world of chicken beauty pageants. 

I got a real kick out of this Judgmental Map of Minneapolis but as you can see from the comments, not everyone appreciates this sort of humor. My friends in the area labeled "Compton of the North" thought the map was hilarious and I would just like to point out that the Lotus Bud and I hang out once a week at a park on the Mississippi that is in an area "too scary to investigate." Good, stay out of my park!

One step at a Time

This reminds me of my early twenties.

My Spring photo series is quickly becoming a meditation on Rumi.

One step forward, two giant steps back - the most apt description of Spring in Minnesota. We woke today to temps in the twenties and we are facing yet another snow dump this week, followed by a week in the seventies? Oh well. At least there's green poking out the ground now so the snow can't last long. I hope!

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talk about this or that

We talk about this or that.  There is no rest
except on these branching moments. - Rumi


Do I write about this? Or do I write about that? So many option, too many options. I find that when I'm doing seasonal series I turn to poetry to express the beauty in my photos. Perhaps it is that poetry can express the moments better than I can. In the end the only thing that matters is that my mind is engaged again with the poetry I love, word meanings that change with each phase of my life. Timeless truths with the time to relearn these truths again. A fleeting glimpse at Spring. A glimpse into the fleeting moments of my life.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

location, location, location


I wonder if this home will be occupied again this year. I'll be keeping watch.

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humble living

Humble living does not diminish. It fills.
Going back to a simpler self gives wisdom.  -  Rumi


I begin to pay attention to the details of Spring and all that it has to offer takes on new meanings, like I am experiencing this season for the very first time. I suppose that is why I crave a region full of changing seasons because with each new cycle I feel the desire to start again, renewed, refreshed. This is my lesson right now: no failure is a truly a failure but rather an opportunity to learn my mistakes, then another opportunity comes my way and I get to try it all again. Maybe I've become wiser with age. I  know that I'm determined to create new pathways in my brain so that life becomes simpler, more humble, more full of living.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

The past and present EFC Presidents

Tony, me, Ginny, Leslie, and George. - photo courtesy of Eunice Pitts


Everything in your life, right now, Manisha, is awesome. Everything is in its right place, under grace, and whether or not this makes perfect sense yet, one day it will. And the time swiftly approaches when you'll be exceedingly grateful for all that has brought you to this day and contributed to who you've become, because it is exactly that person who is now poised to live as you have always dreamed you would one day live.

Happy Friday,
    The Universe

P.S. Everything plays to your greater good, Manisha, and it's all lifting you higher and higher into the light, into the love, into your power. And soon you'll be hearing a lot of, "Who did you say does your PR??"

It's uncanny how right on my notes from the Universe have been along with the spot on auspicious notices from my monthly horoscope. PR? Internet video interview? Check and check. I feel in sync with life, I feel like when I open up to the flow everything falls into place.

Last night I was at a video shoot that is part of the capital campaign drive to raise money for our co-op's upcoming 6 million dollar expansion. That number scares me and last night's experience was all that I needed to balance that fear with excitement and enthusiasm.

I didn't realize until last evening that I had the largest speaking part. I suppose I should have noticed this as I am the current president of our board of directors. Duh! The cue cards were just to the right of the camera which was a challenge since I had nearly none of it memorized. I hope I don't appear shifty and untrustworthy as I'm asking our Owners to dish out 1.5 million dollars of their hard earned money!

But forget all of that because it was fun! 

Luna the Great and Powerful

I got photo-bombed by our marketing manager.

"Let it go, let it go. Can't hold me back anymore."

And you better believe I busted out with my own version of Let It Go...ahem...on camera. But noone there had little kids so noone there knew what the heck I was doing or even how sappy I was. Good, all very good.

If anything, it was this video shoot that confirmed for me that I am the right one for this leadership role at this particular time in the Co-op's history. I loved doing it and I look forward to more opportunities to reach out to my community.

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