Category Archives: (A)Musings

As a child, I…

…used to dream about having a fantastic family.

…danced with my sister all summer long.

…built dams in the creek and loved making friends with the salamanders.

…traveled to India.

…was able to understand my own existence and feel how lucky I was to be.

…kissed slugs and loved frogs.

…choked a girl with shoelaces.

…was too free.

…lived in fear of upsetting Sister Mary Elizabeth.

…fell out of a second story window and survived!

…dreamed of being Barbie, so I became a model… and failed.

…would not rest my eyes or go to bed at night without fully believing that the stages, lights, costumes, songs, concepts I dreamed of would one day turn into a very bright, joyful and prosperous reality.

…sat in the basement with my sister in the dark pretending to be on a flight to Tahiti.

…wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.

…made funny faces all day long.

…had such high hopes.

…could fly.

…was painfully shy.

…knew everything.

…ate vegemite all day long like it was going out of fashion.

…ate mudpies.

…believed in dragons. I’m still looking.

…had a pet duck named Wilbur.

…wanted to be an octopus.

…fell in love with a boy named Daniel.

…dreamed of having a family.

…knew I was destined for greatness.

…was too precocious for words. I’d slap my little self right now, if I could.

…was much too sensitive.

…had actual, meaningful conversations with tress and flowers and animals and birds.

…could think of nothing more fun than spending all day in bed, reading. I am now very fat and very smart.

…made things with my hands. Moved all day long, constantly on one adventure or another. I was happy. I was a really happy boy.

…never left my mother’s lap.

…found everything mysterious. Felt like an alien on the wrong planet. Not in a bad way… it’s just all still so weird to me. This world.

Thanks to all those who wander through and stop to share themselves with us.


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I have never…

…seen a star fall without making a wish.

…met my wife.

…stopped thanking God for saving my son.

Patron 1 …been to Europe.

Patron 2…No need to go. Obama is turning the U.S.A. into it.

Patron 3…We should be so lucky!

…been taken seriously.

…seen an aura.

…run a full marathon. This won’t be true tomorrow!

…not doubted myself.

…been with a man who deserves me.

…doubted myself.

…been to Barcelona.

…flown a plane.

…danced in public.

…been without hope.

…saved a life.

…had a daughter.

…been a mom.

…loved someone as much as I love Greg.

…had sex.

…admitted to anyone or even myself the exact nature of my defects.

…loved without losing something.

…eaten a PB & J sandwich.

…stopped believing in the goodness in people.

…loved a person as much as I love Helena.

…been published.

…asked the right questions.

…thought with my head.

…counted myself among the lucky.

…loved anyone as much as I love myself.

…cut myself on purpose.

…been able to look away from open windows when passing by other people’s homes.

done anything I’m proud of.

…cared enough about anything to worry about losing it.

…been as filled with joy as I am today!

…considered other people’s feelings.

…walked out of the house naked. There is always tomorrow.

Thanks to all those who wander through and stop to share themselves with us.

Photo: Beijing Modern Dance Company

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I am absolutely certain that…

…my mind is the most powerful place on earth. Beautiful and dangerous.

…today is Tuesday.

…love is enough. Any amount of love is enough.

…I’m the best dancer in this room. 12/28/12, 1:22pm

…I am loved.

…I will still feel like this tomorrow.

…you will be rich and you will be poor. You will like rich better.

…I will be famous.

…life may not be as great as  they say, but it isn’t bad.

…love is the meaning of life.

…I will meet the love of my life. I will!

…just for today, I will not be angry, I will not worry, I will be grateful, I will do my work honestly, I will be kind to every living thing.

…I will change my mind tomorrow.

…my children will die.

…what we are to be we are now becoming.

…I can fly!

…I have the most beautiful dog in the world.

…I will survive this.

…I will have to file my taxes this year.

…my break-up with the girl who I thought was the love of my life was a good thing.

…love is easier to find if you create it yourself.

…we live in the matrix.

…I will have an easy labor and delivery and a totally healthy baby boy, who will sleep A LOT right from the start!

…in the end, we thrash around to say we tried, not to affect the outcome.

…thanking people, especially the ones closest to us, whose kindness we feel entitled to, is one of the most important things we can do.

…I have something new to say. I just don’ t know what it is yet.


Thanks to all those who wander through and stop to share themselves with us.

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Slasher Films and Wine

It’s that time of year again; the lonely will feel lonelier, the coupled should might start to wonder why they don’t celebrate their love more often than a day a year. Also, flowers. Lots of flowers will be cut and if I could, I’d organize a field trip to the city dump sometime around February 21st… just to see how it looks under a blanket of flowers. I know, I’m such a romantic!

We’ve been wondering how our customers plan to spend Valentine’s Day this year. Here’s what they say:

Watching every episode of “Downtown Abbey” and pretending I am Mary Crawley.

…With a bottle of wine and my cat. I’m not bitter.

…A nice dinner with the love of my life, my mom!

…Chocolates, Roses and Champagne. Sharing it with the woman I love.

…Fantasizing about a future romantic Valentine’s Day.

…A gift exchange at a quiet dinner. Driving home the long way, holding hands in the dark. Getting home and cuddling on the couch with an old movie.

…Romance to me: Wine and “Mortal Kombat”.

…Cuddling with my dog, then shopping, then a good book and some tea. Forever alone.

…Watching “Back to the Future”!!!

…In a bubble bath, with wine and a good book– alone. I’m not bitter either.

…Some Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay.

…Not Alone.

…At an animal shelter, giving love to all the animals.

…With my best friends.

…I’m going to spend it with my 14-year old daughter. Take her on a “date”, pull out her chair, open her door, tell her she’s beautiful.

…Writing my husband a poem for each year we’ve been married.

…I plan to stay in bed all day.

…I’ll be romancing myself.

…Mountaintop. Guitar. Brownies. His voice.

…Braiding her hair.

…Making up songs, singing them. Dancing. Being quiet and still. Not fighting. Remembering how it could be.

Photo above: Chic, hand-stitched, Parisian headband. One of a kind… and we have many different kinds. I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day prancing around with one of these on!

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The hardest thing about having kids is…

…giving birth.

…going back to work… and remembering birthdays.

…protecting them from people with hidden agendas….

…having a 28-year old and a 7-year old.

…letting them be themselves.

…living far away from them.

…raising them to be like Christ and not like me.

…restricting their freedom.

…letting them go.

…letting go!

..having to let them go.

…every other job, you have time off, but once you have kids there will never be a time you don’t have kids… and though you sometimes wish for a break you also know that that break is the last thing in the world you actually want… once you have them and then don’t have them, you “don’t have” them forever….

…being forced to grow up myself.

…dealing with the spouse who helped you have them.

…being their teacher.

…being consistent.

…raising them!

…affording them.

…explaining to your friends why they’re serving all the cocktails at the party.

…not having them with you.

…worry. Worry. Worry!!!!!!!!



…the thought of death.

…when they cry.

…the way their mouth flips upside down into a frown… and the way their lips quiver right before the howling starts. The hardest part is the howling. And avoiding the howling and learning to hear the howling.

…never knowing what can happen. Always knowing anything is possible. The fear is the hardest thing… it never goes away. Ever.

…when they’re sick. For any length of time, to any extent.

…accepting who they become.

…letting go of your dreams for them when you realize they’re not your children’s dreams. Realizing that in the first place.

…never being sure just how badly you’ve screwed up.

…learning to see where you end and where they begin.

With thanks to those who participated, here are some related books from our shelves that we can’t say enough good things about:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman

The Case Against Homework, by Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish

Where We Going, Daddy?: Life with Two Sons Unlike Any Others, by Jean-Louis Fournier

Raising Blaze: Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World, by Debra Ginsberg

Rad Dad: dispatches from the frontiers of fatherhood, edited by Tomas Moniz and Jeremy Adam Smith

Aida and BJ highly, highly recommend:

Blue Nights, by Joan Didion

There are not many people in the world who emerge, or rather, periodically peek out, from the profoundest, deepest, most unimaginable and indescribable grief  long enough and lucidly enough to convey something of truth and, therefore, of value to the rest of us. Didion is one of them. This book is her most recent missive.


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Caring is Sharing

This is about five years old. If you’ve seen it before I know you want to see it again. If you haven’t, well, here it is. A slap on the hand of those of us who are, let’s face it, too cowardly to admit that good work does not have to stay divorced from the mainstream to remain good work.

Explore  shopliftwindchimes 🙂

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Pillow Talk

Last week I ate Indian food for the first time after a lifetime of “hating” it without even having tried it. I LOVED it.

I went to “Air Combat Pilot For a Day” training. What an awesome experience!

Yesterday I saw a full rainbow in Studio City for the first time. It made me so happy.

Last week, I planted legume seeds inside a heart-shaped area with friends.

Yesterday, for the first time, I drove the PCH North of Malibu, all the way to Ventura. It was so beautiful that it fed my spirit.

Last week I decided to start greeting every single person I cross paths with. I think I’ve popped a lot of thought bubbles… but it’s also resulted in a lot of smiles.

Last week I went zip-lining. Do it!

I went to see a live band play, all by myself.

Last night, I posted my profile on an internet dating site. Yikes!

On September 9th, I traveled alone to China. A trip that consisted of many firsts. I love you, Shanghai!

I went to a movie by myself, then had a meal at a restaurant… by myself. For the first time ever!

This morning I sewed my daughter a blouse. I’m overly, ecstatically proud of myself.

I meditated. I really really meditated!

I approached a man for the first time in my life. For the first time ever, I didn’t wait to be approached. And he said yes!

Oh, God. I started a book. I wrote the first sentence today and burst into tears. I can’t wait to put down the second sentence.

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What is the most elegant thing you’ve ever done?

…I sat down and wrote my mother a thank you note when she died.

…I keep my composure in times of great strife.

…Spayed/neutered cats in our neighborhood for families that couldn’t afford to.

…I would like to remind everyone that you are all elegant and beautiful. And people love you, even if you don’t know or believe it. This is the most elegant thing I will ever do.

…I bought a photo book called “Kisses” and replaced all the photos and poems with personal ones from my lover’s and my escapades. It was my gift to her.

…I sang a song in front of a crowd for my fiancee-to-be. Her ring in a box around my neck.

…The most elegant thing I’ve ever done or will ever do is give birth to my beautiful little girl.

…I walked around with pearl earrings at the age of three.

…I helped my mother die well.

…I made a beautiful six-course, candlelit dinner for my husband’s boss. At the last minute, before the main course, our German Shephed lept onto the kitchen counter and devoured the standing rib roast.

…Sometimes my husband and I dress up as if we’re going to the Oscars, and have dinner together at home.

…When I clean the house I dance instead of walking. And I pretend I’m being filmed.

…Sometimes, when I’m alone, I pretend I’m a 100 years old… and beautiful. And I feel elegant.

…I make up the most elaborate, fantastical lies about my life to people I meet for the first time. And if I continue knowing these people I have to be able to keep my various stories straight. I’ve not been caught yet. There is an elegance in that, I think, regardless of why I do it.

…I read in the park.

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This time of year makes me feel…

…glad that another year is past.

…hopeful. Autumn is around the corner.

…like I should be in New York.

…blessed to be with someone who amazes me.

…excited for new beginnings, fresh adventures.

…like the possibilities really are endless.


…like having picnics outside all the time, with friends, gelato and white wine!

…in love. With everything.

…like every moment not spent in a bikini is a moment wasted.

…like it’s all over, man.

…like it’s time to let go.

…nostalgia for the Berkshire Hills.

…anxious and wistful.

…grateful for change.

…like buying #2 pencils.

…too old.

…like breaking out of myself and… doing something!


Thanks to those who share.

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No time for buttons

We asked the good people who pass through these parts, which, if any, fictional characters they lust after. It’s summer and people seem happy enough to reveal their passions. 

Here’s what we found:

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy was, by turns, the “obvious”, “duh”, “well of course” choice of seven (7) of the thirty people who shared their objects of desire with us. Are you surprised?

Five people chose Holden Caulfield. See a pattern? Or do you need more than two to make a pattern? Okay.

Four people want Edward Cullen. No, “I mean really want.” See a pattern, now?

Howard Roark. Two people chose him. Have you watched this? I rest my case.

And then there were:

Ron Weasly

Lady Macbeth

Sir Percy Blakeney

Lena Duchannes

Heathcliff, anyone?

Willy Wonka

Mr. Rochester

Atticus Finch

Robbie Turner

Edmond Dantes

King Alobar

and, much to my own personal shock and delight,

Remedios the Beauty

Please see below:

“Actually, Remedios the Beauty was not a creature of this world. Until she was well along in puberty Santa Sofia de la Piedad had to bathe and dress her, and even when she could take care of herself it was necessary to keep an eye on her so that she would not paint little animals on the walls with a stick daubed in her own excrement. She reached twenty without knowing how to read or write, unable to use the silver at the table, wandering naked through the house because her nature rejected all manner of convention.”


“Until her last moment on earth she was unaware that her irreparable fate as a disturbing woman was a daily disaster. Every time she appeared in the dining room, against Ursula’s orders, she caused a panic of exasperation among the outsiders… What no member of the family ever knew was that the strangers did not take long to realize that Remedios the Beauty gave off a breath of perturbation, a tormenting breeze that was still perceptible several hours after she passed by… On the porch with the begonias, in the parlor, in any place in the house, it was possible to point out the exact place where she had been and the time that had passed since she had left it.”


“She had just finished saying it when Fernanda felt a delicate wind of light pull the sheets out of her hands and open them up wide. Amaranta felt a mysterious trembling in the lace on her petticoats and she tried to grasp the sheet so that she would not fall down at the instant in which Remedios the Beauty began to rise. Ursula, almost blind at the time, was the only person who was sufficiently calm to identify the nature of that determined wind and she left the sheets to the mercy of the light as she watched Remedios the Beauty waving good-bye in the midst of the flapping sheets that rose up with her, abandoning with her the environment of beetles and dahlias and passing through the air with her as four o’clock in the afternoon came to an end, and they were lost forever with her in the upper atmosphere where not even the highest-flying birds of memory could reach her.”*

If I were an alien who came down to your planet today (to take over) and discovered that you people lust after collections of words that you deem “characters”, I might be puzzled. And then when I figured out what lust is, I’d probably just pick up and leave. Because if people in books are people to you, well, let’s just say we’d be outnumbered.

*Excerpts from “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


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