Tuesday, July 28, 2009

wedding poetry

You can see the poems we incorporated into our ceremony over at my other blog, Fruitful.

Monday, July 27, 2009


So much has happened since I last posted. I've been wanting to blog about all of it, but haven't had the time or the energy. I don't really now, either (I should be asleep!) but thought I'd give you the basics.

One big thing: I found out that the person squirming around in my belly is a boy. So lovely to be able to talk about him as "him" now, to be able to call him by name (we're going with Asher, which means happy and blessed in Hebrew. Hope you don't mind having an Asher on the West Coast, Deborah!) He's been very active lately--he often presses against my hand when I touch it to my belly, like a little dolphin surfacing for a treat. My sister was present at the ultrasound, which made it even more special. I didn't find out the sex of my other babies before their births, so this was a very new experience; I sort of expected the big reveal to happen at the end of the appointment, but almost immediately, the technician said "I see outdoor plumbing." You can see that cute little plumbing, along with what I assume is a cute little tuchus and some bright dots of sit bones, here (please forgive me for posting this, Asher!) Asher gave us a good look at his anatomy, since he was folded in half, his feet up by his head. I can't wait to see that sweet little body in person!

Another big thing: I got married on the 19th! It was such a beautiful day--I am still in awe of how everything came together (thanks to the generous, creative help of our family and friends.) We wanted to avoid the whole wedding industrial complex, so the wedding was very personal--almost everything we incorporated into the ceremony, from our clothes to the rings to the wreath on my head, was handmade, mainly purchased from artisans through Etsy.com. We supported local businesses whenever possible (the dinner was catered by the Indian place where we have lunch on a regular basis, and the beautiful cake, studded with marzipan pears, was made by a woman who runs a business out of her own kitchen.) My mom made a gorgeous table full of appetizers, my niece Mollie baked most of the Danish wedding cookies, my sister braided the hand-fasting cord, and our friend Nancy really made the space beautiful, through fabrics that she brought from home and ones that she helped us find in the LA garment district (she even made the bag for the glass that Michael stepped on at the end of the ceremony). Her wife Jenn was a fantastic help, as well, taking me to pick up the chuppah with her Jeep, and helping me select and pot the plants for the centerpieces. Our friend Sabrina made my beautiful necklace and the matching ornaments to weave around the stems of our toasting flutes. Michael's family was amazing in helping us both set up and clean up (as well as hosting the rehearsal dinner.) Our friends Kris and Karen provided stunning music for the ceremony (plus Karen and her jazz ensemble rocked the reception) and our friend Susan was a graceful and wise officiant. In my sleepy state, I know I'm neglecting to acknowledge other people who made the event so smooth and joyful, but needless to say, I'm grateful for every single person who put their hearts and hands into making last Sunday such a meaningful day. It was a truly communal celebration. And a sustainable one--we used all biodegradable plates, cups and utensils, and had favors studded with wildflower seeds that guests could plant in their own gardens (we have a few left if any of you would like me to send you one--just let me know.)

Michael and I surprised everyone by doing part of a song from Annie Get Your Gun, the musical where we first met and became friends, during the ceremony. It was fun to give everyone an unexpected show (we didn't give any clue of it during the rehearsal the night before.) I love how the ceremony incorporated music and poetry along with Jewish, Danish and pagan tradition, plus food (my kids and niece and Michael's younger siblings passed around the Danish wedding cookies and sparkling pear cider during the "cakes and ale" ritual). A glorious day altogether (Asher seemed to like it, too--he gave me some serious thumps during the ceremony!)

There is so much more I could write, but I need to stagger off to bed. For now, I'll leave you with a link to a slide show that Nancy put together of pictures from the day. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

breaking open

At the closing conversation of the Antioch residency (which, as always, was so rich--inspiring and energizing even as it was physically exhausting) I mentioned how moved I am by how people at Antioch are so willing to break themselves and their work open again and again. It takes bravery to step outside our creative boxes, to move toward the things that scare us, to be ready to let go of ideas (and often whole drafts) that we've become attached to. I watch my students do all these things, and learn so much from them in the process.

The last couple of years have broken me open in so many ways, and it's been terrifying and destabilizing and exciting and grounding all at once. I find myself doing things I never ever imagined I would do in my lifetime--getting remarried so soon after a divorce (not to mention getting divorced in the first place), having a baby 19 years after my first, etc. It hit me a few days ago that I had seen myself as a mother of two ever since I was a little girl--I had always said I wanted two kids, even when I was very young. It's a bit weird to shift my identity to encompass being a mother of three now. Strangely, over the years, many people have told me they thought I was a mother of three and expressed surprise when I said I just had two kids--I have no idea why; maybe they saw this future baby hovering somewhere around my head. Now that this baby is a reality, I am having to expand my idea of who I am, what the shape of the rest of my life will be. And I hope, like my students at Antioch, I will approach these changes with openness and bravery and curiosity, not to mention a good dose of humor.