Monday, January 29, 2007

Wonderfully, Wise Women

Two years ago, I was asked to participate in a choral reading to raise money for Devorah's Door, a non-profit organization which provides funds for abused women to have their smashed-in doors fixed and their locks changed.

The unusual thing about this reading was that each of the participants read her own poetry. The poetry was interspersed with Taiko drumming (traditional Japanese drums used for performance art and ceremonies).

What was amazing about this performance was not that we each recited or performed our own work, or that we raised a couple of thousand dollars for Devorah's Door. What was amazing was how we raised the consciousness around women's body image, for others as well as ourselves.

The media has for too many years played with the minds and hearts of women around the world. We look at the magazines or TV, videos or in the movies and we see these "perfect" women. Who ever said they were perfect?

One of my dear daughters was in the audience the night of the performance. Looking at her smiling face and glistening eyes, I knew I had done well. She had just recently overcome an eating disorder. The words spoken by a stage full of women from twenty to seventy, amidst the ancient drumming touched her soul, deep, deep inside.

We became mirrors for each other...one young, tall, thin with shining ash hair and bright blue eyes, the other middle-age, short, round with salt and pepper hair and crazy cats eyes that change color depending on mood or what I wear.

There we were, two wonderfully, wise women...perfect just the way we are!


The Cast of Body Language

This is the poem I performed at the reading:

BODY IMAGE

Momma
Wasn’t tall and skinny
With blonde hair swaying,
Or make-up perfectly painted,
Designer clothed.

Momma
is soft and cuddly.
Gray curls cupping her chin,
Laugh lines and wrinkles
Clothing her face.

Me...
I was a carpenter’s dream,
Surfer’s delight,
Flat as a board,
Twiggy!

Until... four babies later...


Now,
The roundness of my body
Delights me!
Ruben-esque,
Goddess-like...

I
Find comfort
In the curves.
Pleasure radiates in
Their softness.

Like Momma, I am a real woman!

11/04 © LMRN

The contents of this blog are copy written. The conditions of use are: Users may print or download excerpts of reasonable quantity for personal, non-commercial use. No re-distribution or publication in any manner is permitted without the express consent of copyright holder. For further information and/or permission, please contact author at llascell@educ.umass.edu. Thank you!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Adventures in Gradual School

(Apologies to John Irving)

I got into creating this blog thanks to one of the faculty members of my concentration in the graduate program I am currently in at UMass Amherst. I knew there was no way I could go to a TESOL conference; it looked interesting; I've taken online classes; love the freedom they allow; and, it was something new.

What I have learned in the past two weeks is phenomenal! Besides creating this blog, I have learned how to use yahoo groups, chat on line in a group conference, chat with individuals around the world, use wiki (well, sort of), posted on Frapper, and keep track of 50 to 100 emails a day! Whew! No wonder I feel tired!

Publicly, I would like to thank the Blogging for Beginners team. What a great job you all have done coordinating all of this. My head spins when I think of the work and effort that had gone into making all of this happen for so many people around our tiny planet!

This leads me to the "spiritual" connection in all this. Just look at what one small group of people can accomplish for the benefit of so many! Imagine if we use this kind of dedication and passion to connect to others to bring healing and peace to our world.

I am but one humble traveler on this journey of Life, and I extend my hands in friendship to all those traveling along the road. May we each see ourselves in the eyes and hearts of those we meet.

Monday, January 22, 2007

On motherhood, becoming a grandmother and other adventures

To My Daughters On My Fiftieth Birthday

Many among us
Celebrate milestones by
Adding up the number of things
Accomplished...
150 years in business,
7.5 million gold records,
25 Emmy nominations...


The experts count
Sales,
Opinions,
Votes,
Awards...


After 50 years of life,
My greatest accomplishment
Is also my most prized
Award...


The four radiant gems
Held fast in the crown
Of my heart...


© 2003 LMRN


********************************************************

A Grandmother’s Birth

The day began as all others.
Responsibilities lay in wait as I rushed to meet them.
Daily tedium rained through the morning,
The gray skies of doubt and indecision placed
A pall over the Sunshine of Hope.

Just as I prepared for rest,
The call came to rush to our designated meeting.
Evening descended with fog and rain.
The sky shone white in the headlights
As I drove into the Light of Night.

Just as you pushed into Life,
I pushed wide the doors of your room.
Reaching your side, tears rained down,
Clouds of doubt and longing parted.
The Sun of Love glowed supreme.

The day began like no other,
The first day after my birth and yours.
Tears had given way to coos and smiles…
Mornings clouds mimicked the pink of your cheeks
As I held you close to my grandmother heart.

12/05 © LMRN


*************************************************************

Conundrum

What happens once the
Brave knight rescues
The fair Maiden?

Has he lived for
Just one moment in time?

Sure there are the occasional
Dragons to slay
But
They are easily dealt with these days.

The Maiden
If she is worth anything,
Soon grows into
A Wise woman.

Not content to
Sit beside the hearth
Pining for the knight

She wanders the castle
Until she finds
The magic door
That releases her
Into the world of
Possibilities.

But where does
This leave the knight
Who has built his
Existence
On one moment
Of fame and glory?

© 2006 LMRN


The contents of this blog are copy written. The conditions of use are: Users may print or download excerpts of reasonable quantity for personal, non-commercial use. No re-distribution or publication in any manner is permitted without the express consent of copyright holder. For further information and/or permission, please contact author at llascell@educ.umass.edu. Thank you!

Like Alice in Wonderland

I admit, I am a dinosaur when it comes to computers. I started back in the day of binary codes, reams of paper and little cards punched full of holes.

The first computer I worked on took up an entire room in the doctor's office I worked in. If we did a 'run' we had to leave it on over night and hope it did crash in the wee hours. I remember thinking it was so fast!

Now, here I am some thirty years later immerged in Blogging for Beginners (B4B)! I feel like Alice and I just fell down the rabbit hole! Technology is wonderful! But, watch out for the Mad Hatter! ("No time! No time!")

Looking at the blogs of other educators, I see how nicely this tool incorporates into a classroom. Obviously it takes lots of work, but what a gift to give our students! I can see blogs in elementary classrooms as a way for students to write and share without feeling the discomfort of standing in front of the class. I can also see it as a great tool for the bilingual student who needs extra reinforcement. What better way than by blogging!

The one place I am still fuzzy on is our Wiki site. I am not sure what I am supposed to be doing on it, if anything. I think I uploaded a photo on it, but I could be wrong. It is all so mysterious!

Opps, the Mad Hatter is sitting on my shoulder shouting, "No Time!" Guess I better end this blog and attend to the other tasks at hand.

Peace, Love and Blessings...L

Friday, January 19, 2007

Winter Blues

After living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I never thought I would be depressed because it hasn't snowed! The lack of white stuff here in New England is so disheartening.

What is it about snow that makes most people feel good? Could it be that the sparkling flakes create a fantasy world in the sunshine or moonlight? Or, is it that the child in us longs to run headlong into a snow drift rolling over, arms waving madly to create a snow angel?

It is gray out at the moment. It feels as if the world is in limbo. Nature isn't dead, but it's not alive and happy either. I have brought spring inside. There are paperwhites and amaryllis growing on my windowsill. They will lift me out of the doldrums once they bloom. Until then, I look for other signs of growth and renewal.

I don't have to look far. My daughter has sent an email with new pictures of my granddaughter attached. Suddenly, my life is filled with sunshine, fantasy, rebirth, re-creation and Light. Nothing fills me with delight like the smile on Addie's face. What a blessing!