31 March 2012

Constrained and Free

 Found this on a blog tonight and thought I would give it a try:

Write whatever is happening around you WHILE you are writing (sometimes that’s the very best) OR whatever DETAILS you remember about your day or a specific experience.
Next, try not to clarify or explain what you want to speak through your post too much. (Try not to force a theme or message.) Just write your experiences.  What did it make you think?
Then watch how your ordinary and extraordinary experiences speak all on their own.

So here goes:

 I am sitting with Elise on my bed.  I am reading a blog post that is so beautiful it breaks my heart.  Like hearing the first giggle from your baby.  Like a moment you wish could be suspended in time.

She is wearing an I "heart" NY shirt.  A classic.  A sentiment I share.  I love when any of my kids wears that shirt as we have many floating around the house, worn thin and passed from sibling to sibling as they are outgrown.  First worn too big as pajamas.  Then just worn and worn.  She has a silver tinsel halo on her head.  She is waving a plastic pink scepter.  It is perfectly topped with a dollop of marabou, so soft and fluffy.  As she waves her scepter she is weaving words into poems and songs.  They are silly.  They are serious.  They makes us giggle.  I am struck by how free she is.  Not constrained by conventions of language or dress.  Paying no attention to what makes sense.  Playing with words like notes on a piano keyboard.  Striking them just to see how they sound.  "Feathers float to the ground as cows begin to nibble them.  And then you be and then you do.  And that's how it go-ed."

Oh to be that free.  To be oblivious to the rules.  I am always glancing at the person next to me, wondering if I am getting it right.  Mostly measured, usually constrained.  It can be tiring.  There are moments of breaking free and finding the real, true me.  The whole me.  Not a portion that has been checked against all the rules and deemed okay.  Just me floating to the ground, light as a feather for one breathtaking flash of light then I am nibbled away by that pesky cow.

And then I be and then I do and that's how it goes!

04 March 2012

Love Song for my City

Last night Mark and I went to a wedding in the French Quarter.  The Mass was at St. Louis Cathedral,  a magnificent setting for a wedding.  Trumpet sounding, crystal chandeliers sparkling, Latin phrases in gold proclaiming the glory of God all enhanced the event.
After the ceremony it was a short walk next door to the Cabildo.  As we left the Cathedral, bells began to  peal proclaiming the happy event.  The large group of wedding guests attracted the attention of tourists wandering the area and I felt like we were in a scene from The Princess and the Frog.  At that moment, I felt blessed to be living in New Orleans.  There are many moments like that for me.

When my family is together on the parade route, a band marching by, drum beat pounding in my heart, I feel blessed.
In Audubon Park with a live band playing surrounded by friends all dancing, eating, drinking and taking time to enjoy life, I feel blessed.
When I see tourists gazing with awe at stately homes on Saint Charles Avenue as they enjoy a streetcar ride, I feel blessed.
Looking out at the Mighty Mississippi from the view afforded by the Aquarium of the Americas, I feel blessed.

Living in New Orleans is living a life enhanced.  It's as if someone slipped a stained glass window before your eyes, changing your view of everything for the better.  Colorful, vibrant- that's life in the Crescent City.  Strange, exotic- that's life in the Big Easy.  Dazzling, breathtaking- that's life in New Orleans.   

I could go on and on about my beloved city but I will have to leave it as a snippet for now.

If you are living here, take a moment to think of your reason to be thankful.  If you live away, come visit and see life from a new perspective.

One last thought- if New Orleans was a taste there are tons I could offer but I think it can be summed up nicely by the appetizer we were offered upon entering the wedding reception:


Wow!  Life in New Orleans is delicious.

Happy Sunday from my beautiful city,