Friday, May 29, 2009

Give it a Whirl

The Future of America, perhaps the World

Kid: Mom, I study and study and study and that social studies stuff just does not stick for me. I am worried about my exam.

Me: Hmmmm, well, can I help you with that?

Kid: No. I study and study and I just tank on the test. (she did fine, by the we found out later, but...) It is not like math. THAT makes sense, and it sticks in my brain. I mean, jeeze, it's not like I am ever gonna use any of this stuff.

Me: Um, yeah, you will.

Kid: I don't think that the history of land appropriation on our continent and socio-political stuff is ever gonna be something I use.

Me: Hmmmm, well, considering the state of the world, honey, I think you just might want to pay attention to this stuff. It is important.

Kid: Mom! You just don't get it!!! I DONT CARE.


At least she is awesome at math, something at which I really, truly suck.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Miracle of One Day on Martha's Vineyard

After a crazy week including cooking dinner for 200, a few nuclear teen tantrums, a sick dog, and much anxiety, a one day adventure to Martha's Vineyard was probably the bestest, Most Keenest Thing EVAR!

Lunch in Menemsha

Walking with friends and their dogs at Lake Tashmoo

Ice Cream at Gay Head Lighthouse


Lucy Vincent Beach

The Field Gallery at Lambert's Cove, Vineyard Haven

Sunset on the Ferry Returning to Woods Hole: Reluctant To Go Home and A Tired and Grizzled Scott on the phone...

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Way I See It...

Align Center
Lap Dance




Leaf Study 4


Leaf Study 3


Leaf Study 2


Leaf Study 1

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Breaking up with Economic Terror

Going Beyond "Jesus Saves"

Reincarnation Bank: Click Here!!

You, too!!! (three, four, and five) can save in advance of your next life! Just remember who you were before so you can get your funds out when you come back as a donkey or a baker. "Damn! What WAS my password???!!!"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Two Word Combos: Why I have Not Been Here

Jury Duty
Raising Teens
Chef Gigs
Joyful Times
Serious Fatigue
No Time
Less Inclined
Incessant Responsibility
Helping Friends
Living Life
Back Soon

Friday, May 15, 2009

Keen Email Response from a Truly Dear Friend...

Loving what is.

Wanting more.

Somehow a muddled fragment of a conversation/interview just popped like a cork above the surface of my conscious-ness. Something about desire ... being the definition of being human (probably overheard with split attention from NPR; while trying to assemble an engine in the shop).

If we agree that sublimely "loving what is" seems unattainable (and possibly un-human), and also that always "desiring more" leads one down a frantic black hole - that they are kind of polar extremes, neither one of which is optimal - then I guess one could ask, what conjuntion do we connect the two with? THAT is the question perhaps; and how we then act is what defines our lives.

I love what is, BUT I want more?

I love what is, AND I want more?

I love what is, BECAUSE I want more? That's an interesting possibility.

Is "loving what is" like collecting beautiful pebbles? Inorder to pick up more, we have to set some down? And - here is the BIG ?? - is the loving more satisfying/fulfilling because we choose to hold some longer (perhaps forever), rather than frantically sifting for others that are "more"?

It seems to me that being human and of limited capacity, we focus for varying lengths of time on one beloved or another. Perhaps it is whom/what our love chooses to hold in focus, and the amount of attention that we are able to give to them, that individuates us.

You have identified "hanging on too long" as one of your tragic flaws. But I wonder. Do you not love your self the more for having done so (which brings me to thinking of the truly Keen poem, "Love After Love")? Please know that this friend at least, loves you for your capacity for tenacity (despiite the unintended ryhme).

I ask you, could Julia be other than who she is? Could she be "more"?

I propose we love Julia for "who she is", AND encourage her to become even "more".

Breathe and Become.

I love that you feel and question so deeply.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"I say sexy things to myself when I am Dawnnnncing!"

Keen Sites

Click Here!:

As a photographer, viewing this site has me in giggles beyond the normal giggles. What some people consider good work simply astounds me. Go take a gander at this eclectic collection of some of the most awkward family photos I have ever seen.

Click Here!:

"Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal."

Totally. Fucking. Keen. How much fun is this?????! What a phenomenal concept!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"B" Healthy Spread


I cannot eat much Peanut Butter. Although I adore it, it does not adore me. I end up with sores inside my mouth if I eat it too frequently. I find that nut butters are a great form of energy, and fuel me for hours. Yesterday I created this spread, which was TOTALLY YUMMY and stuffed with goodness. The taste is nutty and tangy, and you could also add agave nectar or honey to make a sweeter version. The above picture is the more savory flavor, and was served on Chive Bread I made from chives I harvested in a field. My kids call it Poison Ivy Bread. They tease me a great deal for my foraging. When we end up living in the woods because of the economy, I think they will tease me much less for this...

Healthy Walnut Spread

I handful of chopped walnuts ground in a pestle until a coarse paste forms
1/2 teaspoon of walnut oil
1/2 teaspoon flax oil
1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast flakes
pinch of sea salt

(FYI: Walnuts are great at lifting seratonin levels. Walnut oil has lots of Omega 3's as does the flax oil, and nutritional yeast flakes are chocked-full of bio-available vitamin B.)

Battle:Loving What Is


I find myself in this place often enough that I should recognize the stones in the path, the walls, the trees, the buds of promise. But, the truth is that this is a life's work, this battle with Loving What Is. I honestly believe that learning to love what is there, how things present themselves, coming to a place of acceptance is a healthy mode of navigation. I believe in many of the Buddhist principles, particularly the one which speaks to the origin of suffering coming from attachment to outcome. Most of the time, I do a substantial job of loving the people, places, experiences in my life, reserving judgment, beaming acceptance and love into all of it.

But, sometimes, I just struggle with it.

I have always been one who sticks with things too long, longer than is healthy, giving and giving and trying and trying, when, in fact, it turns out that cutting the cord and leaving an unhealthy relationship, job, habit, whatever, is the best, wisest and more sustainable choice. I am not sure how much of that stems from a fear of change, or a fear of loss and grief, or a need to feel in control ("Hey, it is up to ME to stay or go, therefore I CHOOSE and have control").

I guess for me the big question is if something is not feeding me well, is not honoring the Me that I know myself to be, and thus not likely to have the Outcome (see above) that I want, do I really just tamp down my Me-ness, my desires, my wanting my life to have the shape and feel that I think will help me lead a happier life, just to end the suffering of the lack of that??? Sure, that might work. Lessen the need for the deeper relationship, the more productive and delightful job, the happy-,making friendships...Lessen the desire for a specific outcome and Love What Is...let go of the attachment and the suffering will cease.


I dunno...

I think there is a way to Love What Is, while at the same time acknowledging that it does not fit for you, that you do want more, that there is nothing wrong with What Is, but that you need to steer yourself, to true your path to that which makes your heart sing.

Sometimes I battle with this, wondering how much of that is my reticence to stand firmly in the Now, in whatever Life is handing me. I don't want a turnstile life, jobs changing all the time, a revolving door to my bedroom, so many new friends that I cannot support the friendships I already have...constantly seeking, searching...

At the same time, I am not happy with What Is right now.

I *want* a deeply connected, present and electric day to day relationship.

I *want* a job which pays me well, and allows me to support my kids better.

I *want* friends who are kind, loving, and inspire me to be a better person.

I *want* a family life which is a nest, a coming-home place of love and respect and joy.

Sure, I can tone down the desire, numb up, work too hard, medicate myself against the lack. Or, I can just see What Is as abundance and feel gratitude. But, I want more than Neutrality, more than Acceptance, more than a Lack of Suffering.

Damn, it is confusing sometimes.

The truth is that life is all of these things (and more) at once. But, at what point does acceptance and love of What Is, become a method of closing up to Possiblity, of coping, of settling?

I guess the fact of the matter is that I want to Love What Is, AND true my course to those things which make my life meaningful, beautiful, and abundant.

Somehow those seem oxymoronic to me this morning.

Maybe I just need more coffee...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Want. One. Now.

Lying Sux

I have people who tell me things. And it never ceases to amaze me when I hear stories of little white lies that should really not be necessary. Like the friend who felt she had to lie to her husband and tell him she got that futon from me, rather than from the side of the road, because he would be pissed, so if he asks please tell him you gave it to me. Or the friend who is afraid to show her spouse the bill from the health food store, because he will freak that she has spent so much on nutrition, when she has a debilitating disease. Or the friend who chooses to pretend he is going out with This Person when he is actually going out with That Person, because it is more convenient. I am forever questioning the fears behind the motive to lie. And, it all boils down to acceptance, and getting loved anyway despite the fact that whatever it is you are doing or being just does not fit well with someone you care about.

So, really, how much better is living a compartmentalized lie than taking the hit, being vulnerable, being honest, being authentic? People will cheat, lie, steal, commit heinous sins of omission, in some vain attempt to continue to facilitate someone else's misunderstanding of who they really are. How nutritious is THAT?

At what point does it become so cumbersome to stand erect for what you believe in, to voice the truth about who you are, that you have to succumb to white lies about what you bought, who you were with, who you love, what you do for a living, what food you like or do not...

Where is that line?

We put our truths in little tupperware boxes and shelf them. We package ourselves to promote something we are not. We smile, and tell someone we would LOVE to help with this or that, that we simply ADORE something we do not, or that we are really comfortable with things that rake our souls and make us bleed inside.

It boils down to acceptance. And it starts with YOU. If you cannot accept who you are, or the path you are on, wholeheartedly, if there are tiny "well maybes" or "what will he/she thinks" those things germinate into lie sprouts, and we accept the little tiny shoots as an easy way out. Those sprouts grow into huge trees as time goes by.

But, what of the people who you unknowingly involve in your deceptions? You speak or behave one truth long enough, well enough, anyone will believe you. They trust your self reports about what is true for you, or they blindly assume that your behavior signifies a certain way of being with which they are comfortable. Hey, you are one of "them", you do what they do, you go to the "right" church, job, golf club, whatever. You are dating the "right" person.

The truth is that your song is sterling and it requires polishing. You must stroke it lovingly with your intent, your actions, your love and yes, even your fears, and tell it that it is true.

Don't put yourself in boxes. Allow yourself mobility, and elasticity. You do not have to have all the answers.

Be more YOU. If you present anything else to the world you are playing God.

That is one Big Messy Job.

Don't decide for others which YOU you want to present. They are not marionettes. They may want your script, but in reality, the real connection comes from being who you really are.

Anything else is an ill-fitting suit.

Just sayin'



Beach Walk

This weekend was filled to the brim with goodness. Lux and I had a Very Long Walk on the beach on Saturday. Hours and hours worth. The beach was fairly deserted, too, which made for extra Keen-ness.

A high school rendition of Rent at Westford Academy left my jaw on the floor for the entire time. Really. I seriously hope that some of these kids continue with musical theater, because DAY-Um! They were superb. And, Rent is a production which has many controversial aspects to it, homosexuality, AIDS, gender issues, sexuality, loss, but those kids tackled it with aplomb (one of my favorite words!), class and insane skill. The entire audience was on it's feet by the end, parents, kids, everyone, cheering and clapping.

I then drove with my friend, Jeanette, to her house and we proceeded to drink Ti Many Martoonis. I think that, in all, I had somewhere around 5 before, giggling hysterically and helping a wobbly Jeanette locate her stairs to the second floor, I bobbled myself onto her couch and crashed under a quilt until 7 AM, upon which time coffee was administered. I rarely get hangovers from martinis. Again, I rarely HAVE *that* many martinis. Coffee? Elixer of the Gawds. Black Plasma.

Blueberry pancakes, eggs over easy, more coffee, OJ, more coffee, and a long drive to Brattleboro. VT, "just for lunch" and stepping into some shops and galleries. Home to walk an anxious Lux, cracking a bottle of merlot and zoning out with a movie. What an amazing day.

I want to thank my dear friends and Beloveds, Jeanette, Scott, Kevin, Victor, Jenny, Jaimie and Kimo, and , of course, Lux for gifting me with conversation, laughter, amazing views, connection, recognition, adventure, relaxation, and a renewed sense of Self. I love all of you very, very much!

Now, if I could ONLY find that rewind button...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Yeah! Go Snowball!

Sniff...I miss my lovebird, Bruce...

Friday, May 1, 2009


Damn, that's RED!

"Poor Cynthia" bushes are bursting everywhere!

Fiddlehead ferns and dandelion greens foraged for dinner. Yum!

First Day of May


Who would have thought that it would come to this? After all that snow, I was certain we would be in cold, white, ice FOR. Ev. AR...

I have been busy of late, working hard and doing lots of thinking. I pretty much stopped writing it down, though, because it felt like I was packaging my stuff for the masses, when what I really needed to do was think and feel and let it flow through me onto the ground, into the soil and beyond.

I had quite a diatribe about water-boarding in my noggin last week. And I decided to just drop it. I kicked it out of the park, instead opting for taking in the view of the flowers. I also meddled a bit with my camera, in hopes of slamming out a Keen masthead for May. Here is the reject, for your viewing pleasure:

My daughter has been working on a project for school on Dante's Inferno. It involved creating a scrapbook for the 9 levels of Hell. She put celebrities in each level and made some really cool pages. She got to level 5 involving Wrath and Gloom. She had a hard time thinking of who to stick in that level of Hell. I suggested Eminem. Then after some thought I said: "Well, alternatively, you could send Eyeore!" That got a laugh or three.

So, I have lots to say and little time to do so. Perhaps I shall stop by this weekend and let you all in on the inner most sanctum of Keen here, but in the mean time, WASH YOUR HANDS! Really, like, six to ten times a day. Swine Flu or not, you have NO idea where that guy who pumped gas before you had his fingers this morning. Ew.

And, as for the Boston Celtics, Man-OH-Man!!! kept me up late last night. But, really now, I don't mind being up late playing with a bunch of hawt and talented men who know how to handle a ball. Good try guys, that was ONE HELL of a playoff game. Let's get us some satisfaction for our next date, M'kay? All this foreplay and no release was hell. I mean, really, getting me to the edge and then backing off like that so many times was painful. I am sure you are wandering around a bit, ah, blue, yourselves today. Rest up. I can tell Chicago wants to play a little rough for the next hot date. Ahem.