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Welcome to Esther!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Home, Relationships | Posted on 18-09-2016

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I’m a Mémé! Oth­er­wise known as a grand­moth­er 🙂 My baby girl had a baby girl on Sun­day, Sep­tem­ber 11. Lit­tle Esther is absolute­ly beau­ti­ful, of course — she looks a lot like her moth­er did as an infant.

Both Mom­ma and baby are healthy. I’m for­tu­nate enough to be in Oma­ha with them for now, and I’m enjoy­ing every minute of my time here. There’s noth­ing else like the smell of a sweet, clean infant. It’s def­i­nite­ly worth all the sleep loss.

We’re get­ting lots of good singing and read­ing time togeth­er. I was very hap­py to be able to find Pamela Ballingham’s Earth Moth­er Lul­la­bies from Around the World series (vol­umes I, II, and III) on CD, as I near­ly wore out the cas­sette ver­sions play­ing them to Katie while car­ry­ing her and after she was born. They’re a fam­i­ly tra­di­tion now!

One of the first books I bought for her? A is for Activist! She’s also fond of Dream Ani­mals: A Bed­time Jour­ney. We’re going to have to find a new copy of Jennifer’s Rab­bit, as Katie’s copy has dis­ap­peared, and we’re very fond of the illus­trat­ed ver­sion of Tom Paxton’s mar­velous song.

Defining Love

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo, Relationships | Posted on 04-06-2012

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Plinky asked, “If you even­tu­al­ly break up with some­one, was it ever true love?”

Divorce and Chil­dren

What sort of sil­ly ques­tion is that? If a per­son dies, was he tru­ly alive?

Yes, rela­tion­ships based on true love some­times end. That doesn’t mean that they are fail­ures, any more than lives that end are fail­ures. The “hap­pi­ly ever after” thing is for fairy tales, and the idea of “one true love” should stay there as well.

It’s clear that most peo­ple are only pay­ing lip ser­vice to monogamy now by prac­tic­ing ser­i­al monogamy, so I don’t see why these out­dat­ed ideas hang on to cause mis­ery for so many.

I have been in many rela­tion­ships. I have loved each of those peo­ple. I don’t con­sid­er any of those rela­tion­ships fail­ures, nor do I doubt that I loved those peo­ple sim­ply because we are no longer togeth­er and don’t feel the same way about each oth­er now. I feel some affec­tion, at the very least, towards most of them, and more for some of them. That doesn’t both­er me at all, as a polyamorous per­son. It doesn’t set up any sort of con­flict. I’m not going to act on those feel­ings, because there were valid rea­sons for the end of each rela­tion­ship — but where there was deep love, there’s always some­thing left.

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Promises to Yourself

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Health, NaBloPoMo, Relationships | Posted on 03-03-2012

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The most impor­tant promis­es you’ll ever make in this life are the ones you make to your­self. I’ve lost sight of that fact, and bro­ken at least one of my promis­es to myself. I need to remind myself of a few of my promis­es to myself (these aren’t all of them, by any means).

  • I won’t allow any­one to act abu­sive­ly towards me. The rule of thumb is that I shouldn’t accept treat­ment that I wouldn’t want for my child.
  • No part­ner is worth my self-esteem, so I won’t stay with a any­one who tears me down.
  • Any part­ner who tries to come between me and my child is his­to­ry.
  • I deserve a part­ner who is faith­ful to me and our agree­ments in every sense of the word, and I won’t low­er myself by stay­ing with some­one who breaks them. New adden­dum: For­give­ness for infi­deli­ty is (at most!) a one-time thing.
  • My life task right now is to get health­i­er in every realm of my life, and I can’t afford to asso­ciate with any­one detri­men­tal to my over­all health.

What promis­es have you made to your­self? How well do you keep them?

Whether…

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Art, Blogging, NaBloPoMo, Relationships, Writing | Posted on 01-03-2012

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Such a word that is, indica­tive of choic­es big and small. I’ve faced more change than choice in the past 30 days or so, thanks to a major rela­tion­ship change.1 But there have been choic­es, and there will be yet more choic­es in the future — choic­es that I will be mak­ing alone, for the first time in many years.

Choice, reflect­ed in that word, is the NaBloPo­Mo theme for March. And I’m mak­ing a change, by mak­ing a choice to return to blog­ging.

I’ve been jour­nal­ing pri­vate­ly these past weeks as a spir­i­tu­al prac­tice and have found it reward­ing. I’m not quite doing writer’s pages à la Julia Cameron, but per­haps I’ll return to that dis­ci­pline at some point. To be hon­est, my spir­i­tu­al life has suf­fered great­ly in the past six years, and my writ­ing has suf­fered along with it (as well as my music, needle­work, and every­thing else).

So, per­haps I’ll write about choic­es this month. Or about changes. Or about any­thing else that strikes my fan­cy. I’m just mak­ing a com­mit­ment to post­ing a bit each day, for now.


1 One not yet reflect­ed every­where on my web sites, because it takes a lot of time to track down all men­tions of a 14-year part­ner­ship

The Man Diet

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Relationships | Posted on 11-12-2011

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I have referred to The Man Diet sev­er­al times in var­i­ous places as some­thing I have done and rec­om­mend. After explain­ing it sev­er­al times, I final­ly wrote it up and put it on my web site. The arti­cle is a bit aged now, so I’m updat­ing it and mov­ing it to the blog.

Maybe It Isn’t the Flu

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Fun, Health, Reading, Relationships | Posted on 06-03-2010

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Katie seems to be feel­ing a bit bet­ter. She slept through most of the day, and just got up a few min­utes ago (right at the end of my and Sam’s date) feel­ing like she could eat some­thing. Sol­id food, even! That’s progress. Since she didn’t have any antivi­rals, I don’t think this was real­ly the flu. She should still be much sick­er if it was. I’m not at all unhap­py about that.

What was her name?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Relationships | Posted on 05-08-2009

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While I was read­ing friends’ updates at Face­book today, some­thing remind­ed me of a girl I knew back in high school. She went to my high school, and as far as I know she was in my grad­u­at­ing class. I didn’t meet her at school, though, and I don’t think our paths crossed there. I knew her from church. She intro­duced me to the guy who became my first hus­band (who she had dat­ed in the recent past).

Now I’m dri­ving myself nuts, because I absolute­ly can­not remem­ber her name! I can see her face, plain as day. I remem­ber that she had a some­what uncom­mon last name. I think she had an old­er broth­er who had been a big deal on the foot­ball team a year or three ahead of us. Why can’t I remem­ber her name?

I’m real­ly bad with names, hon­est­ly. A Face­book appli­ca­tion was ask­ing me to ver­i­fy 130+ peo­ple as high school class­mates, and tru­ly, I didn’t rec­og­nize many of them at all. I didn’t remem­ber most of the peo­ple I saw at our five year reunion. After 25 years? I’m hope­less.

Maybe I should get my old year­books out and look at Face­book and the year­books at the same time. I don’t know that I’d be any bet­ter that way, either. I need con­text for most peo­ple — not just a face and a name, but also some­thing like “that guy from home­room who was always draw­ing cars in his note­books” or “that sopra­no who bathed in Emer­aude” or “the cute geeky drum­mer who sel­dom made eye con­tact with any­body” (okay, him I’d rec­og­nize, and I do remem­ber his name).

Our year­books aren’t the sort that list­ed people’s activ­i­ties with their pho­tos. You would have to search through all the activ­i­ty list­ings to find out who did what, which is much more annoy­ing.

Anniversary!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Relationships | Posted on 12-09-2008

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Ten years ago today, Sam took me out on our first “real” date (as in, with­out the kids or any­one else). Thank you, love. Here’s to many more decades!

TotD: Emma Goldman on Love

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Love, Relationships, Thought of the Day | Posted on 08-07-2008

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Love, the strongest and deep­est ele­ment in all life, the har­bin­ger of hope, of joy, of ecsta­sy; love, the defi­er of all laws, of all con­ven­tions; love, the freest, the most pow­er­ful mold­er of human des­tiny; how can such an all-com­pelling force be syn­ony­mous with that poor lit­tle State and Church-begot­ten weed, mar­riage?

Free love? As if love is any­thing but free! Man has bought brains, but all the mil­lions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has sub­dued bod­ies, but all the pow­er on earth has been unable to sub­due love. Man has con­quered whole nations, but all his armies could not con­quer love. Man has chained and fet­tered the spir­it, but he has been utter­ly help­less before love. High on a throne, with all the splen­dor and pomp his gold can com­mand, man is yet poor and des­o­late, if love pass­es him by. And if it stays, the poor­est hov­el is radi­ant with warmth, with life and col­or. Thus love has the mag­ic pow­er to make of a beg­gar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no oth­er atmos­phere.

Anarchism and Other EssaysEmma Gold­man, “Mar­riage and Love,” Anar­chism and Oth­er Essays (1911)

TotD: Carter Heyward on Love

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Relationships, Thought of the Day | Posted on 29-06-2008

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Carter Hey­ward:

Love, like truth and beau­ty, is con­crete. Love is not fun­da­men­tal­ly a sweet feel­ing; not, at heart, a mat­ter of sen­ti­ment, attach­ment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effec­tive, a mat­ter of mak­ing rec­i­p­ro­cal and mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion with one’s friends and ene­mies. Love cre­ates right­eous­ness, or jus­tice, here on earth. To make love is to make jus­tice. As advo­cates and activists for jus­tice know, lov­ing involves strug­gle, resis­tance, risk. Peo­ple work­ing today on behalf of women, blacks, les­bians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this coun­try and else­where know that mak­ing jus­tice is not a warm, fuzzy expe­ri­ence. I think also that sex­u­al lovers and good friends know that the most com­pelling rela­tion­ships demand hard work, patience, and a will­ing­ness to endure ten­sions and anx­i­ety in cre­at­ing mutu­al­ly empow­er­ing bonds.

For this rea­son lov­ing involves com­mit­ment. We are not auto­mat­ic lovers of self, oth­ers, world, or God. Love does not just hap­pen. We are not love machines, pup­pets on the strings of a deity called “love.” Love is a choice – not sim­ply, or nec­es­sar­i­ly, a ratio­nal choice, but rather a will­ing­ness to be present to oth­ers with­out pre­tense or guile. Love is a con­ver­sion to human­i­ty – a will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate with oth­ers in the heal­ing of a bro­ken world and bro­ken lives. Love is the choice to expe­ri­ence life as a mem­ber of the human fam­i­ly, a part­ner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.