Tag Archives: motherless

The doubled-edged life of a part-time step-parent


I’m not sure I’m ready for the double-edged life of a part-time step-parent again. All the illusion of authority and control, but none of the reality.

OK, Beez, just mellow out and be a good example. That’s all you can really do.

I dream, to keep things moving


A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus  – Week 8

This week’s focus is dreams . . . so much has been written about them. Interpretation dictionaries exist, but I enjoy some of the concepts Joseph Campbell teaches about dreams. He says dreams teach us about ourselves and that we can use them to interpret various aspects of ourselves and our lives. To do this,“write your dreams down, then take one little fraction of the dream, one or two images or ideas, and associate with them. Write down what comes to your mind, and again what comes to your mind, and again. You’ll find that the dream is based on a body of experiences that have some kind of significance in your life and that you didn’t know were influencing you. Soon the next dream will come along, and your interpretation will go further.”

This week, as we continue our Year of Mindfulness, I encourage you to pay closer attention to your dreams. Place a pad and pen next to your bed to write down any significant images that arise. What are your dreams saying to you? What are they trying to teach you?

In times of stress, change, or uncertainly, I dream of moving. Moving to a new house, a new town, or a combination of both, but never to the same place twice. Structures and places are often reminiscent of each other, but architecture and layout are different, and there are always new rooms to explore. So boringly symbolic, but that’s who we are.

Every once in a while I have a recurring dream of moving to a large mysterious old house, with secret cavernous rooms. I remember golds and browns, rich carved wood, wandering alone. Seeking. This is the only place that stays the same, waiting for me to dream it into view every now and then. Nothing to see here, move along.

Rarely, I dream of my mom. Always, she is living a seemingly plausible, parallel life. I couldn’t describe it better than I did back in November. An excerpt:

I have that dream every few years too. Except that in mine, I discover that my mom is living a normal life somewhere else, maybe just across the state. When I confront her, she seems unconcerned; she doesn’t wonder what I’ve been up to or want to reunite. She seems content to have been living in that other place all this time. In the dream, I am mildly disturbed by this, but nothing like I would be in real life. And I wake up thinking, is this a symbol, or is this a glimpse? If she exists elsewhere, and is unconcerned with me, this means I am not the center of the universe. But isn’t this what we would want for those we’ve loved and let go — for them to be unmolested by our ultimately insignificant and transient dramas? If they exist outside of this world should they not have their own lives, their own new purpose?

Friendly perspective


reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

I don’t make or keep friends very easily, even though I’d like to. Other than with animals, of course. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this.

But I have strengthened one unexpected friendship in the last year. We came together with a shared purpose and have spent a lot of time together dreaming, planning, organizing, and implementing our ideas. She’s someone I can laugh uncontrollably with and be silly with when we’re tired and trying to push through, someone who can tell me bluntly when she doesn’t like something or doesn’t agree with me (and accepts the same from me), someone who shares a lot of my tendencies and habits (we’re night owls, we tend to run late). Someone often on my wavelength, that will jump on a new idea with an enthusiasm only matched by my own.

I admire her because she’s been true to her convictions for 20+ years, she’s always ready to try something new, and she seems tireless. There’s a big age difference between us, but somehow that doesn’t matter. It took me a while to think of it this way: She’s a mother who lost a daughter, I’m a daughter who lost a mother (she’s close to the age my mom would have been). We could easily be surrogates for each other’s loss. We haven’t fallen into those roles, but it is nice to think that maybe this friendship is the tiniest little glimpse of what it would be like to have an adult relationship with my mom.

She has shown me that it’s possible to live a (somewhat) normal life while also advocating for compassion towards all animals, non-human and human alike. So, she kind of snuck up on me, but I’m glad to have her as part of my life. I hope someday that I’m able to express to her how much I appreciate her friendship.