Category Archives: General

day 2

” I’m going to check out of this bourgeois motel, push myself away from the dinner table and say, “No more Jell-o for me, Mom!”
-from Peggy Sue Got Married

day 1

e·piph·a·ny (-pf-n)
n. pl. e·piph·a·nies
1. Epiphany
a. A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
b. January 6, on which this feast is traditionally observed.
2. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being.
a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization: “I experienced an epiphany, a spiritual flash that would change the way I viewed myself” Frank Maier.



Wild Geese
by, Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.



My teenage daughter just gave met this essay by feminist, Marilyn Frye, that her awesome (male) English teacher assigned.
We had a fantastic discussion about it this morning and I am wondering what you all think?

oh, well …

In case anyone wanders over to this site, I just wanted to let you know we had a failed experiment … or, rather, an experiment that gave us some really good data. Group Blogs don’t work. This is actually a heartening discovery because, to me, it proves people would rather communicate face-to-face.
Stride-for-stride. The Janes have plenty of discourse (believe me – you can hear us a mile away chattering on the trail!); we just don’t have the desire or time to spend visiting in the blogosphere. Seejanerun is alive and kicking. But we sure ain’t bloggin.

until next time,

detachment parenting

Dave dropped this in my lap this morning:
knowing it would get my blood boiling.

To me, the kernel of truth is this quote: “I do it to detach.”


Yesterday, I was recalling a friend of mine (who ended up dying of a brain tumor in his 30’s) that a few years before he died he fell in love with a little three-year old boy named Til. My friend was a gay man who never planned to have children, but his best (girl) friend had a little boy he adored. Well, this friend, Andreas, took to collecting little treats (toys and penny candy and such) to carry around in his pockets, so when he saw Til he’d have a treasure to pull out of his pocket – presto! Now, I tell you this story because I am thinking of “Iron Mom” … whose pockets were stuffed with notes from her mother … yet, YET, she didn’t even think of what her own daughter needed/wanted/deserved from her. IRON mom, indeed. I do it to detach.


Dave Beats Joan in Upwords

I’m not sure if I’m even allowed to post on this blog since I’m not in See Jane Run (and I don’t even have female genitalia), but I really felt the need to post this. I just wanted to let the world know that I beat Joan in Upwords (our favorite word game) last night fair and square. This is definitely newsworthy so I thought I’d share.

That is all.

upwords game

Back in business!


Hooray! Songs of Experience is making a comeback … with a little help from my friends.

Beginning soon, SoE will be a group blog for my seejanerun running group of moms.
Each Jane will have a username, password, and editing privileges so the running/mothering conversation will go out in 25 different directions like spokes on a wheel.
I can’t wait to see what comes of opening this blog up to a collective.

Mama Birdsongs of Experience, here we come!

mama bird

nada y pues nada y pues nada

Good night,” said the younger waiter.
“Good night,” the other said. Turning off the electric light he continued the conversation with himself. It is the light of course but it is necessary that the place be clean and light. You do not want music. Certainly you do not want music. Nor can you stand before a bar with dignity although that is all that is provided for these hours. What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it was already nada y pues nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada


spring changes


A Measuring Worm
by, Richard Wilbur (from The New Yorker magazine – February 11, 2008)

This yellow striped green
Caterpillar, climbing up
The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack
Of a full set of legs) keeps
Humping up his back.

It’s as if he sent
By a sort of semaphore
Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.
Although he doesn’t know it,
He will soon have wings,

And I, too, don’t know
Toward what undreamt condition
Inch by inch I go.

this little piggy went home

I should be making dinner for my kids right now – they’re really hungry – but I can’t take care of anything until I get this off my chest. A few hours ago, as I was heading into my favorite trail with my two younger daughters (because it is late February and this is when the daffodils bloom along Banshee), I encountered a woman and her teenage daughter coming out of this very trail with two huge bunches of freshly-picked daffodils. I was truly shocked and it felt like someone just kicked me in the stomach. I couldn’t help blurting, “Did you just pick those?!” “Oh, yes,” said the greedy little pig, “There are tons.” Tons? Really? NOT ANYMORE, I wanted to scream. (There were, in fact, only about 7 daffodils left on the trail after she harvested several dozen for her private dinner table). I told her, “That is terrible; those flowers should be for everyone to enjoy.” She defensively muttered something about “did you donate this land?” but I was too upset to even SEE those cut flowers (not one but TWO huge bunches of flowers in that piggy girl’s fist). As I marched away, I told my own daughters to never never never never pick flowers on public property. “We know,” they said. Then my 6 year-old added, “If they wanted flowers why didn’t they plant some in their OWN yard?” Indeed.

Those February Daffodils along Banshee could have been the glory of hundreds of runners and walkers for weeks, but instead only two people enjoyed them.
“And then they die,” said my other daughter.

Is there a law on the books for public green space: “Please don’t pick the flowers”?
I guess I’ll go cook dinner now … but I’ve lost my appetite.

no no Narcissus for 40 days

It is Lent once again, and rather than participate in what I call the sorority Lenten diet (giving up dessert for 40 days before spring break, so they can fit into their bikinis), I am going to try – TRY being the operative word here, considering the flop of my last attempt at a streak – to do 10 minutes of “mindful/prayerful” yoga every evening. One of my favorite conversations to have with my daughters is the “What are you going to do for Lent?” on Ash Wednesday. Here’s what my kids have come up with:

Lizzie, age 6 – clear the dinner dishes every night
Rosie, age 10 – kiss everyone goodnight (which is “blecch!” for her)
Sarah Jane, age 14, – try (again TRY) not to look at her reflection – in mirrors or store-front windows, turned-off televisions, or metal doorknobs. This, for a teenage girl is, OMG!, way difficult. But I know she’s capable of rising to the challenge. She’s allowed to get ready for school using her bathroom mirror, but after that, no face or hair or outfit checks.
Could you do it?

This excerpt from WB Yeats’ poem, A Prayer for My Daughter, helps illuminate why one might want to avoid looking-glasses.

“May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger’s eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.”


I do run run run, I do run run

Well, that’s it. My St. John’s wort experiment is over. How’s this for a newspaper headline?:

Tummy Trouble Trumps Trial

Maybe I’ll try one of those sunlamps next, or go au natural. This ridiculously warm February weather in North Carolina has been amazing to run in and ripping through the woods, truly dappled with sunlight, has created ample endorphins to cure the blues.
How about:

Ample Endorphins Enhance Ectoplasm

what is ectoplasm anyway? Dr. Oz? err, I mean, Eric?

Let’s have a googlook …

Ectoplasm generally refers to the outer part of a cell’s cytoplasm.

* Ectoplasm (paranormal), a physical substance that manifests as a result of “spiritual energy” or “psychic phenomenon”
* Ectoplasm (radio show), a BBC Radio 4 comedy series
* the outer bodily regions of the jelly fish
* a cocktail with vodka

Ahhh, definition number 4 looks interesting.
Let’s google-image that one: slime drink

I am certain that will help with mild depression … however, it may also result in tummy trouble.
What’s a sad girl to do?

da do run run run
da do run run

Robust Running Revives Retina

I really do feel so much better when I run in the sun.

master or weedhopper?

I wrote the following talk for the opening of Through Women’s Eyes, by Women’s Hands, a juried art show featuring North Carolina Women artists. I was humbled and overwhelmed by the task of speaking to and for artists … because, as I say, I’m not an artist. Or am I?

In Their Eyes Are Watching God, Harlem Renaissance writer, Zora Neale Hurston achingly observed, “Black women are the mules of the earth.” If I may, I’d like to amend Hurston’s observation to include all women; “All women are the mules of the earth.”

We carry the burden of taking care. We take care of our men, our children, our aging mothers, our dying fathers, our sisters and brothers, the dogs, the cats, the house, the lawn, the children down the street, our next door neighbor’s houseplants … we take care.

When Ashley Wilson invited me to speak to you today, my first thought was, “Why, I’m not an artist. What can I contribute to this celebration?”
But I am a woman and I do know what it means to carve out space in one’s life for creating; I can see through woman’s eyes and I know what women’s hands are capable of.
Continue reading

St. John’s Wort as a tincture

Today is Day 13 on St. John’s Wort and, guess what?, I forgot to take it yesterday. Does that mean I should take two today? Hmmm …. maybe Dr. Eric could consult here. I remember a while ago when Eric was skeptical about “syndromes” (when I blogged about DHEA), so I imagine an herbal remedy won’t gibe with his western medicine sensibilities (though Seattle is geographically closer to Eastern medicine than we are here in Chapel Hill).
Anyway, I think I’ll just get back on schedule with one 300mg capsule at lunch. When friends have asked me how my experiment is going, I can only note feeling much better on all my runs. I haven’t felt that sluggish, slammed feeling in … let’s see now … about 13 days. Perhaps St. John’s Wort is restorative for muscles as well as the brain.
A quick google search revealed this for “st. john’s wort/restorative muscles:”

St. John’s Wort is also useful for other conditions. Many times with great success I have recommended St. John’s Wort oil or tincture for bed wetting, stiff arthritic joints, Bell’s palsy, and shingles and as a restorative for exhausted nervous systems. One man with painful muscles and joints applies the oil topically along his spine. Shortly thereafter, the pain is relieved and he is able to sleep. Another person has difficulty sleeping through the night. She takes St. John’s Wort tincture internally in conjunction with some other herbs. She now sleeps more soundly. Another elderly woman came to see me with such stiff hands that she could no longer play the piano. She massaged St. John’s Wort oil into her hands three times a day as well as taking another herb internally and within a short time she was playing the piano again.

I have been playing the piano again; a coincidence or side effect? :)

st john's tincture

Day 6

Yesterday, Day 6, was symptom-free except for a slight difference in my temporal lobes. It was as if more light was in my brain, coming from the sides of my head – through the lobes. One of the known side effects of St. John’s Wort is photosensitivity, so maybe the brain/eye actually does let in more light. Or maybe there was a placebo effect; I read “photosensitivity”and believed I was more sensitive to light. My reading suggested my reaction. If one feels depressed in the winter months due to sunlight deprivation, it would make sense that a drug (or herb) that could actually stimulate light receptors would be effective. A sunlamp would also work, though I haven’t tried that. My brother used to tan himself under a sunlamp. Are those the same sunlamps? I remember people used sunlamps to zap zits; is that still a remedy for acne?

I can see more research is necessary in my experiment of one!