Exciting News!

Hello Dearest Friends!

I have exciting news to share and deepest thanks to extend!

Preemie won New Hampshire’s 2013/2014 Reader’s Choice Award for Outstanding Work of NonFiction!

Here’s the photo to prove it!

There were many wonderful books up for the nomination, and it felt like a real long shot, but you, dear readers, did it! Your votes and help spreading the word made this award possible!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

WIth ski season over and spring finally in the air, I’m redesigning an entirely new, reenergized website, that I can’t wait to share with all of you!

I hope that where ever you may be, physically, emotionally and spiritually, you’re experiencing the feelings of rebirth, renewal and hope that so often seem to arrive at this time of year.

WIth love, blessings and much gratitude,

Kasey

Share

Summer Inspiration

This summer, I’m treating myself to an online writing/photography course.  The class is called Unraveling: Ways of Seeing Myself, and taught by the wonderful, Susannah Conway, with whom I took my first online course, Blogging from the Heartearlier this year.

Our first Unraveling assignment was to think about our feet.  Susannah encouraged us students, 90+ women from all around the world to “Look down at the ground and see where you are in the world.”

Each week we share four of our favorite photos.

These are mine.

The second week’s task was to focus on our reflections; to catch glimpses of ourselves reflected back to us in the world.

Here are my photos from that assignment.

In the meantime, Tucker is reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s book, The Namesake for his summer reading assignment.  In particular, he’s been asked to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of being raised bicultural.

When I came across this poem, I was struck by how it so aptly captured all three; feet, reflections and life between two cultures.

My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears

BY MOHJA KAHF

My grandmother puts her feet in the sink
        of the bathroom at Sears
to wash them in the ritual washing for prayer,
wudu,
because she has to pray in the store or miss
the mandatory prayer time for Muslims
She does it with great poise, balancing
herself with one plump matronly arm
against the automated hot-air hand dryer,
after having removed her support knee-highs
and laid them aside, folded in thirds,
and given me her purse and her packages to hold
so she can accomplish this august ritual
and get back to the ritual of shopping for housewares
Respectable Sears matrons shake their heads and frown
as they notice what my grandmother is doing,
an affront to American porcelain,
a contamination of American Standards
by something foreign and unhygienic
requiring civic action and possible use of disinfectant spray
They fluster about and flutter their hands and I can see
a clash of civilizations brewing in the Sears bathroom
My grandmother, though she speaks no English,
catches their meaning and her look in the mirror says,
I have washed my feet over Iznik tile in Istanbul
with water from the world’s ancient irrigation systems
I have washed my feet in the bathhouses of Damascus
over painted bowls imported from China
among the best families of Aleppo
And if you Americans knew anything
about civilization and cleanliness,
you’d make wider washbins, anyway
My grandmother knows one culture—the right one,
as do these matrons of the Middle West. For them,
my grandmother might as well have been squatting
in the mud over a rusty tin in vaguely tropical squalor,
Mexican or Middle Eastern, it doesn’t matter which,
when she lifts her well-groomed foot and puts it over the edge.
“You can’t do that,” one of the women protests,
turning to me, “Tell her she can’t do that.”
“We wash our feet five times a day,”
my grandmother declares hotly in Arabic.
“My feet are cleaner than their sink.
Worried about their sink, are they? I
should worry about my feet!”
My grandmother nudges me, “Go on, tell them.”
Standing between the door and the mirror, I can see
at multiple angles, my grandmother and the other shoppers,
all of them decent and goodhearted women, diligent
in cleanliness, grooming, and decorum
Even now my grandmother, not to be rushed,
is delicately drying her pumps with tissues from her purse
For my grandmother always wears well-turned pumps
that match her purse, I think in case someone
from one of the best families of Aleppo
should run into her—here, in front of the Kenmore display
I smile at the midwestern women
as if my grandmother has just said something lovely about them
and shrug at my grandmother as if they
had just apologized through me
No one is fooled, but I
hold the door open for everyone
and we all emerge on the sales floor
and lose ourselves in the great common ground
of housewares on markdown.
So what’s inspiring you this summer? Have you ever taken an online course, or thought about doing so?

 

Share

Write to Heal

I had the honor to write over on Preemie Babies 101 this week.  I hope you’ll check it out, especially if you’ve ever thought about doing a little writing.  (The post is geared to preemie parents, but it’s really applicable to all.)

“Whether your baby was in the NICU for 2 days or 200, the result of having a birth experience begin in the midst of  noisy beeping machines, a multitude of doctors and nurses, and the palpable fear that persistently swirls in the NICU air, the impact can have long-lasting effects on us as parents.  The problem is, we’re so busy taking care of our new little ones, we have no time to recognize and acknowledge how significant our baby’s birth has been on our emotional state.  We’re simply trying to survive this crazy world that’s suddenly been thrust upon us and hoping and praying the same holds true for our babies.

As our babies heal and grow and eventually arrive at home, it seems there is even less time to explore our emotional state, for now our little one is under our care alone.  The concept of taking time for ourselves is nearly laughable.  Sit down? Reflect upon how I’m feeling? Yeah right.

But here’s the deal. At some point we do have to sit down and reflect upon our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, because if we don’t, they  just breed and fester way down deep in the dark recesses where we’ve tucked them away.  And by bringing our buried fears, hopes, dreams, disappointments and truths to the light, we are in fact helping our child to heal and grow as well.  A healthy, whole parent is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to our children.

So where do I begin?”

Click on this link to find out!  Write to Heal

I hope your summer is off to a wonderful start and you’re finding moments to rest, relax and breathe.

With blessings,

Kasey

 

Share