Monday, June 23, 2008

The Great and Terrible

She’s happy, she’s healthy, she’s kicking ass.

I always knew that she would grow into her power and, when she did, she would be formidable. Our culture is still not comfortable with powerful women. We’re still labeled combative when a man would be labeled competitive. We’re called demanding when we’re being clear about our boundaries.

Fuck ‘em says Kiva. Get over it or get out of my way. Watch out world, she’s invincible.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Well campers, it has been another busy week in the meadow. Dogboy tried out the new oven last Sunday with mixed results. After several hours of firing, the oven only reached 450 degrees. Smoke was escaping from a fine crack in the top, and the vent hole wasn’t drawing air effectively. We could have probably figured out how to cook in there, but it certainly didn’t meet expectations.

You know Sequoia; he has to make it right. It’s that Boy Scout training.

Sequoia and Tom spent yesterday adding layers of mud to the top of the oven and installing a stove pipe in the vent. The theory is that the 3-4 additional inches of mud will provide enough mass to hold the heat. The stovepipe will control airflow, which should make firing more efficient. That’s the theory anyway. We are going to let the oven cure for two weeks and hope to try it out again on July 3. I’ll keep you posted on breaking developments.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

She Walked

She walked, I cried; seems like we have played this game before. She’s been moving me to tears since the day she was born, coming into the world in such a dramatic fashion but bringing no drama with her (and a good thing, too; there was plenty here already.) A placid, happy little creature, a “good” baby as the old women used to say (are there bad babies?), happy to eat, quick to sleep, content to be held in a willing pair of arms. She would wake before us in the morning and lay quietly in her crib, observing the world; I would wake beside her to find her bright eyes seeking mine. She was the balm that healed us, the glue that bound us together.

And yes, she’s frighteningly smart, unerringly ethical; she works harder than anyone I’ve ever known. She has spent her life fulfilling the expectations we heap on “good girls.” And yes, Christ yes, I’m grateful for that. But I’m also deeply grateful that she’s a wickedly funny, gloriously flawed, ever-so-slightly twisted adult with her own set fears and neuroses, just like the rest of us. I was so young when my daughters were born, so na├»ve and self-absorbed. I hadn’t begun the great work of facing my demons and learning to love them. My kids grew up alongside those demons; they came on the journey with me, and at times it was a wild ride. She learned quickly that the demons paid little attention to good girls. And, when they did, she learned how to care of herself. She was capable at a very early age, and she taught me how to be capable too.

What am I to make of these smart, tough, funny, powerful women who are my daughters? How did they survive their absurdly improvisational upbringing to become these remarkably effective adults? What am I to make of their tempers and their appetites, their blind spots and their needs? Just this: that they are the children of my heart, my body and my soul. I love everything about them, including their flaws, without reservation. I am only capable of that kind of love because of them. The question is, can I learn to love myself in the same way?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hamfist on the Porch

It was a fine, fine night at Paul James Prendergast's house in the Ashland Hills. Sadly, we were missing Jon B, Sequoia and Banjo Larry, but the rest of us managed to carry on.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


What does community mean to me?
My community is a group of people who can show up to a party, work their asses off, and have a roaring good time in the process.
My community can spend two hours sitting under a blue tarp in a rain storm and never run out of things to laugh about.
My community brings tons of food, cooks for hours, feeds me like I’m royalty and thanks me for the privilege.
My community picks up garbage, washes dishes and hauls away recycling on their own initiative.
My community isn’t afraid of getting their hands dirty.