After watching Frozen, my daughter was entranced with Elsa’s FROZEN POWERS. I tried to convince her that Anna had powers too.

Friendly powers.

She wasn’t having it. But I like the idea that our usual skills are “powers”

Friendly is a big ordinary power. If we can say hi and smile at people it makes life simpler. Doesn’t it?


My coworker was complaining that he should someday soon give in and buy a new truck. And that his OLD OLD OLD truck was in the shop because the navigation system was wonky.Am I on Mars? What is going on? A truck with a navigation system is OLD?

Of course some places can make me feel young. Church, for one. Church is full of Elders. Really truly.

So as we were gathering to talk about something churchy, the leader asks “Do you consider yourself a courageous church? Or status quo?”

They all thought courageous. But what is courageous to a someone who’s faced down three quarters of life already?

Maybe they are courageous on a battle that’s already been won.

Like that story about Japanese people stranded on islands and STILL FIGHTING WW2 long after the emperor surrendered.

I’m about halfway through my life, and I am amazed that old trucks are far more modern than I expect. How do I keep my courage relevant? Where is the front line anymore?

So a friend who is authentically courageous, so strong and vibrant with what life has given her, posted this dense quote on Facebook:

“Changing the way we think means continually shifting our point of orientation. We must take time to look inward: to become aware of, and study, the tacit “truths” that we take for granted; the ways we create knowledge and make meaning in our lives; and the aspirations and expectations that govern what we choose from life. But we must also look outward, by exploring new ideas and different ways of thinking and interacting, connecting to multiple processes and relationships outside ourselves and clarifying our shared visions for the organization and the larger community.” Schools that Learn pg 26 Senge et al

So relevant. I cannot take my truths for granted. If truth is truth, it presents itself anew in every life circumstance. I cannot take it for granted.

I have to keep exploring new thoughts and ways of thinking. That’s part of what this whole Weekly Wonder is about. As quiet and small as it is, we think thoughts and poke at what is happening in the world together.

So what is the vision for courage right now? Where are the battle fields? What are the battle fields?

What is the land we’re living in? My view of the future is now long past.

I can’t see things clearly. My biases are clouding the vision. My experiences have led to be conclusions and those are hard to leave.

So. If I can go deep and come up with my personal battles…To individually and personally pursue happiness, spreading love and peace…and try on some ideas and interactions.

There’s a battle ground. Sometimes a revolution starts with a whisper…


Mother Holle

I’m getting to know my coworkers at my new job. Some of them asked how I’d gotten my PMP certification. See, most of them are trying to get that cert.

“I can give you the name of the study group! It’s great…” I prepared to give them the speech of how I did it. How there were phone calls twice a week they could join and it was all I needed. Well, that and studying 10 or more hours a week.

I thought about my life then and my life now. I could not spare ten hours to study right now. I didn’t finish my sentence. Suddenly it felt like a much bigger deal than I had given myself credit for.

Later that night, I was reading my daughter from the Brothers Grimm. Her new favorite fairy tale is Mother Holle.

In the fairy tale, one good hardworking girl is the stepdaughter. The biological daughter is lazy. As the story goes, the good girl drops a spindle down a well and the horrible stepmother forces her to go in after it.

Instead of drowning she finds herself in the land of Mother Holle. She proves herself a good worker and goes into service working for the woman. The trick is she is supposed to shake Mother Holle’s bed and pillows so that the feathers fly about. That means that it is snowing in the human world.

When at last she goes back to her home, Mother Holle rewards her for her service by showering her with gold. Her stepmother and sister are delighted with this, and the lazy girl goes down the well in hopes of getting the same reward.

Of course, the lazy girl is rewarded for her poor service: she is covered with pitch that never washes off.

Now I’m curious. Who is the Mother Holle person? What’s this about her feather bed and snowing?

One thing I know about The Grimm Brothers is that they were interested in more than stories. When they started gathering their stories, their true purpose was to reach back in time and find stories from before literacy. They were looking for stories that were told and repeated from fireside and bedside. What were these people like from before history started?

Mother Holle is one of those before times holdovers. The internet tells me she is a goddess from even before Odin, Thor and the rest of the Asgard crowd.

There are a million little hints at the ancient story of this goddess…the spindle, the well, the tidy home and even maidens are supposed to be the territory of this elemental goddess. She is a foundational force, one not to be denied. Who can mess with the weather? And maiden girls? These are essential components of life.

The story is basic and elemental too. We know this set up: stepdaughter is mistreated and does all the work around the house. The ugly and mean biological daughter is lazy and good-for-nothing.

Cinderella again. What was UP with Cindy anyway? Why did she just take all that crap and do all the work of everybody?

It was just her nature. In the end, she got her reward because she got the prince. He may not have valued how well she could wash the drapes in the palace, but something about her grabbed him.

In the case of the Mother Holle story, the hard-working girl was so afraid of her stepmother that she jumped down a well rather than return without her spindle. Rather than drowning, like she should have, she lands in a beautiful meadow. She follows her nature, and does the things asked of her as well as she can.

She can do things pretty well, as it turns out.

Something flashed to me. I took the time to study and learn and get this certification some many years ago. I didn’t think anything of it. It was fun to learn and fun to study. I didn’t think about how hard it was.

The industrious girl didn’t think about it being hard to shake that feather bed. She just did the best she could.

It was her nature.

Our best nature is elemental. It’s best to pursue it on all occasions. I followed it for no good reason when I was studying and I got the reward. The hardworking girl followed her highest nature when she did the work for Mother Holle. And as sure as it snows in the North, our rewards will come.

This is a delightful surprise, because we would be doing our best regardless.

always and forever no matter what

It’s some sort of developement stage, I’m sure. The age of toilet talk.

Sometimes I can ignore it in my child. And sometimes at the end of the day I am tired of hearing about poop and toilets and bottoms.

So round about bath-n-bedtime, I hear her tell me she is going to poop in my ear and I’m over it.

“That’s gross! Listen to you potty talking.”

She’s sensitive lately, and her response to disapproval of any kind is strict: “Do you still love me?”

Of course I love her. I’ve told her that at other times when she asks. This time is different though.

As if I have already confirmed her fear, as if I already removed my love from her, she says indignantly, “You told me! You said you would always love me no matter what!”

I have told her this, so many many times. She remembered my promise, and is holding me to it.

My daughter is being exquisitely human before my eyes.

She is afraid that her wrong-doing will separate her from my love. That some imperfection in her will break it.

But she remembered my promise.

She remembered. And she fought against this rejection she assumed.

Her fear of abandonment had an answer from inside her.

Of course, I had to go on and explain that even though I would always and forever love her no matter what, I still wished she would not use potty talk. Not easy.

First day facebook post

first day went well. Everyone was very helpful. I was very grateful to put on a dress and to have meetings and exchange complete sentences with other grownups.

The irony? When I got home, I got all sniffly that I’d been away from my kid all day.

I don’t make any damn sense.

she had a great day with daddy. We are all very well.

And tomorrow I get to do it again. I am happy

job again

I have a job again. I am going to have to see where the best time to do my writing fits in.

I don’t suppose I’ll be able to know that until at least the 2nd week. There is a lot to learn


When I was in the single digits, a lovely young married lady from church gathered us girls of a similar age to her home. She asked us to bring our dollies, and she taught us to make clothes for them on her sewing machine. We all got to use this amazing scary machine by ourselves like we were important.


She showed us how the thread passed through the labyrinth of the machine’s innards. We learned about the bobbin on how to adjust the tension. Of course, since she was an expert and a saint, her machine worked perfectly.


I did quite a bit of sewing in my teenage years, because I was bored and poor. I learned more about the ways a machine can fail and frustrate.


That tension adjuster!


If it was too tight, the thread just snapped and we had to start over. Simple and fatal. The problem was letting the tension go too low. Masses of chaotic thread balls would form on the underside on my fabric like a horrifying tumor.


The tension is too low.


A while back a friend developed an enthusiasm for this awesome German alternative movie called “Run Lola Run.” I liked the movie, but I loved the soundtrack. Still the best exercise music ever.

I don’t believe in silence
cause silence seems so slow
I don’t believe in energy
the tension is too low


I have spent many hours on a treadmill listening to that chorus. The tension is too low. And I think of my sewing machine. And wonder if my treadmill incline is steep enough.


The tension is too low. Some people like to wait for the last minute to get things done. I can see how the pressure and the tension builds up to final crescendo in a finished product.


“Look! I did it!”


That’s never been my way. I like to have too much to do. Every minute of every day a clear choice of something I must do now. No margins, no wasted movements.


This summer of unemployment has been difficult. A broad sweep of no pressure might be someone’s idea of paradise. For me it’s a minefield.


It’s not just me. Too many choices make people unhappy. There’s a book about it “The Paradox of Choice.” If I have perfect freedom to do anything, it’s a bad bad bad day. I can’t decide. And if I do decide, I can’t be happy with my choice because what if I could have done the other thing and it would have been a better choice?


Like the tangled knot of thread in my doll clothes, my thoughts are too free to be productive.


Taut and running. Somewhere below the breaking point and moving fast. No slack. Every stitch and every choice the right one. No time to waver or regret.