Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vision work and wish lists.



I am one of those new-agey people who really believes in vision work. You know - they tell you to envision it - see it, feel it, smell it, taste it, being very specific. The color, the size, the whole ball of wax needs to be seared into your brain. I can do this. I seem to have a hearty imagination. Then, of course, you are to write your vision down. So I do that, too. I'm a little superstitious and just prefer to play by the rules. Theories differ on whether or not to share your goals, visions, whatever you want to call them. Usually, I prefer not to - except with Lee when we have a shared vision. But I am making an exception in this case to noodle on the whole concept of vision work.

I really just think this is another way to describe setting a goal or creating something. You have to have an idea about something to manifest it. Like, "Hmmm, I would really like a BLT for lunch." You have to have the idea of BLT before you can physically have it. Then, your mind (or, more precisely, your imagination) starts to figure out how to create it.

Do I go to a restaurant to buy it or go to the grocery, buy the ingredients and make it myself? Do I want it on Foccacia or plain white toast? Do I want mayo on mine or maybe a little pesto? Do I just use what I have in the frig to make it? Or do I just give up, deciding it is too much work and take a bite of peanut butter instead? Unfortunately, the last option is rarely satisfying and does little to exercise our imagination or give us confidence in our capacity to create. It seems a bit like a muscle - use it or lose it.

What is interesting to me is how the mind just gets to work on the BLT. You really don't have to do much to come up with the ways you might get it. I think that is basically true for any vision. If you set the vision (or goal), your imagination just takes over and gives you ideas for how to create it. Sometimes the ideas come from the most bizarre places and at unexpected times. But they do come.

My favorite vision story this year is that a year ago we knew wanted to live in another city and had no idea how that would ever happen or which city it would be. We would even bicker about it. Nothing we could think of with our intellect seemed right. We just knew it needed to have an international feeling, that we could walk and not need a car. Well, as you all know by now, we moved to New York in August this year - with a job. We couldn't for the life of us have "figured it out" because we'd been trying for two years.

We just did our vision work together and when the ideas came for how to proceed, we took the steps - not knowing for sure where they would lead us. You can always say "No" to your vision in the end if you change your mind. But if you don't take action on it as the imagination directs you, you never create anything to say "no" to.

So here is one of the visions I want to create for myself this year. I don't get too excited yet about how I'm going to do it because it seems rather out of reach at the moment - but, that is the job of my imagination and for later. It is not the job of my intellect to figure this out.

I'm warning you, this falls on the shallow end of my "visions" scale but, I really want a Flexform sofa. I want the Flexform Lifesteel sofa in brown or black leather (this detail is still waiting for clarity.) I want a size that can physically be moved into my apartment - which needs to be determined shortly. And I have a photo of it here. I am into Italian furniture these days and when I sat in it, I actually felt like my coolness factor increased exponentially. You get a nice slouchy sit in it, just right for hanging out. I may have to start smoking cigarettes if I buy it, though.

What is on your wish list? Send details and photos!

Next, maybe I'll work on world peace.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Alone Again


Izzy at work on the Christmas night appetizer.


Voila!

I am alone again for the first time in a really long time. I think it was Dec. 16. It is now Dec. 26 and I have a high need for alone time. I am in Lee's brother's home in Boulder, sitting in silence (except for that damn ringing in my ears which is my constant companion.) It is bliss.

The last 10 days have been "festival days" as the Italians seem to call it - giorni festivi. And that brings its own revved up kind of pleasure. On the 17th, I flew to New York to meet Isabelle (just done with finals at Madison) to spend four days with her and her brother - and, of course, Lee. It felt like a real vacation, which I haven't had since last spring in Charleston with Lee. I also haven't been in the company of both children at one time since June, so that was especially nice. I adore having these grown children. Izzy and I had a fantastic time at the museum, baking cookies for Lee's students, shopping for her Christmas gift (a pair of Wellies rain boots - which are soooo darn cute and practical) and then the coups de gras - the fours of us going to see Billy Elliot on Broadway. Really kind of breathtaking. Cry, laugh, cry - and all done in a very smart kind of way.

Meaning to be home on Sat by 5:00 - but no, nine hours of going nowhere....we were loaded onto the plane with cell phones turned off - and suddenly we learned there were no pilots to fly the plane. Weather. So we unloaded and took the cab ride from hell back into the city (two hours with a car sick daughter.) Up again the next morning at 3:45 for a 4:15 pick up by SuperShuttle for one more shutle ride from hell in an over heated, over crowded van without shocks back to the airport for a 7:00 a.m. flight. Oy. If only this mattered. There were people who had been waiting three days to get home.

Home to friends in Minneapolis, two days of work and off again (another 4:30 wake up call for a 5:15 cab!) to Denver this time to spend the holidays with Lee's family. Arriving on Christmas Eve, Izzy and I were the designated cooks for the next two days. (Only one or two of the Stevens cooks and none of them were around.) We had made a perfectly anal shopping list - down to dividing it by areas of the store - canned goods, produce, dairy, etc. Izzy just rocks when it comes to things like this. So for about an hour, we filled the cart at Whole Foods. The shopping was just fantastic - everything we could have possibly wanted - as much organic as you could ever stand to eat. We had a wonderful time selecting the freshly baked Ciabatta, hearty grain breads, oily Spanish olives marinated with hot peppers, and the most divine Caprese either of us have ever tasted. There were mountains more, but those are some highlights.

We came home, unloaded the 10 bags of groceries and cartons of wine and beer and got to work on the Christmas Eve dinner - totally casual for our immediate family. Chicken chili, amazing guacamole with only lime, garlic and cilantro and flour tortilla chips. Key lime pie for dessert. It was yummy and were all ready for bed at 8:30 because we had been up since the equivalent of 3:30 that morning.

On Christmas morning. we opened a few presents (with emphasis on few this year - which I LOVE!) and got to work on dinner - this time for 12. Since I was working in a kitchen I didn't know, I wanted to do something I know how to do in my sleep, so we made lasagne - two pans of meat, one pan of spinich, a salad with goat cheese, pecans and dried cranberries and Izzy whipped up the most impressive appetizer - the Ciabotta with olive oil, pesto, artichoke, smoked tomatoes and zucchini. She bakes it all for a bit, cuts it into slices and it was just beautiful.

Good news? There are leftovers and so today I can read and nap.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ya gotta love it.

It's almost midnight here in MSP. It's almost 1:00 a.m. in New York. My son, Zan, and I are emailing about ideas for Christmas gifts, my new computer, and plans for a week from now - when I return to New York with his sister for a bit of celebration for the holidays.

I'm on my sofa listening to "After the Love is Gone" by Earth, Wind, and Fire. He says he's in bed. (I asked him why he's up so late!)

We went back and forth a few times without ever picking up a phone, just exchanging thoughts. What was on NPR today? Where should we do dinner next week? What CD for his step-brother for Christmas? Not a whole lot more, but enough to make me smile.

I just signed my latest email, "xxoo, mom. Sleep well."

Ya gotta love email.