Wednesday, October 31, 2007

poking around sleepy hollow

On our last day in New York, Matt and I went poking around the Old Dutch Church and graveyard in the town of Sleepy Hollow on the Hudson river. It filled my spooky-need plenty. We didn't see the headless horseman, but we did spy some very suspicious squirrels.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

contemplating sankofa in florida

I was in Clearwater, Florida at the Midwives Alliance (MANA) Conference for the past 5 days. Of course, the morning I woke up for my flight from Utah, the ground was covered in snow. It was pretty difficult to decide what to wear that would be appropriate from take-off to touch-down. I ended up with lots of layers that I had to immediately strip off when I walked off the plane in Tampa. This was my first experience in the state and let me tell you: the humidity is like New York in the middle of the summer, underground, in the elevator at the 168th street stop (those of you lucky enough to have been in that elevator know that it is like a ride down to hell). To top it off, I had an instant frizz-fro.

I've been to the MANA conference in the past and I always have such a great time. It is a chance for midwives and traditional birth attendants to gather from all over the world, as sisters and share our wisdom. I love learning at the feet of these grey-haired wise women midwives. The theme of this year's conference was Sankofa (see picture above). Here is an explanation from the conference:

The concept of Sankofa is derived from Adinkra of the Akan people of West Africa. Sankofa is transliterated in the Akan language as “se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki.” Literally translated it means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” Sankofa is used today across the pan-African world to promote the idea that African people must go back to our roots in order to move forward. Visually and symbolically “Sankofa” is expressed as a mythical bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth. This symbol is used for our conference to mean that, as midwives, we “must go back to our roots in order to move forward,” without losing what is precious and powerful in birth.

Amid all the soaking up of wisdom I also managed to soak up some rays. Here is a list of my favorites from the trip:

1) Floating on my back in the Gulf of Mexico, watching a pink sunset turn the water pink, feeling tiny clear jelly fish squish through my fingers.

2) Late night chats and laughter with my sister-midwife Jen in our hotel room.

3) Lying on the edge of the pool, on the warm concrete, in a downpour.

4) A half-day at the Safety Harbor Spa

5) Yeshi Neumann's inspiring lecture on her Homestyle Midwifery practice

6) Stone Crab season (yum!)

7) Wearing my favorite Birkenstocks one last time until next summer.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

in rainbows

The new Radiohead album was released yesterday. You can download it from their site and pay them what you think it is worth. We tried to download it yesterday, but the site was so busy with traffic that it kept timing out on us. Matt was finally able to get it today. I know this may sound like I'm overzealous, but I think Radiohead is the Beatles of our generation. I can't get enough of their albums; each one seems fresh, melodic, complex no matter how many times I listen. Sometimes distorted, sometimes operatic Thom Yorke's voice is transcendental (see Matt's blog for a discussion on transcendentalism here). Check out some songs from the new album, "In Rainbows":

Monday, October 8, 2007


My beloved "Mema," died last week. Her funeral was on Friday. She was not only a wonderful grandma, but a great friend. We did a lot together: going out to lunch, season tickets to Ballet West, Sunday dinners. She was a truly great lady and I already miss her. I feel so lucky that Matt and I have lived close to her for the last three years. There are so many things I love about her so I think I will list some of them:

1. we have the same nose
2. her cozy flannel quilts layered under down comforters in winter
3. receiving her handwritten cards with tender thoughts
4. how she always signed her notes "love Mema and Papa David" eventhough my grandpa has been dead for over 27 years
5. her homemade whole wheat bread recipe
6. taking my hands and shimmying to big band music
7. her stubborness
8. the very distinctive lilt of her voice (ask me and I'll imitate it for you)
9. how she pronounced the days of the week: Mon-dee, Tues-dee etc.
10. her style and class (she loved fine clothes)
11. her unconditional love

You can read about her life and the comments of those who loved her here.

anticipating the darjeeling limited

I am so excited for the new Wes Anderson movie . . . my heart just raced watching the preview. Thanks to Lane for her probing questions and analysis on the movie. It won't be coming to Utah until late Oct/early Nov. There will be a free screening at the Broadway on Oct 23. We'll be out of town but I encourage anyone around to check it out.

By the way, there is a short prequel film by Wes Anderson that is being shown before "The Darjeeling Limited" at the festivals called "Hotel Chevalier." Unfortunately, Fox has decided not to release it with the movie for the general population. If you would like to see it before the full length film, you can download it for free from iTunes for a limited time. Word to those who avoid nudity: don't watch as you will see Nathalie Portman au natural.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

first snow

Matt and I went hiking this past weekend in the Wasatch. It was a surreal site to see the first snow attempting to cover the bright fall colors. We got pretty chilled as the sun came out and the snow started to melt and plop on us in the pine forests. The sound of cracking, shivering and plopping was all around and made for an exciting, albeit wet trip.