Friday, March 30, 2012


Everything lately seems to be coming up winged for me,
for us.

The days flying by,
the giddy heights and sharp downward swoops of learning how to parent...
the upward resurrection of a joy that just a few short months ago was
seemingly cut off by the loss of Jones...

It still hurts deep in my solar plexus when I think of him -
how gentle and curious he always was when children came into our home
hovering near but far enough away to escape their squealing clutches
returning again and again to see and smell...

The hearts are ours, it would seem

The wings,
our blessings.

A house so steeped in sadness has found its savior
and I cannot help but create from this place
where hurts are healed with a coo
and ordinary things are steeped in wonder;

eyes learning to focus
waking to the sweetest breath on my cheek
gentle lamplight in the wee hours of the morning
by whose glow the smallest among us dines...

He who flew to us from the source of All....

Our Orion!!!!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Some days
I am little more than a milk factory
and a professional baby-starer-atter (for lack of a better phrase simply because goodGodthisboyissobeautiful)

All of my clothing choices are glorified pajamas
I am in a fog of sleepiness, trying so desperately to be present
because the only unanimous advice I've received is that "it all goes so fast: enjoy every moment!"

Never before the birth of my son have I been so deeply aware of my boundaries, so profoundly aware that I am being asked - no - implored to grow past my comfort into my potential everyday greatness,
into the Bigger parts of me using limited resources of frayed nerves
and too little rest...
It's kind of like being asked to make a lovely wedding cake
at the 11th hour missing a few key ingredients but you
pull it off
most days you do
and when you don't, there's grace and forgiveness
and phone calls to your mama friends who know.

So I breathe in the smell of spilled milk
and Burt's Bees diaper ointment (most assuredly the combined perfume of the era I find myself in)
type with one hand,
staring at wee O as he nods off in the crook of my arm.

When he is fast asleep and tucked into his tiny chair
I pour myself a rootbeer float-

I find a half-hour window opening
and into the studio I go,
tooling some of the leather work I will be revealing next week
on the theme of winged hearts and feathers...
a coup, truly.

What are your senses gathering where you are?

What gifts did this day give you with its generous heart?
What did it ask of you?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

In The Kitchen

Someone's in the kitchen I kno-o-o-oow

Someone's in the kitchen

Strummin' on the old banjo!!!

Happy Sunday, sweet hearts everywhere!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

What is Luxurious Now

A cup of french press, decaf.
A wee napping babe
Preparing Sunday's grocery list
Missing a full shower in favor of more sleep - yes, they all said this would happen!
Breathing through the heaviness of grief and strong emotions
Telling O all about Jones and how curious he would have been while rubbing Jane under her chin
Watering all of the plants, begging their forgiveness as I go...
Visits from friends
Counting the days till my sister arrives, dreaming of three whole days together
How huge Anthony's face feels in my hands leaning in for a kiss after a day with a tiny human
Bizarre, bizarre dreams (a taxidermied man who re-animates???) and a baby who slumbers long enough to allow REM sleep!
Doc Martin
The triumph of an empty sink and a humming dryer
Posting here.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fruits of my Love

Here within this space of wonder and will
Coming to understand the depth of something unfathomable has been the order of the day(s).

There are moments around 3:30 AM where I think of war-torn countries with mothers holding their dying children and I weep quietly looking at my son,
hoping his world is better

praying for those in pain

realizing that all I can do is nurture 
and educate
and love like a house on fire

stepping out into the groundless next moment with bravery
and a heart cracked open.

Before I had him
I was petty at times:
I had petty thoughts and grievances
choosing (in lesser moments) to concentrate on things that didn't give light
but now everything feels basic and important.

I forget vanity
I am rumpled and milk-stained
full of fear and joy

and aching with love, painfully in love...

He is such a Good baby.
He sleeps
eats (making noises like a rooting boar, always hungry and hilarious)
charms his family
and our visitors

and the people in my 
life have been so kind,
affording me time in the studio where my brain
(through the magic of fire and hammers)
begins to sift through these hormones
and this swollen heart

to make Beauty
out of the process of learning motherhood.

Pink Opal Seed Pod Earrings
Hammer formed Chrysoprase Drop Necklace (RESERVED)
Maidenhair on Copper Dangly Earrings (ear wires forthcoming, of course)...

I am so excited to offer these pieces,
capturing the energy of this fullness
and catching a bit of the love
that overflows my breast.

Inquiries are welcome


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bathtime, studio time...

Today was Orion's first bath - it was a joyful and warm experience
for everyone involved.
Little boy was so calm, so quiet....

Tonight when the In-Loves
came over, Bonnie announced that tomorrow she intended to
watch the babe
and send me into the studio to make.

my stomach got butterflies
my heart raced
and I smiled ear to ear:
what oh what will come to pass
there amidst the Caribbean blue walls??

Stay tuned!!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Blintzes, A Recipe

We are a sleepy house these days, as you can readily imagine:
Anthony and I take starlight shifts with the bub, ensuring a decent night's sleep for both of us - but still -
it's never enough sleep
so we catch up a bit during the day.

Living this way, time takes on a dreamlike state
and we languish in the peace of our new dynamic
and the love of our parents (both sets!)
who have taken such good care of us this last week.

I don't write much here about my father or how much I adore him
and right now it seems like a shame.
As the years pass his magnificence becomes precious to the point of ache;
he is a gentleman and a scholar, an environmentalist and an engineer.

When he tips his chin up and says something tender to me
(perhaps as we say goodbye at the airport)
I well up like a spring
both in my heart and spilling over my eyelids.

My father's influence on my soul is huge.

He is the kind of person who embodies the word 'capable'
and pours himself wholeheartedly into his interests -
jazz music
tending to an old house in need

 Poppy does not cook or bake
very often, 
but every once in a while he makes magnificent blintzes.
This particular recipe comes from his Aunt Ethel
who gifted my parents with the book
when they were first married.

My father's Jewish heritage is not something I have ever known very much about;
his father emigrated to Ellis Island as World War I was picking up steam
and he never spoke of his faith or his struggles
to generations next:
a lost history.

When I was growing up Unitarian Universalist
(my mother led our little nuclear family into that faith base and it was so good to us!),
the church would host fundraising meals and my father's contribution was
the blintz brunch,

now the stuff of legend!!

I can remember the handful of times that I was sent back to college
or New York City or L.A with a cold pack of blintzes
bound for my freezer to be rationed
and eaten when my heart was heavy
or in need of comfort;

I have bragged to friends about the awesomeness of these
delicacies and the handful of them who have tasted the blintzes 
can attest:
these are some powerful 

When my parents arrived I asked my father if he would make 
blintzes with me to put up and freeze
(and share with my in-loves and the Schmill, of course)
and he most certainly obliged, giving over
some four hours of yesterday's afternoon 
to the creation of 36 perfect little rolls.

This is love in a tender package,
an embrace of sorts for me.

Because you all have been so amazing
and supportive and out-of-this-world kind
I wanted to pass this recipe on in the hopes that you will make them
for someone you love
starting with yourself, of course!

Make note of my Poppy's chicken scratches (4X the batter, 3X the filling, etc) -
they are the result of years of testing!

Here are a few more tips:

substitute melted butter for melted shortening
2% milk is the milk of choice for my Poppy
Farmer's Cheese can be found at most Whole Foods
or gourmet specialty stores
Blintzes freeze and thaw very well

eat well!

With Love,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Body...

...Has a squishy deflated middle
Like a waterbed half-emptied
...Doesn't know quite what to do with its new twin milk machines
and over-abundant in supply
...Is halfway between its former glory and its just-recently-ripened shape;
kind of destroyed, like a seed pod after its purpose has been served
a husk with an imminent rebirth of its own
inching ever closer to fine
...Is new to me
...killed it in the delivery room; I have never imagined a more strenuous, powerful marathon
of muscle and mind
nor a more capable vehicle than this one
to reach the other shore
where I scooped my son into my arms and wept with love
...Is so not afraid anymore
...Can and will 
...Has character wit and warmth
charm and fecundity
surrender and room.


What of your body, friends?



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Orion Henry Schmill, a Birth Story.

I wanted to write this all down before it got away from me,
before the quickly passing days with this new special soul
almost eclipse his arrival...

they say you never really understand how deep love can go until you have a child - I see the tender truth of those words with a just-beginning clarity.

It was 10:15 PM on February 29th when my water broke: we had said goodnight to Anthony's parents who had driven 12 hours in a feverish attempt to be close. They intended to be there for my morning Dr.'s appointment in case the pre-eclampsia turned out to be a reality and I was induced.

A short pop and a few trickles later, we called them to announce we were heading to the hospital ourselves, right now! My first thought when I felt the oddity of a ruptured bag of waters was, "No!!! Not tonight, I cannot do anything well on little sleep!"

I took a shower in our home and shook like a leaf, not sure what I was doing, not sure what this night would yield
not even sure of my own birthing strengths that I had been working to foster through hypnobirthing cds and books galore. I had spent at least an hour every day working toward the realization of a natural, quiet birth.

In the car, dressed in my green bee pajama pants we listened to Rufus Wainwright sing "Across the Universe" and I felt the first small contractions begin, close together and faint.
This baby, so loved for so long was finally going to be in my arms, in our lives!!

Standing up from the car to enter the hospital, my water truly broke (holy moley!!!)
and we were wheeled up to labor and delivery to settle in for a long night.
I was hooked to a monitor, given an iv drip of penicillin for strep B
and dressed up in a hospital gown: I never felt the letdown from these medical restrictions that I feared might be the case, instead I concentrated on the task at hand and breathed slowly and lovingly through the ever increasing surges
a large surf-worthy wave with me and Baby O at its crest
driven by breathing and intention.

The hours passed quickly and my surges took on a sharp quality that rendered my surfing visualization too tidy, too small. The pretty wave became a tsunami, and I strapped the baby to my back and took in breath like a superhero might, so great a sensation I had to overcome as my labor progressed.

Even if the nurse was talking to me
(or there was banter among our amazing midwife Sandy
or Elika, our doula
and my beloved husband, Schmilly)
everyone would get reverentially quiet when I would begin a contraction
and I felt so respected, so encouraged by this honoring
that it nearly brought me to tears - the goal had become shared and bonds formed:
we were all committed to the work.

At around 3:30 AM the sensations took on a sharpness I had never imagined experiencing
and at the height of each contraction Orion's heart rate would drop to below an acceptable point.
The little birthing room got concerned.
My visualization became me on a bike, picking up Orion and whisking him uphill sharply and away from danger with the words, "Come on, Baby - you're coming with me." 
Every time.

For lack of a better phrase, shit was getting real.

I have to say this because it bears expressing: I decided to start the process
of learning about a quiet, peaceful birth because I wanted to bring Orion into this world as gently as possible:
here he had languished in the softest peace for over 9 months - I wanted the transition to earth
to be as loving as possible. My version of loving. This does not mean that I think any less of intense vocalizations,
or that my choice to go natural means that I frown upon any kind of intervention -
on the contrary giving birth has given me such tremendous respect for any woman
who experiences the miracle in any way:
I am astounded at the strength of opinion some have shared 
that one method is better than others, that one experience is somehow elevated...

it all has a shared goal, but there are many roads to mecca
and the pain is such that I would never even BEGIN to question a woman's right to ease it 
by whatever means she so chose: there were moments where I considered everything available to me!

For the last three hours of active labor I began to feel despondent, though I didn't speak of it:
lack of sleep and the intense athletic work
with no end in sight made me feel discouraged: I had still not yet been measured -
we took a gamble and called Sandy in to find out how far along I was:
6 cm!

Energy renewed
The sun began to rise outside the window, a pale orange and grey sky
full of clouds and the worn hills of greening grasses
lit up like they too were waiting for this new life.
Come, Orion!!!
Here is your dawn!

My husband was my lifeline and my heart through all of this.
I was not a woman who wanted to be touched: I labored at the edge of the bed, sitting up as one would do on any given morning putting on shoes or earrings. I did not find comfort in changing positions
or walking, I moaned low and moved my body in ellipses, edging back and toward the pain.
With each contraction Anthony loved me, talked me up the hill by encouraging 
my choices and lauding my strength...
I heard his words like a lighthouse might be seen by a sailor on stormy seas.

Hard transition and its shaky fierceness gave way
to pushing

and with a team of four amazing souls around me I bore down
and moved Orion out to our wonder very slowly.
The stethoscope lost his heartbeat for about sixty seconds close to his birth
and we all held our breaths to hear that gorgeous tiny steam train sound....
Nurse Marilyn moved the sensor around and around with no trace of our tiny beloved
until suddenly she found a new angle and he was


And then the crowning and the shoulders and the fierce
cry of a beautiful boy...
my eyes had been closed through every push
Anthony had caught the babe
and handed him to my open arms
where with my eyes wide to daylight I found myself
feeling like a Liliputian handed the biggest baby I could have ever imagined:
why I thought he'd be a tiny doll is beyond me!
"Oh, my son!!!!" I cried out loud from my gut like a verbal reflex after my arms enfolded him
greedy and protective all at once.
Orion was the color of Russian purple chalcedony and marble 
slippery and dense 
and as I held him he pinked and calmed.
In those unreal moments every second of time since June 26th, 2011 made perfect
and complete sense.

As I write these words, Orion is tucked into my right arm
where he will stay for hours, nursing and resting as his namesake constellation moves across the night sky.
Such are the sleepless nights of newborn life
and I a blithe participant along with Anthony and wee O.

With love,

Friday, March 2, 2012

He is Here!!!

Welcome to our world, 

Orion Henry Schmill

born March 1st at 8:30 A.M.

You are loved more profoundly than we could ever express!!

Mama and Papa