|My first bra was a hand-me-down. I have three older female cousins and I’ll never know with whom this one originated, but I do know that it didn’t fit. My Auntie Jo told me that it was inappropriate for a girl my age to not wear a bra and since I was under her care deep in the heart of Texas for the summer of 1977, my time had come. My mother didn’t wear one, so what did I know?
The bra was white cotton, originally. Now grayish with lumpy cups from too many washings. It felt like cardboard under my t-shirt and the straps pulled on my sunburn. And it itched.
Riding a bicycle barefoot on the country roads in Texas in the summer had been a liberating feeling. But with this new-to-me recycled bra I felt constricted. I couldn’t lift my arms without it riding up and then I had to stop the bike and tug it down. I was always tugging and adjusting and now I was completely self-conscious. Did it show through my shirt? The easy freedom of summer had hit a lumpy cotton wall.
Once I was back home, my bra went missing the morning after a birthday sleepover. The birthday girl was a pain in the ass and had taken it out of my overnight bag. She told me she was going to hang it on the door of our classroom at school on Monday morning. Never underestimate the psychological torture of being a seventh grade girl. I got to school early to stake out the door. She didn’t make good on the threat, but she never returned the bra.
I had done some research by this point and I had found that Danskin made a bra that I wanted. Sold in dance stores, this was the precursor to today’s jog-bra. No hooks. No lumpy cups or pinchy straps – I could move!
With the exception of a brief tawdry fling with Victoria’s Secret in the 1980’s, (I was living in LA, and thus, defenseless. I even got a membership to Trashy Lingerie with a friend who I will not name, but she knows who she is), I stayed loyal to the same pullover style until the Mom years. After breastfeeding three ravenous babies, I self promoted to underwire with strategic padding, and was professionally fitted by one of the blessed Nordstrom bra wizards. These women are amazing. They tricked me out with bras that actually fit and were pretty. And expensive.
|I never paid much attention to Z before I named my second child Zinnia. I have a funny thing about letters, kind of an obsession. I’ve spent most of my life pretty comfortably occupying the two middle letters of the alphabet – L and M as the first letters of my name and surname (maiden name).L is for love, lemons, lions, licorice. M is for monkeys, magic, marshmallows and mystery. In classrooms, when they lined you up alphabetically for a game, to take class photos, or to go out to recess, I was sure to be right in the middle of things. I was a shy child and wanted the least amount of attention paid to me as possible. Being neither first, nor last, suited me perfectly.
But then I allowed Z into our little family of letters. At the farthest reaches of the alphabet it seemed so exotic, alien and maybe a little lonely. Poor little Z, only one playmate, Y, on one side of you and even then, how charismatic is Y anyway? I practically smothered my daughter with my anxious feelings.What had I done?
She would always be last picked in alpha order.Would other kids alienate her because Z was so unusual?
What cool things start with a Z anyway?
It turns out that Z is so much cooler than I could have imagined. Z is for words that just zing off your tongue like zipper, zap, zippadeedooda, and zany. It is the height of intellectual style like zeitgeist, and a Jazz Age icon, Zelda Fitzgerald. It is for a wonderful Zen state of mind, and for zydeco music, a fusion of Creole and Cajun influences using washboards, fiddles and accordions.
It brings me back full circle to my little Zinnia. She is the essence of what it means to be Z― imaginative, colorful, full of wonder, spontaneity and utterly original.
Laurel Hilton is an essayist and journalist whose work has appeared on KQED’s Perspectives, Mama Monologues, Examiner.com, and Uptake.com, to name a few. She’d like to spend more time stringing words together than consumed with the hierarchy of letters.
|It’s a fascinating question that humanity has asked throughout time. It seems too simple to think we are here just because the cells and molecules came together that way; just a giant accident. It’s a never-ending debate that I’m sure I won’t be able to answer in a blog but I do have some Ancient Wisdom about that question that I’d love to share with U.You see, there is wisdom about your soul that is held in an etheric library which we call the Akashic Record. Every person has a Record. Everything you’ve been and done, place you’ve lived in this lifetime or another, every reason your soul has for coming to Earth is all recorded in this Akashic Field. Each person does have a reason for being here. We actually have many reasons and they are written in your soul’s library.When your soul decides it wants to come to Earth again it actually makes a plan. The way the Masters of the Akashic Record show it to me looks like this; 500 Souls come together in a giant auditorium and start looking for other souls to share their Earthly experience. One soul says to another “Hey, I’d like to have some kids when I come to Earth. Last time I wasn’t a very good parent and I’d really like to finish that old Karma and be a loving parent this time”, the other soul says “I know, I was one of your kids. All those beatings made for a lousy life so let’s finish that old Karma and I’ll be a happy kid and you’ll be a great parent so we don’t need to experience that pain again”. They make a soul contract and 20 or 30 years later it comes to fruition.
Now it’s anyone’s guess if these two souls had a happy family. The odd part about us humans is that once we come down into these bodies, we forget all the contracts and reasons we had for coming. The energy is dense and Karma isn’t always easy to complete. But we keep trying, sometimes it takes us 700 lifetimes to get it all right. But we’re strong, bright Souls and our main reason for Being is to remember that. To be the Light and the Love so we can heal ourselves and those around us. So if you ever wondered “Y am I here?”, the simple Truth is: To Be the Love. If you can remember that in the hard times, it may make life a bit easier.
Lisa Barnett is an internationally known Teacher, Consultant and Founder of Akashic Knowing School of Wisdom. She is a clear channel of profound divine wisdom through the Akashic Record, as well as an Energy Master and Spiritual Teacher. Lisa brings more than 20 years of teaching, spiritual counseling and energetic healing to her clients and students who span several continents.
|I climb in bed knowing I’ve volunteered to write 2-300 words for the Write on Mamas A-Z Blog Challenge. In the almost-asleep realm that is half-thinking and half-dreaming, I hear the familiar Seinfeld riff. And I am Jerry Seinfeld, on set, reading a directorial note from Larry David.In one minute I have to ad-lib a stand-up segment on a letter – but I can choose only from J, K or X, as all the other letters are taken. And then, I am on-stage in jeans and a blazer, in front of a live studio audience with cameras rolling. I put on my best not-even-trying-not-to-smile face.” . . . and I said, well, you know, J and K – I understand why they didn’t get chosen. But X? What’s wrong with X?X is nothing like Q. Q is all needy and pathetic, with U next to him all the time. X – he stands on his own, brings his own lunch, shows up on time.Why shun the X?
X is a kiss. In fact, X is hot – a Roman ten – and you know those Romans! In Australia, you put four X’s together and you’ve got a can of beer.
And he’s a team player. When X gets together with E, things get interesting. Ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, ex-pelled. That’s a lot of material.
If I was a letter, I’d be an X. Think about it: Give it a couple of numbers and it multiplies!
There’s just no good reason . . . to shun the X.”
“It’s a take!” someone yells.
In the almost-awake realm that is half-dreaming and half-thinking, I hear Larry David tell me, “That was pret-ty pret-ty good.”
Robyn T. Murphy is an Xpat from Australia, a Gen X-er, who finds writing an Xcellent medium for her tendency to Xaggerate. She writes and ruminates from her home in Xquisite Marin county. You can find her at www.robynTmurphy.com
|What do you do when the weather never changes? When every day is sun-baked, blue skies stretch to infinity and a quilt of heat envelops you whenever you step outside your door? If you’re me, you start to go slightly mad, that’s what.
Or at least I did in my first summer in California. Having grown up in Ireland, where the weather is an endless source of speculation, it unsettled me to suddenly find that weather reports were irrelevant. Weeks would go by without anyone mentioning ‘the weather’. Would the weather be nice for our picnic on Saturday? Of course it would. It would be the same as it always was: sunny, hot and dry with no chance of rain, temperature somewhere in the 80s, maybe even the 90s.Every morning I would look out the window, wondering whether today could possibly be as hot and dry again as yesterday and if so, how on earth my neighbors managed to have flowers bobbing about their front yards. The answer came to me late at night when I would hear the whoosh of their sprinklers starting up like clockwork around 1am, as regular as the weather itself.As regular as the weather. That’s a phrase you would never hear in Ireland. Weather there is as impossible to predict as your own fate. It can snow in April, it can rain thunderously in August, it can be mild and sunny in January, there can be storm force winds in June. Your best bet, however, is to assume that it will rain because Ireland, of course, is famously rainy.On those perpetually sunny days, at the height of California’s summer, the lack of weather left me feeling cast adrift. There was something cruel about the endless sun beating down on my light-haired head, like an inquisitor shining a bright light in my face to break my spirit.My only relief was to take trips on the weekend to coastal towns, where it’s cooler, where there is weather, to try to hide from the sun. On the hottest weekends, we would make our escape and hide away in the banks of Pacific fog, refugees from weather-free heaven. ‘Oh, look’ I would say to my husband excitedly ‘it’s only 75 in Half-Moon Bay, ’75 and foggy’. Maybe I’ll need to wear shoes!’
MJ Brodie is a recent arrival to California from Ireland (via Germany, Belgium and Scotland) and has slowly adjusted to endless sunshine and positive thinking. She has always written and blogged, having worked professionally in marketing and communications, and is taking postgraduate courses in writing with Berkeley Extension and Stanford. She is also a member of Write On, Mamas. A mother of one, she blogs on literature, politics and sometimes parenting at A Fresh Eye. You can follow her on Twitter @suilnua.