tamarjacobson

Looking back and thinking forward

Month: June, 2008

He was “a pretty good guy …”

Quote of the day:


Aside from the blogging in my head, which I assume most of us do from time to time, I too have blogged or written in my sleep. Sometimes it is simply a small discovery while in the care of Morpheus — discovery of how to start or how to finish or how to color the spaces in-between, discovering details which had been eluding us for days or weeks of wakeful thought.


Winston Rand


Rest in peace, dear blogging friend. You will be missed.

Shining eyes

Quote of the day:

Who am I being if my child’s eyes are not shining? Benjamin Zander

http://static.videoegg.com/ted2/flash/loader.swf

Thanks, Hugh.

A womb of my own

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[Tamarika’s womb, taken June 2008]

The time has come for me to face it. 

She has been my enemy for almost 33 years. She has been the source of much of my shame and guilt. And yet, it seems that by almost losing her this past year, I have realized how urgent it is for me to make peace with my womb.

After all, she was home to my son for the first nine months of his development. She nurtured and nourished him, warmed and comforted him, and by transmitting the beat of my heart to him, she gave him his rhythm, his music, and a sense of security that even I, as his mother, could never replicate once he was pushed out from her, and into my arms.

My womb is not to blame for the life choices I made, or felt forced to make, after my darling son was born. My lack of confidence and self-worth was the real source of my shame and guilt, Not my womb. After all, she gave me my sexuality, passion, and intensity through hormones and cycles. Even as she challenged me with becoming an adult or trying to make responsible decisions.

Yes indeed, she is aging right there along with the rest of my body and brain. She deserves my compassion and support. More than that. She deserves my gratitude and forgiveness. It was not her fault that two children were taken from her, coldly and abruptly; or, after all that trauma, she was unable to house others. Indeed, my womb has played a big part of who I am today. 

We struggled together this past year, and yesterday we were finally given a reprieve. As I look, long and hard, at the photograph the doctor took of the inside of my womb last Friday, I see a soft, round, warm, vital, alive, moon-like organ. She looks a little scarred and uneven. Perhaps it is the harsh light shining on her, for she is used to being cradled in darkness. She looks quite miraculous to me. I wish I had known more about her when I was young. I might have taken more care with her. Appreciated her more – appreciated me more.

I have work to do – acknowledging a womb of my own. After all, it means accepting my femininity, sexuality and everything that goes with being a woman. This has always been a struggle for me. I find myself face-to-face with the crux, the very core of who I am and how I arrived at this place within – deep within – me. I do not know where it will lead me. It feels exciting to be on a new journey. Like discovering a new path to the Self after wandering in the dark for awhile. There have been one or two other subtle changes that have been stirring within me lately, which have hinted at the new road ahead. 

And so … with eyes wider now – excitement fluttering, vision brighter –  let the great, renewed exploration-work begin …

Letting go

Quote of the day:

I'm at the stage of my life when my old defense mechanisms don't make any sense any more

Me

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Leaving

Blogging in my mind

Living life in the real world does not mean that I have not been blogging. At least, in my mind it seems. For, I awoke this morning realizing that I dreamed a blog post. In my dream, I was standing and talking to people and as I spoke I realized I was, in fact, writing a piece in my blog. I have also been missing those blogs that I read regularly. Life in the fast lane has kept me from my Cyber community. But not so in my mind. As I woke up this morning, I understood that I hold the blogging community in my thoughts as tenderly as friends and family of my reality world.

It is a month since I traveled to Israel. On my return I rushed off to New Orleans for a conference and then began the task of taking on a new position at work. This entailed moving offices and immediately learning new ropes that go with the job. All the knots and twists and turns that go with the ropes. Or, at least, some of them. More will definitely come! 

At home we decided that our old bedroom was just that – old. And the time had come for a renewal! Shopping for a new one and assembling it took hours of long, hard labor. Your know? 
  • opening boxes, 
  • vacuuming behind the old thrown away stuff, 
  • reading instructions, 
  • driving the boxes to the recycling dumpster … all those kinds of things that come with renewal …
And then there was the facing of a medical procedure that I have been putting off for some months now. Yesterday I finally conquered my fear and had it done. As I await the results I feel a sense of relief that I had the courage to confront the demons of my past. For, the surgery and my past experiences were intimately connected. When the doctor asked me how I was feeling yesterday, as we were waiting for me to be wheeled in to the operating theater, I laughed out loud and said, "Well, I'm here, aren't I? That's the first step." 

Come to think of it, blogging, self-expression, writing – all might have been trapped somehow, held back as I used all my energy to confront my fears of this medical procedure. This morning, after sleeping off the anesthesia all day and all night, I feel lighter, fresher and more able to write. Indeed, my mind released me inside my sleep last night. 

There is much to talk about. Like, how I have moved on beyond past anger. Or, how much more accepting of my age I have become … And, even, how I have forgiven others and my self … Yes indeed. Much to write about. Still more to explore and uncover. 

On this first day of summer, I think of the days ahead excitedly, with hope and so much to look forward to: work, home, reconnections to family, friends – old, new, virtual, real, new book to be released in August … Barack Obama as President … hm … and I say: "Hey! Bring it all on!"

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Quote of the day

A day at Ikea

Time to renew … 

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… bedroom buying time …

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Hm … and we will have to put it all together ourselves …

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Happy birthday T & T!

Odds and ends

Quote of the day I:

Today it's sunny and a bit sticky but energizing. The sun, that vibrant blue sky, the sea, the casual atmosphere, even the tooting of the cars – it all makes you feel so alive! Fay, describing Israel

Natalie, over at Blaugustine wrote an on-line article for the Guardian about Older Female Geeks
… er … bloggers, that is. And, me oh my, I was privileged and
honored to be included in that category. A geek, that is, in the
context of blogging, naturally! Not to mention the "older" bit.

Quote of the day II:

Senator Obama, for his part, will not be cast as the avenging hero in “The Rescue” any time soon — and not because of the color of his skin or his lack of military experience. He doesn’t seem to want the role. You don’t see him crouching in a duck blind or posing in camouflage duds or engaging in anything more gladiatorial than a game of pick-up basketball. If Mr. Obama’s candidacy seeks to move beyond race, it also moves beyond gender. A 20-minute campaign Web documentary showcased a President Obama who would exude “a real sensitivity” and “empathy” and provide a world safe for the American mother’s son. Mr. Obama is surrounded in the video by pacifist — not security — moms. Susan Faludi from The New York Times today.

Please read the whole opinion piece! I have been thinking, talking and writing about this for months, referring to the issue as my voting for Obama as a vote against Patriarchy. Faludi, of course, says it so much better than I did or am able.

Dick fishing

Oh yes … and … Happy Father's Day! 

Back in the groove of life

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[Taken while posing before my presentation at the DVAEYC Conference in April. Thanks, Sheila!]

Since my return from Israel, I have been busy indeed. It almost feels as if I have had no time to think, reflect, or commune with the inner me. Although, my nights have been turbulent, filled with dreams and vivid images, fitful sleep and waking exhausted to greet the day. So, I guess I must be trying to tell me something.

There was the quick trip to New Orleans as soon as I arrived home from the Middle East. And then, it was right back to work, moving into a new office and taking on different responsibilities, as Chair of my Department, almost immediately. All accompanied by jet-lag.

In between all this, I was interviewed by someone from the Philadelphia Inquirer about what I feel about aging! They even sent a photographer to take pictures of the aging me in my unkempt yard!  Of course it was an exciting thought that my words and/or picture might be published in our newspaper. However, thinking about aging in that type of focused manner was even more challenging. And, as some of you who know me might have realized by now – I like a good self reflection challenge! What I discovered was grief. As I spoke about the aging process, I uncovered it as going through different kinds of loss. Losing my youth, physical prowess, and time remaining alive. I identified the stages of denial, anger and acceptance as some of the grieving stages, in myself, for all the necessary life experience losses. It was encouraging to  reflect out loud thinking that I have reached the acceptance stage even as I regress from time to time folding back into sometimes denial, regret, and, even, gentle anger with an aching joint or muscle as I try to do things that used to come so easily to me once before.

With acceptance comes a kind of peace I have not known when I was young. It feels deep and deserved. Peace of mind and heart, embracing people and places I might have butted heads with in the past. The kind of peace that finds me more detached, yet more deeply connected, than ever before. I just do not take things so personally any more. I seem more able to understand what belongs to others and which parts become my own responsibility. I seem to have more choices about my attitude than ever before. Indeed, I found as I talked with the interviewer of the Inquirer, that I seem to have befriended my aging process. I am still not sure, however, if I have befriended the idea of dying – yet.

There is simply way too much I want to do. There are many relationships I want to develop further – personal and professional. With family, old and new friends – virtual and real. With my son and husband. Colleagues, editors, students, and administrators. Even with my cat, the birds at the feeder, or chipmunks running through my yard. There's an election to be won. Our Obama to embrace. A world to be changed!

No doubt about it, my recent trip to Israel strengthened and supported me – refueled me for the busy and challenging year ahead. 

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: You can't come back in!

Opening my heart back home

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May 24, 2008. Turning 59.

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Me and my mother.