Saturday, June 19, 2010

Guinness at 4am . . .book sales and Edomasa

My husband left the house before dawn and headed to the Press Room, a local bar, where he sat in the dark and drank a cup of coffee, before starting in on a Guinness. This sounds like the beginning of some dark tale, but it's much simpler than that. If you want to see the Netherlands play in the 2010 World Cup, this is their witching hour.

Funny thing is, he wasn't alone. Another 25 or so die hard fans filled the bar, including 3 Japanese soccer fans cheering for Japan, Holland's opponent in the Match.

In the meantime, I awoke at 6am and reached to find an empty bed. It didn't take me long to remember where my husband had gone. I felt awake, and took advantage of the moment to read Time magazine's extensive coverage of the World Cup in South Africa, its meaning to the country, the history of Fifa and soccer throughout the world, and even the importance of soccer on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and countless others were held in prison, and the beacon of hope and equality that a weekly soccer game instilled in this prison population.

I soon realized that my default favorite player is Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon, not for his amazing abilities, but for his story of rags to riches, and, with a salary in the multi-millions, his generosity to his fellow Cameroonians through pumping millions into social development programs that link sports, education and health.

That afternoon as husband and child took a long nap, I headed down to the Santa Barbara Public Library for a blow out book sale (this is indeed how they advertised it), and scored a bag of books, CDs, videos and a beautiful cloth bag all for $20.00. Titles ranged from the I-Ching and the Autobiography of Mother Theresa to Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them. It felt like Christmas in June!

When Arie Jan awoke and saw my bounty, he took his turn at the sale. We have no idea where we are going to put all of these new books.

Instead of surprising him with new socks and underwear for Father's Day, I took him to Edomasa for dinner, where dear friends--also a Dutch American couple with a toddler son--joined us. It was a great evening . . great day as a matter of fact. And what better way to celebrate the Dutch victory against Japan, then eating in a Japanese restaurant?

Good night!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Organic Cotton Handkerchiefs part of Central Coast organic movement

Glen Taylor from Specialty Color Services emailed me this morning to congratulate me on a press write up on my organic cotton hanky business in Noozhawk, an online central coast news source. How cool is that? The article covers everything from home made organic pies to organic cotton hankies by Lime Green Monkey. Glad to make the grade!g (Click on this post title to go to the article).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Description of Society

Our book club recently read A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit. The main, and rather repetitive message is that during times of natural catastrophe and man made disaster, people come together in a spirit of camaraderie that does not exist in every day life; racial, ethnic and economic barriers disappear and a sense of joy and humanity emerges. This beautiful expression of the human spirit is rarely reported in the news, and if it is, it is attributed to the special character of the area. For example, during the 1906 quake in SF, the San Franciscans claimed that the Utopian spirit that emerged was due to the character of San Franciscans, not human nature.
One passage that really spoke to me was a portrayal of our society by J.K. Gibson-Graham, two women writing under one name.
"They portray our society as an iceberg, with competitive capitalist practices visible above the waterline and below all kinds of relations of aid and cooperation by families, friends, neighbors, churches, cooperatives, volunteers, and voluntary organizations from softball leagues to labor unions, along with activities outside the market, under the table, bartered labor and goods and more, a bustling network of uncommercial enterprise."

I love this description of society. It describes the life I live and the lives of those around me. To be isolated in the idea of work as life, is to miss the point of existence. I think the best marriage of work and personal life comes when you find something you are passionate about, and make it your life work. Right now, being home with my son feels very close to this concept. My hours feel worthwhile. Yet, I yearn for more. I think more will come as Ezra gets older, and we have more complex conversations. Yet, already he challenges me for answers that I am still trying to answer for myself.
"Where does God live?" for example. "God lives everywhere." But what does that answer mean to a three year old? And does God live in the heart of a non-believer? Most likely not.

I pray I do not need a catastrophe to awaken a spirit of comaradarie within me. I am already thankful for my life beneath the tip of the iceberg, with all the layers of interconnectedness, friendship and support. It is the tip of the iceberg that so many of us are struggling with right now.