Monday, June 1, 2009

Truth In Advertising

Well, this blog will either be a blessing thanks to Mel, great woman fabricator of From Clutter To Shine, or by the end of it, you may be sending her messages that read, "Ga, Mel, what the heck were you thinking when you asked that Nut Pie to answer these questions?!"

Let's hope it's the first option. However, either way, you'll know more about me and how I think and who's helped me on my life path. May be more info than you wanted to know about your loving crone, but here goes nothing. I want to thank Mel, because she really gave these questions a great deal of thought and confirmed that she has been a detailed follower here at Your Mother Knows, as you will see as you read along. So, Mel, I'm honored that you took such time and attention to detail about my life:

1. In your role as a teacher, you will have undoubtedly inspired many of your students, but was there a particular student who inspired you and why?

During my time as an adjunct faculty member at my beloved Alma Mater, I've been gifted with students who taught me more than I may have taught them. Many of them are memorable and make me very proud of the people they have become; the gifts they share with the world; the spirits who hope to leave the world better than they found it. So, I wish I could name them all...because I really was blessed with many wonderful students. Since I can't pick just one, here are two for consideration:

This is Lindsey- you've heard me mention her several times here. I will always remember Lindsey because of her courage and determination. Because of her depth of spirit, her willingness to help the world be a better place. Her sense of fun. Her charm. Her character. And, because she has worked hard and struggled to find who she truly is and begin the charmed life of being in love with her Self. I can't share her life story with you, as that's her to share as she sees fit. Just let me say about this wonderful woman, others may have given in and been done with it all. But, somehow she found the courage to survive and thrive. And, she was willing to share all of that story one day in my classroom. I know all of us who sat and listened were forever changed for the better because she did. She is one of my heroes.

And, now meet Caroline. I love her because she taught me bravery. She is from France and when I met her she was working as a nanny full time and going to school full time. In a land far from home, learning in a language not her own. Her love of life, enthusiasm, dedication and determination are all qualities that I hope to have in the same measure.

She works for an international non-profit that works to improve the quality of life and spirit of children and young adults around the world. Her goal to become an American Citizen is one that I applaud and hope will happen sooner than later. But the world can be complicated and so can we wait. And we benefit from her loving spirit and desire to improve the world one day at a time: the gifts that Caroline gives to everything she does.

I consider myself lucky to be her friend now and she will always be a member of my family. No longer a stranger in a strange land, this young woman makes a difference to her adopted country and home.

2. We are very fortunate here in Blog Land, to have the benefit of your insight and wisdom as our Loving Crone. Who/What has served as your Crone, Loving or otherwise?

I had a student whose favorite quote was, "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning,"said by Catherine Aird. That may not be the exact quote but you get my drift.

Meaning, you have a choice in how you will be viewed and remembered. A choice that is yours alone to make. I know which I want for myself, but only because I've had outstanding examples of the other choice available! At any rate, I've been blessed by, to be kind let's call them strong, women in my life. I got that blessing first. And after I endured the learning through these women, I was blessed to have other women come into my life who taught me the value of the feminine spirit and the expansive nature of a woman's heart to grow and embrace many, many, many, through kindness, wit, and wisdom.

The crones who had a big impact on my life, who were not that pleasant are: Nanny The World's Meanest Woman, who taught me that you can't love something if you can't keep it alive. And, that often life is reduced to survival and only after that, can you worry about developing the skills of living. She was hard. Could be cutting and mean. But, she always had something to feed you. Our home was always orderly and clean. She invited anyone into her home to be fed and she never didn't have enough to feed whoever showed up. She was no nonsense. She raised six children successfully and ran a restaurant kitchen that was a model for excellence. She helped my grandfather become successful in the competitive world of owning a restaurant. When she walked through the neighborhood on her occasional strolls, everyone who saw her called out with respect, "Hello, Mrs. Dietor, how are you this evening?" Nanny and I loved each other, but we didn't much like each other. Or better said- we didn't understand each other, sad to say.

The next crone who taught me through hard lessons was my first mother-in-law who was a dragon in at least one lifetime, perhaps many. Mrs. Duggan wouldn't have spit on me to put me out had I been standing on fire in front of her. She simply hated me. It wasn't funded in fact, simply sheer emotion so there was no arguing it or making it better. She's gone onto her next life and we never talked with each other after my marriage to Doog ended. It took me a long time and a lot of internal work before I could put her in correct perspective. But, through her I had to learn that:

Just because someone doesn't like me, doesn't mean I'm not likable.

Just because I want to be in relationship with someone doesn't mean that they do, or that I will die if they don't.

Just because a person acts like a harpy with you, doesn't mean they will with others, and because you've learned to hate them, doesn't mean that others won't have equal reason to love them.

Just because someone told stories about me that weren't true, didn't mean that people would not be able to discern for themselves what was true and what wasn't. Because they did.

So, thanks Gladys...I wish you well where ever you are and what life you are leading.

Now, on to two women who helped me through the power of love and friendship. Two who I am honored to call friend: This is Eileen; you hear me speak of her quite a lot. She was married to my boss, Charlie, who you've read about. Eileen lost Charlie way too young and too soon in a life that should have lasted forever. And, I am proud of how she has crafted her life after that large hole was created by loss.

She was one of the first women who helped me find some of the missing pieces that I needed in order to learn to love my life. More importantly, she was one of the first women who helped me learn to trust women and LOVE the power of the divine feminine. She is pivotal. And, now she's going to teach that love to her new grandson, Simon. I love you, Eileen.

This next beautiful woman is Judy. She is my adored sister-in-law Linda's, Mom. Judy is that rare woman of dignity and grace who does not take herself seriously but effects you like a cooling gentle breeze on a blistering hot day. Judy was a New York City Rockett! She is a talented artist. She reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in a spirit of female power that is gorgeously understated and complete. She has shown me what a marvelous treasure a Mother-In-Law can be.

She has listened to me over the years in my angst of growing. Always offered quiet, pragmatic opinions. She supports us in our efforts to be glorious women, all different, who have value and worth. She is the woman I hope to be one day, should I live long enough. In this picture taken a few years ago, she's with one of her favorite guys...that's my brother, Glenn. I love him very much; I'm so grateful that Judy feels the same way about him, too.

I can't forget my Aunt Marie who helped me through the difficult, formative teen-age years when my father went to her and said, "Marie, I don't know how to help my child grow into being a woman. Please, will you help?" I love him for understanding what his limitations were and her for being so willing to support me, guide me with love, and reel me in when I was walking way too close to the edge. She, too, is a shining example of love in action. Thank you, Aunt Marie.

One last woman who isn't a crone, but furthered my understanding of the power of women to heal, is Jen Manlove, Doog's wife. Who honors me as someone who is a major player in her husband's life. And, loves me as I love her.

3. We know of your fondness of the colour purple and have seen the lovely photos of your garden - an magical oasis and place for retreat and reflection. (see your wish this week). Given absolutely NO climate restrictions (each plant may exist in its own best conditions - an individual biosphere), describe your Dream Garden.

I wouldn't have any garden other than mine as it is a reflection of who I am in the current moment. However, even though rain-forests are glorious and imposing, and exotic plants can suck the breath from your body, I am most comfortable with Cottage Gardens. There's an inviting informality about them....

...where all are welcome and all play nice together. Sometimes getting too close and need to be reminded of boundaries...but teach that the world is a pretty heavenly place when all colors and shapes are wanted and respected for their individual gifts and beauty.

A garden is a continual work in progress and gives me comfort that there's always another opportunity to try something and learn. So for me, the quiet riot of the cottage garden is the way to grow!

4. If I was looking to adopt a dog, tell me why I should find myself a Scottie.

Short answer- BECAUSE!

Here's the could you not? They are fabulous canines! Look at those faces. If you like terriers, and I do...I've had five Cairns and now these two wild Highlanders, Scottish Terriers are one of the best of the line. Rory & Fiona are the quintessential Scotties. Loyal. True. Loving. Playful. Quiet. Riotous at turns. And fun. They are full of themselves, know who they are, and are big dog spirits stuffed into a little dog's form.

I like them because you don't see them coming and going. I wish we were doing a better job at breeding here in the U.S. as this breed is really being threatened by an array of genetic issues. We need to be doing better at maintaining a breed without killing it slowly. But, that's enough of a soap box for now.

5. A borrowed question - sort of....If you could invite three people to dine with you (living or dead), who would they be and what would you be eating?

Okay, I couldn't invite three. There are four. And, we would be eating whatever I thought to serve them. Perhaps an all American dinner...steak, beautiful large salad, broccoli, and baked potato. Nothing fancy, but flavorful. Dessert to be determined. But, probably berries with ice cream and pound cake.

First guy, Peter The Great, because he brought the culture and civilization of the best courts of Europe to Russia. And, he formed St. Petersburg which is a beautiful city that captivated my heart when I taught there for a month. I would love to get to know his bravado and the expansive, chest thumping characteristics of this great Russian. What a Czar. What a personality...what a visionary.

To rule England at the time when male supremacy had run completely amuck. To be the monarch of the ages. To sacrifice her personal life for the welfare and growth of her people. To bring forward the land to the age of grace and in peace. To be clever enough to outwit plots and sub-plots. Ah, Elizabeth, I- the once and future Queen. Can you imagine the moxy, determination, the brilliance, and the stubborn nature of this one? I'm sure she and The Great Peter would have a great deal to discuss.

Siddhartha, before he became The Buddha...wouldn't you love to sit and talk with him to see how he became the Enlightened One? To find out how Human he was? To learn how to ignite the same Divine Spark in yourself? And, honestly, over coffee and cake, ask him, "So, Sidd, did it turn out as you hoped and expected?" To ask him as you know you're dying to ask The Christ, "So tell me Rabbi, is this what you had in mind, or did we get off track here? Is this anything close to what you envisioned?!"

And, finally Arthur: I'd like to meet the man behind the myth and wonder with him how the myth took a life of its own that has lasted millennia...and ask him if his life seems worthy of the continuation of the legends. To watch his face when he says in bewilderment, "I have no idea how this happened, and I'm not certain that it should have." For me, I will continue to hope for the return of the Once & Future King, to see the embodiment of King Arthur. I'm fairly certain I was a member of his Round Table. But, not one of the guys you hear so much about.

And, because I believe in truth in advertising...that first picture is me, about two and a half years ago, with Michael. It's our wedding day. This man has single-handedly made most of my dreams become reality. He has given a depth to my life that I never dreamed possible. However, I know I would not have been worthy of him had I not experienced the grace and wisdom of those mentioned here. And, if I hadn't had the courage to do the hard work of growing out of some of my limiting ways and learning to love myself first.

So, here's me today...even more honest and real. Here's me in the morning. And, here's the truth of my is what it is. I am a divine work in progress. Stay tuned for more.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Your Loving Crone


Eileen said...

Holly, my dear friend, I am beyond honored to find myself here in your soul-exposing blog today. You, too, are on my list of those that helped to create the "me" that I am today. I think our relationship has always been a true give and take ... each teaching the lessons the other needed at just the time we were in search of the lesson. I love you ... the whole of you, the essence of you ... the truth and the honor of you. I have always been in awe of your willingness for the work to self-reflect, self critique, take in the gifts that come your way and give back so much more to all of those who are lucky enough to open themselves up to you ... you are a born teacher. I love you.

Life With Dogs said...

Great post Holly, I learned much on my visit today. Your choice of dinner guests was rather interesting - especially considering that most folks these days would list three pop culture celebrities! It was great to meet a number of your sources of inspiration.

With a dog like Nigel, I prefer to see them coming and going, but you came pretty close to selling me on Scotties this morning.

beth said...

getting to know you better has been a BLAST !
and the photograpy....wonderful !
your friend eileen...amazing !
and your hair...if I could wear mine like that I would !

next...tell us your favorite movie, food, time of day, drink and footwear !...wait, I think we know your clogs would take the crown there, right ?

and then your best feature and favorite season and what you are most comfortable in clothing wise and what magazines you read....

I LOVE KNOWING THINGS about's the's always the details !!!

Mel said...

Ah, my have out-Shone any hope I dared have in your answering of these questions (and you were my hardest one!!)...I have loved getting to know you here..loved getting to know who makes you tick and yes, those Scottie faces...they are Gems, your Rory and Fiona.

And your dinner table....sublime. Arthur..yes, I'd like chat with him again...funny, I think I was there too...but not at the Round Table..perhaps I looked after his horses or dressed Cavall's wounds...

~~much love and gratitude~~

sema said...

Dear holly,
What a beautiful post.It was great getting to know you better and my admiration for you is growing everyday.I value the gift of getting to know you.

Caroline & Co. said...

Holly, I just read your blog, and now I have a tear in my eyes, and I am choked. Thank you so much for your kind words, you are so sweet. But you know that I would not be where I am today if you had not been here for me as a teacher, a mentor and a friend. You got me through some rough times, especially when I was an Au Pair, a student and looking for a job at the same time. Remember the day we checked out IYF’s website to prepare me for my interview? And how many times did you comfort my confused and broken heart? And that beautiful day when you drove me all the way to Virginia to go adopt my little girl, Coco. I feel extremely blessed to have you in my life and to be considered part of your family. Which reminds me that Willie and I are overdue for a family visit ;)

LionKing said...

Ain't she something...

Sarah said...

Oh Holly - how very wonderful was that!! Wonderful wonderful - amazing you!! This just reinforced what I already knew about you! Yes my dear you are full of grace and I love that about you!!
Thank you for sharing so freely about you and those you treasure!!!
Wonderful!! Namaste, Sarah

Anonymous said...

And a lovely lady at that. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that dinner party...what an interesting group of people....and dinner sounds great!

Love today's post.
Might have to steal the questions and make another one of those "getting to know your friends better" e-mails.

Take care,

Cam@Journey Wildly said...

Ahh...good morning to you, dear friend!!

I loved getting more material to study the wonder that is my Queen Mother.

I can tell you this, we certainly do have much in common! I hope that someday, we can all have a seat, pour some tea (or pop a top) and see each other face to face!! I am putting that on my Livin' List! I want to meet Holly, and Beth, and Toni, and Sam, and Mel, and Peter the, wait. I got confused.

Thank you for sharing more about your divine spirit, Holly. I love you.

joyce said...

When I went to your blog & saw how long it was I had to close it and wait till I had more time. Which I do now. There's 2 things you said that I want to remember:
"feminine spirit and the expansive nature of a woman's heart to grow and embrace many, many, many, through kindness, wit, and wisdom.",
"just because someone doesn't like me, doesn't mean I'm not likable."

They're good soul lessons. Thank-you.

Toni said...

No, not too much info at all ... hard to condense a comment, though ... I shall say only that I LOVE the bottom photo of fresh-faced YOU (are you feeling better?) and that you have got me really pondering who I might want to have over for dinner/ conversation ...

oh, and although the little poochies are adorable, I am just a Big Lugguva Dog kinda girl -- gotta be a labrador for moi!

Opie said...

Need a butler for that dinner party? I'll make myself available. You'll need someone to serve, and I'd hate for you to pull yourself away form the conversation. And surely you don't expect a czar, a queen and king to get up and fill their own plates. That's fine for us commoners, but not royalty. LOL
Love you Holly.

Holly said...

I couldn't think of a better person to do it right, than you Opie!

But, you overlooked one important point; there would be two queens at the table...

I suppose that almost makes it a royal flush, huh?

Opie said...

Let's see...If Siddhartha was the ACE of enlightenment, Arthur was a KING, Elizabeth a QUEEN, Peter the Great must have been a bit of a JACK because you, and your blog, are a definite 10!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

WHOA!!! I mean WHOA!!!Absolutely SPLENDID!

Thank you, Holly-- and goddess bless all the inspirators! LOL!

Great work...


Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Call the Swan...
I'll be more than HONORED to serve at least two of them...

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

I'll fill the Jokerspot...

lol! THANKS Holly!!!

Holly said...

Cygnus My Man:
In most poker games the joker is always wild and in this case I know you don't disappoint. You're invited to the dinner! I'd love to have you!

Ribbon said...

There was something very beautiful about that post Holly... it's You.

Lovely soft morning shot of you :-)

Love the garden photos... is that your true garden or dream garden?

best wishes and I hope you're feeling much better.
I'm on the up

Holly said...

No, Ribbon, that's my dream garden...and I'll be brave and post pictures of my gardens when they decide to come into their own! But that first shot with those deep purply blue shutters? I am so about the purple! So about it!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi Holly, It's great getting to know you. Thanks for the terrific post. It's clear you have touched so many lives and learned so mush along the way.

KnittingJourneyman said...

This is such an incredible and thought-provoking post.
Thank you for sharing.

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