Friday, October 29, 2010


Throughout my life, home has become quite a fluid concept for me. In my 22 short years, I have lived in 9 different houses and, being a product of divorced parents, have become hardened to splitting my time between households, having to adapt every 2 weeks to calling a different place home. I recall upon each place with great nostalgia, remembrance of the upset it caused me each time mom declared we were moving, and the deep sadness I felt when we parted with 7 beeebe, the house I spent most of my formative years in. I always felt extremely attached to the place, only now, as I prepare to board a plane back to the city I grew up in, am I seeing that it was never about the place, it was about the people in it. 

I spent yesterday trying to soak up every last ounce of Casa Montana, becoming saddened as each minute passed that I was leaving my present home, with all of it's quirks and comforts, behind. In my state of slight self indulgence, I failed to acknowledge the real reason for my angst, that I would soon be leaving my people, the people who define my reality and who I love so much. I spent so much of the day saying silent farewells to the structure that would be only a piece of architecture if it weren't for the family occupying it, and it was only in the middle of the night that I realized the ridiculousness of how I spent the last 12 hours. 

In a perfect world, I would have every person I love in this wonderful place with me, but I believe that this tearing between worlds is yet another lesson provided for me. I have never been one crazy about change. Even if my day plan varies slightly form what I had previously set out, it takes me a while to adjust and get over the unwanted blemish in my carefully programmed schedule. Now, being plucked from Pozos where the most eventful part of each week is delivering scones to San Miguel and being tossed back into the chaos of city life, I will be pushed to put my attempts at becoming more adaptable to the test. Yes, I will miss my Mexico clan terribly, but it does me better to focus on all of the lovely people I get to reunite with while in my hometown, because that is what it is all about, the reason for my travel in the first place, to spend time with with friends and family who I care for deeply.

They say home is where the heart is, my heart resides in several different locations, between paying homage to days past and manifesting the future, which is perhaps why I feel this bittersweet dichotomy when confronted with traveling between them. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


As my trip to the US approaches, I am forced to confront my nearly crippling fear of flying. I have had butterflies not so pleasantly fluttering around my stomach for the last week, gaining velocity each day my flight nears. I was talking to Ian last night about the matter and he confirmed my suspicion that he is indeed a person who enjoys flying. He confessed to me that every time the plane is about to land, as the wheels have dropped and the aircraft hovers feet above the runway, he feels a sense of fulfillment, that if anything were to happen at that point in time, he would be alright with it.

This is a comforting thought, and one I have thought on many occasions, but being on an airplane, in transit between my 2 worlds, I can't say I would be at peace with dying. Leaving mom, nana, Bronte, and Tyler behind in our castle-like abode in Mexico to venture back to my hometown to visit dad and Chloe, I still have a lot of living to do and I don't feel complete without either of these groups. My fear is gravely escalated compared to previous trips and I believe this is this reason. Being without my baby sister, the one I shared a room with most of my life, the one who's hair I pulled out and clothes I threw in the toilet in the midst of sibling rage, the one who loves to lay on me and snuggle to no end, is a dull ache, not a sharp stabbing pain, but an off feeling that hazes my days. Even when things are wonderful, there is always a Chloe-shaped hole that when filled, makes it perfect. And to be without mom, who, after years of denying it, I have finally admitted my bond with, would be awful. 

When I think of my trip, I am filled with a mixture of excitement and sadness that I have to leave half of my family to honor the other half. It is a difficult feeling that only living in Mexico for a year has forced me to acknowledge. My troupe here are such an integrated part of my daily life that being without them for a month is going to feel odd for certain. On the other hand, I am thrilled to renew old bonds and spend time with people I seldom see. When I think of the concept of accepting my plane going up in flames, I know it is necessary, but I resist it because I simply don't feel that I've had enough time with the people I love, but perhaps I never will.

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Breast Feeding

As my trip home approaches, I have been wondering about nursing Tallulah. In Mexico, people are pretty relaxed about breast feeding, given that there are babies everywhere you turn and the fact that the culture is much more laid back in general. When I first had Tallulah, I was extremely shy and would retreat from public places to the car to ensure that surrounding strangers didn't see snippets of my boob. As time went on I would use a blanket to cover me or move to a more secluded area, but now I simply don't care. 

Talking with Chloe and dad the other day, dad expressed his belief that I shouldn't feed my daughter in front of certain people in our family or at my cousin's upcoming wedding. While my immediate reaction was to get defensive about the matter, after more thought I realized that in a conservative Jewish family setting, whipping my breast out might elicit some harsh reactions. So I can see where he is coming from but I still believe that it is my right as a mother to feed the munchkin when and where I see fit. Plus, is there anything in the world more natural than an infant's dependancy on it's mother's food source?

I decided that the level of appropriateness you place on public nursing is directly connected to how you view breasts. A straight man may be uncomfortable with the sight because he has been accustomed to thinking of breasts as sexual objects. I think this is the reason for my initial discomfort with nursing in social settings, because my mindset had always been that breasts were private parts not to be revealed to the general public. But given time and experience I began to value Tallulah's need for food more than proprietous behavior and have begun to see them less as seductive entities and more as practically useful objects.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Eat to live don't live to eat.
-Yogi B

Food is the most primitive form of comfort.
-Sheilah Graham

I was never a picky eater, I was the kid who was willing to try anything. From a young age I have had an insatiable appetite for fine flavors. Never a fan of excess as far as drugs or alcohol, food has been my vice. If ever in a tough situation or pushed beyond my limits, I crave chocolate cake, mashed potatoes, and spaghetti the way a smoker might want for a cigarette. Because of this, my weight has fluctuated in my years since puberty as has my outlook on diet. For years I went without eating anything with wheat flour due to my grumpy great grandmothers question "do you eat a lot?" And her comment when I affirmed her suspicion "I can tell." The whole time I was avoiding breads, pastries, and cookies I was idolizing them, wishing terribly that I could simply devour an entire bakery. Then, after a disappointing dance competition, I decided that, in addition to processed wheat, I would cut out potatoes. At this point I became truly obsessed with my weight. Taking my dance coach's advise to jumprope everyday, I lost 10 ponds and was always hungry. I would binge on the weekends and starve myself during the week, such was my diet plan throughout my high school experience. I used food to check out from reality, similar to how a pot head uses marijuana. I recall several times, eating entire family sized bags of potato chips or cartons of ice cream, not because I was enormously hungry but because I was craving contentment or escape. 

(pictured above are delectable raw flax crackers!)

Since having Tallulah, I have been forced to evaluate these eating habits on a daily basis. One reason for this is my desire to lose the whopping 60 pounds I gained while gestating (which I have successfully done by the way!) but another is that when you have a newborn child requiring your attention, it is nearly impossible to take leave from reality, even in your sleep. While I was accustomed to shoveling food into my mouth until I reached bloated happiness often prompting remarks such as "breathe, Tara"
or "She's eating like she's never seen food before!" I am now used to having to leave the table several times during a meal either to feed, rock, or change my daughter's diaper. Through this process I have found that I don't need to eat as much to reach satisfaction. I often return to my meal after my brief hiatus to find that I am no longer as hungry as I thought I was. It has started me thinking on the rules of the Yogis stating that when one completes a meal their stomach should be full of 1/3 food, 1/3 liquid and 1/3 air.

However, knowing these facts and applying them are two drastically different things. As it turns out, my admiration of food would serve as my wake up call. A month ago I made the grave mistake of ordering delicious looking tacos from the street vendor across the street. A week later I was doubled over vomiting for an entire day with a fever and severe stomach pains. A couple weeks after that I woke in the middle of the night to an unsettling pain in my lower left abdomen. When I awoke the next morning the pain hadn't ceased like I thought it would rather it had become worse, making it hard to walk. For a week a battled with this pain, hobbling around like an elderly woman to avoid using my the muscles that stretch over this inflamed organ. After numerous hysterical breakdowns (something that I discovered through research are a symptom of my condition) and extensive internet investigation, I found that I most likely have a parasite. My chronic tiredness, abdominal pain, recent onset of allergies, and crankiness are all a symptom of numerous parasite infections. Though antibiotics are one way of treating intestinal bugs, they are only 70% effective, I wouldn't be able to nurse, and they double the likely-hood of susceptibility to parasites in the future. The best and most natural way to eliminate the infestation is to eat a high fiber diet devoid of bread, sugar, dairy, and fat. Imagine my pleasure in receiving this information. 

In my cleansing period I am beginning to see food as it should be seen, a means of nourishment, something to provide my body with nutrition rather than my brain with feel-good chemicals. I have been pushed to examine my hunger, to question whether I am really hungry or just bored, because overeating is also a culprit in spurring my symptoms onward. I have been prompting myself to put things into my body that lend the most use to my well-being rather than giving into innate cravings.  This has been very difficult but it is the first time in my life that my health has depended on completely conscious food decisions. Along with my success in weight loss, I have put to rest my long-standing battle with unclear skin as well as the everyday sniffles I have always been known for. I have now added to my spiritual growth the letting go of my attachment to food, and it feels good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Though this is a topic I have covered in the past, I feel that the more life experience I gain, the more my perspective on the matter changes. It's a concept that is easy to explain and extremely difficult to achieve. Having faith that an illness can be cured if you trust your intuition, that the currency spent will be replenished, that even though at times all the forces of the universe seem to be pushing against you, you will persevere and likely become a stronger person for having endured them. 

For me, a woman who has scarcely been sick my entire life, having this newly developed stomach ailment for an extended period of time has been massively disruptive not only to my physical body but to my mind. Because I am nursing, I cannot take antibiotics and because I am trekking on a new spiritual path I have my doubts about going to the doctor in the first place. Now, on a steady diet of bentonite clay, raw garlic, pineapple, raw veggies and grains, and a plethora of dietary supplements, I am forced to discover that healing is a process that requires, over all of it, trust.

When mom and nana bought Casa Montana, they were hardly prepared for the heap of complications that came with it, and given their extensive experience with renovating, that is saying something. Along with adjusting to the Mexican construction customs and allowing for over a year of 9 hour days, there is also the necessity of confidence that the money put into the project will come back, something that is an ongoing undertaking, though less tangible, as large as the overhaul itself. Though many fights have been elicited by this subject, the overriding message is to remain faithful and discard the negative reel of monkey chatter convincing us that prosperity is out of reach.

Though it is definitely simpler to preach the power of trust when existence is peachy, what makes us solid is sticking with it when tried by life's lessons. As someone who is a perpetual worry-wart, it has taken all of my strength to breathe and focus on my progress rather than my disturbing symptoms, because the alternative is ruminating on misery which is certainly unproductive. As the Law of Attraction often states "focus on the good feeling thought" as thought is what drives the universe into action. So I picture myself in good health, envision wealth and abundance, and manifest happiness and when I reach that vibration of gratitude and well-being, trust is simply inevitable.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Love means never to say that you're sorry.
-Beres Hammond

As I mentioned in my previous blog,  on a beautiful autumn evening a couple of weeks ago we had a family brawl. It was ugly and brutal and brought out colors in us that are reserved for the most unfortunate arguments. It took place at the end of the evening when were supposed to be settling into bed which made the situation much worse as we all woke the next morning tired and cranky with the hazy and unsettling memory of the harsh words exchanged the previous night. We regarded each other with tension as we waited for the storm to pass, but the incompletion was eating away at us all in our separate ways. Come mid afternoon, after we had all attempted to move through our daily tasks without mention of the fight, Nana, the instigator, pulled us all into the kitchen, and with humility and reserve, two qualities we rarely see in tenacious, the strong-willed matriarch, apologized for her behavior.
(The photo above is one mom spontaneously shot as a memento of nana's repentance)

The whole scenario, from the unspeakable quarrel to the heartfelt words of regret, have started me thinking on sorry. Part of my journey in Mexico has been learning to apologize when I am wrong, but also to be conscious in the moment so as to avoid the hurtful behavior altogether thus preventing the uttering of regrets. Since the scene that spurred my many thoughts on asking forgiveness, Davis has declared, with little warning, that he is to return in 3 weeks.  This has brought to the surface many feelings of anger and neglect from the past, and I have spent the last 24 hours ruminating on how exactly to deal with this sudden reshaping of my immediate plans. The children love and miss their father, and despite the many instances in which he used his animosity as a weapon against her, mom feels the same.

As far as Davis is concerned, the subject of apologies has come up more times than I care to recount. Sorry can only go so far when it comes to wounding someone time and time again. Though there are always times when genuine people use this word to resolve sporadic issues, there are also people who abuse it to the point that it becomes a nearly meaningless gesture. I feel that sorry should be used in moderation in instances where consideration has been left behind rather than a fall back plan for incessantly indecent conduct.

Though it will be difficult for me to come to terms with living with the man who abruptly left us months ago, it will just be another stepping stone toward learning to live with grace. While I can't control his choices, I can be the master of my own and allow for him as I am aspiring to do with my other loved ones. I write this as a reminder to myself of something that I read months ago, something to the effect of when given a choice to be right or be kind, always choose to be kind. While sometimes this may mean abandoning your pride and stepping forth with your tail between your legs, it most often means to act righteously, to admonish reasons to apologize by opting to goodness now, rather than expressing remorse later.