Archive for January, 2009

If you are interested in my post on the Writing from the Heart website click here. It’s under “Cissy – My Last Day on Earth” and I wrote it before realizing the prompt was if TOMORROW were my last day on earth. But, I’m sticking with what came out in the writing today.


Sea Glass Girl


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Inaugural Snow and Hunt

Last week on Tuesday I had to go get some inaugural sea glass. I went to hunt on the historic day. There was no path to the stairs or the sea wall. Both were thigh high in snow piles from plows. No one had walked the wall yet so there weren’t even any foot holes to follow. I climbed in, boots on and looked for my way to shore. Should I hop the wall? Try the icy stairs? Be the first to make a path on the sea wall and make my prints the first in the fresh snow? This was exciting and easy but how does one literally carve out a new path to the Presidency or break a glass ceiling? It is dangerous and difficult and most turn back, wait for someone else to go first, and then look for the way to follow.

If we had the first woman president I think we would be equally impressed because anyone who shatters the heavy load of history, who makes a freighter turn from one direction to another has accomplished something as close to a cartoon action figure with magical powers. Our president faced obstacles that confuse or crush others – an absent father, a single mother, moves and re locations and the loss of his mother to cancer. He has had to define for himself what it means to be Black, African American, American, presidential and not let the monumental occasion of his presidency distract him from the work to be done on our economy, in foreign affairs and in so many areas.

O.k., so, what does this have to do with sea glass. I wanted to be near the ocean before watching him take the Oath of Office, to have sea glass that is my little piece of history, what grounds me, glass I found on the day that changed our history. Because I am the mother of a daughter who is a person of color who has parents who are Caucasian, and parents (birth) from another country, I feel a sense of hope of what might be possible for her one day (not the presidency as she wasn’t born in the U.S.) but the way one change can make more change possible. So, I was feeling, as a parent, better about the world and our acceptance of families who have a complicated story that can’t be told in a short sentence. I am happy to see people of color in the white house, an entire family in fact, and to have my daughter see the same.

When she celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. day at school they talked about how schools were segregated. She wanted to know where she would go to school as an Asian if there were schools for Whites and schools for Blacks. She was concrete, if it were today, she wondered which of her classmates she would be with and she named her classmates. When we had to look online and see there were schools, at least in CA for the Chinese, she was sad. Who in her school would she go to school with? The one girl in her class who is half Chinese and half Caucasian or would that girl be allowed to go to the white school? It was hard for her to imagine and I’m glad she only has to imagine. The world isn’t perfect but things have changed.

So, those were my thoughts last week as I hunted the beach early in the morning before getting a ringside set with my husband (home with his back out) in front of the t.v. Here are some pictures of the glass I found and the thoughts I was having.


Icy Stairs

This photo reminds me of a “Where’s Waldo?” but it’s a “Where’s the Sea Glass?”
The following struck me as strange because of the contrast of snow and sea weed, of sand and ice. We think of beaches as one-dimensional warm weather places as though they don’t exist in winter. But they do. And how often do we ingore, deny and minimize our own winter times because the coldness or harshness or incongruity of what we feel and experience is something we think we “shouldn’t” be feeling or experiencing… as though we can just pretend sand doesn’t get frozen over and have to thaw. We are all complicated and layered and nothing exists in only one emotional season.
I love this next one because so many times I bent over to pick up glass and it was snow or ice. I had once piece I had to squeeze tight between my fingers to see if it would melt and give under the heat of touch or stay solid. This piece is sea glass on rocks.
This is a sliver of purple on snow.
Finally, the snow on sand and in between it, here and there, gems of sea glass, shells, old milk bottles.
Catch of the Day: History and the ordinary are both worthy of attention.

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I went to the gym today. I’ve avoided a friendship gone sour and this as the meeting place is a place I’ve most avoided. I’ve replaced this friend with carbohydrates which are always there for me but aren’t as funny as she was. Anyhow, I saw her, after four mos. TODAY. It was painfully awkward for both of us. Our conflict isn’t even appropriate to go into here but it was complicated and difficult and not one-sided.

She had something to tell me. I listened. And froze. I said nothing, responded in no way and could barely stay present. I went on the elliptical. I did yoga. I stretched and twisted and balanced and rested. At the end of the class, lying flat on my back the teacher who I had never met before, placed a hard object on my forehead. I thought it was a magnet or something healing. It was cool and felt nice and I was only a little afraid it would fall into my eye socket but mostly relaxed. I let it weigh on my forehead as she talked.

She said something about compassion and remembering everyone has a story and how if we could all see the soul and not the story of the people in our lives it would be good, better….  For a writer and  sea glass loving girl I can be a little skeptical of this type of advice and have a hostile response when anyone tells me what to do. I mean I don’t even like to be told to “breathe” in a yoga class even when it’s meant as a gentle reminder I feel scolded or bossed around but that’s another story.

Anyhow, the teacher, on my first yoga class in 2009, something I vowed to myself I would return to this year, on this very day where I had bumped inot my friend after MOS. of not doing so, had to go on to say stuff about how the most difficult relationships are meant to teach us and if we could have perspective, BLAH BLAH BLAH…..

I wanted to sit up and scream, “O.k., already would you shut up?” because as is obvious by now I am so very Zen, calm and centered at all times….  But I didn’t. I stayed still. When it was time to sit up I took the object off of my forehead. It was a rock. A ROCK. Of course I wanted to know if it was from the lake or an ocean. I did wonder how cool sea glass might feel on my forehead and if I brought some in would it be like gum at school, only usable if I had enough to share with everyone? I marveled at the simple rock that felt so soothing. I realized what a rock cold heart I have when I am stunned or hurt or shut down so there’s no way I will be hurt.  

I left a message for my friend and told her I cared. And I do. I don’t have clarity, answers, a plan but I unfroze and was not mad or hurt or filled with confusion. Compassion cracked me open. I feel more grounded. My soul misses her soul and that may be all that needs to be said on this day of yoga. And I can see she is as much a piece of weathered sea glass as I am a piece of cracked pottery. We may travel in different currents, end up in the Pacific or the Atlantic e may never have a “miracle on the Hudson” together in some real-life story that awes and inspires.

But, I am sure I was meant to see her today, to have a rock on my head crack me open some so I could see a little bit better and act a bit bigger than usual. We have both already lost the friendship. Neither of us lost it more. It’s gone. As is 2008. Today, I am at peace with the reality of life being change and transition not about right and wrong. Once, my young and wise cousin in reference to a conflict she was having said, “I don’t want to win or lose the fight in words, I want to be heard/understood.” I know that feeling but can’t even control that outcome… can’t hear what I don’t hear, see what I don’t see or have any way to be sure my words will be heard the way I have delivered them. Today anyhow…. the loss feels less large…


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It’s been a while since I’ve described my “catch of the day” in detail. A plastic container has been sitting in my kitchen, waiting for the time for me to write, describe and then sort by color and put the pieces away. Sometimes something unusual, not sea glass, will catch my eye. This last time is was a red plastic bottle cover with the words, “PRY OFF” and an arrow pointing to the right. I’ve never seen a bottle of anything that says that but in life, when working on a challenging issue wouldn’t it be nice to have a little tip, some information on the angle in which to approach the bottle. Some say, “Press Here” to open while others say, “Squeeze and turn” and many say nothing at all. The “Pry Off” description is so direct I had to pick it up though it’s not sea glass, pottery or a heart-shaped rock.

I also did pick up the pottery last time I hunted. There seemed to be so much of it as if one white plate had been broken and I was finding all of the pieces of it scattered along the shore, and there was a reason to pick the pieces up and place them back together. Perhaps it will some day be a mosaic. Or, perhaps it seemed too much brokenness to leave littered on the shore.

I saw a sliver of blue pottery, with a bubble up texture of light blue on top, it was familiar as though at home I could play the matching game and find the counterpart.

But the bulk of the gems were ocean jewels in textures and colors amazing in range. A thin sliver of deep dark purple was the “find” of the day. A slim and modest piece, an elongated triangle shape but so clearly purple. Often purple looks pink and pink looks like salmon. This sliver was purple at any angle. Sometimes the hues are so light color only shoes against a white sheet. I found a much rougher purple, light colored but with half the base textured with lines. It is already pendant perfect in shape and design. I could only wrap wire and try not to mess with what the original glass manufacturer and mother nature made.

There are whites, thick as a plate but with deep lines as though a Sun Crisp chip, a thick slice of potatoes fried or baked down to bite size. But this white is not cut from food but a container with great utility or maybe held aside and in a cabinet once to be displayed for beauty. There are too many whites to count, in mostly rectangular shape. Some as small, like little guitar pics. A few are palm size, the bottom of something hearty and significant. Perhaps an old large milk bottle or three quarters of the base of a glass butter dish

There is a dark green as awkward and thick and rich colored as a gummy bear candy. I touch it and am surprised it is hard and distinct holding such an usual shape and not squishy. Other greens, on glass, are breath taking but in real life, say on clothes, would not speak to me. They are olive green and faded, maybe citron or the color of grass yellowing.

The browns this day are not dainty. They are chunky and look like soldiers of the sea. They are beaten up, covered in sea salt, their natural color disguised by their journey. But they are thick and soft at the edges and hearty. They are survivors and hold stories. One, is so white covered it may even be deep dark green. I don’t want to boil the sea salt off but I am curious to know if I did what true color might be revealed.

Finally, there is a family of seventeen aquas. Some are as tiny as baby teeth, others thick and longer, thumb size in length but flat. One looks like a military boat, a submarine with a the ability to shoot from the tip, a point to break through waters, but small and compact. And then there are the smooth beautiful thick and clean pieces waiting to be hung on earring hooks, adorned with crystals and recycled hooks to make one-of-a-kind necklaces. Some have dents, once slivers broken but not softened, maybe seeming flawed but in fact my favorites. They have characters, like scars healed over.

I am grateful for the ocean, the sea glass and the way it slows me down and makes me stop. I am happy to have a sense of adventure and discovery so close by me, for the lessons I am learning which have always been there…

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Have you seen this site yet? Check it out if you:

you want to see a new website with good content

you travel with your children

you are interested in cool and unusual items for families with kids

you want to read about other women who do or have traveled

you are curious about adoption and adoption-related travel

I happen to have a few pieces about our travels to China in 2003 when we became parents. It’s fun to remember those times and share them with others.

The link is www.mommosttraveled.com and I have two articles in the month-long “celebrate adoption” month. I’m also giving away a green sea glass pendant so there is a sea glass connectionn.

Sea Glass Girl

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Hi Everyone,

I’m not much of a “to do” list person Let me be more honest. I make daily to-do lists and they help organize me and I love them. What I mean is i don’t make a huge list of things “to do” in the New Year because there’s really nothing on Jan. 2009 I know should be done that I didn’t know on the last day of Dec 0f 08. So, this year, instead I did a 100-things I DID accomplish or do in 2008. It’s not my original concept. Julia Cameron in her books introduced me to the “ta da” list and if you are feeling like you endless amounts to accomplish, have no idea what you actually get done, these lists are vital.

For example, in 2008 I listed things such as:

made the bed 361 days of the year as well as larger and more personal and meaningful things

These lists help capture how and where you DO SPEND time and energy and while doing the laundry may not be on your “to do” list chances are it’s a daily or weekly part of your “got done” list and worth recognizing that maybe some of the reasons you can’t get to ALL of your dreams and larger projects is because you do drive, cook, clean, work a job in or outside the house, volunteer, tend your garden, nurture loved ones, stay on phone calls and shop for wrapping paper. It’s just a nice way to honor what you do. Now, does my daughter say “thank you” every time I pack her a lunch? No and she need to. She’s six. But, when I’m beating the heck out of myself for not painting the cabinets it helps to remember that getting her meals is a priority, daily, that can’t wait. A fresh coat of paint on the cabinets will be nice but can wait.

So, I say, celebrate what you do and have done and it does, especially if you are a person who doesn’t soak in gratitude for what you do have, and what you do accomplish, help center and slow you down. How many of us imagine we are “lazy” when actually we are multi-tasking quite a few things for ourselves and others. So I say “ta da” yourself and see if you don’t feel more energized and motivated rather than defeated… Give it a try.

A few other of my ‘ta-da’s” were getting to the ocean, getting some photos posted to this site and writing about the Farmers Market, Rustic Market, The Hingham Coop, writing regular blog posts, teaching a sea glass clinic to an eager and talented student, helping others discover their passion for sea glass and walking the beach in solitude and being inspired to write details and commentary and be changed by wht I noticed, saw and felt. Were those things on my 2008 to do list? Nope. But important all of them are and worth “ta-da’ing” if only for myself.

Catch of the Day: Capturing the things you already accomplished in 2008 and if you can sharing some of them with at least one other person.

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Sea Glass Crafts: More

Here are some new ideas I’ve come across. I’ve met so many peope lucky to have sea glass and not always interested in using it for sea glass jewelry. So, for those sea glass lovers looking for different ways to display and play, these links are for you.

Here’s a link to sea glass candle holders (and without the candle they would still be nice) or decorations:


A wide range of ideas (and sometimes sample photos) of ways to use sea glass here:


A completely different candlestick idea. This one uses the sea glass for making a mosaic base.


Sea Glass Girl

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Since I assume from comments, most who read this blog, are women, So, while this isn’t sea glass related, here’s an important study linking adult women with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and heart disease risk. 


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