Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sweet Harmony

As much as I love celebrating birthdays, I always winced a bit when it was time to sing the traditional Happy Birthday song. It might be the most frequently badly sung song in our culture. This time, when my women friends gathered around the table and the cake candles were lit, there was a pause and ... gorgeous, lilting song! I knew from the first few words that this was going to be extraordinary.  It was, quite simply, the most beautiful rendition I have ever heard. Voices rising and falling, harmonies blending, lovely serene faces, radiating a unity and power that lifted me up on high. I cried. All the hugs afterward turned those tears to a happy smile.

Birthday Smiles

I had looked, truly looked, at each of their faces as they sang and realized what renaissance women these are. There were sculptors, fiber artists, painters, gardeners, equestrians, gardeners, gourmet cooks, bakers, yarn artists, poets, writers, singers, musicians, and healers present. Some of the women walk marathons, practice yoga, do Pilates and synchronized swimming, and meditate regularly. They are all seekers, embracers of possibility, creative to the bone. They are all kind, loving women who struggle to find time to honor their muses while maintaining peace and harmony in their homes and work places. And they can sing!

I had a lifetime of doing everything with my ex husband, being part of a couple, socializing with other couples. I had girlfriends but with them did things like shopping or perhaps an occasional craft project. Since my divorce, I have embraced women friends in a new way. I prioritize time with them. And all the things I have longed to talk about, the intimate sharing of hopes and dreams, the nurturing of creative possibilities, the things you need another woman to hear and understand, I now have and do. The harmony in the singing reflects well the new harmony in my life. I am able to relate to others without the restrictions I felt during my marriage. I am changing, growing and starting to feel more at home in this body, in this life.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Celebrating Sixty

Carrot cake with marzipan carrots on top.
My friend Lori  ( hosted a birthday party for me. In addition to being a poet, writer, and fiber artist, Lori is a baker extraordinaire. She asked me what kind of cake I liked and I told her either carrot or chocolate would be divine. She made both! The carrot cake was three layers of moist, nutty deliciousness topped with orange cream cheese icing and what I first thought were actual carrots. But they were hand crafted of marzipan with real carrot greens. This cake was amazing, unbeatable I thought. Until...

I tried the chocolate cupcakes with swiss meringue butter cream frosting piped on top of the most decadent chocolate cake ever! She served these on a silvery dish with swirls that resonated with the swirls of the icing. Visually enchanting and the taste...mmmm. No need for further explanation as to the sensuousness experienced here. Thanks Lori!

Chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Define Sensuous!

What exactly do I mean by sensuous? My initial thought was "having to do with the body." I decided to check, a site that compiles definitions from a multitude of dictionaries, for a thorough review. Almost all of the definitions include "relating to or experiencing through the senses." Cambridge specifies "giving or expressing pleasure through the physical senses, rather than pleasing the mind or the intellect." Some connect it to sexual pleasure. Some include delight in beauty. 

Here's an example from the V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary.

Definition: giving or expressing pleasure through the physical senses
Synonyms: sumptuous, intense, luxurious
Antonyms: spiritual, intellectual
Tips: Sensuous is derived from the Latin sensualis, "of or pertaining to the senses." Sensuous and sensual are related. Use sensuous to describe taking pleasure through your senses. Use sensual to describe something that is sexy or suggests physical pleasure. Dancing can be sensuous, as it affects the senses. A body, a voice, eyes, or lips can be sensual, as they are sexy and suggest physical pleasure and sensuality.

I think for now I'll stick with sensuous as it relates to connecting with or through the body but I reserve the right to expand or change this definition as I blog. And by the way, it is not lost on me that my first approach to sensual was an intellectual exercise!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Today is my sixtieth birthday. I find my life unlike anything I expected or dreamed. I learned many lessons on the way to this place. One of the most significant discoveries was that while I was deeply connected to my mind and spirit, I was sadly disconnected from my body. I have chosen to spend this year of being sixty reconnecting sensuously and I invite you to make the journey with me. We'll learn from one another.