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Becoming Babushka The Magic

When Life Doesn’t Fit Anymore

when life doesn't fit (2)

If your life had toes

they would be chafing with every step.

If your life had heels

they would be raw.




If you’ve got that hemmed-in

rubbing the wrong way

desperately needing a new pair of shoes feeling,

I can relate.

I am that woman now.

The one with so many children

in the outgrown shoe.

Baby Nolan is suddenly this real, moving person.

So suddenly

we are 6 people in this little townhouse.

People and stuff everywhere.


And it just isn’t working.

The inner feeling is like

the pressure and irritation of some unwelcome, rip-you-apart instinct.

Like shedding skin.

Like the snake,

but more like Spirit.

That wily Spirit — always outgrowing itself and moving on.

This is usually when I re-arrange the furniture.

Or go buy more odd pieces of cheap kijiji furniture.

Which is quite counterproductive to the whole stuffed-to-the-gills reality going on here.


So as I pound against the walls of my shoebox,

strain against the grain,

and try every possible configuration in my brain…

(how about a stand up office in the kitchen, move my bed out of the living room, put the baby into Maddy’s room?)

I am aware of a much deeper-than-furniture desperation.


When your Life doesn’t fit into your life

it could be because

your next skin is trying to bust through.

Like butterfly-wing time.

So stop shifting deck chairs

and listen.


There’s a quiver on the air.

A small, innocent-seeming thought presents itself:


A prospect that burns like garlic to my inner vampire.

No way, uh uh.  Not happening.

A prospect that sounds to the logical mind like the opposite of

more space and time.

Basically a no starter, non-solution, bury-me-now kind of proposition.

But lately, when I am still…

when I simply sit with myself,

the idea wafts up from my heartspace

with an almost delicious vapour of peace about it.

I am being told.

Being called to go all the way into my kids.


So, on Tuesday I asked a homeschooling friend to share her experience.

On Wednesday I found this site.

Then, on Thursday I ran into a beautiful young woman homeschooling her four children in the woods.

(There was fairy dust all over it!)

On Friday I watched the movie Captain Fantastic and was so struck by the family intimacy.

Saturday we homeschooled our way around the river valley.

(Pretty much done deal.  Maddy is adamant that starting “homeless school” is our “destiny”!)

Sunday, today, I met with a Waldorf homeschool facilitator and

interviewed the “Creative Nanny/Art/Music Teacher” I found on Kijiji.

(that sounded a little like a Very Hungry Caterpillar story, didn’t it?

I feel a butterfly coming on!!)


I share all this because

 I know what it’s like to be stuck.

When you’re so crazy-glued to your familiar scene you can’t even see yourself outside it.

Can’t fathom change, ever, actually, happening.

Can’t even separate yourself from your poorly fitting clothing; inescapable as skin.

When nothing’s budging

and “there’s no magic wand”

sometimes we need a friend to just grab the shoe and pull.

That’s what I’m doing here.

I’ve got your feet in my hands

and I’m pulling.

(Creates space in your hip sockets,

you’ll feel great!)


So here is what I do

to unstuck my life:

First, I move my body.  Even just a little!

Like, yoga positions while playing cards with Davis.

(Exercise activates that invisible ‘Will to Live.’

Heart rate up = greater chance of survival)

Perspiration (though I seldom take it that far!) = inspiration.

Think overhaul, blank slate, everything ‘up for grabs’ kind of thoughts.

Pay attention to what quivers.

Believe in the “physics of the quest” (Eat, Pray, Love)

Act.  Search.  Google.  Stare intently at the strangers on your path.

Look for allies.  Collaborations.  Trade offs.

Send imaginations far and wide.

Find a way to taste it —

whatever it is.


I believe the pieces of our life get rusted in

to the slots and grooves of our equilibrium.

We hold our own prisons together with rigid force of our familiar thoughts.


Rattle the cage.  Get loud.

Cancel assumptions outright.

Be willing to risk suspending gravity —

so every piece falls from the grasp of your fierce status quo.


Keep in mind:

That fearful thing I feel most closed and resistant to

is probably the thing

perfectly designed

to open



And the other paradox —

that somehow (often) running deeper into what looks suspiciously like more demand

(but feels like destiny) is actually a quantum leap forward

that will rearrange all your other puzzle pieces.

Like Magic.


If the shoe fits, wear it.

And if it doesn’t,

go barefoot.


There is always a way.












  • Perry Wilson

    JC would approve of all but the snake analogue.

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