I am living on two levels these days. Or, I should say, these days more than I ever used to. On one level, I’m sitting on the couch, typing on my computer, or looking out the window at birds, the air conditioning humming. Maybe I’ve got a cup of tea to drink. Maybe I’m thinking…
Image courtesy of: Pintrest
A Pleasing Woman
A Magnificent Mind
A Soft Spirit
Working hard at denial
and unconscious obfuscation
Practicing the art of avoidance
Folding within herself
A verdant vessel for a vacuous seed
Hoping for a change through sweet offerings
While gritting your teeth and conjuring a smile
You’re building a gilded cage
Your tongue bleeding with the words you wish to say
Your feet tiptoeing
When they want to stomp in frustration and irritation
Is it easier to acquiesce?
What is it that you fear?
In time your ebullience may ebb
Your smile may turn into a sneer
And the hard work of keeping it together may exhaust you
And then your unraveling will begin
Day 11. The daily prompt was Unraveling. I am far removed from my former life on so many levels. But today’s prompt had me thinking of women who sacrifice so much of themselves, buying into the fairy tale, afraid of being alone and staying too long because of fear of looking like a failure or fear of poverty or something much worse. The chance to regain yourself and build a better life is out there and worth the fight.
Morning sounds nonexistent
The world neatly colored in colorlessness
Banks of white hip deep
We dig out meters and walkways
Icicles hang from the eaves
Thick spears dangerously hovering overhead
Nearly swollen in its thirst
Can we get out today?
Our feet live in slippers or boots
Our hands in gloves or mitts
Our hair suffers from hat head
while the men grow their faces to insulate
them from the cold
Fleece is our fashion
The season seems endless
Not fleeting nor fleeing anytime soon
(They say it’s the third storm is as many weeks though it feels like more. First the storm, then the days of cleaning up. One runs into the other making the season a long and slow moving freight train.)
Friends! I felt I must share this little gem from Jenn. We’ve had a good spate of wintry weather here leaving us more home bound than usual. This little ditty is an homage to our family. I did not realize the extent the positive impact has had on her life. We are equally blessed to have her in ours as well.
We’re all sitting in the living room with the snow falling with abandon outside. We sip our Boneshaker coffee and our Tazo Awake tea. Perhaps these are metaphors for the kind of people we are. On the TV plays a documentary about the history of New York City and books cover the floor. Somehow I have found myself in a world of life-long learners, lovers and a world of people who find genuine joy and wonder in the world around them. I hope that someday I can follow this example.
There’s something incredible about always seeking knowledge, truth and life. To actively go and find something, rather than passively wait for that something to find you. To be with people who want to know more, educate themselves and live a life in health, grace and critical thought. It’s so interesting to me that on a day when we could be…
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(part of my backyard-a blanket of deep white)
The blizzard has passed although the day is far from ordinary. School cancellations forced me to stay home. Others are digging out, taking another day to reorder their life. We feel lucky not to have lost power even if we got 2 feet or so of snow. It is under 20 degrees and all I can think about is those others in the very eastern part of the state and the islands who are off the grid and cold. We live just far enough from the coast where it could have gone either way.
I’ve got a roast in the oven and potatoes ready to be cooked for my famous mashers. It feels like a Sunday. We went out today, heading to the gym for exercise and the local organic grocery store for dinner ingredients. Laundry is getting done and we are in denial about the workday for tomorrow even as I prepared the smoothies for the next couple of days.
Winter storms shift the beat of daily life. Some panic- rushing to the stores for an overwhelming amount of food, as if Armageddon is approaching. Such a weird response in my mind. We don’t live miles or hours away from the nearest anything. I often wonder how much of the supplies end up in the trash after all is said and done.
So we chill in the chill. We had a great meal together last night-created by what we had in stock. So yummy! And my youngest and two friends took a 2 hour hike into the woods late yesterday afternoon. Refreshed and rejuvenated and ready, they experienced a rare excursion into the quiet. Late last night, the neighbors took their sleds to the street, whipping down the hill in the middle of the road. The travel ban had its benefits!
(another part of the back with the footprints that lead to the woods)
I’ll be up before dawn tomorrow. Hopefully catch a run before the rush. Thanks to all of you for sharing in the tidbits of these last 48 hours. And remember to capture ALL the moments everyday if you can!
Funny thing about snow bound days. They go by quickly. I always plan on “catching up” but somehow all I’ve managed thus far is a bit of dusting, cleaning the tub and putting my laundry away! Oh, and yoga too…
I was awakened early early this morning by the snow plows on the street and my own plow guy. My driveway is very long and sloped in places- it would take hours and hours to shovel just once. In fact, shoveling has been only attempted twice in the twenty-six years that I’ve lived here. Once, in late1992 when I was vastly pregnant with my youngest and the beast of a snow blower (bigger than I could handle) was broken, leaving my then husband to take on the task alone. He spent the next month accompanied by crippling back pain, relief only found by visits to the chiropractor. Five years later, he was nowhere to be found (off on an adventure). With the boys too young to help and me overwhelmed, I called the teenage boys next door to clear us out. So,when my ex left nearly 8 years ago, a friend suggested I get someone to plow me out. (The snow blower was older than me and once again quite dead.) The service is a life saver and worth the money. I’m lucky that it is not expensive as my guy has known my situation.
We still need to shovel though. There are places the plow can’t get around. For some, it would be the equivalent to clearing their own driveway. I try not get negative about the task, especially those times in the recent past when I’ve been by myself (boys away at school). I am still young enough and in good shape. Plus I love being outside! And the boys-both grown-know what to do. In years past, we made them get out there and take care of those areas that needed to be cleared. They naturally gravitate to the work-such a good thing for me and for them.
Round one is now done. We are expecting more snow until at least 1 am tomorrow. Wilson, my youngest son’s best friend, had fun clearing out his spot. He got word that #2 son was able to use his long arms as a human wiper (my boy is HUGE!) so he figured his whole body was the equivalent! My oldest caught the photos with my phone. (The first 2 through a window screen.)
The boys are upstairs bonding over a Top Gear special. I am writing and pondering a hot shower and perhaps a bit of work on the scrapbook project that I want to complete before I get married and move. I remember this is my last winter here and take it all in.
I count my blessings even as these hours zoom by and the weather forces us to stay put. We have heat, food and each other.
The last flight out left at 7:30 pm. The driving ban takes effect at midnight, leaving only essential personnel permission to use the roads. It’s quiet now; the forecasted wind gusts yet to arrive. The news reported that we have contractors in from as far as Tennessee to help fix the power lines that are bound to come down from the heavy wet snow on the southeast coast or the gusty winds from the Atlantic and Alberta. Not everyone is home yet. I’ll be happy when we are all under one roof, readying ourselves to ride out the blizzard. The youngest brought home a generator, given to him from his boss in case the power goes out here.
This morning’s run in 11 degree darkness is but a distant memory. The cold was biting and inviting as I knew the roads would be impossible to endure for at least a day. I thought I might see the sunrise, but alas the steel sky won out once again!
I knew a storm was coming; I could smell it. Not the buttery scent of rain yet to arrive but the pings of a sharp crunch or something like a dull brightness. I could feel it too. The dry air was on the verge of giving in for a change; it’s been a ‘mild’ winter here. Cold, cold but no white blanket gracing the backyard. Just the land of nosebleeds, scratchy throats and thirst. Some days are so parched that it’s like living in an Artic desert.
But not tonight. Picture perfect precipitation. I hope I sleep without the worry of that dead silence, the one where you don’t hear the humming of the refrigerator or tinging of the radiator.
Sleep tight wherever you are!
A note to my readers: this is a slightly updated version (added an image) of a post from nearly 2 years ago. Consider this encore part 1 of a 2 part series on the theme of ‘boldness’. There may be more to follow as the year unfolds!
Credit: interviewsaloud.comOne of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go. – Sheila Murray Bethel.
On a recent morning, I was enjoying my usual morning visit at my local Starbucks, chatting with the staff and the other regulars whom I see daily. The store has always been a positive community connection for me. I can honestly say that I have never met someone that I have not liked having a conversation with-even if it is just for five minutes.
Beginning last spring, however, a person with a link to my past began to frequent the establishment at the same time as me. I tried not to make too much of these “coincidences”, but I did feel forced to be on my guard. Lately, the frequency of this person’s appearances has increased and my sons…
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Sitting here in an early June quiet. The days have finally grown into a full warmth. This late spring surge of sun has distracted me from my writing. We cut grass, plant flowers that will last well into early fall, lay down mulch. Fret over carpenter bees boring holes in the upper eaves at the back of the house (I need a 25 foot ladder to reach them). Douse the paper wasp nest with chemicals before it outgrows the strength of our spray can. Stain the long neglected front porch a luscious mahogany red while noticing that we need new risers. The rails need a fresh coat of white. The north side of the house looks tired. Long winters and years of just plain wear are evident at this direction of the house’s compass. I try not to worry about the expense of repairs and send out intentions of abundance to the universe.
A year from now, this house will be my sons’ domain. Rented with others in order to afford payments. We are shifting gears. Learning to be present in a major life transition. Sharing in the pulls and tugs of the here and now as we move into the there and then. Keeping our eyes wide open while we let go of the old life little by little. We are all making our way into an independent dynamic. There is much to do before my wings take flight. I send out more intentions-ones where I hope to avoid the vortex of panic and anxiety. A friend says “Don’t be afraid to pray for big things.” So I do.
For now, I am staying in this moment. Sitting up in bed, nearly ready for sleep. The house is empty except for me. The crickets are back and the night breeze is full. Cool and cleansing, sort of a northern climate mini spa in my mind. I look forward to refreshing dreams and a new morning sun.
“Listen to yourself. And in that quietude you will hear the voice of God”
– Maya Angelou
Apparently I hit Publish by accident when I uploaded this photo from my phone to my WP App. These flowers are sitting in my mud room, a gift from my oldest son, along with a bottle of wine. We just finished a dinner of homemade chicken taco pizza, cooked by my youngest who bought me a card that brought tears to my eyes. A young man of few words with a big heart for sure. And a mighty good cook in the making! Settling in for a quiet Sunday night. My eldest is waiting patiently to watch the latest episode of “Friday Night Lights” via Netflix.
Life is good and we are blessed.