Write On

This morning I read that the difference between a writer and a non-writer is that a writer writes even when he/she doesn’t want to do so.  Lately, I haven’t wanted to write.  I also don’t want to look at the whys, hows or whats of it.  I want words to flow out my fingertips, words that have significance meaning, impact.  Instead, I look at words and wonder if they say anything at all.

These are the thoughts that press down on me under a warm spring sky.  As I walk to my van pushing my just purchased groceries, I spy a small rubber band ball alone by itself in the center of some empty parking spaces.  The universe has served up a gift just for me.

Yes, I know it’s just a rubber band ball but it was the perfect gift for me today.  Secretly, I’ve always wanted one but never have had one of my very own.

I pick it up in one swift motion.  Quickly, I look around to see if the owner of this ball might be any where near.  I’d return it if an owner were to reappear.

No one.  This ball is mine.  It makes me smile.

I head for the freeway.  A pickup carrying an odd assortment of things is ahead of me.  A fuzzy yellow blanket is thrown over the top of all the things in the bed and it flaps in the wind.  The driver of the pickup is driving slowly.  I want to get impatient but it’s not really worth the investment of energy.  Besides, I like looking at the blanket flap in the wind.    I know how the blanket feels.  I flap in the wind all the time.

The rubber band ball suddenly launches itself from where I’d placed it and starts rolling around near my heels and the pedals.  I imagine what might happens if it wedges itself between the brake pedal and the floor.  I play footsie with it to get it back to safety.  I watch traffic, the flapping blanket, and my speedometer all at the same time.  Success.  The ball is in my hand.  I place it under my thigh and trap it while noting the west bound lanes of Padden are down to one lane.  Note to self:  Find an alternate route.

A feeling of accomplishment washes over me.  I find it amusing considering the fact that I’ve been chasing a rubber band ball around the driver’s area and keeping an eye on my driving.  It’s a good day.  It doesn’t really matter how I got there.  What matters is that I arrived.

Suddenly,  I feel lucky.  Rubber band ball, yellow blanket flapping in-the-wind lucky.

“Write on!” I say to myself.  “Write on!”


For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. —  Carl Sagan
Crabby.  It’s the one word that describes how I felt a good part of this last week.  I don’t like crabby me.   Crabby was getting in my way.  I felt stuck.  I felt that life was dragging me into some where or some thing I didn’t want, some place I didn’t want to go.  And then, it rained.  It started out small but soon it was raining as hard and as fast as it could.  The street was a river.  A car in front of our driveway spun in place thanks to the physical laws of the hydroplane.  The engine revved.  The car didn’t move forward.  It spun in place.  That was what crabby was doing for me.  I was spinning in place.

The Day of the Gargoyle Van and More

I love trees!

Yesterday, the sighting of yet another decorated vehicle was my great thing.   An older van was covered with gargoyle and dragon-type heads that were about the size of a mastiff or maybe as big as a Sasquatch head.  Everything was covered with a rather sinister brown-copper paint.  It would have been rather frightening if it wasn’t so weird.  It was weird enough to be funny.  I like funny.  I often like weird but scary. . . not so much.  Secretly, I’m an incredible chicken.

Today I felt like a chicken when it was necessary to step up to the unpleasant.   Great things were very elusive. The unpleasant was blocking my view.  This wasn’t how this was supposed to work.  Great things were supposed to keep happening because I was looking for them.  My attention was to participate in the manifestation.  Apparently, I’m not that powerful.

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Examples of Great Things

Taken in Sublimity, Oregon on Mother's Day 2012


I wrote about my quest to find one great thing a day.  Maybe some examples of what recent great things I’ve found might help.

1.) Spotting an old pickup decorated with weird goose and owl yard ornaments and a hood covered with plastic animals and Pez containers.  It was awesome strange!

2.) Listening to the students in Math class first period:  Out of the crowd a girl asks, “Mrs. S., Are there fish that lay down when they sleep?”   The teacher ignores her but another voice in the class says, “Have you ever heard of the Sand Shark?”   Don’t know why but it made me smile and started my day off on the right foot but it did.

3.)  Finding my daughter shoes for $.25 cents a pair at a garage sale.  This needs no explanation.

4.) Connecting with the nerdy guys that have just opened a local gaming store.  Being nerdy is the new cool.

5.)  Meeting a baby who gives you a huge toothy grin and throws her hands over her head in delight when you smile back at her.

6.) Seeing an amazing sunset.

7.)  Getting an unexpected phone call from a friend.

8.) Saving over $10 with coupons at the grocery store and the clerk says, “You did a good job with the coupons today!”

9.) The otter Beanie Baby that followed me home from a neighbors garage sale.  (Garage sales are a big source of greatness.  I think it’s the thrill of the hunt and the surprise at what one can find.  I love surprises.)

10.) Listening to the drums in a good marching band.  My head is bobbing to the beat.

These examples may not capture your idea of what’s great and that’s ok.  Just remember the more things that you classify as great the more your day will be filled with them.

Most days I don’t start out looking for great things.  Often I have to remind myself that each day provides me a new opportunity to search out those little things that can be so easily overlooked but can provide so much enjoyment, delight and satisfaction.  That crazy decorated pickup is still making me smile.  Just writing this list was fun.  Don’t miss out.  Greatness is everywhere.


One Great Thing

This great sky was over our back yard. Photo by me!


Confession:    Tired of feeling raw, I retreated into my head for a little rest.

I waited for inspiration.  It didn’t come.   When I decided to look for it, I found it every where.

What can I do with these odd bits of inspiration, the moments that brighten my day and help me feel more alive?  One singular idea stared back.

What if I focus on finding one great thing every day and then wrote about why this thing was so great?

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The Beginning of Love

The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.   Thomas Merton
Yesterday, I wrote for over two hours but still didn’t really have anything to say.  It took a while for me to realize that I wasn’t really saying anything.  Words can be fun to play with and so easy to get lost in.  I was using them as a shield so I could avoid feeling or taking action.  Fortunately, the fact that I was feeling that I was sounding pretty smart was a huge red flag and saved me from pushing the publish button.  Any time, I start to get too cerebral or show off by dropping a smart sounding name or two, watch out.  I probably in over my head.


photo taken by Ruben Holthuijsen found on Flickr Creative Commons

Certainty.  It’s what I’ve been chasing.  I’ve been surrounding myself with people of strong conviction.

Six months ago, at a church-sponsored rummage sale, I filled in a little card that said I was interested in Bible study.  My actions did not make sense to me at the time.  Soon, I was paired with a woman that I instantly liked.  I enjoy her visits but the Bible study not so much.  Try as I might I can not accept a literal view of scripture.  I believe in evolution, that God is non-denominational and that collectively we’re all just guessing when it comes to “defining” God.  As for the end times,  I’m not concerned with the number of years between comings or whether or not God ends the suffering of the wicked with oblivion or eternal torment.  These issues are angels dancing on pin heads.  They aren’t relevant to me.  I really don’t care.  I have a really difficult time believing that a God would be all that interested in the punishment of the wicked.  I want to believe that Love will trump all in the end.  I don’t know what that means and I live with uncertainty.    These are beliefs that I usually keep to myself.  I’m a fish who desperately wants to be a bird.  Wishing just can’t make it so.  Certainty floats beyond my grasp.

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“Mom, You really need to relax when you play video games.    You grip the controller so hard and punch buttons so fast when the action begins that you make a lot of mistakes.”

Recently, my son shared this information with me.  It was no surprise.  I do play like a crazy woman, gripping that controller as if the intensity of my grip will some how keep me from video game harm or total destruction.  Maybe I’ve been playing life the same way.

Suddenly, I get a mental flashback of my dad.  We’re taking a Sunday drive (which for most people is now a thing of the past due to the price of gas and the increased awareness of the pollution generated by fossil fuels but that’s a different story.)  Dad sits gripping the steering wheel.  Shoulders hunched forward, jaw set, eyes rapidly scanning the road ahead.  Just looking at him is making me tense.

“Dad!”  I hear myself say.  “Why can’t you relax a little?”

“What?”  He says as if I were speaking from a far away place and he is struggling to pin point where I am and who I am.

“What are you talking about?  I am relaxed,”  he says.

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Victim of Redemption

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons Photo taken by: BrianMKA

Link:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianmka/2913760140/in/photostream/

Note:  Giving testimony to my personal beliefs about God, religion and spirituality is not something I do easily. I worry about offending others.    I’m no theologian.  I struggle to hold on to a faith that I often question.  So, in writing this and publishing it here, I take a leap of faith.  This wrote itself.  Much of it lies beyond my powers of logical and rational thought.  It is what it is.  I feel compelled to share it by something deep within.  It might be God or the complicated mental gymnastics of a part-time narcissist.  In desperation, I lash my soul to a mast I call, God.  It’s what gets me through the day, through a life.  It is all I have.

Lately, I’ve given a lot of thought to being a victim. . . more accurately the experience or feeling of being a victim.  As fate would have it, I also started a new book last night.  It’s called Insurrection and it’s by Peter Rollins.  The basic premise of the book is summed up on the cover with the words:

To believe is human to doubt, divine.

At first glance this book and the experience of being a victim aren’t obviously linked.  Yet, some how in the deeper regions of my being the two ideas have merged into a shocking epiphany.  When I got up this morning and in between a bowl of cereal and my coffee, I pick up the book and read one paragraph.

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Naked Intimacy

Image captured from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Intimacy-Increase-Openness-Relationship/dp/0071395180/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336006031&sr=8-2  NOTE:  Clicking won’t work on the icon above. . . I bet you wanted to any way.

At the breakfast table, I’m reading a book entitled, Naked Intimacy.  Of course, my almost-twelve-year-old son has to ask, “Why are you reading a book called Naked Intimacy?”

“It’s not what you think,” I say.

“What is it about?” He asks, emphasizing the “what” just like I did.

“Well,” I reply.  It’s about being able to talk about your feelings and share them with your partner.”

“O. . .K. . .A. . .Y,”  he says tentatively.

My daughter walks in.  The look on her face tells me that this isn’t a conversation she wants to be drawn into first thing in the morning.

“Hey, it’s not so bad to talk about your feelings,”  I try to chirp.

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I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.


I am reading

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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