The Great White Expanse

The cursor on the screen blinks at me with a dull ferocity   Impatient, impersonal and aloof, it demands words to fill up the great white expanse.  The few words I do have seem disconnected as unrelated to each other as I to Jimi Hendrix.  I’ve actually had a few people ask if we were related.  Blame my maiden name for this question: Hendricks.   While I entertain the idea that almost anything is possible, I’m pretty certain that the great Jimi and I are not cousins.  I can’t play a lick.

Continue reading

Anne Bradstreet, How did you do it?

See more about Anne Bradstreet at: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/naal8/section/volA/workshops/poetry/anne.aspx

You can’t tell but I’m making dinner right now.  The pasta sauce is simmering  and the fettucini boiling.  Phone rings.  Noodles were slipping into the hot water as I nod my head.  The callers questions are answered relay style.   Before I finished these sentences, I am interrupted and given instructions on how to do a trash run.  Trash runs are an extremely important covert operation.  I am sworn to secrecy. Enough said.

Less than 1 minute has passed.  In walks my daughter who is watching a show on Hulu.

“This is the best show ever!” she says as she hugs me.

Continue reading

The Mad Woman in the Attic

The other day I read something that took a stab at menopausal women.  That brought on a hot flash. Aren’t we protected by anti-bullying acts or something?  Are we really fair fodder for others questionable sense of humor?  Yeah, I guess we are.  At least some of us.  Not me.  I’m never irrational or unrealistic or the proverbial “banshee on wheels”.  (Expletive carefully deleted.)  I’m as rational and as sane as the Blessed Mother.   OK, that’s a lie.  Maybe, I have moments that I’d like to forget. . . well, I actually do forget.

Continue reading

Obstacle or Opportunity?

These last two weeks have been full of obstacles.  Huge, grey boulders of pain and frustration cropped up everywhere.  I want the problem to be outside of me.  I want some one or something to blame.  I want to shake my fist at all the small minded and callously indifferent.  A cause celebre, that’s what I thought I wanted.  Tossing dramatic phases and bits of bad poetry at the ugly grey wall wasn’t getting me anywhere.  In fact, it was making things worse.  Something was wrong but I didn’t know what.

Some times,it takes a while before I catch on.   My attitude, my limited perspective was the source of the problem.  Problems do exist outside of me and some of them are really big ones.  The frustration I was feeling was my problem.  I wanted it to stop.  Expecting that to magically happen from the outside would trap me inside my frustration forever.  I had to own it.  Accept it as mine and determine what I could do about it.

First, I had to tackle the problem of other people’s perceptions when they didn’t match my own.  Which perception would I choose?  Don’t laugh.  Choosing my perception over another isn’t something that comes easily or naturally to me.  A large part of my frustration came from trying to buy what they were saying when I knew that wasn’t true for me.  I had to remind myself that I live inside me.  What I think or feel doesn’t have to be right or wrong.  It just has to be mine.

Second, I had to acknowledge that some of the boulders I was running into weren’t worth the struggle.  It was time to find another way to move past them and beyond.  I started looking at the people in my life.  Were they supportive, consistent, trustworthy?   Did they demonstrate their friendship through actions?  Were they there when I needed them?   Did we share something vital and important in common?

Wanting them to be different, wanting the relationship to be different didn’t make it so.  They make choices and I make mine.  Listening to my heart, I finally heard what it has been trying to tell me.    It is ok to let some things go.

Finally, I had to look inside myself and determine which struggles are worth the effort.  My life is littered with obstacles.  I don’t need to accept other peoples limits as my own.  I simply need to deal with what is limiting me in this moment.  Nothing limits like the restrictions of one’s own thinking.  Seeing things as obstacles makes them obstacles.  It is time to see them as opportunities.

I listened to the weariness I feel when people talk about their problems.  Such talk focuses on lack or what stands in the way or whose to blame.  It focuses on a weird sort of one-up-man-ship.

“My problems are bigger than yours.”

Continue reading

Arise

“Arise, pick up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8)

These are the first words that pop in my head as I open the page to write.  In the background, Mumford and Sons sing, “Awake, my soul.”

The timing is too perfect.  Obviously, the Universe/God is trying to  tell me something this cloudy Sunday morning.  Under a cloudy, stone-colored sky, my cathedral forms, the houses in the neighborhood: the flying buttresses, the clouds the spires.  The sounds of morning become the hymns.  Mumford and Sons become the morning preacher.  They tell me something I need to hear.  Their voice merges with my own.  How can I add more?

Lyrics to Awake My Soul :

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally showLend me your hand and we’ll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I’ll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free
Har har, har har
har har, har har

awake my soul…
awake my soul…

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show
Har har, har har
har har, har har

In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life

In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life

awake my soul…
awake my soul…
awake my soul…
For you were made to meet your maker

awake my soul…
awake my soul…
awake my soul…
For you were made to meet your maker
You were made to meet your maker

 

Contrast

This is a copy of a pastel was done by Carol DeGregory. You can enjoy more of her art work at www.caroldegregory.com

This simple dream-like landscape stood out among all the other pastels.   Standing before the print in the gallery,  I see myself.  The contrast between the glowing earth and the turbulent sky reflects something back to me.   I am the sky and I long to be the earth.

The storm carries me.   What I want and where I am are as different as field and sky.  A hole in my clouds casts autumn’s orange light on the earth below.

Continue reading

Look at Me: Being Right

Few things have complicated my life more than the need to be right.    What if I was driven by the need to be kind instead of right?   What if we all were?

Several days ago, after I decided to no longer numb myself by playing mindless games on the Internet, I found myself in a “nasty soup of feeling.”  I felt frustrated, angry, sad, in need but couldn’t put my finger on any of it.  I lashed out at my family, my husband, in particular.  My words start to fuel his frustration.  He crosses his arms, his voice rises.  Suddenly, from deep within me, I realize that I can take this another direction, a more honest one.

Continue reading

Labor Day

Labor Day.  Not my favorite holiday.  A holiday to celebrate work.  I find holidays are usually a lot of work:  Preparing, cooking, planning.  It’s easy to lose the fun in the process.  I want holidays to be fun.  Yet, fun often seems to sit behind a thin impenetrable line.  It smiles at me from a great distance.  Life drops a bell jar over me.  Clear glass stands between me and what I want.   I await rescue.  No one comes.

It’s so easy to get lost in the mind.  Being present is what I want. I want a lighter heart, a more open heart, a resilient spirit, a generous soul.  A mind turned inward can collapse on itself.   I see an empty hornet’s nest. . .grey, paper thin.  My dad crushes it with a gloved hand.

Continue reading

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.

Connect

I am reading

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
0 / 170 Pages