Life

Listening to the World

Some days are harder to write than others. Some days the world becomes too much, full of harsh truth. This isn’t a time for me to write about a world gone mad, still mad after hundreds of years. I am a white woman, trying to understand how to fix it. This is how I was born and so I am listening.

Poetry is a vehicle of the truth I am looking for and so I visit Poetry Foundation’s web site each day to tune into what’s being said. I am always blown over by the words I need to hear. Today’s poem is Stay Safe by Luther Hughes and here are some of the words that hit my core:

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Why indeed does the world seem normal outside my back door, the birds singing as if no wrong exists in the world. Only the crows scream that something is amiss.

MC

Life

Observation

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As a writer, wouldn’t it seem that observation is an important tool in one’s work? I thought about this yesterday morning as I was walking around the neighborhood, looking at plants I’d never seen before, the rabbits pausing on a dewy lawn for a quick snack, the tree with a seemingly perfect canopy of branches and leaves. But as I wandered and meanered and took in the scent of the day, waved at the other walkers passing on the other side of the street, and took snapshots of cool things, I never once looked up at the sky. When I left the house I returned to quickly grab my forgotten sunglasses because as you walk to the east the sun is bound to get in your eyes eventually and I hadn’t noticed that the glasses hadn’t left their perch at the top of my head for the duration of the walk.

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poetry

Tuesday

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We landed on Tuesday, again.
How do we keep the days new and fresh
in a changed world?

Seeking outside ourselves the answer
to what lies within,
we close our eyes to memory and dreams.

Imagine if things were different. Where would
we be and doing?
Going slowly toward sanity or madness.

Generations before have seen better and worse
and yet we survive another day.
We landed on Tuesday, again.

Life

The house I didn’t want

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In late 2015, at the beginning of my journey into recovery, I decided I wanted to move. Fresh starts and all. We live in a house that is a main thoroughfare and heavily trafficked and without sidewalks. Our son was eight and in need of neighborhood friends and how is that possible without a neighborhood? We quickly found one that seemed perfect. A neighborhood near one of Liam’s school friends, it was bigger with an open plan, a fireplace!, a large master bedroom/bath and walk-in closet, less yard to care for.  I was already imagining us taking over the space, making it home. We didn’t get the house and I began a period of mourning.

But looking at the house kicked in a new quest for my husband. He turned our disappointment into a new idea and started visiting retirement property while visiting his mom in Florida a couple months later. It was a furtive move on his part and he didn’t share this idea until he was home and booking flights for us to visit in late February. Hold up. Retirement?! Florida?! Never! I tried to talk him down but the idea had already taken root. Strong root.

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Life

Revisiting Bliss Through Meditation

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A few weeks into the quarantine, we decamped to our Florida home to ride out the remainder of the school year away from upstate New York. The weather was about to get the best of us with snow into late April and the feeling of being shuttered in our home, unable to get out to breath in some fresh air, was making our son drift into depression. Why not go where sunshine and warm temperatures would allow us to be outdoors while still maintaining our social distance? We are lucky and blessed to have this option.

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Life

Daily Gratitude

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When I quit drinking a few years ago, someone asked me to do a daily gratitude text exchange with her, naming three things I’m grateful for every day. As you’d probably imagine, as you come to the decision to stop drinking, once and for all, you’re not at your best place in life and gratitude is not high on the list. My life was pretty much crap and I was wallowing in self pity. Why me? How come I couldn’t be normal? Was I about to lose everything?

As humans, we are a resilient species and so I pulled myself together (somewhat) and started texting my three daily gratitudes. Clean socks. Books (even if I didn’t have the focus to be able to read them). My toothbrush. And as time went on, the list grew and settled on more heartfelt ideas. Second chances. A hug. Hope. I’d like to say it became an ingrained habit after several days of this but I wasn’t a natural at turning to gratitude and the lady I was texting stopped showing up and so the habit died.

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Writing

Writing Routine

 

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Creativity is not something I associate with the word routine although I do love a good routine. Each morning I wake, say the rosary, meditate, write affirmations and then sit down to write. But first coffee. I don’t have a particular routine around my writing, though, but I’m starting to build one. First, the morning pages. I was writing them by hand for a long time, filling up notebook upon notebook but a couple of things happen when writing at length with a pen. I grip it hard and the nail of my ring finger digs into the palm of my hand leaving a throbbing indent. Also my hand goes a bit numb after a while. And then I discovered 750words.com and I moved my morning pages online, which is cheating, I know, but better than nothing. It also makes my writing searchable which is great.

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Life

Slow and unsteady

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When the word slow rolls off my tongue, I can’t help but feel it is a very weird word. Some words are like that for me. It makes me think of a sloth, slow and sleepy, dangling from a branch high above the Costa Rican rain forest. I was disappointed not to see one up close when we were there a couple years ago but apparently they don’t do much more than hang from the upper branches of very tall trees.  And surprisingly they are very good swimmers (though with how long it must take them to get to a body of water it would be a wonder they swim at all).

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Life

The Memory of a Scent

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As I push in the side door of the tall, white church, I inhale a familiar scent that tells me a hundred things. It’s been four and a half years, give or take a month since I’ve come to know this distinct odor and I can’t say it’s a hundred percent pleasing but I’m unable to discern the notes that make this fragrance unique to this time and place. Maybe it’s an intermingling of a thousand people, the coffee, the incense, the monthly chicken barbeques of which I have yet to partake. But when I enter and the smell hits me all at once, I know I am home and that peace and hope will be mine for the next hour.

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Life

Writing is hard

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When WordPress did away with their daily writing prompts in May of 2018, I was very sad as were many of my fellow bloggers. I started writing in 2016 as a way to process my days of early recovery from alcoholism and without it, I might still be drinking today. Pouring out my experience here, helped get me through a very hard time. But after a few months when I was starting to feel better and wanted to write about other things, the daily prompt was great inspiration. It helped me think about things I hadn’t thought of in years whether it was happy, sad, weird or just a string of a memory. It enabled me to discover other writers too, as the the post for the prompt catalogued all those who participated.

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