Thursday, January 14, 2016

Always We Begin Again

I've been thinking for a while about beginning to write over here again. The thought drifts in and out of my head during lunch or when I am just about to fall asleep. The problem was, I just didn't know how to start. The inertia was so great and that November 2014 date on the last post would always just stop me in my tracks.

Then my Imaginary Friend Amy (who is not imaginary but a real live flesh and blood poet person who I just happen to know within the confines of the magical land of internet and have never met in this particular time/space configuration) posted this and reminded me of something I've been learning and learning and learning. We get a brand new day every morning and we are perpetually beginning - over and over again. The only thing - and the hardest thing - we have to do is just take that first step.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11: On Illness

I am sick. I am slogging through an ongoing illness that began with a trip to the emergency room and led from my doctor's office to a CT scan through two rounds of antibiotics and has me fasting at the moment, drinking a ton of water and returning to the doctor tomorrow morning.

For most of my life, I have equated being sick with weakness. This has a lot to do with my family of origin.  At times, it was not safe to stay home sick from school. I learned early to throw back some ibuprofen and get through the day.

As a grad student and more recently as a mom, I mastered the art of powering through almost anything, nothing short of high fever or active vomiting keeps me down and even then I am down at most for an afternoon.

But recently, my body has betrayed me. (This must surely be one of the double-edged gifts of growing older.) My body has put her foot down and stubbornly refused to power through. Trying to power through has taken me to relapse and pain and staring down the barrel of yet another round of antibiotics. My body demands that I stop EVERYTHING and pay attention. I am resting. I am lying down - with a blanket - in the middle of the day. I am fasting, drinking loads and loads of water and consuming very little else.

Not because I wised up and decided to take better care of myself and not because my doctor fussed at me, but because my body demanded it and I have no choice but to listen. I am finding I am quite fond of the old girl.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 5

I had to do something hard today, Hard because it was new and way out of my comfort zone. Hard because it involved rush hour traffic and rain. Hard because it was just hard. Hard because I gave away my umbrella and had to walk a long way in the rain so that when I got to the place to do the hard thing I was soaking wet - my map a ridiculous wad of ruined paper in my hand. Hard because it was just showing up when showing up is all you have to offer. Hard because sometimes the only thing we can do is to be there and bear witness.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4

There is something kind of liberating about having missed a couple of days already, you know?

So, Galway Kinnell died. He was a poet hero of mine. I loved his work and had the pleasure of meeting him and hearing him read a handful of times. He was such a lion, such a majestic voice. He was my Walt Whitman.

The world feels a little darker without him.

Here is one of my very favorite of his poems - and one I could most certainly recite from memory for much of my adult life.


Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1

I try to be intentional about how I begin a new month. I coordinate calendars and spend some time thinking about the things we are doing in the next four weeks. I try to focus on the possibilities and opportunities as much as I can.

I did not manage this very well in the September/October transition, I barreled into October half-dressed with one hand tied behind my back and then floundered through the whole month.

I have high hopes for November and I appreciate the do-over aspect of the first day. One more opportunity to get more things right, make better choices or make a mess of things in an entirely new way...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fair Warning

I am going to be doing something here every day for the month of November. Consider yourself warned...

Happy Halloween!

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Made This!

This week I started knitting a new sock. This is number two of a pair and getting that second sock started is always hard for me. I've already knit one sock and am a little bored with the yarn by now. Plus, I really really don't enjoy casting on with double pointed needles or the back and forth, knit and purl of working on the cuff. Yet, here I am, cast on, past the cuff and on to the body of the sock which is by far my favorite part!

I almost always have a sock on needles for someone in my family. This particular sock is for Frank but Max is next in line given that he has totally outgrown every pair of hand knit socks he has. These socks are being repurposed to keep the floor safe from the scratchy legs of his music stand.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2: Time Capsule


What are you reading?

Where'd You Go Bernadette?
for my book group

The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart by Gabrielle Calvocoress
for inspiration

The Year of the Flood
I read Margaret Atwood's poetry all the time but I had forgotten what a pleasure her fiction can be.

Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas by Jan Richardson
I am loving this beautiful book!

What are you watching?

Some funny network television in the evenings. Nothing spectacular. Looking forward to the new Hobbit movie!

What are you listening to?

What are you loving?

Advent. In the last couple of years, I have learned to embrace and savor this season of getting ready for Christmas.

What are you wearing?

Capris and a t-shirt. It is 81 degrees today here in San Antonio!

What are you creating?

I am working on a display for an alternative giving opportunity at my church. It involves lots of glitter. I'm also knitting a sock.

What are you looking forward to?

Christmas. The new year. Putting up our tree this weekend.

Join us here to get in on the fun of the Kickin' It Old Skool Blog-a-thon!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1

I had so much fun writing a poem every day in November, I decided to blog every day in the month of December with the lovely Jamie Ridler, her sister, Shannon and a community of folks who are putting the fun back in blogging!

So our first prompt was to take a selfie and though I had every intention of working at this (taking lots of photos and processing them a bit) I just didn't have the time today. So here is unedited, unfiltered me.

December is such a wonderful month, just brimming with hope and promise and light. I look forward to sharing a little bit of that with you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Windows Open

When you live in the NE part of this country, there is something magical about the first warmish morning of Spring when you open your windows after being shut inside with the furnace going through those long months of winter. That Spring wind blowing through the house seems to promise everything good, wildflowers, fresh corn, afternoon swims and lemonade.

In South Texas, something similar happens on the first cool morning of Fall, when we throw open the windows and peek out the screen door. That first morning when the temperature dips into the 50s and the Autumn breeze blows through promising pumpkins, stews, fresh-baked cornbread and dark red wine.