Tuesday, September 26, 2006

the missing muse

Some mornings I sit here wondering what the heck I'm going to write about. Today is one of them. I know that this whole blog thing is good for me. That it helps me to flex my writing muscles. And yet, there are times when there is nothing in my head that seems to need to be said.

When all else fails, I write about coffee. But even that doesn't seem important today. Maybe it's true. Good writing comes from pain. Right now I have none that I can think of. And so there are no passionate words to describe my anguish. And love...that's the other inspiration, but there are no words passionate enough to describe my love. What else is there? Is the world so black and white? I think not...

My muse...Annabelle...isn't doing her job. I hear her voice now saying...It's not me, it's you. You haven't been coming to the page. I'm here for you when you decide to settle in and get serious. And Natalie Goldberg would say...just keep the hands moving. So easy for you dear. Today it's not so easy for me. She also says it's okay to write crap. Okay...I'm writing crap.

Once during meditation, I asked for a mentor. And I was given Thomas Merton. This was scary. Have you ever tried to read his work. He's passed now, but when he was alive (and perhaps now, on the other side,) he was true genius. He was a Catholic monk, turned mystic with and Easternish philosophy. And so I guess we sort of came from the same place, making it only fitting that he might mentor me from beyond. Perhaps today I need to reconnect with his work, and ask for a little psychic intervention.

The voices in my head are saying...it's so you. Study, study, study...anything to keep from writing. They know me so well.

And there is laundry to do, my office to clean up, new curtains to hang. Not near as threatening as the writing. And reading is good. I could play with my new ipod - which by the way I love, thank you Jonathan.

So I could fill up my day with tiny tasks. Or I could get serious (says Annabelle). Now is the time I need Ronda - my cheerleader. She exists in the 3-D world and has always encouraged me when I need it. Minnesota, though closer than Houston, is still quite far away. She's probably already taking a class. (Anything to keep from writing, right Ron?) Are we that much alike? Perhaps I should get up early and drive there on Thursday...it's like driving to Austin. Or maybe we could meet in the middle, just to visit. (Another reason not to write...)

Now I've managed to get something down here...crap or not...I showed up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

wednesday again

It is a good morning. Feeling quite chilly today outside, and Buddy seems to have a wild hair this morning. He's barking like crazy and I can't figure out why. Wednesday, perhaps?

Back on the learning curve...or the relearning curve. Can't remember, even in Ohio, the air feeling quite this brisk in September. Autumn has definitely arrived, and we, like the squirrels that are so bothersome, are preparing for the winter.

Attention Walmart shoppers...get over to aisle 7 for a killer sale on plastic to cover the windows and keep out the drafts that this winter will surely bring. Hot apple cider (irradiated, of course), now being served at rock bottom prices in the produce area.

And so, we scurry about, getting ready, yet again for a change.

My SO is quite the scurrier...checking the antifreeze, putting weather stripping around the doors, and making room in the garage for the patio furniture. He knows, I suppose. Yet I am not quite there. And while intellectually I know these preparations are necessary, I prefer to think of winter as quite a ways away - not just around the corner. It just doesn't seem real. I know there is a need to get gas for the snowblower and make sure that it's running, but it seems much more practical right now to mow the lawn, which remains green and growing despite the cooler temps.

Worst of all, my winter clothes seem quite dated...as they haven't been worn much over the last 22 years. And while it sounds like quite the chore, I must go through them and toss those that I will never wear. I do plan to do some shopping this afternoon. Boots? I suppose, and some warmer socks. I have been looking for long sleeve t-shirts, but most are too "cute". With little lace necklines, and so I guess it will be long john tops under my sweaters. They're comfy and certainly serve the purpose - but do they make them in the colors I'm into these days?

I do love the way the air feels just now. And the way the breeze seems constant. My summer color has been replaced by rosy cheeks. That's fall for you. But what in the world will I do with all the geraniums that continue to bloom. Will they live if I bring them inside? Or will they wither in the artificial heat and light? What I know is that the hearty aloe on the porch will make it through the cold...I think?

And so I prepare for my first winter in the Dakotas. I can't help but to think that as long as it's warm and cozy in my heart, the rest will take care of itself.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

post weekend

Most weekends my SO and I hit the road, at least that's what we did all summer long. He was stoked about it all the time, says that it's his way to relax and get away from it all. And after years - literally - of sitting around, I've been up for it, too. But if I'm honest with myself, I long for a weekend here and there at home. It's not that I don't enjoy myself at the lake. The company is good and it is quite a respite in a hostile world. On the other hand, I long for time alone with my man. I've joked about us always being gone...that he's afraid to spend time alone with me. And his only response is, "you bite." Well, only gently and with love, I admit.

And so this weekend we stayed home - at least sort of. We did wake up in our own bed on Saturday morning, and this was good...leaning on our pillows with no rush to start the day. But once we were up and awake, there was lots to do. Our finished basement was full of boxes from our moving months ago, and there were tools to move from the kitchen (where they'd found a temporary home) to the basement, where they would live permanently. Once the basement was cleared out and somewhat organized, there was a need in me to fill it again. Not with boxes and junk, but with real furniture. So off we went to the second-hand furniture stores and outlets to find little treasures for the "den."

"Den" is appropriate, since I imagine our spending cold winter nights in the cozy basement room filled with things we love.

We shopped - well I shopped and he tolerated my shopping. We bought things we'd planned to buy and things we didn't. We also bought miscellaneous stuff we'd written on a list, like a new AC filter and spray paint for the park benches we're refinishing.

Needless to say, we weren't home much. But we were alone and together, and this satisfied my need.

This weekend we will be staying home again as luck would have it. Two weekends in a row??? Can he manage??? I'm sure we will be busy getting the house ready for winter and finishing the projects we started last weekend (I do have an ashtray-turned-birdbath to show for it). And though I'm learning the meaning of "winterize", I am having fun.

Today I am grateful for home, and alone time, and my SO, and the pup, and the cats, and the way my world works these days. And not to be forgotten, coffee in a ceramic cup instead of a to-go mug.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

thursday morning

Just when you think you're out of the woods and things are going very smoothly, you're reminded of all of the parts of your life that you've been neglecting. For me...it's the yoga.

Exercise has never been high on my list of IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO. And unfortunately, I think, it might remain on the low end of the list forever. In my quest to ease the guilt, I began a yoga practice about five years ago. Believe it or not, it really worked for me. I found a great little studio in the heart of Humble, Texas (strange place for a great little yoga studio, you might think, as Humble tends to be quite a conservative place to be.) I pulled myself out of bed three days a week at 5:15 in order to greet the sun and a number of other students for class.

It began with breathing...lots of breathing. There are more ways to breathe than you might imagine, and we learned and practiced many of them. After a warm up, we learned to pose. Great posers we were, shaping our bodies in triangle, warrior, and cobra, pushing our bodies to the limit. And after a little sweating, there was meditation. Actually, the meditation (in corpse pose of course), was my favorite part of the class. After a yoga class, my mind was clear, and it was easy to shut out the voices that seem to be in my head most of the time. With a clear mind, I was able to meditate, allowing my body, mind and spirit to merge into pure energy. Okay, maybe that sounds a little hokey, but there were times when I actually felt myself leave my body behind. But I digress.

Whenever we get too comfortable in a spot - like I am here in the SLRH in South Dakota, the spirit says, "Enough already. You've got work to do." And so the universe sends message after message until you get it. The messages began with a little conversation about yoga, then my body started feeling a bit tight. Last night, at my meditation group, we listened to an audio recording about meditation, and finally, the book I'm reading has an entire section where the protagonist lives in an Ashram.

I get the message.

If I'm honest, even though the thought of re-starting my yoga practice sounds like a big responsibility, I'm longing for it. That sense of connection I feel when I find the silence within. To touch again the divine in me seems like the right thing to do.

Today I will dig out the Native American flute music, round up some incense, and dust off my meditation pillow. I'll start there. Some breathing, stretching and finally some meditation. And as luck would have it, my schedule is somewhat clear (she says as if time is anything but one moment after another.)


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

a walk in the park

Last night I was reminded that life is indeed a walk in the park. So many times, hemmed in by the insanity that we think is our lives, we forget that life is about joy, about doing what makes one happy. And when a little reminder comes along that kicks us in the shorts, we breathe again.

So today I am breathing, thinking about the couple we came upon as we walked through Seratoma Park last night looking for the perfect woody spot to have our pictures taken. It was 6:30 or so when we left home with directions from the photographer, and the sun was still in the sky, though barely visible through the clouds. We walked down what had been aptly named the Woodland Trail wearing sweatshirts as the temperature was dropping. There were few people out walking, perhaps because the mosquitoes were thick. We were keeping a good pace and enjoying the peace, laughing and talking. The company was good as it always is.

A little ways ahead of us we saw a mature couple. I say that because my understanding of the word "old" is changing these days. She was dressed in khaki pants and a matching jacket. Her white hair was twisted and clipped up. She held the hand of a man dressed in blue jeans. Though we couldn't really hear them talking, she seemed to be listening attentively as she looked into the man's face. Her smile was genuine, as if his words warmed her heart.

It didn't take long until we got close enough to pass them by. It was then that I realized that they weren't talking at all, but in a low and melodic voice, he was singing to her. I'm not sure of the song, only that she glowed in the music. Arm in arm they made their way through the woods, surrounded by beauty and bathed in love.

Steve and I looked at each other and smiled. We were thinking the same thing. One day we want to be like them. Steve said, "I can't sing." And I said "it doesn't matter as long as you talk to me." He pulled me closer and we slowed down a bit, both lost I think in our own thoughts. We met them again later, as we had stopped by a little lake to watch the fish, and he smiled at us, but continued singing to the woman he would always love.

One day they were young and in love. They shared the trials of life, probably raised their babies together. There were good times and bad times. And when things got rough, he sang to her. And that music and their love kept their passion for life alive. And last night they walked together down a quiet path, appreciative of each other. They left the insanity of the world behind and found joy in each other.

So life is indeed a walk in the park. Breathe it in.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


So the leaves have not yet begun to turn into the collage I remember, but autumn is indeed in the air. Evenings are perfect for wrapping myself in a blanket outside in front of the fire. Here it is quiet. There is no need for human words as crickets sing and stars glow. There is only me and Steve in our not so SLBY.

I am looking forward to the change in the season, having not really seen that for so long. And even winter seems exciting. A little crazy, but as my life has changed, it seems only appropriate that the environment in which I live change, too. The roses may not know it, as they continue to bloom as if they sense the coming of spring. I can see at least 14 buds from my window. The sun falls on their faces as they reach still toward the sky. They are my everyday miracle.

My last angry post was validated for me again this past weekend, as I met yet another woman who found herself curled up in a ball on the pavement after being battered by a man who says, "I love you." I am resolved to be a part of the solution.

Empowering women seems impossible in a world where we have forever been second class...or third. Perhaps wearing pants is not the solution. Perhaps instead it is tapping into the goddess energy in all of us. The goddess who is beautiful and fierce, who creates life, and who nurtures would not accept this treatment. She would eat a man for lunch. And she is there, waiting for the right moment to make her move. My resolution is to help women find her in the depths of their souls, to call her forth as protector.

And when the battle is fought, she will recline on a bed of rose petals and sip nectar saying..."don't *^%$*&@ with me."

And she will again give and receive love that doesn't hurt, no matter the season.