Saturday, September 14, 2013


Thunder rumbles the night and raindrops pat gently against the ground like mice skittering.  My boy's bed creaks.  He's bent on moving, stalling sleep, even though it's time to loll into dreams.

A child fights sleep until the bitter end, but I can say the same about me.

I'm a night owl by nature.

A speck past nine at night and suddenly I'm energized and creative.  That's when I'll pull out books and glue and scissors and begin moving furniture to a more desirable position.

Being a night owl doesn't coincide with mainstream society and the regularity of school buses and breakfast, so I adapt.

I practice being the good mommy who goes to bed at a decent time and who gets up dutifully to fulfill my mommy duties, but each night is a struggle against every cell in my body, telling me to stay up.

There's so much to be had when everyone sleeps.

Tonight's fine.  A weekend night.

I can linger with the late hours and chit-chat and conjure make believe worlds and imagine my living room differently (though it wouldn't be prudent to shove the furniture around now, not with children finally resting in squeak-less beds) and surround myself with my books and scissors and glue.

Darkness has a way of thinning my perceptions of what's normal, altering my angle of view, and I witness something tangible beyond what's offered during wakeful-hours.

There's possibility in these moments.

I cherish them when they come like nourishing gifts, even if all they may do is remind me I am an individual, outside my mommy suit.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


There is space in between the moments like Corpse Pose, where the blood in my veins whispers and regenerates my insides, my being, to be what I need to.

Space can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar, almost similar to a pesky mosquito that just won't go away, though my perception of its annoyance is my own and not the truth.

My breath falters when there is no space in between the moments of action, and, yet, I will again try to attempt to live life like there is no need for space or breath.

A series of events have propelled me into a new way of living, which, with practice and time, brings about a willingness to settle in the space and breath, to find peace when the lightening-problems scorch my sky and rip it into shreds.

Of course, my lightening-problems depend on how I see them. Space and breath give me a chance to gather truth and light, a means of seeing through the burnt embers and smoke to what lays beyond, a path worth trudging.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


My husband and I have lived in different places, and, regardless if we own or rent, we always care for the yard, add a garden or flower beds.

We're currently renting where we are now, and when we moved in to this cute two bedroom the backyard was mostly dirt with a small section of grass, which was really more weeds than anything.  I asked the landlord if we could plant grass, and he said yes, pretty much free reign.

We planted grass and a vegetable garden, a simple one, and I surrounded the veggie garden with rocks and wild flowers from seed.

After a few weeks now, the grass is growing and seems like a regular yard, where two rambunctious boys can play and wrestle, and the veggie and flower gardens are maturing, a promise of color and deliciousness.

This morning, early, I began the arduous task of pulling weeds from my flower garden.

What came to mind for me this morning while pulling weeds is how weeds will over take, suck the water from the ground, and hide the sun's rays, stealing both from the flowers and plants I want to grow.

These weeds are similar to behaviors I keep with me from long ago that no longer offer a benefit to my life, like throwing temper tantrums or manipulating or whining or staying up too late or being hungry and forgetting to eat or eating too much when I'm full or being sarcastic and flippant when I really need to voice what's going on with me or judging and criticizing others for things I need to change myself or pouting because no one patted me on the back for a job well done or waiting for someone to reach out to me when I could call them and get the ball rolling or watching television instead of joining the world, out there, where things happen and so on.

I collected a lot of "weeds" while growing up, normal it seems, behaviors that worked as a child, or, at least, I thought they did.

When I'm tired or hungry or stressed or overwhelmed or unsure my tendency is to rely upon these old behaviors because they're well-used and easy to slip into, instead of trying something new.

What's funny is, I had a friend several years ago say, "They're not old behaviors if you're still practicing them."

She was right, though at the time I didn't like hearing it because it meant I was choosing to participate somehow.

Looking at my "old" behaviors and being realistic on whether they are still standbys for me to fall back on is like pulling weeds from my garden.

If I don't take the time to assess how I'm showing up and try and practice doing the opposite of what those old behaviors say to do, they will grow and block the sun's rays and suck the water from the behaviors that I want to grow.  I will create an environment where I will wilt and shrivel like the flowers I saw this morning that were desperate in trying to survive the weeds' thievery, but just couldn't do it.

And now, with the weeds pulled and a little water, the flowers have perked up and have the chance of reaching their potential, which, from my perspective, seems amazingly profound and beautiful.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


This morning, conversing with my husband, I realised my birthday is this coming Saturday, and I will officially be embarking on the last year of my thirties.  Curious.

What I find to be curious is the movement of time and how, at the moment, I don't feel like a girl in her late thirties, but, the reality of it is, I am.  Things are different, but I don't always feel different, or more like my state of being seems constant throughout the years until I am reminded otherwise.

For example, when I was at the swimming pool with my boys yesterday there were these two young teenage girls in their skimpy, two-piece bathing suits, and, by the way they were walking and sitting and leaning against the side of the pool, I could tell they were more interested in showing off their bodies then actually getting in the pool to swim, which I don't think they ever did anyway.  I remember doing that, flaunting what I had to get attention and trying to hide the fact that's what I was doing.  And now, I'm more interested in swimming then getting the life guard to goggle at my ass.

Another example, chatting with my boys and telling them stories of "When I was a kid..."  When I was a kid there were no cell phones or computers or answering machines (remember the old ones that sat on a side table, and you had to use mini tape cassettes) or internet or cartoons on any day except Saturday or 24-hour television or satellite radio or CDs or DVDs or Blueray or Xbox or Play Station or iPads or texting or any other thing that has made life quicker than it used to be.

I remember riding my bicycle a lot and playing in the dirt and reading books and collecting cassette tapes to play in my boombox and waiting all week for Sunday night to watch the Disney movie of the week and saving up to go the movie because that was the only place to see it, unless I wanted to wait for the hoped-for-day when it would be edited for television.

My boys give me wide eyes and open mouths, like I speak of a world that is inconceivable to imagine, and I see that and remember when I did the same to my parents and aunts and uncles and grandma, well, grandma just came from a time so long ago I couldn't even comprehend how she survived it.  It feels odd, them doing it to me, and, yet, there I am, a woman who's in her late thirties with a suitcase full of things that are outdated and most likely collecting more.

When writing the word outdated I thought of attaching the word unusable, but I know that's not true.  The things I used to do may be outdated and some of them are not ones I would care to repeat again and don't feel the need to, but some of them are still usable and beneficial to me.

Take cell phones.  I have one for emergencies, and I don't use it.  I don't answer it unless it's a planned thing, like I'm traveling or I've told my husband I will have it turned on for a particular reason.  I used to have the best cell phone and would have had it seared to my hip if it had been feasible and not painful.  I thought I needed it, couldn't live without it and there were a lot of "what if" scenarios attached to it.  I've found I'm less stressed by utilizing one only rarely, if that.  Living like there aren't cell phones is beneficial to me.

Books.  I love to read, to get lost in another's world, using my imagination coupled with their words to get there.  I remember before my husband and kids, the one possession I had were my books.  I'd pack them in blue milk crates that way I had a bookcase in the making, and the moment I stacked the crates up with my books gleaming forth I felt comforted, like the dinky little bedroom could be home to me, if only temporarily.

My boys are more interested in playing with their iPad or getting on the Xbox then reading books, so, of course, it's a constant topic of discussion or argument on their part to convince me that technology is better for them than books.  Another thing about books is the feeling of having one in my hand, the smell, the texture, the sound of flipping paper, the tangible essence of creativity, and the benefit of not bothering my eyes or mind with a computer screen's light, even if it's dimmed.

I know there was the benefit of not having everything at my fingertips, of not being able to get a hold of everyone at any moment of the day, of having built in pauses in my day because there was no other way around it except to wait.  And now things are fast and demanding, and I have found there is an underlying expectation from people of having to be available because it's possible, and, of course, everyone's doing it.

People look at me odd when I tell them my number is a landline and not a cell phone, and if they want me to call them back, they need to leave a message.  I'm not big on checking to see who called me and then feeling obligated to call them even though they didn't tell me they wanted me to call them, plus my caller id light doesn't work.

All in all, regardless of what's different, I'm still here, participating and experiencing my life and the inevitable change that comes with it.  I get to pick and choose what fulfills me, and I choose to try and live a little simpler, less consumed with the latest gadgets and whether the life guard's eyes are locked on my ass.  Though I do have to say, I did have a moment where I wanted the body I had when I was 20, things stayed where they were meant to.

I am embarking on the last year of my thirties this coming Saturday, and I choose, today, to enter it with gratitude for having more time on this earth to hang with my boys and go swimming and walk my dog, Stella, and laugh with friends and ride motorcycles and hike amazing mountains and so much more.  My life takes the hue of my perception, and mine is bright with color and joy, today.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


We spun in circles in the warm water,
again and again, until my legs burned,
and we laughed, and I jumped higher
for them, until they giggled more.

Wyoming wind blew grey clouds our
way, streaked with rain but no rain fell,
just dry heat flush with our cheeks
and arms and legs that were bare and wet.

The heat never abated, and we swirled
in the water and played basketball, and
the ball doused our faces and smiles,
and I kept the ball from them for a time.

We came home to hot dogs and potato
salad and Quinoa with beans and spice,
and later we had ice cream, Rocky Road
and Vanilla Cherry, all such sweetness.


I started this blog a little over a year ago with the intent of practicing putting myself out there, to the unknown masses, with my writing, and I have done that.  Hurray for me, so excited, but here I am not sure what to write and having one of those days where, even though I've written almost 2000 words this morning and feel I'm in the meat of the short story I'm working on, I feel lost or maybe just unsure of what the hell I'm doing, once again.

I have these moments, where nothing seems to make sense and my mind banters me with questions, deep life-changing questions, like why am I here, and why am I compelled to write, and why do I feel uncomfortable letting people get to know me, and why do I have the tendency to isolate and why, why, why?  It goes on, and, of course, I do know the answers to some of these questions, but having the answer doesn't always solve the problem of asking the question numerous times.  My brain exercises a glitch of repetition, wishing for a different answer then the one it received, so it questions again and again in case the true-right answer pushes up from the definite daisies it has being hiding under.

Why am I here?  Here, I'm guessing, means alive on this planet we call earth.  My answer:  I don't know, won't know, don't need to figure it out.

Why am I compelled to write?  My answer for this one is milky and more like the tip-of-the-tongue-phenomenon, where it's right there, but I can't touch it no matter how much I reach for it.  Again, I don't know, not really, but I do know how I feel when I do write and after I'm done.  I feel whole like I found the puzzle piece I needed for the moment, clicked it into place, and it fit.

Why do I feel uncomfortable letting people get to know me?  Easy.  Fear of being hurt.  That's what it comes down to though I don't necessarily enjoy saying that out loud because it would be cooler to say something other than that or to just not have the issue in the first place and be social and open with everyone who crosses my path.  I can say that I've made huge strides of growth with this and don't go straight to "What the @#*& do you want?" when someone says hello.  I used to.

I remember my husband and I moving into a new house, several years ago, and a neighbor across the street came over to welcome us, and my mind went literally to what I just quoted, and I know I had a scrunched-mean look on my face.  Gratefully, my husband doesn't live by the same emotional-means I do and said hi and was friendly, thank goodness.  Now, my defenses are subtler and not always easy for me to recognize when I'm hiding behind them, but I keep my hand out there, keep chatting and listening, and keep writing.

Why do I have the tendency to isolate?  This one rides on the coattails of the one above, so I counter balance it by leaving the house and trying new things.

And the other whys, well, they are just too numerous and once I move through the ones already mentioned, I find I don't need to answer the others because they're irrelevant for the day.

The main question I need to answer today is "Am I experiencing today in its entirety?" because if I am, then none of the other questions matter.  If I am experiencing today in its entirety, then I'm not trying to figure out why I'm here because the simple fact of being here is enough.  Why I'm compelled to write doesn't need to be dissected any longer, it just is.  Why I feel uncomfortable letting people in and tend to isolate becomes mute because if I'm experiencing my day in its entirety, then I'm not hiding, I'm living and feeling and laughing and talking and so on.

At the end of it all, after the feeling of what-the-hell-am-I-doing passes, I find I'm okay, and life is simple.  If I show up on this journey called life, I'll be wherever I need to be when I need to be there and will know whatever it is I need to know at the time of needing to know it, and, in the meantime, I get to enjoy where I'm at and the possibilities that come with change and challenge, as long as I cultivate an open-mind to what could be while I keep moving forward.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Two summers ago I had the opportunity to ride my Suzuki SV650 motorcycle, Mazzy for short, from Missoula, Montana down through West Yellowstone and back up and over the Beartooth Highway, which splits between Montana and Wyoming.  What a fabulous ride.  I thought of it this morning, when I was listening to The Black Keys on my way to yoga.

I had just picked up The Black Keys' Brothers album the day before our Beartooth trip.  It became apparent the grooves and blues melded quite well with the road and my tires.  And once in West Yellowstone, where the speed limit dropped to a crawl, at least for a girl on a sport bike, the music's rhythm eased the drag of such a leisurely pace.  Don't get me wrong, slow is good for some-
Climbing up the Beartooth Highway
things, but 55 mph on a sport bike is torture; I could walk faster.

Once we sidled into Cook City, filled up our gas tanks, edged out of town, and chose the directive sign toward Beartooth Pass, the rock of blues and warm asphalt jived with unbelievable synchronization, and the real journey began.  At first, the scenery was as anything else I had seen and smelled, living in Western Montana most of my life, fresh mountain air, Pine trees, wild flowers, the basic loss of all civilization, but it took on a state of something grander, majestic.  The convenience of city life is enjoyable but to step outside of that and be set in the middle of a wild, mountain range is awe inspiring, and my intuitive self that connects with the spiritual came to life, and I forever have been altered by the experience.

The Beartooth Highway, toward the top
Elevation increased at an alarming rate, higher and higher, and everything changed, the air, the trees, the foliage, and then there was snow, and the fresh mountain air was crisp like a winter kiss on the brow.  The Beartooth Highway  soars to 10,947 feet, and the views from such a height are mind-blowing and heart stopping, views so out-of-this-world that words fall short of ever describing them in their entirety.  They must be experienced, seen, felt, smelled, touched, and if I hadn't had to get to camp before dark, kneeling down and tasting the earth would have been worth it too.

The challenge of motorcycle riding and such magnificent country is keeping my eyes on the road.  I constantly had to adjust my eyesight to not target fixate and fly off the mountain with the birds.  My husband, the year before this, with a friend, stopped on top and camped under a tarp tied to his bike in a make-shift lean-to and slept under the stars.  They were frosty and chilled by early morning, but he said the morning was vibrant and stunning, not something to be missed.  Next time I will do this too, camp on top in a wildflower meadow and enjoy such closeness with the vastness of what is and what can be.  Motorcycle riding and the adventure of being on the road and getting to places I've never been before, especially curvy mountain roads, is like sitting with God and having a cup of joe.

The Beartooth Highway is riddled with tight, smooth corners, a sport biker's dream, though one wrong input or a corner taken too fast would put even the best rider off the road and into the air.  Whether slow speeds or not, the highway is spellbinding and invigorating to a motorcyclist's soul.

I haven't had the chance to get back there since, life has a way of happening and diverting my intentions, but it is in the back of my mind, a special place in need of visiting, experiencing again, and I know I will get there, ride up that twisty, windy road, feel that crisp winter, summer air caress my cheek, and sleep under multitudinous stars, so many I couldn't fathom there not being something beyond me and my small world.

If you're interested in learning more about the Beartooth Highway, check out

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Staying Sane Through the Summer

My goal for the summer is to have fun with my boys and let them experience summer in all its glory but mostly I just want to stay sane.  I want to keep on laughing and stay relaxed and not be counting down the days until it's over.  I don't want to hate summer, and I don't wish for my boys to hate me 10 days into it all.

If sanity is my goal, how am I going to accomplish it?


First, I sat down, when my children were tucked into bed and sound asleep, and made a list of possible activities or ideas for the summer, things we can do.  I probably came up with 20 to 25 items, ranging from taking walks to going to the movies or swimming at the pool to traveling to a nearby town to see a museum.  I keep this list close to my special chair, where I keep the latest book I'm reading and my laptop, a place where I frequent.  By keeping it there, I can check it periodically to refresh my brain for those times, which are inevitable, when it is no longer working, and I don't know what to do with my children.  It's already come in handy.


In the morning, before I jump into the day with my boys at my side, I remind myself I'm not doing the whole summer right now.  I'm only doing today and even then if I need to break the day up into sections, I can do that.  I don't know how other parents are with their children, maybe there are those of you out there that just can't wait to spend 24/7 with your children, always with a broad smile on your face, but I'm not one of those.

Instinctually, I settle into a book and read or write and listen to music or go for quiet walks with my dog or drink coffee with a friend, which tells me I'm very much a loner to a certain degree on this thing called life and would much rather take care of my needs instead of anyone else's.  But being with my boys requires me to be outside my comfort zone and to stop thinking and reading and writing and just be, here in the now where they want to play tag and soccer and laugh at who farted and burped and "Hey Mom, look at the beetle I found" and the constant interchange of who did what and why it's not fair and so on.  I have to remember to not be so serious about it all and that it's okay to laugh with them and look at the beetle that creeps me out and say "Wow, that's a cool beetle."


But I also have to be realistic in knowing my limitations and even though I'm outside my comfort zone, and I'm doing all this fun stuff with my kids, and it's fabulous in trying to be a Great Mom, I do need to interact with other adults.  I need to remember there's a whole other world out there, where linear conversations exist for longer than three seconds, and I'm not the boss, telling others to close their mouth when eating or to cover their mouths if they need to burp or stop hitting their brother.  A world where the responsibility of keeping an eye or having an answer or knowing what we're going to do next is not solely mine.  Plus, I need those other adults and parents to help me laugh at what my children are doing or to remind me I'm not alone on this parental journey and mistakes are common and almost a right of passage.


I also know for myself I need to make sure I have some downtime, where I'm not with the boys or with anyone else, where I'm alone.  Time where I can nurture those parts of me that need to read and write and relax or practice yoga or close my eyes for a few seconds or watch a movie.  I need time where I exist on my own without boy appendages because those experiences will give me the relief I need to show up for my boys when I'm with them. They will rejuvenate me, just like the contact with other parents and adults will remind me I'm not alone.  Of course, the time available for this kind of nurturing is limited for me because my husband works out of town, so I find it when I can, like early in the morning before they wake or later after they go to bed.


It has taken time and experience to know what works best for my personality.  I used to think, time and again, that getting up on Saturday morning and watching a movie was something I deserved and wouldn't slant my mood in any negative way, but it does.  When I begin my day with escapism, because that's really what it is for me, I'm already in a state of not wanting to begin my day, and I jump right into ignoring it or putting it on hold, which never mixes well with my boys and myself later on.

I know now if sanity is my goal, starting my day well is one of the best things I can do for me and my boys and anyone else I come in contact with.  I need to get in the shower and get on with getting ready for the day.  Me taking a shower and getting dressed is like a miracle worker on my mood and my ability to be available to my boys and others.  I also need to have a general idea of what I'm going to do after I'm ready, at least one thing to begin with, even if I don't know how the rest of the day will go and even if it's something minor like making breakfast.  It's best for me to have my next step in view, though I know with my children things change and the view can get quite different, but that's where I can get back to not having to do the whole day at once just this moment, until I have more information, which is bound to come.

This list has been helpful to me, and I'm sure, as I go along, I will find other tools and tricks that will help me along the path of maintaining sanity or for those times when it's lost, finding it again.

1. Make a list
2. Take one thing at a time
3. Keep in contact with other adults
4. Have some quiet time
5. Figure out what works with my personality

Simple, right?  Not always, but gratefully I have something to work with, and most days I lay my head on my pillow at night with some sanity left and a light heart of knowing I loved my children and showed up for them with laughter and tolerance in the best way I could for that day, and if I made a mistake or got messy in my interactions with them, I can look at doing better the next day.

And probably something that needs to be added to the list, that I can use as a mantra in my head, is not to be so darn serious about everything, whether it's the traffic or the heat or the boys yelling at each other or the dirty house or the creepy beetle that is now scurrying across the couch or the fact I didn't get any quiet time for the day or the dog pooped in my compost pile, which really did happen.  Darn dog.

Life is sometimes very funny, especially when I'm not so serious about it.

If you have any other tools or tricks in keeping your sanity, please tell us in the comment section.  It would be great to hear what works for you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Persuasive Lie

She cornered me at the front door.  Her words slithered over my skin and into my mind, but the alcohol fumbled their intent, and she stormed off.  I stumbled down the hall, my shoulders absorbing the walls’ sturdiness with each wayward step, until I reached the bedroom door.  Hands on hips, she yelled at me to take the couch.  My body trembled at the idea of walking a few steps more then I collapsed face first onto the embroidered, couch pillows, blackness descended.

Kitchen cupboards slammed again and again, and for a moment I knew not what sounded, only that my head pounded with every bang. 

“Stop all that goddamn noise,” I said and pulled a pillow over my head.

The banging continued and then the clang of pots and pans joined the symphony of anger I knew was my wife's, another morning of hate and reproach.  I rolled off the couch and worked my way to the kitchen.  I poured hot coffee in a mug and two fingers of whiskey and leaned against the counter’s edge for my inevitable talking to.

She watched me, so intent I thought if she could manifest fire I’d be a goner.  I almost wished she could.

 “I’m leaving you.”

“What?” I said.

“I’m leaving you.”

“I’ve heard it before, and you never left.”

“This time is different.”

“How’s that?”

“I’m already packed and loaded, Dan.  This is just me saying good-bye.”

“Good-bye then,” I said.  I swiped the whiskey bottle from the counter and headed to the couch.

Time slowed.  The whiskey bottle sat on the coffee table; I watched it watching me.  My mind struggled over her leaving, so silent in the house now, and her anger and why she left.

I loved her.  I hated her.  I wanted her.
The bottle felt cool in my hand and smooth to the touch.  I set it back on the coffee table, pushed it further from me.  When was it going to end?  Lost my job, my wife, my family, no one would have anything to do with me.

“What the hell happened to me?” I yelled.  Desperation filled my gut, my heart.  My head lolled on my chest and the house's silence darkened and tangled its tentacles around my limbs.  I felt hopeless.

The bottle shimmered with light like it held its own inner source.  I didn’t need any of them anyway, right?  But I wanted them.  I felt lonely, at a loss.  My eyes edged back to the bottle, so inviting.  Naw, I'm better off without them.  My hand wrapped around the glass, and I tilted the brown liquid back and swallowed.
Yeah, I didn’t need any of them or that stupid job.  I was fine.  I was good.
Another swallow.  Complete oblivion.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Letting Go of the Darkness

The morning is light blue and promises bright, warm sun, once the horizon lets go of its hold on the night.  The birds twitter and sing for me, and I breathe clean air like my lungs have never breathed before.  My children are still asleep, along with my husband, and I turn on the stereo and put poppy Bluegrass on to wake them from their deep slumber.

There was a time, even when the sun shone, only darkness enveloped my morning, my afternoon, my night.  The reprieve of living, of feeling what life had to give, did not enter my heart or my mind, and today the grace of what is lives here in the here and now, where I am if I choose to stay.

The promise of the sun is not the only promise I can capitalize on today.  What's my choice to be?  Mmmm... today the choice is not difficult to make.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Each Moment's Potency

I walk each morning with my dog Stella at the local dog park.  I chat with the other dog owners, and Stella smells the other doggies, and we all get along quite well.  Then we move on down the path to wrap around the circumference of the park and enjoy the brisk air and the limited rays of sun that grace us with their presence every few steps due to the clouds' wayward movements.

I find peace here and connection with the silence of the morning while we distance ourselves from others and climb the rolling hill and disappear behind leafless trees and spindle-like-brush.  Whatever needs to be decided for the day seems doable and unimportant in the moment, like all things have their space and time and none of them reside in the moment I walk in, except walking.

Stella runs ahead and runs back with her medium-length ears flopping about her head, and I see enjoyment light up her furry, burnt sienna face, and I laugh and breath deep.  I listen to the birds chirp and sing and watch the fat squirrels scurry up nearby trees with Stella on their tails.

Time has convinced me of the necessity of quiet and calm, of leisure and gratitude, of walking and breath.  Our world feels hectic to me most of the time, and I can feel swayed by it's urgency and even begin to think I need to be fast to be more productive.  I have not found this to be true, more like my productivity is attached to my efficiency, and if my efficiency is lacking, it won't matter how fast I go my productivity will falter.  My efficiency comes from being and then doing and being requires me to experience the present moment now not two days from now in hindsight.

I walk with Stella and look at the blue sky and languid clouds and hear the birds chatter and the squirrels skitter over tree bark, and I know I'm right where I need to be, for each moment's potency nourishes the well-being of Me, in my entirety.  My being now will bleed into the doing of my day, which will inevitably cultivate efficiency and therefore productivity will ensue.  And, as a bonus, I won't be a fretting, impatient, irritable mess by the time I meet up with my kids after school.  Life is simple if I treat it so.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Perfectionism.  Mmmm.  Can I say that my little friend has dogged my days, months, years for a very long time?  Though I do have to mention, progress has been made in lessening its deathly blow to my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being, and yet it's still there periodically picking at me.

It rose its ugly head the other day with a decision I had come to, but I couldn't just accept that decision because I was fueled by grandiosity and approval seeking and just had to make sure I was doing "it" right.  Of course, my sound decision was thwarted with another idea, and I quickly implemented it because the quick decision has got to have more merit than a well, thought out one.

And once again there I was with my perfectionism-buddy.  I heard someone say that perfectionism is not  going back over something to make it better but only to find the for-sure wrongness of it all.  It becomes a negative excavation and soon I have dug myself down in a hole that has no light and I cannot see any truth of what is only the fear of what I believe consumes me internally, an awful form of inadequacy that can never be healed or made better because I am not perfect.

Can you imagine such a thing?  Me not being perfect?  This is a moment where I am definitely laughing because experience after experience with my imperfections shining through is flipping in my mind's eye like a slideshow.  I also can reference those times when my greatest growth occurred out of a mistake or what I considered a mistake or me not doing "it" right.

Does the appearance of my life represent the essence of my soul and what kind of person I am?  I believe not and yet sometimes I don't act like it.  Sometimes I bend over backwards to make sure everything looks good "out there" so you'll think I'm doing it right, when in all actuality I am withering away inside my skin-suit.

It is a guarantee that I will fall down and will have to get up again.  And in some ways that is the beauty of living this life.  To adjust to the fact that by acknowledging my limits, my humanness, I can be more helpful to others, more available to my children, more vulnerable to love and laughter, more concerned with walking in the sunlight, more open to what can be instead of devastated by what can't.

Perhaps, life is really simple, like stopping at a stop sign because there's a stop sign or eating because I'm hungry or laying my head to rest because my body is tired or laughing because something said or done was funny or hugging someone because I love them or moving on to the next thing because it is the next action to take because I've given it my all and need to be done, regardless of what my perfectionism-buddy says, which always seems to entail worry and over-correction and an angry voice telling me I should do better.

Exhaustion doesn't lead me to fresh streams and easy dreams.  Emotional blackmail and verbal abuse doesn't lead me to self-esteem and self-confidence.  Starvation whether emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual doesn't  set me on the right track for a happy life.  Working within my limits, loving myself as I am, letting go of what I can't do and nourishing what I can do, all these things and more, fulfill me with hope and grace and joy and freedom.

There it is, loud and clear.  By being imperfect I exercise the perfection of being human and seem always to have a bountiful well of growth, of change, of love, of laughter, of connected-ness with the human race.  There is such grace in letting things be as they are, in letting myself be who I am, and in letting the revelation of the simplicity of life wash over me like sun-heated bathwater.  It is a wonderment to behold.

Freedom's Echo

Emergence from the depths of the flu brings about a rebirth sensation, like the world is new and fresh and ready for the taking.  I'm not completely released from the illness' deathly grips, but I reside in the green grass of impending health, and it is a glorious thing to behold.

It's almost like my body had forgotten what movement without pain felt like or how the brain could think and create or the taste of a good, hot cup of coffee, and then my body and brain and taste buds stepped out from the caverns of darkness and there was the memory of what life had been two weeks prior.

A sigh slipped from my lips and my imagination fired with projects and writing ideas and walks with the dog and playing banjo and yoga.  Oh, at last, the freedom the small voice in my head had persistently whispered when I tried to sleep and couldn't, when the ache of flu seared through my skin and tissue into the core of my bone, when I thought the illness would never let me go.  Freedom's echo still reverberated in my heart's chambers and now I lay hold to the possibilities it bestows with every day forward.

I'm alive.  Phew!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


The library held silence, like miniature snow globes hold fake winter snowstorms. People moved through vast book shelves that extended from ceiling to floor with hundreds upon hundreds of books.  Joseph lounged at a wooden table, which faced the main entryway into the building and stared at his book, some mystery or other, though his eyes flitted from page to door every few seconds.

A woman with short brunette hair and skinny pants that hugged every curve, with a long grey-green shoulder bag that slapped her left thigh, walked in.  Joseph caught the glint of her movement, and his eyes fastened on her.  His spine stiffened straight, and his book lulled, half-hazard, in his hands.  The woman dropped two books in the return book chute and sauntered off to the historical section.

Joseph tracked her with his eyes until she disappeared then with discreet and deliberate movement pushed his metal chair back and stood.  He maneuvered down a parallel aisle, scanning each intersection of shelving, and located her two rows from the end in a desolate part of the library, where scholars and hard-core researchers only dared to frequent.

She stood, with her shoulders somewhat hunched and her hip slanted out, as her left foot rested on tiptoe.  She perused a large black book and hummed a tune under her breath.  He remained quiet at the end of the row, studying her, and fingered something in his right jacket pocket.

"Excuse me.  Can I help you find something?"

Joseph swiveled round to where a young boy of seventeen stared at him, with arched eyebrows and an open expression on his face.

"No thanks," Joseph said and turned his back to the boy.  He moved into the row where the woman still lingered, uninterrupted, and picked up a book at random.  "I've found what I'm looking for," he said and flashed his inquirer a grin laden with white teeth.

The boy's eyes squinted and glanced toward the woman at the far end and then back to Joseph.  "Well, let me know if you need any help."

"Sure will," Joseph said.  He shifted his feet under the boy's gaze and bored his nose further into the book he held.

The boy resumed his delivery of the returned books residing on his library cart, and Joseph set his eyes on the woman again, though she no longer stood where he left her.  He cursed and slammed the book back into its slot.