Category Archives: writing

Metamorphosis

                                Last Spring

 

Last year, in the spring, my favorite time of year, I was shocked into retreat. I became a small newborn shell of the person I was, lost and stagnant and felt like a little caterpillar egg, waiting to hatch and to become something new and different. My prior life was suddenly gone and I had no frame of reference, so, I stayed in the safety of my egg, waiting.

 

After a few weeks I came out of my egg, more by force than by choice. There was nothing else to do but to emerge, look around and see what I was facing, so I did. I began to look for familiar things, yoga, the beach, work of course and the children. I looked for friends and family and for ways to occupy myself. I resided in the familiar, but everything was different now.

                         Starting to Bloom

As small as a caterpillar, I crawled along, nibbling from the familiar and attempting to try a few unfamiliar things too. I traveled alone, I traveled with my daughters and I connected to everyone I could. I found out who my true friends were-the ones who stuck around and cared. I rediscovered the importance of family and traditions and I found joy in my new granddaughter. I wrote more, read a lot, found strong roots in feminism and awareness.

I grew and became more than the small egg and more than a small caterpillar crawling along alone; I became bigger. I was still me, with my sadness, insecurities, and fear of this new, unknown life and though I had new experiences that felt good, the winter brought cold and darkness and it was hard to find any light. I retreated.

 

I spent the winter in the cocoon of my routine, the security of my home with cozy fires and getting inside out of the darkness. I spent weekend mornings in the safety of my flannel sheets and most nights with the company of the television. I waited for Gary to walk through the door but of course he didn’t. I stared at his collection of cars, his clothes and it seemed surreal, the magnified sadness of the winter only kept at bay by keeping busy.

Then, last week, the rain stopped and I saw the first lupines and poppies blooming in the Canyon. The birds once again wake me with their songs and sit on the wires in pairs, some building nests in the lavender bushes. The hills are lush green from the heavy winter rains and the trees are filled with buds. I feel comfortable beginning to nibble my way out of the cocoon, or at least a bit of the way out. I am not quite ready to emerge, my wings still wet and new, but I can imagine flying.

3 Comments

Filed under change, death, grief, Life thoughts, writing

Summer Writing: Goodreads and Teachers Write!

It is the dead middle of my summer break and I’ve finally found that I remember who I am:  a writer. It takes me about a month to detox from the crazy school year, but now that I have, I am diving into the world of the written word.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Life thoughts, reading, writing

Raining

 
photo-17
Today is another rainy day and my energy is on simmer.  I woke up with my list of good intentions, managed to get a lot done, but when the soft drizzle turned to heavy droplets, loud enough to make sounds on the window panes, my resolve began to diminish. 
 
I am sitting at the kitchen table with my thoughts and cup of tea, slowly sinking ginger snaps into their hot bath, I feel content to stare out the window, through the trees at the little valley below and watch the clouds swollen gray with evaporated ponds, lakes and tears.
 
Sometimes it is nice to take a melancholy moment to relax and meditate on the sound of rain on the roof, the Kit-Kat Clock ticking regularly, its eyes taking in the solitude on the quite house, the hum of appliances and the occasional swoosh of the heat coming on, regulating the temperature and wrapping me with warm air.
CatClock
 
Tapping turns to pounding and the landscape is drenched once again. Little clouds dance in the distance, tiptoeing across the peaks of the distant mountains leaving just enough space for me to peak at the sunlit light-blue sky,  just out of reach.
 
Pensive thoughts and the possibility of procrastination are suddenly lit by a burst of sunlight and the optimistic rainbow that sets itself down completely, stretching from one end of the Valley to the other, showing off the entire color spectrum.  Offering light.
 
photo-16

1 Comment

Filed under Life thoughts, Rain, writing

The Wind and The Dog

Why is the wind so restless?   It begin to howl yesterday afternoon and during the night it droned on endlessly waking people and dogs alike.  Charlie demanded to go out into the windy night twice, unlike him to wake from his comfy slumber on the sofa in our room but the wind brought out the wild in him.  He spent time on the lounge in the yard, poised like a sphinx, nose in the wind, whiskers blowing.  We too were restless, listening to the howling up here in the tree house.  We are perched above, in somewhat of a wind tunnel, and while it looks like a restless breeze, it sounds like we are living in a haunted house.

IMG_1716

This morning we struggled to rise, not as rested as we would like, to face the wind again for our dutiful morning walk with Charlie.  Somehow he never tires of the outdoor adventures, though in-between he sleeps deeply, contentedly, owning the sofa or curled in his bed.  He really demands so little:  morning and afternoon walks, cozy sleeping arrangements, a nuzzle here and a dog hug there, yummy treats and cool water.  He gives so much:  unconditional love, tenderness (like the way he gently licks the peanut butter hiding his daily pro biotic off of Gary’s finger in the morning), companionship (nestling in next to the bass drum as Gary practices or planting himself at my feet as I write), and serving as the lone “brother” in a house of daughters.

People come into our lives for reasons known and unknown.  The same is true of animals.  They arrive and are woven into our family fabric, becoming part of traditions, histories, and etching permanence in our hearts.

Today I appreciate this good old boy of ours, hearing his gentle breath and soft snores as I enjoy my last few days of winter break.

IMG_0139

1 Comment

Filed under Life thoughts, writing

Looming New Year

 

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson

I heard this quote during my wonderful Weight Watcher’s Meeting with Michelle Jacob last Saturday, and though I have heard it before, this time it sunk in.  I have been thinking about positive ways to move on, move forward and what I want to change for the New Year.  This is often a time of reflection, my usual pastime, which is accentuated during this time of year because so many others are putting energy in the same place.  I am creating a list of changes and here is the beginning of my list:
 
1.  Write more:  I am happiest when I do this and actually have begun to crave writing time, which must mean it is really something I need to do for my soul.
2.  Practice Yoga (more often):  This is another happy place for me and one that has great physical and emotional benefits.  Turning off my incredibly active “monkey mind” for an hour a day….
3.  Letting go: This is a general category that includes stuff, emotions, weight, and habits.
4.  Look for more natural ways to heal:  A concerted effort to investigate better health through more natural solutions like Save Our Bones, meditation, and a better, plant-based diet.
5. Create what I want:  which includes manifesting, doing, writing and discovering what is important to me.
 
The past is a magnet, pulling at us to look back, go back and revisit old stories, but really, once we have learned the lesson, and gone through the emotions, what good does it do to revisit?  The quote about the past is gone, the future is unknown and today is a gift (present) is a bit overdone, but the message is clear.  For one who thrives on control, I am coming to the conclusion that I can only control myself.  My mission for this new year is to offer the gift of change to myself and see what happens.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under change, Life thoughts, New Year's, writing

Finding Time

I am going to summer camp!  Well, virtual summer camp in the form of a writer’s camp called Teachers Write!  The camp started today with quick writes, lessons and an assignment entitled “How do you find time to write?”  That is perfect for me because other than deliberating about what to write, I am constantly fighting time to set up a writing practice.  This first assignment is filled with good ideas about finding the time to start a writing practice even starting with as few as 15 minutes.  I read the post with more intent this time having found a place to write-my new living room perched in the tree house of a house I am currently living in.  The light, the view and the different seating options make this the perfect writing room.  The assignment is to create a summer writing schedule and a school year writing schedule.  This is the first time that I’ve been in a writing group that was completely made up of teachers and I am excited to get the ideas to keep a writing practice going throughout the year.  The first task is to cut something out of my day to create the needed time.  That is a easy for me, cutting out 1 hour of TV per night will give me plenty of get started with my writing. The next part of the assignment, telling my family, won’t be too hard since all are aware of my desire to write.  In the summer I can write during the morning, but when I am teaching, it will have to be when I get home in the afternoon or evening. So, with this new found time, I am hoping my muse will arrive and inspire me.

1 Comment

Filed under creative writing, Life thoughts, writing

Taking The Multi Out of Tasking

 

I guess I just can't do it all.

 

It has occurred to me lately that my life is a little like my Firefox browser which currently has nine tabs open across the top.  I am suffering from multi-task syndrome which is similar to attention deficit disorder except I am not just looking around when I am supposed to be concentrating on a task; I actually start doing new tasks before completing my original task.  I notice this especially when I begin to write and an idea pops into my head that sparks my curiosity compelling me to investigate the new idea, which inevitably leads to another idea, etc.  I am left feeling unfulfilled and uncompleted.

I am regressing back to my days of Baba Ram Dass and Be Here Now, when we were encouraged to be “in the moment,” to calmly experience where we were.  Focusing on breathing is a good start because it slows the body and allows the mind to focus on one thing-breathe in, breathe out, my mantra for slowing down.  This is just the beginning though, because I really find it challenging to just sit still and breathe for longer than fifteen minutes and I also really do have things to accomplish, which involves physically moving.  The next step is to stop the multi part of tasking, stop reading e-mail, stop checking Facebook, stop thinking of more things to add to my already too long list of things to do, stop starting new loads of laundry, stop snacking and stop veering off on Internet searches…at least while I am writing.  I am trying to learn to focus on one thing at a time and this is not easy for a “Type A” teacher, but I love a challenge.

1 Comment

Filed under change, choice, Life thoughts, writing