April 20 Poem #2

This poem was inspired by Stacie at Girl Griot who is using the “Golden Shovel” format for her poetry this month. I happen to have a favorite Lucille Clifton poem and decided to try my own.

I’ve chosen the first line: I am not done yet

Time keeps flowing on and I
continue to struggle with who I am.
Everyday shows me who I am not.
I know it is not about what I get done
but more about the power of “yes” and “not yet.”


April 5 Poem #1

I really admire those who post poetry during this month and since I’m trying to do more poetry writing this year, I’ve decided I can participate in the challenge too. So I’m going to aim for every 5th day.

Prelude

She goes looking with her fingertips along the fence
raking away the dead leaves and branches collected there.

Running her fingers over the muddy soil,
she is not even sure what to look for.

What did they look like last fall when she pushed them into the dirt?
What are they supposed to look like now?


Discouraged, she stops searching and returns to the house.
“Mom, I think I killed them,” she says over the phone.

The two of them walk across the wet grass.
Side by side, they prod the dirt looking for signs of life.

It was such a wet and nasty winter, I’m sure they haven’t survived.
I’m sure we will find them honey, just give it some time.

Finally, their fingers find the stiff stalks in the ground,
poking up out of the soft, moist darkness.

Barely discernible, nestled in between the gnarled roots,
little red peony buds.

See honey-bun, they made it.
There’s more to come.


3-31-21

Every time I get to the end of this month of writing I am amazed that 31 days have passed. This year I’ve noticed a more consistent rhythm as far as when I start to think about opening my computer, trying to identify what I might want to write about, always watching the clock because it’s so easy to hit pumpkin time on the west coast.

Looking back over my entries this month, I would say there were only a half dozen entries with content that was being called out of me. I think that is more a result of this month being so busy with things I don’t want to write about rather than a factor of not having inspiration. I could probably fill up an entire page of prompts I don’t want to respond to!

Every year I look forward to reconnecting with bloggers I’ve become familiar with over time. I look forward to finding their entries. I’ve realized it is becoming more challenging to find some because the list has become so long and my eyes go buggy looking for their names. Even if I don’t find them every day, it is comforting to know they have showed up just like me for another year of the challenge.

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers. Thank you to Julianne who turned me on to this site 10 years ago. Thank you to Pia and Stacy who I checked in with each day and Carla who gave such thoughtful feedback this year. Thank you to those others who took time to leave comments. Thank you to my mom who always wants to know “the rest of the story.”

And thank you to the rest of you who are out there writing and teaching young people to write and practicing your passion every day in the best and the worst of times.

Cheers to future writers and I’ll see you next year…. or maybe every so often throughout the year.


3-30-21

shshshsh!!!

I was face to face and in the home of a child today!!

I was only going to deliver some paperwork to the family for them to sign but the grandma invited me in and I couldn’t refuse!! The dogs climbed all over me, the child hid behind the kitchen counter – for just a bit – and I sat – I SAT! – in a chair in the living room.

The child came out from behind the counter and brought over his Spiderman figure to show me and the littlest dog climbed behind me in the chair and I talked with grandma and made big eyes at the little guy with his toys.

And it was delightful and even though I had a mask on and my glasses were steaming up and half way through the visit I realized grandma didn’t have a mask on, I just went with it.

She’s had one half her vaccine, I’ve had two halves of mine, the child doesn’t know what’s going on, the dogs just want to cuddle – this is what it’s going to be like for awhile.

I’m glad that I’m fine with this half in and half out stuff.
I’ll wash my hands and change my clothes and try hard not to transfer anything.
I’m so happy to see a little face and the 3 dimensional body of a toddler!

I’m dying to do more than make big eyes with this little guy. I’m dying to spend more than 15 minutes in a living room with the door open. I’m dying to do what I used to do and to do it without thinking about masks, and gel and transfer.


3-29-21

I posted a few weeks ago (March 13) about my cousin sending me a packet of letters my mom had written to her dad. In two of them, she had drawn little stick figures of herself to illustrate what she was writing about. The letter she wrote when she was 13 and on a trip with her mom had a stick figure of herself going “bump” into bed because it was bedtime, according to the note she wrote her dad. The letter written just before I was born had a stick figure of herself expecting a baby, a “heshe.”

My niece was in town when I received these letters and we both told my mom how stick figures were always a part of her letter writing. She did not remember this little trait. Knowing that she had whole albums in her basement containing the letters she posted to her mom, one a week from the time she went away to college to the time her mom died in 1985, I told mom she should check them out sometime.

Today the cleaning lady came so my mom went down to the basement and pulled out the album from the first 3 years of her married life. Sure enough, she said, lots of stick figures.


3-28-21

If I was a cat I would feel like today was a good day. I ate, I slept, I took a little walk, I had food prepared for me.

I really shouldn’t feel any differently than my cats do about the day. After all, it is Sunday. But as a human I feel like the day has dribbled out of my hands, time has just floated by like a slow river.

If I was vacationing some place sunny and gorgeous, I probably would have thought it was a perfect day.

Why do I think I need to be on vacation to have a restful weekend? Something is upside down in my brain!


3-27-21

28 hours since second shot. Head feels a bit heavy, was pretty tired today, low appetite and am keeping the hot rice pack close by and warm.

But I did a little bit of everything I thought I might do. I messed with a project, took a nap, visited my mom and now I’m curled up in bed eating “sick” food, (soup, crackers and canned fruit) and watching brainless Property Brothers tv.


3-26-21

Snapshots today:

2nd vaccine, I’m officially and proudly a “vaxhole”. Only one more family member to go. I sent a text to a friend I haven’t seen since meeting outside before Christmas – time to see each other again!

My daughter is visiting a friend in Seattle who recently gave birth to a second baby. She loves to celebrate these births with her friends but it is also so hard; every blood test and doctor tells her there is no reason for the miscarriages she is having.

My husband and I are trying to plan a little vacation at the end of May. Of course we’d love to jump on a plane and fly to Hawaii or Mexico. Instead we are discussing whether to have a driving vacation or a stay-in-one place vacation. One thing we agree on, there needs to be access to good take out or restaurants open for some business.

Beverly Cleary died today. I loved reading about Ramona to my daughter and it is a “first book” she gifts to friends – along with Knufflebunny.

I have no plans for this weekend – I thought it would be a good idea not to plan anything since I’m not sure how I’ll feel after the second vaccine. It’s not supposed to rain so we’ll see, maybe I’ll be up for some outdoor time or maybe I’ll work on one of my craft projects or maybe I’ll just want to be lying down in bed watching Property Brothers.


3-25-21

I stopped at a friend’s place after work today. She used to be my supervisor but last fall she took FMLA to be with her mom who is dying. And then that leave turned into leave without pay for 12 weeks – because dying doesn’t follow a timeline. Now her 12 weeks is up and she knows she just needs to resign her position.

I had brought her a small fabric hanging I’d made with the theme of metamorphoses because her birthday was last weekend. I had no idea it was a theme she and her dying mother talked about a lot.

We sat at her small table, a jigsaw puzzle about 2/3 done on the surface and talked. Because she used to work with me, we could talk about my work. Because I’ve been aware of the journey she is on, we could talk about her mom and about how it has been to be in this place of holding space between life and death.

I don’t know what my friend will do next but it doesn’t matter. What matters is what she is doing now. In 6 months or a year, no matter where she is, I hope I can continue to connect and be with her. She is really a special person.


3-24-21

Two days in a row this week of hard discussions with team members.

I don’t shy away from confrontations but sometimes they make me feel helpless. I can work on myself but I often feel hopeless when it comes to team members. I feel like just throwing in the towel now and walking away.

When people are challenged by the actions and words by others I am reminded that relationships are the key. If I invest in my relationships then I will hopefully have trust in resolution. I know that people are challenged by the behavior of others but my experiences over my lifetime have taught me that if I lean in with wonder and curiosity and assume good intent I will come out with a better understanding of the other and of myself.

And – it takes more than just listening. I need to actually champion these others, speak to their gifts, call out who they are as individuals and name their strengths in a way that says I see and value them as team members; I am not just engaging a token conversations.

If I walk away, it is as though I am saying you and all you stand for are not worth my time and energy to figure out. Would I want someone to feel that way about me? No way!

So I shut my computer for awhile, stretch, take a walk, read a poem, write, and then sit back down at the table again with an open mind, open heart, open spirit.

And I gather my strength to figure out how to call others to do the same without shame and blame. That’s the tougher part for me.