headed to work
prone on my mat
silenced phone buzzing
footsteps in the street
train whistle nearing
seagulls in the distance
Every year, at Christmas, I seek comfort:
listening for angels, looking for bright stars,
harboring gifts under my tree worthy of Magi.
Every year I discover the truth:
when I am barred from entering the inn,
crowded in a stable with animals,
surrounded by shepherds and sheep,
and the Drummer Boy steps forward to play.
It’s that simple.
I wore my bike sweater today. It is the only purchase I’ve ever made after clicking an ad on my screen and I ordered it only because it was cheap and I figured if I didn’t like it or it didn’t fit I would just give it away.
But it fits and it’s pretty cute and every time I wear it, someone says something. Today it was the kindergarten teacher who stopped me in the hall and said, “I love bikes! I ride my big balloon tire bike up and down the street and all the neighbor kids come out to see me.”
I told her I love to bike too – but don’t do it much anymore – but I told about the poem I wrote and offered to send it to her. She told me not to be surprised if she puts it on her wall. Well that would be a real complement. I shared it on my blog a long time ago as part of my entry titled “wing bumps” but here it is again:
I never want to forget
the joy and triumph
I felt as a child
to be a girl in the world
pedaling beyond the lip of my driveway
feeling independent and free
the side streets of life
awakened by a text message
a little headache to get rid of
finished my first book of the summer
received notice about a neighbor’s lost cat
phone calls to deal with health insurance
download photos of twins
what to have for lunch?
a walk in the sunshine
it’s warmer outside than I thought
put on shorts
drive to a meeting
listen to the news
figure out dinner
inspired about an art project
time on the computer
a beer and Longmire
some people like to talk
I spent the better part of today with one of them
sometimes I just had to find a way to leave the room
sometimes I just found a way to occupy my mind and pretend to listen
mumbling “mm” and looking up at appropriate intervals
some people like quiet
I am one of them
writing is quiet
Sometimes when I get stuck in my writing I try to name whatever essential emotion I am feeling in the moment and then track down its source and write about it. Today, the word that popped into my head to describe how I feel right now is “stymied.”
And —- (because I love going on little word hunts thanks to my dad, he was well known to bring dictionaries and encyclopedias to the dinner table while we were growing up….)
And—- (thanks to my techy devices which make it soooooooo easy to traipse down rabbit holes and wander in wordy wonderlands…..)
I looked up the word “stymied.” Humph! I thought for sure it would have something to do with “sty” because when one is stymied, one certainly feels mired in mud, but no! The word stymied (definition “a situation or problem presenting difficulties as to discourage or defeat any attempt to deal with or resolve it”) seems to have originated as a golf term.
(who wouldda thunk?)
from the Scottish word for “person who sees poorly.”
So if I am truly stymied, perhaps there is something I am not seeing.
I’m pissed at Pinterest. It seems they have me pegged and every time I look things up I’m now forever being prodded to peek at someone’s personal Pinterest board.
I pride myself on my ability to plunder the internet and I accept the pitfalls promised by such privileged plunges into cloud space but PLEASE!
Sometimes I just want a teensy peek, not a full on visit to Pinterest Prison.
So pardon me if I usually punt to the bottom of my search page for offerings less often posted on Pinterest.
I haven’t read the books but I have heard plenty about what is all the rage right now – the Konmari method of organizing. In the end it is still tidying up, paring down, decluttering.
I think part of the reason people are so drawn to these messages is because there is so much in our lives we have no power to discard, dismiss or distance ourselves from.
If I could gather before my senses only that which sparks joy, my days would be filled with nature, music, art, poetry, hopeful people and knitting.
do you know this word? the definition is: the withering of, but not falling off, as in part of a plant
I discovered this word because I wanted to know why the oak trees that line my street don’t shed their leaves in autumn. Their dry, brown leaves cling desperately throughout the winter wind and rain and then drop just before new buds appear in late spring. Apparently this is what happens with oak and beech trees. I found this out by “Googling” my question and read a lovely answer by Michael Snyder at Northernwoodlands.org. Botanists don’t really know why some trees do this. Evergreens appear green all year but actually replace all their needles. Most deciduous trees drop all their leaves in autumn. But not these two particular species. No one knows why but the two suppositions are:
1) they drop their leaves in spring to provide their own compost at a time most useful to have extra nutrients
2) the dried leaves provide protection for new buds against nibbling deer and moose and the effects of winter snow and weather
I kind of like thinking about this – wondering about my own efforts at marcescence……..
Evergreen? Maple? Alder? Oak? Beech? what do I hold on to for months at a time, what do I let go of all at once, what changes are so subtle I don’t even know they are happening?
How about for you?
(it’s day one of the Slice of Life month long writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers – check it out!)
My first thought reading the prompt “soft” was the term “soft eyes.” How appropriate. As I begin my new school year and am sitting through days of reconnecting with peers and trainings and recalibrating for new learning, it is a good reminder to maintain soft eyes.
It is a bummer that when I Google this term the first thing that pops up is the title of an episode of The Wire but oh well, maybe now more people will become familiar with what it means.
Reading how it is used in horseback riding is interesting and similar to what I’m trying to do this week – keep my eye on what is in front of me while maintaining my peripheral vision. The Urban Dictionary states flatly that soft eyes involves not to forgetting to see the forest when looking at a tree.
So my soft eyes are seeing the beginning of the school year and all the new relationships with students and families at the same time I am tediously compiling the paperwork needed to be filled out for each child.
My eyes are seeing the possibility of a new curriculum coming alive in my classroom and supporting my young aide at the same time I’m trying to decide how in the heck I’m going to store and organize the materials.
Soft eyes see a school staff taking baby steps towards a positive school culture even as they digress into their usual haggling of who is responsible for what.
It is supposed to rain tomorrow – we haven’t had rain for so long and we need it so badly. My eyes are eager to see a wildly wet and splashy world and I don’t plan to focus for one tiny moment on anything narrow or small at all – like the fact I just washed my car…..