Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Ah, summer vacation! What a great time we had in Maine. Hubby and I went whale watching...but didn't see one...my favorite part was when the captain shut the engines off the CAT and we floated silently, listening for the breathing of whales. Each man, woman and child became silent and all that could be heard was the
sloshing of the waves against the vessel full of 200+ people. I felt one with the world, its people and the underwater. HUSH!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan't be gone long. -- You come too.
I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan't be gone long. -- You come too.
Monday, May 26, 2008
The Thunder rolls for Memorial Day
This was the epitaph on an old war bike.
A Vietnam veteran places the wreath to commemorate the holiday.
Vermont Thunder is a ride of all Vermont motorcyclists who ride on Memorial Day to honor those who have served our country and fallen. It is a very humbling and moving experience.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
If you have an all-consuming job like I do, then you can appreciate my statement. I am a teacher of middle school students. My life consists of planning, organizing, cleaning, teaching, preparing, negotiating, mothering, arguing, nurturing, reading, writing, THINKING, creating … and that’s all before school begins. Besides being a 2nd year teacher, I have been taking graduate courses since I began teaching and am on my 7th one. Simply put, I am pooped. During our April vacation, (mud/snow season in Vermont), I felt a twinge of what life used to be like before I took on a new career. I cleaned the yard, I painted my toenails, I hung new curtains in my bedroom. I baked breads and wrote notes and ran every day. I felt rested, calm and relaxed. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, have new energy for it (most) days and am dedicated to helping each of my students achieve his most while entrusted in my care. I am just, at this time, tired out. I want to feel who I am again.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
One thing I do every spare moment of my life is think. I don’t know why I think so much. Perhaps it started when I was a child and I couldn’t understand why things were the way they were. I don’t remember thinking too much before the age of nine. I just acted and reacted. I lived, I played, I observed. I began thinking really hard somewhere along the way and I have literally never stopped.
One thing that continually occupies my thought processes is how to perfect myself. I realize this is narcissistic, but its what I have always done. I have always tried to be a better person. I don’t necessarily mean I have desired to be this globally aware, peace corps type of imitation Mother Theresa. Its more selfish than that and somewhat more shallow. I have always tried to be perfect on a personal basis. Yeah, pretty much for myself alone. I have read every self-help book ever written. As I sit at my desk and write this I can look up to my book shelf and pick out close to 50 titles from the self-help genre. Let’s see, there’s Outsmarting the Midlife Fat Cell, Re-creating Yourself, Do One Thing Different, Bad Childhood, Good Life, The Best Year of Your Life, Taking Care of Me, What We Ache For, Fit Not Fat at 40 Plus, When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, Body Defining, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Take Time for Your Life, The Woman’s Comfort Book, Something More, Being Perfect, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Self Matters, Strength Finder 2.0, When Food is Love…The list goes on and I have more in my bedroom and living room and perhaps one or two in the bathroom (and the many I lent to friends and never saw again). Its really crazy. Its just my THING.
Ironically, I have always wanted to write a book. My self-help-writing books tell me to write what you know, what you love…well, its isn’t fiction honey! (Although, I do LOVE fiction, I am an English major and I adore literature). I would like to write a self-help book. Sad, but true. I could use the 100+ titles I have read over the years and extrapolate all those little nuggets that have mulled around inside of my brain, no doubt perfecting me all these years, and use them to create the ULTIMATE self-help book. This would be the only self-help book anyone would ever need! It would be the Bible, the Koran and the Tao te Ching of all self-help books! After my book hit the stands there would never be another one written. It would put an end to everyone’s need to ever purchase another! Oprah would be interviewing Eckhart Tolle no longer. (Oh, I just remembered the hundreds of self-help titles on MP3 that I have downloaded and listened to in the car or while jogging (another way to perfect yourself is to infuse your brain with a constant flow of information). I would be the GURU of all self-help knowledge and have followers from every corner of the world.
Somehow in the back of my mind I realize that my objective to perfect myself is really in vain. I know it is futile. I am already as imperfect as I’ll ever be and that’s as perfect as it gets. No one is going to love me more. The gates of heaven will not open just to receive me. My children will not suddenly worship me. I may write a self-help book one day, in fact, I think all my little writings are a compilation of my own book; my own story. I don’t know who they’ll ever help, however, but at least they help me put life into perspective and get some thoughts off my chest. You know what else helps? Drinking alcohol. :)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The Spring Visioning Process
Every season comes with new energy and a new resonance that naturally calls us to open up to more light, more love and more laughter and then to bunker down, cozy up and come inside. Springtime and summer call us to the outdoors while fall and winter naturally ask us to spend more time inside covered up. The seasons are nature's way of guiding us into action whether that action is to take out our bathing suits and get ready for sunshine or pull out our blankets.
Spring is a time for new beginnings. It's a time to pull out any last weeds that might interfere with the growth of our most colorful expression. Spring is a magical time to get rid of the old and open up to new beginnings. Visioning the next evolution of your own life is vital to help nature bring to you that which your heart desires to experience. What is it that will make your blossom this spring? Is it more love, more peace, more abundance, more ease, more passion, more romance, more vitality, more contentment, more creativity, more confidence or more fulfillment?
What is your heart longing for? This is the question that allows us to get honest about what is most important to us right now even if a part of our ego's mind is saying "No I don't want that to be what's most important to me I want some other desire that I think will bring me love and fulfillment to come first." But let me encourage you to dance with your soul. Choose your deepest desires - your heart's desires - rather than the desires of your wounded ego.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I knew in my heart, while we were peering at the scantily displayed--measly portions of pre-wrapped fish, that we should not, under any circumstances, purchase any. But, my husband read the dates and all seemed well. Thus, the story ends. We had kielbasa. It wasn’t the same.
Maybe others can relate to this: I’ve worked very hard on a project at work and as I diligently and consistently work on it, obstacles beyond my control, step in and mess it up. This project has a deadline which has been extended. This project is necessary to complete in order to keep my job security.
When I found out mid-week that there was another snag, I immediately over-reacted. I then started obsessing about life, what would happen next, should I look for another job? I began imagining myself looking for other jobs. I pictured myself packing up all my belongings at work. I cried to a coworker, complained to my boss, stress ate and then bawled myself to sleep (after my hubby tried to offer intelligent words of advice which fell on pretty deaf ears because I think what I really needed was to be tickled).
The next day I began a course of proactively trying to solve the situation (again). I did not get too far, but knew I had tried. There’s the rub: I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have tried everything humanly possible to complete this mission. Everyone agrees with me (all those poor people whom I have cornered to hear my dreary tale). Knowing this--should be all I need to know in order to release this entire situation to the universe and let it be. But no, I had to worry and complain and obsess.
On the third anxiety embellished day, I finally channeled some light on my inner, worrisome soul. While speaking with a co-worker and dear friend, I told her what I had been doing to myself all week. I told her I knew that what I had to do was to stop and focus on the fact that this will all be done well and on time. I know that a person portrays what they are feeling to others and I had portrayed insecurity and instability for two days. Great. Her much-needed advice to me was rather than imagine myself packing up all my belongings, I should be picturing how I am going to add to my job.
Then I knew. I knew what I have always known. I knew that the battle lies in perspective. If I had kept my chin up and my mind focused all week, life would have been peachy. But, I chose the hard path for myself. And I wonder why. I truly do. I could blame hormones and the imbalance of peri-menopause. I know that plays a part. But, the truth in it all is that I should know better.
The good news is, as I said in the beginning, I didn’t fall as far and the bounce back was quicker. But, I’d like to see perfectly clear next time and not put myself through these things.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
1. Professional Actress
2. Legal Secretary
3. Exercise coach for Curves
4. English/Social Studies Teacher
MOVIES I HAVE/WOULD WATCH AGAIN AND AGAIN:
1. The newest one: Across the Universe (because I adore the Beatles music and always have!)
2. Harvey (because I will always want to marry Jimmy Stewart)
3. Oscar (because I love satire and because it proves Sylvester Stallone really can act!)
4. Much Ado About Nothing (because Ellen and I have it memorized and we love Kenneth Braunaugh, Kneau Reeves, Densel Washington and Emma Thompson!)
PLACES I HAVE LIVED:
1. Providence, Rhode Island
2. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
3. Chelsea, New Hampshire
PEOPLE I WANT TO SLAP RIGHT INTO THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK:
1. Coworkers who talk behind people's backs.
2. People who don't drive the speed limit and refuse to pull over (I have road rage).
3. Walmart workers who have black or no teeth and who use improper English. (I know I am awful).
4. Smokers who refuse to go away from the entire world and smoke...not just outside the store (so when you step outside you are blasted).
1. PEOPLE WHO E-MAIL ME REGULARLY:
2. Larry's Aunt Lori
3. Kim D.
4. That's it. No one emails me! (oh...JC Penney):(
TV SHOWS I WATCH/FICTIONAL:
1. Oh, we watch Stargate SG-1 reruns, Stargate Atlantis. My husband is the real watcher, I sit and read and half-watch.
2. We watch Two and a Half Men because its hilarious.
3. Sometimes House (Hugh Laurie also did some a couple of Jane Austin movies.)
TV SHOW I WATCH/NON-FICTIONAL
2. The Tyra Banks Show (don't ask, my daughter got me hooked on American's Next Top Model once)
3. The Dog Whisperer (Rosie the Rotweiller likes it too).
4. American Idol
PLACES I HAVE VISITED:
1. Prince Edward Island, Canada (on motorcycle)
2. Nova Scotia, Canada (on motorcyle)
3. Washington DC
4. Old City Quebec
5. Bar Harbor, ME
1. My husband's lasagna
2. Marty's Panini's
3. Fried Seafood Platter
4. Lobster with butter!!!!!!!
5. Puffy clams from Old Orchard Beach
WHERE I WANT TO BE RIGHT NOW:
1. On my deck with the birds singing, the brook babbling and the sun shining (and 75 degrees).
2. Walking among the ancient ruins of Greece.
3. Sitting at the Perfect Pear restaurant and drinking wine with Kathy.
4. On a foliage ride (although its not autumn).
THINGS I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR:
1. Ellen's graduation in June
2. Riding my motorcycle all summer
3. Becoming more self-possessed
4. The last day of school!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
“spring is the mischief in me,”
I would have to abandon all other seasons from this honor.
I am not sure if I am ready to do that.
I know winter is not the mischief in me for
winter has little hope.
I deem hope necessary.
Winter is the dry spell,
the hibernation of imagination.
A look at autumn
from the mischievous point of view
Autumn is calm and comforting.
It is not mischievous.
Fall is not a crafty fox.
It is a puppy caught chewing a mitten.
Summer, on the other hand,
is a thing to hold on to.
Summer is the smell of green and
the brightness of daisies.
Summer is the breath to be held,
sucked in, inhaled and
never to be let go. Summer is
daring and eccentric.
Summer is Paris Hilton sunglasses
and loud motorcycles.
Spring is hope.
Alexander Pope says that
“hope springs eternal in the human breast.”
He is right. Hope is springy--
even in Vermont with snow banks
towering above my head on April 1st.
There is hope in the mud and
the sight of the first Robin, (March 27).
There is hope that the first daffodils will
bloom the week of May 15.
Spring offers me the chance to open
the window at night,
letting my sleepy soul escape in dreamy wafts
out into the dark world.
There is hope in that!
There is mischief in that!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
something about shadows covering the field, about
how things pass, how one sleeps towards morning
and the morning goes.
Someone was saying
how the wind dies down but comes back, how shells are the coffins of wind
but the weather continues.
It was a long night
and someone said something about the moon shedding its
on the cold field, that there was nothing ahead
but more of the same.
a city she had been in before the war, a room with two
against a wall, someone dancing, someone watching.
We begin to believe
the night would not end.
someone was saying the music was over and no one had
Then someone said something about the planets, about the
how small they were, how far away.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Look to this day!
The Geese turn into
The light again
On an open sky.
Has to be
So you can find
The one line
Sometimes it takes
A great sky
To find that
Wedge of freedom
In your own heart.
The bones of the black
Sticks left when the fire
Has gone out
Someone has written
In the ashes
Of your life.
You are not leaving
You are arriving.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Perfection exists in learning the art of expecting less than perfect. That is not to say we should expect horrible outcomes to our dearest laid plans…just the realization that life is speckled with bits of perfection and not chunks. That is really what makes them perfection after all. Next to perfection must be the almost perfect, the above-average.
I do not, however, hold with those who accept ‘good-enough’ as a passing grade for perfection. I am not a ‘good-enough’ type of person and frankly, ‘good-enough’ isn’t good enough. Yes, it’s a tight place to live and others are happier who exist in this realm. This explains why I write this passage. It is because I am hyper-aware of the lack of perfection in life that draws me to seek it all the more. Thankfully years of behavior modification therapy have eased the need to dig between such tight rocks and have opened up fields of stones from which I might choose among.
Perhaps seeking perfection is where the problem resides. It may be a serendipitous event that is only bestowed upon those who do not seek it. The divine powers of the universe may bless those who are not cognizant of its reality. Perhaps because of this even perfection can let its guard down and be less than itself. Perhaps perfection avoids those who expect it because it is too haughty and can’t be bothered with those who expect it to grace them. Like the old, wrinkled Aunt who always comes to the door with a present. She may one day show up empty handed. Perfection doesn’t want to be counted on. It wants to surprise. In order for it to be perfect it must maintain a level of anonymity.
If the human mind was capable of not thinking beyond a moment perhaps I could rouse some sort of anti-perfection mode to call upon at times of need. However, I am a planner and I plan to be let-down through my planning on perfection. Actually, if I think about it in this manner it adds a dimension of clarity. Why plan on being disappointed? Well, actually, if you did plan on being disappointed and you were not disappointed, then you would have achieved your goal through the back-door approach. However, how fun is it to set out on your day expecting it to royally suck? It must be more sane to expect it to be perfect. Does sanity really come into play here? I don’t know anymore. Perhaps there is no changing this mind of mine except to help it to ease into acceptance of less ideal days and try to love each day equally whatever it brings. Days deserve that, at least. I mean, they rise every morning and offer all they have. They aren’t always dealt the best hand either. They get rained upon, they get sunburned. We should cut them some slack and be kinder to our days. I think we’d find it more rewarding and closer to a really, really, really well done day.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Of course, you can’t sit down every morning and write about writing. Where would that ever get you? It would be like saying you’re going to make dinner and never get off the couch, but remain there hungry. Hunger is really a state of being that is well compared to the need to write. You can suppress hunger for awhile. It is probably good to do so. But, if you don’t feed yourself you die and well, we don’t want that…then you’d never write. You can suppress writing as well. God knows I have done that. I would like to write what had to be written. There are many things that have to be written and when that needs doing, I’m your gal. A list, a calendar event, a paragraph to appease a nagging aunt, these are all things I leap to do. I love direction. I adore walls. I am ecstatic about perimeters that exist so that I can roam around inside of them and never have to venture on the other side. However, from everything I read by other writers, that isn’t the way. At least not if you are going to be creative. (though this piece negates everything I just said)...
I suppose I could write non-fiction analyses of spotted, horny toads. There’s an idea. I might even be able to get a little crazy in writing about amphibians. I mean, it could be done. But, in reality, (or a creative writer’s reality) that isn’t where the rubber meets the imaginative road and isn’t there enough out there written about toads? Probably not to the biologist and to them I apologize. I don’t mean to lend a deaf ear or cold heart to the crying issues of some small but significant species. I do, however, need to pay attention to what needs to be said from my heart and that is not about toads, or giraffes or swallows, at least not at this point in my life.
But, sit me in front of a clean but heavy-duty window and I’d be happy to stare at toads and giraffes for inspiration to help me write what needs to be written. I think although lists are comforting and emails are fun, what really needs to be taken from my heart and my head and put down on my paper are the words from me. In fact, there is from no other place I could write but from inside the experiences which have brought me to the page. So, while what I may think needs to be written are cards and letters and grocery lists, I am deceiving myself. What needs to be written is more. It lies deeper. True, the insignificant writings of life may be what sustains me and prompts me, but they are not the meat that feeds the writer’s soul. Meat pumps protein to muscles and fires them up to become stronger and more effective so they can push and pull legs up mountains and make arms rock babies. In the same way, creative, soul-writing pumps similes and metaphors and profound answers from our brains and through our fingertips for our eyes to grasp and decipher then hold on to for dear life. We eventually become better people for having done so. With hope, by some great chance and star-struck luck, those words might mean something to someone else as well.
Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.
Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past’s influence on the present.
Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
Imagine a woman who honors the body of the goddess in her changing body.
Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.
Imagine yourself as this woman.
From Imagine A Woman in Love With Herself
I will not live in fear
Of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
To allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
To live so that which came to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom,
And that which came to me as blossom,
Goes on as fruit.