We Hunker Down With Demons Who Keep Our Feet Cobbled…

Hello Friends,

She worried all the time. Worries about what might be. What could be. What if. What had she tossed away? What had she kept? Had she chosen the right husband? Had she moved to the right state? Did she choose the right vocation? Did she do everything right? Was she failing her children? Was she failing herself? She worried and worried.

And it did her no good.

Worry is just that. Worry. It doesn’t fix, solve, repair, build, or complete anything. It just takes away from what we have in our hearts and heads. When we worry we prolong the projected pain that we think will be there in front of us. We try to work through some of that projected pain by worrying, as if that will lessen the impact, the real pain, that may come with the worry coming true. But come on… We all know this is complete nonsense. As a recent Disney heroine says, “Let it go.”

No good comes from worry.

None at all.

What do you worry about?

I worry all the time about my writing. Will I ever write as much as I need to get better? Will I ever write something that I might submit for publishing? Will I ever write something worth publishing? What if no one wants to publish my work? What if my work is total crap? What if I am the only one who doesn’t notice it is complete and total crap?

Yeah, okay. Well then. Does it help me in any way? No. It robs me of my joy and open heart. It makes it harder for me to sit down and write anything. For my worries have taken control. They are captaining the ship that is me. I am now on the Worry Course headed to Worry Island, and for what? Nothing. Only more delays. Only more procrastination; more putting off what I am called to do, no matter what it is.

When we put our energy into worrying we create a place free from promise and potential. We hunker down with demons who keep our feet cobbled. We can’t go far now for we are buried in our own self-fulfilling worry chained at the feet to some old story about not being deserving or good enough.

What is it in this one great life that you really want? What are you afraid of taking on for fear of failure? What is it that you choose not to do because you worry you are not smart enough, strong enough, talented enough, enough…?

What ever that is. Whatever that is that you really want in your life, just grab it! You can take a tiny step. A little step. A shift even, leading you closer to that first step. This is your life; make it what you want it to be.

I have never been a big believer in the power of positive thinking, but I am a believer in “worry will hamper your style.” Worry will rob you of what really matters to you for you will be too busy worrying to notice that your train has come and it is time to board, settle into that lounge car and bang something out with confidence, determination, and an open heart. Today is a writing day. Tomorrow will be a writing day too.

Don’t miss your train.

Love,
S

W is for Wild Geese

Hello Friends,
I spent a bit of time in a deep depression years ago. I struggled to find my way out of it and in the getting out of it. In the rising above it. In the acceptance of it and the surrender to it, I discovered poetry all over again. Through the words of someone else I was able to find my way again. The poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver is the poem that sheltered me and let me know that I could do this. From the very first line, I knew I had found a place for my diminishing sorrow and my growing hope.

Love,
S

The Wonders of This Week 15/52

Hello Friends,

I am borrowing a format from an artist to use here.  Blue Bird Baby is a fantastic blog. Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring. She uses a weekly format to document. I like this method of tracking the days and the process. I have modified her approach a bit.  Every week you document and you note by the week.  She documents her darling daughter’s life in a really lovely way.  Go check it out.

This week I am:

Writing

This.

P is for Every Picture Tells a Story

2013-10-23 13.00.46

Choosing joy at the age of four

 

Reading

Believe it or not I am reading a lot about powdery mildew. My roses are afflicted. Badly afflicted. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I love my roses and want to see many blossoms this season.

Watching

So, this scene always makes me cry, but in a good way. Watch and smile, and cry…

Thinking

About my brother. He means the world to me and I miss him.

Wanting

Okay, I know I have talked about this already, but it is still what I want most.

via DJA West

via DJA West

Listening

Needing

More time. Isn’t that what we all need? Come on brothers and sisters, don’t we all want a little more time?

Coveting

This.

via Simply Seleta

via Simply Seleta

Wearing

My favorite hot pink pumps!

2013-10-31 12.10.09

something similar

 

Eating

I am hosting a cocktail party tomorrow night for about 30 people and I think I will serve this.

via Foodie with Family

 

Drinking

This for no other reason than there are always things to toast to and celebrate. Celebrate with someone you love and soon…

champagne

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of sunshine, rain, and love.

Love,
S

T is for How We Spend Our Time

Hello Friends,

I read a couple of interesting posts lately about time and the value of time and the waste of time. As I approach a milestone birthday this year I find myself questioning more and more what I am doing with my “remaining” time.

Do you ever ask yourself this question? I am betting that you, just like me, have questioned how you use your time. I know I want to use my time more efficiently. I want to do more with less. I want to make the most out of each moment I have.

But having said that, I don’t know that I need more hours in my days. Yes, we all want more time in a larger sense, but really we have little control over the number of days we have with which to squander or hoard our moments. We do have control over what we do with the hours we are given and I think this is where I find I must know what I really want.

What is of value to me?

What do I love?

Who do I love?

Where do I want to be?

Is this spot where my feet a firmly planted, where I really want to be?

Am I filling my days with minutia or am I filling my days with value?

Am I filling my days with purpose?

Am I filling them with fluff?

In knowing what and who and where I can then move to the how. For it is in the how that we find our place.

Time is not about using time to get someplace, to get to some end. As if it is truly all about the destination and not about the journey. We all know fundamentally that this is not the case. We know that it is really about loving and enjoying as many seconds out of every minute of our existence that we can.

I came across this amazing link the other day. If you are  remotely curious about others and how they live their lives this will be right up your alley.

Big-Thinkers-Time-Management-08-685x462From Mozart to Dickens

I am starting to build a better mousetrap with my time, by noticing more poignantly what is important to me and what I need to focus on. So, I look to those I love to make sure I am spending my time with them. I look to what I find myself drawn to doing, like writing for this blog, and I am making sure I have built in enough time to do this.

So, how do you fill your days? What is important to you?

Love,

S

 

S is for Secret Alphabet

Hello Friends,

This A to Z challenge has been fun for many reasons, but one in particular. As a teenage girl I lived in San Francisco and hung out with punk rock bands. I actually lived in the air shaft of a beer vat in a large old brewery for a while, though that is a story for another day. Anyway, I had dreadlocks, gave myself a tattoo, wore vintage aprons over all my dresses, and, read poetry by Exene Cervenka and Lydia Lunch. Exene Cervenka is the lead vocalist of the punk rock band, X. They were freaking amazing. I loved them as did all my girlfriends at that time. We all wanted to be like her. People thought I was trying to emulate her in how I dressed, wore my hair, etc, but I wasn’t really interested in being like her. I just wanted to write like her. I wanted to be a poet. I was not, but lord bless my little heart, I did try.

There is this one song. A cover actually. It is an old Doors song, Soul Kitchen. In the song the lyrics refer to speaking in secret alphabets. We (all my girlfriends at the time. Note: We all had matching martini tattoos on our ankles which we gave each other. We thought we were so hardcore. Ha!) Anyway, we took this idea of the secret alphabet and wrote out our own secret alphabets. These secret alphabets were like little poems. Each line featured a letter of the alphabet and then a themed response. So, it could be a secret alphabet consisted of things I like, loved, wanted, hated, feared, or loathed. It was a way to feel like a poet, but without all the heavy lifting. This A to Z challenge feels a bit like a secret alphabet. When I first thought about participating in this challenge, I immediately thought back to those secret alphabets. We all can write secret alphabets if we want. Share yours if you feel inclined.
You can listen to the song here if you would like. Nothing to look at except the cover of that album, but I still love the song. Now, I clean house to their albums. . .

Love,

S

Q is For Quietude

Hello Friends,

Are you in need of some quietude? A pause in the day? A moment of silence? A place to rest the eyes, metaphorically?

Here are some ideas for gaining a bit of quietude in your busy life.

1. Create a clean surface in your home where the eyes can rest.

2. Make a small pot of tea and drink it. The time it takes to steep can be centering and it can begin the calming process we all need.

3. Look out a window for at least two minutes. Clear your mind and let your eyes wander.

4. Walk around the block. Even a short walk can bring things back in place.

5. Read a poem. Start with this one by William Stafford.

6. Rub lotion on your hands or feet. Try this one.

7. Hand wash your dishes. I know, it sounds crazy, but the warm water and the act of washing can create a relaxing moment.

8. Set the table for supper and allow that tableau to bring you peace.

2014-04-08 18.56.20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Write a short letter or note to someone you love. The paper. The pen. The words as they come will calm you and bring out the love you have for the recipient.

10. Breathe. I mean it. Breathe and make each breath deep.

Love,
S

P is for Every Picture Tells a Story

Hello Friends,
Today’s post is a bit personal. Please be kind.
Love,
S

 

Every Picture Tells a Story

Peaches have grown in California since settlers brought them to the region over dry creek beds, vast mountain ranges, and roaring rivers. With names like Arctic Supreme, Fay Elberta, Forty Niner, Redwing, and Somerset, the dreams and joys of many people are wrapped up in the notion of a peach. Sweet, sticky, juicy and maybe most important of all, fleeting; the peach can transport, enrich, and deepen one’s experience of summer.

The peach is a member of the rose family. Peaches and roses. With all things sweet, there are thorns and trade offs. I learned about trade offs in the summer of my seventh year. My mother had just moved us back to California. We were living in Auburn as if it was a way station, a stop along the way, after her heroine addict husband died in a car wreck in Wyoming during a snowstorm. Now that he was gone she could get my two young brothers back from the foster home she had put them in shortly after marrying him.

Auburn was a place where we regrouped and learned again to be a family. I shared a bedroom with my two brothers for many years after that. I may have said from time to time that I wanted my own bedroom but sleeping in the same room with them felt safe. I could listen to them breathe, deep sleepy breaths, labored at times over some bad dream, but other dreams would take their place and restore that soft breathing which reminded me that we were all together and safe.

Anne Marie looked like Shirley Temple in the movie Bright Eyes and she was my best friend. Because she was my best and only friend, she held a preeminent place in my life. Her mother, Marta, was good friends with my mother and so there were many opportunities for us to get together and play. We created imaginative lives full of rich stories of redemption and reward. Every story featured a heroine who was wronged at first but in the end always ended up with all the riches both symbolic and tangible.

One day we were left with a teenage boy to be looked after while our mothers picked up their welfare checks and took care of errands. The house they dropped us at had many windows and a little dog. As the dog yipped and snapped at our ankles our mothers drove away in someone’s borrowed car. The boy let us go through his music albums and we chose what we wanted to listen to. The sun streamed in through large many paned windows across the floral couch and sparkling glass-topped table. We lay on the cream-colored plush rug digging our toes into the long soft fibers with our long tangled hair splayed out around us like one of those drawings of the sun with many long rays spilling out all around, listening to Rod Stewart wail about Maggie May. We listened to the song over and over, singing along as the morning lazily turned to early afternoon.

He made us lunch and we sat at a small table in what can only be described as a breakfast room. Surrounded on three sides by floor to ceiling windows, a delicately woven floral rug covered the blond wood floor underneath our feet. He placed before us a cheese and bologna sandwich and a peach. As I ate my sandwich I could smell the juicy, almost cloyingly sweet peach. The colors of the peach were only heightened by light pouring through the windows. I don’t know if I had ever had a peach before, but this peach was like no other; juice dripping down my wrists and chin. Soft and tender flesh tinged rose with summer kissed color. Sweet, rich with flavor; this peach was a song and a summer day all wrapped up in one luscious bite.

You lured me away from home cause you didn’t want to be alone
You stole my heart I couldn’t leave you if I tried

As we listened to Rod explain to us what grown up life was like, as we sang along while finishing this amazing peach; I had a new awareness of my place in the world. I knew in that moment that I would never, ever, have another peach like that one. That very peach I was greedily devouring was the best peach of all. A sunny day with my best friend in a beautiful home where we could lounge on clean floors listening to a boy sing about his broken heart I knew this was one of those moments. Those moments when time stops and you see yourself experiencing something profound and fleeting.

About six months later, by the side of the freeway, Anne Marie was held for the last time in her mother’s sobbing arms as the last drops of life drained out of her. When the car crossed the median and crashed into another vehicle traveling south Anne Marie was flung through the windshield to land far off on the bank of the freeway.

By that time my mother had moved us to an old miner’s log cabin in the Sierras. We moved in with her nineteen year old boyfriend who had found this new home for us. We brought with us twelve baby chicks all of whom died within a week of moving there. The winters are cold and the drafts that swept under the doors and through the cracked windows were inhospitable to most life.