I’m suffering somewhat with this locked/shut down. Sometimes I feel as if I’m suffocating and can’t catch my breath. These times come with some tiny memories that drift in uninvited and unannouced of times before, of people lost and forever gone. They’re like mini panic attacks. I know now what it is meant by grasping at straws. Those times and people are gone and irretrievable. I feel such a loss, a hollow which cannot be filled. How callous I have been!

So here I have sat for the last while. I don’t know how many days. Immobilized, devoid of ambition, desires. I have not hula hooped, done my qigong, sew or painted. I cannot use being busy and no time for an excuse.  If not for Sheba, I would not have gone for any walks. My shame and guilt have been overpowered by lethargy. I’ve been caught up reading murder mysteries to quell my anxieties of uncertainty. After a long while, I’m nauseated and disappointed in myself enough to make a change.

What if I could just do one hard thing a day? It would be a start to rise up and out of this self-induced coma. There’s a whole slew of things that I need/could do.

  • Filing my income tax. It’s due June 1 this year because of the Covid-19.
  • Cleaning and putting away winter boots and clothes.
  • Cleaning and putting away the humidifier.
  • Showing up here again as a daily practice. It was keeping me sane and functional. I must keep what works for me.

This is enough to wake me up a bit and get me on my feet. I must not let this opportunity go for naught. I came across Mary Oliver’s Invitation yesterday. Her simple words have stirred me to thought and hopefully action.

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.



When the spirit doesn’t move me, I have to work hard at everything. I worked hard to get here, in the chair, in front of the keyboard and onto the page. I feel ravaged by inertia and sleeping sickness. I have often wondered at this condition. Why is it so difficult? Through this fog, I do have awareness of wants and ambitions. But why is it so hard to even bend down and pick up a piece of paper off the floor? There are no logical answers to this malady. I’m trying to suck it up and tell myself JUST DO IT. Sometimes it works.

Ah, the sun has decided to come out. Can you believe it is cold today? I turned on the furnace this morning even if it is still August. No point in shivering and suffering. I know, it was only a couple of weeks ago, it was 38 degrees Celsius. I didn’t turn on the AC. Sheba and I kept cool in the basement. I saved then so I can splurge today. I set the thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Hardly overheating. Just enough to keep my teeth from chattering.

I’m probably being hard on myself again. After all, didn’t I go to my morning exercise class yesterday? Only 3 of us showed up. I really didn’t feel like going. I put on my gear right after breakfast to make it more likely. Then there’s my motto, I don’t have to like it. It’s the time I most need exercise. I was happy that I showed up. I put in a concerted effort to make up for my absent classmates. I worked up a good sweat and hopefully burnt off lots of calories.

I’ve been experiencing a few heebie jeebies lately. Do you get them? It feels as if someone is walking over my grave. I haven’t had them for quite awhile. I’ve forgotten about them. They’re a reminder that it is late August. They days are getting shorter. The light is changing. I’m a very weather sensitive person. Even if it is a cloudy day, I do feel better outside. It is as if something is lifted off me when I step out the door. Even though it wasn’t an inviting thought, I took Sheba to the off-leash dog park yesterday. I knew exercise and outdoor light would sooth away the heebie jeebies.

Now I must go and attend to my bills. I have been negligent this month. The result was $40 interest on my charge card. It’s enough incentive for me to buckle up and pull up my socks and do what I have to do. HBS – Heavy big sigh.


PAINTING MY WORLD – Day 175 in a year of…

Day 175, January 17, 2017 @1:23 pm

img_9005My Tinker Bell and her fairy dust is still out. Now she is on her lunch break. I’m flying solo without a net. My only magic is my keyboard, a loyal and dependable friend. I might as well tap and breathe, tap and breathe while I wait for Tink to return. The going is slow but it’s better than at a standstill. My great, great ancestor did say that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I am stepping, finishing my White Snake/Tiger/Dragon maiden. She looks like she’s flying on a magic carpet. Maybe that is enough magic to keep me going.

img_9007I take comfort in making some progress with the beginnings of a little cherub. I can wait for elation to come later. Now the important thing is not to let feelings of inertia and despondency to weigh me down. Perhaps it is not good to dwell on this but it is necessary to know and acknowledge oneself. I am soothing and nurturing this part of me. I might as well use this energy for words and pictures. I like to paint my world with both these brushes – words and pictures.


IMG_2952It’s the weekend again.  I am enjoying the slow ambience, sipping my morning tea, tapping away at the keyboard.  I am trying to get over my inertia and get that creative juice flowing again.  Once upon a time, I could sit here and write something every day.  They might not have been masterpieces but they were something.  People read them.

I have always been under the illusion that if you are talented, you would have no trouble in whipping up something with a snap of your fingers – be it a painting, book, meal or what not.  I think maybe I’m just a lazy person, making excuses.  Nothing comes easy.  Not even a simple meal – unless someone else cooks it.  It’s easy then to say, I could have done it.  But it’s (cooking, writing, painting…) is really not my thing.

IMG_4700The truth is we can do anything if only we would start.  That is the thing with procrastination.  We sit and squirm with its discomfort but it’s damn hard to make the first move.  It’s difficult to understand the mechanics of it.  Maybe it’s just a habit.  Accept that answer and let’s get a move on.  Can you hang on a minute?  I have to make another cup of tea.

I’m back.  I was procrastinating again if you haven’t noticed.  At least I’m not having coffee and a cigarette before I start/carry on with everything that I do.  I did before.  I have much healthier bad habits now.  Perhaps I should not beat myself up for the things I have or haven’t done.  Maybe it would be more productive to give credit to my accomplishments.  That’s a new thought!

YJCE0476My little seedlings are thriving under the grow lights this morning.  I started them a few weeks ago in brighter moods. Still I was able to seed all my tomatoes and onions when dark clouds crowded my mind.  Just keep moving at whatever speed you’re capable of.  You are not as slow as you think.  You are not your thoughts.  I do have some good habits.

Okay, I’m done my cup of tea.  I better rise and do something else.  I hope to be back here tomorrow for another cup or two of tea.



IMG_4038The thing that I want to get out is that while I may have a green thumb (largely due to luck), I’m not a plant nor garden expert.  You can plainly see that if you ever saw my Christmas cactus.  Sure, it’s alive and blooms once or twice a year. BUT it’s not exactly thriving.  Most of its leaves have a pinkish tinge to them. They’ve been like that many years.  It’s only recently I really took notice and wondered why.

My investigation led me to several websites.  They all agree that the Christmas cactus need more water than the ordinary run of the mill succulent.  It does not like exposure to direct sunlight.  I was guilty on both accounts.  I seldom water it to a point where the soil was cracked and separating from the edges of the pot. It sitting  in the west window through all the seasons.  No wonder it was sunburnt! Being root bound didn’t help either.  How was it suppose to get its proper nutrients?  Not that I ever fertilize it.  It’s a wonder how it survived all these years.

Finally knowing all this, it still took a couple of months before I gave it some TLC. I’m a slow and cautious mover.  However careful I was, I discovered that there is no way you can repot a plant without making a bit of mess.  What’s a little bit of dirt, eh?  It matters quite a bit when you don’t like it here, there and on the floor and hate cleaning it up. I’m a bit of a whiner and lazy bone.  I hate picking up after myself.

Now that it’s all done, I wonder why it was so hard to do.  Starting was the hardest thing.  But once you got the cactus out of the pot, you can’t just leave it. You have to do the proper thing – loosen up the root ball, trim off the excess and plant it proper like in a new pot of rich soil, water it with the right mix of fertilizer.  So here it is, right after and then a few days after.  The leaves are a bit greener, or is that me wishful thinking?

Anyhow, it is a positive experience overcoming my inertia.  Make a move, any move.  Works for writing, too.  One, two, three.  GO!



Just because it is a new month and you are filled with resolve, it doesn’t mean you are going to win over inertia and sloth.  I do try but I let go some of my routine this morning.  Let’s see if I recover from this lapse.

But I still got up, dressed up and showed up at the table.  Fixing my bed-head was the mehardest thing.  I fought the urge against walking around the whole day looking broken and with my hair all awry.  I fought the war and I won.   I should get points for that!

The day is cold.  I am not feeling warm and fuzzy inside but I am thinking warm – to those days when the living was easy and I didn’t have to try so hard.  I’m wishing that I hadn’t pack my mitts away so quickly.  Oh well!  That is life.

But the sun is out and the sky is so blue. I pack up Sheba in the car and off we go to the IMG_0606park.  The crisp air and open space does wonder for our spirits.  I open my heart and breathe in the goodness.  It is paradise gained, not lost.

Soon we are greeted by other revellers of the park.  Round and round we walk.  Sometimes we climb the hill to the top and watch the panorama below us.  The inertia is blown away on top of that hill.

Sheba found a playmate or two.  We are both happy and rejuvenated once more.





Perhaps it is just in the day.  It is cloudy and drizzly.  Now I have the time I crave, time that I have been wishing for, to do so many things.  But I can’t seem to move forward, cannot find what it is that I wish to do.  It is not that I’m restless,  for I feel a sense of inertia, and yet a sense of discomfort…of things left unsaid and undone.  And so here I sit.  Maybe the words will come to me.  Maybe the voice will come and tell me what it is that I want to do, what it is that I want to say.

The other day, I went to my friend’s mother’s funeral.  It seemed  as we age, the more funerals there are.  I cannot say that it was sad,  for she was 83, lived a good life and was suffering bad health the last year.  It is good that she is freed from all that.  I am happy that she is in heaven, among the stars, along with her John.

I remembered her kindness, her contributions to the community.  She was always happy to see me and welcomed me in her home.  One time I was visiting and she polished my shoes for church, along with her family’s.  Another time, she climbed the rickety stairs of my boarding house to give me a pair of lamps as wedding presents for my ill-fated marriage an eon ago.  She called herself my other mother.

Now, I think I can go on with my day.