ON BLOCKS AND BEING STUCK

It’s Monday, sunny and bright for most of the day. I should have taken advantage of the energy boost it gave me. But I didn’t exactly bust my ass. I had good intentions. They don’t mean squat if I didn’t follow through. I should not trash myself too badly because I did show up for the aerobics class this morning. Now I’m showing up here.

It’s almost the supper hour. The sun has set. There is a bit of wind but it was relatively pleasant walking Sheba. I was bundled up – too much. I was in a sweat when we got home. The back gate is locked for the evening. The recycle bin at the front curb. I’ve collected my summer sandals off the deck. They’re in a box. Haven’t figured out where to put the box yet. So I guess the sandals are still on the deck.

Pretty boring mutterings, eh? That’s how I’m feeling these days – blasé about life in general. Have you ever been in that condition? I have, many times. I guess it comes from having a short attention span and easily bored.  That’s my theory. I do get over them though this one is hanging on. There’s nothing to do but hang on, keep getting up, dressing up and showing  up. I know one morning I will wake up feeling ‘yippee!’

I get help wherever I can. Daisy Yellow (Tammy Garcia) provides lots of inspiration. She founded the annual Index-Card-a-Day Challenge of which I participates. Her post about dealing with creative blocks works for my life blocks. After all, life is a creative process and a work of art. I try to paint a little index card, cut/sew a quilt square or two, write in that one-inch picture frame that Anne Lamott talks about in her Bird by Bird. Now, I have a whole swack of index card art. Some awesome, some good and some just so so. I’m on my way to building a quilt. It’s slow going but I have a start. I try to come to this space daily. Sometimes I don’t make it. Sometimes I do. My self -talks help to unlock blocks. To date I have 1,004 blog posts.

VISION – Day 275 in a year of…

Day 275 – April 29, 2017 @2:02 pm

They say that eyes are windows to the soul. It’s how the light gets in. I have been worried about losing the light for as long as I can remember. I am very near sighted and had thick, thick glasses in childhood. Not only was I worried about the light but being unsightly as well. Thank God for high index and contact lenses and inplants. Now my vision is better than ever.

I did not know in my youth that short vision can be a good thing. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott talks about writing as much as you can see through a one-inch picture frame, taking one-inch bites at a time. And E. L. Doctorow said writing a novel is like driving a car at night. “You can only see as far as your headlights. You can make the whole trip that way.”

I can see the wisdom in that – staying in the present, looking ahead to see what lies within the range of your headlights. You can live your whole life like that. So I take a deep breath and take a step ahead. Then another, walking in the path lit by the light.

THE VERDICT

It’s day 7 of Kat McNally’s Reverb15.  Today’s prompt is:

In her seminal book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott offers the observation: “The evidence is in, and you are the verdict.”

Regardless of where you live in this crazy beautiful world, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been a BIG year.

Today, I want to acknowledge that you are here and I am here and we are here.

We’re just… HERE.

That feels like a BIG DEAL.

And, that being said, I invite you to reflect on all that this evinces. What are you the verdict of?

~~~~~~~~~

IMG_5420So we’re all HERE, you and I.  It is a big deal.  I am a big deal.  Funny – I’ve never felt that before.  It’s a turning point, this awareness.  I’ve always been in the shadow of someone else bigger and better than myself.  I’m along like the ugly mean sister, homely friend, a brown sparrow companion to boost someone else’s ego.  Those are stories I tell myself.

Well, guess what?  I no longer want to be any of that!  I want to tell myself different stories. I want to bust out my cocoon and morph into this beautiful butterfly that I really am.  It has taken me this long to wake up. I am the witness and the verdict of this stage in life. I can be a big deal.  Never say never.  Never say it’s impossible.  Never say you can’t change.  Never say miracles can’t happen.  Things can ALWAYS happen.  Treasure this life.  It’s fragile and beautiful.

IMG_1628I am a great admirer of Anne Lamott.  Bird by Bird has great instructions on writing and life. I’m heeding her advice of writing/living in a one-inch picture frame, within the range of how far I can see in a car’s headlights driving at night.  I’m guessing that means be in the present moment.  I am living and writing in the light though I’m surrounded by darkness.  I am writing myself out of the darkness.

YOU CAN TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS

IMG_1462I am a little slow with my morning words.  But I am sitting here, finishing my Chai.  I’m still in my pyjamas but I have combed out my bed head.  I am surrounded by sunlight.

Sheba comes running into the room.  She has sensed our furry neighbour out on the deck. She rears up on her hind legs, barking out her greeting.  Mr. Fur Ball yips back in return. He enjoys this!  Sheba is reprimanded and runs away, crying to her favourite man.

I am still mourning  Dr. Sophia Yin’s death.  Can one mourn someone they have never met? Then I learn of another tragedy, the death of Ron Francis, an RCMP officer.  Such serendipitous moments for me.  Clearly there is a message for me.  I hear Gracie Heavy Hand‘s voice saying:  Stay calm.  Be brave. Watch for the sign.

I hear the message.  I am brave.  I see the sign.  I have moved on – away from the scene of the traumas and stress.  I am not wallowing and glorifying how well I am doing despite all that – any more.  I am not living as if everything is an emergency and there is no time.  I am out of the fire.  My body forgets at times.  It comes on alert with a trigger, the adrenalin pumping, heart pounding, getting ready for the fight or flight.  It’s okay.

It has had to operate on alert mode for so many years.  It will take time to unlearn the response.  I have time.  I don’t have to pull up my socks and get on with it.  I can weep, I can get mad.  I can take a nap.  I can fall apart, knowing I can put myself together again.  I can just be. There no longer is a raging fire, just the dying embers.  They will go out.

In the meantime…

IMG_4923I can listen to the silence of this morning.  The dogs are no longer barking.  The sun is warm on my back and Sheba as she lays next to me.  I can honour and appreciate Dr. Sophia Yin’s work that she’s left behind.

I can continue to work on my goal and tap, tap out my words in 15 minute segments, in a one-inch picture frame.  I can write that book – a line, a page, a story at a time.  I can do different.  I can learn new tricks.  There’s plenty of time.

How are you doing?  Do you have any beef, passion or insight you want to share?  Writing it out is a great way to dissipate angst and open your chakras.  And you just never know what can follow.

I’ve done my rant.  Time for my 15 minute slow jog with Sheba.  The sun beckons.

THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOUR

I think it is safe now to say that summer is here and the heat is on.  It’s been a long wait this year.  We’ve worked hard getting the raised beds built and prepared for planting.  Then there was the hauling and shoveling before seeding and planting could be done.

It’s time to sit back, relax a bit and admire the fruits of our labour.

lettuce & greens I almost wept when I was gathering the greens for a salad this morning.  The lettuce and kale were so tender, the colours  translucent yellow, green and brown- next to the rows of carrots, radishes and onions.  So beautiful they were –  a feast for the eyes and palate.  I reminded myself then, that I deserve more credit than I usually give myself.

IMG_0906These salad days of summer are meant to be tasted, savoured  and enjoyed at leisure.  It is the time for me to dig through the clutter and rubble of a life to find hidden and by- passed treasures.  They are waiting with bated breath to be discovered.  Am I up to the task?

I remembered Anne Lamott’s advice about writing a book.  You write down as much as you can see through a one- inch picture frame.

“E. L. Doctrow once said that “writing a novel is like driving a car at night.  You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way.  You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you.  This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard.”

I have tested it out and it works, not just in writing but any task.  It works especially well when I am faced with a difficult task.  I don my Wonder Woman costume and tackle one-inch frame after one-inch frame.

In the end, after task was completed, I did not find it hard at all.  No golden lasso nor bracelets were needed.  It was just human inching along power.