May 29 2010

things to write when
no one is looking

red poppies make me think of blood
they pop off the landscape like pinwheels

green is earth’s favorite color

i am in the mood for popcorn

this moment won’t last

i have been sitting here forever

the hawk that just flew over my head, he is the one,
the one i was supposed to be watching for

a blue chair in my garden is reflecting

white cottonwood falls like snow

today is the perfect temperature

i am surrounded by roses
they have thorns
their scent is cloying
they are beautiful

weeds taunt me and i ignore them

the woodpile directly before me is
the black walnut tree from my parents

when i was a kid we made
necklaces from horse chestnuts
i always cut my palm
boring holes through them with a knife

the necklaces lasted for a day
we spent the whole day before that
making them

silence is not golden it is purple

fireflies are faeries in disguise

i am 47
i would prefer
to be 39

my skin is so dry

i like a tree with gnarled branches

i like the word gnarled

this moment is for the birds

a chickadee


May 16 2010

breathing space

Dust. It collects everywhere. On shelves and witches balls, in corners and my mind. It is pervasive, invasive, persuasive. It makes me want to give up, cry uncle, sing defeat.

I can’t keep up with the dust, so I’ve stopped trying. I let it sit there and ruminate on my blind eye turned elsewhere. Waiting. Dust knows we are enemies. In fact, we literally are, I am allergic.

But it is deeper than its own thin layer, dust. It is a sign of inertia. The battle of life, age, entropy.

Dust is dead. Dead space, dead air, dead cells. The opposite of life.

I watch it float through the air trapped in rays of sunshine, trying its best to look pretty. I feel it settle down around me, all the while making snide comments on my laziness. I smell its musty, fusty, dried up scent, just reeking of neglect.

Dust is illiterate, but I read the words that I draw in its layers and cringe at their implication. Clean me. Notice me. Take care.

It is not my fault, this dust, it is something that happens. We can remove it, daily, weekly, monthly, as often as there is time, but it will always return, unwanted visitor, benign blanket, ambivalent disguise.

I tackle dust, every so often, when I can’t tolerate its presence any longer. I wash and scrub and eradicate this evidence of days gone by, of life’s slow and steady passing. I make it sparkle.

We both know it is a losing battle.

But we pretend for a day, or at least an hour,

that I am victorious.

May 10 2010


she is trapped inside a month of gray…

a quote from a song that is singing my tune, in these days when the world is filled with color, and these nights when the world is filled with life, and you would think that some of it, a tiny little bit even, would rub off on me, turn me at least a slightly pastel shade of something, but no, there is only gray.

and i’m not saying that gray is bad, it’s not, i like gray, it’s just that it’s not black and it’s not white and the variations are endless and the possibilities are overwhelming, and somewhere in the exact middle of all that gray is the epicenter of the universe or at least the average, the mean, the median, of all the other days, and what does that signify, exactly?

something is shifting in the universe, every second of every minute, and most of the time you can’t tell, you don’t even notice, but every once in a while you feel that shift, that tiny alteration, in your flesh, in your bones, like the tiniest of breezes ruffling over the valleys of your face.

and what i mean is not profound, or out of reach, but life, daily life, that brings with it the endless possibilities, distracting us from the moments we are in, running fingers through our hair just long enough to make us wonder.

and if we wonder long enough, wander long enough, we always get there, the place we are supposed to be, even if we don’t know what it’s called, or how we got there, or where we will be headed next. it might be called tomorrow. or next month. or the future.

but it’s never called yesterday.

Apr 30 2010

what I keep forgetting
to remember

Days go by, and despite all the times I’ve reminded myself how important it is to stop and smell the roses, I still forget to do it.

I get busy, distracted, bullied by time.

I start out each morning with the best of intentions. I will be mindful of the moments, savor them, revel in them. I will keep my head up, open to the world around me. I will be a better me. I will make sure to spend time with those I love. I will not waste time with worry, or frustration, or anger. I will live life to the fullest.

And some days, I pull it off. I manage to feel that way, at least part of the time. Others days, it is seven o’clock and I am still working,
I have worked all day without looking up, head down, mind wrapped in my own thoughts, what has to be done, how long I have left to do it, how much more I can accomplish before I go to bed. And then it is bedtime and I am too tired to do anything but stare at the ceiling for a few minutes before I drift off to sleep. Too tired to read, even. And I realize that another day has passed in which I forgot to remember…

To literally stop and smell the roses, or lilacs, or lilies, or any other flower that I happen to pass by.

To tell my husband that I love him, and that I appreciate the things he does, like buying groceries.

To take care of myself. To stop and listen to nothing but my own breathing. Even if it’s only for fifteen minutes.

To look up. Outward, outside of myself and the tunnel my brain lives in to see what is going on in the rest of the world.

To be thankful to be alive, grateful for everything I have, happy to be here, in this day, this hour, this moment.

To enjoy the simple things, like washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, meditating on life as I go through the motions.

To eat food that I love, food that is good for me, even if it takes a little longer to prepare.

To sing when my favorite song comes on the radio. To actually turn the radio on.

To connect with my children, even if it is only a text message that says “hello.” To let them know that I love them.

To check in with my parents and my friend who is 84, for no reason.

To find something beautiful, or the beauty in anything.

To forgive: life, myself, those I love, and those I don’t even know.

To focus more on living and less on doing.

To just be.

That’s it.

I just needed a little reminder.