Sunday, April 29, 2007


At the moment I'm sitting in the pink glow of my paper star lamp with the door closed and listening to Niyaz in an attempt to create a moment of uninterrupted quiet. It's been a weekend of too much talking. Talk, talk, talking. After awhile it rattles my teeth; it rattles my brain.

After reading Dancing Willow's post I feel inspired to create a sense of peacefulness around me. I took today "off" from writing so that, for once, I might spend an entire day doing whatever I felt like doing. This morning I went with my brother and his girlfriend to look at a house that he's thinking about buying. After that I drove through unknown parts of the city with my husband in an extended search for brunch. Somehow we traveled all the way through the streets of Mexico and ended up on the shores of the Caspian Sea. This is what I love about living in a city: diversity. I love the way that certain parts of the city are each culturally rich countries of their own.

Several hours later, we made it back home where I raked the yard and jabbered with the neighbors. Afterwards, V. and I took Anu for a walk, then we went out for coffee....but, by that point, I wanted nothing more than to hole up with my Finding Water book and be quiet for awhile. Nope--didn't happen.

Is it necessary to mention that I spent all day Friday and Saturday talking as well? I swear, my jaw is starting to hurt. Working at the neighborhood garden shop has resulted in a fuck of a lot of talking. Too be honest, I get sick of it and at times wish for nothing more than a few moments of silence. Tough luck for me.

10 pm, Sunday night...and now I am happy to hide. My day off has been good, but tomorrow I hope to fall off the edge of the earth. Maybe I'll get up extra early for a leisurely walk in the woods. Everything has exploded into green and tiny flowers grow everywhere. I'll spend some time cleaning the house (this idea is also inspired by dancing willow--my god, I neeeed some freshness in my surroundings!) and then I'm going to light some candles, brew a pot of barley tea, and sit my butt down in this chair to write a story about ______ (something).


Anyway, here's to silence.


Friday, April 27, 2007

{Checking In} Week 10 of Finding Water

I can't believe it. It is only a little bit after 9 on Friday morning and I am already doing my weekly Finding Water check-in. Amazing. Punctual? Me?

Well, actually, since I don't work until noon, I was planning on spending the morning working on my thesis--but after returning home from a long walk along the creek with wolfie, I poured myself a cup of coffee and, as I started walking towards my writing room, noticed the blanket of sunshine covering the dining room table and my copy of Finding Water. I decided to stop here in the sunshine for awhile and finish reading this week's chapter. I'm on to my second cup of coffee and the sun is still shining--so I decided to stay in this spot awhile longer and do my check-in while I am surrounded by such comfort. I am transferring time and energy. My thesis will instead receive my full attention tonight.

Morning Pages and Significant Issues
This week I did my journal pages 5 out of 7 days. I can't seem to pull my act together lately. 5 out of 7 aint bad, but then there is the pile of dishes in the kitchen, the bed still hasn't been made, the pile of papers on my desk, the pile of clean laundry that needs to be put away in the basement, and bathrooms that need to be cleaned. Last night, I spent an hour or two reading instead of writing. It is really hard to work in a bookstore and not have time to read. And, in the end, I feel a tinge of guilt no matter what I do.

Yesterday we went to see a play that my 8 year old nephew was in and afterwards we all went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. I very rarely drink, so the one margarita that I had was just enough to chill me out and give me a headache. When I got home I made an executive decision to give myself a break and spent some time reading. Even though it was only for an hour or so, the time felt quite luxurious. Hopefully I can return to my writing tonight feeling a little bit refreshed. It's funny how it doesn't take long for serious writing to make me feel bogged down. There's a lot of emotional excavation going on when I write. I can only handle so much at a time. I know a lot of writers that can push themselves to write in large quantities. They can sit down and write a 10-20 page story in one night if necessary. My husband is like that. But I can't do it that way. The stuff I write just doesn't work that way. It never has. I doubt that it ever will.

Lately I've been setting a goal for myself. 3 pages a night. Of course, deep down I know that I am more like a one-page-a-day sort of person. So I cut myself slack and, in reality, am shooting for three, 3 page essays a week. This works well for me because it gives me a little more room for flexibility. The first night I actually managed to produce an entire 3 pages and--oh the glory--I celebrated by taking myself and my book to a coffee shop to read in solitude and silence. Since moving to this city I had not once gone out for coffee by myself for any other reason than to work. And let me just say: It was heaven! I continue to work towards another one of those moments--but it hasn't been as easy as I was hoping. In all honesty, I was expecting this. And so I will continue doing what I'm doing because a little bit at a time will add up. I have faith in that.

What I don't have enough faith in is myself. This, however, is something that I have been taking great care to work on. There is a part of me that keeps poking: "This isn't good enough. Your writing sucks. It doesn't make sense to anyone but you. Your writing is irritating. It's too abstract. So-And-So on your committee isn't going to like it. You're never going to finish this...." On and on it goes. I could let my inner critic grind me to a complete halt, but lately I've been more successful in hushing that voice.

A good friend (who is also working on her dissertation and is working on the same deadline) recently asked if I would like to be an "accountability partner" with her. These days, I don't know what I'd do without her. I sent my first essay to her a few days ago. Even though I was totally afraid that it absolutely sucked--I sent it anyway. Not only do I have mini-deadlines set to send her my work, but now my writing also has a destination. Because she is under a lot of pressure to finish her own project, I don't expect her to respond to my work at all. But just knowing that she is receiving it and treating my words with tenderness is enough to keep me going. Needless to say, I am grateful beyond words for her. I'm not sure I would be doing this without her. I mean, sure, I guess I would be...but I think my struggles would be a bit more intensified. Just by being there, she is helping me to be kinder to myself. I guess that is the nice thing about friends--they're good like that.

...mine have been cut short due to the fact that my walking partner, Anu, has not been feeling well. My poor wolfie was sick for several days (lethargic, tummy ache, loss of appetite, dull eyes), and so I took her to the vet. A full check-up and several blood tests later, she has been diagnosed with pancreatitis. After a 24 hour fast and a prescription diet, she is feeling much better already. Thank God. I love my wolfie more than words could say. I cry at even the thought of anything ever happening to her! But I do believe that we have found the best vet in the world. She actually looks forward to going to see him! In the past, Anu was always a very difficult dog to bring to the vet--to the point that she actually needed to be sedated before we were able to bring her in. I am grateful that we have found someone that she likes and trusts to such an extreme. I am also grateful that we have found someone that is willing to go the extra mile to make sure that she is happy and healthy. Now if I could just find a doctor like that for myself! ;)

Okay... I feel like I could write forever. But this post is getting long enough. Instead of blathering on I will leave you with a list inspired by one of Julia Cameron's Divining Rods...

About Which I Could Pray:
  1. to write 3 pages a day or 9 pages a week towards the completion of my thesis.
  2. that I will be happy with what is on those pages.
  3. that I will continue to find satisfaction in my work--both at the garden shop and the bookstore.
  4. that my wolfie will live a healthy life.
  5. that my marriage will always be strong.
  6. for help in finding the house that we are looking for--the one that feels like home.
  7. and that we will be able to comfortably afford that place without getting in over our heads.
  8. that we will find another dog when the time is right--and that the dog will need us as much as we need him/her.
  9. for a baby--also when the time is right.
  10. to be able to see the divine in each and every person I come in contact with.
  11. to find beauty often in small and random moments--and to remember to be thankful for those moments.
  12. that I will always follow my heart.
  13. that I may sleep well...and Vinny, too.
  14. that my old cat will stay healthy until his dying day.
  15. that my mom will find a partner in life that makes her truly happy.
  16. that my brother will find a house that is safe and brings him happiness.
  17. that my hair will quit looking like Martha Stewart's! Grow, damnit, grow!!
  18. for help in losing and then maintaining my ideal weight. I don't feel the need to be skinny--but I do want to be the strongest and healthiest that I can be.
  19. for the opportunity, confidence, and resources to learn more about web design. I want to take a few classes--but good classes can be quite expensive (and intimidating!).
  20. that my creativity will bring in a higher and more reliable source of income.
  21. that my sister will win the Vespa lottery that she signed me up for. ;)
  22. that my friends (yes, you) will find their happiness too--both great and small.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

breathe on, sweet commas.

Despite the ominous tone of my last post, I have to admit that things are going remarkably well (knock on wood).

...but, for now, I just wanted to say hi. This little compose box provided by Blogger is such a familiar and comforting space. I missed it here.

Today I met a girl from Chicago who is writing a book about people living their dreams. She's interviewing strangers Studs Terkle style and is attempting to capture the "everyday" moments of their lives. Judging by the thickness of the folder she was carrying around (and pulled out of her bag to show me), it's a pretty serious project. I met her while working at the garden shop and the whole time I felt like she was trying to gauge me; she was trying to figure out if I was living my dream. If I was, then I suppose she would want to interview me. I kept waiting for her to ask: "Are you living your dream?" But instead she asked if she could come back on Saturday.

Which made me wonder: Am I living my dream?

Which made me wonder: How do you know when you are?

Which made me wonder: Can living your dream be all inclusive?

Because if it can, then (geez) I guess I am.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

{checking in} looking back at week 9: uncovering a sense of perspective. this post is being written a little bit late...not to mention, i haven't really arrived at week 9 quite yet considering i still have one foot stuck in week 8 (uncovering a sense of truth).

it is my first day off in what feels like a long time and i am contentedly sitting in front of my window watching the rain. it has been a week of incredible weather and hard work. my body is tired and my muscles are sore. the rain feels good after so much sun--the clouds say, "come here by the window, now it is time to rest." i've lit ylang ylang and amber scented candles, poured myself a cup of coffee in a favorite cup, picked up the clutter that seems to have accumulated over the course of the week...and now, *deep contented sigh*, i will spend the next several hours writing.

i'll tell you one of the reasons i am stuck in week 8 (uncovering a sense of truth)...and that is because i am still processing the truths that i am finally coming to terms with.
what are those truths? well...
  1. i don't have time to keep up with all the blogs that i would like to read. even though i wish i could read and comment on every post of every person on my bloglines list...i can't do it. working full time, doing side-jobs, and trying to write my thesis does not allow me the time to keep up. not to mention, i need to sleep and would really love to read a book or two that i have had stacked next to my bed for several months now. which leads to number 2...
  2. finishing my thesis is more important to me than anything else right now. it is still necessary for me to maintain a balance between marriage, work, friendship, art, downtime, ect...but i am beginning to realize that if i want to finish my thesis, something has to give. unfortunately, for a little while, i think it is going to have to be the time i put into trying to keep up with the 100+ blogs that i'm always trying to read (and the guilt i end up feeling when i'm not able to). which leads to number 3...
  3. i have begun to realize that the simple truth is that i can only accomplish so much in a day. i am in love with hard work and am willing to give myself the extra push needed to accomplish my goals...but i also need to learn when i've done enough for the day. in other words, i need to learn how to be a bit more gentle on myself. this often makes me think of the folk tale about the turtle and the hare. i accomplish more (creatively) when i move at the slow and steady pace of a turtle. and so this is where learning how to approach my projects with gentleness would do me some good. that i've said that, i guess i can move on to "week 9: uncovering a sense of perspective." I keep reminding myself that doing just a little bit every day will add up. i usually don't get home until 8pm...and that only leaves me a few hours before i run out of steam--crash and burn style. often i sit down thinking that i will write an entire essay in the 2 hours i have after working a long day--and, duh, it never works out that way. i need to remember that even just a few paragraphs a night will amount to something by the end of the week.

working outside at a physically demanding job has been good for me on so many levels. i feel a new sense of calm that i haven't felt since before i entered college some 7 years ago. in 1999 i built my own house out in the country. i wore a tool belt, worked outside, climbed ladders and scaffolding, operated power tools, hauled lumber. by the end of the day, i was happily exhausted. it was one of the best times of my life. i feel like i have returned to that state of mind--and it feels good.

in my mind, week 8 and 9 of finding water have somehow melded together. truth and perspective--they are two notions that go well together.

this week i did my morning pages 7 out of 7 days. my artist's date was short, but just what i needed--a half hour spent swinging on the big-enough-for-adults swing set at a nearby playground lifted my mood to the nth degree and left me feeling totally reenergized (you are never too old for this!). and of course, long walks with my wolfie are a constant.

this past week we almost got a house. we almost got a car. and we almost got a puppy. the timing was not right this week, but i'm not worried because i am quite positive that what this translates into is: we are about to get a house; we are going to get another car; and we are on the verge of finding the perfect canine friend, the one that we've been looking for. all in good time. these days, i feel like our patience will pay off. patience and perseverance have been a big part of these past couple weeks.

of course, "week 10: uncovering a sense of safety" comes with good timing. my heart feels tender lately...and, these days, i'm learning how to protect those vulnerable parts of myself. i've built a soft structure around the tender spots--a shelter to help me move through this important time with grace. this is my time of healing--and that healing seems to be happening through both hard work and gentleness. funny how one comes with the other--it seems to be a package deal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

garden shop life.

At the moment, I'm sitting in a room that I don't spend nearly enough time in: the bedroom. I've picked up the random scattering of clothes, fluffed the covers and made the bed, turned on lamps, and have a too-weak cup of coffee sitting on the shelf next to me. The blinds are cracked open just enough so that I can see the black silhouettes of trees and not-yet-leafed-out vines that drip over the edges of the windows. The sky has turned dusky lavender and orange. My old cat has traveled all the way up the stairs just so that he can hang out next to me. In his old age he acts more like a dog than a cat--following me everywhere, trailing behind me from one room to the next--that is true love.

I spent the day working outside. Yesterday, too. And the day before that (ok, you get the point). Not only have I been working outside, but I've been working hard. I've been hauling cast iron pots, potting soil, and stone Buddhas all day long. I rake and set up water fountains and break down boxes and move ceramic pots that weigh more than me. I carry an oversized watering can with me everywhere. It is the sort of work that makes me feel worn out at the end of the day--but in a good way. My skin feels tight from the sun and I have an unfamiliar reserve of energy from all the exercise I've been getting.

I've been more efficient lately, and resting better, too. Sometimes those old panicky feelings sneak back in, but the days I work the hardest, the smaller they become. I feel strength returning in a way that I have not felt in a very long time. I feel it in my arms, my legs, my lungs--but best of all, I feel it in my heart.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mod Podge junkie.

I'm on a Mod Podge high--and am lovin' it. It's been a pretty busy past couple days around here and I've been suffering from an ultimate stress headache...the kind that I haven't really experienced since the drowning days of grad school. Like usual, I have too much on my plate all at once. I've been enjoying my new life at the garden shop, but I guess trying to squeeze the rest of my life into a few short hours at the end of each day has started to take its toll.

Yesterday Vinny and I went to look at a house for sale and inadvertently fell in love with it. It wasn't fancy by any means, but it was sunny and warm and felt like "home." I went to the bank today and talked with a loan officer only to find out that we would be in over our heads before we could blink. We've decided that, unless a miracle happens, we're going to pass this one up . I think that this will be a good decision in the end, but I couldn't help but feel some serious disappointment as I walked out of the bank. I haven't felt consciously stressed, but my body was telling me otherwise.

Tonight, however, the most wonderful thing happened when I went down to my studio to get work done on something I should have finished several days ago. Last week on my "artist's date," I went to Dick Blick to just hang out. In the process, I ended up buying some inexpensive paper and a bottle of Mod Podge. In the past I've used a matte medium for decoupage type projects, but it always dries a bit tacky to the touch. I remembered Melba mentioning that she uses Mod Podge, so when I saw a bottle for only a few bucks I happily bought some to experiment with.

About halfway through my project tonight, I noticed that my headache had disappeared. I could hardly think straight it hurt so bad...and then WALLAH! it just vanished. Weird. My faith in the therapeutic effects of art has been renewed. Amazing!

A couple weeks ago, Bee said that I should spend an hour or so just making art. Her theory was that by spending one precious hour making something out of pure creative enjoyment would actually benefit me and make me more efficient in all other areas. Although I agreed with her, inside there was a buggery ol' cynic saying: "yeah, yeah, yeah..right!" maybe it is actually just the smell of Mod Podge that is so incredibly healing (what is that smell? it reminds me of something.) or maybe there is a whole lot of truth in Bee's art therapy theory. Of course, I know her theory to be true. But I am such an incredibly slow learner sometimes!

Speaking of Bee, I was also blessed with a package from Canada that arrived on my doorstep today (and with perfect timing!). After I came home from the crumb-dumb bank, my mood was immediately lifted by a box filled with coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and mmmm-so-dark chocolate, a beautiful green and blue necklace from Costa Rica, a yummy soft journal from India, forget-me-not seeds, and a nice thick letter. Dang, do I feel spoiled? Yes, in the best way! :)

The coffee smells divine and so I made a fresh pot before heading downstairs for my date with the Modge Podge. No wonder I feel better!

God, I love mod podge and Canadian coffee!!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


It's been cold and snowing all day...which was nice because I worked at the garden shop and it was quiet, oh so peaceful and quiet. I felt like I had the best of both worlds. Outside the snow came down in fat, wet blobs. Inside, it smelled of hyacinth, lilies, roses, and dirt. I sat under a heat lamp and grow lights and was able to write a long overdue letter to a friend, then worked on a few Finding Water divining rods in my journal. It was quiet yesterday also (a pre-spring lull) and so after I finished up with everything that needed to be done, I sat down with a pile of bulbs and plant leaves and did a few pencil sketches in my journal. I learned a lot about 'Dwarf Elephant Ears', Eucomis, and other strange creatures in the process. I'm not usually lucky enough to have such luxuriously long-winded bouts of quiet time to do nothing but putter around with words and pencils between cups of coffee and window gazing...but I drank it up with great thirst. I've spent the past two days loving my job...and feeling like I am exactly where I should be in my life right now--what an odd and wonderful feeling.

I do believe that these days I am living my truth. It might not be glamorous (I wear jeans, a flannel shirt, and winter boots to work) and it might not make me rich or famous or anything even remotely special...but, between the garden shop and the children's bookstore, I feel very lucky, indeed. These days, my life feels saturated--with color and scent and ideas and fresh air and friends....
But okay...
The point of this post is not to blather on about how happy I am or how fulfilling my work has been, but to share a few sensory rituals that help to move me to a sense of safety and expansion (yep, this was one of this week's divining rods). I like the way those two words, "safety" and "expansion," fit together. They are such contrasting, contradictory words--yet they fit so well together. To feel safe, yet have room to grow--isn't that the feeling we are always after?

The Writing Ritual: Clean my writing room--including dusting, washing the floors and organizing my desk. Then light a stick of "Amethyst-Balance" incense (because it's warm and soft smelling). Light a candle. Close the blinds and turn on my paper star lamp. Brew a fresh pot of coffee and sit down in my warm cocoon to write.

The Relaxation Ritual: Run a hot bath and add calming oils (like cedar and lavender) or foaming bath salts (like ginger/mint). Light lots of candles. Play soft sounding global music. Soak, soak, soak while reading a good book. Afterwards, put on a cozy pair of fleece pajamas, crawl into bed, and read some more with a fresh cup of chamomile tea sitting on the shelf next to be. Then...fall asleep while reading.

The Nature Ritual: Put on warm, comfortable clothes and go for a walk to the flower garden. Once there, find an especially magical place to sit and write in my journal. When I'm finished, continue walking through the flower gardens--slowly--taking time to notice little tiny things (the shape of a leaf, the bark of a tree, the sky's reflection in water, the chitter of a bird...) and soak in its beauty.

The Morning Pages Ritual: Find slippers. Feed the cats. Make a cup of espresso with a little cream and sugar. Turn on the small salmon-pink lamp and snuggle up next to it at the end of the couch with a soft blanket thrown over my legs. Write in the dark, quiet hour of the morning--exploring my thoughts without expectation or distraction.

The Sunday Ritual: Hang out in my pj's longer than usual. Finally shower. Then pick up a copy of the Sunday paper and go out for breakfast with my husband for a late breakfast at the "Egg and I." Order the Mexican Skillet with a side of homemade salsa and a cup of coffee. Read the newspaper together, people watch, eat, people watch, talk, read the newspaper, talk, people watch, eat some more...Then do something fun before returning home (even if that just means running an errand together). This is the ritual my husband and I share. It is something that we do to "reconnect" with each other on a weekly (or almost weekly) basis.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

{Checking In} Week 7 of Finding Water.

Amazing. I find it hard to believe that we are already on to Week 8 of Finding Water. These pasts weeks I've felt like I'm running through water, my feet barely touching the bottom. It is an odd sensation--mostly a pleasant one, but a bit mind-boggling as well. There seems to be so much going on internally these days--it has been difficult to raise myself above the fog of my own mind.

morning pages and other significant issues
This past week I did my morning pages 6 out of 7 days. I was going to write about how absolutely ridiculous they've been getting. But then, just now, I looked back over my pages (I felt like I was cheating by doing this) and realized that there is so much more happening than I even realized. I wish I could write more about this here...but I feel that it wouldn't fair to myself to even try at this point. Today at work I was asking my boss about her other work and, on a side-note, she said something to the effect of: "Nothing ever turns out the way we expect it to--it turns out the way it's supposed to." Her words, although not exactly revolutionary, hit me with quite a lot of force. My life is in that in-between-place right now. I don't know how to explain that quite yet--and so I guess that the best I'll get out of myself at the moment are these little stops and starts. I'm just going to have to put my faith in the universe for now. Because, to be honest, I'm not sure what direction I'm going right now. For the first time in my life. I'm just not sure. All I can say is that I'm in the middle of it--of everything.

artist's date
This week I didn't go on an artist's date, but I'm going to cut myself some slack and go on one tomorrow (Sunday). Between the major change in my work schedule, V.'s b-day, and getting the car broken into and my purse stolen, it has been an exhausting week with very little free time. Of course, exhaustion and lack of free time is no excuse for not going on an artist date. Nor is lack of money or transportation. I am suffering from the desire to blame my artist's datelessness on all 4 of these excuses. But I will resist the temptation and take my $11 in quarters, the car while I'll have the chance, and DO SOMETHING tomorrow. But what? I don't know. If I could do anything at all I would buy myself a nice long massage (I've never gotten a professional massage before, but have always wanted one). Unfortunately, my lack of purse and wallet won't allow it. My muscles are stiff and sore and, due to my "new" job (which requires a lot of physical labor), I am feeling a deep need to be pampered these days. I'm devoting at least a little bit of tomorrow to figuring out how to go about doing that--even if it only means buying myself some exquisite new bath salts and then taking a long soak in my tub at home with a good book and some chamomile tea. It seems like the perfect break between my work week and the side projects that I need to accomplish tomorrow. Yes, actually, it sounds like a little bit of heaven that I will gladly enjoy.

As for divining rods...I, ummm, didn't do them this week. It took so much resilience just to get through the chapter (such a dark, depressing chapter), that I didn't dare look back to do the exercises. It was such a relief to read Week 8: Uncovering a Sense of Truth and find LIGHT at the end of the tunnel! Phew. I was getting a little worried. But you know what? Julia Cameron is not so different than any of us. We are all so exceedingly pathetic and beautiful all at the same time. I guess this is what it means to be human.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


My cat, Viscosa, is sitting in front of my computer screen as I write. She looks paranoid and acts as though the music I'm listening to might be seeping out of the walls. She's a strange and sketchy thing--but always needing to be in the center of things. I crane my neck to see around her only because I don't have the heart to shoo her away. She's a little lover...but she's also high on catnip. Cheap entertainment, I guess you could say.

In the other room, Vinny is playing with his new fish tank. Yes, playing. It was his birthday yesterday and I got my 37 year old husband a fish tank. I think he loves it(!) ...but that might be because he stopped maturing at the age of 9. I guess I'm ok with this, only because I stopped maturing at the age of 12. ha!

We're walking around like zombies today because, last night, after an incredible date (a delicious dinner, some book browsing, and a hilarious movie), we walked out to the theater parking lot and found the window of our car shattered...and my purse stolen. Do I ever leave my purse in the car? No! That's the shitty part. But last night it was heavy with birthday presents and books and so we decided I should just hide it under the seat and it would be fine. We were wrong. There were some little hoodlums hanging out by the theater when we went in and our guess is that they must have seen me lift my purse over the seat when I went to hide it. The other shitty part is that I actually had cash in my wallet (almost a 100 bucks--and I never have cash on me!). They were lucky little thieves.

But, despite the inconvenience of losing all the necessities a purse holds, I'm mostly bummed because they got away with Vinny's Edgar Allen Poe T-shirt (it was so awesome! my husband is Poe reincarnated) and the Helene Cixous book that I found at the used bookstore (a total score!). The sad part is that, since hoodlums are rarely literate (just a cynical assumption), they probably just threw that stuff out. Losers.
My new theory: improved literacy cuts crime!
What do you think? I mean, really, the only thing I'm NOT worried about them using is my library card!

I was up until 2 am canceling credit cards and what-not. They got away with charging a tank of gas--hopefully nothing more. This morning I was so tired that I decided to reset my alarm clock. Uh-em...bad idea! I must have reset the clock instead because, after I was already showered and ready for work, I looked at the clock on my computer and realized that it was an hour EARLIER than I thought it was! Damn. I could have still been in bed! Hence, the zombie mode. Even coffee wasn't able to cure me.

Anyhoo...that's my story for the day. At least the fish tank looks cool.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

word quilt

It is cold and rainy outside. I hear the drip, drip, dripping outside my writing room window. Later it might even snow. I have lit a rose scented candle and am utterly comfortable in my long johns and old flannel shirt. My old cat snores at my feet and wolfie has happily come in from the rain to chew on a bone.

When summer comes, I will miss the way it feels when the furnace kicks on. I will miss the hum of warm air against the threat of cooler temperatures. This morning my job is to stitch the pieces of my past together with words--like a quilt. Conditions are perfect.

How can I not be grateful for what my life is right now?

Monday, April 02, 2007

monday morning spring thoughts

Today is different than other days because it is Monday and I am not working at the bookstore. In case you don't already know this about me, I work at a children's bookstore. It is a strange and unusual place--not like any other bookstore. If you've ever been there, then you'd know what I mean.

On Monday mornings we have a story time for infants and toddlers. It involves rather large crowds and high doses of chaos. I've worked this shift ever since I started late last summer and over the weeks and months have learned to let its chaos surround me with an air of calm. When I first started I remember watching my co-workers move through the morning with grace. It surprised me how easy it was to find my own state of grace. I found that being surrounded by books and babies left me feeling oddly comforted. Sometimes the parents would get on my nerves--but never the kids. If things got wildly out of control, it was easy enough to find a patch of stillness in letting one of the store cats crawl into my arms for a quick snuggle. Triny Lopez, the black Manx with a white stripe running the length of his nose, is by far the biggest lover of our 3 in-store cats and this morning I think I might even miss his purrs tickling my ear. Actually, I know I do. I miss snuggling Tom-Tom the ferret, too.

This week I start my full-time hours at the garden shop and am cutting back to just one day a week at the bookstore. My days of part-time glory (so that I could work on my thesis) are over. But, in all reality, there were very few weeks that I had much for extra writing time. I took on extra hours doing artwork, working at the garden shop, and doing the mural commission. "Part-time" was more of an intention than a reality. I have squandered away my writing time...yet, strangely, I feel a sense of relief in returning to the regular hours of full-time work.

I no longer have entire days stretching out in front of me to write. I only have a few hours in the evening or maybe an occasional hour or two in the morning. I am oddly grateful for these smaller expanses of time. It is feels so much less intimidating. I feel a shift in intention.

This morning I took Anu for an extra long walk. We went to all of our favorite places and stopped often to take in views from the ridge and the damp, spring feels of the deeper woods. Trudging up the last hill before arriving home, I noticed the hearty sprigs of grass stoutly poking up from the muddy ground. I noticed thick rugs of moss and tiny buds unfurling on a nearby tree. Little miracles.

Today I am celebrating a change in pace. Or maybe, change in general.