Saturday, January 25, 2014

Have You Noticed?

A question from a character in a book. "Do you ever wonder about the way things look - about what we see and what we miss?"

She's just been given a death sentence cancer diagnosis and in her shock notices how clear everything looks to her, and realizes at the same time that she's never really taken the time to look at what passes for mundane - leaf shadows, the laugh lines on someone's face, the way the grass moves in the wind.

I don't want to wait until I'm on my way out to notice all the things that make life extraordinary. So I sit at my window and watch the way the snowflakes leap in the wind and the way the small birds at the feeder puff themselves out like little feather balls to keep warm. The horizon is invisible behind the falling snow and the gray haze of leafless trees.

Yesterday I hung laundry in the bright sunshine. The first piece of clothing was frozen before I hung the last but by midday the pants and shirts were dancing with one another, arms and legs flapping in time to the music of the wind. I made a pot of soup and watched the carrots and peas and beans take turns bubbling up to the surface only to dive again, like vegetable kids in a summer pond.

I walked along the roadside while the wind ruffled the faux fur on my hood and ducked under it to smite my cheeks and nose. The air smelled bright and metallic. Brilliant red berries stood out like sentries against the brown sameness of a line of trees.

Earlier a friend came for lunch. Her hair curled in little tendrils about her face and when she smiled her eyes lit up. The cottage smelled of hot soup and toasted bread. Our spoons made little clinking sounds against the bowls, the water in our glasses shimmered.

I vow to pay attention to the small things, to the way the pages of the book whisper when I turn them, the way the silence of the cottage is filled with small sounds - the tick of the clock, the clank of the radiator, the sigh of the door when it closes. I don't want to miss a thing.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


it’s hard just to
thread the needle
hard to see the stitches
through your tears.

Hard to breathe.

Word by word
stitch by stitch
darning in the dark
the hard lump of your pain
the darning egg

underneath the hole in your heart.

Weaving thoughts into days
days into years
time into forgiveness
threads into patterns.

Before you know it
You’ve a new patch
a fix
a useable thing

from the mended old.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Prompt: Weather and the Body

we think it merely blood and bone
this sack of us
sinew and muscle woven beneath a thin covering
but oh! the lovely weather

lightning and thunderclap
rain and wind
that course through vein and artery

an ocean of salty water
constrained in a bony landscape
a breathy wind that shouts in the dark

we are wind and sun and rain
weather carried in a leather pouch

small cloudbursts of stardust and earth

Friday, January 03, 2014

Bits & Pieces

Christmas and New Year celebrations have come and gone. The latest storm (Hercules! Honestly!) came and went, leaving about six inches of fluffy snow and below zero temperatures. I've been at sixes and sevenses for a few days since returning to the cottage. There's always a settling in period - usually just an hour or so, but this time it's taken days and by Sunday I'll be gone again till the middle of the following week. I will dismantle the Christmas tree tomorrow and put away all the holiday decorations. Perhaps that's what's making me feel unsettled.

I am reading two books that at first glance seem to be contradictory - Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra. One is science based, the other spiritually centered. But as I read, I find correlations in the explanations of energy and awareness. Oddly enough, I've been withdrawing to think rather than reaching out to discuss. Perhaps I've entered winter's hibernation mode more deeply than usual.

I had a disturbing phone call from a long-gone ex-partner who sounded as though he was practicing step 8, only he also sounded intoxicated. Our conversation resurrected all sorts of memories I struggled with for years. Maybe that's why I find myself wandering aimlessly from room to room.

Whatever the reason, all this waffling makes being creative difficult. I'm not gone, I'm just stuck for the moment.