Pages Not Turning Yet

The last pages of my life’s narrative seem to have stuck together, locking me into this current lull. Is it the heat? The body’s response to stress, albeit positive? My mind’s ambition butting up against physical limitation? Likely a bit of each.

We’ve already written the opening paragraph for the next chapter: purchased a new home, sold our current one. Ric’s been busy arranging the transfer of services, engaging a painter, plumber, and electrician. By the end of August, we should be comfortably settled in.

Meanwhile, I’ve packed all I can for the moment, and while I know I should be resting for the next wave of momentum, I am feeling mired in the mud of emotions and psychological muck. Non of it rational, all of it debilitating.

The next chapter will unfold as it will; we’ve already set the framework. Meantime, taking care of self has become the priority.

Today, I will not fight the stuck places. Instead, I’ll surrender to each moment, remember to breathe, and be mindful of the choices I make.

***

Thank you to all who participated this week, each bringing your own brilliance to the theme: next chapter.

On a Break, I Write Her
Metamorphosis, radhikasreflection
Besides…, Eugi’s Causerie II
Magical Guest, Stuff and what if…
The Next Chapter, Sgeoil
When Jokes Cross the Line, MMA Storyline
Night after night, paeansunplugged
Final Victory, Shilpa Nairy
To Be Continued, parallax
The Next Chapter, one letter UP

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

What’s In A Name

What’s her name?
Simple question
from mother to son –
recognizing the love-lifted
joy of his countenance.

I cannot tell, said he,
you’ll ask too many questions.
Do I know her?
No, Mom, she’s Somali.
And Muslim.

I felt my whiteness
and all its privilege
slap me, stumbled

Of course she is welcome,
of course it does not matter.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how heads
would turn, and vile strangers
attack, and his father shun them.

And how her own mother
would advise her to take his name
when the day of their nuptials came
so that finding work would be easier.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how
everyday matters suffer
unfair scrutiny –

hold them in my heart
and pray, knowing my shield
of whiteness holds no sway
to protect them.

(What’s in a Name first appeared here in February of 2019.  It fits with this week’s focus of privilege. )

Thank you to all who participated in this week’s challenge:

DOES WRITING EXCUSE WATCHING?
PoetryPalette
I Write Her
MMAStorytime
michnavs
COLOURFUL PIE IN THE SKY
parallax
radhikasreflection
Sharing Thoughts
Stuff and what if…
Sgeoil
paensunplugged

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

To the Man-Boy Who Publicly Declares He Is Not Afraid of Death

And what will you feel
when death,
as you proclaim,
passes you by

Targets
a beloved aunt,
an elderly neighbour,
a nephew with asthma

Will you pause
to ponder your part
express regret
for misplaced pride

Or preoccupied
with your own rights
sporting chest protruding blinders
will you deny accountability?

“The president doesn’t wear a mask”
you pronounce the words as gospel
too young to recognize that choices
have consequences, irreversible

Risks, by nature, require careful consideration
recklessness an unworthy motivator
Reward is in the conquering – fear, doubt
No treasure gained when tragedy ensues.

***

Life is risk, and always there is consequence, and sometimes reward. Risk-reward has been the focus this week and I thank all for participating. My risk is putting out a challenge each week, and the reward is you!

Please check out these wonderful contributors:

Hansel & Gretel – Part 2, I Write Her
Not Yet, MMA Storytime
Memories From Afar, POETRYPALETTE
The woods are lovely dark and deep…, Heart to Heart
Tall Trees, Sgeoil
The Moth, parallax
Volunteering, THE BAG LADY
Patience, one letter UP
Presence Missed, Stuff and what if…

See you tomorrow with a new challenge!

Stop the Spinning

Call it circling, call it dancing, it’s all the same – I end up at the same point. Caught between the idealism of expectation and the harshness of reality. One has lofty goals, the other invites limitations.

I once believed, not in circles, but in spirals – a continual movement marking progress. Now, with time running out, I’m not so sure. Those regrets I said I’d never take to my death bed are closing in.

I’ve excuses aplenty – chronic illness, chronic busyness – but none of that assuages the ambition. Incomplete works dangle from spider web threads waiting for me to rescue them. The talking to myself is not working. Need to step out of this dichotomy and stop the whirling. Break my dreams into goals, into steps, and stopping the spinning.

***

This week’s focus was ‘circling‘ and the responses were as diverse and creative as usual. Please take a moment to visit and be inspired:

Premonitions, Reena Saxena
Circling, syncwithdeep
Savior, I Write Her
Abyss!, radhikasreflection
We fall down, we get up, Eugi’s Causerie
The Biggest Fight in History, MMA Storytime
Words for You, Hearing the Mermaids Sing
Oblivious, J.E. Goldie
What If, parallax
Un-Caged, Sgeoil
Let it go, Shilpa Nairy
Instant Summer, Stuff and what if…

A Mother’s Education

By the time she was three, my first daughter, an early talker, had shared that people have colours around them, that I would eventually have three children, and not to worry about those who died, for they come back like she did.

“She’s freaking me out,” I told a cousin of mine. “I don’t know how to respond to this stuff.”

My cousin told me to start with a book by Ian Currie: “You Cannot Die.”

As a new mother, I expected that teaching would be part of my role. I had not anticipated the things my children would teach me.

Number one child opened a whole new world of questioning for me. By the time the third (unplanned) baby came along I was ready.

I continue learning.

***

Our focus this week has been on “What a child knows.” Thanks to all who participated. If you haven’t already read the entries, please take a moment to visit and comment.

Life in Thirds, Sgeoil
What a child knows, CURATING THOUGHTS
Reconnect our inner child, Shilpa Nairy
Sprinkled, one letter UP
In The Now, parallax
Once Upon a Time, POETRYPALETTE
What a Child Knows – When I was 5, Musings of a CowCorn (Vakicornius Chocolatus Rex)
Big Little, I Write Her
When I Was Five, A MULTITUDE OF MUSINGS

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!



This Is More Than Personal

A movie might be just the panacea we need to escape this current state of malaise. Our middle daughter and son-in-law dropped by with kids and we had a porch to curb-side visit – hard not to hug, but so good to hear those little voices in person. Now that they have left, I feel both warmed and anxious – missing the rest of our clan.

The movie is about a family whose son is killed in a car accident. (The Greatest). His girlfriend shows up on their doorstep three months later, pregnant with his child.

We don’t usually watch movies. I tend to get bored and move onto something else. A mother thing, I suppose – always doing. But I make myself sit for this one. I’m okay until the young girl goes into labour.

I’m bawling my eyes out watching a movie about a woman giving birth and I can’t even go to my baby who is suffering, I text my eldest daughter whose health remains a concern.

Oh Momma, she responds.

Why don’t we drive to you and visit like your sister did.

I couldn’t bear it, not hugging you.

This damned virus is a test of the human spirit. Moments like this, I’d give my life to help my child, but then I remember that my death would serve nothing, and it is certain with my health I’d never survive this disease.

So I’m spending a lot of time in prayer, and I am transported to a broader perspective. It is not just my family that is struggling, but millions of other families worldwide. We are united in an altered reality of fear and suffering, and now more than ever in need of a consciousness that puts humanity above all else.

This week, ‘transported‘ has been the focus, and I thank each of you for sharing:

A Love Eternal, I Write Her
Transported, DOES WRITING EXCUSE WATCHING?
Transported, Reena Saxena
Engine, Pictures without film
Transported Into Simplicity, Stuff and what if…
The Long Way Home, Eugi’s Causerie
Precipice, parallax
Waiting, one letter UP
We Win!, Stine Writing
Memorable Sensations, Sgeoil

See you tomorrow for a new challenge.

Practice Makes Permanent

“This is a lot of stuff to remember, Grandma!”

Seven-year-old Sloane and I are making a Zentangle. She’d tried to copy my work on her own with no success, so I’m teaching her step by step.

“That’s why we keep practicing.”

Sloane’s Zentangle

“Practice makes permanent!”

“Do you mean perfect?”

“No permanent. That’s what my teacher says.”

“Good one! I might have to use it.”

You can use it too!

***

We’ve had an interesting week of considering how habits play out in our lives, as witnessed by these titles:

When Rivers Change,
Illusion,
Never too old…,
Predictions nixed
Overload
Ways of Doing
Complicated

parallax
I Write Her
A Shared Space
Eugi’s Causerie
Stuff and what if…
Sgeoil
AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY

Please also visit the original post to read some of the comments.

Thanks all! See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

Subtract Expectations, Open to Possibility

The snow has been falling all day, filling in the roads behind the plow’s efforts. I am a bit of wreck as I write this. Tomorrow, I am planning a surprise party for Ric’s 70th birthday. The hall is booked, and I’ve delegated all the pieces, but the guest list is shrinking as people are reluctant to travel in this weather.

When you read this, I will be recovering from the day’s activities.

For now, I am consciously subtracting expectations, and adding trust. As far as I know, Ric has no idea.

Wish us well.

***

I love the responses to this week’s challenge. We really are a creative community.

To That Place Again, parallax

2-1= 1, I Write Her

Holiday Aftermath, Eugi’s Causerie

Subtraction, THE BAG LADY

Yearning, Culture Shocks

Fragility of Aging, Stuff and what is…

Untangling Roots, CURATING THOUGHTS

No Worries, one letter UP

Two Minus One, Sgeoil

Subtraction, AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY

Thank you all! See you tomorrow for a new challenge.

Ripening With Anticipation

I’ve spent the day preparing enchilada sauce, having harvested a few tomatoes. A neighbour gifted me a handful of jalapeños, which are also going into the pot. Later, the kids are coming for dinner, so I hope my feast turns out.

So much of life weaves in ways we never expect, and I am unwilling to believe that the tapestry is unfinished, holding onto hope that there is more to come. My health continues to slip, but I remain positive.

There is ripening happening here.

A found poem, with lines borrowed from each of your works:

Ripe, yet unsophisticated
the air fills with that start of fall crispness,
abundant harvest
dancing amidst the flying sparks
vivid colors
getting ready for something to happen

and that is only the beginning.

Thank you for your thoughtful and interesting posts.

parallax
Proscenium
AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY
Culture Shocks
Stuff and what if…
one letter UP
Sgeoil

See you tomorrow for a new challenge.

I Believe…Sort of…

“No matter what your religious affiliation, your relationship with God the Father, is directly representative of your relationship to small ‘f’ father.”

Although I am paraphrasing here, the words from Joan Borysenko rang true. The workshop was entitled “The Heart of the Healer”. Borysenko was challenging us to examine our beliefs.

My father was intolerant, boastful, eccentric, and an alcoholic. While he preached compassion and acceptance, he seldom practiced it. His declarations of love usually spewed from whiskey-scented breath while his hands held me in a death grip.

I loved, but could not trust my father. I respected aspects of him: his intelligence, his strength, and his command of the written word.

In church on Sundays, every mention of He, especially the ones that insisted I had sinned, just felt like more punishment that I had no hope of reconciling. Of course, it’s more complicated than that.

I struggle with faith and what I believe. It’s not that life hasn’t provided me with enough miracles to believe that a higher power exists, nor that I am closed to such a possibility. It’s just that in the depth of my suffering, I still believe that illness is punishment, and that forgiveness is doled out only to the worthy.

Silly, I know. I’m a rational, intelligent, individual – all of which have nothing to do, it seems, with beliefs.

Guess, I’m still a work in process.

Thank you to all who shared their perspectives on belief this week. We are an enlightening bunch.

Reena Saxena
Proscenium
A MULTITUDE OF MUSINGS
Stuff and what if…
Word-Whelmed Woman
one letter UP
Sgeoil
AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY
parallax

A note about upcoming challenges:

As some of you may know, I’ve been struggling with health issues. At the same time, my husband is awaiting a phone call for major surgery. I have set posts to release on the days ahead, but cannot guarantee my presence.

I will resume the challenge when life settles. Thanks for your understanding.