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Heart Things and October “Warning”

October 1, 2014

An apology:

Salve for injured emotions.

Repeat as needed.

I took this photo in February and I'm so excited to have a post I think it fits with.  Even the Boy Scouts saw a heart in this stump!

I took this photo in February and I’m so excited to finally have a post I think it fits with. Even the Boy Scouts saw a heart in this stump!

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After several days of not speaking to my husband following his mother’s too-long, drama-inducing visit, he finally asked if I was upset with him.

If?!

It occurs to me that the silent treatment was probably a beautiful gift and he had to take a few days to consider whether he wanted to return it.  I suppose all decisions must be carefully weighed :razz:

I find it ironic that the ones we love the most are the ones we hurt the most. These are the people that we can take for granted and not even realize that we’ve hurt them. After thinking about it, I see that when I overstep my bounds with an acquaintance, “I’m sorry,” rolls off the tongue so easily. When I disappoint a loved one, my first inclination is to defend my “rightness.”

As I write this post, I remind myself to treat loved ones like acquaintances. Tomorrow is not a given.

My last partly-fiction story was not the least bit uplifting, but when I’m mad/sad/frustrated, etc., I’m wholly all of those things and it bleeds through into my writing.

Oh!  Speaking of bleeding, do you know what day it is? Hump-day!  Well, that- and October 1st! (I know, that’s a terrible segue, but I’m sticking with it.) I had so much fun writing extra-twisted, super-creepy stories last October that I’m ready to see if I can keep up the scary fiction for another October. I don’t really do blood and gore so much, but hope to bring on the psychological scary. Boo!

If you’re not into creepy, I’ll understand if you make yourself scared, I mean, scarce.  Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.  Have a great Wednesday!

Bad Choices (Fiction)

September 29, 2014

09-29 Eldon Pueblo1

Most days, I can find the happiness tucked behind the prominent list of things that serve the sole purpose of bringing me down. Most days, my prayers for internal rest are at least partially answered. Most days, I can believe with the greater portion of my heart that tomorrow will be better.

But this isn’t most days.

Today, the muck of life seems to have suctioned onto my wading boots. It’s as if I try to fight it, I’ll wind up flat on my face, completely submerged. So I do nothing.

Well, not exactly “nothing.” The fuse of my resentment is burning fast. It turns out that stewing about what I can’t change is like blowing on a fire. Eventually, the pressure will release and I worry about what my world will look like after that happens.

He groans and rolls over, nearly falling off the couch.

I place the crinkled receipt between the pages and close my book. I walk over to the wall of windows and open all of the blinds.

He buries his face between the cushions and mumbles something unintelligible.

Read more…

A Sign (Fiction)

September 24, 2014

09-21 Flower Butterfly

Sharon twisted in the recliner, the springs squeaking under her repositioned weight.   The steady beep of the monitor echoed in the room, same as it had before she dozed off. She stood and stretched her back before taking two steps to the bed. She brushed some strands of dark hair from her friend’s pale forehead and paused when she thought she saw Crista’s eyelids flutter. After a full minute with no response, Sharon decided it must’ve been a spasm.  Or her own wishful thinking.  Exhausted, she slumped into the chair and closed her eyes.

For nearly a month, Sharon had spent her afternoons at the hospital, tethered by worry and guilt. The surreal replay of that night ran through her mind whenever silence crept in. They had been out celebrating the night before Terry’s wedding. They had reached the first club safely. It happened on the way to the second club. The details, like much of her adult life, were fuzzy, but she remembered the commingled sounds of screams and shattering glass- and the numbing shock of the steering wheel slamming against her face. She swallowed hard, willing her lunch to not make a second appearance. Since that night, she hadn’t had even one drink; marking her longest “dry” spell since high school. Too little, too late.

“Butterfly.”

Sharon gasped and scrambled to her feet when she saw her friend’s eyes open and her arms stretched outward. She rubbed her shoulder. “I’m right here,” she whispered. She pressed the call button to summon the nurse.

Crista closed her eyes and mumbled, “I want to be flowers.”

Sharon furrowed her brow, clueless how to respond. She noticed the daisies on the table next to the bed and wondered if that’s what she spoke about. “The daisies are beautiful.”

Her arms remained outstretched, rigid.

Read more…

Being The Kite

September 19, 2014

Wispy days

changing shapes, shifting

directions- I navigate with shaky balance. I do

my best to anticipate, yet fall short; vulnerable to the destructive

undertow of frustration. I close my eyes and think…. imagine.

In my mind, things happen so differently… peacefully,

I would like to float… gracefully, like a kite

riding the breeze. Although,

I know,

in reality,

I don’t

bend

with

ease.

Yes, I'm indulging my obsession with clouds!

Yes, I’m indulging my obsession with clouds!

The poem above is supposed to be in the shape of a kite.  It looks kind of like a sting ray, though…

I’m still struggling with wanting to do more than I physically have time for.  Twice this week I fell asleep at my computer, which frustrates me because my sleep-typing is horrible.  Not a single legible sentence that I can use!  As I approach the weekend, I’m working to accept that my email “In” box is going to be overrun and I’m going to be temporarily behind on blog reading for the next few weeks.  I don’t like it, but that’s life.

I’m  going to visit my parents this weekend, so I won’t have computer access.  If I get ambitious I might try to do some reading on my phone, but I dislike leaving comments that way.  See, I have enough typos using a keyboard… the auto-correct on my phone makes me look like a blithering idiot who cannot compose a coherent thought.  Sometimes I think the programmers who set up auto-correct did so with a sense of humor.  (Seriously, I mistype “imagine” and one of the suggested words is “ikmaoq”.  How often is it used in English conversation?!)

I won’t bore you with the “things” going on right now… everyone is busy.  May we all find moments to step away (either physically or mentally) and feel those peaceful moments of acceptance.

Have a beautiful weekend!

The Flow

September 15, 2014

Ripples in circles,

actions, reactions surround.

Who creates the flow?

09-15 Ducks

When I spotted these ducks in the lake on Saturday, two cliched sayings rolled through my mind.

“Like water off a duck’s back.

“Go with the flow.”

To me, both phrases appear on the surface to encourage peace.  I can’t argue that it is good practice to let things go and not hold a grudge.  Those grievances can become heavy.

At first thought, going with the flow seems to promote adjusting to what life serves up with the goal of navigating gracefully through the unexpected.  As I watched the ducks swim, I noticed they would change course- one moment swimming toward each other, then drifting away again.  It occurred to me that, like the ducks, we can create our own flow.

We’re not bound to the ripples others create.

The Emergence (Fiction)

September 12, 2014

As I sat down to write this post on Thursday night, my motto was, “when gears don’t shift, stay in park.”

In my early-week confidence, I’d been certain I could write a story to post on Friday. Then, work happened. This week has made me wish I were close to retirement age. (Despite what my older son says, sadly, that is not the case.) Hours spent assessing the complications of contractual liability, updating payment plans in underwriting manuals, and testing new reports left me less creative than I like.

I parked myself on the couch to write a post about how I planned to embrace nothingness. I looked through some old photos hoping to find a peaceful one to accompany the short post, and then a funny thing happened- a short story emerged.

09-12 Mogollon Rim View

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Gabriella rolled over and stretched her arms above her head. Each morning as she shook off the grogginess of sleep, she almost forgot she didn’t have a permanent home anymore. The early morning sun peeked through the flap of the cowhide tent, reminding her of reality. They had been nomads since soldiers took over their land three years ago. Her father said they must always stay one step ahead of the sword. She heard her father’s voice outside.

“What do you suppose it means?”

The response came in a crescendo of murmurs.

Curious, she slipped her wool shift over her nightshirt and pushed through the door flap. Her kinsmen clustered on either side of a clearing that looked like someone had shaved a twelve-foot-wide stripe across the landscape, all the way into the horizon. She scanned the faces for her best friend, Daisy.

“It must be a sign,” Gabriella’s father, chief of the Mogollon tribe said as he rubbed his bearded chin.

“Daisy!” Gabriella called as she rushed toward her friend. When her feet hit the edge of the newly-formed clearing, a hand grabbed her shoulder, pulling her backward.

“You mustn’t cross the line.”

“But Father, I want to talk to Daisy!”

He shook his head. “They are another people now.” He turned to address the growing crowd flanking the edges of the dividing stripe. “The spirits have spoken. We must disperse as they have directed.” Everyone residing on this side of the line,” he gestured to his left,” will form one tribe. We will pack and leave by sundown.” He pointed to his right, “everyone on this side will become a second tribe. Today, you must elect your chief. He will determine when you embark on the journey to a new destination.”

“Father, we should stay together.”

The chief turned to his daughter. “This is not a point to be challenged, child. Ignoring the spirit ruler of the land shall have dire consequences.”

“But Daisy- she’s my best friend. We’ve been together since birth. This isn’t fair!”

“The spirit has spoken.” He clapped his hands twice and the people hesitated only a moment before dispersing into their respective camps.

Gabriella stared, incredulous that no one challenged her father. The idea that the stripe dividing the landscape was a divine revelation seemed preposterous. She knelt down and studied the shaved grass, still unsure enough to actually touch it.

Read more…

The Peace In Passing Time

September 8, 2014

Something about clouds

Building on the horizon,

Captures my attention,

Stirs anticipation.

Something about rain

Granting a reprieve from sunshine,

Eases my restless mind,

Slows passing time.

09-08 Clouds2

When things get to be too much, I look up and watch the clouds.  I looked up often last week!

I had Saturday night to myself and had intended to spend the time writing.  I did write some, but spent the bulk of my alone time clearing “stuff”.  I removed stacks of clutter from table tops, shredded a pile of papers that had stacked up beside the shredder, pulled some clothes from the closet to donate, and read a few magazines that had been taunting me for months.  I feel better (freer) when I’m not surrounded by clutter.

This is how watching clouds affects my mind.  I tend to worry (read:  obsess over details, no matter how minute.)  Sometimes everything builds up to the point I can’t even make a simple decision.  (I’ve skipped lunch more than once simply because I couldn’t decide what to eat.)  I know, that’s pathetic!  Watching clouds distracts me from the constant noise in my mind… the swirl of  things I need to accomplish or remember, the over-analyzing of things I wish I’d done better, and the odd thoughts and ideas that could be story ideas.

Monday is here whether I’m ready or not (and I don’t think I’m ready.)  Rain is in the forecast, and I’m happy that  clouds will help me transition into the work week.

I hope your Monday is peaceful!

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