Worthless Commodity?

Never peace between darkness and light...
Never peace between darkness and light…

I refuse to believe

That time is money;

That each breath is calculated

In dollars and cents,

That what I thought priceless,

Is essentially worthless…

It doesn’t make sense.

I cannot concede

That my value is monetary;

That my worth is determined

On an hourly basis,

That there is no light in darkness,

An eternity spent in stasis …

Life must be more than this.

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First of all, I have to say that I’ve missed this place- and reading what others have been up to.  I knew I’d be gone for a week, maybe two, but my absence extended and I began thinking my writing thoughts were done.  Since my last post in January, I endured a 3.5 hour trial so a judge can determine my fate in my divorce (nearly a year after filing), I unloaded the burden of ‘too much house’, lived with a neighbor for several days while in between houses, moved into a much smaller house that I selected on my own, and got knocked down by a nasty cold.  Things are nowhere near where I’d like them to be but that will take time.  And the things I want to do to make this house my “home” take money.

And this is what started the poem I’ve posted.  As I was patching nail holes throughout my house, wondering how someone could possibly have so many things to hang on the walls, I contemplated the idea of having someone paint the interior.  I quickly nixed that idea because I don’t really have money for paint, much less the luxury of someone to do the work for me.  I thought, I don’t have time or money, but right now, I have more time than money.

That realization sent me thinking about how everything seems to come down to dollars and cents these days.  I’ve spent the last year and over $18,000 fighting a soon-to-be ex who seems to view me as his meal ticket.  I could rant about that but I won’t, because I’m tired.  And besides, there’s no point.  My fate is now in the hands of God, and the judge who will determine how much I will lose.  As I look back on this last year, I’m most disappointed that my value seems to be, well, in my value… as in my salary, my savings, etc.  If I didn’t have the kids to care for, I would quit my job and live nowhere… and everywhere. I’d earn enough money for my necessities, but not enough for anyone to bother to take advantage of me.

But this is the real world.

I feel more hope than I did a year ago, but honestly, I still struggle with lows that make me wonder if I will battle darkness every day of my life.  I wonder if I will always cry when I should be happy, or feel this weight inside me when I should be soaring.  Only time will tell.

Although I’m more realistic (cynical?) than I’ve ever been, I still want to believe my thoughts, ideas and dreams cannot be appraised and converted to currency.  I have to believe that darkness isn’t a certainty and there is more to hope for than whatever this life brings.

Those are the thoughts/inspiration behind the poem.  Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Moments Passed, Moments Noticed

Recently, I went for a walk in the evening to clear my head.  I emerged from my thoughts long enough to look up and notice the illumination of the clouds in the eastern sky.  I snapped this photo with my cell phone:

This got my attention!
This got my attention!

I walked a hilly cul-de-sac and upon heading east again, I looked up, anxious to see how the sunset light show had changed.  I thought maybe I would be blessed with an even more beautiful display.  I was surprised to find this:

Seven minutes later....
Seven minutes later….

In the span of seven minutes, the glow had disappeared.  The beautiful display obviously intended to be brief, and only for those who paused long enough to take notice.  Of course, this got me thinking (and dashed all hopes of clearing my head, haha.)

It made me wonder how many moments like this in life I miss because I’m wrapped up in the unimportant stuff that I allow to consume me… those worries that seem so large.  The funny thing is, these thoughts that occupy my mind are often things that no amount of obsessing over will resolve because the variables are completely out of my control.  I’m finally starting to learn that maybe, just maybe, being outside my head is a happier place 🙂

Sometimes taking notice of things around me takes a more humorous turn.  I’ve told the kids countless times not to leave their cups on the table.  Aaaand, their cups are always left on the table.  One day, within forty minutes of each other, I took the following photos:

Sure, there are three water dishes, but "forbidden" water tastes better
Sure, there are 3 water dishes, but “forbidden” water tastes better
Well if she gets "forbidden" water, I want it too!
Well if she gets “forbidden” water, I want it too!

That day, my younger son got home from school and refilled his water cup.  After he took a drink, I showed him the photos thinking maybe he would see why he shouldn’t leave his cup on the table.  He did turn a little green so I got all smug, thinking my point had been made and the table would now be cup-free.

Nope.  Cups are still left on the table; the only difference is, they each use 5 cups a day instead of 1. Oh, and they always leave fresh water in them for the cats- “because it’s cute.”  (Um, no it’s not…)

Sigh. I didn’t see that one coming.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

I’m all for making myself conscious of the little moments each day so my eyes are opened to something I might have otherwise overlooked.  Lately, it seems I’ve lost that knack because bigger projects have rooted themselves and required a lot of my time.  I think being busy is good for a mind, but like everything else, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Over the last few weeks, much spare time has been devoted to researching pellet burning stoves for heating our home and french horns, since that’s what my older son wants to play in band.  Overwhelmed, I shelved both projects more than once.  I know that procrastination isn’t a viable solution.  Too.  Many.  Decisions.

Thank goodness my younger son (remember “Pickles”?) isn’t shy about reminding me to pay attention.  We were walking outside and he yelled at me to “stop!”  I did.  He pointed to a caterpillar crossing our driveway.  When I looked closer, I noticed the little guy expanded and bunched up like an accordion as he moved.  See:

Why did the caterpillar cross the driveway?  Uh... I don't know, why?
Why did the caterpillar cross the driveway?   Uh… I don’t know, why?

In another recent rare moment of awareness, I caught sight of what would be a wonderful cloud picture.  Of course, I hadn’t brought my good camera with me- all I had was my cell phone.  I kept glancing at the sky and finally, snapped this photo, before my lack of concentration on my driving caused my demise:

The Arizona desert is enlightened...literally
The Arizona desert is enlightened…literally

It may not be professional quality, but I thought it was pretty good for being taken at 65mph with a cell phone camera 😛

As I sit here this early Sunday morning, with “to-dos” and ideas swirling in my head, I’m reminded of the importance of taking time to relax- to just “be.”  I’m hoping that spilling the words out in black and white will give me permission to do this.

I want to relax like that.  Sammy, can you help me find my inner cat?
I want to relax like that.   Sammy, can you help me find my inner cat?

I hope you have a beautiful (and relaxed) Sunday!

Cloud Games

Clouds peek over mountains and trees

Some clouds play

Hide-and-seek;

This one says,

“Don’t mess with me!”

This cloud looks like it’s flexing muscles, but I snapped the pic anyway!

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I’ve written many times about life happening, and boy has it decided to happen right now.  Computer problems, camping trips, unexpected projects and deadlines and work, sick relatives, back-to-school preparation- yes, we have it all!  Oddly enough, I don’t feel burdened with stress.  I guess that’s a nice side effect of keeping my head in the clouds 🙂

I know I have lots of blog reading to catch up on.  I do hope this week cooperates and allows me that time.  To those I read regularly, and to new visitors whom I’ve not visited yet- I appreciate your patience!

A Cloud Obsession Comes to Light

This cloud was love at first light, I mean, sight

There are two things I can count on:

  1.  I’ll see a great photo op when I don’t have my camera with me (or the battery is dead); and
  2.  Even the best photo op won’t persuade hubby to pull the car over.

(I guess I should clarify that I can expect these two things when it comes to taking pictures.  There are other things I can count on in life- like an accident on the freeway when I’m late for work, my children’s honesty when it comes to pointing out my shortcomings, and forgetting the one thing I absolutely needed at the grocery store whenever I shop from memory. )

Those who’ve read my blog before may have noticed that I’m obsessed with clouds.  My fascination with sunlight comes in a close second.  When I see a beautiful combination of clouds and sunlight, I go crazy, like a pre-teen girl with a Justin Bieber poster.  Okay, not that crazy…but you get the idea 🙂

This time of year, the heat builds all day, setting the scene for afternoon/evening dust storms, and the occasional thunderstorm, if we’re lucky.  Breathing dust is a bad thing.  There is a risk of Valley Fever.  People with asthma or breathing problems are forced indoors.  Looking at dust illuminated by the afternoon sun is a beautiful thing.  The dust filters light in ways that are so different from a clean air day.  (Well, a cleaner air day…we don’t have many “clean” air days in the city!)

On Sunday, the dust, light and clouds sparked my obsession came together beautifully.  Of course, my camera battery was dead.  (Apparently batteries need charged once in a while.)  My disappointment faded when I remembered the camera on my phone has an 8MP camera.  It doesn’t have the stabilization or the cheat lines to give me a reference for a straight horizon, but it had exactly what I needed:  the memory to capture the rays of sunlight.

If only my memory worked so well.

A little something extra for those who stuck it through to the end 🙂

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Thanks to everyone who read my Trifecta Weekend Challenge story and voted for it – it was the 1st place winner this week.  To a girl who was never picked for team sports in P.E. and was absent from all the “most likely to” lists in high school, this is something different!