Each minute doesn’t
have to count
but it has to matter
Each waking eye
Each phase of the moon
Each dawn and
it’s bound to come again
but never with
just the same flourish
or shape or pattern.
It doesn’t have to count
but it must be
Each hair brushed
just so, each sizzle
in the pan and
coffee ground and
it’s the dance and
melody of normalcy
but not mediocrity.
It doesn’t have to count
but it should be appreciated
Each staring at the
hangnail and chore
it strikes in the cheek
like a sinus headache
but it dissipates.
It doesn’t have to count
but of course it matters
Each daily ritual
Each daily error
it’s a rhythm, cycle,
slow creek in an often
but it persists
It isn’t a counted forward march –
It is a sinewy, strengthening web
of rich matter.
This week felt a little off, sort of like Marie Cardouat’s surrealist artwork in the game, Dixit (more on that later). Either my positive attitude or my energy level – or both – tend to run in a cyclical pattern: one week on, one week off. I had such a satisfying week before last that I guess my brain gave my body a break without telling me.
That’s why I need to reflect on it now, to give myself closure and perspective.
- a customer compared my coworkers and I to the donuts on a Krispy Kreme conveyor belt in terms of efficiency; it was meant as the highest of compliments.
- I wrote another poem. I feel really good about this one.
- I gladly partook in American Apparel’s Friends and Family sale. Hooray for checking things off my wishlist.
- I considered joining choir, backed out, then considered taking ballet lessons again.
- three of my sister’s photographs were accepted into a Jacksonville art show; it’s the first non-student exhibit in which her work will be featured!
- I met with a friend at a local coffee shop and had a marvelous time conversing on various topics (and imbibing too much caffeine) as the snow came down.
- several friends and acquaintances visited the coffee shop where I work.
- I talked for nearly forty minutes with some customer friends about poetry, the elderly, and the Vietnam war. He survived some of the worst parts of the war and writes poetry now to cope and help others through their trauma. It’s really great!
- Speaking of Vietnam, a customer told a coworker and me that we are beautiful women in Vietnamese (but couldn’t tell us how to answer, thank you, as he forgot the phrase).
- the sun finally came out on Friday morning, bringing me much cheer.
- Daniel and I joined some friends for a game night. We played a fun interpretation game called Dixit, which includes whimsical surrealist paintings by Marie Cardouat.
- I slowly continued to work through the book, Sexing the Body. It’s a good read despite its small print and daunting size.
- Daniel and I had a heart to heart on my seeming embarrassment over not attending grad school. It was an emotional but necessary discussion on which I’ll reflect in a separate post.
- my dad was interviewed on the radio about his new book, Working Would Be Great If It Weren’t for Managers.
- my camera remote came in the mail, so now I can model vintage clothing for my store! I guess that’s this week’s project.
As always with these wrap-up posts, I feel immensely better after reading through my list. So much of my angst is due to an emotional funk rather than any real lack of progress or efficiency. Here’s to another good week!
The planting is hard but
Up against nature’s grounding force
through mildewing grime
Would you – human –
with free will, with choice
ever push? Eat dirt,
The mums are stronger
It wasn’t their choice
Look! If it’s light and
dew you want
you already have it.
in your watery
thoughts, you were
already taken Up
You have already fought
You are a golden mum
echoing light on each
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
Light of Christ
She held it cupped in her wrinkled palms,
across her lifeline, it burned
And fragmented and grew.
She peered in, squinting hard,
Hands to nose
Stars igniting in her eyes.
She clenched it then, tightly
Pushed it away with the force of her now
elongated arm, like a sigh, or fainting,
or a fervent dance.
She didn’t let go.
Afraid, though, of
Conviction – no trial necessary
But it hurt, holding its
heat, its heaviness
She shuttered her eyes
She knows it’s gone.
She can see the sun with her eyelids pinched tight.
A whisper, a knowing – she musters the courage to
She is enwrapped in a gown of radiance
frothy and feathered and laden with silk,
A light that imparts light
A glow that reveals, not her own:
griminess, despair, darkness.
The light of truth and love,
The light of Christ encroaching on:
decay, vanity, deceit,
A girl on fire
Enshrouded in the revealing and
Holy Light of Christ.
October felt almost normal.
Daniel and I in our Halloween costumes
This month I (and sometimes Daniel):
- enthusiastically attended my ballet classes
- worked, one latte at a time, through growing crowds at the coffee shop
- grieved (however briefly) over the loss of our mouse, Chantico, and bought a new mouse, Hecate.
- suffered through an art film our friends insisted we watch
- talked into the night on a front porch
- attended the Black Voices Gospel Choir Fall concert, and loved it
- ate at some good restaurants
- went to my church’s women’s small group consistently
- witnessed the Dalai Lama’s and Bruce Springsteen’s visits to downtown Charlottesville
- met people from all over the world thanks to the universal need for caffeine
- drank lots of spiced hot chocolate and cafes au lait
- walked around a pleasant historic area downtown
- got a library card
- (somewhat) successfully fixed my car’s minor lock problem
- finished decorating the living room and kitchen
- thought a lot about feminism, sexism, and Christianity
- appreciated the fall leaves
- survived Hurricane Sandy/Frankenstorm
- visited Washington DC for the first time
- wrote two poems after a long hiatus from the craft (one, two)
- attended a Halloween party
- began watching Friday Night Lights
- cemented local friendships
- fretted over our finances
- sold many items at Water Lily Thrift
- enjoyed fall
- got my first taste of what winter will be like
- read 5+ books
- dyed my hair dark brown
This month, for the first time since moving, felt normal. Many friendships are secure and openly mutual. We’re even invited to things on occasion! We spent less time exploring and more time inside, partially due to cooler weather. I grew more secure on a personal level and felt more satisfied in my free time activities (reading, writing poems, organizing, thrifting, etc.) I did feel a bit stir crazy and I’m currently brainstorming ways to fill my time. I can’t decide if I want to pursue a side job or if I should focus more on Water Lily Thrift. We’re walking a tightrope financially and spent a lot of time working out a budget and then trying to actually follow it.
I realized that what you leave behind can hit you hardest in the small ways. You want a friend to commiserate with on local events or weather annoyances. You hear of a new store opening and just wish you could helpfully tell someone about it or check it out with them. You enjoy the excitement of making new friends but miss the comfort of old friends. Your neighborhood is beautiful but you miss having a park within walking distance. You are tired of telling people what FSU stands for. You aren’t capable of giving people good directions within town. You begin to realize that the culture of your new location differs from your old home in just enough ways to make you feel like fish out of water (for instance, southern aristocratic culture is annoying).
All that being said, we really do like living here. People here are more like us in terms of background, beliefs, political leanings, and education than most citizens of Tallahassee and that’s made it easy to settle in.
See all monthly summary posts here.
Observe the browning leaves:
do they worry
as they die, and fall
and fall to graying earth?
Do they fight and struggle
and scratch against
the muscled fingers of gravity?
They willingly go to decay,
to crunch under foot and
They green in strong winds
and spackled springtime light alike.
Then, knowing it would be so
Give their pigment up,
joyful, willing us,
I wrote this in May, but I feel that sense of nostalgia – of hope and loss – now, too.
Your limbs half bare
or too lazy, or
Your limbs grew wild
outstretched and crooked
in those early
days before you
you were alive
Do you regret
the growing over
time and season?
Do you regret bearing
children on your arms
and standing still
when storms, surely
washed over you?
Perhaps it’s too
much, and too
to grow back,
all that you lost
and over ag-