Wholehearted

resisting my neighborhood

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Challenges, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

I was pleased with the bird, cloud, snake prompts even though at first glance I didn't see how I could write them. Writing them expanded me as much as my view. The next writing prompt was to walk our neighborhood (a quarter mile radius) and capture what we see. I resisted for weeks. Eventually I got over it by writing about my resistance: My quarter mile circle expands way beyond our neighborhood. I am glad. I do not wish to lace my sneakers and walk the aged asphalt roads littered with dark patched potholes like a carcinoma on freckled skin. I resist seeing the for sale signs on rickety posts with their hand lettered pleas swaying in the breeze. I ignore the encroaching weedy lawns with dandelions dancing carelessly in a once tended yard.  Either indifference spreads faster than weeds or the hardworking Joes and Janes have despaired of ever having the time to dream of freshly mown grass, children running through a lawn sprinkler, or backyard barbeques.   Mostly the windows yawn empty in tired walls under tin roofs browning with rust. Lost hope is a wildfire whose flames cannot be contained but must be doused before they ignite the very heart of our community. My neighborhood houses a melting pot of souls from college students to retirees on a limited income. We each eke out a home next to each other and offer a good morning when we wheel our cumbersome lookalike trash containers to the curb. We nod or wave at the postal center under its little A-frame roof—rows of four inch square metal doors concealing the next piece of paper that may be a family’s salvation or surrender. I do not want to see my neighbor’s worn faces in the early evening dusk or the smiles that do not reach their dull eyes as they suck deeply on a cigarette and sip from a brown beer bottle gripped in tired fingers aged well before their time. The city has encroached on our once hidden community and location is key for those who call my neighborhood home. They may need to bike to work or walk to the corner bus stop but most drive ailing cars which they back out of their driveway in a haze of gray exhaust gunning the barely idling engine and praying it will keep running on fumes one more day. My neighbors may bring you your meal on an oversized china plate and pass you a cloth napkin and inquire if you’d care for more wine. At home they use paper towels and share french-fries with their kids out a greasy white paper bag. My neighbors probably bag your groceries in colorful cloth bags and offer to push your cart to your car even though you are perfectly capable of completing this task yourself. My neighbors sweat in a factory  breathing in chemical solvents so that their neighbors have clean uniforms with a pristine name tag on the breast pocket ready to wear when they change your oil or jack your car up to remove a flat tire. Yet, look. There’s the cashier from Walmart  sudsing a late model car with soapy water in a blue plastic bucket, her older daughter, barely school age, sprays water from a bright green Kmart hose, her younger sister runs through the arc in a tiny pink bikini. Mini droplets of miracles rain down along with the peals of their laughter. And there—I spy a newly planted flower bed, filled with lilies and mums wearing hope in multi colored petals. Listen. I hear a lawnmower roar...

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i am a snake below

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Creativity, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

It's all about perspective: I am a snake below the bird and cloud… The sharp ‘krak’ from that bird’s brazen beak startles me from my doze. I am sunning the entire spectacular length of my faceted body on a grey shale boulder. Glorious heat from the yellow eye bakes my ropey form into a writhing bundle of bliss. I am whole here, satiated. The sun completes me. I inch the coils of my body in an incremental slide; dry glowing scales embracing themselves entwined in constant touch and motion. Narcissssssist? Oh yessssss. I stare at my serpentine self and swell with pride mesmerized by my own magnificence.  The orange and red patterns appear like puzzle pieces on my skin as if outlined with kohl from long ago Egyptian eyes. The smaller patterns are leopard spots on my belly and attest not only my sleek beauty but my speed and agility. The Raven has finished her scathing diatribe of the lowly crows and shuts her beak. Finally. As she escapes the earth her body is a mere blemish in the expansive dome above. My coils whisper to stillness once more. Instinctively I taste the air—for food or foes. That black blight’s pontification would have warned off either category. I taste again to be sure. Darting, seeking, my midnight tongue speaks a language of smell. Does the Raven ever wonder what green smells like or how blue tastes? Not likely. I am content to return to my doze. The avian atrocity is up near the clouds now. At my thought of the clouds a skimpy shadow passes briefly over my domain. The cloud lacks enough substance to cool my sun salutations; the shadow is there and gone like the flit of a nightmare. On another day I will be grateful for her gift of a cool saturated world and drink it in. On another day. Today I lift my striking head to the golden orb the all-seeing one. I bow it in gratitude—not humbly. I am whole here, satiated. The sun completes...

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a dress for tess

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in Authenticity, Connections, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

Jenn shared Amy’s post (scroll down to Richmond) about Patti’s daughter Tess. I liked A Dress for Tess on Facebook and images of this small child having the courage to put on a dress to face the unknown besieged me. Tess is a wise, wise soul. I have procrastinated, resisted, and ranted about rewriting the ending to my screenplay. Enough! Tess knew you see. All I needed was to put on a dress and sit down and write. Dear Reader, what will you tackle once you slide into a dress?    ...

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i am a cloud above the bird

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012 in Creativity, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

If you read Krak this writing prompt came next: I am a cloud watching the bird… Bodiless I watch the dark creature alight and soar. She is noisy where I am silent. I wonder about her form and curiously study her actions—how her wings allow her to swim through the air. How the flick of a wingtip turns her body. How perfectly designed she is. What must it feel like to be created from hollow bone and feather? Does she look at me and wonder about my incorporeal form? I feel other beings emotions more clearly than I see them—we clouds have highly developed empathic abilities. I do not see the Raven as other beings would; I feel her movements and her joy. The instant her body enters the invisible (to her) funnel of the thermal her heart beat quadruples with excitement. A physical rush of adrenaline and exertion that I experience with her! She looks upward beyond we clouds to the Sun. If her beak allowed her to smile I imagine she would grin her joy. I feel her bliss as she does what she was born to do—fly. I move stealthily between her and the Sun, my shadow will cool the air and dissipate the thermal. My form is still wispy I am gathering, absorbing, expanding with every molecule of moisture. I ask the wind for more speed!  You may think me at his mercy—not so! Envision us as lovers entwined and he the besotted; his happiness is pleasing me. I glide freely in my domed blue expanse, I am life-bringer. My rains may spatter gently on beings below or they may be hurled with the force and thunder of my passion! We clouds do not receive the same appreciation and devotion as the Sun and are occasionally prone to a touch of jealousy. Today though I am a wispy cloud and curious. I move past the Sun and do not cool the thermal. I float slowly beyond the Raven in her element. Her cries fade but I still luxuriate in her palpable elation. Soon my belly will be as dark as her feathers and I will release my joy and bliss—I am life-bringer and that is what I was created to...

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celebrating…ME

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Aging, Authenticity, Family, Food and Drink, Gifts, Love, Self worth, Wholehearted | 1 comment

During the past decade and a half I have grown emotionally and spiritually in ways I never would have foreseen. An inextricable foundation for this blossoming has been practicing extreme self care. I shifted from a place of believing that taking care of myself was selfish and silly to a life affirming empowering practice of giving to me as a reflection of how deeply I love and approve of myself. The chasm I crossed was huge, Grand Canyonish. And so the summer days leading up to my birthday were planned around being unplugged from my purple 'puter, filled with family and friends and surrounded by delectable food, laughter, and joy. Celebrating my birthday is all about being loved, and I am blessed to be loved in so many ways by so many precious people. Then the rain started and didn't stop—it still hasn't stopped. And I learned again (wash, rinse, repeat) the grace of flexibility and spontaneity as I canceled some plans due to weather and created new ones on the spot. I experienced the truth of my coach's wise words, Whatever is good and right for you is almost always what is good and right for everyone involved. Every day Friday through Monday has been a unique celebration of my first breath and I am still reveling in the love. There are unfortunately no photos of Jeff and I at Crescent Beach huddled under our bent beach umbrella (the wind was that strong) waiting out the sudden downpours until we could sit back and read again. (I love you JS!) The ocean was wild and magnificent and my soul rose up in mirror image of nature as a force of action envisoining the endless possibilities awaiting me, in this, my forty-eighth year....

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starting where I am

Posted by on Jun 11, 2012 in Challenges, Connections, Creativity, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

Start where you are, Patti said to us in VerbTribe. Here I am halfway through the year approaching my forty-eighth birthday and I am beginning to write again.  I wrote through March on my screenplay and slapped on a to-be-continued ending and pronounced it done. My fellow WriteNiters sagely called me on it and said they wanted an ending with oomph not fizzle. I have been in a funk since the end of April feeling overwhelmed, uninspired, and resistant to writing—of any kind. My journal lies unopened on my bedside shelf; my blog languishes from my absence. My resistance has taken on the form of not showing up. I’ve been on auto-pilot gliding over the surface of my days. I’ve felt disconnected and de-energized and I catch myself turning to look for something half remembered behind me. My muse, my creative spirit hangs her head and quietly trails me from room to room. I have the time in my schedule, I have the space to create—I am simply allowing fear to make my choices for me. I may fail spectacularly. I may succeed spectacularly. So what!? Do it anyway. Instead of dragging around like a husk of a passionate creative writer just write. So what if it’s crap? It’s still writing. Write through the crap to get to the good stuff. Writing is a huge part of my life I have not shared on my blog until recently. I want to face that edge and not back down. I commit to sharing writing prompts or portions of my screenplay here regularly, anything goes. Yes, that scares the heck outta me yet at the same time it makes me stand up taller and say, Yeah, I wrote that.  I am starting where I am. Resistant yet determined to dissipate this funk. Sharing and connecting with you dear reader is the most loving step I can take for myself in this moment. Here’s a poem I wrote for a prompt of being a bird: Krak My body is the night blacker than pitch. Imagine the evening sky, stars snuffed out like candles. I am soaked in black my feathers reflect iridescent purple.   Bold am I. Bodacious. Raucous. I scream at my crow cousins. I am mighty— They are minions in my kingdom.   Raven am I. Maven of heaven. My intense inky eyes blink rapidly on either side of my head. Monocular vision— so foreign to you, allows a view of ALL.   I am always alert, ready, poised. The branch sways I hold my head still to triangulate. What buoyant substance is sealed in these hollow bones? Which make my body lighter than the air that kisses it?   I am not shackled by gravity my wings spread in a shadowy embrace my legs thrust I point my beak to the rising sun. Close to the ground I swoop and loop over my crow cousins. Krak, krak I call to remind them I am here. Always watching. Their dark master.   I lift on a current like a branch in the sea and surge upwards a black smudge in an azure sky. My belly is full. My wings are strong I beat them up then down steadily and feel the wind shoot me higher.   A thermal! I bank right. The heavens are devoid of other life I circle the funnel of air feathers streaming eyes seeking my wings stroke the air. krak, krak alive, I scream. I am...

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