All In A Day

Yesterday was challenging and interesting:

The snow from the day before changed to rain/sleet coating the trees with a thousand points of sparkling light creating a fairy wonderland.

3-4″ of slush had to be plowed.

A branch fell on the live power line on poles across the farmhouse front lawn sparking and causing a huge explosion/bang/smoke so much so that a driver passing by called 911 (emergency). I ran out to see a huge smoke bomb, however while the blowup on the line dissipated, neighbors gathered, police and a fire truck arrived to check it all out. The power went out for about three hours as temperatures plummeted and the wind roared. Thankfully the dog and I escaped to a friend’s house until the power/water/heat went back on.

Fractured ice, the size and shape of finger splints, were propelled via strong winds against the sides of the house and ricochetted off windows all evening into morning. The sound was eerie, disturbing the dog more than me.

I watched a  rerun of The Big Chill (sic). The furnace was working overtime as the windchill plummeted to the single digits and down to -2 degrees.

I watched the two overtime endings of two of the most action packed playoff football games that a non-football fan like me can remember and actually enjoy. I had absolutely no doubt that Tom Brady would do his Brady downfield rumble in the last two minutes and was happy that his opponent had the chance to do the same in an amazing display of skill, tactic and brouhaha. Kudos to all the teams that played hard–win or lose.

It was a full Wolf Moon/ full moon eclipse.

I listened to a podcast on working with prayer in order to egg your team of Angels/Guides “off the couch” and into action and to seek “process guidance” instead of “revelation-guidance” in order to co-create miracles and growth.

All in all–quite an extraordinary ordinary day of smallstone moments to connect and be present with–some very alarming and anxious and others quite soothing and healing.

~

fractured fairy tales in a thousand points of light the alchemy of prayer

 

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A New Pair of Boots

There’s always an upside to what is perceived to be a major downer. We are waiting the arrival of a storm that potentially may turn into a nasty snow/rain/sleet/ice event–all in all– a disruption from our regular routines and sometimes special events. “Harper” may very well pass us by or turn mostly into a rain storm just a few miles south of here. In any case, I am at the ready with a new pair of boots called “Ice Grippers.” They have retractable cleats built into the soles that can be flipped into action with a special red key made for this purpose only. It is a creative and brilliant alternative to having to stretch tight rubber cleats onto a another pair of shoes or boots or whatever and save one from swearing while attempting to keep fingers intact and wiggle into the cleated shoes that are now a half-size smaller. Ice Grippers are warm boots and cleats all in one package. No more carrying an extra pair of rubbers or shoes to change into on non-icy indoor surfaces. These boots are Canadian designed and manufactured in Europe, and I am happy to put them into action. The only problem may be in not losing or forgetting the key to open and close them.

~

one fix gives way to another pickle yet to be determined

 

The Poetry of Snow

The forecast calls for just a dusting in the northern region of our state, and roughly about six inches through the southern counties especially along the coast. WHEW! Another one bites the dust–snowstorms that is. So far through mid January 2019, enough rain has inundated our area as to cause some severe flooding, however no weather of consequence to cause “let’s clear out the bread, milk and chips in the supermarket aisles” type of forecast. Potential for snow measuring in the double digits has metered into dull winter rain. And for the first time in over six decades–I am relieved. Normally, I look forward to the swirling snow, its softening of the landscape’s edges and the quiet beauty and stillness a snow affords. Also, the adult in me enjoys the change of pace/let’s not go to work today/let’s bake cookies or make soup instead, knowing that for the duration of the storm–there’s no going out anyway. It has always been okay that shoveling snow (my car is not garaged) follows the day off. Recently however, the reality of lifting/pushing/scraping heavy wet snow off and around the car, porch and driveway is in fact very tiring. I am lucky to have machinery at the helm for the big push and cleaning, but there is still much hand-shoveling the tighter areas.

Which brings me to the point here–the wondrous child in me misses the excitement and forecasts of nature blowing and bending the atmosphere and the mind’s eye. I miss the big-kid who always enjoyed the day-after white-outs and slow return of “normal” traffic and daily schedules including bird life. I love the look of snow-covered evergreens and winter tree branches holding and shedding snow and hearing it softly fall. And I know that snow is important to the ecosystem and water supplies–a fact that is too often lost in the current meteorologists lingo until conditions reach critical proportions.

Perhaps it’s about the extreme precipitation and other weather lately that diminishes my desire for a storm or two. My memory still holds the view of one recent winter of shoveling a long path for my large dog to get to get to her relief area over and over. When you have pets that are used to the outdoors–there’s very little wiggle room or time for changing the routine. Still in all, falling snow is magical, represents a change of pace and creates lovely scenery. I never feel cold when shoveling or moving around. Frankly, the cold bothers me more on damp and windy snowless days. Who knows what the rest of the winter will bring here. In my mind though, a few inches of swirling snow now and again in January and February is a welcome friend.

~

a new pair of boots with cleats in the closet my younger self waits for snow

 

 

 

Non-Acceptance vs Rejection

When entering a juried competition–there is a fine line between non-acceptance and rejection. As artists we all feel somewhat rejected when our submissions do not make the cut. I’ve always tried to take it less personally and frame it as an editorial decision that simply precludes or does not have enough room for my work. I have even used work that is turned down as an opportunity to re-evaluate and improve. Even so–there is a letdown period. Until the notice is finalized, there is always hope and vision for approval and welcome. Thankfully for moi, the letdown lasts only a few hours, and I’m on to something else.

I tried to look up other words for non-acceptance and they mirrored rejection: rebuff; exclusion; elimination; veto; pass (on); eschew; and my personal favorite: nix. I cannot imagine getting a letter passing on my work beginning with the statement:

“Dear So-and-So, thank you for submitting your work, however we are nixing your piece(s) at this time.” This would make me smile.

As a visual artist, (or in any field), there comes a time or opportunity along the journey to show your work. Not all artists choose to do so. I have been delighted to participate a few times in juried shows and hopefully will successfully participate in a few more. I am selective as to which shows to enter, always trying to aim higher, and as a consequence, my exclusion rate is also higher. As a poet, I have sent numerous poems to journals and experienced the same feedback and slight setbacks. In hindsight, my best work came from rewriting and sharpening the poetry that was “eschewed.” I was lucky in those pre-computer-era days to actually get comments that helped me grow my work enormously.

So today, I got nixed! The sad part though is that there was no letter of regret, however sugar-coated it might be, thus insinuating even for a short time, that there was actual regret of not choosing my work and that there just may be an acceptance next time.

until the final nay visions of grandeur or at least a crumb of regret

Tux and Tails

We have a cat at the farm named Hops, after the plant that is a better bitter in beer. He is quite the character–napper by day and hunter by night unless he decides to switch it up. He sleeps in our design/sales room that was once a chicken coop. Hops was rescued through the efforts of loving souls and now lives the “life of Riley” as we used to say. Don’t know who Riley was, but he must have lived a charmed life.

Anyway, I went for a stroll around the nursery fields on a sunny day not too long back with our farm dog, Lexi, and Hops. We three ambled slowly among rock and grass and brush up and down rows and around trees and shrubs that were just resting for the season. The sun felt warm and winter-satisfying. I watched as both canine and feline sniffed and peed and generally hung out with me. It was a lovely breath of fresh air and quiet conversation.

once again the beggar at my door in tux and tails

Fractured Time

Distances in Time and Age

After a New Sentences column by Sam Anderson in the NYT: 9.9.18

“We all host younger selves inside us…a multitude of nonsychronous selves.”
~Sam Anderson

The distance between our birth
and today is fractured into a host
of younger nonsynchronous-selves.
To wit—I will always be the skinned-knee
gangly clumsy bookish girl reading
about others changing the world;
the protesting hippie college-dropout
out to charge change into the world;
the youthful but serious nursery-worker-
let’s-break-this-occupational-barrier woman
out to change the local landscape;
the menopausal haiku poet out
to change the world one syllable at a time;
The artist/painter out to change
the world from the inside out.

I am now sixty-six years old.
The skin-kneed girl is still six years old.
The hippie is eternally eighteen.
The nurserywoman is forever twenty-two.
The haiku poet is evermore fifty-four.
And the artist-painter–ageless.

Despite all of this and worthy of it all:

busy day
if not for the wild phlox
this moment lost  

ag

 

 

The Unfinished Poem

Yesterday morning, over a breakfast quesadilla and too hot hot sauce– a discussion took place on sadness, particularly how it looked on my face. 2018 was particularly sad year in terms of loss. So I turned to one of my favorite sages on this and other wisdom– Kahlil Gibran in his seminal work: The Prophet. Thus his writing on joy and sorrow:

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain”.

I confess to really not understanding this. How can sadness be contingent on joy or vice versa? And yet I do understand–the greater the love–the deeper its response (sorrow) when that joyful love is perceptively lost. Perception is the key.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

The takeaway here is that sadness is truly an act of love–damn that it just doesn’t feel that way. So I’m learning not to push it away, and instead invite it in for conversation.

walking with sorrow
around the corner
a begrudging friendship
~
long after
the after
lingers on
~
if not for sorrow
the unfinished
poem