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A Wednesday morning

This morning, in her glory.

I wake up, open my eyes, and a world appears. It is a familiar world – more so than usual in these days of semi-lockdown – but even more familiar is the experience of ‘self’ – of being me – that glides into consciousness at more-or-less the same time. This experience of selfhood is so mundane that its appearance goes by entirely unnoticed, unless actively paid attention to. We take our selves for granted, but we shouldn’t.

~ Anil Seth, Catching Sight of Yourself

Beauty kick-starts our attention. The real sublime. To behold it is almost scary because we suddenly have a longing to stand for something. Beauty not as generic but specific, troubling in what it may call forth in us.

~ Martin Shaw, How to Recapture Your Imagination

Resurrection.

Between 5:00 and 5:30 on Wednesday mornings, the county mosquito guy comes by to spray.  It is still dark when he comes by because they spray before the bees are active.  This, I’m told, prevents the spray (or, more accurately, fog) from killing the bees.  I am usually awake to hear the truck and hiss-mist of the fogging.  This morning I was sound asleep, deep in a dream, abruptly awakened by the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star chiming as an alarm to let us know a vehicle is approaching (or leaving) the house.  We could have set the alarm to beep or ding or make some other sound, but I like hearing Twinkle Twinkle.  There is an innocence about it, something not usually present in alerts and alarms and other warning systems.  It was also one of the Wookie’s favorite songs when he was younger.

I don’t remember what I was dreaming about.  It must have been good because I woke up feeling happy, content, and all is right with the world.  All isn’t right with the world, of course, but it was nice to feel that way even for a few moments given the current times and tribulations.

Through a foggy lens, sumac leaves. (My camera lens fogs up as soon as I step outside into the summer heat and humidity. I like to play with it, see what happens.)

I wrote a poem this morning.  I do that occasionally.  Write poems.  They live in my journal where no one will see them.  I could be wrong.  It’s possible someone might see them after I die.  It depends on what happens to the journal(s) and who is around after I die to do the sorting and culling of the things I leave behind.  Since most of my journaling is a kind of blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah, I have serious doubts that anyone will make it as far as my poetry.  Maybe, as they thumb and flip through the pages they will come across one or two poems (and a lot of doodles).

The sumac is a-buzz with all kinds of bees who are writing poetry of their own.

It is possible, too, that no one will see the poem because I will have burned the journal.  I do that occasionally.  I used to do it yearly, but I don’t fill up journals fast enough anymore to feel the need to place it on the bonfire.  It doesn’t seem right to burn a journal that isn’t yet full.  I have no regrets about burning my handwritten words of the past.  The writing was what served, not an eventual reading of it.  I never had a desire to go back and read what I’d written.  That is especially true when I’m writing Morning Pages.  Morning Pages are a mind-dump, not something that needs to be saved for posterity.

Metta and vajra. Softness and clarity.

This journal might be different.  This one might be saved from the fire.  There is, I suppose, history scattered throughout the many pages (it’s a thick journal that I sometimes think might never be filled, as if it replenishes itself with fresh sheets of paper overnight).  Perhaps someone might want to read about the pandemic year(s).  They will have to skim through some of the Big Liar in Chief years and inconsistent Morning Pages.  Have you written Morning Pages?  (From Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way.)  I have not been consistent about it.  I go for three or four days, miss a day, and quit.  I think I’ve managed to go as long as thirty, maybe sixty days.  Never much longer than that.  I drop the practice, then pick it up again sometime down the road of time.  It’s a recurring cycle and has been for many years.

Dewy morning.

The poem I wrote this morning was part of a five-day taste of Kelly Blaser’s course, Sit. Write. Repattern.  If I hadn’t already committed to an 18-month dive into the Yoga Sutras, I would have signed up for the 11-week course (Writing from the Depths).  It’s not that I can’t do both.  Lord knows I have plenty of time on my hands, things being as they are right now.  But it gets expensive after a while.

The taste, as I put it, was five free days of Kelly’s course.  It was live last week but because my grandsons were here I had to wait until this week and access the replays.  There are meditation practices, movement practices, and then, you write.  Kelly provides prompts, sometimes in the form of poems.  We pick out a line or two from the poem and write from that.  See what arises.  We started with an intention of some sort although if an intention didn’t immediately come to mind at the beginning, you could proceed without one.  See what arises.  Maybe something, maybe nothing.

The sumac is a popular hangout.

My intention was related to getting to know the women I come from, to wonder about them beyond my own well-worn, likely inaccurate, description of them as “a long line of bitter women.”  I can’t really get to know them, of course, because they are dead and nobody seems to have their stories.  It’s not as if we can sit and have conversations, other than in my imagination.  What I do think is that memories are stories, often not even accurate stories, that we tell ourselves over and over and over again until they become what we think of as memories.  That being the case, perhaps I can learn something by the stories I come up with in regards to my mother, her mother, her mother, and so on and so forth.  I’ve been considering joining one of those family history/tree sites for a month or two in order to gather some names, maybe even faces.  There must have been more to them than bitterness.  I’m sure of it.  I can hear the laughter, feel the joy and love and delight along with their hard work and hard times.

There is beauty in change.

The poem I wrote begins like this:

She wanted to emerge from the
closed fist in the heart of grasping.
She wanted to flow, to let go of the raft
and float with the current of
the river, gently guided to the expanse
of the Great Sea and Sky.
She wanted spaciousness (why,
she wondered, does that word
keep rising to the top
like the richness of cream?)

The instruction was to write in the third person and to move around in time, between past, present, and future, maybe using some of what we’d written on day one or day two.

She wants to be open to the earth,
the galaxies, the universes, that reside
within, without, in the everywhere.
She wants to cast blessings and spells
the way a spider casts that first thread
which is then caught by the wind
and carried from tree to tree,
impossibly high and wide
and far from where she began.

There’s more, but you get the idea.  (I’m resisting comments from my inner critic.  She’s been making noise since I typed up the poem on this post and said to myself, “I will post some pieces of my poem.”)

At rest for a moment.

I like to go for walks after the mosquito guy has been here.  Not immediately, but a few hours later.  It’s about the only time I can get out and about without losing a lot of blood to the mosquitoes, midges (no-see-ums), and flies.  Actually, I don’t mind the loss of blood so much.  It’s little enough.  But I do mind the itchiness that follows for days and days and days.  The spraying seems to cut down on the tick population, too, but that could be my imagination.  I follow the tracks of the truck that are visible because of the dew so that I’m within the borders of the treated area.  The mosquitoes and no-see-ums will return soon.  Best to get out there before they do.

This morning was drenched in dew.  The air was and is thick with late-August heat, haze, and humidity.  I thought it was fog at sunrise but as the day brightened I realized it was that summery softness the air gets when Mother Nature turns up the thermostat.  It could be smoke, too, from the fires out west.  I haven’t been paying attention to the news lately and my weather reports have come from the great outdoors.  I will start paying attention again soon since it’s hurricane season and it’s good to know what might be approaching us.

Someone dropped a sunflower seed at the edge of the marsh. The flower looks like a miniature sun standing there among the phragmites.

Thank you so much for joining me on a morning walk.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset.  It’s scheduled for 7:42 PM.  It’s been incredibly hot today so dress accordingly.  You might even want to go for a wade or a swim.

Please be safe, be well, and don’t forget to look for signs of beauty throughout your day.

Getting a little closer.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,846)  A swim in the pool after my morning walk.  I’ve been learning how to do the breaststroke.  I thought I knew how, but then I looked at some videos and realized what I had been doing was more akin to a doggy paddle or maybe a child’s version of a breaststroke.  Did you know it’s thought to be the oldest of all swimming strokes?  I didn’t.  I’m not sure how they know that, but Wikipedia says it is so I guess it must be so.  The interesting thing about it is the coordination required between the stroke and the kick.  It is, as Wikipedia points out, a lot like swimming the way a frog swims.  Our pool is small so laps are not long.  I’m not sure how many laps I’d have to swim to equal one lap in an Olympic sized swimming pool.  Many, is my guess.  1,847)  The rhythm of the seasons.  I think we may be learning new rhythms.  1,848)  Sunflowers swaying in the breeze.  1,849)  Finding okra in the chaos garden.  I don’t like okra but I was excited to be able to identify something in there.  1,850)  The hum and buzz of late August mornings.

A lightness of being.

Author:

Robin is...

11 thoughts on “A Wednesday morning

  1. So much to ponder here, Robin!
    I love that sunflower. It looks like it’s bowing, but in a greeting, like saying hello.
    I wish I knew my female ancestors, too. My older child has done some graphic art/stories where she talks to my grandmothers, whom she never knew. I didn’t know them either, since both died when I was very young.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 How creative and wonderful of your older daughter to invent the art and stories of her grandmothers. I did know both of my grandmothers and even one great-grandmother, but I didn’t really know them, not as people/women. I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother, even as an adult, but she was not one to share her stories. I asked. She said no. No one, she thought, wanted to hear her stories. I couldn’t convince her otherwise.
      I love the way the sunflower is bowing, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s too bad your grandmother wouldn’t share her stories. I think often grandparents might tell grandchildren things they didn’t tell their own children. My mom shared stories with my kids (older one is out as non-binary now) that I hadn’t heard before.

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  2. Beautiful post, Robin. Always a nice journey. I especially appreciate your poetry. It sounds like the approach is similar to the one Ali Grimshaw uses in her writing circles. I’ve discovered so much that was hidden within as I have participated in some of her circles. She offers them at different times of day every now and then and it has been wonderful to write with others from different parts of the world. Ali is a wonderful poet, facilitator and guide. Maybe you will join one sometime. Check them out at flashlight batteries.

    https://flashlightbatteries.blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. I will check her schedule again. I’ve looked in the past and there was usually a conflict so I gave up looking. Just in four days of writing with Kelly, I’ve fallen in love with writing again. Today’s last prompt was so playful that I found a lot of joy in it. 🙂 ♥

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  3. I like your poem, Robin. It reflects the quest and yearning for beauty within and without.
    It has been so hot here as well. One must get chores done early or after supper when it starts to cool. I’m looking forward to the weekend when it is supposed to be in the 70s, even if humid, I’ll be able to be outside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Same here with the heat and having to go out early or later. It’s impossible to do otherwise, at least for me. We’re stuck with the heat and humidity for a little while longer. It always amazes me how good 82°F feels after a string of above 90’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If your poems are half as beautiful as your pictures, why not share the odd one in full here? I have found it a kind, supportive community. If you have never done it before, it can be daunting. I shared one a few years ago on my blog and was embarassed to publish it at the time, but once it’s done, it’s done, and I am happy I plucked up the courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your photos with all the hints of autumn coming… (Especially the one called “Resurrection.”) I shredded my journals at the start of the pandemic. (No place to burn them but that would have have been more of a meaningful ceremony.) I do hope someone will preserve my blog, though, so my descendants can know me a little.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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