Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Calm Sea is Full of Shoes

The day is crisp, a gentle breeze blows from the north, or south. The
house is quiet, for once my animal friends are snoozing. I am serene, my life is running smoothly, things are falling into place. Why do I want so bad to splash? Not just a little, oops sorry I got you splash. I want to create waves, I want to start a fight, to mix things up a bit. It is hard to sit in peace with oneself. I find that I am closest to my God when I can calm the chatter in my head and just sit in peace, in prayer and meditation. There is something scary about sitting in peace and quiet, alone with myself. What dragon will sneak up behind me and yell "boo" in my ear? I think that it is more than just waiting for the other shoe to drop (yes size 9-1/2, pumps please). Part of having an addictive personality is that I just love chaos. I love the drama, the adrenaline that shoots through my veins when I have 18 million projects to do and not enough time to do them. I love feeling excited when I have new projects, new shoes, and new adventures planned. My enemy is silence, is stillness, is treading water. Give me bigger, better, more, more, more until I collapse in a heap and what? Sit in silence maybe? For today I will write a paper, I will allow myself a few minutes of quiet with myself. I will refrain from entering a shoe store. I will keep my mouth shut and not start a fight. I will be a grown up. Now there, that wasn't so bad was it. Row, row, row the boat...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ode to a Great Blue Heron

It is foliage season in New England, the leaves are turning their brilliant or not so brilliant colors before dropping to the ground to be come recycled material. It always sneaks up on me, one day I will be standing in the woods and they are awash in color, the next day, or so it seems all that's left are branches. The variances in between are imperceptible. We become accustomed to our surroundings so don't notice the beauty until it is too late. I said good bye to the Great Blue Heron that lives nearby, a bird that somehow, in some way I see almost every day, either flying overhead at dusk, or sitting on the edge of the pond, waiting for his dinner to pop up. Soon he will be leaving for warmer climates, along with the Canadian geese and hummingbirds. But it is this smokey gray bird that I will miss the most as snow starts to blanket my backyard. I live in an area with four seasons, each having its draw points. Autumn with the brilliant colors, fresh apples, pumpkins and breezy bright clear days. Winter has soft white snow, fires in the hearth, hot chocolate and...and what? Shorter days that allow for cozy naps, and (insert your own winter wonder here.) So yes, I may be a little bitter about the end to warmer temperatures and my favorite bird, but I have become accustomed to my surroundings so much that I have failed to accept every season, including the one that is hard on the wallet and snow shovel. Winter is also the season to bundle up, become quiet and go within. The blanket of snow muffles most of the outside activity. Spring's dramatic burst, and autumn's color spectacular make way for a time of solitude and silence. I don't work well with peace and quiet. As November approaches I want to be cognoscente of my internal dramatic self that longs for a little chaos and excitement, a roller coaster ride or two. I can feel her yawn and stretch, to start daydreaming about possible ways to create trouble, to pick a fight or bring a little color to the silence. This winter I want to sit in the silence and learn how to enjoy it, beyond acceptance. The silence is where I find my God, my connection with the vastness that is there.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Juggling in a Sea of...

I will now embark on a journey of mixed metaphors and sharp right hand turns. Some writers keep journals, I happen to keep little slips of paper. Not the most organized way to keep all of one's thoughts in proper order, but they sit in a neat pile on my desk, waiting to be looked at, and ultimately brought to fruition. One such slip of paper fell out of my pocket today. A friend of mine said a few weeks ago (possibly more, possibly less), "If I put twelve balls into the air and four fall, then I am responsible for putting them up there to begin with." Ugh. I seem to have a little, minor, petite, tiny, minuscule problem with workaholism / doaholism/ whatever other ism derives from the fact that I just love to be busy, to be juggling, to have that adrenaline (or other bodily chemicals) shooting through my veins when I am in the groove, going going going... But, as my wise friend so aptly put, when I put all of those balls up there, and some fall, then I need to take responsibility, which is really a dirty word when you think about it. I am a full time commuting student, taking one more class than recommended with a teenager embarking on his own college path (read - we are visiting schools, filling out applications etc). I also realized that I should be taking the GREs and applying for grad school. So when the car payment comes due, the water in the well is contaminated and the thermostat doesn't work, (and yes I decided to become a single mom) balls ultimately fall. And they fall with a resounding crash, along with my positive attitude and energy level. I turn into a heap, a mess that needs to be scraped up off the floor. Not a pretty picture, and, forgetting the wise words of my wise friend, my default setting upon this floor is to lash out, to pick a fight or to create some other chaotic episode. This is where I was last week, and stayed until I remembered to ask the Universe for a little bit of help. Help came. Small miracles. I was sitting in the library when a stranger came up and congratulated me on my book. The gentleman who works at the turnpike informed me that I am well liked at that exit because I always have kind words and smiles for all. Small miracles, but grand enough to relieve me of the bondage of my funk. Today I have the opposite problem, the sea is completely calm...but that metaphor can wait for the next post.