dear self, try to love life a bit more today. be a bit more inspired by the small, those tiny bits that tie you to this earth. find inspiration under the jar jam stuck, sticky sweet upon the shelf; look for it blowing in under the door as the gales rattle your stoop; open it up as you work through your day and remember how grateful you are for all things as you close your book at night. love life a bit more today and I think you will be surprised how much life will love you back. xxoo
This is a series called tuesday's notes. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. These "Notes" can be notes to your self (future, past or present), notes to the rude person who cut you off in line, notes to your children, note's to your parents... I think you get the idea. Would love if you "wrote along!" xo
It is almost full circle. The first year of my mother's passing. Yesterday would have been her 73rd birthday. It seems like a rather old number when I write the number 73 down, but my mother was never an old lady. Her spirit was very young, her face always youthful, despite her years.
Life moves on and now the end of this first year without her is coming to a close. I find myself taking deep breaths and exhaling slowly. And, despite my desire somedays to do otherwise, I find myself moving forward anyway, without her, and yet very much with her.
Moving forward in that great upward spiral of life. xxoo
follies of the week::
-resentful actions that lead to a bitter heart
-behavior based on fear
-social media and the distracted life
-holding my breath when I should be breathing
fodder for the soul::
-a day spent with the youngest, even though he was home sick
-creative sparks found in the darkness
-watching my cat sleep
-a copy of the quarterly lit mag,Kindredarriving in the mail
(seeing my name in print = tiny happy dance)
provender for the days ahead:: -enjoying the beautiful fall edition of Kindred, Harvest
-time with the Boys
-the kinda fall weather
-fundraiser at the Boys' school
-working on the oldest's halloween costume, inspiredhere (it is so cute, I might make one for myself!)
This is a friday series called fodder+folly. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. Would love if you "wrote along!"
Last night, I got up from our bed in the back to do a last walk through the house before turning the lights completely out and going to sleep. With our quiet bedside lamps on, and me, ever distracted, I failed to notice our pups sleeping right next to the bed. So then not only did I trip over one of our dogs (black on brown carpet) and I was then sent sailing as I tripped on the other dog (black on brown carpet) as I was thrown off kilter from the first. They meant me no harm, they just like to be close to me/us and I just didn't see them in the dim light. One of them bolted up and hung her head guiltily. The other one just lay there looking down at me with deep brown eyes that seemed to say, "Try to be a bit more careful next time." I nicked and bruised the right side of my body. Not horribly so, but enough to have a wee bit of blood, and for me to lie on the floor temporarily frozen in humiliation and pain. With a bruised ego and a helping hand from the husband, I regained my composure and went on through the house checking on the boys, turning off the lights, grabbing a glass of water before I went back to bed.
It was only then, when I climbed back into bed, and opened up my laptop to write, that I found that I had a few tears stuck to the back of my eyelids. They never erupted into full blown tears (though in hindsight maybe I needed a good cry), and at that moment I called it a night and curled up into bed, and went to sleep.
Sometimes it feels like there are battles everywhere you go and everywhere you look; some large, some small. Often you need to hitch up your skirt (or pants, or skort, or shorts) and head on into the fray, scrapping around like some hen, searching for remnants of your ego scattered somewhere in the coop.
And other times you need to call it a night/ a day/ a wrap, and start over fresh; go to sleep with only a memory of the ridiculousness in your head. And just let it go.
Life is a bit of a balance somedays isn't it? Especially with all the many things we have piled underfoot.
This is a new series called tuesday's notes. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. These "Notes" can be notes to your self (future or past), notes to the rude person who cut you off in line, notes to your children, note's to your parents... I think you get the idea. Would love if you "wrote along!" xxoo
"A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you."
It is a grey, foggy morning here, and though I know some folk don't love grey days, especially when you live in a place that is more grey than sunny; yet here in Souther California, I long for them. There is a certain amount of sameness on the day in and day out of living in such a temperate climate, that at times, the eternal sunshine can feel quite overwhelming. You really have to look for the subtle changes in the seasons to really see the seasons.
It does make one more observant I find. There is a quiet lessening of daylight here. The days have a stretched, softer golden hue to them. Some leaves do change. Many others are perennially green. One doesn't have the same stark emptiness in winter; which sometimes in those long January and February days is marvelous! However there are times I find myself wishing for a real cold snap that would force snow from the sky.
So perhaps you can see why I am so glad to get these mornings of grey.
As most of you know, we spent last weekend in the San Diego Mountains. I keep going back over the many photos I took there as a way to find out about a life that I am not living, and perhaps, even from time to time, a life I long for: Hens clucking, morning sun skipping out across vast fields of trees, the wilderness and a deeper sense of the wild, fiefdoms of nature, pigs snorting, joyous boys running, and a deeper sense of calm and closeness to my soul.
For now the photographs will do... and the writing. Oh the writing! I love when I am able to be fully present when I write, letting other things fall away.
There is a poem I wrote, inspired by the weekend, over on Anchor & Plume Press. I would love for you to check it out and let me know what you think.
A guest post on homeschooling, from Sarah Elwell, a poet and writer. If you haven't visited Sarah's blogs, Knitting the Wind, or gnossienne be prepared to have your heart stirred and soul moved. What I especially love about this post, is that there is so much to take away from it, whether you are homeschooling or sending your children to a more traditional school. We can all benefit from the different ways our children learn...especially in nature.
When I first began homeschooling, I didn't appreciate how vast our classroom would be. I had no internet in those days, and all my understanding of homeschooling was based on the scant few books I found at the local library. But the thing I did not realise back then, although I take it for granted now, is that when your heart is open to the world around you, the world opens its heart to you too.
Not even the best traditional school could provide the expert tuition children receive simply by being out in the daily life of regular society. From professionals to homeschooling parents, adults are endlessly welcoming and they actually like to share their knowledge. Firemen, paleontologists, zoo keepers, butterfly farmers, forensics officers, artists, potters, sportsmen, shopkeepers, ornothologists, geologists, historians, writers, flax weavers, lion wranglers ... There's no way one teacher, no matter how dedicated and brilliant, could replicate such breadth and depth of experience. And I don't see how any school could justify the resources needed to provide all the field trips homeschoolers can do easily and often.
And there's another great teacher from whom homeschoolers learn: nature. For example, our local homeschool group, on a woodland walk to sketch autumn leaves, found a stony river and the children spontaneously built a dam, learning about physics in the process. There was no need to insist on the leaf-sketching, nor to hurry them off at the end of an hour. We mothers sat in the sunshine, picnicking, discussing lesson plans and good books, while our children got on with their learning, socialising, and sheer fun.
Because they have regular opportunities to be outdoors, knee-deep in (and heart-full of) nature, a homeschooled child can develop a good weather eye, or an instinct for bird behaviour, or a deep connection with plants. They can sit for hours in the garden, counting bird species. They can go swimming in the sea on summer afternoons while school children are sweltering in classrooms. I know homeschooling children who forage for wild food, hand-rear baby birds, run backyard weather stations, tend their own vegetable gardens, and are experts on local wildlife. They may not necessarily know all the important dates of history (although then again they might) but they do know how to truly engage with the natural world.
Hello World. I am so grateful for you today. I am so grateful that you were able to share some of your more glorious wonders with my family and me this past weekend: the colors of Autumn, hushed wind, laughter, farm-to-table food, sunsets around a campfire, the bending grass, tracks of small mammals, wild turkeys. I loved watching the boys with their friends: run through camp, hanging out in trees, climbing up forts, creating their own wild kingdom.
It was wondrous.
I am always so grateful when the boys are able to run astride nature in this way; to be able to touch the circle with which they are a part of, yet so difficult to hold onto when one lives in a big city.
So today's notes are this. Just the grateful warmth I feel in my heart for the small kingdoms we stumble upon, that touch our hearts and give strength to our souls.
This is a new series called tuesday's notes. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. These "Notes" can be notes to your self (future or past), notes to the rude person who cut you off in line, notes to your children, note's to your parents... I think you get the idea. Would love if you "wrote along!"
the youngest: happy as a clam out on a quick errand. He got to go on one of the "rides" outside the store and it thrilled him to no end. the middle: looking around to see what others are doing while I snapped a photo of him in front of his prize winning entry in an art contest at school. the oldest: at times happy to have his photograph taken, other times extremely elusive. This week he proved elusive.
follies of the week:
-grumpy at the wrong people
-letting go of the good, holding onto the bad
-missed opportunities to be jovial with the boys
-not relishing life enough
fodder for the soul:
-hanging out with children
-getting my hands dirty
-stomping in puddles
-finding small patches of Autumn's colors when out for a walk on a rainy afternoon
provender for the days ahead:
-escaping to the Mountains, outside Julian, CA. There we will get a chance to be with
friends and relish a bit in the Autumn like weather high above the sea.
-getting up early to listen to the quiet and write; journal, pen, camera in hand
-photographing old oak trees
-birding a bit
-hunting down apples
-gobbling up pie
how has your week been? I would love to know your follies, fodder and provender for the days ahead! xxoo
P.S. a giveaway for the Write Now course! find details of it here.
I am thrilled to bits in announcing my very first giveaway. Ever!!
As many of you know, a while back I took the course Write Now with Amanda, author of the blog the Habit of Being and creative director of the literary magazine Kindred. Amanda is not only a gifted writer, but a talented editor and teacher as well. Under her tutelage, I feel that I learned so much about my own writing, creative and otherwise, and I wish for others to have the opportunity to work with her as well. This is why I am giving a way one spot for her upcoming course of Write Now which begins October 21st. This is the last one that will be offered until after the New Year.
I want reiterate, that I took the course out of a longing, not to become a "Writer," but to deepen my practice of writing/journaling/blogging in hopes of finding avenues to creatively stretch myself; that wish was oh-so fulfilled! However, what I find ever so wonderful about having taken the Write Now course, is that amidst all the hustle of three boys and their busy fall scheduling, I am still finding time to write; time to scrape out words across paper, journal a bit of my feelings, and work out matters of the heart and longings of the soul.
Don't be intimidated. Don't think this is a course where the teacher will pull you up in front of class to mock your essay or jest at your words. Instead, think of it as a place where you can safely try putting some of your thoughts into words A place where you can safely begin a daily practice that is just for you -a space apart from your day to day. I think of it as a place for us Creatives, us folk who are learning to tell their own story; who are trying make the intangible, tangible; who want to record the memorable, in all its glory and defeats.
To enter, is simple. Please leave a comment below stating why you would like to take this course.
If you would like to be entered a second, or a third time, (or a fourth, etc...), you have the following options: like my Facebook page, the Habit of Being's Facebook pageor Anchor&Plume's FB page; you can follow Amanda on twitter @writealm; or share the giveaway on Google+, twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Please tag one of us (or just Amanda if you are on twitter) so we can count your entry. If you are worried we won't see your entry, please leave another comment below letting me know who/where/when/what.
If social media isn't your thing, please send me an email at pomegranateandseeds(at)gmail(dot)com and let me know you would like to be entered a second time.
++++++++change in time and date of giveaway: Entries will close at noon on October 18th, 2013, PDT(pacific daylight time), United States. The winner will be announced on October 19th. The course begins October 21st.
In other news, the above photograph was taken by my middle when we were camping at Morro Bay. He entered it into the school's art contest and he won! He is thrilled to bits. It now is being sent off to compete in the regional art contest. The best part of all of this was watching how proud he was when he found out that he won. It was so very sweet to see.
Midmorning here. I am dashing around between emails and meetings and I am finding it hard to stay focused as I am bit tired. I have been up in the night lately over thinking and over plotting, which is how I end up writing a post like this. All those moments caught up in my brain, trying to stretch out of me, longing to be shared.
Here is a new series called tuesday's notes. You are welcome to write along if you want, just leave a comment with your blog address if you decide to write one and I will be sure to come say hello. These "Notes" can be notes to your self (future or past), notes to the rude person who cut you off in line, notes to your children, note's to your parents...
I think you get the idea. (or if you want I could create prompts for the Note's).
Here are my tuesday's notes to my 16 year old self, small pieces of advice that I wish someone had been brave enough or knowledgeable enough to tell me (you know really tell, without being mean).
*love your body:: love it no matter what size it is and what clothes you wear. Love it so, as there are others out there who will try to say you only will be valuable if you look a certain way.
*it is normal to be moody around your period:: once you know that it is not all in your head, you are able to become more aware of your actions and your moods.
*It is normal to crave certain foods:: you are not crazy when you want to knock down the dude in front of you to get at a chocolate bar. Now that you are aware you will crave certain foods, you can be more prepared.
*it is normal for your period to be irregular:: Don't you feel better knowing this? The one reassuring thing about adolescence is that nothing is regular! Embrace the ups and downs.
*listen to your body, eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full:: your body knows better than anyone what you need. Don't measure, don't count calories. Your body knows. Trust her. Girls often punish themselves when they feel that they have eaten too much, never taking into account growth spurts, sporting events, etc. Don't punish yourself! listen to your body instead.
It is early here on this Sunday morning and the youngest has crawled into bed with us. He smells of boy, and in particular of a Saturday spent in the heated Indian Summer Fall, playing sports, relentless movement from morning till early evening. He smells of a slightly sweet sweat with a musty aroma of yesterday's dirt trapped under his nails and peppered across his brow; the smell of memories in an exhausted autumn sun, too tired to bath, too tired to keep eyes open at dinner.
Last weekend he smelled of nothing but roasted marshmallows and the unseen cloud of a campfire.
All of these smells are filled up with memories for this mama, sitting here, sorting through photos and listening to the sound of our youngest breathe a sweet sleepy early morning breath. In my mind I am sorting memories of this moment, memories of this weekend and last; sorting memories of the arch of my life, the pulling back of the bow and the taught string that sends an arrow flying high towards its intended target.
So I write some down. Trying to trap the scents on paper as one would trap a firefly in a glass jar, trying to momentarily hold onto to something that really is intangible, that exists only on the threshold between day and night, in those stolen moments of the sun chasing the moon through the heavens across the sky.
the oldest: sleeping outside whilst camping in Morro Bay, CA. the youngest: bleary, dirty, and very hungry on our last morning camping. the middle: enjoying a campfire cooked pancake breakfast.
The boys and I escaped up the coast this past weekend for a little camping trip. It was beautiful, with perfect weather, a much needed escape from the traffic and sticky hot indian summer of Los Angeles.