Morning Contemplation

cupI’m writing this on a Tuesday morning before getting ready for work. I have a new coffee mug that states “Mornings are for Coffee and contemplation”.  It is actually from the Netflix show Stranger Things, but I have wanted one ever since I saw a character drinking from it. Not because of the show but because I liked the mug. I like the show too of course, though I haven’t seen the second season yet. I am waiting to watch it with my eldest child and teenagers rarely have time for moms.

Anyway, I am rambling about the wrong thing. What I wanted to ramble about is the tree in my neighbor’s yard. The reason I like my new mug is that it reminds me to set aside time just to be, to sip a cup of coffee or tea and look around the world instead of just rushing through it. I am trying to be better at doing that.

So, I was sitting in my favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and my front door wide open. The only light was from the door and the windows because I  wasn’t quite ready for artificial light yet. I heard the cicadas singing and there was a light breeze rustling the flag still attached to my porch from the 4th of July. I had the passing thought that these five minutes of my morning sound like the beginning of some sort of patriotic commercial or political ad campaign. Then I notice the gentle trembling of green leaves.

My across the street neighbor has a huge tree in her front yard that squirrels delight in. The wind this morning just teased its boughs while it was bathed in early sunlight. I waxed poetically inside my head about how pleasant the morning was and how nice it was to watch the oak tree across the street, and then promptly tripped over my own thoughts. Was the tree across the street an oak? Maybe it’s a maple?

I got up from my chair and moved to the door with my coffee so I could squint at the fall-leaves-63221_640foliage, trying to make out a single leaf. The wind picked up just enough to toss a couple of yellowing small ones from a top branch. They twisted and danced as they fell to the ground, making it impossible for me to tell what they looked like. My morning contemplation has been filled with: “Is it a maple or an oak?”

I am pretty sure the tree is a oak. Maples around here aren’t usually so big. If it is a maple tree it is very old. I could just walk across the street and look but that feels too much like giving in.

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Just Tired

I am tired. I’ve been tired so long I am not sure what not tired feels like. I can tell you what tired feels like though.

Tired feels like words just out of reach so that there are large gaps when you speak as you try to grasp the word you want or simply remember what it is you are trying to say. Tired is feeling like your eyes are always half closed rusted portals too dry to creak open all the way. Tired feels like effort to breathe, effort to think, effort to stand, sit, or sleep.

Tire feels like slogging along in thick mud caked boots so that each step is heavier than the last. Tired feels like wanting to sleep but knowing that sleep doesn’t help and neither does coffee. Tired is a constant. Or maybe that is just what it feels like right now.mammal-3096864__340

First Steps

This past Friday, July 20th, marked the 49th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. However, not much was said to remember this historic event. Even in Huntsville, IMG_20170729_144116378Alabama, nicknamed The Rocket City, the local news was silent to the passing of such a historic anniversary. Huntsville is where the Saturn V rocket that launched the Apollo 11 mission into space was made. It is the home of U.S. Space and Rocket Center.   So why the radio silence?

Honestly, people just forgot and I find that incredibly sad. 49 years ago Neil Armstrong, representing us all, Neil Armstrong took a step onto a place no one from our planet had ever been. Twenty minutes later Buzz Aldrin followed him. They spent two hours exploring and gathering rocks. But today we just shrug something like that off.

We carry around more advanced tech on a daily basis than NASA had when they launched Apollo 11. Yet, we’ve not been back to the moon. I am sure there are many economic and political reasons that could be cited by those in charge. Funding, lack of significate investment return, etc.

IMG_20170729_153807269I suspect once people figure out how to make a profit of the moon, without completely messing up the Earth, then there will be trips once a week. However, I worry that one of the main reasons we have forgotten this monumental first step and have yet to repeat it is because so few of us look up any more. The stars are always there, whether we can see them or not.

Once we looked up to the stars and wondered. We looked up at the clouds during the day and dreamed. Now our view is often blocked by buildings and light pollution. Our attention is taken away by struggling through the day to day and beating that next level on Candy Crush Saga. There is so much going on in this world, but there isn’t enough dreaming. There isn’t enough looking up and letting your mind wander.space

The dreamers and the stargazers haven’t gone extinct. They are still out there or we wouldn’t be planning a mission to Mars, but they have dwindled in numbers. Maybe it is a good thing we haven’t been back to the moon. Damaging the moon could potentially destroy the Earth. Humans have made bad decisions about things in the past and will continue to do so.

Maybe leaving the moon alone is a good idea. But we should not forget we’ve been there. If everyone took just five minutes once a week to stop and look at the clouds or stars, we still might not go back to the moon, but imagine how far we could go.footsteps

Unplanned

black and white house under thick clouds
Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. Take this weekend for example. I had planned to get a ton of writing done. I was going to work on this short story I want to finish and send out before the end of June. I was going also work on this other thing that looks like it might be part two of something I’ve already completed. I was also hoping to plot some of a series I’ve been planning, then write a blog post.

None of that happened. Well, this is the blog post but not the one I originally planned on. Yesterday the sky was overcast and the wind was shouting nature’s fury through the trees. Then the storm began and the power went out. No power, no internet.

It was fine at first. All the people in my neighborhood opened their curtains and doors. People stood on their porches and watched the storm rage. When it the weather cleared the power was still out, so my son and I went to visit family, run a few errands, and grab some lunch. We passed downed trees and broken limbs everywhere; evidence that the storm had been worse than I thought. Traffic lights were down and a lot of places were without power.

It took us longer than expected but we returned home by seven in the evening to a dark house. The power rarely goes off where I live so I had expected it to be repaired by the time we made it home. It wasn’t a big deal to me. We have candles and lanterns if we need to see and I have a camp stove if we needed something warm to eat. I also have a reading list that never seems to get any smaller.

My son, however, thought the apocalypse had come. The battery in his game console was almost dead and so was his phone. He couldn’t turn on the tv or his computer and we had to use a tap light to see in the bathroom. I told him to read a book. He pouted for a bit but finally started a series he received for Christmas.

The power was back on by 10PM but it was kind of nice to unplug from technology for a bit. I managed to read three books and my son focused on something that wasn’t Minecraft for a few hours. So, even though things didn’t go as planned and I didn’t get the writing done that I wanted, it was still a pretty good day. (The power went off for a while today too but only for a few hours.)

The month for lightbulbs

I know, long time no post. I did mention back in August (I think) that I wouldn’t be posting
as often because of school and such. Life is still as crazy and busy as ever. However, I thought I would take a moment to let everyone know what I am working on. It is for school but I think it will have added benefits by the time I am done.

I didn’t come to that conclusion by myself, mind you. It took a comment from one of my classmates to make me see the potential. Thanks again Emily.

lights-1088141_640“…You could add links to your possible ideas and rough drafts so others can get an idea of your writing style and interests!”  I read this will drinking coffee
and the thoughts exploded in my brain like Christmas lights coming to life. I’ve had some complaints here and there that I don’t write enough about my writing. There are several reasons for that.

One is because I often use this blog to empty my brain of all the other things that get in the way when I try to write. It is my freedom space. All of those thoughts or ideas that have to go some place usually go here, with exceptions of course. This blog is me talking to myself in a crowded room. Yet, no one looks at me funny because if you are reading this you came here to see me talk to myself.

Now I have to create a new blog for school. I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I mean I 6a00d8341c630a53ef013488af5745970c-800wihave this one, amazontwitter, a facebook page, and I have a web page. I don’t update those anywhere near often enough. Why would I want to add one more to the mix? Why would I want to do all of that work for just a grade?

Then Emily commented on my post in our discussion area, (I am going to MTSU online) and it was like the scene from Dead mc2_robinwilliamsPoet’s Society when Robin Williams stands on his desk to gain a different point of view. My eyes were opened to the possibilities. I have needed a place to stash links to things I find online that I want to revisit. I am focusing on History and Literature at school, which is pretty much regular life for a grade and a bit more structured.

(I seriously should get my kids to guest post aboutIMG_20160409_144243004 how many museums and historical sites I drag them to and the documentaries we watch.)

So, coming soon: Back Stories: History in Fiction. It will be on blog spot because I like to spread myself around like that and it is something new to poke at. I will post a link here when I get it up and running.

 

Bathroom Epiphanies

If I ever get the chance to design a dream home, I will have a moisture proof bathroom-759473_1280cabinets installed. They will all be within easy reach of the sink, the bathtub and shower, and the toilet. Within these cabinets will be a variety of writing implements and paper or voice recording devices. This way I will be able to record all of the epiphanies I get while in that room of the house.

kitchen-1416383_1280

 

A special drawer will also be installed in the kitchen, near the sink, for the same purpose. I am guessing my epiphanies must need water to bloom. ( I am a Pisces after all.)

 

Today I was brushing my teeth when I realized I have been trying to tell the wrong story for years. I thought I was writing my own thing, but as I pondered all the wonderful authors that I’ve enjoyed and reflected on how many favorites have crossed the rainbow bridge, I came to the conclusion I have been writing to fill a hole.

 

to-write-1706661_1280The characters are mine. The ideas are mine. However, there has always been something missing. Sometimes I have managed to grasp just a spark of whatever it is, but often it disappears. I want that magic I experienced reading my favorite authors and to obtain it I have been unconsciously attempting to mimic them. Like a kid in her father’s shoes, I’ve been tramping around trying to be like those I admire.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is how we learn. However, there comes a point where you have to wear your own shoes.

whats-your-storyI thought I knew my writing style. I thought I knew my voice. Now I know that I should take a closer look and maybe focus on those sparks of magic that were my own voice shining through.

Be Still

walnut-tree-stormI’ve been stressed. I woke up this morning knowing I have to go to work, I have to pay the electric bill, I have to get the kids up, feed them, and make them do their school work. I have to write the other four or five pages of an essay that is due by midnight and I have to learn enough about the Philippine War in order to write a paper about it as well. That one may also be due today. I honestly can’t remember. I am so far behind in my other two classes that I am afraid to look at the due dates.

So my life has been one massive “I have to”. I woke up this morning and realised I can’t bigger-viewremember the last time I read a book for enjoyment. For me, that is like waking up not remembering when I breathed last. Before school started I would read several books a week.

As I lay in bed watching the ceiling fan, I did a playback of this week. It has been extra crummy. I was late to work yesterday. Wednesday a customer got me mad enough that I walked around the grocery store for awhile before coming home. (I had to do grocery shopping anyway.) The list goes on, but this moment of introspection made me realise something. I haven’t had many moments of introspection lately either and that is something I need.

red-treeI need to decompress. I need a few moments of silence away from computers and textbooks. Watching a thirty-minute tv show or going to local county fair may be fun, but they aren’t what I am needing. I think I am taking time out doing those things but really I am just providing more for my over-stimulated brain to take in.
What I really need is a few moments with a cup of tea on the front porch watching the leaves change. I need a hot bath to soak in and to just be. I need a walk in the woods. I need to let my brain download and file away all the things that are daily crammed into it.

If I take that time everything else usually falls into place a lot easier.