Archives for posts with tag: Summer Breeze

The morning starts well. A soak in the spa. A hot cup of coffee. A soft gray daybreak. A great (explicit) new rap track. There’s so much potential in a new day. Later there’ll be work to do, maybe errands to run, effort to be exerted, or conflict to resolve, but right now? It’s just this quiet moment, early on a Thursday morning. I don’t know what the future holds in a post-pandemic world (or if there even will be a post-pandemic world for humanity, at all…). I don’t know who the next president will be. I don’t know what tomorrow has to offer. The future is undecided.

What do I want life to look and feel like? That’s a good question to ask, to answer, and then to reconsider. What quality would I want to characterize my general experience of life well-lived? My answer to that question has changed over the years. My understanding of “success” has changed. My understanding of “what life is about” has changed, too. What I want for myself – and of myself – has changed. I sip my coffee and think about that. Who does the woman in the mirror most want to be? What are those qualities that are most likely to ease me into the life I most want to live, long-term?

…I suspect I’m either “late to the party” on some of these questions, or simply prone to having this conversation with myself regularly, forgetting all about it, and having to do it again. ๐Ÿ™‚ It feels a bit adolescent, but in my own adolescence I felt pretty sure of most things, in my grim angry cynical way. My level of “certainty” about life probably impeded my growth and forward progress, if only by preventing me asking some significant questions of myself. I’m okay with uncertainty these days – which is pretty useful, since there’s a lot of that around. lol

…It’s a nice morning for reflecting on life, over a good cup of coffee. Decent playlist, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think about life in the context of this place, this dwelling, this address, this community – this is where I am. It’s been a complicated journey of 57 years. As my coffee begins to grow cold, I think about where this path may lead, accepting the uncertainties, embracing the practices that tend most to keep me on this path I’ve chosen. I feel fortunate, and make room for a moment of gratitude. It’s not that there haven’t been some terrible moments in life, some damage to heart and mind and body (some of which I feel even to this moment, now) – but those experiences don’t define me, now. They are not “who I am” – only what I’ve been through.

I think about a conversation with my Traveling Partner early in the week, about self-care, and my unfortunate lack of consistency in such things. He’s got a point, and I know that – and for every good practice I develop, there’s another I need to reinforce, and become more consistent with. It’s an ongoing thing (and why they are “practices”). I think about this day, ahead of me, right now. So far, so good. There’s more to it, and I can “do more/better” with my self-care practices. No criticism, no self-loathing – I’m not beating myself up over it, just reminding the woman in the mirror to make the worthy effort. It’s needful. It’s worthwhile. I benefit greatly from those moments, and am bettered for taking care of this fragile vessel with all the skill I have, and all the energy I can muster for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

…New day, new beginning. Time to begin again.

I am relaxing on a summery afternoon, sipping blackberry flavored fizzy water. I check the label. “Natural flavors”. Sure, okay, but… it doesn’t really taste like blackberries. I mean… it wants to. It fails. Real blackberries have a certain something to their flavor that must be very difficult to capture, preserve, or duplicate. I search my recollection for any commercial product at all that really tastes like blackberries. I don’t think of one. I let it go. Life has a few mysteries, perhaps this is one? Regardless of the lack of real blackberry flavor, the fizzy water is cool and refreshing, and not so much fizz as to feel sharp or unpleasant on my tongue. I sit with the experience a little while. It’s enough to enjoy the pleasant moment on a warm spring afternoon.

I listen to the traffic on the busy street at the end of the driveway of this rented duplex. The paperwork is done. The appointment to sign this and that is set for a day next week. The weekend ahead feel relaxed, and purposeful. I smile at the moving boxes, and look over my “to do list”. I won’t miss the traffic, the busy street, or the noisy neighborhood.

I don’t have to miss the roses; my container garden will move with us. ๐Ÿ™‚

I take a moment for fond appreciation of the human being that is my Traveling Partner. He’s done much to make this move organized, and comfortable. He knows how much moving disrupts the routines that support my day-to-day emotional wellness and preserve the general appearance that I adult skillfully. It’s not that I don’t, I guess generally I do, these days. It’s nice to have some help with the busy-ness and clutter of life, though. He makes a point of reminding me that now is time to finish up the packing and organizing. For a couple week’s he’s been tenderly reminding me to take a breath, and slow things down. Timing matters. He gets that for me it matters a great deal, and doesn’t tease me over it. (Well, maybe a little…) He’s considerate and caring, and the moments when we frustrate each other have been few. This is certainly an easier, more emotionally comfortable, move for me, of all the moves I’ve made since… yeah. Since ever, I guess. I don’t have a recollection of a move that has been more organized, settled, or joyful. It’s pleasant. Like this blackberry fizzy water; it doesn’t need to be explained or solved. I remind myself to enjoy the experience, and sit quietly with my gratitude, for a bit longer.

The titular moment I’m waiting for is that moment ahead. The one with the signing? No. The one with the house keys. The one when I park my car in my driveway – our driveway – for the very first time. Home.

Home

…There’s a new garden to plan. Roses. Dahlias. Maybe jasmine and honeysuckle, too. Herbs in pots, and summer veggies in raised beds… I feel happy tears well up, and a smile so big it makes my face hurt.

My sigh fills the room. The sound of contentment. Another glance at my list of packing tasks I plan to tackle this weekend. Another sigh. Less contented, more resigned. I’m reminded briefly of the work involved, by the physical pain I am in. I shrug it off, unconcerned about that. The work involved is worth overcoming or enduring it. It’s a very human experience. Fucking hell, I’m so glad I’m not doing this move alone, or having to impose on friends, or hire strangers. This move feels intimate, connected, and shared, in a different way. I think back on other moves – was I adequately grateful, and did I say so, all those times I’ve imposed on friends for help, when I moved? Maybe not… I haven’t always been the woman I am… hell, even now, it’s often a solid real-time effort to be the woman I most want to be… a very human experience, indeed. I add “say thank yous for past moves” to my list of things to do. Dear friends have sometimes traveled great distances just to help me move. I am beyond fortunate.

…I remind myself to spend a day writing letters to friends and family from the new address, once we’re moved in. I took a handful of days off to do the move – more to give myself a chance to get used to the new space, new routines, new sounds and new shadows, than anything to do with unpacking boxes. I’ve learned a few things about caring for this fragile vessel over the past decade. There will certainly be time to write a few letters. ๐Ÿ™‚

I listen to the birdsong and the breeze, and wonder what songs the birds will be singing (or, more accurately, what sorts of birds will be singing their songs) from the new deck, looking out into a different wood. I think about the walks I will take on new trails. I think about what the change in perspective may mean for my journey. I remind myself, as I have so often before, to “stay on the path”.

Seems to be very effective so far… probably doesn’t hurt that the path is mine, and that I choose it myself.

Maybe it’s not too late in the day, on a Friday, for another cup of coffee…? Certainly, it is not too soon to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I took my first trip away from the new house this week. I departed on Thursday, plans in disarray, leaving from a point on the map that wasn’t what I planned, running additional errands “on the way” at the request of my Traveling Partner, resenting the heat of the day, and feeling excited, fussy, and a bit irritable.

It got worse before it got better. The first 33 miles I drove, the traffic was terrible. The first 9 miles of the freeway portion of the drive crept by at an abysmal not-quite-10-miles-per-hour. I was tired from days without good sleep. I was irritable in the heat and frustrated by the lack of good visibility with the car loaded to the roof with gear. I was more than a little stressed out by driving all that equipment so far, while I was so tired. My foot was aching. I had a terrible headache, and my self-care had been fairly poorly handled and thoroughly compromised for days because my planning had been so completely undermined, I didn’t have time for what needed to be done. It was pretty shitty.

Every mile of highway took me closer to my Traveling Partner, and farther from thinking about my headache, or the traffic, or the cargo, or the time, or really anything else besides getting to see him and reconnect and chill together.

We had a lovely visit. It was quite nice to be a guest in his home. It was … beyond words, really, the deeply connected time we got to spend together met so many needs. ๐Ÿ™‚ We slept together, and that, too, was a rare and special treat. It didn’t much matter how little really restful sleep I got, I spent the night cuddling with my Traveling Partner as he slept, feeling his heartbeat, listening to him breathe. I dozed on and off, and certainly got enough rest to enjoy the day that would follow. He had to work for a couple hours. I used that time to get caught up with the woman in the mirror, and check out how my old home town has grown (I went to high school there… that’s the house I lived in, it’s changed a lot… that’s where my grandfather’s office was…), meditate, and also made a run to the grocery store for my Traveling Partner.

The plan, when I arrived, was that I’d stay both Thursday and Friday night, and go out into the forest late Friday afternoon, help set up a music event, and sometime much later be around to see my Traveling Partner perform, listen to a lot of great DJs doing their thing, and then… sometime in the late afternoon on Saturday, I would return home. By the time my Traveling Partner got home from work, it was beginning to dawn on me that actually, if I followed that plan, I was going to be pushing myself up the highway late on a Saturday afternoon, on even less sleep, tired, noise-sensitive, and in pain… arriving home to face dishes in the sink (because of my rushed departure on Thursday), unprepared for the next work week, and having no time to recover before diving back into another week of working for a living before I could really take that time I need…

The more I thought that over, the less I liked it. Sure, I’d like to see my Traveling Partner perform, that would be amazing and awesome, but I’m equally certain that neither he nor I benefits from me doing so on terms that reduce my quality of life, or contribute to poor health and wellness! He’d crashed for a nap after work to prepare for the long night ahead. When he got up I let him know I was thinking about heading back a little early… He didn’t seem surprised, and was very much okay with that, himself, although we were both immediately overcome with that sad feeling that comes of being attached, and also choosing to part, however briefly. He understands my needs.

So… I came home. The drive back was as uneventful and smooth as the drive down had been fraught with peculiar stress. I made good time, and delighted myself to note that my estimated arrival time from the perspective of planning the drive was within 5 minutes of my actual arrival time. I pause in this moment, right now, and give myself time to really appreciate that feeling again.

It was still daylight when I got home. The house was comfortably cool in the summer heat of late afternoon. The squirrel was on the deck rail, and didn’t run when I opened the curtains to the deck and saw him there. There were really one 1 bowl and 2 coffee cups in the sink, and the first sound I heard after I returned home was the sound of my own merry laughter. I’d even gotten home in time to communicate my safe arrival to my Traveling Partner before he was out of touch for the night. It felt good to come home. I feel welcome here.

I feel welcome in my life.

The day stretches ahead of me. There’s quite a bit to do. Some of it is the everyday sort of stuff that lands on weekend days most of the time: housekeeping, laundry, gardening. Other stuff on my to do list lingers from the move. There are still boxes to unpack. Shelves to organize. Things to do to make this space more usably obviously my own. There’s the woman in the mirror, too, she needs a few things out of the day, herself: meditation, some time in the garden, yoga, good moment-to-moment decision-making, a bit of fun (Farmer’s Market?), and all the love and affection I can provide to her. Rest. She also needs rest, and good self-care.

The sun is up. My coffee is finished. The fresh breezes of early morning have filled the house with the scents of forest and summer flowers. My thoughts are filled with love. What a pleasant moment on which to begin the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

This weekend I’m taking time with me, doing something I love, and enjoying the sensation of time slowing down as I linger over what feels good in life. I’m in the studio this weekend, between other bits of this-n-that, laundry, time with family and friends, yoga… All of it quite pleasant and wonderfully positive and enjoyable; the outcome is in the art work. I had planned to hike this morning, and even looking forward to it at the very moment that first one, then the other, of my partners spoke up that they would each, and both, enjoy a morning with family, hanging out and being in shared space. I still smile thinking about that moment; I felt very wanted, included, and valued.

It didn’t hurt that of the paintings I did yesterday, 3 of 5 of them are already spoken for by enthused and delighted partners. I can’t describe how wonderful that feels, every time it comes up. It takes being appreciated to another level. ๐Ÿ™‚

"Where There's Smoke" 8" x 10"  acrylic on canvas with India ink; it's hers. :-)

“Where There’s Smoke” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with India ink; it’s hers. ๐Ÿ™‚

"You Always Have My Heart" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas with glow; it's his. :-)

“You Always Have My Heart” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with glow; it’s his. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not disappointed about not hiking; I’ll likely still go for a walk with my camera, or stroll over to the Farmer’s Market. It’s a lovely day for all those things.

"Summer Breeze" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas with India Ink; it's his. :-)

“Summer Breeze” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with India Ink; it’s his. ๐Ÿ™‚

The weekend has offered some moments of amazement, wonder, and great depth. In meditation, deeply involved, aware, and present in some moment I “walked the streets of The Nightmare City” by daylight, feeling safe and walking in wonder and observing all I could before twilight could over take me. ย Imagination? Fantasy? Scripting? I don’t know those things. I recognize it is not the same order of ‘real’ as being awake, here-and-now, and able to touch what I see…only…it still matters, because thoughts matter, and what we fill our implicit memory with matters, and emotional content matters, too. Later today I’ll spend time writing a bit about my visit, as though it were something othersย could book a trip for, and get there, stay and visit for themselves. ย I am hopeful that my own next visit to The Nightmare City is very different that my last, and even perhaps willing to allow the thought that it may truly have been my last visit to drift through my consciousness without clinging to it in despair and anxious yearning.

"Daytime in the Nightmare City" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas with glow, glitter, and micaceous iron oxide. 2014

“Daytime in the Nightmare City” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with glow, glitter, and micaceous iron oxide. 2014

Today is a good day for love, for lovers, for sharing the morning and for enjoying a lazy Sunday. Today is a good day to move beyond words. Today is a good day to smile. Today is a good day to face my fears fearlessly; in most cases I invented them both, myself, and can as easily let them go. Today is a good day to contribute only love to the world’s conversations. Today is a good day to change the world.