Rage against the dying of the light

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Swallowtail-Butterfly-on-Lilac-Blossom

The perfect evening sky

is painted by the swaying branches

that continue to brush blue into the waning day.

A cool breeze

carries the scent of the lilacs.

 Dusk approaches,

but day fights for its last moments

before the fireflies seize the night.

 Leaves dance in the wind,

laughing as they are tickled by the currents of spring.

A lone butterfly

floats on the updrafts,

silently raging against the dying of the light.

The sun pulls up the blanket of the horizon,

golds and yellows caress the trees one last time

and the day succumbs

to the sleep of night.

(image credit)

I am my mother’s daughter

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Admittedly, I am a creature of habit.  I am predictable to a fault and I enjoy the lack of spontaneity in my routine.  It is how I am comfortable and it is how I live my life.  But recently I have done and said a few things that make me look at myself in the mirror and think “who are you, and what have you done with the real me?”.

whose-daughter-I-am

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As my mother used to say, I was once a girl who wouldn’t say shit if her mouth was full of it.   But somewhere along the path that has carved its way through my life, thankfully I have learned to be much more vocal when it comes to standing up for myself.  I used to let emotions fester under the surface, bringing themselves to a boiling point before I finally exploded from the pressure of not dealing with things as they happened.  I am no longer that person.

I’m not sure if I have slowly developed an unseen confidence over the years or if I am simply sick of feeling like my opinions don’t matter.  Whatever the reason, I truly appreciate my newly found voice.  Perhaps it is a wisdom that really does come with age.  Or maybe there comes a time in everyone’s life that you just realize the stress of keeping things to yourself just isn’t worth it.

Whatever the reason, I’m going to hang on to this new part of me and let it free the old me who was afraid to speak up.  It may take a while to expunge the record of my reticence, but I’m willing to do it one comment at a time!

 

Much ado about the opposite of nothing

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magic-book

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 I have been conspicuously absent from reading other blogs, or anything else in the category of the written word, because I have been alarmingly removed from anything resembling spare time.   I am on day 10 of a potential 14-day work stretch without a full day off and will certainly log a great deal of overtime this week.  (too bad I’m on salary)

I miss the carefree hours of being able to have enough brain capacity to read on a recurring basis.   This phenomenon happens frequently this time of year and I feel like I am missing an appendage when I cannot feed the creative appetite that incessantly yearns to be fed by words.

My attention span is non-existent.  My ability to concentrate is tenuous.   My capacity to hold a thought is…………………waning.  And the notion that I have enough brain power to write blog posts on my own site on a frequent basis is nothing short of laughable.

Next week is a quiet week at work, probably the last extensive time period that I will have to fill my desire to absorb words as quickly as I am able to, and write words that long to be freed from my mind, before the onset of summer.   The list of books has been established, the index of writing topics has been inventoried, the sequential collection of email notifications has been queued, the wine has been stored at the proper temperature and the spot on the couch has been reserved.

I can only hope that the three empty days on the calendar at work remain that way, for my sake.  I’m slowly learning to be a little more selfish when it comes to pursuing my true passions and I wish for the break in reality to be able to seek the charms of the fantasy life that awaits me in the world of literature and composition.

They light the corners of my mind

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Memories are a funny thing.  I was chatting with a good friend and, after overcoming the fact that he had just discovered a pair of  (for lack of a better description) parachute pants in his long-forgotten wardrobe, I was reminded of how the memories of our past help us keep in touch with our past, help us contemplate our present and help us shape our future.

Until just recently, the memories of my mother would conjure tears more than anything else.  The gaping hole that was left in my heart when she died seemed to be a void that would never be filled.  But things change.  And although time doesn’t necessarily heal the wounds, it allows the wonderful memories of our past to soften the anguish of loss.  Time gives us perspective and time grants us those precious moments to realize that the joy of our past can outweigh the sorrow of our present.

As much as I love to write today, I never kept a journal in my youth.  Conceivably I did this to protect my privacy, to avoid having my most precious thoughts and feelings perused by an unanticipated reader.  But in safeguarding my secrets, I unwittingly buried my past, not only from other observers but, from myself.  I unintentionally took pieces of my past and made them disappear by not keeping their light on in the corner of my mind.

light-the-corners-of-my-mind-paul-sachtleben

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This blog is helping me to rekindle some of that lost light.  Those corners of my mind that seemed lost in the shadows are now warmed by the light that I am creating each time I publish my thoughts on this blog.  Looking back at my past blog posts is a lovely stroll down memory lane and I hope to keep those lights burning for a long time to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Touricide” and a brief message to the transient population

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It has already begun and the long weekend is still days away.  The simple act of easily turning left onto any of our local roads is a shadowed memory of its former self.  They have descended upon us and the seemingly mundane tasks we used to perform with ease now require an expletive filter and a great deal of patience (or high blood pressure pills) (or both).

Almost three years ago, I wrote this post about the tourist season in our small town.  It was that post that sparked some interesting conversation about these wayward travelers and also got me Freshly Pressed.  To those not ensconced in the WordPress blogging world, being Freshly Pressed was a nice pat on the back.  We were recognized for writing something interesting that would encourage a discussion.  And that it did…..on many levels.

I will preface the words that follow by reminding you that I work in the hospitality and tourism industry.  My job is to serve people and I truly enjoy it.  Our lodge guests have slowly become like friends and family and it is a pleasure to go to work.  But the myriad of other temporary inhabitants of our little village are a like a box of chocolates and, as Forrest Gump so eloquently put it, you never know what you’re gonna get.   I realize that these summer vacationers are the bread to our butter, the wind beneath our small town wings, but, as each year rolls into the next, the level of courtesy and manners shown by a substantial percentage of these visitors leaves much to be desired.

courtroom

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The act of “Touricide” has crossed my mind at many points throughout our busy seasons.  I’m sure if the facts of my potential case were presented to a jury of my peers the charges against me would be dropped and the crime would be ruled as justifiable.

I don’t mind that our population explodes exponentially in the summer months.  I plan accordingly knowing my routine tasks will take much longer because the lines have quadrupled in length.  I leave my house much earlier to deal with the sudden onset of traffic in a town where six cars on the road in the spring is considered gridlock.

What I cannot tolerate is the arrogant attitude of so many of these visitors, thinking we live in this town only to serve them in the summer.  You have entered our home.  We have greeted you with courtesy and respect and all we ask in return is the same level of civility.  We will bend over backwards to meet your needs and we ask so little of you.  Smile.  Say thank you, and mean it.  Take a moment to appreciate that you are on vacation and relax.  Things may not get done at city speed but they will get done and we will make sure they get done properly and that they meet or exceed your expectations.

I wish everyone celebrating the long weekend a safe and happy holiday.  Take the time to smile and say hello to a stranger.  Perhaps all they need is a little small town warmth to melt that cold city shell.

The Devil finds work for idle hands

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The Devil may have toyed slightly with my resolve as I lay in bed yesterday morning, reluctant to put my feet on the cold floor, but I slipped out of his grasp as I began my day and didn’t give myself a moment for a second thought.

I have never been an idle person.  Sure, I went through moments of lethargy and reluctance as a teenager, but who didn’t?  Yesterday was a glaring reminder of that part of myself, that stubborn fragment of my psyche, that doesn’t allow me a full day to just be passive and enjoy watching life go by.

If I were being honest, I would have to admit that I enjoy being busy.  And thankfully I have many hobbies that I can choose from that can occupy a significant part of my day as well as the daily and weekly chores that come with living on my own.

Among the housekeeping and maintenance duties that come with being a home owner, today I finally finished a project that helped me feel like I fully restored the identity I had before I was married.  My new sign at the end of my driveway, painted by me, proudly displays the family name I was born with and am proud to reclaim once again.

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Yesterday the Devil realized his time is better spent elsewhere.  The house is clean, the floors are mopped, the shopping is done, the dump run was completed, two new soups were made, the dog was walked twice, the sign was painted and hung and I even had a few spare moments to watch some golf.  I don’t think I have to worry about my hands ever being idle.

 

For the love of writing

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I feel the overwhelming desire to write.

For the last couple of months my brain has been stymied by the oppressive weight of reality.  Sure, a few words have trickled from my brain to my keyboard but I don’t feel like I have been swept away by the truly seductive lure of language.

Now, tentatively, I take step after step back onto that linguistic dance floor.  I wait alone in the center of the room until the beat of the typewriter keys finds its rhythm and the words circle around me like a hypnotic song.  I sway back and forth, my eyes close and I lose myself in the art of expression.  Like blood through my veins, the letters course and feed my body and mind with words.

words in my brain

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This is my home.  This passion for written expression is where I find my comfort, my refuge.  And though my words are my sanctuary and my escape, they also indulge me with a sense of freedom.

These words are the one place that I allow myself complete abandon.  I follow no rules.  I adhere to no code or convention.  I simply write what comes to me and allow myself to become immersed in the river of prose.  I become buoyant in the sea of imagery and I ride the wave of creativity.

Sometimes letters enter my brain and form words.  I am unsure of their origin but I do not question their presence.  I simply reap the rewards of their existence, give in to their demand to be freed and serve my purpose as their translator.

The writing on the wall

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robert frost

Life is full of itself,

simply and purely.

It doesn’t grant extra time for our worries

and it doesn’t allow further moments to dry our tears.

It evolves,

it moves forward,

never forgetting the past,

embracing all of its successes

and hopefully learning from its mistakes.

Although happiness sometimes turns to regret,

and smiles turn into frowns,

life does goes on.

And somewhere,

beyond confusion and pain,

in each life lies a new road,

paved with promises,

traveled by souls who have understood

the sign on the shoulder that reads

“it goes on”.

~~

(image credit)

 

My catnaps are something completely different

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It was a marginally illegal happenstance born of complete innocence.  Our Chef made the familiar turn onto our road and noticed the owner’s cat in the woods about a kilometer from their house.  He did what anyone else would do in his situation and he put Lulu in his car to bring her home.

Although the cat seemed mildly disoriented, she seemed to settle back in relatively quickly and made her way to Nanny and Poppa’s house.  Having just returned from south of the border, they were happy to see Lulu and reached into the treat bag they kept at the house.  The cat seemed content to stay there for a couple of days but was finally taken back to her home.   Upon putting the cat on the porch outside of the sliding glass door, Nanny realized that Lulu was inside the house staring back at her doppelgänger on the other side of the door.  Both cats immediately puffed up to twice their size and the interloper was brought back down to the lodge for her own safety.

tabby

The new cat, who I affectionately referred to as RuPaul, lived the Life of Riley for the next few days.  She sauntered around the property, drank lake water while standing on the sandy beach, joined a young conference who had an outdoor meeting session on the lawn and became one of the group.  She was fed, loved and seemed like she would fit right in.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I found out how RuPaul had come to the resort.  We realized the error that our Chef had made by erroneously abducting our neighbor’s cat and she was then returned to the property from where she had been cat-napped.

When the owner realized that Snipey had returned she called her husband immediately, commenting on how well the cat looked and that Snipey wasn’t even hungry.  After reading my message to her on Facebook, Sue called our resort and I told her the story of how her Lulu-lookalike became a part of our lodge family for a few days.  She was a great sport about the story and was extremely happy to have her cat-napped family member home safe and sound.

From now on, we’ll just have to make sure that our Chef sticks with the cat naps that I am used to and not the ones that can get him in to trouble with the neighbors!

 

I’ll bet you think this blog is about you, don’t you?

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She’s so vain.  I didn’t think it was possible but my dog has begun to show narcissistic tendencies.  She is absolutely one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known and I never thought I would be writing these words about her.

Our routines have changed since she had her second seizure a few weeks ago.  She came through it just fine but I wanted to keep as close an eye on her as I could, so her outdoor adventures became shadowed by my presence and an extendable leash so I could monitor her well-being.

Three or four times a day, we walk to the end of our road and back and she thrills in discovering new smells each time we travel along the same stretch of pavement.  She has been trained to sit down at the side of the road every time a car passes so they are not concerned about getting too close.  But lately after each car has passed, her smile widens and she leaps from her seated position to follow the occupants of the vehicle that she has convinced herself are on the road only to see her.  I am loath to admit that my dog has become a Kardashian.

Tail wagging, she veers into the middle of the road to catch a whiff of the humans in the metal can on wheels.  If the car is going in the opposite direction, I suddenly find myself the one being walked down the road.  And, much to my dismay, several cars stop to chat only reinforcing her belief that they have stopped just for her.  After her faithful subjects have curtsied and paid their respects, her head swells slightly, I feel moderately deprived of oxygen and we continue our walk until we are securely tucked back into our humble abode (which I’m sure she now feels is beneath her).

new 008

(image: Callaway as a puppy)

As I’m sure it happens in Hollywood, Callaway’s fame happened overnight.  Three or four times a day, I apparently walk a movie star.  I missed the memo explaining my new role in this relationship but as long as I still have that smiling face in my life, I’m okay with it!