Profound Simplicity

Coming home to porch lights beaming like a beacon,
a sign that someone inside loves me,
anticipates my return.

Blossoming across the porch,
filling that space,
highlighting the grain of empty adirondack chairs,
the shadow in the space between the slats.
Spilling over and through the tic tac toes of the windows,
imbuing the living room with a soft warm glow akin to Christmas candles.

The lines of the room the only thing standing out:
straight across the back of the sofa,
the vertical rungs of the rocking chair,
the vaulted grid over the glass of the wood stove

In this dim light,
this stark relief,
is the bones,
the foundation of what matters.

The lines of life in this place,
this home I fell in love with.

In the light of day, distraction drowns them out
But here, in the quiet of night, profound simplicity reigns.

2018, 500, 1

In years past, WordPress has provided a neat little summary of the past year’s writing accomplishments on my blog.  I didn’t receive one this year.  Whether that’s because it’s no longer their practice or because my level of writing activity dipped below their radar remains to be seen.  I did, however, receive this neat little notification the other day.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 9.03.49 AM

500 posts.  That’s a lot of writing.  In my six years (wo)manning this blog, I have written many posts.  My aunt recently asked me which post or posts were my favorite(s).  A few came to mind instantaneously, of course, but once I started digging through, I realized just how many there are –

which helps provide balance to the writer’s remorse that I haven’t done more lately.

Once upon a time, Tuesday and Thursday were sacred posting days, with Fridays as an occasional musing on craft (my weekend write-off).  I’m still unpacking the irony that my writing on mental health paused or ceased when things got really crazy last spring and by the end of the summer/fall when I’d ceased my medication.  It didn’t help that I had another small human pulling at my pant leg.  I’ve also tried to reignite a dedicated writing regimen for my young adult fiction and personal memoir.  Something’s gotta give, I suppose, in my anxiety-ridden, mom-of-four, only-24-hours-in-a-day world.

Still, when I didn’t receive the adorable fireworks animation comparing my readership to the size of small countries, the writer’s remorse kicked in big time.  What were my dedicated readers doing whilst I whiled time away with laundry and survival?  How were my fellow bloggers doing since I’d checked in last?  While the schedule of blogging can be daunting, especially in the midst of daily overwhelm, the process of crafting and posting and interacting is therapeutic for my writing and mental muscles.  I miss the community – and the potential that the blog has.

I have chopped lots of potatoes over the years.  I’m going to keep chopping.  Some days may produce uniform little cubes; others hackneyed hunks.  But it’s good to be back – even in a smashed capacity.

Gloaming

I love that there is a line of light on the horizon,

a gleam just beyond

A glow of grey at the billowing edge of green,

the globes atop tree branches

It is dark in the corners –

But there, far away, it is bright.

Without Wee, Within

I am very much inside myself lately.

Thinking about what needs to get done,
Worrying about pain and exhaustion,
Waiting for my next chance to lie down

I weigh this alone time
for its relaxation
vs
opportunity to accomplish,
both sans wee ones

Motherhood has brought me to this state
and yet, it’s all in my head.

I struggle and strive to survive
for them
yet yearn for me

.

power_within

powercube.net

The Music of the Morning

The distant beep beep beep of a backing-up garbage truck
Residual rivulets of rain on the roof
Ringing in my ears

A Benedictine monk was told to repeat a Psalm over and over in his head
When it was all he could hear, he asked his superior what then.
Repeat it until you become it.

Without the outside distractions of beeping and running water,
the ringing becomes all consuming.
How can I turn down the dissonance and resonate with the truth?

psalmist

thegospelcoalition

The Simple Things ARE the Things

A toasty bagel oozing cream cheese

A crinkly wrapper compressed solidly in your fist

Sun light streaming

Fears, panic, stress receding

From a simple soul baring followed by an authentic affirmation

Jennifer Butler Basile

Jennifer Butler Basile

The joy and light of crisp fall leaves all around me

Radiance enters my soul and sings

Self-Care: A Cautionary Tale

I didn’t eat breakfast.

I drank caffeine.

I didn’t take my meds.

I stared at the computer screen all day.

I reread a beautiful, but sad book.

I cried hand-clamping tears.

I had a late lunch.

I didn’t get dressed until 4 PM.

I fought with my husband.

I looked things up online by only the light of my phone.

I went to bed too late.

—————————————

I awoke at 5:45 to the crash of thunder,
the wind whirling,
the rain pummeling.
Mother Nature matching my disconcertment.
Trees torn from their roots,
leaves littering the ground –
a mess of downed limbs and debris.
But soon the sun is shining,
the water a glaze of calm.

image

Jennifer Butler Basile

Still, my head is in a vice.
My stomach churns.
There is much recovery to be done.

Timing is Everything

There is that anticipatory moment,
when the kettle sings and I rush to snap the stove top knob shut,
the satisfying gurgle of the hot water overtaking the tea bag

pixshark

pixshark


tumbling
down
around
then up
plump and pregnant
releasing its aromatic gifts

The two to three minute steep time seems an eternity
and yet not as long as waiting for the first sip
that won’t scald the tongue

Too soon and there is an acrid taste on the tip of my tongue for the rest of the day
Too long and the water is lukewarm, a let down after such hot expectations

There is a small window,
an optimum sipping time
Bright hot, but not burning
Satisfyingly warm, but not wimpy

My impatience often gets the better of me
and after a few near misses of steamed nostrils and blistered lips,
I move on to something else,
my mug mellowing on the coffee table.

When I remember and/or return,
I am able to gulp several swallows at once.
Not at all the way tea is meant to be drunk.

The taking in of tea is meant to be an experience.
As important as its ingestion is the warming of the hands around the mug,
the waiting, the inhaling,
the sensory experience.
Not the amount of things to be ticked off the to-do list while I’m waiting.

Timing is everything –
but sometimes it’s also about letting it stop.

Off the Grid

The irony of

one post about the beauty of staring into the fire

and the next

about not staring but rushing around willy-nilly

does not escape me.

Of life-giving warmth

giving meditative bliss and salve

being ignored for

frantic prepping and sapping of adrenaline that may be needed in actual emergency.

I get it.

My analytic mind senses the conundrum.

My overly expectant self wallows in the defeat of two house-bound days devoid of relaxation.

Though my electrical panel never lost power, I did.

The ability to worry is the only sort of control I have.

Non-superstitious Scenes from September 13

I set out on an errand with no particular subject in mind for today’s photos, but camera safely stowed in the passenger seat.  Then I spied this scene on the side of the road.

I couldn't decide between this shot, wild grasses and golden rod framing it out . . .

I couldn’t decide between this shot, wild grasses and golden rod framing it out . . .

Or this one with the focus on the reds and reflections.

Or this one with the focus on the reds and reflections.

 

 

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