Here is the compendium of knowledge I have acquired since pushing off a cactus and setting my inner GPS to S-E-A. Some practical daily life points not considered by those (and by those I mean me) who reside, full-time in the desert southwest.
Coats with hoods. Handy.
Umbrellas for rain (not shade) should not be the micro mini 14 small metal parts in just the handle to make it fold small enough to fit in your child’s pocket type of umbrella. Seattle laughs at these.
Mostly cloudy is code for grey. All grey. No clouds. Not discernible ones anyway. Just the dullest, lifeless shade of grey.
The cities in the middle of the state of Washington readily advertise the number of days of sunshine per year. Proud of it and rightly so. If your town had a mountain of gold, you would advertise that wouldn’t you? I don’t see much of a difference at this point.
Moss. It is prolific. Who knew?
Cutthroat trout need protection. Again. Not on my radar.
Traveling light can be a mindset. It helps if the mindset talks to your luggage. Or offers to pay for a valet. (That’s two strikes for my mindset.)
If you wonder why Seattle is a haven for coffee and coffee snobs, I give you points one through four as listed above.
I now know I prefer grey sweaters, grey cards used for photography, and for sentimentality sake, the grey of the picnic tables in Rockport, ME. Not so much a grey sky fan. Clouds still get my vote though.
And this, dear ones, is what you get when a desert transplant shakes the sand from her feet and wanders too far north.
The fog has come in. And I am ok. I know which direction the sun will rise and I know how to find my North.
I like the softness of fog. How it can ease you into a day.
I am sipping my first french press since leaving Kansas. I like the routine of it. The aloneness of it. I appreciate the not getting dressed part, the staying in pajamas part. I am somewhat entrenched–voluntarily climbing in–in this routine. Coffee. And writing. Slow beginning.
Yes, there are days that are utterly frustrating. Plenty of days where the words stay in my head and I have to pull and shake to get them down on the page. A few days that sit blank as if they can choose a Sabbath of words.
Worry can come before the first cup and stay long after I have abandoned the pen. I would like to declare there is a good worry, like scientists have declared there is good stress.
This quivering doubt that wants to be wonder when it grows up was birthed when the one month anniversary of no pay check arrived. An event that was planned. Well, it was not particularly charted out and waited for, but a rather inevitable prediction.
Month marker two is peeking out and around the corner from next week. I have had hints of an island out in the sea. I want to believe I already know the specific strokes that are best to use when swimming in such a place. Want to believe I have the energy to get there. Though, I confess at time, both fuel and funds seem undernourished.
Can I confess?
This trench living, hunkering down to write has left me with no words. When the words did come, they begged for a file in a box in a closet behind a door at the end of a hallway. I have had to do a lot of not thinking about this blog–about the abandoning of posts. Of setting aside the what if I don’t do this or what if it is time to be done?
This was not media overload. It was not even the usual trek home that forces an unplug as I arrive in the rural Midwest. I had to learn to shush. If not with my mouth, then most especially with my mind.
You didn’t need to know that. However, since no logical conclusion to this post was coming, I figured I needed to remove the block to the ending. So a confessional posing as an ending it is. (In other words, the confession did not free the block in my writing out about what is next, of how to move on or through this.)
Finally, I promise to return soon to tell you all about my weekend. There were bus transfers and antics. Possibly even another confession–one that involves thorns, drunkards and blue jeans.
I asked for wisdom. I received peace.
I am no longer sure which is which or if there is a difference.
The good from the day.
Grey skies. Clouds. Rain. Humidity.
Two hikes full of the lusciously humid smells of the desert.
Being reminded to look instead of simply seeing.
So I practiced. I was reminded of pans in the bakery of the store my parents owned. Of cookie sheets in my grandmothers’ kitchens. I baked bread this morning and took some time to record what I saw. Not necessarily an interesting photograph, but a photograph of an interesting object. (One professors distinction between art and Art.)
Now it is time for the fireworks. A few moments to sit in awe the same way you did when you were 7.
Happy 4th. I hope you have felt the blessings of independence today.
The top edge of the sun just hit the rim of the moutain. Heat dispersed and the light went flat. It set the neighborhood dogs to barking, and changed my mood.
Now I feel the sweat of sitting in the sun, sense the direction of the heat changing. The wall behind me switching from absorbing to radiating energy.
This is the edge. The end of the work to pay bills. The deep breath releasing into life work.
Mark DeMoss’ The Little Red Book of Wisdom is full of colorful stories. I can’t say I recall though why he chose red. Perhaps it is just some common knowledge that I am lacking.
The chapters are short and the ideas are simple. The author acknowledges that these simple ideas are not completely unique or new–just worth your time and effort.
I would agree that refocusing it imperative and DeMoss outlines many little ways to shift your eyes from old thought processes to newer, wiser ways to frame your life.
I think this would be a fabulous gift for a Jr High or Sr High graduate. With all the shifts and changes in life these days, it could even be a good book to loan a friend who is feeling her way along some major shifts in life.
So it’s been awhile. Not since I have wanted to write things here but since I have felt able. A little forwarded email about what you can learn from Noah’s Ark reminded me to tune out the critics and tune in the One who has called me to work. And this is my Life’s Work.
I’m learning that writing is more about finding my photographs than being an writer. And I think I’m ok with that. Which means there can be more words than images on something that I call my photography blog.
While I enjoy seeing photos of everyone’s kiddos on sites like facebook, I think I need a separate space to post my work…it needs to be important enough to exist in its own framework. This is my bulletin board (since in not-so-virtual life I only have space for a 16″ X 20″ cork & wood bulletin board). And like all good posting spots there will be random bits that most folks see and scratch their heads. A few things that when I look back I will have to think hard to remember why I scrawled upslidedown on my grocery receipt. (Ok, in all honesty I will never have to think about what upslidedown means to me.)
Since the one who first spoke the word “upslidedown” is now having a meltdown about his inability to divide an odd number by 2, I should once again shift my focus and continue on another avenue in the metropolis of my life.