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that’s what Natalie Goldberg, my favorite of all time writer gurus says, just write.  Just do it, man.  or in my case, woman.  Put pen to paper.  Finger tips to keyboard.  Pencil to cardboard.  Fingers to the air.  Just do it.  Right now.  Right here.  No excuses.  No stopping.  No monkey mind.   That’s what Goldberg calls that part of our brain that distracts us and pulls us right and left up and down and then all zig zaggy.  When all the time, our original intention was to sit down and write out a page or two or ten or the poem of our life.

This Saturday evening, I am attending a Literary Salon.  Sounds fancy, huh?  At least it does to me.  I joined a local writer’s group earlier this year, it could have been last year, it was in the dark months of winter that much I remember.  I am not much of a joiner in the way of joining groups.  I used to be.  A joiner of political groups.  I railed against all sorts of human injustices and fought hard for human and individual rights for a long long time.  And then I grew weary.

Back to my current subject of the fancy sounding upcoming Literary Salon.  I am excited.  Nervous.  But more excited.  The event is being held at someone’s home whom I have never met.  And here’s the really cool and brave part, I volunteered to read some of my writing.   The organizers were looking for 10 volunteers to read 5 minutes of their work.  Since most of my essays are more than two pages long, I quickly decided to read a few selections from my body of erotica poetry.  That is, until I spoke with the main organizer who informed me that there will be children present.  Good to know.  So onto Plan B.  or Actually C.

I have chosen four other poems to read and have been practicing the timing of the reading and introduction to the pieces to fit within the five minute allotment.  Five minutes goes by really fast!

This will be good for me.  Meeting other writers.  Being inspired by their work in progress.  Sharing a part of myself that has been dormant for far too long.

So I have returned to my roots and busted out my beloved guru’s books, Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind.  They have inspired me for many years and continue to remind me of my first love ~ words, writing and the telling of stories.  Utter bliss.  Just write.  So right.

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Not ready, yet.

Just the other day, which at this stage of my life can mean a couple of weeks or months ago, I realized that if I were to die in that moment I would not feel ready to take my leave of this life time.  This realization arrived with no small surprise.  You see, I have spent big chunks of energy, time, effort, imagination and sheer will power to keep my precarious hold to this earthly planet.  And that is not to speak of my multiple beseechings of the Universal Powers to alternately open my eyes to the wonders that this life has to offer or to take me quickly to another place, another planet, another existence or to simply extinguish my flickering flame altogether. 

I have struggled with varying gradations of melancholy and depression as far back as my memories travel.  Years of spiritual searching and guidance seeking ~frequent findings and losings of faith ~ years worth of various therapies ~ book after book of helping myself books read, re-read, dog-eared and cursed ~ multiple sundry eating plans, herbs and self-medication, followed by much self castigation with equal amounts of guilt for being so un-grateful for life’s abundance.  

Scattered amongst this turmoiled angst, moments and sometimes days of brightened mood.  Such a welcome respite in a choppy sea of deep blue and inky black depths.  

A certain thought has cropped up now and then of ‘if I were to die right now… .”  The thought  followed by a variation of ‘it wouldn’t be a moment too soon’  or ‘a perfect moment to leave.’  So one might understand a bit more the surprise, the startle if you will, that I felt with that initial response of ‘no, I am not ready.’  Not ready to leave this life, my life, in this moment.  As I have mulled over this new response, which has remained, I have come to understand that my life feels more precious to me than in the past.  Many other realizations have crystallized as the marinading of this new experience continues. 

Today though I wanted to share that I am here.  I am alive.  I am not ready to leave.  I am living.

The other day I read the headline or byline or small snippet of an article based on the theory that humans are incapable of simultaneously loving someone and worrying about that same someone.  In other words, worry is not tantamount to love.  This byline, this fragment of what appeared to be a lengthy piece of writing, has now been popcorning around in my head. 

My knee jerk reaction was to exclaim, “You sir or madam, are wrong!”  That urge most likely comes from the fact that I am a notorious worrier over the safety of those I hold dear.  And I suppose I must be equating worry to the strength of my caring and out-and-out affection for these folks.  Pious, perhaps?  Martyr, maybe?  I mean, really, does any “good” parent not worry about their children’s safety, futures, happiness and health?  And does not their worry make their “love” even stronger? 

If I were a predictor of the future, one gifted with psychic abilities if you will, I might foresee my search for this particular catalyst of thought and emotion provoking article in order to read beyond the byline.  I mean, after all, one must have some understanding of what one vehemently disagrees with, correct?  Plus, beyond my initial uncensored reaction there lies a curiosity and openness to this new idea.  For when the day is all said and done, worry does not seem to enrich the lives of either the lover or the object of their affection. 

So sign me up for new ideas and careful considerations of a new way of approaching the sacred experience of love.  My knee seems to be healing nicely from its recent acute reaction.

The last chapter is coming to a close on the year of 2011 and a true page turner this calendar year has been. Given the health challenges that were included in this particular year book, I can honestly say that this is a year that I am happy to read The End on the closing credits.

Of course there is always a Page 2 or the Other Side of any any story and that is true with this 2011 novel. Along with the challenges and out-and-out horrid vignettes there have been positive movement forward, new beginnings and reclaiming of some good stuff lost along the way.

So I am not exactly saying to 2011 to not let the book cover slap it on the butt on its way out… nor am I saying even a good riddance followed by an irritated harrumph…

At least not totally.

What I am stating, however, is that I am looking mighty forward to this new calendar year, this new book of 2012. Because at this juncture, before the cover page has even been turned, the year holds promise after promise ~ potential after potential ~ hope after hope and wish after wish, for a solidly great read filled with high adventure, laughter, a few tears of gratitude, and vigorous living.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, I must remind us that we are not quite finished with the current reading of our 2011 book. Just a few more pages to go but remember that some of the really good stuff happens right before the story comes to a close.

McKenzie over at mommysaidaswearword has given me my first (ever) super (duper) cool blogging award. Wow! Not only did I WIN an award but it was gifted to me by a sister blogger whose words and sharing I respect and utterly appreciate ~ McKenzie makes me laugh out loud and think and ponder ~ all pasttimes that I enjoy.

In accepting the award, I am tasked with sharing seven (7) secrets about myself. That’s a thinker, that task is. I already have the 62 trivial and tantalizing tidbits about myself page to my little blog… But hey, we all harbor secrets, right? Our shadow selves? Our too quirky to still be considered eccentric components. Right?? Okay here goes, the big “reveal” (re-appropriating an HGTV term) ~ hope we’re still buddies at the end ~

1 ~ I haven’t met any kind of goat cheese that I like, so far.

2 ~ I eat popcorn one kernel at a time and have been known to look down upon folks who shovel hand-fulls into their open gaping sometimes still chomping on the last hand-full, mouths. (Yes, I do understand that judging others is wrong. completely wrong minded. twisted. and tainted.)

3 ~ I, along with thousands of others, dread to see babies and little tykes boarding the same airplane that I will be tortured flying on. No matter how cute. or beautiful. the little one is. I feel dread and the internal begging begins, which goes akin to this, “dear god, please oh please oh please oh please, do not have me sitting beside the baby.” (Yes, I do know that it is not the infant’s fault that they cry ~ their poor little ears hurt. And yes, I do know that the tyke who keeps kicking the back of my ill fitting seat is not the devil’s spawn but, instead, a poor wee one who is as sick as I am of being cooped up like an everdead sardine.) I still say the endless loop prayer.

4 ~ When I am really super stressed, I fantasize about the perfect home ~ the location, the floors (polished stained concrete, hardwood, bamboo) ~ the views…

5 ~ I love, as in deeply, love my smart phone. (Yes, I understand that it is wrong minded to love an inanimate object, a mere piece of technology ~ but, I do and what’s more, I tell it so every day).

6 ~ I still do not know what I really look like even though I am more than half way through this life time. Glimpses, here and again. but nothing permanent or lasting.

7 ~ I still miss my first omma.

Well, that went quicker than I imagined it might. The second and last part of receiving this award is sharing 15 blogs that I follow and enjoy. Now, that’s a no problem sort of task. In fact, I am honored to list the following blogs and to encourage folks to check them out ~ some are uber funny, others contemplative in nature ~ but all of them have enriched my life in some fashion or another, time after time. Oh, and remember to check out mymommysaidaswearword afterall, McKenzie is the one who chose me to receive this fantastic award.

Happy reading ~

Terri’s Little Corner

all the elbows

KoreanHapa

Trailer Park Nirvana

Joy the Baker

The Wednesday Chef

My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours

One Crafty Girl!

Burnt Lumpia

Mixed American Life

Roboseyo

Urban Simplicity

Plum Bananas

An Apple A Day

Hello Korea!

Meeting myself again. That’s what my past week or so has felt like. An exercise in re-acquaintment with me. Raising my eyes from a good read and realizing that I am smiling even though the story line is sad and the smile on my lips having more to do with a sense of well being than from the novel’s plot.

Singing along with some tunes played from song lists made from years ago. Breaking out into dance. Oh yeah! I remember you ~ so glad to have me back.

Being glad to wake up. Looking forward to special time planned with my daughter and then savoring every moment of that time when it arrives. Being present. And not wishing that I were anywhere else.

Returning to my center. Saying hello. You look a little different. Let’s catch up with our news. I’ll put the teakettle on.

My life is fixing to be full up with new things right about tomorrow and the rest of this calendar week. New place to lay my head (figuratively speaking, since I am working on almost two months of sleeping upright) and new place to spend my days as I begin a new job tomorrow. I will be sure to stay grounded by keeping my commitment to post daily in this little blog.

Has anybody else read the children’s book Rabbit Hill? I loved that book as a child and I still love the book in my adulthood. In this book, the animals that live near a house are all filled up with gossip about the new folks who are moving in. The animals wonder if the new folks will be planting folk, as in planting a new garden or if they will put out good garbage for them to forage through.

Whenever I think of doing something new, I think of Rabbit Hill and the animals’ refrain of new folks comin’.

Thought I’d share that tidbit ~ while I prepare to have lots of new things in my life.

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