All About the Goat.

It’s been a ‘taking time’ sort of year. That sounds wrong, as if I had snatched time away. So I guess I’d rather say I have been working on ‘being with time.’

Monsieur Goaty Goat

Monsieur Goaty Goat

This goat is the perfect example of my being with time. During soccer season, my husband drove our son to practice and to coach, and on alternate nights, I drove our daughter. The fields were located at the end of a long driveway that wound through a place stuck in time. I thought it was the coolest thing: decayed buildings with worn pictures of what looked like British Colonial Indian men wearing turbans and holding rifles. We drove by an abandoned miniature golf course, and just past that, a large penned in structure with peacocks, chickens, horses in a field beyond, and this fat goat.

It became a ritual for my daughter and I to hope that the goat was hovering at the entrance gates. Most nights he was, and we were the only ones to stop the car, get out, and say hello. The goat didn’t give a shit, of course. Merely sniffed an outstretched hand, turned and trotted off to his perch. But I loved that we did that, even as other soccer moms raised eyebrows driving by, I loved it.

Being with time was sometimes a struggle; during our moving crisis, it felt narrow and tense. Many other times, I argued with it; wanted it to speed up so that healing could be done faster; anger and resentment would fade quicker. But time goes at its pace, and we must go with it. Like the one lane road we often find ourselves traveling on, stuck behind the slow driver with no passing allowed.

In the roominess of the space I sit when I’m feeling at peace, I see how valuable this particular year has been. I will admit to clinging to certain sufferings and still, I’m not sure why. They aren’t ready to be understood yet, so I am still…always…continually…learning to accept them. But when they rise up I can lash out; I’m working on that. But mostly, time for this year has been so beneficial to the most loving relationship next to self, and that is with my husband.

Bidding adieu to 2013, a time of learning, growing, stretching, understanding, loving, fearing, anger, detaching, resentment, judging, wishing ill-will, forgiving, apologizing, making peace, reaching out, hoping, wishing, hugging, kissing, making love, creating, writing, expanding, thinking, separating, dancing, crying, seeking truth, breaking, sitting, mindfulness, meditating, thanking, gratitude.

2014 will no doubt, bring more of the same, although with a little less financial crunchiness, and that’s just fine.

Now for a little bit of visual feastiness:  My favorite video of the year. The song by itself is ok, but when I watch it with the video, it makes me so happy.

Lose Yourself to Dance. Why? Because, really, it’s just a wonderfully, uninhibited, freeing, soul-reviving thing to do.

Peace to you All.  Keep Dancing!

Friday Fictioneers – Johnathan’s Folly

Photo courtesy:  Douglas M. MacIlroy

Photo courtesy: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Johnathan’s Folly

Word count:  100

He used to say it looked like a robot with iridescent eyes and a yellow coat with the collars upturned. They had giggled, cuddled together, breathing fat balloons of air into the New Year night. A year later, Tina sat on the same bench, heartbroken; Johnathan was up there celebrating with his wife. The symmetry had been an illusion, and her lover had cast aside his folly to live life on a skating rink of lies.

Wretched, sobbing, Tina checked her watch and began the countdown….3, 2, 1…

The explosion rocked the city. No more robot. No more Johnathan.

Buy, buy, buy

It’s been a strange-feeling Christmas this year, and I can’t quite put my finger on the reason.

This is the first Christmas since my oldest was born that I am working. Perhaps I have felt the time constraints more keenly because of that. When I was able to get presents for my kids, it was within a week and a half of Christmas, and how time breathed heavy down the neck of my shirt. The things they wanted were no longer available; snapped up by others with the luxury of time and income. ~a touch of resentment there. 

buy_all_things-400x300At the mall yesterday (a place I had hoped to avoid) I was aware of the materialistic nature of the season. Signs everywhere begging for attention, and I felt dissatisfied. I’ve been naming emotions the past few days and that one pops up frequently. I’m on the road a lot more this year with work commutes and I’m more aware of the douchy nature of so many drivers. Why not just let the guy in? Why do you have to close ranks and be a dick? Why? Where is the courtesy? Where is the compassion?

I know it’s out there. I see it on my facebook feed daily through the lives of friends and acquaintances near and far.

There’s just something lacking, which is hilariously ironic because truthfully, I lack for nothing. Nothing of importance anyway – I have love, comfort, family, a roof over my head, and those are enough for my soul. It’s my ego that is dissatisfied.

So, to the ego, I say go. Leave and let self bask in the joys of the season. There is nothing here for you to worry over, or stress about, or be angry about. Nobody else matters. Just relax.

Breathe. Beer. Cookies. Delight. Togetherness. Tradition. Family.

Friday Fictioneers – The Parting Gift

Photo courtesy - Jean L. Hayes

Photo courtesy – Jean L. Hays

The Parting Gift

Word count:  97

Oh my god, if she hangs this here again, I’m gonna kill her.  Trevor hmphed at the irony, and yanked the ornament from the door frame. Why did she have to keep reminding him? What on earth was the goddamn point? Again, he threw the damn thing in the trash.

At the end of the garden, in the shed guarded by construction cones lay the frozen body of his wife, Judy, broken and stuffed in the couples’ chest freezer. The Dolphin Circle had been a gift from her lover, who lay beneath her in much smaller parts.

Fortunate.

This blog was forged at the beginning of the year; it began lightly, dancing over a veneer, oblivious of its purpose beneath. I remember at the start trying to be witty; ad-libbing funny in a thought out manner, writing about me, me, me. It felt narcissistic and full of ego and I don’t mind saying that although I enjoyed the act of writing, of sharing, it felt awkward and sometimes embarrassing; the attention-seeking sense of it all.

It is known now that this was not created by the part of me that is offered to the world; the funny, make-em-laugh girl with an easy smile and helpful manner. I know because it has become something much deeper, as if the words themselves have carved away the inside of me allowing spaciousness for soul, allowing room for spiritual growth and development.

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Journey. I love that word –  an odyssey, a quest, progress, adventure. Life is this journey. The goal is clear in that eventually we will leave our bodies, and since this is already figured out for us, shouldn’t we make the most of our journey? We have no idea of the length of time, or what the surface will be like along the way. It’s wild and woolly sometimes, heartbreaking and filled with sorrow. Other times it’s so joyous we could burst, sometimes simply quiet and comforting.

This place here has become a proving ground, a learning ground, a welcoming hollow to write about the highs and lows. All the valleys with their dark undergrowth that seemed to go on forever, and through which I stumbled, weeping and blind. The peaks that looked out onto sunny skies. Over there, the roller coaster rides that rocked and stunned. All around, moments, people, situations…life. 

I am fortunate to  have this place, these pages, and as this year closes I acknowledge the time I have spent digging down to truth, making way for self.

I tip my hat to my friends who read. I hope I have helped or maybe *pinches thumb and forefinger together* inspired a tiny bit.

A lesson I have read many times, but only recently truly taken to heart is sitting with emotion. Thanks to Tara Brach by way of this lovely group, I am learning this: Whatever comes up, and whenever it comes up – take pause. Breathe into the feeling, allow yourself to feel it, give it room, acknowledge its presence, and it will pass. By doing this, a wiser choice can be made.

I hope to practice this during the coming year, and all the ones beyond.

Merry Christmas!

Friday Fictioneers – Get a Leg Over

Photo courtesy - Adam Ickes

Photo courtesy – Adam Ickes

Get a Leg Over

Word count:  100

“I beg your pardon?”

Adam loved when she asked in that wide-eyed, questioning way; she sounded like Mary Poppins.

“Knocking boots. You’ve never heard of it?”

Briony considered the phrase. “Mm, no, I don’t believe so.  What does it mean exactly?

He grinned and pulled her to him, timing it perfectly with their arrival at the end of the pier.

“It means, my little English flower, that I want to… y’know…” he bobbed his head hoping she’d understand the meaning without his expressing the words.

Ironically, Adam’s boots stayed put as he was pushed swiftly into the icy water below.

Sunflower Mind

Part of the awareness growing in the last year has become more prevalent of late. I want to write about it without flaunting it, without it seeming as if I’m bragging because it’s not like that at all. It’s a quiet thing; a baby really – not that babies are quiet at all – I guess I mean in the ‘smallest’ sense. I’ve written about writing before as a snake, a monster, the tail of some unearthly creature come to whip me into shape. I’ve written about it as collecting grains of sand to build a giant sandcastle at some later date. And to some extent, those metaphors remain a little true. But with growth and strength of mind comes also change. Change in vision, in the path to get to a certain point, in the way of doing things.

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This week I piggy-backed on a piece of flash fiction I wrote last week by turning it into a one act play; the theatre group I belong to had a need for a few more to complete their line up.

I’ve written a number of flash fiction pieces for Friday Fictioneers, and dabbled with expanding them into larger works but in this relatively new arena (which is actually fairly old, I just haven’t been here for many years) larger works are elusive. The way is hazy as if I had stretched out my fingers to move forward but no amount of headlight will help me find the tips or the way ahead.

So, I wrote this one act. And I whipped up another Friday Fictioneers piece of 100 words.

What I want to say is that I am in love with how my creative mind is slowly cranking into life. I look at the picture presented and it’s as if I plant a seed; just stick it in the groundmind and let it do its thing. No work, no pressure, no force. Images come to mind, the first few words appear and off I go, sailing down a little hill on a homemade go-kart until I come to a stop at the end. Looking back up the hill, I make note of bumps, smooth them out, tidy up a bit. 

And smile. Inwardly and outwardly; smile at the observation of my own self. And that’s the key. Nothing as jolting or jarring as vicious snakes rising up from the depths, simply the act of nurturing a talent by letting it just be. By planting the intention and allowing my soul to do the rest.

Perhaps this is the way then for me? To write lots of small stuff, so that my imagination is fertile enough, rich enough to grow more than a daisy.  Perhaps one day, I’ll have a really big sunflower!

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