Archives for the month of: September, 2013

The way the wind swayed outside yesterday, an image came to mind…a barren place–no, not barren, a cemetery…I see a young girl walking, she’s in a white flowing night dress trimmed at the edges with lace. She wanders through the cemetery of her thoughts, unable to get out of the cemetery.

She continues walking until she comes upon a tuft of wheat grass; as she continues, a whole field opens up to her and it’s empty, except she doesn’t feel alone. She feels a presence, only it’s not any one presence, it’s like a gust of love that surrounds her. The wheat grass starts to speak to her. He moves and sways in a gentle, but strong way, tickling her ears with his secrets.

After a time, she waves, says goodbye, walks through the cemetery one more time, stopping slowly at each stone, observing an extra moment of silence.

She takes the clump of wheat that the wind placed in her hands, ties it together and places it in the pocket of her nightdress. Just beyond the cemetery, she finds a ladder hanging, suspended in the night air. The ladder is fashioned from silk, the steps a shiny bone dusted with essence of the moon. She puts one foot on the ladder to steady herself, then pulls herself up and begins the climb.

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The house is still, as I like it.
Crow caws outside trying to get someone’s attention.
There’s a faint breeze outside that I can hear ever so softly.
We have a full day planned; I wonder what surprises will sneak through.
I love the breeze, the wind, how all the trees and flowers dance and sway.
Yesterday, I noticed that the sky was different, the light is changing.
Fall is swiftly pushing itself through Mother Nature’s doors. Right now the
flowers on the table are the brightest yellow miniature carnations with a
few deep colored carnations left over from the last batch. They are the
perkiest yet. I take my last sip of coffee as I surrender into the day.

**

First class brought me back face-to-face with how little I like to speak up in class. I mean, I was actually the second to volunteer to speak from the group. I spoke. The teacher asked me to speak Louder. I stood on my toes and spoke again. Later I laughed at myself, as though my lifting myself on my toes would help. I just don’t like hearing my voice project louder than at a conversational level. It sounds too loud.

I emailed my co-worker a couple of weeks ago at work. Occasionally, we exchange emails about random things. I was in an upbeat mood, and amongst other things I said or asked of him, I wrote him that it’s so much easier to be LOUD on the page. His response was that he didn’t understand what I was saying. I took for granted that he would understand, so I wrote him back what I meant and he said, yep, he knew what I meant and sometimes he felt that way too.

**

I visited my boxes of books in the garage yesterday. I was actually in search of the Pessoa book and I was happy to find it, after lifting the lids of a few boxes, I found it in a box labeled some philosophy and misc. fiction. I also lifted the lid with astrology that I thought I had stashed my Tarot books. I took the Tarot books and box of cards into the house, and I also took a painting that did years ago. It is small and as I recall it started out as a flower but ended up being an exploration in color and texture. It’s now hanging in our bathroom and it bursts with subdued color.

354
“Heat, like an invisible piece of clothing, makes one feel like taking it off.”

361
“The search for truth–be it the subjective truth or belief, the objective truth of reality, or the social truth of money or power–always confers, on the searcher who merits a prize, the ultimate knowledge of its non-existence. The grand prize of life goes only to those who bought tickets by chance.
The value of art is that it takes us away from here.”

–Fernando Pessoa – The Book of Disquiet

Fernando Pessoa has been on my mind, specifically The Book of Disquiet; more generally, how he had many pseudo-selves that he referred to as heteronyms, aspects of himself that he dreamed up with different backgrounds, personalities–complete extensions of himself to give voice to the different parts within his psyche: Self and not-Self

Where this idea resonates with me is how different aspects of my own personality come through in my writing depending on what, who, and why I’m writing; also my mood colors everything I do, think, and in turn, write. Though, I do not have different selves that I have created with their own backgrounds, etc., I do sense or feel different reflections of myself on the page at different times. It’s hard to explain, which is why Pessoa makes sense to me.

Though I can’t say that I have read much of Pessoa, parts of what I have read resonate with me. I first came across this book when fellow blogger, Vincent, introduced me to him through one of his blogs a couple of years back. It was shortly after his recommendation of The Book of Disquiet that I ordered a copy of my own.

Once I had my hands on the book, I was fascinated and at the same time felt a connection. How fascinating to read that this man–Fernando Pessoa–had created so many selves and to think that most of the work that would become The Book of Disquiet was found in his trunk in the form of prose, notes, plays, philosophy, and so much more.

I’m drawn to Pessoa’s seeming ability to consistently write in the moment. I’ve witnessed over the years in my own writing, mostly pre-blog times, and when I let loose. But, I’ve noticed that it’s inevitable for me not to become self-conscious when it comes to my writing. I’ve noticed a shift. There are times in the past when I wrote–when I may have had more time, made more time, sometimes no time–when I found inspiration more easily, more readily.

And when I turn this on it’s side, I’ve asked myself, what else has changed? I can’t really say for sure, except that I simply need to keep my pen moving and stop looking back.

That’s where it gets tricky, because there are several pieces that I have written or started in the past, yet never putting the pieces on my blog. I feel as though I’m in this constant state of looking back, being in the present, and peeking forward to the future. It’s not a bad thing exactly–what I notice though that as time goes on, is that I change, my thoughts change, what I’ve written is from another period of time, another part of my history, and these parts of myself die off in a way and that feels strange. Some parts live and make it to somewhere and others never get a chance.

And in some cases, I come across a piece of my writing where I can sense that I wasn’t self-conscious, that I wasn’t over-thinking–I was just writing, as I imagine Pessoa did, without a care, freely allowing his raw and refined thought to flow out.

I also have perfectionistic tendencies and I think that gets in my way too…but it’s more. It’s an awareness that now I’ve crossed over into the realm where writer of private and wild thoughts, writing for self alone, also enjoys sharing, and even though she writes for herself, she knows there are other eyes that will land on the page and that part is what she thinks, at times, causes a freeze and at the same time, she doesn’t write as often as she used to in her private journals and she wonders…it is because she has nothing more to say. That very thought is like a death sentence and she knows deep down it’s not true; she mustn’t utter those words.

No matter what, she knows that part of her process–and here she hears these words she tells herself when she re-enters this cycle: it’s part of the process; she’ll write herself out of the maze. She knows at the heart of it is a combination of inspiration and running wild into the night, to howl at the moon and allow herself to be in her skin in all of her guises, to allow the different aspects of her personality and moods to have a stage, to have a place to say, here I am.

Sometimes she’s serious, sometimes silly, sad, messy…it’s endless. Sometimes she can dive in and stay down in the deep waters for long periods; and other times she can only poke her toes around at the surface of the waters peering in from a safe distance.

Pessoa came back into my awareness when I was reading through a book that I checked out from the library weeks ago. It’s also part of my process to read books on writing at various times. It’s like having a conversation with an old friend. This book is called, Writing – The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice by Rami Shapiro and Aaron Shapiro. The book has sat, read in bits. I had come across a small passage where the authors quote Pessoa: “Each moment I have changed. Feeling myself always as a stranger…That’s why, like a stranger I read the pages of my being…I note at the margin of what I read what I thought I felt. Rereading I say: ‘Was it I?’ God knows, because he wrote it.” I can relate to feeling like a stranger at times. Moreover, what Pessoa says here pierces through my being and all that I see is a beautiful white light.

The authors go on to say that, “Pessoa recognized that the individual self was a fiction and that, in fact, one’s ultimate self could not be identified, and that it might only be experienced as a parade of pseudonyms, a succession of masks. And that behind the parade, beneath the masks, lay the ineffable, the unknowable. The no-thing or no-one or no-body he chose to call God” (pg. 6).

Whether it is our intention or not, it seems this something that writing allows us to get close to is always bigger than ourselves and it is ourselves; writing has a way of bringing us to some form of truth, even if we don’t always recognize it at first glance.

Feeling playful…Friday, September 13, 2013. Double 13 day!

Last night I couldn’t sleep. Thoughts
swirled around–this is how is started: stuck, stuck, stuck.
And this morning, this is how it finished.

**

Stuck, stuck, stuck
in a rut, a self-imposed
writing rut
reading is dry,
been distracted
with
responsibilities,
thoughts pushed aside,
reading pushed aside,
writing in my head,
in bits and scraps
and
in between
something fully formed
comes flowing out.

Not always the case; can’t
always be in the flow; otherwise,
I’ll be late to work, stop cooking,
cleaning, eating–
responsibility
gets pushed
to the back, to the way back.

Readjusting,
accepting responsibility;
small rude awakening at work
cut into “my time.” Flexibility became a little
too loose.

My juices start to flow when it’s time to go.

Readjust, readjust, readjust…

Find a new rhythm, embrace it all–
the PAUSE will become a big GO!

PLAY!

No STOPping me now.

That’s a wrap.

I’ve replaced the pink carnations that sat on the small dining room table. Without this short, stout vase and these flowers, that corner of the room, the wall, the table–it looks stark in a way that says something essential is missing.

At that moment, I made a decision to keep the vase full.

Carnations are the hardiest. I bought the last bunch at Safeway. They lasted two weeks. This past Friday, I went to the flower shop to buy flowers. I asked for hearty flowers that wouldn’t spill their stamen. The florist mentioned a few options and I chose the deep pink asters; two pale pink carnations; a lone magenta carnation; a few sprigs of a dainty white filler flower that I’ve forgotten the name of that looks like a miniature daisy; and a few branches of lemon leaf to flesh the arrangement out. I asked for eucalyptus, but she was out. The scent and texture of eucalyptus invigorates my senses and there are memories…always memories.

Each morning, afternoon, evening–each time I pass the dining room table, the flowers poke out from their stout vase and brighten my moment.

I’ve had this vase for at least two or three years and only brought it out now and again.

Now, it has its place, a purpose, a reason.

Two nights ago on September 1, 2013 at 1:36 a.m., it rained for less than 60 seconds.

I had just gotten out of bed to brush my teeth. When I laid back down, I heard pitter-pat pitter-pat. I kept listening in disbelief. Raining? It was so hot today. I listened for a few seconds more, then I rushed out to the living room to tell M. He was about to come wake me up to tell me the same, but he said he wasn’t sure he should wake me.

We looked outside together but couldn’t see the rain. We couldn’t even hear it. I told him it was a good thing we didn’t paint the table and benches today–the old weathered table and benches we found at an estate sale two Sunday’s ago. That table in its weathered state reminded me of my grandfather and of the outside tables and chairs that he used to make with his own two hands–the chairs I used to sit in. I wondered if they were still there or if my uncle had thrown them out.

Then–the rain was gone like it never happened. I went back to sleep with a smile on my face. A few moments, right after I laid back down, I could smell the faint smell of wet earth. What a wonderful smell. My smile grew.

Two nights ago, I dreamt of my mother. I rarely dream about her, which I told my uncle recently when he told me that he had dreamed of her. He said, “My sister looked really happy,” as he choked back a small rise of emotion.

Her memory is entwined with my existence.

For a great stretch of my life, I tried to live in a way that would give her spirit a second chance at life, to live in a way that would bring her the peace that she didn’t seem to have for the short period of time I knew her. I still have that on my mind, but it has become more embedded within my soul, and in some ways I feel as though both of our spirits have come together in harmony, and now I don’t focus on her peace any longer because I think we reached it together–her peace.

When I look into the mirror, as the years have gone by, more and more, the reflection looking back has glimmers of her; when I see certain pictures of myself, I see her smile; when I cry after reading a short story, I think of her; when I witness certain acts of kindness, I remember the things my mother did for others; when I think of how sometimes it’s easier to open up and reach out to strangers more so than family, I think of my mother; when my temper gets the best of me, I am my mother. The positive and the negative are within me. I accept that. I work on and nurture what I can.

It’s comforting to know she’s with me and within me–that I recognize her.

Two night’s ago, I dreamt of my mother. I was in a hospital looking for her. In the dream I think she may have been in an accident. I don’t remember. I went to one room–room 103. There was a sign in the hall leading to the rooms that said for staff only. I tried to go down the hall, but I was cutoff and somehow the nurse knew where I was going, who I was looking for. My mother had been moved into another room. She pointed to the next hall of rooms and told me I would find her in there. I was hoping she was alone.

As I walked into the room, I saw her resting. She had a glow around her and her salt and pepper hair was mostly dark brown and glistened. She immediately sensed me, opened her eyes and gave me the warmest most peaceful smile. I went to her, beaming with a smile of my own, I bent my head down to her and rested it in the crook of her neck in her nest of hair and breathed her in as though I hadn’t seen her in forever.

She smelled like the rain.