Archives for posts with tag: morning page

This morning, I knew that when I left the house, I would be stopping at the coffee shop before work. I knew I would attempt to write something on my blog, and I knew that there was a book that I wanted to share before so much time went by, that the thought fell away. 

At this particular coffee shop, there is a waterfall in the background, trees, and large cement structures that hold bright pink and white flowers and other textured shrubbery. Usually, if I stop for coffee, it’s in and out, then off to work. It feels like my little piece of Zen–the soothing sound of the water swooshing out, bees buzzing here and there, and the canopy of trees that makes me feel like I’m in a tree house–these beauties get my day going in a peaceful direction.

This morning, as I sat at the table, before I opened my iPad, I stretched to the left to help alleviate some muscle stiffness and what did I spy, but a heart shape on one of the red bricks. This brought a great smile to my being; and it felt like that feeling you get when you feel like the Universe is speaking to you–as though the Universe is smiling or tickling your funny bone. Here I was sharing a heart yesterday, a heart that I had taken a photo of a long while ago; and here, this morning, another heart appears in the present moment. Such a wonderful feeling.

The book that I’d like to share that is written for young readers and the young at heart is The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan. I was lucky enough to come across this when my mother-in-law came across it in one of her book catalogs. She passed it along to me and said how much she loved it. I happily accepted it and put it on a nearby shelf to be read when I felt in the mood. It’s a very short story that can easily be read in a short sitting. I chose to read half in July and was drawn to finish it recently. I was taken with its beauty, with the love on those pages. It’s a special book to be read and shared. For anyone that loves dog’s, children, poetry–they will especially appreciate this book.  

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This morning I saw a woman kneeling down with her phone camera in hand, honing in on something in the crevices of one of those large metal grates that you often run into on the sidewalks. I tried to sneak a glance as I walked by. I think she was capturing some sort of greenery that was growing, unnoticed. 

It was nice seeing someone doing that. I know there are many others out there capturing these small moments, things that are hidden from us until we stop to look. I know I’m not the only one; and that’s why it’s nice to see someone else in action, as I might be on a day I’m leaning over some small beauty that’s growing through the cracks of the world. 

So far the one-word, five minute writing prompts are working for me. Sometimes I don’t have a lot to write in my notebook with this one word, but always it brings me somewhere-eventually; sometimes, I write past the five minute mark. I’ve always appreciated Julia Cameron’s insistence on writing “morning pages.” I can’t say that I’ve been diligent in following through, but I do realize their place and importance in keeping the writing hand and creative mind moving. I like to think of these one word daily prompts as an alternative. It’s a bite size that fits perfectly and is a nice way to get the day started if you need a gentle nudge. 

Magnetic poetry words have also been helpful and I keep keep them tucked away in case I’m in need of further nudging. 

I settled on using Google Docs to record my daily prompts. It’s great that I can login from anywhere and also use the App across my devices. Then I don’t have to worry about collecting yet another paper journal! And there’s consistency in knowing where to go and not trying to remember which journal had what. 

Before I know it, five minutes, turned to, ten; once it reached my journal blog, an hour has passed…a quick, enjoyable hour that really does feel like five minutes. 

Smudged: Today’s word is from the writing prompt book I mentioned in a previous post. Below is the direction that my fingers tapped it out.


She erased the drawing but in her haste, she left a giant smudge on the page. The more she looked at it, she thought she heard a faint voice coming from the page, from the smudge itself. She put her ear down toward the smudge; the voice was clearly talking to her.

“Why did it take you so long?”

She brought her head back up to see if the smudge had taken shape. She heard it. Or was she mad? Had she been sitting with her pencils and erasers far too long?

She decided to respond to the smudge but instead of talking aloud, she started to write words at the bottom of her drawing, and then she began drawing ferociously; she didn’t think about it any longer, she was becoming at one with the drawing before her.

As the drawing began to take shape, the smudge had become a beautiful table outside a cafe somewhere far away along cobblestoned streets, a day filled with sun and people zigging and zagging through the market admiring the handcrafted goods.

The artist sat with her sketchbook at the table, recording the happenings, soaking in the sights, happy to be alive.

I sit here this morning against a backdrop of beautiful hills and a multitude of trees on the library grounds. Large art works, some familiar, having been here many years–permanent installations, others new to me.

The squeaking wheels of the mechanical pea cock titled the “Wheely, Whirly Peacock”, a crow clucks, small birds tweet in the distance. I sit here on the bench that faces the peacock, beauty all around, both natural and made by human hands.

As the sun warms my body, the breeze cools it down; lavender blossoms fill the air with their scent, carry in the wind and fill me with a sense of calm and of summertime.

It’s ironic that I’m reading more since I’ve been taking classes to complete the A.A. in accounting. Better late, than never. Now that our living situation is different, after work I go to the library almost everyday to study. Usually I only take one class per quarter because it’s all that I have the energy or focus for; however, I’m getting close and have decided that I will take two courses next quarter begins. Summer session is almost done and I finally get a small break before the Fall quarter. At this point, I feel like I’m doing this A.A. degree more for myself than anything. I’m viewing it as a small attempt to provide a cushion if I should find myself somewhere else, and it’s also a challenge that I can afford to take-and must take.

I remember blowing on dandelions when I was a kid; I don’t remember thinking of them as clocks. Today, my daily calendar has a close up photo of a bunch of dandelions with the caption, “Dandelion clocks await a child’s puff of breath.” Today this is really special to me because, amongst other books and audios, I’m listening to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales. I’m also wanting to revisit The Illustrated Man.

When I see the dandelions this morning, I see Ray Bradbury. I see Clarisse holding the dandelion up to Montag’s chin. And I remember that when I was in a writer’s group for a very brief moment, one of the writers told me that I should read Dandelion Wine after having read one of my snippets.

I don’t have a strong tie to my own childhood and the dandelion, but after returning to Bradbury, and the dandelion that turns up in his other stories, I feel a real resonance and connection to him. So now when I see dandelions, I see him and I’m reminded of childhood-the childhood that I know he speaks about but haven’t yet read in Dandelion Wine. I think of what a remarkable person that I imagine he was, and of course, a great writer and storyteller. I appreciate how open he is about sharing where the seeds of his stories began.

I knew that if I didn’t come to the page, in this moment, that this moment would fly away just as the seeds of a dandelion, and that sometimes you just have to stop what you’re doing and GO. To be in the moment, lest it fly away, blow into the wind.

The other morning, as I was just about to get out of bed, I heard a “meow” then another. The window was slightly open, so I could hear this mystery kitty. We’ve been hearing loud running on the rooftop at night. We joked that it sounds like a tiger. I got out of bed and peeked through the blinds. Kitty was sitting atop of one of the wooden bench seats. He didn’t see me. I stared at him taking in his black, shiny coat. I clicked my tongue to get his attention; he turned his head, startled. We looked at each other for a moment, I said hello. He responded with a dash, and quickly darted off.

A sound that made me smile extra wide this week was a woodpecker pecking. I rarely hear them anymore and for some reason that sound takes me somewhere evoking a childhood giddiness inside my soul.

Sunday we plan to take the last of our things which will no longer make this home our home. There will be new sounds; lots more birds; yapping doggies, which I’ll be joyed to cuddle with.

When I passed these flowers on one of my walks during lunch hour, I almost went by without taking a photo. I couldn’t help myself; they were too beautiful and happy for me not to take them in for a bit longer.

**

Black cat meows as if in conversation with himself;
happy flowers stand at attention in flower pots,
waiting to be noticed by passerby;
woodpeckers keep on pecking even when you don’t hear them–
each day–
something the same and something surprising.

Walking down the street, I take notice of the same sorts of things each day, but on some days little things pop out at me, depending on the moment, the time of day, the mood, the weather.

**

Walking down the street, I take notice–
I like the way the rocks look when rain drizzles down,
painting them with drops
that make their inner beauty
come out in splashes of color.

Tuesday the wind carried so many smells on its wings. Sweet pancakes off the griddle. Pizza. Cucumber.

In the morning, I walked the path of a woman that I did not see; her perfume lingered in the path I walked. Musk and deep woodsy notes…mind went in many directions and contemplated the many layers that go into the creation of a fragrance: An art and science.

Later that day, same level of the parking garage, where I smelled the perfume in the morning, blueberries or fruit punch…I wasn’t right outside of restaurants during any of these occasions…the aromas carried in the wind stronger than usual. Each was a delight and made me pause.

Friday night hubby and I took an outing to the grocery store. We realized that we had a few things that we needed, and we had just had a dinner that weighed me down, so I suggested we treat our outing as a walk–a walk through the store, since we’ve both been very unmotivated when it comes to exercise, even walking. And we were in for a cozy evening; may as well get a little activity into the mix.

Upon exciting the store, my treat for our practical excursion was the beauty of the moon as it was just about to the brim of fullness. The tree branches held her face, the clouds and leaves a lacy veil, as the moon peered through the layers. She was magnificent. I held the iPhone steady, trying to capture her beauty, until I did.

As much as I enjoy longer days, it’s nice to be caught at nightfall, carried along by the dazzling lights around city trees, peering into storefront windows that reveal a completely different mood. I like how night can bring something out into the open, like a curtain that is pulled back, offering a glimpse that feels like magic, as the lights mingle with the unusually soft night air.