Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Ice Cometh

Woke in the darkness to the sound
of limbs crashing, their branches heavily laden
with ice. It was eerie to wake in the darkness
(it was about 5 am and the power was out),
to hear the crashing, and then to keep seeing
the sky to the southwest light up in brilliant
yelllows and oranges as transformers all
over town were blowing up. Fire engines
were screaming through the streets,
but other than that was just the quiet
until another limb came crashing to the ground.

One of the limbs from my dogwood tree next
to my bedroom is lying across the neighbor's power
line. Precariously hanging there. If things continue
to worsen, as they are predicted to, we'll get another
round of ice, drop into the 20s, and then maybe
some snow.

It's absolutely lovely to look at. I'd take pictures but
I'm half afraid to walk out for fear one of the power lines
will snap.

Work called and basically told us to come at our own
risk. The clinic will be open, but if we feel it's unsafe
to get there, then we reserve the right to not go.
I don't live far, and the roads don't appear to be that
bad, but in all likelihood, the clinic is without power.
My cable is out, so I viewed one of the Evansville news
stations to get the latest updates and they pretty
much confirmed what I thought--massive power outages.
We're fortunate that we still have power. So, I best
shower and do all those things before it goes out.

For any reader who's read The Road, the sound of
those trees crashing in the darkness reminded me
of that part of the book. It's so dark on the earth at night
that you can see no better with your eyes open than you
can with them closed. The characters literally
move about with an outstretched hand as they try to find
their way to a safe area. The only darkness I have ever
known, which sounds close to what McCarthy describes,
is the darkness inside a cave when the tour guide extinguishes
all the lights. Creepy. Creepy listening to those big, old
limbs falling with a thud onto the ground below.

I was on call Sunday, and then my coworker, who lives
in another county, called me last night and asked if I
could take her on call in this county. I had to go to our
hospital to do an assessment. I was in the middle of that
assessment, when I was paged to do another one at the
hospital. To make a long story short , I didn't get home
until 11. By that time, the roads were getting treacherous.
I just gripped the steering wheel and my teeth and prayed
all the way home. I HATE driving in winter weather--
particularly on ice. There's not a whole helluva lot you can
do to control anything on ice. But I made it home safely.

I think I'll go back to bed for a little while and then try to
get to the clinic around 11 or so. I need to enter data
on my assessments and do a few other things.

I think it's a good potato soup night. Soup and salad.
Sounds healthy and enticing. Uh-oh--there goes another
limb. That was a loud thud!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cold

Though it's in the twenties this morning
(a heat wave for sure), I cannot get warm.
This cold has settled in my bones once again.
Me. The one who hates the heat and loves it
when the nights turn cooler and fall approaches.

But I have my limits. 3 degrees with a wind chill
of -10 is nearing my limit. We were in the deep
freeze for several days this past week. I don't think
my heat has shut off once since Wednesday when
the temps nosedived.

And the gray mornings make it so difficult to get
up and do anything. And the thought of taking
a walk outside or doing anything outside is not
very appealing.

So, I sit here in the cold computer room and type.
I need to go put on another pair of socks. Maybe
some long underwear. Of course, it would help
if I would get off my bum and start doing the things
that need to be done, but I just want to lie in bed
and read today.

Just finished The Road this morning. I don't think I
can handle the movie. I don't think I could see those
images on the big screen and ever be the same.
They've etched themselves rather clearly in my brain
from just the reading. But, I recommend the book.

Even when you, as reader, continue to ask What's
the point? you never believe there is no point. Or
you ask yourself What's the point in having a point?
Does everything have to have a point? How about
everything just is and that's that. How about that?
And then you find something again that makes you
ask Why? How? How long? And you can only nod
your head in understanding as you recognize
why the book moves you, takes you along, compels
you to keep reading. It's a no-brainer why it frightens
you. So, when it hits the big screen, it's doubtful I'll
be in the audience.

Ok...gotta type in this recipe. This was one of the best
soups I've ever eaten. Cooked it Tuesday night.

Tuscan Bean Soup

1 14 oz. can kidney beans
1 14 oz. can cannellini beans
1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 14 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 qts chicken stock
1/2 lb pancetta, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3-5 gloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig oregano
1 fresh bay leaf (can use dry)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 heads kale, cut into bite size pieces
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper

Heat the olive oil over med heat. Add pancetta
and cook until slightly crispy. Add onion, carrots,
celery, and garlic and saute for 5-8 minutes or
until onion gets translucent. Season with salt and
pepper. Add tomatoes, beans, & stock. Tie herbs
with kitchen twine and add to the pot. Cook for
15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale
and cook another 15-20 minutes more. Serve
with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and crusty
bread (I had rosemary olive oil bread).

I also added some sweet italian sausage. I cooked
two pieces, and the sliced them up into small
pieces and added them when I added the beans
and stock. They added a nice touch with their
sweet basil flavor.

For dessert: Ghirardelli dark chocolates crumbled
over pound cake with an amaretto sauce poured
over and topped with sliced almonds.

I love my Ghirardelli dark chocolates. And people
know. I think I got about 10 boxes of them for Christmas!
Good thing about it is that you don't need much
to satisfy that craving. One little block with some
milk or port and I'm just fine.

My to do list today:

1. Take the tree apart, box it up, and haul it down
to the basement (yes, my tree is still in the livingroom!)

2. Put away all of the ornaments, lights, and decorations
(these are already boxed up and ready to put away,
thanks to the help of my dear friend, Barbara, who came
one night to help me undecorate the tree!)

3. Laundry

4. Bathrooms

5. Try to make some sense out of the chaos that is
my music collection. We got Lauren an iPod
for Christmas, and she's been burning many of
the CDs but she hasn't put them away. Her pile
was just added to the pile that's been growing
for over a year now. CDs without cases, cases
with CDs that haven't been seen or heard in some
time, etc.

6. The sun is out now, so take a walk with Molly
later this afternoon.

7. ?

Always so much to do, but I don't get too bothered
about things if they don't get done. Perhaps I should
get more bothered as I would probably get more done
and be healthy busy.

I bracketed certain passages in The Road as I read along.
Unlike some books, those passages may not make much
sense without the whole or some idea of the whole, but
this one spoke to me:

"Where you've nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them."

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Pines

My brother visited Google Earth one
day last week, found a picture of the house
we lived in as children, and emailed it to
me.

I scrutinized it carefully for several minutes
and sent him an email back telling him how
nothing about the house looked familiar.

It is only when I revisited the shot a few days
later that I noticed them there, just as they
have always been in my memory. The row
of pines which border the back lot and serve
as a boundary between backyards.

The pines. I was so busy looking at every
aspect of the house--the curved walkway
(I don't recall the walkway curving to the
front door or even a walkway, though it
must have been there--my brother remembers
it), and the carport Mom and Dad turned into a
family room is so much a part of the house
that one cannot tell in the picture that there
was ever a carport there and I cannot tell
that it's the same room they created--the windows
aren't right--the distance from windows to ground
beneath seems much closer together than it does
in memory--the memory of climbing out of those
windows in the late night--pale moon over the pines
out front, the smell of the ocean filling my senses--
thinking I was so cool. My mother and father searching
for me later, my ass getting literally beaten over and over--

no the window wasn't where it is now. And then
there is the portico at the front door, which I know
cannot have been there then. And I realize could
have been constructed after leaving, though my
brother says he remembers that, too.

But the pines. They are there. That large one, which
sits directly in the middle of the row of pines bordering
the lot, that's the one I fell from at age 9 when I wanted
the boys to know there was nothing they could do that
I could not do better. I learned a lesson in humility
that day, but I did not abandon my belief that I could
one-up them any day.

I climbed so high I could see houses blocks and blocks
away. I could even see to the boulevard--a distance
I would guess to be somewhere in the vicinity of 1/2
mile or so. The boulevard which was our boundary.
We were not permitted to cross it, so there was always
an allure with the boulevard.

And I was up there scrutinizing the boulevard when
I heard a snap, and that was that.

I didn't so much fall as slide down through the myriad
branches and dappled light to the lowest branch on the
tree. At that point, I fell the 6-8 feet to the ground.

I was scratched and bleeding, but my pride was the only
real injury that day. Of course, once my mom cleaned
up the blood and ranted about how I could've killed
myself, and by god how she'd kill me if I ever pulled such
a stunt again, I walked outside proudly displaying my
"war" wounds.

Though they tried hard to hide their approval of my
daring stunt, I could see it in their eyes.

I was one of them, and would continue to be for several more
years.

Yes, brother, something about the house looks familiar,
and that makes me smile this day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Three Dancers
Pablo Picasso, 1925


Monday, January 12, 2009

Mournful

For at least 2 hours, I heard him, howling
every so often in my backyard, my side yard,
beneath the carport. Molly got a bit agitated
when she heard him. We were here, in the back
room. I was checking email and she was checking
me out. He had been howling for some time at that
point, and Molly was at her breaking point.

I left her inside and went out back to see what all the noise
was about. And there he was, nose to the ground,
moving at a slow speed--not a walk and not a run--
an in between. He was hoping his nose would tell
him how to find home. I called to him, but he never
lifted his head. He just kept about his business, nose
to the ground, every 15 seconds or so lifting his nose
and head enough to howl again.

And I felt so sad. I wanted to say: You're a very resourceful
sort. You don't let things like people calling you interrupt
your mission. You've got a nose for things and a mission.
You'll do it. You'll do it, by god, you'll do it. But he just
kept coming back. Gone for 10 minutes or so down
the street, his howls still reaching my ears. And then back
again, nose to the ground, intently and passionately and
disturbingly focused on home or something familiar.

I know, I know. I said those words out loud. To the clouds
above. To the sounds of his howls. To the bare branches
above. To the cold night air. I know. I know what it
is to want to make your sound. To feel lost but undeterred.
To make yourself be heard. To ignore the willing voices
and hands and offers. I know what it is to not know
where it is home is. I know. I know. Come to me.

Now, he is gone. Molly is quiet. The house is quiet.

There is no more howling here around this house.

And I want to believe it is because he found it--home.
Or them--people who love him. Or somewhere to bed
down for the night. Somewhere not so warm but
protected. Somewhere he can rest his tired body,
his aching throat. Somewhere he can call home
for the night, even if all of the amenities are missing
and there is no one there to love him. Just his own
love of self and his own need to survive and his own
moment of reckoning so clear and forgiving.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eighteen

Ok...brings back thoughts.

But everyone has their own 18 thing.
I was married. And there is a story,
but I have grown weary of talking about it.

I got home about 6 this evening. My son's 18th
birthday. Cannot believe 18 years have come
and gone. I visited a friend over the weekend.
Left Friday after work and drove about 200
miles in the dark, but the moon was nearly
full (to the naked eye full) and the night was lovely,
so my heart was not troubled.

Bought my son The Road (Cormac McCarthy),
a collection of Hemingway short stories, and Pale
Fire
(Nabokov). Found some decent wines,
ate some good food, watched some no-brainer
movies, and slept. Was a good way to spend
a weekend.

Now, I think I shall take a bathroom break, eat
some of the delicious cake my friend baked for
my son, and lie down and read.

"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans"

Happy birthday to you, my beautiful son.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Of Time and the River



The title for this post is the name of one of my favorite Thomas
Wolfe books. I trired to reread him recently but didn't get far,
and I'm not sure why. Maybe Thomas will only remain in that
long ago place he resided in when first I discovered him.
Have been thinking a lot about my dad. Last night before bed.
In the middle of the night when I woke up and could not go back
to sleep. Does this great missing ever stop? There are days
in which I have to ask myself if I've thought about him that
day. If I had not up until that point, I certainly was at that point.
Even though I rarely went to see him, I knew what he felt and how
he felt. It was a tacit understanding. No need to explain or reason.
I just miss my dad and know I always will.
My daughter gave me some more Joan Didion for Christmas.
I am reading Slouching Toward Bethlehem. I want to reread
The Year of Magical Thinking. Sometimes I think I am still
in that year. The damage done from 2 deeply disturbing life-
changing events has taken its toll on me. I lost my dad and
6 months later, I lost my job. In between, I received a very
disturbing letter. And within a year of dad's death, two of my
good friends died. I wonder if I'll ever feel right again.
This quote from Joan Didion:

“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest,
remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself,
shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes
it in his own image.”


I once picnicked on the banks of the Wabash. I brought
flowers with me, and after eating, threw the flowers
into the Wabash in memory of my father. I watched them
until they floated away out of sight, beneath the bridge
in the picture above. I took pictures that day, and one day,
when my scanner cooperates, I'll post one. Oddly enough,
as I tossed the flowers out, a little at a time, one bouquet
stood straight up in the mud. It landed perfectly, and the stems
found themselves right at home.
They are long gone now. Like so many people I have known.
But nothing will take the memory from me.
At least, I hope nothing will.
Leftovers

I'll take them when most won't.

They're kinda my style.

This morning it's a spinach and roasted tomato fritatta.

Made an ass-kicking good salad last
night (my thanks, once again, to RR), and
I had quite a bit left, so I thought, why not
a fritatta?

Salad recipe:

6 plum tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
olive oil
kosher salt
pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
blue cheese crumbles
1 lemon

Heat the pine nuts in a small skillet over
med. to med. high heat until lightly browned.
Remove from heat (be sure to stir frequently).

Put tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle
with olive oil, then add thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Coat the tomatoes evenly. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Remove tomatoes from oven and coarsely chop. Put them
in a large salad bowl. Add spinach to the bowl and allow
the hot tomatoes to let it wilt a little. Then add olive oil,
the juice of one lemon, pine nuts, salt, and pepper.
Toss to combine. Add the blue cheese crumbles.

Not only does it taste great, it looks beautiful. You know
you eat with your eyes first.

So, for the fritatta, just heat some of the spinach salad
in an oven-proof skillet, pour eggs over the mixture,
bake about 15 minutes. Very yum.

Ok. I took way too much time this morning on breakfast.
It's now 8:08. I have not washed my face or gotten ready
in any way. Gotta do it. Tired and would like to sleep
today, but gotta keep moving.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

In the middle of the journey of our life
I came to myself within a dark wood
where the straight way was lost.

Dante


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEqpdSKdpxs


Yes, Loreena, how fragile is the heart. Feeling that
fragility this day.


Dante's Prayer

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Please remember me

Loreena McKennitt
Time

It's not time that limits what I can and can't
do--it's life and choice which dictates much of it.

For example, I work from 8:30-5. That's the
way it is. So, my time is tied up with work
during those hours, as is my life. Many days,
I work later than 5 to get the things done I could
not get done before 5. You see, the on call person
comes on at 5, so if I get a crisis at 5 pm, and I am
still in the building, the call goes to on call. If I get
a crisis at 4:50, it's mine. Meaning, I could be
there another 45 min to an hour. Just depends.

So, by the time I get home, which is usually about
5:15-5:30, bring my things in the house, turn
some lights on (Wes goes to work around 4 many days
and leaves the house dark), take Molly out for her
bathroom time, check the mail and the answering
machine, it's after 6. Then it's time to start dinner,
clean up the mess I didn't clean the night before,
throw a load of clothes in the laundry, return calls.

By the time I do all of that, it's 7 or later, and I'm a
really tired girl by then. So, it's make a drink or
pour some wine time and unwind time and watch
terrible news time or dog training shows or home
remodeling shows or Modern Marvels or Biography.

By then, the drink has gone to the body and the mind,
and I feel too relaxed to get up and do anything else.

But I do, sometimes, with my time, with my life.

Getting here to write has become more and more a morning
thing, but then I end up running late for work. I have 40
minutes left, and I have not washed my face, dressed, put
on make up, etc. Good thing I only live about 2 miles
from my office.

I really like what I am doing. I like knowing there is a
program for people in crisis--a program that works
quite well. I like my coworkers. I can't think of any
place I've ever worked where I've felt more welcome
from the get go. For example, tonight after work, several
of us are going out for drinks and a bite to eat. They will
eat, but Wes is home tonight, and I have meal I plan to
cook, but they invited me and I'll go hang out for a little
while. We've already gone out together three or four
times since I started working there.

I like the fact that we all give each other space and don't
take it personally when one of us is really taciturn, terse, short,
and sometimes rude to the other. The work we do is very
high stress, and sometimes it gets to you. But then we have
our moments of just sitting around together in my office
(I share an office with 2 people) and telling jokes or small
talking and laughing about something one of us did or said.

These folks are some of the most giving, caring people I've
ever known.

All of that being said, I am still keeping my options open. Times
are hard, and we all received a letter the other day from the main
office (a 5 page letter) outlining the measures which must be
taken to keep the business afloat. Hard, hard times. Potential
problems with Medicaid, more and more people needing
services who do not have the money to pay for them, more and
more cuts (no salary increase, may have to pay more for insurance,
etc.) We'll see how things go.

******************************************

Crazy dreams last night and the night before. The night
before, one of my dreams could have been an episode
of Land of the Giants. There was this gigantic rooster,
which was sitting in some hay. I was probably 6 inches tall,
if that, and the rooster probably 3-4 feet. I remember
being afraid that it would notice me and try to eat me.
But I was fascinated with its colors. Its sides were the
colors of the rainbow, and its face was cobalt. I watched
in amazement as it scratched itself. Then I noticed men
all around with guns in their hands. Some were men no taller
than me, and some were gargantuan. I thought they were
coming to shoot me.

Last night could have been something written for The
Twilight Zone. It spooked me, and I woke shaking.

Time to go wash my face and all that good stuff.



Thought for today:

"I would like to learn, or remember, how to live.”

Annie Dillard

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Broken Column
Frida Kahlo, 1944


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Discovery


Today, the sun's rays don't reach my little
corner of the earth. We are grey and wet,
nearly every light in the house on. My daughter
works on her Power Point slides in preparation
for her debut as teacher--Introduction to Social
Work. I don't know how she has the energy level
to do all the things she does. She's working on her
LCSW, working full time as supervisor of children's
services at a domestic violence shelter, playing with
the band on occasion, renovating a house with her
boyfriend, chairing committees, attending meetings,
having fun, etc.

The rain just started falling, which may mean our
best laid plans will fall, too, in tandem with the drops.

Walk.

That was the plan for noon or so. And we may still
do that if it stops soon.

I am going to keep Isaac while my son and his wife
go to lunch and a movie. Then tonight, hubby and I
are going to a friend's. Daughter and boyfriend are going
to be painting the hall. I'm excited about it and hope
the colors I chose work well. I chose a color called thyme
green for the bottom part of the wall, and another color
(can't recall the name--a lighter green) for the upper
part. My hallway is rather long and wide (about 18x6).
It has lovely wide baseboards, crown molding, and oranate
chair rail with a beaded pattern. Going to leave the woodwork
white, but I am going to put a very pale green on the ceiling.

We'll see how it works out.

Going to go read some more Annie Dillard--Living by Fiction.
Interesting read thus far.

I like the poem below. I like the language, the premise, the
visuals, the connotations. So, I'll share it.


Finding a Bible in an Abandoned Cabin

Under dust plush as a moth's wing,
the book's leather cover still darkly shown,
and everywhere else but this spot was sodden
beneath the roof's unraveling shingles.
There was that back-of-the-neck lick of chill
and then, from my index finger, the book

opened like a blasted bird. In its box
of familiar and miraculous inks,
a construction of filaments and dust,
thoroughfares of worms, and a silage
of silverfish husks: in the autumn light,
eight hundred pages of perfect wordless lace.

Robert Wrigley

Friday, January 02, 2009

I'm so glad

the holidays are over! I enjoy the time with family
and friends but not all the fuss and money spending
and stress. That being said, this holiday season has
been one of the best that I can remember, ever.
Ever. As in going back to being a kid and getting all
excited over my brand new roller skates (with a key),
my jewelery box with a spinning ballerina, my new
plaid big bellbottom pants and blouse. Or the Christmas
I got one of those sit-n-spin thingees.

I don't have many memories from my childhood re:
the holidays. Matter of fact, it's hard to pull up memories
of much of anything from those days except for negative
things.

I would like to be hypnotized and asked some questions.
I would like electrodes attached to my brain and some
kind of tape recorder which could interpret brain waves
into words just to know some of the shit that's in there.

Don't know what I'd do with all the things I found out
or what purpose it would serve, but it seems to me I have lost
some part of me, which I desperately need to know about,
in the process of losing or not being able to retrieve those
memories.

**************************

Need to go get dressed. Back to work today. I was on call
on New Year's Eve, but only called out once, and it was
rather early. I was back home by 9, but it took an hour
(round trip) to get there and another hour to get someone
to transport the individual I assessed. By the time I got in
(I had worked all day and been very busy), I wasn't up to
making the hors de oeuvres, but maybe I'll do that tonight.
Daughter and boyfriend are coming to start working on the
hallway. I finally got all of the wallpaper stripped off. I just need
to come home and wash the walls down.

My friend from Atlanta may come as well.

The more the merrier!

Then hubby and I have a party to go to tomorrow night. It's
a rare thing for us to go out, but he really enjoys talking to my
friend's dad (they are close to the same age and enjoy many
of the same things), so he's all for going. Of course, my friend
is 20 years younger than me, which makes me close to her
mom's age, and I like her mom, but I love A and we're on the same
wavelength for the most part. It seems weird at times to have
a friend who is the same age as my oldest child.

*************************************

My thought for the day:

"We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people's lives."

Robert Pirsig

Thursday, January 01, 2009

To all my old friends, and to my new who I hope become old friends

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB0nt22Sgi8

And another that I can't pass up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZORK6nI8kg&feature=related
Open

That's the operative word for this new year
for this writer. Open. To suggestions, to experiences,
to ideas, to letting the universe have her way with me
often, to being kinder to myself, to invitations,
to words, to kindness, to healing. No more hiding.
No more running away. No more holding on to a past
which brings me such great sadness.

May the experiences find a way to work themselves
into my life in such a way that I no longer fear or
regret them. May the power they've had over me
diminish with each second I choose to be open
to letting life in the moment fill me.

**********************************

On to other matters.

How in the hell do I get that big ass picture
of myself off the page? I clicked on gadget to add
it when I noticed I no longer had a picture
of me on here. So, I went back to gadget to get
rid of it, but the only options I see are "add"
a gadget. Posting a great big picture of moi makes
it seem as though I'm a bit too into me.
:)

***********************************

So, open blog again. I no longer need to hide myself
away. I have liberated myself from the negativity
which compelled me to hide. It is a part of the healing
to know how completely one can let go of the things,
people, places, and memories which we oftentimes allow
to hold us hostage.

***********************

Every year I say I am not going to make resolutions.
It's pointless if you're not going to be proactive to just
write down a list of things you "ought to" do.

No ought to for me, but some thoughts:

*Less salt
*More exercise
*Way, way less alcohol
*At least 1 trip in the spring to a state park to hike
*More time at the river--I miss my river time
*Less sitting around feeling sorry for myself
*Acceptance, but not acceptance which prevents change
*Lots of reading
*Take a class in the discipline I love the most--would that be a
lit class or a creative writing class? I think it might be!
*Lose no less than 30 pounds (not only would I look
better, my heart would thank me--blood pressure
and cholesterol are not in good shape)
*A trip to a museum or art gallery on a regular basis
*Get my art supplies out of the closet and into the light
and start drawing and painting
*Get my hair "styled"--yeah boy, styled! I have not had
a hair cut since I lost my job over 2 years ago (except for
the butchering I subject it to every month or so)
*Get contact lenses
*Tackle one big project this year--perhaps I'll strip, sand
and refinish my hardwood floors all by myself
*Continue to work on my relationships (a friend I have known
since 1972 but had not seen much over the last 30 years
has now come back into my life. I am so grateful for her
and we are so enjoying each other's company)
*Allow time for pampering

Ok, there's much more I can think of but I think that's
a pretty ambitious start!

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This from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
(which I am rereading for the umpteenth time!)

The N, his son, and some friends are travelling across
country on motorcycles. Pirsig writes:

We want to make good time, but for us now this is
measured with emphasis on "good" rather than "time"
and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole
approach changes.

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Happy 2009, dear readers!