October 15, 2020. I’m almost back from a month’s retreat from home base. I’ve been physically and energetically disconnected from computers and routines. In the next week or so I’ll be catching up on blog posts from others – another sort of cushion comfort! Come end-of-October, I’ll be traveling again …
This haiku was written in response to the visual impact of sky-gazing from the mountain over Cloudcroft NM (a place we return to at least once a year). In typing it up today, I realize it speaks also to my “destination” of adjusting to losing my son. Life seems a continual journey toward an ultimate destination difficult to envision. I savor interim pauses.
July 23, 2016. A favorite part of an extended vacation comes after-the-fact, back home going through photographs and recalling the ups and downs of your travels. I spent one lovely afternoon in Asheville NC alone, looking up at clouds for about two hours – reaching for the camera now and again – but mostly in a mental wander, body in a nontraditional pose any chiropractor would have scolded. (Advantages of meditating solo!) Unable to choose just one photo, I’ve created a collage – apt metaphor for what was transpiring both above and within.
April 12, 2016. This post is a tribute to Story Circle Network and its founder Susan Wittig Albert – for the force motivating me (and so many others!) to put into writing the stories running through our lives, our hopes. I found Story Circle in 2000 when I was still getting my feet wet writing poetry. At my first Story Circle workshop, prompted to write about something important to me, I spurted out the story of the rocking chair that helped me transition from home to college. I was hesitant to read aloud, but that seemed to be expected, and so I read. Susan Albert’s exclamation “You’re a writer!” went right to my heart.
Now Story Circle has given this blog its “Star Blogger” endorsement. I’ll figure out soon how to make this badge part of the blog’s opening pages (learning curves never end!) but for now …
… in gratitude, I go back to that rocking chair. Like many a story that defines me, over time my telling of the story tightens to the essentials. It feels really good to do so adding an image. (Those clouds are the sky two days ago over Austin’s St. Edwards University.)
May 31, 2015. I live in central Texas, an area reeling from storms, floods, and the loss of homes and lives over Memorial Day weekend. We’ve been in a serious drought for years, watching our lakes (our water supply) go lower, lower, lower. Rain so badly needed came in volumes the ground and rivers could not hold. The lakes are not full, but we are way above the level just two weeks ago. This is a huge relief. But at a steep price. Tugged between the trauma of human loss and the magnitude of what Mother Nature is capable of — I have settled on the word “awe” as best fit.
The image is a photo taken on Memorial Day just before dusk, as the rains moved away and we ventured outside. I’m grateful I looked up!
The poem evolved over the next few days, reflecting. Reflecting will continue, but here’s the poem as it now stands.