Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sojourn in Milwaukee and Other Random Thoughts

Steve mentioned that I haven't posted for awhile. I looked down at the date on the computer screen. He's right. It's been over a week. Well, here are my thoughts; not all of them are written in a completely linear fashion. I have never been accused of being linear.
Steve and I traveled to and sojourned in Milwaukee, WI for a few days for the 2011 Lia Sophia Conference. It was a lot of fun. I spent time with Steve, a lovely person in my group, and I met other lovely women. The speakers were amazing. My favorites were Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz (Go for No!), Mikki Williams, and Geena Davis. Of course, a prime focus is on the glamorous jewelry and the new line of baubles, but like any other goods or services, the jewelry serves as a catalyst for relationships.
Sometimes relationships thrive; sometimes relationships don't survive. There's always a lesson learned from every encounter or every relationship. Are there things I would do or say differently? Are there times where I should have spoken up sooner rather than internalizing into a boil? Absolutely. All I can do now is learn from--and not dwell on-- past experiences and move forward.
However ugly or uncomfortable, conflict produces change. That change is energy. The energy can be put into positive or negative endeavors. Admittedly, for those of you who know me well, I delved into a shadow of grief for a long time. Occasionally, I still make fleeting disappearances into shadow, particularly on a significant date, when I am overly stressed, or of weak constitution. Overall, I am continuing to overcome the grippling claws of sadness that threaten to drag my spirit back into shadow by facing the light. I am overcoming this by accepting love from others, sending positive energy to others, spending time with others. So I set my sights onto positive endeavors: my loved ones, my creative endeavors, my education, and my wellness.
And my garden is spectacular this year. How can a garden be truly beautiful if there is only sunshine and no rain?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Denouement

According to the Free Dictionary.com, denouement is a French term meaning "resolution" or "outcome". For the end of spring and the commencement of summer, denouement fits perfectly. It's been intense. It's the first time since I have been teaching that I had to permanently remove students from the classroom. This month tested my resilience to finish the month and my desire to keep instructing. My heart ached for the lovely people remaining the room who desired to learn and explore. And we did. My students inspired me to return to the classroom and guide them to explore the beauty and wonders of literature. We covered the beginnings of literature and talked about the gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. We created poetry and stories from flowers (and their origins) I brought in from my garden. We discussed Bram Stoker's Dracula and watched Nosferatu. On the last day of class, after the final test, my students brought in a homemade potluck dinner, a bouquet of flowers, a card, and various swag as appreciation. It touched my heart and my teaching spirit. I was humbled and overwhelmed by the gratitude and love that poured out that evening. I have to add that this month resembled the literature we explored. We had characters, conflicts, dialogue, drama, love, plot, and symbolism. I was relieved that on the last day of class, everything was tied up like a the proverbial little bow. It was a perfect night and a denouement. I will continue teaching. However, like an intense book, I will need to place it aside for awhile, and return to it after a well-deserved month off.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Picture Book Idea For In the Family of Trees

I was harried, tired, and running behind this morning. The telephone rings. Of course, being the proverbial Pavlov's dog (*woof*), I pick it up. It was J, one of my friends and readers. She congratulated me for the wonderful book (*smile*) and placed another order (*squee*). J also mentioned that her son and four-year-old granddaughter read some of the poems together at night at bedtime (*melt*). I think that's such a high compliment. Sadly, I had to end the telephone conversation, but sent my friend love and gratitude for her kind words. The conversation also gave me an inspiration: why not turn the poetry book into a children's picture book? Select the truly child-appropriate poems, add a few more, and put photography into the book. This is an avenue I may pursue...perhaps I can also put the book to music, too.
I'm so glad I picked up the telephone this morning. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From Achilles to Zeus

For the past three weeks, I've been immersed in World Literature, and now the roses in my backyard are in full bloom. Roses are definitely symbolic in literature. Although it's been a year for me teaching classes, it's my first time around teaching this class. So far, it's been challenging. Here are some of the topics we've covered in class so far: 1. Gilgamesh and Cuneiforms 2. Hieroglyphics 3. The Iliad and The Odyssey 4. Greek Mythology 5. Sophocles and Oedipus the King 6. Edgar Allan Poe 7. Robert Frost There's only a week left and a lot of literature to cover!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tear Garden

Yesterday afternoon, I returned home from errands and surveyed the yard. The weather, well over 90 degrees, was taking its tool on my garden. The oppressive heat and humidity caused some of the flowers to wilt, the grasses to yellow slightly, and some the leaves on trees to drop. It was almost as if the flowers and trees had shoulders that were hunching over in defeat. I watered the garden and then went back into the house. Since Monday,I reflected my garden's state this weekend: dry, parched, and wilting under the stress of the elements. I cried last night; Last night, the sky cried too. This morning, I cried; this morning, the sky cried too. This morning,I looked out into my garden. The grasses greened; the stems on the flowers and the branches on the trees straightened. The wildflower garden grew. The roses continued to bloom. And I am feeling more synchronious with my garden; we will continue to grow throughout the season, despite what we weather on any given day.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Poetry Garden

I spent about seven hours this weekend gardening. I caught a sale while shopping at Lowe's on Friday afternoon. Then I hurried home, planned, and planted both annuals and perennials in the backyard. I also swept the deck, watered, and weeded. The backyard is where the main part of the poetry garden is taking shape. Friday night Steve and I entertained friends in the garden. It was delightful to take friends around and share our latest creative endeavors. Saturday, I ventured to the Farmer's Market and met a girlfriend for breakfast. After breakfast, we shopped for a little while. I purchased a few more perennials and a few stones. I also took some rocks and painted them. Adding glitter to the rocks with sealant will make the garden sparkle in the sunlight. This is the first summer that I feel like the garden is truly a portrayal of us. By no means is it a perfectly manicured formal garden. I love those kind of gardens, but we don't make the time or have the energy to maintain that kind of green space. Our space is delightfully cozy, hairy, and overgrown, but in a purposeful kind of way. It works. I have a new appreciation for my garden. It's ours. I started the memory/poetry garden last summer. However, last summer was dry and hot. This spring has been practically a monsoon season,so we are enjoying the beautiful greenery and blooms. The poems are forthcoming. I ordered a poetry garden stones kit this spring. Recently, a friend advised me online to go to my happy place. I was having a challenging week. I asked her, "Where is my happy place?" She responded, "Any place where you don't have to put on the bun." All I have to do is look outside my window into my yard. I found my happy place. I created my happy place. And that, my friends, is a key to happiness.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Insomnia

It's 1:18 a.m. My legs keep twitching. Damn restless legs. I cannot sleep. I get up and Sakura follows me down the stairs into the kitchen. I nibble on a slice of cheese and a small muffin. I surf the net for awhile. Java is resting on the floor. Her kidney disease is bothering her of late so we are feeding her canned food. I pet Java and she starts purring immediately. Moshi is keeping watch over Java from the back of the couch. I am slowly getting sleepy as well. Soon, I will ascend the stairs back to bed and attempt to sleep so I can have a productive day tomorrow.

Labor Day Weekend: Library, Gaming, Rock Band, and Kayaking

Isn't it interesting how a simple, one-line post on social media can inspire a person to write more about it on a blog? Yes, that is w...