Monday, May 28, 2012

Story Garden 2012

Since I am too tired to post anything about this weekend, I'll enlighten you instead with photographs of the garden so far. Life is a story. All stories have a beginning, middle, and end, so I structured the middle part of the garden like a story. The first section, which contains the garden stones and wildflowers, commences the tale and sets the story in motion. This year I planted orange marigolds on the perimeter of the garden, as a nod to my essay and lyrics of Orange that I wrote in my writing class this last semester.
The middle of the garden, like the middle of life, is messier and weedier, but full and lovely. There is reoccuring lavender, a pot of sweet potatoes, two pots of strawberries, a pot of sunflowers, and a pot for tomatoes. The Asiatic and tiger lilies surround the middle and latter part of the garden. They are green and they bloom during the month of my birthday, which occurs in July. Perhaps that is why I love lilies so much.
The last part of the garden, the conclusion, is yet to be determined. The center is a bit dry and sandy due to the hot weather. I want to bring a lot of soil into the middle and plant thousands of sunflower seeds, which will serve as a great conclusion when sunflowers bloom in September, since sunflowers are a symbol of eternity. What a great ending to a beautiful blooming garden story.
I also need to spruce up the perimeter of the yard. The red and pink roses are in bloom. The pond needs wildlife, so I want to purchase tadpoles to create a frogpond.
More later. Off to dream about story gardens. Good night.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Yoga, Here I OM.

A phone conversation and my facebook status inspired this blog post: "I have the same diagnosis as my thirteen-year-old cat: arthritis. Time to strengthen my core. Yoga, here I OM." ♥ I've been having some pretty intense pain for the last couple of weeks. I pushed myself--and my luck--with gardening, running, and walking. About two weeks ago I hurt my back and my left hip; I had shooting pains down my leg. I used heat, ice, ICYHOT, and Aleve. Finally, I broke down and called the doctor on Thursday. I went in, had x-rays, and followed up today. The diagnosis was mild arthritis across my lower back; I need to strengthen my core to keep it from getting worse. (I'm sure it was the doctor's delicate way of saying LOSE SOME WEIGHT AROUND YOUR MIDSECTION, FATASS! I'm filing that along with the flying squirrel arm incident.) I thought I would be frustrated and upset, but it's actually inspiring and an incentive to get off my duff and start moving again, not just to lose twenty-five pounds and keep it off, but to keep healthy. I think yoga will be good both physically and mentally; it was a great stress relief during college. It can be again. I will also need Physical Therapy (OUCH) and Massage (YAY). Javacat will be kept comfortable with her kitty morphine drops; I will be kept comfortable with exercising and stretching. There's a yoga class tomorrow at the Conservatory at 9:00 a.m.. I'm posting this so I will feel more inclined to commit to it. <3

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Travelling Marimba: a Shakespearean Saturday

A Lover's Fancy
This afternoon, Steve and I brought my travelling marimba to Indiana University to rehearse for a fundraising concert. (The donations fund MLS scholarships.) Steve was grateful that it was just a small marimba this time. We set it up on the "bridge" (third floor) and rehearsed a few songs. The title of the program was A Lover's Fancy. I played "Now is the Month of May", "Ronde", "La Mourisque" with The MLS Players. The MLS Players consisted of faculty and staff. Other songs were "Thyrsis and Milla", "She Straight Her Light Silken Coats", and "Awake Sweet Love, Thou Art Returned." My friend M. sang beautifully. Faculty also read works from Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, and Michael Drayton. It was so much fun to see people again and to play music. Playing recently for friends and events made me realize how much I missed playing drums and percussion, and not just for me, but to pay it forward.
The roses in my garden bloomed early this year, so I was able to cut them and give them away. I was able to bring them to the program, display roses in glass bowls and scatter rose petals on the refreshment tables. That's the beauty of flowers: growing them and then giving them away.
Tonight, I ventured out into the garden and weeded near the rosebush and pleased with my progress. I was then surprised by my friend and her granddaughter. They brought flowers, gluten free cookies, a note, and a photograph. We sat down in the backyard, lit a large candle, and just looked out at the garden. This was a reminder to not just work, but to enjoy the garden as well. I look forward to delving into the yard tomorrow, listen to music, and continue working in the yard.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunday Night Insomnia: Ire and Pain

Sunday literally morphed into Monday. I was awake all night. I finally broke down and took medicine that made me sleepy and it finally took hold after two hours of writing. I am onto something with therapeutic writing. I wasn't writing anything flowery or poetic: quite the opposite. As you could tell from my curmudgeonly-kids-get-off-my-lawn-style of writing this weekend, I was experiencing an anxiety-ridden, depressive weekend. Saturday was my only reprieve with attending the Unity Gardens education center and reading poetry at the Cornbread and Jazz concert at Jake's Studio. There's nothing like reading poetry with gorgeous instrumental jazz music playing in the background. The words came to life and momentarily, so did my spirits, although it deflated by late Sunday afternoon.

How wonderful it is when words can inspire or soothe someone; how distressing it is when words (or the lack of them) can deflate or hurt someone. I am learning to be more careful with words myself, as words have ammunition.  I experienced that on Sunday.  I have to change my perspective. I wrote a  letter about the hurtful behavior (among others) and how hurtful it was. I may mail it. I may shred it. The important point is that those feelings of ire and pain are now outside of my conciousness and onto the page. I tend to not participate in family holidays anymore, as they are psychological land mines for anxiety triggers, which I am learning to avoid.  I am still broken--but healing- by the continual sadness that has happened since 2009.  At least for now, I am still here, plugging away, attempting to find inner peace in an outer world of pain.   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Motherless Society: Year Four

The Motherless Society: Year Four

For those of you who have lost a mother, I am so sorry; my heart goes out to you. I empathize. Really, I do. Today marks the fourth Mother’s Day without my mother. All I can say is that it sucks, and it will continue to suck. (*Enter sad trombones here*)  I can say that as you delve and travel through the dark, murky, angry, ugly tunnel of grief, the intensity of the pain will lessen. The old adage of “time will heal” is true to an extent, although I respect your timeline and I require others to respect mine. You have my blessing and permission to tell anyone who tries to tell you to “move on, already” or “get over it” to shut the hell up.

I have to say that this helliday is the hardest to endure. Other people get to bring their mothers flowers or take them to lunch. If I am able, I get to bring flowers to my mother’s grave. (And for the record, I haven’t today. That’s personal. Don’t ask me about it or attempt to make me feel guilty about not visiting. Sometimes it’s just too hard. )

Mother’s Day tends to put me in a surly somber sarcastic sardonic mood, but not as much as the days and weeks beforehand, thanks to advertising and commercialism. (I’m all for capitalism, but the Mother’s Day ads annoy the hell out of me.)

I had to resist the urge to snarl at the bagger at the store recently after he said, “Happy Mother’s Day” to me. I would like to take this time to educate this young man, among others, why it is insensitive to say Mother’s Day to a woman someone does not know:

1.) The woman may have suffered a miscarriage or lost a child/children.

2.) The woman may have lost her mother/mother figure.

3.) The woman may have not be a mother and/or may not be able to have children.

4.) The woman may be on the outs with and/or not speaking to her mother/mother figure.

So young man, an innocent, offhand remark like “Happy Mother’s Day” is not a benign statement. For some people, it is a rose. For others, it is a thorn. (Okay, a hair band song just entered my head. You have my permission to sing along.) Instead of rolling those empty words off your na├»ve tongue, just say “Happy Sunday” or "Have a nice weekend." You don’t even have to say anything at all to me. Just please don’t say “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Adventures With Greenie: No Longer the Hillybilly Honda

I finally got around to taking Greenie the Honda Civic to the car hospital to get the muffler replaced. (Yes, I procrastinated.)  She started making loud noises about three weeks ago. An orange icon of a muffler on the left hand side of the dashboard came on for the first time, indicating that something was wrong. Great. So I take her in for the 75,000 mile checkup. (The old girl's over 80,000 miles now. I plan on keeping her well over 100,000 miles. She's been the inspiration of a lot of interesting adventures.) We haven't had a car payment in years, so I won't complain about an occasional shell out of cash to keep Greenie going strong.

Something amusing occurred last week. I needed to have hairapy before presenting at conferences and for school. There was a special on keratin treatment for hair, so I had that with my usual tinsel-covering hairapy. The only catch with keratin treatment is that hair cannot get wet for eight hours. Well, I was going to Indiana University to present my essay that night. It was April 30, and true to the nature of spring, we experienced showers. In fact, it was a downpour. So, the staff had someone walk me out to my car with an umbrella, and I had to tuck my hair into a shower cap.

So I'm driving home in the rain with a loud sputtering car and my hair tucked in a shower cap. All I needed to do was black out all my teeth, install a gun rack, play dueling banjo music on my CD player, and I would fit the perfect reneck profile. Classy. Thank goodness it was a short drive home and visibility wasn't the best. However, it was a humbling -- and now amusing -- moment.

Now my tresses are colored and calmed and my car is fixed and quiet. But the dueling banjos continue to resonate in my head.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Writerly Weekend at the Gallery: Part Two

The gentleman in the photo above is Pen, who the owner of the cafe shop called Sixth and Main Coffee House. Here's the link: It's located down the street from the gallery. Pen's really nice. Angie has spoken with another employee there about carrying books. When we spoke to him Saturday night after the gallery closed, Pen agreed to carry five of my poetry books. Pen also invited us to come back to Shelbyville on a Sunday this summer to present. Steve and I are grateful to Angie and Larry for introducting us to Pen. His cafe is in a historical building that was constructed in the 1850's.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Writerly Weekend at the Gallery: Part One

The wonderful art gallery where we presented!

Roses outside downtown Shelbyville.
Check out the gorgeous art all around me! Amazing!

Steve and I returned Sunday from a whirlwind weekend in Shelbyville, Kentucky. This was our first trip to Kentucky together. It took us just a little over five hours to arrive.  We visited amazing friends and presented our book at The Gallery: Shelby Artists on Main. It felt so arty and bohemian to present in an art gallery!There were around twelve or thirteen artists and writers who gathered around the table to talk about publishing and words. It was a lot of fun.  One of the participants read one of my poems out loud with an elegant southern drawl, like a beautiful molasses to my northern ears.

Here is a link to the gallery's webpage:  More soon!

National Lampoon's Garden Adventures, and Last Thoughts on 46

Update on Sake Sakura: We will be making an appointment to get Sake's MRI. It's been really hot and our schedules have been nuts,...