Spring

The air has changed.  Even if we have more cold temperatures, spring is upon us.  Green buds peek from tips of limbs.  Weeds are more than ankle deep.  Bird songs have changed.  He heard geese traveling north the other evening.

I am restless with the changing season.  Wanting a change.  Not knowing what to change.  I am ready to get my plants off the porch.  Ready to rearrange the furniture for the changing light.  The daybed is in one corner for winter sun and will be moved to another corner for summer shade.

The azaleas should be in bloom within a week.  Already the redbuds bring vibrant hope.  I love every season in its turn.  I celebrate the fading of one and the coming of another.

The transitions remind me of the ever-turning pages of time.  I am reminded to seize this moment and be joyous at the life pulsing through my veins.

The difficulties we face today will be overcome and become distant memories.  I know this because it has happened before.  We have faced difficulties and with His Help, we have overcome them in the past.  There are some things that happen which must be endured until the end of life.  Most things pass.

Challenges are to be faced.  I may have moments of weakness and feel overwhelmed with fear.  But, I must not give in to the fear.  I must stand and face the lions in the den.  Fear leads to confusion and poor or delayed decisions.  Fear leads to despair.  Fear leads to bitterness and anger.

I watched a movie once.  I have it on DVD.  I cannot bear to watch it again.  I love it, but it is emotionally taxing.  What I learned from the movie is simply to feel the cold and not fear it.  Feel the pain.  Feel the heartbreak.  Feel the feelings.  Do not fear them.  I don’t know if I would see all of that if I watched it again.  I doubt anyone else would find that message in the movie 300. 

It corresponds with my Grandmother telling me about childbirth to let go and let it hurt.  I had both of my children without pain medication.  It was not easy to let go and let it hurt.  But, it was worth it.

The current challenges I face will pass.  I have a choice.  I can face them with good humor and a smile or I can make myself miserable along with everyone around me.  No matter the outcome of the situation, I have a choice about what I think and what I allow myself to feel.

I want to get through this happy and laughing at the moments that exist between the battles.  I want to be able to focus on the battles when they are before me and leave them on the field when the time for rest comes.  I do not want to be covered with the smell of fear.  I hate feeling fear more than just about anything.

I will be strong for him.  I will be faithful for Him.  I will not fear.  I have my sanity and His Salvation.  And a thousand other blessings………………………………..

 IMAG1712-2-1

 

Advertisements

Aggravations

Sometimes I get really aggravated. Not about anything in particular.  Just everything in general.  The garbage service didn’t pick up my trash again.  I don’t know why and he isn’t answering the phone.  The rain storm caught me by surprise today and I got damp and chilled.  I watched the weather and the storm that came was not predicted by the weather man I was watching.  My shoulder is hurting for unknown reasons.  Hurting a lot.  My honey is going to be away for a few days coming up and I am going to miss him terribly.  I still have too many unresolved projects cluttering up my house and yard and life.  I can’t find a new pair of shoes that won’t hurt my foot and will look dressy enough for my taste.

See. Nothing major.  Just a lot of little things piled up.  When I see my list of complaints in black and white, they seem even more trivial.  I have loved ones going through very serious health problems.  I have friends in various personal crises.  There are terrible things happening out in the world at large.

But, sometimes I still have to stop and acknowledge that I have aggravations piling up and getting in the way of joy and thanksgiving. Just because my problems aren’t huge and not really problems at all, I still have to deal with them.  They are like the dripping faucet.  Something that needs to be fixed.  And next week will have another round of problems to deal with.  It is called life.

The up side of things today includes the following: I have steaks marinating and potatoes baking.  Yes, for Monday supper.  I have a great porch to sit on and rest my achy body.  I had a lot of hot water to take a shower and warm up and relieve some of my shoulder ache.  My honey is home.  He is going to help with the trash problem.  I got to visit with my daughter and her feller yesterday.  We had shrimp gumbo.   I have a crochet project I am enjoying.  I have an embroidery project I am enjoying.  I have a book to read I am enjoying.  I just heard that a dear friend got a cancer free report today.

So, I will be joyful and thankful and glad with life and the blessings generously given to me. The orchids are still raining down even when I am aggravated.  All I have to do is stop grumbling long enough to notice.  Out of the darkness of my thoughts and into the light…………………

IMAG1184-1

Do NOT Give Up.

That is what I keep telling myself.  Do not give up the fight or give in to the darkness.  I have intentions.  I have desires.  I have wishes.  I am trying to make myself let go of the side of the pool and swim across the deep end.

What does that involve?  Letting some things go and focusing on the main things.  Focus.  That is the struggle.  If I focus on this thing, what happens to that thing?  I care about it, too.  I like too many things.  I want too many things.

I have for years read about simplifying and de-cluttering.  I have done a ton of work doing just that.  Even to look into my closets, most would be surprised at how little I really have in them.  None of my closets are packed.  They are fairly organized and tidy.  I have spent ages eliminating all sorts of things in my life.

The problem, as I said recently, may lie in the goals.  I have too many goals.  Too many things to distract me.  How do I get to the point of letting go of ideas?  I don’t have too much trouble letting go of things.  But, letting go of creative ideas is another struggle.

Even this weekend, I found some items for a project.  Spent a whole dollar at a yard sale on them.  It will take five or ten more dollars to have supplies to do the project.  How in the world do I get around to doing it?

Basic living seems to take up all of my time and energy.  And still I have not found a spot to allow myself to actually do some messy work.  I don’t have a work space.  I will set out some things and work a few hours.  Then, other things have to be done.  The work doesn’t continue.  The mess is in the way.  Back to the bins and closets it will go.

I am at a standstill.  No progress since last week.  I don’t know what to do or how to get through this block.  The basic steps would be get off the computer.  Get out the tools and supplies for one project.  Set up on the dining table.  Sit down and work.  Whoops.  My mind just raced off to worry about not getting the project completed and having to leave the mess out for a day or two.

I do believe I am ridiculous in my way of thinking.  I do believe there is a deeper issue.  I do believe I may break through to the real issue someday.  Therein lies the fear.  What if the real issue is something I cannot deal with?  What if it is too deep and too painful to deal with?  What if I go over the edge?  Into that black chasm?

My aunt asked me what I do to overcome the depression.  Riding it out.  Knowing it will pass.  It always does.  He holds on to me until I can hold on again.  I write a lot that is never read by others.  The darkest goes into the fire.  The darkness is less dark than in years past.  I do not use medication.

I do not lose touch with reality.  I know that is the greatest fear.  I have looked insanity in the eyes and called him Daddy.  He could not be reached in that dark place.  I associate creative pursuit with an unstable mind.  If I don’t get carried away with creativity, I won’t get carried away.

Understanding this behemoth does not slay the dragon.  I have not yet found the sword that will do the task.  It takes more than identifying and understanding and defining the problem to solve it.  A plan of action, resources to implement the plan, a time line to follow for the plan are not enough either.

There is another element needed.  Courage.  Daring.  Audacity. What it is called doesn’t matter.  Guts to jump off the high dive.  Guts to jump off the river bank.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  Yes, all of those things.  Look them in the eye and jump.  Plunge into the icy cold unknown.  Someone is waiting to reach out and pull me back in if the struggle is too much.  He has been doing so for more than thirty years.  When I am in too deep, he calls upon his Friend to help.

Maybe this week, I will have the audacity…………………….

IMAG1090-2-1

 

Still Struggling

I have a lot of free time. I could spend more time cleaning house and doing yard work. I feel I should do so. I want to get to a place of contemplation and quiet.
I want to learn to do yoga and to paint. I want to learn to meditate. But I fear meditation because I am afraid of what it will bring up. I must decide whether to forget about meditation or to forget about my fear. I know I can paint. I just have to figure out how to manage the material. The acrylic and the brush and the canvas. Just need practice.
I do not want to be sad and grieving anymore. I want to not feel lonely anymore.
I don’t know what I want to do each day. I feel as if there is something missing. Something I should be doing. Something that would make me feel less mournful and more anchored. Do I want to feel anchored? Or do I just want to feel safe floating and drifting?
I am not afraid, am I? I despise fear. I fight to overcome anything I fear. I am still working on fear of heights. I feel as if I am going to be flung off into the abyss. I have a couple of unspeakable fears. I tried to write them but could not. I will never overcome them. They are acceptable fears. Natural to a mother and a wife.
Only love can heal. Only love can overcome fear. Not time, not conditioning, not anything can truly change the heart aside from love.
I keep struggling for answers and I don’t really know the questions.
What does my life look like on the other side?
I don’t want to feel compelled to do anything remarkable. Is it enough to simply live? To get up each day and enjoy getting dressed and preparing food to eat and playing. Whether the playing be on the computer or writing or creating a pretty bauble.
I spent so many years taking care of others who were either growing up or fading away. Now, with time to do what I always thought I would do if I had time, I don’t seem to be able to commit. I always thought my lack of commitment to creative development was due to fear of interruption. I didn’t want to be in the middle of something and be called away to hospital or school or some family need.
Part of my dilemma is not having a place to work. A place to set up arts and craft supplies and spread out projects and leave them there to work on when I have time. It has to be a place I can close off from site. Remember that I cannot abide messes. I am constantly rearranging my nest to reduce clutter and mess. I bring in things and arrange them only to pack them up and store them out of site but never out of mind. Worrying about the space taken up in the attic or back closet or on the carport. A part of my insanity. Each of us has something to some degree or other.
So, I am struggling still. When I was on Oahu, I would sit on the beach and try to get my mind still to think. I could barely put a thought together. I could barely write. I am feeling that way some now. My mind scattered and tired. My heart achy and sore. This will, of course, pass shortly.
Tomorrow, I will be soaking in sunshine and later this week snuggling with little people. Can anything feel better than a child’s love? My mind may still flutter away unable to focus a thought, but my heart will be soothed and comforted.

IMAG0301

What chased my mind all over the island?

What churned my soul like the waves breaking over the reef?

What simmered beneath the surface of my heart like the sunlight in the lagoon depths?

Dare I chase away the fear?

Dare I overcome the feeling of fear and climb the heights?

Dare I be flung into the abyss of the unknown adventure?

Time will tell if Love will overpower fear in this struggle.

Fashionista….not me…

 I am not one. My mother was one and was always sewing. She wore out three or four sewing machines in my lifetime. It was her passion, along with cooking. She usually made outfits for everyday wear, but could certainly sew anything on which she decided. She loved to sew pant suits to wear. She made them for both of us. She would make dresses for the two of us out of the same fabric. She taught me how to sew. When I got to be a teen, all I wanted was jeans and tee shirts, so she let me wear that. But, whenever she could, she would sew up a dress and put me in it!
She loved to dress up. She always wore her beautiful brown hair short and curled. She didn’t wear makeup, except lipstick. Her olive complexion allowed her to wear an outrageously bright shade of orange lipstick. So she did! Orange was her favorite color anyway.
I asked her why orange one time and she just said she didn’t know why, it just was. In May, after we buried her in April, I found one pair of orange sneakers at the store. Just the cheap lace ups I always used to wear. Only one pair in orange and they were my size. I bought them and wore them all summer. I know why orange was her favorite color now.
I always take off work on my birthday. A few years ago, I was off and prowling around resale shops. I found a McCall’s magazine with Natalie Wood on the cover. She was wearing orange with an orange backdrop. The issue was July 1965. The month and year I was born. Needless to say, the magazine now hangs in a frame on the wall. It was a “birthday card” from my mother. Yes, I call it supernatural and not coincidence. It was her reaching out to touch me.
But, about fashion, she may be why I struggle so with what to wear. My friends may not think so. They always love my outfits. They get tickled at me because most of my clothes come from Goodwill or a cheap consignment store or a church resale shop near my home. I avoid having to pay full price for anything. I do buy all my shoes and undies new and spend good money for them. I try to have a coupon or find something on sale.
When I was little, double knit was the wonder fabric. My mother loved it. No ironing, easy to sew, easy to fit. Every color, pattern, texture. If I could find it in any real selection of colors and textures, I would probably buy up a big pile and try to sew my own clothes, too.
But, the reasons my mother caused me problems clothes shopping are these: she often shopped from the catalogs. You remember when three certain stores sent two inch thick catalogs in the mail twice a year and a few smaller ones seasonally? She could find something she liked for each one of us and buy one in every color. We only went to the store to shop when I needed a new coat or some shoes. I didn’t have any experience shopping for clothes off the rack. I had to make myself learn some skills. I prefer the resale type shops, though. If I find something there, it is one of a kind on the rack. If I find myself at a retail store looking at things, I want to buy one of every color! In fact, I did that a couple of years ago buying tee shirts. I bought a half dozen at once. Thank goodness they were only five bucks each!
Another obstacle she inadvertently created was by the following comment: “We can make this cheaper than that price.” And she could. She could get a pattern and fabric and notions and in two or three hours have a new outfit of better quality and fit at half the cost or less. I cannot do that. I can sew. I can sew well. But, it creates anxiety for me. I don’t get the outfit completed. These days, the pattern, fabric and notions far exceed the price of most ready made things anyway. If I am not going to enjoy the process, why should I try to do it? One of those “should want tos” I have had to overcome.
But, I do love to dress up, too. My work place has limitations on what I can wear. I don’t have to wear a uniform, but there is a very strict dress code. That leaves the evenings and weekends. My activities require rugged outdoor wear for fishing, hunting, cattle handling and such. Not much room for glamour. I have a closet full of clothes that I don’t get to wear very often. I kept trying to make myself get rid of them. I don’t think I will, though. Rather, I will wear them anyway. Who says I can’t slip into a favorite dress to sit on the porch and write or go to the kitchen to stir up supper? The one I am wearing now walked me along Waikiki and the streets of Honolulu.
Mother implied through example and dressing me that one should complement ones fellow man by looking as well turned out as possible. There have been many times I failed on this task. I intend to keep trying. I passed some of this on to my daughter. We have a common thought about a commercial on television. The young woman is upset because the wind blows up her skirt on wash day or something and she isn’t wearing cute undies. Pam and I said to each other: if you always own and wear only cute undies, there is never an issue! So Mother, I guess I did okay with her. Even though she wouldn’t wear the little pile of summer dresses you made for her second birthday, she wears the cutest outfits all the time now and she loves to sew! I would rather you had been here all these years helping me raise her and her brother. But, I know you reach out to me often and show me things I need to know. Even when I don’t know it is you showing me.

From the back porch, where every day is Mother’s Day,

IMAG0928