Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in the one ahead" (unknown)
Just like morning, I want to embrace you. I want to breath deeply. I want to instantly see the big picture. I want to slow my heart rate, ease the coursing of my blood, and muffle the urges that haunt me to act—every. single. moment. of. the. day.
Despite wanting to embrace you though, you seem inconsistent with any part of how I live my life; you just don't seem to suit my personality--so I think it's time for us to talk. After all, I take on more tasks than I should, and I go about them at approximately three-thousand miles per hour. I feel validated when I check items off of my to-do list. I hate procrastination and I rarely sit still. Watching television is torture—unless I'm sorting through mail or planning out what I will do once the show ends.
Because I don't embody you, I shuffle my feet. I often trip when I hit uneven cement, because I don't take the time to raise at the knee and progress through the walking motion properly. I actually engaged in a who-can-pee-faster competition with a group of people at a New York City hotspot, and it wasn't even close. I smoked the entire competition; they squirted Purell on my palms afterwards because they didn't think it was possible for me to have washed my hands.
I watch patient people with envy, and that's not only because they seem to trip far less than me, or because they run into fewer walls. I envy them because I love to observe. I love to absorb. I love to live free of the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach that always seems to harass me, telling me to hurry up.
As much as I envy the slow movers though, I must admit they bring out the feisty side of me. I am overly eager when they struggle to spit out words. I grow annoyed when they don’t figure out what they want to order while they’re standing in line. And my blood pressure soars when I miss a stoplight, waiting for them to crawl through crosswalks. When the speed limit is twenty-five miles per hour, I want them to drive no slower than thirty. If they are casually pedaling a bike at a far lower rate of speed than the cars on the road beside them, I want them to hug the curb and let me pass.
I also want to stop feeling this way. It’s absurd. Very few things are important enough to warrant my behavior. Very few things require immediacy. Very few things are the end of the world. Ironically, I once told a student who was struggling with a college decision that I thought she should "take a deep breath." Then I went on--very matter-of-factly--to explain that "at the end of the day, it isn’t the end of the world.” If she didn't like her first year of college, she could always transfer some where else. I made it as easy as that.
Oh how I wish I could take my own advice. Oh how I wish I could laugh at myself for getting antsy. Oh how I wish I could simplify my life enough to stop stressing about being late, or finishing my work quickly.
I may never master the virtue of being patient, but I know I need to work on slowing down. My hybrid might help out the environment, but my high-octane commute is taking years off my life. So I’m going to try to breathe a little deeper. I’m going to think happy thoughts as I drive. And I’m going to find some way to emulate the bikers—and actually enjoy the ride.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
- Walk to the window and write down the first thing that you see.
- Grab a book you used for some class, think of your favorite number, turn to that page and write the first word, phrase or sentence you see.
- Walk into your room. Look around, what is the first odd thing you see? Write it down.
- Don't begin your time until you capture your three details.
Now, use one, two or three of your items to write a Pantoum poem
- Each stanza is four lines, about the same length
- When you get to the second stanza, use the 2nd and 4th line of your first stanza as the 1st and 3rd line of your second stanza
- Continue this pattern for as long as you can.
- OPTIONAL: If you really want to get specific, the last stanza must feature the first line of the poem as the very last line, and the 3rd line of the first stanza is the 2nd line of your last stanza
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
PROMPT: Grab the closest book. Think of your favorite number. Turn to that page and write the first full sentence you see. Write the story that comes next.
The Help; Page 9
“She got this way a clearing her throat real delicate-like that get everybody’s attention without they even knowing she made em do it.”
Alice turned her head. When no one could see her face, the edges of her lips bent up slightly. Thomas had her pinned. He was the only one who seemed to catch on to her antics. The rest of the table moved on, squinting their eyes and carrying on about their business.
Even though she got caught, it was nice to be understood. It was nice to have someone know you inside and out, even the bad stuff.
Thomas changed the game. He barreled into her life, propping everything she ever wanted on his back. The weight encumbered him some—enough to stop and catch his breath sometimes—but never too much to greet her with a smile.
This little morning diversion offered me a strange woman and a strange man whose sole purpose was to get me thinking about love. Love in the sense of real. Love in the sense of understanding. Love in the sense of accountability. Love in the sense of one who can see into us.
I woke up late to write this morning—on day one. Scrambling around the kitchen, making coffee and throwing together lunches, I bounded frantically around my exceptionally small kitchen--not small, of course, for New York standards, but microscopic for Midwest ones. My husband emerged from the shower, noticed my flurrying, and inquired about the cause.
“I’m not going to be able to write on day one. Day one,” I mumbled irritated, boasting the very tone I hoped my writing would minimize.
“Just start right now. Don’t cheat by writing for longer than you said you would. Sit down and just write.”
He pointed in the most loving way possible; I sat. Then I opened my laptop, I picked a prompt and I attempted to summon the Muses. My faucet of inspiration seemed to be as empty as my coffee cup. And so I stopped. I refilled and I decided that part of journaling is being okay with whatever comes--or doesn't come.
Today when my husband reached for my shoulders and told me to just write, I realized that he could see into me in a way no else quite can; he was my Thomas. As strange as my blogging commitment might seem to him, he knows it means a lot to me, and so because he loves me, he keeps me accountable. He helps me to accept being real. And at the end of the day, even when my hair is messy and I’m scattered and disappointed in myself, he understands. Even if I didn’t get off to a perfect start, I will start my day remembering that I’m loved. I’m not sure I could devise a better beginning.