Saturday, January 31, 2015


It seems to be a hard month, hard like a cold hard frost, this January… but I like the coldly dispassionate end of the old so cleanly cut on December 31st, such a clear finish to the insanity of the celebration gone amuck.  It is an empty office space, an empty warehouse awaiting its potential bustle.  

The maker of empty spaces is what I call myself in my interior conversations, my interests lie in emptying out, throwing out.  In my Depression-era heart, I pair this constant purging with self-reliance, and pare, as well, down to the bone of what is really necessity vs. desire.  … the ornaments away, the Nordic nature of the tree in the house during winter is somehow brought bare.  In imagining the house, I almost always see it empty, clean, sparse… in natural light and shadow. . .

It is a mostly unsuccessful attempt to add more value to my life as a homemaker, to turn it all into a koan, a zenning of the domicile.  Never think, for a single minute, that the house is a pristine collection of stones and well-placed shui-ed wooden toys, because we don’t play that way here, all dreams aside. No minimalism makes its stand here, the empty spaces are small gasps for breath in the chaos that is a family life.  Small. Gasping.

But… when there is an empty space and a wardrobe door has the room to creak, there are inner upon inner worlds available to me. My mother-lifetime of resistance makes the value of those empty spaces glow, as possibilities for self-acceptance, little tiny spark-lings whispering ‘truer tasks’… ‘truer task’…  as if I have some ‘thing’ out there towards which I am unwittingly directed.

Empty spaces, zenning domiciles, they aren’t the whole of it- there aren’t any rhapsodies over laundry or happy scourings of the toilets… but using the last of the frozen peas, getting the fingerprints off the door for a whole six minutes, tossing the five scattered pieces of the marble run left over from the last birthday?  These are mine victories…. Cleaning up my visions, letting the cold air flow in stream. 

This month, the early darkening holds the illusion of a deepening, introspective time...illusion because the deeper is only within, not without.  Just because the setting tells a story does not mean that is what goes on … it seems a trick to me sometimes that all this burrowing does not bring about warmth.  The realization that the true storm did not arrive, that the snowfall was just delay, no substance, an early darkening of the early darkening,  it is a plucking, a twanging of the nerves, a reminder of the inner world mismatching the outer.   It would be good to get more in line, more plumb between the inner and outer.

If the natural light and shadow are inseparable, why is it so hard to accept this as a possibility within?  Am I not of the same system?

It is all- is it all?- a gasp,

 a grasp at something bigger within the empty space?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


oye.  this is today's writing prompt in an online writing-prompt thing i am doing. 15 minutes of freeeewriting on Meloncholy.  melons, baby. 
i actually try to avoid thinking too much of meloncholy during the winter, too much, too much, you see.  today it is frigidly cold, if such a phrase be possible.  and i am in my pajamas and the sesame street is on... abby flies, the snow making the grass look like cornstalk hilts.  my husband writes poetry and i just float along, riding the wave of his words at times... this he does not know, while working and feeling stressed to peaks i cannot climb.  meloncholy, there, yes.  it is cold and i may even forego the library trip, though i may be forced to read 'shiloh' which will hurt my heart i fear. maybe.  doesn't that dog die?  i can't remember and can't force myself to read things which will have poor endings in a meloncholy vein.... there, did you see that connection? ah!
it is harder to do a freewrite with type, for me, but i am pluggging on though it has only been 3 of the 15 minutes i have going for me before elmo's world rocks mine.   we are undecorating trees here, bringing back the starkness of the greenery, back to the roots.  i have started looking for seed catalogs, plant plans.  the unfortunate truth is that while i want to grow lots this summer in the second raised bed, i don't actually want to eat more vegetables.  dude.  in fact, i have a real antipathy for most of them, like the picky eaters in the childgroup here... i disdain the squashes, have a hatred for eggplant which knows no bounds, and cannot imagine what the hell i would do with a beet.   so, potatoes, beans, maybe kale for the tortoise.  i dread the waste of food i do not eat/use and i dread the waste of my work ... learning to value the work in itself is my work this year, and this phase of my life.  making empty spaces in my householding, cleaning, making these negatives hold within them their own value is my meloncholy and my work at once and it is a struggle, a winter's bone.  my husband's family has trouble with my desire for slicing down to a more wintered existence, a hardwork problem ..while they deeply understand the love of hardwork, they do not know how to grapple with my need to pare down all the time.. there are constantly bags going out to salvation army here, and coming FROM there, in their generosity to us... it is a conundrum. 
meloncholy. fire burning bright in the kitchen , the first strains of elmo's world, and i am stopping short of my 15, but glad to have done my ten.  and this is an entirely unedited bite of meloncholy.  but there is fresh melon in the kitchen, as fresh as an international traveller can be.  
bite .

*unedited but i went back to add corrinne's link to the class so you can see what it is...

**also, edited because i had to check on spelling because i knew something was 'wrong'... melAncholy, not melons actually... only changed it at the top, the rest... left as is...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Library Break In?

'the waves' by woolf has such a wonderful rhythm and it is fairly miraculous that such a thing can exist in print and while i am no woolf, i am here to suggest the comings and goings of the surf are guiding my inconsistencies.
i am a creature of my discontents.
the library has 'holiday hours' which make me consider breaking and entering.  this is the constriction of my blood vessels and the panic of planning for new year's eve.  why cannot we all just light candles and go to bed when it gets dark, feeling relief and gratitude for what is now officially past? ah. i am in process of tightening, loosening, a periscope up and down, a kid's hands on an invisible spyglass, constriction, expansion, constriction, expansion.
its been a strange and difficult holiday season, but the ending has been larger than expected, though still to come, so we will see.
the tortoise needs his kale. 
my thoughts have been so big, universal even, and then will focus down to such a minute specific ... cardinals! kale!  it is enough to dizzy. 
my sister rejects the word 'resolution', feeling that it contains failure.  i would just like to understand my own thought process, write some more here, or somewhere, and have more fun.  and i think, to me, that the 'fun' necessitates finding more places to feel and be authentic.  there is just too much show in the world and i certainly do not need to add to it. 
the minute and the universal are sort of indistinguishable, you dig?  and what does that do for us? 
oye.  i have no idea.  but i'm off to pirouette through a foggy wood.