Loose Ends, Tied.

This final week of 2017 I have unplugged from Facebook to the extent that I am, in three day’s time, remarkably happier and more unburdened than I have been in five years.  Maybe more.  The planet continues to have hope and disaster hand-in-hand, but I don’t have to read or know about every single detail worldwide, nor do I feel the overwhelm of responsibility and obligation that “social” media, literally, feeds.  I am fed up with “social” media, which becomes more and more anti-social and numbing every day.  I am better, more useful, in real life with real people and immediate, local problems to salve and solve.  Not that I am any great heroine, but I do my best work right here:  at home.

The Messenger still pings but now I take comfortable time responding, not jumping to reply as though every message were on fire and my life depended upon immediacy.  It’s nice.  It’s at MY pace and convenience.  And, it’s real.

Running through the months, April stands out as when we purchased our Together home after almost four years of long-distance partnering and challenges inherent in such an endeavor.  I must have been crazy, frankly.  So must have he.  And yet, our crazy (and weird) seems to get along with the other’s and that doesn’t happen every day.  In August, the book cover became a reality and in October, the finished product was in-hand.  I am still beaming and high on gratitude.  More projects are in the pipeline.  I can feel them approaching and am very excited for the opportunities to grow and show my work.

 

Two years ago this evening, I penned the following and am grateful for a brain that thought to save the words.  Now seems a good time to share.

Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours.  Thanks for reading along. ox

31 December 2015

Long silver hair streaked with the last moonlight
she gently steps from her celestial footwear
Barefoot she exhales and lets her heavy
calendared gown 364 days
ago as light as gossamer
fall around strong tired feet

Quietly peaceful soul and countenance wise
she walks waters
rhythm to the turning of the ancient wheel

A shooting star, one hundred million simultaneous wishes
she dips beneath the surface one final time
Can you hear – off in the distance? Small but mighty
bold uninhibited wail the wordless arrival of baby New Year

Pick her up, nurture her well
Love her wide full and without reservation
Go big this year…and leave your own dressing at the shore in a year.

DJDawson 2015

 

 

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Harumph.

Home Alone, adult style.  All menfolk out of the house for the night.  My evening plan to attend the roller derby nixed, though I could have attended had I gone in my own vehicle.  (An option left unsuggested.)  But, I shall sit outside in the cricketsong and honey-pinking sky against the mountains, with a favorite pen, drawing paper and adult tonic, and ask myself why I allow others to decide what is right for me. (I do this more than I care to, and more than I should.)  

Stern, well-shaped brow bent in moderate resentment (well, I did ask, didn’t I? And this is what you get.  Duh.)  Just lettin’ it gooooooo.

Dar Dawson 2016

Barley September.

These last few mornings, before dawn, I have walked the dog.  Because my head is thrown back mouth hanging open dazed by all the stars, I have no idea whether or not she has relieved herself of her night holdings.  Let’s presume “yes”, as she has not soiled the carpet (recently).

On our walk this morning, cows lowing and uncensored roosters on the farm through the wood tuned up for their field day.  Again, the sky invited gazing.  Orion, clear as ever, sparkling belt and all, beginning to dive out of sight into the gathering equinox. Tonight, we will be blessed by the pull and push of September’s full Corn moon or Barley moon; the true Harvest moon this year does not rise until October.

Orion, whose body so powerful, his ego so big, believed no creature would or could ever slay him, stung by a lowly scorpion and up into the stars he went.  The scorpion, receiving similar celestial treatment, was placed on the opposite heavenly hemisphere so the two might never meet again.  Orion’s story, far more detailed and varied than what I share here – versions that include seduction, death by arrow, sobbing goddesses and angry gods, mothers and daughters, and other narrative rhinestones – a familiar and ancient myth.

This morning, realizing the constellation was leaving our sky for a while, I felt an overwhelm’ment of gratitude for having those few moments of unlit quiet, alone and outside.  And, immediately after that peace, I felt as though the calendar would suddenly move more quickly than the last eight months.  When the grape harvest is over, our home life will return to ‘normal’.  No more insanely early wake-up times for him (which also mean for me because once he’s up, I basically am, too); no more going to bed directly after 5 o’clock supper (which means being in bed with a full stomach, tossing and turning and trying to screen read in the dark, and being awake long after he has crossed into deep sleep).  The return of morning and evening in-bed conversation and planning and mindwandering, and communion.  As much as I may become periodically flummoxed about these temporary changes to our household routine, Orion reminds me to never get so brazen and full of myself to believe I can get along without these things; to not take the small stuff for granted, lest they creep up and bite/sting/kill me.

Harvest isn’t going to kill me or us.  Neither is the changing sky…because there is always a reason to get up in the morning, and not just an anxious dog – whether or not the fruit is ripe and ready, and there is always something to look at in the sky, day or night, clear or foggy.

Just keep looking up.

Forest Through.

Empty nest – what empty nest?

Our nest has people.  Some are not-quite mine, some (when they visit) are very much mine.  Our nest is not empty.  There is a dog here, and a man and a teenboy.  And me.  Not empty.

 

But, it is not full, either.

There’s an essay going around social media by a parent, whose son is going off to college.  Toddler to young man in a blink – that sort of thing.  It’s a tearjerker (no, I am not going to read it; my spawn left for college last fall, 2016.  I’m a veteran empty nester compared to many of my friends.)  Don’t be fooled:  a year in and it still hurts.  I miss her like crazy, in between worrying about her health, safety and welfare.  We never stop doing that, the worrying, the parenting-feeling-stuff.  The willingness to be needed, and hope that they call us when they do need us (and to check-in when they don’t).

It’s a weird between-chapters place to be, made weirder by my own life upheaval just over one year ago.  Mid-August, Mr. Virginia and I passed the one-year mark of my move to be with him.  A year living together went quickly, and was a lot of fun.  Eight months after I moved here, we bought a house together.  Eight.  Months.  We are almost fully moved out of his house and in to this new, shared space… .  Our work keeps us busy, tired, and the last thing we wish to do with any free time is go back to ‘the other house’ and load the cars.  It needs to get done – we know this.

 

Scrounging-around somewhat-empty-nesting I am uncomfortably perched on the fence between being needed and being completely and utterly without purpose. I feel lost and a bit dissatisfied at work, which, normally, I adore (try as I might to feel worthy and belonging), and feigning interest in any hobby or creativity. (Crochet ain’t doing it, sorry; neither is looking at other people’s maker ideas on Pinterest. Nope.)  I need something and I have a feeling it’s not outside of me, like a child or a job or someone’s touch.

 

While I do believe opportunities are on the way, perhaps, I am simply not ready.  To be honest, Mr. Virginia asked me earlier this evening if I was happy.  (This, a sign of worry and caring, which I may never get used to.  He is an excellent partner.) I told him that I was not very interesting nor intriguing these days, and would he mind me as a boring partner for a while?  He said he would not mind.  I also told him that, yes, in general, I am quite happy.  (It’s just smothered by a steaming pile of angst, right now.)

What I am is frustrated with the whole reinvent yourself when you move thing.
Or maybe it’s not feeling like a useful person or the lack of creative brilliance, or that I am no longer someone’s long-distance desire but their in-the-next-room squeeze.  Nah, that latter is nothing to whine about. *smile*

Whatever is missing – rather, whatever the “blah” antidote is – is probably right in front of me, so big and tall and obvious that – whatever it is I need to see – I’m too close to see it properly.  What does one do, then? Take a step back.

And, then, a few steps more.

When the ‘aha!’ moment finally happens, I will let you know.  Until then, all I’m seeing is a lot of tree bark and no forest.

djdawson

2017

Independence Hymn. (My thoughts on singing today.)

You know my father stands up and sings. And his mother, Melba Shorthill Bradshaw Dawson, she stood and sang.  Beautifully.  And I bet my newest U.S. passport your grandparents did, too. 

Stand up

men removed their hats (and still should)

and sang.

Singing our National Anthem is not about sounding good or “talent” or jazzy, pop, operatic vocalizations.  This type of singing is to commitment what voting or raising your hand or signing a petition or marching for a cause are: joining something greater than yourself because you believe in it. Because you cherish it. Because it is you, and you are it.

Any soloist can make a statement. But it is the humble choirs of countrymen and women made mighty by the cobbled singing ensembles on village greens and town hall steps, the shy lyric-whispering bowed-head ballpark players and the pained earnest chords of faithful servants in VA hospital common rooms where you will hear yourself and the well-known, loving hymn to our Nation – it’s past, present and future in every offered note.

Watch the children today as they struggle with intent and purpose to get the words right. They want to get it right so they, too, can join in the mighty choir. 

Sing loud, and clear, so they learn. Listen to the elders, many wishing the song continued on after one obligatory verse. They would sing that anthem to the end and then begin America the Beautiful a cappella to further lift their voices in praise to our country, their service and devotions the lifeblood of today’s holiday.  Sing when spoken word cannot deliver our message in any stronger dosage. 

It is a hymn, a prayer, an oath, a comittment. Today, when you hear our National Anthem, in full or in part, I raise my heart with pride and teary and sentimental song, for long lost familiar voices who taught me how to stand up and, fearlessly love my country in reverent hymn and high praise.

SING

DJD.

Destination. May 26, 2015

Heading north this morning. I try not to say “heading home”; leaving here is leaving home, and so is leaving there.  

I come home to both places. 


A life not divided but widened by space and time, and the exciting horizon of possibilities for all of us.  

#charlottesville #amtrak #alwaysheadinghome