Dear loud nasal-voiced woman sitting over my left shoulder,
Stop talking. Please.
We three writers sitting quietly by the fireplace are cringing and wincing, shooting each other rolling-eyes about your “how annoying boss, Bob” and how late meeting invites were ignored. The rapid-fire banality of your workplace drama and gossip–Diana is a slut, AND she sounds lazy, yes, you’re right – has meaning only to you. Have you checked if your friend across the table is still breathing? Peter and Ross and Justine should not attack each other, and blame is a byproduct of working with folks who believe “it’s not their job”, whatever it is. Georgia needs a plumber and Henry will not be a good presenter if he can’t come to work sober. That’s a lot of other people’s business you’ve got your snout wedged into. And, now, because you were never taught to properly modulate your voice, everyone is involved.
Even invisible strangers like me.
But, you caffeinated siren of gossip and shrill shrewing, thank you for reminding me why I love a non-office workplace.
Thank you from the bottom of my coffee cup.
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.
And they tell me the only thing I can do is pray.
It’s so powerful, so mighty, so positive.
So why do I feel so powerless, so scrawny, so angry?
(This is far from my usual mode of positivity and optimism.)
One of you has been betrayed.
It is clear from your posts that your heart is leaking pain everywhere you go
like an old car leaves an oil trail down the street.
Some of you are ill.
I do not say “sick” but ill. Your body is fighting a fight while you are held hostage by those ravages and maneuvers.
Some of you will have surgery soon.
I know you are afraid.
A few of you are having parenting issues — whether you are the parent or the child.
A lot of frustration and needless back-and-forth of not listening to each other and power plays. (This you can handle yourselves, but I pray about it anyway because it couldn’t hurt.)
Many of you are healing or lonely or hopeful Love will come through the door…
that your own prayers will literally be answered.
Honestly, I want to answer every single one.
Gratitude is everything, I know this.
(Where is that magic wand we had as kids? We could just wave it around and *poof!* everything was magically
time for supper and then a bath and story and bed.)
So many of us just want the very best for those we know and Love
and for those we hardly know but Love anyway.
I ask for better
I ask to be given opportunities to be a better person, mother, friend.
And they are provided hand over fist.
We mend what we can, as best we can.
After that, the only thing left to do is give in and pray.
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
Among the stones today, I realized so much of my life remains virginal. Pure, unexplored, blank canvas clean opportunities – awaiting my hand, mouth, heart to travel their invitations and enlightenments. Above the crust.
Among the stones, gray soldiers a’row silent senators convened by various ends, bid solemn tiding: ideas brought here do not flourish; the goal, to finish one’s tour empty. Not depleted but filled by life, and emptied into it. Less to bury. Below the crust.
Among the stones today, a vow so strong and voracious rose ancient and wild. Waste no further time in worry over that which I truly have no control; love full and wholehearted whomever strikes that chord, and live that same way: largely without sheepish quieting of my Self to please others. Loud among the living…and among the stones.
Dar Dawson 2017
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.