Good morning good morning –
It’s a Thursday here, white-grey sky and just the right kind of chilly. The green finds its way into the garden. I wake up out of dreams that spread from my consciousness immediately upon opening my eyes, and after a few moments trying to get them back, I go downstairs to transfer the yard waste from the backyard buckets to the green bin that the city will take away. I say good morning to all the spiders who run off the spent lily foliage I pulled this weekend. I say good morning to the quiet birds. I say good morning to the city bugs.
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“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
You might have seen this quote, attributed to Pablo Picasso, on the writing ourselves whole Facebook page last week? It’s my latest obsession – I am living in it. I keep repeating these words to myself — over and over they ring in my head. All the projects I keep putting off, that I tell myself I have plenty of time to do. And yet, I don’t do them. I make time for paid work, for house work, for the dog, for family. For television, for administrative tasks, for cleaning up, for cleaning up the yard waste and making sure it gets into the green bin.
I don’t make time to move (that’s another post). And I don’t make time to rework/edit and submit my writing. Continue reading
Good morning, good morning, brilliances.
On this December 25, I just want to invite you to be easy with yourself. I don’t know about you, but I get stressed this time of year even when I’m not trying to find the perfect gift for everyone or panicking because I don’t have enough money or anxiously trying to navigate or orchestrate the needs and desires of blood family, chosen family, friends, and beloveds.
This is a good time of year for me to find a CODA meeting, quite frankly, and often the time of year when I’m least likely to make the time for that sort of self care.
Good morning this morning. Did you see that moon last night? Are you readying for the solstice?
This morning I am thinking about how we get out of our own way.
What is it that keeps me from doing my writing? I have escaped my stepfather, I have no one in my life actually telling me not to write, or that if I write something they will harm me or leave me. There is no one demanding that I abandon my writing to prove that I love them. I don’t even have a day job to blame for my lack of words or lack of time. The onus is entirely on me at this point. I am the only one rehearsing, repeating the messages that say I can’t or should not write. I am the only thing standing in my own way.
(I love you wall, Monmartre, Paris)
Good morning this Wednesday morning. I’ve got cloudy, bluish skies outside the window, a candle casting its flicker across my fingers, some decaf with soymilk. What delight do you have so far today? What are you bringing into the morning from your dreams?
This morning I am thinking about how to navigate the overwhelm. Do you get stuck in the overwhelm? How do you step through the minefield of the lens of overwhelmed? How do you remind yourself to listen to the parts of you that want to take care of you and believe that you’re all right?
Good morning good morning good morning — the summer morning outside my window is grey and sounds like the whistle of a train passing through Jack London Square. What is rising for you this morning? What is falling away?
I am entering into a couple-day writing retreat: two days focused on a couple of book projects, two days of stealing away from my regular life, two days in which I give myself permission not to feel guilty if I spend time writing rather than doing other work. This is a stay-at-home writing retreat, and will be interrupted by a trip to the vet and a few other tasks (mostly involving prep for writing groups); still, my primary focus for these next two days will be on moving these books forward.
How often do you give yourself permission for a day to focus on writing? How often do you give yourself permission for thirty minutes, or ten? How often do you feel as though you are stealing time from something, or someone, else in order to write?
Good morning. It’s a Tuesday out there. Are you ready?
I have been reading books about writers recently, having found Writers [on Writing] (a collection of essays about writing from the New York Times) and the Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Vol. 2: Inspiration and Discipline on my sweetheart’s bookshelf. I am looking, over and over, for one thing: I want them to tell me how they do it. How do they get up and get themselves to the desk? How do they make the writing happen? How how how. I don’t want the theory — I want the practical: I get this much sleep, I get up at 6, I sit at the typewriter/keyboard/notebook and do not stop for two hours or six or forty-five minutes. Then I get up and I do something completely different. If I write a page, that’s great. If I get two new sentences, I feel successful. Eventually it all coagulates into a book.
Later, I’ll want the next part — how to get an agent, how to get it published, how to get it edited enough that someone besides my best friends will willingly read it. For now I’m still at the beginning and this is what I’m looking for: how to incorporate writer into a real life that also includes job and family and friends. Tell me how to we take care of our bodies while we do that, how to get a book finished when we have too many jobs and everyone’s telling us it’s impossible, how to write a book when we’re depressed and disappointed, how to do it anyway. Continue reading
Good morning good Monday to you — this morning there’s a good weightiness all around me; the world feels solid and maybe not entirely clear but present and necessary and open. The birds are a dawn chorus (thank you for that, Lucretia!), and the candle flickers over the words “Run your finger down the blackness behind my ribcage / make a puzzle of my womb / an alphabet of my fingers” (from the poem, taped to my wall, “Poem,” by Roberta Werdinger). How are you feeling your way into this Monday? What does the week hold in store for you? What are you carrying forward with you from this weekend?
A poem for today:
The Poems I Have Not Written
I’m so wildly unprolific, the poems
I have not written would reach
from here to the California coast
if you laid them end to end.
Yesterday it was skunks. Today it was a fresh new tennis ball near the courts, just waiting for a ball-loving puppy to come upon it and pounce. What a good life.
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Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as having said, Do one thing every day that scares you. There are several things on my plate right now that I’ve been putting off for years, that terrify me (book proposals, grad school, growing the workshops, building relationship with family — you know, little things). How do you step up to positive action that scares you?
(written at 6.15)
This morning is about patience and slow work, it’s about new learning and what feels like endless change. This is about we just got started, and expecting to be further along already. It’s about stress and deep breathing, counting to 10, trying again. We don’t get it right the first time, me and Sophie–she pulls at the leash, and I say No instead of telling her what I’d rather she be doing. I think she should already know how I expect her to behave, I take it personally when she doesn’t act that way. I slow down, squeeze new tears of frustration, stop, start again.
Now the wireless isn’t working and so I’m blogging from the phone.
she says, "the city is ours!"
Good Monday morning to you! Right now, I’m in my living room, and just to my left, at my feet, is a 5-month old, hound-lab-mutt mix puppy called Sophie. We found her in the animal shelter up in Mendocino County (a great road trip for us, a less fun road trip for her) on Friday and brought her home to live with us on Saturday — today is our second full day together, this new pack of ours, momma & poppa & Sophie Star. She curls up into a small ball when she’s sleeping, then stretches out wide and long, and is a fireball of energy when she’s awake. She’s quick, smart, and has been making this huge change very easy on us.
What do I want to tell you? I’m exhausted from not sleeping, really, for two nights — there’s a new life in the house, one I’m responsible for now. What sounds will she make? How will she take to her crate? Will she let me know if she needs something? This morning she let me get up and do my morning pages before I opened her kennel and we went out for our walk, just as the sun was about to lighten the sky. It’s 6:42 now — I stayed in bed as long as I could, and got up at 4:23, listened to some tail-thumping coming from the crate, but no whining. We are learning how to be with each other, how to flow with each other’s movements, how to accommodate each other’s needs. Yesterday we went on 5 walks together — in the past, I could go days not taking one walk. The past is finished now. (That, of course, is a tautology, but still…)