October

rocks leaf

The stillness speaks to those who listen

and to they

who listen not.

Delicate mists settle in the valleys

Hover in silence

Heavy with knowledge

of tomorrow

of brilliant splashes of glory in the form of leaf ponds

swelling under trees.

Stillness speaks of snowfall on the horizon

of leaves caught in rushing waters

caught on rocks

caught in our hearts as we remember

Relive

Recall

Remain in awe

of the turning of the wheel

the blending of the year

into the beauty of seasons,

the promise of Octobers to come.

~ddm

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She’s how old?

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How did we get from this…?

To this?

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My baby girl is 17 today.  She is a beautiful and bright girl.  She is wickedly funny.  She is an awesome friend and a wonderful daughter.  She is a tomboy and a beauty queen.  She is a thief – a stealer of hearts.  A source of pride and joy.  She is a gift and we are grateful.

Happy 17th birthday to our youngest child.  Rock on, baby girl.

By any other name…

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What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;

What IS in a name?  Do our names matter?  If I had named my daughter Olivia rather than Victoria, would her life have been different?  Would she be different that the woman she is today?  I wonder about things like this.  Because you can never tell what affects someone and what won’t.

I thought long and hard on what we named our daughters.  Their father vetoed many names I liked, and I returned the favor. The results were fabulous.  Two regal sets of names for two tiny people.. who are now nearly grown women.  All the nicknames they have acquired are still used, depending on the day and the events therein.  Though I was sure I would, I have never once used their full names pre-scolding to let them know just how much trouble they were in.  They have grown up names.  The scoldings were aimed at little girls, with kid-sized names and kid-sized mistakes.

Marissa Annette and Victoria Danielle are names that belong to our tomboy daughters.  The same ones who clean up like fairy princesses, and tire of hearing how beautiful they are …from someone in their American Lit class, or a boy in the lunch line.  Their names may be unknown to those who offer them compliments, but the view is not dependent on what they are called.  They are beautiful regardless of names, or sweat pants, or bedhead.  I think it would be the same were they named Ethel and Agnes. No disrespect to Ethel or Anges – I’m sure they, too, are beautiful in their own right.

Here’s to little girls with long names.  And sweet smelling roses…

 

[image found here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/142848619403354851/%5D

Rainy Monday

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It’s a rainy Monday in Baltimore.  We really need the rain so it’s nice that the rain waited until the weekend was over.  I’m feeling a little under the weather today.  Actually for most of the weekend I’ve been iffy.  Perhaps running on empty isn’t the best plan.  The candle has been burning at both ends since school began in August.  I’m tired.

The first trees to turn colors caught my attention this past weekend.  Bright yellow splashes of color seen amongst the greenery.  The leaves of many trees are beginning to shower down in drifts with the sway of the slightest breeze.  It is such a peaceful thing to watch.  The scene also serves as a gentle reminder that we are well on our way to winter.

This year has flown by.  So much to do.  So little time.  It will be Christmas before we know it.  It’s good to be aware of where we are in the timeline of the year, but it is also important to note where we are.  Because today is where we are.  Today is all we can enjoy.  Today where life happens. Life is now.

[image found here:  http://www.landscape-photo.net/albums/userpics/10001/A_rainy_fall_day_-15.jpg ]

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What a week!  Crazy stuff!  Crazy busy!  What next?

Well, I can’t answer that question as I possess few clairvoyant abilities but I’m pretty sure more of the same.  Life.  Life is what is going on, in all its vain weakness and urgent need.  Tomorrow is another day… for most of us.

It has been difficult to learn to turn off the pain.  It is absolutely an acquired skill as pain can be hard to ignore.  When it takes over your mind and pitches a tent, it’s time to formulate an eviction plan.

Detachment is the key to blocking out pain.  If you can step away and look at your circumstances from a “big picture” view, it can help you gain clarity and perspective.  What we are going through is not unique to us.  I would venture to say that 99.9% of our hurts are common to mankind – not unique or isolated in the least.   Certainly there are exceptions, but for the most part we endure similar experiences, like it or not.  I’ve never been good at pushing pain away or blocking it out.  And when I was able to,  it usually took a light bulb moment to make me see the need to let go.

I cannot bear the burden of pain – literally.  My life is too full and too busy.  I am treading water mentally as it is, just to keep up with the demands on my time.  I MUST gain an angle that enables me to see objectively if I am to move past it.  I have to see it for what it is and release it.  It will still be a truth, but at least I can see that carrying the burden will NEVER be my friend.  I will only harm myself continuously if I make the decision to hang on to what is breaking me.  Like grasping a hot coal, the longer I hold it in my fist, the worse the wound and the longer the recovery time. Scarring is a certainty.

Suffering is optional.  I’ve heard this said and I believe it to be true.  I also know that sometimes it takes a while to be able to let go of pain and move past the suffering.  Suffering is the outcome of dwelling in pain.  I have suffered enough.  If I can let it go, I will.  And if I can’t let it go, then I’ll work at it until I can do so.

I understand what it’s like to carry baggage through life.  I don’t like being encumbered.  However, until I focus on an issue and am able to see the reality of what holding onto it means, what it is doing to me, I will suffer.  I will be tired.  Because carrying baggage, day in and day out, is exhausting.  It weakens you.  It steals your joy.  It drains your perseverance and disables your ability to maintain.  I can’t do it.  It’s just too hard.

Find one thing to let go of, one thing to lighten your burden. Offer it up as a gift to tomorrow.  See what it feels like to release that weight from your heartstrings.  It may not be easy, but the relief is a gift without equal.

Have a great weekend!  Enjoy some time with those you love.  Do something nice for YOU.  You are worth it – I promise.

[image found here: http://th392.photobucket.com/albums/pp4/synergyscrap/th_normal_Pain_Is_Inevitable_Suffering.jpg%5D

Alone again….

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I have been missing my husband lately.  It seems like he’s never home.  Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoy having time to myself.  But sometimes you get so busy it takes an “aha” moment to bring things back into focus.

I woke up this morning about 1:25 a.m.  The house was silent.  No low murmur of the tv from the living room.  I thought I heard a motor slowing down but no.  I noticed the silence because it meant Mike wasn’t home from Baltimore yet.  1:44 a.m. and still no Mike.  I remember thinking that I parked in the driveway in his “spot” where the truck goes.  “I should move the van,” I thought to myself.

My mind began its own journey with me flying behind to keep up.  It’s about an hour’s drive from Baltimore’s House of Rock where the band was playing.  The eight-foot bed of the truck was LOADED with amps and speaker cabinets and guitars and cables.  Kind of a heavy load.  Mike had a 36 hour migraine the day before.  He was not quite himself.  He was tired.  He was tired and driving a HUGE load of musical equipment in a pickup truck AND WAS PROBABLY FALLING ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL… AND WHERE THE HELL IS HE ANYWAY?!!

I heard the truck slow down as it passed the mailbox.  I heard it begin backing up the driveway.  I met Michael as he was walking to the front door. “Where are you going?” he asked me.  “I’m going to move the van.  I’m in your spot, right?”  “Yeah, actually.  Thank you.”  I backed a semicircle into the yard and around the still-running truck at the top of the driveway.  Mike backed into his spot, got out and made sure the cap was locked.  We went back inside.  “What are you doing up?”  “I woke up and you weren’t here.  How was the gig?”  “Aw, GREAT!  We had a great night.  The crowd hung out with us. It was a lot of fun.  Wish you had been there.”  “That’s great,” I said.  “Glad you had a good night.”

We went to bed.  He was asleep in no time.  I got up around 2:15 and read till 3:30, unable to sleep.  I went back to bed.  I woke Mike up to tell him he was snoring.  “Sorry, sweetheart,” he mumbled.  And he stopped snoring.  He was sleeping soundly this morning as I left to bring our daughter to school, which is usually his job.  He needed to sleep, so I let him.  It was the least I could do since he was good enough to make it home safely last night.

[image found here: http://sf-designs.net/flash.htm%5D

Countdown to 53

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One month from today, I’ll be 53 years old!  Boy – time flies when you’re having fun!  …and even when you aren’t.

I was born in 1960 in a small town in North Carolina. I like that the year ends in zero, because as I get older, I can do the math easily when I forget which birthday is approaching.  I’ve been doing the math for years.  Funny that I can’t remember my own age at times.  Perhaps it’s not as important a detail as I’ve thought.

I have a friend who said that she could not wait to be an adult.  Her parents had always told her that when she was an adult things would be different.  She said that one day in her early 20’s she realized that even though she was an adult, nothing had changed!  She was still the same person.  She thought of things the same way!  She was just older.  All that time she’d been expecting to be “different” when she “grew up” and it never happened.  She was angry that no one told her she’d still feel the same inside, but that she would simply be of legal age to do grown up things.  We are who we are, regardless of age.

I do feel the same in my head as when I was younger, but I am more confident and do not bow to fear.  I try to make my decisions based in love, and not fear or anger.  If you consider your motivation when making a decision, it reveals a lot about who you are.  If you are paying attention, there is a much to be gained from this awareness.

My motivation in this life is to make others happy, sometimes to my own detriment.  Making my decisions based in love doesn’t mean that I always give in, but that I must think of what it best for everyone in the situation in a given moment.  One thing that is important for me to remember is that I, too, am worthy of decisions made on my behalf that are based in love.  I have to love me, first.  If I don’t then how could I possibly be fit to love another?  This lesson took many years to learn.  I am a slow learner when it comes to me.  The thing I know, that I sometimes forget is that I must be my own best friend.  Treat me nicely and make me laugh.  Buy me presents and talk myself off the ledge.  I’m worth the effort.

I’ve come a long way in 53 years.  So much living left to do.  So many people to love.  On to 53 I go.  …living, loving, and learning.