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Dear Volcano (writing 101)

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Dear Volcano

 

It seems I have a volcano within my being or maybe just in my crazy mixed up head? Is a volcano a mountain I need to climb and explore? Is it the inner workings, the heat, the fire, the massive pushing and pulling that creates the mountain that needs attention?

I’m talking about this writing course. I took this on because I thought it would be a good way to enhance what I was already blogging/writing about. Maybe it will but right now, it is painful. No not really painful, frustrating and confusing.

Writing has always been more of a stream of consciousness process. Usually prompted by something I read, a meditative reading from a book or poem not these crazy seemingly off the wall assignments. If I wanted fucking assignments I would go back to school. Okay, okay, I am not being graded. Yes I know I took this on myself. So there is no one to point fingers at except yourself, your desire to learn, to improve.

So Volcano if you are pushing the plates together, heating up the lava, spewing smoke and ash up to the surface please feel free to do so. I am so behind in these assignments that I almost quit. Quitting means the frustration would only boil over sometime later in another fashion or other.

The idea of prompts with a twist was fun at first. I found creative ways to still write non-fiction blogs based on what is or has happened in my life. Than the subjects became more difficult in the fact that I had to use voices that were not mine. I was asked to make up a story. Use my imagination, what are  you kidding. Oy!

So Volcano you roared some more but did not produce. Oh maybe a little? There are a couple of drafts in your files to re-read, edit, and finish up, that may work. There are rumblings in my head, stories I keep going over, yet ego says, “you’re not ready for that type of writing. This is not what your blog is about.”   So you calm down for a while. Later in the day the emails come with new ideas, new assignments, new tips on how to go about this or that.  I love those links that offer more advice from established writers. They offer ideas and reassurance that all is good in the world. The rumbling and smoke is all part of the building of the process.

Yours Truly,

The writer within

 

Well there that wasn’t so bad was it? Ha ha. I want to thank Kaye for her blog this morning writing on the positive side, the gratefulness of the process, even when she can’t find the time, etc. Here is the link to her story.

Assignment:

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

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Have a nice day

Assignment: Give and takeWrite a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

 

There was a time I lived in a very rural area of upstate NY. Living away from the everyday world was a choice yet still on some occasions one has to come off the Mountain to purchase supplies or just to visit other areas. One fine spring day, I borrowed a fellows car to go to town, I don’t remember the reason but I do recall an experience.

Moving down the Highway

I had accomplished my errands, and was headed back home. The day was beautiful, with nice fresh spring breeze, the road before me was long and wide open. Music blaring from radio or could have been a CD? I was enjoying the moment, windows open, singing out loud, the trees whipping by. Then, I spotted him. That dark car parked at the edge of the line of trees, slowing down after I passed,  too late.  I looked behind to see the police car coming behind me, now the lights. I slowed more and pulled over to stop. Letting down the window while searching for my licence and other important documents I may need.

Turning to the window which was now block by the middle section of the police offices dark uniform, tightly fitted to his form. “Good afternoon Officer!”

Bending over to look into the car, strong hard voice says, “Afternoon! License and insurance please.”

“Yes sir.” I replied, handing over them over.

“Do you know how fast you were going? In a rush somewhere?” He ask.

“Not at all. I was kind of spaced, enjoying the day. The car is a friends and I am not aware of its power.” Lame statement, made before my mind could catch up to my mouth. The officer walked back to his car.

Sitting there for what seems to be eternity, wondering about a ticket, how much, what my friends going to say, how will I pay this, and on and on. You know how it goes.

Catching movement from the patrol car, the office emerges, placing his cap back on his head. Again his midsection darkens my window, bends over face inches from mine, handing me back the licence and insurance card. “Everything seems in order here. Next time pay attention to the speed limit and your driving. This is only a warning notice. Enjoy your day”

I sigh in relief watching him walk back to his car again. I take a few moments to be thankful. Start the car, driving off to enjoy my day!

enjoy your day

There are values in pain…

There are values in pain that are difficult
to see without the presence of a guest.

Don’t complain about autumn.
Walk with grief like a good friend.
Listen to what he says.

Sometimes the cold and dark of a cave
give the opening we most want.

–Rumi

 

A little over two years ago I noticed my Mom’s mind wasn’t functioning properly and when we had an appointment at the her Dr’s I ask about it. I wasn’t really used to being around mom that much at the time. She had a man friend and they would travel back and forth from Vermont to Myrtle Beach, stopping here on occasion for Holidays and Dr appointments. At that time I ask to see the Dr as well, to check her responses to normal questions. In his office she seemed to have answered correctly, even with being a bit distracted. Mom was not a very good listener, usually ready with a question about something else, maybe it was a way to deflect until she remembered.

Mom

Sometime later at her Heart Dr’s appointment, the Dr even came out to me to explain what she was to do for her self-care. He was concerned because she would not focus, and didn’t understand what he was trying to tell her, mentioning he would talk with her regular Dr. when I mentioned that we had discussed her memory issues and he was not concerned at this time.

At that point she went off with Lee, her man friend, I am sure which direction at the time. Her greatest joy was being with Lee and his Shih tzu Billy. She had a whole other family and friends there that she no longer had at home in NJ. Sometime later 3 months maybe she came home basicly  for good. Lee was concerned for her and he was having his own health problems.

Taking this walk with her was not my planned version of end life process, yet I was giving the task of being her caregiver, unprepared in every conceivable way. I began walking the autumn path of grief, anger and frustration with her it was not a happy time.

Continue reading There are values in pain…

The View from Here.

There was a time that each morning I awoke to loving warmth of my two Golden Retriever’s, Riley and Muffin. We would get petted and nudged, roll over, dance in excitedness to see me and to begin their day. Pushing their way out the door, Muffin always first because Riley was a gentleman, but always the protector. Off we would go down the street, to our little woods, what was left since the building of the Great Wall of FedX and accompanying business. The path led along the wall of fake stone front and cement, the fortress wall only went so far, and there was plenty of nature to our left to entertain.

enter

The trapeze act of squirrels scurrying from tree branch to tree branch, High wire jump from tree to tree, chattering all the way. The sounds of birds everywhere, The Cardinal elongated call and sharp whistle informing others of intruder in woods their red flash through the green always gave them away. The chick a dee’s in winter, their little gray tones sitting on branches and following along our path. The call for the Red Tail Hawk informing us from far above that he was there, but disturbed by our presence, circling in deeper and deep turns to scout for it breakfast.  On rare and lucky occasion we would get stared down by young white tail deer until one of the dogs would get wind of it, with a bark, start chasing after what now would be a small family of deer, running off along the little paths created by them to get away, disappearing in the brush.

shifting These adventures are multi purpose, the dogs got to run about freely, in a somewhat “wild” area. They would run off this way and that, sniffing, digging, rolling in something smelly. I was always in sight if not they would wait until I was or comeback to look for me. What was I doing observing, observing the light, the shadow. That green was no longer just green it was every hue of green, emerald, forest, yellow-green. The leaves shaped like stars, or maples others of oak brown green, contrast with humus of the ground rich decay of many past season of leaves, wood in branches and whole trunks that had fallen over or uprooted by the weather. In those logs chipmunks flashed by making its chirping sound causing Muffin to go into a frenzy. All this time I am waiting for the view, the right setting, the shadow here, the light just hitting there, on a mushroom or a leaf, a twisted sticker vine, spying little blue flowers, violets, and Queen Anne’s Lace, Mountain laurel, all to be photographed.

exist

Each season provided an never ending evolution of tree, plants, downed wood, fungi and mushroom popping up here and there, the rains made streams and puddles, created stick dams to hold things back, to wade over and to sit in. Seasons changed, the years have unfolded, progress took more of forest, years took Riley just this spring. Muffin who is now older stops and starts, would rather have attention than an actual walk, even though we manage at least once a day to get a full walk. There is always photography happening, I am never without my camera, Nature is my muse, she shines and dance, she sit gracefully, she changes clothes in full view of the world. Life is an impressive, expressive place. Look around, be present. View it from Here.

Riley and Muffin
Continue reading The View from Here.