In which Distraction and Attention battle…

Cynthia Lee prompted this one: And I was amazed by how things got so blurry for me. Which one is the distraction? Where am I putting my attention? Am I even choosing?

I am distracted by, I pay attention to.

I am distracted by my children. The noise, the clatter, the emotional rollercoaster of caring for other people.

I pay attention too much, I am constantly looking for it, the need, the solutions, the worry, the worry.

I am distracted by the mess. But only a little. I can find myself quite cozy amidst it all, and not bothered. And then, there are those days when it’s a sign of my own failure, writ large upon the house.

I’m distracted by bad memories, and seeking vain glory bitter victories over stories of the ex. The sick feeling of not-happiness when my kids were complaining about their father last night at dinner. I hate it, it makes me sick to my stomach about myself. It’s hard to even type it.

I pay attention to the growing things in the house, the plant life, the people. I like to feed them, I wish I had a native skill that made food more enjoyable to make. I deeply do. I’ve been trying for a long time.

I’m distracted by the negative, I fall so deeply and so fast and no amount of head shaking dispels it. Thank god I have had so much therapy.

I pay attention when I am called to. The ask. I answer it. Even if I struggle on the inside with wanting to, being taken out of my own world of whatever it is that is going on.

I’m distracted by the kids. The need of theirs to be seen, witnessed. Twice now, I have had to stop the timer for them, its not even been ten minutes… ten minutes.

I pay attention when I’m called to. That one is giving me pause. Am I just following directions?

I pay attention to the hard thoughts, and what lies beneath them. My questions of worth and my questions about that.

I’m distracted by the to-do list, that is so long here, there and everywhere.

I’m distracted by make-believe conversations in my head, leading nowhere, in which I sound really good.

I pay attention to what is happening right in front of me.

I’m distracted by what makes me pause.

I pay attention to what makes me pause.


I pause.

*what are yours? Do you have a clear, clean line between them? I’m surprised by my blur here, i confess.

This was the worst seven minutes ever


In which I narrow it down.

I can’t say I did this on my own, but hello. I am a woman and probably pretty good at acknowledging that I am here on the heels and shoulders of all of those before me. I’m good with that. I can ask for help, I can do that without feeling diminished, even. (most of the time)

but I’m taking a class in which I am being asked to narrow down my dream, label it, pick it apart and label it again. What do you want? What is absolutely necessary to you? How will you know you’ve succeeded?

This is slightly out of the lock-and-step of how will you pay for things? and, how will you pay for things?

This is the dream before all the practicalities. They come later.

so here is today’s revolution, resolution, discovery, uncovery.

i want to love and to write.

yeah, its pretty much that simple.* so.

what now?

*bear in mind, in loving? unavoidable side effect of being around love, and loving, is that you get some back, in whatever shape it chooses. *in writing? no constraints on the type or practicality of it.

i feel an immense relief in having a baseline. isn’t it funny how just distilling something all the way down to its simplest form, brings you something you knew, and yet had never named?


what now?

unlocking things. the red door at the farm..

This is just a great photo of mine. Because the door is great. I do want you to notice that what looks locked? Isn’t.


in which I tell you what I am not writing about.

writing about things that i don’t want to write about, at any level? hmm. meta meta?

1. i’ve never written exact events in my story as i remember marriage. and i mean, anywhere. i never journaled about it, never took pictures, never captured it, except in my head and memory. and its my story, even if there were other players.

i’ve been challenged to write it, as a therapeutic tool. not here, not publicly, but in the world. because writing things down gives them power.

and also sets them on fire so they can float off.

2. i’d like to write about my mother-in-law. I’ve known her since I was 15. She was my first, most powerful example of the kind of woman I’d want to be, that I could be. I knew her long before I knew her children, or the father of my kids. She was my high school English teacher, and fierce. Unapologetic. Worldly. (she was from New York, after all)… I’m scared to write about her because I feel like its too risky, that there may be loss involved and I don’t want to get into it. I’m thrilled that I got to keep her in my life and I’m ever better for it. But I think if I start I will float off on waves of sadness.

3. Sex. I’m super at writing about it, and having it…but not here. I don’t really have a forum for writing about sex and relationships, because I claim this space as just my own, my own thoughts about things and I try not to include other people unless I am reacting or responding. BUT, its been pointed out that I am leaving so much unsaid that my story almost becomes untrue. And if I start? Hmm. That’s a whole different kind of blog, right?

Is that true, that leaving things out makes me untrue? I don’t think so. And yet, I’m caught on the snag of it.

And that’s today’s essay folks. love you, miss you, really want to kiss you. 🙂

What do you not talk about?

ash blaze bonfire burn
Bonfire sparks… Photo by Pixabay on

In which I write ‘what pleases me’.

what pleases me.

  1. finally getting my former mother in law on the phone. she remembers me. and we laugh like no time has passed. she threatens to kill me and I almost pee myself. This is the goodness, the love.
  2. growing things. watering the plants and watching them change. remembering what waters me and how i change, despite appearances.
  3. lighting a candle when i’m working. boy, does it draw me in. so ancient a tool.
  4. the feeling of water filling me up and spilling out my ears when i think i might not be able to hear her voice on the phone many more times. (its not pleasing, no, but the satisfaction is that the grief is not here yet. i will not borrow it early.)
  5. my elders getting vaccinated.
  6. palettes. pallets. palettes. food, paint, food, paint. trucks.
  7. using my new workspace and staring at the bookshelves. the words i can pick out over there are like this: dragons, ice, ashes, frost, fire, dawn. It is its own fantasy. There is also auden, o’connor, rowling, smithsonian, sibley, brewer, and keene.
  8. I’m taking my christmas tree down, a little earlier than planned, honestly. because i need the space for the next season, the new growth. i’ll have to live with the discomfort of the empty space for a little bit before i fill it again. isn’t that always the way?
  9. a bath. a bath always pleases me. today i will cry about my mother-in-law, despite my not borrowing grief. i’m not, i’m really not. i have bath bombs and salts. and hot water. and that’s all that i need.
  10. it pleases me that i made it to ten. that i’m wearing two sweaters and a scarf and i feel naked without my hat. it pleases me that i’m letting go of so many things, and i can see how many more there are to go. and then there will be that unbearable lightness. and i will float like a feather on a breeze.

that is the shortlist, my lovies. the life is good. and rich and full of tragedy and more life than we can handle. isn’t it, though?


wood art painting colorful
Photo by Markus Spiske on

Starting up. February’s ending game.

I know I’ve been off my game, I’ve felt it. I haven’t been writing, but I’ve been full of thoughts about how I’ve not been writing and that, honestly, can just bite it. Its not enough, its not.

Its like the taxes that are sitting next to me on the desk. The actual job would take ten minutes. So, why are they sitting next to me on the desk and not winging their way to their destiny? Hmm.

So, I’m going to set myself the task of writing again, for real, again. I’m not holding myself to every day, but 5/7 would be pretty awesome. March it is. The anniversary of our discontent.

Sigh. all the ‘last times’ that we didn’t know about. a year ago. I predict not much writing about it really, i am not really producing a time-capsule for the sake of history, after all.

I find that the writing connects me to my deeper self, and i’m bolstered by the sharing of it. The imagination that tells me there are a small multitude cheering me on, and maybe doing their own thinking of their deeper selves.

I want to go back to that tether ball pole, idly waiting for players. I need the tether, in this chill spring. A whole tumult of change is arriving, again, and I do like the smell of the dirt in this season. (though the mud? questionable)

End of February. Beginning of March. What have we here?

What have we?

Love love,


black and white chickadee
Photo by cmonphotography on