7 years later

 

File folders clothed them,
alphabetically arranged,
in soft manila suits.

Their stories, each record
of submission, publication
duly noted in colored caps.

They wore published clips
buttoned at the back
like jewelry.

A wardrobe of time,
collected life, whispered secrets,
screamed epiphanies. Gone

in a moment of unintentional
unraveling, a thread caught
on life’s edges —

weak seams pulled apart until
the cloth gave way, the threads
broke
turning into a thousand tears.

composed January 2011

Sunday is Sliding

 Another Sunday is sliding into its ending. It will become an event, a moment, in past tense in just a few short hours.

Hopefully, we have spent the time well – making our music with whatever unique, creative gift we possess. Writing poetry, speaking encouraging words to loved ones, knitting a scarf, painting a picture, writing a letter or journal entry, or playing a flute.

I am still a product of the time in which I was raised – Sunday remains a Holy day to me whether I attend church that week or not. It’s a time for quiet, introspection, reflection, and artistic musings. I love the deep vibration the day holds within itself.

There is a certain sadness as I watch the clock hands move and the minutes tick by… as if I am saying goodbye to a lover I completely adore. And, like the essence of that lover, I hold Sunday in my deepest self as I get ready to meet Monday in the week ahead.

Blessings,

~Marissa

 

Destiny in the Parking Lot

A young girl watches you
get out of the car at Wal-Mart
and thinks – one day
I want to be like that! The pretty car,
the nice clothes, expensive purse,
the perfect hair.

You are the vision
she holds onto, cherishes
in her broken-ness.

She will strive
to become . . . You.

You are her symbol-metaphor
for success – a chance sighting,
a living image of what it means
to have made it. . .

Out of the fear of less,
out of the poverty of nothing,
away from the cold truth of being
inconsequential.

Photo courtesy of Bigfoto.com

Hate Math I

hate math. It has no
sing-song deliberation,
no melodic double entendre,
no aim at speaking
soft or hard wisdom.
There is only truth factual,
a hard steel glinting of
the one true thing represented.
It comes in quick, cold
bursts of delineated vision.
This war has been going
on forever between the
two sides: words v/s
numbers.

December 24, 2000

These desolate days
of wasted space when
time becomes
the movement of water —

droplets raining
from unfrozen snow
lounging on the roof.

Tree branches leap
from frigid cover —
undulating from confines
to seek the sharp winter

sun. Beacon of time
that shines crystal clear
on this day as meaningless
as the thousand days before.


Originally appeared in CCEQ, Winter 2001 issue.

A Few Favorite Poetry Quotes

Drawing of American poet Emily Dickinson (10 D...

Image via Wikipedia

For today’s Post-a-Day2011 entry…a few favorite quotes about poetry:

 “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
 Aristotle
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen
 Leonardo da Vinci

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these
 Emily Dickinson

Impossibility

When you have said
all the words I need to hear
and told me everything
in warm whispers, except
“I love you.” It won’t be enough.

When you have given me
flowers, apologies, soft
sentiments and fresh hope
in softest whispers, but
haven’t said “I love you.”
It won’t be enough.

When you have told me the
truth about who you were
becoming who you are, and
have lulled my heart with
dream-songs. It should be,
but it won’t be – enough.

When you can tell me
in quiet-tones, face-to-face,
eyes-to-eyes that you love
me, I will know that you
see me clearly for the first
time. But, it won’t be enough.

When you can love me
across the miles of time
without hiding in the silence;
when the pain apart defines you
through the essence of my absence,
and your soul recognizes the loss —
then, and only then, will it be enough.

 

Alabaster Altar

I cried hot deep
bitter tears – a sacrifice
upon your alter,
ravaged broken body,
cold marble against
warm skin – as I lay
weeping.

Degradation and
humiliation built
these walls
that hold me, but
I remember the
story of the Phoenix
and suddenly find
myself turned to ash.

Doves lift in flight
from silver tree limbs
where gods and demons
frolic, awaiting the
trial in court, where
an alabaster altar
still gleams – ready
for the next sacrifice
of bloody atonement.

Scenes in Sepia

All we ever had was
time. Stolen from clocks
ticking our normal lives
away. A flash of minutes,
images on a transient stage.

Theater performance.
Limited screenings – a few
savored scenes in sepia,
playing against
an orchestrated hum.
Symphonic melody rising
until the heavy red velvet
curtain fell, the lights
went up, brightly glaring —

and in that hot white light
of mourning – the hum hushed,
as the symphony quietly ended
and all we ever had was
time stolen from clocks ticking
our normal lives away.

Pages of Memory

 

(On my last visit with my grandmother before her death)

Her age-dimmed cloudy eyes linger,
watch me being my mother on the pages of memory.
She tells me how much she loves me and
asks about the baby, turns to see.

Trembling-aged hand that held me and
spanked me and cuddled me as a child
shakes as it reaches out, then
tenderly touches a baby’s silken head.

She grows impatient, wants me to listen
to the important things she’s telling me
about how to raise this child — ooh, so sweet,
precious little Colleen. I, adult Colleen, stand

watching and listening as she talks
remembering me into reliving our lives
over again from her memory of 17 years ago.
I promise to do everything she says.

I tell her how much I love her and become
my mother for her today – again and
become my infant self again – one last time –
watching her through both sets of eyes.

Until, my daughter takes my finger
with her tiny hand and I look down to see
her child-dimmed cloudy eyes watching me
being her mother on the pages of memory.

Winter Breeze

Ida Larson Artwork

Queen of Winter, by Ida Larson

Lovers, forget your love
And list to the love of these
She a window flower
And he a winter breeze …

~Robert Frost


It is beautiful outside my window. The Queen of Winter is present –  huge flakes of snow tumble across the sky, tree limbs are holding a treasure of white on their branches, and the ground is a carpet of crystal. It has been snowing since deep in the night – a five-inch layer that’s still growing.

This day and this snow are acceptable – reminding me of snow days as a child when it was a treat to miss school, snuggle under blankets, and drink hot cocoa.

~~~

I didn’t sleep well last night. Too many thoughts, voices, memories coiling through my mind. The replay of my yesterdays filled with happiness, sadness, confusion. It was a long night of restless searching in an unfortunate land.

It is a land I know, one that has been waiting for my arrival – a conversation with an old friend earlier in the week; yesterday spent in quiet review, pouring over old journal entries and falling, tangled in a mixture of heated emotions and dissonance of spirit.

I am always searching for answers in their various forms. A journalistic flaw, I suppose, always trying to answer the Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions of life. The Why always being the most dominant!

Lately, some long-held Why questions have grown into their answers.  It is a deeply bewildering experience even though I’ve known the answers forever.

The power of words is stunning. and though the answer may be known, it holds a different power when it’s spoken aloud. That’s when it becomes real! It now lives ghost-like and shimmering in the light of day. It is a haunting presence that can never be unspoken out of being.

These are the dream-images of realization and epiphany where poems are born. They grow from that place of answers and play through my mind for hours, speaking loudest in the dark moments before sleep comes. Oh, such clear lines and perfect stanzas showing up when I am too tired to get out of bed and write them down!

~~~

I want to believe in the pictures I paint for myself:  of people, life, feelings, and reality.  As if, somehow, in the magic of believing it to be I can create it being. The falsity of this approach becomes clearer to me as I grow older. Most things cannot be dreamed and wished into a better truth – they exist in the reality that is them without magical influence playing a role in the game.

“What matter that the magic doesn’t work?” I have no perfect image of completion in my mind, only small perfect moments I would like to possess.

The truth of what things are and the lessons that stem from that probably have more value overall than the perfections I dream of engineering. Still, it may be that the poet must have an element of believing, a magical perspective that defies logic, in order to see the details that become poems.

Artistry is never about the normal, run-of-the-mill experience. It is always about experiencing that and then transcending it. It is the vision stemming from transformation that speaks to the poet and in the poem.

~~~






To see more artwork by Ida Larson, please visit her gallery at Epilogue.net

If I Cried Out

Melancholy, by Natalia Tejera

“If I cried out, who
in the hierarchies of angels
would hear me?”

~ R. Rilke, If I Cried Out, from the First Duino Elegy.
I’m trying to keep up with my Post-a-Day 2011 committment, but am also tired and a bit melancholy today. So, here are a few random thoughts and observations —

Granddaughters

My youngest granddaughter, Haley, spent last night and most of today with me. She turns 3-years-old in February and is a tiny, blonde burst of constant energy. I adore this child deeply! And so much enjoy my Am-Ma time (she can’t quite get her G’s out yet, so I am Am-ma until her language skills grow a little more!).

I’ve been able to spend more time with Haley during her young years than I was with Lauren, her older sister, when she was little. I lived in Myrtle Beach during  Lauren’s first five years (she’s almost 7 now) and only saw her a few times a year. This time with Haley and Lauren as they both learn and grow is a wonderful gift to me. They bring tremendous bliss to my soul.

I’m a young grandmother, at 43, and I’m pleased about that. It’s good to know that all my impatience as a younger person – married and having my own children before I was a true adult – turned out so well. I enjoy acting like a child with the babies, crawling around on the floor, playing and active in ways I couldn’t be if I were older. It’s just too cool!!!

Management

I told our new finance manager last week that he had to “grow-up and set a good example” because he’s a Manager now. It’s true, but it’s also true that management usually isn’t all the goodness and glamour you expect it to be.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Mother and Manager both start with an M! My salespeople are more like children than professionals most of the time, and I swear I catch myself having the same conversations with them that I did with my children during their teenage years. I spend a lot of time training and fixing things…welcome to management 101!

I’ve been in a management position for years now, so the real work of the job is not a surprise most days. Last week was one of those tough weeks filled with constant personnel issues and necessary disciplinary actions. That takes its toll and makes for a long, exhausting week.

I’m due a week’s vacation time and would dearly love to take a 7-day break from my job! However, I had the MRI of my lower back done this week and return to my doctor next week to see if I’m facing surgery or not. I suppose it’s best to save the vacation time in case I need it for that…BUT, a few days-in-a-row off work would be heavenly!

I’m trying not to stress over the health issues, but am probably stressing more than I’ll openly admit. My answer to that has been to work harder and take on more tasks and projects than usual – a tendency that is wholly me. I guess it makes me feel as if I’m at least accomplishing something with all that nervous energy and stress!

Writing

I’ve been making good progress in my writing. This is partly due to a renewed emotional committment on my part to be honest in my art (wherever that takes me and regardless of the fears which haunt me in that truth), and partly due to the unbridled stress noted above. This combination of factors means I’m writing more often and more deeply than I have in years.

Poetry has been the most fitting form for my creativity lately, though I do have several essays and a few fiction pieces started. My schedule (usually a minimum 75-hour work week) allows me to write poetry easier than the other genres.

Several of the poems I’ve posted on Open Salon have been selected as Poetry Picks of the Week, and I appreciate that as a very nice complement.  I’ve also started participating in Poetry Circle: Contemporary Poetry Forum and was pleased to have the poem At Dusk May 18, 2010 selected as an Editor’s Pick. (The original version of At Dusk on this blog is here.)

Publishing online in this way is a very new experience to me. I spent 13 years as a freelance writer, publishing in traditional formats. There is still a difference to me between the writing in literary/Mainstream publications and writing on blogs on the web. I’m sure I’ll revisit traditional formats when I have more time for submitting. For now, I’m enjoying the online forums and having fun exploring all the options available for writers in this arena.

Whippoorwill, the new online literary journal I’m editing ( to go fully live in February) is another project and another exploration of this new online media for me. I’ll serve as managing editor for Whippoorwill. This will be my third stint as an editor for a small press, and I hope the “third times the charm” brings success and joy to this venture.

I was the publisher and editor for IF Magazine – a social justice, shake the world up publication – from 1993 until 1995. And then, served as editor for CCEQ (Carolina Christian Education Quarterly) from 1999-2001. Both magazines taught me a great deal about writing, editing, marketing and publishing.

I’m still one of those people who prefers small-media to mass-media due to the wider range of content and truth, and I believe our Freedom of Speech rights to be one of the most valuable elements of a democratic America. However, as a general rule, I stay out of major political discussions. Historical study teaches us everything we could wish to know about governments and politics. I usually don’t feel the need to add my opinions to the mix. I still believe deeply in the need for social change, but seldom write of that anymore either.

My current work, in whatever form, tends to focus much more on the personal and spiritual. I believe anyone can become anything, change any habit, meet any goal, or reach any dream. My work seeks to explore that internal process, as well as the process of living and being in our world and what that means to us. I believe true change is internal and individual, so that’s become the natural focus of my work. In the end, all we truly have is us and our experiences and beliefs – and that is what creates ripples across the larger pond.

Art Prints

Blue-Eyed Mystery

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”  ~Albert Einstein

 

I love the mysterious aspects of life and am a believer in signs, portents, omens, and the like. I’m sure this tendency comes partly from the artistic side of my nature and partly because the grandfather that raised me was part Native American. I lived with my grandparents from the time I was 3 until I was 11. During those years I learned a lot of uncommon things – I could trap and skin rabbits, I could shoot a shotgun at a very young age, I knew the names of plants and trees, understood the difference between poisonous berries and those safe to eat, and learned to make sassafras tea from sassafras roots dug in of the woods.

Those years were an uncommon and delightful period in my life. A bright time that would preface the much darker years that followed.  That time period also created a certain view of my place in and interaction with the world around me. I came to believe that God and nature speak to us in many ways – through signs, intuition, omens, and various levels of unconscious perception. This “sense” of belief in other (in all its various forms) remains with me today.

As a young child I was told stories of animal spirits or animal guides and was certain (due to my fondness for them) that my animal guide was a wolf. I appreciated the uniqueness of wolves, their sad mournful cries, the abject loyalty, and the fact that they mated for life. An interesting, lovely animal across the board. However, as certain as I was of their guidance as a child, and as much as I liked them, something started changing as I reached adolescence. I started dreaming about a white tiger with blue eyes.

My dreams about the tiger were so unusual and vivid that they initially caused a simultaneous happiness and panic.

 The tiger was always with me, but doing nothing in particular – just present in a reassuring way. I would wake with the dream so fresh and real in my mind – the tiger stretched out and me curled up against him. There was a sense of strength and wildness about the creature. Still, I always felt that I was safe with him. In fact, I have never felt safer and more protected in my life than in those dreams sleeping beside my blue-eyed tiger.

 The tiger dreams were a normal part of my life for 21 years. I puzzled over them a great deal during that time. I read numerous dream interpretation books and many psychology books and dream-cognizant behavior theories. None of these offered a satisfactory logical explanation, nor did they describe any particular form of insanity in which this dream was a prevalent symptom (because, yes, I was starting to wonder about sanity!). There were no answers readily available  – just the breathing animal beside me in my dreams, warm and silent.

Now, allow me to clarify for all the psych majors out there – I never dated anyone with blue eyes during those years. Didn’t have an unfulfilled crush on a blue-eyed guy, or any of those normal dream-prompting scenarios. In fact, the tiger presence in my dreams had a wholly different essence than anyone I’d ever met. Unique and complicated in its energy, but soothing in a way totally alien to me.

And then, the dreams stopped during a very difficult time in my life. It struck me as really unusual at the time, because normally the presence was more dominant during times of hardship. The last time I dreamed of my tiger was almost three years ago – the day before I got on a plane and flew to Dallas to start work with a sales group. What hadn’t made sense for 21 years was perfectly clear a mere 24 hours later.

My tiger was a premonition of change: a time to come, a place I would find, and a person I would meet. I would know the eyes and the presence immediately. The mystery of what that means in my life remains a mystery still. I believe the world and God speak to us in so many subtle and shocking ways – beneath the obvious is a deep, flowing current of mystery that moves with us and carries us. Sometimes, the answer is just another question.

Why was I shown something for so many years that was so far away? I believe it was so I could recognize and understand when it arrived without fear and misconception. It was a pivot-point in my life and the deeper parts of self. I have changed drastically in many ways since then. I have a deeper understanding of the danger and the beauty that co-exists in our world and in our deepest selves. I understand that some emotions defy explanation and logic, and yet have a greater meaning in the larger fabric of life – the smallest moments shared can enrich us and change us in profound ways.

The tiger of my youth doesn’t visit my dreams anymore, but his voice still speaks in my heart. He remains a great and wonderful mystery in my life.

Rapture Me

Your voice purrs intimately,
soft rasp in my ear. Vibration
slides inside my heart, moves
my soul to weeping, strokes my
body to deeper craving. Awakens
my desire to feel
soft skin over hard muscles.

You remind me of the big cats.
A tiger I’ve wanted to touch
since youth — never fearing
the shimmering-bright cat
sky-bright blue eyes
soft-subtle purring
turning to devouring
without warning because
wild lives within
deep masculine brilliance.

I wonder why dangerous
exotic beasts rapture me —
(and I reach out my hand).

Your voice purrs intimately
in my ear as my body melts
into the sound of you
talking about nothing
as your words enter me.

Pretty Painted Machine

Perfect new paint shines —
covers your body like silk
sheets pulled perfectly tight
across a lovely queen bed.

The scent of new glistens
where leather skin stretches
taught across seat backs
and arms. You could be held
by a graying lover or a fresh-
faced man-child out for
a first fast ride. You

like the cool room
of glass windows, waxed tile;
equally like the heat
of street and pavement waiting
outside for your display. You

acquiesce easily, push a button,
turn a key, roll forward.
Never complaining about
what you didn’t become,
unaware of what you are…
pretty painted machine without
sentience.

September 2010

How Time Builds

 

Isn’t it strange how time builds

these houses we live in

with regret, confusion, un-knowing turned to stone?

 

Did you hear the workman start clearing

the land for construction when you were young

and I was younger – a child at your knee?

 

Did you taste the brick masons mixture

of grief and fear used to season the mortar

for the foundation as we argued away the years?

 

Did you see the man pass by with his chisel

and saw and boards and nails for the walls

as you grew older as I grew older too?

 

Did you feel the dark shadows as the shingles

were nailed to the beams of the roof

while we huddled – divided by our growing identities?

 

Did you know our houses would share memories

and history and tears and people

without sharing a common doorway for meeting?

 

Isn’t it strange how time builds

these houses that define us

with regret, confusion, un-knowing turned to stone?

Navel-Gazing*

Navel-Gazing*


If you look too long at you

you see nothing else. They say

the art becomes abstract and distorted,

ends up being devoured by narcissistic

demons.   (Writing as if You mattered?)

 

Better to write about birds,

or birds in branches in trees,

or birds in branches in trees in December.

Looking up, away, outward

is the true art of poesy, they say.

 

They say you are conceited in this conditional

demand that reading you means

seeing you, all guts and gruesome glory.

Self-pronounced identity poured sloppily

across white paper like dark-black blood

 

across white-silk sheets. They say, you

are just too raw! Seeping and spreading stains

across the innocent white fabric — now ruined

by the heartbeat of warm red iron and oxygen —

destroying forever the pretty-pristine vision we prefer.

*n. Slang

Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue: “The optimistic trend masks a looming problem, which has sent the travel industry into a renewed bout of navel-gazing” (Financial Times). American Heritage Dictionary. Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/navel-gazing#ixzz1ABCaJPTG
*(Often used to describe Poets and Poems or writers considered too self-focused)

The Bird Calls His Presence

It is a first memory. The plaintive call of a Whippoorwill in the night. I’m a small child sitting with my grandparents on their front porch as a gentle wind drifts by carrying the smell of gladiolas on its wings. The bird calls his presence.

 

Whippoorwill has been calling to me for the past year. A quiet, sad sound rolling through my mind like the song of the bird I listened to as a child.

The list of pros and cons for starting an online literary magazine (or any literary magazine for that matter) in our world today does not add up in equal columns.  We are a world of sound-bites, quick thrills, and Twitter. The list of cons is much longer than the list of pros in a culture that grows less literate with each passing year. And, of course, there are the questions one must ask: Is there a market for such a publication?; Do we really need another lit mag?; and, Can there possibly be anything left to say? These are all valid questions to ask and consider.

For most of the year my answer has been a resounding No. No, the market isn’t very large. No, we really don’t need another lit magazine. No, there isn’t anything left to say. After all, everyone is talking, but so few people are actually listening, right? Everyone has a blog, but how many followers do they really have? The news shows and Internet are filled with voices 24-7, but Americans are so busy they seldom have time to listen. I (like many of my peers) need a secretary just to keep up with my “favorites” and my RSS feeds, and my subscriptions, and then there are the Tweets and Facebook updates. We are inundated with words – we can’t possibly need more.

And then, a strange thing happened to me. I realized that I had not welcomed the shift from printed materials to online materials into my life. I decided it was time to stop dismissing online magazines and blogs as “online diaries” and investigate and explore their true essence.

I started reading more blogs, amassing RSS feeds and subscriptions, joining various writers blog groups, and listening to what the world was saying. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve discovered surprising writers with tremendous talent lurking in the mist of Cyberspace. I found new information mixed in with totally unexpected epiphanies.

I’ve come to understand that there are literate, diverse writers and publications with great insight and joyous gifts to offer. I’ve also discovered that people ARE reading, commenting, and contributing.

My recent exploration helped me to realize that art isn’t usually about what we need in a logical sense. It is more often about what we need in the deepest parts of our human selves. We need to create, we need to express, we need to sing our songs. And we need to have those sides of our truest, deepest selves validated and cherished by the world around us in some way.

That artistic expression and validation is the goal of Whippoorwill. It is intended to be a place for exploration and growth, a place where we can sing and here another’s song, a place of validation for our artists ego’s – where talent can become inspired, shared, and appreciated among peers. It is with that train of thought that Whippoorwill begins its journey. I hope you’ll join us and I bid you a heartfelt Welcome!

 ~~~~~~

Note on Whippoorwill content and submissions: The theme and purpose of the magazine are intentionally loose and undefined to encourage open artistic submissions. Submissions will be accepted on a continuous basis. Initially, two to three issues per year are planned with a possible print edition of “The Best of…” produced yearly, depending on the submissions and audience we obtain.

Please feel free to email with ideas, suggestions, or questions about possible content. Please send submissions in body of the email to: marissa@whippoorwilljournal.com. We are seeking poetry, fiction, flash fiction, essays, non-fiction. However, we prefer not to see genre fiction, horror, or deeply erotic works at this time. Again, email or send a blog link if you’re not sure. We are also seeking regular bloggers and contributors. Pay scale is determined individually with the author.

 

 Re-Post from Whippoorwill at http://whippoorwilljournal.com/blog/editorial-musings/the-bird-calls-his-presence

 

.

Compulsory New Year Blog Entry

Your subconscious knows that you have the resolve and the wisdom to achieve anything. ~My Yahoo Horoscope for December 31, 2010

Ritual Born

I’ve never been the type of person to make New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer to spend New Years Eve reviewing and evaluating the year that’s ending. I am always looking for growth – what did I learn in the past 365 days? I’m also looking at myself to see if I’ve become a more complete person in some way or if I simply spent the year dormant and uninspired.

Taking time to reflect on the past 12 months of life provides perspective and allows me to consider the path ahead. I usually do this in a new, fresh-leather handwritten journal – a clean white page, a ritual of sorts.  I’m adding a new ritual this year – the Compulsory New Year Blog Entry. Who have I been and who am I becoming as the year transitions?

Goodbye 2010

I have no major complaints of 2010. My formal career in the car business has been productive. Promotions, pay raises, hitting benchmarks, gaining insight and expertise, and facing new challenges with patience and courage have occurred. I’ve reached a place of quiet assurance and confidence in myself and my abilities.

My personal relationships (with husband, kids, grand babies, family, friends) are all flowing smoothly, happy and on track. No major issues there to contend with which is absolutely wonderful!

I resumed my informal career as an artist in 2010 – making time for writing, completing a poetry collection, and planning a new online magazine project for the coming year. I have been a writer longer than I’ve been anything else in my life and it feels good to be back at the keyboard playing with words. It’s a homecoming for my deepest self.

There have been sad and stressful moments in the mix. I miss certain friends a great deal and realize they are lost to me in some odd way – our time together past and the new of life demanding its place now. It has been a year of strange, internal goodbyes – to people and places I will likely never see again, to old beliefs and misconceptions, and to dreams and childish indulgences that have grown dim in the light of a new future. The old pieces of Self wasting away tend to make a fuss about it – the old us we leave behind screams “don’t go” as we walk away.

These are the personal changes in self during 2010 that most surprised me:

* I realize how much quieter I have become in all areas of my life and aspects of my being. Silence, in myself and the world around me, is something I’ve learned to treasure.

* Mourning over the absence of others from my life (due to death or distance or less intimacy than I’d wish) was a dominant part of my emotional journey during 2010. I lingered in deep, sad places of remembrance, wishing, regretting, and eventually letting go during much of the year.

* I returned to my writing with a totally different concept of myself and my work. I have a new sense of peace and understanding about myself as an artist and about my work as art. It’s as if a last puzzle piece fell into place when I wasn’t paying attention. The picture is clear, crisp, and vibrant now.

* I am experiencing life as a “now” experience more than ever before. The past has drifted into misty realms and the future is a shinning cloud – I am living in the moment with an odd sense of calm and contentment even on the rough days. I love this new state of simply being.

So, with remembrances of the lessons and gratitude for the gifts and good fortune – and deep appreciation for all the many blessings – goodbye 2010!

Hello 2011

The new year starts as a clean, blank page. We can write our story however we choose. I hope to write in bright, beautiful strokes of vivid ink this year. I hope you do the same. Happy New Year!

morning

Eclectic hour of waking

given meaning by

daily schedules

alarm clocks

traffic jams

 

Called forth sleeper from slumber:

the world claims you, defines the hours of your breathing.

 

Things line themselves up

begging for completion.

Cacophony of demands.

Screaming voices in the mind.

 

A new count of the hours begins.

Much as the last counting —

these moments so disturbing

define the truth after your dreaming.

 

 

Marissa Mullins, written December 2000