Resilience

Resilience is knowing the wrongs you have done and taking responsibility for them.

resilience is wanting to call someone you know you shouldn’t, and not calling them.
it’s calling a friend instead

It’s giving space, it’s loving from afar.

It’s finding a need someone has and fulfilling that need.

It’s creating something beautiful in spite of, or because of the pain.

Sometimes, it’s just taking a nap.

It’s the emotional strength it takes to carry on, using tools you didn’t realize you had.

It’s trying something new, not being afraid even though you are shaking inside.

It’s accepting what is.

It’s changing what needs to be changed.

It’s fighting for this thing called life.
Frances Scott

 

 

Days Like This

Days Like This

Some days, we just have one of those days. Today is one of those days. Not sure what to do with myself, shedding a few tears, eating, bathing, sitting out in the sun, tearing pages from National Geographic , looking forward to nightfall and my new favorite BBC series, Scott & Bailey .

Meantime, I’ll share a poem that resonated:

Personal by Tony Hoagland

Don’t take it personal, they said:

but I did, I took it quite personal—-

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields :
the price of grapefruit and stamps,

the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me

and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.

The government reminded me of my father,
with it’s deafness and its laws,

and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.

Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness
Think first, they said of Talk

Get over it, they said

at the School of Broken Hearts

but I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’t
believe in the clean break;

I believe in the compound fracture
served with a sauce of dirty regret,

I believe in saying it all
and taking it all back

and saying it again for good measure
while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries

like wheeling birds

and the trees look seasick in the wind.

Oh life! Can you blame me
for making a scene?

You were the yellow caboose, the moon
disappearing over a ridge of a cloud.

I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;
barking and barking:

trying to convince everything else
to take it personal too.

 

 

Redemption

Wendy’s daughter was getting married. We were all invited, all three of us plus the new one. We had all touched her daughter’s life and she wanted us gathered around, outside in beautiful Montana, along with her fun loving friends.

Since we had all been married to her father at different times, he would witness our connection. Three good choices, that ended due to his soon to follow bad choices.

The ceremony was beautiful. We all got to hear her father go on too long about his beautiful, bright daughter, making it all about himself.

Guests dispersed to sitting tables, bathrooms, food and drink tables. The brides grandmother, my ex mother in-law spotted me, grabbed me and insisted I find the other two for a photo opp. Forget that she has once sided with her son (I was the first) during our divorce. The two who followed me  became similar characters in the story of the cheating husband. His mother, then saw her son for the playwright that he was.

Dedicated to my sisters, Wendy and Suzy.

Tetractys Poem

I have a couple of Southern women friends, up in Montana. We bonded over our Southernness and since have shared good times, giggles, floats on the river, food, grief and beauty. We call ourselves, the Hellgate  Junior League. Hellgate Canyon  runs through Missoula, MT and of course the junior league is an identifier for most upstanding Southern women.

Julie Rae has a style that don’t stop. Hardly ever have I seen her without the perfect hat, or lip color. For our Southern picnic in the park, she brought fine china, cloth napkins and peach pie. If it’s not done in style, it’s not worth doing.

Caroline Keys can strum a guitar, or banjo and sing a song that makes you feel dreamy.  I first heard her band, Stellarondo, named for an Eudora Welty character. Strawberry Cake is my most requested song. She is a prolific musician. In addition, Caroline teaches poetry to children on the Flathead Reservation.

She shared her class assignment with us. Write a tetractys: a 10 line poem, numbered 1,2,3,4, 10,10, 4,3,2,1. Each number is the number of syllables in each line.

Here’s my tetractys:

I
prefer
sunshine to
grey clouds above
go play outside today and tomorrow
flowers will bloom and people will heal soon
don’t be alone
you are loved
me too
y’all

 

Reach out and touch

Creating contemplative  collage – As I stared at this one last night, I kept singing Dianna Ross’s song, Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).

Reach out and touch
Somebody’s hand
Make this world a better place
If you can
Reach out and touch
Somebody’s hand
Make this world a better place
If you can
Take a little time out your busy day
To give encouragement
To someone who’s lost the way
(Just try)
Or would I be talking to a stone
If I asked you
To share a problem that’s not your own
(Oh no)
We can change things if we start giving
Why don’t you
Reach out and touch
Somebody’s hand
Make this world a better place
If you can
Reach out and touch
Somebody’s hand
Make this world a better place
If you can
If you see an old friend on the street
And he’s down
Remember his shoes could fit your feet
(Just try)
Try a little kindness and you’ll see
It’s something that comes
Very naturally
(Oh yeah)
We can change things if we…
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Why I Write

I’m trying to write. I write lots of stories in my head when I walk, when I wake. Putting them on paper is the struggle for me. This morning, I’m sharing a piece of writing from the prompt, why I write.

I write to be heard, to hear myself
I write to be understood, to understand
I write to remember, to forget
I write to forgive myself, to forgive others
I write to be surprised
I write to be delighted
I write to bring hope and joy
I write to grieve, to mourn
I write to move forward with what I have

I write to be disciplined
I write to honor stories, mine and others
I write to not feel alone, connect
I write for perspective, maybe a new one
I write to prove I can!
I write to reveal, show
I write to laugh, even at myself

I write because others say, “you should write”
I write because I have good stories to tell
I write because I have some of those good Southern tales, better than fiction

I write to be published
I write not to be published
I write now because I should have been all along

I write to remember loved ones
I write because I am only a speck in this universe, what have I got to lose
I write because our stories matter

Hope

It’s been a good morning so far, thanks to a dear friend and an article by Rebecca Solnit.

“We have reached a crossroads, we have emerged from what we assumed was normality, things have suddenly overturned. One of our main tasks now – especially those of us who are not sick, are not frontline workers, and are not dealing with other economic or housing difficulties – is to understand this moment, what it might require of us, and what it might make possible.” Rebecca Solnit

I hope you read it: The impossible has already happened: what coronavirus can teach us about hope