Writing has been missing. I’ve missed writing in general, except for the few words that I’ve jotted down in randomness. I’ve missed Red Room. I’ve missed coffee. Today was my first cup of caffeinated coffee since about a month ago when I thought I’d experiment with taking it away. I have purposefully not made any New Year’s resolutions. I think I will continue working on myself—my interior world. I can see why it gets harder and harder as we age; and I can also see how it can reach a middle point and feel fine. I can see how it feels like a teeter totter—life that is—the constant balance seeking, of maintaining some sort of equilibrium, all the while trying to stay true to oneself and not becoming hard, but maintaining a sense of softness, maintaining that soft glow in your eye as you look upon the dandelion floating through the sky and letting it nestle right in your heart and carry you on and open your lens to more and more of life’s subtle beauties.
This morning I decided to make a pasta salad using multi-colored spiral pasta for our lunchtime snacks. I added red onion, celery, olives, red bell pepper and mixed it with a vinaigrette dressing. As I was cutting the bell pepper, my mind began writing and even though yesterday is when I realized that writing—that in part is my lifeblood—was absent. Maybe it needed a break of its own. As I waited for the coffee to finish brewing, I anticipated my first sip and I knew I would sit down and write this morning because coffee and writing go together and spark my fire. I knew I needed to show up at the page because the longer I waited, the more time would build for me to talk myself out of it—to fall into a rut of self-consciousness.
The other day while I was sitting in the car, waiting for the engine to warm up—because my uncle told me it was a good idea to warm it up so all the fluids get up and around in the machinery. It will run smoother and I won’t put a strain on the car, he said—it’s really a small truck, but I prefer to refer to it as a car. And it does make a difference. When I go too soon, it’s harder to go into second gear. I feel bad because sometimes it will make a horrible noise. I’ve been driving stick shifts for a long time, but at times shifting into second gear makes me feel like I just learned.
So this little snippet is what I wrote that morning:
Waiting for the car to warm up, listening to an audio book, my attention drifts to movement caught out of the corner of my eye. I look and there are two squirrels playing, rounding the tree, shaking their bushy tails. I then look forward again; the light shines on the leaves in the tree in front of me. The soft breeze shakes the leaves in a way that makes them look like gold coins dancing on the beach, planting a smile on my face. At this point, not much time has passed, but sitting here tapping it out to catch the moment, it feels like lots of time has inched by. I had to rewind the audio on the Kindle. The narrator was talking about memory and how we reach a point where we know we're forgetting and we have choices: We can let it go; we can force ourselves to remember—or at least try; we can research for further prompting where eventually the memory will come back to us in our sleep or some other random point.
The squirrels have moved on. The tree is still there. The sun has shifted away from the golden coin tree. The car idles in a way that says its time to go.
Yesterday I feel like I had a mini breakthrough. It may have helped to talk about it out loud, but something shifted in me. A part of me that since my mini “meltdown” as I refer to it has finally begun to release itself from me. It had put a bit of a damper on my being, partially because I don’t like losing control, especially with my emotions. The irony is that when others lose their emotional control with me they might apologize because they feel bad, I tell them it’s all right. You need to let it out. This happens every now and then where it has nothing to do with me. I just happen to be an understanding ear. And at these times, I feel good that I am able to be there for them—just in my presence and in letting them know I hear them and I understand and that it’s all right.
And so, this is my first blog of 2012 and I feel optimistic about this year. I like the curves of two 2’s like bookends holding a zero and a one together snuggly in the center. And then I can imagine these four numbers up on a trapeze—a 2 with a 0; and a 2 with a 1, grabbing hold side by side each pair on opposite ends, joining in the center. That’s how I see 2012 in this moment.
I raise my glass or in the case of this morning, I raise my coffee cup to you and wish you health and peace and happiness for this year of 2012.
Wishing you all rainbows and sunshine! :)
This photo was taken at the Japanese Gardens in Hayward.