With the city behind me
the prairie the only answer to my discomfort
I followed highway 36 east
until the light changed.
There on the side of the road I waited.
bare feet on pavement.
And then this.
It’s that time of year again, you know the one when we get really excited about our country. Though, somehow that excitement has been transferred more to mattress and truck sales. Because nothing says celebration like spending hours in a show room waiting to find out about financing. Meanwhile I like getting stuck at the light on Colfax in my thirteen year old car because I can watch the World Cup for a few minutes on the big screens outside The Three Lions. I guess I didn’t get the memo early enough that I’m not American enough. Makes me think about Hari Kondabolu and his comment the other day about growing up in New York. He didn’t know any white people, though he knew plenty of Irish, and Italians, and Jews. Growing up around the same time ten miles away the only difference in my childhood was the occasional Midwesterner I would meet, usually someone who’s work intersected with my Dad’s, in New York for a few years as part of their way of working their way up the corporate ladder. They would come to Thursday Dinner, where the conversations would drift from Marxism, to someone telling tales from their latest stint of fieldwork. Now I live in the middle of this country, I find I have more connection to it, the land that is, I’m still doubtful of it’s history. Though I’m thankful that it gave my great-grandparents a place to land as pogroms filled the Pale. Two weeks ago I found a copy of A Carp in the Bathtub at the library book sale, yesterday I brought home some carp from H-Mart, dreams of my grandmother’s attempt to renew old traditions in my mind. Instead I had the fish in my hands wringing out the excess water from freezing. None of this assuaged my guilt from even buying the over fished fish. Finally at 8 we sat down to fried fish and plates of asparagus, while an interview about Roger Ebert played on the radio in the kitchen. We stayed up late watching murder mysteries on the couch. More excited about our next trip; Routt National Forest, than fireworks and burgers from the near-by market.
Oh and I did this.
Luminous Traces has been resurrected, this week we are exploring mornings.
Is full of putting things together.
Not making unnecessary sacrifices because having your heart full is inspiring.
When you give up everything you damage yourself, starvation isn’t limited to food.
You need to feed your heart, as a woman, and as a mother.
Don’t do this for only for you, do it for everyone around you.
When your heart is full you can give more, do more.
We are told to keep going, that pushing hard from morning to night,
is the only way to succeed.
But if you don’t step back and see where you are and why you are moving forward you loose the plot,
forget the purpose.
When you take the time to remember why, it strengthens you.
It makes you more driven, more focused.
If you present yourself but you are missing the self-confidence and passion then all the hard work is just spinning wheels.
So take the time to feed your soul, be with the people you love.
When you are bursting full of purpose and love the world notices.
Joining Amanda this morning:
“A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.”
At a friends 85 birthday party there was a little bit of music and some old time reels.
See that smile, that calm look, this is where I am right now. There is so much to do but I am learning to take things slowly, deliberately. Ever since we got back from our trip to Moab life has been busy, the to do lists are long, but I’m trying to break tasks down to smaller pieces, enjoy successes along the way rather that feel disappointment when I don’t get the entire thing done. So much more gets done when you actually can cross something off the list. For a while I was hesitant to take such a long trip, feeling like I should just get started, but then I realized that Finals really tapped me out and what I need most was time with my boys away from the clutter of the city and the online world. You know what those 6 days were so grounding, long enough that I could lose all my confidence in myself and regain it, long enough to have enough daydreams that I have focus. Mostly it was about loving my family without distraction.
Now that I’ve been back for a week there has been time enough for the scattered beginnings I am starting to see the trail in the forest. There is no more psyching myself up for what comes next, the next is now. Two years ago when this whole thing shifted I thought going back to school was about learning a skill, today I realize more than anything it was about regaining the self confidence that I lost over the chaos before then, two years is a long rebuilding but looking at it from here I don’t know if I could have come to this place where I am now without the amazing program I was in (technically I’m still a student taking a class here and there but no more full time).
~All photos are from our trip to Moab~
Hi my name is Stacey and I have been absent from this space for the last a six months as I finished my last full time semester of school. I may have forgotten how to blog but since my finals ended last week and we went on a week long camping trip the cobwebs are starting to clear from the writer part of my brain. I have so many ideas I’ve been mulling over but no time to put them down here, or even in a journal. So the time has come to return. But for right now I’m going to go sit on the porch and watch the rainstorm.
I’ve never been one for long term planning, I have looked at life six months at a time, possibly a year. That was how I always have been. Even in high school interning at a museum I felt uncomfortable with the way the projects were worked so far in advance. But through the transition of the past few years I have learned to value planning ahead. It is easy to fall into the comfortable rhythm of school especially with the deadlines and friendships, but I have managed to keep focused on the bigger picture, I am four semesters in and I have managed not to shift my plans. Instead I am more firm than ever in my goals.
It isn’t hard to know where I am going with all of this when at the end of the day Alder is there reminding, with his presence and words, what exactly my next step needs to be. He keeps me on task reminding me of the adventures we have planned and the rhythms we want to return to. All of this is part of a promise I made to him, and to me. I love what I am studying but that is really incidental. I chose it for the money and freedom to be made with it (don’t bother judging me I’ve had all the circular arguments in my head already). The bonus of my growing passion is that, like everything else in our lives, it becomes part of who I am and makes the work that I will do more pleasurable.
Here I am ready to move from full time student to working Mama and I feel the familiar tug of inactivity. Right now there is no one but myself pushing me forward. There are easy ways to move ahead, ones that while simple take me away from my goals. So I fight myself to find a balance that will make our family exist how it should. I push through days that move like honey, dreaming of the ones when doing what I need to will feel more natural. I am so out of practice, making myself do things. So I use big doses of day dreams and inspiration to help during the hours that Alder is at school.
This effort needed to realize my goals is monumental, yet for once it seems in reach.
no one speaks of all the arithmetic that goes in to being an adult
the cobwebs of connections
Music is just another form of numbers.
Across the street the red lights behind the bar
sends me onto the snowy porch.
3am dazed I wonder if it is fire,
I stay outside until my bare feet ache
old habits never vanish just stay hidden.
I stack mental photos of 3am in piles,
tracing my way back three decades.
I still can smell the pennies on my fingers,
staying up waiting for my parents to come home.
Playing cards with the neighbor.
3am only my father returns.
A week later my mother returns
And I got used to 3am,
3am is when the world is so quiet you can hear the stars whisper the truth
3am is when you hide from the unspeakables
3am is when lovers tell lies
3am is when death becomes real
and when the moon it full 3am is full of pain and mischief.
Has it been a year? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was wondering what 2013 would bring. I chose Engaged last year and that came to be, whether it was school or family or friends I feel I have delved into everything deeply. Even if I lost months of my life to school, where I am right now is all thanks to all that I engaged. I have found new depths to my passion and feel that I am in a good space for moving forward. I sort of feel unstoppable, timid and a little unsure of what I am doing, but unstoppable anyway.
I start 2014 in a new phase with new needs of focus, but mainly I need for it all to come together. These words I choose are not just for inspiration, they are challenges. I thought for a while that I might use something like “finishing” or “successful” but there was some missing element to both of those. They were too sterile.
Fruitful allows for growth, it brings the natural world and heart into my goals. Making the life that I want will always be a process, but I look at this year as one of focusing on creating this life. The past year was spent filling my mind with information, renewing relationships, and returning to myself. This year I need to take these strengths use them to create where I am going.
On New Year’s morning while the house was silent I was moved by the flat snow flakes to sit for a while in our new studio space. In side me there was a shift, last year was about filling up and rushing through, I feel the need to slow down to take moments to collect and create. So the girl who has never had much of a thing for candles lit one and placed it in a place of honor.