rambling, chattering mind
moving off in all directions at once
words, words, and more words
vast, empty, barren
crowded, jammed, overflowing
i got nothin’
A small stone for day 24.
I can’t tell if there is too much going on in my head or nothing at all. This was the best I could do today. The photo is from last year’s winter trip to Erie, Pennsylvania. Lake Erie was frozen. The stretch of white and blue was vast and appeared empty from a distance, but once my eyes adjusted to the almost monochromatic scene, details started to appear and I could see that there was a lot going on.
Lately writing has felt like hitting a brick wall.
I sit at the table staring out at the darkness waiting for the pond to appear and listening to the rhythmic patter of the rain on the roof, avoiding today’s writing topic of “Shapes like stars,” and wondering how anyone can come up with such prompts. What does that mean? A car whizzes by and the house heat kicks on with the usual drone and hum, warm air swirls around my feet. I put the pen to paper, to the brick wall, seeing the worn rusty color of each brick, the mortar that holds them together, the nooks and crannies and dings. I think about the brick wall we built last summer. Mortar, made with cement. I write: “Marilyn Monroe was shaped like a star and has a star on a sidewalk to show for it.” The bricks begin to crumble and fade as I write about those posing as the shapes of stars, and somehow journey in writing towards the miniature suns that appear on the waves of the water on a sunny day, and find my words in the shapes of stars.
I’m occasionally using writing prompts from A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves. I think the one I used this morning (“shapes of stars”) is for the 10th of January or thereabouts. I haven’t been using it daily as there are mornings when I prefer to empty out with morning pages or I spend time working on my small stone for the day. I don’t want to skip any of the prompts so it is going to take me more than the usual year to work my way through the book and prompts. I’ve noticed that those I find challenging and/or like the least tend to be the prompts that make me dig deeper.
Bend your knees. Learn forward slightly. Relax the knees. Long, thin, strips of fiberglass designed to spread body weight evenly will slide, glide, and coast across the snow. Relax! Bend your knees! Ready.
I am a goofy foot, launching on my right ski.
First rule learned in first lesson: Relax! Put a little bounce in your body. Slight uphill to start and then a gentle, gentle glide through the meadow, sunlight sparkling on the snow, cold air grazing my face. At the end is the turn and steeper downhill.
I often end up in the brambles at the end of that hill. I forget to relax.
Swoosh! Snow flies. I fall, laughing as I do the turtle, skis and feet high up in the air (how can you not laugh at that position?), and roll over on my side to get back up. There is freedom in that first fall. Joy.
Relaxed, knees bent, a little bounce in my body, I take on the big hill with a joyful wheeeeeee!
Day 22’s small stone. A little wordier than usual. I actually fell twice today, but the first fall was the best because it’s always the first fall that releases the fear.
fifteen minutes at zero degrees
even with layers
— fleece gloves, mittens on top —
the cold nips, snaps, bites
invades my fingertips
benumbed, dipping them in warm water
color and feeling return
with excruciating pain
not one good photo to show for it
Day 20’s small stone.
It’s bitterly cold here today after yesterday’s snowstorm. I went out at sunrise hoping to catch some of the pink and purple sunlight that ushered in the dawn. The cold went right to my fingers. It wasn’t long before my cold-numbed fingers were stumbling around on the camera buttons, a sure sign it’s time to give up and go inside. My fingers are fine, but the warm-up was painful.
The scent of onions and garlic linger,
ghosts of last night’s dinner
roaming through the house.
A small stone for Day 19.
Sheets of rain dash across the surface of the pond, driven by bursts of wind. Streamlets of mud snake their way downhill, bleeding into the water, great brown blotches spreading out across the grayish-green reflection from the sky.
there is a poem
(a book, a song)
by Leonard Cohen
Dance Me to the End of Love
and we have learned
as we have danced
over these many years
that there is no
End of Love
Happy Birthday to my dance partner.
A small stone for a special Day 16.
If interested, you can listen to the song here. The collage is from a series of photos I took of the book.