When I went out for a walk this morning, it was strangely quiet except for the occasional caw of a crow in the distance and the gentle dry rustling of the phragmites at the edge of the marsh whenever a slight breeze would whisper through them. As I walked and walked, I noticed that the outer stillness of the morning had become an inner stillness within me, a gap between thoughts, to-do lists, and all the other chatter that usually goes on in the mind. The noticing, of course, became a thought, and the babble came pouring back in.
A small stone from this morning’s walk.
through the grass
sunlight plays on water
dancing in autumn
Summer has been busy and I’ve once again been ignoring this blog. It’s harvest season as I write this so I can’t make promises to post regularly just yet, but coming back here every now and then is a little like coming home.
Autumn is my favorite of the seasons. The cooler weather always makes me want to dance. 🙂
being blown about by the winds
of everyday life
no time for the last small stone
Day 31. Throwing the last small stone of January into the river. I’m sorry to say I had to rush through this last one as my day has been almost filled with appointments. Happily, the last one involves meeting a friend to go hiking and then to dinner so it’s not all dentist and other health-related activities.
It’s been fun, and a good experience for me. Will I continue? I think I will. The small notebook I started to use for this project still has many blank pages left to fill, and I like the idea of taking time out to be mindful of at least one small thing each day. It’s a good practice.
Thank you to Kaspa and Fiona, from whom the idea originated, and to Kel who invited me to join. And thank you to those who stopped by to read and/or comment. I appreciate it.
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.
I never before noticed the hissing sound the gas on the stove makes until the power went out last night and I had to cook dinner in the quiet absence of all electricity. Candles flickered in the darkness as we spent the evening playing a dice game at the dining room table, talking, laughing, losing, winning, spending time with each other instead of in the company of the television or computer. Flashlights guided us through the suddenly unfamiliar maze of the house. We camped out in the living room, a mattress on the floor, layers of blankets heaped on top. The curious cats massaged us with their feet, walking and sniffing and marveling at the movement and transformation of the everyday to the extraordinary. “A mattress on the floor?” they seemed to ask, and then, “A mattress on the floor!” as they bounded around and finally settled in. Heat from the fireplace kept our toes toasty while the encroaching cold nipped and numbed our noses. Sleep was easy to come by and deep in dreams.
Day 4’s small stone, written in the wee hours of the morning when the power was restored. It’s shocking, especially in the middle of the night, when everything comes back on, beeping and clicking and rumbling.
Last night happened to be one of the coldest of the season so far, and I was amazed at how quickly the house cooled down once the electricity was gone.
Peeling the clementine, fingernails digging into the bumpy skin
Orange-y scent rises up
My body POPS! awake
Caffeine for the nose.
I place a segment in my mouth
and smile at the burst of citrus-y pleasure
that washes across my tongue.
The scent stays with me for hours
Released from my hands and into the air with a gesture.
I joined a river of stones for fun and challenge. I originally thought I might post my small stones (if I posted them at all) over at Life in the Bogs, but now I’m thinking Bountiful Healing will be a good place for these little moments of life. It’s sort of a safe space, with fewer followers. I can hear a voice in my head calling, “Chicken!” This is a different type of writing for me so, yes… call me Chicken. For now.