she just wants

source unknown – but I do wish I could have drawn this!

SHE JUST WANTS

She does not want to fit into anyone’s box.
She just wants to love the earth, her fingers deep in spring soil; to remain strong
and engaged; to let her words spill onto the page.
She doesn’t want a product to justify her day, or to defend or explain herself.
She just wants a walk by the lake, creativity in process, evening wine; to snuggle in front of a winter fire with a good book and her dog by her side.

She does not want to go forth into tumultuous throngs.
She just wants to touch the hearts of those few she calls friend, or to whom
she extends the pen of discovery.
She does not want to listen to discord or chaos.
She just wants to live simply, choose silence or animated conversation
or Bach cello suites.

She does not want additives, modifications, directives or exclusions.
She just wants to ensure the health and well-being of living earth and her creatures.
She does not want to see the world collapse around her offspring.
She just wants to speak up for what she believes, for what is morally right and just.

She does not want 50 years of social progress burned in one moment of fevered frenzy.
She just wants people to listen to/treat/learn from one another with respect.
She does not want self-serving skeptics to destroy natural connections.
She wants us to re-member our humanity and shared responsibility toward our world.

She does not want to live in division, hate, falsehood.
She just wants to lift up what is beautiful and true with.

She does not want it to end quite yet.

3.7.17 fastwrite in ‘writing outside’ group, prompted by ‘Employed,’
by Beverly Rollwagen, from She Just Wants. Nodin Press, 2004

vision

Human eye

Human eye – credit unknown

I am really enjoying these one-word WP Daily Post prompts – like this one, vision. As someone who loves to play with words, I am especially drawn in by the possibilities of multiple and layered interpretations. Besides … what response appears today might change completely tomorrow. You just never know!

But ‘vision’ feels appropriate to me now, one full week after my remarkable 50th high school reunion gatherings. For one thing, how we visualize one another depends upon how recently we saw one another. In some cases I had not seen  a classmate since 1966. Even so, it didn’t take much scrutiny to figure out who she is. Having matched the face with memory, next to follow was body posture, hand gesture, voice inflection.

For those with whom I have been in more recent contact, my vision for re-connection was more visceral. Accelerating pulse. A twinge of curiosity. A pervasive sense of well-being,  joy. Whatever the individual situation, it was just plain invigorating to see everyone who was able to come – fully half the class, as it turned out.

Now, a week and many warm exchanges later, I am envisioning how best for us to remain in contact going forward. Without tangling us in the snarl of email threads that very quickly cross one another’s path and end up more confusing than elucidating, given that some ‘reply all’ and others, just to the one sending … some continue to just add on even with a new subject and others keep starting a new email every time they have something to share. Something more personal and private than social media.

I envision a simple way for us to share, plan, exchange and update that will stay put and be visible across time. It will of course take time for us to get up to speed, for it to feel comfortable if not, even, second nature. It turns out that WordPress has just the answer and this week, I am going to launch our private site. Here’s hoping it proves the vision of welcoming and simple-to-use connectivity I anticipate!

moodling onward

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s WP Daily Prompt poses the (timely) question:

Think about something that drives you crazy. Now, think about something that makes you happy. Does it change your perspective?

Ever have the feeling that someone ‘out there’ is actually inside your own head? or heart? As in, thinking your thought, feeling your feeling, saying what you had yet to find the words to express?

So it is with today’s prompt. I appear to have dropped off the blogging radar. And not the first time. This drives me crazy, because it was a simple practice I promised myself: to blog three times/week.

Blogging makes me happy, you see. It gives me an opportunity, however briefly in the day, to focus on something that connects me with a larger world. Like the one whose ideas reflect my own. And yours, whose words might move me to tears or action or flight. The point is, they move me.

And so I am reminded again what I tell my writers, and what I witness each time we hold a reading for invited guests. Our sharing is, in Brenda Ueland’s words, ‘a generosity, not a performance.’ Ah, yes! I do not need to present polished pieces. There are no grades. I am doing this for my own satisfaction. Thanks for the reminder.

And, as Brenda Ueland ALSO said: “The imagination needs moodling — long, inefficient happy idling, dawdling and puttering. ” That’s where I’ve been. Moodling.

chasing connection

This week my TEDWeekend inbox brought me 20 incredible photos and the moving words of Camille Seaman, storm chaser.  Storm cloud images like abstract paintings. Wise words about our interconnectedness. With gratitude, I share some of her words and images. Be sure also to check out her TEDTalk.

What does it mean to be a good ancestor? What does it mean to be a citizen of Earth?. . .  I have come to know that we are all connected no matter how many lines, borders, languages, divisions we try to create. In the end we are all on this planet together. Our bodies are made of the material of this place.

“If you came to know that you cannot do harm to any other being or thing without doing harm to yourself, you might make different choices.” Continue reading

how do YOU say ‘hello’??

Credit: Jeff Ellenwood

This question has become a perennial in our writing circles, if only because  the traditional ‘how are you’ implies such limited options. Door #1: ‘fine, thanks’ is generally nothing short of a placeholder. It neither conveys any real information, nor does it offer an opening to more. Door #2, however: ‘well, since you ask . . . ‘ can be an invitation to information overload, unwelcome intimacy, an antsy exit.

What if we greeted others with a genuine statement of interest? ‘I see you are . . . (rushing, wearing a new hat, holding a legal document).’ Or perhaps, ‘what have you been pondering today?’ Something, anything, to engage in immediate genuine exchange.

I cannot help but reflect on how dogs greet one another. They are restrained but up front. Nose to nose, tails tentatively awag; the ritual circling; then the action. If it’s an older dog my pup has met, she ‘gets’ this and doesn’t even try to engage. She politely wags, sniffs and walks away. If the dog indicates a playful nature, mine is off and a game of chase is on. If the dog comes at her full-face, a good–natured tussle ensues, usually involving ears.

This morning we had an unusual greeting. I was a bit ahead of my dog, when a familiar old fellow circled into the trees to our left; perhaps, I thought, trying to hide.  Bad hair day, I guessed. Then, without warning, he charged from hiding right into her! And then departed without so much as a wag. We’ve all had these kind of sniper-attack greetings from a snarky, got-out-of-bed-on-the-wrong-side types.

But seriously. Isn’t there something to be said for the in-tune-ment of a canine greeting? It is immediate, grounded in the very here and now of the two meeting. It is interactive, requiring each to be forthright and intentional. It is respectful, giving each party a moment to communicate intention, interest. It lasts only as long as each is engaged. It leaves everyone with a clear sense of having communicated effectively. There is no doubt about the messages conveyed. And there are no hurt feelings. If this one doesn’t feel like chasing or chomping, perhaps the next one will.

We leave each canine interaction with a certain sense of completeness and optimism. Our day is better because of each greeting, however guarded or exuberant. So I invite you, today, to experiment with different ways of saying ‘hello, how are you?’ See what feels interesting to you; what engages the other. And then report back. I asked my Thursday writers to bring their new greetings to the circle tomorrow.  I’ll add them here, too. Let’s see what we can create together that might bring more connection and more soul into our largely unconscious human habits of greeting.