Day 350: Absorption

Ferlinghetti, seen in 1982 in San Francisco, rejects the term ‘memoir’ for his new book. Photograph: Chris Felver/Getty Images

“…and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead…”

-“I am Waiting” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, (b. 1919- d. 2021) 

Something funny happened to me the other day.  First off I had a bad day.  Nothing too extreme, just your normal run-of-the-mill bummer of a day.  I was feeling inadequate at work and falling behind in some personal goals.  My little apartment is my sanctuary.  Pulling into my parking space, sitting in the car for a moment to collect myself, the weight of the day became known.  Dang, what a day!

Walked in to set my stuff in the house. Got the mail key. Went out to grabbed the day’s mail. Went back inside. Looked through it at my desk.  It’s Tuesday so grocery flyer day. A bunch of recycling from one box to another. One letter caught my attention immediately—no mistaking it, it was a check.  Inside was a letter from the local book store along with a check for the sale of ten of my poetry books, approximately $65.  The letter explained the 4th quarter payments are late due to accounting circumstances. I was bummed thinking nothing sold last quarter, but, apparently, somethings sold. So, this is good news.  But…I stared at the check and the letter with no exclamation or acknowledgment.  I was still processing my crappy day.  I needed to process my crappy day. I wanted to turn the key from sad to glad right away but instead, I said, “I’ll celebrate tomorrow, or Saturday.”  A voice replied, “Did you just schedule HAPPINESS?” 



Words Under My Skin

Can the lines of a book or poem hug you?  Yes.  Comfort comes in many forms and during this freakin’ pandemic I would guess many of us are seeking comfort in any form we can get it.  I sure am.

A shift that has started in my writing is absorption.  For the previous decade, poems came to me, loudly, processing through my mind and body and shooting out my fingertips to the page.  I appreciated the clarity of the thought.  What’s happening now is I hear the poem and just friggin’ savor it.  I’m keeping the words within me. Like a dissolving lozenge, the flavor slowly works its way through my soul, feeding my very essence.  Sounds dramatic?  It is.  A bit of a mini-drama.  My knee jerks to hurry up and capture the thought on paper, my throat wanting to continue the precious perception, says gently, simply, NO.

Writers have a natural progression, you get an idea you write, or you need to form an idea so you write.  Writers write.  The stanzas coming to me throughout my day and dream time should be placed onto the page. Perhaps the moments are attempts of my psyche to heal the mind and body, acknowledge and absorb the beauty around me, helping me to recover from a bad day.  Maybe I’m just being lazy.  Fresh words and stories come by for a visit and I talk with them and keep them in my heart.

Perhaps we can force another Age of Enlightenment onto the planet? Let’s keep creating and loving each other and see what happens. Have a good day wherever you are. -Shannon

P.S. I was looking forward to perhaps some aliens landing, or a break down of society completely but it looks like the vaccine is coming out and masks are coming off in September (my guess for Bellingham, WA.) *sigh* no fun.

These Things Shall Pass

photo credit: BY MATT BAUME SEPTEMBER 25 2019 11:18 AM, gay twitter

Do you know what the best day to be at Disneyland was?  September 12, 2001. On the day after September 11th, while all planes over the skies of America were grounded, my neighbors loaded up their Subaru and drove like a bat out of hell to Disneyland.

They were a young Disney fanatical-couple with early elementary-aged kids. The 9-11 attacks came with indirect benefits for anyone who ever dreamed of having Disneyland to themselves.  While most of America sat in front of their TVs for hours and worried themselves raw, these opportunists were like “F*ck it, we’re going to ride roller coasters all week!” Now, most people can get from Seattle to Disneyland in 18 hours, with kids, that could work out to be a full day of driving, day and a half if stay at a hotel on your way down.  They seemed bubbly and downright giddy about the whole situation.  When they came back they told us there were no lines and about 500 people in the whole park all week. Perfect!

I’m thinking about this couple today.

SO much happiness

As the Democrats are getting ready to impeach Trump, I’ve been extra happy.  There’s a little skip in my step the past two weeks. It’s as if my hope in the governments’ ability to function has returned.  (Mind you, it’s been missing for many years)   Since that dark winter’s night in 2016 many groaned and groaned for years after.  

But why, at 2 in the morning on a Wednesday in 2019, eight years later, am I thinking about them?  I’m happy that it appears some justice will be served but there is an element of unknown.  It is a crisis.  Our country is in a crisis, however, we’ve been here before.  So…what were they REALLY thinking? I came up with this: they recognized that these things shall pass

Consider these ancient lines from Proverbs  11:10, “When the righteous thrive, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.” or 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” (New King James). 

There was and is a groaning 

Whatever happens with Trump and to America over the next week, year, decades to come, its nothing we, and really all the citizens of the world, haven’t seen.  Proverbs is a testimony to this. For centuries the world has had righteous and wicked leaders. They come and go, but goddamit, how long will they keep the Dumbo ride?

photo credit: Disneyland, CA post card
photo credit: Disneyland, CA postcard

A Thick Ring Year

Written: Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Living on an island that is only 55 square miles is starting to work its magic into my mind and heart. If I was a tree this “ring” year would be a thick one, meaning that there was more than enough nourishment, sun, rain and love through out this year to keep me healthy. Not everyday was all sunshine & butterflies! But the storms in life can help keep us strong and alert; and there were many storms in 2008!

For me the material part of my life took the biggest hit ever this year! 2008 hurt my pocket book, my pantry, and closet. I wasn’t able to buy the items I wanted, and had to settle with JUST the items we needed. I felt poor and a little pouty but really- a bad year in America is still better than one in many other countries. If my suffering means I cant get a new couch, (needing one because mine has a busted spring), or a new set of towels (because the old ones are getting frayed), it’s still not as bad as needing say, food or shelter. So no maintenance purchases, just what is necessary. But real happiness shouldn’t come from material items, right?
Washington State winters are gray, cloudy, rainy, and windy. It sounds depressing. However, growing up here I’ve found a natural high every time I take a walk in the muck and come back to a warm home. Coming through the door is a refreshing reminder that not everything is cold and dark.

Just came back from town. It feels wonderful to walk about and say “hi” to the people I pass, “Thank you very much! Have a good day!” to the store keepers. Does it help that the Christmas lights are up all over and there’s that special good feeling in the air this time of the year? It does a little.

A couple of signs that I’m starting to become an islander is how many new sounds I recognize. While walking to the grocery store one day for example, I heard a truck coming up behind me on the road and a single dog “bark!” I knew right away whose dog that was and what truck would drive by me… and I was right. I almost didn’t take note of that moment, until I said to myself, “What’s next? Someone behind me will sneeze at the drug store and I’ll say “Bless you, Nancy.”?
Is familiarity needed to feel comfortable? I would argue yes it is. However I don’t think you need intimate understanding of the things around you before you’re comfortable, but perhaps just faith in the reactions, systems and relationships. If you are going on a journey this holiday season, you’ll know that some things never change no matter where you are in the world. That’s as comforting as a little rum in the eggnog!