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.

Day 25: You Are Here

Today Washington State is 3 weeks and 3 days into the COVID-19 lockdown.  Strange moments remind me what universe I am in.  My son went to get some groceries and I rush over to him before he left, “Take a face mask!  They might not let you into the store without one!” People will cross the street instead of walking past you on the same sidewalk, while folks a few blocks over meet in their culdesac, sit 6 feet apart on deck chairs to talk to each other in the evenings.  A local bookstore is offering to deliver your book order to your door if you live in town.  We had a delivery for dinner the other day.  The driver knocked on the door, left the food in a paper bag then took 6 large steps back and waited for the door to open. There was an awkward moment if I should even talk to her.  She seemed scared. “Thank you! Have a good night.”  Everyday things are a new dance.  New etiquettes are surfacing.  Common courtesies have new rules.

I’m sitting at my desk, thinking about the day and what to journal, I am wondering why I selected those 5 ridiculous questions to answer every day.  I no longer like them. I think it is obvious that I’ve never been in a pandemic before!  (…BTW- if, so some reason, the planet goes through this again within our lifetime, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENT?   How would you prepare if you know you had perhaps a 4-day notice or maybe you saw the clues three months ahead of time.  Would you fly to a tropical beach? Buy 100 rolls of toilet paper? Sell your cruise tickets? Just wondering…I like where I am and who I am quarantined with but I wish my apartment was larger, like if I had space for a back yard, a swimming pool and a craft room.)

These daily personal inquires started with good intentions like most bad ideas, but, I’m just not going to do it anymore.  You can’t make me.
1) an observed joy-  meant for me to keep my eyes on the positive.
2) a real concern- designed to remind me what is a REAL problem.
3) a personal challenge- I imagined I would be in a self-improvement mode.
4) one personal success (no matter how small)- a question designed to showcase the self-improvement.
5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- I’m a silly random person

Here is my current mood illustrated in a meme.  -Shannon

Day 21

How are you today?  How are your neighborhood and your city handling the pandemic?  Are you meeting up with friends and/or family online?  I enjoy visiting with my family. Once a week, at a scheduled time, we meet online to keep in contact with each other.  It makes me very happy to SEE they are well and adapting to this lockdown!  Honestly. Please reach out to those you love if you aren’t already.  Listening to music is also helpful.  Did you catch Andrea Bocelli’s 24-minute concert this weekend? Oh my!  Powerful music and the visuals of empty city streets in mid-day.  Amazing.  https://youtu.be/huTUOek4LgU

Here is a mood poem I am working on.  It should give you a feeling of drama and anticipation:

Dry Unwanted Parts

There is a pile
back by the fence
winters clippings cross stacked 

It waits.
     It waits–
for gas
for the snap of a match

The sky to scroll back
the dead to rise
the heavy unable to move
the thin blown like leaves


1) an observed joy- I’m feeling thankful for our city of givers.  People are generous and very helpful, they really are what a good neighbor should be.  I will not forget these months.

2) a real concern- Two of our apartments were undergoing renovations in February.  The pandemic has slowed the process as you can imagine.

3) a personal challenge- This week we are preparing packages of home cleaning supplies for our tenants that live in apartments, and expanding our shelter to house two more families while keeping to social distancing.  It is a challenge.  If we work hard we may have a total of 4 new spaces for 4 families who are experiencing homelessness available by the end of April.  We are a small non-profit, and this attempt feels BIG.  However, I have learned never to underestimate my co-worker’s abilities.  We are diverse and creative in our approach, resourceful, well connected and very focused.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- Although there is much to do at work, I am learning to relax when it is time to relax. Guessing by the time I become a pro at this work from home thing, we will be back in the office. LOL

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- Even though I am not considered a high-risk individual, I wish I could know if I had COVID-19 and possess the antibodies via the blood test.  Curiosity really.  However, I do not believe our local hospital or testing stations would like a body mucking around asking questions.  I’ll just stay at home.

Here is my mood today illustrated by a meme.  A visual example of how I felt entering a fresh new 2020 and (visually) how I may feel leaving it.
Take care of your beautiful self!  -Shannon


Like my writing? Want to hear me read my poetry?  Of course, you do.  Please visit https://chickadeeproductions.bandcamp.com/releases   and download some today.  Only $1.00 a poem!

Collect Your Favorites

Own a track from the album “What’s Up Magazine” calls

“…a standout…” recording, and “…passionate and sensual poetry that greatly display the fiery passion of being in love and the cold controlled demeanor of finding yourself in the off times

 

15 Tracks $1.00 each
or the whole album $7.99

 

KPNW-DB RADIO Interview

Ep 7 – May 2019 -Shannon Laws sits down with me to share her latest venture, an album of her Poetry/music titled “You Love Me, You Love Me Not”.
This collection is a satire and embellishment of very real relationships, explores the adult dating experience, it carries the listener through a muddy mess of emotions, passion, regret, rebound, delirious dreaming, and various other levels of pain and suffering while in the pursuit of finding love, or something close to it. The combination of Shannon’s articulation and Greg’s bass touching each stanza ever so gently is a roller coaster ride; asking the question “do they love me or not?”; This show includes several cuts from the album.
The album is available on Bandcamp

“You Love Me, You Love Me Not” was recorded at Bill Simpkins Alpenglow Sound Studios 2019 in Bellingham, Washington USA

Thank you KPNW-DB

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Event: Encore You Love Me, You Love Me Not

You’re invited…

June 19th, Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

*AT THE HONEYMOON MEAD BAR*

Encore performance! Poet Shannon Laws hosts a Honeymoon poetry OPEN MIC followed by her “You Love Me, You Love Me Not” beat poetry program accompanied by stand up bassist, Greg Sherman. Shannon’s fresh sense of humor and quietly erotic poetry highlights the joys and aggravations of mid-life singlehood in this collection of love and love maybe poems. Sure to make you go “LOL” and “OOoooOoo”, a fun night for all.

If you missed her debut performance of the set in February you got another chance to catch this unique poetry presentation. Books will be on hand to purchase, donations accepted.

“Shannon Laws’ poems are ventures, many journeys of the mind and imagination… They also probe the mysteries of the human condition, posing elemental issues: love and death and loss, the aching solitariness of human experience, the straining for meaning, clarity and confirmation, the yearning for contact and connection, and the guises humans adopt in the consequent interchange.”
—Ron Leatherbarrow, Professor of Literature, Whatcom Community College

 

Don’t’ be a poet and not know it!
Come on down for good food, good words and a warm fun time of love and no love poetry.

Event: Honeymoon Open Mic

You’re invited to the event of a lifetime…

Tuesday, June 19 at 8:30 PM – 10 PM

at the Honeymoon,  1053 N State St, Bellingham WA

Encore performance! Poet Shannon Laws hosts a Honeymoon poetry OPEN MIC followed by her “You Love Me, You Love Me Not” beat poetry program accompanied by stand up bassist, Greg Sherman. Shannon’s fresh sense of humor and quietly erotic poetry highlights the joys and aggravations of mid-life singlehood in this collection of love and love maybe poems. Sure to make you go “LOL” and “OOoooOoo”, a fun night for all.

Sign up at Shannon’s Facebook page or in person at the Honeymoon for a slot to read your own love/not love poetry.

If you missed her debut performance of the set in February you got another chance to catch this unique poetry presentation.   Books will be on hand to purchase.

“Shannon Laws’ poems are ventures, many journeys of the mind and imagination… They also probe the mysteries of the human condition, posing elemental issues: love and death and loss, the aching solitariness of human experience, the straining for meaning, clarity and confirmation, the yearning for contact and connection, and the guises humans adopt in the consequent interchange.”
—Ron Leatherbarrow, Professor of Literature, Whatcom Community College

Shannon Laws with her writing hat on. “But the visor is down!” “You don’t need to see to use the force”