Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Poem - California in January Is

California in January is

Filled with sunshine and citrus

As the swirling rush of Christmas melts away

Like the fantastical snow-filled scenes

Of greeting cards and songs

Which whistled at every store and stop


Leaving only grey austerity

A slog into sustenance and labor

From the early morning breaking bleak

Into a day that makes a short circuit of the sky

Edging so slowly from shortest longer


A surreptitious day that begins in chill

But opens into sweeping vistas of stubbled mountain ranges

Expansive views of skies swept clean and clear

Brightening, Warming


Under the hours of circling around the curve

To bloom in mid-day into

 Sun-kissed, citrus-scented joy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy New (Work) Year!!

I am having the best day so far.

My girls and husband are finally back in school. I'm sad in that I love them and I adore being with my family. However... it is WONDERFUL to have a full (well, four hours) day all to myself again. For five weeks, my life has been all holidays and shopping and gifts and family and parties and cooking and events. And then cleaning it all up. Then doing more of it for New Year's and my daughter's birthday. And now it is all done.

I am rocking my writing in a café I've hardly been to in years. It's a blast from my past. Like time travel, when I walk through the door, it is as if I have stepped back into my life from three years ago, five years ago, eight years ago. All the memories and the experiences swirl around my head with Cake's lyrics "I want to love you madly." I swear. That song started playing the minute I started typing. I mean, Cake! I was blasting them on the car stereo in 2007; we saw them in concert like in 2008. See, a peek into the past.

Just sitting here working on today's grant (Karl Kirchgessner Foundation - due in two weeks - all under control) reminds me of all the other grants I've written here. The LOIs, the applications. The research. And my other writing life as well. The stories I composed here, the off-the-top of mind poems. My fictional writing life that I don't always get around to living in these days, depending on how many other things are requesting my limited time.

As part of the typical new year's resolve to eat better and be healthier, I treated myself to a walk in the park as well. That was amazing. Sunshine through breeze-tossed treetops. The same dirt paths. The sense of time looping around upon itself to meet me there, and a multiplicity of my selves all walking the same winding path, taking in the same lush views and healing beauty. I did yoga overlooking the orange orchard and felt myself so happy and strong. I cannot believe how well everything in life has turned out compared to ten years ago, eight years ago, four years ago... Well, you get the idea. :)

I am about to slip back into my role as teacher, something I am very excited to pick up again. In addition to my yoga classes, my daughter is about to become my student. It's become clear over the last year that traditional high school is just not working for her. So we are about to skip her ahead into some community college classes and then let her do independent study at home for the rest of her units. My daughters and I get along very well so having one at home with me will be very welcome company for both of us. It will give her some space and flexibility in her schedule to study things that truly interest her and eliminate some of the busy-work assignments that her ADHD makes almost impossible to complete. And I get to have all the fun of teaching her most of the time!  Finally, FINALLY, I can teach her how to write a proper essay!! The instruction she's had so far in her "Honors" English courses has been crap. And they rush so quickly through the literature that they do read there is no time to really digest and savor it. Anything I can do to help make her life better and smoother is my primary objective.

But, also, I will not at all mind giving up the hassles of the morning drop-off. Waking her up takes so much effort and getting her somewhere on time in the morning hours is almost impossible. With that off my plate, I will literally gain two hours each morning that I can focus on writing. I already spend four or five more hours each day helping her with homework after school. So I think doing all of the instruction ourselves at home will actually be a time-saver! Crazy system, huh? It has become clear to me that it really is.

So letting it go will be a wonderful bonus for this new year and a boost to my successful working life as well. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pausing in the Special Moment of Just This Day

Holy Cow!

What a blur of holiday events and family obligations. December slipped by me with very little work, never mind writing. A good month, but tiring also. But good.

Now, January is here. A new year is begun. I am easing into it, taking my time to dip my toes into the flow of new resolve and establishing goals. Heading back into work.

Here's to celebrations both old and future, and to the enjoyment of this special day as well!