Archive for the ‘Tuesday’s Muse’ Category

…and the alligator lizard said, “Maybe we aren’t supposed to always feel like we belong. There are so many places you can be, so be in the place that makes you feel good.”

Alligator Lizard - August 14, 2011


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Butterflies never fail to cheer me up. When they follow me around the garden it makes the time spent there seem sacred somehow. By some strange and awesome coincidental timing, that Butterfly and I happened to be in the same place at the same time to visit the same plants. When you think about how fleeting a Butterfly sighting is…well, I think it’s all pretty special. If I am looking out the bedroom window and see one in the garden, it inspires me to immediately find a reason to go there and frolic a little myself.

What's that on the garden wall above the iron Butterfly gate?

a Butterfly, of course

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Lettuce...going to seed in the Summer heat

Yep, you read it right. The Hoarders are whispering in my ear: “Don’t keep that stuff, it will make you crazy and your kids will hate combing through it when you kick off and die!” I have even been guilty of hoarding plants, trying to keep the smallest little lettuce plant alive past its due date when I could have spent that time doing something more worthwhile, like painting my toenails or sipping herbal tea. Or caring for a plant that actually mattered. So lately I have been getting rid of things, books, clothes, junk in the potting shed, junk everywhere. There were even four pairs of my shoes in a bag that went to AMVETS yesterday and those of you who know me well know how difficult it is to get rid of shoes.

"Rawrr!" ....one of my long dead orchids...she had cute teeth.

From now on if I have it in my hand or it meets my gaze it’s going on my brain scales to be weighed for worthiness. Do I want to keep cleaning, dusting, watering, moving, staring at, or rearranging whatever it is for the rest of my days? No? Out with it then! Time for a major purge. The lighter the load the faster the middle-aged community college student right? Right! Time for stealth and no matter how fond you are of something, having it saps energy in strange ways so it better provide enough payoff to balance out the equation and there aren’t very many things that do that. There are plenty of cherished gift objects that I will keep and there will be more space in which to appreciate them properly.

The resident Muse at Summers Past Farms

Books are being donated to a worthy cause if I never intend to read them again. The internet has changed everything – there’s no need to keep CD’s or DVD’s or books that aren’t special. I’m not even selling any of it because, as my brilliant daughter pointed out after watching an episode of “Hoarders” with me, my time is valuable and selling stuff online takes up lots of time and that cost has to be weighed against something. Suddenly I’m feeling free of the weight of things and finished with that dance I do all the time of organizing and shuffling things here to there and back again because I think of a better place to put it. Now, the better place will be ‘outta here’ and I am free. Free Free Free. I hereby refuse to be manipulated any further by inanimate objects. Amen.

another of my long lost orchids...we loved them, every one.

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“It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.” ~ Douglas Hofstadter

Queen Anne's Lace

My mind is full of Chaos today as I make a million decisions about the new semester. The school’s website list of available classes looks like Chaos to me. The rest of my college career stretches out forever ahead of me in dark and terrifying Chaos. I had Chaos for lunch. The Greeks respected the idea of Chaos so much they made her an awesome deity from which all things sprang. If that’s the case, then I just need to be patient with the ‘formless state’ of my thoughts and let Her Royal Highness Miss Chaos mold my ideas into something brilliant and creative and by Thursday when I register for classes I will know just what to do…Right?!

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Self-reinvention is everything
Spin many nests . . .
Molt, Rest, Molt again…

Before she left our current dimension, my adopted Wise-Mother Ginnie told me many smart things. Whenever life got overwhelming I would pour my heart out to her and she always had the right words for me in return. Some were her own, some were the words of others. She was a word collector with a brilliant mind that was like a perfectly organized Super Filing Cabinet. She had been a librarian and I never met anybody whose profession fit them as well as hers. Some days I miss her voice and her word-magic in my life so much it hurts my stomach.

The words above were a response from Ginny at a time when my life had been undergoing gut-wrenching and overwhelming change, and all of it against my will. For some reason, these words were in my head when I woke up this morning. Probably because I have been thinking a lot about change, the fear of change, changes that happen against one’s will, inevitable change, the embracing of change, and the futility of ignoring change, for better or worse. Also, I have been changing. I’ve been getting some serious rest and relaxation for the first time in a long time and I like it so much that I’m doing everything I can to insure that I get to have it even after I go back to school in the fall. Everything I do lately gets filtered through my ‘change lens’ with a question of whether or not I should change the way I do it, or stop doing it altogether. Even the way I sleep has undergone a drastic change. The top sheet is off and I sleep sideways in the bed with a single loose blanket and no pillows, totally free-form, and my long-running shoulder pain is suddenly gone. Why did I have to sleep in one direction in a bed tucked in on three sides? Who wrote that rule and why did I follow it even though it didn’t work for me? Stupid. Fear of making a change. Anyways, changes have been going on all over the place.

It’s pretty scary to make changes. If you change jobs because you dislike your current one, you’re happy and terrified all at once. Even an unsatisfactory job is a comfort in ones life and changing that throws one off balance for a while. Deciding to change your diet and exercise routine is ominous and doomed for failure unless you completely embrace certain changes. Saving money and getting out of debt means changing the way you treat money – that’s totally terrifying. Even deciding that certain things you’ve been doing in the garden are not really worth the time and effort can cause a hyperventilated panic attack, because it means changing the routine, doing away with the familiar.

Today, I decided to stop composting until I finish school. Simple enough, but I was strangely hesitant of facing the fact that I no longer wanted the extra task of keeping track of kitchen and garden scraps and caring for my electric composting machine. It almost felt sinful and I don’t really believe in sin. Tom suggested I do it the traditional way with a big can and I said no, no I just want to have a life free of compost thoughts for a while. Is that ok? He said “it’s already done, you’re free, feel better?” – yes, yes I do. Every time I turn around I find something similarly outdated that I want to change or eliminate, streamline or throw in the garbage. What will I do with that extra time? Something exhilarating and valuable, something that impacts life in a profound and beautiful way. Or maybe an extra nap now and then.

The words quoted at the beginning of this post were words Ginnie told me every time my life was undergoing dramatic and traumatic change and I was fearful or weary, not rolling well with the punches. They were from a poem by Amy Gerstler and I haven’t read it in a couple of years. Today it was perfect. Thank you, Ginnie.

Advice from a Caterpillar
by Amy Gerstler

Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt
again. Self-reinvention is everything.
Spin many nests. Cultivate stinging
bristles. Don’t get sentimental
about your discarded skins. Grow
quickly. Develop a yen for nettles.
Alternate crumpling and climbing. Rely
on your antennae. Sequester poisons
in your body for use at a later date.
When threatened, emit foul odors
in self-defense. Behave cryptically
to confuse predators: change colors, spit,
or feign death. If all else fails, taste terrible.

I wonder if he smokes a hookah?

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Date with the Muse

The sun shines
in bright defiance
of the dark horizon
shadows wrestle
with the light
I am showing up
for my date with the muse
she is lounging
in the pear tree
discussing with the blossoms
the anticipated flavor
of the fruit.

by Lisa Kagan (excerpt)
from We’Moon Calendar – 2011

Sunlight and shadow at play in a frilly yellow Gladiola

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The Muse was whispering in my ear before I was awake, before the Sun came up. She said, “The Moon is waxing in Virgo and it’s June so get your big ass out of bed and go plant something!” It just so happens I had some seedlings just waiting for the perfect moment.

Seedlings started during Spring Break

So, before and after work, I’ll be out in the garden celebrating the best Moon for gardening, the warmth of summer, and the fact that I actually have gardening time since I’m not currently a student. It doesn’t get any better than right now! There will plenty to do since I have to clear space for the seedlings, which means pulling tons of grass and weeds and transplanting things that are in the way but I still want. When I get it done, I’ll share photos….don’t want to spend a single minute indoors unless I have to and the ‘have to’ moments are reserved for work and sleep, mostly in that order. So, thanks to the Muse for the wake up call and to Mother Nature for the warm soil. Until we meet again….

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