Sunday, April 22, 2007

Reflections

It is beyond beautiful here on the pond this morning. Gentle ripples reflect the path of the rising sun in a shimmering ribbon—thousands of fireflies on a float trip. Geese call to each other and birds tweet in the distance. Longing waltzes in the breeze, twirling with the pollen and the promises.

Following Prema's wonderful advice, yesterday I took care of myself, starting with giving myself a break from The Book that Would Not Die. I put Paula's top down and drove through the spring sunshine to a garden center where I bought beautiful plants and a pair of Crocs garden clogs (something I've long wanted but refused to buy myself). I tilled the soil for a new perennial garden and dug a 2-foot hole for a clematis in a 4-inch pot. I dug two huge bags of cotton burr compost into the soil and raised two big blisters on my soft writer's hands. When the sun went down, I showered and then put a healing treatment on my dry-as-hay hair and smoothed Bibi's olive-oil lotion on my lizard-skin arms and legs.

It was a great day.

I also read a little and have two recommendations for you. If you want to incorporate more humor into your writing, read Cheryl Peck's Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs. I love this book for lots of reasons, but its humor is near the top of the list. Peck's dry, understated stories fill me with amusement and admiration and hope. Here are two graphs from one of her stories (not funny but so great I have to share):

It was a cold and blustery November day, colder than it had been, but not as cold as it was going to be. The sky was gray.The trees, which had clung stubbornly to their leaves that fall, had suddenly thrown them all off—some still green—so that the trunks wore ground skirts of wilted gray-green leaves, thick and in nearly perfect circles as if they all dropped straight down. Everything was changing, making rushed and ill-prepared concessions to winter. In the ditches along the roads wildflowers chilled on their stalks as if they had expected either more warning or more time.

There is something in that weather, which I can feel but I can't describe, but it whispers to sandhill cranes, "go—
fly." Once purely by luck I stood on the edge of a stubbled cornfield and watched several hundred cranes dance to each other, call back and forth to each other, jump into flight and rise up into the crisp November air as if they were being sucked into the sky by invisible tornadoes, still calling down to their flock mates as they spiraled up into the thermals. I had no idea what I was watching until I read about their migration rituals later in a book. But I saw it. And I remember the air. Crisp. Sharp. Something changing.


I also read a few pages of before women had Wings by Connie May Fowler. The opening paragraph is one long sentence that includes these words:

Back in 1965, on a day so hot that God Almighty should have been writhing with sick-to-the-stomach guilt over driving His children out of the cool green of Eden. . . .

Here is the third graph:

These are questions for which I haven't a single answer. In fact, answers aren't part of my nature. Details are what I'm about—stacks and stacks of details—the bones of my family, calcified vessels, the marrow chock-full of wishes and regrets. In my mind I pick up the bones one by one—a leg bone, a hip, then a spine that looks like a witch's ladder. Before you know it, this skeleton made of memories is rattling me.

These women can flat-out, by-God-and-all-that's-holy WRITE, and here's the hope they inspire in me: SO CAN WE!!!!

Today, I'm going to dig in the dirt, cook and eat some great, fresh foods, drink coffee here on my deck, and spend at least one hour writing the things of my heart. Only then will I set myself back on task with TBTWND.

May you all have such blessings. May the love and support you've shown me, especially over the last few days, be returned 10-fold. Now and always.

11 comments:

Deb said...

Thank you for sharing your comfort, Jerri. I'm in your garden with you and enjoying your deck along side you. I'll be adding those titles to my list of books to get and read.

I hope you have a wonderful day and go into the new week refreshed and restored.

Love and blessings.

Mardougrrl said...

Oh, thanks so much for that burst of writing inspiration! I,too, am working on a Book That Will Neither Live Nor Die. And boy, that can be the Suck.

Good luck and enjoy being kind to yourself!

Kim said...

Wonderful job taking care of yourself, and in such beautiful and healthy ways! What could be better and more empowering than giving yourself the very love you've been seeking in another.

Thank you for the great images, passages, and inspiration!

Mystic Wing said...

It's wonderful that you're receiving good advice and following it.

I especially like B's advice to stop looking to D. for qualities that have never been present there. There are clearly lots of others who see you as you really are. That's a good place to invest yourself.

Go Mama said...

Glad to hear you took a healing day, and I find it no accident that you quoted

" being sucked into the sky by invisible tornadoes...Crisp. Sharp. Something changing."

and "...the marrow chock-full of wishes and regrets. I pick up the bones one by one... Before you know it, this skeleton made of memories is rattling me."

Be true to yourself. Go write, sistah. You can do it.
Much love,

Stacy said...

Sounds like a perfect day, Crocks! Yes!

Stacy said...

"These are questions for which I haven't a single answer. In fact, answers aren't part of my nature. Details are what I'm about—stacks and stacks of details—the bones of my family, calcified vessels, the marrow chock-full of wishes and regrets. In my mind I pick up the bones one by one—a leg bone, a hip, then a spine that looks like a witch's ladder. Before you know it, this skeleton made of memories is rattling me."
I am definitely reading this book, thanks.

riversgrace said...

Oh, you just don't know how glad I am to read about your lovely day. Truly. I only wish I was there digging (in Crocs that I don't have yet), sipping a latte, reading passages out loud, gazing over at the pond, laughing.

You're inspiring me to do the same....it's so hard to take a break in the midst of the projects that won't die.

Love the books and your reflections.

kario said...

I love that you honored yourself with little niceties. I love that you shared them with us. I hope that while you were surrounded in your garden you felt surrounded by light and love. I'm sending some your way.

Jess said...

I thought I commented on this before, hmm. The day you posted it I was at Powell's looking at that very book, the Cheryl Peck one. Hmm. I'll have to actually read it now...

Oh, I can't wait to come see your pond this summer....!!

grammer said...

Hallelujah, Jerri! That's how to live. Love that you took care of yourself and shared some inspiration to us all. So wonderful, so generous. Thank you! xo t