The wind is making the trees dance in the setting sun. Spinning seeds find their way to me from an empty sky It is not quiet, yet it is peaceful. When this type of breeze makes my hair caress my arms and strands cross my face, I feel as if I must be important, strong. There is no booming, no cracking or roaring. Instead the power is quiet, soft and still beautiful.
I wonder if the wind has ever known where it’s going. As far as I can tell, it just goes. I want to be like the wind; beautiful in my collected chaos, freely fulfilling my purpose, not worried about where I’m headed.
The rain patters quietly outside of her open window, punctuated by a car alarm honking forlornly in the distance. Placing her hands on either side of her mug, the warmth seeps into her fingers and she breathes in, herbal cadence blending with fresh rain smell. It had been a long day, discouraging but she couldn’t let up just yet. She wrinkled her nose slightly, noting that the trash was not a list item that she could put off any longer. A blank spot on the opposing wall gained her steady gaze as she pondered the complex weight on her mind. How is it that no matter how much was ever accomplished in either her personal or professional life, it felt like no progress was made?
There was no answer of course. Not this time at least, so she rose from her spot on the floor to stare into the refrigerator. No food looked appealing, either requiring effort and time or unsettling her fickle appetite. She sighed. When did eating become just another item on her list of things to do? The neighbor’s bass thrummed through the wall and she finally grabbed a loaf of bread, throwing a couple slices in the toaster. She jumped when they popped up, what felt only a few seconds later. Butter. Absentmindedly, the previously utilized fork on the counter was used to spread the slices before she once again sank to the floor.
She couldn’t have turned into a robot entirely. Robots don’t care about food. The real question was, what else did she actually, truly, care about? Once again, no answers presented themselves so she continued to study the blank space on the wall and munch on the half-done toast.
I was forced to think about loss of life actively yesterday, not just in passing news or a circle of people I used to be part of. Repeating that I am someone who cares quite a bit about many things, there’s a certain apathy that I employ to cope with constant pain in this world. Multiple instances of loss of life were thrust into my main focus and my heart just aches. It physically hurts in my chest.
For those that don’t know,
Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as kintsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquerdusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-etechnique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise
Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin….Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.
Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics
Getting last minute approval to leave your windowless office job early on a Friday feels oh so lovely, like you’re getting away with something as you step into the sun, removing your facemask. I’m sitting on the slab of cement cherished as my patio. Partially shaded, but with the warmth soaking into my legs from the rock, covered by my skirt. A loud crunch/pop sound breaks the songs of crickets as I open a cold can of V8 juice. I’m trying to have more vegetables in my diet and I already treated myself to a creamy nitro cold brew, laced with salted caramel this morning. Normally I don’t spring for nitro but it truly had a different flavor, richer and darker than the regular.
It’s the perfect day as far as weather goes. A cool clear, morning growing from the low seventies to the low eighties with a breeze shushing through the leaves of the trees. Come to think of it, it’s probably frogs, not crickets I’ve been hearing, since it’s not yet evening. Either way, I’m not worried. Normally I would be, thinking about my never ending list of things to do and accomplish but I’m happy, at peace just existing for a change.
Whatever kind of week you’re coming out of, I hope that you’re able to experience peace in the ordinary beauty of life.
This morning, 5am greeted me without alarm and I followed the suggestion of one of our hosts for enjoying garden-side bunny frolicking. Wrapped in a fleecy blanket, I quietly prepared a small french press of coffee before slipping outside to settle into the front seat of an old car by the barn. Steam rose from my cup as a chicken wandered past, no doubt wondering why I was there without it’s breakfast.
After some more sitting, watching the cottontails in the dewy grass, I visited the chicken coop, gave the goats some good head rubs, and went back inside the cottage to my cozy bed. Sleep overtook me once more and I woke a few hours later, sunlight seeping through the cracks in the curtains.
Leftover pancakes were reheated on a charming white dish and the rest of the french press drained while a fresh egg sizzled in the small cast iron skillet.
There’s something so lovely about sitting outside, shaded from the sun, with a cool, fragrant breeze stirring the pages I write on and enhancing food’s flavor. Two, towering, evergreens stand nearby, their branches swaying ever so slightly. Ants file past my bare feet on the smooth wood of the deck. A moth flits from wildflower to wildflower. Oh, what peace.
A breeze keeps blowing my loose strands of hair into my face and if I tilt my head just right, I can see a threading of web reflecting light through the blades of grass. The smell of someone grilling and the sound of birdsong mix now with the quiet clack of the keyboard. I am somehow in a different life but it is my own.
I haven’t read an actual book in maybe, over a year. Someone was kind enough to send me one off of my Amazon wishlist, suggested by my mentor. It’s so beautiful outside today again, after most of the week being rain and snow. Going on a walk is suggested but the mentally tired bug bit me earlier today and was not shaken. Resting outside, reading for the first time in forever, carding my fingers through the velveteen fur of my rabbit, has melted the work day away.
It’s not just any book either. It’s not an escape (which I am constantly seeking) or a cover up. It requests that I face reality and ask myself hard questions.
we need to figure out where we are before we plot a course forward
Bob Goff – Dream Big
I am urged to open my eyes, take a clear look at everything I think about myself and why, sort through my desires and ambitions as if doing an internal spring cleaning, and truly put in the work to make my life what I long for it to be.
No more doing what merely occupies, entertains, and numbs us?
Bob Goff – Dream Big
Can you be honest with yourself? How difficult is it for you? As the light fades into evening and the breeze becomes chilled, I will go back inside but take these questions with me.
From only three chapters into the book, I already highly suggest it. Have you heard of it? Read it? Dream Big by Bob Goff
I wrote the excerpt below, about nine years ago. I did not own a piano. I did not have my own place to live.
Someday, in my made up future, I will wake up to the birds singing and the sunlight streaming through my window. Smiling, I will slip out from between my covers and stretch, fingers towards the ceiling, before walking into the kitchen. I will make myself a delicious, healthy, breakfast and eat it outside in the morning air. After putting the dishes away, getting dressed, and pulling my hair back, I will go and sit down at my deep, black, grand piano and let all of my thoughts and feelings flow out of my fingertips until they echo in the air. Maybe I will laugh, a smile on my face. Maybe I will cry, tears escaping with each note. And after I’m done, and there is nothing left to be said, I will close that gorgeous piano back up. I will close the doors to the room where the emotions still hover thick in the air, and I will step into the breathtaking sunshine. Eyes closed, I will listen, waiting for your response.
Reading this poem now, I can see that my dream for my future has pretty much become true. There are no doors to close my piano into it’s own room because I live in a (wonderful) studio apartment. There was no chance that I could purchase my bucket-list instrument, but my grandmother willed me hers.
This was a reminder I needed.
I hope you enjoyed a peek into some of my very old writing.
I wonder, if someone was to write the “forward” to my life right now, what would they say?
I have such an overwhelming desire to create, to push my boundaries, stretch my wings and see how far they can take me. I want the time to devote to these pursuits, to learn and grow.
This pandemic has given me so much but also left me wondering where can I really go from here? I would love a creative field to be my sustaining career but currently, I work in an office position that drains me emotionally and fills my bank account better than any previous employment. I have ideas that I want to test and joy that I want to bring to people but my energy after a work day is close to zero and my weekends are spent trying to catch up on the “adulting” to-do list, taking care of myself, and preparing for the week ahead. This does not leave much room for the things that I am passionate about.
Does anyone out there have any advice on this? The logical, responsible, side of me says, this is how it is and you just have to do the 9-5 thing in order to be taken seriously, to properly provide for yourself, and to make anything of yourself in society’s eyes. The other side of me, high on imagination and dreams, keeps saying that there must be a way to make it possible. This blog is the only step I’ve been able to take in the direction of my dreams lately. I don’t know if it will be able to ignite the others and bring them to life as well, but it’s a step.
My very idea of what I would want to do for my own creative business rests in the idea of a mental escape. We all need that excitement, that adventure and glee, like the kind you get from immersing yourself in another world through a good book or a fantastical movie. Not all of us can go study at an elite university in Europe, get caught up in a dramatic love, worthy of poetry that lives through ages of history. Not (any?) of us were born royalty, struggling to make the right decisions for our kingdom, while pacing the halls of our castle in elegant garb. There are some who live in cottages or on farms, surrounded by the quiet morning until it is pierced by the rooster announcing arrival of a new day. Dark, hidden hovels, tucked into the lush forest, rafters strung with herbs and the aroma of fresh bread, all of these beckon to me as lives I do not have but want a taste of.
I’ve been trying to bring bits of, pieces of, these feelings and ideas into my own life as much as I can. The way the sun shone on a stand-out piece of moss or the mud squished under my boots, on my walk with a friend, these are things that I find myself clinging to.
There are many things for me to be grateful for, many provisions, I just wonder, if I reached out, could I touch the stars?
Thank you for reading my brain explosion/rant/excitement. If you work in a creative field that is considered much less likely to “succeed” by society, (artists, musicians, creative writers, etc.) do you have any suggestions?
The fact that I wanted to be an author for several years of my life but have never finished a story really bothers me sometimes. It makes me wonder if I will ever be able to finish what I put my mind to. I’ve always had a hard time with endings, with goodbyes. My style of writing stories always throws you straight into the thick of it and I’m curious if that makes beginnings hard too. Even writing this post, my mind is running from one thing to the next too quickly. A chorus of things I want to do and associated thoughts sing in my head like an orchestra with an untrained conductor.
Letter writing is something that I’ve wanted to get into but I haven’t had anyone to write to. Today, I received a response to a letter I had written back to the only Christmas letter addressed only to me. I’m very excited to continue snail mailing them so that’s an instrument in my brain orchestra.
Derailing from writing is my desire to practice and grow in my Japanese language knowledge. A good friend told me she couldn’t read my blog because I did not properly use the oxford comma. This threw me into a conundrum, as I had thought I was fully supporting the correct use of said comma. My writing is rustier than I had originally thought. What does that have to do with Japanese? Just the wondering if the sentence structure of Japanese has seeped into how I write my English phrases. Are there any other strong supporters of the Oxford comma here? Anyone who speaks, reads and writes Japanese?
Thank you for reading my poorly conducted thoughts this evening. It feels like eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, when you could have cooked something. Maybe it’s messy and quick, but at least it’s classic comfort food.