Slower to Set

It’s mid-April, mid-evening and I stand, amazed at the light

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I stare out my window, still

Unbelieving it finally came

The day is longer, light stays,

Leaves slower


The sky is a cotton-ball at 7pm

And it’s gonna be a late dinner again 


Evenings stretch ‘till dark  

The sun resists its sinking


The street lamps yellow and light the ground

Hints of green through the brown 

Greenery to make the iris glisten

Emerald eyes  

Birds fly home in a line 

And the water rushes, rising 


Sinking in the roaring bankside

Soles caked with mud


Growing with the blooming spring

Busier but Less Hectic

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I never thought my life would be busier in the countryside. 

In the city, I thought waking at 10 was acceptable and by the end of the day I'd complain how hard I was working. I worked until I didn't, and when I left work, I didn't take it home with me. Cooking was a chore. Cleaning was constant. I smoked to de-stress. I walked everywhere to save the $3 TTC fee.

Now I am in Warkworth. I wake up at 7 or 8. I have a million things on my plate and I do take my work home with me for the first time in my life. I am making less money but saving more. I don't smoke. My brain is healthier. The anxiety I thought was chemical is seeming more and more like it could have been situational.

I wake up and do my 15 minute yoga routine. No one knows I have woken up. I haven't checked my phone or opened my computer. I breathe and stretch and gain strength for the day. I do not dread the day.

I have formed a new habit into my mornings. It is my own version of meditation and checking in with myself. I split a stack of tarot cards in a random spot and expose the blindly chosen card. Sitting on the edge of my bed, peaceful after yoga, I pick up my phone and find a reference to the card on a tarot deciphering site, Biddy Tarot. I don't expect the card to tell my future - that's silly. I use it to jar my brain of its old thinking habits and patterns. I use it as forced introspection, as a third party perspective. I read the meaning and apply it to my life. I don't take it word for word. Often, it helps me throughout the day as a reminder to re-focus, re-balance and to view things from a different perspective. 

After my tarot moment, I have breakfast and feed the cat. (Ok, the cat gets fed first.) I check emails and do lots more work on my computer than I ever have before. I send many emails. When I have sent a few, there are more waiting. I have to practice pulling myself away from the computer and resolve to leave emails unread while I prioritize other tasks of the day. 

I am learning to be honest about my capabilities. It has been hard to learn to say, " No, sorry, I cannot take that on". I am my mother's daughter, after all. If anything, she is the inspiration for me to learn to say no.  She says yes to everything. She works her butt off. Her heart is under a lot of stress. No time to slow down, I think she thinks. I try to make that time for myself.

A chef once made me stop and take a moment to breathe during a rush. I was 15 and overwhelmed and nothing was going right. He made me stop everything and just stand there. It was hard to stop and let go. He instructed me to make a list of priorities in my head. When a minute was up, he allowed me to get back to it. My motions were smoother, more precise and I could think clearly again. He taught me that sometimes you need to slow down to be effectively productive. 

Our worth is not measured by our productivity. I read that somewhere recently. I don't know if I agree. I certainly wasn't raised to think it, though I do like the way that mantra sounds. I suppose it is how we define 'productivity'. To me, and I'm sure to my mom also, productivity includes doing things for others, taking the time to call Grandma, stopping on the street to pick up a glove and prop it on a fence for easier visibility.  In those cases, yes, you are a better person because you did those things.

But how about we stop thinking about worth and just get on with our lives? I am learning in Warkworth that today is 'my life'. In the city, it seems like a race to catch up. People ask what you want to do with your life. Today is your life! Every day you are living it. Wiccans will say, " Do what you will and harm none". I'd say that's a pretty good rule to follow. Every day is you leading your life. It's not as if today doesn't count. In the city, it seems people live thinking of the future and not the present. City dwellers are hypnotized with grand goals of prosperity,  delusions of wealth bringing happiness and popularity amplifying status. 

I am busy, yes, but I have learned to step back and take an hour to prepare and eat (and digest!) dinner. There is always time in the day to do what you want to do. 

At the end of the day, I am alone but I am peaceful. I realize we are all alone. I have to learn to live with myself, make myself happy and entertain myself in healthy ways. I take more baths now than ever. The bubbles make them special. I read more. I read until the bath is cold. In the bath, I don't check my phone. I plan meals and empty the fridge between grocery shops. I eat very well and I eat more canned goods than I ever have before. I do wish I walked more than I do here. It takes 10 minutes exactly to walk to the end of town and back. 

Though I am busier here in Warkworth and feel stretched in a million directions, everything is easier than it was in the city. I am very busy, but neither my mind nor my motions are hectic. 

Nightmare

I am standing in the foyer of my new home. Looking into the house, there is a room on either side of me and nothing ahead. The room on the left has old white walls stretching up to the high ceiling. A wooden plank juts from the wall, to be used as a seat. I have a memory of feeling uncomfortable on that bench, posing for a picture taken by a stranger (possibly a photographer I didn't know). 

As I scan the space, I see I am standing beside an open floor vent and beside it there is a sage smudge, just barely singed. I use my foot to push it down the vent and then regret it immediately. I'm too scared to reach down and get it. To my right, there is a larger room - filled with clutter and furniture. There is a draft table half buried in moving boxes (but not my moving boxes). There is an old TV loosely hanging from the wall. I feel uneasy and leave the house. 

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I am on a campus of large hedges and blackened brick buildings. I seek out the cathedral. Upon entering, I see the bowl of holy water and I approach a priest and ask him to bless me. I stumble over my words, then take a seat on a large stool. There is a service in session but I remain at the back of the church. The priest dips two cotton pads into the stone bowl and places them on my eyes. I feel soothed, but then I see what he sees. I am sitting on the stool, the cotton pads are soaking through with blood from my closed eyes and my head is rolling slowly. Again I see things from my perspective and though I feel unnerved, I don't see blood and I feel still. I leave the cathedral. 

When I exit the church, I face a large courtyard. I see a friend with her toddler in her arms. She waves to me and I see her say something to her child, then lowers him to the ground. He runs away from her and away from me. We try to catch him as he races around the stone path bordering the square swath grass. Somehow, we cannot catch him. He races straight to my house. 

We catch up and  reach the house, where the door had been left open. He is standing in the doorway, looking in. His mother scoops him up and they leave. 

I go inside and I look up. In lieu of an exposed lightbulb, there is a lightbulb-sized rubber head. She has her eyes on me. Her eyes are blue. Where her hair would be, is a swath of pink plastic. Soon, I am at her height, pulling the head off to expose a camera. I realize I am floating. I am not on a ladder. I grab the camera and it loosens from the wall, and as the cord stretches out from within the ceiling, I repel down to the floor. 

I know the house is haunted. I try to say something soothing to the disturbed soul. Nothing happens. I resolve to start with the empty room on the left. I begin to paint it a sunny yellow colour. I am standing on a ladder in white pinter's overalls and it is the picture of 'home renovation'. I am smiling and rolling on the paint. I get a flash of third person perspective. I am painting the room black. Not yellow. It looks as if I have painted layers and layers of black paint without realizing. 

Horrified, I begin to pack everything into my car, planning to drive it to a dump far away. In the car, I idle outside the house and look in through the open door. It seems I got everything. My phone rings and it's a familiar number. I get out of the car to answer the phone but no one is there. As I call back the number, I walk up to the house to lock up before I depart. Inside, a phone is ringing. The home phone is off the dock. I follow the ring. 

I find the phone in the air vent with the sage smudge and it's still ringing.

I realize I had been haunting myself, from a different year. As if time had layered and over and over I was bumping into myself from past and future. 

Horrified, I awake. 

Maybe I'll Start a Blog

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I started the day with yoga. I then did some squats and that turned into a Missy Elliot one woman dance party. I made oeufs en cocotte for breakfast. I can't eat so many things so I try hard to make my meals as special as they can be with my limited options. 

While the eggs cooked, I arranged some flowers I had dried. I took the flowers from a party without asking a month ago and they've been hanging in my kitchen since. 

Downstairs, the cafe is lively. I spent the last two hours deleting and sorting old photographs.

I have too much pride. I am also honest and humble about my failings. My temper is short, I like to stir the pot and I tend to keep to myself. 

I just snacked on some slingzega but there was a chewy bit I spat out. It's resting on my cellphone until I get up to put it in the garbage. 

 

Welcome to my blog! I'm Jennifer.