another revolution (around a year)

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The sun is coming up.
The cloud-speckled sky is reminiscent of an Easter egg, all pinks and purples and blues of every hue.
It’s cold, too, by Northwest standards.
I ponder this coming year.

My emails are awash with warnings that Mercury goes retrograde today.
I’m here wondering what the future will bring; how to plan for a future I am so uncertain of.

I am also greeted by wishes for a good day today by many people, many who I’ve only gotten to know via art or poetry groups online.
I am grateful to my communities and astounded that people care enough to send a message.

It’s the little things that string together joy in life, and the people.

Gold daylight bounces off of a mirrored building as I wait for the bus.
My fingers tingle with the cold as I press out this note.

I’m on the bus and the driver sings happy birthday to me.
We have come to know each other through the daily ritual of commuting.

The sky floods with yellow and orange washes.
Someone offers me their seat.
I hesitate to take it because the one who offers it up is a woman who I know will be riding the route to its very end, downtown.
I have never witnessed a man ever offering up their seat to anyone.
It’s always the women getting up… for the elderly, for others.

I don’t remember it being this way in Montreal two decades ago, when I rode transit there but it has been a long time and perhaps things have changed there too.

I’m revelling in the little things, sitting in gratitude even though I hope for more.

An easier life.
Perhaps a bit more love.
Time to create, which I have let sag due to working so many hours just to keep up with the bills.

Fatigue wins out at the end of the day, after last minute items for dinner are picked up, meals have been prepared and the house tidied up.

The Christmas tree still reigns in the living room, waiting to be boxed back up until the next holiday season.

I ponder the option of merely changing the ornaments and leaving it up year ’round but realize that even changing the ornaments is more time than I wish to spend on the endeavour.

I’ve become increasingly efficient.
Time is at a premium and I get the things that I would otherwise procrastinate on done because I can no longer afford to push things off for when I have more time.

There is no more time.

I continue to crunch on how I will figure out a way to knit (my preferred form of meditation) and to write, because nothing makes my heart soar so high as a good write.

Fatigue leaves my brain foggy and unresponsive, once again confirming what I’d read in Scarcity, that our higher cognitive functions, when our minds are overtaxed, operate at a lower level of intelligence.
Thankfully I have a bit of grey matter to spare, but truly, I could use all of it now.

Instead the mind fog flows in and things become simplified.
I marvel at the filigree tree branches highlighted against a striated morning sky.

a poem-ish

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On the eve of a full moon
(c) 2015 Adriane Csicsmann Giberson

What to do with this tidal wave,
this flow of heart madness, of
sorrow and joy, intermingled?
Nostalgia and hope fanning at
flames which feel far too big; I’m
heat choked and tear-brimmed.
What to do with all of this power
that is monumental in size and
yet so easily drowned in sleep?
So many moments slip by, too soon,
without ever amounting to much;
like me, half formed and forever
in progress – the unfinished book.
I fight with the urge to admit that
I miss the gentleness of someone
else’s hand; the weakness of
admitting this weakness staggers me.
My own handling of myself has
become clinical – rubbing, tugging,
lathering, soaking; rueing the
extra poundage around my belly
that I wonder who else would love
aside from a mother no longer here.
Even she didn’t love it so much;
she’d ask about my weight as though
it were a personified, extra family
member, the derided black sheep.
A part I couldn’t quite shake off –
a barnacle. One time, I went to
the beach and gathered shells.
I made it all the way home
before I realized that the little
creature that had cemented itself to
the side of one of the shells was alive.
It seemed like it was gasping,
looking for its salty sustenance.
I made my husband take it back,
a thirty minute return trip. If only
saving a life was as easy, some
semblance of normal so easily gained.
What does it take to reach someone,
inside, deep, without endoscope or
sound waves to bounce off of, to find
the parts that can’t be measured
but that are there, always, hidden?
It’s easier to pretend the giant turtle
isn’t in the room. Instead there
is always something to keep
busy with – something that needs
attending to; our minutes swarmed
by busyness. If time was scant these
kinds of things, which surely would
not matter much, and important things,
maybe they’d matter more. Maybe
just feeling is enough anymore;
the things that flutter the heart and
knot the stomach are enough.
Some would tell you that there is
no difference between these,
that it all just is, we but vehicles,
so the ineffable can experience itself.
Others would say that only through
the ineffable can we fully be alive, we
but golem, wandering, purposeless.
Perhaps it doesn’t really matter
which of it is true, only which we
decide to believe, our task to figure out
how to kill two birds with a single stone.
Today I read: “Inside my bones I begin
to hear whispers of ways back to myself.”
How did we become so lost to ourselves
that only the echoes of our voice buried
within our bones can lead us back home?
I am here, silent except for the tapping
of fingers on the keyboard, the
shushing of vehicles heard through
a parted door – I am listening.

solstice blessings

Holiday Lights

Hello sun. Daylight grows from here on out, my SAD-ridden spirit happily acknowledges.

The days will grow now, and though I would have liked to have a lovely quiet snowfall over Christmas, it seems unlikely given the mild (and hence rainy) temperatures we are currently having.

Maybe it’s because the end of a calendar year is nigh, but this time of year has a virtual flag on it for me to spend a bit of time reflecting on what has passed and on what is to come. The little incremental changes that happen daily don’t seem like much until they are reviewed in retrospect. We do a lot and we only realize it when we look back at it from a distance.

As my friend Jill so eloquently shares in her most recent newsletter, this time of year can bring with it all sorts of stress right along with the revelry – if you let it – and how we celebrate is ours to determine.

Since our wee family broke up in 2009, our holiday traditions have changed too. Since then I’ve spent a few years celebrating with friends rather than what little remains of my family (my son often travels to be with his dad over the holidays) or at times on my own (by choice).

I’m not sure what these celebrations signify for me anymore. I don’t have the urge to conspicuously consume, and I just don’t have the means to generously give gifts anymore. In many ways this ongoing situation has forced me to redefine how I might show appreciation and still remain in the giving spirit of the season.

A good part of this year was spent wracked with worry, with striving. I have been in full survival mode, and it squeezes out any room I might have had for creativity. Scrambling is exhausting work, so sleep was always a necessary refuge (what it lacked in quality was made up for in quantity).

I wish I had the discipline to work through it all, to create despite not having the urge (or the energy, really) to. Perhaps it would have reenergized me in the end. Or maybe it would have been akin to planting seeds in fallow ground – too late to investigate that now.

This year ends tinged with hope. There is a roof over our heads. We will have enough to feed ourselves and to pay for the necessities of life (in great part because of the help we are receiving from others).

I am grateful for –

Family
Good friends
A caring community
Internet connectivity
Coffee
Chocolate
Consistent work
Eggnog
Memories to draw solace from
My creative muse
Sunlight
Possibility & potential
Everyday manifestation of the numinous
Opportunity to celebrate, always & everything

The rest of today will be spent cleaning up, doing laundry, experimenting with candied citrus and risen dough, making some lavender and thyme shortbread cookies. I have found that when life gets immensely complicated, the only thing left to do is to revel in simplicity.

Wishing you all love and the brightest of blessings.

a poem

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Keeping it in

It’s been so long since words have arisen,
febrile staccato of nerves keeps much from escaping;
clutching and clenching tight on the slip of emotion,
it underlies everything but hides well beneath it all.

Yet there are days when the levee all but breaks,
despair or sorrow flooding the well-kept banks,
allowing no protest in spite of cool, best efforts,
(unwitnessed) moods as variable as the weather.

It snowed yesterday; big thick flakes laid down a coat,
white-washing the world into insular silence and calm.
It felt safe in here, even if it’s short-lived folly,
a grasping at a security that never really comes.

Still, I wait; eternal hope, not quite ground away,
stubby yes, but stalwart when it counts (always).
Faith grows on even the unbelievers when prospects are grim,
Like moss on the undersides of trees facing north.

(c) Adriane Csicsmann Giberson