Spinning My Wheels

I want to post a blog touching on one of my usual themes—wonder, creativity, humor—but today those feel a little scarce. Well, I do feel wonder as I sit today in this blizzard, the worst I’ve seen in many years.  And in mid-April yet. I know a few of you are living where spring has indeed arrived. I hope you are full of renewed energy. For us in the Midwest, not much has changed for the better in the outer world in the past two weeks, when I wrote about struggling to find my patience. Now that impatience–for spring, for positive change, inside and out–feels more discouraging than angry. I feel kind of muffled and mired, able to do all the necessary daily tasks but lacking the will and energy to do the many things that would probably lift my spirits and vitality. Or maybe just feeling tired of doing them all winter and wanting a change. Wanting the sensual contact with nature that spring brings. The grounding. The joy. I wrote this poem several years ago, but it feels appropriate today as I realize what’s missing right now (not all of which involves springtime): Groundless  For too many days now I have not danced, tickled spritish spirit with leaps and twirls, or dissolved, exhilarated, in sunshine splash, been pricked awake by gusty winds or cardinal call, clutched rainbow blossoms to my greedy nose, or burned to merge with musk and sweat.   Too many days since I have sought the dark, ventured in, with quiet breath, pen in hand, to listen and dictate whisperings wild.   begin—stop—veer—clunk! rattle!–turn back–...

Free From the List

We all try so hard in January: to “do better,” to complete the “shoulds” we failed to complete last year. Not me. Spirit is handling my agenda these days. And with more wisdom, kindness and efficiency than when I was in charge. I have been an organized, list-making gal, believing that lists were what made me efficient and productive. I was indeed efficient and productive, generally completing my daily or weekly to-do lists (“work”) before more exciting things (“play”). When I noticed I seldom found time for fun or creative activities, I began adding them to the lists. But grumpiness often muddied satisfaction in my competence. Then one day a shift happened. I looked at my to-do list in a new way. Instead of the sum of “what must happen today,” I saw it as a compendium of suggestions. I began asking, “what needs to happen today?”—and “what does NOT need to happen today?” Not what my clipboard-clutching, inner drill sergeant calls “need,” but need from a larger perspective. Perhaps what a soaring hawk’s sharp eye might perceive. To discover this I had to pause, breathe, shift attention from my head (and all its “shoulds”) into my belly and listen. “Make the call to the repairman now. You don’t need to pay that medical bill today.” This felt different. I didn’t resist because the drill sergeant was no longer ordering me around; instead, the hawk’s larger view was helping me see what was required in my world. These messages—whether from Hawk, my intuition, Spirit, or all three—worked well:  just before my call a cancellation freed up the repairman; postponing...

Cranky

I got a big chuckle the other day at Bachman’s. Amidst the decorative garden pots, birdbaths, fountains and plethora of garden statues, a gargoyle captured my imagination. He was cranky. He wasn’t the typical gargoyle, fierce or demonic, not a fearsome gatekeeper guarding the garden door. He just seemed cranky. “Don’t mess with me today!” cranky. Maybe two feet high, ears back, head slung forward, white knuckled, claws digging deeply into his perch, a wonderful rendering of a grumpy gargoyle. The sheer novelty of a grumpy gargoyle was amusingly refreshing. Especially sitting there amongst cheerful garden fairies, gnomes, angels, Buddhas, butterflies, birds and cats. While I’m not sure I’d want to see him in my garden every day, I did notice my breath and belly relaxed as I gazed at this irritated creature amid  the sweet serenity of all the others. And something else made me laugh out loud. He was me. Me, when I’m frustrated or overwhelmed. Me, when I’m ignored or discounted. Me, when I’m tired and need to leave the party. Me, in the deep dark cold of late November? Sometimes crankiness just happens. Seeing myself in him delighted me. I don’t get crabby as often as I used to back in the days of practicing law, mothering young children, and enduring PMS (I don’t think so anyway). Several years ago I realized that when I am crabby, it usually means that I need either to nap or to cry—usually cry. I may be angry, I may be sad, I may even be mostly peaceful, and I need to cry. It’s as though tears build up in...