June 15th, 2013
(i.e. feminism, conservatism, consumerism, optimism, intellectualism, etc.)
June 13th, 2013
The following is from an exercise during a writing workshop when all of the participants were given a few minutes to write about their experiences at a recent conference hosted by The Sun Magazine, using the prompt “What happened was”:
What happened was my car had died because my cell phone is a battery whore. What happened was I was forced to abandon my natural – and sometimes exaggerated – country woman modesty and approach complete strangers to see if they had any jumper cables. What happened was I had no choice but to introduce what a dumbass I was and, through such a first impression, squandered any chance of sounding accomplished or together. What happened was right off the bat, I had to make room for grace and laugh at my fleeting embarrassment every time I swarmed someone as they pulled in, already pestering them with a need before exchanging names. What happened was I remembered how disarming humility can be when approaching another person. What happened was I learned over the course of the next few hours that Yankees do not carry jumper cables in their trunks and that maybe I – in my own lack thereof – was a step closer to becoming one myself.
Then, what happened was I found my tribe. Many of the folks I had approached in the parking lot began to mold into unfamiliar friends. Wasting no time hitting the wine before anything officially started, we sat around and let the alcohol soften us like ice cubes in sun-brewed tea. Commonalities, curiosities, and awkward transitions slowly flowed over the room like a waxing tide until the entire building was flooded with the chatter of introductions and reunions, all excited in anticipation for the writing ahead. Only an hour for hors d’oeuvres yet by dinner I already knew where my place at the table would be. By the end of the first night I would relish in a sense of community that had been absent for years now. It became beautifully apparent that the deviations in our backgrounds would not diminish the fact that we were all kindred spirits who had been drawn to these mystical woods in search of the voice belonging to our own truth. » Read the rest of this entry «
June 11th, 2013
is my guru
for meditative walking;
with a crunch
it (helplessly) reminds me
of the weight
one mindless step
can force another
May 27th, 2013
It took me three years to finally catch one of these trees in bloom and what a treat that the blossoms were so accessible! Tulip Trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) are very tall and often the flowers are too high to see from the ground, but this lass is a hybrid between the native Northeastern species and the Chinese cultivar. It sits near the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston.
April 17th, 2013
Over the past few hours, Boston has been on a broken roller-coaster. What was a terrorist bombing Monday became yesterday’s stories of loss, condition, and compassion. Yet this afternoon reminded us here that despite the world’s sentimentalism and exhaustion, the ride is still going bat-shit crazy and we’re all still aboard. The headlines and stories were dropping one after another: suspect in custody; poisoned letter sent to White House; bomb threat; courthouse evacuation; abandoned car; hospital evacuation; suspect not in custody; fire on subway tracks; suspicious package tossed onto the Red Line. The threat hasn’t stopped. The media is waving speculation as though taunting starving dogs with a bone; if they calmed the fuck down that would be their greatest contribution right now. » Read the rest of this entry «
March 6th, 2013
Ways a country bumpkin can find solace in the big city:
Keep a kite on you at all times (backpack, trunk, etc.). You never know where you’ll be when the wind picks up.
Introduce yourself to the trees in your neighborhood and visit them regularly.
Move at your own pace (mine is molasses). Let the rush and chaos of urban dwellers flow around you like a stream does a heavy rock. The more weighted down you are with your own intention and movement, the less you will get tossed around.
Be prepared to be the last one eating if joining some locals, and don’t take it personally if you are abandoned at the table to finish on your own. It’s common here for people to move on quickly before allowing their food to settle.
If you can, get a pet so you have a companion.
Look people in the eyes. It helps curb the feeling of being invisible. » Read the rest of this entry «
February 20th, 2013
“Don’t go anywhere,” my wife says.
We are slow dancing in the kitchen. I was late for work twenty minutes ago, she has been coding in front of the computer for hours by now and is still in her pajamas.
“Ah ah, boo. Stay with me.”
The curve of her back fits perfectly in my palm. I am not aware of my other hand or her fingers wrapped gently around it. We are moving in step to a silent mutual rhythm. Every time she speaks I am drawn back to her eyes: auburn, sparkling, kind. Looking into them while knowing they are looking into me, seeing me as I am right now, and still wanting to stay for this dance fills me with gratitude. She reminds me of how good it can feel to be alive in my skin.
The joy is fleeting, but not diminished, as my mind returns back to the narrative playing in the background. It is dark, depleting, and violent. Another flashback has decided to join us.
We keep dancing. My body wants to stay present while my mind meanders back into the past to figure something out that’s necessary right now. I don’t know its reason or its urgency to interrupt this morning. I keep in step, trying to figure out if there’s ever been a way to balance such stark contrasts of reality in a single moment while honoring both. I’m still not sure it’s possible.
My wife watches my eyes go distant and helps. “Ah ah,” she coaxes. “Stay here with me.”
Whatever it is that I need to do to live with these things, it is worth this dance.
© Mayme Snow