I'm sure that I have a prior post entitled Monkey Mind and since I was born in the year of the monkey, it could be the 3rd time. I've ignored all of the Blogging for Dummies tips and given my post a stupid title. Again.
Not only do I have absolutely nothing to say but something inside of me is urgently whispering that you probably don't want to hear about the trazillion ideas, fleeting thoughts, whims, plans, ephermeral images (ad nauseum) that are flitting through my head these days.
I can't seem to let a single whim go these days.
There are at least 14 pieces of stitching that I'm working on. I need at least two (or three) complete for a deadline.
I am writing in the morning pages again. Spilling, as they say.
And so it goes. It may be spotty over here for the next month. My mind is full. Here's where I want to be:
Magically overnight, I turned from 56 to 57! Imagine that. I dressed this morning, looking forward to breakfast out with my pal. In the kitchen, there is a lovely vase of daffodils with a note from the man. The note said, "It's your party, you can smile if you want to." etc.
I am having a bit of trouble with birthdays for the past couple of years. Somehow the old "It's just a number" thing feels like an empty platitude. Vanity, I suppose.
It's rainy here today. That is very nice because I remember a birthday when I was young, 8 or 9. My mother was still alive so it was before I was 11. It rained on that day and she made a tea party for us inside. Not unusual for April but unusual for my birthday.
I will think today of all of the people I love and am grateful for. That is the sign of the years. Not being loved, but the act of loving. It is powerful.
Happiness and gratitude to you, dear readers. You so often delight me and make me ponder.
Over the summer, I wrote this post about not being well and honoring it.
Ally commented that she is not very good at self-care. I've wondered why so many women are missing out on the tender nurture we give to so many others. And I have to guess that it's the critic at work again. The critic suggesting that if we (for instance) eat the last two pieces of bread, we aren't taking care of our families. We should leave that bread for them.
Suggest to yourself a walk, a bit of journal play, a day off without any reason at all. What is the first thing that pops to mind. A year ago, I would have said .. "oh I should be *blah, blah, blah-ing*."
Where does that little voice come from? I'm clearly thinking about this as I write because this is new territory for me. I'm really not sure. At all.
But how about it, wise readers? What do you think?
and so we are here in this very dark time and the only thing I could think of to do was to send as many prayers as I could to the people of Newtown, CT. And not only them but to the people of Columbine and to those of Aurora, CO and to those many communities and families that have been victims of this bleak violence. We can only respond with prayer. No matter what spiritual language you use, prayer is always there.
So, I started a Facebook Page called Prayer Flags for Newtown, here. And you can join it if you'd like. But the point, really, is to send prayers to Newtown. I truly believe they will go there.
Please join me. Hang your prayer flags outside. They can be homemade with a simple square of muslin or an old sheet with a simple prayer written on it with a marker. It could be as simple as a peace sign or a heart. Your children may benefit from making them. This will be a scary time for them.
Your flag(s) can sewn and embellished however you see fit. Take a look here.
They can be purchased, here. I just bought a whole bunch to give to friends and neighbors. It is not about art. It is about prayer.
That's where I've been. After an injury that I thought had healed, I went to PT (for the ankle) on Monday and then to Yoga and then torqued my back really REALLY bad. So am laid up. Before this latest interruption, I was working on the longstitch class: frustratingly close to being ready to roll.
and this binding ...
and it all must just wait. I am going to let myself heal. Then get back on my feet more slowly.
I've come to this conclusion: my body is 56 years old. I never paid much attention to my aging body. Didn't give a fig about my age. It is really catching up with me: "I am 56 years old! For crying out loud, will you slow down?" Not much of a choice, is it? My mind and heart (soul) are 56 and that is a very good thing. I am grateful for that part of the aging process. And I need to respect the fact that my body is beginning to need some special attention.
Meantime, I am making granny square slippers for my granny-aged feet. Ha.
My blood sugar has returned to normal after mass gelato consumption in June so let's visit some of the glories of Florence. You can't swing a pizza without hitting a gelato stand. Giorgio told us to look for the word "artisinal" on the stand. Another sign of good gelato is metal tubs - not plastic. Don't get gelato from plastic tubs.
The Italians enjoy disguising candy as fruit. I was willing to pretend.
It is another artform if you can resist temptation and just look.
But (there is always a "but" in a story like this), I did more than rub the snout of the wild boar statue in the Straw Market in Florence. I really got in touch with my inner Pig (ahem, boar).
A note on the markets in Italy. They are full of touristy souvenirs. Not good junk. The fruit and vegetable markets are beautiful. I had a peach that was so perfect it brought back childhood memories. And no coma.
I woke up mid-dream turning cartwheels. And sticking them. Clearly a sign of improvement. When I was small, I could do a cartwheel. Somewhere along the line, I lost trust. I didn't lose the ability to turn myself into a human wheel but trust in myself prevented my legs from reaching for the sky. Self-doubt plays a huge part in mind, body and spirit.
I recently took up yoga after several years hiatus. One of the selling points on this class is it is specifically aimed at Seniors, which I am not. But that is OK. It is the right place for me.
The big intention on my part right now is Balance and Earth. I am very intentionally grounding myself and trying to strengthen my core in order to focus. I drew a metaphor the other night while working on the granny square project. It is tempting to go out and learn every granny square pattern online. But no. I am sticking with the classic. Turning the process into an artform. Improving every detail of my form. Reaching blindly into the basket of yarn and using whichever color comes to hand. Trust.