Two days off...recently that has been a doom for me, especially with Megan traveling so much and my having the house to myself. Well myself and Miss Kitten, who isn't much for emotional support.
Thursday: I was feeling quite sad on Thursday, it was the night of the full moon, and I didn't have plans until the late afternoon. I woke up and insisted to myself that I do some yoga. Megan and Claire and I have been doing these podcast yoga sessions that you can download for free and there are not a joke. This is some serious yoga, ladies. Claire and I did two sessions back to back last week and I think both of us has muscles quivering for days after. Strength and Balance for sure!
After yoga I needed another distraction, and since these past few days have been in the 60's and 70's - I sat in my lovely shared backyard - one of the huge perks to not living in an apartment is having access to Megan's peaceful and private back patio and lawn. I've been letting Napoleon join me outside because at this point she thinks the fences are too tall to jump up and over and most things outside still scare her enough to stay close to me. So she wandered and I read some poetry and a beautiful book called The Conference of the Birds, illustrated with watercolor paintings and pen drawings. Later I realized that my two hours in the sun had in fact led to my first sunburn of the season (duh! this is Colorado!), but I was happy to see the evidence of my Vitamin D intake.
Later that afternoon Claire and I broke ground on our shared and glorious garden plot in her backyard. We planted last summer and had a fantastic learning experience growing all sorts of things, planned or otherwise (cantaloupe?!?!). This year we are going diagonal! I was impressed with the sturdy herbs that made it though the winter, oregano, sage, thyme, chives, such hearty fellows! We shoveled dirt, found 100's of worms and a few creepy centipedes. Her dirt is soft and supple and is not hard work to move around, which means it is rich in nutrients and luscious! Claire has also been a dedicated composter this past year and we got to sift through her more advanced pile of compost, ending up with a wheelbarrow full of gorgeous brown soil! We turned that compost into the garden soil and began out first plant - 2 months ahead of last year's schedule, woohoo!
We began the pre-post-frost items - radishes, greens including spinach, lettuce mix, and kale, carrots, beets and arugula. I cannot wait for the sprouts to reveal themselves and for our first harvest to be in May, June!? She and I are both excited and thrilled to be back outside, hands in the dirt, dirt under our fingernails, commiserating with worms and loving it.
Friday: Today was a busy day - the best kind of day off for me these days. A distracted mind cannot be bother to dwell in sadness. It started with brunch with an old friend, we shared breakfast hash and 1/2 price bloody marys, a tradition for us! Then we walked along the Highlands shops and I found some sweet treasures for friends and my soon to be nephew!
After arriving home I had just enough time to sit outside again, with the kitten, and read The Sun, a magazine that I subscribe to that has been piling up for months. It's a colloboration of interviews, short stories, poetry, and little reader excerpts about a specific topic, oh and photography. It's wonderful and it was the perfect patio reading material.
My friend Leslie came over briefly to change after work before we went and met a few of our friends downtown for sushi happy hour. It's events like this, with more than 2 or 3 people that can make me shy or resistant to socializing, but today I am so glad I joined. The company was great, we drank gin and tonics (oh sweet summer, I love you!), and ate loads of delicious and cheap sushi. These friends love to laugh and I know these days I need laughter everywhere I can get it. It saves me. It builds me back up. It is a required fuel for my soul and my inner peace.
After leaving happy hour, I ran home just in time to meet my friend Connor for a poetry reading. There is a tiny little bookstore in Five Points, right next to Los Paisanos - the bus stop to Mexico that is always so crowded! - called Counterpath. A professor from CU Boulder and her husband own it and often host readings in its small open space. Tonight there were two readers - one read from his upcoming novel, the other from a few of his 20+ published and soon to be published books. These writers were witty and realistic, and I am always so enamored with the way that every human describes existence differently and how writers are so especially gifted at making that existence so fascinating. These men definitely succeeded at that. The novelist description of his protagonist was it's own chapter, and the intricacies described of this fictional man made me feel like he was someone I've known for years.
I also recently read
Wisława Szymborska's Nobel prize acceptance speech where she talks briefly about the author of Ecclesiastes and his famous statement "There is nothing new under the sun." Her speech is quite impressive because in a matter of pages she denies his entire statement and reclaims original thought for all men, all writers, all poets. After graduating college and being out of the academic mind-stimulating environment, I felt like I had nothing new to say. Of all the people in the world, why would anyone want to hear or read what I have to say? That is such a dangerous well for a writer to fall into and climb out of it can be daunting. But Szymborska, wise lady that she was, was right. Every thought I have, every breath I take, every sight I see, is new, albeit under the same sun as Ecclesiastes man. So my new task in poet-hood is to find my voice, and not to be ashamed what path I take to find it. There are so many tricks and tips and ways to jumpstart a poem or a novel or just being creative that sometimes writing a good poem from a formula or from an exercise can seem cheap or like cheating. But I no longer think that's true. What happens on the page is no was lessened because it had a catalyst or a formula.
So I've been scratching down thoughts, one liners, random visions, knowing that sometimes just getting something on paper is enough. Getting it out of my head is a start.
Even sitting down to write this blog is helpful, as a history of my life and thoughts, as an excercise in writing, and as a practice of being an artist.