Am I Back? And to What?

Groundhog Day 2005 by Aaron Silvers Wikimedia Commons
Groundhog Day 2005 by Aaron Silvers
Wikimedia Commons

About the middle of December, I boldly announced I was taking a break from blogging and would be back after the holidays. Obviously, I wasn’t. Unless we count Groundhog Day as part of the holidays in which case, I’m a little early. So is the sunshine and warmth in this part of the country while in the Northeast, there are mounds of blizzard.

But since I’m here, no doubt I’ll see the sun and thereby the forecast is for six more weeks of winter. Well, fine.

The groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, is the little furry clump in the arms of the man just to the left of the man reading the proclamation. I wonder just what sort of fellow would hold a fat groundhog.

I’ve been holding onto sanity.

Christmas was nice. Quiet. Just the two of us, laughing and building fires in the grate. And doesn’t that sound romantic. It was. After Christmas, we drove up to the farm to our little house on the prairie for a week of quiet, METV and DVD movies, and some writing time for me. Only things changed. Life and death, I guess you could say.

A good friend and farm neighbor died the second day of our week’s stay. We came back to Kansas City, a three-hour drive, got things ready that we would have done after we would have come home Saturday, drove back to farm and viewing and funeral. And came home to taxes for the farm. And then, oops, a grant that I didn’t know was due and which I did, now done, the farm taxes on a pile on the floor, and it’s almost Groundhog Day. But I’m okay. Doing one thing at a time.

I watched a flock of young sparrows, yearlings by the look of them, one day on the farm. A sunny, windy, cold day. They gathered in the tree branches outside my window. And in unison, flew down to the ground and began pecking away at something, seeds too small for me to see, hopping sideways to the wind, and yet focused and although buffeted by the ground wind, in balance.

Nature once more gives the lesson. Be present and balanced in the doing.

“There is need of only one thing.” And the overriding and necessary thing in the world today is balance. And when we are in balance, our spirit soars and the sun rests lightly on our skin, even in the winter.

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Leveling Chaos to a Maneagable Level

Being a working artist is great, right? I’m home. The house is quiet. Both men in the house who work are working. I have all this time. Right? Well I do.

I have a marvelous husband who likes that I’m an artist and who supports me and my chaos. “That’s good!” he says, when I show him a blog post or a chapter I’ve finished. “That’s great!” he says, when I tell him my agent emailed and says a director wants me to work on his film and am I available. I am, I tell my agent, not saying that a month in advance is too far to have any idea what I’m doing at that time. But I’ll be available, whatever it is.

I have a wonderful son who fixes things and reboots the computer when I’m stumped with error messages and hauls things for me when I finally get out to the garden. And mows the lawn without being asked.

desk1

However, in other words, this morning, I’m finalizing a grant, and clearing out my email inbox (and doesn’t that sound fun), and checking on reservations and hotel amenities because we’re going out of town next week and I don’t want to have to pack a hairdryer, and getting bills lined up since we’re going out of town at the first of a new month, and really, really, endeavoring to reduce the piles of papers on this desk so I can somehow get to my writing desk in another room, and piled with more papers but no email inbox.

I love my life. I love sitting here in my muumuu because I can. I love knowing my time is free of interruptions. At least in the house. The phone’s another matter, but I can ignore it. That’s what answering machines are for. I especially love that in a few days I’ll be getting on an airplane and sitting for two and a half uninterrupted hours beside my husband. I’m not taking the laptop (although I will have the tablet and smart phone) or books (although I’ll have my journal), and the only email work I’ll do is checking my phone and deleting the ones I don’t have to deal with. Like news. Or fantastic-sale-buy now! announcements.

I try not to think about the digging out I’ll do when I return.

However, right now the inbox is managed; the email I have to keep track of highlighted, and the writing room beckons. That’s strip of light at the right side of the photo. I’m close…just a couple more pieces of paper first; oh, yeah, and find my glasses.

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