if I fall

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This week finding the right words has been difficult for me. My Dad passed away and I am feeling all “these things”; frustrated that I cannot put words on all of it.

I’m not dreaming anymore. Not even the nightmares. Not for days. It’s unsettling. Grief, itself, has a unique strangeness. It grabs you and throws you hard against the floor, you are wounded. You are angry…and sad.

You have to eat, and that causes a new kind of grief…you realize you have to continue to do people things like go to work, talk to a neighbor…or answer emails about what seemed like important things before now…but have been rendered pointless by the **after**. You have to wake up and remember all over again because in a slight moment of morning haziness you somehow forgot…you are mad at the sun, and traffic (which isn’t new, really, but you just **can’t** right now with this FUCKING TRAFFIC.) You are angry, again.

You are quiet and brittle. You want to disappear.

You avoid Facebook. You wonder if eyelids can get chapped and can’t remember driving home. Your head hurts, you worry it might never stop. You mull over your life, you chastise yourself for ONLY thinking about yourself. You stay anchored inside your selfish little grief bubble. You laugh at something stupid and guilt washes over you like a sick mess. You are ashamed and so sorry.

You maniac.

You talk to yourself about yourself, because it’s less painful than missing your Dad and feeling fucking useless to anyone. You feel **safer** in the bubble.

You loved your Dad.

It’s a wonder we can survive at all…through life’s particular cruelty…gifting us something which at times seems too lovely to enjoy or too painful to endure.

Though we do endure it, nurture it, fear or embrace it, reclaim it…not right now…but eventually.

 

 

 

image  © Aimee McEwen, if shared please link back to this post

 

you make me smile

Be love, be lovely.

Today, as I was leaving a grocery store parking lot, I stopped short of the sidewalk to let a man approaching on bicycle pass. It’s an extremely hot day. Sometimes, living here in Florida is like living on the surface of the sun. The man’s face was scrunched into a grimace as he cautiously wheeled toward my car. I leaned to the right and back so that he could see me, seeing him.

As he passed in front of me I waved and smiled so that, again, he could see me seeing him – seeing me. His expression lifted – his eyes lit up, he smiled back. He picked up speed and was almost at once out of sight. It was a small yet very human moment.

When we see we are seen, we are softened.

I see you, you lovely humans. ♡

dear october

Oh, how I love the start of the holiday season (that’s you, October). It’s only the 2nd day and I’ve already eaten more candy than actual food. I heard a rumor that this weekend we (here in North Florida) are scheduled for some cooler weather. It’s about damn time. Afterall, there’s an entire menu of slow cooker recipes that I need to dive into and I’ve compiled a list of at least five different ways to prepare squash, roast nuts, and bake apples.

October, will be full of work and play; of memory making and things remembered. We’ll celebrate with pumpkin-themed food and drink; electric purple, orange and green treats will beckon us (c’mon, you had ONE…what’s FIVE more going to hurt?). I will try really hard not to “over do it” this year (that’s the trick!). What I’d prefer to do is keep things simple as the year winds down. October is the beginning of the end; a glittery sugar-fueled prelude to a fervently nostalgic finale.

Let’s enjoy the time we have together and be more present…take longer breaks from our devices, be more patient, untether a bit from online “obligations” – yes, even our blogs– and, instead, write letters from the heart on actual paper using complete sentences. Let’s laugh more, complain less and strive to be more kind to ourselves and others.

Let’s begin, shall we?

XO-

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image credit:
The Masque of the Four Seasons by Walter Crane (c. 1903-9), more works here.

dear september

I have a habit of assigning certain colors to months of the year. You, September, are moody blue like comfy denim. I know it won’t really be “cold” here in North Florida until late December but I’m already wearing my Fall gear…with much enthusiasm. I’ve cleaned out and reordered my closets with dresses, leggings, long sweaters, infinity scarves and flannel shirts. It’s not time yet for cider or hot cocoa but it’s almost time for me to rifle through my embarrassingly large collection of yarn and knit something squishy.

It’s almost time to decorate for Halloween and I’ve already got a glittery laser (pew, pew!) cut pumpkin on my desk at work…to mark the spot where I ration the candy and chocolate for those that walk through the art department. I decided to populate my half-walled cubi with illustration and various quote-inspired typography…it is quite a major thing for me to commit to something/anything on my walls. The effect has been both soothing and bolstering (win win). Who knew? Next week I plan on introducing a lumbar pillow and, dare I say it out loud, a LIVE PLANT. I’ve been spending so much time at my desk lately (it’s our busy time through to the end of the year) that I really just want to make it as comfortable (and tasteful) as possible.

Yesterday, at home, I was taking down a set of lanterns I had hanging in the back yard in order to relocate them to the front, you know, a little pre-autumn entryway vignette prep work. I walked them through the house toward the front door unaware that one of the two lanterns was populated by BEES. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a winged thing fly by but it was not until I set the lanterns on the front steps that I realized there were bees (a lot of bees). I hopped into the house slamming the door shut and when I peeked out the window, bees were scrambling out of that lantern like a squadron of micro F15 fighter jets.

These letters are supposed to set the tone for the month but since I’m late, September, this one is more of a summary isn’t it? The goal for this letter was to post it about 3 weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy working and sleeping and working and…well, you know how that goes.

The weather shifted today. It’s cooler than it has been in a while and I love it. Fall is my absolute favorite season. I like pretending it’s much colder outside than it actually is; I like to be bundled in flannel and denim and wear my boots (almost every day). My Dad had a birthday last week. I sent him this print by James Hance because the first time I saw it I got teary and thought of my Dad. I hope he frames it and, when he looks at it, thinks of me.

a little chewie

jameshance.comIf you’re new around these parts you probably aren’t familiar with my complete and undying love of all things that James Hance creates. There’s not enough time to go through all the reasons that this sweet, dear and talented person is at the top of my list of all lists of all things. Maybe it’s because he creates thoughtful and witty tributes to my favorite childhood memories. It could also be that sometimes it feels like his work was plucked straight from my head and made real. But mostly, I think it’s because there is no one in the world like him and I’m just so very glad for that.

James creates many things, but the first “hancey” creation that I came across, gosh maybe 4 years ago, was his book Wookiee the Chew. It’s a darling mash up of Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars. It is smartly written, adorably illustrated… and now, because James is THAT wonderful there are little plush Chews to be had (well, actually, I am pretty sure they sold out immediately – next time gadget).

You can learn more about Mr. Hance’s relentlessly cheerful projects over on his blog. He shares silliness and behind the scenes peeks of most of his work.

credits:

image links to source

the same

He is more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be, and if all else remained, and we were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger… He’s always, always in my mind; not as a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights