Photo: I had to tear out the scarf that I’m knitting for Mom. While slipping 8 stitches onto a cable needle, something… I don’t even know what… happened. Next thing I know, 20 some-odd stitches slipped off my needles. Just gone, melting into the fabric, loops upon loops. About 6 weeks worth of work lost. I should have cried, but managed not to. Unfortunately, with so little time left, I can’t do the design I’d originally planned for her. Anyway, on Wednesday morning I went to my little craft corner and began to piece together a new gameplan. That’s when I noticed the light of the morning, the simple beauty of the basket, and the illumination of its texture. I just had to take a picture. There is a lot in this photo: the potential of a new day and a new project, a handmade things held in a handmade thing… It’s a seemingly simple moment in time, but it holds so much more.
Ursa Minor squirmed, flinched and fought back tears as I did his hair this morning. Frustrated as I was to fight with him to keep his head still so I could moisturize and detangle his precious curls, I smiled at the memories it brought of being a tender-headed little girl sitting in my own mother’s lap. I shushed and redirected him, just as my mother and grandmother had done to me. I told him just how beautiful his hair is, how lucky he is to have those beautiful curls. Just like me when I was that age, the hassle of it was just too much to take. Beauty is for the vain, he might as well have told me. Give unto him the mess and the matting! Major got the same treatment, though he didn’t put up as much of a fight. He came away with a little fro that makes him look more his age. When his hair is short, he’s a commanding little presence. We joke he looks like Barack Obama. But when he’s got his fro, he looks like a child again. A little more carefree.
I write all this because it felt like the most human event of the entire week. It’s not to say that we were monsters all the rest of the week. I’m just saying I haven’t felt terribly connected to the boys or The Husband, despite all of the “family” things we all did together. When you’re leading and facilitating everything, it always feels like you are ahead of the group or shepherding behind the group, but never really of the group, never experiencing the events among them and with them. The result then is that you’re lonely at the helm. Everyone doing their part and looking to you for guidance, but no one is standing with you.
So to have the boys in my lap, with their giggles and held back tears, their lamentations for play rather than tangle-wrangling… it was an unexpectedly warm and wonderful gift on my Friday morning. I sincerely felt, as the boys donned their shoes and backpacks, a little bit of sadness about them going to school. Usually, I don’t. But today, I did.
I really should not be so sulky. My Quiet Thoughts today are about how the overwhelm of last week has turned into real and true action this week. That’s all well and good, but I still feel like a) I’m not getting anywhere and b) I don’t know where I’m going in the first place. But last week I was almost dizzy with overwhelm. I’m grateful I’m not there anymore. Acton feels good. Making decisions feels worthy and good. As a result, I did a lot this week.
I finished my manuscript rewrite for the project my sister and I are working on together. The first draft was 11,500 words. The draft is 5,580. Unfortunately, the goal is to be closer to the 2,500 word range. I’m not sure how to cut it down much further. She’s going to take it now and start storyboarding her illustrations. By the end of the month, I hope we’ll have a preliminary visual roadmap to send to the editor we are working with.
I also did, indeed, publish my first novella, Patron of the Meadowlark Inn, which is available at a digital bookstore near you! I am freaked out to write that, because it means that it’s real. And once I press publish on this post, I have no control over what happens next. Then again, I’m looking forward to the initial shock of putting it out there, realizing that taking this risk will not kill me, and then giving myself permission to write my next story and do it again. I didn’t want to ask permission anymore. I wanted to snatch this dream for myself, finally. And I have. If you, Dear Reader, decide to read it and you happen to like it, I hope you’ll choose to write a little review and recommend it to others!
I also began to lay the groundwork on a new website for my freelancing, which meant that I needed to make some technical changes to this blog. I hope that you will find it loading faster. Most of the changes made were behind the scenes, but changes were made! Could I have a new freelancing website built and live by next Friday? Lord, I can only hope.
Where overwhelm was my life last week, and bold (stupid?) action came this week. I have no idea what the next week will bring me. I can only pray that somewhere along the way, a little bit of success will find me. I’d love to get a “yes” and an “amen” and a “let’s work together!” somewhere between here and the end of the year. I know the stereotype for my generation is that we’re always looking for our next gold star… I don’t need a pat on the head. Just a friendly torch in the distance telling me I’m heading in the right direction would be fine.
It is a sunny, warm November Friday afternoon here in Massachusetts, Dear Reader. The sun is still strong and warm, but the light is strongly golden, which makes all of the coloring around here a little bit richer. There is a breeze, and there are plenty of leaves left on their branches, so a whisper and rustling are my constant companions as I write. Bugs of all sorts are still out and about. So are the squirrels. The only thing I’m really missing is birdsong. Even without them, it’s a fine, fine day.
It’s a fine Friday for wishes. What shall I wish for you, Dear Reader? I wish you a human moment. A moment that is simple and beautiful, involving warmth and touch. One where you are right in the middle of the mix, not ahead or behind, not expecting anything (or being expected of anything). I wish for it to last a while, allowing you to settle in and have a little joy. I hope it’s memorable, and that you find a connection between past and present as you settle into it. I wish you a really good breakfast. French Toast and sausage. Or a hearty hash with potatoes, onions, peppers and carrots, and sausage (of course) and a good, velvety egg. I wish you an art project. Something pretty, but simple, and easy. Maybe something with these beautiful falling leaves? Maybe you can find some inspiration somewhere. I wish you time in nature, which is changing and beautiful. I wish you a good story, told by a dear friend. I wish you the warmth that comes with hearty laughter and close company. I wish you the nourishing knowledge that you are profoundly loved and deeply admired. Never lose sight of how much you matter, Dear Reader. Hold fast to the knowledge that your life has purpose and meaning, and that someone cherishes you. Be a presence in the world and shine brightly. In a world that grows ever dimmer, you have no idea how much your light is needed.
Until Monday, be bold, reach out, and take care. 🙂
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