I believe in being prepared for any given situation. It isn't because I'm a pessimistic person; I think it is just good common sense. Hence, I've entitled my blog "Even Nothing is Something."

This covers my butt in any event. On any given day I can feel great exaltation that I have done something grand. I can scribble fiercely when my thoughts are leaping across the meadows of my mind like a happy little colt in the month of May, or my mind and writing can be as dry and arid, as cold and without life, as the Gobi desert - because even Nothing is Something.

I want to thank all of my fellow artists who work through other means and forms and who sell their work on the wonderful artist's site "Etsy," a place to buy and sell all things handmade, along with vintage items and supplies for their craft. They are a great group of people.

Those who have links to their site on my blog represent only a few of those whom I wish to include. Just click on one of those links and join the Etsy community. It is free. They are a great group of artists who have relieved me of my money in the most delightful of ways. If it weren't for their encouragement, I would have never shared my work through this blog.

Thank you my darling friends!

Enjoy my blog - The Poet or Not - More or Less

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Slice of Life, Unedited

Well, it’s true, our garage and house really did catch on fire, the fire marshal said so and the three fire companies that responded all agreed, without dispute.

I’ve always been particularly afraid of losing my home to a fire, not because I’m so materialistic as because our house burnt to the ground when I was in the first grade - nothing saved except my high-chair, which was great because my grandfather bought it for my first birthday, and it could be folded into a desk once the babe was able to sit on a chair at the kitchen table for the activity of food consumption.

I’m moving from my real topic.

The melted faces of my dolls, amidst the rest of the debris, are burned into my brain. So, when my husband, from whom I’m amicably separated, showed up at my apartment to give me the hateful news, I was shocked and felt great trepidation. I didn’t want to see the house. The house had much to do with our separation. This slice of life I’ll keep to myself; you will be thankful.

I didn’t go to our house until the insurance adjustor, building contractor and other people essential to the restoration of our lives were to meet us there. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Things started looking up.

The building contractor explained the amount of structural damage and what would be done for its repair. The insurance claims adjustor advised us of what we could expect in recompense for our lost possessions and for the restoration of others.

It was a wonderful surprise that brought a sense of elation when we were told that our insurance company would also provide us with housing comparable to what we lost and for the duration of the restructuring of our own. How accommodating! For the moment, we are ensconced in a Best Western Hotel, but we aren’t wondering how we’re going to pay for it.

Now, the car is a slightly different story. We are short a little over $7000.00 in being able to pay it off with the insurance money. That somewhat ruins dinner, if I had any to ruin (that tale comes later in my insipid story.) Still, overall, I’m a happy camper. Friends have loaned us their PT Cruiser for the duration. They have cars out the wazooooo. And, they are very kind and generous.

What I don’t like out the wazoooo is the negativity stemming from my husband’s half empty glass of water. It makes me want to give him several half full glasses of Scotch to put him out for some time. The addition of a couple of his anxiety medications might also bring some much needed relief.

How easily we forget! In the beginning of this hell, Bruce had seen a family on the news that had lost all of their possessions in a fire. They escaped with only their pajamas and, apparently, they didn’t have insurance to cover their losses. Bruce then said he felt grateful. Well, that has died along with the rest of the Grateful Dead, except even they are more alive with more grateful friends and roadies.

In all fairness, Bruce has undergone much more stress than I have. He was in the house when it caught fire. He had some minor smoke inhalation requiring a treatment and a day of recuperation. He has to make the majority of the return phone calls because most things are in his name.

He also scorns me because I decided not to travel the 260 miles to our friend’s house where he was to pick up the PT Cruiser. I don’t socialize with Bruce. We have different styles. I like to leave a gathering early and head for my own tidy little home. Bruce prefers to carry an overnight bag and sleeping roll in hopes they’ll invite him for a slumber party. He likes to continue the conversation in front of the wide open door with our feet planted toward the exit until I get a stiff neck from looking over my shoulder. I like to say, ‘So long,” and mean it. He returned from his trip a very unhappy chap.

The serenity prayer has become so clich├ęd but it is still so true. We need the strength to change the things we can, the ability to accept the things we can’t and the wisdom to know the difference. Or, something like that. How quickly we can go from being appreciative of our circumstances and maintaining our empathy for others in far worse situations, to feeling overwhelmed and negative, worrying about things that are down the road.

I would like to slap Bruce, and I’m sure he would like to give me a good thwack too. Thank God, he’s sleeping now. I haven’t eaten in two days and he refused to go just down the road for a pizza, informing me with the sternest of face, that he very nearly killed himself on the way from our friend’s home as he drifted off the road in a state of exhaustion. I don’t belittle this in the least. I’ll be happy to have peanut M & Ms for dinner. I do object to his refusal to see the brighter side. I am disappointed to see how easily, how quickly, all of us can lose our perspective by forgetting how fortunate we are.

This is not my best, nor is it the most entertaining of my writings. Tomorrow, I will look at it and blush with shame at its worthlessness. A friend of mine once told me that the purpose of a journal isn’t to showroom one’s best scribbling but to showcase our impressions at the time, without an edit.

May we always remember that the people we love are more important than possessions. Let’s remind one another that, when going through hard times, if it doesn’t require much imagination to realize there are thousands and thousands of people who would quite happily exchange their situation for ours, we are downright obligated by the dignity of those with less to be glad for what we have and to share what we can.

I'm also remembering with much satisfaction and sense of security that I have my own little apartment to retreat to if Bruce continues to wallow in the mire of a mud puddle in life.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Read Write Poem

Poet's and Writer's magazine shared a delightful website for writers to converge, share their work and learn from one another. I joined a group whose administrator provides the beginning of a sentence with which to write a poem. This week's selected phrase was, "Through the gate. . . "

I hope all of you who learn of this site and write poetry, or just want to read poetry, will join. It's free!

A Garden of Hope

A Garden of Hope

Through the gate and
past the Lotus petaled
pond grow the Tamarind
trees, wild with pink
blossoms. It is morning
and the Lotus petal
has opened herself to
share the sun, promising
a long life, health and good
fortune to all who pass.
The succulent fruit of
the Tamarind trees will
ripen and offer itself
as a juicy nectar to the
gods of goodwill. Evening
approaches and the Lotus
that covers the pond closes
her flower and sleeps till
the 'morrow when she again
joins the Tamarind trees in
the stone walled garden,
an architecture of hope.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Words From a Mother

This poem was inspired by a dear friend who wrote to me of her love for her grown daughters, one of whom is soon to be married. My friend's final words in her email touched my heart. She wrote "My heart wraps around them eternally." This one is for you Valerie.

A Mother's Eternal Love

Before I met you,
I knew you; I could
feel you in the Cradle of Life.
I fed you, even nourished
your spirit. You experienced
all that I did. My heart
and body followed
every move you made.
We were one, as we are now.
Clasping my belly,
I supported you, as I do
now and forever. A
new dawn came, bringing
you to me. We met and, in awe,
I gazed into your eyes,
for the first time and not
the last. Your fingers, toes
and ears were all accounted
for; I kissed each one. My
unfaltering love for you
became my entire world,
just as it is now. This love
for you became my greatest
treasure, just as it is now.
I watched, fascinated, as you
grew from babe to infant,
from an infant to a toddler
who took her first steps.
Time quickened; you've
grown from babe to young
woman, ready to take other
steps. Our footprints have
brought us here, where we
are now. I am so proud of
you, my daughter. My
Heart wraps around you
Eternally, never to wane,
always beating – Eternally.