Archives for the month of: November, 2012

So, I’m sitting here trying to squeeze witty and inspirational drops of my brain out onto the keyboard and a friend emails me. Thank GOD! A distraction!! I read the email and she wants to know how I am… so I begin to tell her. I tell her I’m trying to squeeze witty and inspirational drops of my brain out like orange juice, with pulp, and how writing is my force majeure. Now, to be honest, I initially typed ‘force de major’ just hearing the words in my head. Not really understanding what it meant, I had to go look it up. This is what I found…

DEFINITION OF FORCE MAJEURE
1
: superior or irresistible force
2
: an event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled — compare Act of God

And that is how it happens. This is how I write. I hear it in my head and it boils out of my fingers, usually faster than I can type it, and it makes something. I can plan a piece in my head, lay it out so that the 2’s follow the 1’s and it is a lovely little jigsaw puzzle that lays flat and formatted… but then I get to the keyboard. I start to type what I planned and something else entirely takes over. Most of the time, I had no idea that I even have these thoughts or opinions, but they make sense and deeply connect once I see them in print. Other times, the writing is shining a light into the darkness that I had no idea was even there anymore, something way back in the corner, underneath the bed and stuffed behind boxes of outgrown clothes and balls of cat fur, never really decomposing, just creating a stain on the floor.

Writing, for me anyway, is about getting out of the way. Truth be told (and bear with me because I’m figuring this out as my fingers find the letters on the pad) it is the same as meditation for me – pulling the constant chatter of my to do lists, popping up emails, status updates, piles of unfolded laundry out of the IN YOUR FACE part of my brain, sitting back and just letting the deeper, bigger part come forward. And this Other part, it is wiser, funnier and quieter. It is a whispering voice that is easily missed if not actively tuned into. It is kind and gentle and guiding. And it isn’t solely a voice in my head (Yeah, see what I mean? NEVER thought I was going to sit down and write about the voice in my head this morning. Hang on, this will hopefully get better.) Once the awareness is turned on (fighting the urge now to capitalize Awareness), there are moments and messages leading me toward what it is that I’m supposed to be doing, who I actually am, coming forward all of the time. The spontaneous use of ‘force majeure’ is an example. I have no idea when I ever heard that term (guessing I have heard the term… because if I never have… then how did it get in my head?) and yet, here it is to not only accurately describe how I feel about my writing, but it also delivers the clear message to me that yes, indeed, the act of writing can be compared to an Act of God (I’m only capitalizing here because it did so on the Merriam-Webster website).

I have subscribed to The Daily Prompt, a service of WordPress to inspire us bloggers to write by giving us a topic. Today’s is ‘What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?’ I want people to wake up and become aware as I have. I want them to recognize that perhaps all of the ways that we tune into the world – email, Facebook, smartphones, Twitter, television, Pinterest, even blogs – can actually tune us OUT of the bigger, wiser, funnier, even dire messages that we get from a bigger, truer source (again, fighting the urge to capitalize Source). I’m not condemning those services, those distractions, but rather encouraging everyone to recognize that perhaps those things take a certain priority that they shouldn’t. Paradoxically, (See? Just over here working it out as it comes again.) they also offer opportunities for us to wake up to the signposts all around us, indicating the Way to Go. (Seriously, tired of fighting the capitalization urge that is clearly being dictated by something other than the standard comprehension of the rules of grammar.)

And if this blog, if Riding The Margin never accomplishes this goal, this mission of illumination, that is okay too. Because ultimately, while it may simply entertain a few (who clearly all now think I’m an undiagnosed schizophrenic), it will continue to be my vessel that keeps me awake, aware and listening to that bigger part of myself where Truth lives.

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Swirling thick, a tide around my ankles, dragging me into dark suffocation where I cannot breathe the rushing tide of you drowning
calling out.

How can I save you and save myself too?

Thick the wet wall of despair
suddenly
repeatedly
crashing down – bottom becomes top, light becomes dark, head over heels
over and over
I spin.

Anger, fear, desperation, escape.

If I save you, I have lost me forever.

There is guilt, shame, love, pain.  A scream trapped inside with ears pressed to doors waiting to hear what cannot be said.

If I let it go, it will consume us all.

Silently I sit
I breathe
kelp forests moving with the tide
I am a vessel for washing your energy away.  

I step back and let waves of fear and grief crash on my shore, pulling my heart grain by grain into your raging sea.  I hold on hoping that when your storm has ended, there will still be something left of me.

(The Margin Inspirations are supposed to be for works written by others that inspire me, however I came across this old homework assignment (from what I’m not sure) that I had written in 2004. It inspires me because it reminds me that yes, indeed, I can write. To be honest, I had to Google some of it to make sure I hadn’t just copied it from somewhere and that I actually wrote it myself.)

(Total tangent: I love that I sit at a table filled with sunshine streaming in and warming me, while I write. I hate that said sunshine throws my reflection into the computer screen and I then obsess about my chin line.

And so I choose – do I focus on driving the writing that pops up across my screen, the perusa or atman or soul of myself? Or do I turn my attention to the image of my physical self reflected behind it and loose my connection to the inner?)

Ok… the writing…

Workbook exercises
7/9 Descriptions

A circle: An endless entity with no formal beginning or end, it loops itself around an item, encompassing and enclosing time and space into a container with no way to escape. The edges are one fluid motion that encourage movement, call to it and ward off any need to end.

A spiral staircase:
A combination of sharp jutting lines and fluid swirling motion, like twigs floating in a river. The gracefulness of the ascension automatically leads one to believe that more beautiful things lie on the upper tiers of this pathway. Descending a spiral staircase means an act of slow and deliberate steps placed on petite pedestals that with one misstep, Gravity traps in its evil snare and leaves the victim in a tangled and bruised pile of knots.

Classical music:
An emotion for the ears, classical music has the ability to surface a mood with no words or pictures. By the nature of its history, it is easy to listen to and yet evokes a certain feeling of ignorance during discussion of even the simplest of sonatas. Classical music is to be listened to, for there lies the simple beauty and purpose, but once analyzed or discussed, it becomes complicated, over thought and heavy… much like romantic relationships.

The color red:
Blood, soup, power ties, wine, lips, balloons… the color red is hot and bursting with something to say, something passionate and powerful. There is no hiding in the corner, no looking at the ground when it walks down the street. The color red tells heavy wet secrets that burn when they slip off of your tongue. The color red leaves plumes of incense in its midst. The color red reveals the side behind the curtain, under the covers and between the lips.

Hot soup:
Forewarning in the steam rising from the surface like mist lifting from a mountain lake, the initial encounter with flesh is simultaneously painful and fulfilling… the knowledge of the impending satiation of hunger and the cost of instant gratification. The scent taunts the impatience with the ability to predict the approaching tasting experience without the actual event. Masturbation for the mouth. Sitting delicately on the spoon, travel

Sister Riding The Margin

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken

by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
Original Language German

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

There’s a custody battle raging
Each side desperate to win
Our love, our devotion, our approval

They tell us they know best
Through the shouting
and the lying
to prove that their’s is the care
the protection
the guidance that we should seek to lead our future

After all of the fighting
the stories
the tears
The time has come to pick sides
Which one do we love more?
The one that sends us to bed early
But kisses our hurts and listens to our fears?
Or the one that buys us candy and
paints pictures with us of days playing in the sun?

You know I love you
They say, looking past us
You know this is all for you
Then they kiss us on the head
and send us into the courtroom
where we, the children
must declare our allegiance
pledge our love
and determine who is fit to raise us

Crack pipe for the fitness obsessed

F you Nike Fuel.

My husband was a bit of an obsessive compulsive before.  Raised in a military household, you could almost hear Revelry playing in his head as he rose at dawn.  He literally jumps out of bed into his clothes every morning, and before the water has heated for coffee, plans for the day are strategized and mapped.

This is not me. I’m a stare into space well into lunch kind of girl. I like a morning where speaking consists of “Sorry, didn’t know you were in there,” and “Just a little milk, please.” That’s it. Let’s keep all of our thoughts, ideas, wishes and agendas until after lunch. If God wanted to know what you were thinking before noon, he would have thrown mass later into the day.

The Nike FuelBand, for those of you Luddites, couch potatoes, or people like myself who have no idea that technology and physical fitness could get any more obsessive, is a tracking service that monitors your calorie intake, physical exertion and fitness progress.  The system does this by tracking your every move via a bracelet that is worn and collects and compiles data on the Nike fitness site.  The bracelet shows you through a series of red to green lights how much more you need to work out that day (you wake up each day on red, as if that isn’t instantly stressful), tracks your steps with a pedometer, reminds you of how many calories you are allowed, and thoughtfully also gives you the time – aka tracking the minutes until your demise.  On the Nike website, you are able to monitor your progress, compare yourself to other fitness minded people, and get resources to increase your progress towards The Ultimate You.

My husband purchased this additive of insanity just 2 days ago.  It is Sunday morning, daylight savings morning, which means we get an extra hour to sleep in.  But Nike Fuel says otherwise.  This morning he was up at 8am vacuuming the house and throwing away the children’s toys… all the while watching to see how many steps Fuel calculated.  Breakfast consisted of hot water with lemon and coffee, while he rearranged the living room and announced to our children that “Sunday is a work day if I’m going to get all of my steps in for the day.”  By 9:00 (8:00 DST), he had almost finished closing the pool – IN HIS UNDERWEAR – certain that he would burn more calories if he was working outside in 40 degree weather and had to maintain his body temperature.  By 10am, myself and the children were loaded up in the car, heading out to test whether or not bouncing on the trampoline at my parent’s house would significantly increase his “progress towards green.”

I’m excited that he is interested in getting healthy. I want him alive and kicking to watch our girls grow up and get married. I can’t imagine spending any time on this marble without him by my side. And, if I’m going to be completely honest here, I’m tired of cooking fantastic meals from scratch that are low in gluten, fat, and sugar, only to find balled up cheeseburger wrappers in the door of our car. I suppose that I should be jumping for joy that he’ll finally be joining me as I juice greens for breakfast and walk from the far side of the parking lot at the grocery store. But I’m less than thrilled. And here’s why…

Because a nagging fancy bracelet is more effective than his nagging not-so-fancy wife.

F you Nike Fuel. You win this one… for now.