The Goal

Each day I will write something, be it here, or in a notebook, or elsewhere. Each day I will drip creativity onto a page, until it saturates the emptiness and brings color to a void.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Last night I dreamed of snow. It covered the grass, the trees, the rooftops. It lay in thick blankets on every surface, inviting the people to emerge from their houses. And emerge they did. In coats and gloves and scarves and smiles, they came outside to play and rejoice. We gathered the snow in our arms and flung it back up into the sky where it spread, shimmered, and fell down on our faces in glittering, stinging bits of icy cold warmth. Our hearts were joined in the spirit of the snow, the winter, the shared hardships, the anticipation of snowmen and sleigh rides and Christmas. We spy each other across streets and yards, eyes shining and shy smiles widening. And so, for this moment, this dream, we are friends, joined together by the magic of the snow.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Little Moments

It's the little moments that shape your life. Little suggestions, little decisions. In this moment, I'm going to retreat inside myself. In this moment, I'm going to reach out to someone else. In this moment, I'm going to be better. In this moment, I'm going to give in.

I'm always wary of little moments. I watch for them continuously. Those little moments are when habits are formed, characters created, and destinies are formed. Or, perhaps the destiny is already there, but the little moments determine the road you take to get there. Will I be surrounded by friends and family? Will I be bolstered by past experience and able to confidently forge my way through? Will I be hesitant, floundering, make my way through by happenstance and accident?

With each new event, I feel myself being forged anew. Old imperfections are, at times, burned out, or brought closer to the surface where they can rear their ugly heads for awhile before they, too, are burned out. At times, new imperfections are formed, or perhaps discovered.

Regardless, even events are filled with moments. In each moment lies the choice: will I reach out? Will I retreat? Will I accept mediocrity in myself? Will I strive for something greater? Will I make the most of this moment? Will I have the energy to do so?

The wonderful and terrible thing is that thousands of moments now lie in the past, shaping the form of me today. Each moment that I have reached beyond myself in the past is one that makes reaching out in this moment more likely. If I reach out in this moment, I will be more likely to reach out in the future.

And the interesting thing is that, when reaching, I must stretch outside of what is comfortable. I must go to greater distances, heights, achievements. I focus on that which is not myself. And only when I reach out do I myself become a greater person.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Black Hole

The funny thing about depression is that it hits when there's no reason. I have so much good in my life. So much love, so many friends, so much strength. And I can recite my blessings to myself until I'm blue in the face. It doesn't help.

The funny thing about depression is that even though you feel sad and miserable, you just don't care enough to want to feel happy.

The funny thing about depression is that even if you want to ask for help, you don't feel as though you deserve it.

The funny thing about depression is that because you don't care about yourself, it becomes so much more difficult to care about others.

The funny thing about depression is that the very things that would change the situation are the very things that are the hardest to do.

The funny thing about depression is that one day, all of a sudden, you realize you are depressed and have been for awhile.

The funny thing about depression is that you can sometimes see the light at the end of your tunnel, but getting there seems impossible.

The funny thing about depression is that I've been here before, and knew how to get here, and knew how to avoid getting here, but somehow I got stuck doing all the right things in life that led me to a bad place in my head.

The funny thing about depression is that I keep trying to laugh it off.

The funny thing about depression is that, perhaps, laughing it off is the best cure.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Feast on Your Life"

It's a wonderful idea, full of family gatherings, and memories being made, and stories told. When one is sitting in a comfortable time, it is easy to think of adventures that will be had and pleasant evenings spent. In general, I love the idea of sitting down to life's banquet and sampling every dish in sight.

Tonight, though, is a sad night.

I got a job, today. It isn't much. At most, it will pull in just enough that we can stretch our tiny budget over the bills that keep trying to escape. And, while it's a good thing, it's a little bit of my days that I've given to somebody not in my family. It's a little bit of time that I cannot devote to my daughter, my husband, myself. It will help us. Will it help us enough?

The Baby One is happy, too. Her tooth finally popped through last night. It's been pestering her for days, and we've all wondered why she wasn't as happy as usual. Today she was mostly back to her cheerful self. She spent the day reaching for things just out of her grasp, trying for all she's worth to figure out her body, and falling on the floor as her reward. She would cry, get picked up, and start reaching again. Incorrigible girl.

My husband came home sick tonight. It came later this year than usual. It's nice that he doesn't have to suffer through finals along with the stuffy nose and sore throat. We've been through this before; we'll get through it again. It pains my heart, though, to hear him say he's cold. My husband is never cold, except when he's sick. I reach out to touch him, and his skin feels hot. That pains my heart even more. And all the while, he keeps saying, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. You need me. The Baby One needs me. I'm so sorry." I tell him it's okay. Of course it's okay. People get sick. It's part of life.

For tonight, though, can I skip out on the vegetables? I'll eat the turkey and bread and even the silly fruitcake. Tonight, can I just sit back and admire the beauty of the dish? I'll eat my vegetables tomorrow, I promise. Just, please, not tonight.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Picture and 1,000 Words

The mountains stand high, and heavy, and large. They are majestic, yet not enough to impose. They stand alone, two peaks merged together and singing to the world. Not yet grown enough to blot out the sky, they reach high enough to speak of greatness. They begin to see and understand what it means to be great, and with every passing day they strive to reach it. All the while, they reach out, seeking for others who would be great. They seek to help, to test, to try. With stark, rocky faces, they proclaim to the world that theirs is no easy prize. “Come to greater heights!” the mountains cry. And then, as though it is a whisper on the wind, “I dare you to try... Come! Come!” Even the grass fears to grow on such slopes.

Yet, atop the mountains, where the sun shines down and sometime breezes gently stir, an oasis peers down upon the valleys. The mountain softens; grass covers the ground in a soft carpet. Rocks become resting places. Trees provide shade, and relief from the jagged lines and harsh edges. Voices seem to sing the glories of the world, the mountain, the day. The edges of paradise just reach over the mountain tops, beckoning to those below. “The climb may be hard, but the reward...,” it seems to say, promising joy to all who hazard the dangers below.

A few hardy trees, one here and one there, emerge from the richness above and march down the mountainside, gathering in clusters where they have overcome the rocky landscape. Down and down they go, gathering momentum and energy and strength and numbers. Eventually, the rocks give way and the trees begin to dominate. They clothe the mountain's foot and overtake the valley. The trees give shelter and strength to grasses and shrubs below, until the whole world seems to be green and growing. They march ever forward, covering the ground until the Earth itself seems a dark carpet of leaves, and branches, and growth, and life.

A cliff falls before them, almost sheer rock, sharp and angular. It is the last of the mountain, falling away. But the trees hold sway, now. They jump or climb or crawl down the cliff with fearless abandon, confidently marching forward. Their very presence etches away the stone, threatening the mountain at its roots. Those in the forefront march on, the mountain behind forgotten, as they tread new ground. With every step they sow destruction, stability, death, and life. Their roots plunge deep into the ground, scratching the surface of the roots the mountain has been growing for centuries. They suck the life out of the ground below, and it blooms and flowers in the world above. The mountain sees, and knows, and understands, and smiles. It has seen their like before.

The wind is still, today, in this struggle of life. Movement abounds, but no breeze stirs the leaves. No current of air whispers. It lies in wait, watching, dozing in the summer air. Today is not a day for play. Today belongs to the mountain.

The clouds above the mountain drift by, aggressive for being so few, searching fiercely for others of their kind. Their movements are slow, deliberate. They see the struggle below and know they will return, someday, to join the fray. But not today. Not today.

All the while, the sun above shines brightly, watching over his little world. In other places, he beats down with the relentless fervor of an angry god. But here, over this little mountain and this little valley, he smiles indulgently. They play such games, these children. They think themselves serious, and of meaning. They could not understand, even if he tried to tell them, that each pebble, each leaf means as much as an entire universe. No more than they could understand that each one means absolutely nothing. He had seen mountains and trees, and valleys, and clouds, and while neither the first nor the last, these are good, while they are still here.

The light brought down by the sun is pure, bright, untainted. It shines forth with the desire to bathe everything in beauty, and thus make beauty itself. It reaches the sky and becomes a brilliant, crystal blue. It touches the clouds, and the clouds become white, a pale reflection of the light itself. The oasis atop the mountain shows pale greens, accented by the deeper shades of trees. Clouds above mar the light, impede its path, and create darker patches in the grass. As the sun's rays fall ever farther, down onto the mountain face, the mountain reflects its inner soul. It is grey, tan, striped, ever changing. The trees attempt to cover the mountain's glory with patches of deep green, dark and vibrant. As they gather in strength, changing the landscape, so too do they change its color. The very light that glorifies them changes as it shines on the leaves and filters down through them. Though the hue is deep, rich, almost mysterious, the valley glows in the bath from the sun. Yet, under the cliff, the light is impeded once more. Below the cliff's face, and out of the mountain's shadow, where life teems thickest, the light seems to falter. Colors are still rich, still dark; they no longer glow. Light is eaten up. It is swallowed by those that cannot shine it back. The trees march ever forward, bringing more life, going where light cannot shine, taking strength from below, stealing it from above, and somehow inviting others to come.

To enter into the trees is to follow their path, to follow the light. It is to begin in the dark, to tread through the dark, through the life, and back. It is to go back to the beginning, back to the mountain, where the path is hardest, where the light shines bright and fierce, to reach toward great heights, to find the oasis, to reach for light itself.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mama Bear

We cannot go out yet, dear little one.
The world is too big, and you are too small.

The sky is so open, so big and so wide...

The winter is cold yet, baby of mine.
Stay here with me, and play and be warm.

The cave is so small, so dark and so close...

You've much to learn still, sweet precious girl.
We both must be strong, if we're to survive.

My stores melt away, and I have nothing left...

I will protect you, my innocent babe.
I will teach you, and love you, and send you away.

This time is precious; let's cuddle and sleep...