I’m just lucky that way…

While I was scrub-a-dubbing in the shower the other morning  my mind was swirling and  tossing with  my reaction to something I had just read. Then it coalesced into – No everybody doesn’t.

Everybody doesn’t need “Nature’ – to interact with, to be out in it. Everybody doesn’t find it soothing, or rejuvenating.

Everybody doesn’t like or need Everything.

What I’m lucky with is a strong sense of self. My psychotherapist friend commented on that aspect of me. Given my childhood one would think I would be the last person on the planet to have that trait – and yet I do.

Not to the point of me reeking with self-confidence. Oh no, because if I did my life would have turned out very differently. But to the point that I know ME. And I’m really confident in who I am. And that who I am is exactly right.

You know my “About Me” page – “The first thing you should know about me is that I am not YOU. A lot more will make sense after that.”

So all that Nature stuff that philosophers thru the ages have touted, and all those annoying positivity people keep throwing in people’s faces, just makes me twitch and pisses me off. Guess what world – some of us enjoy Nature from the inside of the window.

I’m stressed and itchy and twitchy. No I don’t want to go for a walk – anywhere. I don’t want to go outside. I certainly DON’T WANT to go for a walk in the park or the woods or even around the block. As much as I like walking I’ve always looked at it as transportation – a way to get myself from one place to another. Is it enjoyable? Sometimes, and sometimes it is just expedient. It is in no way soothing, unstressful or anything more positive than getting where I need to go. Period.

I learned the hard way that looking out my window and seeing sky and trees is a total necessity to my mental health and well-being. The operative phrase here is ‘looking out the window’. 

While I am obsessed with light, sunrises and sunsets don’t really interest me. One more photograph of a red sunset, oooh’d and ahh’d over leaves me ho-humming. Unless there is some incredible play of light, which there usually isn’t. Seen one sunset/sunrise, seen ’em all. (Inside joke there.)

Years ago, when I lived in New York City, a friend asked why I never got out of the city for a country weekend. I asked “Why would I? What does the country have that NYC doesn’t” Central Park was always enough ‘country’ for me.

And quiet? I treasure quiet. Do you not know how quiet a city can be? Spookily quiet. Comfortingly quiet. Safe and cozily quiet. The most amazing moments of peace for me was an early Sunday morning, after a snowstorm, standing in the middle of Park Avenue, no cars, no people, twinkle lights on the scraggly trees along the median. The world seemed to have stopped and I was the only one in it – Heaven! So brilliant that I can conjure the scene and the feeling even now.

My point? So many people are not as lucky as I. They look outward for clues and cues to who they should be. And they rarely come up with anything that makes them feel good about who they are. Who they really are. It sucks their self-confidence from their souls.

When you write about ‘everybody’ you are contributing to this soul-sucking. Because they think you know better because “everybody’.  I need the word ‘everybody‘ (and that includes ‘everyone’) to be stricken from the language. It pisses me off!

You want to talk about what brings you pleasure and joy! By all means, I’d really like to know.  But to insinuate that those things should bring me pleasure and joy? You might want to re-think that. Please re-think that. I won’t rain on your parade, don’t rain on mine.

Please make it about YOU. Your likes,dislikes, pleasures and joy. Yours. Not mine or anyone elses. Not everyone’s. Or everybody’s. YOURS.

I can appreciate without wanting or needing. I love your enthusiasms, please respect mine. We can learn from one another without embracing the other’s point of view.

There is no ‘one size fits all’. There is no one answer. But there is the one YOU.

I hate the phrase “You do you” – it drips with sarcasm and dismissiveness, at least that’s the way I hear it. But there is some truth to it – said kindly and sincerely.

Appreciate yourself. Trust what makes you happy. Even if it seems like no one else shares your happy. Because there IS someone else who does.

Why do we have our best ideas in the shower? I know I do. My best writing gets done in the shower.

December in October

We’re in our 5th day of rain and December temperatures. At 3pm it’s 54º – that’s the average temperature here in December.  October temperatures are supposed to average around 70º – so brrr!

Staring out the window I thought – Christmas. But the light is wrong. It’s not December light.  I’m very aware of how the light changes from month to month, season to season – how about you?

I actually wrote a poem about the changing of the light –

Nov 26, 2013


I sit at the dining room table with the lights off.
Staring out the window, the November light is Decemberish.
And then I remember that December is only 4 days away.

It is a sort of rainy, sort of cold day.
It is sort of an uneasy day.

It is 2 o’clock in the afternoon as
I sit at the dining room table
with the lights off – it feels so much later.

But even tho the November light seems
like December, the day does not.
I think December does not feel so unsettled.
But I don’t remember.

I can feel light, I experience light, its weight and substance.
I can smell light and sometimes I think I can hold light.
Light talks to me and tells me stories.

Today the light tells me a story of December
Of darker days and longer nights
Until the subtle shift. December light whispers

Why can’t I remember how December light feels?

We’ve been living here 10 years now and I am so over this place but not the view from my windows…

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

 There is a magnolia tree in the front of my building but way over to the end of the building – a spot which I rarely see. Today I actually went for a walk (more about that later). I left the building through the rear and come back through the front and lo and behold there were a few blossoms left – it is at the end of the magnolia blooming season. This is the first time in 10 years I have ever seen that tree in bloom. The building is 8 stories high and the tree goes beyond the roof line, as well as it being rooted below the first story base – so this is a substantial tree – easily 80 feet tall (if not more). It is, minimally 60 years old. I tried to snap off one of the remaining blooms but the branches are so thick it was impossible. Those branches aren’t ‘snapping off’ any time soon!

Remember in my last post (Thursday) I mentioned some books I was wait-listed for from my local public library? Well, wouldn’t you know it Friday morning I got notice that one was available for download and then Friday night I received notice that another was available. So – two new books in one day. I get to keep the books for 21 days so no problem about finishing them. The other books I’m reading are free ebooks from various sources and they will keep. 

I am excited about the first book! Initially I wasn’t thrilled. It wasn’t until page 26 that I started to fall in love. 20 pages after that and I’m obsessed. 

The book is “The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich. You might want to read a bit about the author. I’d skip the review. I’m only on page 46 and aspects addressed in the reviews I haven’t gotten to yet – not deep enough into the book to make all those connections.

But the fun part for me is – the story’s central location is a bookstore owned by Louise Erdrich! And that is true. The author does own a bookstore called Birchbark Books in Minneapolis. Plus – bookstore! Booklovers! Because the bookstore specializes in Native American/Indigenous books I’m not familiar with most of the authors but I’m making lists! 

Going by the reviews (I’ve read several) I don’t know how long I will stay in love with this book but for now…  

And now time to toddle off and get back to reading…

And a glorious good morning to you!

 After 3 or 4 days of 90+ temps and yesterday’s awesome thunderstorms (yes, I love thunderstorms) Monday has dawned cool and crisp. Not all that sunny yet (I’m typing this at 8:30am, been up since 5:30am),  but the sky is a light blue with streaks of light clouds – 

Just a heavenly day – if only every day could be like this – weatherwise. I could just sit here and look out the window all day. The trees are crazy full and lush, swaying in a light breeze and the birds are very, very chatty. Usually they are off to “work” by this time of the day but they seem to have decided to stay home and hang out.

I’ve already done the laundry so aside from some cooking in the middle of the day, I’m free and clear. It’s a good day to make cornbread. This will be the fourth week in a row and I finally figured out why the first two batches were not all that they should have been. 

First time not only was my baking powder old but I had bought the wrong corn meal (white instead of yellow and some weird brand – my grocery store is still low on stock of everything – that’s been going on now for two years *sigh*). And one other thing.

Second time out I had the good corn meal, fresh baking powder but still – not the best result. Then I had my aha moment. Salt! I was using the wrong salt. 

“How could salt be wrong” you say. Well, I’ll tell ya. 

I’m not a big salt user, I don’t like it and it’s bad for my blood pressure. I switched to coarse Kosher salt some time ago. When I was making the cornbread the first time around I wondered if Kosher salt would work in baking. 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt weighs less than an equal amount of regular table salt. Also Kosher salt is less salty. I had that in the back of my mind and used a bit more but still. 

Last batch of cornbread I had the good cornmeal, the fresh baking powder and regular table salt and voilà – perfect cornbread!

I’ll leave you with a glimpse of what’s distracting me this morning –