This is been an exhausting week for no particular reason. Maybe it’s the weather or maybe it’s the drop in adrenalin after the election or maybe it’s the dreaded “pandemic fatigue” (dun, dun, duuuunnnn). Or maybe it’s the fact that the holidays are coming and there isn’t that general sense of holiday cheer or “peace on earth and goodwill to all” that usually comes this time of year.
Whatever it is, maybe curiosity – as in wondering, observing and reflecting – is the answer to opening our hearts again to the depth of beauty and love that resides in our world, including the people around us.
It is my honor and pleasure to announce that three of my poems have been selected to appear in the anthology, As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad. This collection focuses on the unprecedented happenings in 2020 including reflections about the COVID-19 Pandemic and it’s repercussions and the Black Lives Matter movement. This is an international gathering of poets and artists from ten countries including 30 states from the USA.
I am most grateful to the team of inspirational editors and writers at Indie Blu(e) for the opportunity to share my work with a wider audience. The book is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.
A late submission for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #251 – Mathematics. This was a hard word to wax poetic about, especially as I was quite distracted by the presidential election last week. The electoral votes were stuck on 253 for five whole days! I have to admit, I was glued to CNN, waiting to see if a breakthrough would come at 3 AM. It was all for naught as the votes from Pennsylvania were announced in Joe Biden’s favor relatively early on Saturday night. This poem captures some of my thoughts during this waiting period.
Despite the announcement from all major news outlets that Joe Biden is the president-elect of the United States of America and Kamala Harris is the first biracial woman vice-president-elect (but not the last as she said in her victory speech), the results won’t be official until the electoral college cast their votes on Dec 14, 2020 and Congress counts the votes and announces the winner on Jan 6, 2021 (did you know this process? I don’t think I ever paid it much attention until this year). So, we can’t fully celebrate yet since this transition period is already looking like it will be fraught with drama – just add it to the numerous stories of why the current White House occupant does not befit the office of the presidency.
I remain hopeful, but still very much sleep deprived. The democratic soul of the United States of America hangs in the balance.
Baby pandas are born small, weak. They are pink and blind. If there is more than one born (and often times there are) the mother panda must chose one to care for since she doesn’t have the resources to support both. Pandas are the opposite of rabbits – they do not mate often, have long gestation periods, and can only care for one baby at a time. They rely on one food source (bamboo) and are not known as the most aggressive animals (no matter what the movie “Kung Fu Panda” might have you believe).
Yet they have become a symbol of hope, a symbol of what humans can accomplish if they work to bring nature back into balance instead of continuing to destroy for the sake of “progress”.
As the pandemic progressed, it makes me wonder where are the “pandas” in my life? Where else do I have to put in work to keep that part of my life alive? What about in yours?
I don’t know what will happen to the United States of America on Nov. 4th. At this point, I am in that deep, dark place, the flame that burns inside me is sputtering. I’ve written postcards, talked to people about why I support these candidates, volunteered time in organizations that support my vision of the USA. I’ve already hand delivered my ballot. Now, I am waiting and searching for that window…
Here is my second response to Sadje’s What Do You See #51 photo prompt. This double nonet focused on the stars in the background and depicts another aspect of parenting during a pandemic. This one is has a “happier” tone. (Yes, I am making an effort to not be so doom and gloom on my blog. Cue rainbow farting unicorns…or not…)
I’ve been trying to make sure that each of my kids are getting some one-on-one time and that we are doing some special things to break up the monotony. I think everyone can agree that the feelings of anxiety, helplessness and isolation have increased during the past six months since pandemic safety measures have been in place here in the USA. And it doesn’t look like these precautions are going away any time soon – numbers of coronavirus cases are again increasing all over the country.
This pandemic – this entire year of 2020 – has been anything but normal. But, I have this crazy idea that, for my family, I want it to be special for positive reasons as well as negative. I want my kids to look back on this year and say, “Yes, we missed a whole year of ‘real’ school, we missed being with friends and family, we missed out on family trips and extracurricular activities, but….we got to stay up late and watch movies, we made some really yummy meals together, I learned a new skill, I started a new hobby, my siblings and I made up cool games, I realized I loved doing laundry…” OK – maybe not that last one, but I can hope…
And that’s the other thing I want my kids to remember from the year 2020 – that there is always hope, that they are resilient, and that together, we can still make the world a better place.
The sound of reality heavily sighs with slumped shoulders and sits in front of the TV, turning on a show it’s seen before
The feel of escape vibrates
The feel of reality punches the gut with the realization that time should be given to a small hand and not a small hand held device
I am all thumbs, fumbling,
dropping the screen
dropping down next to you
Putting my face in front of your face
Seeing, listening, loving
An “early” post (at least for me!) for Sadje’s What Do You See #51 picture prompt. The picture above sent my mind in two directions. This is probably the first time I worked on two poems at the same time! I’ll post my second poem after this one.
This picture intrigued me because of the hands. The one on the table seemed desperate, as if reaching the hour glass was a final act. As someone who is chronically late, I can say that time and I are not friends. I thought that being at home and not having outside obligations due to the pandemic would gift me a lot of time to write and run and do all the other things that I told myself I would do if “I had more time.”
That hasn’t been the case.
Time seems to be going faster despite the fact that all the days are blending together. From the time I wake up to when I go to bed (which is pretty late), I’m on the “go” while staying at home. And since all the kids are at home with me, I am acutely aware of how much time I am spending on activities that I would have usually gotten done while they are in school, versus the time and attention I am giving to them during the day. Some times it’s more or less even, some days it’s weighted to one side.
I am that hand on the table, grasping for more time yet knowing it will be taken away from me and never returned.
I was three seconds late to add this poem to Mr. Linky for Sarah at dVerse’s Tuesday Poetics. Thank goodness for Open Link Night tonight! I had never heard of the website what3words, but it is absolutely brilliant what the developers did! They gave each 3 meter square in the world a unique 3 word identifier. Sarah gave us a list of 3 word identifiers to chose from to be our prompt for this poem.
I chose the first set, “party.intent.points” and found myself on a traffic island in London, at the corner of Glasshouse St. and Regent St. near Picadilly. After zooming out, I discovered that Glasshouse St actually intersects Regent St at it’s other end. And a poem was born!
I really liked this prompt and might go back to this website for more inspiration. Of course, nothing beats the inspiration of my fellow bloggers here on WordPress! While London isn’t exactly an “island getaway,” this prompt and the “armchair trip” I went on was a welcome reprieve.
I am so late for the September runfession! But I committed to documenting my monthly running achievements so here it is. Thanks again for to Marcia for this forum. I’ve read the other runfessions and definitely feel like a bump on a log this month.
Forgive me Nike for I have sinned…
I runfess…I definitely did not “just do it” this past month. Only thirty-seven miles! I remember when I used to do that in a week! Maybe 100 miles was a reach for September considering I had to get the kids started with school. My goal this month: 50 miles.
I runfess…I actually have two injuries – one running related – that has halted my ability to do strength training. The running related one is tennis elbow. You may be wondering how I hurt my elbow running – well, it’s a repeated use injury which started at last year’s Hershey Half Marathon where I carried a water bottle in my right hand in the pouring rain. Since that day, my elbow has been stiff and locks up and my forearm has weakness. This past spring, I had to take a steroid shot to alleviate some the pain but it’s returned. My other injury is a shoulder injury from doing too many mountain climbers (also from last summer when I was working with a personal trainer). Needless to say, I cannot do curls or overhead raises or anything involving any range of motion with my arms at this time.
I runfess…despite these setbacks, I am loving this fall weather and reading about how much running all the other women in my SRTT running group are doing. While we still haven’t done any official group runs, there have been some women who have gotten together for socially distant running. I miss running with my BRF and all the other awesome mother runners in our group! Spending time with other strong women was really something that motivated me and “filled my bucket.” My goal this month is to reconnect with my running tribe – whether it’s virtually or with some socially distant runs.
Whew…OK, that wasn’t too bad! I am always aware about not posting running related things on my blog. I feel my brain space has been taking up with pandemic parenting, issues of social/racial justice and now, getting people to vote in the upcoming USA elections.
I realize my lens has shifted – as evidenced by my haiku, even a beautiful walk in the country is colored by the history of racism and sexism in this country.
I would love to refocus on my running and health, but there just seems to be too many other important things happening that grabs my attention right now. I’m trying for balance as the scales tip all the way in one direction and then the other.
On November 3rd, 2020, I hope the universe realigns itself and gets back on course so I can get back on track.