Well, if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know my poetry and prose usually revolve around my identities as a mother and runner. This quadrille is no exception!
The school year has started for all my kids, even my preschooler is in three day PreK. Yet despite having three days “all by myself,” I find myself still running out of time, running late, running from appointment to appointment. I’ve signed up to help out at their school and at our church while training for a race, writing and keeping up with household duties. This might not be a lot for other people, but it’s a lot for me. I’ve been thinking about going back to work outside the home but where would I fit that in? That “nick” of time is not truly enough.
Her voice bounced off the yellow wallpaper,
Reverberating with strength and wisdom,
Uplifting the mahogany tones
In the old-fashioned design.
She refused to allow the surround to distract her,
Refused to explain her powerful gift.
She rose above inert ideas Owning her freed self.
Toni Morrison died this past Monday, leaving behind an unapologetic legacy of literature centering Black American lives. She spoke candidly about racism in America, calling its function a “distraction” (read more here).
I wrote this quadrille thinking of my two favorite islands – Maui (where the picture was taken) and Martha’s Vineyard. We’ve had lovely vacations in both these islands. They are vastly different in topography yet both bring a sense of peace and contentment – that “Hakuna Matata” feeling. Maybe it’s the sun on my skin or the smell of the sea or the gentle whisper of the waves that makes food taste better, colors look more vibrant, love feel deeper. I search for this during cold winter days.
In this brown arid place
Where the sun casts long shadows
On its back and forth trip
Your own form
Separate from mine
One sparkling with
No longer up my sleeve
Up the ante
We visited the Ghost Ranch in Santa Fe, NM and took a trail ride to visit the locations that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe’s landscape paintings in the later years of her life. The landscape there is breathtaking and I can see why O’Keeffe left New York to settle here. My daughter impressed our guide with her horse riding skills.
This is the first time we’ve done a trip alone together. It was refreshing getting to know my “tween” – seeing her not as my little baby girl, but as a young woman coming into her own, forming her own opinions and voicing them, to see her confident and challenge herself. She took the lead – holding my hand when she wanted to and then letting go when she didn’t. How well she knew the game!
In the deep, he lives
Waiting for the cue to waken
Up he creeps, with
Gentle footsteps of the mind
Escaping out of my mouth
With hurt, anger and a bit of glee
Damning you as wrong and
Me as the troll he is.
The picture is of a book I found at Barnes and Noble. No, the “troll” is not a fart! It’s something worse, something that ruins days and can make a person question their self-worth, their place in life. Sometimes this troll can even endanger a person’s life. What is the name of this troll?
PS – If you have this troll (I know some of you might keep it in Facebook or Twitter), you can make apology cards for the occasions it comes out and sell it at Barnes and Noble for $14.99.
Another serendipitous meeting of prompts that helped me to express my thoughts about completing the Taji100. “Complete” might be too strong of a word since I am no where near the 100 miles I was supposed to run for this challenge during February. Between snow days and hubby traveling, finding the time to run was more difficult that usual. Coupled with freezing weather, I just couldn’t bring myself to run with the stroller either – Mommy guilt: it’s ok if I’m running in the freezing cold but I don’t want to put my child through that.
Still, I think about all the men and women in the military who suffer in heat and cold and other uncomfortable (to put it mildly) situations all over the world. I know my difficulties are nothing compared to the trials of being active military.
I asked one of my friends who was in the Army how he can run so fast. His answer was, “You learn to run fast when someone is shooting at you.”
My personal goal now is to run 50 miles before February 28. Yes, I know that’s tomorrow…I’m going out for a 10-15 mile run right after I post this. It’s 25 degrees out but at least there aren’t snipers in my neighborhood.
This sensuous poem is not my usual style. As a mom, first and foremost, this aspect of my being is usually lost under layers of laundry, piles of dishes and miles of after- school chauffeuring.
One aspect of my husband that I am most thankful for is that he hasn’t forgotten this part of me. He finds me under all those layers and reminds me that I am still a desirable woman; that because I have brought life into this world – into his world – that it makes me more beautiful, more wanted, more than enough. So this Valentine Quadrille is dedicated to TKD for remembering and loving all my changing topography. ❤️❤️
As with a lot of people, I posted last week my health goals for the year. So despite the 30 degree weather, I went for a short run by myself while my kids were at their horse riding lessons. It was so cold that my breath never warmed up enough for me to see it, but I did feel pretty bada$$ running in the cold. Like I was a real runner and nothing was going to stop me from a run.
Of course, I am a “real runner” but my recent spate of not prioritizing running has made me feel somewhat of an imposter. I mean, isn’t family supposed to come before running? And what about my passion of writing? What I’m really striving for is balance! Not the sometimes elusive scale balance (holding an ice cream cone in each hand does not a balanced scale make!) but the even more rare, life balance. Where, oh where, is that life balance? Maybe it’s hiding under the running shoes….