Micro-Retreat

Months of stressful multitasking has left my mind and body depleted. It took extraordinary planning to carve out a few precious hours. Could a short break have a notable effect on my spirit?

After a parent teacher meeting, I take the slow way home, a road that winds through woods and fields.  I let my heart lead me, took the some time off from work, took my last look at emails and social media, and disabled most phone alerts.

Why did I have so many alerts set for things that don’t matter? Isn’t there enough urgency in the world without manufacturing more?

After creating some distance from the demands of my life, I head to the ocean, armed with everything I needed: good coffee, sunglasses, a pad of paper and a pen.

I set out on more winding roads. April foliage looks bare but the start of life is all around. You can smell it in the air.

As I turned a corner, the ocean came into the view. The waves were slate with a soft baby blue skimming the surface. A mist rose blurring the boundary between liquid and gas, softening the rocky edge of a pine topped island. Oh to live on a spot of land surrounded  by the beating ocean.

Each turn of my wheel, I feel more and more giddy. I called to myself to keep this real. Is it possible that the ocean means this much to me?

Perhaps it can. Perhaps the code of the waters are embedded in my DNA.

 

On the edge of the beach, I notice a gray haired woman with a white cane. If I lose my sight, I will still come to the ocean. When I open the car door, a rush of cold sea air greets me. I take a deep breath and taste kelp. The woman’s face turns to the sound of my car door closing. I walk up and greet her. Her face radiates with the love of the ocean. She cannot see that mine does as well. I talk about the sounds, and smells and cold air. I want to share my joy in with her in the ways she knows the shore.

I sit on the sand and close my eyes and the sound of the waves become more complex. The sun is warm on my face. The air cold.

Yes. Even without sight I would love this place.

I open my eyes. The churning of the sea makes me feel stable. Blues and greens mixing with white. The rhythm matches my breath. I catch a glimpse of larger waves through the rocks. I want to get closer. I take my shoes off and walk along the beach.

I climb the steps that take me to the tops of the headlands and walk high above the sea. I am reminded of Mendocino though the scale of the Atlantic cliffs are much smaller.

I see a sign and wonder is this a trail marker or a warning.

The sounds of the waves deepen. I walk to the end of the point and sit cautiously on the edge.

I can feel my hour winding down. Slowly, like one rises from a massage, I prepare to rejoin the busy world.

I walk along the path listening to the birds signing in the barren branches.

In the car, I turn back only the most essential alerts.

And I answer my own question. A well planned hour can have a notable effect on my spirit.

via Daily Prompt: Notable

They looked for angels

They looked for glistening silver wings. They looked for radiance. They listened for voices so beautiful their throats would clench.

They overlooked their frowning neighbor who volunteered in the homeless shelter on the weekends.

They looked for the guardians that would give them their heart’s desire. They looked for signs that their lives were charmed. They listened for a wisdom greater than their own.

They overlooked the kind and gentle support they offered to the tantrumming child that gave his mother a few moments to compose .

They looked for majestic and brilliant beings and overlooked the angels in the mirrors.

—–

This morning thinking of what life would be like if we all explored the angelic within ourselves and others.

Inspired by the daily prompt : explore

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/explore/”>Explore</a&gt;

Mirrors

Everyone has a doppelgänger right?

But what if you kept seeing your face over and over again through history. What if every time you travelled you would catch your face peering back in surprise through curtains, on the other side of shop windows.

Surface resemblances have nothing to do with genetics you tell yourself. But how could my features be replicated so often in so many places.

I am not insane.

Other people have noticed. I’ve been chased down down the street hearing another’s name. When caught I turn my face to meet their eyes, expecting the pursuer to realize they do not know me.

Instead of excuse me, they continue to babble about things I know nothing about.

I have even shown my passport to strangers to convince them I am not their friend playing a prank or avoiding them.

Their expressions are always a mix of astonishment and confusion.

I am not a clone.

I have parents, friends and a childhood memories. I look like my parents and grandparents but not EXACTLY like them (in case you are trying to help me piece this mystery together). As far as I can tell, my doppelgängers have rich and verifiable histories. They did not just show up on this earth fully formed organ factories. We are all alike.

Statisticians say the likelihood of one random non related genetic twin pair is infinitesimal that it nearly a zero probability. Of course, you do not have to be genetically identical to bear a striking resemblance to another.

I am not an Android.

Scientists and inventors could create hundreds of models of a single human and program memories. Maybe this is all an illusion? But this theory falls flat. I bleed. And besides, I am terrible with technology. And in case you would think that perhaps I am the original and my doppelgängers are copies, I must tell you that is not likely. I have no attributes that would make me worthy of such mimicry.

—–

A quick vignette inspired by today’s daily prompt, identical.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/identical/”>Identical</a&gt;

Perhaps it will become the start of something longer.

Her hands

Always lumpy.

Long slender fingers with unsightly large joints.

Flexible. Too flexible. Tips curved up slightly.

Always chewed and bitten. Cuticles, not nails.

Sometimes calloused.

Always dry.

Now with scars from gardening. From cooking. From art.

Now spotted from brilliant sun light while biking. While kayaking.

Now wrinkled from years passing. Quickly. Far too quickly.

Always gentle.

——–


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/grasp/”>Grasp</a&gt;

George and his sudden success

The poetry world was abuzz. Out of nowhere George was thrust into the public stage. They said he was a quiet man who lived in a small farmhouse in Maine. (Or was it Vermont? Does it matter?)

They say his word choice is exquisite and the effects of the precise order and pacing of his pieces are almost alchemical.

They say his poetry emerges fully formed while milking cows or tending to his fields or some other farm-like task.

(He lives in a colonial in an affluent suburb just outside of Boston.)

He simply comes into his cottage, cheeks rosy from the cold and pulls up a chair next to his wife, Grace, who is usually kneading bread.

“Honey” he says. “Guess what I was thinking.”

Usually she lets out a shriek.

“Not another word George!” She cries and she brushes the flour off her hands. Bits cover her cotton apron but she knows he’s going to say something monumental so she puts vanity aside.

She pulls the shopping list from their icebox and grabs a pencil. She looks intently at him.

“Now George. I’m ready”

And words flow from his mouth in their finished state. Grace embraces him with joy, tucks the scrap of poetry away and then makes him a cup of coffee.

(After his morning stroll, George passes Grace on her way to the office. They embrace briefly. He then makes a coffee and settles into his office for a few hours before heading off to his job. He choses each word carefully, sometimes thumbing through an dog-eared thesaurus that he kept from his undergraduate days. He considered rewrites to be the key to a tight, well-crafted piece. Generally he only shares his work with his editor but occasionally he will read aloud the final drafts to Grace over a glass of wine. Her feedback is disappointing to say the least. Quite honestly, she doesn’t know what to say. Poetry is not really her thing.)

They say Grace collected the scraps of poetry in a coupon envelope and drove their old pick up to New York to meet with the publisher of a prestigious magazine. The editors thought it would be a fun diversion to see the work she held in her chapped, calloused hands. She trembled slightly when she walked up to the polished conference room table. Her voice was clear and true as she read George poetry. The editor wept silently. They published his work in the next issue.

(George has submitted his work consistently for nearly a decade. He attended workshops, networked, and most importantly honed his skills. He looked at each piece with a critical eye. He was systematic in his approach. He never let the rejections get him down. He felt each no brought him closer to his first yes. Then one day, the yes finally arrived. A prestigious magazine was going to publish him in their next issue.)

George was an instant success.

———

Thinking about hard work and inspired by the daily prompt, suddenly.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/suddenly/”>Suddenly</a&gt;

All the things he may not know

I wonder if he knows that I drive fast on the highway singing at the full volume to songs new and old. The songs I sing boldly proclaim my feelings for him.

I wonder if he knows that I mostly only write in my journals when I am angry. The words he would find scattered around do not tell the story of my love.

I wonder if he knows that I both love and fear the passing years. A graying  beard and laugh lines suits him well.

——-

Inspired by my love and the daily prompt: wonder.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/wonder/”>Wonder</a&gt;

Messy

The conference room was glorious. One wall of windows looked onto the bay. White sails sparked on the brilliant blue water. A pastel patchwork of houses adorned the hills. From here the city looked pristine.

Of course, she knew that appearances can be deceiving. People love to believe in the smooth glossy perfection.

She gave them what they wanted. Curls tamed into a smooth professional spunky bob. That horrible hand drawn tattoo on her collarbone expertly concealed with scar hiding make up.

She chose a cream suit, the only concession to the artfulness of her page existence was an on trend silk blouse. Gone were the layers of jewelry that brought music to every gesture. Gone were the long auburn curls and the brightly layered scarves, blouses and skirts.

The bird of paradise was now a appeared to be a dove.

Oh who was she kidding. She was never a bird of paradise, she was a raptor. A soaring raptor who caught the up drafts and soared high over the golden headlands seeking pray in the fog cooled earth below.

—–

Today’s prompt inspired me to rewrite the opening of a longer piece.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/messy/”>Messy</a&gt;