Tall, a poem

Tall  

Always tallest, from kindergarten to graduation

Big Laura” a dubious distinction bestowed by a teacher when there were two Laura’s

Clumsy in corrective shoes I despised

Didn’t want glasses, didn’t have a choice

Eventually I’ll grow out of this awkward phase, right?”

Flat-footed, frequently tripping, falling spectacularly

Gangly, long skinny stick-legs always in a tangle

Hovering over the heads of always-shorter-than-me friends

If I could be petite, would I want to be?

Just a thought…

Kinship with my younger sister, nearly as tall

Lope like a small pony” said Mom, drawing awareness to my strides

Making my best friend take three steps to one of mine as we walked to school

Not aware of it at the time

Oblivious to how little others noticed my stature

Pull in your tummy, stand up straight” Mom instructed

Quiet, shy, attempting to blend in

Regularly wishing boys would get their growth spurts

Surely you play basketball… ” a common and unoriginal assumption

Tall! All Miss America’s are tall” Mom pointed out as we watched televised pageants

Undeniable, though I was no beauty queen

Valued her intent all the same.

Wary of short boys who’s snide remarks I learned to ignore; their “short-comings” I accepted later

“X” marks the spot on the wall when at last I stopped growing

Youthful yet often mistaken for older

Zero chance that I can change my tallness, finally embracing it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A poem in the Abecedarian style, by Spence’s Girl, standing 6 ft 1/4 inches at my tallest…..

IMG_8738
If I had a penny for everytime I’ve heard this…..seriously.

 

 

Cup of Tea, a poem by Spence’s Girl

Tipper, up close and personal.
Tipper, up close and personal.

Cup of Tea

When did it start, this morning ritual? Rising earlier than necessary to awaken slowly, sipping a cup of tea
Starting another day, snuggling with a purring cat. Comfort. Stillness.
Sleep frequently elusive, restless for years.
Sipping tea, a chance to reflect and be grateful if only for a few minutes each day.

Starting another day, snuggling with a purring cat. Comfort. Stillness.
Wish I could stay here all day and feel this perfect peace, away from all the craziness in the world
Sipping tea, a chance to reflect and be grateful if only for a few minutes each day.
So lucky am I, I see it now.

Wish I could stay here all day and feel this perfect peace, away from all the craziness in the world
Lost in thought, wrapped in a little cocoon of warm, soothing elixir, this tea.
So lucky am I, I see it now.
The day begins in a safe place of reflection, reminding me I’m blessed.

Lost in thought, wrapped in a little cocoon of warm, soothing elixir, this tea.
Sleep frequently elusive, restless for years.
The day begins in a safe place of reflection, reminding me I’m blessed.
When did it start, this morning ritual? Rising earlier than necessary to awaken slowly, sipping a cup of tea.

High Wire

DSCN0877

High Wire
Appearances are deceiving
Balanced on a wire
Creating an illusion
Defying possibilities
Eager to please
Frightened yet exhilarated
Giving myself a push
Hoping for the best
Imagining the worst
Just….hold…steady
Keening left, then right
Losing my footing for a moment
Mastering and memorizing where I need to be
Not caring if I fail
Open to falling
Positioned for landing
Quiet…steady
Ready
Spin
Turn
Unsure about that last step
Vertigo
What was I thinking?
X-rays may be needed
Your mother warned you about taking risks
Zoom, zap, splat!

an original Abecedarian poem by Spence’s Girl

Losing the Ability to Sleep

IMG_5078 2

For today’s Writing 101 prompt, we were to compose the first in a three-part series about loss, taking any direction that we choose.

Losing the Ability to Sleep

For most of my life, I’ve felt like I need eight hours of sleep but that ten or twelve hours would be even better.  As a child, I have memories of fighting nap time and bed time.  To know then what I learned later.  NEVER EVER PASS UP A CHANCE TO SLEEP.  And as a child, the ability to fall asleep is organic.  Oh to go back and catch up!

As a young adult, living on my own, I chose to work full days then party till the wee hours.  This left me with very little sleep but adrenaline and youth got me through those years.

Fast forward to my mid-thirties when the stress of watching my employee (at the time a friend) have a total breakdown over a period of months rendered me sleepless.  She became unrecognizable and despite seeking professional help, dangerous and toxic to everyone around her.  Even after changing jobs and ending that “relationship”, I was stuck in a cycle of insomnia that lasted for nearly twenty years.

Looking for a solution I tried everything. I bought a new bed.  A hot tub.  Did a sleep study.  Tried Ambien, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds.  The sleep study had determined that I never fell into REM sleep, that I would jerk awake repeatedly all night long.  I felt like a zombie.  I held down a job (in sales no less) that took every ounce of energy to stay focused, even with 1-2 hours total sleep.  I felt desperate.

The one respite that started me back on track were vacations in which I could fall back into a pattern of deep sleep and dreaming.  During the years Spence and I traveled to Costa Rica, we would come back midday, take a cool shower followed by a siesta.  Siestas – best idea ever!  Never one to be able to sleep during the day, I found I could do it then because there was no pressure to wake up by a certain time.

In recent years, I’ve been better.  Work related stress would trigger restless nights but I didn’t slip back into longterm patterns.  Retiring in February 2014 was the biggest turning point.  Now if I woke up in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t fret about it.  I would either grab my Kindle or meditate knowing that the clock didn’t dictate my life and the alarm wouldn’t go off just as I drifted into deep sleep.

I wrote a poem last year about insomnia and though it appears elsewhere on my blog, felt I’d share it again here.

Insomnia

When you are young, sleep comes naturally, effortlessly.
Falling into bed, asleep on impact.
When did it start? Can’t shut off the thoughts in my monkey brain.
Oh my, why did I ever say no to a nap?

Falling into bed, asleep on impact.
So many problems to be solved, hurts to be healed, staring at the clock.
Oh my, why did I ever say no to a nap?
Tick tock, tick tock, sleep eludes me, so tired yet so wired.

Peace of mind restored, letting go, accepting what I cannot change.
When did it start? Can’t shut off the thoughts in my monkey brain.
Gratitude as sleep returns, how I now cherish a rest-filled night.
When you are young, sleep comes naturally, effortlessly.

Thoughts on marriage.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/e04/77998624/files/2014/12/img_4037.jpg

Thoughts on Marriage

I married the first time at 21.
Three separations.
Divorced at 24.
At 21, I’d married the wrong man.

Grateful for having lived on my own, got the gumption to leave.
Not my last mistake.
Sadly, though not without fond memories of my single exploits.
Live and learn.

At 35, quite by accident or by fate, kissed by Spence.
Knew through friends.
Older than me.
Funny, complicated, worth it.

At 53, married Spence.
Not rushing into things
Scared, until I wasn’t.
Marriage – not so scary, feel protective and nurturing.

At 58, retired.
Happy, cozy, can’t believe this is my life.
Marriage is worth all efforts; each day is an adventure with Spence.
Somedays more than others.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Lion or Fox? That is the question…..

IMG_3954
I dedicate this post to Jules who posed the question in the first place and has gotten me to explore my mind, my soul and the universe in which I exist. As a Lion.

Yesterday was my yoga class with Jules from whom I take private instruction every two weeks. She is my teacher, guru and guide, responsible for my increased physical capacity as well as the expansion of my mind.  She is light, love and inspiration, always positive. Besides time on the mat our time encompasses meditation, chanting and discussion of yoga philosophy. This time Jules presented a challenge to me, along with a pen and a legal pad. While she read a brief story, I was asked to consider as I listened, “Am I a Lion or a Fox.” I was then asked to write which I was and why. While it was a spontaneous exercise, it was surprisingly revealing and spot-on.

This is what I wrote in case you’d like to read it.  And hey, ask yourself – which are you?

I am a Lion

Like a Lion, I take charge of things; it is and has been my role to be a leader.

A lion is decisive and watchful, as am I.  

Out of necessity, the lion provides (and in my case) prepares the food for others. 

As a Lion, I’m fiercely protective of my family and friends.  I can roar when provoked but take measures not to show my claws, unless there is good reason to do so.

Like a Lion, I’m wise, sought out for my knowledge and I’m a survivor. 

I’ve created a warm and comfortable “den”and share it with others with whom I feel a kinship.  

I’ve created a safe haven for a colony of feral cats, providing food, water, shelter. While a Fox might threaten them, I ward off threats.  Sometimes with a roar.  

The Milkman and the Mountain

photo
Traveling in Costa Rica

The Milkman and the Mountain

Just after daybreak I could hear him approaching in the distance.

Clip clop, clip clop – then the subtle ring of a silver bell. Standing tall, like the mountains behind him, on the bed of a flatbed wagon pulled by a mule. Summoned by that bell, women in the barrio would bring their coins and a vessel – a bowl, a pitcher, to their gate at the roadside. Ramrod straight, the milkman would dip his ladle into a tall metal canister and bring out the desired quantity at each stop. His balance was impeccable, never faltering as he navigated the cart along the main road, traffic speeding by.

Clip clop, clip clop, stop, ring, ladle and repeat.

It was difficult to guess his age, I suspected he appeared older as did most of the men in this country. Skin weathered as brown and terra cotta red as those glorious mountains in the backdrop and the dust kicked up and swirling from vehicles racing by. Muscular, wiry, wizened as this land, his daily routine, starting before dawn and producing a miniscule income. And yet, he stood proudly in the knowledge that he was providing a vital service to the families counting on his delivery.

I made a point of rising earlier than usual each morning and taking my tea on our porch along his route. Clip clop, clip clop, stop, ring, he was near. I would wait and catch his eye as he passed.

“Adios” I would offer, “Adios” he would reply with a gentle smile.