20 April 2018

And Then - Poetry Month

You can find nearly anything on Pinterest.  Finding poetry was something I didn't expect.  I admit that I haven't researched the poet, which is unlike me.  I research everything.  But I guess I want to have a reaction to the poetry instead of to the poet or who they are.

The poems are predominately sad in nature, I think.  But I love the imagery. If you're inclined to sad, it can be good or it can be triggering.  

17 April 2018

I Found Bad Wolf

I am unsure if it's a regional thing or not but placing painted rocks around the community for folks to find has become a thing.  I've a few facebook friends who participate so that's about the extent of my knowledge.  I believe you're supposed to pay it forward if you find a rock, but it's okay if you don't.

I often see the painted rocks on social media and marvel at them. It's one of those things that one admires and thinks would be fun but then immediately forgets about. 


Because things have been stressful and unfun family-wise, Kevin and I have been doing random things just to break the stress.  Last Saturday was a trip to his work to see what's doing there.  (He's got new equipment, lots of projects, etc. It's more fun than it sounds and well, we weren't at home.)

Afterward we went to breakfast in town.  It's a very small town and one of those places that you go through on the way to somewhere else.   Not somewhere where it would occur to me to even look for such a thing.

We stopped at a cafe that had recently moved into an old Burger King.  We were wondering how it was going to look, going from a tiny cafe in a converted house to a fast food restaurant.  A fast food restaurant that was closed because it was so unsanitary, they lost their franchise.  YIKES.

As we were walking to go inside, something caught my eye.  I backed up and exclaimed "OH! That is SO COOL!" 

Someone had placed a rock to find on the ledge of the building. 

AND it was a DOCTOR WHO rock!  Thank you, universe.

I picked it up and turned it over to make sure that it was one of those and was excited to see it was. Kevin was skeptical though, "What is that? Wait, you're TAKING it?"

He was totally confused...why are you taking a rock? what is Bad Wolf (he's not a Whovian, obvs.)  Why would someone do that? Are you sure?  I explained to him but he remained skeptical.

I posted it on my facebook and thanked the group.  Now it sits on the end table where I can see it often and be happy.

Thank you random, kind stranger for taking the time not only to create art but to share it with the world too.  It made my day and continues to give me happy.


14 April 2018

Not So Broken

I can't remember the quote anymore but it's something along the lines of bragging about a good deed lessens the good.  I normally wouldn't share a particular good deed that I've done but this one still sits with me and it's been months. 

There is a homeless gentleman who has a caravan made of a bike and attached trailer.  He also has about five cats.  They ride in the trailer and they are always with him.   I've heard that he's been offered housing but he has to reduce the amount of kitties he has.  He can't bear to do it so he remains on the streets.

The cats are very well loved.  I've heard that he won't accept help or donations for himself but he will for his cats.  You can tell because they are clean, groomed, and well-fed. 

One morning I stopped to get a coffee and he was in the parking lot.  I always feel a twinge of guilt getting something and not getting something for him. 

As we know, Lucy is the most spoiled dog in all the land.  We've tried many combinations of beds for her throughout the house and shop.  One we bought ended up being too small.  I put it in my truck with the intention of dropping it off at the humane society.   As intended donations often do, the dog bed was well-traveled, spending about a week in the backseat.

For some reason, it popped into my head that perhaps he would take it for the kitties.  I parked near him and got out of the car.  I'd been told that he is harmless, so I didn't feel hesitant and I've learned skills in approaching said folks over time.

I knelt down and said "Excuse me, sir?" It took two more times before he answered.  I'm assuming he was worried that I was going to tell him to move or pray at him or whatever he must experience from the general public. 

I explained "I have a little dog bed that I was going to give to the pound but I thought maybe your kitties would like it instead.  He quietly responded, "What happened to your puppy?" 

My heart just broke, here is a human who has nothing and his first response is asking about the well-being of a dog.  I laughed and explained that she was just a very spoiled dog and was just fine, cozy at home. 

I asked him again if he wanted the bed and he said yes.  I explained that I would be right back and got it out of the truck.  I approached him again and held it out.  The cats were out of their carrier and huddled around him.  He took the bed and smiled a big smile.  "Oh, it's nice..."

He set it down and the cats immediately made themselves at home on it.  I commented that they seemed very happy and loved. 
"Maybe they'll share it with you a little"   He kind of laughed and continued pet the cats.  I wished him well and retreated to the truck.  I heard a quiet, small, "God bless you" as I turned away.

Again, I was touched by his caring.  He's clearly broken and yet his first thoughts were of a puppy's well-being.  Maybe he's not so broken after all.

13 April 2018

The Guest House - Poetry Month

I can't remember who was being interviewed by Howard Stern but they mentioned this poem.  It struck me in such a way that I looked it up online as soon as I could.  Yes, a strange venue in which to learn poetry, for sure.


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

06 April 2018

The Day is Done - Poetry Month

April is national poetry month and every April I have the best intentions to share some of my favorites.  Here it is the sixth of the month and I'm just now thinking about it. I know it's not everyone's thing but I think that putting any sort of beauty out into the world is important right now.

This is the first poem that I ever really connected with. It was in high school and I so wish that I still had that textbook.

The Day is Done 

The day is done, and the darkness
      Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
      From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
      Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
      That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
      That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
      As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
      Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
      And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
      Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
      Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
      Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
      And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
      Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
      Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
      And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
      Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
      The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
      That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
      The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
      The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,
      And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
      And as silently steal away.

These Moments are Fleeting

As described in previous posts, family can be stressful.  Yesterday was Easter and with seven children, most of them teenagers now, it gets a little crazy.

The littles, who will be twelve in May, still wanted to do an egg hunt.  We were a little surprised but assumed they were going to do it with Sweet Baby, thus "justifying" doing a little kid thing.  But no, they were totally into it.

Then the baby fell asleep.  To be fair, he's two and it was nap time.  And we were all a little jealous.

Because reasons, Kevin and I have become the grandparents in these adventures.  We helped the adults kids hide the eggs and helped coach the kids in their search.  Well, I helped, Kevin smack-talked, which the boys adore.  The highlight was when Kevin called  C2 - the 14 year old - "Bruh" and he burst out laughing, saying "Dude, did you just say...bruh?" in complete disbelief.  Anyone who has teenaged sons knows what an accomplishment eliciting laughter can be.

We had to hide them in more difficult places this year; up high and in places nearly out of their reach.  One was tied onto a tree branch, one was balanced on a stump in a watery ditch.  Oh, and Nephew usually hides a bug in one of them so paranoia was high upon opening the plastic eggs.  If you know me IRL, you'll see the photos on the facebook.

After the hunt, we returned inside and the kids went through their candy while we enviously watched.  Family Feud was on and it was interesting to hear the kids play along. They understood some of the racier jokes yet one of the Boy Littles were frustrated that contestants making the "X" sign wasn't how you high-five and "Nobody high fives like that"   Girl Little is actually pretty good at the game and it was fun to have them old enough to participate in things like that.

Once everyone settled down, Girl Little sat next to me and before I knew it, her head was on my lap and she was snoozing.  Like with the teenaged boy, these moments are so rare now.  I carefully took a snap with my cell phone to keep the moment forever.

We know the clock is winding down with the parents but it didn't fully occur to me that the clock is also ticking with the kids.  Soon they are not going to want to hunt for eggs or snuggle while waiting for dinner.

So five minutes peace with a sleeping kid and making a sarcastic teen laugh. These moments are fleeting.