Deja Vu Night Moves

I stealthily rise so as not to awaken my dear C-PAP masked husband.

No matter how hard I try to be quiet, 100% of the time, my right knee will crack

and inevitably signal that I am up,

having once again succumbed to the vagabond words and ideas

that held a clandestine meeting

during which they organized a 3AM flash mob in my brain.

As they dance across the neural highways between my ears,

I try in vain to memorize the motions, already having lain awake for an hour,

silently willing myself to release them en masse

into the cool blackness that fills the room.

With each exhale, I imagine them flitting like Monarchs

into a journal I’ll open in a just a few hours and read with surprise.

The big ones, problems I have absolutely no power to solve,

(yet encyclopedic in weight as they press on my chest),

I release for the ten thousandth time with a 12 step admission.

The heart doesn’t listen.

Stepping softly and gently closing the bedroom door,

I make my way to my office, bypassing the kitchen and coffee,

because it’s just too early yet.

I grab one of my journals and a pen and stare

at the mammoth emptiness of the page,

knowing I’ve been in this moment before and

will without doubt, be here again.

CRR

9-23-21

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Luck

As luck would have it I’m up at 3:15 AM this Friday the 13th, pondering the concept of luck because it’s today’s writing prompt. Do I believe it exists? Have I experienced it? When have I had it? What kind have I had? Can we humans actually create our own luck? Why does it seem that some people have nothing but bad luck? Or do they actually? Is there a hidden message or meaning in bad luck? Can something good come from bad luck? Why do some individuals seem to have all the luck? Or do they? Do we misuse the term? Is “luck” just a filler word we plug in to a sentence when there’s no perceived reason or logical explanation for an event occurring? Some say there’s no such thing as luck and that everything happens for a reason. I’d argue with some of the “reasons”. “Of course you would” says my husband, who claims I should have been a lawyer instead of a teacher given my irrepressible urge to argue about everything.)

This semi- neurotic stream of consciousness and the fact that I forgot to take my nighttime allergy pill are two of the reasons I’m up in the middle of this particular night. Secondary are voter suppression, injustice, inequality, COVID-19, stress, hormones and the fact that I tend to overthink everything. Because I’m me, I had to look up the definition:

From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

-the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

-a force that brings good fortune or adversity

I found a gold chain on a beach once. Was that good fortune or was I simply more observant than the other folks who I saw walk right by it?  

I won a wedding dress once and went on to marry an exploitative monster. (1st husband, not the 2nd, there are other nouns and adjectives for him). Was that an omen or luck? And for those keeping count and while we’re on the subject, my 3rd husband is the absolute love of my life and one of the 7 best things that ever happened to me, (the other 6 are my kids and grandkids). 

Is luck simply the result of hard work or diligence? Is it just being in the right or wrong place at a certain moment in time? Do the stars control it? Do the direct or indirect actions of ourselves, our ancestors, or others determine  or contribute to it? In the U.K. they use the term “hard luck”. I like the connotation involved with that. Tough times and unfavorable circumstances are certainly hard/difficult.

If you’re still reading and wondering where I’m going with this, welcome to my world. At a minimum, I’ve given you something to ponder today when you run out of things to worry and wonder about. Just make sure you’re not daydreaming so much that you forget about staying safe and paying attention to your surroundings. Wouldn’t want you to incur any bad luck. On the other hand you just might get lucky and have some kind of epiphanic eureka moment. Let me know if you do and I might ponder that tomorrow when I’m up in the middle of the night!

Peace and Love

*Originally written on Friday Oct. 13th, 2020. Discovered again on Friday the 13th of August, 2021 at 3:30 am. What luck! 

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Autumn

Reblogging this because it’s Autumn again, and it turns out I got distracted by a lot of other books and well, life in general. It happens, and I’d guess most of you can relate to being drawn down other paths on this walk of life. I never read the 3 other seasons books this author, so I just ordered them all a minute ago. My dear friend Becky is coming to visit in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see her and discuss Knausgaard’s seasons!

This Pedestrian Life

My dear friend Becky and I often share books we’ve discovered and loved. Most recently she shared “Autumn”, the first of four anticipated, seasonal titled volumes of reflections by Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, in which he describes the material and natural world to his unborn daughter with such immersive depth and detail that it moved me (once again) to reflect on how much goes unnoticed as we race from point A to Point B and down our “to do” lists each day. Between arising each morning and collapsing each evening, we’re often blessed to find a moment here or there to take notice, but oh the marvels, the layers, the connections, the joys, and the beauties we must miss.

But just how interesting could reading about a thermos be? As much as war, twilight, mouths, willows, loneliness and rubber boots? My answer is yes, so this is part book…

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Stormy Satellite Message

Sharing this super cool serendipitous photo again.

This Pedestrian Life

Through neon noise

and simmering static.

Fragments of images

splashing on the screen,

signals crossed and split

amongst summer storm clouds,

yet a harbinger of hope appears,

calling us to action.

Carry on the good fight

you heroes and heroines.

The world needs your heart,

your love,

your light to shine

and spread peace.

CRR 8-3- 17

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*Photo credit -Coleman Carnegie Langshaw

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What Do Yours Look Like?

An always relevant reminder for us.

This Pedestrian Life

C3A64604-476C-484E-9BBE-E276F056D9F0.jpegWe all have these don’t we? These stripes of shame, pain, fear; hurts and scars that make us feel different, less than, unlike any others. And that’s the thing. We all have them. They may not look exactly the same, some may have more than others, but we’re more alike than not. If we are to not only survive but thrive, we must remember that and act accordingly. Golden Rule accordingly. Things just might get better.

Peace and Love

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FLOW

photo credit Arvydas Baltinas on Unsplash

Science tells me that I am mainly a body of water.

60% or so at my age.

Which explains why there are some days

that I wake feeling like a mighty roiling ocean, 

powerful and deep, holding a myriad of marvels

and untold beauty beneath, dancing to the call

of the moonlight and reflecting all the magical

rainbow glimmers of the sun.

Then there are others when I’m more of a narrow creek

trickling down a gently sloping mountain, 

happy to fill the air with a quiet symphony 

of lapping over rock, and communing with frogs and minnows. 

In between I’m a stoic river with a mission 

to carry all of the barges and salmon I can, 

feeling necessary and important

when considered useful.

Last come the lonely puddle days, 

thankfully fewer and farther between. 

Muddy days when I feel stepped on 

and splashed apart, drops of me landing everywhere

other than where what’s left of me was. 

And then I remember to rise. 

Into the air to join all the other tiny bodies, 

molecules who condense and with the help of others, 

become themselves again and have the invisible strength 

to hold life, nurture growth and smooth rock.

Bruce Lee had it right. “ Be water my friend.” Flow…

5-19-21

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Miss You Mom

A tenth Mother’s Day arrives without you,

yet not without the memory of your smile

as it beamed that last time

when your 3 year old great granddaughter

presented you with a bouquet of roses.

You have a dozen greats now

and I think of how deliriously joyful

you would be to see them

all becoming.

How you would call them

by each other’s names and

they would wonder why

until they become parents

and do the exact same thing.

How you would spoil each one

in a different way and brag

about them all day long.

How you would gather them round

for plates of cake and love,

spend your last dime

to gift them with whatever

makes them smile,

your last breath

to say you love us all

and that

you’ll be all right.

CRR 4-13-21

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Mama’s Love

Abiding ,

untainted ribbon of unquestionable love,

thread through each window blind,

both illuminating and shielding me,

through the dawns and dusks of my life.

those days when the essence of my innocent spirit sugar-coated the sands of time,

those nights when the acidic tonic of my misspent youth sought to corrode all that was familiar,

those times when I steadfastly refused any sort of guidance and rejected the very values imposed,

those times when I chose to learn the hard way,

the stalwart champion of landmine decisions,

those when my selfishness should have created a chasm between us,

or at least riddled the ribbon with holes.

But it didn’t.

Always, abiding.

CRR 3-11-11

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May

*originally posted 2 years ago

May. The month of her birth. The month I last saw her 8* years ago. The month of celebrating mothers. The month of missing her most.

I was 15 and my best friend smashed a bologna sandwich in my face. It was 1973 and one of those sticky heat summer evenings in Orlando, Florida. I stood in our kitchen, being a whiney teenager, complaining about having to wash the dishes and getting sweaty. Although my memory fails me when it comes to the actual words I said, I mouthed off to my mother and said something mean to her, prompting the mayo coated meat to become married to my face. What followed is also lost in a dusty mind corner, but I know my friend was appalled that I would be so hateful and mean to my mom. I was appalled that she would smash a sandwich in my face. I wasn’t an easy teen to parent. Being a mom of 2 myself, I’m now qualified to make that judgment.

At our 3 AM meeting this morning, my mind took the floor and proceeded to review a myriad of topics, all reached by some circuitous path that only a licensed insomniac could follow. It could have been a dream state, but I doubt it. I imagine it was just my mind’s and body’s response to what I did today. Signed my official retirement papers. Huge life event. New chapters of my life to be written. A time like this obviously calls for self reflection and that somehow led to identifying the one person who loved me the most purely and unselfishly and never ever did a single thing to hurt me. My mom.

I’ve been on the road to Hana in Hawaii, stood in the Colosseum in Rome, and visited tropical isles, canyons, caves, glaciers and forests in more than a few foreign countries. The oceans and seas call to me still. But the place I’d love to travel to the most is unreachable. There’s no plane, train, or boat that can take me there. It’s by my mother’s side. Just one more time, to hold her hand, to hear her say ” I love you baby”, to say so many things I never got around to saying.

Count yourself lucky if you still have your mom. Don’t wait till Mother’s Day to call her and tell her that. One unwelcome day your chance will be taken away and missing it will feel much worse than getting a bologna sandwich smashed onto your face.

Peace and Love

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Her Story

Our last day with Mom. May 28th, 2011. She had only 6 more weeks to live.

As Mothers Day approaches and in loving memory of my mother, for the next 5 days , I’m sharing essays and poems written about her.

Her story ended 10 years ago. Or did it?

I smell it, the aroma of it, in a Sunday pot roast slow cooking in my crockpot and in the domestic union of fabric meeting hot metal as I iron a favorite linen shirt.

I feel it, the warmth of it, in a quilt the colors of spring, lovingly sewn by arthritic hands and in the sunshine- like memories that my heart recalls.

I hear it, the playlist of it, in my own voice when once youthfully ignored lessons escape from under my tongue and in the beckoning ocean as it welcomes me home.

I taste it, the flavor of it, sliding from spoon to throat, as I spread Virginia apple butter on a sandwich of cheesy grilled comfort and in the salty air that tingles my lungs.

I see it, the purity of it, in my grandchildren’s eyes as they fall in love with lizards and dogs and in the goddess smiles of women as they birth new worlds.

Her gentle spirit departed its malignant body almost 10 years ago but her story didn’t end.

It lives on in the auspicious cells of her children, her grands, and her greats and in all of those souls touched by the goodness of her heart.

Her life here ended ten Mother’s Days ago. But her story did not.

CRR

5-5-21

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