Category Archives: Freewrite Fling
Poised upon rock outside my chiropractor’s office I attempt to regain my balance. I have transitioned from Qigong silk-reeling to Tai Chi cloud-hands. I have a soft gaze. Then a red truck drives down the road and reminds me of how upset I became when I saw the upcoming weeks schedule—it too had me seeing red.
I have been in Physical Therapy since May trying to get mobility and strength back into my right upper body. I have had some neck and shoulder instability for years but over the winter with my push for fitness the joint became irritated and frozen shoulder took over. It is a tenuous balance. If I move to quickly with the P.T. my shoulder takes 3-steps backward and spasms ensue. I am happy I can water overhead plants, again. I am happy I can reach behind me to shut off the shower again. But to open the window over the sink—well that still takes a kitchen chair and I cannot push that window any higher than my shoulder. Still, I accept the progress.
My adjustments at the chiropractor have been twice a week and the added stress to the budget has limited growth in other areas. But it is necessary to get through the latest flare-up. I work a physical job and much of what I do (therapy-wise) helps me keep that job. I cannot have injuries. I must be able to assist people in their daily lives as I am a community living specialist working with people who have physical and cognitive disorders.
I’ve lost over 40 pounds since November 2008, and over 45 pounds since I graduated from Massage School in 2004. No, I do not still massage. I had to close my practice after a car accident and a bout with tendonitis. At that time I had no insurance and did not qualify for state assistance. I struggled thru that time with self care and trades with other therapists.
What I am trying to say is I like my job. I am tired of walking away from work I enjoy. But the schedule had me weighing risks and healing. Schedule conflicts with pre-appointed therapy times and being assigned back at a location known to irritate my injury. After nearly three months of healing and positive gains in health, would I, or should I, even consider taking the risk to help the family and my employer. And why was I being put in this scenario to begin with?
Had I become too complacent? Should I have been looking for another position? One not so hard on the body? Was I at fault here? Maybe the risk I should have taken was bigger student loan debt and 2 more years of college? I had ignored my financial situation as it became more stretched. Losing employment or sustaining me through a necessary change would mean dire stress on the others in my life as I have nowhere to cut-back. All my abundant thinking did not seem to be working last week. I was in the mud.
But I sold a photo, donated a photo, and bought another photographer’s work—her first sale! The work I donated was for a silent auction and it was highly popular and will add to my sales. Mike, too was getting notice for a photo taken in a flash of time—his first publication. This reminding me that abundance is everywhere, coming from new and unknown resources.
I love all the work I do, caring for others, photography, writing. I believe I bring an essence of healing to all I do. The work I need to keep doing is finding new opportunities that bring balance, that add to my health and well-being as well as that of others. It is my intention to strive toward that goal and spend more time poised on rock with cloud hands.
I am a participant in the…
Free Write Fling with Cynthia Morris–31 Days to Loving your Writing!
I was bit by black flies today. Lying on a purple and white striped beach towel, I tired to ignore the bites, the wind whipping sand at my body. I felt in the way of drift and time. What was the essence of those long summers at Cathead Bay? Mike ponders with me in our Sunday morning bed—the expanse of time in which to do nothing—or everything I add. So this afternoon, in my hopes of doing everything, I headed to Wetmore Landing and here I lay in the way of wind and time. I worry that my weight loss has left me looking like a 45 year old woman with clothes that look old, worn-out, and baggy. I am wearing cut-off jeans over my too large swim suit. I’m alone accept for the two girls on towels, and the two boys on rocks, and a family drinking bud-light and doing crossword puzzles. I play with burying my own legs to keep the flies from them. The girls watch drinking their bottles of red Gatorade. Over the rocks comes a boy. He begins crazy construction of a sand castle and moat. He’s in the zone. Separated by this giant granite rock from family, he constructs molding and digging only with hands. Mother appears over the crest of rock and calls, “Brian!” He does not respond. He scoops water and sand. Mom locates the boy and turns back over the rock, back down to her hollow out of the wind. Aunt Linda chases young children down the beach—headed back to the car after what looks like along day hiking.
I walked the wooded trail. Returned by way of beach, greeting each dog, black lab, golden, Shepard, mix. I’m putting off good vibes and they know it. Today I did get time to stand still for a bit. Long enough to scribble words in the margins of this book. Long enough to remember I need bananas from the co-op. Long enough to let hot sand ease some tension from my neck and shoulders. The blue of Lake Superior is powerful in all weather. I gaze out in prayer, hoping to carry some of that power and energy into my work week. Hoping to keep some clarity of who I am instead of the labels that categorize my life into pockets of time and energy. Too often, it seems the clock dictates who I am or what role I play. And, me, I have been telling myself for years I can do anything for a day, eight hours, for the next ten minutes.
I am a participant in the…
Free Write Fling with Cynthia Morris–31 Days to Loving your Writing!
Blonder–>that is how I am today.
Calmer–>that is also how I am today.
Today we are cleaner–>as I scrubbed the sink, toilet and tub and almost caught up on the dishes.
Healthier–>as even though I was feeling the need to fall off my weight-loss diet I went to Border Grill and had a smart-sized cheese quesadilla with black bean side dish.
I am suppose to be working on a vision board and seem to be avoiding this project but I am getting my mental space clear. I am cleaning workspace in a messy studio.
I washed the rug and actually got it to spin out–>that counts, correct?
I emptied out spoiled foods to the garbage and made plans to eat lots of yogurt over the coming days –>that also counts, correct?
I have notes all thru the book I am reading along with bits and pcs. Of poems. The book is Poemcrazy. Highly recommended.
As you can tell this is a wandering free write as I attempt to gain some focus and forward motion. I have not done well on the Free Write Fling this month—I keep trying to renew my commitment.
I am in fact trying to figure out how best to apply my creative talents into a new career. Build a biz that fits an unfilled niche that will make me wildly popular and well-rewarded.
I want fruits from my labors and I mean the kind that will buy me a Subaru Forester and take me to Omega in Rhinebeck for workshops. I want to go to Yoga school and learn healing modalities. I want to publish cards, books, ebooks, and calendars.
I want to sleep to noon tomorrow–>but instead I am working 8-4 taking care of a great family.
I want to go on a long hike up Hogsback. I want to snap pic of waterfalls. I want to skinny dip in Lake Superior (but will probably, gladly wait a month before doing so).
As you can tell this free write is all over the place.
A constant mediation where I struggle to bring it back to my breathe and the intention for this practice–>clarity.
Have I let others down or only myself ? Or have I come to a place beyond all that. Over the rainbow. Beyond Lake Michigan. New shorelines. Daisy became May. New Releases.
Cryptic writing steam of mind, heart, soul. Like seeds blowing on the wind. Dandelion or milkweed from last fall.
It’s about slowing down. Cause if I try to push too hard I will feel deprived. That’s what I am doing this morning. I could have rushed off to the YMCA for a workout or I could be emailing and setting up appointments but today I needed time to write. To eat a good breakfast and to shower, put away laundry and dress in comfy clothes. This morning it was about the fruit in my cereal and the veggies in my lunch. And posting a new creation to the blog.
Last night Mike and I took time to walk at Moosewood’s Bog walk and we played. I found that the bushes in the bog where releasing pollen with a bit of coxing. So we tapped branches and caught pollen clouds. Soon we were tossing branches into the midst of the bog and releasing bigger clouds of pollen. Yellow green clouds drifting on the breeze we started using the continuous function on the cameras to capture clouds as they moved. This much to the dismay of a couple of birders who had been hoping to capture a rare bird with their cameras. Sigh. So sorry. I suppose we looked like children—I know we felt like it.
My state of being has to do with my choices.
I am reading “Poemcrazy” and I love this line in chapter 18, “Nanny had an almost obsessive need for light, for curtains open all the way and for quiet.”
Ritual. At night I must close the curtains and shades just before bed. To block the streetlights. I have never grown use to the light of the city. I love the encompassing dark of the woods. I love the darkness of the beach and dunes at night. I am a country girl. Come morning I must have light. I open things wide. In the bedroom we have crystals hanging by fish line off the curtain rod. I slide them along the rod so the sun catches them just so and fills the room with rainbows.
Quiet. I hear the hum of the municipal power plant down the hill on the shoreline. I love it when power goes out. The hum of the world stops. I can breathe better. I can feel the sphenoid wings in my brain open large and my crown chakra lets dreams in deep.
Migraines are like a noise you cannot stop. Congestion. Cloudy. Heavy and pressured. Sometimes they come from storm fronts. Sometimes they come from a vibration or frequency, like feedback in a concert hall. Sometimes the aurora of color comes as warning and blessing of beauty. Sometimes my words come out in jumbled sentences and I cannot capture my stream of thought and communicate. The noise of my mind reminds me to get off-grid. To walk the Yellow Dog. To breathe in cold dark air away from powerlines.
May day. Tiny willow leaves like tears dripping down, soft trees. Yellow and green, tender trees.
I want to share my last two freewrites but they have to do with my “day job” and I cannot share I was processing some grief and worry. I love the children I work with. Sometimes I lose sleep at night. Sometimes I cry. But I moved into the next morning with Yoga, and ended the night in song with May and Seth, Rachel and Steppin’ In It.
I love the song called “Seeds”. I love May and how she reminds me to slow down. Moving fast does not honor our lives. “I am walking on these seeds/ I am being just as careful as I can.” What we sow…Oh “they’re going to keep on growing.” Karma Baby.
I am breathing this morning. Some may call this hiding from what is needing to be done. But the laundry is placed in drawers and hanging loosely on hangers. The sun is shining rainbows thru the place I sleep and I am in love with my playful self and my playful Mike. Our lives can be magic.
(This is a freewrite only loosely spell-checked and not meant to be grammatically correct and fully formed—it is a sharing of my heart)
Hi all–over the next month I will be taking part in a Free Write Fling facilitated by Cynthia Morris of Original Impulse and Journey JuJu (be sure to check-out her blogs). I have committed to writing 31-days straight, dedicating at least 15-minutes a day. This may mean less photos and more writing. Or it will mean more and more of everything! I like the sound of that.
Sometimes I will share a freewrite with you. A free write is something written on a roll, no logic, no grammatical edits. You butt your inner-editor out of the door of the studio–SCRAM! I say .
Sometimes I will share from work that I am taking more serious. Essay. Memoir. Poetry.
Sometimes I will use a photo to jump-off into writing and free my muse.
Free Write Fling (frreewrite)
I live in a world of kiwi and honey. I love my kitchen. I love the graininess of it all. Jars line up with 4 kinds of rice. We have steel-cut oats. Grapes are divided up in one-cup portable portions. I stir-fry up the weeks chicken for flaxy grainy wraps with black beans, red pepper, cukes and more. My peanut butter is organic, and I can dip an apple or carrot at a whim.
Some kitchens seem foreign to me. There are boxes of products with instructions. Snacks come in crinkly plastic and have empty calories. I cannot find the whole-food experience. The slow food experience. A whole grain must be something the mouse took away.
I live in a world of daffodils, shaggy, bright yellow, popping out of thyme clumps. The tulips soon to follow. Tiny lilac leaves promise a new spring. I live in a world of bird feeders and song. I live in a world of creative pursuit. Have camera will click sometimes in concert with my Magic Man.
I live up the hill from greatness, blue, blue Superior. Sunrises. Sails that dance every Wednesday evening like a flock of birds resting on water they speckle the harbor. Bike path community, walkers and runners, strollers and bikes. Fit city. Hopeful city. Destination city.
Sometimes places seem foreign to me with nowhere to turn, to run, to bike. Backyards closed and forgotten. No potted cheerfulness. No song of children.
I want to build a healthy city, where people smile and nod their heads. I want to help people cross the street from survival mode to prosperity and health. I want people to love their life. Proclaim their joy!
I want to share healing. A chant of Ohm. A grace of clam. A hearth of home.
Like the apple there is a seed within and it is looking for soil, loamy and rich. To uncurl. To root. To grow red fruit and feed my neighbor.
With mixed emotions, I headed to “A Mission Gallery” at Dead River Coffee, part of Mission Roasters, which will be moving this weekend to their new location. The purpose for my visit was to sit with a cup of locally roasted Ethiopian coffee and stare at my exhibit before taking the show down. My exhibit closed today after a battle–a showdown with the local economy–paying 4.29 a gallon for gasoline may have kept people from making a purchase. I think the art would have fueled them further than 20 miles of their lives.
In keeping with my promise to donate a portion of the proceeds to local environmental concerns, I will donate a framed photo to Save the Wild U.P. for a future auction. The exhibit was a success with WLUC TV6 picking up both my press releases on their website and an interview that was on the 11 o’clock news. Many wonderful comments came my way and a photographer I admire commented they were quite good. I feel that the scariest is over, the first hanging, and learning to talk about my photography. I am encouraged to continue and this weekend I am heading out to Lake Michigamme for a camping trip at Van Riper where I will be taking notes and photos for future blog posts and travel articles.
The school year closes on June 9th for me. This will bring me down to one job, respite services to special needs individuals. I am looking forward to having more time to pursue my freelance career and am setting goals to carry me into the second half of the year. So, there is another showdown as we approach the end of yet another school year and I take a serious look at my writing and art. Once again, I have people who ask when I will have a real job?
Today, my repsite boss said tell them you have two real jobs. I actually have three, if we want to count, perhaps more. I keep reminding myself that I am creative at finding open doors, employment options surround me, but first and foremost I am an artist. My employ with the schools and respite are solid jobs that will always need good caring help and these positions will continue to support me.
Yet, there are the showdowns, the close of the day where I have to bolster my esteem, the people who will always question, my own inner critic. But a good friend of mine taught me long ago, there are sunrises, every morning, the sun rises up out of Lake Superior and graces us with another start. I will watch this weekend, to see where the sunrises in Michigamme. I will pray for abundance for all.
Note: Dead River Coffee and Mission Roasters will open next to the Marquette Children’s Museum on Baraga Avenue after their move this weekend. Kate and Theo brew the best cup of Joe in the Upper Peninsula. The beans are roasted in store and you can buy your beans in house or at the Marquette Food Co-op.
Come on Baby Express Yourself! Think of singing that phrase to the tune, Come on Baby and Rescue Me.
Today I woke with no voice. Calling in sick as a substitute teacher is always a difficult thing. Calling in when your voice squeaks, cracks, and is not even a hoarse whisper at 7 a.m. (when you need to be teaching at 7:45) is not good and I thank the school secretary ’cause I know the awkward search she had to pursue to find someone else on such short notice. I have a doctor appointment today at 10:15.
I am going to dedicate this day to expression without voice.
Nurture–I made breakfast for Mike. Our lunches are black bean, mango, chicken salad on Ryekrisp w/grapes. Dinner maybe baked chicken breast w/baked sweet potatoes but will depend on my trip to the Marquette Food Co-op.
Nature–water the plants, trim back old leaves, mist. Play with arrangements of driftwood and stone. Listen to nature sounds and transfer some to ipod.
Care and Pamper– Massage my feet with essential oils. Massage Mike’s feet with essential oils. Light candles. Pet the animals.
Replenish– Fruit, tea, nuts, whole foods, typing paper, and do so without using voice. Take index cards to write and converse with store clerks.
I am going to think tea and honey, warm liquids. Place a bit of tea tree in each ear to flush lymphatic system. Work on circulation and rest, too. I want music, birds twittering and sun shining and singing. I can be quiet. But I want Expression!
Come on Baby and Express Yourself! Come on and sing to me!
How do I feel about this Free Write:
Communicative through written word. Spoken, but Heard? Recovering.
Refocusing my Efforts
Perhaps what I did last week was short myself out-I put myself out there with a new art form and then needed almost 6 days to recover. Was I hiding from myself? Or just in recovery? I went for massage and to the chiropractor for my arm/shoulder/neck. I put up posters on behalf of the co-op. Watched lots of snow fall and fall and fall. I filled the time with family and friends–babysat the grand-baby-boy who is turning into a giant of a boy and had a family dinner on Sunday. But what I did not do? Write. Take photos. Finish my Creative Leap Story Board.
Even this morning as I sit at my desk I am antsy, unsettled, and needing bright sunshine accompanied by heat and joy. I need soft music that pulls me into a meditative state. Warmth. Inspiration.
Last week I found a small book of six-word memoirs, pulling it from the nearby stack I become distracted and straighten the office until I realize I am still avoiding the written word. So, I get back to that book turning to page 155.
Things happen cause
I see holes.
(source: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure from Smith Magazine)
Perfect! That is why I bought this book in the first place–profound 6-word memoirs–I can relate to this one.
At the close of each day, I run through the days happenings. Many of these come to me in the form of images. I am blessed with a partner that as we drift to sleep he, too, is sorting.
It might be someone we are worried about; their image filters through our minds-eye. Maybe there is a hole. Something we see that needs healing, a new direction, an open door awaiting passage. Of course, you always wish for the highest good for that person-a prayer of sorts-hoping they find what they need and a hole gets filled.
I still have my share of holes. As my arm flares up once more and I seek release from numbness and pain. The therapy appointments. The mourning of the loss of the best career-massage therapist, now an uncertain reality, a closed practice, and me still waiting for what open door to walk through.
Yes. I can relate to that 6-word memoir. More to come, please stay tuned.
How do I feel about this free write?
Things rising to surface.
The need to take a breath and pace.
Creative Leap Story Board
Today I needed the mindlessness of clipping images and words from old magazines. It was perfect to curl up on the couch with a stack of magazines and let my mind be attracted to other people’s inspirations and words.I have been feeling overwhelmed with the decisions before me and putting my self out in the world in new ways. I want to clarify and refine. I want to take back some decisions and start over.
What came to mind while I was clipping away was Cynthia Morris’ suggestion of making our “Creative Leaps” visual. She suggests, playing with mind maps, timelines or collages.
I began envisioning a poster board hinged into sections, each section representing a chapter of what I want to accomplish in the coming year. Colors and textures began to draw me and I saw these chapters becoming almost 3-dimensional, a structure or sculpture of found objects and paper that could zig-zag across the mantle or worktable.
Now that my clippings had direction, I saw myself choosing words and phrases that were goals and areas of my life that needed attention. It was magical. I came across the Smithsonian issue with Hemingway in Cuba. I thought of the adventure of his life–fishing off the shore of Cuba–connecting with the locals-and how I wanted my passport even if I could not afford to travel this year and my feeling that having a passport means opportunities will arise.
The colors of my “Leap” took on tropical accents, orange and turquoise. I thought of beach sand and pebbles. I felt my heart warm and my smile widen.
This weekend I have time to work on my project. I cleared the space for creation to take place.
How I feel about this free write:
Happy. Eager. Inspired.
Sometimes it comes from an unexpected friend, a clerk in a local store who says, “I’d like to see your photos.” And making a date to show up exactly one week later. I shared my photos with Sherry who enjoyed my shots taken this fall at the Porcupine Mountains.
I got back in my car and headed to Ishpeming on empty-not daring to stop for gas and avoiding red lights so as not to run for home instead. 20 some odd miles later I was taking the photos into Elixir in Ishpeming. Fran, the store owner took on 3 of my photos. One is the shot of the breakwall in Marquette and two are fall landscapes from the Porcupine Mountain trip. Of course, I was disappointed that he only took 3 and that I did not agree with pricing. So I thought what next?
Two stops. I walked into Art UP Style on Washington in Marquette but the store owner, Carol Papaleo was not available. So I headed across the street to Dead River Coffee.
Today is Theo McCracken’s birthday and he shares a cup of coffee and a chocolate with me and looks at my shots. Then surprise, he offers me “The Wall” starting in early April, this year. Theo is a great supporter of the arts and young artists. On the wall right now are Emily Nyman’s black and whites. He has had many talented artists on display.
Let me tell you I did everything to avoid walking out the door today but I did at shortly after 1pm this afternoon. I had framed photos, and some matted photos. I have been getting this ready for what seems like months. Oh, yes, it has been months. First, came the decision of where to print photos-was there some one local-who do the professionals use-what quality could I expect from online companies. I decide on Snapfish, for now.
I gathered mats, and frames, and fretted over which shots to print. Just before Christmas, I chose the shots and some of them turned out fantastic. The “Mist Woods” shot I had professionally matted at Art of Framing and the photo really popped. I have since had 5 more matted the same way. I have sold one and gave one away to my father.
Now I am seeing things come to fruition. I am thinking of promoting my photos by doing a poetry reading in Ishpeming and inviting people to a more formal opening as well.
My writing I am used to sharing. I have read aloud in large and intimate gatherings. I have sent my work out with great hopes to receive form rejection letters. But this was new, walking my photos in and facing someone head on-I had to have value for my work. I had to be brave. And you know what, I survived the experience.
How do I feel about this free write:
Excellent. Powered-up. Ready.