So often, I feel like what I am, what I do, how I exist is not enough in wake of the Big Bad in this world. Then I remember a quote from Sunshine by Robin McKinley, one of my favorite reads of all time and something I’m planning to treat myself to re-reading for #FridayReads after some editing. We must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can. I hope this Friday finds us all using what we have and being who we are as best we can to make the world brighter, kinder, and more full of win. Happy Friday!
Writing sci-fi romance, speculative fiction and sci-fi poetry reminds me time and time again of how I am reaching for light-trails, dreaming through life and living the questions, as Rilke would have it–how I am exploring my realities through narratives. Here’s wishing you all a week full of big, beautiful dreams and luminous realities!
I woke up this morning feeling strange, and not an odd-but-interesting kind of strange. The thinkythoughts-noise rattling around my brain on this post-debate morning were tugging me so many different directions (and rightly so–there is a heck of a lot to ponder) and with the added help of stress, allergies and not having taken the greatest care of myself in the last days, I trudged through the first hours of the day in a funk.
I drove to a nearby park to get some writing done but before I realized what I was doing, I was parked, off the path, standing calf-deep in dewy grass (yes, I checked for ticks afterward, lol). Then I was walking through said grass towards a little swathe of prairie conservation. The ground beneath my shoes was spongy, monarch butterflies rose and fell on the lazy breeze, flowers nodded a-rhythmically, and a humming buzz of bumblebees blended into the noises of cars, wind, my own breathing. I just stood there for I don’t even know how long. I don’t think I had a thought in my head until I heard the whoosh of a bicyclist close behind me and startled back into the moment. I blinked and realized that the air smelled like cinnamon, probably because of the prairie grass–that I got no writing done, and didn’t care. That the sun was warm but the air chilly. That my shoes were sparkly with moisture that looked like little jewels. That here in this moment, my heart beat with insistence, reminding me that I live and breathe and think and feel.
I-live, I-live, I-live…
It might be trite to talk about smelling the roses, about taking time to look around and see the moment exactly as it is. It might be reductive, when the world feels like it is spinning out of all control and goodness and sense, to say, grind your feet a little deeper into that mud–really feel the concrete or sand or grass or pebbles beneath your soles, get to know the skin of the world you inhabit. To absorb its sights, its scents–to remind yourself that you live among its creatures, part of a complex ecosystem. That you live, period.
Boot to earth, eyes to sky. Amanda to Earth. My home. To quote Carl Sagan, who said what I want to say better than I could, this world is where “…everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
Sometimes, a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam is beautiful. Sometimes, I need to remember this.
Sorry, T.S. Eliot, for intentionally misquoting you. #sorrynotsorry
April has been crazy-busy for me. Travel, work, unexpected projects, unexpected stuff and things…simply madness. Such deadlines. Many industry. Wow.
The good thing about being busy? Well, I have some awesome news that I can share and we all know, sharing is caring. ;)
First up, my upcoming Freebie Friday. My poetry e-chapbook East of the Sun, West of the Moon will be available for free this Friday and Saturday, April 29-30. Since National Poetry Month is drawing to a close, I might as well end it in celebration! Stop by, nab a copy, and read a fairytale reinvented in epic verse because that’s what all the cool kids do.
Next, SEKRIT WRITINGS are still go, go, going. I’m making ever more progress on a Super Secret Project of Awesome that I hope to be able to announce this summer. Huzzah for mysterious enterprises!
So, world, what are you up to? Here’s wishing you happy reading, happy living, and all the best in the coming days, in the coming moments, in all that you do!
Life can be so full.
Full of both beauty and awfulness in the world at large, full of minutia in our work-a-day routines, full of the emotions and road-bumps and triumphs that comprise any human life. This fullness affects us. How can it not? I’ve been struggling with time-management lately–prioritizing the Day Job, the Emergent Writing Career, my important relationships, my interactions with a difficult world, and my attempts to make things better.
One lesson emerges over and over again, smacking me upside the noggin with its simple obviousness: One thing at a time. The masses of work, of problems to be solved, even of facets of life to be loved are overwhelming so I have to remember to step back and break things into smaller, more manageable Heres and Nows. I can’t do it all. I can’t know where any one step will take me in the future. Instead, I am in this moment, doing this one thing. And then the next one thing, and the next.
So, lovely readers–how do you deal with the stresses of everyday life, of balancing careers and hobbies and volunteering and all the other millions of things that you do?