An Uneasy Conversation

Just finished a book that will stay with me for a long while – one of those exquisite pieces of prose that shapes the way I think and puts into words those feelings I struggle to express clearly.

Actually she had not changed. She just got tired of pretending to be what she was not . . .  
The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.
What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interests instead of gender?
–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

These Days

Believe in yourself. There is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.
–Christian D. Larson

I'm still feeling my way back to this space, and rather than set goals or expectations, I prefer to be still and open, waiting and seeing.

In the meantime, I'm spending my time exploring new ways.

Healthy eating.  Working my way through the book, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and making some worthwhile changes in our diet. I haven't had a single headache for an entire month, and I've taken off about 10 pounds! Feeling great.

Mindfulness. I'm taking an 8-week course, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

Fitness. I'm training for a 25 mile bike ride, the Cap2Cap, with my Fitness Friends. Twenty-five miles might not sound like far, and it's a pretty nice ride on a road bike, but on a hybrid like I ride, it's really a workout!

I've been a little less social - not nearly as quick to answer an email, write a letter, or make a phone call - and all the quiet is growing on me. I think I had forgotten how to be alone and I find the quiet soothing these days.

Heart-to-Heart

From David Whyte's Questions That Have No Right To Go Away

What can I be wholehearted about?

So many of us aren't sure what we're meant to do. We wonder if we're simply doing what others are doing because we feel we don't have enough ideas or even enough strength of our own . . .

What do I care most about—in my vocation, in my family life, in my heart and mind? This is a conversation that we all must have with ourselves at every stage of our lives, a conversation that we so often don't want to have. We will get to it, we say, when the kids are grown, when there is enough money in the bank, when we are retired, perhaps when we are dead; it will be easier then. But we need to ask it now: What can I be wholehearted about now?

Catching Up

I’m still not really sure what makes a photograph good. Is it okay that the sky is blown out to white? What depth of field will best convey the serenity of this pond near the cemetery? Is there a better point of view?

But that won’t stop me. I’m crazy about the parade of cattails along the pond’s edge and the soft color palette of winter-turning-spring. I take pictures for one simple reason: love.

I keep trying to catch up to the picture just ahead of me in my mind . . .  and before me along the pond.

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Know your place

It’s all about knowing your place, it seems, about knowing what you need and what you can do without. It’s all about knowing what it takes to live your life.
I think, too, of the cliché I’ve heard so many times before. “Bloom where you’re planted,” the posters of the sixties told us. But appealing as this sounds, it isn’t how things work.
The buttonbush growing by the spring-fed pool, the purple eryngo thriving in the arid field–each blooms because it has the things it needs. Each flourishes because its place is right.
–Susan Hanson, Icons of Loss and Grace: Moments from the Natural World, 2004
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