interior ruckus…a poem about motherhood

interior ruckus—part one

i had no idea at twenty-nine
an unfamiliar inner voice
so bossy, persuasive
now, right now

hormonal messengers
working overtime
baby, baby, baby

OR so i assumed...

in my 20s, i knew so little about my biology 
youth doesn't ask many questions
baby, baby, baby

oh, to possess that blissful ignorance again

i understand now…
my ancient biology didn’t take over,
my private sociology did

interior ruckus of
age & expectations
my societal & familial programming
working overtime
interior ruckus—part two

period late
hopeful & cautious
baby, baby, baby 

a September birthday?
NOPE, not this month
my body sighed

moons passed
late again
my body whispered, YES
a winter birthday?
baby, baby, baby

my son arrived
late in February 
all giant and squirmy
and mine
 
three years later
that familiar drumbeat
my personal sociology 
our son needs a sibling

my body whispered again
maybe baby?
Saturday—NO 
Monday—YES, and...
babies, in my wife? 

baby A & baby B
gritty little homesteaders
inhabitants of my territory
overlapping claims
our complex symbiosis 

my daughters arrived
in the middle of May 
all tiny and squirmy
and mine
interior ruckus—part three

mothering through menopause
hormones tectonic
& not just mine

age and expectations
divergent boundaries
epicenters evershifting
interior ruckus

a lifetime spent studying the waves
vibrations recorded
push and pull
energy released
expected

motherhood's seismic shift
less vigilance now required
when monitoring underground movement
tremors are expected

my interpretations of modernism, impressionism & baroque movements…

Modernism (1875-1960) The responses of modernists to modernity range from triumphal celebration to agonized condemnation and differ in mode from direct picturing of the impacts of modernization to extreme renovations of purely artistic assumptions and practice.  —Google Arts & Culture 

Standing Girl, Egon Schiele c. 1908-1909

I know my interpretation of Egon’s-Standing Girl doesn’t possess the same raw sexuality in any way. However, slowing down is shifting my perspectives in many ways & not just in my creative work.

Impressionism (1860 - ...) Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light...ordinary subject matter...crucial element of human perception and experience.  —Google Arts & Culture 
Baroque (1600 - 1725)  Usage of the term is often extended to the whole period 1600–1750 without qualifying restrictions, or improperly to mean a florid and elaborate style in art, architecture, music or literature, of any date from late antiquity to the early 20th century.  —Google Arts & Culture 

https://artsandculture.google.com/category/art-movement

Oh, the places we go …

Featured

Some mornings I feel settled, calmly visiting with Jeff over coffee, reading what I choose, editing photos, and having a bit of discipline not to jump from thought to thought.

Today, however, was definitely not one of those days, maybe the snow threw me off, yesterday was SPRING for goodness sake.

I looked at my browser history for some insight. I could somewhat follow my own tracks. However, if I disappeared today even the most intuitive detective would not know where to begin to understand my bread crumbs…sourdough, whole wheat, cranberry walnut, cheddar jalapeno, then a lone Dorito perhaps?

OOhhhh, I want a cheddar jalapeno bagel now, I can finish this later…or maybe not at all.

Try being a detective and see if you can decipher your own state of mind. I didn’t solve anything. However, I am stepping away from the screen for a while and doing something else.

Here are my links, as if you don’t have enough bread crumbs of your own.

https://calmigo.com/pages/the_science_behind_calmigo

https://freedomofmind.com/cult-mind-control/malignant-narcissism-stereotypical-characteristics-of-a-cult-leader/

https://www.inikaorganic.com/blogs/natural-beauty-hub/kangaroo-paw-flower#:~:text=It%20hydrates%20and%20brightens%20the,the%20moisture%20our%20complexions%20crave.

Father and Daughter by Paul Simon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COQPSoRFdwg

Trust your intuition
It’s just like going fishin’
You cast your line and
Hope you get a bite

—Paul Simon

more images from my prairie & sea series…

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.

—Victor Hugo, French author of Les Misérables

if you give an insomniac coffee & predawn time alone…

This morning I remembered a thoughtful quote I heard recently during Vermont Recovery Advocacy Day. I made coffee and started searching. I often think of the children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff.

One thing leads to another and sometimes you don’t know how you got there. This happens frequently to me.

Today, I thought I would follow the trail. If you give me coffee and some time alone…

OK, the author of the quote, I think his last name was hummmm…Chesterfield. There were some real gems from him. I thought I must have the attribution correct..Lord Chesterfield.

“Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.”

Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.”

I kept reading and then this one popped up:

“Women especially as to be talked to as below men, and above children.”

Lord Chesterfield, you obviously were not the author I was looking for…and maybe kind of a prick, but hey it was the 17th century when you were writing, so I won’t “cancel” you—context is everything.

The sun is up now, it’s snowing and I’ve had my second coffee…I finally found the correct quote.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

—G. K. Chesterton

Thanks as the highest form of thought and gratitude doubled by wonder—so beautifully said. What other quotes about gratitude can I find?

I needed to know a bit more about G. K. Chesterton. He was an English author best known for creating the priest-detective, Father Brown.

Then, I next read on his Wikipedia page that his best friend from his St. Paul school days was Edmund Clerihew Bentley, inventor of the clerihew

I didn’t know what a clerihew was. Should I have? Do you?

A clerihew (/ˈklɛrɪhjuː/) is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The first line is the name of the poem's subject, usually, a famous person put in an absurd light, or revealing something unknown or spurious about them. (Here is a well-known clerihew of his.) Sir Christopher Wren Said, "I am going to dine with some men. If anyone calls Say I am designing St. Paul's."[1]

I wrote my own clerihew after reading Mr. Bentley’s example.

To the courageous people of Ukraine, I humbly offer my thanks, gratitude, and compassion for what you are against-all-odds bravely doing to protect your families and defend democracy around the world.

the prairie and the sea…

Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect day to post about two of my great loves—the prairie and the sea. I started this project with these first two photographs. I got quite obsessive while working on these images. I photographed smoke bombs I bought at the dollar store for the cloud layer I wanted. I like the surreal quality of the images…dreamlike perhaps.

“I like a good story and I also like staring at the sea– do I have to choose between the two?”
― David Byrne, How Music Works

Happy Valentine’s Day!

art not shared…

or part of a series of work…so far anyway.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

—Maya Angelou

my day-to-day reality…

Last week over coffee with friends we discussed checking our day-to-day reality against the news and social media feeds. We all agreed that our own experiences/interactions average about 97% positive out in the world.

Our lives are bombarded with constant messages designed to provoke an emotional reaction—a click to like or share, make a purchase, or a donation.

Does my experience map to what I’m told I should be feeling? What is the motivation? Who profits? Who or what is harmed by this message? Why?

I remembered the October testimony before Congress of FACEBOOK whistleblower Frances Haugen so I looked for some of her quotes. I included the C-SPAN link below.

“I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy.”  —FRANCES HAUGEN, FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER

FACEBOOK obviously isn’t alone in this practice—corporate advertising, influencers, lobbying groups, politicians, churches, colleges, non-profits, the list goes on and on. Many organizations are well worth our energy/resources AND many are designed to either create outrage or tug at our heartstrings.

If profit is to be made off of manipulating my emotional life, it seems like an act of revolution to first put my response through a reality/values filter.

It takes just a moment and when I take the time, I feel less manipulated and more in control.

  • manipulate: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose
  • emotion: a strong feeling (such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear)
  • profit: the compensation accruing to entrepreneurs for the assumption of risk in business
  • reality: something that actually exists or happens, a real event, occurrence, situation, etc.
  • values: something (such as a principle or quality) intrinsically desirable
  • filter: to pass or move through

“There is a pattern of behavior that I saw [at] Facebook: Facebook choosing to prioritize its profits over people.”

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/key-takeaways-facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugens-senate-testimony/story?id=80419357

Thank you, Joan, Mary, Christie, and Maggie for the coffee time spark. Also thank you Willa for the drawing of your that I used in the reality filter graphic.

be a goldfish…

I thought I would write part two of Farewell 2021 being nostalgic and looking back over my year.

I started sorting my photos, many of those memories were truly delightful. I met two brilliant & handsome 18-month-old boys (Cru, my great-nephew, and Roger, the grandson of dear friends). I also saw The Rolling Stones for the very first time.

Other memories of 2021…well, let’s just say they weren’t ALL delightful. I learned a helluva lot though.

This morning, I watched a TEDtalk Choices that can Change your Life by Caroline Myss. This got me thinking about the nature of choice, the power of language, integrity, and how I can observe my own behavior in new ways. Caroline’s TEDtalk won’t land the same for everyone, being reminded of the POWER OF CHOICE was what I needed to hear today.

“I will not pass my suffering on, but my wisdom.” —Caroline Myss

wisdom NOT woe, check…

Today, I’m making a choice to spend more time thinking about and planning my future than dwelling on my past…especially childhood bullshit. I’m 55-years-old, good grief it’s time.

I want to look forward with an expansive, heart-swelling sense of the endless possibilities that exist in the universe. This is my goal, aspirational I know and I will slip up often. Ted Lasso’s advice just might help me stay on track.

“You know what the happiest animal in the world is? It’s a goldfish. It’s got a 10-second memory.

Be a goldfish!”

—TED LASSO

In 2022 want to be more like a goldfish than an elephant.

Thank you Judith for sharing this TEDtalk. ❤️

Thank you, Caroline Myss, and the writers at Ted Lasso.

Wow, I guess the TEDs really spoke to me today.