The Smell of Grass June 1, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011.
Tags: Earth, garden, Grass, green, Home, Landscaping, Lawn, Life, memories, Plants, smell of grass, Thoughts on Life
When I was a little girl I used to sit outside in my grandmother’s yard while she talked to me of things of old and I’d lose myself in the smell of grass. I spent hours lying on my back in the grass, staring up at the blue sky and lazily drifting puff clouds, daydreaming and losing myself in the smell of grass.
What is it about the tangy scent of a freshly mowed lawn to capture the senses? Those thin blades are so vibrant, so green, and testify by their very existence the continuity of life. Even if that life is nature. How long has grass existed on Earth? Longer than I have. Longer than any of us have. And still its here. You may not see it in the city where people have chosen to live sans landscape, but in the country the grass grows wild in a haven of unencumbered life. It’s unrestrained, undemanding and, if left alone, will branch out in an untethered blanket of billowing green.
It’s beautiful. I love driving through the country with my windows down so I can inhale the crisp scent…there is nothing else like it. And while I love the smell intensely and might wonder (for the smallest of moments) why it remains unbottled…I suppose I would rather smell perfume on my skin…perhaps Noir, which I find desperately lovely, rather than ode de grass.
But…it’s a thought.
When I Was a Young Warthog May 31, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: Family, kids, Life, people, plans, stress, teenager, Thoughts on Life, working
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Everyone says growing up is hard to do. What they don’t tell you is that you will never stop growing up. As a child I was teased mercilessly for the size of my eyes and the length of my toes. That was over 20-years ago and I still recall how devastating that was. Throughout junior high and high school I was beset with such rebellion against my fellow classmates that I absolutely refused to see myself as anything other than beautiful and strong. My attitude about my capabilities and general awesomeness clung to me until my mid-twenties when, when no longer confronted with hateful kids, fled. I was on my own.
I don’t mean I was on my own because I moved out of my parent’s home, had a job, and was raising a family ‘on my own’ — I mean my self-image, my behaviors, my auto-self-defense mechanisms were all on me. If I felt ugly, I was to blame. If I felt I failed on something, I had only myself to blame. I could no longer look at myself in the mirror and defiantly claim to be better than ‘so and so’ said I was (regardless of its truth)…because, well…because it was no longer necessary to do so.
So instead of telling myself I was good enough, I went about turning my life into what I really wanted it to be…something that wasn’t some obscure reflection of what was popular or anti-popular (as would be more the case with me). Over the years I learned that what I liked was organization and cleanliness…structure. Sure there was time for random activities…sometimes. And everything would be great in my life and I would be happy, as long as that image of my life remained sturdy in my mind.
Today, sometimes it seems life is going just as I mean it to. It’s not some effortless thing when you work hard to make things go the way you mean it to. The house is clean and organized, dinners turn out well, the kids do exceptionally in school, work is smooth. These are the moments in which you can breathe…really breathe. You may even stop and smell the roses. I have these “perfect moments” infrequently, which is not to say few and far between…I actually have them once or twice a week. My problem is I want that feeling just about every day, which is silly. I know. But when everything is humming along its never just a small thing to slam into you, uprooting your level-footing and tossing all deck hands off the side of the ship — it is always something big. Always.
And this is what I find bothersome. It’s like relationships in which you feel everything is going along all nice and dandy when one day your partner goes off on you. WHAM! You never see it coming and it throws you off. The bigger the problem, the harder it is to regain your footing and move forward. I hate those moments. I hate reeling. These moments remind me of being a teenager staring at my hated visage in the too-well-lit bathroom mirror. I feel awkward. Unacceptable. Obviously, I prefer sure-footed-ness.
When I wore the clothes of a younger woman I always thought life would get simpler and smoother the older I became. It’s like that assumption that pimples go away once you turn 20 and are safely away from being a ‘teen’. Pimples don’t go away and life doesn’t get simpler. What does happen is you gain insight and maturity — things that will enable you to deal with the crap that comes your way. It doesn’t get easier. You get stronger.
Just Like Life May 28, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in Everyone's A Critic, My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: Arts, attraction, Cynicism, Family, finding love, Life, Love, Relationships, Romance, romantic, Sibling, Thoughts on Life, unrequited love
I have just finished watching a film called “I Capture the Castle” starring various actors I know of and some I do not. The movie was a bit of a slow story about finding love, turning away from love, and all the angst, desire, and heartbreak made capable by love. Has there ever existed love that did not also bring heartache? Love loves misery. Or it fights it. Or it finds it. In a world of 7-billion people and days and weeks filled with dozens of acquaintances, friends, and strangers…how do we find love? In a single week I may, may, see one man whom I find attractive enough for a second glance and that does not mean that I am hung up on looks…when I say attractive, I mean he is attractive to me. I do not look for the tall, dark, and handsome man…I look for one with an ease in his step, a careless smile, a spark of intelligence and wit in his eye. I notice his lips, the fall of his hair, and the way he holds his arms at his side as he walks. And sometimes…sometimes I see a man who catches my eye.
But I do not approach. Mostly, because I am at an age and stage in my life where the sheer idea of dating exhausts me. The effort that goes into the meeting, the flirting, the discovery of his past, the learning of his life, the hectic scheduling between work and children and school — why would I? When it does not work out in the end. I would have spent weeks, perhaps months, getting to know someone. I will end up either caring for him when he cares not at all for me, or I will come to dislike him greatly. I have been told I am too young to be so cynical about love and…the truth is…I am not cynical about love. I believe, wholeheartedly, that people find someone who will stand beside them in life, holding their hand, holding them up, and never ever letting them fall on their face unless they themselves are also on the ground and incapable of holding one up. I believe he makes her laugh with his charming manners and makes her meals of such exquisiteness for only one purpose: to see the light in her eyes. This man would not hurt his love.
No. I am not cynical about love. I am cynical about loyalty. The man I’ve mentioned is difficult to come by, the diamond in the rough, and just shy of impossible to find. At my age. At any age.
In the movie, there are two sisters and two brothers who find themselves at a chance meeting and fall for each other. Who falls for whom? Well, you might ask and I spent most of the movie wondering myself. One sister was proposed to by a brother very much in love with her, though it turned out that (even though she accepted his proposal) she was in love with his brother. And the other sister was in love with the brother who proposed. This is a story built on truth and, in fact, could very well be based on a true story. In the end the two that were madly in love with each other married and went away, leaving two very unhappy and lonely people to go their separate ways.
There was an ending to the movie…but not a happy one. Just like life.
I Am…Woman? May 23, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011.
Tags: Air filter, electrocution, Home Depot, juggling life, Life, Nothing, Washing machine, Woman, woman being man, Wonder Woman
Being a man is hard enough, I suppose, for the ones who are born as such. You are expected to provide for your family, have a great career, provide offspring, and take out the garbage. Oh wait-
So…being a man is hard enough but if you are a woman who has to fulfill both gender-specific tasks, things get…a little tricky. So, sure, I’m single. I haven’t always been that way. I wonder if it is more difficult to have been married for a decade (with a man around to be the man) and then transform into a woman-man morphed existence…as opposed to having done it all yourself all along — or if it is basically the same either way.
For instance. Yes, I can take out the garbage…no mean feat that — although, according to every man I’ve come in to contact with, it is the most onerous task alive. I can hang paintings on the wall — although, for some reason the damn things lean to the same side all the time. I need to buy one of those gadgets. You know what I’m talking about…with the yellow jelly thing that moves back and forth inside a little bubble attached to a large flat object. What is that? Anyway, I’d know it in Home Depot if I saw it.
I bought chemical sprays for things like cleaning, door hinges, and spiders. I take my car to the auto shop for oil changes instead of having my husband do it. And…what else? Hmmm. I unclog drains, change air filters, and fix things that break. And I know I didn’t mention mowing but that’s because someone else mows my lawn for free, not because I wouldn’t do it. I actually like mowing — very therapeutic.
But tonight, I’m having an issue with my Wo/He-Man status. Why? I’ll tell you. Because my washing machine is trying to electrocute me. I know it has something to do with wiring and electricity and water. That’s about all I know. So…I unplugged the death trap and stood back to survey the machine from a safe distance (unplugged or not). I know diddly squat about wiring. Zilch. Nada. Zero. And then I thought that thought I swore I would never think.
I need a man.
Yes, it is true. It might happen that I had a man and even he would not know what to do. But a man won’t tell you he doesn’t know how to deal with it because even if he doesn’t, he will call someone who does. (which is the obvious solution for me — just call someone who does know). But part of the greatness in having a man around to fix things I’m ignorant about is being able to pass the task off to someone, smack my hands together lightly, and move on to the next more-womanly task.
But this is my life. And this is me. Trying my best to be a man. Sort of.
My Spectre Around Me… May 21, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in Poems, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People, Writing.
Tags: Arts, Experiencing Life, failed love, Life, Love, Poetry, Relationships, Romance, unrequited love, William Blake
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***William Blake (1757-1827) uses the word ‘spectre’ to refer to his constant, redundant inability to embrace love…or the object of his affections. When he vows to ‘turn from female love’ he is not suggesting becoming homosexual or ascetic, but to give up the act of embracing love. He wants to be happy and decides that the constant attempt to embrace love is making him unhappy, so to break himself from the cycle of inability, he is giving up the pursuit.***
My Spectre Around Me Night and Day – William Blake
My spectre around me night and day
like a wild beast guards my way
my emanation far within
weeps incessantly for my sin
A fathomless and boundless deep
there we wander, there we weep
on the hungry craving wind
my spectre follows thee behind
He scents thy footsteps in the snow
wheresoever thou dost go
thro the wintry hail and rain
when wilt thou return again?
Dost thou not in pride and scorn
fill with tempests all my morn
and with jealousies and fears
fill my pleasant nights with tears
Seven of my sweet loves thy knife
has bereaved of their life
their marble tombs I built with tears
and with cold and shuddering fears
Seven more loves weep night and day
round the tombs where my loves lay
and seven more loves attend each night
around my couch with torches bright
And seven more loves in my bed
crown with wine my mournful head
pitying and forgiving all
thy transgressions great and small
When wilt thou return and view
my loves and them to life renew?
When wilt thou return and live
when wilt thou pity as I forgive?
Never, Never I return
still for victory I burn
living thee alone I’ll have
and when dead I’ll be thy grave
Thro the heaven and earth and hell
thou shalt never never quell
I will fly and thou pursue
night and morn the flight renew
Till I turn from female love
and root up the infernal grove
I shall never worthy be
to step into Eternity
And to end thy cruel mocks
annihilate thee on the rocks
and another form create
to be subservient to my fte
Let us agree to give up love
and root up the infernal grove
then shall we return and see
the worlds of happy eternity
and throughout all Eternity
I forgive you, you forgive me
as our dear redeemer said
this is the wine, and this is the bread.
How Great Change Can Be May 20, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: Accepting Change, Change management, Experiencing Life, friends, Life, Living, Management, people, Ripple in the Pond, society, Thoughts on Life, Who Moved My Cheese?
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No one likes change. They want to change one thing — just one — but a great many other things change as well. The pebble in the pond theory. The idea (or dream) of winning the lottery, for instance, sounds great. Being able to fearlessly pay your bills is awesome. But, what about the ripples? Those little waves being users, disasters, strangely predictable bad luck, etc.
This is one area where my over-analysis really pays off. Knowing what to expect, for the most part, and considering the possibilities, makes change a little more palatable. Having change foisted on you is, yes, a tad different…or, the same, because it presents the unknown and unexpected.
I’ve had conversations with people who landed a great job they applied for — a huge pay increase, benefits, insurance, family-friendly — and they resign from their current job, in favor of the new one. Seems the obvious choice. Within weeks the eureka from landing such awesomeness turns into a daily complaint about the commute. Pause. Tilt head to side in imitation of confused dog. You didn’t know how far a drive it was when you applied?
Every action has a consequence…causes a ripple. In fact, even inaction has a consequence. Every step, every word, every action has an effect. Your actions force change on dozens of others every day. Change of thought. Change of direction. So it makes sense that occasionally you will be effected by someone else. It simply is. Life is.
Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing and doesn’t deserve its stigma.
During my 10-year stint at a company, I was forced to read “Who Moved my Cheese?”, which actually wasn’t too bad of a read but the reason for why I “needed” to read it wasn’t the same as what I got out of it. The purpose I deduced was that I should make change to improve myself or my situation. I was the mouse who went looking for cheese because I was hungry — not the mouse who had to be brow-beaten and then abandoned because he would not change.
The whole point behind instruction to read it was because we were being taken over by a stifling new management. So, because I’m the first mouse, I left the company. 🙂 And met some great people I would otherwise not have met.
See how great change can be?
Dear You… May 19, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Writing.
Tags: Boredom, friends, Life, people, Recreation, Thoughts on Life, writing
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Today I told you I was bored. Exceedingly bored…so full of disinterest I had begun to compare myself to an elderly person just waiting for “it all” to end. I told you I couldn’t find a spark…that little fluttery thing to ignite my interest. Every day is the same thing, all day. Ho-freakin-hum.
What, for the LOVE of God, would I find entertaining?
The question is harder than it seems. When the boredom creates a feeling of lethargy from the top of your head to your toenails…how do you convince your blood to boil…your heart to beat a
little lot faster?
You suggested sex, which of course is an obvious thing to get the ole heart going and, as you are a man, completely predictable that this would be the first suggestion offered. But aside from that…what?
So I drove, lost in thought and completely uncertain how I managed to drive the entire route on auto-pilot, and I thought I was just like Winnie-the-Pooh…think, think, think. And so I did.
I thought about all the things in this world I find pleasure in — like dancing when I vaccuum and finding that perfect scenic spot for a picnic. I thought about playing boardgames with my kids and having coffee with my sisters. I thought about all the times I laugh with my friends or scream on carnival rides. I thought about the movies I see on dates and the photographs I take when I go somewhere to be alone.
I thought about the sound of dozens of different voices laughing over the years. And I thought about you. I thought that perhaps all I really needed today was to hear from you and be reminded of all the pleasure I already have, just in the every-day.
And then I thought I would Google sky-diving.