New Year’s Eve, 2019 (33)

Today I find my way back toward normalcy. I mix two big bags of bird seed, fill the feeders, replenish the hummingbird nectar. I make yesterday’s handwritten revisions to my memoir in the word document, remove pieces that don’t sing, clearing deadwood. Now I am fresh from the shower, renewed, the sliding glass door wide open, my white-crowned sparrows still rustling in the dried blossoms beneath the bougainvillea. The solar Christmas lights have come on, and my two strings of crystals and my magic ring, washed in honeysuckle soap, are hanging in the courtyard, awaiting the moon’s blessings on this new year’s eve. I have miso stock simmering, sending the scent of ginger into the air, and broccoli and cauliflower ready to roast. I submitted my manuscript to the Many Voices Project an hour ago. I have the night ahead of me, good food, a favorite book. Tonight I feel more like myself, quiet inside, even sweetness this morning when I wondered how I might make my way now back to joy. It comes to me I could feel lonely, but I like being here alone, awake to each moment, feeling the year come to a close. I can hear Ted banging pots in the kitchen next door and Rae and Kirk laughing from his trailer on the other side, car sounds one street over, people heading out to celebrate, the noises all muted and homey. I hold still, relishing the sounds of the sparrows, the colored lights in the late dusk, the crickets chirping, the caw of a raven in the distance. Quiet, peaceful, easy. Right.

Valentine’s Day Retreat? (33)

Friday Feb. 14th (and the 15th and 16th?)

Okay, this is kind of goofy. I want to offer a writing day on February 14th (and maybe the 15th and the 16th, too). But I’m not sure where it might be or if it might need to just be online.

I told you it was a bit goofy. But after our extraordinary experience at the Joshua Tree retreat in November, I had a dream telling me to do the next one on Valentine’s Day. I let myself get swept up in life, and I didn’t pursue this, but I still want to honor the dream even if it’s much belated.

So. Please save the date(s) if you’d like to do a nice long chunk of writing together (true stories, creative nonfiction prompts, lovely camaraderie, laughter).

Stay tuned. I will let you know if I find a space for us, or if this will be something we can do online together. Oh, and maybe let me know if you are interested. Not sure what we might be able to pull together at such short notice, but you never know. And it’s a holiday weekend, too!

Sending good wishes to each of you for this and for 2020!

Riba
_________________________

Riba Taylor
760-327-9759
https://499words.org/

Dear Readers (32)

First, in December there is a three-week stretch where all I can do is what must be done. (It feels like six months.) Even firm commitments, looked forward to, fall away beside the path, grieved for, lost in the tangled weeds. Then there are eight days of no work when I withdraw, retreat to my warm bed on cold winter days. I let myself reread my old favorite books, dear companions. I let myself write, cry a little as fear seeps out of me, let my mind wander, allow ahas to surface. Then big work resumes, both colleges, warmer days, bird sounds through the open windows. I begin to scribble blog posts in my notebook, or things I hope might be blog posts. (I am now terribly behind.) I am not quite back in high gear yet, but I am working and writing. And I begin to dream about truly returning here, to see if little by little I might be able to get current with you, my dear readers. Always dear. Always.

Tweet 27 Nurture

Kat sends me home from the retreat with a jar of her divine vegan gravy. I make stuffing. Mushrooms, garlic, Asian pear, walnuts, my odd pancakes for the bread. For a moment I flash on being selfish, not sharing. I shake my head. I feel good tending to myself with care.

[27 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]

Tweet 25 Aftermath

Pink glow above the rim of my dark mountain, sparrows still calling in the late dusk. Cozy at home, I let the day be tender. Shame arises in the wake of the retreat. My sin of interrupting looms large. But this healing is newly balanced, too, by my awe and my delight.

[25 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]

Tweet 24 After the Retreat

I sit cross-legged on my couch, the heater blasting, crickets singing through the open windows. My whole body thrums, like getting off a train after a long ride. Tonight it is the motion of our time together that resonates in me, and images of our metta rattle dance.

[24 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]

Tweet 23 Staying

When did I last feel this way? Saturated, as if I can’t absorb one iota more, almost goofy with it, punch-drunk. But I don’t pull myself away from the discussion, don’t want to miss the moment, drawn to these people, swimming in this rich, lively human broth together.

[23 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]