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/

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]

Tweet 20 Rough-Hewn

I am five, white in a mostly white school. I take out my clunky, fat, foil-wrapped sandwich of hard brown German bread. Everyone else sits with their white bread tucked into tidy, thin plastic bags. I feel crude, ashamed. I don’t know I’m the daughter of an immigrant.

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

Tweet 12 Enough (Already)

Early on in discussions about immigrants from Africa and Haiti President Trump asks why we’d want people from “all these shithole countries.” Forget Ukraine. (Not really.) The “shithole” countries and his remarks about “grabbing pussy” should’ve been enough to sink him.

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

Tweet 4 Fuzzy Memory

We’re in the girl’s bathroom, plain white tile, 5th grade. The group of black girls in my class are breaking the rules, I think. I am a goody-two-shoes, say some snooty, uptight white girl thing? Later, our teacher names me the ringleader, and the black girls laugh.

[I plan to post one tweet each day in November @tryingmywings. I am re-posting them here.]