Wildflower Lane

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend a creative writing workshop called “Writing to the Senses” which was jointly hosted by Authoring Action, Winston-Salem Writers, SECCA, and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem. We each got to pick out a piece of artwork from one of the Art-o-mat machines currently on display at SECCA (if you’re local, go check it out!). It was serendipitous that I found an artist who paints coffee and tea cups for Art-o-mat!
The experience was at once exhilarating and humbling. My writing style has always been fairly brief and has gotten more so as the years have gone on especially since the majority of my writing is done in the business world where brevity and clarity are key. Descriptors are not as important as saving busy professionals time by simply getting to the point – at least that is what I have been told.
What I took away from the night: excitement from learning something new and having my thinking challenged; a determination to expand on my use of imagery, to learn to paint the pictures I see in my head with words on the page; and a little piece of writing that I’m proud of as it is where I am now with my writing which to me is a huge thing because I AM WRITING.
Below is finished piece with scant editing from laying down my pen on Thursday when the bell rang. Time will tell if it is finished as is or will grow, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is only a start, the words will continue to roll around in my head and grow into a more robust piece of writing.

Wildflower Lane

Traveling leisurely down the dirt road on my bicycle, I smile thinking back on the jagged path that has led me here. It started with a hot cup of tea, pen in hand, and a simple idea. I knew I would find success if I quenched my own thirst for fulfillment and brought my scattered thoughts about love, loss, and life to the page. My hope was to enrich others through a book about finding contentment in who we are now – all the messy stuff that life throws our way and our all-too-human reaction to the absurdity of life. It all started with the idea that we are perfect and lovable in our vast imperfection.
I continued in the direction of my rustic goat farm where I will contentedly swing with my love on the front porch. Later that night, we look in the direction of the sunset, talking about the flowers we will plant in the Spring. Peace settles over us as the stars begin to twinkle. We have built our dreams on the backs of goals. Goals that required toil and sacrifice which is now gone with the wind as we peacefully sit together while the crickets sing their lullaby. On Wildflower Lane, we have found ourselves and will not be lost again.

Real Talk

I literally hate my job! This has been a common reframe and theme from me over the years – just ask any of my family and friends how many times they have heard me say it! One time, when I was still married, I apparently sat up in the middle of the night and yelled “I HATE MY FUCKING JOB” after which I laid back down being none the wiser of my outburst though my then-husband was understandably a little rattled.

I haven’t had the same job for all of these years and have had a couple that I actually liked. I also will say, that there are aspects of each of my jobs that I enjoy. For the most part, though, I am continuously dissatisfied with my work. Why is that and how do I keep landing myself in pit (job) of despair? Is there truly no escape from the misery?

pit of despair

I believe that there is a light and through a few things I’m doing now, to include writing this blog, I am going to get to it. At forty-something, I’m figuring out what I want to be when I grow-up. When I was little and more than a little feisty, I said that I wanted to be the President of the United States when I grew up – not headed in that direction anymore but definitely figuring a few previously unresolved things out.

First off, I love to write. I have stories and narratives playing in my head regularly. (I have checked, it’s okay and not something that is worrisome to my mental health care friends!) Whenever I have been in a position where I have had the opportunity to write – reports, business proposals, grants, newsletters etc. I have been ecstatic. I even get excited about writing complex emails where I need to explain difficult concepts. This all being said, I know that writing must be part of my career happily ever after.

Secondly, I love connecting with people and helping people connect with others. I have always loved the idea of building bridges. In one job, I had been working with struggling parents to get the resources they needed in order to better navigate the tricky parenting terrain – this made me feel useful and that I was making a positive impact on individuals and society.

Thirdly, providing support and helping people become the best version of themselves brings me a lot of satisfaction and joy. Even in my current (dreaded) position, I look for opportunities to teach or train others. I believe in the old adage about teaching a man to fish. Not only will he never run out of fish but he will also develop a feeling of being capable which is priceless and transcends one situation to impact many.

It has taken me a long time to figure out that these things I love and feel energized by are also my gifts that I have to share with the world. We are each unique in how we are put together from our looks to our thoughts to our unique talents and gifts; that is because the world needs each of us. It has taken quite a bit of soul-searching and positive re-enforcement from family and friends but now I am starting to understand the value of my unique combination of talents.

To that end, I’m developing a business plan that will combine what I have to offer and put me in a position to love the work I am doing. Stay tuned as there will be more to come!

Charlottesville

Truly, I did not think that the topic of my first “real” blog post would be about racism and violence but with the events this weekend in Charlottesville, VA that topic is weighing heavy on my heart and mind. These are my thoughts, feelings, and observations.

Many of my friends, acquaintances, and I are asking the question “how, in 2017, is this still happening?” Quite frankly, it’s still happening because we have yet to deal with the root causes and the institutionalized racism that keeps us where we are with people growing angrier and more disenfranchised. This latest incident in Charlottesville has yet to spark the level of outrage and action we should expect to see from our president. There are reports of counter-protesters having been beaten yards from the police station with no police involvement to stop the event.

My son is bi-racial. About a year ago there was another event that caused me to actually be grateful that he looks more like me (white) than his dad (black). The thought was unsolicited and passed through my mind in a flash. It shocked me a little bit but I didn’t try to justify it or think something different. I own that I had that thought and use it as fuel to action. No parent should have to fear for their child’s safety because of the color of their skin though it happens daily. A high school friend of mine recently stepped in to help a friends of her sons’ who is black. He had been stopped by the local police and the situation was escalating. This was a “good” kid who is in high school, plays sports, and is in general not a trouble-maker. My friend was fearful for the kid’s safety and said it was one of the most frightening situations she has encountered.

As a parent, I want my son to be able to go places and experience a multitude of things without the fear of being harassed or watched more closely because of the color of his skin. And he can do that. He is a skinny, tan kid with unruly curls and a happy smile. Parents of other races and religions want the same damn thing for their children and why should they not have it??

The Alt-Right, the KKK, and white supremacists who identify with other groups all seek to maintain this sense of control and power. We outnumber them – we have to ensure that we do not let their scare tactics and violence deter us from action and we must act. Silence is no longer acceptable as it shows consent. I will not consent to these people taking away my country.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela

TEACH AND LIVE LOVE – HATE WILL NOT WIN