The Andromeda Stain

It’s happened.

The first stain on one of our new furniture pieces.*

* In our brand new home, we are now living with pretty, lighter rugs and fabrics whereas before we had pretty, pre-strained things that had come from my parents’ home in Texas.

I have been dreading the first spill. Trying to embrace that the day will come.

It was today.

It was made by me. I was sitting at my new desk. I had carelessly left a ballpoint pen with the wicked stylus protruding. My forearm sent it flying, and it fell. My heart fell with it, and I knew before I looked what I would find: a small black ink mark on the new purple office chair seat.

I found ink mark stain removal guidance on line, but we all know how perilous that can be. (The kinds of products and things they assume you have laying around is astonishing.)

I madly read through different ideas, then made a daring attempt involving hairspray, q-tips and mild dish soap.

At first, it looked like I’d not only not gotten the ink out, but I’d created a much bigger stain than the black dot of ink.

“That is what you get,” I thought, “for thinking things could be perfect.”

Somehow, (blessedly), my cleaning attempts have worked in the end. Thank you Perseus.

For today, I can continue the illusion that all will stay pristine forever.

(I know, I know. It is only a matter of time.)

In the meanwhile… I shall tempt the gods as I wait.

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Another One Bites the Dust

Today, I mourn the loss of yet another presence in my life.

I am bereft.

I have been working off daily word prompts for about a year that The Daily Post has generously provided.

They have given me an anchor to my days…especially helpful last year at this time when I was having to stay close to home much of the time for health reasons.

It helped me feel connected to the world and to my creativity to post once a day.

It ended up teaching me so much about creativity. About how just doing it is much better than trying to get it “right” or good.

It gave my perfectionism a real run for its money. I had to let each day’s post go, however I felt about its value.

Sometimes I loved what the word prompt prompted. Memories or associations I’d forgotten or never even known I had.

Sometimes I felt totally “dry” and annoyed at the word. Sometimes I’d be shocked when such a prompt led me to an unexpected and wonderful-to-explore place.

I learned to live with posts I wrote that I thought were total drivel. Posts I secretly thought were brilliant. Meh posts.

Thank you The Daily Post for this amazing year and all you have brought to my writing.

I get attached to things.

I’ve grown accustomed to The Daily Post Daily Word Prompts! I had no idea they were ending as of Friday!

I’ve had panic since realizing they were moving on. What will I do? How will I survive?

I have found wonderful readers and other bloggers to follow from TDP. I loved reading the myriad variations off a word!

I feel adrift, at sea. Alone in the great ocean of blogs.

To all of “you” out there: do you know of any similar sites?

I take solace today in Oleta Adam’s prolific rendition of “Everything Must Change,” which I hear in my head every time I lose a good thing in my life to change. She gets me through every time.

At least that never changes.

Gone Fishing

I was so relaxed yesterday here in a beautiful old house on the shores of Cape Cod that I forgot to blog!

I slipped! Oops!

But instead of beating myself up, I choose to celebrate this little break from my drive to “get it all done,” this break from my goal of a blog a day, this break from perfectionism.

Just as it feels good to show up for my drive, it also feels good to show up for my need to “be.”

The Urban Dictionary defines “gone fishing” as:

Gone Fishing

1. To checkout from reality. To be unaware of what’s going on.

2. To drop the duties of daily life and go do something else, something nice.

I hadn’t intended to do that, I always blog no matter what. But you know what, it was nice to “slip.” I think I have always feared relaxing my grip, my drive — that if I do so once, I will slide into some kind of lethargy. Lose all will.

Yet here I am, right back on schedule. Happy to write.

May you give yourself a little break today – some change in your regularly disciplined routine, some shift in your thoughts.

It really is OK. The sun will rise again.

It did this morning.

Lift Off

I’ve been dancing on the skinny branches

It’s been a long time coming

No longer hiding ‘neath the foliage

Or burying myself in the gnarled knots of life

I am ready to fly, put these wings to use

I love the skinny branches, they’ve showed me myself

But the sky is beckoning with winking clouds

And the wind is calling my name

And trees never hold on to anything

So why on earth should I?

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: branch

Traveling On

I hear you

My constant companions

Some whispering, some insistent

All desperate to be heard

Reaching from behind to steer me

Safely through the world

A world you did not survive

I hear you

I do

But I must find my own way

Must live new mistakes

And leave this world

Having lived new ways of being in it

I hear you

I do

And I say

Thank you

And I say

Goodbye

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: constant

Done is Better Than Perfect

Well, it happened.

I thought I published yesterday’s post, but I just saw that I did not.

There is a part of me devastated by this error.

I call this part of me “Perfectionista.”

If I am not vigilant, she drives me. She wants to get things right. She wants to be the best at whatever she does, all the time. To be seen as the best. Perfect.

She hates making mistakes.

So breaking my daily posting streak of many months? Not going over well with her.

I try to reason with her. Technically, I did write it yesterday, and though clearly I messed up and only thought I published it, I created it yesterday. And after all, the point of me doing it daily is so that I do at least one creative act daily to stay connected to my creativity. That’s it.

So cool. I did that. Yay me!

But that part of me, Perfectionista, she wants more. And what she wants has to do with what she thinks others think of her.

And she is loud.

She creates suffering for me. She is going to incessantly remind me of this flaw, trying to create a very unsettled feeling that will saturate my system.

“You blew it,” she says.

Hers is a world of extremes, of black and white thinking, of a self-generated pressure to meet somewhat randomly selected standards and performance deadlines and levels or else…

She lives in world with an almost life and death internal pressure to seem perfect to others.

I cannot live from her world view. It’s too exhausting, too exacting. And empty.

I. Just. Can’t.

My world? I try to simplify these days. What a waste of precious time, worrying what others will think about me missing a randomly-decided goal.

More and more, it’s about doing my best on any given day and letting that be more than enough.

Don’t get me wrong: I still strive to be “the best.”

The best I can be on any given day.

As for what others think of that? No longer my business, thank you very much.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: simplify

Compost

Lay me down on a bed of pine needles

Remove my clothing, piece by piece

Place twigs and moss in my hair

And put daisies on my eyes

Evoke the spirits of the trees

Invite my ancestors to be in attendance

Sing from a place within you that has no name

Leave me knowing I am free now

Let my body return to the earth

Mingle with the leaves and the forest life

Know me, leaving, that I am everywhere

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: evoke