I don’t believe in ‘writer’s block’

Some days there are no words.  Silence echoes through the recesses of the mind, and no thoughts form, no words comes to mind thus no sentences are created.  Of course there are always thoughts, but they become jummbled up, have no structure and simply make little sense.   Writers block?  Possibly, yet I feel like it isn’t a block as such, more a lack of inspiration.  Or maybe it is just a moment of simply not actually wanting to write.  I experience this at times, the past couple of days I haven’t felt compelled to write very much at all.  Sometimes I go a whole year without really writing anything.  And then suddenly the passion and desire returns, and I write like a lunatic, all the thoughts becoming words and sentences and poems which spill out onto the page.

Just because there are times when there is no desire to write, it does not necessarily signal a block.  I see it more like the natural ebb and flow of life.  Expansion through to a down period and then to a pause, which may last a short while or may go on for sometime.  No need to feel disheartend as some do when experiencing the pause stage.  It’s a good time for reflection, and absolutely necessary for creating the space to formulate new ideas and plans.

Accept every experience, not just the ‘good’ stuff.  Be willing to allow yourself to  move freely in rhythm with the ebb and flow of life, with the inhalations and exhalations, and the quiet pause in between. 

A question of flexibilty, practice, and an open mind

The correct alignment of the body when practicising yoga asanas is critical if one is to avoid injury.  Due to the nature of a home practice, I need to be super on top of my game and awareness when I am in the postures, one false move, a slight bend in improper alignment, and you hear your back/shoulders/hip pop – if you’re fortunate, it is only the sound you hear and no pain is experienced- phew!  If you are not so fortunate, that pop or crack can signal a pretty painful injury.  My week so far has been dominated with the challenge of correct alignment when performing trikonasana (triangle pose).  To look at, it seems fairly simply, but the amount of co-ordination and the different directions of which you need to feel the movement is tricky to say the least.  Just a slight mis alignment and you find your knee under strain, or your body folding forwards.  My hips are no where near as flexible and open as they need to be in order to execute this posture correctly.  Thanks to a slight perfectionist tendency, and my super determination, the past three days (not all of the day of course, just during my practice) I have been sweating my back out in an attempt to ‘feel’ how this posture is supposed to ‘feel’ – and its getting there – and wow is it challenging!  This morning I felt as though I had been practising aerobic activity for an hour and a half rather than stretching and twisting my body in a way it was not used to!

They say its the practice which is important – not whether you can execute a perfect or difficult asana, and its not about mastering anything. Yet i want to ‘master’ trikonasana.  I am going to practice this posture until it comes naturally, until I no longer have to physically check that my sacrum is in the right position, or that my abdominals and chest are rotated upwards.  I am going to practice this posture until I can feel all this – then I will know that I am becoming fully aware of what my body is doing, and fully mindful of its movements.  Then I will know that my practice of the asanas is progressing.  Then I will simply continue to practice.

Funny how we all have bodies, a body which is ours for our whole lives, but how often are we fully present within our bodies?  How often do we truly live in our bodies and not just our minds?  Trikonasana is teaching me how to be fully present within my body.

Life is precious

What the hell is wrong with me

tears fall

I lose my balance

crash to the floor

wimpering

shaking

I can’t do this anymore.

Then an angel touched my arm

“What’s with this ‘can’t’?

sure you f^cking can!”

pick yourself up

dust yourself down

human life is precious

and rather than thinking it goes on and on

be aware and wise

and always acknowledge

that you could die today.

Death is certain

though we know not when

impermenance

is what we accept

and with this in mind

suddenly i realised

life is precious

I dare not waste it

crumpled on the floor

drowning in tears

for I may die today

so I must live with purpose now

not wait till next year.

The Aha! moment….

Following a challenging week (meaning my son has been in my care 24/7) and whilst enjoyable, I am exhausted.  Exhausted to the point whereby I am literally on the brink of tears.  Today we stayed home (in order to get all the household jobs done – or at least started, and due to complete lack of funds).  In my mind I had thought this would be enjoyable.  I could clean etc, and then me and the little man could watch cartoons/films, maybe doing some drawing and reading together.  Yet by 11am I was at the end of my tether, I needed space, I needed quiet.  The week that had passed had drained my energies so completely.  I wondered if maybe I was possibly coming down with something.  Following a rather topsy turvy and slightly tearful day, I found myself sat at the kitchen table mid washing up with tears streaming down my cheeks and berating myself for being a terribly mum.  What was I doing wrong?  Why was spending time and playing with my son (whom I adore) so hard?

Then it occurred to me, through the tears and the sweet release they brought to me when I allowed them to fall uncensored, I am an introvert.  Something that I rarely like to admit to myself, but I am.  I value my alone time, I need it in order to be the best version of me.  My son on the other hand is extremely extroverted – whatever he thinks he says.  He constantly needs interaction.  So, although it is difficult to accept, me and my adorable little man are going to clash, at least until he is old enough to understand/grasp the concept that when mum needs a little quiet time, its not out of rejection or not wanting to be around and play, not because of anything bad, but simply because it is what I need in order to continue being the best mum that I can be.

It now makes perfect sense.  My son loves going to his grandads because grandad will play for hours with him.  Nana on the other hand is like me.  We play for a while and then our inner voice tells us we need a break, or we get irritable and crabby.  I had thought it was due to not possessing a maternal type gene – but how can that be so when I am extremely maternal at the times when it matters most?  Interaction and entertaining is draining for me after a certain period of time.  And thats okay.  I have come to understand that it is not a case of being a rotten mother, more that it is my nature to wish for solitude when I need to re-charge.  The mission and challenge that awaits now that I have made this insightful discovery, is the one in which my son and I learn to understand and respect the differences of our temperaments, and learn how to negotiate and navigate the needs for interaction and space.

Positive steps forward, and now an opportunity to learn from him the ways in which he thrives, and vice versa.

Burnt garlic, a smoke filled house and a trip to the farm.

I awoke this morning prior to the customary alarm sounding.  The neighbours had been so noisy departing from their house i had actually thought that I had missed my alarm all together.  Nope, it was 6am – and a wonderfully bright morning.  I managed a whole twenty minutes alone with my coffee sat at the kitchen table, gazing out of the window before my son made his noisy descent down the stairs.  “I want chocolate milk, get me my vitamin, do you have any yoghurts? I want a banana.  I’m watching the tv, bring it in……PLEASE”.  Bliss interrupted, I peeled myself of the stool and set to making breakfast for the little lord fauntleroy.

After the usual morning routine of getting ready, temper tantrums at not wanting to wear socks or have a wash, we finally left the house.  The sunshine led me to think a trip to a farm would be a nice way to spend the morning, so off we went.  The little man was chuffed to bits at being able to feed the animals with his tubs of carrots and bread, althought he kept calling the farm a zoo.  At one of the in houses, the farmers had little kittens, and lots of other children were sat holding the kittens and looking adorable.  The little man was more interested in the rats and mice, and when I asked him if he would like to hold one of the kittens, he looked at me bemused and said, “Why?  They aren’t farm animals, I see cats all the time, they poo in our front garden – smelly cats”.

After a good hour and a half of checking out the various pens, and feeding the horses and donkey’s, we set off back home.  The sunshine was quite deceiving, and I, wearing only a light jacket, was frozen to the bone (I’m being overly dramatic – I was a little nippy).  Once home it was time for a spot of lunch, and needing to use up some fresh spaghetti i decided to make my own tomato pasta sauce.  Not difficult is it?  Well, its not if you are any other person than me!  I’d been having a recent good run in the kitchen, experimenting with new flavours and cooking from scratch, and up to now everything had turned out rather tasty.  Pasta sauce, however, did not turn out quite as nice as I had hoped.

Popping the oil, onion and garlic in a pan to slow fry, I busied myself filling a pan for the spaghetti and chatting to the little man.  Before i knew it the garlic had burnt.  Oh well, will add a nice toasty flavour to the sauce, I thought.  Without realising how hot the pan was, I proceeded to tip in the carton of chopped tomato’s.  Wow, massive spit backs and a whole lot of steam/smoke.  I must have been reacting in slow motion, because before I knew it, the whole of the house was filled with smoke (and this is not an exageration!)  Smoke alarms going off, pasta sauce smelling anything but nice – I ran upstairs to silence the alarms, opening windows and doors on my way back to the kitchen, and finally the smoke dispersed.  I hadn’t yet given up on the sauce.  I added white wine vinegar, mixed herbs, salt and pepper – put the lid on the pan and hoped for the best.  Unfortunately, no amount of faith or positive thinking would have been able to salvage that sauce.  Think I may stick to the jarred stuff in future!

 

A mother’s thoughts.

As I sit on the couch, legs stretched out in front of me and crossed gently at the ankles leaning softly on the coffe table, I ponder my own hypocrisy.  My son is forever being told (from me) that feet do NOT go on the table.  Yet here I am doing just that.  I do not want my son to grow up thinking that it is ok for some people to follow certain rules, whilst others do not have to.  I do not want him to grow up thinking that inequality is ok.  So, do I remove my own feet from the table on which they are so comfortably resting?  No.  I set the boundary for feet being placed on tables.  I tell him that feet rested on tables (as long as there is no edible entities or beverages on said table) is ok – in our home anyway.

We are conditioned into thinking inequality is ok from when we are children from our very own parents.  Its ok for adults to; shout, be giddy, stay up late, eat too much chocolate etc.  But you are the little people – you are not allowed, because I, the one who does the very things I tell you not to do, says so.  How cock eyed is that?  Leading by example, and practising what we preach is probably a more beneficial approach.  One which I am most certainly going to aspire to and incorporate into my parenting.

We set our own boundaries, and our own rules based on our unique individual limitations.  Enforcing rules onto another individual (just because we say so) is, when one thinks about it, a rather unjust way to live.  In complete honesty – when I usual tell my young person to not do something, its usually because said action is not pleasing to me, i.e – irritating, annoying etc -and not neccesarily something which is bad, or doing any particular harm.  Not everyone would agree, and that’s ok, because life is not to be lived in a ‘one size fits all manner’ anyhow - and neither is parenting.

My only desire and hope as a parent is that I do my best in raising my young man to be a loving, kind unique individual.  And secretly I am rather proud that he will not simply do as he is told without being given a reason as to why he should.  That is one characteristic that I truly feel will do well for him in this world.

non waiting

I am here,

why, it is not yet clear,

but here I am.

Patiently, yet not waiting,

being,

no commiserating.

obituary that I read

the way I found out that you were

truly dead.

Do I cry for the moon

as she transitions through her phases?

miss the long summer

the scenery

the heat hazes

running through mazes

my soul lost in crazy places.

no

I got stuck on a star

on Hollywood boulevard

I’m still here

patiently not waiting

My Wednesday…

I hadn’t expected when I awoke this morning that I would be stood in the centre of a circus ring with a clown this afternoon!  Safe to say my son was absolutely horrified that the joker clown had whisked his mum away from her seat, and told me afterwards that the experience had ‘made him feel awkward in his body’.  I was slightly embarrassed but it was a good laugh.

Also today I made my first lot of homemade hummus – rather suprised at how easy this process is – and quite pleased that it tastes so similar to the shop bought stuff.  This in itself has made me think that I must have made it right!

Wanted to keep my promise to myself that I would write on my blog everyday, so today’s is more like a brief journal entry.  Poems are simply not forming in my head.  But what does it matter?  I’m writing, its all practice, therefore its worth sharing.

This was my ‘limbo’ day experience – I don’t usually take a shine to Wednesdays, but today’s been pretty good.

I thank you Wednesday, for proving to be a rather enjoyable day. 

Age-old wisdom

Tired eyes, weary soul,

they never told you that one day you would grow so old,

Exchange youthful looks

for elders wisdom

you wished for kindness

in your disappointment

you are forgiven

it didn’t quite work out

in the way you had hoped

covered in lines

your heart

bitter and unkind

as ignorant as you were fifty years ago

you ought to have listened to the sages

when they had told you the ways to cultivate compassion

and wisdom doth grow

only with practice with each precious moment

not simply bestowed

the moment one becomes ‘old’