Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm Looking at...

Telling my throngs of readers, all 3 of you, that I am going to post every Monday and Thursday is going to hold me accountable to doing just that.  This is another writing exercise from Natalie Goldberg’s book, Old Friend from Far Away.

I am Looking at…

I am looking at the back of my friend’s laptop.  It is a limey-green green and fits her personality to a tea.  My green of choice is a more the color of leaves and grass but she is wild and crazy and has a wonderful creative streak so this one works.  For her to have a basic gray or black computer would be wrong.

We are at the airport pretending we’re headed someplace warm.  There is a plethora of things to look at.  Unfortunately we are seated at a table in the back corner and I am facing the wall so all the action is behind me.  We are also by a window but there is a pillar right outside my section of glass.  That’s okay.  I don’t need anything flashing it’s shininess around and distracting me.  Squirrel…

I am also looking at the end of spring break, my week of pretending I’m a professional writer.  It’s been fabulous and I’ve loved every minute.  Oh to have this feeling all the time.  I’m looking at a life where I jump out of bed in the morning.  I see a schedule of my own design filled with more of these crazy writing exercises at destinations all over Portland.  There is a bit of a selfish aspect to my time being my own.  But I see it as more than that.  I see it allowing me to be open and available.

I’m looking at my friend, my travelling companion on this excursion, who I believe looks at life somewhat the same way.  Everyone should have a friend like that even though they would steal a bite of your chocolate cake delivered to the table while you’re away in the restroom. 

Okay guys, 5 minutes using the phrase, “I’m looking at…” GO!  Tell me what you saw.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Salizar Street

I think I am landing on a Monday and Thursday posting schedule.  Now that I am actually up and running in the world of blogging I’m having fun.  It’s much better than the, “Just do it already,” hanging over my head.

I have been writing music since I was in Junior High.  I feel comfortable with that process.  I’ve written musical scripts for my students for years and have had great success with directing these productions in school and church.  But now that I am attempting to write my thoughts in memoir form I feel very intimidated.  So I’m “schooling” myself.  I’ve checked out books on the craft of writing from the fabulous Multnomah County Library, registered for writing workshops, devoured my 3 issues of Writer’s Digest Magazine and searched blogs and websites till my progressive lenses have glazed over.

I am finding one of the books I have checked out, OLD FRIEND FROM FAR AWAY by Natalie Goldberg, very helpful.  It has hundreds of writing exercises to free your memories deeply buried under layers of life, denial, or maybe just dementia.

One of her assignments was to write for 10 minutes using the phrase, “I Remember.”  Here is what I remember…

I remember dusk on Salizar Street in San Diego.  The ticking sound of Daddy’s red Valiant as it rounded the corner and entered the driveway announced his arrival home.  I remember being so mad at him when he chopped off the two lowest branches on our favorite front yard trees making it difficult to jump up and climb.  Tree climbing was my whole life back then. 

I remember finding a nickel on the ground and hopping on my pink Schwinn banana seat bike and travelling on my secret mission to the 7-11, left turn/right turn/left/right/left/right/left, to buy a piece of gum from the gumball machine out front.  I just knew all the big kids there thought I was neato because I rode my bike all by myself and had money for a treat.  After my expensive purchase I immediately rode back home.  Once there I couldn’t even enjoy the chewing process for fear I would be found out and get in trouble.

I remember the Hippie rock band rehearsing in their garage down the street.  I wondered if they were smoking that marijuana as they did their version of Three Dog Night.  I can still see the mom coming out of the front door and shooing us nosey neighborhood kids away.  I thought it was weird that those Hippies still lived with their mom.

I loved playing in the parking lot of the church at the end of the block singing the lyrics of Paul Revere and the Raiders at the top of my lungs.  I remember the sound of my roller skates against the pavement.

For some reason our family inherited a big 4x4 animal cage and kids from surrounding streets found out about it and came to play.  We would pack as many kids as we could inside and then roll them around the yard.  It was the most fun ever.  I remember how those same strangers kept interrupting our Girl Scout meeting the next day to see if we could come out and play again.  I thought we were so cool because of that stupid cage. 
Salizar Street; a great place to spend 7 years of my life, or was it 6.  Who knows, we were always moving.  But that street has more memoires than 10 minutes can hold. 

So there you go.  Give it a try.  Spend 10 minutes reminiscing with an “I remember” story. Let me know what you remember.HoHoHo

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bloom HOW You Are Planted

I was once on an airplane that lost an engine.  It was a bit scary but I didn’t feel my time had come to die.  Actually, I think I just was in denial of the seriousness of what was happening.

The flight attendant calmly re-told us all the things they usually tell you at the beginning of the flight that no one ever pays attention to.  She added that on her signal we were to put our heads down and grab our ankles. 

When the time came and she gave the signal, we all just sat frozen and stared at her, like we thought she was kidding or something.  She glared back at all the frightened faces and yelled, “DO IT!”  So, we did.  That’s life.  You gotta just do it.  Like Nike. 

The expression Bloom where you are planted is good advice.  But we also need to Bloom how we are planted.  We can’t wait until our circumstances change for the better.  Sure we would have liked to have landed the plane in a more traditional manner, but that was not an option.

If you’re single, then take advantage of the freedom you have.  If you’re married with kids, then give your children a fine example of being planted in a firm foundation.  If you’re an athlete, musician, student, nanny, computer geek, philanthropist or phlebotomist, bloom how you are planted.   If your plane only has one engine, then put your head down, grab your ankles and pray.  Just Do It.
I want to bloom HOW I am planted as a wonderfully blessed single woman.  I’m writing a memoir of my journey in singleness.  You’ll see little blips of it here and there if (when…) you come back and visit this blog.

Question:  What about you?  In what ways are you blooming HOW you are planted in this world?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Publish Post

I just texted a dear friend telling her I was not going to move until I posted my first blog entry.  I also told her if I didn’t show up for lunch tomorrow that would be why.

I’ve had this blog site for months now and it just sits there on the World Wide Web all sad and lonely as a constant reminder of my high procrastination quotient.  But I refuse to enter one more comment on other blogs as anonymous, so here goes.

Shall I just press “publish post” now and call it good?  No, better not.  84 words is a measly first posting.

The irony of this moment is that I just visited a site where the blogger was addressing ways we lose focus in the writing process and let extraneous things distract us from the work at hand.  There were 48 comments at the time and the majority of them said they wasted time by reading blogs.  LOL, I’m in good company!

I have a dream of having the thoughts and stories in my head actually out of my head, in my computer and then out for others to read so they can wonder why in the world I would think such things in the first place.  So please dear blog reader, feel free to ask me, “Are you ever going to finish that memoir of your single life?” Or, “Hey, how’s that Mean Miss Brown the Music Teacher series coming along?”   I promise I won’t take any harshly worded promptings personally.  I would appreciate the kick in the pants.

Question:  Anyone out there procrastinating on a project?  Writing? Spring cleaning?  Scheduling that colonoscopy?