Monthly Archives: September 2013

What She Said…

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What She Said…

It’s been one of those…evenings, days, weeks, seasons. I’m loving what I am doing and I’m confident it is the right place to be. If you asked me, moment to moment, if I am happy, fulfilled, content, the answer is yes. But in the big picture, I feel like I’ve left some of me behind. Some of the good things. Things I liked. Goals and discipline and a place to call my own. My friend, Michelle, tells me…repeatedly (thank goodness)…that this is a season. It won’t last forever. I like that because it both reminds me to pay attention and also eases off on the pressure a little bit. The time is short. Truly.

One of the things I’m struggling to find is the space to live a creative life. I miss reading good writers and searching pinterest and trying new things. There’s just not that kind of margin in this season for me. And I see the price I am paying…I am less creative. I spend less time thinking creatively. Less time writing. Less time pondering.

So today, since my well is a bit dry, here are links to some of my favorite bloggers/writers who all seem to be saying things I wish I had said, or I meant to say, or I was going to get there eventually, I hope.

Here they are…enjoy.

Shauna Niequist on Storyline Contributors. (This isn’t her regular blog which is also amazing but I loved what she said here. Made me think of this thing my friend Michelle said about how life is full of seasons.)

Laura Kelley on Pitter Patter Art. (And check out her artwork while you’re there. Some day I will own a Laura Kelley original!)

Laura Tremaine from Hollywood Housewife. (Click over to her book lists while you’re there. My new favorite place to check for new recommendations.)

I’m pretty sure I’d be best friends with all of these girls if we were ever to, well, you know, meet. Seriously, their writing challenges and inspires me. It gives me hope and reminds me that I am not alone. And really, what more could you want from a bestie?

And my sweet, sweet friend, (I actually know her and really truly am friends with her–not in a stalkerish way like those others….) Kerry wrote this. My heart says, amen and amen.

The Smell of Cedars…

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The Smell of Cedars…

Have you ever noticed how certain scents take you back to that certain place and time? One of those smells for me is the smell of eucalyptus trees. When I was first teaching school, a long time ago in Southern California, I was getting my master’s degree at the same time. Glenn taught at APU at the time so I was able to pay the reduced tuition of a spouse. That meant I had to go pretty slowly if I didn’t want to pay more; since I wasn’t quick, I tried at least to be diligent. The translation there is that I took courses every term, including the summer.

I actually loved summer term. Suddenly those huge reading assignments weren’t so daunting and the memorization for tests was just a matter of scheduling. And on the campus where they held the education courses, there were HUGE eucalyptus trees. The summer sun in Southern California would beat down on them and they would become more and more fragrant as they warmed up. By the time I’d arrive for class there was no escaping that scent. And so for me, the smell of eucalyptus takes me right back to studying John Dewey’s theories of education and memorizing dates for my History of Education course.

Today I started a new course of study: Graphic Design. It’s a completely new experience. It’s a community college or JC if you will. And I’m a good 20 years older than most of my fellow students. (yikes!) But it looks to be a really good program and I am eager for the discoveries that lie ahead.

Of course it was not without it’s hiccups. It took me fifteen minutes to find a parking place. And I’m pretty sure I’m older than at least one of my instructors. I couldn’t get the online distance learning piece to work because they’ve entered my birthday in February, not December, so the password didn’t work. And somehow I’m registered under my maiden name since I attended there 150 years ago for a GE course in Psychology that I took one summer way back when.

But all of that is worked out now, well, except my name, and I wanted to tell you this: It’s the rainy season here. (Let the “it’s raining in Portland” jokesĀ  ensue.) As I walked out to my car after class today I passed a stand of cedar trees. It had rained heavily during the morning but it was dry when I passed. And I could smell that fresh, kind of biting scent of the cedars. I wonder if ten years from now, when I catch a whiff of cedar if my mind will automatically turn to line and form, contrast and harmony, texture and balance and I’m grateful for this new adventure.