Happy Interdependence Day

May we remember to notice the simple beauty all around us!

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Not quite Midnight in Paris

I’m smiling again–post father’s funeral and open heart surgery. Frankly, it’s been a helluva year. But I have something fun to look forward to: Paris!

Tonight I had dinner at Victoria’s apartment. She is my longtime friend from back in the 1970’s and we are traveling to Paris (with a side trip to London). As the trip gets closer, it becomes more exciting.

“Midnight in Paris” is a movie about the writer Gil who travels back in time to meet Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, and other literary and artistic figures of the 1920’s. Vic and I plan to do our own literary tour–but probably not at midnight: we will be based in Saint Germaine and trek to the former living spaces of Gertrude Stein, Natalie Barney, Ernest Hemingway, and, yes, especially the cemetery where so many famous figures are buried–Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Not only Chopin but Jim Morrison of The Doors, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Proust, Rossini, and Isadora Duncan. And let’s not forget the very witty Oscar Wilde.

We will sip cappuccinos and eat decadent desserts and then, hopefully, walk them off. Art will hang in the air like an enchanting mist. The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, the Left Bank, the Marais. I will approach the Eiffel Tower but not ascend for I am afraid of such heights.

And, yes, we are both planning to write–hopefully, something more inspiring than this blog post. Until then, Au revoir!

Breathing through Transition: my fastwrite for opening circle at the writing teachers’ retreat

I am learning to breathe through transition. Evidently, I have been breathing although often unbeknownst to me.
I AM ALIVE! There, I’ve said it, no joyously proclaim it. After 3 chest pains in 6 days, thankfully I stayed ahead of an impending heart attack. Friday a cardiologist, Monday tests, hoping for a stent or two. Surprise! I would need open heart surgery!
I got to come home for recovery because I had enough compassionate people in my life to bring me meals, walk my dogs, keep me comfortable.
Four months later and I am feeling like a breathing glad-to-be-living human being.
But, wait, there’s more. We at WWfaC often talk about the both/and. My father is dying. I say the ‘d’ word because two days ago he entered hospice. He is nearly 85 and wants only to be pain-free. I could already breathe more easily when I entered his hospice room: inviting space, comfortable, a couch, a small fridge—and he can eat or drink whatever he pleases. He is already more relaxed than in the various hospitals and rehab places he’s entered the past few years.
The thing is: we have time to say goodbye. Time to breathe together. We’d been geographically and emotionally separated earlier decades but this past one, over breakfast at Cracker Barrel, for example, we learned just to accept who we are.
So now it’s time to say goodbye. It’s time to pause and ………………… B-R-E-A-T-H-E. It’s time to get back to my writing projects and breathe. Choose one to focus on. For no one ever knows how much time she has left. I now knowingly live with my health karma of family heart disease.
My heart rate borders on the fast side. Quick—I want to publish that collaboration with my Indian friend. Quick—I must get back to poetry. Breathe. Keep breathing. I can’t let my ideas die in my little writing room.

My heart & my writing

I wanted to explain where I’ve been. On February 6th I got referred to a cardiologist after enduring three chest pains. That was a Friday. I was given nitroglycerin and admonitions to “be a couch potato” over the weekend. For I had testing to be done Monday morning to find out What The Hell was Going On already!

What was going on was that the doctors proclaimed I would have too many stents “fighting each other” so I needed triple bypass surgery. What?!?!??!  Me, the (mostly) vegetarian who (mostly) exercised? Me, one of the healthier ones in my group of friends and family? Denial is strong, folks, and, fortunately, I didn’t have too much time to worry:  there was a surgical opening the next afternoon there at The Christ Hospital.

Obviously I lived. What a journey! FYI, I’ve posted a few stories on my other blog – The Goddess Babe. This blog was begun and is meant more for writing and teaching and talking about both.

But I discovered the heart trumps it all.

Yes, every evening as I lie down to sleep and each morning as I awake, it is my heart that I remember and thank. I had February and March to ask for help from my writing sisters. They made it possible for me to come home from the hospital. I spent the first month on the living room couch. Not the most comfortable but I made sure I faced the south–sliding glass doors looking out at an expanse of trees, an icy creek, and sometimes a deer or three.

Yes, I have learned gratitude in deeper measures than ever before.

I am writing about my Heart Adventure (The Angina Monologues perhaps). Writing about ‘it’ helps me process. It all happened quickly and it was a profound contemplation on life and death. How many years do I have left and what are my priorities?

So, you see, I’ve been busy–thinking, feeling, writing, and feeling grateful. I recommend them all.

Catch you again soon!

Phebe

Posted in gratitude, heart disease, Women Writing for a Change, writing. Tags: , . Comments Off on My heart & my writing

how many writing sites can one woman subscribe to?

I knew something was going on when I found myself irritated this morning glancing at my emails.

Many of them were from various writers and bloggers, literary agents and the like. Grrrr. Then I knew what it was:  all these well-meaning talented writers were entering my psyche because I had invited them. All of them had something to teach me, tips, inspiration, and sometimes something to sell, too. All of them were reminders that, no matter how well-meaning I was to have them as my email consultants, I WAS NOT WRITING.

Yes, I realize I put that in all caps.

A simple realization yet a wake-up call. Time to write (this simple inquiry is just a warm-up).

Posted in blogs, creative writing, writing. Tags: , , . Comments Off on how many writing sites can one woman subscribe to?

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 890 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Here I am at a holiday potluck

image

Thanks to Michael Chanak (aka Mary/Goose) for catching me with a great smile .

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