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Monday, January 2, 2017

Until You Know Better

I want to write more again and so I found myself sifting through the many notes I have in my iPhone of ideas for poems. I have many random thoughts on my long drives home and so many of the lines are written through my Bluetooth using my not-so-good-friend, Siri. If you have ever tried to do this while driving and being unable to edit, I am sure you can imagine how hard they can be to decipher. Fortunately, I have many that are not gibberish and today, I came across two lines that struck me. Here they are:

A bottle of red is just a bottle of red until you know better

And a word is just a word until you know better.

I don't remember where I was when I wrote this. The date of last edit on that note is 10/6/2016 and I don't remember what happened that day that made me write this. It is funny how things we think, randomly on a drive home or in a grocery store or laying on the couch, can ring true months later.

Before I knew my love for red wine, it was just something my mother ordered when we were out to dinner or something grown ups gave to each other as gifts. In college, it was too bitter to drink. I stuck with sweet wines that make me cringe now. It wasn't until after I graduated college that I truly appreciated a glass of red and how well it pairs with steak or chocolate or cheesecake or the end of a long day. Something about growing older makes us appreciate bitter things. Dark wines. Black coffee. Fear. Grief.

Before I knew my love for words, they were just something I used to relay my needs. When I began writing at a very young age, I was fascinated by language and its sounds. But as beautiful as some words can be, they can also be violent. There are so many words I never knew the power of until they were used against me or someone I love. There are so many more that I still don't and hope I never will. But I know that words have bite now. Something about growing older makes us more cautious of the things we say. Chalk this up to experience or fear of offense or personal discipline.

I guess these two lines were meant to say, as we get older, we learn to know better. I have learned that a bottle of red can cure headaches, but can also cause them. I have learned that words can bring us closer or tear us apart. These are the only two examples I wrote down of things that can be both a blessing and a curse, but I bet I could write a whole poem listing hundreds. I bet you could write your own list, too.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Spending 2017 Sitting in Lotus

Good morning everyone and welcome to the year 2017. Last night, as Brandon and I continued our tradition of ringing in the new year in our pajamas, drinking champagne, and relaxing together, I asked him what his hope was for the new year. I won't share what he told me, but I will share what I said.

While tradition urges us to come up with a resolution, something we want to change or improve in the coming year, I am hoping for consistency, some calm, a chance to settle into life more. Here is what I mean...

I want to continue to gain confidence and knowledge in the job I have, the job I love, so I can become the best at what I do. I want to continue making connections with my colleagues, students and their families to positively impact their lives.

I want to continue seeking out a community in this new state we live in. It has been difficult at times being away from family and friends for obvious reasons. There are times where I feel lonely, but I am making progress towards finding community here. My hope is that I can continue to do so.

I want to continue exploring my faith and beliefs, to continue the search for my own personal truth, to question, to listen, to discuss.

I want to continue to read and to read all kinds of books. I read 50 books in the year 2016 and that is my goal again for the year 2017. It gave me a chance to learn about different people, religions, cultures, and to grow my own knowledge of the world around me.

I want to continue to exercise, to write, to have meaningful conversations with my husband, to spend time with family and friends no matter how far, to take advantage of opportunities to do fun things, but also to spend time relaxing at home.

In reflecting on this past year and the new year of 2017, I am reminded of a quote from Andrea Gibson, one of my favorite poets, from her poem "Pole Dancer" that goes:

"cause anyone who has ever sat in lotus for more than a few seconds
knows that it takes a hell of a lot more muscle to stay than to go."

The year 2016 was another year of moving and rebuilding and while the past few years have been exciting in a variety of ways, I am realizing I am ready for some calm. I want 2017 to be more steady, more peaceful.

So here is to spending 2017 sitting in lotus for more than a few seconds.
Here is to finding comfort in routines and the place I live in.
Here is to being still in the life I have here, now.