Misery Loves Company…

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Ask and it shall be given unto you,

Seek and ye shall find

When you get to the end of your rope

C’mon over and visit mine.

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Just a silly little ditty, I don’t know where it came from really, it just popped into my head. My mind likes to make rhymes sometimes, so don’t worry, it’s just wordplay. I like the company aspect; think how much happier we could be with the constant availability of perfect company! (… see what I mean? : )

Anyone else with useless and nearly-hidden talents, or silly wishes that will never be but do seem to have some practicality? ( Maybe I should write nursery rhymes. Do you think there are career possibilities there?)

~ Lily

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Sending Cheer to Thomas…

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This photo is from my archives; all low-lying vegetation here is currently under feet of snow…

Just sending bright flowery greetings and thoughts out to my WordPress friend Thomas (go to his site, here) who is going into the hospital for surgery on Monday.

I am always happy to see him when he visits here, and often I can be found reading in his interesting and compelling little corner of the world. His blog is full of his artistry and history and his posts never cease to amuse, inform, and fascinate me.

My thoughts are with him, and if I could think of something sparkling and cheery enough to match his dry wit and brilliant mind, I’d send that too!

Meanwhile sending warm wishes and prayers your way, Tom.

May you soon happily return to grace your place, and mine.

~ Lily


A Walk in Winter.

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A Walk …

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It doesn’t feel cold, though of course it is. I am dressed appropriately. The sun sparkles, happy to see me; there are so few people for it to shine upon outside in this cold. It sparkles on the snow, here and there glittering the grey winter landscape.

At first I choose each step with care, not knowing how slippery the sidewalks may be, then I pick up speed and get up to a hearty jaunt. I try for some cardio so I need to walk at a good fast clip. The cars on the street seem slow, my pace apace with them as they slow for the traffic light.

I cross and head up the hill, past friends’ homes with their well-tended gardens now all withered and snow encrusted. Still, the textures are beautiful: sinewy vines twined on fences of wood and wrought iron with dried grey-brown leaves waving here and there, straight smooth stalks and dried blossoms of hydrangea thrust out of snow, red-hued bayberry all a-prickle. The holly leaves are still deep green and shiny, and periwinkle peeks out from pauses in the snow, ready for Spring anytime.

The first human I meet is familiar, as is his fox-terrier/rotweiler doggie. To myself I smile at the abbreviations that pop into my head: Foxrot (FoxtRot?), Ferrier, Fairweil, Ferrot. I smile and say hello as usual and he does the same. He is younger than I am, most likely, but I look young. (This is not the same as looking stunning, unfortunately). My sister thinks I am aging backwards–does that even make sense? We know what she means– but doesn’t it stand to reason that someone removed from stressful and difficult times and having instead: rest and relaxation, healthy food, fresh air and exercise, might look a tich better? Of course. Stress and sleeplessness alone are aging, it seems to me.

In the chill air it is easy to feel invigorated and able to walk forever. This feeling lasts precisely until the frigid air begins to chill nose, cheeks, then fingers and toes. It is then that one realizes: I have to walk all the way back home!

I am wearing layers of clothing as well as a beautiful hand-knit scarf, boots, a hat, and warm gloves, but the temperature is quite low and the breeze adds a windchill. I duck into a coffee shop for a few minutes of warmth.

I have never been a coffee drinker. More’s the pity, now that coffee is said to have curative or preventative powers. I drink tea. It is the token bit of English in me, perhaps, plus tea lends itself to my creativity. I add fresh herbs, lemon, spices such as ginger, cloves, cinnamon of course, tumeric because it is supposed to ward off some effects of aging (though I don’t like the taste much) and even cumin, which I like very much. It is one of my current fads, along with kale (as in sauteed ’til crisp in olive oil and seasoned, or in a stirfry with fresh ginger and a dash of tamari), and also leeks. Leeks are delicious in soups, this being soup weather as well as tea weather. I am good at soups for some reason and I like to have them on hand, they are so soothing.

After my green tea, I embark upon a different course home. The sun that had shone for me earlier is now on hiatus and the sky is winter-grey with thoughts of snow flurries. Down in front of me flutters… is it a stray snow flake? No, it is a small fluffy feather. So maybe it is actually down in front of me (ha, myself and I can be as punny as we wish when walking). The little feather floats from the sky, slowly this way and that in the bluster of the late afternoon. I see no little birdie. He must have been faster than his falling feather. Perhaps he is flying towards warmth somewhere.

Feathers always bring to mind my grandmother. She dressed well at all times and accessorized in mid-20th-century classic chic, at least so she now appears whenever she comes to mind. She wore hats, hence the feathers, and gloves, fitted suits, simple elegant pumps. Ash-blond hair perfectly coiffed. Lipstick always, and perfume. I used to love to stand at her dressing table as she chose her perfume. It wasn’t that she gave me a spritz of those French scents that most intrigued me, it was the collection of tiny but beautiful glass bottles with their elegant labels that caught my eye. She gave me one, once, when it was empty. Isn’t it strange the things that become our keepsakes?

I nearly keep the feather but in my head I hear my mother saying how germy bird feathers can be and it is flu season and I am careful, or too careful as the case may be. What has a bird feather to do with the flu? West Nile Virus? Is that active in the winter? Who knows.

In my mind, the white fluffy feather joins others on my grandma’s white hat. Feathers, fur… would she even wear those now? I think not. She’d wear other fashionable things, like my hat or my boots or my gloves. This is somehow a very satisfying thought: I have three pence of her fashion sense. However, less of that and I might now be slightly warmer. I might instead have chosen to wear my snow boots. Bulky, heavy. Good for trudging in the snow. I have those for when I am not on a city walk. Those make me think of the children’s book Owl Moon, if you know that story. Bundling, out in the woods, listening for owls under the moon. And mittens. I am wearing gloves not mittens. Mittens… doesn’t the word alone make you think of that wet-wool smell? I wear mittens when walking in the wilderness.

As I head back, I pass a young girl walking with her head down. She does not even look up as I pass and say hello. The cold must have frozen her ears, or she may be deep in thought. Young people are never the first to say hello, in my experience, but they are often the most enthusiastic in their replies, their smiles large and sincere. They are not yet jaded and are reassured by friendliness, or so is my theory. Sometimes older people are friendly too, don’t get me wrong. I try not to take the few compulsory and cool replies personally. How sad is that, to be unable to smile, or, worse, to choose not to smile at friendly passersby? Well you can think about this when next you are out walking. If you are in conversation with someone or on your cell phone, I will not disturb you, don’t worry, but otherwise I’ll likely greet you, so be nice!

A few tangents later and home again, home again, riggety jig. What is that from, anyway? Oh it’s jiggety jig. Mother Goose. To Market to Market… so there is your Random Trivia from my uneventful but refreshing winter walk.

Cheers to you! Stay warm and happy, wherever you may be this weekend!

~ Lily

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Phototropism…

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Phototropism

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The blanket

becomes too warm and itchy

wrapped tight,

the quiet

sounds loud

at night,

the walls in winter

close in

though framed

and bright–

Your spirit

cannot help but reach

for Light.

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Christmas Cooking…

 

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First I scrub the small round red potatoes

let them sit in a colander

Christmas card messages

dancing in my head

melt butter

slice in onions, cook until glassy

slightly browned

why

does he say he misses

my smiling face

when he is the one who

forfeited my smiles?

Slice and layer the potatoes

seasoned white sauce

grated aged cheeses

snip fresh herbs atop

ignore the texts

for the time being

from another who is intriguing

but too persistent

too everywhere

and inconsistent

when I need

reliable and

my own time sometimes

to make potatoes au gratin

on the way to Christmas

as busy-ness intersperses with loneliness

as children come and go

we dash

to gatherings, parties, dinners

then I regroup to contemplate

my myriad fates

while singing to myself

Auld Lang Syne

the potatoes smell divine

I take them out early

anyway

to finish baking

Christmas day.

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Hello dear friend.

I hope good things

come your way.

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~ Lily

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Upon finding photographs of Christmas past (*updated)…

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Photos of candlelit Christmas rooms

exquisitely trimmed tree,

garlanded mantle and window tops,

wreaths, nativity,

stockings hung with care,

broad smiles, you can see

playful merry children

celebrating happily.

And now

the room is gone and so the scene

set so perfect

so it seems

tied together with gossamer,

pine for happy them and me,

if only

that could be this year’s gift

under the Christmas tree.

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I have never in my life had the Holiday Blues, and yikes, we’re not even to Thanksgiving!

Hmm. The hustle and bustle and relative tussle can be disquieting, I know. Are you happy no matter what, or how do you cope, if not?  

I’m thinking:  I should have coping mechanisms on hand this year!

I give thanks for all of You who stop in now and then! Enjoy your family time, your good food, and be thankful. Gratitude is such a wonderful quality, and hey we at least have each other out here in cyberspace. : )

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Thanksgiving hugs,

and May Visions of Sugarplums Dance in your Head!

~ Lily

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* Addendum: I should probably say that what made me melancholy and prompted the writing of this poem is that I am looking at happy family photos, but I’m divorced so my family is therefore asunder, which makes me feel sad for my children at holiday time.  I am looking forward to celebrations nonetheless and had/have lots of invites for holiday dinners and travels, not to worry.  Thank you all for your concern. : )

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Phone a friend.

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Phone a Friend… 

(or: No Organic Red Potatoes Tonight)

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Find a friend

when dismal

is beginning to feel normal

walk

with friend

talk

because you need to do so

and likely so does she or he

and then

because you miss your social whirl and

sparkling dinners,

have dinner with your friend

and laugh,

laugh in the face of misery

say good-bye to lonely

smile to exercise all facial muscles

so there will be no atrophy

while your world realigns

as of course it will.

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