reverse threading

the path back is the path forward

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words. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

kawaii raccoons

“look it up,” my sweet momma would say.  i blame her.  for my word-curiosity.  for my policing of spelling, punctuation, grammar.  for my love of dictionaries and my commitment to learning.  at 93 she was still asking questions, being curious, looking it up.

black and white composition books, of both thick and thin variety, populated my growing up, my teenage years, my college years, and ever since.  though i do have a thready fondness of using My Girl’s and My Boy’s old unfinished spiral notebooks these days, we have piles of waiting-to-be-used composition books and they beckon when i open the supply cabinet in the sunlit office upstairs.  places to jot poetry, thoughts, reflections, stories, lyrics, these composition books always make me think of my mom.  they are places to process, to remember, to dream, to sort.  they are the beginnings of stories, lyrics to ponder, the coda to the song.  to someone else they are simply words on the page.  to me, it is my breath that gives them life.  we each have stories to tell, songs to write.

in the last few days i have had the frustration of feeling silenced.  as i wrote in yesterday’s post, someone marked all five of my blogposts of last week on facebook as “spam” and that somehow triggered facebook to pull every last one of my blogposts – and any mention of my blogsite – down.  every word – the simple ones, the ones that require looking-it-up – pulled down.  with 650 posts, even averaging 500 words, that is 325,000 words.  MY 325,000 words.  gone.

in these times of chaos and unrest and pandemic, there are plenty of words out there.  foul words, words of peaceful mantras, words of untruth, twisted words of conspiracy theories, imploring words, scientific words, words of wisdom from giants of wisdom, accessible words, words we have to look up, words we can hardly believe we’ve heard from various people-in-the-spotlight, words at which we roll our eyes, words we find reassuring.

in a daily email he receives, david shares a new word with me.  “kawaii,” he reports, “means cute.”

the baby raccoons, most definitely kawaii, peeked out from behind the tree trunk.  upon seeing us on the trail, they had scrambled from the little pond up the tree.  they stared at us; we stared at them.  they didn’t move, quizzically grasping onto bark and watching quietly.  we didn’t move either.  we just stood quietly on the trail and watched.  the story they would tell about our encounter wouldn’t have many words.  all was silent.  all was motionless.  they were safe; we were safe.  for a few minutes, we shared the serene woods together, a little eye contact in hushed regard of each other.  maybe, in their re-telling, in their speckled composition book, they would just tell the coda – “and then they left.”

every now and again i take out an old composition book.  it’s astounding.  i was so…..wordy.


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during this time that FB, impossible to contact, figures out i am not ill-intended nor do i post SPAM, i would ask you a favor:  if you have found any post of mine to be thought-provoking or encouraging or reassuring in some way and have enjoyed reading, please “follow” this blog.  you can “follow” it on this post or later go to our website to find the link to this blogsite.  wordpress will send you an email each day with my 5 day-a-week blog. you can certainly choose to read or not read each day and, at any time, you can choose to “unfollow” the blog.  just as it is your decision whether or not to read my post on facebook each day, i would like to think you still have the option.  subscribing gives you that.  hopefully, FB will allow and restore my written work soon.

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holding on, letting go

photoit’s that time of year. the school supplies are out en masse. i wander through the store, the office-supply-lover in me fondling the new blackandwhitespeckled composition books (wide rule), spiral notebooks (college rule), mechanical pencils, sharpies, highlighters, sticky notes…. we are surrounded by signs for college necessities: futons and storage containers, bins for the shower and three-drawer chests made of every color plastic can achieve. and it suddenly occurs to me:

this is the first year i will not be buying school supplies.

what?? no colored pencils, no erasers, no pencil sharpeners, no index cards for cramming late-night-factoids into too-tired brains? no. none of it.

for the last twenty years i have religiously gone to a variety of stores and bought a plethora of supplies. i was always shocked by how picked-over the choices were when i went, even weeks before school started. some moms are just overzealous, eh? nonetheless, i would love shopping, with or without my children, for everything on the list the school provided, the list they provided, and my own list. every year a box of kleenex was on the list from the schools. every year dry erase markers were on the list. and somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that i could actually put the 6783 colored pencils we had accumulated over the years into one bin and they could choose from those, rather than buying yet another brandspankingnew box.

but this year? this year is different. the girl graduated from college three years ago and is well into her life-minus-index-cards-and-futons. the boy is almost done with college. just a few short weeks and he will no longer require paper or pencils or pens or post-it notes from me.

and this is taking my breath away.

i stood in target today wondering where the time went. my yearning to buy a new lunch box or bag is unfulfilled. my mom instinct to find the coolestfoldersthatmatchtheirpersonalities is untapped. i wandered – still touching the 50 cent composition books and in awe of the sharpie highlighter display – and i realize that in my holding on, i am also letting go.

maybe i should buy a few composition books and that box of kleenex.  for me.

holding on, letting go

itunes: kerri sherwood