SO. Speaking of poetry...
by Adelaide Crapsey
Listen. . .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
What is amazing about doing this posting-every-day thing, is that I am as committed as I am to really actually doing it. Whether I have something of value to say, or not. Whether I'm feeling it, or not.
Whether I am ready for sleep, or not.
Sometimes during the day, I have ideas for a post, but by the time evening comes, and I can sit down to write, those ideas are long gone.
Today, I made a sincere effort not to complain and to just choose to be happy. It worked remarkably well. I'll try again tomorrow, I think.
Hey, would you like to take a survey?
That's right! Nichi is the winner of a fabulous storytelling prize! Thank you to all four of our contest entrants. Just think; that could have been your name I just announced.
Tomorrow will mark the last day in this first year since my life took a serious left turn. Thank you for all your support and kindness as I've struggled to find my way into some new expression of my life's work. I have learned so very much about myself this year. It has been a true test, a true gift, and also a year full of deep questioning.
I am, for instance, questioning the role of social media in my life. I am especially curious about how short-form posting, such as is common on FaceBook and Twitter, affects the way I seek to communicate with others. I read an article today in issue 3 of Taproot (thank you, Lisa, for bringing them in to the shop!) that struck a chord with me; it was a breakup note to FaceBook. In the article, Leslie Gilman refers to the need to make a thing more real by sharing it, posting it, photographing and documenting, yes, but also putting it out to the world, Look! I did a thing!
I've been questioning that impulse in myself... No answers yet, just questions.
I get a little crazy sometimes.
Seven things for which I am grateful tonight...
1. A misty rain today that carried a smell of adventure.
2. Dogs. All the dogs I met today, who gave me lots of loving attention.
3. my Russian-speaking ladies, who tolerate my fumbling Russian and let me pretend to understand everything.
4. Janusz Korczak's legacy and wisdom.
5. My wife, who saved me the last two hazelnut chocolate cookies as a tiny token of love.
6. Small Son, who teaches me more about who I am at the core every day.
7. Tomorrow will be brand new, with no mistakes in it. Yet.
Don't forget the GIVEAWAY. Go back to last night's post, and leave a comment to enter the drawing. Right now, your odds aren't bad. ;)
This cold? The coughing every evening, til my ribs are sore? It will pass.
This gray, or sunny, or snowy weather? It will pass.
The baby who fusses and drools hour upon hour? Little one who can't sit still for a minute? Sticky, runny-nosed faces?
But, so will the achingly sweet laughter. The moment of calm. The sleepy head on your knee. The caress.
We can only count on change. It keeps us alive. It keeps us dying every moment.
Rolling inexorably to the sea, like wheels set afire and rolled to the river.
Giveaway! Leave a comment below, and I will enter your name in a drawing for either a 45-minute storytelling performance (local peeps only, sorry!) OR mp3 files of two of my favorite stories to tell! Contest closes Sunday evening at 9:00 pm CST. Names will be drawn from a hat, unless that's impractical, in which case I'll use a random number generator. Good luck!
I am overjoyed at the response to yesterday's post! That picture of Small Son at 2 1/2 was pretty adorable, if I do say so myself. And I do. Often.
One thing that I have noticed through this process of NaBloPoMo -- and we're nearly halfway through!-- is how much time I spend apologizing for being myself, and how much time I spend complaining and finding fault. It's a lot. in my writing, for years, a constant theme has been, "Ooh, look at how long it's been since I've written! How awful!" and there have been many apologies and promises to write more, and so on. What has it taken to actually write daily? As I said in an earlier post, it has to do with seeing this blog as a practice, and also with giving myself permission not to edit, not to be on my guard, not to feel shame at any of my posts.
Any post is a 100% improvement over no post.
I am considering offering a giveaway, because I really want to give storytelling its proper place in my life, and telling stories is how that will happen. The only way a giveaway will happen, though, is if more of you comment, here or on facebook or twitter. I want to hear from you. Please. So much gratitude to Bà and Susan and Nathan for commenting on the blog. I'm not good at the reply function on the phone app, but once I am, look out!
Okay, okay. You are waiting for the pictures! Here you go:
Today I sent in an application for a fellowship through a local organization. That's all I'm telling you right now. I had a lot of trouble with getting this application done -- hey, it's in two days before the deadline! I got it in early, because I knew if I waited until the end, I would get too perfectionistic to even get it turned in. Here's my current line of thinking:
Chances of my getting the fellowship WITHOUT applying: 0%
Chances of my getting the fellowship IF I APPLY: >0%
Therefore, logicians, it seems that I have nothing to lose by applying, and I have most certainly at least doubled my chances of getting the fellowship. This fellowship, by the way, does not include any monetary award or stipend. It is not a grant. What it does offer, is performance opportunities and mentorship. Solid gold, people.
I sent them my Masha and the Bear recording, and some rambling on why I tell stories. Now, we wait.
In the meantime, I made spoon oil today, with which Anders and I oiled spoons (duh), cutting boards, and the play kitchen. I followed this recipe, pretty much, and it turned out well. Now, the kitchen, seen below in it's just-gifted glory three years ago, glows again. So lovely.
If you will excuse me, now, I am going to go cough some more.
I still don't have my voice back, at least, not at full strength. I've gotten by at work and at home, even managing to read stories aloud. Every evening, I start coughing around 6:30 pm, which makes bedtime for the small son a rather cough-filled affair. He's still fit as a fiddle, though he has a red ring of chapping around his mouth from the cold air outside and his little pink tongue. It's been okay, though not pleasant, being a little sick. I accept it as part of the changing seasons around here.
Tonight was the Lantern Walk for my son's class. There's a tradition in Germany and the Netherlands, and possibly in some other European countries, of children going out in the streets on St. Martin's feast day, carrying colorful lanterns and singing about them. An old legend has it that Martin, unwilling to take the post of Bishop of Tours to which he was called, took refuge in a goose pen. The townsfolk sought him by lantern light until a goose honked and gave away his hiding place. Hence, a lantern walk (also hence, the eating of geese on Martinmas, and the source of Mårten Goosy-Gander's name in The Marvelous Adventures of Nils). Waldorf schools have their roots in Germany, and so Waldorf classes around the world take to the streets and the parks and the seashores on an evening near to November 11, to walk and sing and light the night. For older children, the theme of St. Martin's generosity and compassion for the poor is emphasized. For little ones, it is a chance to embrace the changing seasons and the growing necessity of a shining our own inner light as the outer world grows darker and colder.
Son and I drove to the Peace Garden with our lanterns, his made of wool and glass, mine of paper. We gathered with his classmates in the icy cold twilight. We lit the lanterns, and the singing began.
I have been going on Lantern Walks for 13 years as a teacher, and for three as a parent. I have always sung. Tonight, I could not sing. Always, it has been through singing the songs, strongly and confidently, that I have tried to keep the children focused on the walk and on the songs, to keep the parents from dissolving into chatter about the weather and car repairs and chicken pox and dessert, to be helpful and useful. And tonight, I couldn't sing. I tried -- over and over, I tried, and I was ashamed by the croaks and squeaks that came forth.
So I stopped singing. I gave up on helping to "hold" the children, the parents, the walk. I let go, and I held my lantern in the cold, and I walked behind and beside my child. I watched my step on the paths through the woods near the cemetery fence, and I admired the luminaries along the way. Tonight, I let go and participated. Tonight was my first lantern walk as just a parent.
And it was magic.
eta: I have noticed that mobile browsers are cutting off the last line of my posts. I am going to see what happens now.
Here. Have I posted these before? Sorry. You get them again. If I haven't, hurrah. Because these are people and posts and things that make me happy.
This and this from Rachel of LuSa Organics.
The awesome Kathy Stowell.
Know how I cook chicken? Like this.
Ok. that is all I have for now. because I am going to bed. Now. So I can stop coughing.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.