Good Grief…

Alright, another shameless plug/plea…

I posted about Grief: A Life in 5 Stages last year when the first volume came out, and now we’re at it again…

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Peace, by Heather Shaw

Because I paid for that one out-of-pocket, and can’t really afford to do so again this year, I launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of raising the funds needed to come out with vol 2.

So, if you liked what you saw last year, please consider donating to the cause this year. And if you’d like to be a part of the project, send your submissions my way! Looking for original art, photography, and writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essay)! You can send submissions (jpeg files for art or Word docs for writing) to sara @ iamnotajedi.com

 

 

Just Breathe.

One of the biggest things I learned from yoga was the importance of breathing. I remember sitting in my first couple of classes, thinking how stupid it was that we were reviewing how to properly breathe. I’ve gotten this far in life, I thought, how much more do I need to learn about this? But it wasn’t until I stopped and started paying attention to my breath did I realize how often I would hold my breath when I was feeling stressed or panicked. I would get so consumed in a fear or worry or thought that I unknowingly held my breath, as if I felt so paralyzed by whatever it was my mind was racing over, that I neglected my normal functioning.

It’s sadly been a while since I’ve hit the yoga mat, but the importance of checking in with my breath has stayed with me. Whenever I am getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I stop, and make sure to inhale deep and slow, and exhale long and with intention. And as silly as it first felt to do this, I’ve now come to rely on it to help keep me in check. Continue reading

Silver Linings.

I’ve been posting a lot recently about my recent frustrations and navigations through life lessons learned, but I feel it fair to report that the past couple of weeks have also had their strange silver linings.  Continue reading

The Heart of the Fire

I have this friend, Graham, whom I met in college and who I keep up with mainly through social media exploits. Graham is some kind of a wonderful mix of Oscar Wilde, Truman Capote, and a German film star from the 30s. He introduced me to ammonia cokes and the beauty of Victrola recordings; he helped rekindle my love for black and white photography, and, by example, he has given me a nostalgic appreciation of eras long ago passed.
As if all that wasn’t enough, he also has a lovely way of capturing life’s bittersweet bits in a way that really resound with me (unbeknownst to him, I’ve been writing a blog post based on the concept behind his former blog’s name, Displaced Heimat., for about 3 years now…).

Yesterday was no different, when he alerted me to this quote, unprovoked, without really know how much this truly resonates with me right now:

 

“Above all, in my anger, I was sad. Isn’t that always the way, that at the heart of the fire is a frozen kernel of sorrow that the fire is trying–valiantly, fruitlessly–to eradicate.”
–Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs

Continue reading

nowhere to go but up.

The past month has been a trying one–one filled with a lot of transitions and change; a lot of heartache, of reflecting on the past, and thinking about the future. About a week ago, I stood bawling in my living room, while my dad did his best to comfort me,”Don’t worry–it’ll get better from here.”

“Yeah? How can you be so sure?” I challenged.

“Because this is rock bottom, kid.” Continue reading

Don’t worry if it’s a cold night, because we all go up in flames

Rome was beautiful, but the week of blue skies and breezy days has made coming back to the cold, grey landscape even more challenging. Knowing that this will be the last major trip for some time is also a bit of a bummer, but I’ve definitely had a good run the past few months.

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Admittedly, it’s a bit frustrating how quickly reality set back in. It almost feels like I never went away at all. I blame a lot of this on the weather, and the strange isolation that cold seems to bring, especially when you’re forced indoors. I’m seeing how it’s taking its toll on just about everyone I know. We’re all stumbling around like pale, restless zombies, waiting impatiently for spring to finally arrive. Hell, at this point, I think everyone would be OK if we catapulted right into summer. (I’ve recently been fantasizing about sunburn…)

Until then, I’m still plugging along… been trying to focus on some art projects and writing. What better way to combat the blues then by channeling them in creative ways, amiright?

How are you managing to get through this last miserable stretch of winter?

 

And then other days…

…I can find complete zen in the dishes being done and two loads of laundry complete. I walk through my halls like a champion, and think to myself, “Maybe I really do have a handle on things. Maybe I do have this life thing figured out.”

Little victories, my friends.

One of “those” days…

Today is one of those days where the urge of missing my mother came very unexpectedly. It’s been a rather blergh day–everything outside is wearing its finest muted browns, greens, and greys–and internally I’ve been feeling a little stressed and restless. I’ve been working from home today, which is definitely a plus, but a lonely one. There’s been a lot to do, so I’ve pretty much been parked in front of the computer nonstop today, plugging along, trying to get to the next deadline…

When all of a sudden, the overwhelming feeling that my mom would be home soon took over–as if I was transported to 15 years ago when she was still working. I was a latchkey kid and so I generally had a golden hour or 2 to myself before mom got home. Depending on my age and the day, that hour leading up to her arrival even brought great dread or joy–usually punctuated by the ever-burning question of what would be for dinner. Continue reading

Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain…

Maybe I’m PMSing. Maybe I’m just hitting that stage in my life where something about John Denver’s loving, easy listenin’ ways appeals to me. All I know is that “Annie’s Song” is pretty much the fuel for my soul right now. I listened to it on repeat the whole way to work, various renditions, various covers.

After deciding I needed some jam out time at work, I went to YouTube and pretty quickly found this:

The amount of joy this brings—from the laundry, to the turtleneck, to the way he writes “steel” instead of “still” in the description (which is probably how he’d pronounce it ) just fills up my senses.

Calgon, Take Me Away.

At this point, I thought that I choked her. That she was gone enough, what’s left of her in my memory could just be gone, too. It had been so long since something affected me–I’ve even grown immune to the smell of her perfume.

But it was a cleaning spray that did it this time–one of Mrs. Meyer’s summer scents, Blue Bell. I’ve used it before and had a slight disdain for it, thinking I just didn’t like the fragrance. It wasn’t until tonight it finally hit me.

That was the scent of her bath oil–I can’t remember now if it was Avon brand or Skin so Soft. I only remember it was in a plastic bottle the color of the bathroom tile and she kept it under the sink. Continue reading