carried through blank at nautilus teachings

 

blank
/blaNGk/

bare, empty,
showing incomprehension or no reaction
an empty space or period of time

i am standing in my kitchen
it is lunchtime
i know i need to eat
but
hunger
is hard to feel…

in the morning mirror
i stare and think about
washing my face
putting on makeup
and brushing my hair
as my tiny bit of energy
begins to drain
just thinking about
this small task…

the sun
sparkles in the sky
yet i notice
the few gray clouds
floating
then my mind reels back
to the flooding in
my street
from Irma
and the next week
from her
evil twin…

feeling empty
right now is ok
anger is gone
fear has left
sleep is slowly
coming back
the house looks normal
the office and studio
will take longer
but for the most part
routine is screaming at me
and
ya know what?
i
am
still….

i keep thinking
i should be
hauling something in
to my garage
for protection
or that i need to
run for supplies
but then i look at
our jugs of water-
we are down to 8
one gallon containers
and our gas is no longer
5 full but 2.
life
is
calling me
and i feel
unresponsive…
the dogs
are lazier than usual
Ry is even
more quiet than
he normally is
and although i make a daily list
like i always have
somehow
i just don’t care if i get it all done…
i am literally vacant
of thought processes,
it’s like my brain
just hung a sign,
“out”…

you have seen
people sitting
staring
out the window
calmly they breathe
sometimes they shut
their eyes and nap
but mostly
they
just
exist…

this
is
how
i
feel

to say my get up and go
has
gone
gone
gone
would be an understatement
i am not even sure
i have
an ignition switch
at this time

exercise is the only thing
that gives me energy
and a desire to
get
shit
done…
so,
as soon as i can
i just
begin the motions
and soon
i am smiling
singing
and ready
to write
paint
clean
chat
play…

it’s not until around 6
i begin
once more to feel
depleted
so i pop dinner
in the oven
grab a shower
light my candles
and pray…
soon d is home
dinner is over
and we are quietly
watching something on
the television
that i truly
just don’t care about…
my bed is calling
very loudly
and by 9:30
i am under covers
with the AC cranked down
boys by my side
snoring peacefully
until once more i wake
heave a sigh
slowly unwind my
knotted body
and
begin
again…

every day
my empty tank
seems to be gaining fuel
life is seeping back
and finally
i am waking
with a smile
a lightness
a knowing
peace has returned
i am right on schedule
and my lists
don’t seem so ominous,
in fact
i am looking forward
to accomplishing
the multitude of things
i have scribbled
on a piece of paper…
i am excited to see Ry
for d to go to work
to play ball with the boys
gaze up at the sun
welcome a new day
and say,
“God, thank you
for blessing my life
and for not leaving me
when i am down…”
and of course
i hear God chuckle and say,
“remember child,
it is in these times
i am always carrying you…”

 

Read More carried through blank at nautilus teachings

graced with exhaustion at nautilus teachings

graced with exhaustion at nautilus teachings

 

when did life
become so
exhausting?
when did
55 begin
feeling like 80?
what, if any
one thing
transitioned me
from feeling so young
vibrant
ready to take
on the world
2 months ago
to this hip hurting
knee crunching
back aching
middle widening
unable to keep
my eyes open
without two cups
of coffee
girl?
why do i have this
gnawing urge
desire
wish and dream
to pack up
and leave
life
behind…
i know
i am not going to die
i know i am being
tested,
the question is
in what
for what
and by what?
i don’t know about you
but this,
now pushing
7 weeks of
wind,
flash floods,
water restrictions
baths in the pool
instead of the shower
hurricane after hurricane
followed by continual tornado alerts
not to mention
short tempers
lack of sleep
hauling debris
has all pushed me
to my knees
so much
i can barely stand…
don’t get me wrong
i am
grateful
our tiny beach town
is still standing
i am grateful
i can put back together
my hubby’s office and
my studio
over time
i am grateful i get to
wake up in a dry home
a clean bed
food on my table
look out at the rising sun
and know
we
us
me
you
i
survived
only by the
grace of God…


are we special ?
NOPE.
are we chosen?
HELL NO.
are we lucky?
YES…
does this make
me happy,
NO.
i feel helpless
i can do nothing
for the rest of the world
i have no extra
money to pledge
i have no old clothes
to give
i have no stashed food
to donate…
i
am
a
minimalist…
YES,
i stop and give
the homeless people
at the corners a few dollars
a bottle of water,
a box of power bars
and clean socks…
YES,
i pray endlessly for direction
a path
a knowing
of what i need to do
how i can help…
i fall asleep every night
in prayer
in the hopes
our world
will find peace
the storms will stop
the pain will fade
and maybe
just maybe
we can unite
as one world
one nation
under God…
but then
the NFL happened
and as i watched
as cowards-
yes to me they are cowards
take a knee,
for nothing to do with our flag
i thought,
WOW,
and Las Vegas
the shock
the hatred
the hurt
inflicted on so
many innocent
loving people
i felt
deep sadness
and loss
that our God,
my
God has seen
He knows everything
is He tired of
the greed
the insanity
the horrific killings???…


God knows
as a nation
we are
dying…
are you?
dying inside?
are you
questioning life?
your purpose?
your calling?
your worth?
because
i
AM…
i do not understand
hatred
i don’t see
color of skin
and i embrace
whomever
you wish to
love in this life.
i just want
happiness…
i want to know
that no matter what
in
America
i
am SAFE…
my hands
look like my mothers
big veins
wrinkled
and at times
failing me
when i need to grasp
a paintbrush
pencil
or
fork…
i know
i am aging
i
get
this…
but i don’t want to fight
for
any one thing in life
i want to wake up with
the smile i had
BEFORE
i want to rise up
knowing
i have a paint class
to prepare for
like
BEFORE
i want to anticipate
the arrival
every day
of our grandson
knowing,
like
BEFORE
he is always the
brightest spot of
my every day…
i want to see
my handsome hubby
smiling as he leaves for work
entering exhausted 12 hours later
give him a kiss
share our meal
express gratitude
to God
all
like
BEFORE…
but
now
there is only
AFTER,
a
time of
WTF?
how do i do this?
can i get all this done today?
who do i call?
how do i pay for it?
what is happening now
in the world?
and the endless stream
of the news media
sensationalizing
everything,
fake news
and the knowing
life has changed
forever…
there is one thing
which for me
that has not been broken
my faith…
every day,
i myself
TAKE
A
KNEE,
out of respect
for my Father
my belief
that no matter what
happens in my life
one day
i will be home
in HIS hand
without worry or pain
and for me
this is a continual flowing
of healing balm
which always
gives me
peace…
when did life
become so exhausting ?
when i started fighting
a reality
i cannot change
and forgot
to just give it all
to God…
i thought it was too much
for HIM
i thought HE was overloaded
i thought
HE had enough
and therein lies the problem…
I
THOUGHT,
instead of prayed,
for small moments…
and in that blast of
my idiocy
God simply
graced me with
exhaustion
allowing me time
to absorb
the knowledge
i can do nothing
unless it is through HIM
with HIM
and by HIM…

 

Read More graced with exhaustion at nautilus teachings

flat stanley’s hurricane at nautilus teachings

flat stanley’s hurricane at nautilus teachings

 

 

who remembers
flat stanley?
all three of my kids
made him,
and sent him to a relative
where they documented
his travel and adventures
from air plane rides,
to bath times
school
church
and even water skiing…
in each photograph
flat stanley
looked exactly that
flat
blank
and with
a goofy smile…
getting him back
in the mail with an
illustrated story
of his adventures
was always a great day…
we would eat dinner together
and when the last plate was cleared
the magic manilla envelope
was placed in front of the recipient
everyone waiting in anticipation
ready to laugh
and cheer
for flat stanley’s
exciting journey…
as the story was read aloud
while we all ate ice-cream
sitting on the edge of our seats
listening with anticipation
knowing full well
no matter the peril
he was in
flat stanley survived
because he was here,
back home
laying flat
upon the table
with the same
empty stare
he had when he left…
hurricane season this year
has done this to some of us,
i know it has to me
and my d…
we get up
after a fitful night
attempt at normal sleep
we walk into walls
stumble over the dogs
rub our eyes
and stare blankly into the mirror
at our worn out reflections…


after briefly washing and smoothing on
layers of under the eye makeup
to try and hide
the obvious
we
are
over done
with
gray
with rain
with wind
with tornado warnings
with tropical storm updates
hurricane warnings
not flushing toilets
using gallon bottles of water
to wash our pits and slits
not to mention
brush our teeth
eating off of paper plates
reusing plastic cups
forks, knives and spoons
not to mention emptying daily
the garbage cans which hold
the toilet paper we use
and do not drop in the toilet
so we can only flush
once each a day…
we are for sure
completely over
checking weather stations
over and over
making sure they are all
basically in sync
allowing us to
kinda live a day
like we used to,
BEFORE…
harvey
irma
jose
katia
lee
maria
nate…
we are just getting
to flipping old for all of this
in and out with furniture
up and down with shutters
sedating the dogs
saying goodbye to our things
as we lock up
and hunker down
at a friends
then returning to
climbing on the roof every day
cleaning up our saturated businesses
cutting down limbs
cleaning back up
putting away
always saying a prayer
that this year
there will be no more…
we want to be just like
flat stanley
we want to package ourselves up
and ship us off to
a calm, cool, beautiful
peaceful place with
fresh water
warm baths
yummy food
foot massages
and nights of sleeping
soundly like a baby…
we want to come back
to our home telling
wonderful, silly stories
of what we did
to our family and friends
while they sit captive,
wine glass in hand
mouths dropped open
holding their breath
with replies like,
“oh, my gosh…”
“no flippin’ way…”
“you really did that?”
“wow, honey, we should do that next year…”


we want to smile
go to the gym
drive our cars
work a full day
eat real meals
do the laundry
on the day we always do
have fresh towels
twice a week
and clean sheets…
reality is flat.
just
like
stanley.
we live in paradise
this is part of it,
end of story.
we both
are staring in the mirror
as we glance toward
one another…
d begins to speak,
‘well, honey…i can see why snow birds
come to florida, now…’
i roll my eyes
push the bulging underneath them in
with my pointer finger
smile at the man i love
then push in the bags
under his eyes…
i flush the toilet
and we both swear
it sings hallelujah
the boys are cross legged
needing to go out-
it is raining and blowing hard…
d sweeps down
pecks me on my lips
and says,
‘use all the water you want this morning
to wash your face, love
i will take care of the boys..’
and just like that
he grabs the umbrella
hooks the dogs on the leash
opens the door
and leaves me
alone
still staring at my bags
but now tears are gliding
down my cheeks
as i look up toward the heavens
and say,
‘thank you lord
for this man
our life together
and the hope
that soon,
this
too
shall
pass
for we
only have
55 more days
of the
2017
hurricane season…

 

Read More flat stanley’s hurricane at nautilus teachings

Irma’s Evil Twin at nautilus teachings

Irma’s Evil Twin at nautilus teachings

 

 

Sunday night
i
DID NOT SLEEP WELL…
irma’s evil twin
began pounding us
with i don’t know
how many inches of rain…
d backwashed the pool down 8” twice
our bali road was underwater
the exact amount as during Irma
and once more
i
began
a dip into
depression…
part of me wanted to just leave
run away
pack up and go
because like most people here
we
are
both
exhausted…
you can see it in our eyes
we both have bags
and we
NEVER
(or at least i never-teeheehee)
have
bags…
my stomach is churning
and
sleep
is always
a grasp away…
yes,
i am thankful
we did not lose power.
i am thankful
the Sykes creek water main
did not break
i am grateful
for the water not flooding my home
and for my tiny life
but
i
am
soooooooooooo
DONE!
this
is where i get angry
and i hate anger
this feeling is so new to me
i am beginning to wonder
will it ever go away?
i sign onto social media
and
BAM!
the horrific killing in Las Vegas…
what
is
happening to our world?
God
must
be
MAD AS HELL
at us all
because
every day
something awful happens…
i sit
lifeless
smileless
sweaty
full of dust
and needing a shower
from a day of-
oh yeah,
my studio had parts
of walls taken down
and may have more
removed tomorrow…
then the fix it guys are
heading to their next job
leaving me
floor-less
wall-less
angry
numb
and sad-
ok
i’m depressed…


i pop in to Ashleys Pool supply
next to Ace Hardware
to get a backwash hose
because between
Irma and her wicked twin
we blew two hoses…
as i am checking out
the girl,
who is very sweet and kind says,
‘did you hear we are supposed to get
torrential rains this weekend?’
i smile
shake my head no
grab my hose
fill up my tank
and think about an exit plan
with my two dogs…
i begin to cry
AGAIN
ugh
when my electrician calls
letting me know all is well
in the studio-
no problems at all
ahhhhh…
a tiny rainbow appears
in my head
i kinda smile
thank him
hang up
drive home
and sit.
i feel lifeless
i have no dream
at this moment
accept
staying dry
and surviving
the rest of this
incredible f’d up weather year…
i think about our grandson
in his chair with his Woody doll
smiling and gurgling at me-
i think about his sweet
newness
his happy disposition…
i take a deep breath
hold it
and attach those images
to my memory reel
which
as of lately
has only been
tick tick ticking out
sorrow…
one more breath in
as i gaze down at my two boys
reef and finn
who are both sound asleep
at my feet.
this has been hard on
them also
but they bounced back
quickly…
it’s Monday night
i gaze at the forecast
on wundeground.com
checking to see
will we get deluged again
with rain this weekend?
rain,
yes.
accumulation
each day is minimal…
i sigh
close my eyes
and pray to God
they are accurate
and that our tiny beach town
my tiny studio
our tiny home
all stays high and dry
and that
tomorrow
the next day
and for all
the days to follow
we never have to worry
about being too wet again…
yes, i know this is a fallacy
yes, i know i am delusional
yes, i know i am a dreamer
but this is all that keeps me going
HOPE
FAITH
PRAYER
it’s what keeps me buoyant
throughout all life’s storms…
my mind flashes to my studio
i close my eyes and see
exactly what i painted
behind my desk…
“sometimes all you need
is the faith of a mustard seed…”
ya just gotta have
FAITH
that Irma’s evil twin and every impersonator after this
will be dragged out to sea
leaving our tiny beach town
to heal
open up
support
and live…

 

 

Read More Irma’s Evil Twin at nautilus teachings

anger, faith, life at nautilus teachings

anger, faith, life at nautilus teachings

 

when i rose up Sunday
at 7:40,
after lying awake in bed
since 4am
dozing and praying
i
was
MAD…
i hate this feeling
i never get mad
i don’t like anger
but i was ready to roar
and that is exactly
what i did…
d rounded the corner
and
BAM
i said,
‘i am done. no one is allowed in my studio again
after today. no more fans. no more mess.
no more, no more
NO MORE…
i am done’
he looked at me as if i was crazy,
which in all fairness at the time,
i
was….
needless to say
before church it was
an unsettling start,
especially
when i stopped at the studio
before going to church
and i see a man in a mask
leaving my studio
without my permission
saying…
“i had to take out a chunk of wall…”
my head spun around
i am sure like the kid in the exorcist
and i said,
‘really? let’s go see it together…’
in actuality all he had done
was peeled a layer off a small
part of my wall
and so i smiled
and said,
‘thank you…’
a bit later,
when i sat
listening to
the pastor about faith
talking about people
who claim they are born again
when in reality
we are all born over and over
again and again
in our faith as we grow…
he posed the question
when did you find faith?
at that very moment
i closed my eyes
tears formed
and i wanted to shout out
‘i was born into faith…
all i know is faith…’
because
this
is
my
truth…


i never questioned my faith-
EVER-
i just always felt the hand of God
cradling me
holding me
leading me
encompassing me…
i turned my eyes downward
and began saying prayers
to God,
one by one
as the pastor spoke-
waaaaaay to long
about samuel
his mother hannah
who was barren,
prayed for a son
and then gave him over to God
after he was born…
i know the story
so to be caught up in my own
silent little prayers
about how i need calm
for peace
healing
love
understanding
patience,
as my thoughts turned
to all of the families
suffering at that very moment
and how blessed i was
i felt,
well
small…
after church
i met my hubby and the floor man
in studio to discuss plans
on what to do with my ugly
terrazzo floor-
i know,
i know…
some of you are terrazzo lovers-
i am
NOT…
while awaiting his arrival
d and i reset my studio-
again-
as i watched it slowly
come back to life
i paused
to wipe tears…
i am just a simple girl
who loves
teaching art.
yes,
i have a message to share
yes,
i want everyone to love
what they paint
yes,
i want to change people’s lives
one color at a time
yes,
i am a crazy artist
but seeing the studio
in it’s raw
empty
paintingless
beauty
overwhelmed me…


all
anger
had faded in church
and now
was rapidly flowing
down stream
away from me…
how do you deal with anger?
do you get angry?
this is all new to me
because for nearly 55 years
i felt i deserved ugliness
to be hurled at me
but now
no
more…
d says,
‘honey,
you are never silent.
everyone knows how you feel
what you think and believe,
don’t you get that?’
no
i
don’t…
i’m just a girl
who loves to write
loves color
painting
and who is buoyed
by her faith…
i never found faith,
it has been part of me
since i took my first breath
and know
even in the womb,
God
was
there…
God is everywhere.
he hears all
knows all
sees all
and still loves us
even
in
our
anger…
tonight
i will sleep well.
i am calm.
my tiny studio
is coming alive
we have a plan
for a floor
and a date for a
grand re-opening…
d’s office will be finished
by the first of the year
and life appears to be
returning to normal
to routine
to the doldrums of
a life i love…
healing is what i need
time to mend
after this crazy
5 weeks of a woman
i dislike-
IRMA…
as i close my eyes
and dream of my new
sub stained blue floor
as i anticipate
fridays class faith
as i look forward to
all of you painting with me
come months end,
i pause
i smile
i shed a few tears
knowing
for some crazy reason
we
all
were
saved…
and that,
my friend
is enough reason to
celebrate life …

 

Read More anger, faith, life at nautilus teachings

mighty Bali Studios at nautilus teachings

mighty Bali Studios at nautilus teachings

 

 

how many of you
yelled at someone you loved,
were yelled at
by someone you loved,
felt frustration
stress
anger
and maybe even
cried again and again
during the past 5 weeks?
hurricanes
do this.
life does this.
and i know
we
are
TESTED
over
and
over.
i know it’s for a reason.
i know it means change.
i know my path is changing.

i have strong faith.

when the storm hits
i have tremendous inner strength
i can get stuff done quickly
i am good.
clean up-
no problem,
i will climb on the roof
haul branches
mop floors
rake leaves
clean stuff up…
but today
i
finally
succumbed
to it all…
as i watched
my tiny Bali Studios
floor be ripped up
in less than an hour
as i saw all the spots
of paint being thrown out
by guys who were just
doing there job,
i sucked it up.
i mopped behind them.
told jokes
offered them a cool beverage –
even a cold titos…
they smiled
did their job
and left.
after, i sat
in d’s office
on the soft sofa
and cried…


not about the floor
geeeeez…
for me it is
a sacred place
a safe spot
a fun tiny room
overlooking mother ocean
i get to share
with so many women
and children…
seeing it
just disappear
so fast
crushed me
like a huge wave
slamming me against the
sand bottom
saying
wake up
swim
find air
you’ve got this…
i hate new beginnings.
i want to just spend
the second half of my life
comfortable
but God is saying
NOPE…
this is about me
my space
and the violation i have felt
in the past week…
i was secondary instead of calling me,
they went to him
to tear apart my studio
to open the door
and just
have their way at it
and i felt
secondary…
it’s my space
i want to make the calls
i want to hear from them
what is wrong.
so yes,
i was mad.
this morning
when i woke
i was looking forward
to a relaxing saturday
painting, cooking
seeing our grandson
and just as i finished
morning errands
my phone beeped
with,
‘they need to tear out your walls and floor…’
WTF?
when i arrived
and i saw the standing water
i knew
something
happened-
and it was not from the hurricane…
when just two days ago
my floor water reading was 17-
dry!
then
the
TRUTH…

from their mouths…
it was from my pump not working
because
they unplugged it
55 hours ago
it filled up over and over
from the dehumidifier
and wa – la
it flooded my floor.
they admitted it.
so,
here i am,
now.
it’s almost 6pm
my studio is bone dry.
my floor is gone.
i am clean.
i am alive.
i am safe.
i am done crying.
done being mad.
done
done
DONE…
now i begin research
on how to cover up
ugly terrazzo floors
and make my new space
sacred once more.
to do this
i turn inward
to my faith.
tomorrow
i will go to church
and pray
for guidance
a sign
to lead me
wherever God
needs me…
and HE will.
the studio will reopen
everyone will laugh and smile
life will continue
and i will grow…
i am no longer small
i can handle this
tiny setback
i can do this…
but today,
i just needed to
‘take one for the team’
so to speak
and remember the first ten years
of blessing, fun, laughter and friendship
knowing
we may be small
but
we
are
MIGHTY…

 

Read More mighty Bali Studios at nautilus teachings

ordinary vs chaos at nautilus teachings

ordinary vs chaos at nautilus teachings

 

 

 

the morning
was bleak
gray
still
empty
vacant
dead looking…
i looked out upon
the river
to find thousands
of tiny surface bubbles
the boys were running around
happy to be loose.
i looked up again
noticing pink and orange
rising up across the canal
behind the trees…
the morning sunrise
was brilliant if you were on the beach
but from where i stood
it gave life
to this beautiful
ansel adams scene…
the color was taken
away by Irma
and every day
as i rose
i felt sadness
envelope me
until i could get in my car
and drive to pick up our grandson…
i love watching him
he is a cuddle bug
very sweet
and rarely if ever cries…
the morning flew by
as we played
sang and danced
while the dogs
entertained him
with
their silliness…
Ry loves the dogs.
they make him giggle.
and what is better
than a baby giggle?
um,
NOTHING!!!
i settled him in for his 11am nap
and began putting wires
on my new canvases
i need to hang in my studio…
d waltzes in and says,
“they are drilling holes in your walls.
they ripped off all the trim work.”
what?
“bonnie ( our office manager i love to death)
is staying for lunch as the door is open
to your studio…”
needless to say i get angry inside
and say,
“Ry is asleep. I will be right back.”
within 30 min i am back home
with my studio computer in hand
after witnessing a mess
they had not cleaned up
and they moved stuff
they never should have…
i
was
ANGRY…


not at d
or the workers-it was the management …
why had no one called me?
what? he owns it so i am secondary?
i have no voice?
i’m just supposed to let them
do what they want without
supervision?
i come hoe to see Ry  in pops arms-
AWAKE!
‘he was turned over and crying..’
i think to myself,
he never cries
and his 2 1/2 hour nap
is now not going to happen…
d leaves.
Ry and i play.
he eats applesauce
and his bottle…
his eyes are red
i know he is exhausted
just like me…
i am looking forward to him
taking a cat nap
so i to can close my eyes
and release my anger
through meditation…
but
NOPE…
he is not going to rest…
so,
we load up
go to the cape royal
and walk the hallways
looking for an answer
from the person in charge
of this whole ‘clean up’
who has no voice message
does not answer her phone
because she is too busy
and has no secretary…
she is no where to be found.
Ry and i are walking
relaxing
and decide
‘let’s go see Bonnie and pop!”
while Bonnie is cooing to Ry
and he is charming her
with his gorgeous grin
and huge blue eyes
the men -workers-
appear…
remember
i
am
pissed.
they left my place a mess
they left the door wide open
with my computer there
and no one called me…
again
i am
secondary
not the
OWNER.
i have asked them all to
please call me
and not bug my very busy
husband who sees 10 patients a day.
he should not have to deal with this mess…
they listen
as my voice elevates
and i tell them
as i give every one of them
my business card
‘call or text me
if you need to get in.
i will come up…
you are not allowed in my space
unless i am here…’
they understand
but i know
they have to do
what the manager of our building says
and she won’t answer her phone
so i write a firm note
and leave it on her chair.
I quickly clean up the mess they made
and notice they have
broken one of my shelves
which holds all my bins…


i breath in
lock up
and go see RY next door
who is now being entertained
by pop…
‘did i hear you yell at the workers?’
he asks me.
‘no, i elevated my voice…
i am
pissed off…
he looks at me like i am crazy,
which at this very moment
I AM
i grab Ry’s stroller
and we walk
and we walk and walk
outside.
Anger is not healthy,
i know
but
i am still
mad…
I plop Ry into his carseat and crank the air…
we drive
and drive
very slowly around cocoa beach…
he is sound asleep
as i gaze out at my tiny town…
i love my life
i do not like
that someone invaded my sacred space
without me and left it a mess
but
honestly
d did give them the key…
we take the drive to Ry’s house
i carry him in
and as i place him in his bed
BAM
awake he is…
smiling
giggling
and ready to play…
i want to bottle him up
and drink his glorious spirit down.
i kiss him goodbye
drive back to my studio
open my door
and sigh…
i want to cry
but instead i lock the door
drive home
grab a shower
light my candles
and pray
that when they take off
all the trim in my hubby’s office
moving all his stuff-
and his office is-packed –
that he see’s and understands
my anger and frustration today…
sometimes
life
is
messy
and sometimes
life is
routine…
i for one choose ordinary
over chaos any day…

 

 

Read More ordinary vs chaos at nautilus teachings

broken loving at nautilus teachings

broken loving at nautilus teachings

 

 

i am sitting at
my mother’s table.
the sun is out
and life is slowly
creeping back
into my tiny beach town.
i am exhausted
from playing
catch up
yet so grateful
to be alive
and healthy…
until i turn
on the tv
or sign onto
social media…
UGH!
i don’t want to hear it…
i want to see the funny pics
everyone posts
i want to hear
some uplifting news
about anything positive…
i was raised
with faith
in faith
through faith.
i was raised
to respect
give, help
to just do for others
as i would have them do
unto me.
i was taught to be
accountable
for everything
i did, spoke and believed.
together
as a family
we worshiped
we ate
we played
we did housework
yardwork
and always had
huge family dinners
with our relatives
on sundays…
we walked
every where we could,
wore hand me downs,
ate very little meat,
day old everything,
played board games
when it rained,
played outside
every other day
and together,
as a family
watched tv shows like
animal kingdom
star trek and
wonderful world of disney
to name a few…


my mother raised us.
she volunteered everywhere she could
and on the one day my father
did not work or have school-
which was sunday-
he volunteered his time
to helping our church with
it’s finances as he was
going to school for his CPA…
we said the pledge of allegiance
we sang
God Bless America
we flew our flag
supported the troops
drove a chevrolet
ate apple pie-
made by mom-
said hello,
please, thank you
and never ever worried
about getting trophies
or recognition
for anything,
knowing,
a human being
just should do
out of kindness…
my brothers played pee wee football
and little league baseball
with my father along the sideline
as one of the coaches
while mom ran the concession stand
and i wandered safely
amongst everyone…
we rooted for our Bears
and our Cubbies
drank cocoa cola from a bottle
never had air conditioning
said grace before every meal
and were taught
to work hard
make a living
and be grateful…
my kids pound into my head
over and over,
“mom…it’s not like that anymore…”
i get this.
i
do.


in this ever changing age
of technology
and social media,
there
are
no
secrets,
there
is fake news
and real news
people judge more
hate more
and do less
for free
or out of kindness…
growing up in the 60’s
outside chicago
i did not know hate-
EVER…
i had friends of all colors
religions
and from all different
levels of income.
no one cared.
we still loved the same food
laughed together
took daily baths
went the bathroom
worshipped in church
and loved being outside…
we were all free
to twirl
to hide
to run
skip
jump
play hopscotch
ice skate on the pond
sled down the hill
and wander for hours…
we always felt safe.
i glance at the empty chairs
around my mother’s table
knowing they are never
truly empty
i can brush crumbs of memory
into my hand
and see my mother
my aunt
and family
all gathered
celebrating
something,
anything…
i can see us all
sitting outside
in the summer breeze
drinking lemonade
sharing stories
and just believing
nothing in life
is better
than
this…


recently i was given
the gift
from d,
of seeing my dad…
to say we are close
would by lying.
we have had a lifetime
of friction
some of it horribly hurtful
some of it tender
but mostly it was just
silent absence…
we never got to connect
like a father and daughter should
and for my whole life i blamed him
until d,
took my hand and said,
“he is your father, sher…
remember what your mother always said,
‘your father was born broken
and even the broken deserve to be loved…’
so, tell him you love him.
hug him.
hold him close
knowing he just did the best he could…”
so, i did.
i told him 5 times in 48 hours
i loved him…
never once did he say it back.
NEVER…
but,
i know he loves me
i know he knows i love him
and that my friend
is not fake news
but reality…
sometimes we just need to love
because in this loving
we find
ourselves…

 

Read More broken loving at nautilus teachings

aftermath at nautilus teachings

aftermath at nautilus teachings

 

 

i sit in silence
as my AC blows
cool, clean air.
my hubby is asleep
in the spa
resting his weary bones
from climbing for
the umpteenth time
on the roof to clear it
of dead leaves,
raking the yard,
AGAIN
and picking up all
the twigs which had
fallen in the last week…
i finish setting up
the studio
lugging yet another
large garbage bag of debris
haul home another
bucket of wet towels
stick dinner in the oven
vacuum
start laundry
and now sit perched
thinking about
every single family
who is suffering
right this very moment
due to flooding
earthquake
fires…
i cannot
even begin to imagine
how broken they feel
because
our tiny beach town
was saved…
no one i knew
complained about being
without power
or water
no one fretted over
the inability to find
their favorite foods
or how far they had to drive
to get gas…
they just picked up all
the strewn pieces
and began again
silently crying inside
yet at the same time
feeling gratitude
that we all still had
a life to fold ourselves
back in to…


we
are
all
exhausted…
every inch of us
every hair
every bone
our minds
are blank
our thoughts
strewn amongst
the last month of
preparation
evacuation (for some)
hunkering down (for others)
calling our loved ones
just to hear their voices
hoarding water, gas, canned food
making videos of our homes
offices,
our lives…
it’s lost among the
high winds battering
our homes and trees
the intense water
rising, falling,
pounding
non stop
it’s lost in our prayers
our hopes
our wishes
our thoughts
and our awakening to
the gift
of yet another day
of
living in paradise…
only the world we see
looks bleak
dead
torn up
signs ripped apart
tree limbs everywhere
yet for the most part
we
are
all
ok…
our homes in tact
our loved ones
and pets safe
even our businesses
seem to have weathered
this storm…
so we blink at
the blinding sun
look up at the blue sky
and we still feel sad…
we know
there are people
homeless
their offices drenched
we
know
beyond a shadow of a doubt
we
were
lucky…
but we don’t feel happiness
we cannot just go out
and begin again
knowing
our friends
our community
needs help
to re-open
to heal
to thrive
to just
make ends meet…


living in paradise
requires us to pay
a very high price
sometimes…
it requires us
to have faith
that as the quote states,
“if you build it
they will come…”
will they?
really?
or will they go to a shiny new place
that is more hip
up to date
and offers them the new
and unknown?
for me,
i love
familiarity
because it is like
coming home…
i want to know that
Robertos
Juice and Java
Surfinista
and Coconuts
to name a few
will have open doors
with all the familiar
faces we love…
i want to walk through
Publix
and still hug the fabulous
employees
and staff
who have faithfully served us
day after day,
year after year…
i want to walk the beach
at 4N
find tiny treasures
say hello to
mother ocean
and let her wash
away all my sorrows…
i want to watch
the surfers
ride those waves
letting the water
kiss their board
as their toes
hang off the edge
as they grin ear to ear
and slowly roll off
their board
only to rise up
once more
as they gracefully
ride to shore
land upon the sand
hug the people they love
twirl their kids
around in the air
and embrace
this gift
this amazing
wonderful blessing
we call life…
i step back
glance at my
redo of my tiny studio
and smile…
“sometimes
all you need is the
FAITH
of a mustard seed..”
i like teaching in my tiny refuge
i love living in
my small town,
i love donating
to the library
art and teaching books
i love talking to the crew
who is fixing our
cape royal
i love helping my husband
get his business
back up and running
i love seeing familiar faces
exchanging stories
and i love
listening to the voices
echo across my tiny church
knowing God
has saved us…
i don’t ask why
i look up to the heavens
and say
thank you
i feel gratitude…
i still feel sad
because so many families
are suffering
have lost it all
i know i cannot do anything
to change this…
we are all small.
yet we all have the power
to love
to listen
to be kind
to help
to hold…
for me,
each day
i pause
take in everything
surrounding me
and know this
one truth…
with my faith
i am big…

Read More aftermath at nautilus teachings

seasonal depression at nautilus teachings

seasonal depression at nautilus teachings

 

i wake up to gray skies
AGAIN
glance out towards the river
and wonder
how many other people
are suffering
from this
doldrum
this downward spiral
this feeling
of seasonal depression…
all i want to do is cry
i don’t want to look
at my list of the
100 things i need to do
i want to smile
laugh
and go back to my life,
but i can’t,
and for the first time
i feel
a very deep depression
settling in
that not even my dogs
can cure
for even they
seem sad.
i cannot turn on the news.
social media
is even a challenge
because the world
is suffering…
wild fires
hurricanes
and now
earthquake…
what is going on?
what happened to
all the pictures of everyones
children smiling everywhere
or the silly pet pics
people post
not to mention
the shots of all the surfers…
we are all
numb
saddened and feel helpless
we are also
blessed
to not have been
flooded
lost our homes
or lives
to irma…
the sun peaks out
i open the door to
a sauna
and
i
smile….


this is my florida!
sunshine
and heat.
for the first time
since i began
menopause
i say,
‘bring on the heat and sunshine
everyday, Lord…’
within 15 min
the blue
succumbs
to the gray
and droplets
pour down
upon our saturated
island home.
i look out upon the pool
and canal.
i remember
the early morning hours
of september 11th
and the flash flood
on our usually bone dry road
and again
i tremble…
i don’t like feeling this way.
i never have felt this way.
through all the hurricanes
i stayed-
and the count is over 10
i never
felt
this
fear…
d and i know,
it’s mostly our aging.
our bodies don’t quite
keep up with our brains
we have glitches in our systems
and climbing on the rooftop
for 7 days straight
has taken it’s toll…
for over 5 weeks
we have had gloom
hovering above us
with an occasional sunshiny day
we wake thinking its 7
when it’s really 8:30
darkness has been
all encompassing
and this is why
i feel
some sadness…

usually i can paint my way out
but every day,
2-3 times a day,
as i enter my
cape royal building
and greet the team
of workers who have
gotten our building up
and now drying out
as i check d’s voice message
clean a little more of my space
haul his files to his
temporary office
pick up the ones
that need to be billed
and refiled
as i walk down my hallway
and notice they are
starting to put some
fans away
i feel hope…
i unlock the door
and his office shines
from the extreme cleaning
we gave it,
it smells of lavender
and sits
waiting
for
him to come home…
as i unlock my tiny
bali studios door
and see all my colors
and envision
all the ladies
sipping and painting
the kids
in summer camp
calling out
‘miss sheri, miss sheri’
i feel
gratitude…
the gray sky still hovers
today
Marie
is devastating
Puerto Rico
with winds up to 140mph
and we are all
helpless…
we cannot save
any one person.
we can donate
food, clothing, money
we can pray,
but for the most part
the cries of all the people
into the arms of those
they love
as they try to absorb
take in
and accept
the life they know
is gone
as they hold tight
to one another
search for food
and water
any signs of help
as the wind
and rains cease
as they come
together
as small
communities
we,
as the world
must be united
must fight for peace
kindness
acceptance…
tiny slices of blue
are peaking out
from the gray now
my neighbor knocks
and i let him in
so he can fix my three screen doors
which were damaged…
that’s it
three doors
and our
cape royal building …
i did not lose
my life
my home
my pets
my belongings
my everything…
the cavernous upwelling
which has been surrounding me
lifts
breaks up
and i now
feel a weight being lifted…
i wasn’t ever crying
poor me, poor me
i was just feeling like
everyone else i know
here in my tiny beach town
the overwhelming need
to breathe
to calm
and to wake up
without threat
to what God
so graciously left us with –
our lives…

 

Read More seasonal depression at nautilus teachings