When nothing makes sense, you have to let go: an Introspective.

There are times when despite our best efforts, relationships falter. Be they romantic, brotherly, parent, child or anything in between, there are times when relationships we have put considerable effort into offer us nothing, nothing at all. Then we have to let go.

Let go of the wondering what went wrong? Let go of the how on earth could they perceive me that way? Let go of the it’s not fair. Let go of the but I care about them. It’s not working. Let it go.

So here is my song to myself and for anyone else who needs to let go.

 IMG_3508

I am tired, weary and heart sore.
I call lodestone to those who hurt more than I do.
Drag your exhausted selves to my side,
We will curl up for awhile
and hide until the moon breaks in the east
And we can beckon to the feast
Of light that drifts beyond the world,
Holding safe to each other in swirls
Of tears.
Be still and breathe slow.
Watch for the morning glow
As tide turns through stars above,
Rest awhile with me in love.
Fury may break and storm overhead,
Anger may disturb your rest,
Return again to your comfortable bed,
Dreams that soothe will be best.
If those dreams cannot be found,
Then allow the tangled mess unwound,
Unravel until it all smooths out,
Curlicues of colour wreathe about.
Rest, rest now,
Lay down your head.
Close your eyes,
Sink into bed.
Hold your hope, light will come soon,
Sliding passed silvery moon.
This time of hurt and trial will end,
Hold out hope, my love, my friend.

 

(c) CLHHarper 18 July 2014

Cold Whirls

IMG_1655

On a cold, cold winter’s day when the wind whips through the trees,
I fly right home to warmth and comfort, a cat upon my knees.
Outside the wind rages, leaves stream horizontally,
Blue skies, white clouds scud, dropping degrees. 

IMG_1660

I settle in my big white chair, with book and rug and mug, and I
watch the wind twirl across in front of my homely snug.
I could be out in the garden. I’ll think on that today.
Right now I’m staying inside, my only thought is why

 

IMG_1663

 

Why do I feel as though I must be out, in the cold and wind?
Why do I feel the need to be busy, feet rushing about, heading no doubt
to the work for which I sing?

 

No, this time, when the wind is whipping up, everything is planned, and
now is mine to be still, watch and wonder, understand
that every moment has it’s time and every thought its passing.

 

Here I’ll be, snug as a bug and wave as the world whirls past me.

 

(c) CLHHarper 8 July 2014

 

Why I blog? 201:2 Still a lot to consider

I was very resistant to start blogging. I sensibly began reading other people’s blogs to see what I enjoyed reading and what I responded to. There is such variety.

Did I prefer those Storytellers who framed their stories in contemporary concerns or those who shared about practical issues, conversations about community engagement or those blogs where inspectrofication occurred (yes, that is a new word and I like it)?

I began by framing my stories but soon found I was sharing personal stories and then that I was sharing intimately. This surprised me enormously. What surprised me even more was the amount of re-blogging of my intimate blogs. I had great difficulty comprehending that the workings of the inside of my mind were relatable. I am human after all and we are all so assured of our startling individuality. Experiences may be different but our feelings and emotions are the same. What determines the difference is our decisions, how we react to our experiences. Well then, how to react to this experience of blogging?

I determined that it was okay to share my “Introspectives” as readers responded to them so positively. I have some readers following the Jumbly Tales and there are still many more of those to come but I had other things I needed to explore. I also have a broad range of interests and find my work and personal life intersect at disconcerting frequencies, so my blog covered that as well. Basically, I needed to cover whatever it was I was wanting to share. Luckily there are as many categories as you wish to create.

I fondly imagined that I would have comments of daily significance only to discover that life gets in the way and other issues such as children, family, Community, animals, house, work and garden (so much to do there!). There have been times when I have thoughts to share and times when I do not. When I do not feel that I have anything to share, I think it is best that I do not. Gobbley-gook would be the result, I am sure. I am quite proficient in swearing in gobbley-gook (as the man who tried to intimidate me with his van found out recently) but it is not what I want to put in my blogs.

Interestingly, there is a vague sense of guilt when I do not blog. My commitment is to myself and my writing development, to those who consistently read and respond and to those who kindly find my writing of interest enough to share. That’s serious levels of responsibility. The blogosphere (and that it an actual word!) is full of so many interesting writers, creators, and thought provokers that I wonder at my own contribution. I do not have ego enough to imagine that missing a week here or there is noticed and would not be concerned if it was. I blog primarily for the development of my own sense of self and style of writing.

Ah, now we have it. I am blogging to develop myself. That is exactly the reason I began blogging. I wanted to share my stories and develop my own writing and in the process, see what others had to say on their blogs and in their responses to me. I endeavour to comment on other blogs, to share my appreciation or what they have inspired me to think about. I do not read blogs every day but certainly read a share each week. I particularly like artist and photographer blogs. The eye of an artist is such a celebration and I appreciate enormously the capture of a mere moment of existence, a thought or an idea, that I can contemplate in the picture of the artist’s work. What a gift. I enjoy satire and spiky commentary but I particularly enjoy comments from readers who add so much through their responses and can have me falling off my chair, snorting with laughter.

There are writers who have been blogging a long time and certainly blogging is not a writing form that everyone does well. I also appreciate Poetry blogs. I am enamoured with words after all. I love the sense of connection and feeling from poetry, especially if the words do not make literal sense. Poetry is primarily emotive for me and I respond strongly to visuals. I write a lot of poetry, some good, some simply expressive. Be grateful when I tell you that you will see little of it. It is the way in which I process my stuff and most of it is not for public consumption. The pieces I do share are for the letting go. I have noticed a number of bloggers who share whatever they have written.

As a Storyteller, I have a commitment to the reception of my tale. While I cannot guarantee how a story will be received or understood, I feel strongly that I share stories with which I am complete. One blogger’s tale of forgiveness inspired me and while more thinking was going on with the blogger, it was clear that some shareable conclusions had been reached. I told him I had been inspired and thanked him for sharing. I noted that he had been moved by people’s responses and that he was able to share more of his developing thoughts in the process. And that’s what blogging is, it’s a process.

While some do blog absolute finished and shiny pieces, others process their lives though their blogs (some more rawly than others) and this is what fascinates me.

I have decided that I like blogging. I promise to always be respectful and withhold the most raw material (always). I have a new commitment though. I will continue to read respectfully other bloggers’ work and contribute respectfully to their comments. This interactive forum that let’s us grow and develop and collectively engage in the sub-conscious process of evolution is not be underestimated.

Hmm, must think about that some more.

(c) CLHHarper 7 July 2014

Growing Up: an Introspective

Teaching your children responsibility. Good God!

It is easier to be in charge than it is to hand over responsibility and let your children suffer the consequences of their own mistakes. Nowhere is this more obvious than when your children leave home and you can see their unwillingness to take on adult responsibility piling up around them.

Where to begin? Obviously when they are small. My youngest has been the most recalcitrant, the most determined to put in the least amount of effort possible and an absolute refuser of taking responsibility for her own actions. Hasn’t stopped me teaching the lessons but should I be distracted by my work, illness or distress, she will simply take advantage. She wasn’t the only one to do so. Then of course there are the consequences of her own actions. My goodness, I have never heard such a litany of I didn’t know, no-one told me, she said, he was doing it too. Only problem is, she isn’t five.

I have a strong work ethic and whilst I can procrastinate mildly at times, I know the work will get done. If I take a day off to play or rest, that’s okay because I will put nose to the grindstone (and sometimes work like house work is that painful) and get what needs to be done, done.

This child would spend ten minutes hiding clothing in her room and then telling me it was all put away. I would come and check and find it all. Then she would spend 15 minutes re-hiding the clothing she had previously hidden, hiding all the other rubbish I had found while pulling out the other stuff. She would announce that she was finished. I would go and check. She would then spend a further 20 minutes re-re-hiding everything I had found in the previous hiding places and tell me she was finished. I would ask where the rubbish was, come and check, pull everything out and stay there until it was all put away in the correct places, amongst wailing and gnashing of teeth. She did not seem to understand that if she had put everything away the first time, it would not have taken the hour that it eventually took. This happened on many occasions. I tried every trick you are going to suggest. She was always surprised that I persisted, I don’t know why, I have always kept my word.

A few months ago, I told her I was at the end of my rope and when she went on camp, everything on the floor of her room would be bagged and donated. It was really hard bagging some of that stuff. I choose beautiful things for her but there was inches of clothing around her bed that she had been walking on for a couple of weeks. She went to camp. I bagged and donated. She returned from camp to a cleaned floor and was really pleased until she started looking for some of her stuff. More wailing and gnashing of teeth. I don’t know why she was surprised, I have always kept my word.

Same went for the bathroom cupboards that she treated like a rubbish bin. I asked her to clean it out. She did not. I warned her that she was risking my clean out. She did nothing. While she was out one day, I cleared the whole lot out. I kept her toothbrush and toothpaste. She was so shocked. Don’t know why, I have always kept my word. She has mentioned on several occasions since that she didn’t have this or that because I’d thrown it out. You’ve only got yourself to blame for that, I say.

My eldest girl had a similar problem in her room. We had floorboards so every Monday I would rake (yes, literally, it was scary in there), sweep and mop her floor, bagging and binning everything on the floor. I wore gloves. She’s not like that now and keeps a tidy house. I am not an enthusiastic domestic manager but my house is clean and organised. The only piles I ever personally have are clean clothes waiting to be hung up. I get around to them. They certainly don’t ever live on my floor for my feet to feel.

We renovated recently and got rid of all the carpet. This has been a mighty relief for me. Now I can sweep through with my dry mop and cruise through with my steamer and know for that moment, everything is clean and sterilised. Then we walk on the boards again but they still shine. My youngest however has not swept her room since the boards went down. She is a teenager, definitely old enough to do it for herself and knows it’s expected of her.

I have never had a problem with my teenagers managing their own rooms but when the smell of dirty clothes and rotting food is impacting on me, it’s gone too far. I like clean, not OCD clean, just clean. Now, where was I? Ah, yes. Talking about responsibility. When does your child understand that taking responsibility results in freedom?

We have had to have the talk again and what I expect every day after school between her return and mine from work. Do I sound tired and exasperated? Once she had it all written up, she got onto the computer and typed up her list. She had agreed that seeing it all written down made it seem far less overwhelming and much more manageable and she could see if she got her homework and jobs done, she would have free time in the evenings. Then she printed it out and let it fall to the floor. It’s still there. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

I know that they don’t mean what their actions say, some of the time, but our actions are the only way others have to interpret us. How she feels is one thing but her actions strongly suggest something else. She has recently lost good caring adult friends because of this. Everything in our lives is about our relationships. Our lives, as I have emphatically stated in KISS: an Introspective, are complicated. That keeps it interesting. Those complications mean however that we must be aware of the impact of our actions upon others. We many not be responsible for how they interpret us but if we only pay lip service and there is not follow through with empathy then the people in our lives (family, friends, school, work) have no choice but to understand us through our behaviour.

Another tough one to teach. I’m onto it.

(C) CLHHarper July 2014