Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Kites Must Open

I went shopping at the big Japanese market today. It was a relief to be somewhere where staff and shoppers were all taking masks and distancing seriously. Inside and out into the parking lot where we waited to be let in.

Tomorrow I need to get the one prescription that must stay at a walk-up pharmacy. We need gardening supplies too. Shopping is exhausting and I'm incredibly grateful to friends who are offering to pick up thighs when they are out. It meant we had cupcakes for dessert.

Watching the kites flying today while queuing to get into the Japanese market. Grateful to find everything for us to have a special dinner tonight.

Turn to catch the wind.
A kite must open to fly.
Soar across the sky.


Blue Each Spring

The irises I planted when we moved here, after tearing back some landscaping, have begun blooming. I’d totally missed that they were going.

I admired them and then let a friend take them for a natural pigment project she’s working on. Since she’d been shopping for us, it seemed a fitting tribute!

Whenever these ones bloom I always call to mind this haiku by Shushiki. It feels especially fitting this particular April of everything.

Dead my old fine hopes
And dry my dreaming but still…
Iris, blue each spring.

In response to Shushiki:

Did you plan with hope?
My careful plans are scattered.
Iris blooming still.


Weight of Memories

Today felt hard.

I spent much of the morning arguing with my Mother's bullshit that decided to play on my head. Connecting with students lightened my mood a little, but I spent the rest of the day feeling exhausted.

I felt shame. The nagging feeling that I should be doing more with my time off from commuting. That we have it relatively easy and safe, but I'm weighed down by memories and the dread of the coronavirus.

Every other day I've noted the USA death toll on this month's art journal signature. I take the number from the CDC website. Today it me know that across two days nearly 5,500 people have died.

‪Still, there was the rain falling and Camillia flowers that drop off so perfectly before they decay.‬ I spent some time under the eaves admiring them in the damp.

‪Spring rain hangs heavy.‬
‪Raindrops on fallen flowers.‬
Weight of memories.‬‪


Yearning for Growth

No big insights today. Kept mostly on track. Intermittent grief for the second career I was building, but tempered by my slowly growing online classes.

I’m yearning for the kind of post-traumatic growth that moves us forward in our capacity for compassion. Today was a day when it felt like a very distant dream, even though I mostly avoided all news today.

Sunlight streaming down.
Illuminating the world.
Yearning for new growth.


Gas What?

I started a post about the strangeness of today’s oil price crash set against childhood memories of gas lines and shortages in the 1970s.

Then it borked and the save failed.

We got through another day. Groceries ordered. I sat on the deck and managed to answer a few emails.

The roses are blooming.

Heady scent lingers.
Profusely blooming roses.
Abundance of Spring.


Weekend Care

I got out of synch and am up later than my usual night owlish tendency. There was a great online hangout with friends today. We played a lot of games. We're still healthy.

A quick entry for the day, for those poems!

Come morning, rain break.
Petals scattered on the ground.
Apples drink in rain.


Transient Beauty

All the pink faded from the apple blossoms and they were starting to wither away. Today the rain returned, I'm sure it will knock these last petals off.

Transient beauty.
Spring's blossoms fade so quickly.
Delicate as hope.

We spent the day playing games. CK asked if I wanted to get Animal Crossing a few weeks ago. It is pretty expensive, to my mind, and I was reluctant. I worried I'd get it and not really get into it and waste the money.

How I see myself as worthy of a $60 game is directly related to trauma therapy.

Homelessness at age 4 where you are repeatedly shamed by your family while you shelter with them leaves traces. That it coincides with signification abuse from my Mother, instead of loving support, makes it complicated to admit to my wife I want her to buy a game, and online subscription, while I'm not working.

The results of my scary game purchase? I played nearly uninterrupted for four hours today! It's really a sweet, kind way to just rest.

It was rainy and chilly after several Sunny warm days. Sitting on the sofa with the dogs and Obie playing a sweet game really was a blessing.


Heady Roses

Spring has been exceptionally beautiful here, sunny and dry. I’m longing to go stand on the beach, but who knows when they will be open again. At least our yard is a good place to be.

These tiny white roses bloom nearly all at once, filling our yard with their heady scent.

Lengthening spring days.
Light and warmth increase each day.
Scent of rose lingers.


Beneath Cherry Blossoms

Errands weren't easy before COVID19, now my anxiety spikes and I'm hypervigilant after going to the post office.

8,819 people have died in the past two days in the USA.

CK's meds got mishandled by one of the mail carriers yesterday. I channeled some of my anxiety into a fierce demand, documented in writing, and got them delivered to our porch today.

Getting angry, having it seen, really is hard. I feel like I'm the worst person, the ugliest stereotype of an angry white woman demanding her way.

I told several people today that I was sorry I was so angry, but my wife needs her medication. It was exhausting.

Then I cut down a bunch of overgrown bamboo. Trimmed a dozen poles to take to a friend tomorrow before admitting that my body was done.

There were several highlights today, besides my wife’s meds. Emptying our post office box yielded several checks and such lovely notes from students. I also got to stand under a flowing cherry, the kind with triple blossoms.

I’m always reminded of Issa’s haiku* when I see these. I feel like we’ve zoomed past trilliums and wood violets, I’m sad to have missed them, so am grateful to stand under them today.

My own Sakura/Issa inspired haiku:

Standing beneath trees,
Filled with heavy flowers.
What a time to live.

Here's Issa's haiku:

What a strange thing!‬
‪To be alive‬
Beneath cherry blossoms.


Terrible Lessons

I am working out this week's therapy session. Feel free to skip this. The poem is here at the top!

A COVID19 Haiku today in honor of my trip to Trader Joe’s.

Tie top and bottom.
Open to cover the face.
Terrible lessons.

🎋 🐚 🎋

🎋 🐚 🎋

⚠️ Content Warning ⚠️
⚠️ Child Abuse ⚠️

Terrible Lessons I Learned by Age Four

No one is on my side. No one. No one is listening either.

Advocating for myself is dangerous. No one cares about my needs or my bodily autonomy.

I am only valuable when I'm soothing my Mother.

My anger, if seen, is dangerous. Clench your jaw and hide it even if it feels like your head will explode.

Many questions after just spoken aloud for dramatic effect. Don't answer. Clenching jaw helps.

Be invisible, be small. Be quiet when you can stand it.

Always go when your Mother calls you to her, no matter how terrifying she sounds, even if you know she will hurt you. If you make her get you it is only worse.

Don't resist. Open defiance energizes her. Meekness saps her strength.

Then she will let you go outside to play.

If you run fast enough away she can't hear you scream how much you hate her, hate them all.

Get back on time.