Today Is…

lettersToday is…

a sorrowful, messy, ugly day,

a joyful, sunny, pretty day,

an instant in time

a moment,

the only moment.

Today is

what we have,

precious.

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge Letters

Advertisements

The Subway Stop

She waited patiently, standing on the concrete floor, her back pressed against the cool tiled wall. People were arriving down the escalator and lining up along the tracks.  Several minutes passed before the train arrived.  She scanned the passengers exiting from the doors of the subway car until she finally found him. Today he wore a dark grey suit.  His navy blue tie with a faint blue stripe lay flat against his crisp white shirt.  A worn leather bag was slung across his body.  She focused on his face and smiled. He looked healthy. She watched as he made his way among the crowd toward the escalator and then watched him move confidently on to the first stair, his back held straight, his head tilted up taking in the people and space before him.  When he eventually disappeared from her view, she gathered her bags and slowly and carefully made her way towards the escalator, her eyes fixed on the ground, carefully avoiding accidentally brushing up against any of the people waiting to catch the next train.

Each week day she returned to the same spot, waiting to catch a brief glimpse of him.  She had maintained this ritual for three years.  In all that time, she had not once approached him, she simply watched.  Every time she saw him, her heart swelled with momentary joy and as he disappeared at the top among the throngs of people, the overwhelming despair shoved joy out and reclaimed her heart.   She returned each weekday so that she could experience that momentary lightness.  The weekends and holidays without him were overwhelmingly dark.

He looked for her again today but he didn’t see her.  It had been three days since he last saw her standing silently against the wall watching for him.  She had been there every morning at his stop for the past three years.  When he first saw her there he had tried to approach her, to talk to her but she had cowered against the wall, frightened and small. On other occasions, she ran away before he reached her.  His repeated attempts to somehow connect with her only served to frighten her more and create a greater distance between them.  After a while, he stopped trying to impose his need for her and accepted that all she could tolerate was the brief connection of shared space across the subway platform.  The anger had long ago dissipated, replaced with a heart breaking sadness for all that he had lost, that they had both lost.

Her repeated absence from the spot where he expected to see her each morning shattered him in a way that he didn’t think was still possible. It was finally on the fifth day of her absence that he received the call confirming what he already knew, what he had known for the past three years.  She was gone and would never return.

I’ve started a creative writing course and this is my submission for my first assignment.  Let me know your thoughts – any and all constructive feedback is welcome.  🙂

 

One Lovely Blog Award

A great big thank you to Karen at http://fullcupthirstyspirit.wordpress.com/ for the honour.  It was a thrill to receive this award.  As per the rules of this award, I have to:

  • share who gave me the award and link back to their blog
  • write down 7 random facts about myself
  • give the award to 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have won
  • pop the award on my blog

7 Random Facts about myself:

  • I am a first generation Canadian – my parents were both Italian immigrants.
  • I love books and shows about vampires but I just couldn’t finish reading the Twilight series because the writing was so poor.
  • Shoes are my weakness – (I don’t need to share how many pairs I own).
  • I need to make my bedroom an iPad free zone because I can spend hours reading blogs, social media sites etc.
  • I played soccer for the first time in my 40’s with a team of mostly 20 year-olds and almost died several times – no really! I bounced and rolled across the soccer field when a “child” on the other team checked me and got several soccer balls square in the face….What was I thinking?
  • I feel like I am still a 20-something year old except when I have difficulty getting out of my chair, or bed, or the car because my body creaks and I pass a mirror and realize I have to visit my hairstylist more often to cover the shocking patch of grey hair on the top of my head.
  • My guilty pleasure – watching The Young and the Restless, which I watched for over 35 years.

The bloggers I’m passing on this award to:

http://onethousandsingledays.com/  – a great writer with an incredible life story

http://getwritedowntoit.wordpress.com/ – funny irreverent view of life

http://enjoylifeforonce.wordpress.com/ – inspiring teachings about mindfulness and living life fully

http://wheresmybackpack.com/ – travel inspiration

http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/ – beautiful photos and travel inspiration

http://shortstoriesfromlife.wordpress.com/ – wonderful life stories

http://nomadgrad.com/ – Hilary is simply inspiring, a great writer and adventurer

http://raisingmyrainbow.com/ – we should all be inspired by CJ’s family

http://mimokhairphotography.com/ – fabulous street photography

http://jumpforjoyphotoproject.wordpress.com/ – because it makes me smile

http://chocolatesandraspberries.com/ – fashion inspiration

http://singlein2012.wordpress.com/ – honest personal journal

http://juliachristineglass.com/ 

http://janfanakapan.wordpress.com/

Choose Wellness

I hope others enjoy these blogs as much as I have.

My Stats

I haven’t posted in well over a month and only a few times since last Fall, 2011.  I have missed the process of creating and posting an entry so I’m not sure what gets in the way, except my inner critic that continues to live in my head and I have yet to banish.  The inner critic that tells me I have nothing interesting or creative to share.
Yet despite my lack of posts, I continue to get views and hit a milestone this weekend – I have had over a 1000 views on my blog. I know – it doesn’t sound like a lot especially to bloggers out there that average 100’s of views per day – but I’m very excited about this milestone event and choose to consider it an achievement for 24 posts in oh just over 14 months.  I choose to celebrate.  Hooray!!!  Even better, the views by country is a pretty good sign that it isn’t just friends (who might feel obliged to read what I write) visiting my site since I don’t have friends in Indonesia, Brazil, and the UK for instance. 
So who are these visitors and how do they find my blog?   It’s an ongoing mystery that intrigues and thrills me and has inspired me to reconnect with my blog and my original purpose in creating this blog.  So thank you to all my visitors!!!

Traveling to Italy – 20 years later

We’re going to Italy.  Seven more sleeps and we’re off. My last trip to Italy was 20 years ago.  It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago until I actual count the years.  20 years is a long time and a lot has changed.  20 years ago I was a young professional working in my first job.  My best friend and I managed to save up a month’s worth of vacation time for our great adventure in Europe.  It was a carefree adventure.  We had no responsibilities (aka mortgages, homes, pets, families)  and less expectations.  Although we quickly decided after two days of traveling that we were not cut out for “hosteling” with shared rooms and bathrooms.  We were Bed and Breakfast/Guest house or small hotel with private bath kinda girls.

BFF - Inner Courtyard, Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, 1991

20 years later and I have managed to cobble 18 days away from my job to travel.  I’m traveling with my One and Only and although I have more responsibilities (house, family, pets) I’m leaving them behind to travel to Bella  Italia.  Abbey will be left in the capable hands of her “Zia M.” and Uncle C.  whom she loves.  The house will be secured and watched by ADT and  neighbours and our jobs and family will cope without us (we hope).

The differences between planning and traveling 20 years later are remarkable thanks to technology.  20 years later I am once again staying in Bed and Breakfasts, Guest Houses or small private hotels. The difference this time around – we booked everything on-line, checked out reviews on Trip Advisor, poured over websites and accompanying photos and used Google Earth to check on the locations of our preferred accommodations.  Granted, we are missing out on the fun (trepidation? angst?) of arriving in a city and finding a place to stay based on availability and the recommendations of the tourist information office in the local train station.  Instead, we have enjoyed countless hours planning our trip, extending the sense of anticipation and adventure for months.

Arc of Constantine, Rome, 1991

20 years ago, I kept a journal where I tried to carefully record our days.  I took 10 roles of film (360 photos) that I had to carefully protect and carry with me and hope that the photos I took captured the sights and experiences and feelings of our adventure.  I had to wait to develop my photos upon my return home and hope that I remembered the name of the churches, piazzas, fountains and landscapes in my photos.  Developing my photos was one of the first priorities upon returning home.  Organizing and examining the photos (that turned out and were worth keeping) and re-reading the journal provided my BFF and me an opportunity to relive the beauty and excitement, the laughter and joy and misadventures of our travels.

20 years later, I plan to journal my trip on my netbook (although I may also carry a paper journal with me).  I can take countless digital photos because I don’t have to worry about running out of film and developing costs.  I can re-take photos if an image isn’t quite right.  I can upload and blog about my adventures and share with friends and family more immediately.  And then, when I’m home, I can once again spend time organizing and examining photos, re-reading my journal and blog and reliving the beauty and excitement of our Italian vacation and of course any misadventures.

20 years later, I can take my e-reader rather than multiple novels, magazines etc. for the plane trip.  This technological advance is particularly cherished because a small e-reader takes up much less space than multiple books and gives me more room for clothes and shopping and shoes.  20 years ago I managed to carry home three new pairs of shoes as well as several pieces of new clothing and souvenirs (for friends and family) all  in a backpack.  Granted it was a large backpack but still smaller than a suitcase.  (I did ship home a shearling coat that I picked up in the Florence market that I couldn’t fit in my backpack but we won’t count that little extravagance).  20 years later, I should have room to bring back so much more (and maybe another shearling coat?).  We will still carry guidebooks with us. After all, I think it would look silly and it may be awkward walking around with an e-reader while we are sightseeing.

20 years later I will be able to stay in touch with family and friends via text messaging and email. (I haven’t quite mastered Skype).  I won’t have to worry about finding a phone and wondering how it works or communicating with an operator that doesn’t speak English.  I won’t have to worry about mistaking a red garbage receptacle for a mailbox when posting postcards although I may still send postcards.

Mercato di San Lorenzo, Firenze, 1991

20 years later, I will once again be able to sit in a piazza in Rome or Florence or Venice and enjoy a coffee and a cornetto, or pizza or pasta and a glass of wine while watching the people around me living their lives.  20 years later, I can once again enjoy the art and architecture that has been around for hundreds of years.  Seven more sleeps!

40,467 Words

40,467 words. The number of words that have consumed me for the past two weeks.  40,467 carefully selected words combined in carefully crafted sentences by me and my colleagues.  Words that I have read and re-read, over and over.  Words that have filled 85 pages.  An astounding number of words it seems to me. An astounding number of words that  have taken up an incredible amount of time and energy and space in my head and my life.  But I am done. The words are done. They have been committed to paper and the pages are printed.  I can walk away.  I will walk away.  But the words are not done. These words that I have laboured over will forever change the lives of four small children, babies still.  The words will wrench the soul of the parents and the grandparents.  I am done, but the words are not done.  The words will continue forever.  I will walk away knowing that this astounding number of words that I have lived with for weeks are insufficient to describe the lifetime of a family.  The words are right.  The words are just. The words are enough – but they remain insufficient to account for the lasting and profound impact they will have on the lives of four little beings and their family.   These 40,467 words that now that they are written can never be unwritten, or re-written.  40,467 words that can never be taken back.  40,467 words written to protect children that will shatter a family.

Blog Envy

I have Blog Envy.  I read posts on other blogs and I think, I want to be that writer, photographer, crafter (WP says this isn’t a word) or cook.  I want to have those insights into the world around me.  I want to have those eyes to see the colour in the world around me, to have the crafting inspiration and the  talent to create something, anything .  I want to have something to write about but instead I stare at my blank,  blinking screen and can’t think what to write.

I think I must have something to say.  I engage and contribute to conversation every day (well most days).  A large part of my work day involves writing so I know I can write .   I love cooking, taking photos and creating with my hands, so I should be able to create a post right?  But  instead, I find myself enjoying other blogs, trying to keep my green-eyed monsters and my inner critics at bay.

My inner critics are really to blame.  They raise their ugly heads and stunt all my creativity, inspiration and ideas. Who invited them any way?  I need to banish my inner critics from this party (and possibly my One and Only who is reading over my shoulders and telling me what she thinks I should write).  I need to follow the wisdom of the writing and blogging gurus and just start.  Just write something dammit.   Embrace looking foolish, boring, uninspired, and just write.

So starting now… well maybe starting tomorrow… I will write something at least once a day week.  Oh, but the rain has finally stopped, the sun is out, lazy summer days are fast approaching and it’s really too nice to sit inside….