Get it in Handwriting

These days, I do most of my writing via keyboard.  So much so that it feels weird to actually take pen in hand and write; I keep expecting spell check to occur!  Oh I do jot notes on sticky pads, write the occasional check, and make shopping lists, but the bulk of my writing is done on the computer.

But recently I have felt a yearning to actually put (literal) pen to (literal) paper and write out my thoughts in longhand.  I figure that everything shouldn’t be written on the computer, and I should get back to the time-honored method of putting down thoughts in an old-fashioned diary form.

One thing that I have been doing is writing out my thoughts of the day right before bed.  I have a pretty active mind that is always thinking, it seems, so it puts kind of a finality to the thoughts to get them down on paper.  I just go through my day and write down my ideas, inspirations, frustrations, and emotions that I dealt with.  The physical act of just letting the pen flow is really quite soothing.  And it calms my mind to let go, and get more restful sleep.

Another good trick is to write out your prayers.  If you are like me, my praying tends to be all over the place!  My wise pastor and counselor advised me to do this when I was going through a particularly tumultuous time in my life, when I could not focus on anything, much less praying.  He said to write out a list of my prayers and concerns and then pray about it, and check them off the list as I prayed.  Simple, yet incredibly effective!  It really does work.

So I intend to actually hand write more.  It’s kind of interesting to see what my handwriting looks like now.  If only I could read it!

“Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.”  ~Carol Burnett

~Marilyn

A Bit of Mystery is a Good Thing

I blog, I write, I am active on several discussion boards, and on Facebook.   I am relatively ‘out there’ on the internet, and feel it is important to do so.  For the most part, I really enjoy it.  But there is a part of me that guardedly remains secretive.  I have somewhat of a public persona and a (very) private persona.  I just don’t feel comfortable, for the most part, broadcasting things about my personal life, or my deepest thoughts and feelings for just anyone to hear.

Perhaps there is a bit of the Victorian in me.  Where being a bit mysterious and unwilling to easily yield secrets is appealing?  It’s not like I keep it all to myself.  If I have built up trust with a person, I am willing to share my thoughts more freely.  I just don’t like throwing stuff out there and not knowing what people are going to do with the information.

I think people with a bit of mystery are definitely more alluring.  Where you have to slowly uncover pieces to get to know them.  And it takes time and patience, which in this world of tweets and status updates is almost like living in the stone age.  But it gets you below the surface, and into a deeper level of intimacy.

So yes, I do reveal a good deal about myself publicly. But sorry…if you really want to know my innermost thoughts and feelings, you are just going to have to get to know me a little better.  Well, a LOT better.  This girl just doesn’t give up her secrets so easily!

“Secret thoughts and open countenance will go safely over the whole world.” ~ Scipione Alberti   (right on!)

~Marilyn

My Summer of Letting Go

This summer has been quite an amazing one for me so far.  No exciting trips or adventures, but more a quiet change of mind-set and attitude.  I have just decided to “let go”.

Now this does not come easily for me.  I have a tendency to plan, scheme, worry and envision certain outcomes to things.  I feel “comfortable” carrying around these feelings because it makes it seem like I’m in control of my life.  I don’t spend too much time ruing the past, so that’s not the issue;  I just have not spent a whole lot of time just “being”  in the present and letting life reveal its secrets gradually.

It is kind of a Taoist approach to life: surrendering, letting go of resistance, and trusting Divinity.  This puts one in tune with the flow of life by being in the here and now – the only place and time where life is truly lived.  I am a work in progress, but so far the results have been rather remarkable, if only noticed by me.

I seem to be much calmer, patient, and feel more contented.  I am finding that by not doing, things get done.  Wonderful things that are meant to be in my life are really happening now because I am not putting up a big wall of resistance and fear.  It is very peaceful feeling knowing that whatever happens was meant to be.  I love this Chinese proverb:  “If there is nothing you can do about it, why worry?  If there is something you can do about it, why worry?”

This will be an ongoing process for me, I’m sure.  A girl doesn’t give up her bag of frets and scheming all that easily!  But it is calming, exciting, and hopeful all in one…and who can beat that?

“By letting go it all gets done.” ~Lao Tze

~Marilyn

The Fifth of July

Ahhh, the Fifth of July, how sweet the sound!  Or silence, rather.

I managed to make it through yet another year of ear-blasting pyrotechnics in the neighborhood.  We live in an area where fireworks are still legal to shoot off, and man, does everyone around here take advantage of that.  Endless hours of  BOOM, CRACK, POWS! I steel myself every year and try to serenely ride it out.

I am not so exploding-things inclined.  I really do think it is an inbred guy thing;  I mean, do you ever see packs of women detonating fireworks?  I don’t.  My son looks forward to the Fourth of July every year; where he can go with his friends to the Indian Reservation, buy illegal fireworks, and spend the whole night blowing things up to their hearts content.  That’s fine and dandy, just don’t expect me to join in; to have to listen to it is quite enough!

Another great thing about the Fifth of July, at least in Seattle, is that it is the unofficial start of summer.  IT NEVER FAILS!  We usually have a cool, rainy June through the Fourth of July.  And yes, it was cool and raining yesterday.  And then miraculously on July 5th, the sun comes out, the clouds part and the rain disappears, like clockwork.  Just another one of the quirky occurrences of living in the Pacific Northwest.  But certainly glad summer is finally here – Happy Fifth of July!

~Marilyn

Clotheslines, and Spiders, and Bees! Oh, My!

I suppose I should be elated that we’ve finally gotten a couple of “nice” days wedged in between the ever-present clouds and rain?  As a 100% laundry air-dryer, I pay even greater attention to the weather, always aware of when it is the right time to hang out on the clothesline.  When there is a break in the rain, I’ve been luxuriating in actually being able to hang my laundry outside.  It is something that I’ve waited for all winter (and this year, spring); the ability to let Mother Nature’s sun and wind blow dry my clothes.  I really like the feel and scent of outside-dried laundry.  The scent is absolutely captivating, and changes with the seasons.  And I get very tired of  indoor laundry racks cluttering up the house.

There have been a couple of days this week where it was dry, and even a little bit of sunshine, so I briskly took advantage of the line-drying opportunity.  It is so great to be able to hang it all up in the morning and just leave it out all day.  I don’t have to wait around for clothes to dry in the dryer, I let nature do its thing in its own time.  I swear the laundry just loves being outside too; soaking up the rays and catching a breeze!

However, I have noticed that I now have a bit of competition for my clothesline.  Spiders are building their webs on it, and seemingly millions of teeny tiny spiders are madly scurrying around.  I do like spiders – when they are outside, doing useful things like catching bugs.  I don’t like them in the house – or trying to take up space on my clothesline.  So I have been knocking them webs off.  But just to show I am not entirely heartless, I did leave a web on today – it must have been a very polite spider who built its web at the very end of the clothesline.  I can deal with that.  Tiny spiders crawling in my laundry just doesn’t appeal to me.

Along with spider confrontation, I have noticed a great many buzzing bees around my clothesline.  I do believe there is a hive nearby.  That’s what I get for leaving the dandelions for the bees to feast on!  No, actually I love bees and like to protect and encourage them at all costs.  So I am learning to coexist with them too…as long as I don’t get stung I’m cool with that.

I do have raccoons who live in a tree stump in my side yard.  I’m awaiting their annual summer appearance with their babies.  I don’t mind raccoons either – they keep the vermin population at bay.  And as long as they stay away from the house (and my clothesline), I’m cool with them too.

Here’s to many days of sweet summer drying!

~Marilyn

Rainy Days and Laundry

Take a look at the sky in this picture.  This was just taken today from my backyard and has become a constant sight around here day after day.  Gray, cloudy, rainy weather has gripped us all spring.  Cool temperatures too.  There have been a few days of sunshine, which have been glorious, but the dark clouds always seem to be lurking around the corner.

I really try not to be the complaining sort, especially about things that I have no control over – like the weather.  I do, after all, live in the Pacific Northwest, where moisture is king!  This is good for keeping the landscape nice and green, the air clean, and the skin dewy.  It gets a little trickier for line-drying enthusiasts like myself, when trying to schedule an outdoor drying session though.

After three solid weeks of rain, it was finally a sunny day yesterday.  I hurriedly washed several loads of laundry and loaded up my clothesline.  It was an absolutely ideal drying day; warm temperature and softly blowing breeze.  It was a joy to once again see my laundry waving, doing the clothesline dance in the sun!  Everything dried relatively quickly and since it stayed sunny all day, I could rest easy knowing that the sun could just do its work without interruption.

I am glad that I got the bulk of my laundry done yesterday, as today it is back to the gray clouds and rain.  And probably for the foreseeable future.  It’s looking like it will be a very cool summer around here.  This means that I will have to keep an even greater eye on the sky:  looking for those lurking rain clouds whenever there is a patch of sunlight to hang the laundry in.  I also have my indoor drying racks close at hand.  I use them all winter and was hoping to put them away for the summer.  But to be a successful air-drying enthusiast, the first rule is to be flexible…and patient…and diligent…well, you get the point.  Dry on!

~Marilyn