Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Manifesto

I thought about my Spring Manifesto off and on all day yesterday. I mentally added to the list, reflected on how I might accomplish some of the items, and then unfortunately, as the day picked up, I caught myself trying to apply too many of my spring-wide wishes to the limitations of one basic weekday. In a matter of minutes I was both overwhelmed and disappointed, wanting to make 2pm on a Monday as magical as the manifesto's call.

This morning, after a bit of sleep, I awoke with this thought: a Tuesday Manifesto! Though really any day of the week would do. Instead of trying to fit a season's worth of good intentions into one day, I'm offering myself and my 2pm sanity, something smaller; I'm giving my heart something a bit more manageable.

Tuesday Manifesto:

This Tuesday, I will use the early morning hours to enjoy coffee in my office, while writing a new post.

I will pack the yogurt and strawberries I forgot yesterday for a snack today.

I will read my new book on the bus ride to work and then home.

I will listen to my current favorite band while working on Visual Management.

I will take more deep breaths, and I will go outside for a break when I think I don't need it.

I will wear a favorite sweater and bury myself in it when necessary.

I will remind myself that home promises breakfast for dinner, strawberry mango smoothies, and a husband who will remind me I'm doing a great job, regardless of failures I list to him from my day.

I will trust in my voice, even when it is weak, and I will share it, even when it's easier not to.

I will allow the day to be good.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Manifesto

I love the promise implied in a good manifesto. I love the way that, even when the most cynical parts of me urge resistance to possibility in what feels like futile times, the declaration of "wills" outweighs "wont's". I love that a title so seemingly rigid (Manifesto!) could contain such whimsical assertions.

A favorite artist/writer of mine, Shari, has featured her seasonal manifestos on her blog for as long as I can remember - spanning years, and cities, and sites. This past month she featured a selection of people on her page, all sharing their own Spring Manifestos, and it had my mind racing. What would I write? What do I want to see/do/make this season? And finally, what's holding me back from writing my own? The answer: nothing. So, in fine (albeit tardy) fashion, below is my own manifesto. If you'd like to read more, you can find Shari's gathering here: http://theartofseeingthings.wordpress.com/

Spring Manifesto:

This spring I will take a drive through the farm roads of Western Washington and stop at all the tiny stands for bits of fruit and vegetables harvested from the ground I stand on to purchase it.

I will slow down when I can, and remind myself that the intensity of the work season need not necessarily follow me home.

I will continue to perfect my loaves of dutch oven bread.

I will hang curtains in the bay windows in the front room and let the sun shine through sheers midday.

I will continue, even when I think it doesn't matter all that much, to buy small bouquets of inexpensive spring flowers at the market so that home will be dotted with colorful reminders of outdoors.

I will reread, as I do each year, a few Beverly Cleary books, and I will remember what it was like to be young and in love with words, and what it is like to be older and still in love with words.

I will take more walks with my cameras, and try not to only rely on the quick allure of Instagram.

I will sit on the back steps more as the sun goes down and enjoy the sky as it's painted, and I will think of this scene and then run off to read the book again.

I will write more.

I will be kinder to myself when I do not write more.

I will write more.

This spring, I will do the best I can.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

For You

One day, you will wake from your covering
and that heart of yours will be totally mended,
and there will be no more burning within.
And the rooster will call in the setting sun
and the sun will be beckoned homeward,
hiding behind your one tree that was not felled.
-from "One Day" by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Dear You,

You asked for this, though I know I won't give you exactly what you wished for. I know you want answers, and I've none. I know you want soothing, but I fear this may be thin. What I wish, though I'm not sure it matters, is that these words you requested could span the digital page, reach across the physical divide that separates us, and hold you as I would, were we together. What I wish is that this not be a lament for what you're losing, or have already lost, but a cheer for the gain - the upcoming wonders perched and ready to take over your life.

I would like to say, more than ever, that you will not hurt, that you will not cry and regret and second guess and anger, that you will not be overwhelmed with moments and maybe even days of impossibility, but I know it isn't true. I would like to say that you will be okay, and I will, but I won't pretend that finale will come swift, or that you won't choose at a thousand different times, to privy comfort and safety over that future peace.

So, in the absence of all I'd like, and all the clean, neat packaged cheers, I will share a truth you know, but may not, like me, always remember. The sun rises. It comes out, even when we think it won't, in the early hours of the morning when the late hours of the evening have just kept us up, gripped with worry and fear. It comes out, even when the winter's length nudges it into quiet corners, when the gloom of colder months assures us that the warmth of another is more valuable than our own. It comes out, even when we beg it not to, and it sheds light on what we did not wish to see, and casts shadows on what thought we wanted. And then, just when we thought we could not, we see it bring to light what we needed, and we allow it to shadow what we're leaving behind.

The sun comes out and the day goes on. We go on. You, my dear, will go on.

I think it's safe to say that you will need to be brave and courageous, but those are not traits you've ever run short on, anyhow. You'll need to face yourself more than anyone else, and that's probably the biggest battle. You'll need, though knowing you, you won't want to, to let go of the plan - there's a new plan in the works and it can't give any more time to that one.

The sadness is coming, like it hasn't quite yet, but it brings with it the sun, just after the shadow, and I can't wait for you to see it...it's going to be amazing.

Until then, I offer you these humble words from very far away, and I hope I'm smart enough keep it close to heart myself - I think we might all need a reminder of sun at times. It rises, and you will, too.