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Monday, September 26, 2016

Old Photos

Pictures of Rangeley at First Light

That fall day
I rose pre-dawn
and slogged,
through straw grass
at the edge of the lake
thick with ghost trails,
tangled yarn mists.
I focused,
depressed the shutter,
focused again,
it was possible
to catch the swirl,
the held breath,
the call of a loon
across water.
Surely, photos
evoke enough?
Their replay, though
reaches out
with color and light
but absent
the yearning prickle
triggered by the loon,
the curtain of
freshening air,
the speak of sun
mounting camel hills
on its way to sluice
the morning sky.
How, after
my frost-prints
I hiked splintered steps
light with the lift
of benediction.

The porch creaked
when I tiptoed in,
awake, but ready 
to reclaim my space,
to nest under
a wool blanket
and slip into the heat
from the other side.

Monday, September 19, 2016

To the Light II

There is a reason, in addition to witnessing the sunrise, that inspired us to plan another early weekend rising, and perhaps I’ll go into it in another post.  For now though, I’ll share that our idea for this past Saturday involved a five-fifteen get up, followed by a drive one town over to watch the dawn. There, we situated ourselves on the rocky peninsula called Lighthouse Point, elated at the discovery of an unexpected bonus.  While a color-washed sky over the ocean announced the day's birth, behind us the harvest moon lowering itself over a boat-filled harbor communicated the end of night. “Which way do we look?” my husband and I crowed to each other.  Both.

Last week, watching sunrise at a beach in our own town, we were alone in our mission, other than one late arrival who plunked herself down with her coffee just as the sun cracked the horizon. This week, we weren’t even the first to arrive.  For the full hour we wandered, drinking up the changes to a feather-washed sky, folks tiptoed up to take pictures or to stand, worshipful in their viewing.  Two men clambered up on the jetty carrying fishing poles.  Equipment-laden boats muttered on their way out of the harbor, trundling toward the morning catch.

My camera, mounted on a tripod, set to “Intelligent Auto” informed me each time I depressed the shutter that it would take multiple shots, so I came home with over three-hundred. There’s a lot of culling to do. But, back home as I viewed the photos, I experienced one overpowering thought. Maybe it's a no-brainer to others, but it was huge to me.

Dawn is our blessing.  And, it’s offered to us, every, single day.

Mr. Middle Passages gets credit for this beauty above.

Monday, September 12, 2016

To the Light

I have never been to France, but I have pictures of Provence in my mind, a gentle, amber light, lavender fields stretching to the horizon, stone farm houses overlooking tidy vineyards, all of it beneath a cloud-flocked sky.  I imagine Provence as a place landscape artists do their best work and perhaps it’s all cliché, but that’s what came to my mind as I left work Friday. We’ve had a cloudy stretch lately, long enough that even though the day dawned sunny and humid, I could distinguish a difference in the light.  It still feels like summer, but the sun has softened, become less intense now that we approach mid-September.  As I drove through my small town toward an afternoon of editing at a table in the library, the subtle tint made me think of farmers in straw hats threshing by hand, a stone jug of water fresh from a well, a wooden wheelbarrow filled with just-picked blossoms. I am no geographer, but I wonder if perhaps due to its location, the light in the South of France is similar all year to what we get here, in September?  

Saturday morning though, when we were both wide awake at 5:30 and my husband and I took a ride to the ocean with our cameras, subtlety wasn't a part of the program.  Sunrise came at 6:18 and while the forecast called for clouds, sometimes stunning images evolve when the sun has something to paint on its way up.   In about fifteen minutes I took over fifty photos.  Soft light, bright light, it didn't matter, just a heck of a lot of beautiful.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG: So Many Words...So Little Time

It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader.  To read more posts, click here.

This month's question?  How do I find the time to write in my busy day?

I’ve been writing in a dedicated fashion for over seven years now, but my schedule evolved from what happened before.  Work.  Full-time motherhood.  A home.  Meals to cook, laundry to fold, our daughter to chauffer.  As with many people, life operated on a mad dash and most non-working minutes were crammed full.  I rode that high-speed conveyor belt until one day it jammed, tossing me off via a middle-management layoff. 

On my first unemployed day, in shock and faced with the terror of blank hours, I wondered, What-in God’s-name-do-I-do now? That morning, I wrote my first blog post, which felt so good, I did it the next morning, and the one after that.  Before the week was out, I had developed a new schedule, rising at the same time as pre-pink slip, making lunches, eating breakfast and delivering my daughter to school.  At the hour I would have plopped myself on my chair in my office at my former employer, I situated myself in front of my own computer and wrote. Each morning I’d complete a solid draft of a post, then finish chores, take a long walk, or focus on something related to an employment search. In the afternoon, I edited my day’s piece and pressed “publish.”  I wrote blog posts six days a week back then. Six months later, I was picking up freelance writing projects, which I loved and still do.  There are three unpublished novels in the bin, and one in progress, too.

But—sorry to say, though, things like a steady pay check and insurance benefits still matter.
Eventually, I took a part-time job with later hours.  I maintained my own writing or completed freelance assignments by waking up on same early schedule to write before work.  Eventually, a volunteer stint led to a freelance assignment that steered me to a different part-time job, which ultimately turned into a 32-hour-a-week commitment.  When I accepted my current position, I made a promise to myself.  The job is five minutes from home and I start at 8:00.  So, when the digital clock blinks 5:40, I roll out of bed to shower.  On work days, you’ll find me at my computer by 6:30, writing. I set an alarm, and at 7:30 it goes off.  In 15 minutes, I’m on my way to work.

Sure, some mornings I long to stay in bed, but if I gave in to that temptation, it would be like saying writing isn’t important enough. We make choices in life. Getting up an hour early to write is mine.