Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The sound of silence

When the world gets too noisy for me (and December is a good time for that even though it is my favorite month) I travel in my head to somewhere peaceful.  Often my visualization includes the ocean with waves stronger than me crashing against the shore.
But- this month, I have gone in my head to Essex Junction, VT.  I go back to the condo my mother had at 35 Brickyard Road and I put my head on a pillow on her sofa.  I am holding a book and facing a tv that is off.  I only need to turn my head slightly to look back at her on her red recliner with her little feet up, glasses on, and serious look on her face as she reads.  Later I will look and find her snoozing.  Only then will I feel I can snooze without guilt and we will spend a lazy day this way.  We will alternate reading, laughing, and snoozing and it will be one of the best days of my life.
I am so lucky this visualization can be strong because of how often this was how we spent quality time together.  Two people sitting in silence loving the world around them and each other.  There was much more to our relationship, to be sure, but the silent afternoons together- I believe that was the soul of our relationship.
Looking around me, I worry some about mothers and daughters in the current age.  Will our daughters remember any silent time with us when we just existed quietly in the world together?  Or when we die, will they only question why we never slowed down and just looked at them, or really listened to them.  I can only thank my mom in my heart for teaching me what the silence of a relationship sounds like.  I believe there is no more beautiful sound. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Lately some things have bothered me more than I think is normal.  For example the other day while picking up my prescription at CVS, a woman in the car next to me was talking into her phone like it was a walkie- talkie.  The desire to scream "Its a phone.  Use it as one."  Felt strong and really dramatic and unnatural.  However, I am going to give myself that one because it had been a really bad day and I was itching to burst at someone who was not in any way connected to me.
However, I can't so easily explain my extreme anger at people who talk on the phone while being waited on in a store.  This happened just the other day at the 7-11.  It was a Sunday morning and I was happily out doing the chore my husband usually does while I take some extra snooze time.  I was at the 7-11 getting us the Sunday Globe and my daughter a cup of hot cocoa.  I was in a great mood because I had just thrown on a hat and I knew I could go home and we would all lounge around and have a mellow morning.  But when I got up to the counter I was behind a customer on the phone.  The anger started slowly and gained speed as the cashier waited for her to get her money out while she cradled the phone between chin and shoulder and chatted away. 
I know what you are thinking and you are wrong.  Remember, I was having a lazy Sunday so I didn't mind at all that her conversation might slow down the line.  No.  What bothered me is the fact that she was IGNORING a human being standing in front of her.  If there is one thing that both of my parents instilled in me it is the need for humans to be human to each other.  When you greet anyone you look them in the eye and you let them know they are important.  I can remember how proud my parents were the day my brother took some of the wholesale flowers he sold and gave them to his cashier at Burger King because she "seemed to be having a really bad day."  
God, sometimes we act like it is so hard to make positive changes in the world.  But from what I am seeing if each of us made a decision to actually greet each person we came in contact with on one day, the world would change for the better. 
Almost every morning I go to the Shell station for gas.  The manager and the cashier are awesome.  We share a laugh every day and yes, we talk about the weather sometimes too.  I cannot even describe how little I like the coffee and how much I like that interaction to start my day.  It helps that after about 3 days when I first started going there the cashier asked if I was a teacher and then informed me I had been his third grade teacher!  He is such a kind young man and working hard while he puts himself through college.  Every day I can look at him and see one positive difference I feel I have contributed to in the world. 
All around us are people working so hard to be better people, to make a difference in the world, to just be noticed.  Lets hang up our phones and really start communicating with the world.  Are you in?

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm Back with Passion!

Everyday I miss my writing.  Everyday I miss the feeling that comes with finishing a blog post and feeling such completion that all is right with my world.  I promised myself that for my 40th birthday I would give an hour to writing. That is about what I need for a good post, but it is amazing to me how hard it can be to find an hour of complete solitude a week.  As I write this I am watching the clock knowing that in seven minutes I have to begin to get ready for my other work.  I am passionate about my work as a teacher.  Truly, I am.  I think in the last few weeks I have been having a hard time remembering the passion and this week I have promised myself that I will reach down and bring it out again.  It is easy to get dragged down in the negative.  In the "Oh God why is Monday here so quickly?"  "Happy hump day we are almost finished."" Thank God its Friday!"  Most recently I learned that the following initials mean Eff my life:  FML.  But it is never the terminally ill friends or the friends who are losing or have lost a child or any family member using those initials.  Why would they?  They recognize how valuable and precious every minute of life is.  Yes, I have decided to pull out all of my passionate spirit again and fight any FML feeling I might get or have.  I am thankful for my life, for every minute even when the minute feels it is lasting an hour.  Today I grasp the T.G.I.T. spirit.  Thank God It's Today.   The sky is a beautiful orange on the bottom with soft pink clouds floating on top.  The world is promising great things.  I am ready.  Are you?