cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Everyday Inspiration Day Fifteen: Take a Cue From an Author

Astronomer Carl Sagan wrote,

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

It could be the most recent moon in the universe
Hiding behind a planet long known.

It might be the shy newly moved-in neighbor
Whose face lights up when I say hello.

The birth of a child whose promise spools forward
Teaches possibilities loving families provide.

The universe is a wide narrative awaiting me
To dip in my pen and write what I see.

4 Comments »

Everyday Inspiration Day Eleven: A Last Cup Of Coffee

Mama, if we were having coffee right now I’d tell you how much I wish I had said yes to your invitation to get a cup of coffee and a bite of something sweet that Christmas Eve so long ago. I remember how excited I felt that my husband, our three little boys and I  had flown to Greenwood to spend Christmas with you and Daddy. This was a special trip. It was wonderful news that you were recovering after the scary trouble you had with congestive heart failure. That Christmas Eve was a busy day. Even though you usually began Christmas shopping in July there were always a few last minute things you had on your list. You loved shopping and could run rings around me hunting for the perfect gift for each grandchild. You wore me out. After you finished shopping you wanted to stop for a cup of coffee. Remember all the times we had coffee together through the years. First it was after clothes shopping for  me and later for baby things. It was practically a ritual. But that Christmas Eve I said no. I needed to get back and see what my sons were up to. At bedtime  I watched you stuff their Christmas  stockings with goodies. You put an orange in the toe of each stocking, just like you did for us children when  we were young.  In the middle of the night Daddy woke us up to say the Emergency Squad was on the way to take you to the hospital. You  had a heart attack and died early Christmas morning. I’m so sorry I didn’t  have that cup of coffee with you.

11 Comments »

Everyday Inspiration Day Ten: World Outside My Window

Autumn is here and things are a-changing.
At the Greenbriar Apartments that I call my home
I look out at the patio beyond my window
Turquoise tarp covers swimming pool water
Fallen bright yellow leaves drift on tarp’s surface
Swimmers of Summer now only a memory.

Close to my window a tall oak tree my companion
Observers of animal traffic we notice
Squirrels stocking up run along oak tree’s branches
Gathering acorns not yet fallen and leaves for a nest
Below chipmunks scurry toward plant borders for hiding.

Today there’s no sun the air is still
Nobody’s lazing in a lawn chair hoping
To feel warmth while it lasts.
Befuddled wild geese who live here year round
Fly overhead circle back to their pond
Winter’s not here yet. We enjoy this day

12 Comments »

Everyday Inspiration Day Eight: Sisters’ Trip to Cancun

Dear Brooke,

It was great talking to you Saturday. I’m really excited about our trip to the Riviera Maya next month! I think it was a small miracle that we decided to go online and check our plane reservations. It was scary to discover that my flight to Atlanta to connect with you for our flight to Cancun had been discontinued. I can’t believe that the airlines didn’t notify me! Ugh! Thanks for being calm while I was falling apart.

I called the airlines after we talked and told them I had to be on the same flight with you, as you suggested. The customer service person, a delightful young man named Alex, asked me what flight I wanted to be on since my original one was canceled. I didn’t expect such a simple question. I shuffled through the many pages of flight information I had and came up with your flight number. No problem. He asked if I was OK departing at 9 AM. I told him of course, he had just made my day. He even got me a seat two rows behind you. It’s a relief to have that settled.

Things got better. I was on a roll and called the car service that usually gives me a ride to the air port. I had heard that Richard was moving to California but hoped he hadn’t left yet. He is still here and I got my rides scheduled. Got that settled. Now on to thinking about what to pack and the fun stuff of traveling.

Love,

Ina

5 Comments »

Everyday Inspiration Day Six: Where My Writing Happens

My writing begins where it will. This morning I was in my living room chair reading the Sunday paper when the neighborhood geese flew overhead. A haiku began to unwind in my mind. I reached for a notepad  and pen in the end table drawer and jotted down the first two lines, then sketched out a few more. Later I will give the haiku its final form on my desktop computer .

Last winter I had a dialogue with the early dawn sky and its amazing pink stripes. Every morning I found a new image I used to describe the  stripes. Sometimes the image came to me as I ate breakfast facing the window. I would tear off a scrap of paper from the daily news and write down the thought before it drifted away. A compelling first line was all it took for a haiku to grow.

Writing about my travels or family stories happens another way. I have boxes filled with travel itineraries, notes and pictures of the places I’ve been stored in freezer-sized Ziploc bags. I love to revisit a trip and re-live it in my mind’s eye. Writing brings up more memories. Family stories come to mind from pictures and letters stored in boxes and from objects that have accompanied me whenever I moved. I also write about my family in the present. The actual stories take shape as I write on my computer – sometimes prose and sometimes poetry.

The objects in the  room where I write are  visible reminders of my journey. By the window there is a child’s desk that belonged to one of my sons. A futon and a lamp occupied my computer room in the last place I lived. A maple chair  from my first house  after I was married sits in the corner. The drop-leaf table that matches it is in my kitchen. My Diplomas are on the wall. A picture of a cowboy riding his horse on the winding road of Texas ranch, which was a wedding present to my parents,  hangs over the futon.  My father was from Texas. There is a wooden wall clock in the shape of Ohio, where I now live, that ticks as I type. On the  window ledge is a large coffee mug with the name of the college I attended. My computer, glass computer table, office chair,  printer and the table it sits on are  newcomers. Four green house plants are my living companions.

4 Comments »

Everyday Inspiration Day Five: “What Is Real?”

It doesn’t happen all at once, said the Skin Horse (to the Velveteen Rabbit). You  become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off (by children who play with you), and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and  very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.   From The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

I discovered this quote from a children’s book  long after my children were the age for bedtime stories. I was going through a divorce when I first read these words. They echoed the words of a counselor who told me I had to go through this difficult time, not around it. What the Skin Horse said about being Real comes back to me now that age is actually loosening my joints, I no longer have vision in one of my eyes and I am a bit shabby compared to my younger years. I  do still have my hair, now grown white.

Aging has challenges I do not expect to escape. Still, being Real is pretty wonderful. It helps me see that I am much more than what is visible on the outside. I’ve gained self-acceptance,  wisdom and strength  letting myself just Be.

7 Comments »

Everyday Inspiration Day Four: Portal

Grand Central Station of legend and stories
High arched ceiling, light’s golden glow
Promise of infinite charmed possibilities
Sky’s the limit. Where will I go?

I remember Thanksgivings when bound for New York
College girls promised to “meet under the clock”.
I never did. My single journey was Thanksgiving ’64
With husband and baby son Bobby in tow.

Before  sun was up we arrived bleary-eyed
No sleeping with baby in misnamed sleeping car
Hurried through Grand Central then realized
Bobby’s winter hat was not on his head.

Scurried back to train tracks and lo and behold
Perching there on a pole where a kind stranger had put it
Was the little blue hat. That was for me a beginning
To journey afar and trust the wide world.

9 Comments »

Everyday Inspiration Day Two: Things I’m Good At

Making a list of what I’m good at tells a  story about life for me at the present time with a few old “talents” thrown in.

1. I enjoy problem-solving. I figure out things on my computer intuitively and then don’t know how I did it. I muddle through. I use odd things around the house as tools, like my old nut cracker to unscrew stubborn jar lids.

2. I take good care of my nineteen house plants. I find where they like to sit according to how much light they like and how much water they need.

3. I am a good mother and grandmother. That has always been the  most important thing to me. I make mistakes and learn from them. I love my family dearly.

4. I’m good at talking to strangers. I learn about things I would never have thought of. I get to see the world through a different lens.

5. I love being by myself with time to reflect and just do nothing. I like silence and peace. It’s a good time for writing.

6. I am an experienced traveler. I’m good at choosing where I want to go, making reservations and packing. I am reasonably patient in airports when things don’t go right. I have never yet had to spend the night in one.

7. I’m a competent money manager. I’ve balanced my checkbook monthly for years.

8. I tell stories and have a huge storehouse of memories to draw on. I’m also a good listener for other people.

9. I gave away my car, gave up driving, and discovered a whole new lifestyle I like better all the time. I meet different people. I depend on knowing the weather like a farmer because it governs my errand-running on foot. Ice is my nemesis.

10. I am dependable and know how to organize things.

11. I  trust change (though I’m not crazy about it) and have recreated my life several times.

12. I am working on figuring out aging. I trust this process.

13. I’m good at throwing out things and recycling. I like to find new homes for stuff I’m not using.

14. I’m good at making and keeping to-do lists. I write everything on my paper calendar so I won’t forget.

15. I’m good at letting go and moving on.

 

 

 

18 Comments »