Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We'll be visiting the confessional tomorrow, but for now, enjoy this for the last day of National Poetry Month...

Write hard.
Nap daily.

~ Kells

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On Turning 40: Advice from Someone Who's Already in the Club For @webbish6

Portrait of Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt Belmont hangs in Marble House the Newport, RI, "Cottage" her then-husband William K. Vanderbilt had built (1888-1892) for her as a Fortieth Birthday Gift. After divorcing Vanderbilt and widowed by O.H.P. Belmont, Alva dedicated herself to equality and women's suffrage.

On Turning Forty:  Advice from Someone Who's Already in the Club

My friend Jeannine Hall Gailey is turning forty today.

Turning forty is like most things you've never done before--it seems harder and scarier before you do it.  Like learning London's Tube or the Electric Slide, growing older gets easier with practice.

First let me say, Forty is not old.

Okay, young people who are in their 20's and 30's are saying: Um, 40 is totally old.

I know this because I said it too.  And I said it about people who were thirty as well.  But really, it's not and there are *huge* perks to being forty that no one knows about until they are forty.  Much of it is about freedom.  And some of it is about strength.

So in honor of Jeannine turning 40 today, here are my favorite things about turning forty...and I'm good at forty, I've been doing it for four years.

1)  You no longer care what people think.  This is a greatest reward of being forty or older because there is a huge freedom in not caring.  I spend my days writing poetry and wearing nerdy glasses. If I want to wear Crocs or socks with sandals to the store (I live in the Northwest, btw) I do.  If I feel like wearing a tiara in my driver's license photo, I do.

I don't care what others think about my quirks, my life, my views, my family, my home, my world...because it's mine.  I lived forty-plus years to create this funky world I live in and I love it.  If you do not, that's okay.

2)  You no longer have to worry about good looks.  Okay, I know a few people are saying, "Whaaaa?"  But there is a truth to this.  No longer are you judged on your body or how pretty you are (and if you are, you return to favorite thing #1).  But there's less pressure to look fantastic.

For example, when you go to your thirtieth high school reunion, there will be people who look like they are in their fifties (sometimes sixties!) and there are people who look in their thirties.  Some of the boys you once dated are bald.  Bald and fat.  In your twenties and thirties, most people look the same--young.  But when you hit your forties, people can look twenty years older.    If you can look your age, you are rewarded. You're forty?!  Why you look 38! (It's so easy to get compliments these days!) And if you don't look your age, but older, it doesn't matter because people like you because of how you act and who you are, not what you look like.

Being in your forties, if you just look decent, you get compliments.  The bar has been lowered so we can all jump over it.  (Note: I look forward to how much being 50, 60 and 70 will lower the bar.)

3)  You mellow.  All those things you were freaking out about in your twenties, have passed.  All that micromanaging stuff from your thirties, those control issues you had with your partner, kids, parents... they go away or become less.  Why?  Because you're forty and it's easier just to relax into your life than fight windmills, imagined or not.

Forty is the time you say: Wow, I guess I'm doing this...I'm living my life.  This is good.

4)  You get to reevaluate your life.  Of course, you can do this anytime in your life, but forty is kind of the halfway mark for many of us.  The number we've been hearing since we were kids as "over the hill."

We look at our lives and think-- Days and years are not going to be added on from this point.  We are no longer aching to achieve something, be important, impress people we don't care about, but we want to live a good life and make good use of our time.

Sometimes this means people get divorced.  Sometimes they find a new job or passion.  Sometimes they find their own old passion and rediscover it. Sometimes they do what they've been afraid to do. Sometimes they travel more (insert my name under this one).  Sometimes they begin to live the life they've always wanted to.

Forty is a reminder that we are aging and not getting younger.  We are not over the hill, but on top of it looking out to our future in front of us and trying to make the most of it.

5) You get to be young in a new group.  For the last three or four years you've been "late thirties," now you're "early forties!"  You are the new kid in an old school.  You are the youngster of the decade.  You are young again!  People will say, "I remember when I was forty" or "Forty was a great year."  And it's your year, enjoy it.

6)  You have better conversations.  None of my forty-something friends talk about Kardashians.  Enough said.

Turning forty will be a gift and it's hugely better than the alternative of not turning forty.

My twenty or thirty year old self would have never believed that it just gets better, that at forty I'd be loving my life more. I wouldn't have believed I'd be so much better at making decisions, trusting my own instincts, and following whatever path I wanted without care who was cheering me on or not.

My young self would have never believed that in my forties I'd still feel young, still *am* young. In my forties, I really felt I came into myself, even more than my thirties which had that sort of feeling as well.  It would not believe how many of my fears and anxieties slipped away because I am thankful just for being here, thankful to be typing this to you.

So may your forties continue to offer you good things, freedom, and strength.

Happy Birthday Forty Year Olds.  May you realize how lucky you are.

~ Kells

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Happy Last Day of National Poetry Month - Enjoy this Broadside Poem...

Dali & Rhino

Well, National Poetry Month has come to an end.

I hope you all found time to write a poem or two, or thirty.

Here's a broadside poem for you from my next book, Hourglass Museum (to come out in 2014 from White Pine Press)--

Feel free to download it, print it out and enjoy.  (It was inspired from watching Salvador Dali interviews.)

The poem is called How To Be a Genius in Many Different Fields

Here's a link to the broadside:  http://bit.ly/AgBroadside

We are all geniuses in our field.

~ Kells

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Blue Skies Edition

Dear Reader,

It is sunny.

Honestly, when you live in the Northwest, that should be all I have to write because we know what comes next. . .nothing.

When it's sunny here, we leave our homes, our jobs, escape outside.

We do not take sunshine for granted.
That is one of the lovely things about Northwest folks, we appreciate good weather.

We spend so much time inside and under grey skies (SO MUCH TIME! ALL FALL AND WINTER), we get a little blue sky and we lose our minds.  In a good way.

So I write this to you after a day of being out in the world, under the sun, Vitamin D filled, I wander into the confessional while planning tomorrow's activities outside--

I confess now that summer is coming, I will be here much less.

The blog is a wonderful thing in the winter, but in the summer, it's an unmet chore.
Sometimes when I'm being my best self, I write posts in advance, "schedule" them as they say.  But on my worst (best) days, I just disappear into a tent, up a hill on a mountain bike, into the world of orcas on a paddleboard.

I spend two to three seasons eating Vitamin D, so when the sun comes, I run to it.  Like a hooked junkie waiting for her fix.


I confess sometimes in the sunshine I can't remember my writer self.

I am anyone but a writer.

Though sometimes I have a line in my head while I garden.  Repeated again and again.  But I tell myself I am not a writer.  But I am.  Ultimately.  Especially when fall arrives.


I confess as a 40-something person, I much easier on everyone else.

My twenty-something self judged everyone.  And if they were different than me, then they must be wrong.  My thirty-something self, so underwater, so over-my-head, I judged mothers because if I was right, they must be wrong.

My forty-something self says: get the tattoo.  Drink wildly.  Overeat and enjoy.

My forty-something self doesn't care if your kids stay up past midnight, even if they are four.  Doesn't care how you potty train or don't. If you're attachment or not.  If you read to your kids at night or not.  Do you love your kids?  Good enough.

Are you having a good life?  Good enough.

My forty-something self doesn't want perfection just good enough.  It's wonderful being happy with less.  It is, it is, it is.


I confess I want less for myself these days.

Less work.  Less things.  Less responsibility.  Less care and more time to write, to do whatever I want to do.

I am lowering my standards (a la William Stafford) except in everything.

My To Do list has shrunk.  If you are not bleeding or on fire, then it's not my responsibility.

I love simplicity these days.
I love sitting out on the deck with already cooked shrimp, arugula from the garden and a glass of red wine.  Good red wine I bought on sale.

And time.

We live our lives as if it's some sort of hectic competition.  It's not.  It's about loving each other, living, enjoying, and taking in moments.

It's good when we can slow down.  Sunshine reminds me of that.  I dream I live in Key West even though I am an Northwest girl.  And it's okay.  All of it.

Step outside and appreciate the blue skies.  It's all good.

~ Kells

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Support a Poet: Allyson Whipple

Allyson Whipple's chapbook is

We're Smaller Than We Think We Are

And you can order it now.
Allyson Whipple is an amazing poet who also gives back--

For every chapbook sold through the 27th, she's giving $1 to BookWoman, Austin's feminist bookstore (and one of only 11 left in North America). The store always needs help, so this is a way for me to support a place that has supported her and her dreams for as long as she've lived in Texas. 

So if you want to support her, support a small press, support poetry, buy a copy for yourself.

Here's a poem by her:

You can see the silence

It's still too hot
for the neighbors
to walk their dogs.
It's just late enough
for the children
to have gone to bed.
And on Sunday
nobody becomes
a raucous
poolside drunk.
I can't take much more
than the air
conditioner hum.
I've been driven from
the bedroom of my
musician, who never
stops playing or
listening. Raw
notes emanate
all night long.
I'm tempted
to step outside.
But this is Texas
where the stars
won't cool you down.
This is Texas, where summer
heat makes gossip
rise like dough.
This is Texas 
where neighbors read 
your business
from your shadow.

And a great interview by her here:

2.            What advice do you have for other poets?
1) Write every day, but also know when you need some time off. The regular habit is very important, but it's also vital to know when you're burned out and need to direct your energies elsewhere. Don't beat yourself up if you need to take a break. You'll be better off for it.
2) You can fit poetry into your daily life. Even if you only get a 30-minute lunch break at your day job, that's enough to draft a short poem. You really will be surprised what you can fit even into fifteen minutes a day. 
 3) When revising, read your work aloud. That is the best advice a teacher has given me. Few people enjoy doing it, but it's essential. 

~ Kells

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Interview with Eric Maisel, Author of MAKING YOUR CREATIVE MARK

Creatives-- A very new interesting book, Making Your Creative Mark by Eric Maisel has just come out and I have an interview with him below.

He has some really some good reminders for creative people.  I've bolded and italicized some of my favorite responses from him about creativity below.

One thing for sure is that art brings meaning to your life.  

Also, I just learned he's giving away a free 30 minute Creativity Consultation on New World Library's Blog here.  Just leave a short answer to his question there and you're entered in the contest!

Here's the interview with him.  Enjoy!

An Interview with Eric Maisel

Eric Maisel is the author of Making Your Creative Mark and twenty other creativity titles including Mastering Creative Anxiety, Brainstorm, Creativity for Life, and Coachingthe Artist Within. America’s foremost creativity coach, he is widely known as a creativity expert who coaches individuals and trains creativity coaches through workshops and keynotes nationally and internationally. He has blogs on the Huffington Post and Psychology Today and writes a column for Professional Artist Magazine. Visit him online at http://www.ericmaisel.com.

You’ve organized the book around nine keys. Can you highlight one or two of them for us?

I start with the “mind key” because I believe that getting a grip on our thoughts and doing a better job of thinking thoughts that actually serve us are supremely important skills to master. Most people do a poor job of “minding their mind” and choosing to think in ways that serve them. It is a completely common practice for people to present themselves with thoughts that amount to self-sabotage and to refuse to dispute those thoughts once they arise. If people did a better job of “minding their mind” by noticing what they were thinking and by making an effort to replace defensive and unproductive thoughts with less defensive and more productive thoughts, they would live in less pain and they would give themselves a much better chance of living the life they dream of living. This is doubly true for artists who can doubt their talent, take criticism too seriously, find a hundred ways to avoid the hard working of creating, and more. There’s really nothing more important than getting a grip on your own thoughts!

Why do you think someone would want to gamble everything on a life in the arts when it’s so hard to make it as an artist?

Human beings crave the psychological experience of meaning. We want that almost more than we want anything else. There are maybe a score of ways that human beings regularly generate that psychological experience: through service, through relationships, by excelling, by seizing new experiences – and by creating. Creating is one of our prime meaning opportunities and for many people the most important. Therefore folks who decide to devote themselves to an art discipline aren’t making some sort of calculation about risk versus reward. What they are doing is honoring their need to make their own meaning. If you look at a life in the arts as a smart career choice it doesn’t make that much sense; if you look at it as a tremendous meaning opportunity, it makes perfect sense.

You present what you call “the stress key.” What are some of your top tips for reducing the stress that a life in the arts produces?

Life produces stress, the artistic personality produces additional stress, creating produces even more stress, and living the artist’s life is the topper! An artist must learn how to deal with all of these stressors—and how to deal with them effectively. There are many tactics an artist can try—the key is actually trying some! You might try “writing your stress away.” Research reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that writing about stressful situations and experiences can reduce your stress levels – and can actually lead to improvements in immune functioning, fewer visits to the doctor, and an increased sense of well-being. You can reframe a given demand as an opportunity, turning your “stressful” upcoming gallery show into a golden opportunity. You can have a fruitful conversation with yourself and answer the following four questions: 1. What are my current stressors? 2. What unhealthy strategies am I currently employing to deal with these stressors? 3. What healthy strategies am I currently employing to deal with these stressors? 4. What new stress management strategies would I like to learn? An artist needs to honor the reality of stress and make plans for dealing with it!

Is there one habit or practice that really makes a difference between getting your creative work done and not getting it done?

Yes. The most important practice an artist can institute is a morning creativity practice where she carves out some time bright and early every day, five, six or seven days a week, to work on her novel, practice her instrument, or get right to her painting studio. There are three important reasons to institute a morning creativity practice. The first reason is the most obvious one—you’ll be getting a lot of creative work done! Even if only a percentage of what you do pleases you, by virtue of working regularly you’ll start to create a body of work. That’ll feel good! A second reason is that you get to make use of your “sleep thinking”—you get to make use of whatever your brain has been thinking about all night. Create first thing and capture those thoughts that have been percolating all night! The third reason is that, by creating first thing, you’ll have the experience of making some meaning on that day and the rest of the day can pass in a half-meaningless way and you won’t get depressed! Getting right to your creative work first thing each day provides you with a daily shot of meaningfulness. That’s a lot of goodness to get from one practice.

I’d like you to chat a bit about what you call the “freedom key.” What sort of freedom are you talking about?

Many different sorts—let’s look at just one, the freedom not be perfect; or, to put it slightly differently, the freedom to make big mistakes and messes. Not so long ago I got an email from a painter in Rhode Island.  She wrote, “I'm a perfectionist and I want my artwork to be perfect. Sometimes this prevents me from getting started on a new project or from finishing the one I’m currently working on. I think to myself: If it's not going to be the best, why bother to do it? How do I move past these feelings?” One way to get out of this trap is to move from a purely intellectual understanding that messes are part of the creative process to a genuine visceral understanding of that truth.  You need to feel that freedom in your body. As an intellectual matter, every artist knows that some percentage of her work will prove less than stellar, especially if she is taking risks with subject matter or technique.  But accepting that obvious truth on a feeling level eludes far too many creative and would-be creative people. They want to “perfect” things in their head before turning to the canvas or the computer screen and a result they stay in their head and never get started. You have to feel free to show up and make a big mess—only then will good things start happening!

Another key that interested me is what you call the “relationship key.” What sorts of relationships did you have in mind and what can an artist do to improve his relationship skills?

All sorts of relationships! And relationships in the arts are frequently very complicated. You may be very friendly with a fellow painter and also quite envious of her. You may actively dislike a gallery owner or a collector but decide that he is too valuable to cast aside, maybe because he is your only advocate or your only customer. You may respect your editor’s opinions but despise the rudeness with which she delivers them. There may be no such thing as a genuinely straightforward relationship anywhere in life but relationships in the arts are that much more complicated and shadowy. The main improvement an artist can make is to actually think about the matter! 

You can decide how you want to be in relationships but only if you actively decide. You get to decide if you want to be honest and straightforward even if others aren’t, if you want to be polite and diplomatic even if others aren’t, if you want to be quiet and calm even if others are stirring the pot and making dramas. It may not prove easy to be the person you want to be at all times and in all situations, especially since the marketplace has a way of throwing us off our game, but you can nevertheless hold the intention to try your darnedest to be the “you” you would most like to be. This takes thought and preparation!

April 15, 2013 • Creativity • 240 pages • Trade Paperback
Price: $15.95 • ISBN 978-1-60868-162-4

~ Kells

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Confession Tuesday: Collect Moments, Not Things

Dear Reader,

I confess I didn't confess yesterday because of the bombings at the Boston Marathon and I felt my confessing about the self-doubt I sometimes have as a poet and writer seemed minor.  (Um, it is.)

So I skipped yesterday's confession, but am here today with some confessions leaning towards life, living lives-- our lives, as writers, artists, and human beings.

To the Confessional--

I confess I am amazed how many times we live our lives with this belief there are unlimited days.

When tragedies like bombings at the Boston Marathon or the Sandy Hook shooting, they are reminders to me what a gift each day is and how we need to live our lives to the fullest.

Here are a few thoughts on our lives, already in progress:

Ignore the Kardashians.  No, ignore the media outlets that focus on the Kardashians as if your life wouldn't exist without knowing what they are doing in their lives. The Kardashians are living their lives. Ignore any media outlet that reports on celebrity lives as if it is news.  It's not.

Forget trying to live up someone else's values, goals, ideals.  You are not someone's project.  You are here to create and live your own life.

Ignore the thousands of companies who try to tell you you're not good enough, pretty enough, man enough, complete enough, then sell you their crap.

Ignore the new car, the remodeled kitchen, the new 14 karat gold lawn gnome your neighbor just bought and use your money to buy you experiences.

Go on a trip.  To a small town in your state where you've never been.  Or to Europe.  Just go somewhere.

The most valuable way to spend your money is to buy you more time.  Meaning:  work less, spend less, enjoy more.

Stretch outside your comfort zone.  Yes, it can feel weird at first, a little scary.  But once you do it, you won't look back.

Turn off your computer and go outside and sit in the sun.  Or the shade.  Or under a cloud.  Just get outside.  Now.

This is your life already in progress.  It's ticking away.  Don't let the culture around you try to prioritize or feed you your news, values, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, life.

Step away from your daily routine and live.


~ Kells

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Poem Writing Exercise for National Poetry Month #NPM

Volunteer Muse offers Inspiration--

So, here's today's spark--

This was a writing exercise from Julia Darling of the UK--

Poetry can be a brilliant way of exploring the things you don't know. Let me explain. Often we write too literally, too logically or self-consciously, when it is the imaginative connections - the leaps of faith, the connections between images and words - that are interesting to the writer and the reader. Poetry is an odd combination of creative energy and technical ability. In this exercise we are trying to let ourselves free fall, then working on the poem to give it shape. I like poetry to be useful, and I think that by writing about what we don't know we can explore all kinds of ideas within our minds, and help ourselves, too.

1 Write the instructions for doing something you have no idea about, for example:

How To Fly
How To Disappear (as in Amanda Dalton's lovely poem of that name)

Or even more specifically:
How To Speak To Lions
How To Start A Revolution
How To Make A Wedding Dress
How To Build a Space Ship

The only rule is that you don't know how to do the thing, so if you work in rocket science, you can't do the last one. But you could choose something emotional like How To Speak To The Dead, or even How To Fall In Love, because none of us really know the answers to these things.

2 Make a list. If you were telling us how to fly you might write things such as, make wings using sugar, water and wire, find an open space, and so on. Your list might have quite bizarre things on it; as always with poetry, go for the specific not the general.

3 Play with the list. List poems are fun, but they need to work on another level, too. Why does the writer want to fly? Where do they want to go? Try to make your poem build up, have a kind of swell, so that all the images gather together to make a whole.

4 Think about the shape of the poem on the page. Is it ragged and inconsistent? Does it need a trim? Make a decision about punctuation. Do you need any? Where are the line breaks? Read the poem out to find out if the vowel sounds are pleasing. Poems should have a kind of music, and feel good to say aloud.

Here's a lin
k to Julia's How Topoem, however, if you're like me, you may want to read it AFTER you've written your poem. 

~ Kells

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Seattle Author: Writing As a Long Walk Down An Unmarked Path (Interview)

Here's an interview I did for Seattle Wrote,  a blog featuring Seattle Authors. 

You can read the full article by following the link at the end and also read interviews with other Seattle authors...

Q: When did poetry become part of your life? Have you always written poetry?
A: Poetry has always been a part of my life, but I didn’t really begin writing poetry seriously until I was an undergrad at the University of Washington. Up until then, I had been very interested in writing fiction and short stories. While I always loved taking classes exploring poetry, it never really occurred to me that I could also write it and I’d enjoy writing it. My junior year in college, I took a poetry class and it changed everything.

Q: What provides the inspiration or passion for your poems?
A: The easy answer would be: anything and everything. My current manuscript explores how art influences our lives, but I also find science, wordplay, and the Northwest’s natural world also influences my work. I think it was Woody Allen who said, “80% of success is just showing up” so I find my inspiration comes when I meet up with the blank page each morning and allow myself to see what happens.

You can read the whole interview:


~ Kells

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

List of Poet Bloggers Participating in the BIG POETRY GIVEAWAY. Follow the links to enter to win FREE books! #giveaway

It's too late to giveaway a book of poems, but not too late to enter to WIN one!  Follow these links below to enter.  

Each poet-blogger is giving away at least TWO free books of poems if not more.  


Big Poetry Giveaway Participants for 2013:Big Poetry Giveaway Blog List

~ Kells

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Poem of the Day "The Queen" by Pablo Neruda in Spanish

La Reina
Yo te he nombrando reina.
Hay más altas que tú, más altas.
Hay más puras que tú, más puras.
Hay más bellas que tú, hay más
Ero tú eres la reina
Cuando vas por las calles
nadie te reconoce.
Nadie ve tú corona de cristal,
nadie mira
la alfombra de oro rojo
que pisas cuando pasas,
la alfrombra que no existe.
Y cuando asomas
suenan todos los ríos
en mi cuerpo, sacuden
el cielo las campanas,
y un himno llena el mundo
Sóló tú y yo,
sóló tú y yo, amor mío,
lo escuchamos.

Pablo Neruda

~ Kells

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Living Outside My Comfort Zone Edition

In front of Shakespeare & Co., Paris

Dear Readers,

It's been two weeks and three countries since I've last written.  Yes, I was traveling.  It's been a long time since I've traveled like this.  It would not be strange I've been planning this trip for the last twelve years--yes, this is how long it takes me do something new.

This is not to say I've never travelled.  I have.  Six weeks on trains with a backpack & my best friend throughout Europe after graduating from the University of Washington.  In 1996, before I quit my corporate job, I took off to London with my husband because I was losing my mind (I came home a vegetarian then quit my job, sold our house, and moved to a community of less than 3000 people).

But I've forgotten what it means to live.  I've forgotten that younger self who said "We're off!"

Two days before I left for London as I went to pick up my mail in my comfortable neighborhood and comfortable small town, I thought to myself: Why on earth did I plan this vacation to London?  Why did I think this would be a good idea?

Yes, my name is Kelli & I love my comfort zone.

We need to talk about this and how it's changing...little by little.
Hanging with Charlie Chaplin on Portobello Road, London

To the confessional--

I confess this year I told myself I want to stretch outside my comfort zone.  I knew there was going to be a forced stretching because last year I booked a flight for my family to London, knowing I would need a year to get used to this idea.

I think when I booked it, I never really assumed it would come up.  Like having a great idea, but knowing it will never happen, and that's okay because it's easier that way anyway.

So I booked us a flight to London last May.  Then my family decided that since Paris was close, we'd take the Eurostar there for a couple days (of course, we will, everyone loves underwater travel, yes?!)  When I heard this idea the only think I could think of was "The Eurostar goes under the English Channel- I am going to feel claustrophobic, the walls will leak, there will be a bomb and we'll all die a cold watery death."  Of course, what I said was, "Sounds great!  Of course, we can do that!"

Yes, normal people might think-- how cool!  But me, every time we decided to do something on our trip, I'd imagine the worst possibilities, the worst feelings, the worst outcome - Lord help me and my overactive imagination.

But here's the thing--all my anxiety happened *before* the trip. When in the moment, I'm rarely nervous.  In fact, I don't remember being nervous once in the entire two weeks.

I wasn't nervous on the plane (honestly, on the way over I was mostly asleep).  I wasn't nervous in the Chunnel-- it just felt like a regular tunnel & my ears didn't even pop.  I wasn't nervous on the London Eye or at any time during our trip.

Sometimes I think there is a part of me that enjoys the comfort of feeling anxious, I understand anxiety, it's been my friend for a long, long time.  I know how to fret about something and then when everything is okay, I can believe my magical thoughts made it so (i.e.  because I worried about the trip, nothing happened).

But on this trip, I was having so much fun and was so freaking tired from the jetlag, I forgot to worry.  And things were *still* okay.  Imagine.

I am reminding myself how much I enjoy traveling so I will do it again.

I know my default is to stay home.  Since I was a child, my sister has referred to me as "an old lady" and not because of sensible shoes, but because I'm the one who always chooses to stay home, to skip whatever-interesting-event is happening, to choose comfort over anything else.

But I'm learning.  Slowly.

To realize life is to be lived.  Not watched.  Or feared.  Or formulated.

It's a hard task for an Emily Dickinson type person.  I'm no longer happy sending bread down in a basket from my bedroom window to the neighborhood children below.  I want to the be the one running through the field (and maybe with scissors)...well, safety scissors.  I still err on the side of caution, but when I do, at least I'm standing at a crosswalk in sensible shoes in a different country deciding what to do next.


~ Kells

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Monday, April 08, 2013

Poem of the Day "The Queen" by Pablo Neruda #Potd #poetry

Pablo Neruda's The Queen ~ In English...

One Valentine's day many years ago my husband roamed through my books of poems and typed out the last two stanzas of this poem for me. It has been my favorite since then.

The Queen

I have named you queen

There are taller ones than you, taller.
There are purer ones than you, purer.
There are lovelier ones than you,

But you are the queen.

When you go through the streets
no one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no
one looks
at the carpet of red gold
that you tread as you pass,
the nonexistent carpet

And when you appear
all the river sound
in my body, bells
shake the sky,
and a hymn fills the world.

Only you and I,
only you and I, my love,
listen to it.

Pablo Neruda
translated by Donald D. Walsh 

~ Kells

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