Friday, December 31, 2021

We Will Dance this Rotten World Better

not-quite Journaling, 26

Coffee is a ritual dance that seduces the senses—nose kissed by scent, ears serenaded by pouring song, tongue caressed and bathed by bittersweet heat, and the eyes… eyes feast on coffee’s alluring darkness, and on the sight of the perfect coffee cup.

12/19/2021: There is a slight possibility that I’m tremendously excited about my new, tiny espresso cup. 🥰😁


12/26/2021: So, wanna dance?


When gloom and chill fill
skies and flesh and bones,
I rejoice in all the warmth
a sunny memory can hold.

12/28/2021: New York City is cloudy and expecting rain (thank goodness for sunny pics!).

12/29/2021: Two weeks ago, I shared a poem and a not-quite-journaling page that said “Pain is hungry / feed it wild art”, then I asked my Instagram friends, “What do you feed your pain?” I added some of their answers to the original piece (2nd picture). I enjoy the way you (and I) think (together). Speaking of which, what do you feed your pain?


And they danced
(as the year ate its own tail),
bathed in ancient moonlit song
and freshly
crafted possibilities.

12/30/2021: I shared this poem on Instagram and then asked, “So, wanna dance?” My beloved (and super talented) friend, Shelle, responded with this painting. Shelle hasn’t been painting all that much lately, so seeing this piece made me smile all the way to my witchy bones! 😁

Now, I say goodbye to 2021 with a prospective to-do list for 2022

1. Out of sight, out of mind isn’t a realistic treatment for OCD; it is time for some ERP (even if just thinking about it makes me want to peel off my skin and scrub my bones with bleach).

2. Create recipes to help my stony gallbladder, fatty liver, and crappy digestive system.

3. Write.

4. Submit (at least) one short story and a few poems for publication.

5. Edit.

6. The pile of papers that keep moving around the bedroom needs sorting.

7. Rewrite.

8. Organize writing and picture files (without screaming too much at the mess).

9. Listen to music.

10. Take a moment (or 3) to seriously reconsider returning to Facebook, eventually…

11. Attack the graphic novels pile.

12. Try some of Atlas Obscura’s hidden, and unusual things to do in the Bronx.

13. Dance more bachata, merengue, and reggaeton—because “it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a wild woman in possession of [(slightly inflamed) feet, knees, and hips] must be in want of” some delight-filled Latin American and Caribbean dancing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Remember “the dark, too, blooms and sings”

 “To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.”

~ Wendell Berry ~

Yes, the world is dark and cold right now (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). Still, let’s not forget that wonders grow in the dark too. We should really keep that wee bit in mind when Old Man Winter is getting extra creative with our neuropathy, arthritis, and all those other not-so-yummy things that come with growing delightfully vintage.  

Happiest Winter Solstice, everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Hoping for Pain-less

not-quite Journaling, 25

on top of the world,
waiting for the next lifequake—
ROAR at the ready

12/9/2021: When one has been chronically ill for what seems like forever, it’s hard not to be hypervigilant about one’s health. Not so paranoid that one doesn’t enjoy life, but watchful enough to avoid getting kicked in the teeth by all the random new f*ck yous the chronic illness monster chooses to throw one’s way. The monster’s latest kick got me in the liver and the gallbladder. Or, at least, that’s what we’re hoping. Because if it also got me in the duodenum (more tests shall tell), then my crohnie behind will probably be in real trouble. End of Venting (for now).  


Pain is hungry,
feed it wild art

12/13/2021: Pain is a demanding, hungry (and very much unwanted) guest. If we don’t feed its petulance, it just gets louder and more annoying. I feed my pain stories and poems, gardening and cooking, gossipy conversations with friends. Today, I’m going to feed it some house cleaning.

* The bit at the bottom, with the wee flowers and breast cancer ribbon, is a cutting from a painting, by Victoria Ramdass, in CONQUER: the patient voice).


12/15/2021: Nature’s feeling… off; her moods are wild (tornadoes in Kentucky, mudslides in California, pink periwinkles blooming around a New York City hospital courtyard). I want to delight in December’s spring blooms, but the timing is troubling; nature’s feeling… off.


I wish to call you a blur,
but flesh-screams aren’t quick

the background is from a photo by Camila Quintero Franco, on Unsplash

12/16/2021: When asked to describe 2021 in just one word, a friend of mine said, “blur”; then she asked me, “Don’t you think so?” After considering the question for a wee bit, I shook my head. Because for me, the one word that describes 2021 is pain: feeling pain, managing pain, eating foods that decrease pain, finding useful things to do with pain… Yep, the pain’s the word. I am so hoping that 2022 will tag a ‘less’ at the end of my pain.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #7: Dear 2021…