Gratitude, One Year Later

The time has slipped away so fast, and the seasons have run faster and faster, stumbling over each other in a mad dash to get to the finish line of 2013. I look at my photograph that I first posted on this blog, and I look like a small, frightened child, which in retrospect, I believe I was at the time. I’ve spent the last year changing formats of expression, going from the spoken word to the visual form, finding photography an easier way of expressing myself. Learning to be quiet again has taken a long time, but has been an important tool for me. Sometimes there are things that just can’t be put into words, they go beyond the ability to express in the language of the spoken word. As for myself, I am so very grateful for music, with it’s rich vocabulary, or the quiet, God filled moments you experience in a sailboat on the ocean at sunset. Peace on earth. Peace. Loving children. Loving life. Being loved and giving love in return. These are bold, brave hearts, who choose to stay open and move ahead. Every day is a choice. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s a cold dive into the deep end of the pool, each and every day. Just thought you should know.

Ironically, when I opened my blog this morning, I was feeling compelled to write about gratitude, after having it repeat as a theme in my life in the past few months.Turning to my neglected but not forgotten page, there was the title of my last entry, written in July. GRATITUDE. Well, there you have it!

I do still write, many times a week in my personal writing, and at some point I will transfer that writing to a more public agenda, having been working on both a novel and the outline for a screenplay, as well as a few short stories and even an outline for a piece of work involving a single British woman friend and her American cat who secretly runs her life, behind the scenes! I can’t write that without cracking up every time, I think there’s a lot of staying power in that premise. I’m starting to piece some of my photography together now, along with my writing, and it’s amazing to see it is all beginning to dovetail itself into a natural order. Kind of like life.

Hope you and yours will have a peaceful and prosperous New Year, filled with gratitude and lots of cold dives in the deep end of the pool!

Yours,

LivingWinters

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Sandy… LinkedIn wants to know: “Do you know Scott Winters?”

I received an invitation this morning. My recently deceased husband, Scott invited me to become linked to him on LinkedIn. He even invited me to leave a personal message for him. “Staying in touch with valuable contacts can help you in your career. Quickly connect to this person you may know.”

It came in my morning email. Asking me, “Do You Know Scott Winters?”  There is this little thing that happens inside of me, every time I see his name in print, or hear his name said out loud  It is the same feeling I had when I met him for the very first time. My heart skipped a beat, like leaping for joy, really. I am so grateful that after (wait…doing the math on a piece of paper)  twenty-eight years of loving someone, that they can still make your heart be so joyful.

As I listen to the church bells at St. Augustine’s ring 10 am, it reminds me of one of the reasons why we bought this home. It was our fourth home, one we purchased after renting for a year in Providence. I couldn’t wait to get back into my own space with a back yard. Scott’s backyard, really. How he loved to sit outside and listen to those bells. me, I’m not so much of a sitter downer. More of a get stuff done person.

So Scott’s invitation to send him a personal message was too good to pass up. It got me to thinking about what would I say to him, if I had the chance to speak to him one more time:

“How’s the weather in heaven?” (It could be a bit awkward in the beginning, so just casual banter to start.)

“Who do you have lunch with?”

“Where did you put the _____?” (there a million of those questions)

“Do you miss us?”

“Did God tell you why you had to leave?”

“When will we all be together again?” (ok, no real rush on that one!)

“Do you see how hard I’m trying to keep it all running?”

“Am I doing a good job?”

and the most important of all…

“I’m so glad I had the chance to love you.”

Yes, Linked In. I do know Scott Winters. And thanks for letting me tell him how much I love him, one more time.

To Thine Own Self Be True

How do we know when it is time to move on? Is it something that just appears to us, like the fog clearing on a September morning? Or is it more of a growing pain, like a shoe that you used to love, but now feels too tight and actually hurts when you try to assume all the things you would normally do, wearing that shoe. My Life (capitalized because it seems to be a multifaceted feeling of change) and the uncomfortable feelings I get from my status quo are becoming too pronounced to ignore. There are signs, everywhere.

The things I used to find comfort and solace with, no longer satisfy me. The people and places that were part of my map of the world are becoming yellowed and worn. No longer fresh and vibrant, I feel myself questioning the day-to-day choices of my world. A new phrase popped into my head, two weeks ago. I was given the opportunity to interview for some very exciting artwork. It created a dilemma in my sense of duty and responsibility, not wanting to be considered unreliable. I have always been the good girl. The voice of reason that tells everyone, “We can’t do that.” I kept hearing this voice in my head, asking the question, “Well, if not now…when?” When will I get my life in the direction I choose to go towards? My duty to myself and my passion for my art won out. I confirmed that audition in New York.

I took the opportunity, deliberately. The voice of one’s life purpose was louder than the small voice that was constantly asking me, “Well, What you are supposed to do?”. I am going to listen for more signs from that place deep inside of me, that tells me, “This is your truth.” It doesn’t fail. It is that gnawing signal that tells you, “This is for you to hear…”. With following that hunch comes a sense of relief, a sigh, an itch that gets scratched, if you will.

Do you have any itches that need to be scratched?

Super Stop and Shop… and Run

Canned sardines in salt water

Making my way down aisle three at the Super Stop and Shop. See, it’s better because it’s super? Very much like the old movie, This Is Spinal Tap. The musician has a guitar that goes to eleven. That’s better than all the other guitars that only go to ten? Same kind of thinking, in my book. It is a huge inside joke, at my house. But now, the inside jokes just stay with me. I never realized just how many private moments there were between us. Strange feeling. Like one hand clapping. Luckily, Scott’s very best friend from Northwestern is a stand up comedian and I can call her or visit “The Wilds of  Brooklyn“, anytime I need an inside joke relief. Or just about anything. One very pleasant result of losing my love is gaining all the friends that loved him so. This would have made Scott so happy. It makes me happy, too.

On the shelf of the supermarket, lies a sale on smoked sardines. “Oh great, he’ll love them”, I think to myself, actually tossing in two cans of the vile stuff, ’cause I know how much he loves them. Sadly, it does not occur to me until three aisles later,I don’t have to buy these, anymore. I then look around, actually embarrassed that someone will see the giant tears that are falling onto my wallet and the New York Times I also bought for him. I sense the urge to flee, like a pressure building up in me that I can’t escape, even with deep breaths.

Getting into the car, after aborting my trip when I recognize I can’t pull it together enough to go talk to the deli guy and buy some of that coleslaw with the poppy seeds he likes. I just can’t today. Some days are like that. Other days are not. Grief is not scheduled. It’s like walking around with your t shirt, inside out. Sometimes you don’t realize the seams are showing are until you’ve already left the house. That’s what tomorrow is for.

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