Monday, August 30, 2010

Home Again: Day One of Staying Calm

Want to hear something wonderful about blogging?
How about meeting the most wonderful woman and her son in person for the first time, friends holding and joining hands from across the ocean to place a token of friendship amidst the stones and shells in a little spot under a deck on Cape Cod?
Aw Marianne, I still can't get over it. Aw Lo, thanks for making it happen. Aw JB, thanks for everything. Aw, Felix, ♥
JB and I left Provincetown yesterday. This was my last view of Commercial Street, walking to breakfast. I am determined to keep the shimmer of the water in my mind, to be able to call it up when I need to tone things down. I am experimenting this week, remember, wanting to hold on as much as I can to my vacation style way of living and moving through my day.
I won't see the dunes again until late next Spring. I have returned to my home in a college town surrounded by other several other college towns but all of that surrounded by farms, plenty of farms. This is Western Massachusetts where today, my first day here in almost a month, I bought fresh corn and just picked sweet strawberries at the farm stand.


This is what I woke up to this morning: snowballs just outside my bedroom window. It is not the ocean, I don't feel the breezes, my bedroom here is not white and spacious and airy like it is in Provincetown, but oh these flowers. They were the first thing I saw when I woke up and thank God, because I didn't sleep as well without my ocean breeze. Mim said being near the water heals and I know she is right. I'm sure this is true of the breezes too. My bedroom here is going to be an adjustment. (Just a fact....) :)


We have tomatoes in the garden. Plenty of them, and they are lushly red.

. .

I look to the porch and I see Stella's cookie in the middle of the futon. I think if Stella can mark her spot then I can too. I don't want my life to be difficult because I am unable to settle down, or because I am clueness about how to pursue the details in the way I choose, or because I am unwilling to stick my neck out to recognize and appreciate and participate. I got myself cracked open in the recent past and I got hurt in the process. Healing is still an effort, but I know I getting closer to dancing with abandon. I know I want to love deeply, even still, and I want to laugh my ass off.

And I want to be an improving writer.

And I want to have fun.

. .

I have several things going for me. For one, I have happy zinnias. This morning I am setting up the French Press for my beloved Peet's Major Dickinson coffee and the zinnias are waving to me outside my kitchen window. I can hear the g.d. bulldozers and trucks digging up the street outside, a mess of a road project I didn't support and don't like one bit. But I'm doing my best to ignore that because I prefer to wave back at the zinnias.

My first day back from vacation and I have bills to pay, chores to do, calls to make, tomorrow's work to organize. I want to keep it simple but the car is stacked with about 20 bags of coffee makers and gifts and clothes and pillows that first must move from the car the kitchen floor. Lucky for me that JB gets us focused tonight and we empty each bag, put things away. I have managed to effectively tackle about 65-70% of what is mine. That is progress for me.

So how did I do today in my experiment (and desire) to stay calm? Not bad. It's not easy to overlook the bulldozer digging up my street or my tendency to feel overwhelmed when I have more than two things that have to be done. But I'm still aware all that is small stuff. The big stuff is I want to competently and comfortably handle the demands and moments and opportunities in front of me, one at a time. I want to do it that way as often as I can.
I'm no saint, and nobody complains better than I do, but I want to love and laugh and appreciate whenever and where ever I can. If that sounds corny, I don't care. I think not caring is a very good sign.
I'd give today a B. That is a good grade considering I had to unpack.


  1. Waking up to those flowers is worth something!
    I guess there are good things in both places but I understand leaving P-town behind must be difficult.....
    I was there just to sniffle a bit of off and I know this could be a place to get used to.
    You can get used to good things very quickly!
    But |I know you have the ability to see all the beauty back home as well dear.
    To keep your calm in a world so overwhelming, that takes a lot of practice and we are not the Dalai Lama (yet).
    Yes that token...............ahhh will cherish that moment and our brief visit forever!
    And I think (know) we will meet again.............

    You take care stay calm as much as you can and enjoy life in the meanwhile (know you will;))


  2. I for one like 'corny'
    Im corny and proud of it.

  3. Seeing as how they just finished resurfacing my street for the first time in 30 years I can not relate to your noise complaints kj.

    On the other hand water moving carries negative ions which set them moving on the breeze. These Ions have a calming/soothing effect on the brain, try a small water feature in your bedroom where the water lightly splashes releasing the ions.

    Personally I couldn't do this because I am too pissed off at too many things I see around me right now and calm and pissed just do not work together.

  4. There is just something about the cape, or the ocean that is soothing to the soul. I hope you manage to hold onto that "whatever it is" feeling and then write a book about it - because the rest of the world wants the secret. Honestly KJ - at least you recognize it and try to hold on to it. That's really good in my book.

  5. Hi kj! Welcome home (*she waves at zinnias!*)! I think you should give yourself at least a B+. You noticed natural beauty first thing. You made a valiant attempt to ignore the road noise. You aren't freaking out about the kitchen floor clutter, or your upcoming work day. I am trying this same thing at home. Right now I am working on not being resentful when the alarm blasts at 5:30 am! :) xox! Pam

    PS I miss the ocean.

  6. i dream of the sea but remember to smell the roses too <3

  7. I have a blogger BFF who visits the ocean and throws pebbles in to me. Soon I will be at the ocean and will throw pebbles back to her. (smile)

  8. hey, I just posted the token too ;)
    That was a special moment for sure.

    You'll make the transistion KJ. What you have is a place in Ptwon that's yours and will soon be accessible to you any damn time you please! Now that's something to hold on to ;)

    I recently had a mini meltdown because I'm realizing this isn't where I want to live. Something huge is missing and my spirit isn't nourished here. Maybe I just need to be closer to the water and away from noise and traffic.

    I have to practice to bloom where I'm planted. I'm trying, really.

    I've been blooming a little too much since moving here if you know what I mean!! Time to go for my walk ;)


  9. Blogger just ate my very long and involved comment, no time for another right now. Poop. Have a grand first week home! xoxo

  10. KJ.... both of your homes look gorgeous and offer different types of joy..... P-town will always be there....the Sea will be there..and now, you will carry it inside your heart. Think of Felix's "Friendship" Medallion in the rock garden... think of the 'ritual' all of you did....this is LOVE...this is TRUTH...this is TRUST.

    I love your #9 home.... I love your Zinnia's, your tomatoes, your warm and wonderful rooms...

    I like "Walking Man's" idea of bringing some moving water into your home...

    The street construction is a
    b--ch... hopefully, they will finish soon...don't you "love" how this happens WHEN you return?

    You HAVE changed though.... this vacation has seen you GROW as a writer, a photographer - and as a woman.

    If you give yourself a "B"...that's nothing to be sad about... these days, if I have a "B" day, I am pretty happy!

    Sending you and Stella many, many hugs!


    ♥ Robin ♥

    p.s. Tell Emily to stop throwing peas at the street workers! This will not make them work faster!

  11. A B isn't bad Kj seeing how you are just coming home from a wonderful holiday...

    I love zinnia's they are my most favorite flower... and mine didn't come up : ( and I have green tomatoes : ( well when you have green tomatoes make green fried tomatoes right?

    I too am trying to be happier laugh more love more...

    I'm feeling very lucky right now after an MRI didn't show a stroke (like they thought) or MS or a tumor...

    Also lucky because I'm going to the Netherlands in October! Excited to see some of my blogging artist friends....

    Can I come and visit you and JB too?

    Much Love~Pattee

  12. Dear friend...I think you are doing wonderful. I threw myself back into centering myself as of late because of everything going on I got detoured. I needed to get back into calm again. Ive missed you and everyone in blogland. Thank you for staying a friend even while I was MIA. Your a good friend to stay on top of me. Thank you we need more ppl like u in the world to say Hey Im still here..Its nice thank you.

    Love ya KJ bunches xoxoxox

  13. I love your 'B' day. Keep balanced and keep waving at the zinnias, dear kj...thanks for the beautiful photos!

  14. You're doing well, kj! Lots of positives! x

  15. Keep waving at those zinnias dear kj.

    something that helps me along with calling up a mental image of the soothing sea is to have a photo of it too. I always have a fav photo on my cell set as wallpaper.

    i looked at it a few times in NYC, when i really felt a fish out of water. (even though i LOVED the city).


  16. That first day back from vacation is always a bit overwhelming.

  17. i am so jealous of your tomatoes!!!!

    welcome back from your vacation into beautiful surroundings that include stella's biscuit, snowballs and peet's coffee. i agree with mim that being near water is healing --- and i do hope you are able to do some more writing once you settle back in.....