Sunday, May 29, 2011

Life In the Slow Lane...

I am in another world this weekend. No matter how many times and how many years I've come to this Land's End peninsula called Provincetown, I am gifted a rhythm that will not scurry around, will not overly think. There are some reasons I can recognize: I do not have to wake up at a set time, I do not don my work clothes, I don't bring my bills and insurance papers and my Mother's care plan here. I am like the tides: I just move, I just breathe in, I just breathe out.

Here: JB and I alone and together do what we do and don't do what we don't do. We walk a block and find ourselves at the Bay, sauntering and talking about our dreams as we always have.

We walk along Commercial Street and stick our heads in shops looking sea glass knobs for the weathered white cabinet that was long ago rehabilitated from the bathroom wall. I painted it semi-glossy white last weekend. With two new knobs, it will show some of the sea.

Here: I write. Alot. I have reviewed and compiled 256 snippets and/or makeshift chapters, numbered each, and now I am seeing how they 'fit' together. In other words, which belong at the beginning, in the middle, at the crumbled end: how shall I reveal my characters, the setting, the insights and the transformative events and lessons? My friend Susan said, "Oh, you mean that book you started two years ago?" She is such a wise guy, and I know she is encouraging me in her own way. It is Susan who looked at some of the artwork in my house and said, "That needs to go! Nobody smiles in those paintings! Put that part away for good." She is right about that too.

I love writing here. I have a lot of new writing yet to do; not just bridges from one paragraph, one section to the next, but whole new chapters. Moving the numbered pieces from one place to another begins to tell the story, to show me what is missing, what must be further introduced and known. Over and over I am told by wonderful guides that readers don't mind waiting and being surprised, but they don't want to be confused. I get that. It is a challenge I welcome.

for anne....

Change of topic: I haven't said much about my beloved old girl Stella lately. She is so noble and brave. The muscle mass in her right rear leg has atrophied to the point where the leg often cannot hold her and she is prone to falling. This has cramped the length and joy of her walks and sometimes JB and I look at one another wondering if the time will be soon that the joy of her body massages and cookies and now chicken in her meals will be enough. We have this contraption that wraps around the lower part of her body and it has a handle so we can hold and keep her legs up. But we haven't used it yet. It is a clear announcement that she will no longer make do on her own walks, and in her own way, and ours, we're not ready for that yet.

.JB and I fell asleep on the couch last night, dressed and accessorized. Who cares?! I wrote this morning, we met with a realtor to rent out this place for a couple of weeks this summer (a financially responsible thing to do). We walked to the corner for breakfast (marianne and lo, yes, there), I have been blogging and cursing blogger for the comment problems, and tonight we will have pizza and salad here with old friends.

It's a good thing I walked along the beach yesterday and across town the day before because writing is so sedentary!When I'm in the zone, I have to remember to move.

The town is hopping with visitors kicking off the sart of summer. The bay inlet is still pristine, not yet traces of fuel oil from the motor boats just past the jetty. The sky blues and pinks and oranges are spectacular, the ocean glistens with thousands of tiny pearl lights bouncing of it, the art galleries are wondrous and stimulating, the folks here are jovial and easy going.

I have alot of history here, most of it awesome. August of 2008 was my the lowest. I don't talk about it too much anymore, and I can tell my emotions and armor have shifted for the better. But some things I think we're meant to carry. Maybe they build character, expand compassion, soften the unexplainable.

Two days ago, just before dusk, I saw dozens of gulls flying and gliding with the wind. The wind must have been perfect for them because they moved their wings effortlessly, if at all, banded together toward where?--maybe their perfect spot on this thin strip of beach.

But there was one gull who had fallen behind and was struggling mightily to keep his/her wings moving. S/He was obviously hurt and giving everything to keep up with his tribe. I wanted to help that gull. I stood on the sidewalk and I looked up and my mind flashed through the possibilities of how I could rescue that gull. Even though I knew better.

I was witnessing something between a gull and nature and it could not be my business. I was reminded again of what I continually need to know: there are times when caring and trying simply can't and won't make things my way. I don't like that I've been taught this lesson, but it's one I know I need to know.

Oh, and did I mention we're not here alone?
love kj


  1. It sounds so beautifully perfect. And a good book is like fine wine, it takes time to mature. I'm sure it'll come together.

  2. Wow, KJ, it sounds like such a magical place... And the way you wrote about it made me slow down, take a deep breath and feel like I was right there with you, relaxing and being inspired!! I'm glad you are savoring it all!! love, Silke

  3. KJ, it's beautiful and wonderful - both your words and photos.....

    That white cabinet will look gorgeous with sea glass knobs.....I can picture it!

    You know me, I am saying prayers that Stella continues to wag her tail and look for those chicken treats for a long while....she is so beautiful - such soulful eyes...

    The IS coming...your subconscious mind plans the plot (even when your conscience mind searches for words) are a gifted writer....

    Enjoy your weekend in P-town!
    Hugs to JB and a BIG KISS to Stella! (Oh, and a hug yo you too!) Ha-ha!


    ♥ Robin ♥

  4. Sounds like a lovely place to be.
    As for Stella, you know I know. I have that contraption too and it helps get Zeus in and out of the car, but he does not like to keep it on. He never hardly ever falls on his hikes but at home on the hard wood slippery floors. he has had a wonderful week and I think we may have a few more weeks or even months. It is tricky, but I think when the good days are less than the bad it maybe time to let go. Kisses and hugs to Stella and you and JB and also Lo and Marianne!xoxo

  5. I feel more relaxed having been down this journey with you than I have in days! Thanks for that (and minimal packing it required too!!) :-)

  6. There is nothing like the ocean for getting ones spirit right. I can almost smell the sea here.

    I am picturing the two of you in June cleaver dresses with heels and stockings with pearl earrings on - falling asleep on the sofa. Wonderful image.

    I think of darling Stella and wonder how she is. It's so hard to know.

  7. such beautiful writing kj, it's easy to see how much ptown means to you. the slow lane is a very good place to be. and the book will come when it wants to. the fact that your enjoying the writing is the best of all.

    mims funny, falling asleep with pearls and dresses! stella, hug.

  8. wonderful you can experience this peaceful place away from "real life" stresses.

    Some writers spend years on a book only to rearrange it yet again and then finally complete. Two years, given you have other things to do too, is not very long. sounds like you are organized in your revising and work.

    Stella, what a sweet dear. Prayers to her.


  9. can't believe another summer of pt has arrived already- where has this year gone?
    have a very very happy time together and just 'be'. (did my meme too). hugs xxx

  10. ooops I have done my meme all wrong! (just like me to be different!) sorry...

  11. What a wonderful post KJ!
    So nice to be able to see what you write on the screen inside my head. You and KJ having breakfast at the corner surrounded by the iron sunflowers:)
    Commercial street , the town hall.
    I am happy you are already creating the book a little bit in your head . just like I do sometimes with paintings.
    I know you will get so much inspiration there!!!!! I know it will be a fabulous book!
    Good advice to remove sad paintings I don't want them in the house either.
    Sad to read Stella is getting old and a little worse in her motion. She is such a gentle spirit, such a sweet dog. This will be hard.
    Just try to enjoy as much as possible dear. Also this last period with her..

    Have a wonderful week! Before you know it you will be back to all this magic!


  12. hells, thank you dear dear wildly terrific friend.

    silke, hello! it IS a magical place. come here some day with daniel. i am certain you will both love it: galleries, shops, the sea, great food, and lots of be-who-you-are. ♥

    wrobin, the book IS coming! do you want to be in it? (ahahaha) (♥)

    annie, i am so glad to hear that zeus is better. i am glad for both of you. i am of the belief that the creator of the world made one definite mistake when s/he gave dogs so few years to live. xoxo

    hi sag! how are you doing? have things settle down and do you feel safe? thank you for your very kind comment. come along with me anytime! xoxo

  13. mim, AHA HA HA HA HA HA! how did you know, mim?!! yes about stella, it's hard to know. i just lie on the floor with her and scratch her neck...

    lori, the book has a mind of its own, and that is fine with me! i just have to make it compelling and readable! you would like it here, lori. i hope someday xo

    suki, thank you always for your encouragement. xoxo i am good at getting away from real life stresses but i can get slammed on the other end. figuring that part out is the real trick! ♥

    joss, thank you, dear friend. yes, another year. i am in way better shape than a year ago woo hoo, i hope you too! xoxo

    yes, marianne, it is a thrill for me to know that you have been here, that you know much of what i will talk about and take pictures of. you are a dear friend, marianne. this comment is so very sweet from start to finish. tsup! ♥

  14. Hello kj - it's been too long since I passed by your blog. First let me say thank you for your super kind comment about my website - so pleased it's done and that you like it too! Now that I'm here I'm enjoying catching up - great that you're having such a relaxing time - you really do seem to manage to drink it all in there in Provincetown! Sorry to read about poor Stella:( Thinking of you, love Caroline x