Life In Progress

I will not confuse my career with my life.


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Out Like a Lion

013113 snow pile & wizard melt1adj
The rain and wind have made it to Maine. The haughty Snow Wizard is melted down to a stump of its former glory. When we got a couple of inches of snow Monday night, I shoveled the deck snow onto the formerly fabulous and icy Cabin Fever Snow Pile, thinking that the snow in the tracks would protect the ice in the chutes. Against all odds, I had dreams of races this weekend. Now it looks like sulking will be my major activity.

As I took a few photos a little while ago, I heard a vivid rendition of the Wicked Witch of the West’s line run through my head: “I’m melting, melting. Oh, what a world, what a world.”

It feels so much like late March here. Late March is when Maine finally gets the legendary “in like a lion” aspect of the month. But, January — out like a lion?

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Steeping

white tea

Such a long time between posts on this, my central journal/blog. My sketch page has been attended to much more lovingly, albeit sporadically. Between summer travels and nearly constant headaches in November and December, I managed only to chronicle my imagination through drawings and watercolor sketches on that blog and had no observations I deemed worthy of sharing here. (In retrospect, I might have sung the praises of my doctor for prescribing Imitrex, a Godsend!)

My inspiration might just need a bit more steeping to get going again with this journal and until then I will muse, pen and brush in hand, about the meaning of it all.


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Tooth Fairy

Just the thought of having a dental procedure conjures vivid images of sweaty fingers plucking at damp, shredded Kleenex and jaws wrenched open in a hideous rictus of terror. The sight of shiny, sterilized (I feverishly hope!) metal instruments, lined up with a watchmaker’s precision on a tray instantly evokes a sheen of perspiration on my forehead.

The tools that inspire dread? The Carbide Ball Burr. The Diamond Bud Burr. The Cylinder Reamer. The fact that modern dental care is virtually painless does not lessen my panic when I ponder the fine dust of tooth enamel — floating on the air rising from my open mouth — created by one of those gleaming tools rotating at the speed of light. [Insert prolonged, full-body shudder here.] Even the seemingly innocent routine dental cleaning entails a fascinatingly slender, curved stainless steel probe called The Explorer.

My dread of all things dental began with my first filling: I was around 7 or 8 years old and my left eye-tooth had a cavity. I protested, to put it mildly, when the dentist drilled into my tooth without benefit of Novocaine. He said to me, “Don’t be such a baby!” The dentist I saw during my teen years pulled my mother aside at one point and suggested to her that I was obsessed with my teeth. (Duh.) This, after having performed an “occlusal adjustment,” again, without the benefit of Novocaine, on my sensitive teeth. (Google “occlusal adjustment” and see if you don’t cringe!)

Fast forward through a menu of various dental nachtmares to this morning — the first fillings with my new dentist. The fact that she bears a remarkable resemblance to the actress Holly Hunter was an effective distraction. That, and a massive overdose of Bach’s Rescue Remedy lulled me into a compliant state. I clutched a handful of Kleenex, squeezed shut my eyes and she began. She was finished injecting Novocaine before I even knew she was doing it! The Tooth Fairy favored me throughout the procedure and I practically sailed through the drilling and filling.

I won’t say my appointment was entirely without discomfort. But I have been through much worse with far less-attractive dentists.


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A study in contrasts

All manner of nervous busy-mind worries embrace me tightly. Rain has dissolved the features of all my lovely snow creatures. I mourn them. They brought me so much joy. There is that long list of unfinished projects I envisioned working on during the winter months. I wonder where my time went. My personal yoga practice seems to have stalled: I find myself distracted and uncertain almost immediately when I hit the mat. At least I do hit the mat, but the usual rewarding bliss just hasn’t been there this week.

Tomorrow promises an unusual range of activities. Jury duty selection begins promptly at 8 a.m. at the Court House in Portland. Uncertainty and discomfort surrounds my concept of the task. Will this take the entire day? I envision a cattle-call environment with a big “hurry up and wait” aspect to it. If I’m selected to serve, how much time will it gobble up? Will I be exposed to nasty details of a realm of people about whom I’d rather remain oblivious? The more I allow my mind to tick through questions and objections, the whinier I start to feel. The shallower my breath comes. I’m uncomfortable.

Gratefully, my focus flickers to the yoga class I will teach tomorrow at 5:30 in Falmouth, at the end of what I expect to be a stressful day. I’m told by the regular teacher for this class I’m subbing that these students don’t even want to progress to standing asana, typically. A relaxing and non-pressured class culture such as this beckons my focus across the rough expanse of the day tomorrow. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. My class outline and music are prepared. Yoga mat, speakers, iPod and yoga clothes to change into are tucked in tote bags and ready to go.

For the rest of today? Sip tea. Breathe air. Bring my focus back to here, back to now.


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Letting go

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Baguette dough tucked into the oven to rise, we clipped on our snow shoes and visited the goat barn for Beer:30. Along the way, I visited and documented the sad deterioration of my snow friends from this past week.

Ironically, the snow is perfect right now for sculpting. But it will be in the 50s here tomorrow, then a deluge tomorrow night. So all I can do is let go.

The turkeys can no longer walk on the crust with impunity. Watching them break through with every awkward step, I commiserate. Their generously scattered shit is being revealed rather ungraciously in the yard. Soon, they’ll be scratching in the fresh mud for cracked corn and making spectacles of themselves with their entertaining mating ritual.

And so the end of winter commences, giving way to …mud season. (You thought, maybe spring?)