Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Emma

Well, I can think of nothing more inspiring right now than my dog.  That’s right, my dog.  The wildly confusing Kelpie I refer to as ‘The Emma’ is everything to me; my early morning alarm clock, my personal trainer, sometimes my headache, but always my smile.

‘The Emma’ is a rescue pup.  She was at a kill shelter for several weeks, but she was moved to a no-kill shelter just days before she was slated to take her final walk.  I don’t have much information about her except that she was horribly abused and neglected on a level that makes my heart break.  She weighed approximately 36 pounds, her face was covered with cuts and raw spots, her toes were covered with scabs, some of her teeth were broken, and every bone in her body showed through her dull, dry coat.  She was in pretty rough shape, and her size made her less desirable than the other dogs at the shelter.

I watched her lying in her kennel for a few minutes, her long slender legs stretched out in front of her and crossed under her chin,  before deciding that I wanted to meet her.  They brought her into the play room and I sat down on the floor and waited for her to approach me.  She didn’t wag her tail at first, she just walked around me with her head hung low and her tail tucked safely between her legs.  I talked to her quietly and waited patiently for her to make her move.  All of a sudden, she crawled onto my lap and laid her head on my shoulder.  Done.  ‘The Emma’ chose me.

Today,  ‘The Emma’ is a bright-eyed, shiny coated, 57 pound Kelpie mix.  She is strong-willed and very intelligent, a combination that often takes a firm resolve and tons of patience on my part.  She is a challenge, but I can think of no other pup I would want in my life right now.  I think she made a good choice.



“Pick up something and write.  Use a fountain pen with ink from a bottle.  Write a few words on the back of a postcard.  ‘Wish you were here. Miss you.  Love you.’   Write notes telling people what it means to have them in your life.  Write a lot or a little.  Write a poem that rhymes and one that doesn’t.  Write scathing, seething diatribes and never send them.  Write a one-act play.  Write your grocery list in a beautiful script.  Write a note and leave it in a public place where who knows who will find it.  Write to a woman you haven’t talked to in twenty years.  Don’t apologize, just write.  Write from the core.  Don’t worry about grammar, don’t worry about form.  Write how it felt when you go the news, how your feet were melting in the floor, how you turned into a butterfly clinging to the underside of a branch in a hailstorm.  Let the words tumble out, upside down, spilling across a scrap of paper you pulled out of the recycling box.  Get up like a woman and write.”  ~ Rachel Snyder

To write.  Each day I pull out a notebook, of which I have many, and jot down whatever is on my mind.  I have often referred to this process as dumping; mainly because it is simply me dumping out all of the thoughts, ideas, worries, applause, and wonder I have wandering around inside of me.  Out onto the paper they roll; some will grab hold and others will escape the page, but I pour them all out just the same.  Those that take hold will be revisited and scrutinized at a later date, and the escapees will be gathered up and put aside until there is a place for them between the covers of my journal.

I love to write, I do it every day.  Some would say that keeping journals or writing blogs is an exercise in futility, and I am inclined to believe them; the chances of someone ever reading the words is slim to none.  Nevertheless, I do it; every day.  It’s not a chore or a burden, it is a passion that I indulge in as a means of keeping my balance while continually teetering through life.  It doesn’t solve all of my problems or allay all of my fears, but it brings me closer to center.   It is better than therapy, better than booze; I would say it’s better than sex, but I would be lying.  It is a selfish activity, but only if you consider catharsis to be selfish.

People write for all kinds of reasons, and every one of those reasons is valid.  I write to keep myself right; it’s as simple as that.


“Remember that life is in the being, not the doing.  Be every bit of everything that you are.  Be tough, be soft, be dramatic, be subdued.  Be a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Be the one who always show up on time or be the one who lives according to her own inner clock.  Be the one who never forgets a detail or be the one who never remembers.  Be happy when you feel like it and be sad when you’re down.  Be who you are – not who they told you you should be.  Be able to cry in front of someone you hardly know, if it’s time to cry.  Be willing to be real.  Be talkative if you are; be quiet if you’re not.  Be ready to drop your masks and your protective armor and be genuine.  Be in the moment, be in the light.  And just when they think they know exactly who you are, be prepared to be something altogether different.”  ~ Rachel Snyder

This is me, just being.  I’m not what people expect.  I’m not always what I expect.  I surprise myself and sometimes disappoint myself too.  I am just me, and it is enough.  Enough for anyone that knows me; enough for the one who loves me.  I can be a million different things, but I choose to be me.

I’m in love.  I’m falling deeper each day.  She gets me.  She lets me be. I am happy and safe; I’m grabbing onto my other half.  I will be true and honest and strong; loud and laughing and soft.  I finally found someone who embraces the me I am going to be, and I am going to try and be whatever she needs; quite simply, I will be me.

I’m going to be.


“If you’re eating too much too quickly, fast.  Fast completely for three days.  Fast with juice, fast with water, fast with a very few select foods.  Fast because you’ve gotten too sluggish.  Because you’re feeling bloated all the time.  Fast because you’ve gotten  to slow.  Fast to clean your insides out so you can have a clearer view from the outside in.   Keep quiet when you fast, and listen to what your gut says:  that you’ve been swallowing too much, that you’ve been taking on so many new ideas that you can’t digest them fast enough, that you need to let go of a whole lot of … stuff.  If the idea of fasting makes you say ~ Whoa, not so fast!, then start with a half-fast attempt.”  ~Rachel Snyder

It is time.  I have been putting it off for months, always finding one excuse after another.  I find myself in a hypocritical situation today.  I told someone very dear to me that she needed to stop trying to find loopholes for her situation, and here I am doing the same thing.  It’s time.

I’m tired.  I’m slow.  I’m sluggish.  I’m not fast, therefore I must fast.  I’m not looking forward to it, and I know it is going to suck.  At the same time, the end result is a clarity I am missing right now.  I want the clarity of my physical self that I used to possess.  I can still remember that girl; strong, swift, toned and energized.  I want that girl back.  It’s funny, but if I had not quit in the first place, I wouldn’t have to start all over.

Fresh starts, new days, they are just old beginnings that were left behind after a short time of struggle.  This time has to be different, lasting.  I’m not getting any younger, and it will be harder now than it has ever been.  I’m not running on empty, I’m just not running on all cylinders right now.  It’s an easy fix, in theory, but the practice is what will make it difficult.  It’s okay; it’s time.

Difficult or not, I have to start somewhere.  Plus, my grandmother always told me that life was full of easy things and hard things, and the hard things are  what make life so good.  Well guess what grandma, it’s about to get really good.


“When you feel most pressured to answer or act, wait.  Wait a moment or two before speaking.  Wait three days before deciding.  Wait until all your inner turmoil settles and your answer rises to the top with crystal clarity.  Make them wait, even if it makes them a bit crazy.  When you’ve planted new seeds in your life, you must simply wait until it’s time for them to bloom.  Things happen when they happen, and your wishing, willing, pleading, and jumping up and down won’t speed up the process.  Wise women know to wait and how to wait.  Wait patiently.  Wait with dignity.  If you’ve been taught to hate waiting, turning your attention somewhere else may help time go faster.  Better yet, learn to wait doing nothing at all.”  ~ Rachel Snyder

Waiting.  Constantly waiting.  I am an exhausted lesson in patience.  I have put things on the shelf to let them mature, I have nurtured ideas and thoughts in an effort to help them grow, and I have busied myself with other events to pass the time.  I am waiting.

My life is a series of postponements.  I wait on government offices to finish paperwork.  I wait on students to finish assignments.  I wait on Emma, in the pouring rain, to decide she is done with her walk and ready to return home.  I wait.  It’s okay, really.  I am learning each day that waiting does not have to be a torturous endeavor, but can actually become a strong practice in patience.

Are you able to wait?  Can you postpone your gratification and not go nuts in the process?  Do you fret and brood while you wait?  Why?  Why not take a deep breath and accept that waiting is actually part of the bigger picture?  Enjoy the build-up, the suspense, the waiting.  The world moves at a pretty quick pace and we are losing the art of waiting gracefully.

Right now, in this moment, I accept I have no control over many things in my life.  I am at the mercy of others and I have to trust that my plan, my idea for my life, is going to transpire when it is time.  I can’t force the speed with which my life unfolds, so I wait.