Picking straws

Delicious Fall has fallen upon us for a brief spell and I am relishing it! Doors and sliders thrown open, fans positioned to bring all of that fresh, low humidity air in has really boosted my spirits. It makes working out an invigorating thing rather than a flirtation with heat stroke and misery.  I wrote a poem a few months ago about my desire for Fall’s arrival and I’ll re-post it here:

Famished for Fall
Starving for crisp mornings and
Lessened heat in a place
That neither really ever happens
Leaves me famished for Fall.

Falls there might be,
From pedestals someone set
Me upon without my consent
Or, even my knowledge

Falls there might be
As I trip over unfinished business
Here, there, and also over there
Which I ignore with unwavering consistency

Falls there might be
From favor, from friendship
Even from someone’s vision
Which too, is the mutable nature of things

But I am famished for that change
Those autumnal dialogues whispered only for me
As the intimation of winter glances off my skin
Beguiling me with hints of promise among sunshine,

-Leaves me hungering.

As the Vortex continues to swirl me around and deposit me unexpectedly at the straw-picking places that need decision-making, I find myself needing more rest. Decisions are hard work. You have to pull out those tools like Foresight, Consequences, Alternatives and the like. One has to exercise the brain. I usually enter cocoon mode when I need to make decisions.  Sometimes I talk them out loud to my friends until their ears bleed (sorry y’all). I also tend to do other unrelated things to let my noggin hammer away behind the scenes on the issue. This weekend was no exception.  I read up on the Syrian issues – and ended up reading the “Federalist Papers” on my early bed night Friday. (yes, find THAT rabbit trail sense if you can, lol!)  Then after Torah time I watched a couple of preparedness videos, a huge interest of mine.  Since the majority of my life I’ve lived where preparedness during hurricane season is important, the natural extension into other areas of preparedness kind of developed, particularly after being hit not once, but twice, by tornadoes over the last six years.  Then I discovered “Mountain Men” on AmPrime, which provides other scenarios to consider when living in the wilds and how to be safe, or die doing what you love.

My trip request to resolve the property issue was finally answered, and as such I’ll be taking off again for nine days this month. It’s a working trip, so negotiations, conversations and decisions will need to be made after hours. This leads to the next decision – can I cram camping into this trip?  There aren’t a lot of reasonably priced hotels in the area, but there is tent and cabin camping available, all with internet access and power. I realize I could probably avail myself of my own house, but feel that would be really awkward for the widow living there, still reeling with the death of her husband and all which that entails. I could even camp on my own property, if she still retains internet access there. I also have other friends nearby that I could stay with. Each answer comes with more decisions, notice a pattern here?  😀

One other issue was resolved as well.  My employer in no uncertain terms advised me that working remotely is not an option, not even for the term of a year if needed to wrap up things with the house and property should I have to market and sell it should the current occupant have no viable plan.  This just let me know that whatever my future plans will end up being, I won’t be able to count on taking my ten year old job with me. Good to know before I move too far along in my plans, even if disappointing and patently unfair (we have scads of other remote employees, my boss being one of them) and something that half of my tenure here included with no complaints about my work ethic or performance at all.

It also opens up other decisions to add to the growing pile over there in the corner.  I wish money piled up so easily, hah! What would life be though, without challenges to stretch our minds, bodies and hearts; to give things value and weight upon their resolution or accomplishment?  Things that come easily to us don’t seem to have the same gravity as those we struggle for, you know?  That takes the interim care-taking opportunity in NE TN off the table too, sadly and means this nemophilist will be stuck in the concrete jungle a while longer while working to position myself financially for the return to the wilds. And now the future once again remains a bit like this photo I shot on vacation: Uphill, with open points of entry going both ways – perspective, non?

Open Ended Paths

Open Ended Paths

For now, I will nectar in place and deal with the straws one at a time as the Vortex spins around for a few more revolutions until an exit and decision point opens up. One day I will live my vision, like my friend is living hers.  The beauty and peace found in her gardens was amazing and restorative.  It also fanned that ember that blazes inside of me quietly on most days, learning oh so well the meaning of patience. That I had the grace and stamina of the monarch, instead of operating at times with the spasticity of a fly snared in a spider web!  I leave you with some slices of beauty snatched in a shutter click that tide me over in the meantime.

Thanks to all of you who accompany me on my journey with your words of encouragement and delight. May it return to you hundred fold in your own lives!

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.~ Stephen Covey

Be well. Be strong. Weep a little. Then pick up your head and take the first step towards the unknown.


  6 comments for “Picking straws

  1. November 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    S. I thought your poem outstanding in every way. >KB

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      I always appreciate your words about my work, critical or otherwise. It is good to see you posting again too! Thank you.


  2. November 2, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Reblogged this on A Mirror Obscura, and commented:
    This piece, especially the poem is worth your time to stop and read and perhaps even give pause to ponder on. >KB

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Randstein
    November 2, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Autumn is my favorite season. I love the colors painted across the landscape before winter switches to sweeping shadows and infinite monochrome shades. A wonderful poem too. With all the falls the colored one is always best. Never forget that chaos is a well ordered thing in which the vortex is the absolute value of everything at once. The nice thing about all of it is you have options, clear constraints, and a known objective. How could anything go wrong? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 2, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      I’m starting to learn that ‘go wrong’ just means I need to change my perspective (like hanging upside down on the monkey bars as a kid), lol!

      I’m torn between Fall and Winter as my favorites, and then there is the scent of Spring and things coming back to life. Fall is the most beautiful, but Winter, if you are in a four season climate, really allows you to see what you miss, especially after a snowfall. And I like the hush during snow. That’s probably because I’ve not lived in it much and it still is new to me when I am in it.

      Thanks as always for dropping by and cheering me onward!

      Liked by 1 person

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