Anatomy of a Day


It started out with shadowed splendor, a reflection, of my hands on the rose print fabric of my wing backed chair, which really is a reflection of a writer with too much time on her hands and furniture that looks like her grandmother’s. It was the cottage look I was going for when I bought it and I do have, after all, a bungalow; a cottage by any other name.

Too Much Time on Her Hands

Too much time on her hands. Literally and figuratively.

I was thinking about the privilege of time to observe the daily light show, which passes through my house.

Appearing Daily - Flowers

Appearing daily.

Was remembering the wide open spaces of a Texas prairie and thinking that everybody in America should be required to spend some time sitting out under a mesquite tree, fromtime to time. This would make everybody simmer down a bit, I suspect.

Reflection is just another name for procrastination, which I have mastered lately, because I’m too petrified and hogtied with legal hurdles to finally upload the book to Amazon and hand off the manuscript to my publisher for the print the “real” book,  thereby birthing this baby which has been stuck in the birth canal for two weeks now, with me fully effaced and screaming bloody murder at 9cm. And yet I know, that much like parenthood, once I finally push it out, I have to face the truth of paying for it, which loosely translated means I’m out of time and money and how in the hell will I feel when somebody tells me my baby is ugly?

Cows along VA 340

Calming effect.

Denial is just another state of grace as I choose to dwell in memories of this time last year —

Mobile Office in Field

This time last year.
Near Talledega, Alabama

After I give due deference to remembering the road trip that changed my life, I go for a walk/run not to be confused with a real run, because I’m nursing a bum knee that the acupuncturist put needles into yesterday, because no good deed goes unpunished, which is code for:  have been taking the dogs for daily walks and trying to lose weight so I will look svelte and splendid for upcoming (oh, please God) book tours. And so I hobble around the track.

But there is a show here too, at the high school track where the red, rubbery lanes provide shelter from the storm of scar tissue around my aging runner’s knees, a show which is performed just for me, since there is nobody else stupid enough to be out here in the 97-degree heat. And it is quite the aerial spectacle, matter of fact.

The sandpipers. It’s my beloved sandpipers, the Missouri version of the Carolina cousins who sing to me a soothing song of peace when I go to the North Carolina coast. After I’d done a few laps and yoga’d in the sun, I was just about to leave when my Greek chorus on wings swooped in for the grand finale, flying fast and low over the verdant field, summer bare, no grid iron in the grass for the thundering football players who will stomp her lushness come fall. Swirling, diving, “don’t despair,” they reminded me of what’s still out here, what is still indeed out here.

Which reminded me of a verse I wrote on a January day five years ago, about contentment.

Holy  Hour – January, 2007

It’s the holy hour. Early morning on a grey blanketed January day, the ice storm has wrapped the forsythia vine in silvery splendor.

Steam rises from my coffee, with time enough to watch the swirls, against the cathedral quiet of my sleepy house.

Except for Pete, who obligingly follows me from room to room, one arthritic up and down after the next, wishing I’d settle for a minute, so he could rest his weary doggie bones.

I do. I am.

Still. So settled in this rare moment.  I love it when the soft light of a cloud covered winter moment casts easy shadows on my kitchen. I stand here, listening to the cheap, old plastic kitchen clock with the eggplants and peppers painted on the face, tick away the seconds of the here and now.

I am perfectly content. I love this moment. I need nothing more.

Make Way the Contentment

Make way the contentment.

This recollection gave me the inspiration to tackle the “next steps” du jour, to at least push this baby hard enough for her head to crown, when, she was brutally pushed back, out of sight, until I can reword the truth. Reword the truth, my friends, because knowing it and publishing it are two different things and even though it’s the truth, I am granted no amnesty. So I am faced with a bit of editing I’d rather not do, just to prevent me from being sued or put in the slammer, which indeed would be an ironic twist. Which makes me sad and frustrated and thinking this is never going to happen, when…

I get some encouragement from my publisher, which makes me grateful and happy to have a true partner.
I take my dogs for a ride to get Chinese carry-out and give them a spoonful of egg drop soup drizzled over their kibble, which makes them grateful and happy. (I read about that in a Chez Mutt.)
I hear from my darling advocate, with an invitation to drink or dine or both tomorrow and this makes me think I can last that long….
And then, I find this message in my fortune cookie.

Nothing Can Keep Your from Reaching Your Goals

The only thing that might stop me is the MSG.

About Jean Ellen Whatley

Writer. Dreamer. Sometimes schemer. Journalist/memoirist/observer and sometimes constructive irritant. Prisoner of demon muses. Mother to four humans and two dogs. In my spare time, I delete phone numbers of former boyfriends.

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