Sunday, January 10, 2016

little excursions

January 10. 2016

Michael and I were on the phone, talking about his day on the west coast, mine on the east. I was sharing about my library outing - an attempt to get out of the house (where I work most of the time) - see people, get a new perspective, get away from the dog. 

I don't know, I said, I'd tucked my bag of notebooks, a contraband banana and cup of tea in a cubby and walked the shelves. I ended up in the depression aisle. I'm a homing pigeon.

Note: shelves of books for me are like walls of shoes for Imelda Marcos.

remember Imelda?

Anyway, honey, I was standing in the depression/anxiety aisle. 616.8527, and now I've just about finished a slim book called A Hell Of Mercy - a meditation on depression and the dark night of the soul. (Tim Harrington)

It's a beautiful book, I said.

This prompted Michael to say in a kind, yet firm voice -

Have you considered doing some volunteer work, honey?

Which prompted me NOT to tell about the other books I'd checked out:

Thoughts Without A Thinker +
Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart -  Mark Epstein
Listening to Depression - Lara Honos-Webb
The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger - Scheff and Emiston
Zen 24/7: all zen, all the time - Philip Toshio Sudo

There were two on teachers and teaching which is what I'm researching these days:

The Courage To Teach - Parker J. Palmer
A Life In School - What the Teacher Learned - Jane Tompkins

Occasionally, I wonder what the librarians think.

E.B White writes,

There is one thing the essayist cannot do, though - he (me) cannot indulge himself in deceit or in concealment, for he will be found out in no time.

On this dark, rainy Sunday morning - why not snow! 

a few more books crowd the bed - 

a dusty, water-stained copy of Essays of E.B. White
Meditations From the Mat - Rolf Gates
The Little Paris Bookshop - Nina George
Vanessa and Her Sister - Priya Parmar
The Appleseed Journal - Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Revere Beach Elegy: A Memoir of Home and Beyond - Roland Merullo (new favorite writer)


1 New Yorker
1 old copy of Three Penny Review
1 Kripalu catalogue filled with workshops like:

Rejuvenate and Reclaim Life after 40     okay
Unmasking Your Soul                              not sure that's a good idea
An Introduction to PranaDanda Yoga    say that 3x fast, you'll smile

+ a coloring book for grown-ups with a box of markers ~ 

E.B. White pondered this in the forward to his book: 

I think some people find the essay the last resort of the egoist, a much too self-conscious and self-serving form for their taste; they feel that it is presumptuous of a writer to assume that his little excursions or his small observations will interest the reader. 

Maybe it is presumptuous for me to assume that my little excursions or small observations are of interest to readers. to you. 

I read ( too much?) anyway.
Write anyway. 
Share anyway. 

Yesterday I scribbled this:

I've been sitting on my writing, 

like a hen waiting to hatch an egg 
that should've left the nest a long time ago. 
Put the egg in a basket, Betsy, give it away.

xo b

~ When Michael comes home, I clear the bed and make room for my husband's warm body. 
   Books end up at my feet, thumping to the floor in the middle of the night. amen.


  1. Your writing is your nest only if you choose not to free it. Time to get it out there, Bets....engage your's more than worth reading, it's worth loving. Waiting to hear more about that cow in the parking lot. Love & Hugs!

    1. Thanks Lady Jane. This week's post tells the cow story. xo

  2. This is really funny, Betsy! (Of course, it is other things too, including meaningful. )You made me laugh and lifted my spirits. This would not have been possible without your excursion and honest sharing. Love M

    1. Thanks for writing! I thought it was funny too, and other things like "why am I so focused on this stuff?" Dog with a bone. I hope my honest sharing can meet + touch my readers in some way. love b

  3. It's been a long time coming ~ don't dam the flow! You always give me a new perspective on living!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Always a gift. xoxo

  4. I love the drawing of those little colorful trees!

    1. Thanks for writing. Me too! It's from a coloring book I have. So much fun + pretty too. xoxo