Monday, June 20, 2022

Monday Mimisms ~ I Need a New DustPan

Now that the post-pandemic dust is settling in my life, I think I need a new dustpan! I've swept up so much that it's full and overflowing. Trouble is...I don't believe in sweeping things under the rug. The old proverb dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and refers to unpleasant or damaging things being hidden in secret and not seen again. Concealment. That can't be healthy, right?  I'd rather bring all the dirt to light; look at it, sit with it a molten minute and then bless it on its way. Pucker and blow. Poof! All of life's circumstances hold tribulation and joy; the strength of those emotions made stronger by the contrast of the other. The deeper you love, perhaps the deeper you grieve.  My life has been gathering dust in places I'd rather keep pristine - my heart, my body, my sanctuaries. 
Maybe I should stand in a fierce cleansing rainstorm. 

I had a dream the other night.
 My former companion and I were walking through an empty house. We each held a straw broom.

We walked together and aimed the end of the brooms toward the corners of ceilings, searching, swiping, smiling and laughing as we went.  Cleaning and sweeping cobwebs until they were all removed from the entire house. Room by secret-clad room. 

Sometimes it felt like we were cleaning up a crime scene (oh, if those walls could talk) and the next minute we were lovingly taking care of the space we'd shared with tender swabs and tears. It was cathartic. Curtains fell down. Oops. Rods clanged on the wood floor. Finials were finished.  Particles of us floated roughshod in spirals of history through the translucent smell of fresh new paint, covering us with all that was good and all that was still unfolding. 
It felt like a Celtic love ritual. Remind me to tell you that strange (real) story someday...

We swept. We laughed. We found cobwebs we didn't know existed between us before. Those needed a better strategy. Four hands on one broom handle, SWIPE. 

And then I saw amidst all the tender destruction, a new thing. Ah, a fresh view. Fresh air. Fresh paint. New rooms. New space. New smatterings of painted words. We caught the letters on our tongues like snowflakes, rearranging them into wholly unsmoked words.  It felt good. And necessary. It felt like revolution and resolution in one fell swoop. Afterwards, we were exhausted. And strangely...strangely...content.

The thing I've noticed about relationship endings? I can never just sweep it under the rug. Dust flies. It settles elsewhere. If you don't deal with it there's always just more dismantling to do in the next house you share. You don't necessarily have to shake things up differently for future relationship incarnations just because some heavy duty damaging dust mites hit your curly head in the previous one - but you do have to own it wherever you go.  
It will find you.


After all, don't you know that you've been carrying dust around on the inside of you for billions of years? We weren't knocking down unholy catastrophes (well, there was that one time when we thought we saw a mouse in the house and I screamed 'til I broke his hearing but it was just a pile of leaves)......instead, we were boldly rearranging our molecules. 
Now that's a different farewell, you see....

I like mandalas. They establish sacred spaces. If you stare long enough, they will help you establish you. They also remind me of cobwebs. And cocoons. And safety....  They focus your attention on all parts of your very own personal universe. They don't let you miss one small fraction of your life without inspecting it thoroughly.....if you're paying attention...if you're letting go of resistance....if you're fully alove......oh, I meant alive....or did I?
I like it.  Alove. 

mandala

Maybe you think your past is a misstep. But don't miss the step. It's dust mite gold. It's evolution. It's growth on a cellular level. We are made of stardust. It inhabits our DNA. It forges through our fragile veins like a river alove (did you catch that?)...

And when the dust settles, if you let it fall where it wants to, what you have is a more beautiful YOU. And what you gathered...will remain. 

I don't need no stinkin' dustpan after all.





*oops. Dustpan should be ONE word. Can't change title. Photos Pixabay*
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Monday, June 13, 2022

Monday Mimisms ~ Moves Like Jagger


Mist forming on a lonely highway. The smell of fresh rain. On my way to pick up grandson #2 (aka Beans) I stopped for a quick drive-thru iced tea at one of my favorite places. The ice is crushed. The tea is perfect. I had plenty of time and I knew my boy would want french fries and ketchup on the side. Back on the highway, I leisurely drove into clouds and rain, sipping my tea. Along about the third curve towards town, torrents of heavy rain began to pitter patter beat on the windshield. Concentrate, Mimi, concentrate...It's just a little rain. Put down the tea....the tea. And then it happened. It was the ice, you see. Crushed. Perfect. Just like she wanted. My hands cupped the glass and I saw her hands...
Mama

When we would go shopping on Saturdays, she loved to stop and get crushed ice with sweet tea.
 It made her happy.   
 "I miss my mama," cried my heart and then out loud in a storm-soaked vehicle, driving into rain, through rain, becoming rain Oh God, I miss my mama.  I was a complete unexpected mess. The  floodgates opened and would.not.stop, keeping time with the windshield wipers and mixing in the clouds. We were as different as pumpkins and peonies, but today I just wanted to have tea with her and talk about dress shops and flower beds. The sobs came out of nowhere, unlike the stoic resolve I manage to maintain on a usual day....and I could not make them stop. I haven't written much about her since she passed in 2019. Her death was sudden. The aftermath vile and wholly undignified. She didn't deserve the end she was dealt and it was more grief than I could process. 


Beans climbed in the car, eager to spend a week with me, with a what-is-wrong-with-you-Mimi look and why is your mascara running question. No answer. I was spent. Then something amazing and brilliant and fascinating happened.
Because he's been permanently banned from cellphones (long sad story for another day oh.the.drama) he did the only thing a phone deprived pre-teen could do.
He reached for the radio. 
"How does this work?" he asked.

Do you know how quickly tears can turn to laughter? I nearly spun into a ditch trying to teach him how to use the dials. And this boy, who always somehow knows just what I need when I need it, turned the volume up to sonic boom, rolled the windows down just for kicks and set the controls on automatic scan. Who taught him to increase the bass? THUMP THUMP through neighborhoods we cruised. I'm sure it could be heard at the International Space Station.    Every ten seconds or so, the music would change from rap to classical to gospel to inappropriate wordy rap (giggles) to talk radio to strings and usually back to very loud rap music. We put on very large rockstar sunglasses and changed our mood and facial expressions to match whatever played. It was hysterical...well...to us...and every neighborhood we passed through as well, including the squirrels and cows and birds trying to catch a glimpse into the runaway rogue mess of a gyrating car we were in. 
 Until...

Maroon 5 began to sing "Moves Like Jagger"... Stop! Stop it right there! Beans began to bounce. The car bounced. I bounced. My shoulders twitched from side-to-side. My toes tapped on the floorboard and his feet moved on the dashboard. I conducted with one hand (who conducts Mick Jagger?) and drove with the other.  We sang at the top of our lungs as he masterfully executed the washing machine dance in the passenger seat while I crazily snapped my fingers to the beat and banged my head around like a teenager on the sidelines at a Beatles concert. (Yes, I was still driving, my Bloggy People)
 The clouds were dancing. Mama was dancing. Tea was spilling.
 Love was flowing.


I forgot all about mascara on my face and why I was crying in the first place. We car danced all the way up the driveway until we stopped for one more look out the rolled-down windows to see how many woodsy creatures we could scare with the Rolling Stones.  I never had a dance partner so brilliant.



The sun came out and we were home. 
 "You just ruined my ears for eternity!" I told him. More laughter. More volume.
Then a loud crushing pain in my heart.

"Nothing is for eternity, my girl," Mama whispered.
 "Everything changes."

And so it does.



Images: Mimi Lenox and Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Monday, June 6, 2022

Monday Mimisms ~ Detours



"Why do you like trees so much?" he asked.
"That's a long and winding story, my Dear," I replied. He hated my long and winding stories and had no patience for them. So, I'll tell you instead.

I grew up in a tiny four-room house with six people in the middle of the middle of nowhere. I was thirteen before Daddy built onto the house to make it barely modest.  Space was not something readily available - not in a hallway, a kitchen, or a shared bunkbed bedroom with younger siblings - not even outside on the porch that needed painting for twenty years. I needed room. My rooms were outside.
 My rooms were trees.
And we had acres and acres of those.

 My palace was a patch of forest on the east side of Granny's fishing pond, where I would escape while she wormed her way into the mouths of the catfish we ate for dinner. My kitchen was a swept clearing of matted leaves where tree stumps were cabinet tops and thick moss carpeted the little trail that led to my firefly-lighted living room. I took afternoon and after-school "naps" in a cool tobacco barn full of golden forbidden leaves hanging from rafters that smelled like Heaven and looked like yellow crinoline angels. 
Story fodder. Silent witnesses.
 Space. 

There was plenty of opulence in the denseness of trees. Plenty of shade under mimosa branches and more than anything, I couldn't be seen or heard if I climbed high enough. Children were not meant to be seen or heard in the sixties deep dark South. Just be scarce. And quiet. And obedient. It was too crowded inside the little house that daddy built to do anything but control the traffic and hope for the best.  So you see... I have lived in tree "houses" all my life. Tree playgrounds.  Willow tree shade-houses with sterling silver tea sets precariously perched on a log bench full of fire ants. Privacy and solitude. Priceless.

"Why do you like trees so much?" he asked.

We don't need Freud to understand why I live in a house too big for me, a cat and an imaginary blog dog. I need space. I need a room (or two or three) of my very own. I need roaming room. I want to escape downstairs and find a corner in the "dungeon" (aka the basement) to pot a plant or paint a board or take a nap. I want to make noise. Lots of noise. I don't want anyone to tell me to be quiet. And then I want to walk outside in the regality of my own old-growth trees in Bloggingham. I don't need them for rooms anymore...but I want them and need them as familiar shelter, you see. 
There could never EVER be too many trees in my life. 
They saved me. They loved me. They held me.

If only he'd understood my quirky forest obsession.

 Here's a link to Katy Never Was a Jackass To Me to give you an idea of the smell of wide open spaces and well....cow dung on the farm, which seemed to waft equally pungent and morally significant on any given day in my childhood- depending on which way the wind was blowing.  "Don't step in the pasture," said Mama. "Don't climb that tree...."  or "Get out of the barn, Mimi!"
I never listened. 
Hence, stinky shoes and shaky branches.


My heart took a wild and crazy detour last year. But that's a story for another day. I promise.  Somewhere deep down in the folds of my pencil skirt the truth of that earth-quaking detour still rumbles, running circles around in my pencil head, just  another story on the tip of my tongue.... he and I...everybody needs a detour like that now and then. It was our turn for one, I suppose...no time like a pandemic to square away the cobwebs we faced. It felt like three lifetimes in three months, moving through molasses at breakneck speed.  My pen hits the paper to bring it alive .....until I pull myself up by the Milanis and remember who I am and what I came here for.

Mama whispered, "Do NOT hit publish on that one, Mimi." You heard her, right? 
"Yes, ma'am," I whisper. "I won't."

Back to dirt-roads. You might think all these photos are from the same stretch of back road leading to a dead-end driveway, where people get out for fresh air in the country but never go anywhere at all.. You would be right about the location but wrong about the rest.  My stories and my books were already written before I left home to find them. I walked back and forth back and forth until one day all that stillness forged a well so deep I could carry it with me into the world. 
I stopped walking and started writing.

I cultivated deeply rooted tangled up Ivy League plots with scandalous lovers who smoked wacky cigarettes on the floor of the forbidden tobacco barn. I never told. And tales of fire-breathing dragons. There were those too. I walked it out in gravel-studded shoes. Chapter one, chapter two, chapter three. You see those stories in the shadows of this land, right? You've read many through the years. I have at least a bushel-barrel more.

"But Mimi...my dear...why do you need so many trees?"


I can't breathe without them.
When I write, words leap out of my chest and appear on a blank page. My heart smiles and remembers. It remembers the aforementioned questioning man, the tiny house of many people, eating wild berries and honeysuckle juice straight from a roadside tavern. My lungs breathe goodness and space. I feels like fire. It feels like life. Internal worlds collide. Past and present. Tears roll down my cheeks. I can't catch my breath until that one word I'm searching for lays bare on the page. 
Plump. Splat! There it is.
 Happiness catches fire and I feel alive.


There is nothing like conjuring words under the branches of trees
naked feet in thick green grass
makes a girl remember a detour or two....


I took a long drive this morning on my way home from somewhere I probably shouldn't have been (sounds like a country song, doesn't it?) My car had a mind of its own, making turns and twists according to the directions of my memory and intuition instead of that good 'ole common sense - the kind God gave a mule, that is. To the right...cornfields. To the left...cornfields! Through the window...cornfields! and the occasional angel wing cloud. Through a town and down a street where my first house sits, by the school near lover's lane where I used to park with my boyfriend. It was so crowded in the white framed house, you see, and Daddy would turn the porch light on as soon as we arrived home from a date. Mama tried to pretend she desperately needed to water a porch plant at 11:00 pm (my curfew). There was NO sitting in the car after dates. But I digress....wait a minute....I'm remembering...and it's OK. 
It's really really OK.

I can't wait to see where the turn of the road takes me next.
I like this fence. It's familiar....Wouldn't you like to run across that field towards the tree line in the distance? If we hurry we can probably still find a spot for a picnic. 


Come on!


Photos: Mimi Lenox


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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Phoenix Rising and A Connecticut Artist of Peace

Colors of blue and light gold are particularly beautiful when placed in close proximity to each other. Wherever you go on the web today, you will find glorious support for the people of Ukraine. 
Different artists. Different countries. Different beliefs. 
Same voice for peace. 

Here are just a few samples of the peace globes I've found in the Blogosphere and on social media this weekend during our Blog4Peace/Post4Peace Ukraine Event.  Follow the trail at this link  where you can find a Mr. Linky list of peace posts with more beautiful articles and art to find on the web. If you haven't already, continue to post4peace and blog4peace throughout the weekend and visit each other. I'm going to keep peace flying here on Mimi Writes and at the Official Site of Blog4Peace and in the Official Gallery for some time to come. Our Facebook page has MUCH information and many many posts and peace bloggers communicating with each other, posting inspiring links and news from Ukraine. Peace Bloggers GROUP and Blog4Peace Facebook Page  Now, back on the trail for peace. 
 
I found this work in my Facebook stream over the weekend. It's by a Connecticut artist and teacher (see below) Something about the way the colors move into cohesiveness brings me joy and peace. Thank you, Marianne Zikaras Wainwright.
 

"Peace Please, Peace Shine"
Artist Marianne Zikaras Wainwright
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
(detail from a 17 x 2 foot painting)


 Brian's Home Blog ~ United States
He writes, "The images from Ukraine are horrific, but peace will prevail and Ukraine will rise again, as does the Phoenix."

One Gal's Musings 
She tells us why we should look for the helpers.



Alasandra the Cats & Dogs in Mississippi


This one stopped me in my tracks. The child...


Just Ducky with Janet Dake in Wisconsin

Bing Yap ~ Of Living and Loving and Coping 
Philippines ~ and a quote from Pope Francis

Ann Adamus @ Zoolatry

 

 ...and so many more. I hope you find these inspiring. Click the name under the image to read the posts. I'll be back soon. See you here and on social media.

Thank you for giving so much of yourselves this weekend for the people of Ukraine and in support of peace. There is no better time to use our voices. We've "practiced" since 2006, haven't we? I hope we never have to make an emergency peace launch again. Unfortunately, the circumstances call for action. Nonetheless, we'll keep blogging and posting for peace - in wartime and peacetime.  I couldn't have done it without you. You know who you are...

By Ann Adamus at Zoolatry.  Free to use without credit.
We thank her.

 


Friday, March 25, 2022

Blog4Peace Ukraine ~ Dona nobis pacem

Standing in the Gap

On the cusp of the first day of Spring in 2011, there was a supermoon, March 19th to be exact. 
 I went out with my camera to photograph the event. It was a deep dark chill of a night....thick shadowy clouds and ambient energy.  I had no business being out so late alone in the middle of the middle of nowhere, parked in a country church parking lot with a spooky graveyard howling ghosts just over my shoulder, holding a Nikon camera in a semi-flared pencil skirt and tall boots, trying not to trip on cracks and crevices in the dark hilly moonlight. It was cold and windy. Not a night for picture-taking. And those clouds just wouldn't let me see the moon I'd come to visit.  Frustrated, I swished my skirt back into the driver's seat and went home. Moon shots without a moon were no good at all.  Until I opened the camera and downloaded the pictures....
 

You do see it....don't you?


 The same moon over Ukraine is over your house tonight.

The space between anything is everything.
  
It's where the power, the energy, the healing, the life...IS. It's the intention. The pause. The time out.  We hold space. We stand in the gap. We fill in the space.  We send Reiki. We light candles. We send good thoughts. We pray for peace. 
We. Stand. 

That is our space between.
When my dad died and I let go his hand, I could feel and sense the space between. Between what? The place and the presence between my world and the one he was leaving for. They were one and the same. He was going and he was staying. There was only separation of flesh. No separation of love or affection.  That place was as real as his skin or his clothing or his bedsheet or the musty smell of death in the room we were in. That Holy space between covered everything as he took the path of least resistance and flew Home. Your prayers and peaceful energy are just as real wherein the space they live.


And because we all live under the same sky, I am inclined to believe that no amount of smoke and menacing mirrors can separate one country from another, one human from another, or mere mortals from God. Whatever you call Him is your business - the energy is the same. 

When I was a young woman, my grandfather took me to prayer meetings. It was my favorite place to be: circles of people in a room, praying for the sick, standing in unison, hands joined, standing in the gap for the needs of people in poverty and lack. Direct, bold, and loud prayers. Soft and silent, too.  Purposeful. Unafraid. The power of oneness. It was war of a different kind. Watching him humbly hold court with his Maker is still an experience I feel to my core.  He humbled himself in front of others in a way that was so vulnerable and strong. He would stand, open his heart and speak blessings over you. Before they left his lips I knew it was done. Because I knew his intention was love. 

 It's why I know anything worth having is worth standing for. 
 It is why I know today that the space between anything is everything.

The sky in Ukraine
The sky in Russia
The sky in Kansas
The sky in you and me
Same

If we are to protect the skies over Ukraine, then let us fly on the wings of peace with all our intention and all our might, because what happens in Ukraine happens to all of us. It happens in all of us. We cover the sky and the sky covers us. What we place in the sky is our choice; let it be peace and peace alone.
The energy force that is activated in us for peace in the world
also touches the skies over Ukraine 
and the hearts of the people in Ukraine
and your life and mine -
because blessings are not simple words
they are pure energy 
 not some day, but in an instant

We are not a no-fly zone.



 We are as strongly connected as tidal waves to the sea
 as the rain in the dew on a blade of grass
 as close as breath is to words
as still as peace is to silence
and as bright as a supermoon blessing on a cloudy cold night
the same moon
the same moon
the same moon
covers the soldier in Ukraine and the soldier in Russia
Stand in the gap for them. Be a living breathing conduit of peace.
Bless the people who are living in hell 
with Hope

How powerful you are


Peace bloggers all over the world are blogging and posting for peace today.
All over social media we are speaking with one voice.
Dona nobis pacem
Grant us peace


Blog4Peace Post4Peace™ Ukraine 2022 ~ Sat & Sun ~ March 26-27, 2022 
Ukraine Peace Globe Templates Send your peace globes to blog4peace @ yahoo.com
Please leave a comment or sign the Mr. Linky below to let us know you've participated and tag me anywhere on social media. Share you work so that we can visit each other. Thank you.

Donate to help Ukraine @ United Help Ukraine *Thanks Ann Tracy for the beautiful prints available HERE to support Ukraine

Image credits: peace blogger Shannon Wamsley, Pixabay, Cloud photos:Mimi Lenox

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