thoughts on the remedies and botherations of stay-cations

August 30, 2011 Candace Morris 3 Comments


The car-planning session



Though taking a week off to stay at home and rest isn't a revolutionary idea, surely it is an inspired one.  Joel and I were trying to get to Hawaii this month, but realized that we simply couldn't afford it in the capacity we wanted (I'm a bit of a primadonna and do not vacation on the cheap).  However, the idea of saying goodbye to a week off as well as those gorgeous tropics was a bit more than we could handle.  I suggested we just take the time off and stay the hell home.  You know, read a book, water the tomatoes, etc.  Not terribly exciting, but I cannot tell you how much we both looked forward to the week.

Alas, I must tell you that despite these great expectations, the week was angsty for us both.  I am glad we didn't drop a ton of money on a nice hotel room when really what we needed most was just to sleep, and sleep, and sleep some more.  I'm happy to not have bought airfare or a rental car or a surfing lesson in lieu of a quiet bookstore, many trips to the pub, wandering a garden, and watching the ocean.

Vacations are tricky.  Joel and I are moody people.  One day he woke up cranky and couldn't shake it until evening; the very next day brought a similar sourness for me.  There were days where we were just completely uninspired, or preoccupied with work, or able to carry on any kind of intellectual conversation.

When people asked how the stay-cation was going, we mustered a shrug and said it was good; don't get me wrong, we were so grateful to have a life where a week off is feasible.  However, despite the mehness of the week, what I didn't anticipate were the benefits post-vacation. Joel and I woke up Monday morning with energy and motivation, both heading back to work.  He said everyone there seemed so tired, haggard.  He was buzzing around the office with stories of his kegerator project and his research on electric cars.  My coworkers also commented on how rested I seemed.


In the poetry section

And I cannot tell you how nice it was to come back to work from time off NOT exhausted from travel, money stress, unpacking, laundry, and hangovers.  Though the time was not epic or overwhelmingly fun, Joel  and I are seeing our lives more clearly, with a fresh and crisp vision.  We see tail lights replaced, books read, projects complete, beer drank, and plenty of sleep had.  It's good. So good.


Now I say to people who ask, "That was the best fucking vacation I've ever had." I say it with zero angst.

Take that, exhaustion.


the work

August 26, 2011 Candace Morris 4 Comments


I've always been more in love with the idea of hard work than with the actuality.  I imagine Plath pouring over her poems in the early morning (Ted got the afternoon to write), blowing on her hands to keep warm in that drafty house in Devon.  I've romanticised the writing life, of course I have.  There is a paradox I possess; two voices battling.  "Work harder. For Hours.  Daily."  Then the other "Enjoy, be less serious, live your art."

Both valid, no doubt.  But lately, I've felt guilty for how little I've worked on my recent project.  So this morning I sat to an hour or so of work and realized that amidst my laissez-faire attitude, I've written 11 legitimate poems.  Rough, in need of editing (which I confess I might like more than the actual writing.  There is something so pleasurable in all those proofreading symbols!), and not yet good, but STILL! They are written.

working on Nightwatch

Amidst the guilt and the voices saying it wasn't enough, I worked.  Since not much slips my notice, my perpetually-peeled eyes, I consider this a private and profound victory.  Intentionality, I have plenty of.  What's new is the surprise of enjoying the work so much that it feels absolutely nothing at all like work.

To my 11 poems,


What's on your fall lust list?

August 25, 2011 Candace Morris 0 Comments

See yours truly's 


The day's outing: Volunteer Park Conservatory

August 23, 2011 Candace Morris 5 Comments

flore est bon pour l'âme,


The Stayholiday

August 21, 2011 Candace Morris 4 Comments

My kind of church
Salad for Breakfast
Croque Madame and Aperol Champagne Cocktail
Champagne and St. Germain
Les Mis
My man loves the theatreRow J
Vive la vacation!

We kicked off a week of vacation with a perfect Sunday.  French breakfast, checking 1 item off my "bucket list" with the viewing of Les Misérables, too much booze before 1pm, BBQ at Mom's, and late night lounging with the pup.  If today was an indication of how the rest of our "staycation" will unfold, I will be ever so pleased.   We have some other big things on the itinerary as well as plenty of beautiful nothings like watering tomatoes and reading in the sunshine.  

This is therefore acting as a service announcement to let you know I will either
A) Be taking a bloggular break 
B) Be blogging more than usual.


Time Stamp

August 17, 2011 Candace Morris 5 Comments

My space

Kefir Smoothie

Dahlia Bunch, $5

summer's (organic and local) bounty




The Saint at The Leary Tavern

The Leary Tavern


a study in blue

Time Stamp
To genuinely feeling
the August of things.
Stand, feet planted on the warmest kitchen tile
seconds and seconds pass.
When did I stop noticing the wind?

Scent of tomato leaves lingering on fingers,
Mingled into the bouquet of pink wine.
Sweet, sharp

Blueberry ink,
Crusty perfection of bread,
Half-hazard slabs of brie.

Afternoons breathing quietly into afterevenings.
Oh Susanna! sells 50-50s.
Nectarines served up warm, with a dash of sideways light.

Ode à août.
To the next chance,
To the replaced peace,
and to summer's imagination,
I aspire.

Everything is growing.