Friday Night

September 27, 2013 Candace Morris 0 Comments

A new candle, letter writing, baby at my feet quietly playing with her puzzles, the sonatas of Beethoven, a husband making promising sounds in the kitchen, and a body recovering itself from illness.

I love shadows. Light gets too much attention, if you ask me.

Please enjoy your evening,             


Fall Baby

September 26, 2013 Candace Morris 0 Comments

We all have our seasons, the turn of the year experienced through our senses to revive our souls and commune with Nature.   Many are summer babies, happy to bask in heat and rays for hours and hours.  Some crave the crush of snow under their feet and shock of Winter air on their faces.  Others bloom in Spring, weeping with the cheery blossoms and swooning over jasmine.

Though I appreciate all these facets, I admit that something comes alive in me during Autumn in a different way than any other season. I am happy when I get to experience ALL the seasons (why I live in Seattle after a childhood spent enduring one-note weather in the heat of a California desert), but once the air begins to stir that Fall brew, my existence moves in to clarity.  I love wrapping up in more clothing, I love having cider heated on the stove at all times, I love playing classical music throughout the day, I love lighting candles at night, I love pouring big Italian reds and standing on the porch in Joel's arms as we breath in the fragrant change.  Fall makes me want to do all the things I do - write, take photos, eat delicious things, sit by a fire and ponder things.

I was reading a very enlightening essay yesterday by Pema Chodron who spoke about how it is hard to accept one of the most inevitable human eventualities - our own death.  Ours personally, not death in some abstract concept.  But she mentions that death happens all around us all the time.  Fall is a reminder of this to me with its audacious display of decay right alongside the great harvest.  The paradox is sexy.


A writing day

September 21, 2013 Candace Morris 0 Comments

Good evening, my bloggy friends.  I am spending this evening in solitude, having granted Joelio a night out after he was with Bowie alone all day.  I am feeling satisfied and the best kind of brain-spent.  Today, I attended a writing rally hosted by Waverly Fitzgerald and I worked hard for six hours.  Eight other writers sat in each other's strange and silent company and collectively gave ourselves permission to work. I was a bit anxious about not being able to use my time well or that perhaps it would drag on or I would get antsy, but what I experienced instead was that elusive work that guides you to a consciousness beyond time.

I have several projects in the hopper, but there was one that wouldn't let me alone until I worked on the first draft.  I got 9 pages down and could have kept going.  But the first hour was riddled with angst as I tried to organize my thoughts and time - an mainly due to my personal avoidance of what really wanted to be written.  Tough choices, hard subjects, things you simply would rather not dwell on.  But when an idea is not done with you, it will stick its feet in the creative quicksand of your mind. I've long given up fighting this voice.

When I get to those places, you know...the ones where you know exactly what you are going to do, but pretend with yourself that you don't.  Where the decision has been made, but for the sake of hell-if-I-know you put it off and peruse wikipedia for "research" instead. (Thankfully, oddly, the internet wasn't working where the rally was, so I had less distraction.  I highly recommend it!)

So when I get to those places of pretend indecision and try to put off the inevitable, I usually recenter myself with a piece of writing.  Today, it was Denise Levertov, and I thought you might find it centering as well.

Into the Woods

Everything is threatened, but meanwhile
everything presents itself:
the trees, the day and night
steadily stand there, amassing
lifetime and moss, the bushes
eager with buds sharp as green
pencil-points. Bark of ceder
brown braids, bark of fir, deep-creviced,
winter sunlight favoring
here a sapling, there an ancient snag,
ferns, lichen. And the lake
always ready to change its skin
to match the sky's least inflection.
Everything answers the rollcall,
and even, as is the custom,
speaks for those that are gone.
--Clearly, beyond sound:
that revolutionary "Presente!"

                                                                       I am here.


decisions, decisions

September 20, 2013 Candace Morris 0 Comments

The inbetween spaces, you know...the conversations you have while tidying up after dinner or the thoughts you have while driving to and from the grocery store or the exchange you have with a squirrel out of your office window...the spaces where the living of your life actually occurs.  The inner life.

In our inbetweens here, we've been discussing at length how one makes decisions.  How we come to know our path, what we chose to pursue with ambition or what we decide to accept as fate from the divine other, the universe, or the cosmic emptiness (depending on your point of view, of course).  In many ways, I think religion tries to apply moral codes to decisions, and in many ways that can make hard choices much easier. For me, it only obscured my voice, rendering me inert in the momentum of life.  

When we face the big questions, when we are forced to act upon what we only spoke of theoretically in the past, when we are hit with a reality versus a potential, the decision isn't really what we will do.  The decision is who we will let this path make us.  But hell, that's so fucking hard to see when you are trying to make a decision for you, your family, your life.   I think the illusion is that that there is a right/wrong decision at all - even in matters of morality. 

We find ourselves in places we never envisioned. We fight against this reality and try to force our mind back into a future well-planned and pour ourselves into those hopes, continually perpetuating the problem.  But this way, we never get to see what we are made of.  

"Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation
 can that which is indestructible be found in us."  
Pema Chodron "When Things Fall Apart"

Since I no longer profess Christianity, I am trying to rebuild my moral code in an attempt to understand why and how I make the decisions I make.   It takes an enormous amount of effort to unpack (not necessarily extract, mind you) something so intrinsically bound to your strands of DNA, and not all of it is toxic to me. I didn't leave the church because I was wounded by it.  I left because my path led me elsewhere, to questions unanswerable, which is the best kind of question.  This is all fine until a real choice about one's real life must be made. And then, then my fucking know who the fuck you are. 

You are strong, wise, capable, empowered, and my dear can sure as hell trust yourself. I promise.

So in my church, the human brain...I have found that a place to make decisions is in the wise mind (thanks therapist).  It's that elusive sweet spot where emotion and logic play well together.  I'm eternally striving to give each a voice so they can know their strengths and weaknesses.  It's work, that's no joke.

What's going on in your inbetweens? What are your thoughts and questions?  I hope for you that you find the courage to let them annihilate you.


est-il Automne?

September 06, 2013 Candace Morris 0 Comments

Is this Fall, this nothing
and everything feeling, the gray
bright shadows sinking deep into the bones of my quiet house?

This morning, after I put my child down for her morning nap,
I cooked myself a big breakfast. Biscuits
Bacon, the whole lot.
I thanked Bardot and Ginger, the hens who gave me these eggs to
                even though I don't believe animals have souls to thank.
                   Sometimes I hate being pigeonholed by beliefs.  Like,
                   for instance, if you love animals but don't believe they have a soul.
                      Or if you love babies, but don't want to have any of your own
                      Or if you advocate for social healthcare but want to encourage self-reliance.

I've been told that when someone needs to imagine a face in their head telling them that it's okay to care for yourself, to be nice to yourself, to love yourself...that face is mine.  My friends regale me with the news of personal indulgences, solitude, hot baths, an extra pour of wine, asking for help, buying a new pair of shoes.  You can therefore imagine my shame when earlier this summer a new, nasty, scaring bout of self-hate made itself my companion.

I had to shop for a swim suit for camping, so I hated my body for the pregnancy.  Then I hated myself for hating the pregnancy.

I had to camp, so I hated myself for all the ways camping stretches my personality.  Then I hated my personality.

I had to be a mother to a new phase, so I resent my daughter for demanding of me, thinking that perhaps I didn't like her.  Then I hated myself with all the hate I had in my hater for disliking my daughter.  But then I knew many mothers feel this way, so I should say it for them.  Then I hated myself for saying anything at all.

I had to live with family for a few days during vacation, so I felt anxious and misunderstood.  Then I hated myself for anxiety and misunderstanding.

I had to speak of what I am learning regarding sexism, gender identification, and feminism, so I did so - loud and opinionated, like a child who yells before it can speak eloquently.  Then I hated myself for how it ostracized people, hated myself for being a feminist.

Then I hated myself for hating all these things I usually have the power to love about myself.  My body for bringing forth life and carrying me, my personality for all its strengths, my daughter for her ability to dislodge my guts, my anxiety and fear for how it introduces me to myself in new ways.

Two of my friends recently agreed that I drop wisdom bombs.  I wonder where my the ability to detonate those for myself has wandered off to.

But Fall, it demands a harvest.
I am ready, I say.
I pick up my left-handed sickle and stand attention, eager for assignment.

But it's been several hours.  No one stands with me, they've all been purposed.
Why wasn't I picked?  Everyone else has new school clothes,
fancy trapper-keepers that smell like plastic and smarts.

So what am I do to? Give myself my own Fall purpose?
I am so tired of that.

So I ask you Fall.
Are you here to stay?
Or will that late summer Sun persist in rays of hope and energy and lazy daze?
I simply don't think I could bear it.
I've always thought Rain and Thunder were better playmates anyway.

Or perhaps this question.
Should I keep buying Rosé or move to Reds?
I kinda need to know.