Tag Archives: Reflections

Morning Reflections on an Ordinary Day

Carol A. Hand

Gazing out the kitchen window

Washing dishes one by one

cloaked in golden light

a glorious gift from the morning sun

Thinking of my lovely daughter

Grateful

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Morning View from the Kitchen Window

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Passing Time

Carol A. Hand

Daylight Saving Time always catches me by surprise. Traveling between times as I write about the past heightens my awareness about how quickly things change, one season to the next. East and west markers change as I witness the sun rise and set.

I’ve never been comfortable adhering to rigid schedules. Now in retirement, I only have one commitment that requires being “on time.” What a funny expression, “on time.”

I have a number of non-working watches. Finding the right replacement batteries seems such a waste of my time. But I do have clocks. A lot of them, in fact.

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I can’t always remember which ones still need to be changed …

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Most are battery powered because I lived off the power grid for so many years, or in prairie storm-country where I often lost power. Some of the clocks are works of art and craftsmanship.

Despite all of these constant reminders, I much prefer to live by “Indian time,” doing things when “the time is right,” rather than adhering to rigid schedules. It makes life more unpredictable to be sure, but there’s a lot to said about the benefits of “going with the flow.” Maybe that explains why I’ve only changed some of clocks to the newly imposed meaning of time.

I prefer to measure time by watching the sun rise and set, and by marveling about how quickly my grandchildren change as they grow. It brings to mind a song from Fiddler on the Roof, Sunrise Sunset.

“Is this the little girl I carried
Is this the little boy at play
I don’t remember growing older
When did they

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Measuring the Passage of Time – 2009 to 2016

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“When did she get to be a beauty
When did he grow to be so tall
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

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“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears…”

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Clocks or no clocks, it’s time for me to get busy editing. May your days bring you many moments of peace, happiness and joy.

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The Marks of Time

Carol A. Hand

Each moment that’s lived leaves its mark

Like the annual growth rings of trees

 Lean years and times of plenty

Recorded as part of our being

Times of joy and loss visible on our external frame

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Maui - 1998
Maui – 1998

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Layers of old cells and new, some dead, some living

Protect our inner life-giving center

Nurtured by roots invisible to the eye

Some deep, some shallow, some in fertile soil

And some with little life-giving nourishment to discover

Some growing in native lands surrounded by all their relations

Others transplanted in alien places, alone

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Banyan Tree - Maui - 1998
Banyan Tree – Maui – 1998

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Transforming light into life as we reach toward the sun

Breathing deeply beneath moon and stars in sometimes gentle breezes

Subject to forces of wind and weather we can’t control

As storms rage around us and chainsaws whine

We still stand as resolute and steady as we can

Drawing nourishment and inner strength

Afforded to us in each moment as long as rains fall

As long as sun rises and continues to shine

Until it’s our time to return to the the earth

Providing nourishment for generations that follow

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For more information about trees, here’s a link to a clear overview: http://www.kidzone.ws/plants/trees.htm

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Carol A. Hand

A task that once felt impossible
Is now almost complete
The last four chapters outlined
Yet the ending feels bittersweet

Although eager to write the final word
It means saying a poignant adieu
To a fictive version of my younger self
A faithful winter companion – sad but true

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I’ll meet her again as I edit
But somehow it won’t be the same
The distance between us has grown
I’ve even given her a different name

She took me inside another world
For that I’ll be forever in her debt
As the process of reliving the past ends I know
Each new moment has much to teach me yet

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Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friday, March 17, 2016

Carol A. Hand

My task for now is simply to write
I lose track of time
Is it day or night?
When I look out my window
It’s sometimes hard to know
These past few days
I only see snow

March 4 2016

Photo: March 4, 2016

This morning a song played in my mind
Causing me to stop and reflect
I’ve learned to love living in the city
It’s not something I’d ever expect
As I sit on my side porch step
It depends on where I gaze
Traffic lights, clouds, or starry skies
I love these snowy city nights and days

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If you’re curious, here’s a link to the song that was in my thoughts this morning…

(Night in the City by Joni Mitchel)

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Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Carol A. Hand

Ah, discipline
There are so many unhealthy things I still do
But I’m learning to trust myself and my heart
Learning to be impatiently patient
To finish what I’ve begun
Even on days when the path is unclear

Lilac March 13, 2016

Photo: An Eager Lilac Waiting to Bloom and a New Garden in Need of Loving Care

An early false spring tempts me to put writing aside
There are old gardens to prepare and a rusting building
Begging to be torn down to make space for new life
But I know there are freezing nights and days to come

Both ending and beginning projects too soon
Is ill-advised

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Photo: A Someday Garden?

My ancestors remind me of ethics as I work today
Do things when the time is right
So I write
With an ending insight in sight

Note: These reflections are inspired by making it to the 75 % point in the first draft of my book – 38 chapters, 358 pages. Yes, I’m counting…

I’m grateful for your continuing patience with my inability to keep up with your posts despite my best efforts during breaks and in the wee hours of the night. Even though I can’t often find words to comment during those visits, your work continues to be an inspiration. Chi Miigwetch (Ojibwe thank you very much).

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

An Unlikely Hero

Carol A. Hand

Who is Agnes Angeline Sero? This woman who walked between cultures, the descendant of warring nations? This lonely, insecure, yet creative and fiercely inquisitive woman who set off alone to explore the question of hegemony? What gave her the strength to persevere?

The challenges she faced were many – not the typical villains and dragons in heroic tales. The obstacles were taken-for-granted beliefs, bureaucratic structures, and unquestioned social conventions.

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She survived childhood abuse. Although the wounding was deep and isolating, it left many unanticipated gifts. Among them was her ability to focus so intensely that physical and emotional pain disappeared as she shifted her mind to observe and contemplate questions of life, oppression, and possibilities. Burning curiosity gave her a reason to live. Curiosity graced her with an open gentleness that invited others to share their stories and their pain with her. They intuitively knew she would listen, understand, and care.

But sometimes, she absorbed too much pain. Sadly, there was no one who could understand the intensity of her suffering or the power of the love that made her a fierce and tenacious adversary of injustices. The only way for her to survive was to sometimes retreat into the world of books and fantasy.

While writing Agnes’ story and sharing some of the stories she gathered during her journey, I wonder if I am retreating from the world like Agnes. Will any of this make a difference? I honestly don’t know. Like Agnes, it’s hard for me to retreat before the present challenge is resolved one way or the other. A momentary feeling of success or the discovery of yet another path that leads to more learning?

Maybe it will be both…

 

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Well Met

Carol A. Hand

Oh little child how will you survive?
You were born with a light in your heart that shone from your eyes.
Ancestors will walk with you to keep you alive.

me 1

With a gift to see beauty in others,
Feel their fears and their pain, you’ll carry a burden words cannot name –
An inheritance from your Ojibwe great grandmothers.

me 4

Born in age with rules already in place
To exploit and control, to oppress and enslave, to extinguish hope
That we could all live lives of grace.

me 2

You lived many places but could never fit in.
Your attempts to escape from the burden and grief were all wasted time
The ancestors spoke – it’s past time to begin.

me 3

They walked beside you and guided the way
As you fumbled and struggled to live with courage and kindness and honor your path.
But it’s changed now with age, it’s a new day.

me 5

You’ve earned time to retreat
To the world of your thoughts, to be guided by dreams sent from the wise ones. Have patience and trust
When people can hear you, you’ll meet.

Note: The greeting well met “is an expression of welcome, and means no more than the modern good to see you. Shakespeare used it for example in As you like it…”

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.