your ordinary life is a fairy tale
and that means it's the best kind of real.
Thank you. Thank you for reading, commenting, liking. Thank you for your silent support. Thank you for not sending me messages to stop or not to try.
I have made it through a month of posts. I am delighted by this. Some posts were dull, some inane, many self-aggrandizing. Most of them were terribly self-indulgent. But they Got Posted. Daily. Posting happened.
Every single blessed day.
I don't plan to continue posting daily. It becomes an end in itself, the posting, and that was never the intention of this blog. I do plan to post regularly; hopefully, I can spare you a bit of the inanity and self-indulgence, and maybe I can give you more of the straight-from-the-gut stuff.
I can't tell you how much it has meant to me the know someone was reading. The biggest draw, apparently, was the post with my son's adorable face peeping out of the tree at Heartfelt. The lowest, was the day I just complained about how late my post was. Lesson: cute, photos, rainbows, upbeat -- good. Whining -- bad.
Thank you. Now, back to your regularly scheduled journey into winter.
It felt like Advent this morning.
It felt like the waiting time, the time of going down into the dark, of winter gaining strength.
It felt like the cold was just starting up, like the sunlight was thinner. At 9:30, there were still sunrise colors over Lake Harriet.
Going into the dark, carrying my little light. Waiting for the turnaround, the days when the sun seems to remember us, finally, beginning to travel back up into the sky.
Today I could feel the bottoming out into the belly of the year.
When we touch bottom, with our toes, we can start to kick back up to the surface, back up to the light of spring.
Gotta hit the bottom first. We have to reach down, way down into the deep. That's where the treasure lies, down at the bottom of the abyss of cold and dark.
And the journey back up to the surface will feel long, and cold, and sometimes scary. I know there will be weeks I'm not sure I can make it 'til spring.
Carry my little light. Feed it on love and hope, conversation and breath. Keep the spark lit.
It felt like waiting, holding on, moving into the unexpected. There is treasure down at the bottom of the wine-dark sea. Bring it back up with you this time. Something still and small waits, that you can't quite hear in the bright riot of summer.
Don't curl up, bearlike, stone-like, in the cave. Keep the light on.
We'll all kick off and push against our bursting lungs to surface together.
If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Thanksgiving was awesome. Just lovely. Delicious, with calls from Mom and Auntie, and full of love.
Man, do I ever love Love.
Tonight, there is still no furnace heat, but we are warm and fed and safe. There is leftover pie and whipped cream, and the dishes are done. Done.
Can you feel the joy in that? The joy in a home that has been filled with love and shared meals and laughter? And the joy of quiet, when the guests are gone home, and the house is still mostly clean, and it's just the people who call that place home? Candlelight. Quiet. Peace.
Wishing you that Joy.
The furnace went out this afternoon. I am intensely grateful right now for our gas fireplace and for the oven. Today was full of far more running around and cleaning and erranding than I had wanted. But now, pie is in the oven (it was frozen), and the gas company is sending round some space heaters for us while we wait for parts to be delivered for our furnace.
See you tomorrow.
It's late for me. An edgy, tired day, with too much frenetic rushing and too much yelling.
ready for sleep. taking my time to look over others' words and pictures.
grateful that tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. Thanks, Anne Shirley.
It's a practice. I've heard that people who do yoga (unlike me -- apparently i just pay for yoga classes and never show up) talk about just showing up on the mat. Here I am, just showing up at the page. At the computer. In the basement. Near the laundry (some clean, some not). Here.
Still alive. Thank you.
wearing clothing that is mostly suited to the season, my life, my work, and my chosen color story. Cool.
As of yet, the lights are still on, the internet is still connected, the roof is solid. Amen.
In a home with people and animals I love. Hallelujah.
Today I worked at a job I enjoy. I even played with a puppy.
Today I ate clean, safe food and drank fresh, cool water.
My wife made me a killer cappuccino.
My child is sleeping sweetly after a bath, nutritious food, and a day of working and playing under the guidance of stellar teachers.
I can listen to music. I can read. I can walk down my street at any hour of the day, and no one tries to blow me up.
I put gas in my car tonight. I have a car.
There may have been ice cream.
I am so lucky. These are only a tiny handful of all the good stuff going on. The bad stuff, the hard stuff, the stuff that wakes me up at night -- that stuff is SMALL, in comparison.
I am practicing writing. Practicing gratitude. Practicing it all.
Just me, this time.
It was a hard day. A week of poor sleep, low blood sugar, and all the general stress of not yet attracting the necessary abundance of cashflow, conspired to make for a grumpy, irritable, edge-of-tears Sara. Boo hoo.
I read a suggestion this week, of making a "how to get stressed-out" list. Here's how to get properly worked up, just in time for the holidays!
1. Make sure to be running 5-15 minutes late for everything.
2. wait until you are nearly out of gas to fill up the car.
3. Forgo actual meal in favor of crispy rice cereal and coffee.
4. Forget to eat lunch.
5. Make certain that none of your stuff is where you need it to be to get out the door on time.
6. Remember that PEOPLE WILL NOTICE EVERYTHING YOU DO WRONG. and really care about it!
in fact, they will tell their friends.
7. Stay up late reading social media posts about puppies and long-lost siblings and lifehacks.
8. Avoid nutritious food, meditation, exercise, and deep breathing as much as possible.
9. Wake up in the middle of the night and try to solve all your economic problems by mentally berating yourself.
10. 3 am is also a great time to rehash all your failures of the past year.
11. Now, feel badly about yourself, because these are First World Problems, you ungrateful wretch!
12. Expect your child to have much more patience, fortitude, foresight, and preparedness than you yourself possess.
If you do all that, I can guarantee that you will be a ball of tightly-wound, stressed-out, exasperated electricity, ready to zap unsuspecting passers-by!
Now, in order to undo all that, I guess I simply do the opposite.
November is the beginning of deep darkness around here. If I'm going to survive, it's time to work backwards and inside-out through that list, undoing all the cranking-up. Unwinding.
ok. One picture.
with deep gratitude to Neil Gaiman, Terri Windling, and the IAF.
Neil Gaiman wrote a wonderful poem called, "Instructions," which tells you how to navigate the world, should you find yourself in a fairy tale.
Remember your name.
It is extremely good advice, all of it. Please go read the poem here, and then come back.
Really, I'll wait.
Sometimes, I think about taking advice I read once from Havi Brooks, to have a Book of Me. In it, there would be all kinds of useful advice on how to manage this strange and wonderful creature, the Sara, and help her to attain magnificence. Clearly, there are times when I desperately need such a book.
I've been a little off-kilter this week. Small Son has been sleeping badly. I've been sleeping badly. There was an anniversary this past week, the anniversary of my world turning inside out and upside down. Time and again, I wonder what would have been different if I had taken the leap of turning the world myself, or of choosing a different path altogether, but that way lies a lot of useless time and energy. Vanity and a striving after wind, people.
From the back garden you will be able to see the
Sometimes, that's hard to remember: that every step forward or back is a conscious choice. Sometimes it is a choice simply to continue living. Sometimes a choice to stop living as we have.
And that the choice is free. No compulsion.
So I do wish, sometimes, for my own list of instructions and the wit to remember to read them. But then, sometimes I find my way just fine without a map.
Good evening. It's been a day of storytelling-- preschool story-time at Heartfelt, and a story at the open mic at our church. I told a story this morning about Tante Golda and the miracle of the Latkes. Then we ate latkes, and they were so good.
For the open mic, I told the story of the Lindorm, which you can read at sacred-texts.com. It's a fairy tale with all the fixings. So good.
It's cold here. See the winteriness?
I'm in our son's room, waiting for him to fall asleep. He is exhausted, as am I.
What is a blog for? What do you look for in a blog that you read? What do you want to see? As this month winds down, I am left wondering where to go next. What do you hope for in this space?
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.