It shocked me to walk through the lounge at work today and see the terrible image of the Notre-Dame Cathedral engulfed in flames on TV. I’m no fan of religion but the church was, and certainly will still be, a marvel of human art and architecture. I am deeply saddened by the devastation and the loss that the building sustained.
Losses like these are shared among all of us, the whole human race. And when I say all I don’t just mean us who are living right now, us who are witnessing this terrible tragedy, but future generations who will never get to see the world and the past as we did. They’ve lost something too and through that lens, the devastation grows exponentially.
I myself never got to see the Cathedral and I’ll forever be sorry about that. I won’t get to experience it in the same way as those who came before me.
I’ve seen some mixed reactions to the burning Cathedral and rather than feeling one way or another I’m simply taking in the perspective and contemplating.
Being non-religious allows me to see this incident and this place in a more detached manner. I can see the lopsided response to this church burning and others. I can see the lopsided reaction to tragedies in some countries and the tragedies of others. I can sympathize with the bitterness and the outrage and I implore everyone to include this understanding in their grieving.
Today stands in stark contrast to yesterday. Today was not a perfect day. It wasn’t really even a good day though it had its moments and picked up toward the end. It was a lonely day full of small stinging pricks and old pains resurfacing. A low rage smoldered and self-pity hang about my mind like dreary rain clouds.
Tonight I’ll fall asleep with a smile on my face and a feeling of content in my limbs but my heart will be hard and heavy. It remembers longer than the body or the mind you know.
Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.
This Sunday I am up late and in a definite hurry. We have an appointment to take engagement photos a few towns over this evening so that means I have just a few short hours to get ready for tomorrow. Thank God the weather has turned around. The sun is shining, and it’s already warmer out than it has been in many days. I don’t think I could take another day of winter. Thank God for this cold brew too which is the only thing giving me any hope through today’s awful anxiety and doubt.
So, pull up and chair and, please, fill up a cup. I’ve no time for the Moka pot so blond cold brew it is. I promise you it’s good and I promise it will get the day moving.
Let’s talk about last week.
“When traveling with someone, take large does of patience and tolerance with your morning coffee.”
— Helen Hayes
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was certainly a busy one. I started off by finishing up the work I had begun the week before. The new class of employees at work were ready for testing and a few need just a little more training. In addition to my route, I made sure they were all knowledgeable enough and confident enough to go out and work with our very special kids.
After that work eased off, but I had a lot of personal reading, writing, and learning projects I needed to catch up on. I’ve been taking a Modern & Contemporary American Poetry course on Coursera and while there seem to be no concrete deadlines for the quizzes or assignments I’ve set my own expectations and fallen behind.
I also needed to give The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky another chance. It’s been a hard book to start and more than once now I have read the first 10 pages and put the book back down to pick up something that resonates with my life experience, or the way my mind works a little better. Still, I am determined to get through it. Even in the first 10 pages, I can see the value of the book. This time I have a plan and a deadline in mind. This time I won’t give up.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Thursday I had hoped for a snow day since we were forecasted to have another bomb cyclone blizzard but the conditions needed just never materialized. The snow started too late, and the temperatures had been too warm. The system stalled, and we all had to go to work the next day.
All in all, though, it wasn’t so bad. I made the most of it where I good and employed patience and a detached attitude where it was needed. Not even being put on a delayed schedule—in which the kids go to school anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half late—really ruined my mood. The worst of it was that through it all it was still only Thursday.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Friday was tough. The week had been long, my driver was out, and on top of it all, I agreed to help out by doing a route segment I’d never done before and transport kids I’d never met. I was very anxious, but I got to work with my girlfriend too and that helped.
Friday night I was ready to start my “birthday weekend”! My youngest sister (by 15 years!) picked me up for a night out. We ate Hawaiian barbeque, we went book shopping, and we went out for ice cream. SHe planned and paid for it all which made me feel so proud and grateful. She’s a good kid, and I must be doing something right as a big sister to be treated so well.
Saturday I had my “perfect day”. It’s what I do every year on my birthday, though each one is a little different. I plan my perfect breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I plan my perfect outing, and I buy myself something small (sometimes the something small turns out to be pretty big) and I spend the evening watching as many of my favorite things as I can.
This year I started with a bacon and egg breakfast burrito with spicy salsa. For my outing, I went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to check out the new Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. I had pepperoni pizza at Whole Foods for lunch and for dinner we made “king crab legs, roasted artichokes, shrimp and parmesan pasta, and plenty of butter, lemon, and garlic to cover all, oh, and a bottle of sweet Riesling to wash it all down”.
After dinner, we watched the new Donald Glover film starring Rihanna, Guava Island and ate coconut ice cream with strong coffee. I ended the night by watching Starship Troopers, one of my favorite films, for the 100th time.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be another easy one. I have some small lingering work things I want to mark off of my to-do list but I’m hoping I’ll have plenty of free time to work on some big wedding things I need to get started on.
My fiance found her wedding dress last week, so it is my turn to pick out my attire. I’m not wearing a dress so that means it’s time for me to settle on a suit and get fitted. To be honest, I’m pretty terrified and at this point, I’m refusing to have any friends or family present except my fiance. As a queer woman it’s sometimes scary to enter men’s spaces just to find clothing you feel like yourself in and the more traditional the space the more nerve-wracking it can be.
Our invitations should arrive tomorrow and we’ll spend Monday evening putting them together and hopefully, if there are no errors, they’ll be out in the world by Tuesday. I have a ton of vendors to follow up with and deposits and payments will probably have to be made. Our rings should be ready by week’s end and on our way to us all the way from Australia.
Things are coming along and we are taking them one baby step at a time.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s time to head out to our photography appointment. We’ve got a long drive ahead of us and Sunday traffic is always worse than you imagine it will be.
I hope that you had a good week. I hope you are well and happy. I hope that you were able to overcome whatever set you back and that in the coming week you will make quick and significant progress in whatever way you need.
Until next time.
Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.
Today is my birthday. It’s the first day of my 34th year on this Earth and in this life. Today is my perfect day.
We woke up at the perfect time, not so early that I felt groggy or grouchy, and not so late that I felt rushed or panicked. We ate breakfast burritos with spicy salsa and watched political shows and after my girlfriend and I cozied up on the couch for a nap while the snow fell, even the pets joined us.
We woke up and got ready for the day. I took a long hot shower and left knowing we’d have plenty of time to spend where we were going. By then the snow had picked up, and the temperature continued to drop which was disappointing. Snow, for me, is not perfect birthday weather. I lamented my spring birth by cheered as we pulled up to our destination, The Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
We toured an exhibit on the senses and got our monies worth and more from the fascinating and quite comprehensive Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. We found the Native American tribe’s exhibit and browsed the North American wildlife we’d missed on our last visit. We ended with a quick trip through my favorite area: rocks and minerals. It’s so boring I never force anyone to walk it with me unless it’s my day and I know I’m allowed some small entitlements.
We left and went for a lunch of pepperoni pizza and bought everything we needed for the perfect dinner: king crab legs, roasted artichokes, shrimp and Parmesan pasta, and plenty of butter, lemon, and garlic to cover all, oh, and a bottle of sweet Riesling to wash it all down.
We cooked together and played our favorite old love songs. We sang, and danced, and kissed throughout the kitchen and when the cooking was done we feasted right there at the island making a mess of it all.
After dinner, there was coconut ice cream with strong coffee poured over top. We watched Guava Island and then Starship Troopers for the 100th time.
It’s after midnight now. I stayed up until the very end not wanting to miss or waste a single moment of my day. It was perfect, as every birthday I have had for the last 17 years or so now has been, though each in their own way. Some are rowdy, drunken affairs, and some are like this one, quiet, reflective, simple.
It’s my last day being 33 and for the first time, I feel the Eve of my born day deserves reflection and remark.
I liked 33. It was a good year. Though it had its difficulties, its setbacks, and failures, it was a year where I felt most me. I felt freer from my past and more connected to my future than ever before. I felt older, but not old. I felt sure and content and good.
I don’t know what 34 will bring. I don’t like to plan for the age the way I do for the year. I don’t want to make all aspects of my life, my seasons and cycles, into ones measured by pure productivity alone. Birthdays aren’t celebrations of what you accomplished, the are celebrations of your coming into existence and living against odds too narrow to even imagine.
This year, and every year going forward, for my birthday I just want to be grateful that I am here and to hope with all my heart to continue to be so for at least one more trip around the sun.
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
So, we didn’t get that snow day we’d all hoped for. The storm blew in on time but just didn’t develop the way meteorologists predicted. The rain changed over to snow too late and the ground was still warm, melting much of what fell through the evening. This morning we woke to what looked like nothing more than a typical Colorado spring snow.
And as if it weren’t bad enough I had to go in, the powers that be in pay grades well above mine decided to put us on a delayed schedule. The transportation department’s worst nightmare.
To be honest, though, this particular worst nightmare wasn’t so bad. The bus was nice and toasty; the roads weren’t too bad, and many of our kids actually ended up staying home.
I took a good book along with me to read while we waited and the sun came out and melted all of yesterday’s accumulation in record time. I got to enjoy a good breakfast and a warm cup of delicious green tea with my girlfriend, and now that I think about it I kind of got paid more to do the same amount of work I always do.
And now it’s over and tomorrow is Friday and nothing can ever be wrong on a Friday.
Today was a lonely day. You know the kind. Days where you want to talk, to laugh, to be with someone but there is no one around to fill up your time with. Your favorite coworkers are out, your spouse is preoccupied, your family is busy.
The solitude makes the hours drag and as it does the wholly coincidental fact that there is no one available to fill your needs, your void, starts to feel personal. You begin to take it as a sign of being unloved, abandoned, forgotten. You begin to feel hurt.
I got hurt today, but I’m crawling out of it. I know that loneliness is not personal. I know others need solitude and they may need it just when I need them. I know that other people get busy, just as I do when I can’t be available to them. I know that today is just today and not every time.
Sometimes we simply have to occupy ourselves, sooth our own wounds. We have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. We must accept that people cannot bend to our will. It doesn’t mean we are unloved, abandoned, or forgotten. It means we are human and living among humans, never really alone at all.
The weather was nearly summer-like today! We reached close to 80 degrees, and the air felt heavy, almost suffocating, and in our sweating exhaustion, we felt afraid for what the true summer would bring.
But, in true Colorado fashion, the weather will swing back to the other end of the spectrum by tomorrow afternoon. The forecast calls for a 30-degree temperature difference and my phone has been ringing with blizzard warnings and closing alerts. We may see somewhere between 5 and 10 inches of snow by Thursday!
I’m devastated that winter has found a way to hold tight a little longer, but at the same time, spending another day snowed in at home sounds really nice.
I love this state and I hate this state and the things I hate about it sometimes make me love it more.
In a since-deleted tweet, or perhaps it was a since-deletedTumblr post, I’m not sure and I can’t for the life of me find it now, I read something that changed the way I look at my life. It said something like: “People that have the support of their family/friends really got life on easy mode.”
My youngest sister, just out of high school and coping with a new job and the confusion of the adult world managed to plan a surprise party for my mom the night before her birthday. We all, despite our pasts, our harsh words and traumas, did what we always do. We came together in forgiveness, compassion, and love determined to make a member among us feel special. There was no bitterness, there were no grudges, and I realize now that there will never be, no matter what.
I never considered that my life was on “easy mode” in any way, shape, or form but reading that post and juxtaposing it against the love and laughter I experienced tonight I know that in at least one way I kind of do.
I’ve never been good at Sundays, I’ve always known this, always lamented this, but something has changed. Now, I think, I never want to be good at Sundays. I am fed up. I am giving up on everything Sunday is supposed to be.
Sundays should not be peaceful days to while away reading, walking, resting with our heads in the clouds or lounging on couches. We should be up in a panic, rushing, worrying, frantically trying to hold on. We should be fighting and wailing against the not just the end of the weekend but against a society in which we are given so little time to rest, to create, to ourselves.
I don’t want Sundays to be enough to get me through until Friday. I want more.