Random Thoughts from a Random Mind

This has been a gray week. My mind has been in a muddle, where words, ideas, thoughts, frustrations, hopes, and fear all wander through the fog that seeps into my brain from the outside–from the weather–and makes me feel unable to accomplish anything. Today, however, the golden fall sunshine seems to have decided to make an appearance, and with it comes the urge to clear out the fog that is in my brain and find some sense and meaning.

The golden sunshine begins.

Of course, that’s not easy, so today I will be writing one of those posts that follow the whim of my words and thoughts. Stream of conscious rambling to clear the murkiness and lay down a path toward clarity. I understand if you don’t decided to follow along. I’m not sure I would. 🙂 I’ll try my best to give meaning to my words.

The Randomness of Blogging: Some of you have noticed that I haven’t been blogging regularly for a while. Some have mentioned it when I comment. Some have e-mailed or said something on Facebook. Most haven’t reacted at all, which is no surprise. What has been surprising to me is that suddenly I have been getting new followers. (Welcome to all of you who have joined me recently.) Why is this surprising? Well, I haven’t been writing a lot. I have been commenting and I try to always respond to comments on my posts, but it’s not like I’ve been making any new statements or ranting about society or contributing to poetry or prose. Yet somehow I’m getting followers. Blogging is so random sometimes.

The Randomness of Writing: The last time I posted, I reported on the status of my book.  I have worked on it some more, but this week, mired in the muddle of my mind, I feel like I’ve hit another road block. I don’t have writer’s block, exactly, but I can’t seem to find the focus that I had last week. Does weather do that to you ever? How do you make your way through the murk?

The Randomness of Fall: I love fall. It has always been my favorite season. I love the smells, the colors, the quality of light. I would rather be outside on a warm fall day than on a hot summer day.  I love the flavors of fall; the cinnamon and apples, caramel and pumpkin spice.

Apple picking a couple of weeks ago.

But this fall seems particularly random, or off in some way. It feels like the leaves have turned too early. Some trees have already lost their leaves, while others still cling to the green of summer. The weather changes in the blink of an eye (I know, I know, I live in New England). From blazing hot days to shivering cold. From moments of sunshine to moments of gloom.  At least, however, those variations bring with them rainbows.

Driving home on a gloomy fall day.

This fall I feel disoriented and confused, but I have a theory why. It may, of course, have a little to do with global warming, but I’d rather blame it on the nauseating election season. The fumes and negativity, vicious attacks, ridiculousness, and everything else is leaking into the atmosphere and disturbing the beauty of my favorite season. I have decided to avoid it all now. I won’t discuss it. I won’t debate. I won’t listen to debates.  I won’t engage. Instead, I’m going to focus on the color, the light, the smells and the tastes of my favorite season and recognize when it’s time let go and focus on the joy.

Joy can be found in the smallest achievements.

The Randomness of Life: Yesterday I was listening to Studio 360. The show included an interview with Andrew McCarthy (of Pretty in Pink fame) who went on, after Hollywood to create a career as a travel writer. Listening to his interview, as well as an interview with Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of the Public Theatre in New York, made me think about the reality and randomness of our paths in life.

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Very few people follow a straight path throughout their life, knowing from the beginning where they want to go and finding their way their without twists and turns. Life doesn’t function that way. A man who became well-known in 80’s movies, went on to discover his voice in the discomfort of travel. A boy who was a near runaway at 14 went on to become one of the most powerful voices in theatre in the country, after realizing that acting wasn’t his route. My own path, and even my destination, are still so very unclear, but it is the very randomness of that journey that makes each day one full of possibility, even in my confusion and my darker moments.

I now choose to define success in my own terms, even if that form is not recognizable in the eyes of others. I also choose to enjoy the randomness of the journey. It will be interesting to look back at the end and see where I have been.

So there you have it folks, random thoughts from a random mind.

What kind of randomness are you thinking about today?

The Other Side of Autumn

I’ve been celebrating autumn in several posts now, but today with a cloudy sky and a cloudy head, I feel the need to reflect on a different aspect of the season.


EMPTY BRANCHES

After the blaze of color
against a vibrant blue sky
nothing remains
but the skeletal bones
of trees against a gathering gray.

After the fluttering frenzy
of falling leaves dancing on
the playful breeze
nothing remains
but the crunchy brown carcasses,
withered reminders of seasons past
pausing before the future arrives.

The future comes riding in
on a wintery wind
chilling the bone
and hiding the bounty
of life being born underneath
the stark beauty of silvery snow.

Sometimes when that whistling wind
whispers wicked secrets of the cold
yet to come
its difficult to clear the cobwebs
out and remember the warmth of
spring, summer, and fall.

After the celebration of color
turns into a celebration of white
nothing remains
except wise words written by others,
cosy cocoa under a comforting blanket,
magical movies capturing moments,
joyous laughter with people you love
and the potential of a future filled
with dreams.

After the fall
we begin again.

An Autumn Etheree, 100 Word Challenge for Grownups

This week, Julia has made the challenge trickier, by giving us the phrase “. . . the autumn leaves . . . ” and only 50 words. Since I’ve been waxing eloquent about autumn in several posts now, I thought I’d make my challenge even trickier by attempting another etheree.

An Autumn Etheree

The
autumn
leaves, fly, red
orange, gold . . .  flames
gleaming in warm sun
on cool air scented with
spiced apple, pumpkin, and leaves
that crunch and crackle underfoot
as children jump into growing piles
of fun and jack o’ lanterns learn to smile.

The Best Artist in the World

I’m not feeling words today, so I thought I would simply share some art from the best artist in the world.

She loves warm, bright colors.

But she's not afraid of darkness.

Sometimes she focuses on the entire view.

Sometimes it's all about the details.

She celebrates the beauty of the young and new.

But her artistry shines, when she venerates the lines of age.

Everyone appreciate's Mother Nature's incredible art.

Oh What a FALL!

A joint post written by Sarah and Lisa

Title by Sarah

Today was a beautiful day. Despite the much delayed arrival of true fall colors, I decided to take advantage of a sunny day that also happened to be an in-service day for Sarah’s school (making this a four-day weekend). Since I woke this morning feeling like I could actually move my back as opposed to the brick wall that has been weighing me down all week, I decided to see if Sarah would go on a hike with me. However, since I knew that hikes with Sarah tend to be more successful when other people join, I invited my brother, Steve, to come with us. Steve, for those of you who don’t know yet, is also known as taochild and has his own fabulous blogs: The odd ramblings of a mind that does not quite fit and the hilarious The Ninja Cat Journals as well as a Photo Site with amazing images that I often steal borrow for my posts.

It was a good thing we asked him along, because he actually knew where to go. Plus, he was able to guide my over excited daughter and give me moral support as a simple hike turned into an uphill rock climb. But I’m not complaining, it was a fabulous day. And between the two of us, we got some amazing photos. Check out his (mostly) wordless post for some of the shots he took. I will add a few of my own below, although not all of them as I may reserve some shots for future posts. But first, a picture with Steve and I together to prove that we do exist, we are not serial killers, and we are indeed related (although I’m not sure if this picture proves that).

Brother and sister hike.

During the 1 1/2 hour drive home through Friday evening traffic, Sarah was still glowing from the fun of the day. In her most excited voice she said, “Mommy you should write a blog and call it Oh What a Fall!”

My heart warmed for her support of my blogging.

I said, I’ll do that, but I think it would be really nice if you wrote a poem that I could include in the post.

“Ok, I will!”

“Why don’t you write it during the drive home?”

And she did.

Oh What a FALL!

by Sarah KramerLee

Gray rocks staying still.

Peaceful hikers walking by.

Lovable Lisa talking with Steve.

Smart Steve socializing with Lisa.

Beautiful trees changing colors.

Brown squirrels scampering peacefully by.

Tweeting birds flying close by.

Cute dogs doing their stuff.

Big castle letting people in.

Green picnic table holding people.

Black maps showing the ways.

Perfect view going on.

Brown/black trash cans waiting for trash.

White mushrooms growing fine.

Blue pond making the animals comfortable.

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The Flavors of Fall

Autumn has always been my favorite season. The change has only just begun, but it never fails to create a feeling of excitement and awe in me. I don’t know exactly what it is about the fall. Perhaps it is because even now it seems more like the beginning of the a new year to me then January ever does. I grew up celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in the fall, but it’s more than that. The fall means a new school year, with new things to learn. The fall means new clothes, especially the beginning of sweater weather, which I love. While the fall technically represents the dimming of life, as the leaves fade away, to me it merely represents continuation and change, because though the beauty fades it will return again next year.

I thought I would share some of my favorite things about fall with you. I love the smell of cinnamon and apples, of pumpkin pie and leaves on the ground. I love the colors and the warmth, the blue of the sky and the ever-changing leaves. Here are a few images of the beauty and flavors of fall.

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Happy Fall and Happy New Year everyone! May the sweetness, warmth, and color of this season fill your life in the coming year.

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