that the mountain is

I am not much at peace these days

nothing sleeps, not even
the stone of the mountain,

though I find I can slow my heart
the nearer I am to its sky-graced peak

to be alone here is to be still
from the rigors of survival

and for a while, it is enough
that I am I, that the mountain is,

and that we can be awake
in this place together

© Sarah Whiteley

Today I hiked 6 miles through the woods to find some small, momentary peace. The snow (and at times sleet) made it all the more peaceful and I spent several minutes just breathing it all in above the valley. It was just me, the birds, all the forms that water takes, and one lone coyote who left his tracks across the trail. It could not have been more perfect.

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The Definition of Insanity… NaNoWriMo 2015!

Insanity

Greetings from a somewhat protracted, but much needed hiatus!

As some of you may know, LIFE threw a few prickly challenges my way earlier in the year and it became difficult at times to keep up with some of the day-to-day necessities of living, let alone find the energy and emotional/mental capacity to write anything.

After 7 months of hiatus, a mental rest, and much heart-healing, I think I’m ready to find my way back again. To heck with dipping the toes in to see how chilly that water is – I’ve always been a “deep end” kind of gal. So what better way to reclaim my writing chops than to participate in NaNoWriMo 2015?

(What better way also to end up rocking myself in a corner wrapped in a tattered quilt with countless empty coffee cups surrounding me, mumbling “just 100 more words, just 100 more words” to no one in particular?)

Super excited to already have two writing buddies signed up for this November and if anyone else wishes to (or is crazy enough to) come along for the ride, drop me a note and I’ll be sure to add you as an additional buddy (aka crazy person).

50,000 words, here I come!

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square

1.4.2015

Freyja Clown Hat

Freyja-dog, who finds treasure in green felt clown hats discarded on damp sidewalks and joy in the orphaning of bright socks and mittens, gladly bears the burden of my happiness.

On good days, she skips after the crows when they tease her and spins whirling dervish style in ecstatic circles at the feet of her chosen favorites. But on bad days, I bear her up and down the three flights of stairs and sleep on the floor to keep her company.

This is no burden while joy still resides in tail and eyes, infectious and whole. She deserves all this and more. Anything else I will tuck into the darkest corner beneath the bed so I will not have to speak it.
***

I’ve known for some time now that my girl has intervertebral disc disease. She’s coming out of her worst flare up to date and I’m three weeks into carrying her up and down the stairs and sleeping on the floor with her. Her condition is still very manageable with anti-inflammatories and rest, but my heart twinges each time this happens and my poor Freyja is laid up. But I can tell she’ll be back to her old self soon – is already getting frustrated with the forced inactivity. Another three weeks of caution and rest and we’ll be back to chasing the pigeons.

pebbles

I have counted out the days
that do not contain you
have lined them up like pebbles
I might have pulled from the sand
salty still and glinting gray
as stones from the shore do
I imagine they must remember
the rushing kiss of tides
just as I remember how
the brush of you once stirred me
that place where once there was us
has since smoothed over
and the fissure is no longer
rough to the touch or recollection
still I have counted out the days
and will keep them with me
clattering together in deep pockets
and in the corners of drawers
to remind me of those moments
that might otherwise be gone
and I will line them up like pebbles
until I run out of room to keep them
or breath to name them

© Sarah Whiteley

And with that, I am off for a trip to see family in Wisconsin. This will be a treat (really, truly a treat) as it will be the first time we’ve all been in once place together in four years. Busy schedules and distance make it difficult to coordinate schedules, but tomorrow is my mom’s 60th birthday and what better reason to come together than to celebrate one of my favorite people in the world? See you next week!