Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, just posted this on Facebook: “We are all works in progress. We are all rough drafts.” This is very true. I am a work in progress. Not perfect but moving in a direction away from negativity and forward to positivity. Some days the steps are too small to see. Maybe if I was walking in sand I’d be able to tell. Other days, the steps are giant and I am almost crushed by them. “Friends” get angry that I am ignoring their negative, angry, combative posts, accusing me of being the negative one despite the fact that I recently quit disagreeing with them and moved on. Which rankled, apparently.

I’m sorry but I don’t need that in my life anymore. If I’m the most negative friend you had? All the others must be Zen Buddhists or angels at Jesus’s left elbow or something. I’m working hard to not react to things in a knee-jerk way. I’m staying out of fights, not getting worked up about politics, stepping out of the fray. I can’t seem to say the things people want me to say so I say nothing. Which is also incorrect? Oh well. Let it be wrong. I’m a rough draft. I’m gonna do it wrong.

After having a door slammed in my face that was already closed (in my mind) – remember being a teenager and storming up to your room after a fight with your mom and slamming and reslamming the door just so the message got across? Yeah; that. – I went back to TAW and reread some of the tasks I did last winter.

I found a list of Touchstones I’d written. These are things that make you happy. I thought I’d share them if only as a way to remind myself that I *am* growing and changing and letting go of the bad angry past. Which doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I’ll never be that. I’ll probably always bitch and complain about something now and then. But I am working on being aware of things that annoy me and probably shouldn’t.

So, here they are, in no order whatsoever:

*Morning fog over the pastures.
*The trilling of cicadas.
*The smell of basil, rosemary, anything lemon-scented (real lemon, not chemical lemon).
*The moon – full, crescent, waxing, waning.
*River rocks
*Water of any kind – ocean, river, stream, pond, pool, bath.
*The beach
*Doughnuts, cake, pizza, wine, beer, guacamole, chocolate, avocados, tomatoes.
*A garden – vegetables, herbs, flowers.
*Bees and butterflies
*A quiet spot in the woods.
*Spotting rabbits or deer in the wild.
*Hearing crows communicate with each other.
*Watching a squirrel eat an acorn.
*Warm sun on my skin.
*My children’s laughter.

What are some of yours?


6 thoughts on “Touchstones

  1. Hearing a cat purr, listening to cicadas, peeling potatoes while successfully entertaining a kitten (or a toddler), the smell of roses, the feel of a sweating glass of water in my hand.

  2. A lot of yours are also mine! There’s something about the weight of the green of summer that I can’t get enough of. And cicadas and lightning bugs. The feeling I get at the end of a long hot bike ride. The first sip of a vodka tonic. Feeling for my cat with my toes when I wake up in the middle of the night. Limes, basil, Hanover tomatoes, a whiff of magnolia. Cardinals flying low and straight. Summer.

  3. Lightning bugs, yes! Also running in the mornings in the dark–I love that time, it’s all mine, the neighborhood looks and feels different and it’s wonderful. Also kitties šŸ™‚

  4. Beautiful touchstones, Claudia. Keep the beauty close lady, and the inspiration to continue the “work” of being more contemplative and deliberate even closer. Only you know what you need right now.

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