Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Letting go my desire for survival

I’m missing the routines
that keep me steady
and grounded.

Living moment to moment—
So happy to be with her again,
my daughter.

A little off-balance in my daily life—
Grateful for a quiet mid-day
so I can write, eat, be with myself and rest.

The rain has stopped and the sky is brighter.
Still feeling the edge of cold damp air
on my hands, legs and torso—
Wore my wool undershirt today
and flannel-lined jeans.

I want to mother her—
The thought of end-of-life stuff
gives extra meaning and urgency to our visits.

Have I been faithful to her?
Always such a distance to travel
for such a small bit of time.

Is it time to practice letting go—for good?
Whatever that means—
I’m not sure.

I’ve never done this before.
Neither has she—
So many unknowns.

It’s hard to see through tears.

Just being alone for a few hours in this house
feels sad—too empty,
too quiet.

What will it be when she isn’t here—
Or when I’m not here?….

***

I wrote this journal entry during a recent week-long visit with our daughter and her husband. Our first visit with them since I learned I have Chronic Kidney Disease. Surprisingly, the words sing to me–sweetly and sadly. No rushed or distressed cadence. Just the leading edge of a reality unknown to me as a mother.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 25 May 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Survive

impressions of yesterday

1963 Aug Elouise Double Exposure flipped

impressions of yesterday
captured by accident
a remarkable mistake
turned into a keepsake
hopes and dreams
yet to be realized
outer signs of internal graces
made strong through
the tempering heat
of life lived wide awake
in person and together
the beauty of two souls
bound together in one image

The photo was taken by a friend. We were at Tybee Island Beach near Savannah, Georgia. D had just taken the photo of me with the old roller rink in the background. He forgot to advance the film before our friend took a photo of us together. So we ended up with this dream-like double exposure.

The day was momentous. This was only minutes before D proposed to me as we walked down the beach. If it had been today, I might have proposed to him many months earlier. But that was then—August 1963, weeks before D left for the West Coast, and a year before I graduated from college. I was almost 20 years old.

Don’t miss the prices on the side of the pavilion. You can have a good laugh at how ‘cheap’ things were back then. The pavilion, with its roller rink, is long gone—doomed because of building code upgrades. A good thing, yet looking at this double exposure makes me long a bit for the good old days.

Impressions only? I don’t think so. Memories are dear, and now make up the majority of my lived world. They also capture reality—along with a healthy dose of nostalgia.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 May 2017
Double exposure taken by DAF and a friend, Aug 1963
Response to Daily Prompt: Impression

Tension mounts

Tension mounts
Beneath the surface
Begging for relief

Tendons tighten
Their nervous grip
On control mechanisms

The outer world shrinks
Lost in a cacophony
Of competing systems

Internal air congregates
Propels itself outward
In one long sigh of relief

Tension drains
Tendons relax
Outer world returns

***

Today’s Daily Prompt, catapult, calls to mind military weapons. Devices that deliver death and destruction. I prefer the catapult of my own deep breathing. It delivers life and relaxation, as many times a day as needed.

This more life-giving image seems appropriate at this time in history. It seems we have too many catapulting machines and tongues out there, and too few deep global, regional or community breaths to bring us back to our senses.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 May 2017
Image found at quora.com

Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Catapult

rippling waters

rippling waters
lit by setting sun
carry me home

***

I can’t decide whether I’m drifting toward or away from the shore. No matter. The light reminds me I’m not alone and that my final destination will be as mysterious as this shining city.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 May 2017
Photo found at pixabay, Norway Sunset
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Adrift

from a nearby tree

from a nearby tree
a catbird sends waves of song
spilling to the ground

Have you ever heard a catbird? If so, you already know their song is unmistakable. Loud, almost hyper mimics, they punctuate their unending songs with sharp ‘catcalls.’ Sort of like the sharp ‘meow’ of a cat. Unlike other mimics (thrushes or mockingbirds), they don’t usually repeat their songs.

We hear them every day. Especially now, when birds are nesting and nests need defending. They crank up their musical contributions before sunrise, and continue past sunset. We heard one yesterday evening when we went out walking. It was perched in a tree just above our heads, well past sunset.

Catbirds don’t seem worried about running out of songs. Instead, they’re worried if you come too close to a nearby nest. When that happens, they aren’t shy about dive-bombing around your head, descending from a nearby thicket to cajole you into leaving the area. They don’t give up, and they aren’t bashful.

God doesn’t swoop down from heaven to defend us or to scare intruders away. Still, there’s something god-like in a common catbird’s defense of its nest and determination to frighten off or redirect the attention of possible intruders.

My real-life intruders are often discouragement, fear or loneliness. Sometimes God descends to my aid when I listen to music I love and let it fill the airwaves, spilling into my heart and tense body. A sign that majesty and power are present in ways I don’t understand.

This doesn’t solve my problems. It simply makes things bearable, and invites me to relax, knowing I’m never out of the range of God’s care. I think another way of naming it is Sabbath rest.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 20 May 2017
YouTube video found on Google

Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Descend

More Spring at Longwood | Photos

~~~pink azaleas on the wooded path toward the lake at Longwood Gardens

Ready for round two of this notoriously breathtaking Garden? The first set of photos took us into the Gardens and down the flower walk. In this set, we’ve left the flower walk and are in a small wooded area, making our way down toward the lake.

Here’s a first look at the lake,
definitely having a hard time with algae at this end,
yet beautifully romantic with a lovely old gazebo.

Turning around on the path,
we see a young red cedar grove beside a waterfall creek
flowing through Longwood’s managed wetland.

 Turning back toward the lake,
we’re walking toward the opposite end of the lake
when we come upon a pair of geese!
First mama, followed by ever vigilant papa.

This handsome human couple has no idea they’re about to
come upon the geese just beyond the weeping willow tree…
Do I know them?

We’ve reached the plaza at the end of the lake,
usually well populated by visitors with cameras,
and excited children feeding the fish with Garden-approved pellets.
Today it’s peaceful and quiet.
Don’t miss the sturdy blue lounge chairs overlooking the lake!
Or the gazebo in the distance.


Meanwhile, back up the steps to the main plaza,
we’ve turned around to see the Italian Water Garden!
Plus one gardener. Leaving the water garden,
we take the path on the right side toward the meadow.


Just before we come to the meadow, we cross a bridge over a pond
and spot a green heron stalking its next meal.
Unfortunately, he didn’t give us a good front-face pose.
Here you can see his handsome back and headfeathers,
followed by a photo of his unfortunate prey. Poor baby.


No walk through the meadow today.
Instead, we take the short perimeter path in the foreground.
A recent controlled burn leveled one major area.
It should be stunning by the end of May.
Here’s a quick look back before we head for the café.

 Before we reach the café, we pass a popular site,
a tree house for children. Now empty because
it’s late in the afternoon. Don’t miss the birdfeeders!


Finally, two looks at early spring growth along the path to the café.



Hoping you have a weekend of note, no matter the season!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 May 2017
Photo credit: DAFraser, May 2017
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Notorious

I just want to know….

Is this part of a plot?
Or is it an impromptu interlude
Patched together
From bits and pieces
Intended to look and sound
Like the real thing.

How long can this farce endure
Before it becomes sick reality
Gorging its maw with
Shreds of a dying dream?

Is it too late to go back
To the beginning
When fun was funny
And leaders knew when
To keep their mouths shut
And their hands to themselves?

***

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 May 2017
Response to WordPress Prompt: Farce

One Big Blur | An Update

Carolina Anne Fraser’s First Prize Youth Division, 2016 Audubon Photography Competition – Great Frigatebirds taken Near Española, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The last four weeks have been one big blur. Mostly medical appointments and family time, plus writing and visiting when I was able and awake. You’ve already heard about our visit with daughter Sherry and her husband to Longwood Gardens.

Another highlight was a visit to the James Audubon House and grounds. We met our son there and toured the old house and grounds. There were birds all over the place! The day was crystal clear, breezy and sunny, cool but not cold.

We went because one of our granddaughters had a prize-winning bird photo on display along with those of other winners and honorable mentions. Proud? Who me? Not just proud, but absolutely floored by her gift.

Back to reality and on another subject, “endless beauty” was my 900th post! I didn’t even notice until it was already out there. When I began blogging over three years ago, I never guessed I’d still be chugging away. One of the most personally rewarding things I do these days is look back at some of my writing, often getting teary in a happy way.

What I thought would be writing about my life has become writing my life. Not looking back so much as looking into the present. Especially as it impacts me directly as a citizen of the world and as a retired woman making my way toward the end of this life.

Daughter Sherry and her husband flew back to Oregon last week. It was bitter-sweet to be together. A reminder of how much family means as I age and my health changes.

The day after they left, I saw my primary care physician to follow up on lab tests. My kidneys are in good shape right now. No sign of damage. I’ll see my cardiologist at the end of this week. I also have a call in to schedule a first appointment with a nephrologist (kidney doctor) who will oversee my Chronic Kidney Disease care.

My most difficult challenge is dealing with unpredictable energy and emotional highs and lows. That, and the constant need to prepare kidney-friendly food and get enough of it in me each day. D has kindly offered to learn a recipe or two that he can make for me each week.

On Mother’s Day I woke up exhausted after a tough night. Still recuperating from my relatively busy social life last week. So I stayed home from church and slept all morning. Got up, had some lunch, then went straight back to bed and slept more. A wonderful way to celebrate Mom’s Day! I recommend it highly.

I’m not able to write or visit as often as I once was, and am more laid back about what I write. So far, there’s always more than enough when I’m ready and able to write.

With hope for today, and huge thanks for your visits and comments,
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 17 May 2017
Photo credit: DAFraser, May 2017

Better a qualm today….

Better a qualm today than a lifetime of regret.

Don’t ignore the qualm before a storm.

Respect your qualms — they know us better than we know ourselves.

***

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 May 2017
Photo found on Google.com
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Qualm

Slippery words

Slippery words fly through hot air
Smiles and flourishes promise happy days ahead –
But at what cost and for whom?

Another committee ‘collaborates’ behind closed doors –
Working toward freedom and justice for all?
Or for the chosen few. . . .

What would it take to halt double-speak
about things that touch all our lives?
Are we willing to pay that price?

Imagine our nation shaped by listening
rather than speaking loudest or longest –
Do we have the guts to go there?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 May 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Collaboration

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