RUNNING TO GET NOWHERE

     Last week I wrote about stepping out of my comfort zone.   I have to confess that learning to navigate this website and figure out the ins and outs of setting up a blog page has definitely thrown me out of my comfort zone. When I say I’m  technically challenged, I mean it with a capital TC. Whenever I encounter anything beyond the basics, I feel my stomach knot and the grey matter seep out of my brain and run onto the floor.   But I’m not a quitter so I keep on keeping on.  It would be easy to give up my blogging idea but I’ve decided instead to face my fear of looking and seeming stupid, and to just keep reading the tutorials on this website.  I’m also praying that someone will come along who knows this “simple” blogging site and will sit by my side and help me understand what I’m reading.

     Meanwhile, and aside from my being technically challenged, life has been really good and full of insights. Last week, during my meditation time, I realized how much I miss because I’m in a hurry. I miss detail, I miss color, I miss the full meaning of what’s in front of me and all around me,and perhaps my hurrying is why I’m missing the simplicity of this website.  Anyway, I think I may also be missing many possibilities and opportunities for creativity and bliss.  If I’m reading a book I’m in a hurry to get to the end, if I’m cleaning my house or doing errands, or laundry, or almost any action, same thing, my focus is on getting through. It feels like I’ve been running to get nowhere.

     Sitting face to face with this truth brings me to the conclusion that I’m probably missing a huge chunk of the journey. I think I’ve always been like this. It’s obviously something I picked up as a child and it somehow became my way of being in the world. After  thinking about this, writing about it and talking about it, I think that what I most need to do is to practice slowing down. So, I’ve started making some changes in my life to help retrain myself into taking it slow, being present and focused, and paying attention to detail. I know it will take time and attention to make these changes, but that’s okay because I’ve already put my foot on the path.

     One change I’ve made is to add a creative process to my daily morning writing ritual.  Before Paul, my husband, leaves for work in the morning, he writes a word on a piece of paper and leaves it on the kitchen counter for me. When I finish writing my morning pages I look at the word he wrote and write a short story about it. Doing this helps me to slow down and think about how to create a story from  one word. I let my brain scan my memory banks and see if I relate to the word for some reason. If I don’t, I free associate and make up a story. Doing this really gets my creative juices flowing, it jogs my memory for detail, and though it seems to be a small thing, it’s helping me to make big changes.

     The word Paul left for me this morning was thimble. My first thought about thimble was something small and I made a few notes about that. Then, I pushed my chair back, took a few breaths, and waited for inspiration. My brain reminded me that a thimble was for protection and as I let that thought in I found myself being catapulted back through the ages to a sweet, yet forgotten time with my grandmother.

     It was in the 1940’s and my grandmother, like many people in those days, had tuberculosis. My grandfather used to take her to Kerrville, Texas where it was dry. After a time, she would recover and my grandparents would come back to Louisiana where it was usually humid. Because of her TB my grandmother had many respiratory illnesses  and as a result she spent a lot of time being bedridden. I remember those days when I’d be at her house and she’d be propped up in her bed. Her hair always looked and smelled nice, she usually had makeup on, and she’d be wearing a beautiful dusty pink satin bed jacket that was trimmed with lace, with a little satin bow tied at the neck.

     My grandmother had sewn her bed jackets by hand as she lay in bed recuperating. I loved the leftover satin material from all those bed jackets  and usually would take those scraps and pin them around my favorite baby doll, Princess. This was my little girl’s attempt to make a new dress for my doll. My grandmother, upon watching me do this, decided she would make some dresses for Princess. I’d sit on a bench next to her bed and watch her hand stitch those beautiful, dainty little satin and lace dresses. She’d have a needle and thread in one hand and a silver thimble on the index finger of her left hand. To my delight, she’d sit in bed and cut and sew until she got tired. When she’d lie down for a rest, I’d take her old tin can that had at one time held a fruitcake,  and go through the contents.   That  tin was like a big toy box for me because it was chock full of  brightly colored threads, packs of needles, and different types of thimbles. I’d watch my grandmother nap as I rearranged  the spools of thread and the thimbles, patiently waiting for her to wake up and start sewing again.

     Though I didn’t know it then, that was a beautiful bonding time between me and my grandmother. As I sat and wrote about those memories this morning, I felt a warm glow spread over me as I realized how important I was to my grandmother. I knew she loved me, but this morning I felt more than loved. I felt cherished, and that feeling  helped me to understand why I always felt close to my grandmothers heart.

     Taking the time to enjoy this word exercise in the morning has helped me see how many untapped memories I have stored away in the dusty corners of my mind. I look forward to each day with a renewed sense of purpose, feeling like I’m getting my life on track. I’m slowing down, paying closer attention, looking around my world carefully, and having fun doing it all. And who knows, as I quit running to get nowhere, and continue to retrain myself to take it slower, I may actually find a way to understand this website’s tutorial.

     See you next week. Please feel free to leave a comment and subscribe to my blog.

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About brendamarroy

blogger, and author
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24 Responses to RUNNING TO GET NOWHERE

  1. cabooselady says:

    Brenda,
    For the past year I have been reading in depth about the subjects of Serendipity and Synchronicity. The specific reason that I mention this to you now is that within the last several days I mentioned to my sweetheart that he suggest a “word a day” for me to wrap my head around, look into its meaning and use it in a meaningful sentence!

    I truly believe that there are no coincidences in life; if you learn to recognize the small gentle signs along the way, you are on your right lifes path and your journey is made crystal clear!! It is an amazing epiphany!

    • brendamarroy says:

      Wow. How awesome of you to have the insight and awareness to recognize life’s nudges and pulls. I definitely believe in serendipity and synchronicity and have experienced it over and over and over. I just had an article accepted at The Journey Magazine that is a little about epiphanies. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Great story about your Grandmother. I remember stories of both my grandmother’s on my mom’s side. Look on YouTube tutorials too. Seeing does help.

  3. Laura says:

    Brenda,
    I came to your blog through the Longridge newsletter. I just finished my first assignment and have begun my second. Donna Ippolito is also my instructor. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your blog about your grandmother. It inspired me to revisit my bond with my own grandmother. Your husbands one little word has inspired so much. That is what I and so many other love so much about writing. Thank you so much for the memory. I will be back to read more of your beautiful writing. Good luck and much success.
    Laura

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thanks Laura. I’m glad to meet a fellow student. Donna was such a help to me as I went through the Breaking into Print course. I trust you’ll enjoy having her as an instructor and a mentor as much as I did. I’ll include your email in my blog announcement every week. Thanks for writing.

  4. Laura says:

    Brenda,
    I came to your blog through the Longridge newsletter. I just finished my first assignment and have begun my second. Donna Ippolito is also my instructor. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your blog about your grandmother and the bond you enjoyed with her. Your husbands one little word inspired you to explore your bond with your grandmother. In turn, your words inspired me to revisit the bonds with my grandmother. Isn’t it amazing what one little word can do? That is what I think we all find intriguing about writing. Thank you for the inspiration. I will be back to read more of your beautiful writing. Good luck and much success.

  5. Phyllis Ring says:

    What a pleasure to begin this day with reading your post. 🙂 I’m going to be pondering that concept of running to get nowhere for quite some time to come. Very best of luck with your exciting new adventure.

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thanks Phyllis. I checked out your web site and added it to my favorites bookmark. I enjoyed the piece you wrote for writers. I hope you’ll continue to check out my blog. I add a new post every Monday afternoon.

  6. Heather says:

    Yet again I must tell you how absolutely proud of you I am. You thought you were technically challenged and I couldn’t even figure out how to post a comment on here. I’m hoping this posts and when I see that it does…..you can be sure I’ll be doing a little happy dance in my living room.
    I always love reading your words but more importantly, feeling and sharing your wonderful heart. Thank you for the vivid story of your memory with your grandmother. I felt I was right there in 3rd person viewing the whole experience, while the love and beauty of the memory permeated my whole soul. It allowed me to feel the same love, thank you for that! As always, you comforted me when I was feeling kind of lonely. Just reading your story allowed me to feel connected and loved. I love you dearly, I am SO PROUD of you and so happy to be a part of your wonderful journey! Looking forward to next week! I love you!

    Heather

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thank you my dear sweet friend. I’m proud of you also as I watch you and listen to you navigate this wonderful journey that we’re on. Can’t wait to see you.

      • wildmountainheart says:

        I just came in from work and guess what I’m doing? Happy Dance…….yea yea oh yea, I posted my first comment on a blog and with a picture. HAHAHA, I can’t wait to see you!

  7. Karen Simcak says:

    Your writing skills are amazing. Look forward to reading more. Keep up the good work.

  8. Dennis Gomez says:

    Really enjoyed reading this story of Maw Maw. It brought back a flood of fond memories. Great work, love it.
    Denny

  9. Roseann T. Kriebel says:

    How very sweet of Paul to take the time to leave you tiny pieces of inspiration each day. You both are blessed!
    Love Rosie

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thanks Rosie. Yeh, we are blessed, aren’t we? Paul does everything in his power to continuously support me in following my passion and living life to the fullest. I think we are probably each others biggest supporters. It’s nice being married to my best friend.

  10. Mike Church says:

    Hello mother! So you can see thatI have visited your blog, read your posts and even made the first comment! I like your color scheme and the post about your Dang was very interesting to read. I will forward this to your granddaughters and see if we can drag them off Facebook long enough to pay you a visit.

    Mike

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thanks Mike. I would love for the girls to get interested in my blog because they’ll get to hear some good family stories and learn a little about the history of of our clan. And it might be interesting for them to read about what makes their grandmother tick.

  11. wallace marroy says:

    The green tin fruit cake container. I am so glad you have this memory. Slowing down is a conscious decision to do what you are doing now to its full enjoyment even though it means not doing what you were planning to do next.

    • brendamarroy says:

      What a great quote. Staying present to each moment is not easy. I’m trusting spirit, that by continuously practicing being awake and present that I’ll grow into the reality of living life that way at all times.

      As for the fruit cake container, I think mother still has it. I seem to remember seeing it on or near her sewing machine. Am I dreaming this or is it so?

  12. Betsy Ashton says:

    Lovely images of your grandmother, Brenda. I too remember my grandmother sewing or crocheting when I was a child. I still remember the smell of the cologne: Evening in Paris.

    You have a lovely gift of turning a simple idea, a thimble, into a wonderful memory. I can’t wait to see what you write next.

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