So, How Is It?

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I’m in the process of remaking myself. Somewhere along the line I’ve lost my inspiration to write or make art. What gives? I don’t know, but I’m allowing myself plenty of time to do the things that seem most important to me right now. Like taking better care of my body. During the book writing process, I let my fairly strenuous exercise routine go down the tubes. Now I ache a lot and have gotten quite lazy. The result is a very tight body that isn’t terribly flexible. Though I still do my morning walks with the dogs, I haven’t kept up with longer walks by myself. I have added a restorative yoga class to my week and still go to my regular yoga class, and pilates workout. That’s all well and good, but if I don’t practice this stuff every day and continue to walk, it doesn’t help much. So moving, straightening out the kinks, and stretching muscles I haven’t used in a while is what I tend to do these days.

I love this poem my brother, Zed, recently wrote. I resonate with it because as I get older and try to clean up some of the stuff in my life, like finishing pieces of writing or paintings, I get distracted by the littlest things. Like watching a pair of catbirds feasting on Oregon Grape berries just outside my window. Moments like that are captivating.

I don’t like rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off. It isn’t good for the soul, my connections to other people, or the natural world. I’m moving more slowly like a tortoise.  Didn’t she win out over the hare in their race even though she was very slow?

Here is Zed’s poem:

So, How is it ?

How is it ?
I have a long list
Of letters never sent?
Combing through old emails
I learn to stuff them into multitudes
Of electronic departments of this life we have.
As if this helps me learn life’s lessons.
So, how is it?
The door knocks, dog barks, phone rings,
Or siren wails through the window.
Easy distractions with important moments to reflect or forget.

Zed Zabski
To Joan, April 26, 2017

So, how is it with you?


  1. It’s very much the same with me, Joan. My inspiration for much of anything except lollygagging has flown coop.
    I read a little, walk a little, dither a little…the operative word being “little.”

    May is quite busy for me with concerts, and my grandson is coming to visit later in the month. So I tell myself that self-improvement will begin in earnest in June.

    • We can only do what we can do, Becca. I think I’m still in rest and recovery mode from several years of my husbands health issues and the publishing process. You’ve not such a great year yourself since you lost your mother. It’s time just to rest and recover.

  2. Joan — Watching a pair of catbirds feasting on Oregon Grape berries just outside your window isn’t a distraction at all; it’s a gift. A blessing.

    I enjoyed reading your brother’s poem.

    • You are absolutely right, Laurie. I consider those birds a blessing too. I watched them again this morning and so enjoy their letting me into their world.

  3. I agree with Laurie’s comment about catbirds — add catnaps too.

    Over the past 7+ years you’ve lived life at an accelerated pace. Give yourself time to just BE. It’s okay, Joan.

    Zed’s poem touched me!

    • Yes, I’m still in rest and recovery mode, but every now and then get impatient with myself. And I do take catnaps too, lots of them.

      I’m glad Zed’s poem resonated with you.

  4. Oh Joan. I send you a long leisurely hug. I’d prefer to send you a long leisurely hot bubble bath, but a virtual hug is just neater. 🙂 I agree with the previous comments and will add only my once favorite maxim: we are human beings, not human doings. Just be. That (and you) is enough.

  5. Here’s another hug. I loved Scattering Ashes! So easy to crawl back in bed now that my memoir is published. I can go to Hell in a hand basket now, so easily, but I wrote a poem and just now, I posted it because someone one else in IWWG had a WordPress blog, and I forgot I have one. It’s called A Woman’s Touch.

  6. Joan Rough says:

    Thank you for your hug, Chip, and also for contributing to the conversation.

    I love your poem and hope there’s lots more where it came from. A great memory piece!

  7. Great poem. Great writing requires rest and relaxation.

  8. How lovely, Joan. What a great turtle photo. I’m in a similar cycle. One son just moved close from CA with his lovely partner and her newly rescued dog. I’m writing about it, but only a little for public consumption until we see how it all goes.
    Meanwhile, my mother-in-law continues to have the ups and downs anyone would have at 101. I wonder if she’ll outlast me. I’m a tired, even though I oversee rather than doing hands on care. I want to sit on the garden dirt and thin lettuce. I do continue taking one writing class a week which keeps me working on new things and feeling engaged with life in that writerly wqy.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Thank you, Elaine. I’m tired too but am grateful that I don’t have anyone to oversee at this moment in time. I’m glad to hear that your taking a writing class. Maybe that’s what I need to do. But I did write a short poem in about ten minutes two days ago. Now it’s time to rewrite it and clean it up.