Ugly Is As Ugly Starts

Ugly is, as Ugly Starts

Okay.

I can do that.

I am following, admist good bad and not so pretty domestic stress, a writers series that encourages 15 habits. These habits include “must have” routines for those that write for fun and for those that are in it for more than fun.

I’m on day 7. Others, I kid you not, are finished and have started, or even finished, a book in those fifteen days.

Cool, eh?

So, my assignment/suggestion, should I choose to follow is to

start

a project. But start it ugly.

Make something ugly. And leave it ugly (temporarily). Be okay with it. Embrace the splotches and streaks for what they are: evidence that you’ve started. ~ Jeff Goins 

“JesusMaryAndJospeh!” my mother would grouse. ” ‘START’  a project? You tell my daughter to ‘start’ something new, why not coach her on at least getting to the middle of a project and we will all sleep easier at night young fellow!”

“Well”, I am snarking back to my celestial MamaForce, SOME of us are better at casting seeds and forgetting what we planted, and much of the time WE don’t care.

Humph.

(Just pictured mom and some other creative gal pals going to the other side of the galaxy for a quick, won’t kill them now smoke. They are now rolling their eyes at how much work I continue to be, even at my tender age of “old enough to know better.”)

Okay. Busted. Of course I care.

Of course I want, sometimes, often times to be able to even remotely write here what I really mean to say and sometimes   often times I get

SICK

and TIRED

of being too, too…worried, and uptight, and hesitant to just,

just at least pluck away at unfinished projects that I beat myself up about. Unfinished?! Ha! Let alone unexplored!

often sometimes feel like I’ve lost my creatiave young adult “all that” forever, and then blame on the kids, the spouse, the dogs, my illnesses, the weather…

If I could just,

just finish a few, not all, but a few of the unfinished projects that I don’t only believe, but know would make a difference to others. Maybe then I would give myself permission to stop pretending that I don’t care.

I do.

I don’t want to fail, I get tired of being embarrassed and making false starts, I’m concerned about the galaxies of word twisting jerks out there and not quite versed on how to handle them (familiar and strangers)…

but.

“Hell’s bells Katherine!” I just imagined my artist Mom and designer Granny smiling with cigars replacing the smokes in their ashtrays. I’m pretty sure they just shook their heads and are now bowing them for some odd reason. Are they laughing, crying or praying? This reminds me to look at the clock.

Which reminds me to go to yoga.

And makes me wish that I had time to write more on how excited I am to try as hard as hell to remember to photo and blog the ugly clematis flower vine I made a minute ago!

Ugly is, as ugly starts.

Damn. Good words ladies, thanks!

Forgiveness Friday: Speaking for Myself, ‘I did that.’

“Give yourself grace,

but also hold yourself accountable.” ~ Jeff Goins

I just put my pen down from a little bit of journaling, and guess what I just realized?

I’ve mentioned that my husband and I moved with two of our three sons to Iowa. Actually we’ve, this week I think, hit our one year anniversary of living in our new house and town. We also successfully moved our oldest son to Dayton Ohio to an apartment about three hours north of our small town and country home and rural life.

The realization? I’ve not written here about how this career opportunity for my husband landed several of us smack in the middle of our personal field of dreams. Nor have I explained the extreme transition from country to city. I think it’s been more of a mention in passing.

After a year, I know that now.

As one of my son’s friends would say: “We live close to the field, for realzies.”

No. Really. The mom of this kid who is a dynamite athlete on Joe’s little league team told us that the farm that was the set for the movie Field of Dreams is about two hours from here.

So, I say myself, to me and I: “How’s come? If this blog is supposed to be about grace and you were struggling with the transition when you started this writing project, why not write about the baby foxes and magical dew on your porch? Why not go on about the early morning sound of metal scrapping the road as a cattle trailer drags down your one lane road? About how cool it was to say, with eyes closed, ‘Yup, Cluxtons are going by. Must have some calves.’ Or about how joyful it was to know that spring had come and the winter mud would soon dry?”

I couldn’t.

I just couldn’t.

I think I can now. Now our family of five has made it through a year of transition. We still have all of our limbs, the sky hasn’t yet fallen in, and apparently our entire hearts didn’t break with the fear and sadness, just little parts. Even the little parts of broken heart seem to be healing for each of us as we settle into the corners of our individual field of dreams.

Speaking for myself,

I did that.

I did that work of grief that is almost all about personal accountability. It’s like how our son who is a runner quickly dropped his mile per minute time last summer and fall. He’d not met a soul. And yet, Will didn’t do it by just meeting some cool guys and cute gals that ran with him. It certainly wasn’t the hundreds of dollars that running shoes demand. It’s not like other sports. Runners don’t run plays or pass balls on the running trail.

They run.

I can start to wax sentimental about what I was sure for years, 20 years actually, that I could never leave behind.

I can now, because I got up and ran my mom miles this spring. I can look back on some unexpected difficult trail turns and say, “I did that.” Pardon a brief brag, but you know, I didn’t make it through this particular spring with my eyes closed. Our youngest son seemingly suddenly, started having some transition troubles at school. It created, for me, yet another (thankfully temporary) heartbreak.

For me as a mom, it was like what I would guess a trail runner would feel if when on an unfamiliar trail, just when you start to get some relief in the form of an end of the run high, suddenly a unicorn butt pops up in the form of crappy mud mile.

When our little guy Joe started having some hard days coping at school this spring, I was on the verge of getting my “I’m a writer” badge in gear. I joined a local writing group, announced to the budget committee that mom is going to writing camp this summer, started writing two books, and generally said to myself,

alrighty then, here I am. Game on.

Did I resent and whine and groan that my needs and dreams had to go on the shelf again over the needs of one of the kids, for, I didn’t know how long?

Does Kevin Costner still make many America’s middle age women say meow? Umm. Yes. They do.

So, yeah.

It took a lot of work, but last night when our little guy was kicking up dust after the game I was glued to the chair with exhaustion, it was okay.  He was with new Iowa best friend #3, after having played for a bit with former bests friends #1 and #2, and with potential other neighborhood best friends #4 and #5.

And I’m not sure. But I think I agreed to let them all come over this afternoon to play.

Game on.

Declare

I find this

Celibacy and Gay Priests

article to be very interesting. I’ve not time to watch the video right now, but am a fan of Jesuit priest and writer Fr. James Martin.

I came across him and his perspective, actually, about things relating to mental health and humor in videos with psychology and spirituality writer Therese J. Borchard.

This article is not about, nor I’m certain, meant to spur humorous conversation.

I could go on, but baseball practice is in two shakes of a lambs tail, so for now, I’ll say that if wishes were beggars I’d ride on a nice long email exchange with Fr. Martin about an imaginary battle, debate, conversation with Pope Benedict XIV.

The writing challenge by Jeff Goins I’ve entered suggests on day one to write a “manifesto” that I am a writer, and to either have a real conversation or send it to someone that would make me nervous.

His one word advise is to DECLARE, not justify, that I am a writer.

So, because of time limitations, I am messaging this post to Fr. Martin on FB, bringing my knitting to baseball, and continuing my imaginary discourse with the Holy Father on why I refuse, thus far, to say “grievous” in Church for the time being. (The vatican under Pope Benedict has made some word changes in our Mass which seem to be a great blessing to some, and great frustration to others).

This guy (Fr. Martin) is, like, pretty famous among famous Catholic writers. So, yeah, even sending the guy a tweet makes me a little bit nervous.

I do declare tho, what the heck, yes?