Circles of Time | March 2024

Circles of Time | March 2024

This month I have been spending much of my time contemplating the idea of “deep time” or perhaps the concept is better explained as circles of time. The idea, at least to me, seems a bit like the ripples created when you drop pebbles in a pool of water. The water ripples out further and further…and that place where those ripples interconnect… well, that is where time for me has gotten very interesting!

Rilke, of course, has give me some incredible inspiration… dear, dear Rilke.

Widening Circles

by Rainer Maria Rikle

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

Published in Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. (You can listen to Joanna read it here. Her voice and these words…perfection!)

And so I have been thinking about the circles of time in my life this month. I brought Andri Snær Magnason along with me as I have been reading his brilliant work, On Time and Water. He has provided volumes to think about in this small yet weighty book! I have been slowly savoring it. I have kept going back and rereading parts as I contemplate his thoughts and the circles of my life and the depths of time. As I ponder my circles, my children’s circles, my grandchildren’s and their children and grandchildren’s circles… will they have any time at all? All these thoughts on circles of time has made me think about how interconnected I am to the past, the present, and yes… especially to the future, because things I do today will absolutely send out a ripple.

I “give myself” gladly to the circle I am in… and whether I complete this circle or not, it will interconnect with another circle and so on and so on… for thousands of years. And I think that just might be the great song of my life.

And time is like an image painted half by water —— and half of it by me. — Steinn Steinarr

I would like to thank Carolyn for keeping a space for us to share our thoughts, our progress, our struggles, our hopes!

See you all back here on Wednesday.

Photo by Jakub Novacek


Self Time | February 2024

Self Time | February 2024

Self-care is not a waste of time. Self-care makes your use of time more sustainable. — Jackie Viramontez

I approached the concept of time a bit differently this month. I am not very good at the idea of “self-care” (as I think many women are…sigh.)

Every day this month, I have tried to spend at least fifteen minutes each day for myself. (The 15-minute block of time was the easiest thanks to my 100-day project.) But I wanted to do more than 15 minutes of stitching for myself.

Thanks to a scheduling issue, my “annual” physical was pushed back from January to the first of February which I thought was a great way to start the month with a self-care focus! This was just my second visit with my doctor… the first time was last January and I did not have a “good vibe” with him. I am happy to report that this visit was not that! He asked if I had any concerns… so I talked about my bouts with insomnia, the ever-present tinnitus, and my decreasing/diminishing hearing. He listened and helped me “make some plans” which I have been implementing all month long.

First up, he helped me realize that sleep should not be fleeting and insomnia does not need to be a.thing. “Make the bedroom a sanctuary,” was his suggestion and I worked on that! I started by getting some new sheets for the bed.  I also stopped reading in bed after “lights out,” which has had a dramatic impact on sleep. And he gave me some different ideas on how to deal with the tinnitus at night. Yes, I still had a few nights of insomnia… but I got out of bed, got a glass of water, and then sat up and read for a bit. Surprise, surprise… I soon found myself feeling tired enough to put the book down and go back to bed. He also suggested melatonin for the nights that I am really struggling but I have not had to take any… yet.

The second phase of my doctor visit begins this morning with my appointment with an ENT doctor. Goals for this appointment…discuss the tinnitus and the hearing loss. I will have a hearing test as well, and yes, I am a bit nervous. But I think no matter what the outcome of this appointment, by addressing these issues will result in a better quality of life!

I also had bloodwork done and it was fantastic! The Lipitor® is working fantastically! And my other numbers were not bad at all. Thank goodness for science because atorvastatin is one amazing little pill!

I got the RSV vaccine as well, and although I ran a low-grade fever for a couple of days after getting the “jab” I have another level of protection as I go about life!

I made an appointment for an eye exam… sadly, the actual appointment is not until next month. But living life with “readers” for “every vision” in every space has passed the frustrating mark… New glasses, yes please!

I still *need* to make an appointment to get my hair cut as well. This has been on my list all month and I have just been ignoring it. (In case you think I somehow achieved a perfect score in self care…) I don’t know why I am avoiding this perhaps a bit of not knowing what I want…But February is not yet over… there are a few days left this month to make that call!

Making yourself a priority is like sprinkling golden dust of richest blessings on your life. — Hiral Nagda

I also have been delighting in an extra poem (or two) with my morning meditation time. Nothing… and I mean absolutely nothing is better to begin a day than stopping and reading a poem. It changes the inside of me… in such a good way!

I also spent more time stitching… gosh, who knew that a needle, some thread, and a piece of linen could be a thing that saved my life this month! When my knitting just fell flat, I had stitching… when I needed a brief respite, I had stitching… when I had an idea to try “x”, I had stitching. And even if the idea did not work… often I found a different way to try something. (So yes, I am loving my daily stitching project. One small “stone” each day this month found its way into my heart and I have loved what I have learned!) I always knew making, in some form, was a good thing I did for myself and right now stitching is leading the way!

But perhaps the best thing I learned this month is that taking care of myself is the “golden dust of richest blessings…” Yes, yes!

And that is my month of “self care” perhaps I have set my feet on the path of being better about prioritizing myself.

A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing us all a landing space to talk about our words and how we interacted with them this month!

See you all back here on Wednesday!

A Timely Beginning | January 2024

A Timely Beginning | January 2024

A new year, a new month, a new word… (and at least one of these things is a very good thing!)

This month I spent my some of my time “unpacking time” a bit. I found that I had quite a few “boxes” to look through as this word began showing up for me last April! I am thankful to my previous self for setting aside so many of the pieces of time that crossed my path last year. I am finding them just as timely now as I did then… and I am ending the month having a new love for what one little word can do for me.

I started where I always start with a word… I turn to the dictionary and begin with the definitions of time. I have written down those definitions… Time as a noun and Time as a verb.

  • Time, noun: The indefinite continued process of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. (i.e.  my life)
  • Time, verb: plan, schedule, or arrange when (something) should happen or be done. (i.e. the time of my day)

And with those thoughts in mind, I focused on Jenny Odell’s delightful question:

“What other kinds of time? “

I started with Jenny’s thoughts on Chrónos (quantitative time) and Kairos (deep time). I went back and listened to Jenny’s conversation here about her book, Saving Time. I dug deeper into the idea of Chrónos [time, duration (taken from Merriam Webster)] and Kairos [Fullness of time; the propitious moment, especially for decision or action. (taken from the Oxford Dictionary)]. And Googling Chrónos and Kairos provided the most delightful rabbit hole… I spent a good bit of time wading around there!

I surprisingly stumbled across another delightful Time Rabbit Hole when I listened to a conversation with Paul Salopek. He introduced me to the idea of geological time… time in which we walk in the paths of ancestors. I loved, loved, loved this idea! And it made me think of all the things I do today… that have been done by thousands of people before me. I came up with quite a list… reading, knitting, sewing, cooking, cleaning… I mean… all of my day is spent doing things that others have done. This made me look at some of those things on my list in a new way. I can spend less time doing laundry than ancestors did… I have the benefit of having an automatic washer and dryer. Yes, I have to fill them… but  then I can walk away and do something else with my time. I am not spending my time beating clothes on a rock at a river… just saying.

Paul Salopek also talked about time connections… i.e. He noted that time connected to nature “slows down” versus time connected to cities, urban areas, and technology “sped up.” Jenny Odell talks about this as well but in terms “linear” and “vertical” time. Linear time being tied to work… and vertical time are those moments when time seems to stand still… which she noted most profoundly when she was out in nature!

In my Contemplation of Time this year… I want to reconsider the time of my day… or as Tolkien said:

All we I have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us me. 

I know one thing for sure… the amount of time I have left is decreasing daily and so I want to spend my time in better ways. I want to find more things that bring “vertical” time… those moments where I don’t feel the drag of time, but rather am lost from time.

And there you have my timely beginning… I am so excited to spend a year focused on time!

As always, I want to thank Carolyn for gathering us all together as we dig deep into our words! It is a delightful community of “worders” and I always learn something from all the participants!


A Year of Time | 1.5.24

A Year of Time | 1.5.24

Life can be very curious and last April I stumbled into this conversation with Jenny Odell. It was the beginning of time showing up for me… nudging me… as I moved through my year with Authenticity. I could not get the conversation with Jenny Odell out of my mind and I have listened to it again and again. I also began to write down the time nudges as the year went on. There were so many of them!

What songs are audible when the wind stops? What has been kept alive in the time snatched from work and sheltered from ongoing destructionwhat moments of recognition, what ways of relating, what other imagined worlds, what other selves? What other kinds of time?

What other kinds of time indeed!!

So welcome to my Year of Time! I can remember the first time I heard The Rolling Stones singing about  “time being on my side” and I can tell you that at age 63, I no longer believe time is on my side… but rather I have gotten to the portion of my life journey where my time reality is finite. So how can I maximize my finite minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years that I might have left? That is what I want to explore this year… stepping away from the finiteness of time… and perhaps finding moments where I can make time seem less measured!

Of course there is a Mary Oliver poem… right? The quote above is from Mary’s poem, Invitation published in Red Bird in 2008. It advantageously crossed my path in December and I have been reading it almost daily. It is all about the idea of stopping and listening to the goldfinches… finding the time… taking the time… slowing the time… to stop and appreciate the goldfinch song.

Which is ironic really, because the conversation with Jenny Odell is all about trying to find more “vertical” time in our lives where time is very linear… structured… filled.

So I hope you will come along with me as I search for more “vertical” time… and perhaps discover a plethora of other kinds of time. 

Why? Well.. the closing words of Mary’s poem perhaps hold the answer:

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he
You must change your life.

Amen, dear Rilke… and so I begin to uncover the delights of time! (and I am so incredibly excited!)

Forward… with Authenticity | December 2023

Forward… with Authenticity | December 2023

If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all. — Dan Rather

It has been quite the journey… one that began way back in 2019 with Focus. I never imagined that it would have taken this long path… and when I began this year I did not know if there would be another “building block” in my journey… and as the year draws to a close, no additional “building block” word has surfaced. I am feeling like that is a very good thing. However, it is not a journey finished… it is rather a journey that will not end. I have learned incredible things about myself over the last 5 years!

And this year had some very incredible, informative, eye-opening moments as I worked through authenticity. I learned that being authentic starts with myself… to myself… for myself.

The year also had some struggles… I made an effort to take a photo of myself each month… print it out and saved in my journal. I end the year no more comfortable with “self-photography” than I was in January but that is okay… it will be a part I carry forward next year… more practice, more photos, more journaling… and hopefully more comfort!

The other “new thing” I did this year was that journal! A separate, special “log” each month of the year… not an “artistic” journal, but one that for me was more approachable… and authentic. This will be something I carry forward as well. I like being able to go back and read when I am feeling stuck… it is a delightful way to see how far I have come!

It feels so very good to move beyond this very long journey… and I am so excited for where I will go next year!

A huge thanks to Carolyn for hosting us… It feels so good to be on a journey with the camaraderie of fellow “word” friends. I always learn so much from the things everyone shares!

I will reveal my new word once I have done a bit of “year end” housekeeping next week! Happy New Year everyone!

(and a reminder, there will be no Unraveled Wednesday post this week!)

** Photo by Johannes Plenio

Authenticity, for real | November 2023

Authenticity, for real | November 2023

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

This has truly been a good year… but… during the month I did not “think” much about my word. However, I journaled quite a bit and as I sat down to pull this post together it occurs to me that authenticity has become reality for me.

I am very comfortable speaking up for myself. This is perhaps the most impressive thing I have written here! I certainly journaled about it lots this month! And I am happy to say that speaking up for myself does not mean I am offending anyone… or not being nice… or being difficult.

I embraced “not knowing” things I did not know… i.e. if someone (Steve mostly) asked me about something obscure that I did not know… I could just say, ‘I don’t know’ and it felt so good! (Likewise, I did not feel the need to know or learn about what he asked… I was entirely comfortable is my ‘I don’t know’ response and I discovered that sometimes that thing (whatever it is) that pops into his head does not need a solution or an answer. (Thank you, dearest Rilke for that invaluable ‘live the question’ advice!)

I have a very comfortable routine for my days – perhaps too comfortable. Too comfortable is one of those danger zones for me… it can become complacent, which is never, ever good. So I am shaking up my “normal” routine with a new painting class (that begins tomorrow.) This one has weekly homework, so I will ignite the “good student” inside me and break out of myself a bit!

And I am feeling very, very ready to be done with this word… in past years, I have felt some sorrow as the year ended because I really felt that I had more to learn. This year that is not the case at all and I am eager to take my authentic self into the New Year with a very clean slate!

As always, I am so thankful for Carolyn gathering us all together. Do stop and see how everyone did in their journey this month!

Happy Monday everyone! See you all back here on Wednesday for some unraveling!




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