Held hostage by a cat…

Hello!

This poem is self-explanatory, I believe. When my roommate brought a kitten home, the plants on my desk – which unfortunately were toxic to the kitten – were relocated to my bedroom. Ever since then, it has been my unpleasant duty to keep the cat from entering my room, or once she is in there, to get her back out, no matter what time of day or night.

SLEEP INTERRUPTUS

Held hostage by a cat.

Her name? Goal.
Is it her goal to keep me prisoner?
Retribution for keeping her from epipremnum aureum and chlorophytum comosum, the Devil’s Ivy and Spider?
Two species of plants inhabiting my room that could prove deadly should she take a tasty bite.
So, the door to my room remains closed for her safety,
Shutting her out and shutting me in.

We battle in the night, her for access, me for blocking entrance to a room that holds fatal attraction.
She knows not it is for her protection, to safeguard her against the evils of my greenery.
My room holds an abundance of fascinating hiding spots, appealing scents, intriguing specks on the carpet.
She could spend hours in there, her curiosity being rewarded in a thousand different ways.

But I need my sleep.

I need to escort her to safety, unwilling as she may be.
My patience is tried, my ingenuity is taxed, until finally…finally! I find the magic combination and she leaves the room, either willingly or with a little help.
Once more, I can slumber, but I know
This scene will play out again and again and again.

Held hostage by a cat.

#

This was written on July 9, 2019 after a particularly trying night. I am happy to report that this situation has been resolved; this evening my daughter took my plants for safekeeping. The cat has total access. We will no longer war. We are at peace with one another.

May you find resolutions to your conflicts!

Affectionately,

Penny

 

 

 

 

Heat Warning In Effect!

Hello!

I rarely post two days in a row, but this was appropriate considering that the temperature is 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and with the humidex, 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s so true…a drier cold or a drier heat are so much easier to take than when humidity is thrown into the atmospheric mix.

This was my experience two days ago:

HEAT

Simmering in my apartment all day
Like the proverbial frog in the cauldron
Slowly heating up, not aware of the intensity of my surroundings
Temperature rising, befuddling my senses.

My roommate comes home and insists,
Anywhere with a breeze or air-conditioning is better
Than what I’m stewing in.

I take the risk and venture out into the evening air,
Find a patio and a cold drink.
Sanity returns.

#

 

If you are being affected by this heatwave, my wish for you is that you find cool breezes or air-conditioning. And we can rejoice! More temperate weather is on it’s way. We will be able to resume any outdoor activities we put on hold when the temperatures became unbearable. For me, that means taking long walks, appreciating the lush greens of the grass and trees, the birdsong, and the sound of the water burbling in the river. Something to look forward to!

How has the change in weather affected you?

Until next time…

Affectionately,

Penny

 

Mid-Year Angst

Hello!

When July came upon us, I experienced a kind of angst – the year is half-over, and as I write this, July is more than half-over.

As we get older, time seems to take on wings. I heard it explained this way: to a four-year-old, one year is 1/4 of his life, to a twenty-year-old, one year is 1/20th of her life, and to a sixty-year-old, one year is 1/60th of her life. No wonder a year flies by. It is but a small fraction of my life.

While I was contemplating the fact that we have begun the second half of the year, the following came to me, written July 2, 2019.

JULY

The curtain falls on the first half, then rises immediately on the second. No intermission. No time for relief, to catch one’s breath.

On the stage for the first half: events, hindrances, appointments, meetings, studies, time spent idle, and redemptively, time spent with loved ones.

On the stage for the second: not the same, oh please, Lord, not the same.
Let the latter half be far better than the first.

Please, let me taste of the fruit of the tree of life.
Let my horizons expand in the heat of summer,
so when the cooler climes of autumn awaken me once more to the reality of winter,
My tongue will have been the pen of a ready writer and my creativity will warm both me and others.

And when the curtain falls on the second half, then rises immediately on the future, let there be no remorse, no regret; only the dawn and hope of another year.

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Is there anything over which you are feeling some angst? I urge you to journal it, turn it into prose, poetry, music, dance or artwork. You will find release, and perhaps even some humour as you explore what you’re capable of creating.

Until next time,

Affectionately,

Penny

 

 

 

 

 

Where have I been?

This thought struck me one day  – where have I been all my life? I have started processing situations and thoughts by writing poetry – a kind of prose poetry. I will share these poems with you as I go along.

I call them my “Tuesday” poems. I take myself out to dinner, generally on a Tuesday evening, accompanied by my iPad. The ambience is relaxing. I am not surrounded by reminders of duties calling for my attention. I can think freely.

Here’s the first one, written June 25, 2019.

Where have I been all my life?

Where have I been all my life?
I’ve been present, here and there in fleeting, flitting moments
I have memories which rise and fall, some of ecstatic moments, moments of success, moments of which I’m proud
And others of moments best left in the grave where they belong, but which resurrect at the oddest times
I think of many things that bring me grief
But
There is joy.

Where have I been all my life?
Why was I not more present? Why did I not carpe diem?
How serious I was as a teenager, studying existentialism, seeking the reason for life
Carefree in my twenties, reaping the consequences and coming back into the fold to worship the Almighty in my thirties, raising a daughter in my forties, reinventing myself in my fifties, graduating from university in my sixties
All the while battling Bipolar Disorder until I learned to manage it.

I gaze down the river of the past as it twists and turns, bearing bits of history on its eddies and currents
I peer up the river of the future and I wonder: am I too jaded, too cynical to extract bits of hope?
But
There is joy.

I am alive. The sun shines. I have my wits about me. And having my daughter’s love…priceless!
Can I measure the future by the past? Wisdom says not
So, carpe diem, I say. Appreciate the view of the river as it flows past
Distill joy. Relax.

#

And so, relax! enjoy your summer!

Affectionately,

Penny

 

 

Decisions, decisions…

I want to present to you a problem requiring a decision, from my own personal repertoire, and then a method of making a decision, the four-column method.

I was recently confronted with a situation that required a decision. The outcome would affect time and money, two valuable commodities, whichever way I decided – yea or nay. I have a membership in a health club, for which I pay monthly. I signed up for personal training, for which I also pay monthly. The personal training is on a one-year contract, a legally binding document. I can quit the membership at any time.

The problem is I live so far away from the club that I am rarely going. I don’t have a car, and I make use of city transit. We’re talking 80 minutes round trip. When I first joined, I had the highest expectations of what I could accomplish. I believed my zeal to get fit would override the length of time it takes to get there. Unfortunately, my zealousness did not survive for a number of reasons, thus my desire to resign from the club and training and cut my costs. I can’t get out of the one-year contract; I have nine training sessions, and five months left. I can, however, resign from membership.

So what to do? Resign as a member and save what I am paying for dues, and by necessity, continue paying the training contract, without the benefit of any training? Or continue paying for both, and try to make the best use of the club that I possibly can, given my limitations. I would then resign mid-August, when the contract expires.

I have just been introduced to a decision-making model. It isn’t new, but it’s worth examining again. It’s a Four Column method. I take one set of alternatives, e.g. Keep the Membership, and make a list of Advantages and Disadvantages. Then I take the other set of alternatives, e.g. Don’t Keep the Membership, and also make a list of Advantages and Disadvantages.

My lists looked like this:

Keep Membership

Advantages                                                                      Disadvantages
I will get the benefit of training.                                  I’m paying dues so I don’t lose the 

I won’t be forfeiting the money for training.            money I am paying for training.

Don’t Keep Membership

Advantages                                                                      Disadvantages

I’ll have the extra money from the                              Paying for training I’m not using.
membership dues to keep each month.

Perhaps a load will be lifted off my mine if               I will regret paying for training I’m
I’m not always thinking I should be going.                 not using.

What did I decide? I decided to keep the membership. I got a second opinion from my daughter, who is very astute. Second opinions are good. Her comment was that I had to pay it anyway and at least if I go, I’ll be getting something from it.

I have gone through this exercise to show you a method of making a decision. Now, it’s almost time for me to catch a bus to get to my next training session! See you later!

Affectionately,

Penny

 

 

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A Return…

Hello! I have been absent for far too long. I’ve had writer’s block, brought on mostly by depression. My psychiatrist has prescribed an increase in antidepressants, and I am feeling incrementally better day by day.

Depression brings with it an inertia. I think of all the things I would like to be doing – including writing – but the will and the body won’t cooperate with the mind. There are activities I continue to engage in. I have been doing them for so long it doesn’t take much effort on my part – and very little brain-strain – to keep the momentum going. Having said that, I am enjoying a week away from all my commitments while I housesit. This is definitely refreshing, and most likely one of the reasons I can sit down and record my thoughts in this way.

Do you suffer from depression? Do you have a family member or friend who does? I encourage anyone who is in the depths to have a get-away, even if it’s for only part of a day. Visit an art gallery. Find a restaurant that is featuring live music. Check out an open mic event. Explore nature. Once we get over the initial resistance, we’ll be glad we made the effort. A big world awaits us.

Affectionately,

Penny

 

A Penny-wise thought…What’s in a Name?

Image result for picture I have called you by name

Isn’t that the statement! God has called us by our name and we are His.

I was curious: what does the name Penelope mean? I started by searching “What does Penelope mean?” and reading the descriptions. I suggest you do it for your own names too (don’t forget your middle name!). You might find some pleasant surprises.

Penelope means faithful, weaver, intelligent, wise. In Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope was the wife of Odysseus. She was faithful to him for the twenty years he was away. She kept suitors at bay by pretending she had to finish weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus’ father before she would choose a suitor. I like to weave stories.

People with this name have a deep inner desire to create and express themselves, often in public speaking, acting, writing or music. They also yearn to have beauty around them in their home and work environment.

People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts. When presented with issues, they will see the larger picture. Their solitary thoughtfulness and analysis of people and world events may make them seem aloof, and sometimes even melancholy.

I can see myself in this description. Perhaps others who don’t have the name Penelope can see themselves as well!

Now, to turn this around, what names does God call us? We’re the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8), a friend of God (John 15:15),  God’s handiwork – or work of art, or masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), God’s treasure (Deuteronomy 7:6), His sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18), heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and His beloved (Song of Solomon 2:16). Can you find more?

What’s in a name? A whole character description – from the names we were given at birth, to the names God has lovingly called us.

Enjoy your research!

Affectionately,

Penny