Thursday, March 31, 2022

March Musings Day 31: A Sweet Ending

It is the last day of writing with the Two Writing Teachers community of reflective writers during the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. I started the journey by creating. and connecting with new slicers or friends whom  I've written alongside for years in artful ways. 

Writing is a practice of the heart on a journey of self-discovery. It "brings us back to the uniqueness of our minds and an acceptance of it." (Natalie Goldberg)

31 Days of Writing

connecting with my thoughts:
scattered singed ashes,
trying to make sense of the nature of March.
nuggets of thoughts float along.
pause for right eye cataract surgery
and a few weeks of post-surgery.
The creative process continued
I'm ready for the slicers' party
to continue to write.

before the stroke of midnight.
I write new formats.
An ekphrastic dodoitsu evolves.
I dream of capturing the 
sensitivity of the moment
especially when birthdays are special.
and this sweet ending
to yet another month of daily writing.
©CV, 2022

The above index poem catalogs my past month of daily writing for the Two Writing Teachers 2022 Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. You can click on the words in green to link to my daily slices at my website, Beyond LiteracyLink
What's Up Next?
Since writing is a journey of the mind and heart, I will continue to write poetry throughout April, National Poetry Month, and as a priority, unveil my Winter's Embrace Gallery of Artistic Expressions. Each creation will focus on capturing the "humanity of the moment" in photos as stated by photographer Robert Frank.
Thank you poet-teacher, Heidi Mordhorst for hosting Poetry Friday. I am heading over to see what poetic goodness she has for April 1st. 

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers and thank you Amy Ellerman on behalf of Two Writing Teachers for your congratulatory send-off on this last day of the 15th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. 

Readers, thank you for joining me at my March Musings 2022 this year.
I appreciate your comments and commitment to writing.
It's been a wonderful experience exchanging slices with you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 30: Soul-Calming Moments

Some days are just so packed with my laundry list of tasks that I need to step back at the end of the day and find time to be grateful, not perturbed. Today was my day of running from task to task like the jackrabbit that hip-hopped across my lawn last summer. He probably was the one eating my flowers but I am digressing. I really don't like not having time to catch my breath so I seek quiet alone time when this happens. Reflecting on my day, I woke with the inclination to write in the morning but life took a different turn. At 8:00 A.M. the doorbell rang and 3 tradespeople were ready to complete the ticket they were given for my 11-month warranty servicing. But they arrived on the wrong day. While this was not ideal, I went with the flow of a new plan. It would have been nice to start the day slowly and accomplish tasks at my own pace. 

It is 11:19 P.M. and my muse finally caught up with me. She nudged me to pause-think-ink with the beautiful sound of Tim Janis' instrumental music that began with "Blessed Assurance". I read his quote before slicing. "My instrumental music can help you find deep relaxation, relieve anxiety, and find peace." You must indulge me and listen to a few minutes of the song because your day may have been like mine. 

finding time to chill
fits the bill
at the end of the day
the muse shows me the way
soft music flows
I start with prose
my thoughts slow down 
I no longer frown
I hear the sound
look around
I am amidst the flowers
in the bewitching hours
this is my story, this is my song
I am where I belong
©CV, 2022

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers.
Readers, thank you for joining me this month for my March Musings' slices.
I appreciate your comments and commitment to writing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 29: Rambling Autobiography

I was born in a small town populated by many Italian immigrants and their descendants along the New York State Erie Canal. Not until I was in graduate school did I know that my mother immigrated from Italy in 1921 with my Nonnie when she was a baby. I grew up adoring my Nonnie and spent peaceful summers learning about baking and gardening and taking weekly walks to the library. While I did not buy anything during those summer months, my Nonnie saved her money to purchase me a Katy Keene comic book. From then on, I fell in love with fashion and thought I might pursue fashion design like my mother did but my photographer uncle and mother insisted that I should go to a four-year college. My dream to become a creative person who wrote poetry and studied photography grew from then on. When in graduate school studying curriculum development, my professor asked me to start a reading program for young delinquent boys in a reform school in the country. From there I followed a calling to help others become lifelong readers. My favorite places were different reading corners inside or nature-inspired areas for writing outside. I can still sense the peace emanating from my alone time with a book or pen and paper. While in high school, I started dating a young man on and off this high school/college romance was not sustainable so I continued to search for love until I met my husband when I least expected romance. While walking with one crutch into a birthday party love struck. We conversed about my painful skiing accident and how I fainted in the hospital after being driven from Massachusetts to my hometown of Syracuse, New York. I became familiar with pain and while I was geographically unsuitable for my love interest, love did grow. I gave my heart to him a couple of years later. During the years that followed in a small village on Long Island, New York, we grew in faith as a family of four experiencing heartaches and joy. Becoming resilient through challenges became important when I once had non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2003. Remission became a blessed word that brought us eventually to the second chapter of life in our beautiful new build in Virginia. Here, we live with my family which is filled with two amazing little grandgirls. Life is fragile and uncertain but "in family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony" (Friedrich Nietzsche)  

Thank you, Fran Haley, for your awesome rambling autobiography that was inspired by Denise Krebs who took Linda Rief's rambling autobiography and made the following starters for a quick write lesson. 

I was born…
I adore…
I bought…
I have…
I never…
One of my…
When I was (age)…
My favorite place…
I can still (sense)…
I dated…
I fainted…
I gave…
I once had…
I am…
I want to…

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers.

Monday, March 28, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 27: Birthdays Are Special!

Do you celebrate your loved ones' birthdays with fanfare? We take birthdays seriously. In our family, it is the birthday person's choice on how to celebrate. We usually go out to dinner or make one at home. We always have a cake, light the birthday candles, sing the birthday song, and take photos. Friday was my husband's birthday. Since we don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent, he bought one of his favorite meats, prime rib on the bone and celebrated with the grandchildren two days later. But my sister treated my husband to a fish dinner on the big day.

We gathered two days after the big birthday to celebrate once again. The dinner was fabulous from the appetizer to the delicious and decadent cookie and creme chocolate cake and homemade cookies. As we sang Happy Birthday, I thought. "You're not older - you're just more distinguished!" 

Birthdays are special in our family. We hope our grandchildren grow up remembering this.

Thank you 
Two Writing Teachers 
for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers.

#SOL22 March Musings Day 28: Family Pictures

Are you the family photographer? I am always with my camera documenting family events with photos. It is one of my passions ever since I took a photography class in college. Capturing the essence of a moment is something I delight in so yesterday at my husband's "big birthday party, I I took multiple photos to find the right one that shared the joy of the event. This morning, I found a quote that will guide me as I continue to take photos.

"There is one thing that the photography must contain - the humanity of the moment." -Robert Frank

I would like to dig deeper into the photographic element of connecting with people in the moment as Robert Frank did in his photo taken in 1949. 

Capturing the Sensitivity of the Moment

sensitivity touches the soul
sensitivity touches the soul
©CV, 2022

I had difficulty synching up my two computers between Day 27 and 28. There were glitches that I just found. The links are correct now.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers.


Saturday, March 26, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 26: Winter In Spring

Cherry blossom trees are always the stars of the season in Washington, DC. 

Photos of a beautiful cherry blossom tree In January during winter and March 21st in spring.
-Kevin Ambrose, The Washington Post

With full anticipation of seeing the gorgeous display in the Tidal Basin, I sat in front of my young weeping cherry blossom tree contemplating how beautiful it looked even without full blossoms. Then, today while completing errands, an unexpected rainstorm blew in. A sudden sleet storm followed with swooshing winds and cold air. I thought of my little weeping cherry blossom tree shivering in my backyard and wondered if it and the trees in the Tidal Basin will continue to bloom.

Winter in Spring

©CV, 2022, Virginia


Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers. 

Friday, March 25, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 25: Ekphrastic Dodoitsu

The Poetry Sisters posted their March Challenge asking poetry peeps to create an ekphrastic dodoitsu. Lucky me, I knew what type of poetry that was since Mary Lee Hahn, one of the Poetry Sisters, gifted me during a poetry swap with a deck of handmade dodoitsu cards and original poems she created from the deck. 

The cards grace my desk and when inclined, I use the cards to create short poems of four lines with a 7-7-7-5 syllabic pattern on topics of love or work. The one glitch for me is writing a humorous poem as the format asks for. This part is a bit difficult for me. Why? Well, my husband considers me to be a serious type of person, not a humorous one. Since I love to play with the Poetry Sisters each month, I gave it a try. 

This is actually a true story and the photo is an original one of the conference hall. It was a March day with brilliant sunshine but towards the end of the conference, the weather shifted and all that darkness at the top of the digitized photo is the snow that came down and made a sloppy mess.

circle of love welcomes all
enter my year-old abode
with careful steps walk slowly
boxes block passage
©CV, revised 2022

Unfortunately, my house looks like the first few months when we first moved in, cluttered with moving boxes. The boxes that are in my dining room and hallway now are holiday decorations that are being sorted and moved from our attic to the garage that is decked out with new organizational systems from The Container Store (that are still not in the completed stage). 


Poet-author-teacher, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, who hosts Poetry Friday this week. I am joining Amy at her blog, The Poem Farm, where she is not only announcing her new National Poetry Month 2022 project, Pick A Proverb, but shares her first proverb poem that will start a full month of writing. Amy invites everyone to write alongside her.

Thank you, Poetry Sisters, for the challenge. #PoetryPals

Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 24: Late Night Thoughts

Presently, I am contemplating sleep
The kind that wraps me in a delicious dream,
Takes me to another dimension and
Pauses the check-offs on my to-do laundry list.

A few moments ago, I read through 
Several slices of familiar and new-to-me writers.
Time moves on, put down the pen, fall into a deep sleep,
The kind that takes me to another place and time. 

But right now, I realize my fingers are continuing to
Rhythmically type words that awaken my senses.
Inspiration flows postponing thoughts of sleep.
I find solace in the click, click tempo of one more thought.

Without delay, there is a soft nudge to rest.
The eye patch is no longer needed and sleep is calling.
I anticipate a restful sleep, the kind that refreshes the mind.
I wonder who else is writing late-night thoughts. 
©CV, 2022

Perhaps this song will help me sleep.

I thank Aggie's Currently slice and Terje Akke's Right Now slice for their writing models.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

#SOL22 Day 23: 22 Days of March Musings

  • 22 Days of March Musings

connecting with my thoughts:
scattered singed ashes,
trying to make sense of the nature of March.
nuggets of thoughts float along.
post-surgery follows.
The creative process continues
I'm ready for the slicers' party
to continue to write.
©CV, 2022,

I composed the above poem after many days of pondering how I could make it happen. Everyone needs some creative fun when writing so I gathered the titles of my 2022 Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge posts in a list format. An index poem to catalog my March writing so far naturally evolved from one title to the next. You can click on any words in green to link to a specific slice that is located on my Blogger website, Beyond LiteracyLink.  

I made one deviation from the order of which I wrote the poems. I started with the 2nd day of slicing, followed by the first.   
Happy Slicing!

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 22: A Shot of Inspiration Needed

Do you ever feel like you need a bit of inspiration to start-kick your day?  

Still recovering from the first cataract surgery and feeling scattered even before that, I need a BIG shot of inspiration to stay balanced.  Read through this laundry list of to-do items to understand why I need an inspirational remedy. 

  1. No Stretch and Pump or Gentle Yoga Classes
  2. No lifting more than 20 pounds
  3. No bending down with my head down
  4. Stick to the eye drop regime (3 boxes of drops: two must be inserted into the right eye 4xs per day and one every 2 hours plus rub a small amount of ointment in the surgery eye nightly )
  5. Continue to insert a drop of Restasis 2xs per day in the left eye
  6. Get ready for the reinstallation of one of the organizational racks that the installers did not install correctly
  7. Continue with routine life chores
  8. Find time for a daily walk
  9. Be ready for distractors
This laundry list of to-dos, especially #9, is tilting my perspective, BUT it is What It Is!


Open the shades
Let sunshine in
So hope flows
Into my soul
©CV, 2022, small poem

Breathe and you dwell in the here and now.
-Annabel Laity

Breathe In
Breathe In
©CV, 2022, skinny poem


Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers.

Monday, March 21, 2022

#SOL22 March Musings Day 21: Welcome Springtime!

It's Here!

Spring is here,
Such a needed season this year!
Prancing in with sunshine and warmth,
thoughts of renewal putting forth.

I see trees start to pop,
As nature opens her floral shop.
Pinks and purples peek and shout
While winter shades fade out.
©CV, 2022

A quick look at what past Springs brought to brighten Earth:

In 2018, slicer Ramona Behnke captured Spring in Washington.

The above photos were in past global galleries of artistic expressions that I design for online viewing. I am stepping back into time this year and creating My Winter's Embrace Gallery. Stop back to see that unveiled.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for this daily meeting place to connect with a community of reflective writers.