Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yesterday Lingering, Today Languishing.....

"If you have other things in your life ~ family, friends, good productive day work ~ these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer."
~David Brin~

One of my original Beautiful Living goals was to study and hone the craft of writing and today's beautiful living post is from earlier this week and reflects an attempt at that goal. This week beautiful living has literally been through the flow of kind words pouring forth my way from precious blog friends and their well wishes and prayers. Caring words, kind gestures, and simple phrases of "I'm thinking of you." do indeed make life beautiful. To visit more beautiful living posts see Melissa of The Inspired Room.
Well, yesterday I was lingering and today I am just languishing. That's right, I've just been pining away, lost my vigor and my health all in one fell swoop. Thank goodness both of these are only temporary conditions. Languishing can also mean to ache, to have a desire for something or someone who is not present. It can also mean to lose ones strength, become weak, or to live in miserable or disheartening conditions. Now I am not talking about my diagnosis from the doctor yesterday, although, I am sure having pneumonia could apply in this situation, which is what I have, but that is not what is causing me to languish.

I couldn't put my finger on the problem until this evening when I figured out what I had been pining after. I lost my vigor for writing these last couple of weeks and for the life of me I could not figure out why. It may sound weird but without words in my world I am miserable and disheartened, I lose steam and get a funny ache for the flow of words. Well, my visit to the doctor netted me with more than one diagnosis, I've been suffering from writers block!

I also figured out why, I have been cooped up in the house for over two weeks now with just small purposeful trips out and my writing life dried up when I ceased to have interaction with the outside world. Yes, a trip to the doctor was exactly what I needed. I once read somewhere that writers need to live to write, to experience the world around them and I believe this to be true. Being cooped up I had no life experience to spark the flow of words. Life seemed dull and without imagination or inspiration. I have had no adventures lately to inspire me. I have met no characters which set the typewriter keys of my mind clacking. Until today...

Since I wasn't feeling the greatest I decided to go incognito and hope my disguise would work. Rockin' a perfect 50's pony tail and white ball cap gave me that sporty look not to mention that it did wonders for a bad hair day. I tossed on a hoodie, jeans, and sneakers all ready to go and I just couldn't do it. My mother's voice rang in my head about "nevah evah" leavin' the house without looking your best, even if your dieing you don't have to look like you are and you nevah know who you might run into. Swishing the cap off with an exasperated sigh I trudged back to the bathroom to apply my makeup. I didn't want to someday have to face my mother at the pearly gates should something happen to me and explain why I left the house without doin' my face or get in trouble right there in front of St. Peter, being accused of sassin' when I tried to explain to her that Jesus looks on the heart and not the outer appearance. I figured the pony tail ball cap hoodie jeans sneakers thing would be enough to send her into conniption fits as it was. Have mercy mother's have a way of makin' you feel guilty plum into eternity!

The trip to the doctors office was uneventful and standard issue of signing in and verifying information and then the customary hour or so wait. I took along the most recent issue of "Where Women Create" to pass the time pleasantly. I found a far away quite corner to settle into and opened my germ shield, I mean magazine, and buried my nose in the glorious scent of creativity on its glossy pages. I lifted it a little higher to try and block out the noise of the conversation across from me. Two older gentlemen sat discussing their slightly over middle aged spread. I really didn't want to listen but their words kept drifting over the edge of the pages I held in front of me.

They discussed all the reasons they had gained weight and then went on to share favorite dishes that their wives cooked for them and their favorite restaurants. They went on and on about the merits of certain diets, best activities to burn calories, and building muscle in place of fat. One of them was called back to see the doctor, but not before they made arrangements to meet for lunch at the all you can eat buffet around the corner. You gotta' smile at that.I am trying to read about Victoria MacKenzie~Childs floating studio when the epitome of a genteel southern woman glides into the chair next to mine. Have mercy, I think my mother sent her as a reminder of how one should always look in public! Heaven forbid if you actually show up at the doctor looking sick! I hunkered down deeper in my pages hoping she did not choose to sit by me, such a stark contrast, because it sure made one of us look better.

Ms. Belle got a phone call just as soon as she sat down and I was entranced by her sweet soft southern drawl. Her voice was positively musical. Once again I tried not to listen as she lowered her voice to a conspiratorial tone and let fly the words, "Bless his heart..." Now, in the south when you hear a statement begin with, "Bless his or her heart..." this is a sign that he/she is about to the subject of some choice gossip, an unkind comment, or under the scrutiny of a strong opinion pointing out a wrong doing on him/her. I think this is a polite way of askin' forgiveness by sayin' it like you are really concerned.

Well, the "he" in question here was about to drive some "her" crazy and Ms. Belle was of the opinion that he had, "...lost his ever lovin' mind!" The taste of her tidbit died on the tip of her tongue, bitter
indeed as she was called back just at the moment she was about to reveal the juicy bite of news to the eager listener. Not me silly, the one on the other end of the phone, but I did wonder. And there cropped up my mother again, givin' me a lecture on ease droppin'. Can I help it if she sat right smack next to me and enchanted me with her smooth as molasses voice? Mama sent along reinforcements on this one as a scene from Bambi sprang into my head. Thumper makes a comment that Bambi can't walk very well and his mother admonishes him to remember what his father said to him that very morning, "If you can't say something nice...don't say nothing at all." You can't win against TWO mothers, point well taken!
Finally, the room begins to empty of patients as lunchtime nears and I think I will get a bit of quite to read in after all until Mr. Sniffles arrives. Oh yes, about twenty or so empty chairs in the room and he makes a bee line for the one just vacated by Ms. Belle. I have no objection until I become utterly annoyed by his sniffing pattern. OK, I admit when I am sick I am cranky and little things that I never notice seem to magnify and get on my nerves and rhythmic sniffing just about sent me over the moon and not in a good way. This is what I hear, "SNIFF, SNIFF!" *five second pause* "SNIFF, SNIFF!" *five second pause* "SNIFF, SNIFF!" I think you get the picture. I seriously want smile and offer him a tissue before I slap, I mean snap.

My husband was thankful that I did not reach over and touch Mr. Sniffles's nose which is my signal for "KNOCK IT OFF!" It is what I do when Handy Hubby snores at night. A gentle tap on the tip of his nose is all it takes and he turns over and quits snoring. He says I don't even wake up anymore I just reach over and tap. Why is it that I get so irritable over a simple sound? Oh, have mercy, here she is again, Mother, using my formal name and remindin' me of the shameful incident at the breakfast table many moons ago when I slapped my little step sister for smakin' and slurpin' her already noisy Rice Crispies. I am reminded to mind my manners and keep my hands to myself. Is offerin' a tissue offensive to save ones sanity?

Well, before I could make up my mind it was my turn to partake in that awful walk of shame where they lead you down the long cold sterile hall, point to the dreaded scale, then LOUDLY announce just exactly where that double scoop of butter pecan ice cream in a waffle cone landed! Yep, anyone within shoutin' distance figured that out right along with ya! In case you are wonderin', I flicked mother off my shoulder for this one, I DID NOT need the extra weight of her guilt tipping that scale any further!

I was seated in a little cubby of room when the doctor popped in and did a double take. His glance went from name on chart to patient in chair to blank stare. A light bulb went off and he connected the two stammering, "I almost did not recognize you. You look, (insert polite pause here), well, not quite like yourself today." "I'm sick.", I offer as an explanation knowing full well that it is my disguise that renders me unrecognizable. See, what was mother carrying on about? It worked, no one would even suspect I was her daughter caught out in public in such shameful condition! Well, they might actually recognize me because we have a very strong resemblance. I am liable to bring shame on the family name by not being properly put together! Oh, so, this is really not about me but a reflection of her. I do seriously try not to shame the family name, but putting too much weight on outward appearance can be a heavy burden to bear so once again I flicked her off my shoulder and gave my attention to what was needful at the moment, my health and not my hat, hair, or hoodie!

After a bit of friendly chit chat and the exam over it is determined that one of my lungs has some serious snap, crackle, and pop going on and the other is not far behind. I think they ingested some Rice Crispies for breakfast. Is this revenge for that long ago slap? I said I was sorry and I really was. My quick temper and impulsive actions to let petty irritants get the best of me have improved much with age, except when I am sick. Is this a gentle reminder that I need to be kind to myself and others, not getting so irritable about what I cannot control?

Lessons learned, a painful shot, and a baggie of medicine later I am headed home to languish until bedtime. As I slip beneath the covers and make my "nest" as Handy Hubby calls it, a magical thing happens. My day begins to form in descriptive words and pictures and the keys of the typewriter in my head set to clacking as sleep eludes me. I know I have a whole day of rest ahead of me in the morning an my muse is back and I must scurry from my bed and write. I glance up at the clock astonished, surely I have only been here mere minutes, not three hours lost in the delight of setting down observations of an extraordinary ordinary day!There is so much that did not make it into this blog post and it matters not. Perhaps what is here is too much and it won't be read anyway, that is OK, this one is for me. It is a delightful celebration of my return of words, of my brain firing off rapid thoughts and feelings, of regaining vigor, the lifting of a block that bound me to a silenced pen. I learned a lot about myself today, some of it good and some of it not so good. Isn't that what a day of life is, living it, learning from it, growing, changing, and experiencing? Isn't it savoring every sight, sound, taste, touch, and feel?

Sadly, I hear no advice from mama on these thoughts. Mama can't hear my muse and we march to the beat of different drums. She lives locked in her world of quite desperation where everything on the outside appears as normal and everything in on the inside is a mess. Maybe someday in some way she will learn that living is more that a set of standards or rules or confines of polite society. Maybe someday she will know that the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly serve to pretty up the appearance of life. It is often the muddy muddle of experiences that bring about the beauty of change and lift us from languishing. Were she to listen to a piece of my advice, I'd tell her to embrace every facet of each days experiences and gather them like precious jewels, treasure them, and let them enrich her life.

Miss Sandy

P.S. Thank you all for the sweetest of well wishes. I so appreciate your kind words and prayers. I really am going on break now, unless the typewriter keys start to clack, then I'll be back!


KathyB. said...

I could hear your mother speaking and what a portrait you painted in this post. Your muse is definitely with you. I even read in 'Southern accent', pray tell, which Southern accent would that be? The slow, syrup style , the mouth full of nails military style, the long drawn out many and so unique!

I am so interested in mothers who were strict about appearance, etc.. my mom did not seem too interested in our appearance, just that we noticed hers.Good thing your Mom goes with you, she keeps you in check and aMUSED!

Now that your case of writers' block is on the mend, it seems the rest of you is too. Good news to us all.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh about your decision to put on the makeup before going out. Last week, I applied the makeup, fluffed the hair and went to the grocery store. A nice-looking man about 75-80 kept nodding at me as we made our way up and down the aisles. Finally, he said, "You look just like a GIRL went to school with; are you so and so?????" 75 or 80!!!!! My heart sank; the makeup is not helping me any longer!!!
Hope you are on the mend now that you have been diagnosed and with the latest round of medicine. Take care.

bluemuf said...

Wow my dear have made my morning. Please get well soon

Hugs Karen

Vee said...

=) Oh, I'm so glad the muse is back! I knew it was right away.

"Is offerin' a tissue offensive to save ones sanity?" ROFL! Too funny for words. You are doing very well to have pneumonia and be do funny at the same time.

We, John and I, were just having a conversation about being incognito when we win the lottery. I'll take a few cues from how you dressed for the doc's office.

Say, how often do you flick your mama off your shoulder anyway?

TinyBear said...

HI Sandy
Great post - I can just hear you mother speaking. I hope you are feeling better soon.

My blog giveaway arrived today. It´s so beautiful - thank a lot.
I love it (have blogged about it too)
Tina x

ps. I have put a link to your blog on mine - hope it´s okay.

Susie said...

Sandy, Your words are so picturesque. It was so easy to see everything you talked about. I have never seen you but felt like I did today. The two older men in the doc's office were so easily pictured as well as the southern lady. As I read your words I thought you had found some "beauty" even in the docs office. But then the sniffly man came in. That would have drove me crazy too.

I had to laugh reading about your snoring husband. Been there and do that almost every night myself. Except he says I shove him upside his head! Me! I do that?

I hope that you start feeling better quickly. No fun being under the weather.

kathy said...

SAndy , you always give us delight -- ah words -- some of my favorite things - very picturesque - especially as I know a few southern belle MOMS
myself - rofl ! cause - excuse the expression -- I is one !!
just kidding - get well soon dear friend - kathy - ga

Joy said...

Sandy, I've gotten to the point where I scare myself if I dare to go out in public without makeup on. I just know it's a recipe for running into someone I know!

Hope you're feeling better very soon. :o)

LiLi M. said...

Whow, no writers block anymore! I loved your adventures including your mothers advice! Write like this and you will be better soon. I love photos too, well in style with the story but beautiful on its own too.
Have a nice day! Best wishes!

Andrea said...

Sandy, your writing is delightful. Very enjoyable reading and descriptive, like a nice southern short story. Blessings.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Did you feel that? It was a big hug from me to you. Be well my dear friend.
I am so cherishing my lovely little cone.

Vicki Page said...

Miss Sandy so sorry to hear you've been ill, funny so have I haven't check blogs for a few days seems like weeks. I was at the doctors today they feel now is the time to start seeing the kidney specialist. Not good news. Enjoyed your writing made me laugh! Hope you feel better soon. Vicki

Miss Sandy said...


I'll double up on my prayers and do keep me posted on your condition. I am so sorry to hear that you are under the weather too. I am glad I made you giggle, laughter is good medicine!

The Feathered Nest said...

Hi sweet Sandy ~ I'm so sorry that you're sick!! Please rest tons and tons and take very good care of yourself...I'll keep you in my prayers dear friend, xxoo, Dawn

The Other Side of Me said...


What a delightful blog and what a doubly delightful read this morning! I loved your tale of the doctor's office and the way you found your writing muse, again.

I hope you are feeling better soon and I look forward to coming back to read some more.


Shopgirl said...

Drink lots of good tea and just rest, we will all be here when you are well, Hugs, Mary

Martha, Vintage Trifles said...

Your post made my morning. I needed a giggle. I, too, think about what my mom would say or how she would handle certain situations with grace and respect. Then, I attempt to do the same. Sometimes it's so hard! Please take care of yourself and get well. Hugs, M.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! I have those days too, even if I'm not feeling under the weather, where the chit chat, sniffling, over loud cell phone conversations, children crying and other general racket cause me to haul out the ipod and **poof** they all disappear!

Blessings ~ Eileen @ Star's Fault

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE vintage... antique writing tools! I have a vintage WORKING calculator on display in my home... it is a great conversation piece! Vintage is FASHIONABLE!
ENJOY your day!

Becky K. said...

This is a very precious post. Sorry it came about because of your poor (at that moment) health...but I thoroughly enjoyed your recollections and the ways you modified your day based on your love and respect for your Mother.

People are amusing, frustrating and interesting in waiting rooms. When I took Jonathan yesterday quite a commotion broke out as a young woman fainted at Jonathan's feet. I told him later that she must have been falling for him. He told me I was

Teresa said...

Beautiful post-
and Beautiful pictures-
May you have a beautiful day-

Fete et Fleur said...

Beautifully written! You have found your inspiration. I pray for your speedy recovery.


Meredith said...

Oh, what a gorgeous post! Keep writing Miss Sandy, it's pure delight! Hope you feel much better soon.


p.s. reading this post with the background music has truly quietened my heart on this busy afternoon. Thanks!

Elizabeth G. said...

Hey, Miss Sandy,

I had to laugh...My mother taught me the same thing about appearance. She was such a lady..However, I haven't been quite as diligent...Anyhoo, I'm proud of you for putting on your make-up for that outing. I've been trying to do that more lately, even when I don't feel well.

Feel better!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Oh, good for you on putting on the makeup before going out! :-)

Hope you are feeling better!! Sorry to hear you were under the weather. Clearly you have kept your good spirits!


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