Soul Surfacing (or, After Apathy)

©11/20/14 Funny how certain experiences in life attract apathy. Physical and emotional trauma. Loss. Abuse. Dismantling relationships. Rejection. Loneliness. I’ve been apathetic before, for a few years—and they were the worst years of my life. I just disappeared and went through the motions. I don’t remember much about those years. I’ve found receipts and journals from that time; these, and memory moments of my kids, are my only vivid recollections. I wonder if apathy acts like a drug and washes over our brains? Our spirits? I checked out because it was easier, I suppose, and lathered on a different layer of regret. What is apathy? “I don’t care.” “Whatever.” “Doesn’t matter.” “Don’t worry about me.” Silence. Refusal to play. I’m not talking about being an accommodating dinner partner. I’m not talking about choosing passivity. I’m talking about removing oneself from commitment. From the moment. From the person. From the decision […]

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The Scent of Rain

Lately, when I catch the scent of rain and earth rising up, I am ten again. It’s Easter morning, the forsythia just blooming, and I sense my Mother moving somewhere nearby. I am innocent. Now, an old man packs my groceries, repacks the eggs with a tsk at a carton fallen on its side. I read his name: “Art.” My sweet grandfather’s name. He regards me with a look of satisfaction, finished his task, and returns my smile. I am twelve, maybe, riding in the middle seat of an old red Ford with the stick shift knocking my bare, bony knees. My grandfather turns his face to me crinkled into a grin (I see every line, the shade of his blue, blue eyes), “Hungry for some ice cream, SusieQ?” Oh. My daughter sends me a video of her baby daughter talking to her, sounding out “hello,” and, I wonder how it […]

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Profile: Octavia Peck (The Contributor, Nashville, USA)

21 October 2015 by INSP News Service Interview by Karen Chronister, The Contributor Where are you from? I’m a Mississippian. I was raised chopping cotton and picking cotton. My dad owned his own land and I worked for him. We raised cotton and beans, rice, and wheat. I have three sisters and two brothers. I’m the last born. My dad is the baby. He’s 92. He’s the baby? He was my mother’s baby before I came along. I was the last born and not a boy child, so I had it rough. How so? [click here to read the rest of the story…]

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Shapeshifting

I feel a shapeshifting coming on. Like a slow trickle at the beginning of a landslide after which everything changes…shifts slightly to the left. To the right. The push of a breeze on the small of my back. A hint that, soon, all will be propelling down the mountain to warmer places. Scattered about and rearranged. Exposing roots. Turning over rocks. Pushing air deep into the soil. The slide creates space for a thing once buried, dormant; it slides atop another something that had been so urgent for so long that it became normal, everyday. However, this new thing pokes its nose back into my line of vision, gulps, then lies back to loll in the sunlight, breathing deeply and smiling at its great fortune at having come uncovered.   2013, 2017

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Tune-up Your Soul With A “Small Pleasures” List

Make a small pleasures list. frozen branch with leaves closeup

Small pleasures…getting lost in a book, buying a new book, getting back in the car from wherever and listening to the next part of an audio book, Facetiming with my granddaughter, reading my daughter’s wise, pithy posts, watching my son’s newest adventure on Instagram, eating outside, standing with my back to a fire, laughing out loud, hearing a Truth that makes me sigh, petting a dog, having a conversation with a child…the silent morning ritual of making coffee, clean hair, a good haircut, a classroom of college students laughing and talking amongst themselves about a story, my Mom’s voice and my Dad’s laugh, a faraway friend’s voice, almond butter…watching a classic movie in an old theater, hiking in the woods, planning a new adventure, eating fresh fruit, doing a TRX handstand, creating something, writing a new scene, starting a new short story, getting an old story published, hanging out with […]

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