Thursday, September 5, 2013


Thinking about long stretches of time with internet access makes a long bus ride a bit more palatable.  I envisioned reading through the library on my Kindle immersing myself in pure escapism, really not grasping the concept of how many pages could be reasonably devoured in the time that stretched before me.  Nonetheless, it was fun planning and dreaming of all the possibilities to pass the time while riding the bus for hours; that is until my friend, my disciplined friend revealed what she was going to do.  She announced that she was going to review and delete or save the hundreds of work-related emails that had accumulated over a short period of time.

 Disbelieving I asked, "You have how many emails, Kim?"

"Hundreds," she replied "I need to clean things up."

I gulped.  She had hundreds.  I had thousands.  I couldn't read. Reading was certainly a guilty pleasure.  I needed to mend my slovenly ways.

One by one I tackled each email.  Why don't I do this daily as the junk rolls in? I am such a procrastinator!  I grumbled internally.

I inhaled slowly and deeply, attempting to infuse patience into every cell of my being.  My pointer finger started to ache with all the action deleting one email after another.  Delete.  Delete. Delete.  It took way too long to tackle a hundred emails.  Don't think about that.  Just do it.  Little by little... Have I always been this impatient?

After a few hours, my eyes averted the 'Select All' button.  It was just too much of a temptation.  Delete.  Delete.  At this rate it will take me more than a week of continuous deletion to clean up this mess!

I was determined.  Delete.  Delete.  I checked the number of emails I had left in my inbox.  I checked the time.  Delete. Delete.  That's it. I have better things to do. I can't do this!

After hours and hours of careful deletion, in one swift action all the emails turned blue and without  much thought I pressed 'Delete.'  A wave of relief swept over me and not the guilt or anxiety that I had anticipated.   I felt free.  Light.

That was two years ago.  I want to feel free and light again.  It is time.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lesson in Brevity

This headshot was taken by my 13 year old.  She has taken some of my most favorite photos as she has a good eye for composition.  Along with the headshot is a mini biography three to five sentences in length.  It was not easy. Comments are welcome.  Here goes:

Barbara Keene is Trenton Elementary School's Reading Recovery/Title 1 Teacher and a mother of eight.  As a 2013 Maine Writing Project Fellow, she is among the newest Teacher Consultants. Barbara enjoys long walks in the forests of Maine, strolls along the Atlantic shore and paddling at Donnell's Pond with her dog Rex. Her writing is fueled by her love of EB White whose writing makes the ordinary extraordinary.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Study of the Horizon

Just a smudge separates sea from the sky. Each morning, I face the changing nature of the cove often prompting me to document through the truth of a lens.  The cove never remains the same, but is modified by the pull of the tide, the hue of the sky or the direction of the wind.  However, it is the horizon or lack thereof that is intriguing and draws me to stop, stare and ponder.  Some mornings, I squint through the gray matching sea to sky unable to discern the existence of a horizon.  I know that it is there.  Why the curiosity? Days that this line is distinct and thick like the mark of a fat primary crayon, I  still stare, awestruck.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Earthly Yet Spiritual Connections

This weekend I was touched by the loving kindness of these women.  They each possess a wisdom and  a staunch belief in spiritual powers.  I am grateful beyond words for their continued prayers for my family as we continue to develop as spiritual humans. In progress, of course.

The Last of Coziness (For a Bit)

I am buoyed by family, friends and my sweet dog Rex.  We spent quality time together this weekend doing all things important: praying, walking, eating, swimming and laughing.  As the rain was pelting the roof of the camper, I lay in bed with Rex this morning undeniably cozy.  You know those mornings when you really do not want to get out of bed and spoil the coziness of the moment? It was one of those mornings.  The tempo of our mornings will change from the easy rhythm of summer to the comforting structure of school and fall schedules.  Onto a fight for the bathroom each morning, decisions about wardrobe and the excitement of starting a new year of learning and discovery.  Bring it on.

Maiden Voyage

There is a certain allure to camping in your neighborhood.  Responsibilities at home prevented a trip away so we opted to stay nearby and play campers.  This weekend was the maiden voyage of our vintage Shasta camper that Jerry rescued from the strangling arms of a hunter who bore holes through the roof to accommodate a wood stove.  It was in bad shape. The weekend was a success with family and friends dropping in to visit.  The camp site brimmed with laughter, peaceful moments and good food.  I feel blessed.

Inevitable Truth

Meandering through the nearly gone-by blueberry fields beginning to turn red sat this lone blossom.  Distinct and out of place, yet possessing a unique beauty.  Amid the changes that are part of everyday life comes the necessity to detach and trust. As the seasons begin to change I must let go, remain grounded and remember that life is good.  I am blessed.

Lately, there seems to be a surplus of negative energy.  Praying, meditating, writing and long walks help to insulate.  Recently, a friend reminded me of the assistance that is given to us on this earth from those souls who have passed.  This is a comfort indeed.  I must remember I am not alone.  I am not alone and change is an inevitable truth.