Friday, December 21, 2007

Z is for Zena

This probably isn't how she'd spell her name (even if she could), but this is Zena phonetically. Zena is a cat, an aging cat, that I lived with during the famous ice storm. Zena was transplanted from her birth place in Seattle to Tulsa a few years ago and has never completely thrived here. In the summer, the bugs and fleas attacked her and left her little ears with scars she'll never be rid of. She never liked the heat and quickly developed a preference for those cool spots under a house and most recently The Basement. For the past 6 months or so, Zena has been referred to as The Basement Dweller at my sister's house. She would come upstairs, peer into the kitchen from the glass-paned door, and quickly retreat. Her food magically appeared at the bottom of the stairs and her litter magically disappeared. She was a recluse and seemed quite content with her life. Then came the ice storm.
Two more people moved into the house. Boxes of Christmas decorations were carried up from the basement and stacked in the kitchen waiting for a day warm enough to buy a Christmas tree. There was a lot of laughter and goings-on in the kitchen. Zena became curious and finally ventured upstairs, climbed up on top of the Christmas boxes, and made herself quite comfortable on top of the Christmas stockings. She was there every day, going to The Basement only for her litter needs and sometimes to eat in privacy.

So, why all this about Zena? It makes me think about how easy it is for me to become detached, comfortable in my singularity, not reaching out. And then how quickly I can respond to a laugh, a surprise, a little bit of giving. Now that the ice has melted, the extra people are gone and the Christmas decorations are on the tree, I wonder if Zena will go back to The Basement. I don't think I will.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Y is for Yippee! The power is on!

We'll be saying "Remember the ice storm in 07" for a long time. It affected so many people here in Tulsa -- even the ones who didn't lose power (like my sister) who graciously changed their routines to accommodate the displaced. How lucky we were to have her here. After 10 days of no electricity, I was pretty choked up when I drove down my street last night and saw all the porch lights on. My energy (no pun) seemed to miraculously return and I buzzed around moving in all the junk I somehow couldn't live without for those days. Ah. The comfort of our routines.

You always read about people coming together in times of crisis, and they do. Hearts get bigger and more open. Things ignored and taken for granted rise to the top of the list. Beauty continues and in every sense is even more important. In the midst of trees falling with a sound like gunshots, there's that red berry encased in ice that makes you pause and notice it. People create order out of their mayhem. In the sadness of losing those big tree limbs, there's a tiny bit of comfort to making them small and manageable. Fallen trees line the streets, cut and stacked so neatly.

And today the sun shines.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

X is for Xcite

Come on, X is a hard one and the question of "What excites me (you)?" has been loitering back there in the alleys of my mind lately. This happens when people start asking me about what I want to do when I retire. Have I thought about an encore career? I have a hard time coming up with something I'm excited about. I mean there are things I enjoy, like cooking, my art projects, family, friends, all the usual suspects, but I don't know that I've allowed myself the time to be passionate about something. I've concentrated more on the challenge of fitting everything in. Maybe my encore will be to allow my passion to develop.

I took the enneagram test yesterday at my daughter's suggestion and I was surprised at how hard it was to answer some of the questions. They want you to answer according to how you have behaved historically -- I think part of the difficulty comes from having lived this long -- I've been through so many phases or changes, it's hard to think about some of them. It's an interesting process, though. The test is $10 and takes about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

W is for Way Outa My League

In the previous entry, I said I felt good just to have submitted something for the challenge cards. Today when I checked out more of the entries, I felt so artistically immature, so not ready for the big world. I'm still glad I went through the process but you know how you can feel sort of embarrassed even when no one sees what you're looking at? When you wish you were better, or smarter, or more something? It's not being ashamed, it's just working to accept the difference of where you are and where you want to be.

I still like that quote (previous entry) though and still think it's pertinent.