Tag: surprise

a funny thing happened on the way to


: 1 :
i look at the houses
on that flat, straight 2-lane country road,
not much distinguishing
one house from another
save the
vehicles in the yard,
some resting on concrete blocks,
others simply parked.

: 2 :
“i’d like to stop
at every house,” i say aloud,
“knock on the door,
and ask the woman who answers:
‘has your life turned out
the way you hoped it would?
the way you wanted it to?
if not, why
and what will you do about it?'”

: 3 :
the epiphany:
i am the woman
on both sides
of the door.


More about 365 Altars

surprised, again

12 31 11

i cleaned house yesterday.
not metaphorically
but literally.
i hadn’t planned to,
but my self
“clean, clean”
and so i did.

my self cautioned me:
“clean it
and so i did.
i cleaned
not because
i had to
i wanted to.
i love this space
i call sacred,
cleaning it
with love
all the difference.

i can feel it.

after i’d mopped
the floors,
i looked at
the pail of
dirty water
and my self said
“go. toss it outside.”
and so i did.

last night
as i roamed the blogiverse,
i happened upon this:
a note on facebook
from my friend liz:
“we threw buckets of water outside,”
she wrote
“a Habana tradition, I’m told.
getting rid of anything
we don’t want in the new year.”
having never, ever
been further south
than naples, florida,
i am
once again
at how
far and wide,
how deep
my self
at how
much we are


i am hatching an idea – something i’d sure hoped to be ready to tell you about today, but alas. life being what it is and all, it’ll have to wait till tomorrow. maybe even the next day.



on the journey
you come to a crossing
and it looks one way
when you start,
then when you’ve gone
a bit farther,
you look back
and realize
there was . . . is
another possibility.
a wholeness.


blink, snap, beat

Funny thing, complacency.
There she was: scooting along through life,
whittling down her to do list,
wondering how it ever got this overgrown in the first place,
thinking of all the things she’s gonna’ do
One Day
and how marvelous life will be then,
even though she readily admits that it’s
pretty awesome right now.
But still.

Then the phone rings
and her husband says
“I’ve just been hit by a guy
doing about 50 mph.”
“Are you all right?” she asks,
and he assures her that he’s fine,
especially since he saw the guy coming,
swerving off the road then
back onto the road,
headed right for him
but he was able to move over just a little bit
so the fella didn’t hit him head-on after all
but just in front of the driver’s side.

Her car is in the shop,
so she calls her daughter and asks her
to go over
and once daughter says “I’m on my way,”
she breathes easier because
she knows her husband is okay
and she knows her daughter can handle anything.
Her son is in Colorado, but she calls him anyway
because emotional support doesn’t know geography.

Her husband and daughter get home
and they all spend the rest of the afternoon
quietly watching television
and refreshing the ice they hope will
contain the rise of the mountain
that’s grown on his left knee.

She sleeps good
and the next day she sees the
big, ugly bruise across his chest –
the seatbelt’s legacy –
and even though the soreness settles in,
and they snuggle and touch even more than usual
as the sobering possibilities of what might have happened
drape over them like a heavy, heavy, heavy veil.

She writes as though it happened
to someone else
because that’s as close as she can get
to it right now,
and she wonders
why it takes a near-negative event
to shift her into
renewed, committed


aspiring for more


i was in line at the pharmacy when they opened to fetch his prescriptions. he told me he didn’t need them, but i called him anyway to ask if he was sure he didn’t want me to just bring the bag with me. “no,” he said, “i’ve got enough.”

then the snow came.

and came.

and came.

and came some more.

and first thing you know, he’s at the bottom of his pillbox. it’s okay now. they left this afternoon, headed home . . . and to the bag with another month’s worth of meds inside.*

it’s my nature to think about things like this. i was, after all, the only fourth grader to build and stock the family bomb shelter. so when did i start second-guessing myself? when did i begin to think that planning ahead – thinking about things like having extra supplies of food and medicines on hand – is a fine display of negativity? when did i become embarrassed enough about the way i am to grow silent and default to others?

when i listen to my self and act as one with my intuition without reservation, without explanation, without apology, those are my moments of pure, unadulterated, ordinary joy.

* (i stayed behind cause let’s face it: when they slide off down the side of the mountain, somebody’s got to be here to inherit everything.)

this post is my response to today’s reverb10 prompt by brene brown: Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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