“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


I Choose a Verb

I am trying too hard.

Remember when it used to be this much fun?
When it didn't really even have to look like anything,
not really - you knew what it was and that was all that mattered.

It is the wintertime maybe, the colder air outside that tightens me up, keeps my arms folded across my chest, my shoulders close to my ears, my hands closed in fists. It is the new computer, maybe - the one at the house, the one that was supposed to make things easier, I was sure it would, and perhaps in time it will, but now it sits and stares at me. Write something, it seems to say, but it is just more unfinished business on the table, next to the unfinished collage & unfinished paintings - I type & type & type & type & type & it is just wrong, it doesn't work, and then I come here, back to my office, back to this clutter of unfinished business (not art), of photo orders to be processed, the answering machine showing 4 new messages to be listened to, a calendar with post-it notes laughingly stuck next to this month's quote: "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak", a calendar with red-inked school photo deadlines, and blue-inked personal reminders - 4 birthdays in the last 8 days - and I am fine. Lily sleeps on the chair behind me, the heater keeps my toes warm, and I know this keyboard, it is like an extension of my fingertips, the curviness feels just right. I begin to loosen up.

Unfurl: To open out from, to release from a furled state.

I choose this verb for the new year. Or perhaps it chooses me, who can say? A couple of years ago I came into work to find lime green curly ribbon everywhere. Lily had found it where I'd carelessly left it - but curly lime green ribbon just calls for carelessness, does it not? Ribbon wound through my office door into Michael's office next door, back into the front room, into the hall, through Lily's cat tunnel & back again, around chair legs, back into offices, around potted plants, down the hall again. It was joy spelled out in ribbon. It was unfurled.

Furl: To wrap or roll close to or around something. I have been there for years. I have been dancing as if the whole world is watching, which means I haven't really been dancing at all. No longer. I choose unfurling. I choose that lime green ribbon, perhaps baby blue, maybe white or silver. I want to run with it and let it stream behind me, I want it to be caught on moments & places & people & I want to just keep going, but I will be back because the ribbon tethers me.

Which is just fine - tethered by joy is not a bad way to go.
it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter


  1. gosh





    u n f u r l

  2. I'm afraid I've been furled for many years. I will try to unfurl myself!

  3. Not only was the ribbon unfurled all over the place, but it was lime green!....the colour of new life, swirling all over your space like new shoots and vines.

    What a lovely word for the new year.
    Unfurl. I think there is a playfulness attached to that word as well...don't forget to play!


  4. Unfurling sounds like a great idea...now how do you go about doing that? I keep trying everyday to unfurl....

  5. "I have been dancing as if the whole world is watching, which means I haven't really been dancing at all."

    I had to smile, this is so what I have been feeling like. Whenever I remember I sneak of behind a bush and a couple of trees. Once there I let myself go, dancing to the gentle laughter of the leaves around me.

    Does the leave not need to be furled for a while to protect its tender new growth before it unfurls into the gentle spring sunshine?

    Yet there is always the worry that it will not read the signals that it is time to let go and open up to the world.

    Lime green ribbon might well be a gentle ray of sunshine stretching all the way from heaven.

    May lime green ribbons find you always and thank you for sending some my way*

  6. Maddie - YES! :)

    Bonnie - Come along with me on this journey. Grab your own piece of ribbon & see where it trails through this new year!

    Jaime - It feels very playful, I think. :) And I hadn't thought about the symbolism of green; the ribbon therefore must be green! I love that! Thank you!

    Christy - I have no idea! LOL! Let us figure it out together!

    Hele - You are right, of course - one does to be furled for a bit, to grow, before the unfurling can begin, but I have reached te point, I think, that I must let go. I so related to your post, and thought you would understand mine. I will begin by dancing behind the bushes & trees - although maybe that's what I've been doing already, on this blog - yes, now that I think about it, I think the blog has been just that. So . . . I will take the end of the ribbon wound around the EmmaTree & start from here. I'm a bit scared, but here I go . . .

    :) Debi

  7. Yes! Ditto on what Jainme said! Play! Explore! The mind of a child!
    Let it all begin. Thank you Lily!

  8. Debi...this is one of my favorite words too...I'm so happy for you that Lily could be so inspirational...I can totally picture you dancing and weaving wonder wherever you go with ribbon...and paint...and pretty much whatever you touch...

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiration this morning...and thank Lily too! :)


  9. And, of course, you choose a wonderful verb. I am eager to watch the way your blog unfurls throughout this new year. And, mine too.

  10. I think there are so many people who can relate to this... and I am definitely one of them. There are very few people and places that make me feel safe enough to unfurl all my petals and blossom as I am meant to be. But for some reason, 2009 feels like no other year to me--more than any other time in my life, it seems full of possibility and hope. Growth and unfurling. I will join you there.

    'tethered by joy'; 'joy spelled out in ribbon'... *sigh* Your words are so beautiful.

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such lovely comments. It is wonderful to meet you, and I will definitely be adding you to my links too! =) I love your spirit.

  11. Paula - I hope I do play. Lily is a good role model. This morning I found a chair, a planter, and a not-yet-put-away-in-the-storeroom Christmas tree on their sides, blocking the front door. She has wild nights when we're gone!

    Celeste - See my response to Paula re: Lily as inspiration. LOL! Now I'm remembering the Maypole thing we did when I was a kid - an "event" at school. It was the first time I'd heard the word "lavender" - my ribbon & dress were of lavender satin.

    Relyn - We will unfurl together. It will be interesting to see our paths of ribbon at the end of the year. :)

    Amy - And you will join us!! It will be a big Maypole of ribbons winding in & out of each other! I am so glad you've stopped by. Your blog is beautiful & made me so happy & I am glad to've found you. Thank you for the kind words.

    Eilandkind - You have ESP - I have been wondering how the holidays treated you & how things were going. Thanks for dropping back by!

    :) Debi


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .