“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


Selfishness, Sleep & Keeping Secrets Secret

Oh. It's going to be one of those posts, where I thought I was going to talk about sleep and in fact, did talk about sleep for about 4 lines before deleting them all, talked about how babies sleep anywhere and anyhow, and suddenly I was talking about self-nurturing, yes, in 4 lines, all of that, and when I read it back to myself - I do that, you know, read everything out loud back to myself or Maggie, which is reason enough to share space with a cat or dog or bird or just any pet in general because then you're not talking to yourself, and I bet you read everything back out loud to yourself also, just to feel the rhythm of the lines, and I bet you do just like me and sway to that rhythm and you can just feel when it's right. I have a friend who teaches grammatical things to college students and she tells me that some writers and poets have a certain number of thises and thats, something besides syllables, I really stopped listening part way through our conversation, truth be told, because it was all academics, and apologies to teachers and professors everywhere, but truly, nothing bores me more than rules for writing or how it's done in the academic world, which isn't how it's done in the real world ever about anything, and I swear that's all they talk about, all those rules, and really, I also don't particularly care how some famous writer did it or maybe still does it, even if I like that writer - even if I love that writer - because it will ruin it for me, it will break the spell, it will be like knowing the magician's secrets. And I don't want to know the magician's secrets, I want it to stay magic, and I want it to stay theirs, and I want mine to stay mine, there's plenty enough to go around, and you see? This isn't about sleep or self-nurturing at all, I knew it was wrong when I began to read it out loud, but also because I knew the self-nurturing I was talking about was really selfishness, it really was, and yes, I believe it is perfectly okay to be selfish sometimes, but I think you should call it that and not pretend it is just self-nurturing. Do you think cats are apologetic about being selfish? Do you think Miss Maggie up there on that blue chair she has claimed for her own cares one whit that it used to be a place to put your drink? Do you think she even bats a sly green eye at the fact that she's been in my lap for 2 hours while I watch a movie, that I do this with no bathroom break, that my back begins to ache from staying in one position? No, no, she knows she is worth it, and she is, and it is up to me to accept it or not.

She was in this position when I finally got up this morning - she'd been meowing at me for a couple of hours, but I was selfish from pure mental exhaustion, and after seeing that she was okay, just wanting me up, I crawled back under the covers and slept and slept and I am supposed to be at work in 25 minutes but never mind, I am almost on schedule there except for the cleaning, and so here I sit typing away, cat now fed and outside in the springtime, selfish, selfish me. I will show up to work with hair that needs a shampoo and legs that need shaving but I will show up at work with some sleep under my belt. And it feels good.


  1. one of the hardest best things to do..be well ...and can I just say what moved me the most about this was the photo..i really just stared at it awhile..thanks for that

  2. love this...the photo and the stream of consciousness...I think being an artist requires a certain amount of selfishness. I also think that women are the only ones that feel guilty about being selfish. Men don't. Dogs don't. Cats dont. We can learn a lot from cats...not sure about the dogs and men...:)

  3. I always read my posts back out loud to myself before hitting the publish button and more than once, my hubby has hollered from the other room "what" and I'm all like never mind....and secretly thinking, mind your own business....which is really mean, but it's what filters through my mind when I've been interrupted by his "what" and I have to start all over again....

  4. oh, good for you, I so wanted to sleep in this morning and let my son take a day off from school, but i didn't let myself listen to that voice. Glad to know there is someone out there tuning in.

  5. same wave length. do you ever want to watch the exrtras from The Lord of The Rings DVD to find out how they do what they do and the real personalities behind the characters? i already know your answer :) i never ever want to know any of that stuff. i don't think i really ought to reveal how long each of my posts takes me to think about, prepare for and put up. it's a secret. i know It looks effortless because of the e-mails and comments i receive asking how i did this or that and how amazing this or that is. It isn't really amazing it is just as perfect as i can stand to make it that day is all. i hope you've recovered from your broken post. i really do. it sounds like you were recovered before you finished picking up those shards. slowing down time is a way of breathing. each half time moment of breath brings in light and each half time breath releases discouragement.

    xox to you sweet one

  6. Cat selfishness--so very classic.

    As for "reading" to them, I had a presentation to give last week, and a few days before, I read it out loud to one of my cats lounging in a chair in my office. She sat for about ten minutes, got up, and left. I thought I had disturbed her, but in reality, she stepped out for refreshment at the cat dish, and returned for the rest of the presentation.

  7. I, too, read each post out loud before publishing. My cats always leave the room, as they know the posts are usually not about them. Come to think of it, they leave the room when I start singing to them. But they come running when I call them for breakfast. Love that individual, self-reliant feline mind. Must get me some of that.

    Rules for writing? We ain't having any of that, y'all.

    xxoo, Graciel

  8. magic indeed ;)

    and even if her reasons were selfish her image is perfection

  9. You've got some rule breaking run-on sentences, my dear!! Love it! Sleep is not selfish, it's required.

  10. Yes, but is it really selfish? The care and feeding of the soul?
    And, what a lovely, precious shot of Maggie curled up on that tiny blue chair!!

  11. that photo is the sweetest thing i've seen in a while.
    sleep is good - real good.

  12. I laughed when I saw Robin's comment because that is exactly what I was thinking about as I read this post...and I made the mistake of watching those LOTR extras, and the magic was lost forever. I never watched another one of those again.

    I just met this wonderful photographer for tea the other day...no one has ever inspired me this profoundly before....and it was because she has broken every rule I was taught as a photographer..and her business is thriving. And she is happy and passionate and so giving.

    Rules suck...and should be broken.


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