Challenge Day Sixteen

Happy halfway!

Talk about a hump day. I am even lower energy today than I was yesterday. I don’t know if it’s the weather, or if I am actually fighting some illness (that’s where my money is, and why I didn’t get a flu shot on my way home from the food bank), but I’m just super pooped. As I begin writing this blog, it’s a little after 10:00PM, and I’m probably going to be done with everything after I publish. This means I didn’t (won’t) get everything done. I feel like I haven’t even come close, but here’s what I did do….

Daily Challenges

Intimate Time?
CookingToday’s Menu: I started with a breakfast shake today, and then snacked my way through the middle of the day; for dinner, we finally finished the meat pie and roasted veggies, with some gravy that Guy whipped up.
Reading (Poetry)Read This Poem from the Bottom Up” by Ruth Porritt is something I found in Thirteen Ways of Looking for a Poem a textbook from my very first college poetry class. I was looking for an exercise to do, just skimming through the table of contents, when this poem title jumped out at me. I picked a page near where it would be, and it turned out to be that exact page (meant to be!) The poem reads fine from the top down, but from the bottom up, Porritt walks you through building your own world through imagination. I like the way she plays with the physical space on the page to support the rising imagery, and it inspired my postcard poem (see below.)
Reading (Fiction)I’m still working my way through The Poisonwood Bible. I don’t want to give away anything to people who haven’t read it, but let me just say there are a lot of elements I didn’t see coming, and I’m intrigued by how Kingsolver treats them.
Reading (Nonfiction)I didn’t have the brain for anything technical or scientific today, so I read more of Maid. Let me tell you, between that and the food bank and the post that’s been going around Facebook about how horrible and necessary the Salvation Army shelters are, I’m super depressed about the state of the world, and how humans treat each other. We suck.
MusicIt was a no-music day again. Tomorrow won’t be, I promise myself.
Postcard Poem
I based my poem today on Ruth Porritt’s bottom-up poem, except that I went word-by-word instead of line-by-line, given the abbreviated medium I’m working with. I’m pleased that it works (as a slightly different though very similar poem) in both directions. For added fun, this structure echoes Adah, one of the characters in The Poisonwood Bible, who loves to play with palindromes and say things forward and backward:

mountain rising glorious
the surrounding trees—
sentinels among wildflowers
freckled between grasses languid
combing breezes summery
and soothing
– Sarah Reebs
Trash Pickup Today’s weather was the trash, y’all! Howie hates the rain. He hates being wet, and he hates having wet paws, and when it is raining outside, he hates going for walks. I also hate going for walks in the rain, so I was happy to oblige. I also didn’t relish the idea of picking up a bunch of wet trash in the dark, so I’ll catch up another time.

Today’s Challenges

The high point of my day was packing weekend food bags at the Ballard Food Bank. I brought some tomatoes with me that we are not going to eat (I still have some that need to be harvested) that I didn’t want to rot on our kitchen table, and some (unopened) dog treats that someone gave to us that Howie’s bowels don’t like (we’ve given him samples, and he cleared the house with farts.) I forgot to bring the empty egg cartons, but they’ll keep until next week. I love to spend time at the food bank, because I feel so useful! And I feel good about making sure kids get to eat.

I didn’t do my abs. I didn’t do trash pickup. I didn’t play music. I also didn’t do any NaNoWriMo prep. I wish I could pretend that the three hours I spent playing a video game set in post-apocalyptic Boston was research, but that would be a lie. I didn’t think about writing at all while I was vegetating. I did spend some energy thinking about how people will fix things like smartphones when replacement parts aren’t available anymore, or when companies no longer exist to support software and hardware. But it was more gentle musing during the load screens than anything else.

It feels appropriate to have this dip (or hump, if I maintain the midweek motif) right in the middle of the month. It has the potential to be a pivotal moment: I can either continue with this momentum of not checking things off my list, and half-ass my way through the next fifteen days, or I can regroup and kill it tomorrow.

I’m voting to kill it.