Pool Party

It is to impel. It is to motivate. It implies the exertion of an animating force, and it enlivens. It can even mean to draw breath.
As overused as it is, I still love the essence of this word:
The momentum to write is not of my own making. I draw shamelessly from the sweat of the ones who write with more tenacity than I can imagine. I have tapped them all: storytellers, poets, journalists, bloggers, and those alchemists who can wed lyric to song. I thank my lucky stars for folks before and alongside me who have had the grit to get something down on paper and send it off into the world. Their efforts lift me up out of myself and sometimes plunge me deeper in, but no matter which way they tip me, they get me up off my tuchus. They move me. They are inspiration.
I was a reader first, voracious and obsessive. Since those first years dog-paddling around storybooks, I have loved soaking in letters. Stories and their characters were always my buddies, and I felt right at home dipping my toes into their adventures. When I finally came around to writing, it was as if I was finally diving into the deep end where the real party was happening. Every time I return to the page (which I must do for the first time every time), I am re-joining a splash and chatter that has not paused in my absence. It is so easy to stand at the edge of things, hesitating, doubting, wondering if I can find a way in. If it were up to my courage alone, I would still be peering from my safe remove in the shallows. Always, every time, it is another writer who tosses me a line and pulls me in.
Where would I be if the universe of writers did not keep guiding me back? What a thing it is, to learn that a reader finds some source of inspiration in my words! I am delighted to discover that my own writing, on occasion, has a similarly animating effect on folks who stumble across it. Patti Clark at A Woman’s Guide has generously nominated SmirkPretty for the “Inspired Blogger Award.”

These awards are chain letters for bloggers, giving us a chance to pay forward our appreciation for the stories that impel us to swim out a little further. This is my first such nomination. It is a lovely reminder that we are all here to help each other keep our hands moving and our heads above the surface to draw breath, no matter how strong the undertow.
Thank you, Patti, for your inspired writing and for the generous gift of reading SmirkPretty. This is a great nudge to keep swimming. Check out Patti here: http://patticlark.wordpress.com
The Inspired Blogger award’s requirements look like this:
1. Display the award logo somewhere on the blog.
2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.
3. State seven things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.
5. Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award’s requirements.
That’s a whole lot of lists for this little blog, but we can make room.
Seven things about me
1. Every night we are together, my son and I read either one chapter of a big-kid book (Harry Potter, or maybe The Secret Garden) or three children’s books. Then we sing three songs. We have been doing this since the day he was born. His favorite song right now is “The Cat Came Back.” The whole human race gets annihilated by an atom bomb in the end, but it gives us something to talk about during our morning commute.
2. I dance 2-3 times a week, walk every day on my lunch break, bike to and from the metro, and give the dog a 1.5 mile walk before bed. I know they say action is the antidote to despair, but exercise is the nurse administering the shot.
3. Someday, my ex husband and I are going to be close friends.
4. Whenever I smell honeysuckle, I stop and allow my tongue one tiny sugardrop before moving on.
5. About 13 years ago, I slammed out the words,

I believe in reincarnation
but in this lifetime, and not with Jesus.
I want to be born again, a hybrid kid
somewhere between grass and air and human.
I want to crystallize,
go chrysalis,
break out butterfly
all new.

I still believe. It is happening right now.
6. I allow myself 10 minutes of self pity per day. Sometimes I go over quota.
7. In my grandmother’s last few years, I visited every time I could (which was nowhere near enough, I realized too late). She had terrible arthritis. “Oh, sugar, could you please rub my hands?” I would sit on the floor by her powder blue recliner and rub the flesh between her brittle bones. Her skin was a treasure map, blue lines bleeding into ancient silk. Her feet, her fingers, I pressed mine between. She would moan and sigh and thank me quietly, over and over. When I imagine talking to my son about death and about what happens to people after they die, this is what I hold: the sensation of my grandmother’s tissue-thin skin on my fingertips, so fleeting, so completely forever.
Fifteen Inspiring Blogs. Read ’em. They’re good.
Agenthood and Submissionville: http://jackiebuxton.blogspot.com/
A Mama’s Peakshttp://amamaspeaks.blogspot.com/
Conversations with Curtishttp://conversationswithcurtis.blogspot.com
Failed at Fortyhttp://failedatforty.com/
Life Reconnected:  http://lifereconnected.wordpress.com/
Mama C and the Boys:  http://mamacandtheboys.com/
MamaTrue: Parenting as Practicehttp://mamatrue.com/
My Morning is Your Eveninghttp://10hours10years.blogspot.com/
Our Story Beginshttp://our-story-begins.com/
S.L. Writes: http://blog.slwrites.com/
Suzi’s Boob Juicehttp://www.suzisboobjuice.blogspot.com/
This Man’s Journey:  http://thismansjourney.net/
Two Sharp Pencils and a Broken Crayon:  http://juliewolk.wordpress.com/
Unsettling http://endlessstream.wordpress.com/
Virginia Trail Guidehttp://virginiatrailguide.com/


9 thoughts on “Pool Party”

  1. 1. I am best friends with my first wife (former wife). I even kissed her on the back of her neck last week when she was staying here to spend time with our grown. She shuddered and said, “That’s still gets to me!” We laughed. Then looked at each other without talking for a long momentito. First time I had done that in decades.

    2. Great verbiage RE your granma. Power full. Somehow reminded me of this happy song: http://youtu.be/od7-fyGa9DQ Plug that into your happy heart Ms. SmirkPretty, it’s fun. Take yo mama out all night.

    3. Going back to sleep now since I’d only been asleep for 2 hours when 5 friends called in a row. Leaving d fon in me orfice. )An old expression(

    4. Y’all need to go dancin’ like it was a singin’ celebrashin.

    Thx Miss Pretty fer ur writin’

    Just remember that the New Wave cowboys study their own 3 R’s”
    Ropin’ and

    Brokeback Kahboyz that is. 😛

    Still miss Heath, dang it.

      1. Glad to oblige ma’am, glad to oblige. 😀
        Life is rounded out with that video.
        “Gonna take your mama out all night….”
        Listening to it now, thanks for reminding me of it just now.
        Makes me smile too.

        Ahhh, finally realized that it reminds me of The Bird Cage…great scene with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane on the bus bench and Robin says something like, “Wherever you are is home for me, because if you weren’t there, it wouldn’t be home.” Now that . . . is powerful. 😀

        Song’s over, time to roll out. Take care Smirk!

  2. Talk about inspiring! I loved this blog, chatty but poignant and enlightening.

    I hope you and your ex-husband do get to a place of calm some day. I think it’s such a difficult thing to achieve with all the history and the mixed emotions going on, particularly when children are in that mix, but hang on in there. I have friends who thought they’d never get there with their ex’s and although I don’t think they’d all go as far as to say that they now like their ex, they can rub along together for the sake of the children. My best friend gets on better with her ex-husband now than she ever got on with him when they were married – I can vouch for that!
    Keep on writing, your style is lovely.
    And THANK YOU! I’m soooo chuffed you put me on your list. And very excited, if a little shocked, to think that I could inspire anyone – ha ha! I shall go away and give some thought to my list and let you know when I’ve posted.
    Thanks again. Jackie x

    1. Thanks for reading, Jackie. And thank you even more for your writing. I look forward to more.

      As for the ex, we actually met yesterday to make a rather significant decision about where Bug will start school next year (his neighborhood or mine?) We talked with civility and almost ease about it, coming up with several different solutions. We are a good co-parenting team, and getting better every day. This is a far better arrangement than being lovers/spouses. I think we are going to be okay. Thank you for the encouragement.

      1. Looks like it’s all moving in the right direction 🙂
        I’ve posted at last, sorry it took me a while but I wanted to do it right. Thanks again!

  3. Oh my goodness but your writing is powerful. Actually I like the way your commenter put it – Power Ful! I am so honoured to be included in this list and am endeavouring to get my list up soon, and my post about being nominated. Thanks again – for the award and your inspiring writing. chat soon!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, both here and in your blog! I look forward to your list. It’s always fun to find out what inspires the ones who inspire me!

  4. Congratulations. Your post made me smile and inspired me to celebrate my day with all the positive and happy energy. Thanks Shannon for the award. I am honored my friend. Thank you. Have a beautiful day .

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