Category Archives: Lemon Moment

After

It’s difficult to believe that the flood water was several feet over my head at this point yesterday.

It’s even more difficult to remember what my life looked like a year ago.

I used the wrong night time effect on this picture. It’s a terrible picture but I love it… There’s so much moisture in the air that it renders me like an apparition. It’s 4:00 a.m. and dark. But the sunrise and the illumination it brings with it will soon come.

Love, X
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The Dread Of a Day Beautifully Begun

Angstmorgen

Having been exposed to multiple entries in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, I worked to create a word to describe a sensation that sometimes plagues me. “Angstmorgen” is the word I came up with.

The feeling of dread for a day well-begun, as if an unseen litany of potential catastrophes lies ahead of you. No matter how energetic you are, how happy your embrace of loved ones. Experience teaches us that everything is eventual and that life is cyclical in its relentless ability to surprise us.

We can wake up with optimism, laughter, and the scent of a freshly-brewed cup of coffee in our comforted hands. We can look out on a sun cresting the horizon.

Somewhere, somewhen, there is always the chance that a calamity has already occurred and not yet reached our awareness.

People we love can decide that we no longer have a place in their lives. An inattentive driver can speed out of a parking lot in the wee hours of the morning, crushing the side of our vehicle. Our heart, dutiful servant though it may be, might choose today to stop providing our bodies with needed oxygen. Our boss might tell us we no longer have a job.

We have to enjoy the moments as they come.

It’s the only way to be satisfied or happy.

Because of the way our minds work, we accumulate the past in our minds instead of allowing the brightness of a new day to renew us. We know we are not our past or the cascade of our mistakes and choices.

The calamities that might befall us are unseen for a reason. For most of them, we can do nothing to prevent them.

Hug the person you wake up with. Savor the cup of coffee. Let the cat or dog in your house feel your hand on its back and ears. Your page is blank today and you can write whatever you want on this pristine entry. I wrote a few words and names of gratitude on a blank page this morning.

My needs are simple and my wants are few. And that makes me happy. I walked out on the landing, the cool mist-filled wind chilled me. I looked at all my happy colors, the colored lights I created filling my eyes. My cat meowed next to me.

Savor those moments.

Push angstmorgen aside, if you can.

The day is yours to experience.

Love, X
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The Box

Near the multiple piles of brush on the perimeter of the street, I spied a white box. It was out of place, bright, and sitting as if placed there. I picked it up, expecting it to be heavy. It was light. I opened the clasp on the front and lifted the lid. Inside were a couple of dozen brightly colored notes, each written by attendees of what looked to be a baby shower. Though it might not sound sublime, it lit me up with the imaginings of a foreign life and a curiosity to know how the box found its way to be haphazardly placed where I discovered it.

I read the notes eagerly, my thoughts tied to an event and a person who I’d never meet. One was a rudimentary drawing of a swaddled baby, one probably drawn by a young child.

It was a lemon moment, one that I can’t quite describe.

I brought the little box home with me and glued the slight imperfection along the bottom. I don’t know what to do with it, other than to wonder about the life it represents and the child it celebrated.

I hope the mother is happy with her new child.

I hope.

And that makes me happy.

I’m sitting here with the apartment door open, listening to the rain and the cacophony of birds in the surrounding trees. My cat is wandering the landing, probably attempting to trespass further than he is supposed to. It’s a beautiful morning and the sun hasn’t greeted me yet.

Somewhere, the mom and the new baby associated with the box I found live their lives.

Fayetteville. There are surprises everywhere if you know where to look and how to appreciate them.

Love, X
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Warm

My day is closing the way it began. Almost 16 hours later, I’m walking and watching the beautiful sunset illuminate the brightly colored houses and the hidden lives they contain. It’s absolutely beautiful and transformative. My head floods with music and if I glance away and look back, the light has already morphed and changed. There are a lot of moments in life exactly like that. You enter the room of memory and although everything is familiar, nothing is the same. Impermanence is the only sure thing. Even the sun filled with hydrogen will one day exhaust itself. But for now, 30,000 steps long behind me, I feel like I have an infinite supply of appreciation.
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Cold

My heart of glass beat both brittle and warm this morning. Almost beyond my control, I found myself putting on my wireless headphones and walking to work. Despite the cold at 4 a.m. As I passed Pack Rat and the reflective pond, I looked up to see a shooting star falling and heading Northeast.

“If I had only known the last time would be the last time, I would have put off all the things I had to do…” It was pure synchronicity that the song Lynette had recommended to me was playing. Some songs resonate differently, and especially so when I’m the sole occupant of the entire trail.

I thought of Willie, Nelly, Barb and Barbara, Mike, Jimmy, Buck, Bobby Dean, and Carolyn. What they would do to be able to feel cold and their fingers tingle, looking up at the streak of illumination as it fell.

I could not hear the mockingbird but I knew it was out there, waiting for first light. My pace quickened. As the steps accumulated into the thousands, I no longer noticed the cold. I sang and whispered to the mockingbird.

My brittle heart unaccompanied on the cement path. Feeling happy. And thinking of all the people who no longer have the chance to feel the cold.

Love X
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“For The Birds”

I stopped at a hardware store on Township after work. Surprisingly, it’s named “The Hardware Store,” which confused me. I definitely wanted some watercolor art prints. I was shocked and pleased that they carried oversized outlet plates AND a huge variety of screws. I am now fully screwed, I’m pleased to report.

As the clerk checked me out, he inquired about my brooch. Being where he was, he of course didn’t refer to it as a “brooch.” No self-respecting retail clerk selling manly items would ever utter the word – even under threat of a whipping.

I laughed and asked if he wanted a rundown of possible answers.

“Ha! Of course,” he said and laughed.

“It’s a pilot’s license.”

“Really,” he seriously asked.

“Yes, it allows me to indiscriminately fly the bird anytime I wish to.” And I held up both birds using both hands to demonstrate.

Not expecting that, he laughed hard.

I listed a barrage of other explanations, some funny, some bizarre.

I’ll go back. Not just for the great supply of items, but also to test their credulity and sense of humor.

Love, X
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Pretxel Fish Is Born

What is Pretxel Fish? Arkansas’ newest LLC. Due to the craziness of my name, Arkansas had trouble understanding that my first name is just X. I used the ongoing bureaucratic melee as a reason to replace the ‘z’ in ‘pretzel’ with an X. If ‘xylophone’ can be pronounced with an X, anything can. (One of my favorite words is ‘xanthous,’ which has acquired new meaning lately.) What is Pretzel Fish, the name from which I derived my company name? A reminder to be grateful and to experience whatever is at your feet. Not the potential of what could be or what you’d like to be. You can make moves to change your life incrementally or you can adapt and find lemon moments where you are. It’s up to you and me. I’m not sure what I will do with this new business. And that lights me up a little with both humor and expectations.

Love, X
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Wayfarers

Wayfarers

As I drove past the bus station in the early morning, I noted a young man standing with a throng of people waiting to board the long, modern bus. He wore what appeared to be a tophat. I laughed. He’s either optimistic or weird. I wanted to chat with him and see how funny he might be. But he was a stranger standing in a way station parking lot, on the way to one of an infinite series of destinations. The quirky word ‘sonder’ came to mind as it often does.

We all are, though, even though we might not even know where we’re going. Each of us could sharply turn on a whim. That’s the conundrum of our lives. We c-o-u-l-d wake up today and choose something markedly different. We won’t though, mainly because we are obstinate in our continuation of the same. Even if the arc we’re traveling doesn’t suit us, most likely our choice will be along the ellipsis of what we chose yesterday. There’s comfort in that. The obverse of comfort is that new choices could render new ways to be happier.

We could laugh at the stupid things that will happen to us today. Some of us will have car accidents. Some will sit across from the doctor and hear unexpected diagnoses. Others will lose their jobs or start new ones. Loved ones will leave us, people will disappoint us. Yes, others will delight us, and humor will surprise us.

Meanwhile, the young man stands in the bus station parking lot wearing a tophat. I know I love finding meaning in things that are random. It seems like a metaphor to me, though. I can’t shake it. I’ll have another cup of coffee and ponder the sonder of all of us.

Love, X

Social Media Creativity

A couple of social media friends inadvertently asked me to do something hilarious with the original photo. Instead, I had a moment imagining the morning. This is what I wrote and created:

The “Wake up!” shouted in her dream brought her instantly to consciousness. She stared at the small red aura of the clock in her peripheral vision for a few seconds.

It had been her own voice in her dream. She drove with her companion as he hung his head out the window, smelling the water and watching the scenery pass. She fumbled with her phone long enough to snap a picture of the moment. In her dream, she experienced a series of overlapping moments, each one of her through the course of her life. The last one was a picture she’d happily snapped one hundred and twenty-three days ago. She slowed the car as she came to a stop. The images flowed backward across time, carrying her from adulthood back to her infancy. The reversal repeated, bringing nostalgia and appreciation for the moment – and for all the moments she’d lived.

As the dream faded and its grip loosened, she wondered what it meant and what the day might hold. She smiled secretly as she lay in the shadows of the morning.

A Violet Morning

The rain started at 2:59 a.m. I heard it approach in a crescendo as it moved through the trees toward me. An hour later, I sat on the plant bench watching the lightning illuminate the sky in bursts of violet purple-blue. Thunder rolled languorously as occasional cars passed by. I would have loved to sit there until sunrise at 7:09. My shorts were still damp from walking in the rain. It was 67 degrees when I spontaneously decided to take a barefoot walk around the neighborhood cut-through. It was a beautiful little walk as the rain pelted me and refreshed me. I’ll go inside now as the thunder grows in intensity and the lightning strikes become more pronounced. Not because it makes me nervous, but because I must yield to the day. Reluctantly.
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