I wrote these haiku and you won’t believe what they say!

Trending Facebook News!
Famous couple gets divorced
Oh— and Greenland sank

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Jen’s diet secret!
She only eats on Tuesday
You heard it here first

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My note to the Mom
Who judged my cart at Target
Back the **** off, bitch

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Disney Princesses
Drawn as feminist icons
Click. Damn. Page Not Found

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Hamster burritos
Versus peekaboo kittens
YouTube cute smackdown

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Kim Kardashian’s
Booty as a snowblower
*That* was worth my time

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Don’t eat these five foods
One – Anything that tastes good
Two through five – Ditto

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A dude trained his cat
To clean its own litterbox
Could you help my son?

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Instagram picture
Taken while their food turned cold
So they sent it back

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On Buzzfeed I learned
Cool new ways to cut up fruit
That I never eat

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These thirty photos
Prove beyond a single doubt
I’m avoiding work

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Back to work again
But first I’ll take a sec to
Check out Ruelala

When less is more, or if you can see the brick wall, by all means, stop

Lately, my running pace has been way off. I’ll be cruising along, about to hit the two mile mark when suddenly, without warning, my legs stop moving. I don’t trip, or fall, or anything like that. I’m moving, and then suddenly, I’m not. Like someone pressed the walk switch. My heart isn’t racing, I’m not breathing any harder than usual, but no amount of coaxing can get my body to move any faster.

I switched to a high protein cereal. Added a bagel thin. Added a bagel thin with cream cheese. Added a bagel thin with egg. Added a banana. Definitely not a fuel issue. Not a lack of water intake.

It’s not my bad knee, either. In fact, having to walk the mile to get home hurts more than running. Running is fine. Walking turns my bursa into a water balloon.

I have various running paths at my disposal–from 2 miles to 5 miles. I can extend them though loops and switchbacks, except for the three mile path. Once I’m on it, I’m committed. I can make it longer, but not shorter. Even though I’ve had to stop and walk for the last four days, I set out saying that it will be different today, and plow forward on the 3 mile trail, even if my body feels like I’ve put it through the ringer.

I view my determination as a positive trait. But I have to wonder if it holds me back as well. These aborted three mile runs take forever (due to the walking), require icing afterwards, and a nap in the afternoon. That’s about 2 hours to make up for 9 minutes of run time. Not a good tradeoff. Besides that, the big squishy knee doesn’t look good with shorts, although it really grosses my son out. Every cloud has its silver lining.

I forget there is a wisdom in how the world works, and perhaps, at this moment, I’m meant to run two miles and no more. Just because I’m capable of doing something, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. After all, I can run my car into a brick wall, but you don’t see me doing that either.

My body is clearly sending me a message–I’m tired. Cut me some slack.  We’ll get back to the longer runs soon. Just not right now. It also makes me wonder what other messages I’ve missed. It might be a good time to start listening.

Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph by Stuart Crawford ©2010 Creative Commons

Two Selves Dancing

Have you ever had a friend who seems to read your thoughts? Someone who just *gets* you? Sarah W. Bartlett is like that for me. We often seem to be pondering the same questions at the same time, even though we live hundreds of miles apart.

Sarah is a poet and teacher and a philosopher and a mentor to women–and luckily for me, a generous and enthusiastic collaborator. We’ve both been wrestling with the topic of wholeness–healing the divided self. So instead of haiku, today I share with you a poem that she and I wrote together.

Two Selves Dancing
I rock, sway in this dance of selves
one drawn to dally, drift, dream;
one pulled to tasks – none essential
though demanding Do! Deliver!

One drawn to dally, drift, dream
pinned down fast by expectation
though demanding Do! Deliver!
these tasks – naught but noise and vapor

Pinned down fast by expectation
I struggle to be free from all
these tasks – naught but noise and vapor
better to be the stuff of dreams.

I struggle to be free from all
Merge dancer and work weary other
better to be the stuff of dreams
Idea and action reunited

Merge dancer and work weary other
one pulled to tasks – none essential
Idea and action reunited
I rock, sway in this dance of selves

Words by Jeannine B. Everett and Sarah W. Bartlett

Photograph by Sebastian Fritzon ©2008 Creative Commons

Writing the miles

I am a runner. There is something compelling about moving under your own power. Not that I find it easy. I’m terribly slow and I suspect I look like I’m in pain despite my protestations to the opposite. I breathe like an obscene caller and sweat buckets, although my husband says that when it comes to sweat, I’m an amateur. Those of you who know my husband know that compared to him, most us look like novices no matter what the category.

My neighborhood is a good place to run, and there are a few routes that I like depending upon how many miles I want to put in based on the heat, how my knee is feeling, how much wine I had the night before. Most of my longer paths include a loop on Pensive Lane–downhill on the way out, uphill on the way back. At the top of the hill is a white mailbox.

When I reach that hill, at a minimum, I’ve already run a couple of miles. The only way to get home is to get my tired butt up that grade. It’s not steep, but it is long. Long enough that the while mailbox is lit up by the sun, like a  beacon. I fix my gaze on that mailbox, and push forward, knowing that when I get there…

I have at least another mile to go.

I know this. The distance from that mailbox to my house hasn’t changed once, no matter how fervently I’ve wished it would.   I can’t slow down, I can’t let up, and I can only celebrate for a moment, because I’m not done.

I had two pieces accepted for publication this week. Needless to say, I’m thrilled. I set a goal out there, and I’m getting closer to that mailbox every day. It’s bright and shiny and it’s calling to me, and I’m putting one foot after another until I get there. But I know that when I do, I still have a ways to go before I’m done running. And just like my running, once the path I’ve set gets too easy, if it doesn’t push me hard enough, I’ll have to find a harder one.

But when I do finally reach home, I feel at peace, yet energized at the same time. Ready to take on the day. Ready to climb the hill again tomorrow. So I’ll take  a moment and celebrate but no more, because I’m not done. I have a least another mile to run.
Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph by mtsofan © 2008 Creative Commons