Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Monday, December 3, 2012
A glass of rocks. It could have been a fragment left over from a Stephen Covey "7 Habits of Highly Successful People" exercise I did back in the late nineties. I remember something about focusing on your "big rocks" instead of the sand or something like that. (Like I said, it was a fragment.)
But I'm seeing the image differently today. I'm seeing the rocks as the circumstances, responsibilities, and challenges life presents to us at any given time. Some of them may be very difficult to manage, but there they sit nonetheless.
And I think of pouring a nice glass of water over those rocks. And this water represents love. Love filling the glass full, surrounding the crappy, painful, space-consuming rocks, and marinating them. Love has a way of infiltrating things like that, a liquid light flowing around and through the dark solids. And I'm thankful to know that. It gives me hope.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I'm honored that my essay, What I Gave to the Fire, is included in this anthology.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Last week, my family finally got to take our Michigan vacation. We wanted someplace cooler, less humid than the sauna back home in Bloomington, AND we wanted beach. We got our wish. Picturesque Saugatuck couldn't have been a more perfect place. Think artsy village shops on a river with a beautiful Lake Michigan beach literally around the bend. Think amazing summer art school (Ox Bow) where I'm now fantasizing we'll send Olivia in a few years, as well as be an artist-in-residence myself. Think lovely fresh water beach with soft sand.
Our first full day at the beach was interesting, however. It was quite windy, and there was a visible layer of blowing sand hovering at knee level which added some crunch to our tuna salad picnic. The surf relentlessly pounded the shore all day. Suddenly the "What To Do if You Get Caught in a Rip Current" sign posted at the concession stand became relevant. Nevertheless, my family and I cautiously joined the sizeable number of people playing in the water. The waves were fun to navigate, cresting and foaming, pulling us many yards down the beach from our entry point. I was the first to go and lay on my towel to catch my breath, sand stinging my body, wishing I had a beach chair. I told Trent to watch Olivia like a hawk My protective mother instincts intact, even after 13 years.
Later the evening news reported on the rip currents up and down the Lake Michigan shoreline that day. Some beaches closed due to the severity. People die in these things.
I've been thinking about that day at the beach ever since we got back home. The relentlessness and loss of control was an apt metaphor for my current experience with my professional life. In my effort to neutralize the uncertainty of a freelancer's income, I took on a part time job about 9 months ago. Ever since I took that job, it feels like my income streams have been pounding me like those waves. The illusory captain's wheel has been out of my hands, spinning of its own accord. While I've appreciated the abundance, I've been challenged to maintain it energetically. I've been short-tempered, negative, tired. Abundance doesn't feel so great when you are drowning.
I know there's something for me to learn in this experience (isn't there always?). Maybe it's time to learn how to direct the flow.
I'm not asking the flow to stop, I'm not even asking it to change, unless it wants to. What I'm asking (praying) for is the confidence to get a hold of the captain's wheel and direct my vessel through active waters. This might mean extending completion dates for some projects. This might mean taking a day off if I need to catch up. This might mean quoting a premium rate if I'm being asked to complete a rush job. If all else fails, this might mean saying no sometimes. The world won't stop if I say no.
Maybe I just need to follow the instructions on the sign:
If caught in a rip current:
- Don't fight the current
- Swim out of the current, then to shore
- If you can't escape, float or tread water
- If you need help, call or wave for assistance
Thursday, June 17, 2010
by Kim Evans for the Herald-Times
It’s hard to believe, but this is my 28th and final column. A year has blown by, and I find myself writing the parting words I knew I’d eventually be searching for.
I am not fond of good-byes; yet, the time has come. In doing so, I’d like to share some notable moments from my past year as a community columnist:
The online poster who threatened to report me to Child Protective Services after reading about me letting my toddler daughter play naked in the yard back in 2001, citing my poor upbringing by a mother who threw peanut shells down a man’s pants.
The gentleman who sent me letters warning against the elusive “I-me-my” syndrome, complete with clippings of my column in which each of these pronouns was circled and counted. I continue to wonder how one is supposed to express one’s opinion in the third person; however, I was flattered that this reader took the time to write and compare me to Bob Hammel, although I never broke his record “I-me-my” word count.
A large number of online comments followed my column about mothers balancing work and family. I was excited that I seemed to touch on a sensitive topic and stir a public conversation.
I gained confidence in writing about the poor public relations on the part of the Bloomington Area Arts Council and their dealing with the funding shortfalls for the Waldron Arts Center.
I thank the BAAC board member who invited me to meet and discuss my ideas for bridge-building, even though I did not accept the invitation. Suddenly, I felt the responsibility of having my opinion published in a public forum.
While the MCCSC budget cuts largely felt too overwhelming for me to tackle, I was able to write about my Bradford Woods memories. There are still columns to be written about the importance of art and music education in public schools.
It was fun to have my column about the long journey through the College Mall ending in a double rainbow linked online to photographs of the rainbow submitted by H-T readers.
My biggest honor came after my graduation address to sixth graders was published, and I discovered my words had inspired individuals to quote excerpts from this column at local life celebration and graduation ceremonies.
This is when I truly felt the power of connecting through the written word.
As I look back, I see a body of work I can be proud of.
This gig has allowed me to develop my writing voice, and for that I am very grateful to Bob Zaltsberg for the opportunity.
I also would like to thank the H-T editors for writing great titles for me on those occasions when I drew blanks.
A big thank you goes out to my writing community at Women Writing for (a) Change, whom often listened to these columns in draft form and continue to celebrate my words.
Also thanks to my Friday night women friends for all their support; and my family, particularly my husband, Trent, for his constant encouragement, and my daughter, Olivia, for her extremely helpful feedback on my drafts.
And finally, I thank the entire Bloomington community for helping this be such a great place to call home.
Farewell for now.
Starting in July, you can find me blogging monthly for the Poplar Grove Muse and here on Cozumel Dreamin.