Saying goodbye and thank you – Medillia’s Lament, The Novel

Handwritten-Note“He closed the door quietly as he left and headed out to his Jeep.  He opened the door and jumped up into the driver’s seat.  John rested the envelope on his lap and  stared at it for a while.  He hoped that the contents of the envelope would answer all of his questions from the past few days.  He worried that it wouldn’t.  He took a deep breath and then opened it up and pulled out a handwritten note.” Medillia’s Lament, The Novel

Nothing lasts forever, whether it is a happening, feeling, or situation. Eventually change will come and bring a welcomed reprieve to a time that you once felt as though you might never make it through.  Life has a funny way of stretching individuals to points they may never knew existed or were even possible to reach.  Unfortunately it often seems to do this through adversity and strife.  The two, which plant their roots deep into uncertainty, often bring the most individual growth for us all.  It’s not until the seemingly never ending moments pass that we are able to reflect and discover the true gift that they intended to bring to us from the very beginning.  It’s in this discovery of our own growth that we are able to find the sweetness of life that it brings in even the darkest of times.



  • What’s one more day? – Medillia’s Lament

    Rebecca Windsor

    Rebecca Windsor

    “He stepped closer to the wall and examined every detail of the photo.  He had noticed the bench first but was then drawn to the couple who sat nestled among each other’s arms.  The bench looked as if it had just been built and painted.  The grass it rested on was trimmed and the couple who occupied it was smiling straight back at John.  He’d recognized the individuals anywhere; he just never in a million years pictured them sitting together smiling back at him.” Medillia’s Lament – The Novel

    With just a handful of pages remaining I find myself reluctant to write the last few pages of the novel.We all have passions and dreams, unfortunately along with them often comes doubt.  I shared with my friend this morning that I was hesitant about writing the end of this story. She immediately responded, “You’re afraid it won’t be good enough. Just do it!” My friend who runs marathons on mountains just quoted a Nike campaign from decades ago. I smiled back.  What do I have to lose? If I don’t finish it will remain incomplete and I will never know how it would have received by readers.  If I just finish it and let it go through the editing process than I will have finished what I promised Jody I would do. I will have converted one of his incredible screenplays into a novel.

    I’ve always been an advocate for dream chasers and now I need to step it up and get it done.   Theoretically I could come home from work tonight and finish the last few pages but most likely they will wait till morning. What’s one more day?

     



  • Still there is laughter – A Little Lift

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Ralph Waldo Emerson – artworkbyangie.com

    Everything was coming up sunshine and roses for the past couple of years; my children were happy, I married the man of my dreams, we bought a farm, and I was finally hired as a full time employee at the place I was working.  We filled our barn with goats, rabbits and chickens and cleared the meadow to plant our first vegetable garden.  Life became a fairy tale and as I made my way through my days, I often stopped to pinch myself.  Then as it always does, life sent a curve ball. After weeks of feeling lethargic, out of breath, and just off my game I visited our walk in clinic to see what was going on with my body. Within hours I heard back that all of my blood levels were way below the accepted levels for what is considered normal.  My body had literally stepped on the breaks and ushered me to bed for some very long, hard naps.  I’ve been here before and knew that I needed to adjust my diet, take supplements, and rest. So as I was spending the most time in my room that I have since we moved into the farm, I noticed a couple of things.  First my husband loves me more than the moon and the sun. He was a constant companion and made sure that I always had what I needed and that the chores around our home and farm were taken care of including our crazy, chaotic schedule with our five kids. The harder pill that I found myself swallowing was that life does indeed go on with or without you.

    Children will laugh and play, animals will graze in the pastures, and wildflowers will continue to spread their seed whether you are an active participant or laying in bed watching from your window. I read on the internet, so it must be true, a great philosopher said that the greatest misunderstood idea about life is that there will always be enough time to get done what you want.  Ironically, I stumbled upon this tidbit as I was down for the count unable to do much more than work my scheduled shifts.  My mind created a streaming video of all the things I have yet to get to and it challenged me to stop putting them off and find the time necessary to do and experience them if they were truly important to me.  As I laid still upstairs while the downstairs erupted with laughter and play, I imagined my life if I never traveled with my children, never finished all of the books I have already written in my head, and never embraced the simple life on the farm in the way Kyle and I have dreamed of since we first purchased it just a year ago.

    I woke up this morning finally feeling a bit more like myself, ready to take on my life as I choose it to be. I’m determined to reset some priorities and make sure that I have a hand in proving that dreams really do come true if you set your heart and mind in the same direction. Time is ticking for each and every one of us and we never know if we have weeks, months, days, or even years left to do what we want to do. Ralph Waldo Emerson so beautifully penned, “the earth laughs in flowers.”  I believe it was his way of saying to remember that life is always meant to be enjoyed and appreciated regardless of what may or may not be happening in yours. My literal transition of his phrase is that each of us has a garden to plant and it is up to us what we would like to have bloom within its soil. I’ve always had a feeling of what I thought I would like my garden to look like, now I’m just actually starting to plant the flowers that will make it happen.  I can’t wait to see what yours looks like when it blooms.



  • The wheelhouse – Medillia’s Lament

    Charles Sovek

    Charles Sovek

    “The chug of the engine filled the air as Medillia’s Lament made its way out of the harbor.  Seagulls circled the wheelhouse and ushered Clarence forward as he moved farther away from shore.  Clarence stood behind the wheel and tipped his cap while he ran his weathered hand through his hair.” Medillia’s Lament – The Novel

    I’ve finished writing Applewood, Maine into the novel and I’m now headed back to Chicago for a few more pages of script to finish off the end of the story.  Kyle sat next to me this morning and thumbed through the remaining pages to be written from the screenplay and exclaimed, “that’s it?”  It’s as if I’ve been saying goodbye to each of the characters in the novel as I write their screen left scene and cut the ties between them and the other individuals in the book.  As I wrote this scene and described Clarence saying goodbye, I imagined the lobster man that frequented the galley where I worked as a teen.  His bright red suspenders, faded blue jeans, and cap he wore over his gray curly hair stood out in my mind.  That was twenty years ago but I see him as if it was yesterday.

    I’m looking forward to holding this book in my hands just as I laid in bed holding the screenplay reading it for the very first time.  I’m excited to be able to talk about the story and characters with others and see if it had the same effect on them as it did me.

     

     



  • When pieces fall into place – Medillia’s Lament

    lament“Lament?” Her face turned white as she sat back down on the bench next to John.  He released his hold of her arm and nodded yes. They were both exhausted from the moment and at a loss of what to do or say next. – Medillia’s Lament, The Novel

    It’s that moment where the pieces begin falling into place and you suddenly have a glimpse of why you have endured, sacrificed, given up, believed, and experienced everything you did.  As the pieces of his past began falling into place he sat in disbelief, he couldn’t imagine any of it being possible but in his heart he knew it made perfect sense and it was his truth.  It was that knowledge that exhausted him because he had to own that it was a part of his own story, it was a part of him now just as it always had been.

    We all have pieces of our own stories that have been miss told or somehow left out entirely along the way.  I have chunks of my own that have been forgotten or permanently erased and I often wonder “what if” those chunks suddenly appeared on my doorstep and I would have to own them as my own.  Years of counseling after a rocky childhood came to a point in a session where the counselor asked me, “do you want to know what triggers you? Do you want the details or are you okay now knowing that you are no longer triggered by your past?”  I sat quietly while I shuffled through my short list of memories including smells, touches, and sounds and asked myself silently if I needed to have a visual including all of the details that have somehow been left out of my chapters up until that moment.  I came to the conclusion that I had healed the open wounds, they were no longer festering and causing feelings of hate and anger.  I decided that in my case, ignorance was truly bliss and in that moment I let go of the need to know everything that had happened and why.  I opted to let go and move on.

    John didn’t have that choice in Medillia’s Lament, the pieces of his past just showed up one day in front of his own two eyes, and as he held them in his hands he was able to process them and land at a better place in life, as most of us will.

     

     



  • A change in the air – Medillia’s Lament

    fort foster“John wandered down the path covered in pines towards the cove; he stood and looked out onto the harbor.  The only sound he heard was the gulls that circled overhead. He covered his eyes with his hand and scanned the boat and then the beach for Clarence.  John was disappointed that he found himself to be alone.  He headed up to the bench that looked onto the lighthouse and sat in the cool, crisp autumn air.  He unrolled his sleeves and covered his arms, it seemed cooler than usual. Change was in the air.” Medillia’s Lament – The Novel

    I spent the past two days on Lexington Ave with my two girls.  I have traveled to the city many times on business and for events but never as a tourist with my family.  We packed in the two days with sights and sounds that first come to mind when one thinks of N.Y.C. The girls held their own as we walked everywhere, not once hailing a cab or venturing onto the subway.  It was their first time to the city that never sleeps and as I watched them take it all in I felt as though I had some how passed the baton to the next generation in my own way.  On the morning of day two we awoke and packed our things and made our way out onto Lexington Ave and headed left.  I wanted them to experience the magic and awe of Grand Central Station even if we weren’t  arriving or departing from there.  The first thing Libby noticed was the clock in the middle of the grand room.  She clapped and exclaimed that it was the same clock that she had seen in all the movies.  Anna quickly began taking pictures of the ceiling, the beautiful chandeliers, the marble columns, and the quiet way in which travelers moved about the concourse as if they had been choreographed.

    I had been there before, arriving and departing, but never just to stand in the center to take it all in like a spectator.  As we moved about the city and experienced it in the day and under the lights I was aware that I had been there before, a seasoned traveler sharing the sights and sounds with my two daughters fresh out of New England.  My mind traveled home, back to our farm, and a life that I had systematically chosen one step at a time.  My choices had brought me to a place I never once imagined being possible or even something I would want to do.  I am a writer, writing everyday.  I write for myself, for others, and for businesses.  I write to record, express, process, and fulfill everything that comes to me in this world I have created.  Standing in the middle of Grand Central Station my mind traveled to Applewood, Maine and the fictitious character I have been spending a lot of time with these past two years.

    I’m on the home stretch of Medillia’s Lament.  John’s character has begun to transform and let the world in and soon his story in  Applewood will be finished and ready for final edits.  As I walked around the city with the girls crossing Madison and Park Ave finding our way to its heart, Times Square, I couldn’t help feel that I’ve written most of my own story and now I’m just working on smoothing out the rough spots, editing where it needs to be edited.  Kyle and I kept in touch with texts and images from the city and home and somehow in the midst of being apart I felt for the first time I had found forever.  A partner in crime who will work through my very own editing process with me as we walk together into the future towards the heart of what matters most to the two of us.

    Laying in bed in the hotel as the girls breathed heavily from their exhausting day campusing the city on foot, I felt a change of my own in the air.  I’ve come to the part in my own story where I have experienced, felt, and acknowledged the lessons I was always meant to learn and now all that is left for me to do is to decide if I have learned from them and will be able to move forward from this chapter in a place of peace and resignation to the knowledge that everything was as it was supposed to be.



  • Standing ovation – A Little Lift

    We were walking along Ogunquit river when I heard Kyle say, “oh no.”  I looked over at the kids swimming and then back at him.  He was staring down at his phone and scrolling quickly.  An icon had passed and his images and sound bites had flooded the internet.  I looked back at the girls and their cousin floating with the current towards the open ocean and took a few steps with them to keep them somewhat within sprint distance if they needed me.  Kyle seemed distraught, greatly affected by the news, my heart grew heavy for him.  He shared that a legend created from our generation had taken his own life.  I waited for the darkness to fall, to take hold of me and bring me back to a place I’ve fought so hard to leave behind, but it didn’t.  Instead I walked further along the riverbank following the kids as they made their way in the warm August waters.

    The next day my friend Erin and I took all our kids to Wolfeboro to spend the day at the lake.  The sun felt warm and comforting as I staked my claim in the beach chair and watched as all the kids spent most of the day in the water swimming, following the ducks, and tossing a tennis ball. It reminded me so much of growing up on Spofford Lake and the endless summer days spent at Weirs Grove.  Erin asked me if Robin’s suicide was affecting me.  I looked up at her, almost surprised at my own lack of reaction to how his life ended.  I shook my head no and listened as she gracefully shared how it had her.  To be honest, I think it has affected almost everyone that knew him as a comedian and actor.  I have loved and enjoyed his movies, comedy shows, hosting gigs, interviews, and articles. When he filmed Jumanji in the two towns close to my two homes, Keene and North Berwick, I felt a closer connection to the actor as if we had something in common. Even with Erin’s sharing her sadness for his loss, my emotions seemed to be flat lining at best. Then the morning after, the darkness fell and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Suicide had made such a dramatic appearance that this time the whole entire world seemed to be talking about it at the same time.  Suicide had entered stage left this week, took stage center and bowed for the entire planet to be seen, felt, and acknowledged by everyone.

    When suicide had entered my world in my early twenties, the loss of my father’s life was confusing, chaotic, and dark.  I hesitated for years when people asked me if he was still living, knowing that the next question would be how did he die.  I felt obliged to protect them from my response, inevitably they would withdraw from the conversation, pull their energy back not knowing what they should say.  Even to this day, twenty years later, there is still the awkward dance when my father comes up in conversation and people wonder what happened to him.  Most often now with the distance the years have created I am able to gloss over the fact that after a lifetime of threatening his own demise he finally carried through and took action.  I’ve reasoned with myself that the knowledge of someone taking their own life isn’t helpful for anyone to gain.  Maybe I’ve been horribly wrong, maybe like an ostrich burying my head in the sand, I’ve been giving power to the notion that suicide is a choice made by a few and in covering up my own father’s passing, I am enabling suicide to go unscathed and unchallenged in our society.

    People need not be protected from the ugly of taking one’s own life, they need to know that any attempt whether successful or not is the greatest cry for help a human can possibly make.  It is from this cry that we decide as a human being if we are truly connected to one another or not.  Can we exist as individuals throughout life or must we lean on and be leaned on by others to truly experience life for everything it was always meant to be?  I stood from my seat and clapped slowly, alone as others were mortified even shocked at my response.  I wasn’t clapping for the passing of one of the greats, his loss will be mourned for generations to come and missed dearly.  I was cheering for the fact that suicide would no longer be able to be ignored, filed away quietly as if the life it took was better off dead than alive.  Finally suicide might be seen as something different in society; it may finally be known as  a horrible deadly side effect of a disease instead of what many commonly refer to it as a choice.



  • He’s always in – A New Family

    There’s always a lot going on in and around SeaStar Farm.  With seven of us living together sharing space as well as making our own way in the world as individuals, you never know what could be happening on any given day. I’ve been spending some time lately creating and managing an online challenge of sorts which involves people submitting pictures of themselves with stripers that they have caught along the Seacoast in New England.  Occasionally I will share images with Kyle and the stories that go along with them.  So far there have been a lot of images of men and their very big fish coming my way. My husband let me know that he could catch big fish too. I nodded in agreement as I continued working on the online event.  I was working late one night while Kyle was upstairs laying in bed reading or watching t.v.  My phone buzzed, I looked away from my keyboard and picked it up.  It was a message from Kyle Weaver.

    How could I not fall in love with him over and over again, each new day that I wake?  I opened up the message and there he was with his big fish staring back at me.  Kyle was holding the most incredible fish that I have ever laid my eyes upon.big one! Everything that we do on the farm whether it is for ourselves, family or friends, or just someone who needs our help seems to turn into an adventure for Kyle and I.  He makes everyday not so ordinary and is always jumping in with both feet whenever an unexpected situation or challenge comes our way.  He’s always “in” and that’s one of the things I love most about him.  Next week we are hosting an “Our Table” event at the SeaStar Farm to help support our incredible friend, Juanita and the release of her first cookbook.  Kyle is leading the charge in making the event one in which everyone will come and celebrate and hopefully relax and truly enjoy themselves.

    Juanita had sent me a message earlier this week commenting how she thought that Kyle and I were a perfect match.  You would have thought that we had met on match.com and not facebook.  If the years to come are anything nearly as amazing as this first year we’ve spent being husband and wife, I can’t even begin to imagine what is in store for  us in the future.