My Mother Made Lists

I came across quite a few workbooks at the book store that suggest that we keep lists of some sort or another. One book caught my attention Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed. It made me think of my mother who was a list maker. She made lists to remind her about things. She made a to do list every day. Sometimes the list would remind her to tell me about something she had heard on the radio or an ad she had seen on TV. Most times she suggested that I buy a certain supplement or warn me about a recall that only affected people living in Montana or somewhere else miles away. But her theory was that they may have missed listing our town or state.

There is an art connected to this idea of making lists and it is called listography. One can decide to make list of or about almost any topic. When you go to the book store you will find all kinds of journals that are organized into different types of lists. An example of one journal is bullet journaling. “It has grown in popularity over the last year, with almost 200,000 hashtagged speed journals on Instagram and hundreds of customized templates and helpful tutorials on Pinterest.”

There are websites and YouTube videos that teach you how to organize your journal bullets and or mindful thinking. My mom would be thrilled to have had one of these. Her lists and notes were written on pieces of paper. She recycled everything she could possibly recycle. She told she lived through the Depression and that she learned to reuse many things. So her journals were the backs of used envelopes, all kinds of scrap paper, even napkins.

The notes I found after her passing taught me a little bit more about what motivated her and what she cared about. She loved to learn new words since English was not her first language. She would write the words phonetically and then ask me what the word meant. I found out that my definitions did not satisfy her sometimes. She would eventually write down the dictionary meaning in a notebook she had divided into different sections and listed all the new words into categories.

She made lists of things she stored away in boxes. I found at least ten gift boxes with brand new nightgowns see had never used. Inside each box was a note about who had gifted her and for what occasion and then she would note why she was saving it.  I even found a sort of black list of people she did not like and her explanation as to why. I never let anyone see that list. She made lists of new characters in her favorite soap operas and explained why she liked or disliked them.

When she became very ill she made a few different lists of instructions for us to follow when she passed. One list told me the things that had made her the happiest. Her children were at the top of the list. She also made a list of all the money she had spent during her illness. She made of list of the people who had borrowed money from her in the past and check marks were made after the names of the people who paid her back. She double checked the people who still owed her but whose debts she would forgive. I never knew she had that much money to lend out.

I only recently found out about listography.  My mom was on to something. She had done this for years. All I know is that my mom’s lists revealed so many things about her. I learned so much about her dreams and hopes.

I have started making lists myself. Here are some starter lists that I believe my children will find amusing when I am gone. Happy Mother’s Day.

  1. List of things I know make people happy.
  2. List of my friends when I was in elementary school.
  3. List of questions I always wanted to ask but was afraid to ask.
  4. List of questions I will have when I meet with God.
  5. List of favorite things.
  6. List of places I wish I had visited.
  7. List of the things that most frightened me when I first became a mom.
  8. List of special moments.
  9. List of things I said that I regret.
  10. List knock knock jokes

 

Additional Resources:

http://www.amazon.in/My-Future-Listography-Hope-Lists/dp/0811878368

http://questionslisting.tumblr.com/

http://www.booktopia.com.au/stationery/do-one-thing-every-day-that-inspires-you-robie-rogge/prod9780553447880.html

http://listography.com/euphoricdreams/activities/listography_ideas

A Philosophy on Life By Sam Berns

This young man is amazing. Right now I have nothing to complain about. Yesterday I was asking myself the why questions. Being a worry wart, questioning is what I do. But this video (that by the way I happened to stumble upon accidentally) made me realize (as I ultimately always do) that I am so blessed. As a mother, this was a little difficult to watch. As an educator, I feel that everyone can benefit from the lesson Sam Berns delivers in his TEDx presentation. As a poet, I believe that this is an example of when life is poetry. Progeria is a very rare disease which affect only about “350 or so children in the world”. His philosophy is inspirational to say the least. I invite you all to watch and share this with your family and friends.
And paradoxically again I ask: Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I bet you do. God bless my children, grandchildren and all my family and friends. Thank you God for Sam Berns. May he rest in peace.

 

 

 

Are you thinking what I am thinking?

Are you thinking what I am thinking?
 
Today has been very perplexing.
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
I do not understand what is happening!
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
Someone requested that I not worry. Hah!
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
Yes often our minds are our worst enemy!
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
I am thinking that a lot of us are not thinking.
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
Well, you are right. I am thinking we need to get our thoughts
together and act for the good of us all.
Melba Christie
 
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
                                                                – James Allen

Coming to America

I re-blogged this poem in honor of my mother. I can’t imagine what she would say about all that is happening right now. I hope she is not too worried.

Melba Christie at Poemattic

PHOTOS FOR KEEPS 465

Coming to America

She was only 18 years old

Her heart raced in her chest

like galloping stallions on the finca

they left on the island of emerald-green.

Soon their ship would pass by Lady Liberty;

All decks were packed with passengers

Some would salute proudly,

others knelt thankfully

as if at church,

but she simply held her breath

like when you get ready to

blow-up a balloon at a birthday party.

Her dreams danced in her head

like her favorite dancers Fred Astaire

and Ginger Rodgers.

She envisioned herself looking out

her bay window framed with lace curtains

as her two young girls jumped rope.

She imagined her Cape Cod home

surrounded by a three-foot white picket fence,

daffodils and daisies leaning comfortably against it.

That was her American Dream.

Yellow and red flowers growing along a white picket fence in traditional garden Stock Photo - 13865383

She knew there was hard work ahead

No one said it would be easy

her heart reminded her everyday

View original post 115 more words

Loneliness

 

 

waiting wagon

Single and alone

Some call him

a rolling stone

 

doesn’t know why

the wind blows

but loves the sound

of chimes

as he watches the stars

and the evening moon

 

wonders about his death

someday

wonders if it will be on

a lonely Monday

and wants to be

carried on a long cart

back home

 

 

Found Poem #5

 

The following is another poem inspired by my fellow bloggers. Thanks for your beautiful posts. The attributions follow. Check out their beautiful work.

All is prayer

When thoughts are still

A rainbow of hope

Fills the sky

And I

Pray

 

All is prayer

And I am here

To tell you

We are one

 

All is prayer

Who am I but a body in time,

I ask the universe for love

I am a woman, an artist, a mother, a worker,

But I want to be like water

Flowing calming

And sometimes still

All is prayer

Let it be what will

 

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/64046823

https://poemattic.wordpress.com

https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/birthday-poem/

Haiku Moments

Dear Followers and fellow bloggers,

I am very proud to announce the release of my first Haiku Poetry book – Haiku Moments available through Barnes & Noble. I appreciate your continued support. Thanks to all who bought The Secret Life of Mandalas.

Spring is Here Again

naturalbydesign

I hear the sounds of Spring

sounds that make me want to sing

the songs of yesteryear

to conjure memories so dear

I hear chimes resounding

as the gentle breeze visits

the music is outstanding

energizing the spirit

I hear the flowers bloom

silently and confident

they know somehow

their beauty will rid us of all gloom

Spring is here again

faithful like an old friend

bringing us happiness

with every bud that grows.

Welcome Spring!

I am so glad you are here!

DSC_1838

View original post

Remembered

After I wrote The Role of a Poet, I found this post that relates to the premise.

Melba Christie at Poemattic

Remembered

How do you want to be remembered?  asked the poet

There were three poets, one doctor and two teachers present to respond to the poet’s question.

Finally after a long silence and obvious pondering the doctor says, “I want to be remembered  as someone who took my oath seriously.

One poet said, ” I want to be remembered as a poet who wanted to promote peace.”

The other poet said, “I will be remembered as the king of the couplet.”

The remaining poet said, ” I hope people will remember me as the simple poet.”

Then the two teachers looked at each other politely and gestured one another to speak first.

After a few seconds one teacher speaks. “I want to be remembered for my patience,” she said.

The other teacher remains pensive for a few more seconds. She says, “I hope that the students I was not able…

View original post 174 more words

The Role of a Poet

I often ask myself what is the role or job of the poet? Each time the response depends on what is happening in the world and in my personal life. I ask other poets the same question. Sometimes I wish I could ask my favorite poets, especially those who became well-known after they passed. I could imagine their reaction when they learn in their after life that people finally get and appreciate the poems they wrote.

As I pondered the question I went back to my collection of poetry books and looked for some insights.  Inspired by poet’s biographies and other readings, I wrote a poem that hopefully answers the question. I mean if you have ever asked yourself what is the role of the poet.

 

The Role of the Poet

I believe the world needs a poet more today

It needed one yesterday as well

because a poet is one to tells

truths we may not want to hear

a poet brings to light what is most dear

and helps us to face fear

 

A poet brings you back into your own life

and teaches you how to breathe in and out

in stillness and in meditation

while you listen carefully to your breath and heart beat

and to the divine explanation of why we are all here.

 

A poet is a little god

who soothes your soul

and lets you peek into life’s crystal ball

to see yourself for the very first time

 

A poet sings the songs that make the world go round

and says what matters in free verse or rhyme

a poet knows how to expertly use every utterance and sound

in alliteration or onomatopoeia or assonance

and when it comes to choosing

the right meter

who else can we possibly trust

 

It does not matter what form a poem takes

A poet must not mistake

an epic, a limerick or an ode

As long as a poet can bring back the spring

in the middle of winter.

 

A poet can make you sing

and help you see the purpose of a fly

and you can either believe every word

or decide to defy

its relevance or ambiguity

but we must admit the poet’s acuity

for words and how to use them in a soliloquy.

 

Being a poet is not an easy job

a poet can make you smile

or make your heart throb

 

A poet can also make you think

about so many things that need thinking

and when you don’t understand

the message it can really stink

 

but as for me

I still hope to be

a poet someday.