Saturday, June 3, 2017

cleaning and illness and art and the beach

I’m sitting here in my blue room
with classical music playing on low
and an open window
so I can hear the pitter patter
of rain on the pavement.
The lilacs outside are in bloom
and now and then,
I catch a whiff of sweetness.

I had every intention
of starting my day today
with yoga, and then painting.
I got up earlier than usual for some reason,
and decided I needed coffee
more than yoga,
so I made some coffee,
fed Fluffy (see below) 
and read for an hour.
In an actual book.
Yay for me. ;)
Then I put the dirty dishes
in the sink to soak,
put a wash load in the washer,
took some clothes out of the dryer to fold,
opened the oven to put away some pans
and realized how dirty it was,
so I took out the EASY OFF oven cleaner
and sprayed the oven.
What the hell,
I may as well clean all the burners too
while I’m at it…
Before I know it,
I’m in full cleaning mode.
I’ve got the rubber gloves on & everything.
And then I remember how little time
I’ve had to myself lately,
and how long it’s been since I’ve had fun,
and how sickening it is
to hear about what’s happening around the world
and how much time I’ve spent
with dad lately in the hospital
for appointments or visits to emergency
and how it feels like illness (or talking about illness)
has been part of my life now for too long.

Things have been a little rough for dad lately...

I feel sorry for him.
He’s 82, has Parkinson’s,
asthma, lung problems,
and now, allergies,
so I’m guessing hospital visits
and doctor’s appointments
are gonna happen more often than not.
And what can be more exhausting
and worrying
than not being able to breathe properly?
We’re all continuously adjusting
to new “normals”, aren’t we?

So as soon as the oven was clean,
I left the dishes in the sink (they’re still there),
left the clothes to be folded (they’re still there),
and took Fluffy for a nice walk.
Nothing soothes my soul more
than a walk in nature & fresh air.
After we got back,
I came here, to my blue room.
Lit a candle, opened the window,
and put on some soft music.

First I journaled a bit
(because that always grounds me
when I feel like I’ve got the
attention span of a pea.)

Then I painted (on paper) a bit.
And now, I’m here - blogging.
Not sure what I’ll do after this,
but it won’t be cleaning. :)

Mom always used to say:
“the dust will still be there tomorrow”.

Thanks mom, for reminding me that
there are always more important things to do
than cleaning.


I took these photos (below) last weekend,
when I went for a walk on the beach.

I may need to go again tonight.

Aren't these patterns beautiful?
Sand that looks like tiny hills & craters.

thanks for being here.
Happy weekend everyone.


  1. I truly hope your dad feels better soon. Truly.

    You post made me wonder: Wouldn’t it be something if we spent as much time/money/consideration on elder care as we do on plastic surgery, fitness, etc.? I’m American, so our health system speaks for itself. (dot dot dot) But I bet if we as a culture invested as much *importance* on elder care as we do on trying to appear as young as humanely possible, our lives would all be a lot different, both as we ourselves aged and as those we love aged, as well. Perhaps it would be a nice thing to grow old, knowing that we would be supported every step of the way instead of trying to literally fight for life.

    1. Yes Chel Micheline, I totally agree. Obviously, it's natural that the body will deteriorate with age, so I don't always understand why so many fight against what is meant to happen naturally. We also live in a culture that doesn't value or respect the elderly the way many other cultures do, so it's not surprising that "old age" is seen here as such a negative.

  2. A beautiful post Pauline, written straight from the heart.
    Your art is most beautiful.
    Oh yes, and your Mom, as you said, is so right :D)

  3. Well spoken, Pauline. Glad to hear you had some time to yourself in nature....such a blessing to be so near a beautiful place and spend time on the beach. Sorry to hear about your dad.

    Keep creating. Love your work.

  4. Beautiful post, enjoyed your art today Pauline. Stay strong for your dad.

  5. Yes, it is so hard to see a loved one suffer, and know that it'll only get worse.... It's good that you found some time to nurture yourself, you'll need it to stay strong for your dad. Hope you went for that walk on the beach again!

    1. Thank you Denthe, and yes, I DID go for that walk! :) xo

  6. The caregiver's role is undervalued. It is the patient who gets the attention as it should be, but being a caregiver for several close family members, I felt that I couldn't say much about the stress I was under. So many emotions from sadness to anger and everything in between. We need to talk about it more. I am glad you had the lovely walk, the blue room time, your dear Fluffy, journal and yoga. Take good care, Pauline. All things change. xo

    1. Thank you so much Irene. I so agree with you about the caregiver's role being undervalued. I'm willing to bet we'd give it more value if more men became the caregivers instead of women. We tend to assign less value to the compassionate heart filled professions. At least less monetary value. And yet, what would we do without caregivers? xo

  7. What a lovely post Pauline. I'm sorry to hear about your dad - it must be worrying for him and you. I can relate to the part where you start the day with intentions to do one thing and before you know it you're sucked into something else entirely (and generally it's cleaning or housework of some kind and rarely anything fun) I did the same a week or so ago when I went out to the garden with the intentions of going to my art shed and several hours later I was still on my knees pulling weeds from the gravel driveway which just seemed to have sprouted over night!
    Fluffy is adorable and I'm glad you just sacked the rest of the cleaning and took him out for a dose of grounding in nature - your beach looks gorgeous. And, yes, your mum is right - the dust will always be there. It reminded me of this poem I read - hope you don't mind me putting it here:

    Life is short. Enjoy it! Dust if you must, but
    wouldn’t it be better to paint a picture or
    write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed,
    ponder the difference between want and need?

    Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
    with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
    music to hear and books to read,!
    friends to cherish and life to lead.

    Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
    with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your
    hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
    This day will not come around again.

    Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age
    will come, and it’s not kind. And when you
    go – and go you must – you, yourself
    will make more dust!

    1. Thank you Nicola, for your comments & this lovely poem. Mom would have loved it. ;) She always made time for coffee & friends regardless of how many dishes sat in the sink. LOL. She taught me well. :) Wishing you a great week filled with painting! xo