Adventures in Imperfection

Waking from a Summer Slumber

What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?

bb747fc7335b2a692650c4710b89c4dc

~~Tatiana from A Midsummer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare

September~~A month with diary pages written in the charcoal smudge from burning brush piles and a pen pocked with pollen from goldenrod and ragweed. This morning’s words are courtesy of a 4:37 a.m. itch to both get up and stay in bed–as well as a literal itch of the chigger bites between my toes, shoulder blades, and butt cheeks. The scratching on my torso triggers the scratching of Echo (Tanna’s kitty) outside my door, so I give in, get up, and write.

Summer Solstice~~the words read like poetry and trickle like magic when they fall from the lips. Though that date feels like ages ago, my mind has been revisiting the sun’s early rise and lazy exit each day since. In my escapist brain, I often hope for Midsummer’s Dream fairies to land on the flowers outside my window or rest their wings on my shoulder when I am laying in the grass talking to the trees (thus, the chiggers!)

From a writing perspective, it’s been a mostly silent summer for me. If it hadn’t been for my literary sylphs, Roseanne, Dailyn, Sammie, and Monica, the pixie dust would have accumulated in the vacant hallways that have become my blog. I’ve been wandering under a spell. Not a magic spell laced with purple pansy or magic beans; instead a hex laden with schedules, airplane terminals, and distraction. And minimal sleep.

Perhaps you have been living in a haze, too? Summer begins with high hopes and tends to stop short because of school days that enter too soon despite our children’s desperate attempts to stay in bed till noon one day longer.

Since I was old enough to read The Illustrated Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales (over and over and over), I’ve yearned to own a pair of gossamer wings or magic shoes myself. Just for fun, and in blatant disregard for adulthood, I tuck miniature furniture and birdhouses into my garden pots in case an elf or nymph needs a place to stay for the night. I’ll neither confirm or nor deny that I peek under the morning’s new toadstools looking for fantasy swag.

Eat me

Yes, I’m a grown woman, but the childlike fascination has never gone away. Even my daughter’s name, Tanna,  means “Queen of the Fairies”–though I didn’t know that at the time of the choosing.

I’ve been working on this “piece” since last week (or was it the week before? It’s all fuzzy), and my mind keeps whisking me back to seventeen. A moment I remember in my bedroom–a space between not asleep, and not yet awake. My eyes were closed, and I was traipsing in some sweet dream probably involving a boy. There was a light tickle across my cheek. A caress and a kiss and a reprieve of breeze in a bedroom that was an oven in the summer, and a meat locker otherwise. I could feel myself straining to be awake, but begging to stay asleep, and languishing long enough to find the handsome owner of those gentle fingers. I giggled with my eyes shut because I knew the sensual stroke was courtesy of the curtain sheers brushing my face, and that the fairy prince in my dream would arrive much later in life.

I relish those moments before the sunlight weaves its wavy tendrils between eyelids and lashes. The times that sleep tries to sneak away while the subconscious grasps to the fleeting tic toc before the alarm clocks chimes a reminder of responsibility and mission. The sweet seconds before dreams end and constraint begins.

Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away...

Arthur Rackham - from A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act 4, Scene 1) (detail) (300)

Even with the allure that sleep brings, I am ready to wake from a dreamless slumber. It’s past time to emerge from the haze of ridiculous, distracted and unreachable. The reality is that I already live with a tribe of fairies under my sensible, storm-proof roof, and I don’t need daydreams or fancy fairy condos to attract them.

Oberon, the good-natured trickster I married, makes me laugh and reminds me to stay present. I birthed a fairy queen over twenty-two years ago, and my Tatiana started nursing school this fall semester. Puck keeps me on my toes with his post-school day, fill-the-room-with-uppercuts comedy and depletes my food supply in keeping with football practice and physics. I don’t need Shakespeare’s band of merry players because mine is gathered at the kitchen counter each evening.

I have enjoyed my mostly silent summer, but I’m longing, aching, reaching for the keyboard. And the stories? They are there. They never left. I can almost see the words now–lingering in that space before sleep leaves and awake arrives.

And how about you? Are you ready to wake with me? I could use the company.

msd_titania

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear;
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.

~~~~~

*Quotes from Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Illustrations from Arthur Rackham.

82 thoughts on “Waking from a Summer Slumber

  1. Amazing. I admire how you can use so many pretty words to basically say, “Sorry, to be gone so long. I’m back.” This, my friend, is why you can write stories and I write poems. Happy writing! And thanks for cluing me in on what woke you up the other night (early morning).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. lol! I laughed so loud when I first read your poem because that word sits on a list I keep in a journal.
        I actually tried not to use it in this story, but it fit so well. And then, as Shakespeare started to surface, tagging you felt like something Puck would do – mischief abound in this post. Thank you again for triggering parts of it πŸ™‚

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    1. Hello gorgeous πŸ™‚
      Being “gone far too long” is often very good for our souls. If I know you, you are still filling your creative urn in ways other than hitting the “publish” button. Your yoga, those flowers – it’s all relevant…and beautiful. Xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds dreamy, Marissa. Enjoy your quiet day…
      Thank you for being here and commenting – I’ll be hopping back over to your place, soon. Can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to ❀️❀️

      Like

    1. Oh, thank you, Joanne! I had my friend Christy read it to make sure it wasn’t “too out there.” It was so much fun to write. I’m taking advantage of this quiet holiday to get caught up on my reading. I’ll be over to visit in a snap! Thank you for being here. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have me floating! Floating between that sweet slumber and that horrid moment when I have to finally open my eyes. Mmm. Such a delicious piece! So glad you decided to pry yourself out of bed and write – thank you! I am most definitely ready to wake with you. After going through a bit of a process for most of the summer, the words are finally percolating and able to come forth. (I’m finding that I’m sharing my summer’s experience between my 2 blogs, as some is more focused through a particular lens that is suited towards one blog more than another).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What I wouldn’t give for an afternoon in a fairy garden with you.
      I am taking advantage of a quiet afternoon and getting caught up with all of my friends. I’ll be over in a moment to see what magic you’ve been spinning, too.
      Always love seeing you here, Susan. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend! Usually, I just use my own photos…but those durned fairies are hard to capture on film πŸ˜‰ I love the name of your blog. I’m heading over to check it out right now!

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  3. Now I want to know what chiggers are in (my) English. I shall have to look them up!

    I think your writing and the way you create atmosphere is utterly beautiful and I’m so pleased you’re back and writing again. I’m not sure I want to wake up though, so much as put on a big winter coat and hibernate until spring comes again. It’s beginning to get cold and damp and sad 😦

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie!
      And yes – it was the perfect soul sister summer! And, since we are sisters, I assume that you’re gonna let me borrow that sweet bow and arrow and teach me how to look so stinkin’ cute in a ball cap;)

      Like

  4. You and Cadence are soul sisters. She lingers every morning in her canopy bed, the mosquito netting closed and keeping her in faerie dreamland. I bring her dry Cheerios and a sippy cup of water (breakfast in bed) so that she can slowly acclimate to the real world. She’s so different from me. I leap out of bed the moment my eyes open. I asked her before why she doesn’t want to get up and she said, “Oh mommy, I’m comfy and warm and still dreaming.” Waking up is so overrated. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cadence has the best mom EVER!! Breakfast in bed? I’d stay there, too.

      I am like you, Karen. No snooze, no lingering – just up. I think that’s why I enjoyed my 3-day weekend so much. No alarm, no schedules, no nothing.
      And back to Cadence…that’s one sweet little fairy I’d love to have in my house, too. xoxoxox

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    1. Giggles – you’re so good to me.
      Thank you for the pre read and for your advice – I took it all and it was just what I needed.
      Floaty … I like that word ❀️❀️
      Love you 😘

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    1. Awww…you say the sweetest things, Mark. My angel wings are probably a bit ragged, but that’s okay. No fun in sitting on a shelf, right?
      I hope that you’re doing well and that your winter has been kind to you. Namaste πŸ™‚

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      1. Blissfully walking in our 6th day of Spring with lovely rays of sunshine warming me up…and loving it πŸ˜€ And your angel wings will be like gossamer young lady, they are like your heart, glowing very naturally as it is a part of who you are πŸ™‚
        Oh, by the way…you do realize that, at that ‘waking’ state of a morning is the ‘exact’ time to talk with your Higher Self, Guides, God or Spirit! Our ego is asleep…try it out, ask your inner self for a ‘connection’, you will be surprised what does come through. Put something to your Higher Self that you need to understand.
        It takes a little while to create a good connection, and because they speak in images, signs etc, but those things hold a whole lot of information. Remember the feelings that come with those images and you can get a whole story out of them.
        I do it most mornings and it has become second nature now so I get lots of things coming through…even I was surprised by how focused and connected it can become after a while of trying it out, on whatever I’m currently dealing with.
        Keep a pen and paper handy so you can write it immediately afterwards because our ‘connection’ lets go and we won’t remember it the more awake we become. Its like our dreams, we only remember bits and pieces and the more the day goes on we totally forget it. It is the way spirit speaks to us.
        It is in understanding what those images and feelings mean to YOU, not some book somewhere, because if you dream of a hot blonde in a bikini, it won’t mean too much for you…where for me…well, it could make me be a little more interested I suppose πŸ˜€
        Have a lovely day my friend, whatever the season πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Wow! What a fascinating morning practice you have, Mark.
        Interestingly enough, I read your comment before I was even out of bed.
        Which means…I grab for my iPhone first before doing anything else. I SO wanted to try your habit this morning, but knew it was already too late.
        Tomorrow the phone stays asleep until after I have my little talk. It sounds more peaceful and zen-like than a glowy phone.
        Thank you so much for always bringing so much richness to my life. I’m glad that it’s spring in your neck of the woods. xo

        Liked by 2 people

      3. As soon as you ‘feel’ yourself coming awake, just relax and ask spirit for guidance, on whatever you wish. You may even literally fall asleep, but it is then that we have our most intense ‘dreams’, because we ARE part aware and the ego is still snoring πŸ˜€
        Have fun, you will be surprised by just how much has relevance. Just take your time with it and learn to just let go and relax. And I even get some really odd one’s that even I have trouble trying to understand. But I always let the meaning come when it is ready, by how it makes me feel. And after a while, like anything with practice, you will learn to ‘sense’ what it relates to.
        And sometimes, especially winter, I just want to snuggle and sleep in that nice warmth πŸ˜€
        Either way….enjoy the journey Michelle πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I loved this. I spent the weekend doing hard adult things and this was a nice relaxer. I can dream now. Thanks and I’m glad you ditched the pollen and ragweed for a keyboard. Oh, and sorry your butt itches…

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  6. Very neat Mama. Beautiful and paints pictures in the mind. I love that you put small fairy bedrooms and way-stations in your garden for the wee visitors. Such a wonderful piece Mama. Thank You for passing along hope and Grace and happiness.

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  7. Go Tatiana! I’m sure she’s going to be wonderful at nursing school. And you know I love all things gossamer and fairy-like. I mean . . . who doesn’t, right?

    So happy to read this, and your words, and want to avidly beg to be a beta reader when you’re writing your book!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Katie!
      Thank you for the kind words and well wishes. You know how much I adore my nurse friends – to think I’m going to have one in my family makes me a happy, happy mama.
      Speaking of beta readers and books. What project are you working on now? I miss Bianca πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely! Your photos and artwork was just Great. Can’t wait for more. I hope your work slows down just a little so you can enjoy those half wake half asleep moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bob,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and for always finding a way to pop in and say hello. I know you’re busy, too.
      I hope you had a wonderful summer and YES – thinking that work will slow down in October πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The world between sleep and wake is the most magical of all. Emotions are so real, right there on my tongue, in my eyes, my heart pounding with delight or fear or amazement. I, too, have been wriggling my way out of serious writing these glorious summer days. Alas, Fall is glorious too! But my writing muse, a feisty Irish fae, won’t let me sit and dream forever. So let’s dance these paths together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Claudia!
      I am so sorry for the delay – I must have been napping;)
      Thank you for the awesome comment – your words sound like poetry. I love that your muse is a feisty Irish fae…I must come over to your place and dance a bit. You make me smile:)
      Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Expressed as only a true wordsmith can, you truly captured the lazy pause of summer β€” it’s comings, goings and longings. It also captured a lot of what I have felt this summer, and a lazy, much-needed pause with my own blog to live the moments for a while rather than capture them in words…

    At least for now πŸ˜‰

    Wonderful piece, Michelle, striking in its imagry in word and photos. Just be careful with those toad stools…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ned,
      You are always so good to me! Thank you for your kind words.
      I also apologize for the delayed response – I think I may have napped under one too many toadstools!
      You have a big launch coming soon! I can’t wait to see what you’ve shucking been up to πŸ˜‰
      Michelle

      PS: I also read your 9/11 salute yesterday. I remember it when you reran it last year, too. Just in case I don’t get over there this morning, I wanted to say thank you again and again for that post. One of the most poignant and beautiful tributes I’ve ever read.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks so much, Michelle. Yesterday, my wife and I were talking abut how that day has somehow transformed into a political statement, which make me both sad and angry. The day isn’t about terrorism, Muslims, BlackLivesMatter or building a wall… It’s about remembering those Americans who died innocently as well as those who died trying to save them β€” and our own loss of innocence as a nation. That’s why I repost it each year.

        Thanks for reading and for your kind words, Michelle πŸ˜‰

        And YES! The book is officially “launched” (or available at least), so now begins the promotion process (Ech!) Plus (not many people know this yet) but I have been promoted to editor-in-chief here, so life has gotten very interesting to say the least. More on that in an upcoming post πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Editor-in-Chief!!!! Congratulations! Congrats on everything….I do NOT know how you do it all. I hope to get over to your place this afternoon and see what you’ve been doing. It has been far too long, my friend πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Thanks, Michelle! It’s definitely an exciting new chapter that has come full circle for a guy who came into this with no experience or degree πŸ˜‰

        And don’t be too disappointed if you come for a visit. The last couple of months I haven’t been nearly as “prolific” here because of the book, preparing for this position and a new season of “The Bachelor…”

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Gorgeous post, Michelle. Your summer sounds exactly as it was meant to be…experienced. Oh, the words are definitely still there. As usual, love the photos (how cool are those toadstools?). Also, my kitchen clock shows 4:38, so boy do I know a thing or two about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Kristen,
      I love that your kitchen clock had a similar number to mine. It’s when I woke up this morning, too…except that I decided to lay in bed and stress about the day rather than get up and deal with it! Oh well…baby steps, right??
      I have thoroughly enjoyed your writing this past summer – you always inspire me. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My summer was crazy and my fall is busy and I feel like my life never stops. Sometimes I want the world to just stop…for a minute.. so I can take a breath of air into my lungs and exhale the stress. Replace it with the energy to see me through another day while life marches on and the days become short between birth, love, marriage and eventually our last days. I was rocking my baby one day and giving her hand to a man, not her father, the next. Where does the time go?
    Dead Poet’s Society is an awesome movie but so poignant about not following your dream and giving up… so sad that Puck took his life that same night after his monologue. I pray I can continue to look for where I am supposed to go and what I am supposed to do and in my last days (many years from now) I can look back without too much regret.
    Thank you for the lovely words… I’m glad you are back from your summer. I have missed you! πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello friend!! Oh, how I have missed you!
      I know that you had a crazy, busy summer (did you get it all done??)
      Classes, kiddos – how do you do it all?
      I always love to see your smiling face here and know that you aren’t far from my thoughts. I have been really remiss about getting to as many blogs as I’d like. Things are actually slowing down for me a bit – I will be catching up soon and seeing what you’ve been up to – though, I don’t know if you could fit it all on one page!!! xxoxox

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I did… it all got done. The trip was awesome and the wedding went well, IT’S O.V.E.R.!!! I stuck a nine day trip from TX to KY in between there to finish the wedding plans before coming home to TX for less than 3 weeks and going BACK to KY for the actual wedding… A week later, I had my last procedure on my lip and started school the week after that. Had auditions Day #2 of school and began rehearsals the NEXT week. God… it sounds exhausting doesn’t it? Hence my comment about wanting the world to stop for just a minute so I can catch my breath. But, I’m not complaining, just stating facts. 99% of the stuff on my plate is there because I put it there! I really don’t want to be super woman and I am sooooooooo NOT super woman. It just kind of happens that I am busy. But I am more productive if I am busy. The busier I am, the more I get done. Give me too much time and I get bored and do nothing! LOL! Dichotomy is my middle name! πŸ˜›

        Liked by 2 people

      2. OH MY! I knew you were a busy lady, and knew you had a wedding to squeeze in there. We should be sisters…the busier I am, the more that gets done. Though…I’d like to see how much I could get done without being overwhelmed.
        What show are you in? That would be so cool! Thanks for the update – I truly wanted to get caught up. I appreciate you! Xoxo

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It is a children’s version of The Odyssey. We do 2 plays in the fall at school every year. I’m not in the second one which is just fine with me. I will be done on Sept 30th… however, I will have 6 performances in 4 days that week! Yeha! I will be in the musical in the Spring though… Little Women! πŸ˜€

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