SOLC 2019 Day 2: Double Take


March 2019 SOLC–Day 2
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

I finally clicked enter, cut and pasted and the first post of the challenge was done! Phew! I’d struggled with the ending a bit, but mostly I’d enjoyed the process. Now, though, I was running a bit late. I needed to shower, eat and get out the door to head to work.

Walking upstairs, I looked out the window and gasped. The horizon was streaked with charcoal clouds backlit with glowing pinks and reds. My fingers itched to grab my camera and run down to the river. I stopped in my tracks.

I should just run down right now and take a few pictures. Can I do it? Do I have time? I have to go really soon or I’ll miss it…but it’s only 5˚F out so I can’t go with wet hair after I shower… or can I? I could be quick…I could wear a hat…but I’m already running late…Yes? No?  I waffled.

I’m experiencing an ongoing internal tug of war these days. I feel the need to slow down and take in the moment–to be mindful of the experiences and wonders in each day. It’s one reason I like photography and writing so much: Both naturally push me in that direction. On the other hand, I’m in my early 50s now and I keep thinking, “Hurry up! Do it now! Time’s passing!”

So, I stood on the stairs, looking out the window, feeling pulled and tugged in different directions. I simply have more things I want to do than I have time to do them. It’s a struggle! Eventually, I decided (with great difficulty) to ignore the stunning sunrise and get moving toward school. Half an hour later, I was on my way. Driving along, I found my thoughts wildly ping ponging back and forth.

What will I write about for the challenge tomorrow am I insane to have signed up for a poetry challenge this month as well I need to write a poem about bread by the end of the day can we get to writing the essays today oh, I still need to finish up those comments yikes parent conferences are coming right up and I still haven’t sent out those notices the clouds are really amazing this morning so many shapes and varieties…

Mindful? Ha! Not really. I was in full out frothy rush mode! And to top it off, I had my audio book playing and was simultaneously listening to the adventures of my favorite characters in Three Pines. Just cramming it all in!

Up ahead I saw a car pulled to the side of the road. I eased up on the gas. As I neared the car, I glanced to see why it was pulled over. Does someone need help? Are they picking someone up? Is there a deer? Maybe an owl!?! I’ve been dying to see an owl!

Wait! What?!

I did a double take. Shocked.  Instead of what I’d imagined, I saw a precarious black hulk surrounded by coils and explosions of debris–the charred remains of the modest home that had been standing there just yesterday. It was still smoking. A Sheriff’s car was in the driveway and the car I’d noticed was parked out front. Otherwise no one was about.

My bubbling, rambling thoughts skidded to a halt.


I passed the parked car and the ruined home.

I turned off the audiobook.

Then, I continued on my way, my thoughts much different now.

How quickly life can change.


22 thoughts on “SOLC 2019 Day 2: Double Take

  1. Terje says:

    The hurry of your life and thoughts gave a pace to this slice. The unexpected ending with the sight of the burnt house gave a pause to ponder about life and changes. And reasons to be thankful for the good that we have in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jcareyreads says:

    I felt the internal struggle at the beginning of the piece. I though the photos would win. The glimpse into your thoughts as you drove made the ending really stand out. Life can change quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Often the photos do win 🙂 I’m struggling to balance the many things I want to do and to recognize that I have to make choices. I can’t do it all, but I’m trying to celebrate what I am doing (enjoying writing a slice) rather than lamenting what I have to pass on (like taking photos of that omg stunning sunrise!)


  3. terierrol says:

    I do relate to those pulls and demands in different directions. And sometimes we need that sobering site like a burnt house to put the right things in perspective. Thanks for reminding me of how fast things can change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That jumbled thought feeling is one I’ve been fighting against. Just one thing at a time. In order to force that I list the other things and even sometimes prepare for them. I have been known to stop for sunrise often.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paulabourque says:

    Wow, I feel like I was reading my own words in your blog post. I can relate so well to your internal tug of war. Being mindful takes practice. It takes reminders. It takes patience and grace. Seeing those visceral reminders of how fragile life can be is a HUGE wake up at times. Thanks for such a great post today. Looking forward to slicing with you all month.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How do we slow down? I plan to stretch, meditate, and journal every morning. I’m retired I have the time, but damn if the meditating and journaling get bumped to tomorrow more often than not. I never miss stretching. Certainly, never miss physical activity. But my whole body sighs thank you when I meditate. It’s only 15 minutes. Is morning Sports Center more important than meditating? Ever? Well, maybe after the Patriots win the Super Bowl. We live our priorities. Time to be intentional about what those priorities are.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Melody says:

    There is just never enough time in a day or a week. I feel like focusing on mindfulness can be a gift and a curse though, as when I just can’t get to those quiet spontaneous moments, I feel guilty and like time is being wasted. Given the ending to your piece, next time , I say go take some pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I feel that never-enough-time feeling! Sometimes I try to think of it in a positive way–like, aren’t I so lucky that I have so much I want to do? The have-to-do’s come along and mess things up though…then I try to find the pleasure in them. Yeah. Well, it’s a process!


  8. Alice Nine says:

    This never diminishes, not even as the years go by: “I feel the need to slow down and take in the moment–to be mindful of the experiences and wonders in each day.” No matter our age, we really don’t know how much living we have ahead. Prioritize. Notice. Savor. Engage. I love how your form matches the content of your slice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      “Prioritize. Notice. Savor. Engage.” There’s a lovely mantra! I’m so glad you wrote each word separately–great example of effective punctuation and the power of considering one word at a time! I’m going to be thinking about that more as I write this month…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Danielle says:

    An engrossing and so very relatable piece. Thank you for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. margaretsmn says:

    This post caught me in the tangle of your thoughts as if they were my own. I have been doing a practice lately that states (or, rather, has you state) that thoughts are meaningless. The point is exactly what you experienced here. Our thoughts are not real. And they can be controlled. We often don’t stop long enough to do that, though. It’s unfortunate that a tragic event shakes us up and sends us to our knees.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    I feel your struggles and pulling in all directions. There are times, (like now!) that it seems my to-do list is longer than my days. Sometimes it takes a moment, like the burned down house, to put things in perspective! Here’s to slowing down

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Debbie Lynn says:

    I’ve been known to run outside with wet hair in the freezing cold to get a photo. My photos inspire me to write and lately there’s not been much to photograph. You are right. This was a great poem to show us that life can change in a split second, so take the time to enjoy what you love. 🙂


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