When Mockingbirds Fly

Mockingbird in tree photo by Tim McCormack via Wikimedia CommonsBethany knew the dream well. She’s lying in an open coffin, eyes alert to the world outside. She lifts her head and glimpses a vision of soft, rolling hills caressing the horizon. The scene feels strangely familiar, yet she can’t quite place the memory. In the foreground, resting on a low branch of a leafless elm tree, a mockingbird dressed in black satin smiles, steps forward, clears his throat and screams “Eereet! Eereet! Eereet!”

Then come the huge shadowy arms reaching slowly upward and latching onto the coffin, their magnetic grip pulling her downward, ever downward. Though her mother has been dead over a year now, those arms are unmistakable. Arms that in life never let go. And now the grasping fingers hold tightly to the coffin from which she is unable to escape – and doesn’t even think to try. Flapping its wings, the mockingbird rises and circles above. “Eereet! Eereet!”

Bethany woke from the dream to a chilly, gray Monday, Continue reading

A Rainy Day in March

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Scattered patterns
On the screen
Painting pictures
Of far off places.

I see shimmering Paris
To the left of Berlin
Where it rightly belongs.



And radiant Miss Rio
Surprisingly near Beijing
Dripping kisses to Tibet.

And there above all
Sits pretty San Francisco
Winking hello to us all.

Let the soft rain fall.
I have the world outside
Waiting with open arms.

Worries for Sale

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What if tiles by Maryeoriginals from Wikimedia CommonsI’ve been thinking how nice it would be to package all my worries in lovely boxes and put them up for sale. Sturdy boxes of all sizes and shapes, with seductively-patterned wrapping paper, of the very finest quality.

Enchanting boxes with brightly-colored ribbons, tied lovingly with a perfect corkscrew swirl at the end. Hopeful boxes waiting anxiously to be discovered by just the right person, someone who will be happy to adopt them as their own.

I can just imagine the tremendous relief, not only relief in letting go of things I no longer need, but in helping old friends find welcoming new homes. And I can also imagine the consummate joy of at last being free of what binds me.

Of course, that’s assuming someone else will actually want to buy my worries.  And that I, in turn, don’t find myself wandering around the well-stocked Worry Store, tempted at every turn by what others are selling. So many pretty packages calling to me.

But then packaging can be so deceptive. And empty spaces so often clamor to be filled again by new friends who feel a lot like those we once knew.

 

Existential Cat

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The empty food dish taunts me.

SHE lumbers about doing this and that. Nothing of consequence. Nothing that gets me one iota closer to finally receiving the sustenance I so desperately need.

Can she not see I languish away, while my dish just lies there, untouched by the very hands that could so easily bring relief to this misery that is life?

If not now, WHEN???!!!

“Tis the Season 2014

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Across this vast land
Icicles on giant balsams
Hang like frozen tears.

Bone-weary doors creak open,
Hungry eyes scouring the horizon
For glimmers of impending dawn.

Once more the hope rises.
Yet again the veil falls,
As emboldened clouds rush forward
To darken the softening skies.

Oh elusive light
When will you step forward
To at long last claim
Your rightful throne?

I Can Wait

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I have felt the great and beckoning yaw

Of what is not and what will never be again.

And I can wait.
 
 

I have borne your amusement

At what I am sure is unrelenting darkness

And you embrace as soul flight.

I can wait.

 
 

But I sure wouldn’t mind

Hearing your voice say “I told you so”

When the stillness comes.

Short Story: The Unraveling

OOMH_heart_pillowMinnie died in her own bed at the age of 93, just as she’d always declared she would. No one was there to witness her personal triumph.

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It was a rough day for Clara. The surprisingly heavy urn she carried up the porch stairs seemed like a poor consolation prize for love denied. This was her first time back in her mother’s house since the night Minnie cut up all her short skirts, called her a trollop, and threw her out. She was all of 17 then, and the closest she’d ever gotten to trollopdom was letting Billy Boyd sneak a wet kiss at the church picnic. It wasn’t even a good kiss.

But tonight Minnie was gone, and Clara was about to sleep in her old room again. Continue reading

A New Blog Is Born…

Career Nook on mobile

A few months ago I began feeling a tug inside – a tug toward something new. I love writing for Out Of My Head and expect to pop back every now and then, but for the last 8 weeks I have been building a new blog called Career Nook. And yesterday it went live. Wuhoo!

I had a popular career blog for five years called Work Coach Cafe, and for many reasons, two years ago it was time to leave that behind. And I thought I could leave career blogging behind me, too. But you can’t ignore a tug that won’t let go. One that included a vision of a blog with the name Career Nook. No matter how hard I tried to push it away, it kept coming back … like it was asking to be born!

And so over the last couple of months, I slowly created a new blog, and will be back on Career Nook helping people with job search and career decisions. And I will also slowly start to take on career coaching work. In fact, I have left my old business process consulting work behind, and this is the new direction I’ve chosen for myself.

Some tug, huh?

Please feel free to stop by Career Nook to say hello – and add your voice to the conversation!

Sign of the Day: Seen at Stinky Brooklyn

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There’s a local cheese shop (with so much more) called Stinky Brooklyn. This ever so wonderful sign was spotted there today on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, or what they are calling Take Your Kid to Stinky Day.

I think the sign speaks nicely for itself!

I Took the Bing Google Search Engine Challenge and … Dogpile Wins!

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When you’re not working, you have a lot of time on your hands, as I do now. So I decided to take the Bing Google Challenge. This is an online side-by-side comparison test that Bing is offering to get us to think of them more often – when googling.

For those of you with actual jobs, you may never even have heard of the “Bing It On” Bing Google Challenge until now. But I assure you that it exists, and that I took it.

Here’s how the Challenge works: Bing lets you enter your own search queries (it also provides samples you might use), and then lets you see the search engine results from both Bing and Google, right next to each other, without telling you which is which. All you have to do is select which search engine results you like best.

My Bing Google Challenge results?

(See end of article for update including my surprise winner, Dogpile.)

After coming up with what I thought were some pretty good test search questions, based on things that I care about, Continue reading

Dangers of Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements? I Have To Stop Looking Up Side-Effects

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Did you know Omega-3 supplements can potentially cause formication?

According to what I found on the Mayo Clinic website: “Restlessness and formication … have also been reported.” Note that’s an “m” in formication (the sensation of ants crawling on your skin) and not an “n”, which of course would be a side-effect with which many of us could happily live.

I have a habit of looking up things on the web to see if what I don’t know could be important. (I’m sure none of you suffer from this ailment.) So when a friend mentioned that she had taken heavier doses than usual of omega-3 fish oil pills / capsules to help with jet lag (and she reports that it did help), I immediately went online to see if this was a good idea.

Most sites I found have at least some cautionary information about taking too much fish oil, since there is a chance of heavier-than-usual bleeding, depending on the dosage (especially important to know before surgery). And of course, depending on the quality of the product, they also warn that there could be mercury or other impurity issues. But that was most of what I found. Nothing too frightening. Until I got to the Mayo Clinic site. Eek! Continue reading

Sheesh! They’re Searching for a Show Called “Bet Your Baby”

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Last week I wrote about a new television game show called “Bet On Your Baby“.  So that we don’t waste any time, I will tell you that I am most definitely NOT a fan of either the show or the concept of betting on your baby in front of millions of viewers, just to win prizes. In fact, I think it’s teetering on the border of reprehensible.

Now turning to the far side of reprehensible … today more than one googler found my original article by looking for a show that they called “Bet Your Baby”. One was even looking for the show’s time slot. Oh boy…now doesn’t THAT sound like fun!

Look, I know there’s a lot of bad television out there, and I am certainly not too proud to admit that I watch some of it, but please oh please come back googlers and tell me that search term was just a typo!  Do you really think it’s called “Bet Your Baby” and still want to watch it? Just imagine what THOSE kids would tell their therapists one day about being lost in a bad bet their parents made on some game show. Not even a good game show.

Once again…sheesh!

Of Pillows, Costco, and Good Friends

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Charisma® 2-pack Down Pillow

First, I have to tell you that I am endlessly obsessed with finding the right pillow for sleeping. I have spent years prodding and testing pillows, and then bringing them home, only to find that they aren’t the perfect pillow after all. Sigh.

Some of the less-perfect pillows make it to my bed as extra pillows. Many other of these hopeful candidates are soon relegated to the sofa or closet, nervously awaiting the next batch that may wind up sending them to the trash bin.

But every now and then, I find some pillows that feel really good – at least to me. Not too firm. Not too soft. Just enough support to keep my neck happy. Still not THE perfect pillow, perhaps, but really really good. And these pillows get immediately elevated to the sacred spot on the bed where my head gets placed at night.

So it was for two “down alternative” Charisma pillows that my acupuncturist (and friend) got for me from Costco at the end of last year. Her husband had originally found this brand for her (a package of 2 for $20!), she also being a pillow seeker. And since then, they have been my go-to pillows for sleeping. The two pillows together are just perfect for me, and even more so after some months have passed.

But First a Word About Costco

No…this is not a paid advertisement. In fact, I used to laugh at my cousin who was always raving about all the things she got at Costco, even food. “Aren’t there any other stores out there in the suburbs?” I teased. Continue reading

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