Numbers run screaming from the page and other peaceful stories

Fawn lazily nurses

As Mr. Rogers always peacefully sang, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

One of those perfect summer days.  The sun shines, reflecting golden hues against the electric green of the forest leaves.  Birds chatter, expressing their delight with beaks and wings.  Chipmunks scurry from woodpile to shed.  Fawns nurse and prance away from mama and nurse again.

I just rose to open the deck sliding glass door, to let the summer inside.  Rummaged in the frig for a piece of Ezekiel bread and slathered on vegan butter, cinnamon and crunchy brown sucanat sugar.  A treat!  Now I’m chirping like the birds, my fingers dancing on the keyboard.

About ten minutes ago returned home from one of my part-time jobs at our local two-room school.  It’s budget time and I’m juggling numbers left and right, placing them in columns, watching them add and subtract from each other. It’s fun to make things balance, and this year the Excel spreadsheets balance admirably.   I’ve always said budgeting reminds me of a giant jigsaw puzzle.  You fit the pieces here, there, over here, and pretty soon the numbers cooperate or they run screaming from the page.

I mean it, Dog. Numbers run screaming off pages.

That last sentence expresses what I’m pondering this morning.  How many of you regularly experience thoughts that express something like numbers run screaming from the page?  How many of you have often been accused of exaggerating?  C’mon, don’t be shy, raise your creative hands and admit it.

Ever since I was a wee sprite, tinier than baby garden lettuce, my mind views life and interprets it–well, in a strange way, some might say.  It often likes to compare A and B and combine two completely separate variables into something new.  Or at least tell a story about it!

A white and yellow daisy?  It must be a flower spirit prancing upon spring breezes, swaying beside deep ditches, oh no, look, an evil bee buzzing forth, coming closer, it’s going to sting, it’s going to sting, no, it’s kissing my daisy essence, uniting us in nectared oneness…

(You see?  Not only do these words come out of the unfathomable mind, but for a while I am convinced that I AM a daisy and that bee is jet-propelling toward me!)

The daisy winked and proceeded to tell you her Life Story. You chewed on grass and listened respectfully.

Another example, you request?

OK, lots of people dangle a toe in Lake Superior in June, thinking they might swim in deep blue waters.  Ha!  This is how my mind operates:  “It’s FREEZING!  Oh no, I’m going to die.  No one should ever swim in Lake Superior until August!  This is painful.  So painful.  The foot is frozen now.  It’s numb.  I can’t feel it.  Oh no, oh no, oh no…”

My mother tried to nip this tendency in the bud.

“Kathy, you’re exaggerating again,” she would sigh.

I would stand, tears arising, despairing, dying inside, how could she not understand, not realize the truth?  She probably didn’t even love me.  Why was I so misunderstood?  Dashed toward the bedroom and sobbed wild tears in the soft pillow, the heart aching, the heart despairing, I’m going to die.  (Exaggerate?  Who, me?)

OK, this photo was taken in August when the water was only as chilly as the North Pole. See any ice caps?

The problem is, sensitive reader, that some of us feel things so intensely.  We feel things acutely.  And we search for words which will describe the feeling flavor raging in our veins.

It is simply not adequate to say “I am hungry” when your stomach rumbles, your cells beg for food, your lips quiver, your desire rages.  You must state (rather calmly and matter-of-factly you think):  “I am dying for a sandwich.  I can’t wait until lunchtime.  I am hungrier than a cow.  I am hungrier than the hungriest person on the planet!”

As I’ve grown older, wiser, questionably more mature, this tendency to over-dramaticize has abated.  (Ha!  Believe that one?  Go back and read some of my old blogs!)

But, truly, folks, it is happening.  I have proof.

The first time I was Freshly Pressed (featured on the front page of WordPress) I danced around the house like a lunatic.  Checked my email and stats 9,575,389 times in 24 hours.  My heart throbbed.  A million excited thoughts sang, delighted, traveled to the moon and back.  Called Mom, Dad, daughter, son, mother-in-law, Barry at work, OK, probably a close friend or two.  It felt like ecstasy.  Wild abandoned amazing ecstasy.  The world was my oyster, my clam shell, my heart-thumping shining pearl!

Champagne, anyone? There’s at least a million glasses here…

Yesterday, ohmygoodness, how wonderful, I noticed that the post Bloggers are Real People, too (Meet Ms. Heather and Ms. Bree) was featured on Freshly Pressed.  A rush of well-being arose, a quiet happiness.  And then the thought, “Oh, good, perhaps people will realize that their blogging friends are real people–maybe they will be inspired to meet some of them.”

And I proceeded to continue through the day, night and now morning with simple gentle gratitude and no inner exclamation marks.

Go figure.

(I am still having fun watching the stats, likers, and commenters.  But it’s just a sense of quiet enjoyment, peaceful almost.)

From now on I will tell stories and experience life in a completely peaceful and factual manner.

I will write things like,  “The birds sang. Lake Superior is a tad bit chilly in June.  Numbers add up nicely.  I am a little hungry.  I danced around the house for a few minutes.  Look at the sailboat.”

Sweet peace

Surely that’s what’s bound to happen?  Don’t you think?

OK, dear reader, here is your question to ponder as you go outside to stroll lazily in the sweet summer sun, the bumblebees zooming toward you, oh no, there you go running wildly, crazily, down the road, attempting to escape that wild buzzing bee:

Do you experience life intensely?  Passionately?  Or does your mind tend to see a daisy as a daisy, a bee as a bee?

P.S.  Almost forgot to tell you.  Bearyweather  is featuring a photo challenge on her blog Bear in Mind:  Find a Face in Nature.  If you’d like to participate, read her post and wander outside to find a face in the daisies or tree bark or shells.  Here is my offering.  I’m afraid it’s an old photo, because, well, life has been WAY too busy and I have no time to look for more than the 9,038,303 faces which wink and blink and sing and guffaw and chortle and cackle in nature every day.

And then the Spirit of the birch bark said, “You are the sun and the moon and the stars.” And I believed her. That’s what we are.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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63 Responses to Numbers run screaming from the page and other peaceful stories

  1. Reggie says:

    Um… Hello? … No cartwheels of joy? … No ecstatic hippity-hoppiting swinging-and-singing around the house? …

    Alright, what have you done with Kathy?! Where’s our Kathy?! You know, the one who exaggerates and FEELS LIFE PASSIONATELY?!


  2. I like intense and passionate – do not change

  3. I did the crazy jumping and screaming for you, Kathy.
    Do I experience things intensely? Is there any other way? You already knew my answer, anyway.
    Congrats again, my friend!

    • Kathy says:

      Kath, yep, you are one of those creative intense ones. Hey, do you think ALL Kathys are? I enjoyed jumping up and down and now I am enjoying this peace. And next time…who knows? the world is our oyster on crackers! Hugs to you, Kathy Two

  4. Freshly Pressed is Kathy’s New Normal ;o)

    • Kathy says:

      I have been blessed, Carla. But life keeps sharing her mysteries anew fresh every minute that I no longer have any idea what “normal” is! LOL!

    • Chris Roddy says:

      Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I might tend to exxagerate a tad, when I’m really excited. Excitement strikes me more often than I can say. Nature, art, music, flowers, dogs and leftover bark too. Don’nt even get me going on pencils, new ones with fresh erasers. Anyway, I can certainly understand your excitement. Jump away…..

      • Kathy says:

        Thank you, Chris. I was really grateful and happy to be Freshly Pressed. Isn’t it wonderful that we can be excited about life? Over simple things like pencils with fresh erasers. That we can be amazed about sunrises and sunsets and butterflies and carriage rides? Let’s never lose this appreciation, ever…

  5. Congratulations, Kathy! I tend toward the extreme in my words (“there were about a billion people on that beach,” or “twelve people in front of me at the gas station”), but outward shows of extreme emotion are not natural for me. I envy anyone that could dance ’round the kitchen; I do all my dancing inside. My Mom used to say that was the “stubborn German” in me. Thanks for sharing your lovely day!

    • Kathy says:

      That is so interesting, Cindy. About doing all the dancing inside, yet leaning toward the extremes in words. I can actually be quite reserved in person. But give me a kitchen in the woods with no one looking (family members OK) then the dancing is on! Hope you have a lovely day.

  6. john says:

    Kathy, your writing is like a Broadway Musical. Your entries lift me like “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from the Song of the South. A ride in a carriage is more like “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from Oklahoma than “we got in the carriage and road to the house”. You lift us up and make us see the beauty around us. You admire the detail that God put into every little thing on this planet and that’s the way life should be.

    You are not simply Mrs. Dry Facts. You are the wonderful feeling of walking barefoot in the morning dew on the grass.

    Don’t you dare change! We need you just the way you are (and so do your yet to be born Grandchildren)

    • Kathy says:

      John, I have always LOVED musicals! Maybe we are all really just singers in a giant musical? What do you think? Zipadeedooda! P.S. I didn’t really think just dry facts were going to sprout out of this musical garden. Not really. But it was fun to ponder, was it not? And what are you doing talking about unborn grandchildren?? lol!

      • rehill56 says:

        My family knows that I wish life were a musical. I grew up with musicals, skated to musicals, was in a high school and a college musical plays! I would like to twirl around lamp posts and trees. Give me an umbrella! Congratulations on being freshly pressed! 😉 So cool.

        • Kathy says:

          Wondering what your favorite musicals are? Did you ever/see listen to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat? (Barry HATED it!) I sighed in delight and listened and listened and sang and sang. Thank you for your congratulations, Ruth. It was cool. And fun!

          • rehill56 says:

            You know what? I haven’t seen that one…now I want to!

            The ones from childhood were Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Oklahoma, 7 brides for seven brothers, Music Man, On a clear day…., Funny girl, so many many. I remember watching an excerpt once and my husbands brother looked like he was so puzzled why anyone in their right mind would want to hear singing in a movie! I was fascinated and a bit disturbed at this very foreign viewpoint. lol

            • rehill56 says:

              I still know quite a few of those songs by heart! OH….South Pacific, Carousel, what were your favorites?

              • Kathy says:

                Mine were Camelot–oh, how funny, I almost typed “Calumet”, Sound of Music, Oklahoma, Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, oh so many more! Have enjoyed going to the Calumet Theater to watch musicals–and with my parents down in Florida. Barry is not fond of musics. Poor lad.

                • rehill56 says:

                  Oh…I went to Anna and the King (King and I) in Calumet and cried! jajaja…got emotional…its so tied to childhood and memories…I don’t know. 😉 I thought it was funny that I get choked up with the songs!

  7. Susan D. says:

    You had me at the “I mean it, Dog” photo. Bwwwaaahaahahahaha… so funny!

    I’m one of the intense and will probably stay that way, though I do know how to self-talk into tuning it down. (That raised eyebrow does NOT mean that he/she hates you, I promise. That shirt hanging on the doorknob did NOT move and is not coming to attack you in your sleep.) Endless entertainment and I like it that way, for the most part.

    Thank you for this. Enjoy the calm. Oh, enjoy the calm. It has wonderful joys when it visits.

    • Kathy says:

      I am always humbled and amazed at how much you and I understand one another. It’s like we speak the same language. We laugh at the same things. We’re intense in many of the same ways. And you understand how the calm is here for a visit and tomorrow it might be back to intense feelings and it’s ALL OK. It’s really all OK. I can’t wait until our lunch date.

  8. Ah, this too shall pass and you’ll be jumping up and down on the couch in no time. Careful of the ceiling. It will only take another break through moment in your life or blogging life to bring it on. In the meantime, enjoy the calm, inner peace and satisfaction.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Scott. That’s what I like about Life. One minute there’s peace and the next minute there’s joy and we the next minute there’s sadness (OK let’s not talk about that) and it’s all good. And, gosh, if I break that ceiling Barry will lose it. We had to repair a huge chunk off our wall yesterday where pileated woodpeckers created a five inch hole. I don’t think I exaggerate the size of the hole, but maybe it was four inches. Or three inches? lol!

  9. Exaggeration is so much FUN! Don’t ever change. I love the way you have of describing things with such PASSION! Maybe it is a KATHY thing, as I have a close friend (named Kathy) who is very much like you. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to your website in the first place. 🙂

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! That is an accomplishment worth dancing about! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Withershins, I am so glad you like the passion! Why of course you do, or you wouldn’t be here. I have danced in excitement in Freshly Pressedom probably six or seven times? Danced til the roof threatened to collapse! That’s why it’s so intriguing that I feel only this calm peace now. Calm, steady peace… Although you all may get me excited, you never know. Thank you.

  10. Sybil says:

    Never in a million, billion years would I exaggerate.

  11. bearyweather says:

    “Oh what pretty eyes you have Ms. Birch Bark”. thanks for your challenge contribution!
    This math teacher sometimes sees a daisy as geometry and a grocery list can become an algorithm.
    Congrats on Freshly Press (that honor still elludes me).

    • Kathy says:

      How fascinating, bearyweather, daisy as geometry! Grocery list as algorithm! My goodness, we are all so unique and special in the way we view the world. I hope that you will be Freshly Pressed one day. I am closing my eyes and imagining it. Thank you!

  12. Robin says:

    First, a big congratulations to you on being Freshly Pressed again! I am very excited for you. I’ll do the dance and hop up and down for you now that you’re experiencing things in a more peaceful manner. *happyjigdance*

    As always, I love your images. 🙂

    And as for how I interpret life and the events in life, well… a while back I squashed my tendency to exaggerate and have been learning how to bring it out again, gently, because I miss it. Somebody must have told me to act like an adult and I took it to heart, where it rendered into pieces the part of me that loved to spin a good yarn, not for the sake of exaggerating or lying but because that is how I see life. I’ve been practicing in little bits (the small stones on Bountiful Healing). Someday, soon I hope, I won’t need to practice anymore and I will be myself.

    • Kathy says:

      I love that you guys are dancing, Robin! It makes my heart sail beyond this chest into the Sea of our Togetherness. I love that you love the images. I wish that your squashdom be unsquashed and that you can truly feel your soul delight as you share what your heart sees. I so often forget about your beautiful blog, Bountiful Healing. I look forward to the day when none of us has to practice this any more–that we simply remember and share forth.

  13. It wasn’t too long ago I threatened you with, “Don’t make me come up there and iron the wrinkles out of your fabric.”

    Well it looks like you’re smooth as silk in being FRESHLY PRESSED again. Waaaaay tooooo goooooooo!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Laurie you can come over with that ironing machine any time you’re hankering for housecleaning! I’ve always got wrinkles. Ironing is always appreciated! Thank you!

  14. Kerry Dwyer says:

    I love the first picture here. I often see dear in my region. Unfortunately they are usually too busy running away from hunters to let me take a picture. The one time I saw a very tranquil stag I didn’t have my camera with me. He just stood there watching me and munching grass. Typical.

    • Kathy says:

      Kerry, the sweetest little fawn was running around outside our house this morning. (Not this fawn–this fawn pic is from last summer.) They ARE always too busy and moving to get good pics. And those bucks are even harder yet to capture. Wishing you many fawn & buck photos in your future. 🙂

  15. Dawn says:

    Oh come on. You know you can’t surpress all that enthusiasm. And why try? That’s what makes you YOU!

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, darn, Dawn, I can’t imagine trying to suppress anything–let alone enthusiasm! Just trying to tell the truth of the different emotions and feelings that come up all the time… My reaction yesterday and today has just been sweet peace and gratitude.

  16. susan says:

    Oh Kathy you are so full of JOY! Be YOU – it’s all you’ve got and it’s way enough! Do I ever exaggerate? OMG. Truly I do. Like you said, the creative force…….add to that my monkey mind and a bit of drama and surely that’s the right recipe! Wouldn’t ever think of changing!
    Love you to the moon and back!

    • Kathy says:

      Like all of us, I am full of joy AND full of peace, SuZen. Loving that all emotions/feelings can rise in us. I love that acceptance of whatever rises, whether its new or old. To the moon and back, my friend!

  17. Lori DiNardi says:

    I’m a writer, a daisy can never just be a daisy. The reader must smell and touch it, and be completely bamboozled that the daisy is coming to life on the page. Though, sometimes, I long for simplicity.

    • Kathy says:

      Exactly, Lori. You just expressed it perfectly. A daisy can never be just a daisy…and yet there is an inner longing for simplicity, for letting a daisy be just a daisy. Thank you for writing this truth in your comment.

  18. Tammy says:

    It depends. On the day and on the mood and on what else is on the plate.

    • Kathy says:

      And, really, Tammy, that’s the truth. What is happening in our day so often creates the “depend” factor. Things are not always one way. They are dancing, shifting, showing up different depending…

  19. AnnieR says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I am one of those who experience things ‘intensely’… I’ve been told to quit exaggerating, calm down, all of that. Life is meant to be lived out loud! How wonderful to find a kindred spirit-I’m so very glad I found your blog and congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

    • Kathy says:

      Annie, we ARE kindred spirits! How wonderful! I like what you say about living life out loud. It’s delightful to express who we are and what we feel–even if that changes daily. Thanks about Freshly Pressed. It was lovely.

  20. lisaspiral says:

    I love it when the numbers dance themselves into a nice kicking rockette line! The birch is glorious. The dog suitably astonished by your ability to see more in the world than most two legged folk. I’m glad you’re back to writing whenever.

    • Kathy says:

      Numbers in a kicking rockette line…oh, I love that image, Lisa! The dog was astonished, surely, but then, I am always astonished by the enthusiasm of dogs. I’m glad to be back & writing whenever the mood strikes. And then again, one of these days, maybe I’ll quit for awhile again. Or maybe never… lol…

  21. Barb says:

    Oh, Kathy, you’ll never change from that little girl still inside you. If you say you will – you’re just exaggerating again. That bark face looks a bit evil to me – oh nooooo!

    • Kathy says:

      Ha! OK, you guys win. I will never change. (But why do I feel like I change every day? Some days peaceful, some days crazy, some days happy, some days sad, some days exaggerating and other days, so help me, not saying enough. I suppose we’re all like that.)

  22. Barb says:

    PS I love the pics – your feet are so symmetrical !

  23. Dana says:

    Kathy, I think I need to change my middle name to “!!”, because my life is FILLED with passion, joy, exaggeration, and oomph!! One exclamation point will never do!! I feel things intensely and was actually half-composing an intense post in my mind. When will it surface? Maybe in a million years! When I’m spent from the summer months and can only muster up enough energy to weakly hit the “Publish” button. 😉

    I like that you thought of me while writing this post. I can relate to it on zillions of levels!

    • Kathy says:

      Jeez, Ms. Dana, you took FOREVER AND A DAY to get here. **giggle** Don’t you LOVE exclamation points and capital letters and intensity? I do. And then, suddenly, there’s a day of exquisite soft peace which intersperses, sort of like parantheses and you’re amazed at these days, too. I am smiling at your adjective “weakly”. And smiling some more. I thought of you LOTS. On a zillion levels thought you might relate. You and a few other readers. Thank you for speeding up to this post from your over-stuffed and much-neglected inbox.

  24. dearrosie says:

    Of course you must jump and dance on the furniture. Congratulations on being FP. Again.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s funny that this didn’t happen this time, dearrosie But I’ve done enough jumping and dancing on furniture for a lifetime! I even do it when other bloggers get Freshly Pressed. Maybe some day I’ll be dancing wildly for you–hopefully!

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