Two-Bit Musings.

Sometimes.

All The Senses.

. . .

Sometimes when I’m freshly showered, with a spattering of lip gloss and my legs cat-curled up under, I feel a distant memory blooming.

The air in my nose feels fresh, sharp.

There’s a whimsy, an eyelash curl, a playground smile.

I wash my hands in scalding water to kick-start my spirit.

And the tinkling piano in my brain makes me feel like a gull out on the ocean breeze.

The girl who crossed The Walt Whitman all those years ago still lingers; she breathes and steadies herself against the weight of this fucked-up world.

Listen: she’s alive.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist who has no tattoos.

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Two-Bit Musings.

Shh.

Just Another Day in Paradise, Yo.

. . .

Hi. How are you, Dear Reader? How do you feel today: body, mind, and soul?

Pause. Think. Answer honestly.

Me? I’m doing just fine, thanks.

I’m currently sitting on our RV love seat, clicking past the miles somewhere between Ohio and Indiana. Sweet Baby Snap is sleeping; Toddler Snap is hopefully about to do the same up in his car seat.

I’m sipping iced coffee, laughingly shrugging at the insane diesel prices, and singing songs from Father John Misty’s latest album in my head.

I feel good.

. . .

I just turned 35.

Seems kinda weird, like that’s much too old and much too young, all at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived a thousand lives; I also feel like I’ve just been born.

And when I close my eyes and quiet my mind, I think about this life. I think about how much I value the simple idea of respect.

I want to show respect in everything I do.

Toward other human beings, animals, and Mother Earth herself.

I want to respect other people’s time. I want to respect their turn to speak.

I want to respect the public goods we all need, like clean water and food. Health. Education. The arts and humanities.

I want it to be known that I respect you because not everything is about me.

. . .

(shrugs)

That’s it for now.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist currently residing on Planet Earth.

Two-Bit Musings.

Wait Awhile.

A Weirdo, Cerebral Reflection from Yours Truly.

. . .

Wouldn’t it be something if our every thought could be documented? Like, our dreams could be stored away in The Vault of Complete Memories, which I visualize as a rather Soviet-looking building, filled with hundreds of books and videotapes. Every dream, pondering, or musing filed away, awaiting reflection.

Or you know. . . maybe not, because even entertaining that idea gives me significant heart palpitations.

What I’m getting at is that the mind is a funny thing; there are so many fleeting thoughts, many of which stay for just a blip on the screen, and are never heard from again.

And you know? I think that’s a real shame. How much have we lost? How many valuable seedlings never make it to the light of day?

. . .

I woke up this morning feeling like The Tin Man. My hands were a frustrating mix of fiery frozen fingers.

I’ve yet to see a doctor, but I’m confident I have carpal tunnel syndrome. It seems that even a few years of scooping ice cream and meticulously decorating cakes wreaks havoc on the wrists. (That, and my crazy handwriting practices also probably contributed.)

I felt so much older than my [almost] 35 years. The only cure was several small, steamy mugs of coffee, followed by a piping hot shower. I wet-brushed my hair. I cocoa-buttered my body. I put on my new polka dot house dress, and felt reborn.

. . .

Nothing is ever Most things are never really done. Never really over, never really. . . accomplished.

Our days are spent simply trying to keep up.

Again and again and again.

For these are the moments wrinkles are made of.

. . .

I don’t have many friends.

17 years ago I saw myself as The Girl Who Got Along With Everyone. And while I like to think I still have that mindset–I really do try to see the best in people–I find myself on the periphery of true friendship. Maybe it’s my simple lifestyle: maybe I seem boring to most people. Maybe my artistic nature is difficult for others to relate to.

Or maybe we’ve forgotten that friendship is a living, breathing thing. Starve it, and see what happens.

Meanwhile, I’ll prune the brilliant blossoms in the morning sun.

I love you.

. . .

It literally took the act of childbirth for me to learn the art of asking for what I need.

. . . I am worthy of help. I am worthy of comfort in this life.

And so, my friend, are you.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer who just loves using mixed metaphors.

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Two-Bit Musings.

Last Gasp.

Oh, Winter. I do love you.

. . .

There’s something about the last gasp of winter that I absolutely adore.

Because even though it’s technically springtime–what with the equinox being over and all–we northeastern folks know that pretty much doesn’t mean shit. And while there are usually a handful of truly glorious, 70-degree days scattered throughout March, there’s always one last stretch of take-your-breath-away cold.

And even though I kind of hate it, I actually kind of love it.

It’s refreshing. It’s mysterious.

And it makes me nostalgic for the things that have been.

. . .

It’s no secret that I’m an old soul. In fact, I might just be the definition of one. I like to be in: in the house, in the car, in a piping-hot shower. I don’t need much to be happy, and this in itself makes me happy.

My college days were no different. I had a handful of friends, and kept them close. We passed the weekends watching movies on VHS tapes. We’d then talk each other into watching just one more, with the assurance that we eventually would get those papers written. And we did.

We worked our part-time jobs. We scheduled our classes for the fall. We dyed our hair and dreamed of The Great Beyond.

There was so much beauty in these moments: in the vulnerable act of being young.

I want to kiss my college self. I want to brush her hair behind her ear and tell her that she’s lovely. I want to tell her that everything–the things that matter, anyway–will be okay.

. . .

So now, when I feel these last days of winter, I smile. I pull my graying hair into an uncool topknot and slip out to Giant for baby formula and kitty litter.

I look at the naked trees, and wonder at all they’ve seen.

I crank Tori Amos and sing along in my very best soprano, the delicious harmony giving me pause.

I come back home, back inside, and the warmth somehow makes me shiver at the cold I’ve just endured.

For soon the trees will blossom, our open windows ushering in a gentle breeze. I’ll wander out in a tank top and sandals, wondering where time has gone.

. . .

How simple life can be.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, painter, and enthusiastic storybook-reader.

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Two-Bit Musings.

Is This the Real Life?*

(Is this just fantasy?)*

. . .

This morning started in ordinary fashion: soft baby grunts, a bottle feeding, and our son happily kicking about in our bed, trying to snag Daddy’s iPad from the nightstand.

(I also snuck a bite of raw cookie dough from the fridge at about 4 AM.)

And later on, when I was washing a few dishes here and there–in between sips of coffee, text messages, and sweet toddler yelps–I surprisingly found myself in a place of peace.

It never stops.

This is the life we’ve dreamed of.

. . .

My Sweet Husband and I frequently talk about how fast time passes, and usually these discussions accompany feelings of slight panic, and almost disapproval for how much we’ve achieved.

Sometimes it helps me to organize things, by breaking my life into distinct chapters:

SnapDragon’s Life, in Cheap One-Liners:

-Elementary School: Using Bright Colors for Everything

-Middle School: Being Self-Conscious AF

-High School: Having Fun ‘Rebelling Against Society’, as My Brother Would Say

-College: Not Letting Fear Rule My Life

-Teaching: Trying to Inspire in a Broken System

-Post-Teaching: Anxiety, Depression, & Artistic Discovery

-Motherhood: (Musical Interlude)**

. . .

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that no matter how hard we are on ourselves–no matter how little it seems we’ve done–we have arrived.

In high school I wanted nothing more than to read, write, and become a teacher.

Done.

In college I wanted to travel, paint, and have the type of fun only 20-somethings can.

Done.

Throughout my life I’ve dreamed of art, passion, friendships, and family. I dreamed of a house of my own.

Done, done, and done.

I’ve had moments where I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a stay-at-home Mom, tending to the house in between caring for a couple of little humans.

And here it all is, and here I am, in perfect disarray.

. . .

So, despite how it sounds, this doesn’t mean I’m finished. Just because I’ve accomplished some major goals doesn’t mean there aren’t more on the horizon. My middle school self would be quite proud of my high school self. College SnapDragon evolved into Teacher SnapDragon.

We all keep moving the bar, because really, isn’t that what it means to be alive?

I want to relish each moment, yet continue to plan for a kick-ass future.

. . .

You have done amazing things in this life, Dear Reader. So have I.

So just because you’re in the same sweatpants for three days in a row and haven’t yet brushed your teeth today, it doesn’t mean you’re slacking.***

We’re simply doing the best with the day we’ve got.

Right?

. . .

SnapDragon is an artist who just loves traditionally-feminine things.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for irreverent musings and more.

. . .

*These are Queen lyrics, obviously. Please tell me this footnote is not necessary.

**It’s way too hard to put into words, yo.

***Oh wait. That’s me.

Two-Bit Musings.

Hidden Away.

I’m still here, yo! And doin’ just fine.

. . .

Hello, Dear Reader. And greetings from my shockingly somewhat-cleared-off dining room table, where a fresh iced coffee patiently sits within reach. I’m in fruit-punch pink sweatpants. My lips are annoyingly chapped.

(takes a deep breath)

Blogging is a funny thing: Really, it’s a strangely intimate relationship. I feel the pull to write–to check in–every single day. For real. And it truly bothers me when I don’t. Even when I was in the hospital–mindlessly eating egg salad sandwiches and trying not to freak out about another impending premature birth–SnapDragon was there, too. I viewed myself in all of my facets, the writer included.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Snap’s still here. Even though I’m in mama-mode full force these days, the artist within still breathes. (And she’s been downing delicious cold brew coffee like it’s her job.)

So, let me back up, and clear the writer-ly cobwebs from my sleep-deprived brain. Here we go:

. . .

But First: A Word on 2021

I did sort of a shit job of posting this past year. I dropped the ball in more than one way, but I must say that not completing my Book-of-the-Month posts for the year bothers me, and more than it probably should. And so, I feel the need to declare that I did continue to read.

Here are a few books of note:

To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck

As far as Steinbeck goes, this one was just okay. I didn’t hate it, but wouldn’t be in a rush to read it again.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

This was an intriguing read. Definitely pick it up if you get the chance. I also felt a strong connection with the hermit, when he said he wasn’t going to be ‘intellectually bullied’ into reading Ulysses. Umm, yes.

The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang

I definitely enjoyed this novel. There were parts of it that were true page-turners! I’d be quite proud if my debut novel is as well done as this one.

The Best American Short Stories: 2020 edited by Heidi Pitlor and Curtis Sittenfeld

Reading the newest edition in this series has been a tradition since 2015, The Year of Our Sweet Wedding. And I must say, this one has been the best so far. It’s filled with really smart, beautiful stories.

. . .

Here are a few more thoughts on 2021. In fact, here’s what I started writing on New Year’s Day, right before I went into the hospital:

2021. (lets out an exasperated breath) Amiright?

Well, it’s over.

And while there were certainly some low moments–as there are in every year we live on this planet–I’m choosing to recap the year with some of my favorite happenings:

Home-cooked meals; children’s books on repeat; the flickering of jarred candles; RV adventures; drive-throughs*; well-designed playgrounds; eating vine-ripened tomatoes straight from our container garden; cat snuggles; intelligent cinema; exploring every winding road of our neighborhood; discovering all-but-vacant malls are perfect for toddler-running during a pandemic; moments of solitude; reuniting with vaccinated friends and family; celebrating the holidays in simplicity; modern medicine; yogurt and granola; warm hands and feet.

*Yeah, no. I’m taking a stand against the asinine Drive-Thru spelling. Somebody has to.

. . .

Ahh. Oddly enough, I feel better after airing those accumulated thoughts.

. . .

So Dear Reader, I want to take you warmly by the hand. I want to say Hello, and Happy New Year. I want to remind you that even though we’ve probably never met, you are my friend. You are human, and I am human. And we are in this thing together.

Let’s do this.

. . .

SnapDragon is a blogger who enjoys the hoppiest of IPAs.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her sometimes messy ramblings about who-knows-what.

Two-Bit Musings.

Hi.

It’s 2022.

I started the year with a fresh spirit. On New Year’s Day I diligently sat at our computer desk, typing the beginnings of an optimistic blog post.

And then shit went sideways.

Again.

Pre-eclampsia hit at the end of my 32nd week of pregnancy. Thanks to an extraordinary medical team, our daughter was born at exactly 34 weeks, and needed only ten days in the NICU.

I’m also elated to tell you she’s pretty much perfect.

Tiny, yes. But perfect.

And I thank my weary body for getting us through.

Here’s to the next leg of adventure in this crazy-ass life, yo.

Happy New Year, Dear Reader.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer who obsessively buys washcloths.

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Two-Bit Musings.

October: A Month in Review.

So umm. . . yeah. I was going to do this for each month in 2021. This is the second time I remembered. Oh well. So it goes.

. . .

1. Trick or Treat, Yo. October is my favorite month, and pretty much always has been. It’s mysterious somehow, which comforts a literary old-soul like me. Toddler Snap and I have been out each and everyday, living it up. I try to capture the beauty of the leaves on my phone, but alas, the magic inevitably eludes the camera. We also carved our first Jack o’ Lantern as a family, and I literally tell my husband each day that it makes me happy in my young heart.

2. Small Comforts. Each day is different, Dear Reader. Sometimes I wake up feeling like a kick-ass SnapDragon, and other days I wake up feeling like a termite-infested tree stump. So I savor every moment I can. I dip into the candy dish. I watch an episode of Frasier before bed. I remind myself that sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. I remind myself that every feeling comes and goes.

3. Time for a Trim. It’s no surprise I’m a fan of the simple life: give me my SnapDragon Family, some quality food and cinema, and I’m good to go, yo. There are only so many hours in the day, and I vow to spend them on people and things that enrich my soul. Ain’t nobody got time for bullshit, am I right?

I am just one person in this infinite universe.

And so are you, love.

So are you.

Wishing a Happy November to everyone out there!

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer who frequently orders drinks with extra ice.

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Two-Bit Musings.

Little Breaths.

October Gold, 2021.
Pennsylvania, USA.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved, yo.

Let us remember that we all require space.

Sometimes a little; sometimes a lot.

Those quiet times hold such delicious potential; the roots do strengthen, as the vine prepares to blossom.

Shh. Close your eyes. Listen.

And allow yourself just to be.

Wonderful things are on the horizon, are they not?

. . .

SnapDragon is a teacher, painter, writer, and mom.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.