in every cracked sidewalk

Lately I’ve been on a mission to learn how to take care of myself again.  In prison, a lot of things fell by the wayside, like the ability to make good dietary decisions and be open about weaknesses.  After years of depending on Dave, I’m also rusty on a myriad of life skills, even simple things like doing my hair and picking shoes.  I am recovering, and finally recovered enough to have some say in the process.

In my usual manner, I’m throwing all the darts at all the walls and hoping that one or some stick, and– also in my usual manner– I’ve had incredible luck thanks to the right types of people, tools, and motivations in my life.  I sat myself down and asked if this throw-everything-out-there strategy was really the best to be employing, which is when I stumbled upon this article by Cory Doctorow where he suggests that in some endeavors, we think like a dandelion.

He says, “Take the dandelion: a single dandelion may produce 2,000 seeds per year, indiscriminately firing them off into the sky at the slightest breeze, without any care for where the seeds are heading and whether they’ll get an hospitable reception when they touch down.  And indeed, most of those thousands of seeds will likely fall on hard, unyielding pavement, there to lie fallow and unconsummated, a failure in the genetic race to survive and copy.  But the disposition of each — or even most — of the seeds aren’t the important thing, from a dandelion’s point of view. The important thing is that every spring, every crack in every pavement is filled with dandelions.”

I guess my point is that I don’t necessarily have the goal of realizing one perfect wish, and so I’m not disheartened when something doesn’t work out.  Instead, I just want to fill up all the cracks in my sidewalk.  I’m going to make myself a better person, a more capable person, by doing all the things I know are right and true and do-able.  And maybe I’ll do a few impossible things, too.

What about you?

….. … .. .

This Seed;

Because chia pudding is delicious and tastes like a silver lining on the rain cloud that is morning.  It’s also really healthy, but don’t remind me. I’m enjoying it.


….. … .. .

This Post;

Because it’s raising money for a cause that saved, not my life, but perhaps my humanity.  You can take part, too.  Every comment left on Beth Ann’s blog through the month of March counts as $0.50 towards the Women’s Prison Book Project.


….. … .. .

This Artist;

Because following his Instagram feed is like looking at the sun a smidge too long and then seeing little spots of it everywhere you go.  Except instead of light, you see opportunities for encouragement in yourself and others.   He makes me want to pretend to be purple, too.


….. … .. .

This advice;

Because it always helps.

….. … .. .

This Apology;

Because it is true and seemingly timeless.  I am working to improve myself, even going so far as to enroll in the WordPress Blogging U.’s Comment class.  We’ll see if it helps.


….. … .. .

This Bottle;

Because apparently water is really important and apparently carrying around a green glass container with a built in straw makes you drink more of it.  If you’re me.


….. … .. .

This Truth;

Because, thanks to AR sending me this link, I almost want to travel.  Almost.

Picture by Jorge Saenz #DinoDinaSeries

….. … .. .

This App;

Because I’ve tried out a zillion to-do apps and seems to keep me on point the most.  I have programmed everything in here– from brushing my teeth and feeding my cats, to every poem I want to include in my book of ugly things.  It’s simple, the reminders are persistent, and the motivational outbursts entertain me.


….. … .. .

This WordPress place;

Because it’s pretty great and filled with wondrous people– and every time I begin to feel as if I have outgrown its capacity, it reminds me that I have only just begun.  It’s ability to hold my audio recordings is a blessing.  I’ve put them in the sidebar and I think I will be adding audios of posts regularly.  Let me know if you’d like an old one recorded.


….. … .. .

This Song;

Because even though I only listed 10 beans here, I am grateful for everything. I am grateful that a friend — once a friend of a friend, originally a stranger of a stranger–  gifted it to me and Mamasaur.  There’s so much to love in this world.  I am grateful for it all.




Do you use any planning apps? Do you audio record your posts or a podcast? Do you eat chia pudding?  Do you get comment anxiety?

What are you lovin’ right now?Older 10 Bean Posts:


  1. Your tags are the best.

    I’m kind of a walking “planning app” in real life. It’s annoying as hell, I’m sure.

    One of my favorite things about the community here is people sharing what they’re loving right now. People’s interests are so varied.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I SUCK at todo lists! My procrastination gene is FAR stronger than my want or need to get things done!
    I have a couple of posts I do where I do need to remember what’s gone on through the week: coffee share and my happy post. My memory sucks almost as much as my todos so I went searching through my iPhone apps and found Grid Diary It’s not as much a ‘get it done or else’ thing as it is an ‘I did this this week’ thing which really helps me. It is a grid of 6 changeable by me prompts which I can, and usually do, fill out each day. I can even include emoticons for the weather and my mood. It’s not something I HAVE to do, it’s something I want to do which is probably what has me filling out each day *shrug*. Time will tell if I actually continue on with it or not.
    I’m glad you’re pulling yourself back together. I know it’s a long, slow process but it will be very worth it in the end.
    *raises cup of coffee* To a bright new future!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. HMSRaRa,

    I think a lot of people aren’t sure how to take me so, I often tailor my comments more when it seems wise…I guess this is a type of comment anxiety. I was talking to an Apple Store instructor about productivity apps a while back and he suggested I just go with my iPhone’s basic calendar and notes for staying on track…the stuff is simple – very few bells/whistles to get distracted by. I’m learning the basics (slowly) and so doing things slower tech will eventually prepare me for the fancier stuff later.

    I was interviewed a few years ago by Michelle at SteadilySkippingStones where I discuss a few of the ways I’ve fallen apart in the past…I kinda wrote my way out of it. 🙂

    There is definitely something to the idea that “Take root wherever a crack allows.” This is a beautiful and adventuresome way to release your energy. It is also wise to hold your seeds at times until the wind is blowing in a promising direction. 🙂


    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi, Rara,

    I like to repeat a phrase to myself sometimes: be grateful you recognize the need for gratitude. I’ve struggled a great deal over the years to work my way out of my own head. For a while I took to writing down prayers for each other people in my life. Doing so forced me to find a way to think of others before letting my own worries overwhelm my ability to focus. I found at times that once I established this outward focus, it became easier to envision taking actions to engage with those on my prayer lists rather than keeping to myself. I could see myself doing things to help them, finding ways to put my skills and talents to greater use to maybe make their days a little easier.

    This post of your reinforces the value of doing such things. I wanted to reach out and say so (I too am joining Blogging U.’s commenting course this week, and saw the opportunity to gain a little practice before the daily challenges were handed out), and also to wish you luck as you continue seeking reasons to share what you have and can do with others.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Prepare for the typos. I’ve never tried chia pudding , so maybe I’ll need to. I only use my work and phone calendar as planning apps. Hell yes to comment anxiety ( I.e my recent comment which may have offended many of your lovely male readers. I am loving that I had a few “mom” wins this wk. and that light poured in when I needed it . Happy first day of Spring as the wet snow comes down in OH. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A planning app? 🙂 We have several wall calendars and I have a small dairy in my purse. I only use the part that has 2 or 3 months on one page.
    Sometimes I use chia seeds. I don’t think of them very often.


  7. I love this post, which is not a surprise because I love everything you write. But there are so many parts of this that I relate to or want to check out.

    I haven’t had it for awhile, but I love chocolate chia pudding. Incredible. I also love making a big pancake and then topping it with yogurt, bananas, chia seeds, hemp seeds and then put pomegranate around the border!

    I love Nimo. He is the person that sings the I am Grateful song you published. He sang for Amma in Atlanta last year. I was so inspired when I looked at his website later and learned about his life and his mission. Check it out if you don’t know. He is love, just like you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. *Do you use any planning apps?

    I’ve started using Todoist that I mentioned in a previous post. I like it because it’s straightforward, I can use it anywhere and it supports smilies 🙂

    I’ve also started using Pocket. I’ve never had much luck with Read It Later type apps, having saved stuff only to forget about it. I think with Pocket the combination of tags and the Pinterest type interface appeals to the part of me that loves learning. I tag a whole bunch of stuff under a topic and make time to read it on the train to work.

    I use Simplenote for drafting comments sometimes (like right now). I just don’t trust myself not to accidentally post a comment i’m still mulling over and it has a nice, uncluttered interface. I like that kind of thing.

    I just downloaded Grid Diary – thanks tj6james6 – and without much persuasion so did my wife. I haven’t even opened it yet but i’ve been ‘oohing’ and ‘aching’ over the website for the last half hour.

    *Do you audio record your posts or a podcast?

    I’m scared of doing a Podcast as I sound horrendous on recording, but I had a random thought this week that I would like to record myself singing some songs. I can’t sing – I mean I croak along in an amateur choir – but I like singing nonetheless. As soon as I shift this cold I might make it a thing.. your ears won’t thank me though.

    *Do you eat chia pudding?

    I.. have no idea what that is and your picture of it really puts me off – sorry!

    *Do you get comment anxiety?

    Not so much anxiety as not knowing how to put my thoughts and feelings into written words. As you’ve probably gathered, I use far too many words anyway – SORRY – so choosing the right ones makes it even harder. Good luck with the course; it sounds fantastic.

    *What are you lovin’ right now?

    I’ve been catching up on your Audcasts today which are so moving, thought provoking and inspirational. I know you might think they’re raw and unpolished but they’re really not. They’re reassuring and empathic. You have such a way with words and – despite being shared on a public platform – you speak very personally and intimately to me (us).

    Similar to your Apology page, I feel like commenting on them now would be embarrassingly late, but I want to let you know “I was here. I listened.”

    I think the dandelion analogy is very apt. We always blew dandelion wishes as children and I like the rebirth/reinvention idea your EE Cummings poem whispered to me. Even something that looks dead and fragile can start anew and spread colour and hope all over. That’s what you do here: You’re in the charitable business of spreading positivity all around with a big smile on your face, and those of us in the audience are all in your corner, rooting for you.

    P.S. One of the things I love about your space here on WordPress is how tangled and interconnected everything is. I make wonderful new discoveries here all the time, not least these 10 bean posts which I ADORE.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Planning bothers me. I have a diary with largely unfilled pages, because I find I let myself down time and time again if I schedule things. Case in point, my Niece’s birthday swimming party, from January, which I haven’t taken her on because I’ve been mostly away in America or too ill to do it. So I suck. But I only have one crossed-out failure and no reschedule, so it can join the dark, amorphous cloud of other things still undone or not good enough, which I try to seek silver linings around the edges of, rather than looking directly into.

    That said, I’m good at saving (and bad, because I keep eating Mum’s food, which feels to me a bit like stealing, even though she and WonderAunty always say I am welcome to everything and anything and they like to share with me) and so I can’t afford things like chia seeds, but I’ve had chia seed pudding once and it was pleasantly gloopy. Think I got a few seeds stuck in my teeth though.

    Not sure I’ll ever outgrow this place, or really be grown-up enough for it. There are so many ways I adore it completely and so many ways I see it holds me trapped.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really like the dandelion analogy- it’s beautiful. You have a gift for sharing beautiful ideas.

    Chia pudding? Sounds interesting. GG has been trying to get me to eat (or drink) chia seeds, but so far, every form I tried was a bust. How do you make it?

    Comment Anxiety…why yes, I do have it! One of the reasons I don’t comment very often. Unless I really want to say something, I usually talk myself out of it.

    I hope you’ll get to plant a field of dandelions, and then successfully plant a more picky type of flower^^

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Been following you on Karuna and Sreejit’s recommendations and am thoroughly enjoying the read…lots to ponder and be inspired by. Thanks for sharing the Gratitude song. I played it last night for my final therapy group. Forty years I have facilitated these amazing groups and apparently now I am done. I felt sad and resentful until I checked out your post and this cool song. Completely shifted my take on the evening. Thanks, for this and all your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful share, thank you! I am gladdened by your presence here, thankful to know you came this way via two of my favorite lights, and grateful for your story because it reminds me how far gratitude reaches. 🙂 Thank you.


  12. I have nothing intelligent to say at the moment. I just wanted to let you know I read and enjoyed. And commented on Beth Ann’s post for the Women’s Prison Book Project. And I love that piece of advice – start with being still. It applies to *everything*.
    Alison xox

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am, as you know starting to add audio to my poetry posts. Life has been too busy for me lately. I want to slow it down….have more hours for myself, but alas that will have to wait a bit. sighs… fun post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hair is way more complicated than people think. There’s the whole long vs short thing, then there’s the do I colour it thing, and then there’s the if I’m keeping it long, when do I get it cut thing.

    Love you, Ra. Xx

    Liked by 1 person


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