Skin of moonwort


14:20. I am home. And what a good feeling it is to be home. The sky is very wide, here, in Auvergne — one can see vast circumferences — and the moon, most evenings or mornings, refuses to be forgotten, as it often is between the rocky seas and great enclosing woods of west-coast Canada. Yesterday, on the school run, it was a great, full, white paper disc — like lunaria gone to seed, its edges crisp and thin. I measured it in my mind — perhaps it would only be the size of a penny, certainly not a dollar coin, against the glass of the windshield, but it looked so much bigger than that — it was a quarter-mass of the bare-branched, spindly balls of tall linden heads along the hilltops. The sky was soft grey-blue and the hills were palest green and misty brown.

I have had quite some time, in between necessary tasks, to contemplate life and death. My blogging addiction was necessarily curtailed, during my two-week stay in Canada, in the face of all there was to do after my mother’s passing; so many appointments with banks and the estate lawyers and doctors (for my father) and helping to organize systems for a man who has been used to having a forever-partner ever there to share the load of life.

Taking a step back from my creative output, I wondered what it was all for, and if it was necessary and/or worthwhile. If I died tomorrow, what have I to show for myself? What have I accomplished that’s of use to anyone? I am a wife and mother, yes, but was I a good-enough one? Partly by choice, wanting to remain constantly available to our young children, I have no career to speak of, though I work many small jobs which receive no paycheque in my own name, though they assist my family financially.

Finally, the most inside parts of me are in digital journals and under semi-pseudonymed blogs online. What is the meaning of this? Does it have any value? If someone else asked me this question, regarding their own creative work, I would say “yes,” without hesitation. But *living* a creative life is quite different from *cheering on* a creative life. We judge ourselves through the eyes of people who may have known us since birth, but to whom we are for whatever reasons, sometimes valid ones, too afraid to reveal our whole selves, even if those selves are, for the most part, rather commonplace.

I consider closing all three blogs and starting again, under my full “real” name (even though even picking which of those is confusing) with the intention of finally “getting serious” with “my craft.” As we all know, “getting serious” means either earning money or prestige, or with any luck, both. And in blogland, or at least, the part of blogland in which writing itself is the primary objective or discussion point, “my craft” means some kind of art form related to words.

When that thought doesn’t get me particularly excited (perhaps it sounds too much like… work? And my subconscious rebels at anything that sounds like work), I consider going in the other direction — closing all three blogs and starting again, this time under a new pseudonym. Why? Because anonymity theoretically means total freedom — for example, I could write the true feelings of parenthood or marriage or daughterhood or sisterhood or being a member of the local community, or the extraordinarily ordinary details of some of the jobs I do, without fear of anyone who knows me “in real life” feeling hurt or being unduly “exposed.” And to me, the best writing, or at least, the most captivating writing, is the usually the most truthful writing surrounding the average human experience, written from a first-person perspective.

But I’ve tried this two times already, and it never really worked out. I ended up revealing myself. Why do I do this? I think it’s partly because I was brought up under the maxim “always tell the truth” — but there is something else, too. Something in me yearns to be known, fully and completely. To be known for who I really am, and hopefully appreciated or even loved, by a few folks anyway.

So here I am, figuring things out yet again. I have one parent now missing in body from the world as we know it; this changes things in various ways. When the person who always told you you could “become” anything you wanted to be is no longer there to find out whether you become that nebulous thing, there is a sadness, but also a sense of freedom.

I never risk being a disappointment to my mother, now. Not that she would ever have been disappointed in me, kind soul that she was, but something in my psyche has always been terrified of disappointing people. I know some of the reasons why that is. I don’t feel free to discuss them here now, because those reasons involve a still-living person whom I care about a great deal and it would take some skill and care, and thus time, and work, to write about them in an objective way that is compassionate for all sides.

Anyway, the biggest reason is lying inside of me. I have been told stories, and I continue to tell myself stories, which attempt to suppress my inner nature. Mainly for fear of appearing different from societal norms, and thus ridiculed or disliked.

But something is cracking open here, now. It’s like a thin skin of moonwort gone to seed, and a child’s hand crushes it in curiosity, and the seeds are falling to the soil.

I don’t know if the seeds are viable yet. But perhaps it is enough that the lunaria flower existed, and that the crushed seed pod and its seeds now exist, and, in the simple pleasure of the act, that I observe these existences for a while.

Yes, it is good to be home.



Image: Moonwort/Honesty/Money Plant/Lunaris Annua, by  @DaniReberArt


20 thoughts on “Skin of moonwort

  1. I’m glad you’re back (both at your physical home and virtual home). Now time can start doing the slow, healing thing that it does.

    And, being COMPLETELY selfish, if’n you do close up shop and go somewhere else, can you add me to the VIP list so I can continue to follow you. I know that defeats the idea of being anonymous, but I pinky swears I won’t tell no one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aeryk, so lovely that you’re “back,” too. As usual, you “get it” completely. Although I have done a lot of messy tidbits of private writing over the past three weeks, which, I feel, have greatly helped with the grieving process, blogging is also a kind of home for me. I love interactions with people here, as well as the process of writing and sharing. And I take your “VIP” request as a very kind compliment. The truth is, operating mostly on inertia and/or whims as I tend to, making major changes is unlikely to happen except if the universe suddenly reveals some door and seems to beg me to enter it. Or to close another, as the case may be. But whatever happens in that regard, you are certainly “VIP” in my books. And the best contracts, if entered into, are of course pinky-swears.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Nadine,
      I see a woman with a rare talent. With lesser perspective, insight, and eloquence, this “post” might appear self-indulgent. In your hands, it is a literary gift. I look forward to reading and pondering whatever you write, wherever you are—and watching the seeds flourish.

      As you don’t know me, I hasten to note that I’m not normally this effusive; you have struck something deep within me.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. Annie, this comment is such a kind gift. That’s exactly how I feel about this post, and I expect how many others would understandably see it as well – self-indulgent. That is what it is, for certain. But as you might have guessed it’s also a time where I give into just that exact pleasure of doing nothing but write whatever self-indulgent thing comes to mind, in the midst of a period of time in which I mostly put others first. I love that you accepted it and even celebrate it for me; it makes it feel like it gets the love it craves even knowing that it’s not in any way noble except in its own honesty and creative enjoyment, perhaps. Thank you so very much.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a blog, a side project that I keep for when I write stuff that won’t play well in my life. Work, family, relationships, etc. It’s usually where I go when I’m pissed and need to get something off my chest. I think it’s nice to have a community through blogging, and I’m glad people know the real me. But I love being able to get away when I need to. I’m just going to badger Aeryk for your url when you disappear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so cool to hear about Jeff! So do you write that side blog under pseudo I guess? Haha about Aeryk, for the record I haven’t actually engaged in a pinky swear yet ;)), though he is defo a VIP to me, as are you. :))

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nadine. Let me count the way I love this post – wait, I lost count already. Your powers of description, your honesty, it’s truthfulness and it’s rawness. You described a feeling so relevant to me … the complete conflict between the desire to be completely known, and the desire to be completely anonymous. You have a way of putting things that disarms me, that thinks, “I wish I’d written this.” That knows exactly what you mean because I’ve had the same thoughts and impulses myself. Nadine, I thank you every time you write.

    ..”to me, the best writing, or at least, the most captivating writing, is the usually the most truthful writing surrounding the average human experience, written from a first-person perspective.”

    I agree, and this is you.

    I’m so sorry you’ve lost your mom dear friend. Please know you’re in my thoughts all the time ❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rachel… this comment became visible to me just as I was deciding whether to publish my journal entry from this morning, and you pretty much made that possible in the split-second I had available to do it. I can’t really tell you how much your unfailing encouragement helps me. It’s so incredibly generous and I don’t know if I deserve it but I definitely feel so incredibly grateful that I found you on WP and that I am lucky enough to count you as a friend. I know it’s not just me you treat in this inimitable way of yours, you do this for many others as well, you’re one of the angels on WP. Thank you so much, lovely friend, for everything. I had to run out the door right after reading your comment and hitting publish, hence (hence? yes hence) I’m not replying till now. Thanks again, much love to you, and you are in my thoughts too. ❤️🌷🌤 xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are a gorgeous soul, and I count myself very lucky to have found you and count you as a friend. You are such a kindred spirit Nadine… I wish I could wrap myself around you and hug you. I have not been as consistent on here so I’m sorry if I’m slow or miss posts. I
        Sending you lots of love xoxoxox

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Rachel, but most especially for the giggles. I don’t know why but this image of you wrapping yourself around me elicits such immediate glee. My coffee got a bit sputtered but that’s fine by me. Please don’t ever feel you have to keep up with my posts… I totally know how this gets, the whole of blogging (reading friends’ posts, commenting and replying etc.) can take a lot of time that it’s simply not reasonable to make, we have to keep it fun and achievable. Leaping-cuddle-monkey hugging it out with you in my mind. But let’s unwrap so you can please write another poem. xoxoxo


  4. Oh, so that’s how the name for this site began? 🤔😋🕊 I love it Nadine and yes, what you write is of use to I. Mom’s message will always live on and yes, you can be anything you want. I love your posts especially those which surround average human experiences rather than bombarded exaggerated lives, I truly love it.
    “The sky was soft grey-blue”, it makes I miss watching the clear country sky at night in a midst of no where.
    Starting again sounds scary but but, what of merging the three? Or you simply want to start from scratch? Going anonymous sounds cool, but personally, no matter how out of norms or beyond, am always proud of my content. Maybe it’s because I ignore 98% of tormenting comments and criticism I receive in my social media inboxes from pretending care givers.
    The decision Nadine lays in your mind, and am sure you will choose what makes you and those close happy. Stay strong my dear. Lots of blogging love 🙏💥🐧🍭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joseph, this is such a lovely and caring comment, I am so grateful for it. Thanks for all the kind words and yes, I sort of feel like I need to somehow merge the three. I think I am somehow in the process of doing that though the method is not clear to me yet.

      I LOVE that you are proud of your content, this is exactly the way it should be. Your content is of course uniquely awesome, completely you, and very very truthful, all combined which are the best things about it, since you are also uniquely awesome. Your attitude is inspiring and I hope that some of it will rub off on me through blogmosis.

      Thanks for all the blogging love, I appreciate every ounce of it. Hugs and yogic slow-motion hurrahs 🤗🙌🔆🌷

      p.s. yes the name began with a flower-power obsession, I was planning on setting up a freelance editing business some years ago, Bloomwords Editing Services, something like that. xoxo 🌻🌸💐


      1. “blogmosis” 😆😅😂😂 I love it. I love your coined words dear friend, such kind of creativity and imagination is so rare since many cling unto traditional words. Keep it up Nadine 👏 👏 🎊 I have a good feeling that someday I will get an opportunity to use the Nadine BloomWords Advanced Edition 👊 and that Editing Service will cherish.
        Now please, give I a moment to sip and take in all the complements you gave me ❤❤💓🙌👋👌. Lovely weekend Nadine👍.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahahaha you are such a blessing. Thank you for every one of these deliciously generous words. I’m getting quite happily drunk on them, perfect for (alcohol-free! ;)) aperitif time here in France. :)) Lovely weekend to you, too, dear Joseph 🥂❤️💛💞😊

          Liked by 1 person

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