Tuesday, November 10, 2015

like e.e. cummings - no capitals

i am continuously surprised when paralells appear in my life and i wonder what i am supposed to learn from these experiences. someone/s coming into my life and acting out things with me that i am quite certain played out some years ago with someone i used to know. am i being called to change the script? where is the lesson? what is the lesson? is the lesson for me or the other/s involved or all? it is a great way for the universe to get my attention, but to what end? for what purpose am i being called? until i figure it out, i believe these parallels will continue to show themselves to me.


as i sit here in a cluttered catastraphe of a home, i want to grab trash and recycling bins and rid myself of all of it, but i live with others and this isn't possible. i dont want it to look like a magazine, just nicely, lightly lived in instead of... this... 

for so many reasons, all of which are good for the whole family, we have hired a mothers helper to come in 4-6 hours a week. This will allow me to get homework done, work on my book, tidy the house without interrupting the children's play time, our family weekends, or my sleep.  last week was the first week of this. it was good, but i can't help but feel a bit guilty. my sister who is a mother of five and has had mothers helpers since number 2 came along has informed my that there is "noguilt allowed on that front' and still it nags at me a bit. Yet, my mother's helper will return on thursday and friday this week. i will give it a good month to six weeks and see how it all plays out.

i have set a new goal for finishing writing the book: January 2015
the semester ends mid-december. 
instead of taking an accelerated class in january, i am taking two accelerated classes in the spring - one for the first 8 weeks and another for the next 8 weeks. 
there is no excuse for not finishing this book by the end of January.
i can do this.
oh, and the two classes i am taking in spring semester are online courses: the art and craft of short fiction (all creative writing) and short fiction (all reading and analyzing short fiction).
exciting and a bit intimidating.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Instagram has become my blog over the last few months - full of words and photos and words. Search Instagram: #alexandrahanleypielech
There they are - Photos and Words. My photos and words.

I am about halfway through writing my book. Finding time is harder, but I refuse to lose momentum all together. Even if I am the only one who ever reads it or finds worth in it... that will be enough.

School. I went back to school again. I took a class over the summer - Holistic Approaches to Healing - which was a nice way to ease back in.  This semester - Liberation Math. I am aware of how foreign and strange it sounds, but I really like it. There is analysis of ones relationship with math, reading of articles about math and race/math and gender/math education/ and the like, actual math problems. Completely different approach to math. Taking a class a semester, I should finish by Summer 2017. I think it is neat that my children will be there to see me graduate. There are so many ways to navigate life and I want them to know that not only by my words, but by my actions. Tread your own path. Be always growing and learning.

Benjamin will be two in 11 days. He is so quick to laugh, full of energy, lovey buggy, in awe of his big sister, determined, independent... Adored.

Abigail is 4.5 and in pre-k. So smart. So social. So thoughtful. So kind. So creative. So loved. There have been a lot of transitions and sickness and a wedding and Brad traveling for work since she started school and I think that it has made things more challenging so far this school year. We will get our feet under us yet.

I've been spending more one-on-one time with her (above: us on a walk with the dog today) and setting up times to play with her school friends outside of school, in an effort to help her along.

We went to a farm for some Fall Fun today. My feet on the hayride mirror how I have been feeling lately. Partly completely out there moving ahead while also partly reserved, turning inward, finding comfort in myself. Even the shoes - lace - covering up but full of spaces... to let the light in...

I leave you with a few recent photos of Fall in New England and one of me...wearing a scarf... which makes it fall-ish, right?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lately I have been writing poetry to go with some of my instagram photos.

Penned this tonight:

The moon turns into crashing rocks
and quickly turns to dust
Sprinkling down upon the earth
and everyone of us
The sky goes dark but for the stars
I reach for you but its too far
The ebb and flow of the tides is lost
And I've lost you in the chaos
My rock has turned to dust
I run my finger from my knee to my thigh
Gathering you up and gazing at you, marveling at you
Sparkling on my fingertip

Sunday, June 7, 2015


We just watched the film Kumare in my Holistic Approaches to Healing course. I can not rave about it enough. It is available on Netflix. Watch it with a group of people because it is so thought provoking and you are going to want to discuss it right away.

A peek at some of my thoughts about the film:
Do any of us have the answers? Are the answers different for each of us?

If you can imagine yourself as someone else you can be that person.

We all just want to be seen.

Listening and reflecting people back to themselves helps them to hear their own voice, their inner voice.

We give power to people, things, leaders, and ideas, but we all have the power within us.

If one has someone who believes in one, it makes it easier for one to believe in one's self.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Every once in awhile the children spy something in the hidden crevices of our house. Today they saw a piece of our foam ABC floor mat under the radiator. It was an edge piece that they haven't missed, but they were suddenly desperate for me to rescue it. I went to the hall closet for a coat hanger to ease the piece out. Down on my belly on the floor, patiently coaxing the children to give me some space, I pulled out what I thought was the edge, but was in fact the one piece we have been seeking for months - the S. I was stunned. Then I rescued the edge piece that the children had originally spied.

I found the Path of Life bracelet and now the S. All is not lost. In time the pieces come back together in unfathomable configurations at the most unexpected times. Just move the 'unmovable' and explore the unseeable.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Path of Life

I found my Path of Life bracelet today.
I was moving laundry around and my infinity ring escaped my right pinky to free fall into the cozy space between my washer and dryer. I may have yelled "Noooooo!!!!" and I was for sure grumbly about it as I forced the dryer to the right. Once I widened the gap, I was doubly rewarded with my unscathed ring and my Path of Life bracelet blanketed in more than a year of dust and dryer lint.
What a lovely surprise. What a perfect time to find it, too. I am not the straight path kind, but I am finding my way and making choices that feel right to me. Discovering the bracelet again was symbolic for me as I embark on some new old endeavors - namely writing and going back to school again (a class a semester for two years should grant me my B.A.).

Eyes to the sky.

Friday, May 29, 2015


I had the most vivid dream last night and it is still with me. I wrote it down, wrote all about it as soon as I woke up, came back into my body, and finally opened my eyes. It was one of those dreams where you wake suddenly and you want to find your way back in. You lay there willing yourself back in, daydreaming what may have happened next, silently sending messages to those you left behind in the dream.
The effects of the dream stay all day. When it comes time to get ready for bed you dress for the world you hope your dreams allow you into again, you brush your teeth, fuss with your hair, and open the window to let in the smell of the cool night air. The breeze tickles your neck and you imagine someone else, something else there. You shift under the covers and your bed creaks as the door opens letting you back into your dreams.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I've been writing

I have been working hard on a series of short stories. So, again, the blog has gone to the wayside.
A little something I wrote for fun just warming up the other day:
I see him and I love him through and through
I have always known him
We are here to come together
Together we are something greater
Greater than the sum of all parts
Parts that create something never before seen
Seen our power is invisible but palpable
Palpable and moldable like putty
Putty we hold between us, an orb in our hands
Hands manipulating and moving through
Through time and space and obstacles
Obstacles we face are great but not insurmountable
Insurmountable odds are something we have surpassed
Surpassed by coming together over and over
Over land and oceans and planes and time
Time - we will have what we need of it in this life and more of it next time
Over and over
More time and more time
Each time we reunite
Reunite until we have a full lifetime
A lifetime to work out what we need to workout - to learn what we need to learn
We are inexhaustible - indefatigable - without end

Saturday, April 4, 2015

One Down. Many to come.

On Wednesday I completed a first draft of a short story I haven't done this in at least 4 years. When Abigail was born life shifted in so many wonderful ways, but now she is 4 and Benjamin is 17 months and things are beginning to shift back towards me a bit. Self care is beginning to happen again. I am grateful.
With one story finished another has begun. I am even thinking there is an anthology of related stories here. That is what my heart, body, and characters seem to be telling me. I am making writing a daily practice again. Does that make me a writer? I think so.

April Love - Day Three - Inspiring Quote

This is a card that I bought for my brother nearly ten years ago and never sent. Somehow it has always stayed with me.

Other favorite quotes that immediately spring to mind;

People may say you are going the wrong way when it is simply a way of your own.
- Unknown

Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it - yet." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Love - Day Two - Favorite Flowers

Wildflowers are truly my favorites, but they are not here yet. Here in Massachusetts we still have a bit of snow on the ground and the bulbs have just gathered the courage to poke their heads out of the ground. Sweet Peas are among my favorite flowers. I looked forward to seeing them in my Grammy's garden every year. Below is a photo of a photo by Julie Sheikman titled "Sweet Peas at the Ferry Building Market, SF"

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Love - Day One - Morning View

April Love 2015 has officially begun.
My Morning View is the prompt today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finding Confidence. Fighting Doubt.

Good Morning! The sun is shining. I saw my first robin red-breast of the Spring this morning.  I peeked out my dining room window to redbuds on blue sky.

It is a good day.

Abigail is at preschool. Benjamin sleeps in the back seat of the car while I blog in the front.

A couple of nights ago, I was looking through some writing from five, six, seven years back. Some of it was utterly embarrassing. I know that you have to write junk to get better, but I was blushing and covering my face at some of this stuff even though I was silent and alone with it.
Just like that, the self doubt crept in. What if what I am writing now is utter junk, too, and I just don't know it yet? Why am I doing this? Do I have any business doing this? Am I just going to embarrass myself?
I took a deep breath and listened for the voice that was being drowned out. The voice that tells me to keep writing. The voice that tells me that I have been writing since I was little. The voice that reads me my very first poem that I remember writing.

Under the dark is a star,
Under the star is the tree,
Under the tree is a blanket, and
Under the blanket is me.

Slowly that voice talks me into continuing to write, even if it is all junk. So what? It makes me happy. I am compelled to do it. Just. Keep. Writing.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Writing My Way Back

I am absorbed in writing more than I have been maybe ever. I am just realizing that for the first time I am writing something just for me, just to get it down, to remember, to have it for myself forever. For too long I have thought about what other people might like to read or how my writing might make others feel. For too long I have been over thinking and over considering instead of just writing, just for me. With this new series of short stories that I am writing I have no motives or expectations. These are things that I am compelled to get on the page and out of myself, for myself. I love it all. I am writing my way back to me, to my heart, through my heart. Following my instincts.
Here is a little unedited "warm up" writing before I step away from the screen and take my pen in hand:
He is gone. She is alone and she is strangely happy about this. Upstairs the children sleep after a day of party and play. The radio is on. She closes her eyes and listens as the music soaks into her pores note by note. Breathing out heavily, her face to the sky, emptying herself of air, all is released. She lowers her head, let's her hair fall over her face and sighs.

It is Spring, but there is still snow on the ground. She steps outside into the cool of the night, sits on the still frozen ground and places her hand on the snow. Slightly softened during the day by the ever warming sun, the snow accepts the imprint of her hand.

She closes her eyes and imagines she is holding hands with someone else. They are walking down a path by the sea. It is evening. The sun is setting over the cliff where they stand. Even as the sky rapidly darkens, even though they carry no flashlights on this unlit path, she feels safe and sure.

They stand side-by-side in silence. "You came," he says, breaking the silence. He waits for her to speak. "You are here," he ventures again. She leans closer pressing her arm to his from wrists to elbows. He turns to face her. She reciprocates and takes his other hand in hers. Full circle.

The full moon illuminates the space between them, bathes them in its glow. He sees the answers in her eyes, feels them emanate from her being. When she finally speaks she is deliberate and slow and sure. "Yes. I always have been."

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Living in Two Worlds

I am living in two worlds.

In one world I am wife and mother.
I am tender to all needs. I am cleaner of all things. I am driver to all places. I am picker-upper of all messes. I am fulfiller of responsibilities.

In the other world I am wielder of the pen through which all things flow. I am crafter of people and places and things and ideas and...
Life. I am using my gifts and talents. I am myself. Just me.

The more I write the more I long to have more time there, in that world, being myself. It is very difficult to disengage even after I put the pen down and step away from the page. I feel and hear ideas and characters pulling at me, willing me to come back. Most often it needs to wait, but it is not easy living in two worlds that both seem in deperate need of me nearly constantly.

I have a little notebook that I jot things down in during the day and that helps some. Any writers out there with tips and ideas for living in two worlds?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dreaming Awake

I have been in a dreamy state all day. I have been thinking about someone whom I have not seen in sometime. I have been sifting through the moments and the memories. The sensory effects of being near to this person are still fresh.
I have been feeling meloncholy, too. Musing on what might have happened differently had I said something when the moment arose, kept walking a bit longer, listened instead of speaking.
My whole life (though the one I have is rather lovely) would have been different had either of us spoken up. I have a sense that all is as it should be though, and, in time, our paths shall cross again and take us forward together as we are meant, as partners in one pursuit or all.
I recognize that this is all rather cryptic, but I know and I need to write this for me. I saw this person move across the screen of my phone today. I heard this persons voice.  I felt my visceral response to their artifical nearness. My soul spoke to me.
I believe that this person and I have known each other before.
We have walked the sands of Egypt.
We have swum in the grassy seas of Ireland.
We have run with the bulls in Barcelona.
We have slept in a house boat on the canals of Amsterdam.
We have lived on baguettes and croissants in Paris.
We have wandered the winding streets of distant cities.
We will again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Abigail is 4!

Abigail turned 4 on Saturday.
I had been in the ER with Benjamin the night before. It turns out he has pneumonia. I got home with him at 2:30 a.m. and Abigail was up at 6:30. We did presents, went to the Dr., played with some of her new things, and had cake at dinner time. Usually it is cake for breakfast on your birthday, but the ER visit broke that tradition this year.

Sunday we celebrated with a few of her friends at a local children's bookstore. Great fun!

Today I am going to school with her and spending the day. I will read a story to the children. We are bringing snack, too.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Today I left my children with my father and went out on a fact finding mission. I am looking into an opportunity for self-care and self-improvement.
I left later than I wanted to, there was unexpected traffic, the parking garage was nearly full, I just missed the subway train and had to wait for the next one...
Still, I kept going.
I called the person who was waiting for me and she was still willing to meet.
I was apologetic and grateful.

On the drive home I was thinking over the meeting and whether I want to pursue the opportunity. Then I saw this cement mixer in front of me:
It says ADVANCE.

I take it as a sign. I will be advancing.
No more being stuck in cement. Everything is moving around and around.

I am ready.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This moment...

"This moment..." is a writing prompt from Writing Down the Bones 

A couple of nights ago, I used this prompt and ended up writing a full three pages.

Three favorite lines in those three pages:

It feels like the hum of the refrigerator sounds.

Memory tugs on me, picking at me like a loose thread... I imagine a different life with all of my possessions fitting neatly into one backpack ready to take me away on a whim.

...writing side by side... our brilliance floating in the air like magic pixie dust, the best bits landing on the page.

I am just so thrilled to be practicing writing again.

Pneumonia and Susannah

Good Morning!
Yesterday I took Abigail to the doctor yesterday for the third time in a week and learned that she has pneumonia, as I have suspected all along. Benjamin started coughing this morning. An invitation from the universe to slow down I suppose.

Speaking of invitations, Susannah Conway is hosting an April Love photo challenge. I  am grateful for this as I am renewing this blogging habit. If you would like to join, too: www.susannahconway.com
If you are visitimg my blog from Susannah's page, Welcome! Nice to have you here.

Abigail is requesting a "nose blow." Tata for now!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Yes, we are celebrating the day of his death, but you know...

Lunch at our house was boiled carrots, cabbage, and onions with mashed potatoes.
Yes, boiled dinner is not actually Irish, but what the heck!
Clean plates.

After the rain this morning, the luck of the Irish shines upon us and uncovers some green in the front yard.

May the wind be always at your back.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nearly 2 Years Later

Hello, Blog. Hello, Blog Friends.

In this moment...
I've been living in the new house for nearly two years.
Abigail is mere days away from turning 4 years old.
Benjamin is mere days away from turning 17 months old.
Boston has just passed the greatest all-time snowfall record for the city ever.
I am ready for Spring and new beginnings.

I find myself here on the blog beginning again at the urging of the writer inside me and the gentle encouragement of my good friend Irma.

I am currently simultaneously reading a book on habits and re-reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.  A fitting combination for me, a person trying to get back to the practices of me-ness in the midst of raising 2 beautiful, incredible little people.
Here's to getting back in the habit of blogging and writing.

I have been listening to a soulful musician named James Bay. He is a British singer-songwriter who cuts me to the core. I am going to his gig in Boston in April and couldn't be more excited!

Oh, and Pierce is keeping me company right now.
He just turned 6 in February.
Me, right now. Early morning selfie. 5:58 a.m.