How to Navigate the Magical Flight of the Awkward: A Year and a Decade Anew

January 1, 2020

Dear Wind,

I am smiling and hope you are too. Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever again be writing those words of salutation, “Dear Wind.” Not a day has passed in which I do not wonder how you are or where you are. In the course of a day my mind pauses slightly with those questions, with a smile of my own secrets. I conclude such moments of reprieve with a silent prayer hoping that no matter the state of your affairs, you are surrounded with love…


Readers of ‘The Brick Dandelion’ would not be aware that my writing began six years ago with blogged letters I wrote to “Wind.” Today I present myself as “The Brick Dandelion” or “tbd” in my wishful perspective to be to the world, a weed (no, not the weed!), slightly pesky and annoying with a bit of bloom in this dire world of brick and mortar…

Dearie, I am kidding…I love brick and mortar, “dire” and all! But I am a sort of blooming weed. Sunny. Annoying. And I did find out, in the most miraculous of fashions, that I am anything but ‘yellow’. I am not yellow to the degree I am yellow. (Double negative and all that jazz).

Six years ago I began blogging about my life and my struggles by writing those Wind letters. I wrote my way through personal pain and tragedy. My marriage was suffering. My father had passed away. I was terminated from my ten year tenure at a parochial school in the most brutal and unethical means. (My marriage counselor and attorney friends recommended I file suit. While my state of Wisconsin is a state of employment at will, the termination reeked of malice, discrimination and unfair employment practices – A far cry from ethical and Christian values). I had enough personal issues I could have been my own psychological study. I was crashing and burning, but writing those letters caused me to burn through that crashing. I wrote often, two or three times daily, of pain and memories. I stayed steady for my son and myself by expressing through those letters and sharing photographs. I relived moments of my life.


Moments after the new year clocked in, my son and I talked about resolutions. He asked me what the new decade meant to me. He caught the fresh note of surprise in my voice as I replied, “I want to write. I really want to write.” We spoke about blog writing and book writing. “I want to continue with blog writing but I want to write my book. I want to experience writing in length, over a period of time, to keep attending to it.”

In the new year’s early hours came my truth in a promise to a person who has been G~d’s gift to me, my son. And with the new decade came a memory of writing, of where I began. With the words, “Dear Wind.”

Grace and Mercy.

I had never met him until days before Christmas. I held his hand. Momentarily, I held his hand while two others exchanged turns with chest compressions. Switching off between them, another person called 911. Within four rounds, EMT’s arrived. The area surrounding him transformed into a medic station with gear as advanced as one could imagine. His wife stood near.

Just by chance, a week before Christmas I witnessed an emergency situation. I held his hand. I helped to lift his legs. I wish not to cross the border of insensitivity to the gentleman and his family. No more details other than to say his family lost a loved one that day. May he rest in peace.

As I collected myself afterwards I found myself plunged into an odd feeling. Life went on. Yet it felt as though life became pronounced. Sounds seemed amplified. People seemed larger than life.

I felt small. Quiet. And the world felt large.

In some ways the situation reminded me of my father’s passing years ago. I had held my father, kissed his forehead, told him I loved him, then listened to the head ICU nurse as she clinically described the steps of death. I had not noticed then, but I do now, the absence of emotion in her words and the lack of emotion at the time. I had just held on. And in my layperson’s observation, I had watched my father die.

If there is a way, I would wish to thank a spirit of someone I never knew. His death had nothing to do with me but it changed me. I felt numbed but not unable to do my daily routine. I was happy, I was okay, but my inner voice sounded differently.

I remember one particular evening as I drove home. The holiday season had been so busy at work. I had thrown myself into it as had everyone. The world seemed louder and bigger. And again, I was reminded in the quiet of my Jeep that the world felt large. Days, evenings passed, with a quiet drive or perhaps one loud song, then silence and darkness.

No one knew I was pondering the events and a man’s life whom I had not known. Some of my activities, took a backseat to my need for quiet.

Five years had passed since my termination. The school board had met during Advent-during a Christmas party in which I cared for their children as they swam in the pool-and formally let go on Epiphany. Through the past five years, those memories remained with me. A piece of that history has played in my head, flavoring every decision: Wondering about why, wondering about my colleagues some who had been friends, and wondering about the children.

One night I was driving, I realized I had waited for G~d to slam the door on the past. Or, I waited for catastrophe or grandiose apologies or something of the sort. In the days after the gentleman’s passing, quite unknown to me, my head had quieted to pass through the five year anniversary of that meeting.

I had been used to glancing back to the ‘doorway’. Even if I could not return through it, I still glanced back. Perhaps I expected one person to call to me. Perhaps.

But G~d did nothing dramatic. Except in the time I spent in silence, in the time I spent working, eating, sleeping and driving, in that time, G~d very gently closed the door. Without noise or fanfare, I realized the door had been shut.

Perhaps I was finally ready to see it shut.

I think there is one more step to this flight of the awkward navigational guide. Maybe that is perfect timing of the coming new year.

it is, after all, 2020.

Thank you for reading, for being here to share my sense of joy at my first expression of the new year. The new decade is here at The Brick Dandelion and, at Winds Paradox, my company.

Dear Wind…

Thank you for showing me! Oh, goodness not showing me, but shoving me into a realm in which I needed to write.

Thank you for the experience of transforming an expression to the realization of a dream in Winds Paradox…

2020. May the year be all that.

Love, Blessings and a Kiss just because…

Stephanie, tbd.

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