[things that bring shame] - Mostly, she was ashamed of her preoccupations; that she could dwell on one topic or another to the near exclusion of all else, pushing from her mind even the most necessary or essential of the day’s tasks and leave herself to worrying some useless thing. She believed this to be weakness. She believed this to be failure. She spent sleepless nights blinking in the dark.
Usually, although not always, it was about love - or anger or hate or revenge, which are themselves a part of love.
[things that fall] - Rain, sleet, snow, hail. Summer rains, more often than not, bring delight. After many hot days when the air is heavy and stifling, a cool rain that breaks the heat can bring such pleasure. Rain in the winter is often cruel. Cold, driving rains that can chill you to the bone. A long, soaking rain can bring a feeling of relief. As if the rain itself might cleanse you of your shame.
[terrifying things] - Wildfires. A volcano erupting. A thief breaking into your house. The feeling that you are being watched. The feeling that something terrible is about to happen.
Being chased in a dream and falling. You are running through a wooded area and it is autumn. A thick blanket of fallen leaves on the ground. You can hear them underfoot and you can hear the footfalls of your pursuer, who is not far.
The circling of birds of prey. Their beaks and their talons.
[things now useless that recall a glorious past] - A finely-woven tapestry that has become threadbare.
A stately house that stands empty and uncared for, its occupants having come to some shameful circumstance.
A forest, decimated by fire.
Gardens that once grew lush around a pond, on the surface of which once floated waterlilies - white and purple and blue. The pond is still there, stagnant and the garden is overrun with weeds and choking vines.
[things that keep passing by] - The seasons, one after the other in continuous succession.
Sailboats on the water. Wispy clouds moving across a blue sky.
The time to have certain important conversations. You find yourself in a quiet moment and begin to speak, but are interrupted. A child wanders into the room, or a red-breasted robin lands on the branch of a tree and you stop to gaze at it. The person you are with looks away. Or coughs into his hand. Or makes a joke and you laugh, but the laugh rings out in a false-sounding way and you both know at that moment that the time to speak of important things has passed.
[things that no one notices] - All the inauspicious days. The aging of our mothers.