To Help Us All Relax . . .

In response to all of the wonderful comments on my previous post, and recognizing that many of us seem to be in the world of the frazzled today, I offer all of you wonderful people a little bit of this:

and maybe some of this:

A relaxing float in coolness. (Image by Steve Kramer)

Or perhaps you prefer this:

Image by Steve Kramer

Tori suggested this:

A nap cures many ills.

Or maybe we simply need a little bit of this: 

Or this: 

Too Scattered to Write

Have you ever had one of those days when your mind is going a mile a minute and you cannot accomplish a single thing because of it?

Today is one of those days for me.

The list of things I could be doing or might be doing grows, and yet I fritter around like a hummingbird in a field of flowers, unable to rest, to calm, to think, to breathe or to write.

And, in the typical irony of fate,  today seems to be the day that I should be producing a high-quality fabulous post to thrill the masses. Why? Well, yesterday I had one of those randomly successful days on the blog, with the most visits ever for me–and today, without me posting, the numbers are high. Don’t ask me? I’ll never understand it.

But, instead of creating something wonderful and spectacular I find myself babbling a mile a minute without a single clear thought in my head.

So, welcome to all my new readers. Please come back soon, when sanity prevails. For now, I think I need to take a few deep breaths and try to calm down.

If i could, I would go sit by the ocean to soak in some calm. But for now a picture will have to do.

 

_______________________________

Today’s Quote: 

‎”Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.”
Bruce Barton

Cosmic Dance

This post comes from the inspiration of three different women, which just shows the power and complexity of this magnificent world I call the “Blogosphere”.  Today, Darla at She’s a Maineiac wrote the lovely poem called “Radiance at Last” in response to a challenge made by Val Erde who provided inspiration in the form of this  magnificent painting by her

Painting by Val Erde at Absurd Old Bird

A few days ago, Priya at Partial View wrote “Dismissed too Soon”a magnificent post that incorporates photography and poetry to explore issues of life and death. She used the form of etheree, which she also explains:

An etheree comprises of 10 lines. It begins with a one syllable line, increasing one syllable per line until the last line of ten syllables. The syllable count of the entire poem is 55. The syllabic structure, therefore, is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, and is unmetered and unrhymed.

Since I seem to be dipping into the creative energy pool of the universe, I thought I’d make an attempt at an etheree based off of this painting.  Here I go:

 

Dance
Color
Twirls of joy
Celebration
Of passion filled life.
Cosmic forces singing
Creating a song of truth
Heard by those who feel the power
of life, of energy, of love and
the cosmic swirl of colors in the dance!


Simultaneous Stories

I wake up and somewhere a child falls asleep. I turn on my computer to start writing a blog post, and another blogger starts typing hers.  People dance in one part of the world while people die in another.

I walk outside to answer the call of the moon, and elsewhere others see the same moon as I do, while still more rise to worship the sun.

We all live simultaneous stories.

This movie intrigues me for a number of reasons. One is simply that one of my high school friends contributed to it. But, the idea of simultaneous stories intersects all of my writing lately.

Stories are what connect us and what divide us. As a newborn takes his first breathe in one part of the world, an old woman might breathe her last. Those breathes are connected through time and space.

As a couple consummate their love for one another in an elaborate hotel room or the backseat of a car, another one breaks apart in irretrievable pieces. Those stories connect through symbolism and meaning.

As our government falls apart in the face of greed and stupidity, people all over the country struggle to pay their bills, feed their children, and take their medicine. Those stories are connected by a lack of understanding.

As we live our lives securely here, someone dies brutally there. Sadly, those stories too are connected, because the explanation for them lies in belief systems that cannot meet half way, as well as a greed and a hunger for power that corrupts the stories of all human kind.

In the link between stories, between lives, between souls we touch, lie the stories that we all know, feel, live and breathe. All cultures have common stories, told in different ways. All cultures have their demons, their ghosts, their creation myths, and their justifications of existence. All cultures have their jokes, and their songs, and their fairy tales. All cultures have their stories, and they only differ in details, not in essence.

All cultures have the stories told around campfires or while  snuggled in under the covers of darkness.

These are the stories I want to write. These are the stories I want to share. These are the stories I want to hear.

“The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.” —Harold Goddard

Join me, my friends, as we sit by the campfire and share each others stories. Help me, my friends, link those stories together in a glowing web of understanding and hope.

I am the Storyteller, but I am not the only one. Together we tell the stories we all need to hear. Together we create the stories of life.

Together we are The Storyteller.

And if life is a story, then we have the right to choose how that story ends. We can choose our own destruction, or we can recognize the ties that join us and create a story that allows room for us all.

Join me, my friends, as we sit by the campfire to share our stories.

Following Intuition and Learning from Oprah

I have Nathan well-trained. When we go through the check-out at grocery stores he goes ahead to take care of paying while I get my fix of the headlines on all the magazines lining the aisles. I particularly love to read the trashier headlines because they either make me giggle or cringe out of share absurdity. I rarely, if ever, purchase an actual magazine (except for the inevitable holiday cookie one that always entices me with alluring new cookie possibilities).

Yesterday, however, O: The Oprah Magazine caught my eye as it often does, because the covers are always gorgeous. I admit to the occasional purchase because O always includes articles that speak to things I might be going through.

“Let Your Intuition Be Your Guide: Uncovering Answers to Your Deepest Questions”

The cover story called to me, and my little friend intuition nudged me to pick up the magazine and place it into the pile of purchase items. Either that was clever marketing or an intuitive call, but I’m glad I made the purchase anyway as it is a step toward trusting myself that I need to make.

Here’s a link to the article by Martha Beck that has lead me to write this post today.

The reasons this struck a chord with me involves a series of recent signs and messages that seem to be occurring in my life, including:

  • Vicky’s post called “Crossroads” which made me think  about how and when we should make the choice to take the riskier option and follow our bliss.
  • The unexpected fire in the home we had planned on renting, that put some kinks in our plans and also pointed out some severe flaws in our current situation.
  • The surprising possibility that has opened up which I will elaborate on sometime next week as I don’t want to jinx it.
  • My growing realization that following the path that others expect of me has never really made me happy.

The challenge, of course, is learning to understand the signs along the way, and listen to the quiet nudges of my inner bliss rather than the horrible screech of my inner critic and conformist.

But, thanks to my guilty pleasure of reading headlines in the supermarket, I am now taking a few more steps toward becoming the person I truly want to be.

Instinct tells me I’m on the right path.

I’m Not Old Enough

This is my response to the fabulous Tori Nelson’s post called “old enough.

I’m Not Old Enough . . .

. . . to give up my dreams in the face of other people’s sense of
what is appropriate;

. . . to sit in a corner gathering dust
while younger generations act like my time has passed;

 . . . to fade quietly into an existence defined by other’s

and yet society wants to make that so.

I’m not old enough . . . 

. . . to live without the joys of childhood
like ice cream on a sunny day
or conversations with stuffed animals.

. . . to live without singing and dancing
for the pure joy of song and movement

. . . to be afraid of getting dirty
with paint stains or clay pieces
as I create an imperfect piece of art

and yet the world resists the joy,
insisting that money and success are all that matter.

I’m not old enough . . . 

. . . to stop fighting for what I believe in
or hoping for the world to change

. . . to stop learning from others
and helping others along the way.

I’m not old enough  . . . 

And I NEVER will be!!!

Photo by Mehmet Akin

Bizarre Twists of Fate

“Fate, or some mysterious force, can put the finger on you or me, for no good reason at all.” (Martin Goldsmith)

The Tree Fates by Steve Hook

Fate twists  a strand of curly blond hair around her finger and laughs a wicked little giggle.

“Sisters,” she says. “It is time to push buttons for our favorite playthings. They have become a little complacent, and need to be nudged. ”

“But not delicately,” the red-headed sister adds.  ”Let us shove rather than nudge. It is so much fun to watch them squirm as we throw the unexpected in their way.”

“Let’s do it!” The raven-haired sister calls out and begins to dance.

All three sisters spin and twirl, moving slowly at first. Then the dance gains speed and power, sending electrical sparks into the air, scattering like fireflies in a passionate ballet.

One spark flies all the way to a shabby little home filled with the memories of an old woman who no longer has control of her thoughts. Her granddaughter sorts through the detritus of years; collectibles and letters, pictures and albums, wishes and dreams. She plans to store some, give some to other family members, donate some, and sell what she can to help defray the costs of her grandmother’s care. Once the house is cleared out, she plans to rent it to some new friends to help them achieve some goals and make their life a little less stressful.

But the eyes of fate are on these friends, and the dance has begun.

The mysterious spark flies faster and sneaks into the electrical outlets biding its time until nobody is in the house. This game is not intended to hurt physically, only challenge mentally.

The house goes up in flames, taking with it the memories, the love, and the future home.

Meanwhile one of the sister’s sends a thought into another woman’s mind. “It is time to welcome a new renter so give him a call,” she whispers silently. The phone call is made. A verbal agreement set.

And the two stories collide.

“The house we planned to move into burnt down this morning. Can we stay?”

“Oh, wow! I just sort of promised your house to someone else. I guess I can still call him and back out.”

A day passes and the couple thinks things are safe. But they aren’t.

“I don’t feel comfortable backing out on him unless you commit to at least 9 months in the house. Can you do that? Oh, and the powers that be have decided to keep the status quo with the job–there will be no additional money or help.”

Commit to another 9 months with a job that is basically destroying the marriage of our fated couple?  What kind of game is this?

The fates simply laugh and wait to see the choices our couple will now make. How will this path unfold?

Only time will tell.

Struggles in a Storm

Kaboom!

The thunderstorms started early this morning putting an end to my already disturbed slumber filled with dreams of burning houses and a search for something.

Now, don’t get too interpret-y here. The burning house actually makes a lot of sense for a change, as I learned yesterday morning that the rental house we were planning on moving into at the end of the summer caught fire yesterday and there isn’t much left. Luckily we hadn’t started moving anything in and nobody was there to get hurt. I’m taking it as a sign of things NOT meant to be.

Anyway, back to the storm. Now the rain pours down in an unremitting deluge.  A perfect day to read, write and watch movies. That is, if my brain would leave me alone.

You see, I’m back in the land of doubt. I don’t want to be here, but I find myself here anyway. It stems from being in a place where I feel unwanted. It stems from some of the personal struggles I’ve alluded to but haven’t written about. It stems from not knowing what my next project is, and not feeling creative enough to develop one. It stems from my constant concern of what others think of me, rather than my belief in myself and my own abilities. It stems from fear of the unknown, even though deep down I know there is nothing to fear.

I want the rain to wash me clean of fear. I want the rain to nurture me with a rejuvenating bath of inspiration and peace.

But for now all I feel is wet and lonely.

I hope the storm ends soon in more ways than one.

The current view from my cabin window. Rain, rain, dreary rain.

Random Thoughts from a Road Trip

Cpasclassic2009

Image via Wikipedia

I had another long drive today, this time without the benefit of a book on tape. So, as I let the radio scan in search of NPR stations to keep me entertained, my thoughts bounced around in a bizarre and random fashion to include these gems:

  • Religion is really just about controlling when, how, and why we have sex.
  • After catching part of  a story about the randomness of the borderline between the US and Mexico: Lines connect but they also separate. If we could only erase all lines (even the invisible ones) maybe we would have more luck getting along with each other as an amorphous mass of living creatures.
  • Why don’t more people understand that most of the problems in the world come from a small group of people who cannot see beyond their own wallets?
  • 5 Hour Energy is really just a jolt of caffeine that tricks you into thinking it lasts longer. For some reason it makes me want to conduct orchestras as I found myself listening to classical music and conducting with my left hand.
  • Who pays for all the Jesus/Abortion signs?
  • Why don’t I like listening to music while I drive anymore? Of course, that changes if it is a truly singable song, but the only ones I want to sing come from my childhood. What does that mean?
  • Do I have a sign on my car that says “slow down in front of me” and drive me insane?

There you have it folks. Random thoughts from someone who has been driving too much lately.

Support or Encouragement?

“I love you and I support you.”

I’ve heard this phrase a lot lately, and for some reason it makes me cringe. I’m not sure why. I thought perhaps I should explore my reaction in order to understand and break away from it.

Let’s start with the dictionary definition of “Support”. According to dictionary.com support means:

“1. to bear or hold up; serve as a foundation for.
2. to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
3. to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
4. to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
5. to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family.  . . . “
 There are  many more elements to this definition, but I think I can end it here as the two definitions that I’ve highlighted give a hint to my discomfort; particularly number 3.
I don’t want to be tolerated as I figure out my next steps in life. I don’t need the support of anyone else. But what I do need is encouragement. I need belief. I need enthusiasm. Maybe that all falls under the definition of support, but I guess in my own warped and twisted view of the world that word implies that I am incapable of doing something without someone else providing for me. That is not true.
I am capable of supporting myself and supporting my family. But, I do acknowledge that it is easier with a partnership where nobody bears the burden of support–where we collaborate to achieve in equal parts.
I guess it is all about semantics.
Are there any words or phrases that rub you the wrong way?