Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Bountiful Year

I will remember 2006 as a beautiful, bountiful year. My heart opened wider. My mind opened wider. My Soul woke up and embraced the world.

The most significant moments were had in Berlin. Walking through the Brandenburg Gate and standing in front of the remaining section of the Berlin Wall.

2 life-changing books crossed my path and altered my perception of reality: The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

I discovered the power of the digital camera.

I discovered the serenity of yoga.

I introduced myself to Buddhism.

I made lots of new friends.

I started honoring my psychic flashes and simmering intuition.

I let go of some people whose time with me had passed.

I found my spiritual home.

I found my right livelihood.

I fell in love with cheese and have begun dating wine.

I laughed more than ever in my life.

I learned to send healing energy through my hands and heart.

I came out of the writer's closet and started a blog.

I fell in love with a 6" tall Italian Pope and swooned at the sound of his native language.

I joined the Pagan Princess Club, the Blasphemy Club, and became an International Vixen of Mystery.

I became more comfortable in my own skin.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my random ramblings in 2006. From first time readers to the known and anonymous regulars, I wish you all the highest possible, best and most loving good in 2007. My heart is full because of your interest and support.

Namaste~ Graciel

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Our Friendly World

The world is populated by wonderful people. Kind people. Loving people. In every corner, in every climate, in every culture. Do not listen to the fickle, fan-flaming media and grandiose governments who wish us to live in fear of each other. Listen instead to the heartbeat of the collective human subconscious that knows unequivocally there is more positive energy than negative. More good stories than bad. More triumph than failure. More similarities than differences. More peace than war.

Every culture breeds fabulous human beings. Every culture harbors more friends than we can possibly enjoy in one lifetime. The glory of our shrinking world is the unlimited opportunities that now exist to share wonder and kindness and love with people who live beyond our own borders and people who move from other parts of the world to within our own borders. It is up to us to take the opportunities. To be open and willing and reciprocal with potential friends from afar. To embrace the swift river of love that flows around the world.

There are dynamic women in England. Helpful men in France. Gracious women in Australia. Intelligent men in Canada. Pick a location, pick a culture, there will be people worth knowing and befriending. French Polynesia, Sweden, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Algeria. Each brimming with big hearts and fast smiles, waiting to be discovered.

The more curious we become about each other, the more time we take to learn from each other, the more we take each other into our hearts, the less illusionary sway will be felt from institutions-of-influence behaving badly. The less we will be inclined to numbly wage war for false reasons. The more we will insist on policies of peace in our cultures, peace in our religions, peace in our corners of the world. Because friends honor friends and love honors love.

The more comfortable we become with the wonderful people of the world, the more friends we will have, the more love we will have, and the more balance we will instill in the soul of our species.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Guardian Angels

Be aware, as you read these words, there is an Angel standing behind you. This Angel is bending over your shoulder to read my blog post. If you are interested in what I have to say, so is your personal Angel. We each have a Guardian Angel assigned directly to us, with interests similar to ours. Even my friend, Doubting Doug, who wants me to disavow my belief in alien life forms, has an Angel by his side throughout his waking moments. He joins his Angels in other planes of existence in his sleeping moments. But don't tell him. Doug's Angel prefers the doubting type. Says he does a better job without Doug's awareness and likely interference. Most of us, however, would be better off knowing we are being guided and assisted at every turn. The Angel over your shoulder is now nodding and smiling .

Guardian Angels take their jobs seriously. Their main objective is to keep us safe and sound. They also do their level best to make us aware of the energy of Love. They are aware of God's blueprint plan for us and work tirelessly to help us stick to that plan. They are the louder voices when the soft, intuitive voice of God is ignored. They are the opener of doorways and the sometimes necessary boot-to-the-butt that gets us over the threshold. They are the invisible arms that cradle us during the dark nights of the soul. They are wayshowers, lightbringers, bastions of compassion and mercy. They are life-long companions. Eternal companions. Proof we are never alone.

Guardian Angels are happiest and most fulfilled in their jobs when we acknowledge their presence in our lives. When we ask for their names. When we make one up if we aren't sure of the answer. When we call on them in good times and bad. When we thank them for their help. When we simply enjoy our lives.

If we spent one conscious week acknowledging our Guardian Angels, our lives would seem to miraculously improve. Less effort would be expended to fulfill our daily rounds. More love would swell in our often weary hearts. Moods would lift. Burdens would lift. Luck would reign upon us. All for the mere price of talking to the invisible. Outloud or telepathically, depending on who's in the room with us.

When we open our hearts and expand our minds, wings rush in to fill the space. Wings of the friendliest kind, the most loving kind, the most loyal kind. Wings that will lift us and steady us along the blueprint path of our lives. Wings that will enfold us and hold us in darkness and light.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I am being admonished to follow my intuition. To really stop and listen to that still, small voice within. To notice the nudges and nuances sprinkled throughout my waking life. I am being admonished to follow this deep well of reason and insight and unfailing guidance in order that I may come to know peace. In order that I may come to know the bare, unwavering strength of myself. In order that I may come to know God as It proclaims Itself through my being.

Intuition is God talking to Itself, guiding Itself and knowing Itself in Its infinitesimal forms. I am God. You are God. As such, we are never alone, never without aid, never without love. We are given instruction for everything we need. We are given the resources to live a unique and prosperous life. The instruction comes in the form of our intuition. The resources become available when we heed our intuition.

Intuition, or the voice of God, is the sudden but calm prompting we feel in our brains or our hearts. The prompting that says in the shower, "no, use the other shampoo today". The prompting that says on the drive to work, "Take the longer route this time". The prompting that says on the way to the station, "don't get on that train". Every prompting, nudge and still, small voice is guidance meant to improve our current circumstance. It is the Energy of Love sending the net to support our daily high wire act.

It is up to each of us to listen to and heed the guidance. We must make our own net appear. This takes practice. It takes noticing the voice and the nudge. And then it takes action, regardless of how potentially unreasonable the voice and the nudge may seem. With each successive action taken based on a voice and a nudge, and the resulting improved circumstance, we learn to trust our intuition. Eventually, we will stop and listen, even for half a beat, before embarking or deciding on anything. Because the voice of God has an opinion on everything. Always, always, a positive, life-affirming opinion.

When at first we heed and follow our intuition, resistance from outside sources will likely appear. Other people will doubt our decisions. They will do their best to dissuade us, to thwart us. Especially if they are deaf to their own intuitive promptings. We must not listen to them. We must not not change our course or direction or hesitation. Instead, we must the have the courage to follow God's tailor-made guidance for us, as individuals. Our lives are not about following the direction of others. Our lives are all about following our inner, intuitive direction.

Peace and inner strength and more prosperous lives are ours for the listening. Ours for the heeding and acting. Ours for the small price of being still, and knowing God is with us and in us.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Papal Christmas Blessings

Pope Innocent the 3rd's Christmas wish came true. He feels blessed beyond reason and deservability. It turns out the Pope wasn't asking St. Nick for a Harley or a plane ticket to Rome or a puppy or even an end to world hunger. Instead, he was asking and hoping and praying for a Spotted Dick. My voice went up an octave when I said, "You asked for a Spotted Dick for Christmas?? I hope you had the sense to ask for penicillin as well!"

It turns out the Pope meant his favorite British delicacy, not an STD. Good Lord. We now have 12 cans of raisin-studded pudding in the cupboard. When you're 6" tall, that's a lot of pudding. Not to worry, the Pope told me. He never gets sick of eating Spotted Dick.

Froliche Weihnachten!

I enjoy being first generation German at Christmastime. There's always chocolate covered marzipan. Baked goods fit to be served at the gates of heaven. A big Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange. And real candles on the tree.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Pope and The Saint

It was Kismet. Fate. The goodest of Luck. It was a red-velvet day. A banner day. A what-are-the-chances day. It was Sunday last when the Pope and me were out early at the market, shopping for flowers and cheese and a can of spam, when what to our wondering eyes did appear... But Saint Nicholas and his lovely bride, buying carrots for the reindeer.

Pope Innocent was so out-of-this-world excited to see his favorite Saint, he fainted and fell into our handbasket, right on top of the stinky-foot cheese. Luckily, the offensive odor revived him immediately. He stood up on the spam and began shouting, "Nicky, Nicky, over here. It's me, Inny!!" Right there, among the fruits and the nuts, the Pope and the Saint had a glorious reunion.

We snapped a quick photo with Nick and the Mrs, and the Pope gave his rather lengthy list of must-haves for Christmas. At one point, in the seemingly endless list, that jolly old elf blushed like a school boy. I was instantly worried Innocent was not living up to his name in his requests, and I turned to apologize to the Mrs for possible transgressions into the sex-toy department. It turns out, Mrs. Claus is hipper than we all knew. She winked at me and said, "Who do you think puts the tingle in Santa's jingle?" Well, now.

I finally had to wrestle Innocent off Nick's lap and let the couple finish their shopping in peace. When asked what my Christmas wish was, I hemmed and hawed and thought to ask for world peace. But instead, I was honest and said, "Viggo Mortensen, dressed in paint-splattered jeans and nothin' else". Mrs. Claus gave me a high five.

I hope there'll be room under the Christmas tree for the Pope's mother-lode. He won't even give me a hint as to what he asked for. As for me, I'm putting a tree on my nightstand, mistletoe on my headboard and a brick of Danish cheese under my pillow.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Everyday Miracles

I do not need state-of-the-art miracles. I do not need raising-the-dead miracles. I do not need lead to turn to gold, nor do I need bodies of water to part or be tread upon. To know that God exists, to know that I am a part of the great I AM, I need only everyday miracles.

Miracles are everywhere. They are mine and yours for the taking, the observing and the pleasuring in. The wing of a butterfly, the flight of a bird, the cleansing function of a liver, the purr of a cat, the muscles in the face that allow for a smile, the internet and the laugh of a child. Each one a miracle and an ordinary wonder of the world. If I am awake and aware, I find my life is crowded with miracles. Crowded with unbelievable creations and beauty and majesty. The most amazing thing about everyday miracles is this: the more I notice them and express my gratitude for them, the more miracles I become privy to.

This past April, while touring the streets of Berlin, I came upon a fleamarket. As I entered the grounds, I stated quietly to myself I would like to find for sale, a handwritten, German letter in one of the market stalls. In the first row, an older German man walked to the front of his stall as I approached. Without a word, he held a piece of folded paper out to me. He motioned for me to take it. I opened it up to find it was a handwritten, German letter dated 1904. I laughed and reached for my wallet to pay for it, and through interpretation, he said it was his gift to me. It was more than a gift from a complete stranger, it was synchronicity and telepathy and a stunning collision of higher forces working with ordinary means. It was a bona-fide everyday miracle.

There is no special season for miracles. No special occasion for miracles. No special key that will unlock the miracle vault. There is only my eyes and ears and lips and hands and heart and willingness to give and receive the miracles gifted by God everyday.

Thank you for your comments!

Yesterday, my friend, Lowell, told me he left a comment on my blog, but it needed my approval before it would appear. What??? Needed my approval? Holy cripe, I had no idea I needed to do that. So just now, I went into my "moderate comments" section of the Blogger dashboard and lordy, Lowell was right. There were 14+ comments going back to October waiting for my okay. How embarassing.

I clicked the appropriate buttons and now all hidden comments are revealed. And, lucky me, blessed me, they are all so kind and supportive. I wish to thank each person who left a comment about my writing or photos. I'm honored by your words. I especially wish to thank Pisces Project, dispenser of wisdom and truth. (I'm most sorry about not knowing your comments for this length of time...)

Shortly, I will be investigating each blog-site of those who have investigated mine. Again, gracious thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. In my world, Christmas just came early.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Great Equalizers

Today an acquaintance said to me, "Boy, you sure know how to work a room". He was commenting on a conversation he had overheard between me and a stranger. A conversation where I spoke to the stranger as if she were my friend. As if we spoke on a regular basis. The conversation was comfortable, funny and a mission was accomplished by the time we were finished speaking. Yes, there are times I can work a room. I can work it when I remember to approach people as if we are equals. And we are.

There is not one person I can think of that is more important than me. There is not one person you can think of that is more important than you. Exclusionary religious beliefs are the brain-children of small minds, but those small minds have the same importance and the same value as the sects, colors and genders they would deem inferior. In the workplace, the manager is the same as the janitor. No one is better or more worthy than another. We are actually all the same. How can I say this? Two words.

Blood and piss. ~ The great equalizers of humanity.

Underneath all the labeling, the name calling, the civil warring, the postulating, and the tiring prejudices, we are the same flesh and bone. Blood must flow. Urine must excrete. We are all designed the same. We are all birthed the same. And death will come to all of us. No label or name or discriminating thought will ever change this common bond. The heart of a Muslim or homosexual or Pagan or addict beats exactly the same as the others'. We all share a common core essence. The energy expended to dispel this inalienable truth continues to be the downfall of humanity.

We are all here on this plane of existence to learn. No one person's lessons are more important than another's. Every lesson is about letting more love into our lives. About honoring ourselves so we may honor others. About comprehending the sameness and glory and sheer beauty of our species. All the while we are learning and letting, honoring and comprehending, hearts are beating and bladders are emptying.

By nature of our very well-thought-out bodily design, we are rendered equals. Our common bond is sealed. When we remember this and act on this, there is no room we cannot work. There is no friend we cannot make. There is no mission of love we cannot accomplish.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Postcard From Tibet

I was beginning to feel abandoned. Left out. Left Behind, in a non-Christian Fundamentalist way. I was beginning to pout and reduce my Christmas list by one. Until today. At long last,I received a postcard from Tibet. It was signed by Pope Innocent the 3rd, my 6" tall side-kick and traveling companion. The postcard was tattered and slightly smeared from its lengthy journey, but the teeny-tiny handwriting was still legible. And the excitement was palpable.

After Pope Innocent's encounter with his Homey Lama, aka Dalai, back in September at the University of Buffalo, he made immediate plans to go on an extended Buddhist retreat in Tibet. To expand his mind, enlighten his soul, and spend time in the company of other men who live their lives in dresses. Innocent confided in me before I dropped him off at the airport back in October, that he hoped to find out the Buddhist Monks went commando under their robes. He felt his own choice of hanging free in the breeze would surely get him a ticket into the sacred Buddhist Brotherhood, where "comfort and simplicity" are the wardrobe mantras. Judging by the length of time he's been gone, the Brotherhood buys no stock in Fruit of the Loom.

The Pope wrote to me about learning Qigong, the power of concentrated awareness. About sitting in meditation for 1/2 days and full days. About chanting the Heart Sutra with its emphasis on selflessness and impermanence. About walking the path of the Bodhisattvas, those enlightened, genderless Beings.

I sensed great enthusiasm from the Pope's postcard about the wealth of spiritual knowledge he's gained from the Brotherhood. But to my secret delight, I also sensed homesickness. He plans to be home for Christmas, with a sack full of colorful presents from Tibet. His postcard postscript asked me to clear some space in the creche for his new-found lady love, Kuan-yin. Evidently, he wants his Goddess of Mercy to sit in contemplation beside the manger. He claims she's a good friend of his Beloved Mary. (I might have to put a cow or two out to pasture to accomodate another guest in the creche.)

Now that the Pope will be back in residence for the holidays, I find myself chanting the universal mantra of love and compassion, OM MANI PADME HUNG, to the tune of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas". And I can finish the last of my Christmas shopping. A gift certificate, for the Pope, to the Tatoo and Piercing Parlor on Elmwood Avenue. I'm placing bets he chooses the snow lion, symbol of fearless joy, for his bicep and an OM for his butt cheek. As for the piercing, I won't even venture a guess as to where he wants to dangle Kuan-yin.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Coincidence is defined as "an accidental occurrence of events or ideas at the same time". There is no such thing. Events or ideas that appear to be tied together by an invisible string and dangled into our waking lives are not accidents. They are not meer coincidences to be dismissed as unexplainable quirks in the space-time continuum. What we may call a coincidence is actually the voice of God speaking to us, attempting to get our attention and send us an important message. A message that could very well change our lives.

Think of coincidental events and happenings as a road map. A bread-crumb trail. A pathway to a better, more fulfilling life. God is constantly speaking to each of us, leading us down the road, the trail, or the path towards opportunities that would make us infinitely more blissful and balanced. Infinitely more healthy and wealthy. If we would only pay attention. If we would only acknowledge God's subtle language with a response. If we would only muster up the courage to set foot on the road, the trail, or the path that opens up before us when faced with a synchronistic meeting of ideas or people or events.

Next time you think of someone out of the blue and 2 hours later run into them at the gas station or Target, have the courage to approach them and start a conversation. Especially if starting that conversation feels uncomfortable. There is something important that each person has to say to the other. Some puzzle piece or bread crumb that each person holds for the other's life path. Somehow, the other person will have an answer or idea or tidbit of wisdom to bestow that will be more than timely. God loves to speak to us through each other and will arrange often-unlooked-for meetings to get Its message delivered. To lead us to better lives. However, we are regularly so engrossed in our mundane routines that we miss the connections or simply dismiss the opportunities and chance meetings as unimportant.

Every coincidental happening is important. If suddenly images of polar bears are everywhere we turn, or a book is mentioned to us 3 times in one week or a person stays stuck in our minds, don't dismiss this. Follow it. We must keep our eyes and ears wide open. We must ask God for clarity on what that bear or book or person has to tell us that applies to our lives right now. We must take action to get the answers. Google polar bears, read the book or contact the person. One tiny spark of information that comes from that source will impact our lives. Always for our betterment. Always for our highest good.

When we become awake to all the "coincidences" that happen to us every day of every year, when we dare, through conscious action, to follow the map laid out before us, our lives will improve. Our self-esteem will improve. Our hearts will lighten and we will feel what it is to lay in the palm of God's loving Hand.

{This post has been brought to you by a new computer, dressed in black, complete with a sexy, slim 17" monitor. Happy Holidays to me!}

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


There is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Each act of kindness that flows through the heart, hand and mind of a human being, birthing itself into the world, is a miracle. Is a gift. Is a pebble dropped in the center of a pond. An act of kindness is an opportunity for more light and goodness and love to be showered on the world, even a tiny corner of it. This is no small thing.

An act of kindness can change the life of the recipient. It can bring hope into despair, light into darkness. It can shift and open the mind of the recipient in ways that are unknowable prior to the act. It can be the long-awaited seed that nestles in the soil of a barren heart and gently coaxes a life into bloom.

An act of kindness can be as simple as listening to someone who is usually overlooked. As simple as making eye contact and smiling. As simple as a sincere compliment. It can be a plate full of homemade cookies or a warm hand placed on a spine. Whatever the chosen act of kindness, it is a statement that honors the value and inherent worthiness of the recipient. It affirms and confirms the they are deserving of peace and joy, love and help. It is a tip-of-the-hat to the God-essence within them.

Vow to be a bringer of miracles into the world. Vow to give more gifts that money can't buy. Vow to drop more pebbles into more ponds. Vow to be kind at every possible turn. To yourself, to your loved ones, to your neighbors, to the woman who passes you on the down escalator as you are riding up. There are no small acts of kindness. And there is no small need for more of them.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Only Truth

It's so easy to focus on the annoying, disappointing and seemingly wrong behavior exhibited in our friends and relations. It's so easy to find fault. It's so easy to blame. It's so easy to take the low road with sweeping judgments. It's time we collectively take the high road and focus on the good behavior, the kind behavior of our friends and relations. Even if it is rarely exhibited. Even if it is regularly sunk beneath the muck of fear. Because what we focus on, what we choose to hold in our minds regarding ourselves, our friends and our relations has the power to call forth the best or the worst. The truth or the falseness. The love or the not-love.

I once struck up a friendship with a European man. We came to know each other through correspondence. His letters were kind and respectful and fascinating. He opened up a new world for me with his European viewpoint and approach to life. I believe I did the same for him. We eventually met and spent a glorious day together, talking non-stop as if we were old friends. His presence felt so comfortable. So wonderful. We met again and again and again. Eventually, fears arose and the meetings became less comfortable and more stressful. Then they stopped and our friendship hung in mid-air, waiting for definition and clarification. It never came.

Although I'm not fond of unfinished business and even less fond of heartache, I have chosen to remember and focus on the original kindness and old-friend-comfort whenever he crosses my mind. Because that's who this man is. I witnessed the truth of this person. I witnessed the love he carries in his heart. Everything else I might have witnessed is false. Everything else is love suppressed by fear. Everything else is an illusion I choose not to focus on. This choice may never bring resolution to our stunted friendship, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I hold the best possible version of this man in my heart and mind. This will help to empower him and me to move forward in our lives and be less fearful with future friends and relations.

Love is our only truth. Everything else is false. Is an illusion. Is the antithesis of who we are. The cranky pants, the lies, the hurtful words, the indifference~ we are not those things, those behaviors. We are not our fears, no matter how often and how strongly they arise. We are pure love at the core of our being. We are kindness and respect. We are compassion and caring. We are better than we think we are. Our friends and relations are better than we sometimes give them credit for. Let's choose to focus on the goodness and the love we have witnessed in each other. Let's call forth our collective best. Let's be the truth that will heal and empower the world.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday Night Poetry

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be
your womb tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up on all other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness
and the sweet confinement of
your aloneness to learn,

anything or anyone

that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

By, David Whyte
from: House of Belonging

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


To resist is to suffer. Mentally, emotionally or physically. To resist whatever is going on right here, right now, is to guarantee discomfort. Whatever we resist will persist. The traffic, the waiting, the unconscious habits of other people. The illness, the debt, the thorn in the side. We make ourselves sad, angry, afraid, annoyed, impatient or downright miserable when we insist that what is happening in this very moment is not what we had in mind. Is not on our agenda. Is not what our egos would have invited to join our personal parade. We resist not being in total control of our over-inflated lives. As if we knew in every moment what was best for us.

Shit happens. Drama happens. Death happens. Suffering is optional in all of it. Resistance is a choice, however seemingly unconscious it appears to be. Resistance is a lack of trust in the Universe, in God Itself, that what is happening in this moment will spoil our good, deny our rights and keep our happiness at bay. None of this is possible. None of this is true. In every moment of our lives our good, our rights and our happiness are being served. Our all-important inner growth is given constant opportunity for evolution.

We cause problems for ourselves when we resist our opportunities. When we judge instead pardon. Blame instead of forgive. Stagnate instead of flow. Our purpose for incarnating on this plane of existence is to learn love, compassion, mercy and peace. Our moment to moment happenings are designed by a Wiser Mind than ours to ensure we have ample opportunity to attain that lofty goal.

The key to end suffering and attain that goal is acceptance. It is the sweet opposite of resistance. Acceptance knows the shockingly long grocery line will not altar our highest good or truly delay our plans. Acceptance knows the illness ravaging our body is possibly the only way to bring us to our knees and surrender the lifestyle that could otherwise kill us. Acceptance of everything that happens, moment to moment, is complete trust in God that we are foremost in Its mind and heart. That we are loved and cared for and never alone. To resist nothing and accept what is, grants us love, compassion, mercy and the keys to the Peaceable Kingdom.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Creative Explosion

October finally arrived in Buffalo. At the end of November. The Old-Guys-Harley-Gang fired up their bikes across the street and rumbled off to soak up the sunshine and warm breezes. I stayed closer to home and fired up my creativity. In a flurry not seen since God-knows-when, I whipped up all my outdoor holiday decor from limbs of storm-damaged trees. I cut and pasted and painted 2 collages. And I obeyed the biggest urge of all, to go trekking through the trees with my digital camera.

The creative explosion felt so damn good, I almost need a cigarette now that it's done. I'm glistening, satisfied and ready for more. At the end of November, it feels more like springtime in my soul. It feels like I've passed through another doorway. It feels like the energy of love has parked the bulldozer it drove through my life for the last 2 months and is shining up the gondola. I begin accepting applications for a handsome Gondolier first thing in the morning.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Long Conversation

We've been conversing, you and me, for some time and no time. It feels like years, it has been years, yet our conversations are always timeless. Limitless. Effortless. There is always so much to say, so much to share. Your whispers are like waves caressing the shores of my being. Your energy presses against me in the silence.

Clear twilight with a Cheshire-cat moon and spoonfuls of stars bring us closer. We walk together among trees and sit peacefully by waterfalls, catching droplets that swim through the air. We read the ripe, romantic words of Pablo Neruda. We linger over Earl Grey and its bergamot perfume. We take refuge in shades of blue. Cerulean for me, sapphire for you. We wake in the sweet stillness of the night, having dreamt of each other.

Always,always, there is the conversation, the murmuring of love sonnets, the calling attention to beauty. Always there is the reassurance that one moment in time, one moment in no time, our eyes and souls will meet. At that moment, the flames of our twin hearts will melt away the years and the long conversation will begin again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Angels of Mercy

Close your eyes and picture an angel. Flowing robe? Large wings? Halo? Harp? Yes? And no. For your information, angels come in all disguises and manner of dress. Most have wings we cannot see. Many walk the earth. I don't doubt you've met them, but you may not be aware you have. I regularly look for angels. Two nights ago, two of them followed me home.

Knowing my life would change for the better, I willingly let them in. The angels immediately filled my home with kindness. We sat at my kitchen table and had strawberries and tea. I also offered them chocolate, knowing full well that anyone of a heavenly nature would never refuse that divine confection.

As I would have expected, the angels were gracious and filled with loving energy. They sat on either side of me and encouraged me to share my story. My story of things and events I have held back, crushed down and generally do not speak of. They held a safe space in which to purge and cleanse my soul. They listened carefully and withheld judgement. They were kind and caring and merciful. They reminded me I have all knowledge within me. I have all truth within me. I have all the love within me I will ever need.

Just before the angels departed for their next mission of mercy, one groovy, orange-and-yellow drinking glass dropped to the floor and shattered into shards of stars. The bookend to the groovy glass that shattered 2 months earlier. It was a wonderful sign and a welcome parting gift. Things of my past that have held me down are surely falling away. My heart and my mind are becoming more connected and clear.

I opened my door, and with soul-deep gratitude, I watched as the angels drifted into the night. What a blessing they were. What precipitators of forward movement. What bastions of love.

Just so I would know they were real and not figments, I walked back into my home to find downey white feathers marking the spot where each shard of glass, moments before, had foretold my progress, my truth, my knowledge and my love.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


To truly move past an issue, event, disruption or heartache, we must become grateful for its presence. We must become grateful for its lessons. Its opportunities. Its exact, right timing in invoking needful inner growth. No matter what the circumstance, we must be grateful it happened. And we must be sincere in our gratitude, or the pain, the anxiety and the victim-mentality will seep into our marrow and discolor the way we interact with the vast beauty of the world.

Gratitude is the golden key that unlocks the prison of the heart and the mind. Gratitude brings us out of denial and into acceptance. It lifts us out of chaos and into order. It removes us from confusion and brings forth clarity. It allows us to see that all we have, right here, right now, is all we truly need. It allows us to see that our lives are enough. That our lives are valuable. That our lives have meaning. No matter what illness we have, no matter what money we have or don't have, no matter who is or isn't in our lives.

Gratitude is also the golden key to moving us into more loving, prosperous circumstances. By helping us to let go of staleness, it ushers in freshness in the form of new people and new opportunities. It allows the previously unimagined to present itself. It allows greater life into life.

Gratitude is the last sentence that allows the painful chapter to be done. If gratitude was the prayer we uttered before beginning anything, our lessons and inner growth would be less painful. Our clarity would not waver. Our value would not be in question. An attitude of gratitude makes sense of our past, invokes peace in our present and paves a love-filled road to our future.

{Thank you, God, for the slow, hard-drive-crashing death of my present computer. No, I cannot add digital photos to my blog posts at present, and I've lost many stored things, but this event has allowed me to think more highly of myself and enter the 21st century. I have ordered a custom built computer, with a sexy, sleek black and silver flat screen. And a boatload of gigabytes to let me post pictures to my heart's content.}

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Any minute now, the planet Mercury will move out of retrograde. Forward movement will resume. Communication, in all its forms, will cease to be garbled, stunted and misinterpreted. Contracts can be safely signed. Commitments can be made. Unexpected delays will dissolve. Panties can be unbunched.

Early this morning, in anticipation of the blessed Mercurial event, I hung up my pity-party hat, undug my heels from the mud of resistance and allowed the missing mojo to seep back into my brain. Anxiety and turmoil are no longer the words of the day. The new word is commitment. Commitment to my new job and the flower-strewn path it will lead me down. Commitment to my ever-evolving spiritual journey and the inspiring people I'm beginning to bond with. Commitment to invoking romance and beauty whether or not I wake up alone.

To be committed to something~ a person, place or thing~ requires restriction and loss on some level. It requires giving up something that was previously deemed valuable. But without commitment, the fullness of life can never truly be tasted. The depths of a person, place or thing can never be experienced, savored and realized. Without commitment, one remains at the surface. Safe. Clean. Unscathed. And empty. Without commitment, talent remains shrouded. Health deteriorates. Love is squandered.

Commitment, when surrendered to, reveals newer, more meaningful values. Restriction and loss lead to previously unimagined freedom. Every commitment to a person, place or thing is, at its core, a commitment to the self. The self that is connected to God. The self that honors God. The self that is God.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Quest For Balance

The other day, I saw a snippet of an interview with Tiger Woods. He was asked, after winning 8 PGA tournaments this year, what was the best aspect of his life? Without hesitation Tiger answered, "The balance I have between my personal life and my professional life. I work hard every day to keep that balance". Before he uttered those profound and timely words, I was not-so-secretly in love with My Tiger. Now, I'm simply done-for regarding that man. Handsome, hardworking, committed and now, way-shower. But, since I wouldn't want to disrupt his balance and his wife is annoyingly gorgeous, I'll keep my fantasy life in check and instead, follow his example as best I can.

My quest is for balance. In all areas of my life. This takes monumental, sustained effort. This takes patience. I have come to realize lately, I need to take it a step beyond Tiger's example. I need a balance between my personal, professional and spiritual life. I need a Trinity.

Coincidentally, my Trinity is in turmoil. As my new spiritual friend, Lowell, wisely advised me, the bowl of my life has been shaken and stirred by the energy of love. Nothing is where it previously was. Balance is currently impossible. But love is working its magic beneath the anxiety and turmoil. The contents of my personal Trinity are settling. Some things are falling away. Some things will be newly revealed. Balance will come. And so will the blooming.

Lowell reminded me I'm on the exact right path and soon I will see, feel, taste, touch and know the upheavel was purposeful. Love is like a bulldozer at times. A merciful pruner of dead weight. An Undertaker.

The key to my quest for balance lies in my willingness to receive love, not just give it. As I muster up the courage and daring to receive love, I will attract into my life the people and circumstances that will sweetly and serenely balance my Trinity. I will then stand in the center and know my life is Holy.

{As part of the realignment and balancing of my professional life, my floral design skills are being called to the forefront again. Pictured above is an autumn centerpiece I recently created for a public event.}

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Gift of Patience

It is here, on the edge of the dark moon phase of my astrological chart, the eve of my personal new year, I stand with arms held out and palms facing up. Energy has been confused and chaotic. Clarity has been elusive. But now, in my open left hand, rests a copy of the English Patient. A recent, lucky find. Its words and phrases have gently woken the sleeping, poetic rivers of my blood. Inlets have begun flowing in my veins and pooling around the flood gates of my heart. The ebb has waned. The flow is arriving. Gifts are washing up at my feet.

The most welcome gift to suddenly arrive is the gift of patience. It is a many-layered gift. With it comes sanity. Inner peace. Warm solitude. Love. It is the gift I've prayed for and longed for and struggled for. Like the blanket of a lover's body, patience has calmed me and comforted me and fortified me to carry on. It has grounded me and given the inlets terrain to begin their flow. It is the foundation on which my love and my life can build.

Patience allows foibles. It allows fears to come up and move on. It allows each inner season to manifest fully in its own God-directed time. It allows sweet memories of tomatoes and passion to be enough until the time is ripe for more.

Patience cannot be forced. It must be surrendered to. It comes when the struggle is too much to bear and shoulders finally relax. It comes when instincts are acknowledged and heeded. When trust of the self is given. When control is released and Life is placed back in the hands of the Creator Of All Things.

Here on the edge and the eve of my new year, I am gifted with contentment, warmth and patience. With a passionate book and a bowl of grape tomatoes.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In Praise of the Unexpected

Among the gaping jack o'lanterns perched on porches around Akron, these painted and bejeweled beauties took me by surprise. How unexpected. How creative. How mind expanding. Who knew that pumpkins did not necessarily have to remain orange? The silver, the blue, the black and the gold spun my insides around and gave me a little thrill. I felt grateful for the quirkiness and the beauty that surfaces when one steps outside the box. When one dares to let the unexpected happen.

I've been living outside my box, my comfort zone for some time now. With people and with choices. I've dared to let the unexpected in, to see what my life could be like beyond the borders of my narrow queendom. I admit it's been unnerving. At times, nerve-wracking. I have had many moments of doubt and simmering discomfort. But tonight I choose to settle my nerves with awareness of how good living outside my box feels.

It feels like adventure.
It tastes like freedom.
It smells like home.

It is expanding my mind, expanding my heart, expanding my soul. It is priming me for great love to wash up on the shore of my narrow queendom and sweep me out into the larger, more bountiful sea.

Courage is what I ask for from the Universe now. Courage to stay open to the unexpected. Courage to praise whatever comes for however long it stays. Courage to keep the doors of my heart flung wide, and the gates of fear shut tight. Courage to keep seeing the beauty outside the box.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Late Afternoon Sanity

Finally, a beautiful autumn day. And unexpected sanity maitenance time in the waning afternoon. I was drawn to visit a small patch of woods in the Village of Akron. Familiar territory for me. The storm has left its mark, but beauty still remains.

Warm sunlight on altered wood. A nest slung low, woven with one white strand of ribbon. A close-up view of a 3 1/2" golden crowned kinglet hopping amid fallen branches. The smell of damp earth and leaf litter. Hope and promise of rebirth.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

To Decide What Matters

The winds of change are blowing through Buffalo today. As if we haven't been through enough changes. The massive cleanup of "Arborgeddon", (a catchy description of our October storm, as headlined in our cultural newspaper Artvoice.) continues. Massive trucks and multitudinous men are methodically removing massive piles of dead wood. Removing the bones from yard and curb and heaping them into mountains in parking lots throughout the region. The mountains of ground-up bones are steaming.

The aftershock of this natural disaster continues to keep many people unsettled and agitated. Long after the media deems a disaster uninteresting, the effects and the recovery linger in the cells of the region's inhabitants. Ask anyone who's been through the fire, the flood or the quake.

We are agitated because our cells are rearranging. A cleansing has been forced upon us. Ready or not. We are being asked to consider and reconsider what is truly important to us. As individuals and as a community.

Today I am considering and analyzing and making note of what matters to me. Of what my needs are. Of what I will accept into my life and where I must draw the boundary lines. I am considering what I need to feel safe and supported. What I need to feel loved and fulfilled.

While thinking these deep, analytical thoughts, comfort is a necessity. I'm gorging on marzipan and slurping rose petal tea. With all this sugar and caffeine running through my veins, I expect to have redefined my entire life by Tuesday. By Wednesday, I may have decided to move to Scotland and raise sheep or spend 3 months sampling Italy's wines and cuisines. Or I may have decided that communication is the new #1 priority in my waking moments. Or that I need to make meditation a more regular practice.

Whatever I decide, whatever anyone affected by this or any other storm decides, if the decisions made to improve on life are grounded in the energy of love and kindness and respect for the self, the storm, with its agitation and loss, will have served its higher purpose.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vade Mecum

After any storm, there comes the void. The pause in time when the inner and outer landscapes are irrevocably altered. When all must be reconceived, redefined, reborn. Like the storm-battered trees around Buffalo, I have spilt apart from myself. Old limbs, old issues, old doubts, all visibly piled around me. Some issues and doubts have been ground up and carted away. Some are piled at the curb awaiting removal. Some are still attached and dangling.

For weeks I have watched myself from across the room, standing guard as I wrestle with the broken limbs of my past. The broken limbs that have weighed me down and blocked my path to a greater realization of love. While wrestling and hauling and grinding my inner debris, I have felt hollow. I have felt weak. Information has been withheld. Decisions have not come easy. Commitment to anything has been impossible.

Just when I thought the void was permanent, I hear myself from across the room. I say clearly and definitively, "Vade Mecum". Come with me. I offer myself red roses and beckon myself to step beyond the broken limbs, broken dreams, and broken hearts. I lead my reconceived, redefined and reborn self back to my shelves of metaphysical books. Back to my canvases and papers. Back to my computer. Back to the heart that will never abandon me. My own.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday Night Poetry

When it's cold and raining,
you are more beautiful.

And the snow brings me
even closer to your lips.

The Inner Secret~
that which was never born~
You are that freshness,
and I am with you now.

I can't explain the goings,
or the comings.
You enter suddenly,
and I am nowhere again.
Inside the majesty.

Jelaluddin Rumi
Born 1207
Scholar and teacher who attained spiritual enlightenment,
and transformed into an artist, writing ecstatic poetry.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Since October 12th, 400,000 people in the Buffalo, NY area have been without power for varying lengths of time. 5,000 people from around the country have been working feverishly to fix downed lines and restore the lost power. Their efforts continue, with an estimated completion date of Sunday October 22nd. Everywhere I go, people are asking, "Do you have power?" I am keenly aware that no one is phrasing the question as, "Do you have electricity?" There is a message and a metaphor in the question. There is a lesson to be learned and an opportunity to be taken. If enough people grasp the message and take the opportunity, this area will shift on its axis.

The message is about personal power and the need to cultivate it to a much greater degree. Personal power is the ability to live a balanced life, largely free of chaos. Personal power is the ability to respond to a situation in a self-supportive manner, instead of reacting to a situation and feeling victimized. Having personal power means you know how to take care of all your needs. It means you know when to ask for help and when you can help yourself. It means maintaining personal boundaries and having the courage to enforce them when someone would seek to infringe their will on you (however well intentioned they appear to be). It means speaking up for yourself. It means being pro-active in getting what would support you. It means having enough self-respect to ask and get clarity about things that matter to you.

Personal power comes when you feed yourself properly. When you have enough candles and batteries in your emergency stash. When you walk away from abusive circumstances. When you fill your own coffers first and give generously from the ensuing overflow, instead of draining your personal energy on behalf of some one else.

Personal power comes when you stop being so blasted critical of yourself. When you stop trying to control others around you and let them be who they were born to be. When you stop denying your gut instincts and let yourself be who you were born to be.

Personal power comes when you extend love instead of criticism. When you extend love instead of sarcasm. When you simply extend love instead of withholding it.

To live without power is to live an uncomfortable life. You need it, both personal and electrical, to take command of the vast opportunities this world has to offer. To take command of yourself and light up our life.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beauty in the Aftermath

Nature is my church and my spiritual sanctuary. Trees are the priests, the shamans, the goddesses. Regularly, I get a deep pull within my being to strap on my water-proof hiking boots and receive spiritual wisdom in the great outdoors.

Today, the pull was stronger than usual. I was prompted to find the beauty in the aftermath. To walk among the discarded limbs and leaves sprinkling prayers and blessings. To touch the trunks of those left standing and whisper words of encouragement. I was prompted to give back to Nature what it unfailingly gives to me: solace, love and spiritual peace.

I started in Russell Park, the beautiful green space in the center of the Village of Akron. I walked around and over the remains of long-lived oaks and chestnuts. I asked that the highest good be done for all the trees. I asked for blessings on the transformation of this beloved public space.

I then headed for Akron Falls Park. Murder Creek was a torrent. The long path to the water fall was blocked by dozens of fallen trees. Regardless, I crawled over and under the mangled maze. I splashed through newly created streams of melted snow-water. I sloshed through thick mixtures of orange leaves and slush. And while I crawled and splashed and sloshed the trees spoke to me. They said over and over and over, "We are still here...We are still here."

I began to see the beauty. In everything. The wet leaves on snow. The wet leaves in water. The artistic, sculptural quality to the twisted, broken limbs. The power and majesty that 24" of melted snow adds to a water fall. And the newly-created "keyhole" tree, standing guard and asking all passersby to find the spiritual key that unlocks the wisdom within.

October Snowstorm~ Russell Park

October Snowstorm~ My Neighborhood

October Snowstorm~ My Place