Monday, July 31, 2006

Dreaming of Alaska

We're having a heatwave in Buffalo. Not being a fan of tropical weather, I'm currently dreaming of Alaska.

My dreams of Alaska are realistic. 18 years ago, I drove there. From Buffalo. In a little, 4-door, silver Nissan that belonged to my highschool girlfriend, Lauren. Lauren was living and going to graduate school in Anchorage. She was commiting to staying in America's last frontier and needed the car she left in Buffalo to join her. I volunteered to reunite them. I took along the younger sister of a friend and together we covered the 4,392 miles between Buffalo and Anchorage in 9 days.

It was the drive of a lifetime. The Alaska Highway, as it wound through British Columbia, was scenic, quirky and endearing. The Alaska Highway, rolling through the Yukon Territory, left me speechless. The scenery coming continually towards me through the windshield was so intense, so pristine, so shatteringly gorgeous, I had to periodically close my eyes. To allow my brain to keep taking in the heightened beauty it had never before experienced.

I spent 2 weeks with Lauren traveling the lower portions of Alaska. Being twice the size of Texas, there's alot to see. We visited Denali Park and drove hairpin, gravel-studded curves to catch a full view of the rarely visible Mt. McKinley. We drove down to the coast and visited my favorite town, Homer. We stayed up all night in Homer, hanging at the Blue Dolphin Saloon, talking with Halibut fishermen. In our quest to visit the island home of the infamous Kodiak brown bear, we endured two, 10 hour, Dramamine-popping rides huddled in sleeping bags on the frigid top deck of the Alaska Ferry. We saw no brown bears on Kodiak Island, but we stayed on a World War 2 ship-turned-cannery, learned about the processing of seafood as it comes right from the sea, and ate the best tasting fish on planet earth.

In Alaska, the people are genuine and more true to themselves. In Alaska, the word freedom is not just a word, it is a palpable energy. In Alaska, 18 years ago, I was forever imprinted with the understanding of the sacred virtues of Nature. I was imprinted with the craving for adventure. And I was imprinted with the knowing that my ultimate goal in this life, the last frontier of my existence, is to be true to myself.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Elephant Chronicles

I have always been attracted to elephants. In kindergarten, my self-declared best accomplishment was a crayon drawing of an elephant. I used the anatomically correct grey crayon. Twenty years ago, I wrote an impassioned letter to the editor of the Buffalo News about the need to stop the slaughter of African elephants for ivory. Three years ago, I employed creativity as part of a needful healing process and drew my second elephant. This time, I used red and purple colored pencils. The pachyderm, symbol of caring, emotions, societal ideals and personal strength, has proven to be a life-long totem.

Last night, I came upon a National Geographic Channel program on elephants that are attacking people. 500 people a year are dying from sudden, unexpected elephant rampages. Largely occurring in the Far East, the rampages are even occurring in American zoos and circuses. The most distressing scenes involved a female circus elephant crushing 2 handlers to death in front of the paying audience. The elephant, wearing red tassels, leg cuffs and head plate, was then seen charging into the street. 100 rounds of ammunition were pumped into the tasseled elephant before she died on the pavement between parked cars. By this time into the program I was sobbing.

In the Far East, young male elephants in rut are the ones causing the most mayhem and death. Herds of females with their young are causing damage to crops and even, on occasion, destroying small villages in search of missing calves. All of this was puzzling and painful to watch. Until the program started to offer explanations.

What is happening across the planet, with regard to elephant attacks, is the result of years of accumulated human assault on this species. Destruction of elephant habitat has caused a battle between farmers and herds. The herds are losing. Poaching and culling (systematic thinning of adult populations with firearms) have created vast numbers of orphaned elephants. Most orphaned elephants are witness to the slaughter of their parent. Most orphaned elephants are subjected to war-zone trauma.

Elephants are so much like humans. All young elephants need the adults to teach them how to be elephants. All young elephants learn more by experiencing, than by instinct. They live in tight, social, supportive family networks. They experience post-traumatic stress disorder. They have breaking points.

It appears to be the elephant orphans that are on the attack. It appears the human disregard and disrespect for the needs and value of this species has caused a dire imbalance in the natural Order of Elephant. Dangerous, young males in rut would naturally be quelled and subdued by older bull elephants in the bachelor herds. But there aren't enough older bulls left standing. All the captive elephants that have attacked their handlers were orphaned and captured in the wild. Their 12 pound brains do not forget injuries. Elephants, like humans, are known to seek revenge if the opportunity arises.

After the program ended, I had to mop my face. I felt helpless knowing my totem animal is careening out of balance, rocketing towards extinction in a matter of decades. I felt helpless knowing I am but one person, living far from elephants. I felt helpless not knowing how to make a difference.

And the most overwhelming, helpless thing is this: it's not just elephants that are in danger on this planet. It's not just elephants that are losing ground every day to the exploits, the gluttony and the arrogance of humanity. It's whales, polar bears, baby seals, frogs, wild horses and the entire rainforest eco-system. The list could go on for 3 more pages.

I don't like feeling helpless. It's counter-productive. I sat in silence until the helplessness was washed away by soft-spoken answers filtering into my brain. Step 1: resolve to pray for the highest possible good of the entire elephant species. Pray every day. Step 2: resolve to pray for the highest possible good of the humans in position to actively reverse the damage inflicted on wild and captive elephants. Pray every day. Step 3: investigate elephant conservation organizations and find out ways I can contribute. Step 4: take responsibility for my part in consuming less and easing the strain on natural resources. Step 5: share what I'm learning about the plight of elephants.

One person's positive energy makes a difference. It makes a difference in any cause in which it is focused. And when singular, positive energies are joined by other singular, positive energies, on the physical or mental planes, the Red Sea will part and lives will be saved. Species will be saved. And the planet we call home, will be saved.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pot of Gold

Every one has access to a pot of gold. That access, however, may appear to elude us for years, decades or an entire lifetime. We may search and strive and suffer to find our pot of gold. We may chase rainbows. We may hunt Leprechauns. We may give up entirely, believing the pot is only there for a chosen few to find. But the pot of gold remains, shining and overflowing and accessible to any who know where to look.

The all-access key to the pot of gold can be found in the chambers of the heart. Every heart. Yours, mine, and the guy down the street. Within the chambers lies the vital, yet often dormant talent that God encoded there. A talent no one else in the world will possess. A talent no one else in the world will be able to imitate. A talent uniquely our own, waiting and hoping to see the grand light of day.

Wealth, fulfillment or the pot of gold is really a consequence, a natural outpouring of using the God-given talent within us. Often, we have many talents. How do we know which one is the true access point to the pot of gold? Our hearts would answer: It is the talent that most serves humanity. It is the talent and interest we can sustain day after day, year after year. The talent we would choose to express if we never got paid a dime to use it. The talent that brings us the most inner joy.

Access to our own pot of gold is therefore a choice. A choice to discover or cover, use or deny the singular talent, the singular expression of God found within the chambers of our hearts.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the arrival of my German interpreter, aka my mother, in America. At 17, she fully committed herself to being in America, despite a difficult transition. She learned the language and chose to become a citizen.

After 50 years, my mother is decidedly American. Though, along with her accent, her German heritage is still evident by the number of occasions that must be celebrated. In Germany, if you build a shed in your backyard, the finished shed must be celebrated. A party must ensue. Food and beverage must flow. So a 50th anniversary of anything is at the tippy-top of a long list of excuses for celebration.

Last evening, my mother received red roses with spangled ribbons and dinner out for steak. Next month, when the 50th anniversary broadens to include my twin Uncles and Grandmother, aka my Oma, the celebration will go from modest to loud and proud. Friends and relatives will be invited from all points on the compass. 50 years of love and gratitude for America will be joyfully expressed in food, wine, stories and song.

I love this cultural quirk. This finding of any excuse to gather and glory. This inner need to celebrate. Because the world needs a balancer and a balm for all the misery and mayhem that parades across the nightly news. The world needs a joyful party. The world needs every birth and graduation and recovery and shed to be celebrated. And it is up to each individual, each family group, each collection of kindred souls to add to and keep the party going. Until the swelling of love and good will and food for all becomes the only parade on the nightly news.

{ My mother and me on the observation tower of St. Michael's church in Hamburg, Germany. Celebrating a windy and wonderful day.}

Monday, July 24, 2006

Do What You Can

Stop waiting for your train to arrive. Stop waiting for your courage to arrive. Stop waiting. Stop waiting. Stop waiting. If there is a dream you harbor for yourself, a fantasy you wish to fulfill, a goal you long to achieve, follow the advice of Teddy Roosevelt and do what you can, with what you have, right where you are. Stop waiting for the perfect circumstance, the right amount of money or a break in your schedule. None of these will come. They will all elude you until you take your dream in hand and start something. Anything. Take the smallest part of your dream for yourself and just do it.

If you dream of being a pastry chef, start baking. If you dream of being an author, start writing. If you dream of rescuing animals, rescue one. If you dream of saving the world, save yourself. It doesn't matter if you start small, even miniscule, compared to what you hope to achieve. What matters is the starting.

The Universe responds to the intention and the energy you send out when you take action on behalf of your dream. The response at first will be small. Keep baking. The response will grow in proportion to the energy you invest. Keep writing. Keep rescuing. Keep saving.

Momentum will build. Courage will build. Connections will build.

Keep your energy and your intention focused on your dream and what you have, right where you are will be enough. It will be enough for your dream-train to arrive in perfect time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I live next to a sub-station for the all-volunteer Akron Fire Department. The station houses vintage Engine #1 from 1951 and Ladder #6. Engine #1 has been retired to the parade circuit. Ladder #6 is current and functional.

Depending on the tone of the fire alarm rung in the center of town, Ladder #6 sits idle or zooms out of the station. The rumble of the diesel engine vibrates against my windows. The swirling red lights dance down my walls. Because Ladder #6 lives on a residential street, the siren is silent until it is well on its way. At 3:17am, this is appreciated.

Every time cars screech into the parking lot, firemen fly out of their vehicles, and the engine of Ladder #6 is fired up, I rush to my window. I want to witness this call to service, this choice to shift gears on a dime, this selfless act of extending care and protection to strangers. I rush to my window to say a prayer aloud for the safety of the men who sacrifice and serve.

Because volunteer firemen are the first band of brothers. Volunteer firemen are mercy and goodness and love set in motion. They are the unsung heroes of everday living. They are the prototype of the balanced male channeling energy for the betterment of humanity. They are the reminders to live a less selfish life.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I've made decisions. I've taken action. I've focused my energy. I've knelt, I've laughed, I've stilled my mind. I've taken small risks. I've tried new things. I've whispered sweet nothings in my own ear. All in support of opening my heart and opening my life. Suddenly, Providence has moved.

The Powers That Be feel as if they are supportng me more because I am supporting myself. In our energy-filled Universe, where like vibrates with like, the decision to more lovingly support myself has caused the manifestation of more goodness in my life. The opportunity for that goodness is always there, right in front of me. But only when I eat, sleep and breathe loving kindnes towards myself can I see the opportunities. Can I embrace the opportunities. Can I live the opportunities.

My goodness has come in many and varied forms of late. One highlight was a short-notice opportunity to hear Matthew Fox, the world-reknowned spiritual rabble-rouser, give an impassioned talk at a Buffalo church. Matthew spoke about the need to invoke more social justice, compassion and love in our religious lives. He spoke about the need to turn our focus off the shameful discrimination of homosexuals, a full 10% of any population, and channel that energy towards saving Nature before we completley destroy it. He spoke about the need to honor the feminine as fully equal to the masculine. He spoke about the need to channel the male, warrior energy away from creating war and destruction and towards saving the environment and defending the family. To my utter delight, Matthew even spoke about embracing the archetypical feminine energy represented by Mary Magdalene.

A second highlight was the glorious opportunity to attend Summer Floral Camp. A 2-day retreat for floral designers. Led by Peter, the infamous Dutch floral designer, our small group was instructed on the newest, most sought-after looks in the world of cut flowers. Lectures and laughter and hands-on design opportunities made for a fruitful experience. Much to my amazement, we each took home the arrangements we created. My home is now laden with 114 flowers (I counted) in varied vases and containers. Each arrangement feels like a trophy to my success for increasing my kindness towards myself. 114 gates to my heart.

It feels good to quell the inner critic. It feels good to be more respectful of my boundaries. To say "yes" to myself more often. To accept the skin that I'm in. It feels good and right and delightfully heady to have Providence back on my side.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mary Magdalene

The Feast of Mary Magdalene is held every year on July 22nd. It is celebrated most enthusiastically in parts of Spain, Southern France and Italy. The feasting began in the 8th century. Twelve hundred years ago. It continues today. However, in the 21st century, the Feast of Mary Magdalene is becoming a much bigger banquet.

Mary Magdalene is now a movement and a social phenomenon. She gained momentum in the 20th century when the Nag Hammadi Library, a trove of Gnostic texts, was discovered in Egypt in 1945. The texts were written in Coptic language. The translation was stalled until 1977 when James Robinson published a startling English translation. In the texts were numerous gospels, one named "The Gospel of Mary". The only gospel ever found to be named for a woman. In it, Mary Magdalene appears to be revealed as the primary Apostle. The person most favored by Christ.

In 1982, the spotlight shown again on Mary with the publication of the book
Holy Blood, Holy Grail. The book's authors, Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh, proposed that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. That they conceived a child. That Mary traveled to Gaul while pregnant. That her womb was and is the Holy Grail.

In 2003, Dan Brown wrote the explosive and controversial novel, The Da Vinci Code. About the revelation and protection of the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. As of this year, 30 million people world wide have read it. More have seen the movie. Mary Magdalene is now a global force.

Although Mary's status as the Biblical whore was retracted by the Christian powers that be in the late 1960's, to many religious-minded people, she will forever be the prostitute. The whore. The woman in need of repenting. The symbol, along with Eve, of the "inherent" inferior nature of the feminine.

To those who have opened their hearts and minds to the possibility of Mary Magdalene being much more than the patriarchal church has revealed, there are two main factions. One faction honors Mary Magdalene as the primary Apostle. The other honors her as the Holy Grail. Undoubtedly, there are countless variations that lie between the two. Just as it should be. Because no one theory or belief in the worlds of religion and spirituality is resonant with every heart.

If there wasn't something crucial needed in today's world, the archetype of Mary Magdalene would not be so newsworthy. She would still be cast in shadows. She would still be bare-breasted, kneeling, repentant and submissive.

In 2006, she is not.

In 2006, Mary Magdalene has burst to the surface. She is wearing royal robes. She is holding her head up. She is smiling. She is crowned.

Mary Magdalene is opening hearts and opening dialogue. Her energy is needed as the balancing of humanity and planet earth shifts into 4th gear. She is the energy and the archetype of the feminine standing side-by-side with the masculine. She is the energy of equality. She is the weakened yin force resurrected and renewed, ready to balance the overly yang force still dominating the planet. She is the herald of the return to honoring the feminine. She is the herald of the return to love.

{The Mary Magdalene wood carving pictured above resides in a small, Protestant church called "The Church by the Sea" in Schobull, Germany. She is carved in a line with the 12 male Apostles. The artist carved her at the head of the line.}

Thursday, July 13, 2006


To be healed is to agree to be healed. There is no cure for our ills unless we accept and trust and participate in our own healing. There is no cure unless we follow our instincts. To the letter. Because we know and our bodies know what we need to be healed. Of everything.

The direction and prescription to cure our personal imbalances lie within the stillness of our minds and the openness of our hearts. Stilling the mind requires us to breathe deeply and consistently until the fears that run wild through our waking moments slow to a crawl. Opening our hearts requires us to spread wide our arms, thrust forward our breast bones and tilt chins to the sky. In the presence of a still mind and an open heart, instincts are revealed. Answers are revealed. Miracles are set in motion.

While still and open, whispers can be heard urging us to take action on our own behalf. Urging us to allow ourselves to be healed. "Call a doctor. Call a friend. Stop drinking. Forgive your father. Get acupuncture. Say no. Take vitamins. Research options. Walk away. Accept touch. Eat less. Stop lying. Cry."

Our instincts may lead us away from convention or they may lead us directly to it. Whatever the stilled and opened impulse is, we must follow it. Trust it. Act on it. Accept it. Consistently and with patience. We must agree to give our whole selves over to the process of healing. We must know that we know what to do for ourselves. We must agree the cure for everything lies within.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Orange is the color of joy. It is also the color of relationships, sex, play and creativity. It is associated with the 2nd chakra, or energy system, of the body. Located just below the navel.

Orange is the color to choose when feeling depressed, creatively blocked, or at odds with relations. It is the color to choose when life gets too serious. It is the color to choose when fear of change gets in the way.

Wear it. Eat it. Drink it. Hold it.

Orange is said to be an appetite stimulant, an aid to digestion and a boost to the immune system. Kitchens and dining rooms promote a healthy relationship with food when painted in shades of orange.

The vibrational energy of the color orange helps to release emotions and improve self-esteem. It renews a healthy interest in life. It renews a healthy interest in sex. Buy a popsicle-orange g-string and see what comes up.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Bridge~ Chapter 2

I've been converted. I'm now one of those women who may just launch herself across a room when a baby enters it. At least I'll launch for little Miss Eleanor.

I had the deep, good fortune this past weekend to have a 2nd bridge-building session with my cousin's daughter, Eleanor, the 9 week old master architect. Eleanor is teaching me to build a bridge between my heart and my mind. A bridge that allows more love and goodness to flow into my life. Eleanor, in ca-hoots with angels and faeries and God Itself, has made it her early mission in life to burst open the doors of my tentative heart. In this 2nd session, she used dynamite.

I am now smitten and gushing and addicted. Like the Grinch, I swear my heart grew so big holding Eleanor, I think it burst out of my blue shirt. It's shear genius on the part of the Universe to employ a seemingly innocent, non-threatening baby to open my heart and bridge it with my mind. Eleanor is a mere 12 pounds, but rest assured, when it comes to weapons of love, she and her kind are explosive.

Now that my heart is opening wider, I will be more capable of receiving. Receiving opportunities, receiving support, receiving love. I will see things more clearly. I will live a larger life.

My 3rd bridge-building session will be with a different architect. The lovely, little Eleanor is moving to Israel in 3 weeks. She and her parents are off on a 2 year, whirlwind diplomatic mission. I won't see her again for at least a year. By then, she'll be a completely different person. Thanks to her efforts, so will I.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Good Enough

I have very low blood pressure. Today, however, my blood pressure was so high, it was just below normal. After 4 1/2 hours of uninterrupted stress at work, I felt sick. The feeling lasted for the rest of the day. I came home, put on my "I need comfort now" navy blue t-shirt and crawled into bed.

The stress was due to the imagined idea that everyone's best effort at work was suddenly not good enough. The owners of the company were coming in from out of town, on 24 hours notice. Everything ran at a fevered pitch until they arrived. Everything had to be perfect. Everything had to be better than our best. As if our collective best was unacceptable.

How nit-picky. How unrealistic. How exhausting.

I didn't know what to make of this day. I didn't know what to do about my frustration, my pounding head, my wish to never repeat this level of stress. It was almost sunset before the light finally dawned.

I finally remembered that everything that happens outside of me is a mirror for what is happening inside of me. No exceptions. My relationship with myself, my personal view of the world, is forever reflected back to me on a moment to moment basis. I can never escape myself. If I am at peace with myself, I create and am involved with peace-filled moments, hours, days or weeks. If I am frustrated with myself or angry with myself, I will sure-as-shit attract people and circumstances that frustrate and anger me. I am my own bane and my own salvation.

Sometimes, to get the point across that I am being way unreasonable with myself, the Universe kindly steps in and magnifies my circumstances to the ridiculous. Like today. So I'll get the message loud and clear, and finally notice how nit-picky, unrealistic and exhausting I am being with myself. So I'll stop declaring that my best is not good enough. So I'll start accepting and loving and cherishing myself just the way I am.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Pope Loves His Queen

Tonight Pope Innocent the 3rd is feeling nostalgic about our spring tour of Berlin and northern Germany. Maybe because the World Cup Final is this coming Sunday, in our beloved Berlin. Maybe because his favorite team, Team Italy, is in the finals. Maybe because the Pope's leaky heart is pining for the most beautiful woman in Berlin, his Queen Nefertiti. I suspect the leaky heart is the real reason we're looking at pictures of the Queen for the gajillionth time.

I must admit, the smile on his face, the moment he first met the Queen, warms my innards. The picture of him sleeping with the queen, even though they both demurely left their hats on, I'm not so sure of. I'm thinking a few Hail Mary's for that possible transgression couldn't hurt. The Pope, however, denies the need for absolution and maintains his innocence.

To keep the Pope from moping about the separation from his lady love, I've filling his summer social calendar. Highlights include a tour of Lily Dale, the world's largest Spiritualist community, where the Pope hopes to have his palm read to find out if his love-line is etched or faded. The Pope has also been invited to be guest of honor at the July 24th meeting of the Lady Bugs Knitting Club of Lancaster, New York. He will get to read the minutes from the previous meeting, proudly wear a miniature lady bug pin on his hat, learn the difference between a knit and a pearl, and tally the 15 cent "swearing fines" at the end evening.

But the Uber-Highlight will surely be on July 30th. I've billed it as "The Night of a Thousand Queens". The Pope is practically fainting. On that magical night, our friends, Jason and Chris, will escort the Pope and me in regal style to the infamous Club Marcella in downtown Buffalo. For the Sunday night Drag Queen show.

I've promised the Pope there will be Queens-a-plenty,(most wearing exceptional head gear) to help take his mind off the Queen of Hearts. We're already planning our outfits. We've secured the haute couture Papal Purse. The Papal Hat we've picked needs a few more sequins and feathers. And since the Pope's Papal Robe is practically a dress, we're saving money and saying, "good enough, then". Because there will be women at the show with a different agenda than mine, the most important accessory I'll be wearing is my "I like boys" pin.

No doubt, we'll have a smashing time at the Club. It will the do the Pope a world of good to be among royalty again.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Spiritual Journey~ Portal

To be on a spiritual journey is to constantly evolve.
On that journey, we must be willing to heal the past,
let go of our fears and allow positive change.
One step at a time.
With conscious awareness.
With undaunted courage.

Here is the portal to the path of change.
We must choose to step over the threshold.
We must choose to begin.

The Spiritual Journey~ Exult

In the midst of change, it helps to exult
the positive aspects of our lives.
In the midst of change, it helps to remember
we are glorious beings.

The Spiritual Journey~ Emerge

Here we begin the process of emerging
from old, worn-out patterns.
Emerging from our backgrounds
into the fresh and into the new.

The Spiritual Journey~ Metamorphose

Here we are in the full throws of
spiritual, magical metamorphosis.
It is not always easy.

The Spiritual Journey~ See

Now is the time to be acutely aware
of the inner work that must be done
to accomplish positive change.
We must see ourselves clearly.

The Spiritual Journey~ Persevere

It is critical to persevere on the positive course of action,
especially now that we feel opposition mounting.
We are discouraged.
We are unpopular.
We are filled with despair.

But we must stand tall.

We must let the royal spirit within us carry us through
the most difficult point on the path.

The Spiritual Journey~ Unfold

After much toil and perhaps sorrow,
we slowly begin to blossom anew.
Our hidden wings unfold.
We feel the changes taking place.
We are not afraid.

The Spiritual Journey~ Soar

Our mind is expanding.
Our enthusiasm ignites.
We soar with delight on fresh wings.

The Spiritual Journey~ Welcome

We are balanced. We are open. We are healed.
We have given birth to a time of new beginnings.
We welcome our new selves and the opportunities that await us.

We recognize the spiritual journey as a continuous spiral path.
We willingly approach the next portal.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


A student dictionary from 1962 defines Independence as "Freedom from control by others; self-government". This weekend, I struggle with the idea of independence. Not the kind we celebrate every 4th of July, but the kind that originates within me. The kind I freely give or withhold from myself depending on how strong my fears are.

My fears are the "others" defined in the dictionary. My fears are what control me. My fears keep me from the freedom to live out the possibilities of my life. My fears prevent self-government.

I wish to live a larger life. I wish to contribute more to the re-balancing of this planet. But, in order to achieve that, I must choose that. Making that choice brings up my fears. Making that choice brings forth past ghosts. Making that choice to move forward paralyzes me.

I search for ways to overcome my inertia. I decide to clean out my art studio, hoping to give myself a fresh, creative jumpstart. Clear out stale fears as I clear out stale papers. Two hours into the clearing, I get bogged down with indecision of what to keep and what to throw away. What reflects my current interests, what reflects interests I have moved beyond. Slowly, painfully, I grind to a halt. I realize I am sitting in the midst of a paper explosion. Each paper likely symbolizing a fear. I want to cry.

One way I know to overcome a fear is to sit in silence. Sit,with the ears of my heart and the ears of my mind open. Sit, until the Invisible Force that created sunflowers and snowflakes, whispers a way out. Instead of crying, I step over the paper explosion and sit in a room with a different view. Eventually, I hear "get a garbage bag". Suddenly, my mind clears and I know I must pitch or recycle everything that hasn't interested me in the last 6 months. Ruthless, yes. But my independence depends on it. My freedom from control by governing fears, depends on it. I must literally and symbolically clear the way for a more purpose-driven, contributing, and loving life.

Two garbage bags later, I can see the floor again. Two garbage bags later, I can sense my heart again, urging me past fear into clear. Urging me on to independence.