Can you feel the energy of uncertainty rippling through the air? Can you feel the nerves of Americans beginning to fray? Can you feel the low-grade fear? I can. I can sense the questions and the wonderings and the whispers of "holy shit". This once stable ship is cruising into uncomfortable waters. Will we navigate the lanes with ease and accuracy or will rocks and rapids bring us down? I have no answers, but I have some thoughts.
Fear is a contagion. If enough minds embrace the contagion, the collective ship will go down. It is imperative that each individual mind and heart keep fear at bay. If a positive, hopeful mind set can be held by enough people, this transition, and those to come, will not be painful. Now is the time to learn to share. Now is the time to practice being less selfish. Now is the time to seek cooperation in our personal and public lives. These basic principles could very well be the sustaining factors if the waters ahead become rough. Be open to alternative solutions. Stop needing everything to be just as it always has been. Try new things. Be more creative. Paint your pumpkins blue. Add glitter. Set them in the sun. Wish everyone well. Wish everyone peace. Wish everyone strength to meet their needs. Be mindful that what we wish for others is what we unconsciously wish for ourselves. What we give out in thought, word and deed is what we will surely get back. And lastly... learn to receive grace.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine; this is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine: but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine; but other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine: O hear my song, thou God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine.
May truth and freedom come to every nation; may peace abound where strife has raged so long; that each may seek to love and build together, a world united, righting every wrong; a world united in its love for freedom, proclaiming peace together in one song. These are the words to the national anthem of Finland. How beautiful is this? To me, this should be the world anthem.
Monday, September 22, 2008
My favorite season starts today. Autumn, cozy autumn, with its luscious blue skies and flaming maple trees and bushels of sweet-tart fruit. With its long pants and light sweaters and cotton scarves for fun. With its pumpkins, its cinnamon, its cider and plum tarts. With its reds and golds and fireside oranges. With its grapevines and gourds and gallons of leaves swirling on the breeze. With its pine cones underfoot, extra blankets on the bed, with its sensual scents in the kitchen. Autumn is bounty. Autumn is gratitude. Autumn is reward for services rendered. It is the promise that death is not to be feared, but to be seen for its beauty in transition. Autumn is hope. Hope and knowledge that life continues, even when it is breaking down, breaking open, breaking new ground that bares the soul. Autumn is perfection in its release. Perfection in its strength to let go. Autumn is rich. Ripe. Regal in the gifts it bestows. Autumn is wisdom in maturity. Autumn is praise for the latter stages of life. Autumn is triumph and glory and the sweet smell of wood-smoke. It is caramels and apples and kisses. My favorite season starts today. Autumn, crisp and cozy autumn. Welcome.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
If you want something you have never had,
do something you have never done.
Be brave. Be bold. Break boundaries.
Don't hold back anymore. Live free.
You are safe and loved. You are safe and loved.
This amazing, inspiring photo was forwarded to me a few years ago, with no proper credits given.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Welcome deep sighs. Welcome dropped shoulders. Welcome delicious zen in my brain. Thank you, Serenity, for visiting your sweet calm upon me. Thank you for parting the clouds, and bestowing a span of grace after 5 and more months of...well, difficulty. And lots and lots of growth. Thank you, as well, to the planets Jupiter and Pluto for moving yourselves out of retrograde. Not a moment too soon or too late. Isn't it the most glorious feeling when prolonged stress ebbs away and you suddenly notice how comfortable your high-thread-count sheets feel at 5am on a rainy morning? Or how exquisitely goat cheese melds with garden tomatoes? Or how adorable the pleas of an almost 8 month old kitten trapped in a kitchen cupboard sound? Yes, it's a sweet life and I'm grateful for the returned clarity of mind that allows me to savor the simple miracles of everyday living. But there's no telling how long the zen will last. 3 more hours? 12 more days? Fingers crossed, 5 more months? Living with the hormones of a female body over 40, aging relatives, another busy season at work approaching and the coming days of little sunlight, I'd best be thankful-to-overflowing for the bliss and calm of today. Float in it, dance with it, eat it up and drink it in. Cook, bake, sing, swoon, walk with the wind and smile. Fill my coffers with sweet calm. And pass it on.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I'm feeling restless. I'm looking for inspiration. Something within wants to come out, but the moment has not quite arrived. While I'm waiting and wondering and trying not to wallow, I'm asking the Universe to spark my imagination and drop big, fat clues in my path. 3 sparks arrived in my mailbox, each one ripe with beauty and clues and impetus to nudge me closer to that birthing moment. 2 sparks came from women in California. Both artists and philosophers. Both amazingly brave and talented. Both new authors. Kelly Rae Roberts and Christine Mason Miller have blogs I follow and learn from. When they each announced their intention and then the completion of their quest to write a book, each filled to brimming with personal art and gifted philosophy, I had to order my own copies. When they both arrived last week, it felt like a sacred message dropped at my feet. Enjoy, learn, absorb. Cherish and respect the personal truths and beauty each woman sent out into the world. Most importantly, understand their bravery and gumption gives me inspiration and permission to dream that same dream for myself. The 3rd spark came from a woman just over the border from me in Canada. Gillian da Silva also writes a blog I follow. On her blog, she held a contest to win a free copy of one of her photographs. I won. And my spoils arrived last week with the other 2 sparks. I chose a photo of the red Moroccan slippers I own and I couldn't be more pleased. Gillian's clue for me was to remember to be generous with my abilities and my art. To spread the love through my art. As extra bonuses and inspiration, each woman sent a piece of their talent to me. One print and 2 original collages. How lucky am I? How amazing is the Universe? Ask and ye shall receive. Sparks and clues to birth the next phase in my life? They're arriving. And I continue asking for more. Eventually, the moment will come when I no longer feel restless and clueless about the next great adventure in my life. Through inspiration and confident action the next dream will be born.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
This is my success. My triumph. My larger-than-life moment. On a quiet Sunday morning of rose petal tea, wet hair and blooming violets, I am flooded with this notion~ I am loved. Yes, good God, yes, these simple 3 words are the definition of my success. My life-thus-far story of success. Not accomplished artist. Not floral designer beautifying the world. Not entrepreneur, land owner, holder of patents that change lives for the better. Not #32 on the list of wealthiest people. Not best selling author. Not Queen. No, my bowl-me-over, how-did-I-not-see-this-before story of success is I am loved. For who I am. By marvelous, beautiful people. The dawning of this notion happened last night, a night of sharing dinner and laughter and good conversation with my spiritual tribe. I was the last one to arrive, but the welcome I received was soul-warming. It was this gathering, this embrace, that tipped the scales and cracked open my brain to the understanding I need no other success than to be loved. Because I am aware that to be loved requires that I must first be giving it out. I must be the originator of the flow of this most powerful energy, and then I must be brave enough, and self confident enough to receive it. Love is so simple, yet it requires fearlessness to offer it out and allow it back in. Smack me on the forehead, I am fearless. And I just figured this out. How amazing. How beautiful. What a splendid relief. I am a success in this life. My life. Because I am loved. By friends, by family, by one significant man in this world. If you give love and you know how to open your heart to receive it, then Darling, you are a success too.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
What a miracle. What a marvel. What a message. Behold the cicada. New body, new eyes, new kelly-green transparent wings. I discovered it in my backyard, freshly emerged from the shell of its old life. It was clinging to the remains of its former self, waiting patiently for its new wings to gain strength. Eventually, its wings would dry and give lift to its new life. Do I even need to spell out the message? The one about being ready to take flight into the newness of a life we have imagined and worked for, but still feeling a tiny bit unsure of the unknown and needing to hold fast to a part of our old lives...for the moment? Evolution takes time. New lives, new endeavors, new relationships or new territory in established relationships, morph slowly, but purposefully. All we need to do is hold on, attend to the needs of the moment and trust. Trust our new wings will firm up. Trust our instincts are spot-on. Trust the higher part of ourselves, unfailingly connected to The Creative Force, will know right timing and can read maps. And let's relax. The cicada was not there the next day. Both the old shell and the new wings had disappeared. I searched the grass beneath the tree and found no evidence of the former life. But high above me, where only wings could reach, came the loud, shrill whirring song of the newly reborn cicada. In that song, the message came, "and so shall it be with you".
Monday, September 01, 2008
Labor Day at the lake. The hidden-jewel, private lake community in western New York inhabited by my close relatives. They offer an open-door policy to this little slice of paradise. This year's celebration was highlighted by paddle boat races, a children's regatta, luminaries on every dock at dusk, and full scale patriotism.