Wednesday, June 29, 2011

stress management

with apologies to anyone within earshot of me,
 i can't seem to help myself.
stress management has taken on a life of its own. 

i can't stop swearing.

and it isn't the polite form of swearing in public
like,"oh, crap" and the occasional "dammit".
no, it's the drunken truck-driving sailor type.
the kind that can get me fired and
in a heap of trouble in an instant,
especially if mothers are easily offended.

i can't seem to help it.

i'm sorry.

but it feels really, really good.

it's hard to say if the amish were aghast
 at my mouth the other day.
but they should have been,
what with all  the profanity being spewed
every time i let the perfect photo dissolve into oblivion.

lisa, my amish-country companion,
seemed to appreciate my tirades of expletives,
even as she was advising me to swear more quietly,
lest we be barred from following the amish trail ever again.

all the swearing led to the laughing that completely
renewed our brains from the enhanced oxygen intake.

and any stress that either of us had felt for,
oh, the past year, was relieved.

so, forgive me. 

plug your ears.
in the world of stress management,
swearing is the new meditation.

Monday, June 27, 2011

off the map in amish country

there was hay and horses.
there was blue and white laundry
strung across porches and lawns.
there were jars of jam
and wooden toys
and hand sewn quilts.

 there was me with my camera
and the irrepressible urge to take photos.

but the amish don't like themselves to be photographed.

i didn't want to be invasive or disrespectful.

i failed on a few accounts.
because when, when do you see
hay being harvested by hand and horse?
but the discreet and distant photos
are nothing, nothing compared to the
shots i didn't take~

the ones of the barefoot toddlers in bonnets
and short brown dresses
that waved from their gardens.

the matching boys in blue shirts and hats
walking together along the dirt road.

the 2 women in  blue skirts and bonnets with the toddler~
a miniature version of themselves~
in a perfect triangle on their open buggy
in front of the perfectly weathered barn
where blue laundry soared above their heads,
strung from the house to the top of the silo.

it was an impromptu  masterpiece
of texture and placement for the taking.

and i left it.

i left it.

with admitted artist's regret mixed in the respect.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Raising the Stakes

Good bye, Neil. Good bye, Sir Elton. Farewell, Hot Tuna. Janis. David. Stephen. Graham. It's time to shift out of neutral and you're all taking up valuable space. I know, I know, we spent years in each others company. You all fed my soul when it was starving. And I've hung on, out of gratitude and sentimentality, but it's time. Forgive me. This is good bye.

It's not that technology left you all quickly in the dust. I still have the means to access your magic. I still know how to sift through songs on fast-forward. But I don't.You know it's been years since I have. And that drawer you all live in? It's being re-purposed. Because, you see, I'm raising the stakes. I'm envisioning freshness, I'm leaning towards passion, I'm putting up with less bullshit and I need your drawer. It's part of my plan to purge the staleness and sameness and servant's attitude out of my valuable life. I hope you understand.

No, no you did not see me stash those bootleg cassettes in a secret corner. I promise, I swear Jerry and Bobby and Phil are headed out the door right behind you all. They're as good as dead. (No, that is NOT smoke you smell. My pants are NOT on fire.) Yet.

I tell you, I'm lifting and lightening. I'm going to let the (freak) flag fly. It's what you taught me to do, all those years ago.
Forgive me.

I'm burning it down to raise it back up.

Friday, June 24, 2011

the god of yellow

I pray to the god of yellow. It is my least favorite god. We have avoided each other for a lifetime. But now, right now, this god and only this god can save me. From myself.

The yellow god is instructing me on the ways and means of personal power and the un-importance of gaining approval from outside sources. It is assisting me in making firm decisions on pivotal issues. It is teaching me how to be my own sun.

The god of yellow is a warrior. I have been a servant, serving myself least of all. But the sword of self-empowerment is being fitted to my grip. Inscribed on the handle of the yellow sword are the words, "Know thyself without shame".

I carry yellow and I wear yellow and I tape its vibration to my walls. I visualize myself infused with the radiance of ripe lemons. In that citrus glow, esteem rises, things get done and the sword of the god of yellow feels light in my hands.

{Yellow snuck its way into the summer edition of The Soul In Bloom. The god is quite pleased and proud.}     

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Soul In Bloom~ summer issue

It's here. It's ready.
Just as spring says good-bye and summer arrives.
This is a labor of love.
This magazine has been a balancing point
for me in an unsteady year.
All the essays I included between the covers are 
needful reminders for me on how to keep my spirit buoyant.
My wish is that they will offer the same for you.

The photos, all original, are filled with color,
as summer ought to be.
I've featured my beloved stray cats from Istanbul, and flowers.
Always flowers.
I design with them for a living, you see,
and in this issue, I've begun to share the relaxing 
pleasures of making a centerpiece right from your garden.

This summer issue of The Soul In Bloom is the second
in a series of four keepsake magazines.
This series evolved from my deep desire
to add beauty to this world,
and to encourage one of the most
beautiful expressions of nature~
the compassionate human spirit.

I would be honored of you felt compelled to buy a copy.
I would be thankful if you shared this
information with anyone that matters to you.

To purchase a copy of The Soul In Bloom,
  the spring and/or summer issue,
go HERE.

{Thank you to the talented Kelly Letky
of The Blue Muse for her outstanding
graphic design assistance in making this
issue everything I wanted it to be.}

Thursday, June 16, 2011

zoo therapy

For our mother-daughter mental health day,
she wore her shirt with the giraffes on it.
And she cried happy tears just to see them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

happy is what i need

The honey bees and me.
We've been busy.

There is still much to do.
Indecision and messes abound.

But in the whirlwind,
late, yet hopefully on time,
a magazine was created about
the glories of summer.

I like it.
It makes me happy.
Happy is what I need.

If the proof proves worthy,
I'll release it to the winds.
And to you,
if that would make you happy.

Coming soon~ The Soul In Bloom, summer issue.

Monday, June 13, 2011

the iris are done blooming

It was a blue fleece and bare toes morning.
Rose petal tea and a bench in the backyard.
Cool for summer, perfect for me.
Dogs barking, school buses dieseling their last duties
before the kids are set free.

Cobalt skies. A breeze.
The drowsy squirrel who perched on the
edge of a broken limb to watch me and to bathe.
I waved and offered a blessing~
be safe, be warm, be fed.

The iris are done blooming,
and the robin's nest went undetected by crows,
leaving the little speckled breast to
race across rooftops twittering for food.

The raucous call of blue jays.
More squirrels, chasing each other on tip-toe
over the points of the picket fence.

The scent of June~sweet, earthy, satisfying.
And then,the red belly.
Laughing in flight between the trees,
pronouncing that all will be well
and all will be well.

And so, did goodness begin.

Saturday, June 04, 2011


i confess.
i like the rain.
i love the rain.
in spring, in summer.
especially in summer
with the added peace and thrill of thunder mumbling through.
the flashes of light that split the sky, they too,
bring a sharp sense of peace that
grounds me and lifts me at once.

it is the patter of rain,
with its uneven pallor and distant scent of the lake,
that gives me permission, like little else can,
to sink gloriously, lavishly
into the secret caverns of my soul
where everything makes sense
and life in its sweet purity can be lived.

because tucked into a dry space,
porch-vast or umbrella-small,
just on the edge of the drops,
shoe-tips spattered with wet, shins still dry,
safe yet almost not,
there does joy overtake me.

there, yes there~
i am.