Saturday, December 31, 2011

auf wiedersehen twenty eleven

photo by lisa

photo by lisa

in a year of loss and anxiety, great goodness also happened. if i scan the year objectively, it was a balance of all things. i will remember that i held a hawk and fell under the spell of gigantic horses. i will remember i published 4 magazines and rode a motorcycle along the north sea. i will remember my family and friends.

on the table tonight i will lay bowls of fruit, yellow flowers, red hearts and cash~ my talisman tableaux to welcome the new year.

thank you for following along. thank you for your kind comments and support. may you be at peace with yourself, always.

with love, graciel

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

i will take flowers with me

hand tied bridal bouquet~ 2011
green orchids and dark plum mini calla lilies

cascading bridal bouquet~ 2011
star gazer lilies, roses, and mini callas

From this year into next, I will take flowers with me.
Because my soul can't live without them.

But I will leave behind the exhaustion of designing only
what everyone else needs me to design.

In the coming year, I will discover new ways
to make flowers my own.

For Bella~ leave it behind in 2011 and welcome it in 2012

The Soul In Bloom~ Home Edition
*online course and 1 day retreat*
Week 3~ learn floral design 101!
Starts February 25th, 2012

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

short and glorious

It was a short and glorious Christmas. 
I savored the 24th and the 25th,
with their gatherings and laughter,
presents and confections,
as if they could possibly be my last.

I left no room for sadness in my glad heart.

I lived those 2 days how I would like to live everyday;
appreciative, attentive, open and content.

Friday, December 23, 2011

you are the sun

there is rain, no snow.
there is spanish renaissance music, softly.
there is a string of white lights snaking,
drooping along the wall.
the christmas altar is up~ 
walnut mice with felt ears, tiny tinsel tree.
  white candles are lit.
there is tea. 

christmas is here;
carved out of the whirlwind, the obligations.
it is here in the 47 minutes of peace and soft glow.
it is here in the meditative mind that comes
naturally when the world is put aside.

in that mind, the myth of the season has relevance, has a lesson.
let unto you be born a savior

that savior is yourself.
it is the mind-set you hold, the thoughts you think,
the actions you take or not in regards 
to honoring your sacred self.

give birth to better thoughts about your own worth.
stand up for yourself. make waves. advocate.
let the mythical star lead you to your own adoration.

know your value.
live your value.
you are the sun.
and the savior of yourself.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

52 Photos Project~ she made it better

we've been friends for 27 years. she was the gift a long-ago boyfriend gave me when she and i met because of him. this year, this partly to mostly crappy year, she became my antidote to the cancer and the dying and the removal of the ring. our friendship shifted gears in the most wonderful way and we became regular partners in adventure and laughs, proving that life gets better with age.

we are simple folk, she and me, and we found ourselves eating at diners and bothering the amish, following the draft horse circuit like groupies and learning the art of falconry. she ripped the paneling off my living room walls not too long ago and had better will come back to help pretty up the horrors exposed.

in 2012, we've got plans.  they'll revolve mostly around food and nature and finding new people to bother. and no matter what the year brings, she will make it better.

{This for Bella's 52 Photos Project~ the week's prompt is to show my favorite photo of the year. In searching the archives, I kept coming across my adventures with Lisa. Some are blurry, lots are silly and all of them are my favorites.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

like christmas day in the morning

living next to a volunteer fire substation has some definite small-town perks; my home is unlikely to burn down, kids actually play outside on the blacktop all year long (hockey and chalk art rule the hood) and when santa delivers the mother-of-all-firetrucks to the boys of mayberry, i get to see it first.

this afternoon, shiny-red ladder #6 was moved in a hurry to the north bay to make room for the 'tower of power' (printed right on the side of the hydraulic lift) fire and rescue monster that came rumbling down the street. the volunteers that swarmed the south bay to get a close look were giddy, with hoots and hollers and rounds of high fives. like christmas day in the morning.

i watched the volunteers, one after the other, take the tower of power out for a spin and test their skills at backing into the bay. its been around the block at least 5 times, dieseling back in the now-dark with its red lights flashing and spinning off my windows, lighting the night with joy and a thrill, like christmas day in the evening.

Friday, December 16, 2011

come, come the darkness

 come, come the darkness.
we are ready.
we have fire.

the fire is inside us,
burning shadows to ash.

come, come the darkness.
we have risen.
we are crowned.

the crown is made of paper, of ash,
of starlight, of feathers. 
of mettle from the fire within.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We are everything she needs us to be

This year, as all the others, it's a German-flavored Christmas. Chocolate from across the sea and stollen with candied cherries. This year my Mom and me talked so much through the measuring and stirrings and 3 risings of the sacred stollen-baking process, we forgot to add the eggs. We laughed at how flat they were fresh out of the oven.

For the past 3 years, cancer has informed our Christmas. And so it does again this year, with discouraging news and options possibly waning. Yes, miracles happen everyday and we've had some already. I'd like more and pray for them daily. But this Christmas, this holiday of feasting and lights, we are whole-heartedly German in our celebrations. We are everything she needs us to be. We are strength. And we are love.

{For Bella and her 52 Photos Project~ sweets, treats and feasts}

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

She's always around, even when I am not paying attention. Sometimes, in the form of the postcard perched on the frame at the end of my hallway, she mysteriously floats to the ground, of her own accord, and lands in my path. She reminds me to remember her and her timing is always flawless. Then, today. I check the calendar to see when her feast day is~ Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12th, it says. I make note of it and wander away.

15 minutes later, I am passing through the hall again and for the first time ever, it is not the postcard, but the prayer card of Our Lady that is laying in my path.

I am here, she says.

And she is.

She. Our Lady. The Blessed Mother. Virgin Mary. Mary. Mystical Rose. The Western Goddess. Goddess of Compassion. The Great Mother. Friend.

Hear her prayer:  Much of what you are being told is untrue. Do not look to forces outside yourself for answers and the way. You already know the way. And if you think you don't, you will know who to ask for the truth and they will remind you.

A time is coming when what was held as truth will be revealed as false. There will be resistance and there will be chaos. There will be endings. But know that you know what is true and do not doubt your own wisdom. It will carry you through everything, unscathed.

Be kind to yourself.  Make taking care of your own needs your first priority. Do not mistake this for selfishness. It is the opposite. If you can consistently meet your own needs, you are then able to act, with love, on the behalf of others. More love is needed. Self-care is what brings more love to light. Do your part and bring it.

Trust yourself. Mother yourself. Feast on this glorious life.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

52 Photos Project~ December 7th

The color of the season is white candlelight.

{on my mother's German tree}

For Bella

All 4 issues of my magazine, The Soul In Bloom,
are $2 off the regular price now  through December 31st!
Go HERE for a preview and to purchase.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Soul In Bloom~ winter issue 2011/2012

Having set out earlier in the year to create and publish 4 seasonal keepsake magazines, today I release the 4th issue to the winds. The Soul In Bloom winter issue is done and ready for purchase. I admit to being just a bit proud of myself for finishing this personal challenge. It was larger for me than you know.

The winter issue is not about the holidays. It is about the call of the season of rest to honor the Self. It is about the great need for each of us to care for ourselves, madly and deeply, as the only true path to changing the ills of the world and improving the quality of our individual lives.

As with the other 3 magazines in this collection, all the essays, poems and photographs are my original work. To celebrate my accomplished goal of putting my heart out into the world 4 times over, all 4 magazines are $2 less per issue through December 31st. $14.95 each becomes $12.95 each.

Thank you to everyone, absolutely everyone, who encouraged me this year, bought a copy (sometimes multiples!) and gave me the most heartwarming feedback I could never have imagined. I created these magazines because we all need to know how glorious we are, we all need to know we are miracles.

To purchase a copy of the winter issue or any of the other 3, go HERE to sign up.

Thank you to the moon and back to Kelly Letky of The Blue Muse for her graphic design and publishing software savvy.  Without her, my dream would not have come true.

{And the little guy with the snow shovel on the cover? That's my Dad at age 3.}