Sunday, July 29, 2012

Distractedness & Leaps of Faith ...

"Distractedness" ... A word?  Well, I like to invent my own words ...

For some reason, writer’s block --even mild bouts—translates into restlessness … distractedness?... for me in other parts of my life. Thus, I have been making the effort to change things up and get out to explore/go on new adventures. Well, there is a set of waterfalls that I have been wanting to visit for quite some time now. They are a bit of a drive, followed by a substantial hike to make it to the falls proper … That is to say, you can’t just drive to these falls, park your car, walk a few feet and be able to see them (a.k.a. “shake and bake” as my kids call it). These falls are nestled safely within a protective bosom of tall coniferous and evergreen trees. So it takes a somewhat serious commitment in order to tackle them, not to mention the better part of the day. Well, I really felt like I was about snap yesterday; hence my willingness to take on this challenge. Exercise and being out amongst nature is my saving grace, my way to find my center once again and restore balance. Something about water seems play a vital role in restoring balance for me too?

It was a beautiful day up here in Washington yesterday. Vivid blue skies and playful, fluffy clouds … not a speck of grey and gloomy to be found in the Seattle and surrounding areas. I even managed to round up my kids and Ken and take them with me, sans electronic devices … Okay, the cell phones made the trip, but only for photographic purposes. I left my big camera at home. Didn’t feel like lugging it on a multi-mile hike.

The hike through the woods to the falls was pretty and substantially cooler than any summertime activity I can remember engaging in the blazing heat of the Texas summer sun. The elevation change was a thigh burner: 500 ft. elevation change from the river base up the middle level falls and 1300 ft. (overall ... bottom to tip-top) change to the very top of the falls … and no, in case you were wondering I did not succeed in taking my digitally entrenched kids all the way to the top, but we got close. Don’t want to burn them out and turn them off nature all-together ; )

After we hiked up to the falls, we stopped and played in the river … climbing on river rocks and frolicking in the cool, clean water. As I've mentioned before: I love to climb … one of my favorite pastimes as a kid and, I guess, I still am a kid at heart. Well, I saw a huge boulder lying out smack in the middle of the river and it was calling to me. The kids thought I was crazy to try and make my way out there, but I love a good challenge. Besides, the worst that could happen I figured was that I’d fall in and cool off in the nice cold water –okay not the absolute worst … could have cracked my head on a rock, but I don’t often entertain those worst case scenario possibilities in the moment: life’s too short, right?

So I took off my shoes and climbed, jumped and skipped my way out into the middle of the river to sit atop of the big, fabulous boulder and it felt G-R-E-A-T! I saw a really cool water snake on my out there too … about 5+ feet long, jet black with a vivid yellow strip running down his back. Fortunately, he was moving in the opposite direction of me. Surprised me at first because I had a dream with a snake in it just the night before … so maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me?

Here’s a “photo” of me sitting on my big boulder in the center of the river, finding my own center once again. It’s good to be back =))))))))))

Have work to do on my tan still.  I blend well with this river scene?
[My daughter is in the foreground for scale.  I'm the blonde blur in the top right corner]

The kids all had their cell phone cameras ready to capture a photo of mom falling face first into the river on my way back to shore. I felt bad about having to disappoint them ; ) It was funny, as we were leaving a group of college-aged guys had come up. They were trying to make their way out to the center of the river too, but as I looked back … none of them had gotten there. The last 10 feet to the boulder required a bit of a slippery leap of faith … If I was going to go in that would have been the place. The jump toward the boulder was not as bad as going back. Going toward the boulder the 6 ft. gap of leap was from a small rock barely sticking up out of the water onto a highly slanted larger boulder top. Going back to shore you had to go from highly slanted surface onto the barely foot-sized tiny top of rock and then from this onto another small boulder (12" x 14") feet away that was low in the water --hence wet and slippery.  And yes, I’ll admit that the return leap was a bit scary, but it’s good to stand on the precipice of what you fear, every now and again, and find the courage within to take your leap, I think. Leaps of faith are like real world energy gummies in video games.

So go find your own fabulous, big boulder and take your own leap of faith!!

Peace & Love,


Here's one of  the few songs I can think of for river?  Love this group anyhow ...

Song:  "Don't Cross the River", By America (A fairly recent live performance, I guess?)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Can Men & Women Be Friends?

Okay, I’ll call this the shoot yourself in the foot segment … “Can men & women be friends?” The age-old question, right? Well, “The Five” recently brought this question to the streets of New York for some ‘unbiased’ answers. Watch for yourself and see what ‘America’ thinks …

Watch the video for yourself here ... Fox News, "The Five": Can Men & Women Be Friends?"

I must say, I have to respect the guy who admitted that he has ‘hot’ women friends in order to meet other attractive women. That is not only honesty that I can respect, but smart, if you ask me ; )

I think that Eric hit the nail on the head when he said “This is a no-win … this is just a bad segment. “

When Bob asks Greg if he knows of a man with a very attractive female friend who had not thought beyond the friendship, Greg answers … “No. It’ impossible … that’s not how men are wired.”

Well, I’m sorry but I think that’s a load of crap! Men and women have a lot to offer one another beyond mere physical attraction and satisfaction and even IF the physical attraction may occasionally lead to thoughts of physical satisfaction, it doesn’t mean that you have to act on them?! Right? Men are not all animals … but they are human, so let’s cut them a little slack and not back them into a corner or try to shove them into a box to satisfy our society’s compelling need to always draw lines.

Eric also said that he’s noticed what seems to be a new trend, kids in their young teens … 13 & 14 (age of his son)... of the opposite sex being friends.   I see the same thing with my daughter of the same age, but I don’t think that’s a new trend? From a very young age, I’ve always had male friends … male and female friends. In college almost all my friends were guys because I was an engineering major.

Men as friends are great, in my humble opinion, because they will take you just as you are --from my experience. With men you don’t have to be perfect or to share all your deep secrets, hopes fears and silly dreams unless on occasion you happen to want to. Men are masters of enjoying life in the moment and that’s such a great, low-stress/refreshing, way to live. Don’t get me wrong, men can plan and work toward future goals, but it doesn’t consume every aspect of their waking moments and define who they are when they’re ‘off the clock’ so to speak.

And my last (perhaps best?) argument for men being great to have as friends: men don’t play games … the backstabbing or the ‘what have you done for me lately’ crap (not that all women do this).

We women can learn a lot from men, I think and vice versa. As for married men having friends –hot or otherwise—I say why not? Maybe you have to trust your spouse/sig. other on some level and if you can’t maybe you have some relationship or personal issues that need to be worked through. If a spouse is going to cheat, they’re going to cheat … friends or not. When and if they do cheat, you work through it … we’re only human after all. Life’s too short to only always color between the lines and worry about "what if?"  What a suffocating, stressful way to choose to live?

Well that’s my two cents worth on men and women being friends. What’s yours?

P.S.  I've almost hit 60,000 page views [since Blogger started keeping track of this statistic for users: 1-2 years ago?].  Think hitting 60,000 page views might just call for a celebration.  Share a bottle of champagne with me? ; )

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Musical ART?

Rough day for words today; hence, I am taking a short musical detour.  My daughters introduced me to this song ... I don't really care for the lyrics on this one, though I suspect many could probably relate to them?  I love the musical arrangement on this song though ... kinetically kool.  Kind feels like you're being pulled into the song and led along by the unique musical arrangement of notes ... bread crumbs ... as the story unfolds, drawing you deeper into the fabled fairy wood. 

The music video that goes with this is pretty cool too.  Music videos usually bore me, but this one held my interest.  Good match for the song, in my humble opinion.  Anyhow, thought I'd share this intriguing piece of musical piece of ART.  Change it up here ... You know me:  I gotta stay outside the box ; )

Peace & Love,


Song:  "Somebody That I Used to Know", By Gotye
[Did some reading on this artist.  A most ineteresting and determined, not to mention talented, individual.  Wondering at his nationality was my initial inclination for looking him up.  I was thinking Belgian (though he was raised in Austraila) for some reason and what do you know:  I was right?  Here's an interesting mini-doc on his album "making mirrors".]

Hmmm ... maybe my subconscious mind led me back to this song?  My problems writng today center around filling in some of the back story for my novel ... the mushy love and relationship stuff.  I have no trouble with the action and adventure or the technical aspects of the story ... things that require unbridled imagination or technical thinking.  It's the real world, relationship stuff that kills me.  Takes me 10x as long to compose the latter over the former.  Love: my ultimate nemesis?

9/21/2012 ... Think that it is not Love which is my ultimate nemesis, but rather it is Trust which eludes me.  And it would seem that Trust is perhaps a necessary foundation for Love?  Is Trust necessary for all forms of Love, I have to wonder, or just the romantic kind?  Trusting others or myself ...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Whispers Echo ...

If you risk nothing, then how can you ever truly gain anything?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Message in a Bottle?

Photo By ME

Message in a Bottle? Do you believe in signs? Little messages sent from heaven above to fill you up with Hope and Love … Well, I had a message from heaven today. It came to me while I was sitting up on the deck off of my bedroom, feet up, sipping an iced tea and watching the last hour or so of the sun before it set.  I had taken the kids to the mall a few hours earlier. Shopping seems to be one of their favorite things to do; it’s not really one of mine, but I do enjoy spending time with my kids and seeing them happy. While we were out, I popped into a perfume shop to check out some of the new perfumes. Perfume is one of my few “splurges.” I don’t buy it often, but when I do I don’t mind spending a bit more than I typically would on most things. I seem to be fond of Marc Jacobs these days. My last purchase was “Lola” … So I decided to give the new “Daisy” a try. I fell instantly in love with “Daisy” and decided to pick up a bottle.

… Okay, at this point you are probably wondering what the heck does Marc Jacobs perfume have to do with a sign from heaven, right? Well, I’m getting there; stay with me. So just before heading out onto the deck --upon my return home from shopping-- I opened my new perfume package and sprayed a light mist onto my right forearm. This perfume itself is almost heavenly; it is so soft and gentle, sweet and uplifting … but not too sweet. It reminds me of walking through a field of summer wild flowers. This thought was crossing my mind … trying to find words I would use to describe this new scent … as my feet crossed the threshold of the patio door leading out onto the balcony. And I guess, that perhaps this flowered essence was appealing to other outdoor creatures as well. No … It’s not what you're thinking, thankfully. It was not a bee. It was something else with wings: a hummingbird!!

The cutest little hummingbird flew right up to me, while I was sitting on the second story deck.  It hovered about a foot right in front of my face.  This amazing little hummingbird just hovered there looking into my eyes and flapping its beautiful, delicate wings. I could have reached out and touched him if I had wanted too, but we spoke without words instead.  And of course, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear (Things with wings just bring me inexplicable joy for some reason). This hummingbird was so magnificently beautiful: grey tips, green and blue belly, blue head. I think my perfume led him to believe that perhaps I had some sweet nectar to share and I would have gladly shared my iced tea --but it was unsweetened.  He hovered in front of me for almost a full minute. It was fabulous to see such a marvelous creature up so close. To see each individual feather and the wings flapping in perfect unison to suspend this little messenger in stationary motion. Truly remarkable and such a gift to behold. Well, after a minute, this little guy bid me farewell and went about his merry way, but the smile that he brought to my face is still there. Yes, I’m still smiling from ear to ear. =))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

It’s funny, because a search tag for my blog had showed up late last night as “maybe the secret is to stop chasing butterflies” and for some odd reason this odd phrasing had been echoing through my mind off and on all day today. But I think that heaven has given me an unequivocal answer to my pondering on the latter … that is to say that if I stopped chasing butterflies and other “silly” things, they would come and ‘chase’ after (find) me.

P.S.   I don't have a hummingbird feeder, but after my hummingbird visitation yesterday I think I am going to go out and pick one up.  Would be nice to have hummingbirds visit me on a regular basis.

7/27/2012 ... A conversation with a friend this evening reminded me of another winged visitor, earlier in my life.  "Yes, I love anything with wings.  In high school, a black crow befriended me and he would wait for me at the school bus stop each day to walk --hop and fly-- home with me.  I would sit on my front porch and do my homework, feed him cheerios and talk to him.  I didn't think he was scary at all, but he did have quite the sense of humor ... His favorite thing to do was to steal my pencil so that I could not finish my homework, especially whenever I was doing math problems.  I agree, birds are highly evolved and likely are spiritual messengers.  I love them too!"

“Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for Love, Joy and celebration. The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.” ~Liora,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another Unnecessary Act of Violence?

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Aurora, Colorado, right now. When I am in writing mode, I don’t focus so much on news.   Heard about this tragic shooting just after lunch today.   Such a senseless tragedy ... I can’t yet even begin to wrap my mind around this act of violence?  So for now, I will just pray for those who have been injured --whether physically and/or emotionally: that they will heal quickly-- for those who have lost their lives and those that they leave behind.   May God Bless one and all ….


6/23/12   Some thoughts upon reflection in the aftermath of this heartfelt tragedy ...This poem is dedicated to the victims of the Aurora Colorado Movie Theater shooting with much Love and many ongoing prayers.

“The Seeds of Hope”

Today, the landscape finds itself
Little more than tattered fields
Of endless, hopeless grey.
For the story has told itself.
There seems little more to say?

So silent prayers attempt to
Fill a wanting void,
In earnest effort to keep
The pain and heartache of
An unfathomable tragedy at bay.

Society’s ultimate betrayal
Unleashed upon the early hours
Of a most unfortunate night.
A moment, now forever frozen
In chasm of unrelenting Time.

Cruelest, senseless crime.
Violent chaos void of all
Reason or meaningful rhyme.
Loss of innocence. Loss of life.
The highest of prices
Was this day paid.

Yet seeds of Hope are
Somehow born
Into the air of tomorrow.
In the wake of heartfelt tragedy
Have these been laid.

And in due time these
Shall blossom a healing,
Heralding an understanding
That will grow to replace
Our current sorrow.

Gathering a newfound
Awareness of thankfulness
For each our blessings in
This life in the  moment
Unfolding right at hand.

Poppied fields of red,
Fields of Hope,
Now stand instead
To paint a memory of
What is today seeming lost
And left unsaid,
But tomorrow, with Love,
Shall never be forgotten.

@Isabelle Black Smith, July 23, 2012.

I have been pondering the resilience of the human spirit today.  It amazes me how we humans can bear what we would have once thought was the unthinkable ... the unfathomable ... and emerge from this bearing metamorphosis stronger, perhaps wiser, but still with an undying belief in some greater good, a reason for our being and a higher purpose for this journey we are on.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I See the Moon ... The Moon Sees Me?

I was so tired last night.  Thus, I knew that there would likely be some dreaming in store for me.  My earlier Bilal dream has yet to resolve?  Fortunately, I didn't wind up having any bad dreams.  Last night's dream wasn't filled with deep messages or hidden meanings for me to uncover.  For a change, instead my dream was kind of fun, maybe even funny?  Well, it was funny to me ... my finding  the nerve to finally leave the boring party, with all of the stuffy old adults carrying on.  My running barefoot through the nighttime in my evening dress and then trying to climb a tree after consuming half a bottle of champagne.  Think the champagne is symbolic of my subconscious mind ... wanting to be free, uninhibited, no longer restrained maybe?  My subconscious mind has quite the sense of humor, at times, I think. 

So what was the dream? ...

Apparently, I had been at some sort of semi-formal party -- for 4th of July or some other holiday, because I was wearing a strapless dress.  As the evening progressed, I had gotten bored with the social airs and keeping up appearances games going on inside:  I don't play games, being the non-conformist (at heart) that I am. So I had slipped outside, with my own personal bottle of champagne.  I took several long sips of the cool, bubbly champagne, straight from the bottle, and giggled as it tickled my tongue.  Looking up into the sky, I saw the moon's dazzling rays dancing across the perfectly manicured grass in the distance. So I kicked off my uncomfortable, strappy-heeled shoes and began to run playfully through the cool nighttime grass in effort to chase after the moon.

At some point, I found a tree ... the perfect tree for climbing --one of my favorite things to do as kid was to climb trees-- so I took several big sips from my champagne bottle before setting the bottle onto the ground at the base of the climbing tree.  Then I began climbing up into this fabulous tree.  Of course my flowing, just below the knee, semi-formal dress was getting in the way of my ability to scale up into this fabulous tree, so I simply unzipped it, slipped out of it and sent it sailing down onto the ground below.  I guess, my thinking was that if I climbed high enough up into the fabulous tree, I might actually be able to touch the moon.

[ Photo by, Katie Hupel ... Do check out her page! : )]

So I climbed and climbed until I broke out of the tree top, and then there I sat perched in the tallest tree branches, just like a little bird in its nest, staring face to face with the magical moon.  I smiled, laughed and spoke in a sing-song voice -- don't think it was actual singing as I cannot sing yet -- "I see the moon and the moon, she sees me."  The moon smiled back at me.  Then I heard voices down below ... Someone was looking for me, but I didn't want to be found.  So I put my fingers up to my lips and whispered "Shhhh-hhhhhh ..." to the moon.  She winked at me. 

I sat quietly up in the tree-top trying my best to be quiet, but I couldn't stop giggling? Just like a kid, I guess, or too much champagne maybe?  Soon enough, one of the voices had zeroed in on my tree.  They called out to me, using my name.  I didn't answer at first, but when they kept calling I finally said "She's not here!"  As if that assurance alone would send said individual on their merry way.  Of course, it didn't.  The next thing I knew this individual was climbing up into the tree after me.  I for my part, was not ready to be found and wondered momentarily if it would be possible for me to fly away, up into the sky into the arms of the moon.  Just as I was completing this thought, however, a strong hand reached out and grabbed onto my forearm.  Then a voice asked, "What do you think you're doing?"

"Playing with the moon." I replied.  "She was lonely too."  And then all of the sudden, I felt an incredible sense of peace and comfort.  Then somehow I found my voice for song and I started to sing the children's lullabye ... "I see the moon.  The moon sees me ..."  The sound of my own voice actually singing startled me and I lost my footing in the tree.  I started to fall, but the strong hand on my forearm caught me and kept me from falling.

"I've got you."  The voice reassured me asthe body of this voice pulled me back onto the safety of the tree limb, where we then sat.

We just sat there silently staring at the moon for a time.  Then the voice with the strong hand spoke.  "I always knew that you had it within you to sing." 

And the voice smiled at me.  I smiled back, with such a sense of peace in my heart ... body, mind and soul.  Then the voice spoke again ... "The moon and I think its time for you to come down out this tree now."

My first instinct --habitual instinct, almost a reflex I guess-- was to say that I wanted to stay up in the safety of the tree-top.  But the voice sitting next to me said unequivocally, "No.  It's time ... Time to come back down.  You know this to be true in your heart."

And suddenly, I was aware of a warm, glowing feeling my chest ... A feeling as if I could actually FLY.  The voice extended its hand and asked "Shall we?"  Motioning to begin our climb down.  I wondered silently in my mind, for the just the briefest second --old habits die hard, I guess?-- What if I fall? But almost before I could even complete this thought the voice said, "Then, I will catch you."

Thus reassured, with peace in my heart and the aid of the voice, with the strong hands, I began my wobbly climb back down out of the safety of my tree-top.  When we reached the bottom of the tree, the voice with the strong hands reached down to retrieve my flowing chiffon dress, but I stopped them, lightly shaking my head with a smile at the realization that "I don't need that (the dress) anymore."


Later p.m. ...  So what does this dream mean, if anything????

Back after taking kids to play tennis.  Think maybe it's time for some lessons?  So I put this dream here so that I could come back and try to make some sense of it later.  Perhaps there are some hidden meanings here that have to be figured out after all?  What does the dress symbolize?  Who is the voice or it is just my inner voice finally awakening to a acknowledgement of my own strength?  And so on ... We shall see what unfolds as I ponder this?  Who needs therapy when you have dreams and blog, right? ; )

Well, I made dinner ... had a glass of wine and crashed shortly thereafter.  I have been so tired lately?  Very odd ... I am usually tired and wired as my normal operating mode.  Must be catching up on weeks ... months ... of missed sleep. Anyhow, slept hard for 3 hours and I am up now.  No dreams:  my favorite kind of sleep. : )  Up now and I feel refreshed.  Will probably do a bit of writing and then hopefully sleep for another three hours later?

I've been thinking about this dream and I am thinking that the voice in the dream is my inner voice saying "Hey! Don't go back up into the tree and hide.  You are strong and you can do this reconnecting."  You see, recently I've been taking some big steps for me in reconnecting with my past.  So far it's been all good and really healing, but this is still new territory for me and it does leave me feeling a bit vulnerable and uncertain at times.  I think that the other voices in the night were others from my past that I have yet to reconnect with.  Ones that I am not ready to reconnect with.  They will have to wait.  The moon is just the moon.  My oldest friend and source of inspiration [When I was little I could not go to sleep at night until I found the moon resting safely in the nighttime sky.  Often times I would wait until everyone else in the house was asleep --because my parents were not very understanding or patient with my need to search out the moon each night.  I wondered what shape she would assume --phases of the moon-- on any given night as I faithfully searched each and every window in the house until I found the moon, whereupon I would often curl up into a little ball with my blanket and fall asleep, right upon the floor, under the protection of the moon's magical and soothing moon beams.  Crazy things kids do?]  The one who understands me and takes me just as I am.  I think the party is outside pressure to conform to a life that I'm really keen on being forced into?  Don't know for certain ... Still working on that part.  The dress is probably an extension of the conformity?  The role that I'm supposed to play?  We shall see.  Often takes me awhile to figure out my crazy dreams and maybe sometimes dreams like these are just for FUN and nothing more.  Me embracing my inner child ... the one who gives me hope and lights my way ahead in this sometimes confusing world.

Oh ... and 'singing' ... Well, I actually have not been able to sing ever since a traumatic incident occurred in my life long ago.  This inability to sing is not a physical injury; my mind just won't let me sing.  I've tried over the years and nothing comes out when I open my mouth to sing.  I'm not entirely sure what it will take for my mind to release my voice for song once again?  A friend of mine --part of my recent reconnecting-- recently pointed out that it seems apparent that I have not yet forgiven myself for painful events that have occurred in my life --though I have found forgiveness for those who hurt me.  So perhaps, when I finally find it in me to truly forgive ME --said the words for others and me awhile back, but I don't think I truly meant them for me?-- I will then release my voice to sing again?  But in tangible, concrete terms in the here and now, I think that finishing this new novel and being able to share it with the world will be a big part of finding my voice again.  And on that note, I'm off to do some writing ...

8/5/2012 ... Just figured it out:  The dress is my old way of thinking, believing, feeling ... the set of beliefs that I grew up with --hence the conformity.  The dress was limiting me  and my way of thinking ... my approach to life and the spiritual journey that I am on.  That is to say, I couldn't climb and expand my way of thinking if I kept the dress on.  By shedding the dress, I am finally ready to fully and completely embrace this new  "universal" --all-encompassing-- way of thinking.

P.S. 7/20/2012 ... 9:30 a.m. ...

I saw your post and your “party story”, Paul. I read it late last night and my mind processed it overnight. I hadn’t seen the parallel between your story and mine until this morning. Rather intriguing with an interesting plot twist … maybe it’s the writer in me, but the outcome of your story was in the back of my mind even before I reached the end of your writing. Then again, maybe it’s knowing you and your need to always to be on the edge that tuned me into where you might be heading with your story about you. The latter being said: my dream is NOT about switching teams. Granted I don’t like being put into boxes, so I am not your typical woman (e.g., I have kept my child-like perspective on life and I don't/won't play the games that women so often play ... I am in a Math/Science career field) but I am very feminine and I really do like men.

Given the painful experiences in my life, you might think that would make me more inclined to experience other types of relationships, but that is just not for me. I know that my reference to “strength” in my dream strength and to “strong hands” … being strong, was meant to be ME finally awakening to the strength that I have within me. And the dress was just conformity to the role that some overbearing people in my life want to force upon me … being the “good wife”, shutting up and just taking all the crap shoveled my way... because that is what “nice girls” do, right? NOT!!

So thank you, Paul, for sharing your story. I think that you are on the right path for you. More power to you! More power to "Nichole."  Not being a big fan of boxes, myself, I can respect his accomplishment.  I’ll keep checking in to your blog every now and again to see how you are doing. Peace & Lots of Love to you. (And I haven’t forgotten about checking in again somewhere on down the line. I’m just not there yet … too many issues to sort out and work through myself still and Ken would be angry with me.  I need to work on mending bridges and crossing them, not building fences.) God Bless!

7/21/2012 ... Well, have been thinking a bit more about your story, Paul.  I wonder if you were also trying to say:  "Be careful what you wish for?"  That is to say, that all things being equal:  sometimes things that we think we know are completely different beneath the surface upon up close/closer inspection.  How very wise you are for someone always perched so precariously close to the precipice of a lofty edge ; )  Thank you, my friend.  Message received and assimilated.  XOXO

3/25/2013 Reading back over this, it occurs to me that perhaps this dream is a longing for my husband to try to find me ... reconnect with me on a deeper level once again, but at this point in our lives I don't think that is going to happen.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Classical Guitar: Filomena Moretti

Revisiting an old favorite ....  This piece is just mesmerizing to me.  It takes me away from this here and now.  What an amazing gift to have, to be able to play an instrument as if it were an extension of you, an outpouring of your very soul.  Truly beautiful!

J.S. Bach, Suite en sol mineur BWV 995, Performed By Filomena Moretti.

P.S. It is good that I often revist my blog and read again what I have written.  It helps me to see where I have been, where I am going and perhaps some progress I have made along the way.  Also affords me the opportunity to correct thoughts that are not properly transcribed onto the written page.  Sometimes the thoughts flowing through my mind are such an intense outpouring of reasoning and emotion that it is difficult to contain them within the confines of our written language.  Sometimes too, I think that my subconscious mind has an agneda all its own.  Reading here again often gives me some clue as to just what might be going on within my subconscious mind.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bilal: Ancient Dreams and Messages?

This photo was originally titled "Mysterious."
[It seems to fit well here?]

I have unusual dreams to say the least ... sometimes even waking visions.  Last night I cannot remember my dream in any detail, but I awoke with the most unusual name upon my lips ... echoing through my head:  Bilal

This name did not strike any familiar note for me, so I did an internet search and made a most interesting discovery.  Bilal was a freed Ethiopian slave and companion to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is considered to have been the first muezzin* chosen by the prophet Muhammad, himself, per the Wikipedia link that I found.  According to this source, Bilal "is said to have been one of the most trusted and loyal Sahabah (companion) of Muhammad. His respected stature during the birth of Islam is often cited by Muslims as evidence of the importance of pluralism and racial equality in the foundations of the religion."

[*A muezzin is "the chosen person at a mosque who leads and recites the call to prayer (adhan) for every event of prayer and worship in the mosque. Usually, in ancient years, Muezzins around the world will recite the adhan or call to prayer by the minarets so people around the mosque will hear him." (quoted from wikipedia via given link)]

I wish I knew what this name being upon my waking lips meant?  Or that I could remember the dream that went with it?  Sometimes my dreams occur over a series of days, so it is likely that this dream will return.  Hopefully, the dream and the meaning of this name will become clearer to me.  Perhaps, this name is a call for more intensified prayers for Peace and understanding in our chaotic world?  So often, I wish I had someone who could help me to better understand my dreams and  help me to figure out what it is that I supposed to do with the visions ... messages ... that I receive.  Mostly, I just keep journals and notes.  Sometimes it is a bit clearer to me who a message is meant for.

Awhile back I started a language course on Egyptian Arabic, for my someday dream trip to Egypt.  Life became hectic and I stopped the audio course, but I still have the CDs.  Level 1 and 2.  Maybe this dream is a call for me to resume learning this language?  ... The universe does indeed work in mysterious ways and I have often wondered why it chooses to speak to me so often?  Is it because I am awake and open to listening, I wonder?

Monday, July 09, 2012

A Walk Down to the Beach: Evolution of ART?

Bribed the kids with dinner at one of their favorite take-out places if they would walk down to the beach with me.  So we ate dinner on the beach while watching the waves crash into the shore ... It was an exceptionally windy day today.  Not many sailboats out today, but a stealth speed boat was literally skipping across the wave crests as it sped on by.  The walk down to the beach was good exercise and a nice change of pace.  Something about just being near water ... watching its movement, hearing its song ... is healing to me on a spiritual level.  And of course, I love to change things up, embrace the unexpected and go on new adventures.  Love dragging my digitally entrenched kids along too; although my oldest somehow managed to sneak not only her cell phone, but her iPod as well.

On the way to the beach, of course, I saw numerous photo opportunities (My kids loose patience with me sometimes ; ).  But as I only had my cell phone, I didn't capture much that was useful for the purposes of art.  The following is one of my three photo captures.  As you can see, the center roses were just gorgeous, but the spotted leaves and the scraggly back-drop leave a lot to be desired.

Original Image
@Copyrighted Photograph, 2012. All Rights Reserved.


Not to worry, however, this was the perfect opportunity to use my new graphics tablet.  I am still getting used to working with this new tool.  Trying to use my left hand (one I write with), when I am used to "drawing" with a mouse using my right hand (okay, I'm actually ambi-dextrous). Bearing the latter in mind, it probably took me longer than it normally would to do a typical standard photo edit (ie., not too complex) ... and I was just taking my time, enjoying the process while listening to music.  Probably took me about an hour total to do this whole edit, from start to finish.  I cleaned up the original cell phone shot first.

Cleaned-Up Photo Edit
@Copyrighted Photograph, 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Lastly, I decided to paint it a little to add highlights, brush strokes, etc. and make it pop.  This is the final product.  It's pretty simple, whimsical ... but it was a great exercise for me using my new graphics tablet.  Fun to play too =)  So I got to exercise, body, mind and soul today:  A good day, all in all, I'd say. 

"In the Garden ..."
@Copyrighted Photograph, 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Hope you and yours had a great day today too ♥

Peace & Love,


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Independence Day: Not just another day ...

This Independence Day …

“Let not tomorrow be just another day.  Let the celebration of our nation's Independence Day be a day of genuine thankfulness for the wisdom of our Founding Father’s and the brave men and women who fearlessly fought for the idea of a "free nation."  Let this fourth of July be a day of remembering where we have been as a nation: our defining moments, as well as the moments where we may have gone astray. And bearing all of this in mind, let this Independence Day herald an awakening call for all American citizens to unite upon our common ground, in a cooperation of embracing diversities that strives to heal our once great nation.   May this healing then spread like fire in the hearts of good women and men, a fire to foster the building of bridges to cross the ever-widening chasms of our nation’s divide.” ~Isabelle Black Smith

@Copyrighted, July 2012. All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

[I wonder: have you ever read this document?  Maybe it's time you should ...]

Reflecting upon the many divides I see in our nation these days (e.g., black vs. white, have vs. have not, left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican),  I find myself deeply troubled by the ever-widening chasms of our divide.  It is my sincerest hope that we, fellow American citizens, can find some meaningful way to come together on the really important issues facing our nation (terrorism, jobs, economy, education, energy independence, fixing healthcare).  We need to address these pressing issues for the greater good of ALL AMERICANS and for the future of our children, and our children's children yet to come.  Furthermore, we need to embrace our diversity, for our differences are the biggest part of what makes America so great, especially our diversity of thought.  Can you even imagine America as a nation of blind followers, mindlessly ad-hearing to one single set of ideological principles in absence of an on-going dialogue and meaningful debate?  That would be the antithesis of a true democracy, to my way of thinking. But embracing diversity only works when each of us is willing to honestly listen, in the absence of immediate judgment, in order to consider another perspective.  From here we can begin to engage in meaningful debate, bringing facts and ideas to table.  Judgment, obstruction and the absence of true debate (i.e., shutting down free speech and refusing to engage in constructive conversations, with actual facts, along with hurling divisive insults and accusations) gets us nowhere!  Finally, by revisiting our common roots --in history-- we will be in a position to learn from our successes, as well as failures, such that we will be able move forward once again with confidence, unity (in enacting policies beneficial to the nation as a whole) and accomplishment for all of "We the People" in America as a whole.

"My future looks bright?"
@Copyrighted Photograph.  All Rights Reserved.

Here's wishing you all a Blessed, joy-filled and safe celebration this 4th of July.  God Bless the USA!!

Peace & Much Love,