Monday, August 31, 2009

Memory from a Zeta Sister

"I was just talking to a neighbor who is a Zeta at Sam Houston State, and I had a flashback. Remember when we would leave early for class and sit on the wall in front of the Math Bldg just to people watch? I haven't taken the time to do something like that in years." -- KMP

I received this comment on Facebook from a sorority sister I haven’t seen face to face in over 30 years. Sadly my immediate answer is “No, Karen, I don’t remember that at all.” But then I pause, I close my eyes and I see those girls. I see us in our long 70’s hair and bell-bottomed jeans perhaps a peasant blouse or a Zeta Tau Alpha t-shirt. We are casual friends – sisters – pledged into the same class. I haven’t had contact with her in years and yet today she brings me a very real moment in time.

I can only see it in my mind’s eye. My memory feels so foggy from that time of life, but as I stop and pause, I feel the moment in my body. Tears form in my eyes and my stomach tightens just a bit. They are tears & tightening that cover the span of life - joy, sorrow, loss, memory. I know that girl who has become this woman. She was doing things as a college student that she – that I – love to do today. The woman I thought was never there - the one I thought didn’t come out to bloom until only recently - was laying the groundwork for me there on the campus of Oklahoma State University. She was there all along sitting on the wall in front of the Math Building, people watching. I thought that girl never existed. Now I know that she was there all along. I simply let her be surrounded by the fog of life, but today someone who walked beside me way back then helped lift that fog. A friend held the memory for me. Today I remember and I am blessed.

Today, I vow to find a spot along a wall or sidewalk – perhaps with a friend – perhaps on my own. I will take Karen with me if only in my heart and together those girls of the 70’s who have become women of the 21st century will take the time to sit and watch. Maybe you will join me. Or perhaps you will share a memory with a friend. The best gifts often come in the simplest forms!!

Peace be with you, friend Karen. Thank you for the sweet memory.

Friday, August 28, 2009

how do you define violence?

..."violence is not just a matter of dropping a bomb on someone or shooting a bullet at them or hitting them in the face. Violence is done whenever we violate the identity and integrity of the other. Violence is done when we demean, marginalize, dismiss, rendering other people irrelevant to our lives or even less than human. Violence is done when we simply don't care or don't look hard enough to evoke our caring for another." -- Parker Palmer

I share this quote today, because my daughter experienced this kind of violence first hand this week. She is a member of a class of citizens known for their extreme "meanness" - that of the teenage girl. Unfortunately this time the 'violence' came from someone who should know better. He is supposedly a role model. He is a coach.

Torn between wanting to rake this man over the coals and also wanting to be compassionate because I cannot know what has brought him to this place, I shall keep my public statements to a minimum. My private journaling, however, includes lots of spewing. I am livid to put it mildly.

How can the next generation grow into positive citizens when their role models daily inflict violence on them? How can we stop violence in the world if we do not stop it in our own homes & neighborhoods? So i must consider... How do I dismiss others without a thought? Where do I inflict violence by simply not caring? I hope you will consider this for yourself alongside me.

"headless" by lucy 7.08.09

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

until i have more time and...

"Until the veil of the unknown yields
And something original begins
To stir toward (my) senses
And grow stronger in (my) heart..." -- John O'Donohue

Saturday, August 22, 2009

celebrating blessings

Only 20 pages in and I am LOVING this book:

My Grandfather's Blessings - Rachel Naomi Remen

"Blessing life may be more about learning how to celebrate life than learning how to fix life."

" is about filling yourself up so that your blessings overflow onto others."

"celebrating life" photo by lucy 6.20.09

Friday, August 21, 2009

lucy comes out to complain...

I love driving. I hate parking. Let me clarify that a bit. I love driving most of the time – particularly long stretches of road with the convertible top down and the sound of music or the silence of the evening swirling through the air. I don’t specifically hate parking in the sense of pulling into a space and placing the car in “P.” In fact, just recently I was complimented on my parallel parking skills. The precision of a perfectly executed sideways entry gives me great satisfaction.

The parking to which I refer is more the hunting for it and, then to add insult to injury, the paying for it. Now, I would rather circle a block a dozen times in the hope of a metered space for $3 rather than a quick stop in the $10 lot. (I realize you New Yorkers are asking about now, what am I whining about? Believe, me it’s not even the price that gets me.) So, what is the deal here? I honestly have no idea and it is not something I care to take to the shrink’s couch. However, I feel strongly enough that I must expound on it for a few more moments.

This week I have had to look (& pay) for more parking than normal. Tuesday, I had lunch with a long-lost friend. I rode my scooter downtown, quickly found the perfect spot marked “motorcycles only” and went to dine in the sunshine with my dear friend. Fabulous, huh? Then as we walked back to my “ride”, we noticed a meter-maid (I’m certain there is a more politically correct term, nonetheless), who was carefully adhering a parking ticket to my handle bars. Aaarrggghhh. I was not enraged or even particularly bothered at the moment. (My friend offered to pay for drinks the next time we gathered ☺). Since then, however, my aversion has raised its not-so-pretty head again and again until I decided I just needed to write about it.

So what is with that? I mean I am willing to drive or walk miles today to avoid the thought of looking and paying for parking again. My mind fantasizes about what kind of person would enjoy giving parking tickets for a living. Who are the bozos who placed all of the meters in MY neighborhood? Where’s the law of attraction when you’re looking for a parking place? Oh, I could go on and on. I was visiting a friend who lives in a high density area several weeks ago. I love this person and I adore spending time with her, but after 20 minutes of unsuccessfully looking for parking (there isn’t even any you can pay for in her ‘hood), I almost turned around and drove back home.

You might be wondering what is the point of this post? What self-revelation have I come to? Where is the spiritual component? The lesson to be learned? The questions to be asked? The point is I love driving. I hate parking. Parking is one of my pet peeves. I am most human behind the wheel. Hmmmmm.

So, I can’t end without a question (or two)? Parking? Any thoughts? How about other pet peeves? Where are you most human?

"an early driver" circa 1967? if you look closely you will see my father in the background. there is not a doubt my mother took this picture since she was infamous for cutting off people's heads (in photos).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do Not Drop

I am feeling restless lately. Have for several days. I want to write and can’t seem to string two coherent sentences together. I have volumes to say AND absolutely nothing at all. Life feels full with lots to do AND I have spaciousness that sits like a parched gully waiting for the rain to fill. I feel edgy and restless. I have tried everything. (My inner monk says, “Stop trying.”) Meeting with friends. Taking naps. Walks. Yesterday I danced. Now, that was fun and cool and removed the restlessness for awhile (and I hope to come back and write that little story ☺.) But for now…

Today would have been my father’s 90th birthday. Happy Birthday, Daddy! He was a long-distance truck driver and I believe had a bit of the wanderlust in him. Last year at this time I took off on my “Baby Road Trip.” I have felt the same call recently, but cannot quite bring myself to do it. It is so odd. I don’t feel blue or sad or empty or any of those other things. I just feel restless. I wonder if that is how my dad felt? I wonder if this is the time of year where I sense his presence stronger and somehow inhabit his restlessness. I imagine that might sound a little kooky to some of you. I’m not talking about channeling my father like a Whoopie Goldberg impersonation from “Ghost.” I am referring to an embodied sense. His blood flows through my veins. Perhaps he had DNA that drove him to hit the road and that DNA stirs up in me around his birthday which also happens to be a few short weeks before the anniversary of his death – September 12.

Who knows? Maybe it’s all in my head, but you know what? I don’t think that’s totally it. It didn’t even dawn on me that any of this was happening until I was out for a jog a couple of days ago with my i-Pod shuffling away and Jimmy Buffett’s song, Big Rig*, came on. I stopped in my tracks and had another “moment” with my dad. Crazy? I don’t think so. Connected? Restless? Present? You bet.

Like I said, I am having trouble stringing two coherent sentences together, but it still felt important to put this out there for myself and for my dad – and maybe even for you? Do you ever feel sensations like restlessness or grief or something that you can’t quite put your finger on? Have you experienced “anniversary dates” in your body before they popped into your mind? Have you ever thought about something like this?

*"I wish I was a big rig
Rollin' on home to you
I wish I was a big rig
A big rig baby
Rollin' on home to you"
--Jimmy Buffett
"Do Not Drop" - lucy, late 1960's

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bend or Break?

Warning: Lots of questions. Few answers.

“Why are some of the sweetest and most profound moments created out of agonizing heart break?” This is a question recently posed by an amazingly resilient friend. I wonder at times why she has not broken into a million little pieces.

Our conversation and several other events led me to consider the next question(s): Why do some people rise to the challenge and become stronger, wiser and more deeply committed to life; while others break or sink into despair, pathology and bitterness? Why are some resilient and others brittle? Why can some see beauty and sweetness even in the midst of heartbreak?

This month’s Vanity Fair includes an article on Farrah Fawcett’s last years. It really, however, is an article about her surviving lover, Ryan O’Neal. The depth of pain and bitterness that comes out through O’Neal’s thinly-veiled cynicism is heartbreaking - particularly as he speaks of the addiction that tormented his family. His anger, hatred and hopelessness pointed me toward thoughts of men and women I know who battle similar challenges. The difference in response is astounding as I witness parents who keep holding hope for their children through the direst circumstances while O’Neal jokes about wishing some of his offspring had never been born. (Please do not read this as a judgment of O’Neal. I see a heartbroken man and not someone to be condemned.) It is the contrast of which I speak. Why are some people able to see through the ugliness to the inner core of beauty and others are unaware beauty might even exist?

I think of Biblical examples, like the prodigal son and the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to find the lost one. These parents keep coming back with love – again and again. They bend and stretch, and do not snap. Their resilience and flexibility surpass the rigidity that ultimately causes rupture and bitterness. Why do some rubber bands keep stretching and others snap and break?

Is it by Christ’s example of selfless love? By loving God and your neighbor (or child) as yourself? By practicing self-care? All of the above? Or is it just plain luck? Who am I to say? In my experience I have learned one pretty simple thing: if God is eased out of my equation, bitterness quickly seeps in...and the downward spiral plummets. I do not know why some rubber bands break and others stretch, but I do know: If we can’t love ourselves, we can’t love anyone else well.

"golden spiral" - bermuda 7.09

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How do you raise an artist?

You never know when memories of life will take on new meaning and perhaps shift into deeper understanding of yourself – or someone else. I have just finished reading Sunrise Sister’s recent post about an obscure artist – Orren Mixer. It is a story about art and her mother – who happens to also be my mother.

Art and my mother. Somehow the two pieces do not seem to fit, yet after reading SS’s post, I am filled with an overwhelming sadness and grief. Perhaps it is in the lack of understanding I have for my mother (who died in May, 2004) or possibly I understand in this moment more than I ever have before. I seem to feel the deeper sadness of my mother and renewed compassion. She never showed her sadness through tears. It was disguised in her perfect appearance, her critical nature and her adamant statements about good & bad, right and wrong. Was she covering a broken heart? Vanquished dreams? I have often wondered who stamped the joy out of her. Her mother? Her mother’s mother? Her children?

As I think of those women, I see scraps of fabric. Pieces of quilts and remnants of cloth cut from McCall’s patterns. I have a flash of thought. Did I pick up my love of art from these women - women who never spoke the word art with anything but scorn? For years I knew I wanted to quilt – needed to quilt even. Sunbonnet Sue –the little girl with the hidden face - called to me. Could I relate to her? I have never made my own Sunbonnet Sue, but when I began to quilt I found something that had been missing deep inside. I was passionate about it and spent hours on end precisely cutting squares and piecing them together. I love the feel of the fabric between my fingers and arranging colors like the rainbow. No one taught me how to do that. It came from an instinctive place inside.

Ah, but my mother taught me how to sew. One of my favorite places at my grandmother’s house was underneath her old pedal sewing machine. I felt safe there. I have fond memories of Mother sewing for me. Lovingly piecing together multiple patterns to create the dress of our vision. Was this her craft? Her art? Did she come alive when she created? (I am sorry to say I don't recall that joy about her.) If she was joyful, why did she stop? Why the staunch refusal to support any career for her children that was not practical? Rumor had it, our mother wanted to be an English teacher, but she married the day she graduated high school and began a family shortly thereafter. I considered a degree in Fashion Merchandising, but ultimately graduated in accounting, pushing aside a dulled vision of anything more creative.

I have been told I have a strong sense of style. I don’t know from where it came. No one taught me. I have a good eye with a camera. No one taught or encouraged that either. I am a decent writer even though the art was nearly pounded out of me with demands for perfect sentence structure and footnotes to reference “real” writer’s work. So, I wonder who pounded the art out of my mother. Because as I read my sister’s post, I know it was there. I’m not even sure my mother knew it was there. 'Fabric Arts' was not in vogue in her lifetime. It was simply sewing – something often done out of necessity. Does necessity take the fun or beauty out of our craft(s)? If my writing becomes work will I love it less?

The stakes are low as I post a few words here on a blog; and they are very high, because writing brings me joy. My soul is at stake here. My life breath depends on doing what I am called to do. So what was my mother called to do? Perhaps it was to raise three brilliant children. I wonder though if a little piece of her didn’t die somewhere along the way. Was there a spark inside her that needed air and instead got suffocated? We weren’t raised to appreciate art, but there are traces of it all throughout our lives. Tiny little seeds planted somewhere along the way, sprouting now in the children she inadvertently raised to be artists. Along with those seeds comes my hope for growing compassion and understanding of a woman who was an artist in her very own way.

You never know when a memory of your life will take on new meaning.

my mother and sister
sunbonnet sue
"reading at an early age" - me

Friday, August 14, 2009

art attack: find a face

Inspired by Kel who was inspired by WTF@ce , I am joining this month's art attack challenge to capture a photo of an everyday object that "looks" back at you. Where can you see a face?

I found this grizzled old guy watching me in Bermuda last month. Ain't he grand?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Playful Child

Summer time is the perfect time for daydreaming. Today I would love for us to consider our playful children. Not the ones that might be running around in your house or playing in the neighborhood outside, but the playful child who lives inside you. Yes, you...& me!

What follows is a simple meditation. If you would like to take part (and I sincerely hope you will), I suggest you gather some crayons, colored pencils or markers and a large sheet of plain paper to have by your side. Then consider this:

When you think of being a playful child, what comes to mind? Particular tastes, touch, smell? Popsicles on a hot summer day. The soft furr of a tiny kitten. The scratchy tongue of a puppy on your hand. Maybe it is the smell of popcorn and the anticipation of The Wonderful World of Disney or Howdy Doody or Sesame Street.

Are you inside or outside? Can you feel the grass beneath your feet? The splash of water on your toes? Perhaps you are curled up next to your mom or dad. Can you smell cookies baking in the oven or feel the excitement of your first day of school?

What things do you look forward to? A trip to the beach. A new book. Playing a game with friends. Hopscotch or jacks. Skipping rope or riding your bike and feeling the wind in your hair. Skiing in the fresh snow, building a snowman or the freedom of skimming across new ice on skates.

Where do you feel the most alive and content? Can you see it? Smell it? Touch it? Taste it? What does it sound like? Church bells. Peels of laughter. A gentle voice reading you a story or the magnificent silence as you gaze at the night’s brilliant stars. Can you sense the joy of finding the big dipper or the north star?

Does your playful child like small cozy spaces? Covers thrown over the table to make a tent? Snuggling in bed with a flashlight and a Nancy Drew book? Perhaps you prefer the great outdoors. The expanse of the beach or a mountain trail while sitting atop your daddy’s shoulders. Sharing the great wildness with your heavenly Father. The Grand Canyon. Miles of desert or forest or ocean or running free through endless fields of wheat or corn.

Maybe this is an actual experience or maybe it’s only that special place in your dreams. When you close your eyes and feel the senses of freedom and childhood, what comes to mind? Consider the playful child. What does she/he look like? Does playful have a taste? A smell? Use all your senses. Can you hear it? Do your fingers reach for something to touch and hold? Let your imagination flow. Be in that place where anything is possible. No fear. Only love surrounds you. Taste it. Touch it. Smell it. Feel it. See it. Know it.

And now, holding all that you have just experienced, I encourage you to use your non-dominant hand and DRAW it. Don’t think about it. Tell the inner critique you're not listening today. Just pick up a crayon and draw. What colors are this image? Let them flow onto the paper. Hold that space and be the child who knows only freedom and safety and love. Let that child and her experience flow out onto the paper. After all, she/he deserves a chance to come out and play, don't ya think?

(and then, of course, let me know what you discovered! Happy dreaming!!! ☺)

playful child ksh, age 4
lucy's drawing 8/13/09 (no need to worry about your own results. isn't mine beautiful?!?!?)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

serendipity? synchronicity? spirituality?

So, this is kind of how my life goes. Following yesterday's post, this showed up in my inbox this morning. Hmmmm.

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Saying No

For many of us, the most difficult word to say is one of the shortest and easiest in the vocabulary: No. Go ahead, say it aloud: No.

No - simple to pronounce, hard to say. We’re afraid people won’t like us, or we feel guilty. We may believe that a “good” employee, child, parent, spouse, or Christian never says no.

The problem is, if we don’t learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please. We may even punish others out of resentment.

When do we say no? When no is what we really mean.

When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.

If we’re scared to say no, we can buy some time. We can take a break, rehearse the word, and go back and say no. We don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions.

When we can say no, we can say yes to the good. Our no’s and our yes’s begin to be taken seriously. We gain control of ourselves. And we learn a secret: “No” isn’t really that hard to say.

Today, I will say no if that is what I mean.

You are reading from the book:

The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Listening to the Two-year-old

Have you ever witnessed the power of a two-year-old, or do you remember being that age yourself? Can you recall having the audacity to say NO or MINE without apology? Are you able to call on that energy today (perhaps in a slightly more adult fashion)?

Recently the voice of a two-year-old introduced itself into my journaling. I was considering how and why in some situations it takes me a very long time to say, “No. I don’t wanna.” Saying no has been a very odd thing for me to consider since I really don’t view myself as a “yes-girl” especially in terms of always doing what others want without regard to my personal well-being or preference. Still, I have recently discovered through reading Transitions that there are certain places where I naturally revert to my childhood patterns of hanging on. (Patterns that most likely developed sometime AFTER the age of two).

A few days ago I was writing in my journal and this two-year-old showed up and said "NO" and "MINE" with great authority. I wasn’t totally clear on what she meant, but I decided to try and give her a little more voice through collage. She seemed to be pointing me in a direction of letting go of others' expectations and firmly taking hold of priorities that seem better suited to me at this point in my journey.

As I have explained before in regard to collage, it is usually helpful to place boundaries on this process in the way of time, space or number of images selected, magazines used, etc. This time I chose about an inch high stack of gathered images and sorted through it – holding in mind the image of a two-year-old girl.

This is the point where process shows it is often much more important than product. (I could learn as much from the images selected and not used in the collage as I can from the collage itself.) In my stack, there were no images of girls (or few anyway). Most of the photos that captured the essence of what I was feeling were boys. Yes, boys! I found it a bit irritating since my heart was set on this little girl, but I kept after it until I had about a dozen photos in front of me. Pondering them, the words 'Sacred No' entered my thoughts. The ‘Sacred No’ is most often associated with masculine energy and boundary setting. Was it any wonder then that the images popping into my hand were male as I pondered NO and personal boundaries? There was little question in my mind that in my current discernment I need to take the hand of the 'Sacred No' and welcome it in. It is not a bad thing to say no. In fact, it may be a great gift. Hmmmm.

I apparently transition slowly when it comes to letting go of things I hold dear and consider an integral part of my growth and development. Right now however, it feels like it’s time for me to do something that is MINE and approach it with the tenacity of a two-year-old. So, what do you think? Is there an inner two-year-old inside you begging to come out and scream No! or No more! Or Not yet! Or any other version of that? Where do you need to be empowered to follow your dreams - to say MINE? I seem to be finding my power through the voice of a little person who lives inside me. How about you?

"And Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

collage by lucy 8.08.09

Friday, August 07, 2009

balanced for flight

snippets from my summer reading...

"I know this much about racing in the rain. I know it is about balance. It is about anticipation and patience. I know all of the driving skills that are necessary for one to be successful in the rain. But racing in the rain is also about the
mind! It is about owning one's own body. About believing that one's car is merely an extension of one's body. About believing that the track is an extension of the car, and the rain is an extension of the track, and the sky is an extension of the rain. It is about believing that you are not you; you are everything. And everything is you." -- Enzo from The Art of Racing in the Rain

"It sometimes entered Mr. Pontellier's mind to wonder if his wife were not growing a little unbalanced mentally. He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world."

"There was with her a feeling of having descended in the social scale, with a corresponding sense of having risen in the spiritual. Every step which she took toward relieving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual. She began to look with her own eyes; to see and to apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life. No longer was she content to "feed upon opinion" when her own soul had invited her." -- Kate Chopin's The Awakening

"In human life as in the rest of nature, change accumulates slowly and almost invisibly until it is made manifest in the sudden form of fledging out or thawing or leaf-fall." -- Transitions

To fledge means to bring up until able to fly. Where have you spread your wings this summer? Has balance escaped you? What is the invitation of your soul? Are you balanced for flight?

I look forward to hearing from you!

"essence" collage by lucy 7.10.09

Thursday, August 06, 2009

next up...stoic chick

The chicks just keep on hatching. Very closely related to Voiceless Chick is the next version in development, Stoic Chick (SC). SC is the one who tries to speak and comes across as impenetrable. Others see her as unapproachable and lacking vulnerability. What they fail to see is her naked little self hiding somewhere inside.

So, what is she hiding? Fear. Duh! Aren’t they all? I haven’t even gotten to Rageful Chick, but here is a note that fell out of my journal this morning. Your fury/rage protects your heart from being dismissed and abandoned. These chicks are here for a purpose and even though I tend to get frustrated when they show up, I need to listen to why they are here.

Pondering Stoic Chick, she primarily shows up when she doesn’t feel safe or trust what is going on around her. When it is too much to bare her heart and soul. She appears proud and arrogant even though inside she is breaking and pleading that someone will see her for who she really is. Stoic Chick has been called cold and distant. Yep, she does a good job of that. But, hey, don’t we all feel like running for cover or turning away when we don’t feel safe? SC is a poor impersonation of someone trying to stay present.

It gets to be a potentially vicious cycle when people start to call SC names, because how safe is that? So what’s a girl to do when someone demands vulnerability and names you deficient in your ability to love? This chick wants to be brave. She refuses to leave, but is punished for staying. She wants to be vulnerable, but should a child come out of hiding when it feels like a war zone? It is so tricky, because I know SC shows up and is hard to reach. I also understand that she usually doesn’t just pop in without being invited in some way.

It’s a hard thing to navigate. If I haven’t lost you here, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you have a Stoic Chick? How do you approach your triggers? Run? Hide? Push back harder? Turn into Angry Chick or Voiceless Chick? Pray? All of the above? (btw--if your only answer is "pray"...angry chick will probably show up, but that's another story.)

stoic chick collage 8.06.09

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

a meme award for me

oh my my my. see what happens when i get busy for a few days. i almost missed out on this lovely award given to me by blisschick. i am quite honored by this bestowing since i know she has many followers of great esteem and delight!!

this is the meme blog award and here are the rules:

1. Share seven tidbits about myself.

2. Share the award with seven blog friends!

1. my middle name is dee and in the sixth grade i wanted to be called deedee (for about a day.)
2. crunch n munch - original is my favorite guilty pleasure. i don't share so don't even ask!
3. i was the chairman of a best-selling cookbook (see #4). btw--it's really awesome!!!
4. i was a member of the junior league, wore pearls and power suits.
5. my undergraduate degree is in accounting...does that sound like me?
6. my son and i plan to go skydiving in the next about this?
7. i hate tagging people for things even though i love getting awards. does that make me selfish or considerate?

if you read here (and comment...see sue's recent post on blog etiquette) feel free to grab an award or play the meme or both...just let me know what you decide to do. the more the merrier!!!

Simple Day

FOR TODAY August 5, 2009
prompted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window the skies are gray. I see a mixture of plum colored leaves and pale green gently swaying in the breeze.

I am thinking I could get up and do something, but it feels pretty cozy right here. (note i switched 'should' for 'could'.)

I am thankful for the opportunity to linger.

From the kitchen I am sipping a slightly warm cup of coffee that I wish was just a little hotter.

I am wearing my Life is Good pj’s – sunshine yellow and orange with little flip flops all over them. They make me happy ☺.

I am creating this post.

I am going to work on my upcoming day retreat called “Return Home to Yourself”.

I am reading “The Bean Trees” by Barbara Kingsolver

I am hoping my summer cold only lasted one day (yesterday.)

I am hearing a gentle fan, distant traffic noises and my own silence.

Around the house all is quiet.

One of my favorite things is having a new day spread before me with open possibilities.

A few plans for the rest of the week: writing, reading, resting, gardening and getting my hair done. Whoopee. Also wondering if I will summon the courage to go to a community drum circle this week?!??!?

My picture thought is called "a crate of possibilities". Taken in Maine, 7/09

What possibilities fill your crate this simple day?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sacred Sunday

Last Sunday I shared a poem about the six senses of God. Here is another one I uncovered in my archives. Wishing you a peace and sensory-filled day!!

More Than Enough

God smells like cinnamon. Baby's breath. Fresh baked bread. Warm cookies. Sewer Swamp. Compost. Earthen Clay.

God tastes like sweet mint. Red wine. Honey on scones. The lips of a lover. The skin of a baby.

God sounds like thunder. Silence. A bird's call. An infant's cry. My heart beating. Laughter & tears.

God feels like safety. Warm arms wrapped around me. Snug. Gentle. Distant. Knowing. Unknown. Filling every sense of my body.

God looks like the wind. The smile of a child. Weather-worn face. Toothless grin. Rock. Sand. Feather. Life. Death. New birth. Bloody war.

My sixth sense says, "Ahhhhh. Awe. Stop asking questions. Just be. Just be, my dear one."

photo by h3images ©

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Voiceless Chick - part 2

There is something really incredible about using the arts to break open areas of our life that might otherwise remain stuck in our heads. When I consider Voiceless Chick, I can give you all sorts of psychological reasons about why she is in my life – and they are highly evolved assessments...just ask me ☺. So, one might think that with all of that knowledge, I could keep VC from showing up. Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. The understanding is helpful and as I mentioned yesterday, I realize it is important for me to listen when my stuck chicks show up.

The beauty of using arts such as collage, journaling and poetry to help process is that they give us a view from a new angle. (Right brain. Left brain. You know the drill.) I have been using Julia Cameron’s morning pages for more than five years now. Some days they feel like drivel and other times if I stick with it I find words flowing out that were buried deep inside. Often they feel otherworldly as though a Source greater than I is writing.

If I follow the process, there is often a visible shift in the voice in which I write. This happened while contemplating VC. The portion I shared yesterday was written in first person. The continuation shared here has a shift to second person.

You are just a little girl.
Close your eyes and breathe.
Listen to your inner voice.
It is strong and clear.
Listen and calm yourself with
your inner voice of authority.

My hand is here.
You are safe.
I hear your pleas.
Yes, my child,
You have a voice.
A voice within you that you and
I can hear.

You are not crazy.
You will not disappear.
You are made of light.
Pure light.
Lucy of the light.

Yes, they may talk and
whisper behind your back, but
You have a voice.
You have reclaimed it.
You can be calm in the midst of this storm.
Your voice is valid.

You have hands to reach down and
take the gag from your mouth.
You have tools.
Inner strength and authority.
You have me to help you speak.
I spoke and you listened.

So, what do you make of this? Do you think I need to be committed to a mental hospital since I am hearing voices? Or is this something to which you can relate? How do the arts play into your spiritual walk? Who might be your stuck chicks waiting to receive a voice?

partial collage by lucy 7.31.09