Birthdays….

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Birthdays are often a time of reflection and it seems that this one, for me, is even more so. I cannot offer a definitive reason why … maybe it’s the stars or the moon, or the spirit of the Mountain here. Or perhaps simply a recognition of the years passing, as I leaf through the pages of datebooks and journals … a concession to the shorter time left ahead, compared to what has already gone by. I do not know. I only know these last few weeks have brought an undercurrent of drifting, sometimes swirling, emotion; decades of memories sweeping through me … pirouetting, stage right to stage left, on silent silk slippers as I watch. I have had an incredible life … a life that has gone from abuse and abandonment, and struggling alone to understand and overcome certain genetic crap-shot “glitches” … to peace, forgiveness, acknowledgement and deep soul gratification. I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles, exploring and “discovering” this amazing country … from the dense and loamy eastern forests, to craggy granite mountains and the red high desert mesas of the west. From sea to shining sea, quite literally. I have experienced so much – from the highest of the highs, to the lowest moments, tumbling down a seemingly bottomless pit of despair. I have been hungry; and cold, wet and homeless. I have been beaten and bullied; raped, bruised and broken. I have struggled with Aspergers (long before it was known as a ‘thing’) and mild dyslexia, along with a few physical challenges. I was legally emancipated at 16 and never had the chance to go to college or university, later battling employers’ prejudice that lack brought on.

And … I have loved and been loved deeply. I have been hugged and held and rocked to sleep. I have been bathed and perfumed. I have friends and laughter, music to dance to, sunrises and sunsets – and all of the hours in-between – to celebrate every day. I have a roof over my head, chairs to sit in, books to read, and food that both my mouth and belly smile at receiving. I have a warm bed to sleep in, warm clothes to wrap myself in, warm towels to dry myself.

Yet as I look back over these last decades of this journey, I know there is still so much more to come. More laughter, more dances, more joy. More sights to see and sunrises to watch. More chocolate to savour, more wine to drink. More stars to watch and moons to howl with. More kisses to be kissed … ahhhh …. and more love to be made. More datebooks and journals to be filled.

A page is turned, not to be forgotten; the pencil is sharp, another page begins on Friday………

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A Break…

““Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”
~ Robert Holden

Just a short note to say that I’ll be taking a bit more time for me this coming year. I’ll still be writing on occasion, but not as much/often … rather, I’ll be “having a relationship” with myself, tending to my needs a bit more. I’ve been writing and blogging to various websites daily for the last 16 years, working to (hopefully) encourage everyone to see the joys of life and to follow their dreams … and I’ve spent the last three years fully immersed in doing so, often answering dozens of personal messages and comments every day. Now it’s time for me to shift gears, and take time to enjoy friends and this lovely place I’ve chosen to call Home. To make more art and more photos, maybe even write more poetry. To cook, and to create. To get a guitar and start playing again. I want to decorate my home, eat good food, enjoy good times. Go to movies and shows, visit galleries, wander the woods, laugh, dance. Learn more about my recently discovered Nordic and Celtic heritage, and their customs. Just to relax into this new life, and enjoy this moment in time. ❤

A person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened. “
~ Albert Camus

Silence….

“Go deeper. Past thoughts into silence. Past silence into stillness. Past stillness into the Heart…”
~ Kabir

The end of the year has long been my time of silence. I spend most of my hours in reflection, thought and meditation. And in thanksgiving, most of all. Then going past the silence, the stillness, and into the heart. Into Spirit.

Time is given to reviewing the year – the lessons, the joys, the blessings; offering grace to where I want to be emotionally, spiritually, and physically in the days ahead. Motives are examined and decisions are made. Other time is spent in mindful work – mundane chores must be done, but completed with intention and thankfulness that I have the food to prepare and dishes to do, laundry to wash, furniture to dust, and steps to sweep.

At the computer, I add the finishing thoughts, and contemplate “The List” … a tangible record of what I intend to have in my life, and how it will look by Christmas of the coming year. All of the joy, all of the love, all of the beauty. The peace and contentedness. Where, what, and how I want my myself and my life to be. Late New Year’s Eve, I print and read it once more, then tape it to my refrigerator, where I’ll see (and read) it every day … reminding me of the path I am traveling. It has truly been amazing to watch these lists come to fruition as the years have gone by … and to learn and understand when some haven’t. It is a cherished gift I give myself every year.

So with this post, I enter into that silence. Good thoughts and peace to all, and a very Happy New Year. See you sometime in 2019. ❤

A Raven, Peace, Gratitude & the Holidays…..

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”
~ John F. Kennedy

A gentle sunrise from my deck this morning, and a raven grawking … calling to me every time I opened the door and stepped outside. I could not see him initially, but when Raven speaks, I listen…..

Black – the color of the raven – is considered the color of birthing, and those of the Christian faith across the Earth celebrate this time as a time of birth … an observance of the birth of a baby whose journey and message was one of peace, and of love. An epistle of reaching out to help others. And a message of living with an open heart and kindness.

Today … no matter your beliefs, no matter where you are … I wish you a very Happy Holiday. I hope it will be one filled with magic, love, and wonder. If you are alone, know that you never truly are alone: We are all parts of One in an incredibly amazing cosmic body.  We are all cells, atoms and neurons, in that body. What touches or affects one person – a living cell in this eternal body – touches another. The connections are there, like the synapses in a human body. Take a walk today – reach out and look up to the heavens … listen to the creatures of the earth, sit with the trees … you will know then, I promise you, that you are not alone here.

*****

I also want to thank you for allowing me to come into your lives through the these medium of WordPress and Facebook over the last few years on my blogs and pages; and for coming along with me as my life and journey continues to change and move forward here now in New Mexico. Life … it IS change, indeed. And it has been a wonderful gift to be able to share bits of myself, and the things that I love and touch my soul with those I’ve met along the way. I am truly grateful and incredibly humbled for your care, your likes, your love, your comments and your support. Thank you, once again.

So with that, I wish you all ….
Merry Christmas
חנוכה שמח
Joyous Kwanzaa
Fröhliches Weihnachtszeit
Happy Boxing Day
메리 크리스마스
Feliz Navidad
Mele Kalikimaka
Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
счастливого Рождества
Nollaig Shona
Hyvää Joulua
圣诞节快乐 …
Shalom and Happy Holidays …
from my side of the mountains to yours,
where ever that may find you.
May it be a beautifully joyous and peaceful one for all! ❤

 

The List….

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.”
~ Sarah Dessen

*****

The last few weeks of the year are always a reflective time for me … a time of thanksgiving and contemplation. A time of looking back over the roads I’ve traveled during the last 365 days … both literally and figuratively.

Since the tragic – yet what one could argue, undoubtedly destined – accident almost four years ago, my life has been transformed in ways I never could have imagined both physically, and also in profoundly deeply spiritual and emotional ways. And, as every year since January 2015, the same holds true these last 12 months. I have so much to be thankful for, and to remember. This year in particular, now having had my old photos returned, fragile paper remembrances remind me how much time has past and how much has changed.

Since 2012 I’ve created something I call “The List” at the end of each year … a list of what I intend to have in my life by the following December. It has always been amazing to watch these come to  fruition over the years … and to learn and understand if, or when, they don’t. Sometimes my heart wasn’t fully willing, sometimes I wasn’t ready, and sometimes what I thought I wanted, I really didn’t. And sometimes, it was ego or hurt that gave birth to the desire … not my soul. And this year was no different. The road I have traveled these last 12 months held more challenges and growth than I ever could have anticipated, yet it was also replete with a wealth of incredible new experiences, sweet memories and many smiles. Little could I imagine, as I watched the snow fall last winter, all that was to lie ahead: I was back in NY, believing it to be “home,” as so many generations of my ancestors had been born, lived and died there. I believed the waters of the Finger Lakes coursed through my veins as they had for all those who’d walked and hunted and farmed that land before me. But it no longer fit, and in my broken heart I knew what I had to do … strip my apartment, sell everything again, pack up the car, and find MY true home. With the Spirit of my Grandmother’s blessing, I left NY once more, and headed west. And now … now, I truly am at home among the mountains and sage, and the ravens and magpies. A home, a land, a people that fit who I’ve become … not who I was. Life is truly an amazing journey.

This year also brought many new experiences and new friends into my life. I have sashayed to unfamiliar tunes, savoured new food and drink, watched the sun paint the sky in ribbons of color both dawning and dusking. I have sighed in nights of sweet repose, and mourned the mornings when sleep didn’t bother to stop by. My heart has danced with the joy and laughter of beginnings, and wept in the muted vacuum of endings. I said goodbye to the Silver Backpack – my sweet little Subi – who carried me safely almost 30,000 miles in the three years we traveled together on the road, rattling and banging through it all with me. We both aged, we both added a few dings and a bit more gray to the hood … and She was tired. In June, a new-to-me backpack – Miss Gracie Gray – brought me back west … and hopefully, we’ll have many new adventures ahead together.

So, as these last 10 days of the year begin, and with the advent of Solstice today and a full moon on Saturday – a time that marks new beginnings – I will be preparing myself … and my List. During these days of the darkest time of the year, I allow the past to take it’s rightful place in The Past … and begin to lay the groundwork for the next season of my life. I hope to discover more ways I can make a difference … in the world, and in my community. And as I look ahead, I know there so much more to come … more joy, more adventure, more spirit, more love. More living Life with a heart gloriously broken wide open. Though none of us know exactly where the road ahead leads, or how long our journey in Life will be, my “List” will hold things I want to accomplish, enjoy, and intend to happen this coming year.…

And as my father would say, “Make it so, Sweetheart, make it so….”

Solstice Sunrise 12-21-18

Every Morning…

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.” ~ Mary Oliver

******

Every morning, I stand at my window, looking out as the Sun begins Her ascent from behind these mountains that are just two miles from my door.  Sometimes the heavens are ablaze with the glory of brilliant, almost blinding color; other times there is a hushed, single-hued whisper as the Earth almost silently meets the day. It so often brings tears to my eyes, my heart rapidly drumming a greeting to the dawn and new day.

How beautiful, yet how simple, of a ritual. To allow my body, my mind, and my soul and spirit quietly recall how very divine each breath, each sunrise, is. There is so much more to life, to our journey here, than working, acquiring, rushing back and forth. We all know this, yet we forget it so easily. To stand at the window each morning brings the gift of remembrance. A few moments in silence, and the soul smiles as it loves what it loves….

Good morning, World. ❤

 

Gratitude Manifested…

“When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgment of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself…

That work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life.” ~ Stanley Kunitz

I am not the best photographer in the world, nor the best writer. But, when I look out of a window in the morning, and witness the love the heavens have for this amazing earth … and all the beauty this encompasses … I cannot help but attempt to manifest my deep and humble gratitude for the privilege of being here yet one more day. My heart stumbles in loss of words, my mind ceases its useless thoughts … and my spirit bows, to rise soaring with the ravens in the dawn.

Thank you …. thank you …. thank you.

Good morning, World….. ❤

 

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