Thursday, August 9, 2012

Love and Well-Being



How important is Love to our well-being?

I keep hearing about numerous studies that have been done in the last few years which would strongly indicate that those of us who have people who care about us are healthier and have a better chance for recovery when we do fall ill.  Certainly it is easier if we have someone who cares about our well-being.  Imagine being very ill and at the same time, alone, without support from anyone who cares about you.  For many of us, it would be easy to give up in those circumstances.

St. Paul said it well:  “Though I give my body to be burned and all my money to the poor, and have not love, I am but sounding brass.”    I love the imagery.  I think of a church bell, ringing loud and long, but uncaring, not knowing what it calls.  The empty sound.  Good works without the Love to back them up. 

(On the other hand, I do have to wonder why on earth would you give all your money to the poor if you didn’t Love them?)

I am fortunate, for I have always had very good taste in people.  My friends are some of the best folks in the world. And I do think one component of well-being is how much love we experience, whether in giving or receiving.  We need to give love as much as we need to get it, but sometimes I think we forget that.  We want someone to care about us.  But we also need someone to care about.

When I think about the individuals who have kept me going, who have always been there for me, who never cared whether I was fat or thin, well or ill, rich or poor, those individuals have almost always been my four-footed friends.  When  I think about those who have wanted and appreciated what love I had to give them, again, it has been animals.

Currently I live with 6 cats and 3 dogs.  And each one of them is different.  Each has a distinct personality, likes and dislikes, preferences about what is good and what isn’t.   Murray likes to borrow under the covers, Ben is frightened when a blanket is offered.  Lil Bit likes to jump and play, Fred prefers to spend time watching out for strange dogs and cats and warns us if they might try to trespass.  Tabigayle runs and hides when strangers come near, Franklin greets them and questions them about their worthiness to be in his home.  Paulie Paul and Prescott run and hide from company, Addams nags and persists until the company allows him to sit in their laps -– and then he fills the room with purr..

But each and every one of them has been a comforter, a friend, a teacher, a companion, a blessing in my life.

Frankly, I pity folks who have not known how to love an animal, who have not had an animal’s love.  For me, it is a way to be connected to the entire universe.  Human ego so often seems to think that we are the center of the universe, it’s ultimate reason for being.  But we are not so important.  We are merely another bead in the long string of life.  We share this planet with myriad life-forms, all of which are important.  All of whom are deserving of love and care, just as we are.

Friday, June 8, 2012

On Being Fat

On Being Fat

When I was a child, I was skinny.  As I grew, that didn’t really change.  I was rail-thin until around my 40s.  Then I started gaining a little bit of weight, not much, but almost enough to bring me within 10 pounds of my ideal weight.  That took until my mid-50s.
At that point, the doc put me on some meds.  All of a sudden, I started gaining weight.  A lot of it!  And now I am officially fat.

I’m not sure it matters that much to me.  I don’t mind, except that I don’t like looking in the mirror and all my former clothes are useless.  Other than that, it doesn’t really make any difference to me (I should point out I am single, so I just have myself to consider).

Now, I have never cared about fat.  I never even noticed it when I chose my friends, so consequently my friends come in all colors, shapes and sizes.  But after a while, I admit, sometimes I looked at my larger friends with a certain amount of envy.  So I think it is time for me to come out of the closet and say a few things that I never said to anyone’s face.

My personal top 10 Reasons to like being Fat (Assuming the person likes themselves.  Nobody  looks good if they don’t like themselves.):

1.    Small children and animals prefer fat people.  We are more cuddly, softer, and comforting.  When we hold someone on our laps, they are enveloped in softness, reassuring them that all is well and that they are OK.   You don’t get that same reassurance from a bony person.

2.   Same is true for hugs, fat people are soft and comforting.  Bony people are not as nice an armful.  They have sharp edges and elbows.  Fat people are warm and welcoming.  Our hugs are wonderful!

3.   Small children tend to obey us quicker.

4.   Fat women have more variety in clothes. As a larger person, I tend to wear looser, more comfortable clothing.  I don’t much care what the going fashion is, I wear what I like and I look great in the Mother Earth –type clothing!

5.    When a fat woman puts on a dress or a tunic (my personal favorite), you can see the fabric.  All the pretty colors and designs are right there.  On a slender person, the cloth hangs in folds or else the area of cloth is so small that you cannot see the patterns or colors on a grand scale. 

6.   Larger women have curves.

7.   A large woman can wear large jewelry.  Personally, I am not a fan of small stones, like diamonds, etc.  I like the dramatic, one-of-a-kind jewelry.  And a thousand diamonds are too fussy for me compared to a sleek, well-designed modern piece of polymer clay or metal.  I also like the ‘ethnic’ jewelry, and that always looks best on a larger pallet.

8.   A large person has PRESENCE.  When we walk into a room, you know it.  When we speak, people tend to listen.  When we preach, with any luck at all, we will be believed (OK, so as a minister, I notice those things).

9.   If a larger person has any sort of self-esteem at all, we will be perceived as having authority or knowledge.  If a larger woman wear heels, her feet will hit the floor with a loud, authoritative “Clump”.

10.                 As a larger person, I tend to be a restful presence.  My laughter is highly contagious.  My words of reassurance are given weight.  My shoulders are strong enough to cry on.

Now, I invite you to share your favorite reasons.

Monday, May 14, 2012

An expanded Spoon Theory

Expanded Spoon Theory

Many of you know the Spoon Theory.  (If you are not familiar with it, please read The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino  at  It is well worth the read)  A friend of mine really liked it but felt it needed to be expanded, just a little.

Now, I hate to put a mustache on the Mona Lisa, but my friends thoughts make sense, so as best I can, I shall elaborate here.

Spoons, as we all know (yes, you have to read the Spoon Theory to understand), represent energy.  Those of us with Fibro Myalgia (FM) or Chronic Fatigue (CF)  know that this does not mean being merely tired.  It goes far beyond that.  I don’t even think the word “Exhaustion” comes close.  There are times when I have been too tired to chew.  If someone fed me soup, I might well be too tired to swallow.  These days are very real for me and millions of others.  Fortunately for me, it is not my entire life – although I do tend to be in bed for at least 22 hours a day.
But Energy is not the only issue.  There are two other things I need to deal with as well.  Besides Energy, there is clarity of mind.  One of the major problems with FM is something called FibroFog.  It is when your brain is simply not working right.  You feel as if you are in a fog (hence the name) and it is difficult to sort things out or to think clearly.  I think of this as the knife, because without one, I am not sharp.
Now I can have enough spoons to do a task, but without the Knife, it may not be a good idea.  For instance, I should never drive a car or operate electric saws if my Knife is dull.
The third issue is pain.  I call that the Fork  (because I use a fork to test if something is ‘tender’).  Pain can be deep muscle pain, that makes it impossible to stand still for more than 2-3 seconds at a time (I cannot stand at the sink while the dog’s water bowl is filled – I have to pace).  And that pain is with me almost all the time.   There is also pain that feels like arthritis pain, bone pain that makes it difficult (or impossible) to walk.   But then there are times when the skin is tender and even the touch of my cotton shirt hurts.  Woe be to anyone who tries to hug me, I’ll scream in pain.  Even lying in bed hurts the skin, because the bed itself hurts to touch (can you see a problem here?).  And then there are the sharp, sudden pains that occur anywhere at any time, without warning.  Those are pantloads of fun.
So, in order to get anything done, I need the full set of Knife, Fork and Spoons.  Since they all seem to be on separate (and unpredictable) cycles, it is fairly rare that it happens.

I hope I have not desecrated the Spoon Theory.  It certainly was not my intent (I think it was Brilliant).  I just hope this adds to our vocabulary for understanding.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A good day

Today is going to be a good day.  I can smell the honeysuckle, the air is soft.  I am reminded of all my many blessings.  I remember once trying to list them all, but I kept on forgetting some.  Someday I think I would like to put up a whiteboard and list the things I am grateful for and see how much I can fit onto it.

Just a thought.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dreams and Art

                                                             Art Card,  made of cut paper

I dreamed last night, a plethora of dreams.  I don't usually remember my dreams, but I remember the ones from last night.  There were several of them.  A warning dream, a joyful dream, a dream to try to make sense and understand.  Lots of dreams.

Often times my dreams take the form of a movie or TV show.  Sadly, when it is a TV show, it includes commercials and I can't fast forwrd them.

There are lots of theories about dreams.  Some folks think they are the brain's way of rearranging facts and ideas and taking out the garbage.  Others think that dreams are the subconscious, talking to us.  Some think that it is our higher selves, giving us hints and direction.   Some think they are messages from God or angels. Some think they are images of what was or will be or might be.  Some think they are true happenings, but perhaps in another dimension or understanding.  And sometimes, they may be messages from those who have gone on before.

I buy all of the explanations.  I think that sometimes it's cleaning out the trash and sometimes it's messages from loved ones.

And every once in a while, my dreams give me pictures to remember and to make into art.

I have several such dreams that I remember vividly, pictures that become themes that I do over and over again, in different media.  There is one involving purple leaves on a yellow background, another involving a dark place on a green lawn.  Sometimes they have private meanings for me, sometimes it is just the image itself that haunts me.

Below are a few examples of my work, done from dream images

cut paper

Wall hanging quilt


Wall hanging Quilt


I do think that each of us has a powerful inner vocabulary that speaks to us but to no one else.  Artists are lucky, because this vocabulary does not use words and artists don't always need words.  There is a private place in each of us where we keep dreams and ideas and it is populated by our dreaming and waking experiences, by our hopes, by our longings, and yes, by our fears.  We would do well to be cognoscente of it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Morry the teacher

I have written about Morry before, so this may be a little familiar to some of you, but I think it is worth repeating.

by byrd Tetzlaff

Take what you like and leave the rest

"You don't like this, Morry, Trust me, you really don't"

Morry was sitting on the windowsill, close but not actually on the forbidden kitchen counter top.   He twitched his nose and lowered his ears, just a bit.  He looked at me with skeptical eyes.  Then he blinked politely and turned   back to sniffing the air, just to see if there was something more interesting than Spinach and pasta in the bowl I was stirring.   
As with most cats, he would have preferred Tuna in the mix.

I decided that adding the tomatoes & mushrooms would best be done away from him, perhaps on the other side of the sink. 

This casserole would not be improved by kitty whiskers delicately feeling it.

Morry looked at me, not fooled in the slightest.  I swear one eyebrow was lifted.  Then he jumped down and walked disdainfully across the floor to his water dish, flicking his tail high in the air, orange fur crackling.

Morry and I have developed an unusual relationship.  He came to live with us when he was twelve years old.  Not all of our cats were kittens when they came to live with us, but so far, Morry has been the oldest when he arrived here. 

We know what happened.  The little old lady down the street died, and a few days later, Morry landed on our doorstep.  The new owners of  the house found Morry and threw him out.  A twelve year old cat, almost blind from small growths on his eyelids, probably never having been outside before in his life.  He certainly wasn't street wise. 

But he wasn't one to feel sorry for himself either
He moved on to our porch and stayed there for several months  (it was summer at the time).  He enjoyed watching the birds in our yard and watching Princess do the 'mighty hunter' bit. 

He did not move from the porch until it started to get cold, then he decided it was time to move in.  He circled the house until he found our cat door.  He entered and sat, surveying the room through half blinded eyes, but noble in his bearing.  

He had been thrown out like garbage, but he knew better. 

He knew he was not garbage. 

He walked up to me and jumped into my lap and started purring.  He didn't lie down, but sat straight up staring into my eyes informing me that he lived here now.

We took him into the vet and found he was already neutered (thank heavens!) and we got his eyes fixed.  Fortunately, the growths on his eyelids had not yet started to scar his corneas, so he could see just fine after the surgery. 

When he came back home, he informed a very unhappy Princess that she was no longer Top Cat, and made friends with Tammer and the scared little Skinchy Kitty. 

He simply ignored the dogs as being beneath his notice.

Now, five years later, he rules the roost quietly, with an iron claw, but with few spats or harsh words.  He is much thinner now,  his teeth are too bad to let him eat all he wants.  But otherwise his health is good.  And, for the most part, so is his disposition. 

Since Tammer is now gone, he has become the lap-cat of the house.  Princess spits at him once in a while, but nothing more serious.  Skinch occasionally sleeps with him and he is most gracious about sharing his space with her.

 And sometimes he lets me make a casserole in peace.

This casserole was for a special dinner with friends -- about fourteen people, crammed into a smallish room, amid several tables and much laughter.  Three or four generations gathered together for good food and good fellowship.

They let in my casserole because they like me, not my cooking. 

As I sat by one of my friends, I told her about Morry and how he helped with the cooking.  Then she told me about what was going on in her life.  She is an interesting person, who has seen much and is determined to be growthful.  She has started reading, late in life, finding that books can be good friends.  Her latest book talked about spiritual growth, and it was a topic which  was foremost in her mind.

"You know," she said, "This book tells me that when the student is ready, the teacher will come."  Then she went on and on about how she was trying to get ready for this person to arrive and teach her wisdom & enlightenment.   I thought about what she said for quite a few days afterwards and finally came to a conclusion:

Respectfully, I disagree.

I don't think that when the student is ready, the teacher will suddenly appear out of the blue, breathlessly eager to enlighten and teach.   I just don't see it that way at all.

It seems to me that teachers are all around us, all the time.  We don't have to wait for them to arrive, we only have to learn to open our eyes and recognize them  for who they are. 

Morry is a teacher. 

Brave under terrifying circumstances, he teaches me grace and respect.  When others said he was garbage, he merely turned his ears away: no sense to even listen to such talk.  He was less than 1/10th my weight and almost blind, yet he knew he had value and expected me to see it as well.

Skinch too, shy, scared, but willing to try to trust the new-comer (Morry), Skinch is my teacher.   And the bratty Princess Cat, even she is my teacher.

The little girl upstairs who smiles when she sees me, the grocery bagger who works long hours for little pay, the squirrels doing tight wire acts on  the phone lines, even the dandelion growing bravely in the crack in the sidewalk, all are my teachers.

My job is not to sit and wait for a teacher to arrive, but to learn to recognize them when they are being themselves.

I too, have things to teach.   All of us do.  We take turns.  From moment to moment, each of us is the student and each of us is the teacher. 

Morry lies curled up on the couch next to me as I type this last part.  He is snoring softly, a soothing sound, full of contentment.   Princess is sleeping too, carefully curled away from Morry so that he will not think he has won her over.    Skinch is in her cubby hole and the dogs are at my feet.  It is a peaceful night with so many teachers surrounding me.

May you recognize your teachers.
So Be It 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mornings with Franklin


Franklin is morally apposed to anyone sleeping once the sun has come up.  He watches as the sky brightens, then he shakes himself and gives himself a quick wash.  Morning ritual done, then he walks boldly up the bed and sits on my pillow, chewing my hair.  He knows this will wake me faster then just about anything.

I'm not at all sure that cats can digest the protean found in hair, but that doesn't affect him in the slightest.  His intent is to awaken me, not to dine.  I attempt to persuade him to stop, and sometimes he does.  I consider getting a haircut so the chewed-off hairs won't show.

When Franklin came to live with me, he was a rescued kitty.  His face was scarred and his ear had the tip cut off.  The rescuers told me he was about 8 years old.  I doubt they were correct because that was ten years ago and he still does not act like an old cat.  When they took him out of the carrier, he came out unafraid and confidently began exploring his new home.  There was no hesitancy nor fear.  He was simply matter-of-fact.  When He finished with the first room, he looked at me full in the face and came over to introduce himself.  Later, after the rescuer left, Franklin and I had a long talk, me petting him and he purring.  We were both pretty tired, so I lay down on hte couch and he took the spot under the rocking chair and we both napped.   When I woke, I looked around and saw him under the chair, sleeping peacefully.  I said his name softly (he came pre-named) and he woke.  At first he was disoriented, not sure where he was.  He looked around quickly but then his eyes met mine and he visably relaxed.  Then he chirruped my name in feline and came over to lick my face.  I knew then that we were meant to be together.

Before Franklin came to live with me, I had gone for almost three weeks without an animal in my life.  It was the longest three weeks ever and I knew I would not be able to last very long.  To this day I do not really understand how anyone could have possibly abandoned him, or any of the other 5 cats and 3 dogs that now make up our family.  I don't understand how someone could not see the shinning individuals that they are, their preferences, the delightful quirks in their personalities, the way they communicate, and most of all, despite what they have gone through at the hands of humans, how much trust they have.

We humans are not so forgiving and I am not sure that it is a good thing for them to forgive.  Yet over and over again, I have seen animals pull through rough times and forgive all that was done to them.

In the morning, after Franklin has awakened me, the two dogs that sleep on the bed crawl out from underneath the covers and shake themselves, straightening out their ears.   Then they flop back down on my legs or torso and go back to sleep.  The other 3 cats that also share the bed sometimes don't even flick an ear -- they just sleep on through.  But the youngest cat (Prescott) will wake up and come over to lie down on my chest.  She thinks it's funny to put her cold wet nose just under my chin on bare skin.  She buries her head in my neck and purrs.  She knows full well about the rule of never chastising a purring cat, so she stays there til she falls asleep.  Meantime, Franklin has curled up under my left armpit and Addams curls up under my right armpit.   They purr loudly in sterio and we lie in blissful gratitude for each other, watching the sky outside the window -- until my legs cramp and I have to move.

It's a lovely way to start the day.

Addams, with his come-hither look, inviting petting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paper Mandala   Approx 6" by 6"

Well, it's been an interesting week.  Because of my $$$ (or lack thereof), I need to have a roommate.  Three different people have called, made appointments to see the place and then never showed up.   Bummer.  Ah well.

So I am still looking, but something very exciting happened yesterday.  A dear friend took me to our local Art Association with some of my work.  They liked it and this morning they asked me to join.  That means I will have my art for sale at their gallery.  I am delighted.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me, that sales will be good.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Paper  Mandala   approx 6" by 6"

Today is a passive/aggressive kind of day.   Oh, it is beautiful outside.  The sun is shinning, the temp. is just about perfect and the birds are cheerfully pairing off.  But sadly, I am feeling quite grumpy.

I think I want to yell at someone.  No one in particular, just venting my frustrations.  I won't, of course, but I do feel like it.

Why am I grumpy? you ask.  Well, I have been disabled for over two years now and that means I have spent the better part of that time in bed, not able to get up to do much of anything.  The first year was scary and boring, very boring (and very scary).  The second year was better.  I got into the Zen of being 'in the Now'.  It was pretty cool.

But just now I am frustrated, because there are things that need to be done.  Housecleaning, for instance.   Getting my artwork together to take to a store to see if it can be sold.  Taking pictures of my work so it can be sold in my Etsy store.  But alas, I cannot do much of any of these things.  I am too exhausted and hurt too much to move.

So I am grumpy.

One on-line support group that I visit says that folks who become Chronically ill are addicted to who they used to be.  I imagine that the same is true for folks as they grow older, too.   In any case, it is certainly true for me.  I used to be highly self-sufficient.  I could do just about anything.  I made bookshelves and tables, even a box sofa.  I helped my then-husband plumb a house for water and put in all new electrical lines.  I could teach a roomful of kids and not turn a hair when they acted up.  I could preach and hold hundreds of people enthralled.  (I'm a very good storyteller)

But nowadays I just lie in my bed, lucky if I can do a little art.

The young orange cat comes over to me and lies down on my chest.  She is purring loudly and I can barely hear the birds outside.  She reminds me that there is one thing I can still do and no one can stop me.

I can still love.

I can still love, and so can most folks, no matter their situation.  And loving, learning to love is what it's all about, isn't it?

When I die, no one is going to remember that I could plumb a house, or wire it.  No one will care that I build enough bookshelves for over a million books.  Frankly, no one will care that I did art or sang songs.  But some few will remember that I soothed their fears and held then.  Some few will remember that I made them laugh.  And some will even remember that I accepted them for who they were, without reservation.

I honestly think the lesson I came here to learn this time is to learn how to love.  

My cat bursts into a fresh bout of purr and reminds me that I have the best teachers in the world:  He and all the others like her, my cats and dogs, my kids -- they teach me to love.  I am blessed and I would do well to remember that.

I don't know how the housework will get done.  I don't know how I will get my artwork together and looking professional.  It may not happen.  But still,  with all the animals that have been in my life, all the good people I have been fortunate to know,   I am blessed and I would do well to remember that.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Paper Mandala

Paper Mandala  approx 6" by 6"

Nothing to say today, but thought I'd share a Mandala with you anyway.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Nicky died yesterday.  The police do not yet know if it was murder but they suspect it was.  Her sister and grandmother found the body.  Nicky's dog was guarding the body.   It's such a shame because Nicky was putting her life back together.  It looked like she had kicked her drug habit and she had enrolled to go back to collage.  She was talented, bright and resourceful.  Her dog refused to leave her side until the grandmother held her as the paramedics took away the body.  The dog is now with the grandmother who raised her, as is her sister.

Sadly, this story is all too common.  The waste of a human life, the potential lost, it grieves my heart.  

I know that too many of you, dear readers, have someone in your life who is caught up in drugs.  Some of you have lost dear ones.  And there is very little that we can do about it.   Love does not keep people safe, it only lets them know they are not alone unless they choose to be so.

I will hold Nicky in my heart and do what I can for her grandmother and sister.   If you pray, pray for them.  If you do not pray, hold them in your thoughts for a moment.

May Peace be with us all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A PArtial List of Lists

A friend of mine recently mentioned that there will still a lot of things on her ‘Bucket List’.   You know, the list of things you want to do before you die.
It started me thinking.  Frankly, I have done most of the things I wanted to do. 
-     It would be nice to publish one of my books before I die, but it’s OK if it doesn’t happen.   (Three children’s books and one novel)
-     I’d like to work at an animal refuge of some sort, because I love being with animals and it would feel I had made a difference with my life. 
-     I’d like to teach a few more classes in:
       Reality-Based Self Esteem
       Exploring Meaning & Worth in your life
But that’s about it.  I’ve done most of what I wanted.

My friend’s comment, though, started me thinking about Lists.
I like lists.  There are all sorts of lists.  Letterman proves that.  And there some fun lists that from time to time some folks make up.  Usually the lists are something like:

-     10 greatest fears
-     10 greatest Joys
-     10 Favorite Books/movies/music/etc.
-     10 most influential people in my life

Those Lists are fun to do.  No right or wrong, although when shared, sometimes they are good for a laugh or two.  And it’s an interesting/fun  way of getting to know someone a little.

But then there are other lists, lists that make you think and re-evaluate.   Again, there is no right or wrong, just your personal opinion/experience.   The results of some of these lists would only be shared with  close and trusted friend.   
It should be noted that ‘10’ is an arbitrary number.  If need be, substitute the number “5” instead.

  Here are a few of the lists I think about and might fill out sometime:

-     10 Lessons I should have learned by now

-     10 Lessons I don’t want to learn

-     10 Events in History that I wish had not happened

-     10 Things I’m glad I failed at

-     10 Expectations of my family that I did not fulfill

-     10 Expectations of my family that I did fulfill

-     10 things I wish God would do

-     10 Good failures in History

Someday I may work on one or more of these lists and I may or may not share the results with you.  Or, I may share a different list with you, one that is not listed here.
In the meantime, I invite you to fill out one of these lists.  Or share a list of your own.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Falling Apart

Paper Mandala  5" by 5"

Just when I thought I had it all together, it all fell apart again.  I'm sure many of you can relate to that statement.  Right now I certainly can.   My world has crashed and burned.  All my carefully laid plans are wisps of smoke.  

Great philosophers tell us that you judge a person, not by how they act when things are going well, but by their actions when things are going wrong.  This is how you can tell if a person is enlightened.   It is also a time to grow and become stronger.

Oh, goody.  Now I have the opportunity to get stronger and to be more enlightened <--heavy on the sarcasm here.

When I am hurting, my first instinct is to curl up in a ball and whimper in a corner somewhere.  It doesn't do any good.  It has never solved the problem, but it's what I want to do.  

After a soothing bout of self-pity, my next move is often to feel anger. Resentments flare.  The anger is never rational, and frankly, it is often directed at God -- which does not do a lot of good.

Then, I pout.  

Then I become terribly afraid, because I cannot see a way out.

Then I calm down and try to see what can be done in the situation.

I wish I could claim the wisdom to be able to go through these stages and stay in the 'solution' stage, but alas, I bounce back and forth, to and fro among all the different feelings, in no particular order.

I am very inventive.  I come up with lots and lots of plans.  Very few of them are the slightest bit feasible, but at least I'm trying.  I do wish there was someplace I could go and ask "Is this a good choice?  What about that idea?"  Alas, I know of no crystal ball that will grant my wish.

So I search for wisdom.

Mandalas are supposed to help with prayer, healing and meditation.  I gaze at the Mandala at the beginning of this post and no wisdom comes forth.  No answers.  But after a while I do find it calming.  My eyes travel the paths in and out.  I don't feel comforted, exactly, but I do feel better.  Perhaps it is the colors.  Perhaps it is hypnotic in some way.  I don't know.

I do know that we all face trials and we all do what we can to cope with them.   I am praying for widom.  What do you pray for?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's a beautiful day today in my part of the world.  The birds are in full nesting mode and I suspect I will soon have a family nesting on the eve, right near my bedroom window.  I hope so.  I'd love to listen to them as they grow and it is a relatively safe place from my cats.

I've been thinking about what it means to have connections with others.  Most of my connections are on the internet.  I have one person from Italy whose artwork and words I really enjoy.  Another friend I have not met lives in Germany.  There are a number of good folks from Canada, Russia, Italy, South Africa, Australia, New Zeland, and from my own country as well.  This slight, tenuous web of friendship is multiplied over and over again, in millions of homes, in millions of hearts.  And although my web is small and fragile, millions of webs together become very strong.

I am hopeful, because of the internet.  As we reach out to one another more and more, we get to know each other better and it becomes more difficult to demonize each other.

 I note that a lot of countries (especially my own) are beginning to try to control the net.  I can understand why.  It is very powerful.  If I have friends in china, for instance, it becomes more difficult to see them as enemies.  Thus it becomes more difficult to persuade me to go to war with them.  I do not think it is coincidental that right now my country has the worst relations with countries where the internet is not common.  It is easier for the Powers that Be when the enemy is faceless and unknown.

Perhaps one road to world peace is that everyone, everywhere has access to the internet.

i believe knowing one another is the solution, not the problem.

May all of us live in Peace with one another.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Awards -- Blogs I have loved.

Two Blogs in one day!  Wow.  For me, a record.

Today I received this wonderful award from my blogger and artist friend
Black Pumpkin.
Thank you.  What a great idea!  To share with others the gems we have found..
This is a pay it forward award.
Here are the rules:
1) Thank you the blogger who gave it to you.
2) Award 15 of your favorite or recently discovered blogs and let them know you nominated them. They will then award their favorite blogs.
3) Share 7 interesting things that people may not already know about you.
Of course, I had a hard time choosing my 15 blogs. There are so many fine bloggers.  I'm sure I will forget some of my favorites, but I'll give it a try.

Here is my list -- in no particular order: 

Traci Bunkers: Welcome to My World
How to be Creative 
Love Life Back
Shelly Beauch

And now the 7 things you might not know about me:
  1.  I'm the only daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter in a family that hands things down through the female line (Like secret fudge receipees and stories)
  2.  I am an old movie buff (I like current movies too)
  3.  I adore trivia, especially movie or historical trivia
  4.  I have written three children's books (no, not published) &  3/4 of a novel about Isis
  5.  Most folks learn through pain (I certainly do), but I am trying to also learn through Joy.
  6.  I love public speaking (and I'm good at it too -- she said modestly)  After all, in my working life, I was a Preacher.
  7. As a licensed minister, I married over 70 couples before Prop 8 was passed.