The Way of it… a challenge or an opportunity.

I have been writing morning pages for the past month that is one of the reasons blogs where being written or published. It is a month now that I have been in my new apartment and life seems to have a bit of flow to it again. So I share today’s page.

Morning Pages: February 10th, 2015

I have desired to blog for weeks now and I have made one attempt or may be two, those attempts ended in not being published for some reason or other. Mostly because they didn’t feel like the words were correct or what I was trying to say or even wanted to say came across. Maybe I was protecting myself from more loss? For the expression of truthfulness seems to have caused so called friends to abandon their relationships with me. Maybe all I had to say and or do what said on Facebook while going through the process of clearing the house, the family home. Closing the book of family memories once and for all, packing and storing, and most of all throwing much of it in the trash, there is no way to really comprehend it all of that except having the experience. I suppose it is life event, the letting go of loved ones, the change or shift from one generation to the next. There seemed to be no support, there was none of the Hall Mark Moments of meaningful conversations, there was no cathartic conversations or Ah ha moments, there was just a sense of let’s get this done. Let’s finish this task and move on with our lives. Those moments where fraught with doing and not much Being present for the past, present for the memories that may inform, may enlighten one or all of us as a family as once being part of a family that shared growing together, share holidays and birthday,  shared lives and deaths. Instead separated lives were created and maintained, it was us against them. Or maybe I am only seeing the experience from my own perspective, or may own emotional or none emotional point of view.

I know that I seemed to have been robbed of my opportunity for grief by being placed into a situation that was a battle of wills and personalities. Where a friend was needed none arrived, what I was presented with was my own self will, a bit of self-defense, and then courage to move forward, to create the life I needed one step at a time. There was no time to wallow in grief, there was no time for depression there was only time for pushing through all the abandonment, all the loss, to live for the day. Was the tempers where quieted, once the smoke of battle was cleared, breaking camp, gathering the strength to move ahead. Relationships were broken; one even shattered in the winter freeze, there was only myself and Higher Power to truly depend on. Each day was a new moment to create a life from the rumble.  That is the journey, which is the past. I may wish to look back on it from time to time to inform me of where I have been, who I was and who I had to become through the process of this life event. Yet I will not linger there with the thoughts of if this would have happened, or if this person would have done this or that or such and such should have been there. Those thoughts are only thoughts of depression, those are wishful thinking.  I was granted my own vision, my own path. There were people that showed up, one was a virtual stranger, and she became the rescue angel. I am extremely grateful for her stepping up and gifting me with the hope that life was going to work out; giving me the distraction of creative work to accomplish that occupied my time and my mind. The encouragement was there is gentle asking or informing this is what is next. Listening while I let go of all the frustration and anger as well as listening to the tasks of everyday moving forward even when it felt like nothing was ever going to change.

Of course there were others there too. Fellowships in the form of meetings, there was daily readings and mediation of those readings, there were text and rides, there where phone calls to relieve the frustration. There were many walks in the park with Muffin and photograph taking. There were many moments of letting go, being willing to do whatever it was I had to do to get through the day, sober and sane. Asking for what I needed even when I didn’t really know what I needed or if I did how I was going to acquire any of it. I had to surrender many many times; to get out of my own way and let the Universe inform my intuition that one path was better than another.

I have been given a new opportunity or course each day is a new opportunity to create that which I need in my life. I have been granted a new place to live which met most of all of my desire, the most important a place to live with Muffin, place that I am responsible for. It is not exactly what I envisioned yet it very comfortable, if I am to be alone than alone in my own space, my own home is preferable than alone among others. I can and will cultivate new friends, new creative and healing opportunities. There are days I wish those where all in place already yet what it means is that I still have barriers to break through, my own fear, my own self-worth and self-love. Being responsible for everyday life, and the events that make that function, healthy eating, daily walking, morning prayers/meditations/readings, getting the rest I need. Asking and or seeking help when needed not expecting someone to come rescue me. That someone is myself that someone or something, is knowing that the Universe gives you exactly what you need when you need it.

I have been truly blessed!

Each person showed up with their gifts whether I received their gifts as a challenger or a reward those people were true to themselves. Each situation was an opportunity to experience life and use creative tools to move ahead I am thankful for each of those.

In the middle…

circle within
circle within

Saying no can be the ultimate self-care. Claudia Black

Art Happens
Art Happens

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity! Albert Einstein 

Just a few quotes found in The Artist Way: week 10 recovering the sense of self-protection.

Found object and trash projects have been a photography medium I have been involved in during the past year. Take with my iPhone  4 !

New Walking paths

My present walking paths in Haddon Lake Park, which was once Crystal Lake. Tree lined and stream follow the path.

Tree lined path
Tree lined path
Elders
Elders
casting light
casting light
Open space
Open space
Into the shadows
Into the shadows
Walk along
Walk along

I believe the first living cell

Had echoes of the future in it, and felt

Direction and the great animals, the deep green forest

A the whale’s track sea; I believe this globed earth

Not all by chance and fortune brings forth her broods,

But feels and chooses. And the Galaxy, the firewheel

On which we are pinned, the whirlwind of stars in which our sun is one dust-grain, one electron, this giant atom of the universe

Is not blind force, but fulfills it’s life and intends its course.

Robinson Jeffers, De Rerum Virtute

Empty Rooms.

into the rubble
into the rubble

An era is coming to an end. The Stroud family home will be no more. The last days are coming upon us fast. Days and endings I don’t think I ever really considered before. The house has always be a safe haven, just knowing it was there in times to reset or just go home to remember memories and why you left in the first place.

Mom always reminded us, there was a place to come to. Even when she was not at the house very much, traveling from place to place, discovering America, sharing her journey with her Cousin Teresa, or her male friend Lee, with whom she spend much of her last years with traveling back and forth from Vermont and Myrtle Beach, and scatter journeys home for Holidays and family events.

Mom’s passing in mid May from Alzheimer’s set into motion the closing down and sale of the Stroud home, She is in need of major repair that no one seemed to be able to find time or money for. The taxes where eating at the extra dollars that could go into repairs. I had not worked a job in some time and my photography and Reiki practice just didn’t bring the substance in the realm of finance.

After only a few viewers during the summer of the house, we thought it was just going to sit. We nudged the realtor a bit and one of the prospective buyers offered a price with could live with at the mid November. So the rush was on the clear out the house.

Closets where explored, basements where lit in places that hadn’t seen light in ages, the attic was peered into. Draws and boxes covered in dust and years of memories forgotten where opened, much discarded. Others claimed by family members who which to have it in their homes now. It still all needed to go.

As each day came and went the more difficult the feelings of frustration and lost would visit. My sister who has been the major force in this adventure to clear out everything due to the fact she lived here her whole life, until three years ago when they moved to a new home of their own.

I witness her stress and discomfort each time she arrives, her first reactions are fraught with anger, a bit a banging around soon to be soothed by action of getting things done.

There is less than two weeks left to accomplish this task. The rooms are emptying, the dust has been cleared away, the trash, recycle, and the pickers have been here, a few more will come to take the bigger pieces of furniture for the needy. Trips to Goodwill by my brother-in-law have been so frequent that he reports the store personal grimace upon his arrival in the late hours of their day.

My move will most likely happen this weekend. I am the last resident of the house, that is Muffin and I. We had a journey here that will be a life long unfolding of emotions, and memories. I had vision of the living in the house, making it sustainable for me

, yet it is time to let go, time to let the empty rooms be renovated, and filled with a new family’s life dreams.

The empty rooms once filled with necessary objects as well as family collections from each member are gone. The memories will still be part of who we each are depending on how we hold and embrace them.

Spirit of Trees…

Last Friday I began Photo Friday here on the Reluctant Bloger. Not that all my blogs aren’t graced with photographs.  Friday is about the photographs. I looked for a poem to go along the journey of these “Trees”. Yet none captured the real essences of them.

I have been graced to walk among these trees and wood for the last several years, I have 100’s, if not 1000’s of photographs from every season, from spring to summer, into fall, and through winter.

These will be my last few weeks among these trees and wood.  I have been blessed with some amazing photographs in the past few weeks, I share them now.

Last of Autumn
Last of Autumn
Natures blessings
Natures blessings

In the 29 degree weather the warmth of these last past weeks of fall so rich and vibrant. Are jewels.

Autumn Morning Fog
Autumn Morning Fog
in the midst
in the midst

The branches and paths have been my comfort and relaxation, peacefulness is found, joy is discovered.

The Tree!
The Tree!

I share with you my companions, my comforts, my creative Muse ! Nature in all its glory, The Tree!

There are a number of Poems I found and did not use, about the Tree.

You can find many of the photos above here

The leaf !

Before another moment passes, and I am distracted by all the distraction of life. I am here, to write, well to offer you a view. This blog is about art, about photography, the process and the facts.

So Fridays will become Photo Fridays where Photographs will rule the page.

For years I have been fascinated by leaves, all seasons, all weather, and I have photographed them from buds, to blooms, to full fledge green flags flipping in the wind! To what I present today, fallen leaves, carpets of leaves.

Recently I have been photographing fallen leaves, a bit from above, shooting down at them, more fascinating is laying on the ground with me, ant level.

So the new series is being presented. With a poem “Dead Leaves” by MdAsadullah

embrace
embrace

Never think that dead leaves cannot speak.
Words can be uttered without mouth or beak.
Come in heard to hear and they’ll remain mum.
To hear them in solitude you need to come.

are they lonely
are they lonely
are you listening
are you listening

Loneliness and silence are their best friend.
You can listen only if truth you seek and intend.
If you’ve mind and heart to listen, men of clay!
Words more worthy than living they can say.

Heart is strong
Heart is strong
They will whisper..
They will whisper..

If your heart is strong and if you have no fear.
Then in storms they are very loud, very clear.
And if your heart is weak in breeze come near.
Truth of this life they will whisper in your ear.

patterns
patterns
did they speak
did they speak

 

I am grateful to have you walk this path with me today. I am honored to share these wondrous creations, the leaf with whoever wanders down a path. Please “see” .

All Photographs can be found here

What is true, what is pretense, what is…

inward
inward

 

it feels like everything that came before has been a pretense, a false start. as I grasps for my reality this morning my serenity is devolving into a massive heap on the floor, like scattered dirty laundry, colorful but smelling of being worn to long. The endless weeks of being weakened by a cold, has left my plans and projects sitting collecting dust. Has caused loneliness and emptiness to seep into the fabric of my being. i have missed events I wished to attend to photograph and be part of. Willing to spend my last few dollars to do so.

Is this illness, this cold, the flu, the true culprit or the endless dreams and visions which seem to energize my being for short periods of time, that keep drifting off like a mirage, wafts of smoke from a conjurors magic spell? Am I truly lost, have a just been spinning narratives in my mind. Have I truly failed at my life’s purpose?

How do I keep going, when my dreams and visions don’t seem to fit into a world that no longer cares for magic for healing, for beautiful?

shadowed wall/closed window.
shadowed wall/closed window.

I surrender now, I let go. Right now I am fighting the demons of illness. My center has been blasted out of me! It is debris, it is trash. Is there still worthy pieces, can they be upcycled, reinvented? Do I just burn them all and scatter the ashes in the ground hoping natures has use for them?

Waking up, feeling like you have not slept, body sore, chest heavy, the head in urgent need of coffee. Coffee cold but drunk, like an achlie’s long needed fix to face the day.

Stark blank screen endlessly fills with words, streaming out some thoughtful, many just flowing from one place to the next.

Coffees fresh and hot now. or was when I started. Nothing changed since I sat down to write, or has it?

There is no blame, there is no what if’s, should haves, there is knowing that it is within me, to show up. I showed up, this is the present. Is the future I wish to have? Not at all!

Illness, attracts ego playing mind games, playing tricks, making fun. Well it is not fun. Ego, get out-of-the-way, we have better things to do that lay about feeling sorry for ourselves. Is one step at a time, one activity at a time.

Breaking through
Breaking through

Let the little glimmers of light break through. The world is created within the steps, moving forward while sometimes going around or over.

 

Dear Volcano (writing 101)

Hi Hi Hi ...

Dear Volcano

 

It seems I have a volcano within my being or maybe just in my crazy mixed up head? Is a volcano a mountain I need to climb and explore? Is it the inner workings, the heat, the fire, the massive pushing and pulling that creates the mountain that needs attention?

I’m talking about this writing course. I took this on because I thought it would be a good way to enhance what I was already blogging/writing about. Maybe it will but right now, it is painful. No not really painful, frustrating and confusing.

Writing has always been more of a stream of consciousness process. Usually prompted by something I read, a meditative reading from a book or poem not these crazy seemingly off the wall assignments. If I wanted fucking assignments I would go back to school. Okay, okay, I am not being graded. Yes I know I took this on myself. So there is no one to point fingers at except yourself, your desire to learn, to improve.

So Volcano if you are pushing the plates together, heating up the lava, spewing smoke and ash up to the surface please feel free to do so. I am so behind in these assignments that I almost quit. Quitting means the frustration would only boil over sometime later in another fashion or other.

The idea of prompts with a twist was fun at first. I found creative ways to still write non-fiction blogs based on what is or has happened in my life. Than the subjects became more difficult in the fact that I had to use voices that were not mine. I was asked to make up a story. Use my imagination, what are  you kidding. Oy!

So Volcano you roared some more but did not produce. Oh maybe a little? There are a couple of drafts in your files to re-read, edit, and finish up, that may work. There are rumblings in my head, stories I keep going over, yet ego says, “you’re not ready for that type of writing. This is not what your blog is about.”   So you calm down for a while. Later in the day the emails come with new ideas, new assignments, new tips on how to go about this or that.  I love those links that offer more advice from established writers. They offer ideas and reassurance that all is good in the world. The rumbling and smoke is all part of the building of the process.

Yours Truly,

The writer within

 

Well there that wasn’t so bad was it? Ha ha. I want to thank Kaye for her blog this morning writing on the positive side, the gratefulness of the process, even when she can’t find the time, etc. Here is the link to her story.

Assignment:

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

Have a nice day

Assignment: Give and takeWrite a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

 

There was a time I lived in a very rural area of upstate NY. Living away from the everyday world was a choice yet still on some occasions one has to come off the Mountain to purchase supplies or just to visit other areas. One fine spring day, I borrowed a fellows car to go to town, I don’t remember the reason but I do recall an experience.

Moving down the Highway

I had accomplished my errands, and was headed back home. The day was beautiful, with nice fresh spring breeze, the road before me was long and wide open. Music blaring from radio or could have been a CD? I was enjoying the moment, windows open, singing out loud, the trees whipping by. Then, I spotted him. That dark car parked at the edge of the line of trees, slowing down after I passed,  too late.  I looked behind to see the police car coming behind me, now the lights. I slowed more and pulled over to stop. Letting down the window while searching for my licence and other important documents I may need.

Turning to the window which was now block by the middle section of the police offices dark uniform, tightly fitted to his form. “Good afternoon Officer!”

Bending over to look into the car, strong hard voice says, “Afternoon! License and insurance please.”

“Yes sir.” I replied, handing over them over.

“Do you know how fast you were going? In a rush somewhere?” He ask.

“Not at all. I was kind of spaced, enjoying the day. The car is a friends and I am not aware of its power.” Lame statement, made before my mind could catch up to my mouth. The officer walked back to his car.

Sitting there for what seems to be eternity, wondering about a ticket, how much, what my friends going to say, how will I pay this, and on and on. You know how it goes.

Catching movement from the patrol car, the office emerges, placing his cap back on his head. Again his midsection darkens my window, bends over face inches from mine, handing me back the licence and insurance card. “Everything seems in order here. Next time pay attention to the speed limit and your driving. This is only a warning notice. Enjoy your day”

I sigh in relief watching him walk back to his car again. I take a few moments to be thankful. Start the car, driving off to enjoy my day!

enjoy your day

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