scattered

Across the years, through decades, scattered letters, poems, photographs, along with piles of journals, those journal writing books of different colors, textures, and sizes. There are loose leaf paper file binders in bright colors strewn about the bed, the floor of the apartment that is now the present while these artifacts are glimpses into the past of what once was to become who one is today.

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Will anyone remember who I am? Do they know who I am or was? Does it even matter? It seems to matter to me today, in the past year people have transitioned from this world who meant something to me in one way or another, as inspiration, as mentors, as symbols of strength in the face of all a matter of challenges life presented to them.

I have been considering stories about my mother, I have a small note paper “diary” of her’s before she was my mother, she is a teenager writing about going to dances, describing boys she meets and her girl friends she attends the evenings with. There are other pages where Betty details the training she receives so that she can work as a phone operator for Bell Telephone in Camden.

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With those memories of my mom, there flashes the thoughts of my father who I had spent much less time with because he worked shift work and was gone at 50 from heart attack, I was only 27-28. He never met grand children, or they the pleasure of his company.  There are no letters or journals from dad, oh there is one letter from when he was at basic training which we were told he never was in the army, I have not come across that letter again. I have camera’s he used, there are photographs of us as kids and people he worked with as well as his family members, mother, step-sister and her family.

So in considering all those stories, life histories, in a flash I saw myself not being seen or known, with the lives of people being shorted, two deaths in a month of fellow recovery acquaintances, two or three people from a spiritual group we all once belong too. My x-wife who has had a return of her breast cancer and the death of my last long term partner a year ago; along with the fact I celebrated 28 years of sobriety and I will be 65 this year, morality seems to be nudging at my consciousness while I seem to be diddling my days away.

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With the archives of letters, journals, folders, photographs, and blog pages, along with unreliable memories scattered about, I have stories to write, stories to tell that may enlighten, inform, maybe confound my days and nights with more questions than answers. Who knows where any of it will lead yet the beginning has begun. Join me as I piece together the scattered.

 

Now for the food portion…

What better way to expand my blog than with a 5 day smoothie cleanse to introduce the food blog portion of The Reluctant Bloger: a creative journey that will begin to feature wellness suggestion from my own everyday life experience.

As an off and on again vegetarian for years and never could got the hang of it and I am not sure I have it now? Since there is so much information out there and I have fallen in love with food blogs, not only the recipes but the photography as well. Many of the blogs are from women who started posting recipes, or house keeping ideas and have created a business with some amazing layouts and photography website/blog.  As the blog evolves I will be sharing some of my favorites, in time hopefully have guest blogger or share blogs together.

The creative journey that I have been on for many years now has led my down this path it was not one I have really shared about and I still don’t have all the information and or confidence to make some of this happen yet I have been called to offer my experiences, sharing my knowledge, learning from others, practices I have taken to improve me wellbeing emotionally and spiritually as well as physically.

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Several weeks ago I began making smoothies for breakfast or an occasional lunch, the reason behind that was not to get in on the trend but to put more fruits into my eating habits,  because every time I buy fruit it usually sits in my refrigerator, going bad, do you that?  My thought was making smoothies was a creative way to get the fruit and veggies into my body instead of my trash.

So the morning of May 1st I started a The 5 Day Smoothie Cleanse offered by Alyssa Rimmer of Simply Quinoa Blog which I have been following and using many of her wonderful recipe. I took the challenge, yet have not set goals in mind other than to reset my gut health a bit and ramp up some energy as well as lose a few pounds. Whatever happens I will have created and enjoyed some powerful healthful smoothies and Buddha Bowls.

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Well this is evolution of my blog which will feature stories,  recipes, photography, wellness practice ideas, DIY projects for your home and personal use. I hope to see you follow a long, build new a followers.

What wellness topics would you like to see discussed, I look forward to this new exciting addition to The Reluctant Bloger: A Creative Journey and sharing this life long experiences with you!

 

The only way is through…

Yesterday I placed myself in the experience of not getting into action because the gremlin on my shoulder or in my head kept say; “you’re not ready yet, you don’t know what you’re doing!” On and on that voice clouding my actions, dimming my emotions, lowering my defenses.

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The Universe was showing me the path, offering me the guidance, even the permission to get into action whether I am or feel ready. This morning one more “sign” presented itself which placed me in an attitude of gratitude as well as a state of tears. I was extremely touched by response to a photo and status I had posted after a long day of trying to show up. Along with that I received a post and message using one of my photos for a class that was beginning in May. The course is presented by Robin Rice, titled Speaking Your Sage; Writing Your Wise. The study is a practice in telling our stories, in a form that allows one to expressed their creativity through art, writing, painting, photography, coaching, and most of all being authentic.

I was denying myself this activity,  maybe denying is not the activity, I was keeping myself small, I would illuminate small areas of my life and creativity only once in a while, because I was unclear what I had to offer with those actions, who I am, the voice would say, what do you know, the voice would announce. I stepped back from showing up, oh yes, I was there but only on the surface, on the edges, in the mean time my life experiences kept getting smaller rather then expanding and evolving.

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One of voices the Universe used was of Barbra Streisand’s rendition of Sondheim’s “Putting it Together” where she is releasing a new CD of songs, while I am about to launch a wellness practice that I have been preparing, researching, learning about etc… therefore these words resonated,

A vision’s just a vision if it’s only in your head
If no one gets to hear it, it’s as good as dead
It has to come to life
Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together, that’s what counts…

Who am I? I have gift to share, a voice to share my story, my experience. All the knowledge  I have cluttering up my head serves no one, every class, video, podcast, workshop in the recent days have stated the gifts are to share. I recovery we taught, even if you have one day, to the person who just walked into the room you have something to share.

No everything is not in place, yet enough to start, there is nothing to go around the process is through. I have to go through with the knowledge; most of all, life experience. I don’t know everything, yet I offer what I have,  learn and evolved.

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What do you have to go through to get to where you wish to Be?

Hiding or preparing?

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While in the shower this morning that voice that seems to get stimulated when you are cleansing yourself from the day before preparing to the day ahead, that voice, the voice that comes to you in the silence, not the neighbors voice from the shared wall in the bathroom. Your voice taking to you, sometime he is the gremlin chattering in you head about all the “failure” or “not enough” you know, the coulda, woulda, you shoulda done this or this or this. Well we are here now so none of the applies here.

The shower voice said, ” You’re hiding. You have been hiding since your left Easton Mt and returned home to NJ. Not just while you where caring for your mother, not while you were grieving for her and Riley, not since  you became to elder generation, not since you seemed to have disappointed people who were close to you or they disappointed you by not showing up as authentic as  you thought they were.”

During those times you managed to move forward, to show up, to get everyday living opportunities to assist you, you continued to do  your practice of spiritual reading and morning pages in some form or another. You walked everyday with Muffin and took photo’s while building a new life for yourself. Not bad,  you accomplished activities on your own, continued to share your work with galleries, exhibition, on your Redbubble site.

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Than Muffin was gone and I had no excuse to really go out anymore, oh sure you did for a while yet slowing those moments got to be less and less, those walks a bit boring, same old, same old. Five months ago, I stopped doing my morning pages and the reading of inspiring tracts to stimulate the emotional/spiritual sense of who I am. I thought I wanted more or I needed more. More what I didn’t know. The practice was no longer effective in many ways. Reading inspiring language is a powerful  experience when you can place them in action in your daily life. My life was just me.

Yes life still goes on, I continue to find ways to self improve through healthy eating by preparing meals from scratch, I have fallen in love with food blogs, I continue to discover how I can show up in the world even when I can hardly afford to show up in the world. A year and half ago I began to incorporate essential oils into my daily life while also learning how EO’s work with the body, mind, and spirit while improving all around health. I was uncomfortable for a while sharing this with other, so I researched, I watched video’s, I attended on-line Essential oil classes, social network seminars, pod cast, etc. Once again I have knowledge and wisdom about something I believe in yet the fear jumps in the way.

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For many years I have sought to share what I know, and I don’t know anymore than many other people, What I sought to accomplish is to guide and coach people into a fully integrated way of living. Seeking to do so and believing I could are two separate actions.

I am I a good enough example, are my life experiences and story interesting enough for people to seek me out for advice/guidance? Do people believe in me? Will they believe in me? Sometimes you just have to jump off the ledge, you have to let go of the and enjoy the roller coaster ride! I am going off the ledge, I have shooting around the next bend on the ride called life.

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Was I hiding or preparing? Is there a difference ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For I will always find you…

Finding You in Beauty

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Penetrating Light

The rays of light filtered through
The sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.

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I thought of you

I thought of you.

I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers

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tucked away

As the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you do.

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ending beauty

I’m very happy to have found you,
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.
–Walter Rinder

Unfolding

How many times have I considered returning to theses pages, to blog again, I truly don’t know yet what I do know this blog and the practice of  writing here is like a friend to me that I have left behind and wish to reconnect and build a stronger conscious relationship with.

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cloud magic

I wrote in my morning pages that I have so many parts of me that make who I am who I am and the  person and or being is ever-changing, well not really changing, manifesting, evolving into a whole presence of being.

A year and 10 months ago when I began the new phase in life it was fresh start and the old challenges and daily struggles gone. I was truly on my own which was at first lonely, no not lonely I had felt abandoned, everything and everyone I once knew and counted on was gone, or seemed that way. I had to become responsible for myself which meant uncovering who I was now. As I unpacked boxes from a lifetime ago that had been in storage the old me began to emerge again, some of that person I did not wish to experience again, so he was set aside. There were recent creative activities I had even let go of that I now wish to bring forward once again.

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suspended leaves

Those being the healer, of course I had healing of my own to do first. Being the healer meant I can share my wisdom and knowledge to those around me in whatever form that showed up as. The healing of self began  with eating healthier, getting exercise, building new social and creative connections and relationships. Ever growing, evolving and experiencing life in the present.

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discovered connection everywhere,

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior who lives within;

Opening to my loss,

I am given unimaginable gifts;

Surrendering into emptiness,

I find fullness without end.

 

Each condition I flee from pursues me.

Each condition I welcome transforms me

And become itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence.

I bow to the one who made it so,

Who has crafted this Master Game;

To play it is pure delight,

To honor it is true devotion.

Jennifer Welwood: psychotherapist

 

I discovered this poem this morning which resonated with who I am becoming. The following blogs will illuminate that process of awareness. Who will show up are the many facets of my being, the inperfect self improving being we all have the opportunity to become.

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unfolding morning glory

 

 

 

 

The Art of answers and questions…

I cannot expect even my own art to provide the answers—only to hope it keeps asking the right questions. Grace Hartigan

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That art is the art of being an example of how to be fully present in the world, even when fear and sadness which try to invade from every other direction. Yet it from within that the right questions are asked  so that hope can bring the answers forth to be shining beacons on the present, guiding us to a fuller better improved future, for it is in the now that the future is planted, it is the days that follow that the future is nurtured and tended lovingly, compassionately offering the best solutions during the evolution of the human population and the evolution of the planet for its continual growth.

gaggle of geese
gaggle of geese

Yes I was gifted with the art of photography, I was sent out to use that gift to acknowledge the land, the planet, even if is just my small little bit of it, the everyday moments, the daily life that is there for us to see, as well as admire, to bring a smile, a warm thought. Whether it is the sunlight shining through the leaves on a tree, or the shimmer the light makes across the water of the lake, did you notice, squirrel scurry up that tree, did he stop and chatter at you? Are there rabbits along the edges of the bushes, look there they are! What color is the sky today? Pale blue, azure blue, grey looking like rain or snow, are there clouds, what kind, what do they look like, are they still or swiftly moving across the landscape? Did you notice birds flying there in the blue of the sky, did you recognize one or another, where you captured by their flight, how they move, up and down, or flapping wings like crazy to get to the next place, maybe there was one that captured your attention because it seem to float and rotate around the sky seeking something? Amazing right? All of that life surrounds you as you walk even if it is just to your car to get to one place or another. Were there people who you went past as you headed out, your neighbor, the mailman, a stranger walking their dog, did you acknowledge them or they you? A smile, and good morning, hey what up? This life, this is the fullness of life, the everyday events, pay attention to them they are just as important as any other activity in your life. Who knows that glimpse of a squirrel or rabbit, the flash of a bird flying across the cloud filled sky, the person you greeted or greeted you may be just the event that can shift your life to a fuller awareness of the beauty the surrounds you.

Oneness
Oneness

These are only small incidence that make up our daily lives, look around at the art of creation, look around at the creativity of evolution, and experience the grandest of a friendship with the planet and the other creatures that inhabit the same space each one contributing to its future.

Beyond the Clouds

I needed write something besides my daily activities from the day before, I need to shine light in my soul as well as out into the world. More and more I believe that my most pleasurable place is here writing even when the writing is not so good, but the fact that I get to create a world I wish to see, a world I wish to live in and do live in much of the time. There are moments that we have to stand outside of ourselves to see what surrounds and informs us of who we are, we tend to take the everyday for granted, while it continues to bless us with a powerful experience, Life!

in the details
in the details

Say thank you, remember to be grateful for it all, the good and the bad, the good we expect that bad not so much, but it is in the challenge that pulls us up, informs us of who we are, reflects back to us the person we have become. Is that person someone your admire, is that person who you thought you were, or are there more experiences that you must meet to continue on your journey? It is not about more things, and stuff that you have, it is about who you are and who you present to the world. Yes sometimes he or she may not so pretty to witness yet there are those moments when we shine with all the glory that we are at the moment. Hold them like jewels, to enrich the magic of your presence, let them shine, share those facets with the world around for there are more and plenty to share. The more you share the more there is.

Thank you for reading and viewing this blog, the photos will be released to my store front within a few hours. Please pop over and give them a view there.

Blank Page

The passages below are semi stream of consciousness from my Morning pages, so if there is rambling and not completely clear that is the reason why. I have desired to blog for a while now, I can’t believe it has been almost a month and my intention was to write at least once a week. I think it is the morning pages that fill the need to blog as often, yet MP’s are like talking to yourself and I enjoy sharing what is going on in my life and artistic creations. So here are words from this mornings pages.

August 30th 2015, 7:03 AM

The page is blank to be filled but not to be filled with blankness or just ordinary words and language that goes nowhere or says nothing. The page should shine, the page can sing, the page can dance, as well as create beauty to be held and shared with the world around it for the music magic to dance and sing our songs to create beauty with beauty is there for us all to behold, to unwrap, to envision even more magical beauty, mystical visions that are real. The blank page has that opportunity to transform, to enlighten, and to shine out into the world. One only has to write the words, create the language imbued with so much passion that the world sighs, the universe illuminates the capacity to love a 1000 fold or infinitely.

in the sky
in the sky

Yet our human mind and ego or at least mine is always searching for the “right” moment, the right time, seeking to be inspired to write, asking what does the world wish to know, what do I have that others wish to read or experience shared that would somehow bless those who understand. Who am I to even consider such a task, who am I to know that I am worthy of such an undertaking.  Knowing all art is created because the artist has the desire or passion to place an object, a painting, a photograph, or music or any dozens of other creations into the universe. I suppose I am trying to understand my purpose to self-publish a photography book with text of quotes and poetry, seeking to come to grips with my hesitancy to do such a project. First I do it for me, because I was called to do it, and I have the opportunity to create this first book in all its imperfections, in all its stumbling and challenges because it is an area of creativity I don’t have any real knowledge of. You do have a book, you have the instructions on the template for the book making process from Blurb, and you just have to make the effort to be involved. It is like any relationship, and you are playing “push me, pull me” you want it but you don’t know how to be in it, something is generating from this project that is brilliant and beautiful, your fear and doubt are only road blocks keeping you from putting it together.

prints getting ready for release
prints getting ready for release

That is the blank pages, the book has a cover, one that doesn’t even have to be the cover yet it is vision, the starting point to begin. Writing each day is the blank page to publishing your blog whether you believe others wish to read what you have to say or even considering what you want to say. Being truthful, being authentic even in all the imperfections, admitting I don’t know what I am doing, meeting the challenge anyway. The blank page of the “Trash Project” has another page added to it as well, four unseen prints, looking for mats and frames, desiring release, a release that would open new doors, if not new at least other avenues to venture on to. These are all exciting creations, let them shine; now is the time for their moment in the world.

Mt Holly

We awaken…

“We awaken in the morning, and the day is an unbuilt creation. We have some ideas about what we will accomplish today. But our Higher Power also has some things in mind which are not yet part of our consciousness.” Touchstones 

Even in the city
Even in the city

“In my last blog I had mentioned the fact that I had not any visitors or not much of social activity. Well the Universe caught wind of that and began interrupting my aloneness. First my long time friend Linda called to check if I was going to be home for she was coming by to bring me somethings for the apartment I maybe able to use. We had talked several times through the month about just that, and I had not seen her until now. She arrived on Wednesday morning baring a set of pots and pans which match my pop of red color in my kitchen, as well as a stained glass angel for my window, how sweet that is. Linda’s statement was, “every home should have an angel !” We spend a few hours catching, making plans for later engagements. It was so wonderful to be in her presence again.

a group of admirers
a group of admirers
art rocks
art rocks

On Thursday Morning I get a call as I am about to take Muffin for one of our many walk and rolls out in the green. The call was from brother Ken, who I had not seen since Christmas, and only contact was a few text from me to wish him Happy Fathers day, and Happy Anniversary, etc. On our call he said he was in the area and was coming by if I was home, which I was. He arrived about an hour later which was his projected time of arrival, we greeted each other, began to chat about this or that, when he said, “I have something for you. Your half of the sale of Mom’s Van.” Handing me a check, I almost fell over! And I was silently jumping for joy in gratitude to the Universe for this very needed financial abundance!

Saturday morning after a bit of food shopping of course is now 10 am or so, my friend Don calls asking about how we wanted to work getting our photographs to Mt Holly for the monthly exhibition, and asking if I would like to hang out with him and Bob Bohne to help him put up his exhibition at the Philadelphia Sketch Club. I responded I can’t see why not but let’s see how the afternoon plays out?

Collection of Bob Bohne's work
Collection of Bob Bohne’s work

Well the rest of the day turned into a full on Artist Date, from delivery our three prints to Church St. Art and Craft in Mt Holly to discussions about galleries and exhibitions on our trip over to Philly and Don’ while we waited for Bob to pick us up to hang his show of oil paintings and a few sketches. These are the kind of afternoons or evenings we would have  and I am so grateful to be in that energy again.

Having your cake and eating it too!
Having your cake and eating it too!

Earlier in week I had created an event page for my House warming/Birthday/Open house so the energy to move beyond my aloneness, to invite people into my life again was placed out there in the Universe even more fully! The time was right, the planets all suggested this shift into newness.

Blessed be!

Consider your self at home…

A house is not a home unless someone’s living there… the song poignantly points out, and continues, “a chair is not a chair unless someone is sitting there….”

the right side
the right side

Well it has been seven months since my move into my new home, it is not a house it is an apartment, an apartment situation on the west side of a 1940’s high-rise, with a grand looking out across the landscape suburban to city. The sunsets are something to behold almost daily, even the sunrise the way the trees and city buildings capture the light; slowly illuminating the day.

The left side
The left side

A few days ago I stood amazed taking all of this in, my little home in sky, the rooms beginning to fill up, the comfort of “feeling” at home, touched by gratitude that all of this has happened. I brought very little with me from my old life, yes there is still stuff in storage elsewhere, and I used what I thought I would like to have around me to create an atmosphere of bohemian comfort, or shabby chic, or whatever?

At first I slept on the floor with a pile of blankets for my bed and sat on the floor against the walls to eat or read, grateful for the walls and view that presented itself for the next part of my journey. There was and still is peacefulness and quiet, generally, the outside world intrudes on occasion. Yet in my little world high in the sky, comfort and peace was and is mine to have. I have bed now, I have chairs from the old house, I have books and photographs, and enough kitchen equipment to create meals, and make special treats.

wall of art..
wall of art..

There were flashes in the beginning of thoughts, is this mine? Is someone going to come and take it away? Is the real? Yes, it is mine, my space, my home. I have moments of struggle emotionally, I have challenges financially that pull me up short at times, I breathe, being in the moment. Doing what I have to do to let go of the struggle and to face the challenges, which seem to be minor when faced and accepted as the responsibilities of living.

cabinet of books
cabinet of books

So Seven Months, and no one been here, I have conceptualized a salon or open house, that has yet to happen.  That activity is my next creative event to make happen. I need to do this because financially I can’t go out, I can hardly afford to travel anywhere, let alone to meet with people to socialize. Socialization will have to happen here, and it is my intention to make that happen. Consider this an invitation.

The sunset view
The sunset view

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