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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

 

 

 

 

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!

Front Door Nature

Sun set reflection

Out the front door of the apartment complex and across the street are marsh land and what is called a lake, Newton Creek Lake according to my research, the lake and park are 103.29 acres, there are walking paths and playgrounds along the way. I have recently notice men with trailers attached to their cars/truck backing up the the dock ramp to load boats which have been out on the water now that has thawed. I have not explored much and have kept pretty close to the apartment thus far due to the weather. According to the little bit of research I found they seems to be what they call “old growth” trees on the north end, whichever direction that is? I will have to explore.

Sticks and branches

Even though I now live in a very citified building nature is only moments way, trees, water, birds, and I imagine other wild life that I have yet to experience. This space offers me more opportunity to photograph in nature once I get my mojo back up to speed.

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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.

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.

 

A Sense, a sense of knowing…

It is difficult for us to realize that this process of going inside and writing page can open an inner door through which our creator helps and guides us. Our willingness swings this inner door open. The morning pages symbolize our willingness to speak to and hear “our creator”. They lead us into many other changes that also come from the “Universe” and lead us to it “Presence”. This the hand of the “Higher Power” moving through your hand as you write. It is very powerful. “the Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron, Pg.85 *

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For the past week or so I have been reciting the Basic Principles as well as the Rules of the Road as prayers or meditations! When I begin my body relaxes, my voice even shifts, my heart/soul fills up,  almost to weeping. The joy that those words, those small sentences expresses to my heart is really beyond what language can convey! 

Than I was directed to the opening quote. Upon reading it I knew it was time to write, write again. These pages have had their fits and starts. Hey the blog is titled the “reluctant bloger” after all. Recently it or I have lived up to its name. 

I could have posted simple blogs with just poems/quotes and photographs. I could have filled these pages with daily accounts of the family’s experience of our Mother’s process of dying. The presence didn’t want me to go there. I used Facebook for support, that support was truly amazing! I am grateful for each person’s comments, the sending of healing, and course love. Love kept me sane, the love of complete strangers, well at least non-physical people, stepped up where friends and family would not or could not. In the case of crisis I go into social mode, hospitality mode. I suppose I was still in caregiver status in many ways. Yet finally freedom for the 24 hour caregiver position I had held for the past two years. 

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Mom’s going into rehab was her journey “homeward” once there she must have decided it was time. Within 2 months or less, the last week everything shut down. She was constantly cared for my nurses, hospice, family was around 24 hours a day.  The waiting seemed to be endless and longer than the 2 years we had spend together, yet it was her time, her journey that we all had to respect and guide her to and through.  That Monday Morning, which it is Monday now, I had just walked into the nursing home, as I walk up the hallway to her room, I saw the nurses coming from that direction, I knew before they told me. There was a sense of relief. My sister and my niece were there at bedside and had been for the final breath. I am sure a final sigh of relief from mom that she would finally get to the new adventure. Mom loved to travel, her travel took her all over the country, and even to Europe several times. Her new journey beyond this plane. 

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I got to the end of the last paragraph, I knew I was done. There is a sense of relief, and sense of new freedom. Of course the story goes on… 

I am Blessed, and I am Love, Jeff

Mediative Question: What has your latest journey taken you through? 

*( I used other expressions for God which Julie Cameron had not used in the opening quote.) 

 

What do you long for?

Last week or so ago, the poem used here today was shared by a friend on Facebook. I said I going to borrow this for my blog for I felt it resonated with my journey at the moment, and some of my photographs would complement in a visual way the journey outward to go inward. 

As I prepared the blog something spoke to me about finding out who Melissa La Flamme is. I am glad I did. Her website intrigued me, the little that I read, so I reached to her via email, and then a bit later via facebook. Where we at once connected via messaging. Making sure all was clear to publish the poem here, that she was a Jungian Psychotherapist who incorporates Shamanism into her practice, was a flash of my not so distant past a vision to create just this type of therapy combination. 

What did I long for, so unaware of a dream set aside. Called out through this poem and Melissa’s own practice. We discussed a possible guest blog or interview later in season, which now I can hardly wait for ! 

I will let the vision unfold: 

 

I AM CALLING YOU: by Melissa La Flamme

 

What do you long for?
How do you call its name?
Listen to the ways it calls to you?DSC_6550

Take your longing to the earth.
To the woods. The trail. The park. Your well-tended lawn.
And if you can get there, to the desert.
And with devotion, give your self to these questions.
Like you would a lover. A baby. A tender green shoot.
Like this, tend your own fragile heart.
Your longing will ravish you.

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You must ravish back.

When you do, your soul will walk you
to the soft, thirsty ground
of your being.

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Sink in,
all the way in.
You will lose your mind.
You will sing to rocks, seduce pine trees, make love
to red earth.

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Songs like this will carry you till
your own song sings you.
You must let them.

©2014 Melissa La Flamme