Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm Baaaaaaaaack

[The pictures sprinkled throughout this post are not very photogenic, I know. But they are my attempt to say goodbye to summer, which was all too short, and make peace with winter, which arrived all too suddenly and soon.]

I'm very grateful to my sweet friend and fellow writer/artist Amanda, at http:/ for asking me something today. She'd noticed that I hadn't blogged for over two weeks and wondered if a reason existed beyond just the usual busyness of life.

I told her I'd been wondering the same thing. I have really loved this adventure of blogging and actually am pretty dumbfounded that I've been at it since January 2nd. So it surprised me--no, actually sort of dismayed me--that although I'd listed "write new blog post" on a series of daily To Do lists, I kept avoiding it.

After just a few moments of contemplating this mystery with Amanda, I found myself crying. Yeah, I know that isn't a very unusual occurence for me, but it really surprised me this time. I just opened up to the feelings surfacing and realized that underneath, I was pretty scared. That surprised me even more.

But again, I gently let the feelings find words for themselves. What's coming to light is that I am to-the-bone weary of being in so much transition. Yes, transition is far better than being stuck in a rut. But this mental and emotional climate of always working toward something in the future had somehow robbed me of the joy of just being me, here and now, in whatever messy and loptarded shape I'm in.

Yes, I want to lose weight. Yes, I want a relationship with a man that is safe and satisfying. Yes, I want the inside of my home to reflect order and allow space for creative chaos. Yes, I want the outside of my house to be safe from the elements. Yes, I want my paperwork in workable order. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But in all this focus on these "projects," some immediate and some long-term, I lost sight of just loving the me God has made, in whatever physical shape I'm currently in; of appreciating the male and female friendships I currently have; of loving my home and all I can do in it right now; of being grateful that I am able, in the midst of a paper hurricane, to still handle my current clerical obligations.

What are your days like? Do you feel swamped in endless lists of things to do? Do you think you perpetually fall short, no matter how much you accomplish? Have you found ways to live in this moment, to somehow, more simply, just be? I'd love to hear from you.

P.S. Despite my lack of blog posts, I HAVE kept current on my WRITE:100 challenge. And on Day 14, the entry turned into . . . . the beginning of a novel!!!! The subsequent pages have resulted in 11,459 words!!!! Woo-hoo!!!

P.P.P.S.S.S. Amanda had this quote on her blog today, and it really summed up a lot of what I was feeling: "When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly." ~Barbara Winter

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WRITE: 100 Days 18-22

Howdy!! Hey, this is kind of an unusual feeling, worth celebrating here: I'm happy :)

No particular reason. It's been a very full day, made more challenging 'cause I left a few things till today that I could have done earlier. But I just took a deep breath, prayed, and started in. And as of now, (still several hours before bedtime), I'm all caught up. No frenzy, just peaceful purposeful working.

For me, the prayer has been the key. I visit with God, admit when I've sorta screwed up. I ask for His guidance and companionship. And as His beloved child, I accept that He loves me, unconditionally. Wow.

I hope each of you are feeling some measure of peace and purpose today. You can wrap yourself in the sure knowledge that God loves you so dearly and has wonderful things in store for you. Yes, for YOU.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Write:100--Days 9-17

How's your week been? Mine's been sorta uppydown, emotionally. Yeah, I know . . .nothing new about that :), at least for the past few years.

Spent one afternoon out in Bella, eating a delicious lunch and reading and journaling. Then some wicked cold, oh-so-NOT-October weather swooped in. I've got a heater I can take out there with me, but haven't hooked up electricity yet. [I'm throwing in one of my last sunflower pictures, as my way of ignoring the snow]

I've been faithful in writing every day. I'm pretty proud of that.

And something new has transpired. After talking to my daughter and another writing buddy after our bi-monthly writers's meeting, I witnessed a decided turn in my daily writing for WRITE:100. My daughter was encouraging/urging/prodding/lovingly pushing me to see if I could move beyond having my past be so very present in my 100 writing. I had no problem with that, in theory. I just didn't know how to DO it. Whatever writing prompt came up each day, was met with a tsunami of very sharp, very pungent memories of something not pleasant.

I knew her suggestion was good--more than good, actually needed. But I said I needed some "gimmick," something I could hold to mentally to turn me in another direction. Some sort of doorway into other thoughts.

Ah. . . a doorway . . .

Years ago, during the wrap on a theater production I was in, we worked to clean out the backstage area. Someone had thrown away a gizmo that had been used to simulate door sounds. To my eye, it was far too intriguing to be consigned to a trash barrel. I yoinked it out and have had it in one of my rooms ever since. I went to said room and re-found it, buried under several piles of Stuff (no big surprise there, huh?).

The Doorway is now propped next to my computer, its door, complete with creaky hinges, slightly open.

This perfect visual has called out to me for the past four days of daily writing. It invited me to read the prompt and then step through that doorway and see what else might want to be written . . . and . . . (drum roll here, please . . . .)

With hardly an extra breath, I stepped into another whole world. Jessie started telling her story and she and I are now down in Mexico . . . on a beach . . . and as far as I can tell, I plan to devote each day to her story. Whatever prompt I turn to, it's Jessie's story being written. Yes, bits and pieces of my life are there, but only bits and pieces. Hallelujah.

Amazing. Just amazing.
(P.S. Daughters are pretty incredible, aren't they?)

Has something amazing happened in your life? Wanna share with me?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Welcome, Bella

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the Italian word for beautiful: Bella. Right away, it tucked itself inside my heart. I knew it would be the name of something new in my life.

I kinda sorta thought maybe I'd be getting a dog.
Last Thursday afternoon, (just three days ago???), my daughter and I were heading across town on errands. Caught sight of something for sale, on a nearby sidestreet. Stopped to look.

Several hours later, look what was parked in my driveway . . . this is the view from my bedroom window, where I looked out the next morning, just to be sure, since I thought I'd dreamed it all.

Let me introduce you to Bella, my new "friend." I've framed this picture in what might be the last view of my flowers, since predicts six inches of snow tonight.

Here's the view from the front passenger seat:

Here's the bathroom, complete with flushing toilet and an actual shower:

I'm standing at the bathroom door, looking forward now. The biggest sleeping area is over the front of the cab.

Honestly, I don't have a clue why I just bought this camper. I certainly am NOT flush with "extra" money. Yes, I dreamed of driving a camper all around the US coast, but that was a dream I shared with my husband. And I figured the dream vanished when he did. Am I holding onto that dream? Nope, doesn't feel like that.

All I can tell you is that when I first caught sight of her, I "recognized" her. The next few hours were filled with checking her out, praying, talking with the previous owner, praying, having my son Ben and his wife help with a test drive, praying, and then finally writing that check. I tucked myself to sleep that night in disbelief and wonder.

From the next morning, and continuing until now, I've been asking God what might be the primary "purpose" behind this purchase. What I keep hearing is: I want you to trust Me, dearest. Just keep your hand in Mine. You'll know what you need to know, when you need to know.
Okay, God. You and me. And Bella, of course.

Great Giveaway at PersistentGreen

If you don't already know about it, Amanda at PersistentGreen is holding a wonderful giveaway, as part of her efforts to Spread Joy!!

I can tell you from firsthand experience that she pours herself into these new journals. She's handmarbled each cover, handtorn each page, hand cut the covers, hand varnished them, and then cut and "inserted" the spiral binding with her own machine!!!! Truly handmade, one-of-a-kind, from start to finish.

Head over to her blog,, and see how to win the first journal.