Oh how I stumble and bumble, oh how clumsy I have become. Once I glided upon air like a bird in flight. Now I stagger across a concrete landscape like a glazed-over drunk in need a cup of strong coffee to wake me the hell up.
Once the thoughts flowed out like chocolate cake batter; smooth, concise, beautiful. Words would combine to make a confection of sorts, an image, an idea, a feeling that would be felt by the reader. It was a gift I possessed or at least I though I did once…
Being a loner who was good with words I felt at home with them and would be able to convey whatever I wanted, It was so natural, so easy. I took this for granted I knew no other way …now I struggle for the right words , the right combination of them. It is frustrating, there is much locked up behind me , behind the facade; the face(s) I show to the world. I ache to use words again how I used to, I ache to be able to walk along the beach and listen to the ocean, taking in everything in that moment and giving it back to the world…in words..in images…making art of life and inspiring others to do the same…
This is not what I do know and I don’t dare call myself a writer, writers write, I talk about writing. This makes me a talker.
So here I am writing my first post in a zillion years, Stumbling over every word. Pissed at myself for allowing the excuse of not having enough time to take away from myself one of the greatest pleasures I have ever known.
Although I have lost ground in skill and effectiveness and definitely in refinement I have gained a courage I did not know before. I’m not only able to grow a beautiful garden I am tough enough to protect it with my shovel and I will.
I have learned that one can stay too much in the middle and that my fear of offending someones effected my writing. It effected my creativity and it effected my effectiveness. While I could say something very nicely it did not make what I was saying very important. In that I have changed because I believe there are things we should stand up for in this crazy world. I am finished being afraid. I will speak my truth , how I see it and to hell with anyone who wants to attack me for it.
And with that I will bid my adieu for now, I think I have broken through, thanks for listening.
All of the wisdoms of the universe are held within a single blade of grass. If you look carefully enough you can see this in your minds-eye. We are afloat an infinite sea of vibrating strings. Everything we know and everything we don’t know. Everything we are and everything that is, was or will be, is connected–It is all part of we. And in that lie the wisdoms of the universe.
It has taken me most of my life to realize this something that I knew instinctively as a child but had dismissed or hidden from my conscious mind.
Ever listen to the silence between everything else?
When we grow to adulthood we leave behind our childish ways, we assimilate and integrate with society, many of the beliefs and instinctive truths we held dear as children are washed away with grown up ” rational” thought and much of our free thinking and creativity is lost at sea.
People look for answers, they have a need to convince their rational minds what the heart already knows. They flock to gurus and philosophers and there are no shortage of those who have all the “answers”. In actuality, the best guru is a child who remembers the universal truths that are born inside every single one of us.
I remember spending time in my mothers garden; lying in the grass, and the way the grass smelled and how the breeze gave me goosebumps. And how the trees swaying made shadows dance across my eyelids. I remember watching the clouds pass by so effortlessly. It seemed the moments lasted longer and I savored each one as it melted into the next.
I remember how connected I felt to everything in the universe and this was no big revelation to me. I did not need to be taught this, I don’t think any of us need to be taught this.
I knew that everything within my vision; from myself and my cat and the bird he was eyeing in the tree, to the ant and the worm and to the tree itself. I felt connected to the very soil I stood upon and to the sky over my head and every person and all life on this planet. I would see everyone as a friend. And I thought this until I was about 4 or 5 and then something told me, I don’t know what, but something told me to put a lock on those ideas and stick them in the back of the closet where I would throw my old toys. There they would stay until my mid thirties, when I started to wake up again.
It was in those dark , still and silent nights when my mind could stay quiet enough to hear the whispers of my soul that I began to catch glimpses of the light. I learned the more that I listened the more I would hear. I also learned right off the bat that most of what I did hear at that time in my life was not good. My heart was sad and my soul was lost and lonely.
It is in reaching a bottom of sorts where I found the will to climb out. I quit a 20 year addiction to alcohol. I returned to the grass and the trees and the tiny daisies in the lawn. I found my connection with nature was returning and I healed in the power of that wonderfulness.
Everything I have learned so far, through the words and actions of others, though raw experience and through the whispers of my very soul, have put me to where I am now and the realizations that continually dawn on me, leading me to believe that what is the most important is the intangible and that we are truly are intangible beings in a tangible world. And that what we seek is truly inside us.
This is just a beginning of sorts for me. A rebirth. A getting back to where I need to be. I have returned from an extended break from writing and blogging. I have much to write about. I am excited and happy to be back and to reconnect with some kindred souls ones I have met along the way and new ones as well.
Tiny wisdoms found here and there
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
I’ve traveled all around the world to see the rivers and the mountains, and I’ve spent a lot of money. I have gone to great lengths, I have seen everything, but I forgot to see just outside my house a dewdrop on a little blade of grass, a dewdrop which reflects in its convexity the whole universe around you.
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
― Thich Nhat Hanh
I sit and stare at the blank page waiting to be filled with splashes and sploshes of delightful and colorful words. Words that convey a profound wisdom and grace. Words that draws one in. Words that come alive. Words that tease the imagination and beckons you to play. You have fun all day in the sun and before you realize it, you’ve learned something. At least I want my writing to be like that but lately….not so much…
I remember when I started blogging. I would read many a post from a fellow blogger who would begin the post with a “Sorry I’ve been gone so long but...” I swore I would never do that but it seems like I’m doing that now.
I could say that I’ve haven’t had much time to write but who does really? I know one must make time to write and I haven’t done that. I suppose I haven’t wanted to or I haven’t had anything to say. I seem to be running away from something. My thoughts perhaps? There is a running dialogue that presents itself to me. It fills my mind and it races almost too fast for me to keep up. I will read things I have written previously and be awestruck at the strangeness of it. I recognize bits of myself but other bits I don’t recognize quite as well.
I have been using my travel time to work to just sit. I zone out and allow my mind to be still which usually leads to some interesting meandering. I’m taking it all in; whatever crosses my path on my journey literally and figuratively. I just allow myself to just be.
Writing has always been therapeutic. I’ve put my feelings down in words ever since I could hold a pencil. It’s been my outlet to the outside world. Starting this blog and writing over 200 posts has profoundly changed me. I’ve grown in leaps and bounds over the last four years. Never can I go back to what I once was. I must forge ahead. Part of that forging is taking my writing to the next level. I haven’t submitted much as I find I have nothing I deem worthy.
Putting heart and soul out there in words is what I do best, but there are a million others who can say the same thing. Who am I to presume that I have anything to say that anyone would want to hear, must less pay for? I realize now that I should abandon my hope of being a paid writer as money cannot be my focus. I have to go where my heart lies and seldom in this life do the two go hand and hand.
I have been distracted by life and rightly so. Whatever I write is not only deeply effected by my current experiences, it is built on them. I put myself into it. I don’t know of any other way.
I have been conflicted as of late on what to write at all really. I have some bits and pieces that I have written lately, many are tinged with an anger at the state of the world. I am a crazy idealistic dreamer who goes on pessimistic forays now and then but I always return with a renewed sense of vigor. This is vigor has been rising up but is confused as to which way to go. I always have to have a answer. I cannot seem to finish a writing piece without having the issue settled in my mind and it seems everything is up in the air and I don’t have all the answers. I’m learning that is okay too.
I’m trying to live in the moment and just take life in. I am grateful for what I have and I am enjoying whatever comes. I am content but restless. I feel like something is left undone and I have a strange feeling of deja vu right now. It’s like my future self is rooting for me to do the right thing —whatever that is. Honestly I don’t know sometimes…
I also have been finding myself getting lost the beauty of the words of others such as those of Mary Oliver who has in the short span of a year has become one of my favorite writers. I feel a kinship with her writing. I love the whimsy and the focus on the small and quiet things of nature, on that which is difficult to hear but essential to the ear. I’ve been ordering them one by one from the library. I look forward to cracking open a new book . Her words have made me laugh and cry, they have delighted and amused me, they have made me think. Never before have I been so emotionally affected by writing. Her words are so real, so poignant and oh so lovely. They are a beautiful escape to me. I see myself there, I identify and find kinship there. And then it dawns on me; that maybe I can do some of that too, in my own way. Provide an escape. A refuge in words and imagery for others to retreat to too. Writing doesn’t have to be “important” all the time, or wise or impressive to mean something to someone. To touch another person with words is amazing and I would love someday to be able to touch people like Mary Oliver has touched me.
Something to ponder on a cold and windy day in November….
Seems like I’m back for a spell.
“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
Change comes in starts and fits; it ebbs and flows along the river of life–always moving, flowing along…each moment bleeding into the next . The seasons change. Exuberant Spring quickly turns to lush Summer and then is gradually replaced by the deepening beauty of Autumn. I feel every part of it; this cycle of life. It seemed there was a time not very long ago when life was eternally young. I was always in a hurry to get on with things. It was always “what’s next?”. It wasn’t until I grew a bit older and became a mother; when I was able to see life vicariously through a pair of newer but different eyes, that’s when I realized the significance of these small seemingly insignificant moments.
Being a parent changed me like nothing else. The experience has shown me the importance of being there for someone. It has shown me the strength of love and the power of devotion. Motherhood made me strong where once I was weak. It was on a Winters day back in 1994 when I gave birth to my son, that was the day I began to become who I am today.
Where once I was a rebellious teen I become a resilient adult. I have never lost the ideals of youth. Sure, I have tempered my dreams with reality but I’ve never given them up and I never will. To stop dreaming is to stop living. And I plan to go on living for a long time.
I suppose one could call it hibernating; what I’ve been doing. I’ve stayed away from blogging and writing in general. I have been engaged in the “Art of Living”. The day to day. The grind. The moment. I have taken a side job selling men’s clothes in an well-known upscale department store for the upcoming Holiday season. I’ve never done retail before and am finding the change refreshing. It’s nice to get out of a lonely two-person office and out into the world of rampant consumerism.
Gone is the long commute of last year and replaced by a short 15 minute drive. Yay! Time is too valuable to waste on a insane commute of 3 hours a day. My pay is less but I am much happier. For so many reasons I am much happier.
I am finally facing myself; my demons, my weaknesses, whatever you call them. I am finally getting my birdbrain out of the sand and I’m opening my eyes and looking around. I am forcing myself to peek out from my hazy pools of imaginative avoidance, past the fairies and unicorns and the happy talking trees to the playing field below; the hard turf and rugged terrain of reality.
Yikes! But I am seeing the challenge and rising to it.
I gallop along; riding far beyond my enchanted kingdom into the dreaded realm that ‘s called “out of my comfort zone”. I’ve been visiting this place quite regularly and every time I do I grow stronger and stronger. It’s amazing what a little white-knuckled courage will do. I have found through trial and mostly error that life forces one to foray beyond this zone. I would rather choose the circumstance instead of the wilds of fate deciding for me. This is the downfall of the procrastinator–something I know too well.
On my dresser sits a 3×5 card. On it I have written a quote by Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor and philosopher who opted to write his book “Meditations” entirely in Greek and for his eyes only. It’s funny how at times the words you need to hear most come at exactly the right time you need to hear them., even when they were written two thousand years ago. Knowledge is timeless. But we mortals are not.
“Remember how long you have been putting this off, how many times you have been given a period of grace by the gods and not used it. It is high time now for you to understand the universe of whom you constitute an emanation and that there is a limit circumscribed to your time–if you do not use it to clear away your clouds, it will be gone, and you will be gone and the opportunity will not return.”~Marcus Aurelius
These words and others have changed me bit by bit. My current course has altered and is flowing to what are hopefully greener pastures. This growing up stuff hurts but it’s worth it. Don’t get me wrong; the fanciful Nancy. The whimsical silly person who has fun wherever she goes lives on. The bubbly person that I have allowed to gradually blossom currently still runs the show. I am still cultivating “magic” and throwing it up in the air like all that pixie dust. I, in fact, endeavor to increase the dosage. The world needs it and frankly so do I.
I have taken it as my mission to appreciate not only every moment but every interaction with every soul I meet. This sounds daunting and will require going out of my comfort zone more and more but as I do this comfort area will get larger and larger until it encircles the world…well, in theory anyway. I will try. I will fall down and I will get back up, that’s all any of us can do anyway.
We have a new edition to the family. Spotsy came to us by a quirk of fate, by design or whatever. He needed a home and we needed an extra cat so it all works out. My daughter has taken it upon herself to see to his upbringing and Mario and I still have time for our long and reflective discussions.
I’ve started a new blog! Ta-da! It’s all SBI but newer and edgier and more compact. It’s silly trippy fun. No long-winded dour reality here. It’s all for fun and it can be found here.
Go check it out and sign up for a dose of the lighter side of SBI fresh in your inbox.
I am looking forward to catching up with you so don’t be suprised to see me pop up over at your place. I have missed my blogging friends and I am glad to be back.
42 drafts…well 43 drafts sit here waiting in my to do box like faithful canine friends patiently awaiting my return. They sit in various forms of completion and come in all shapes and sizes; some are tiny puppies of a paragraph or two, others are stately Great Danes of considerable verbiage that lack a certain something, a doneness, something beyond simple edits and rewrites. I cannot truly write anything worthy before it’s time. The moment must be right.
And so as a result…
They are an ever-growing mass, these unfinished ones. They haunt the corners of this blog walking from room to room looking for something. Some whine for attention, others howl, most just sit there. As you have probably guessed, I have a case of chronic procrastination. I have always been this way; I start a multitude of creative projects only to have them linger in some state of incompletion. I am sort of infamous around here, at least at the little red house on 79th street, for having a million and one ideas that I never follow through on.
As time goes on this weighs on me more and more. These unfinished things represent this whole tendency of mine and along with my Asperger’s has served as my excuse for my holding myself back from participating in life. I’ve always been a terrific starter but a horrible finisher.
And there is such a multitude of business…my mind comes on like a radio with a half a dozen stations all competing for my attention. At times it can be hard to pick just one. One idea will give birth to the next. And one draft can easily grow into two or more. Many cousins akin to these drafts are finished posts which haunt the “pages” of this site.
I am a little person with big ideas. Lots of silly ones but others I think may be quite viable. My dream job would be to come up with great ideas for others to implement and charge them for it. I would keep busy in a glorious garden adjacent to a greenhouse with a big lemon tree in the center. Mario, my cat would be my assistant and we would think up great ideas all day while drinking coffee and having fun.
I am over 40, my kids are almost grown. Time is passing. And the time seems right to finish something I suppose. It has been three years since I began this blog; this “great” experiment. My 200 + published posts on this blog have shown me that I can finish something and something I can be proud of. I just have to buy into the hype I been selling: I need to believe and have faith and just do it…
Update: Well..I did it I summoned up the courage and submitted my first piece for publication. I don’t expect to hear anything, it would be a miracle if I did. I had an anxiety attack. I don’t know why.
It is a beginning…
“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece”
― Vladimir Nabokov
ASPIRE: To seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal.
Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle Frenchaspirer, from Latin aspirare, literally, to breathe upon, fromad- + spirare to breathe.
To aspire is to dare. To dare to want more.
Aspire is the desire to propel oneself skyward. It is born in the heart like a flame that burns hot with the passion of want. Dreams fuel aspiration. Passion drives it and hard work makes it so. With care and feeding aspirations can grow wings and set flight to all points amazing…
We are what we aspire to. Our dreams define us.
I have a dream; one I never knew I had until fairly recently. I found it huddled under a pile of forgotten hopes that I had neglected to remember I’d left it in the back of my closet. I could exaggerate and press upon you this jive about a noble truth that propels me. I might confess a deficiency I have and this need to make up for what I’ve felt I have lacked in my life. The truth is I did not purposely seek this road. In the beginning all I sought was my own salvation.
I had walked in darkness for many years and yearned to find my way back into the light. I knew fulfillment and happiness lives there but in the dark it’s difficult to see. It’s lonely out there, at least it seems so…but I learned something important. I realized I wasn’t alone and there are others out there in the dark reaching for the light just the same as I… and not knowing where to find it. This simple truth eluded me for years. It is my truth but not mine alone….
By helping others we help ourselves.
It is tempting to take credit; to say that my stirrings to inspire are purely unselfish but the truth is; I aspire to inspire because it feels so damn good..besides I really don’t know any other way.
I have found that people who have struggled, who have fought something bigger than themselves…who have had life hurt them have a yearning to light the way for others, to say: “I’ve been where you are now and there is a light at the end of the tunnel…I know because I can see it.”
We all need help from time to time…
I believe greatness abounds. There is greatness in you and there is greatness in me but the greatest greatness lies in we. Our fullest potential is alive and well and it is just within our grasp. Sometimes all we need is a pat on the back, a smile and a reassuring voice. Everybody needs this..no one is above it. It is basic. It is human and it is beautiful.
We are the content creators; the writers, the artists, the dreamers. We are a unique breed who yearn to inspirit and inflame others with that magic spark that burns so bright in our hearts and souls.
This wonderful planet of ours is teeming with inspiration. One just needs to know where to look and one need not look far. I have found much inspiration in the words of many of you in this wonderful creative community of ours. Through your posts and comments I have learned so much! Time and time again I’ve experienced firsthand that no matter how different we may seem on the outside, we are alike on the inside. We all need insight and inspiration from time to time and I have surely gotten this from you. Thank you for sharing your world with me.
Wishing you an inspired day
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
― Louisa May Alcott
I have been invited by my good blogging buddy Cathy to participate in something called a blog hop. At first I thought it was some sort of dance. I have since learned it involves answering some tough hard-hitting questions about writing in a thoughtful, and meaningful way and then passing on the challenge…I mean “invitation” to the next worthy writer who I assume will hop his or her on way to the next contestant. The topic is “Why I write”
Cathy is one of my most favorite people in the entire blogosphere. I have been following her since the beginning. She writes in such a way that conveys friendliness and warmth. Her site is beautiful. Her photos are lovely and her recipes are yummy. I wished she didn’t live so far away because I would love to visit her. Besides having a great blog she is such a great person.
So hop on by to Words and Herbsand visit Cathy and you will see why I like her so much.
Before I get started with my questions I would like to introduce you to Steven Webb. He writes a wonderful blog called The Moving Road. Steven is a wonderful heartfelt writer who has a powerful message of encouragement all his own. I believe he and I share a concern for others and a yearning to inspire people and say “Yes you can!” You can also find Steven on Twitter and Facebook. Go to his site and check him out and find out just how multi talented he is. Once he answers the five questions and publishes his post I will put a link to it HERE.
I blog and tweet about the good stuff, helping people see things differently and overcome their own adversity. Join me on this journey”– Steven Webb
And the funny thing is…
It just so happens that I had just finished being interviewed by Oprah for her magazine. Funny enough she asked me these very same questions (AMAZING! I know) and so out of the kindness of her heart and she is kind that Oprah. She has allowed me to feature the interview in its entirety for you here today.
The Five Questions
What am I working on? Besides the zillion and one drafts in my inbox? My crazy mind has now engaged itself in the production of a feature length extravaganza in the form of a real life book. (yay!) An escapist fantasy adventure that is now unfolding itself in bits and pieces into my eclectic imagination. The more I think of it the more it becomes real. At this point it’s practically creating itself; I close my eyes and watch it form. I have pretty much erected the framework and now I need to fill in the details–the more I write the more it needs to be written and the more I need to write it.
How does my writing differ from others in it’s genre?
I don’t have a genre at all in that I probably differ from most writers. Of the two hundred plus blog posts I have written no two are quite the same. I flutter and flitter around subjects and genres, styles and moods. Words are my paints in every glorious color of the rainbow, my brush slides and glides across the canvas, and from it springs wide landscapes and broad vistas, from the tiny and seemingly insignificant to the giant elephant in the room. I try to capture that all-elusive truth with honest humor and silliness tinged with an underlying something that sneaks up and causes the reader to think or feel. That is what I aim to do anyway. I believe that any writer who wants to engage the reader must write from the bottom of their heart and the deepest reaches of their soul. Never hold back your truth.
I write what’s in my heart, what I care about. I write whatever is floating around in my silly imagination. Slivers and shards of life maneuver and twist themselves into my writing. I wear my heart on my sleeve and on my blog as well.
How does my writing process work? Most of it is spent thinking and not writing at all. Ideas form in my mind and emotions swirl around them. I take notes in one or more of the very many spiral notebooks I have littered all over. From that I will compose on the computer allowing the words to come out. If I have the luxury of peace and quiet the words usually just flow out like water. It is at times the easiest thing in the world for me to do. I wish life were that easy…(sigh)
From there I edit it and tighten it up, smooth it out. MM helps with the punctuation, which I am lousy at. He encourages me to tighten up my long winded run-on sentences which I sometimes do. Then I publish it and forget all about it…then it’s on to the next one!
Of course the book will be different. Much more rewrite and polish. And the publishing part will be more involved than simply clicking “publish”. I’m going to take what I do best and work with what I have and that’s all any of us can do.
I’d write anyway. Even if there was no one to read it. That is how nuts I am.
Have a great day and remember to visit my friends Cathy and Steven.