Fresh Quotes for Fresh Writing

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~ E. L. Doctorow
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~ E. L. Doctorow
"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on" ~ Louis L'Amour
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on” ~ Louis L’Amour

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. Ernest Hemingway

 

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” ~ Ray Bradbury
 

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ― Franz Kafka

 

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~ Anais Nin

 

 

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~ William Wordsworth

 

There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. The only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick. -Robert A. Heinlein
“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury

 

Ray Bradbury’s Greatest Writing Advice

The infinite loveliness of nothing

There is a certain loveliness in nothingness, in unencumbered stillness, in silent empty space. In this absence of something there is a void that aches to be filled. Therein lies potential and that potential is infinite.

At least I tell myself this as I sit at the back door watching the trees dance in the wind. It is early morning and I am in the process of appreciating some idle time.

I still wake up at 4:45 a.m. A feat that has taken this once proud night owl years of cultivation to achieve and I will get as much down time as I can get even if it is in the early morning. Nothing lasts forever and this extra time will not.

In order to appreciate this time that I have seized for myself in an act of desperation, I must engage myself in the art of doing nothing.

My last job was in itself a culture of stress. I worked in a very busy call center in the public safety sector. There was high expectations and a rigid adherence to numerous and various state laws and regulations that required me to make statements that made callers confused and upset, this made customer service difficult at best. My days were timed to the tenth of a second, over one minute late and you have an “occurrence” and points were given, points that added up very fast for some and there was/ is a high turnover rate. I did well though. My calls were listened to and graded. I was thought of as smart and competent , I took  direction well and after a while I did start to sound like the others: A caller once told me I sounded like a robot.

I almost cried then.

There was a reason why I wasn’t the only one who had constant migraines there.

I felt I was drowning, gasping for air.  I felt desperate. An anger rose up in me that was not me at all.  This started to effect my relationships with my husband and family. I felt sick  to my stomach and my energy was zapped. I felt like a zombie just trying to get to the next day, to the weekend where I would try to cram as much living as I could in 2 days.

I bet my former coworkers would have been surprised to know that I am on the Autism Spectrum, I have masked it pretty well my whole life but that takes its physical and emotional toll on me and that job was not the best for someone with sensory issues, it may be one of the worst. 47 hour weeks of this for nearly two years did me in and burned me out. The job that gave me and my family health insurance made me sick.

 

Before I gave my notice I obtained a part time temporary gig in retail. It pays the bills, just almost. In the two months I have been there I have been much happier and healthier. I am getting myself back.


To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
Lao Tzu

East bank of the Willamette River

Nothing gives birth to creation.

It provides the empty space for something to occur. Nothing is an empty cup waiting to be filled, it is up to us to fill it.

The only real commodity is time. We are selling hours of our lives for money. Money we need to survive. Most of us have no control over this and have to spend much of our lifetime devoted to that task.

There is no time for nothing. There is no blank canvas on which to create and on which to write the narrative of our lives. Some fortunate people have jobs that them happy, that happiness is reflected in their work and everyone around them can share in this happiness. They are excited to get up and start working for the day. I want to be one of those people.

I believe that I can contribute to society in a greater way than I am now, I should say in a better way. Whether I am baking bread, selling jewelry in a store or writing something that makes people laugh or cry or think.

This rat is so very tired of the race.

And so I sit here at the back door, feeding a few squirrels that have gathered. My mind has time to reflect, my writing voice is coming back, the one that has lain dormant for a few years. I hear it speaking in whispers, I can barely hear but I am listening.

SBI

 

**

“And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.”

Mary Oliver

And so I have this blog…

 

And so I have this blog..

 

…well I used to have one. I  mean I used to write one, quite regularly; at least twice a week. I wrote over 200 posts, most of them fairly long. They are on an array of subjects, some of them are okay, some kinda good.

It was a labor of love really. I poured my heart out loud into the universe. I expressed myself.  I made friends from all over the world I would chat with.  I had fun and I also had lots of time on my hands, much more than I do now.

Time, that awful excuse. I doubt I lack talent, It is in there somewhere. And I do have something to say and a orgasmictorium of stories inside my crazy brain. I can blame the lack of time or place but it is I who makes my own circumstance. Time ticks away, yes that damn time always ticking in the background.

No one lives forever…even childlike creatures such as myself…

I know I must make it a priority.

And thinking,,,pondering.  THAT is essential!

One of the problems with this society is that not enough thought is given, we are all much too busy wrapped up in “the drudgery of everyday existence and all that” I like many of you wonder what is the point?

Hard not to.  I sit here on a rare silent Saturday. It is early morning. The sun is streaming through the window and I am on floor, sitting with my trusty white laptop. It has seen “better” days,  I suppose.  The O and L keys are completely worn away along with the I. Half the E is gone and the N is on the verge of disappearing altogether. To add the that the seven is coming off and it is filled with about 5 years of memories, pieces of my life encased in pixels. If anything such as this could hold a part of a person, this computer contains a part of me.

I have changed over the years.  I have gone beyond my comfort zone, I have outed and declared myself and have freed myself from much which did not serve me. I have busted out of my shell and I am ready to contribute more. I have learned some lessons as I continue to do. This late bloomer is still blooming

Just one more thing, the writing part..

 

My ex boyfriend/partner, the man I lived with for 17 years (also known as MM to those who have been around for a while) said that my problem was that I wrote too much about myself. He told me a lot of things, much I believed, much I now know was wrong.

I told him there are a million writers in the world, all with something to say. I am a mere drop in the bucket, a soul pouring myself out into a silent universe…but I am unique. just like everyone of us. There is only one me, whatever that means. The best thing I can write is what comes from my heart, from my soul and that is what I must do. I cannot do any less.

I happen to know more about myself than anything or anyone. But I also know that I am not the only one who feels the way I do. Others can and do relate. We are all connected even we we are apart.

and so…MM is in the old house with the cats. I am here with my new cat and new love. A lot has changed in the past year, but not my desire to write and as always I lament my lack of writing time as I pound these white fading keys…

Let’s see what I can come up with.

Thanks for stopping by. This blog is NOT completely dead.

~nlm

 

 

 

Totally “unrelated” stuff I put in for the hell of it. 

BoB Marley-Sun is shining

 

 

Traits of an Empath. (Elephantjournal.com)

 

The New Kitty

MOCHA!!

Look for new stories featuring his antics!!

 

MOCHA CAT #mochacat

 

 

 

 

The Voice of the Universe

The voice of the universe is everywhere.
In the trees. In stars. In the air.
In my heart. In my hair.
Within.”

—Jonna Jinton

 

I listen to the wind move through the trees tickling leaves along the way. I hear the loneliness in them, the smallness of them. The universe is made of these. Bits and parts of somethings that make a whole.

We are one together. A breathing being is the universe. I witness its breath in the clouds. I feel the beat of it’s heart in the river. I touch its profoundness in the soft moss under my feet.

I feel so alive in this one very moment; I take in the million joys that spill over like a wave. It fills my valleys and makes them green again.

The voice of the universe speaks to me. Not in words but pure emotion. It speaks to me in brilliant birdsong and in the roar of the sea.  It whispers in the Sunday breeze, knocking down fence posts to make me listen.

Once in a while the universe sends something so absolutely exquisite I can’t help but pause in splendid wonder. Once in a while can be everyday if I let it…

 

~nlm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Quotes: Mary Oliver

I’ve always wanted to write poems and nothing else.

~Mary Oliver

Coming in whispers that speak to that child that lurks within

the one that plays in grassy fields and kisses the sweet spring wind

she who laughs at chickadees and muses with birds

Quietly knocking one over the head with her simple earthy words.

I have been literally brought to tears on more than one occasion by this immensely talented writer and poet.

Mary Oliver is an artist who more than paints pictures with words. She illustrates profound feeling in vivid and not so vivid colors and hues. They hit me deep down in my soul.

Never before have I so connected with another’s words. It reinforces to me the greater connection we all have with each other and our beautiful planet.

What follows are some of my favorite quotes by this Pulitzer Prize winner.

MARY OLIVER

 

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

There is nothing better than work. Work is also play; children know that. Children play earnestly as if it were work. But people grow up, and they work with a sorrow upon them. It’s duty. 

“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”

 

 

“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.”

 

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours. Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing. If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.”

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

 

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.”

 

 

Do you love this world? Do you cherish your humble and silky life? Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath? Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, and softly, and exclaiming of their dearness, fill your arms with the white and pink flowers, with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, their eagerness to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are nothing, forever?

 Yes…yes I do Mary Oliver… thank you for your inspiration. 

~nlm

MARY OLIVER

Mary Oliver was born in 1935 in Maple Heights, Ohio.  She attended both Ohio State University and Vassar College.  As a young poet, Oliver was deeply influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay and briefly lived in Millay’s home, helping Norma Millay organize her sister’s papers.
  Oliver is notoriously reticent about her private life, but it was during this period that she met her long-time partner, Molly Malone Cook. The couple moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the surrounding Cape Cod landscape has had a marked influence on Oliver’s work.  Mary Oliver held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College until 2001. In addition to such major awards as the Pulitzer and National Book Award, Oliver has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also won the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts. 
(Excerpt from the Poetry Foundation Bio)

Mary Oliver (Poetryfoundation.org)

(Great site chocked full of resources including full-length poems)

The Way

forest-path-trees-green-nature

The way is winding

it’s direction uncertain

I am on a path meant only for me

and the trick is to know

the way.

Every step is a moment that passes by

the moments that make up my life.

There are triumphant ones in the sun

There are humble and joyous moments

and others which lie in the dark, cold and unforgiving.

They belong solely to myself

I cannot go back

We are made up of what we do

and this is what makes us who we are.

Some of us wear down paths consisting of varying degrees of unease

watching and waiting for that something that never happens…

This way is littered with occasions to lend my heart out

they fall to the forest floor like leaves in the autumn

and sound crunchy under my boots.

 I feel for something I think I’ve lost.

And I think I’ve left something unsaid.

I cannot seem quite to remember

Time flows ahead…I can’t go back

no matter, no matter

I tell myself

The way is winding

and we may find ourselves

at one end only to begin again.

Coming in and out like the tides.

A new river to step into.

A new stream to cross.

Urging me on to the next and the next and the next.

 

~NLM

 

 

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.

~Mother Teresa

***

Mt. Ranier. Washington State, USA.
Mt. Ranier. Washington State, USA.

 

The Wild Toads of Borneo

 

In the interest of science I am putting together a team of elite experts and chartering an expedition to the jungles of Borneo to seek the all illusive psychedelic toads that are rumored to live there.

A film crew will be documenting the events…

 

vintage-explorer-man

 

We will be led by Doctor Major Hector Cortez Santa Ana Rodriguez Rodriquez.  He is hands down the foremost expert on those trippy toads of legend.

He has sought these elusive toads for over seven years close and believes he is about to hit paydirt.

That is why we hired the film crew and that is why I personally loaned the Doctor Major 50 bucks of my own money for this very important and possibly dangerous scientific event.

 

 

The Doctor Major first became interested in the idea of Psychedelic Toads after reading a slender book smuggled to him by a fellow inmate at The Rocky Butte correctional facility in Portland Oregon in 1983. It was entitled Bufo alvarius, the Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert.

The Dr Major was instantly fascinated. The book explained how to find the toad in dark damp caves, how to extract the venom and how to prepare it for smoking.

Within thirty seconds, there will be an onset of almost overwhelming psychedelic effects. You will be completely absorbed in a complex chemical event characterized by an overload of thoughts and perception, brief collapse of the EGO, and loss of the space-time continuum. Relax, breathe regularly, and flow with the experience. After two to three minutes, the initial intensity fades to a pleasant LSD-like sensation in which visual illusions, hallucinations, and perceptual distortions are common. You may sense a distortion in your perceived body image or notice the world shrinking or expanding. You may notice that colors seem brighter and more beautiful than usual. And, most likely, you will experience a euphoric mood interspersed with bursts of unmotivated laughter.
Within 30 seconds, there will be an onset of almost overwhelming psychedelic effects. You will be completely absorbed in a complex chemical event characterized by an overload of thoughts and perception and loss of the space-time continuum. Relax, breathe regularly, and flow with the experience. After two to three days, the initial intensity fades to a pleasant LSD-like sensation in which visual illusions, hallucinations, and perceptual distortions are common.  You may notice that colors seem brighter and more beautiful. And, most likely, you will experience a euphoric mood interspersed with bursts of unmotivated laughter.

 art-man-mind-mindful-psychedelic

The Doctor Major was so fascinated by this idea that he after his release he went immediately to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona where he met two teenage boys at the 7 eleven in Gilbert. They were riding a mule and eating jelly donuts. They told him that the Sonoran toads were “dude, so totally last year” and if he really wanted to find “the real shit” he should go see the Toads of Borneo. Ever the optimist The Dr hopped the first barge to Borneo where he met a man, an old Indian who was drinking in the only decent bar in the town of Putatan near the edge of the jungle.  The man was wearing a loincloth and speaking in a language The Doctor Major could not understand but that or because of it the two immediately had an understanding that transcended all words and all logic whatsoever. They decided to join forces and descended into the dark jungle.


 

vintage-borneo-natives-men

 

There they spent seven grueling years fighting off bouts of malaria and godless heathen tribes who wanted to eat them. They searched deep caves and high into the mountains. The jungles beat the hell out if them but this made the Doctor Major even hungrier for a taste of the toads. The years had not been so kind to the old Indian who had died six years previously but this had gone unnoticed until recently by the Dr Major who had thought the Indian old and lazy and hadn’t noticed he was decomposing.

Obviously the Doctor Major was distraught. That is when he contacted me and told me his story. Of course I was compelled to help.

 

Obama Admin. Unveils New Policy Easing Medical Marijuana Prosecutions

 

Together we have raised almost 2,000 dollars through a series of Tupperware parties and by selling The Doctor Major’s high grade marijuana.

The day we put out the ads we were swamped with offers to go along. We have picked what we have deemed the best ones. 

 

gilligans-island

The mate is a mighty sailing man, The skipper seems brave and sure. He tells me it will only take three hours to get there, yes–a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

I will be writing an epic novel based on the adventures of the Doctor Major and his brave crew if they are successful and survive the journey. 

I, of course reluctantly have to stay behind due to my job as president of Shenanigans University. I will however be hiring an assistant who will be my eyes and ears on the mission. I will be accepting applications all week.

(Hint: I am NOT above bribery)  

 

Please send your resumes (and bribes) to my secretary. 

Thank you and good luck!!

 

~NLM

 

 

Reference and Related reading

 

toad-of-borneo-animal-frog

 

Bufo alvarius:
The Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert

Joy To The World – Three Dog Night (Youtube) 

SOUND

“In the world I am
Always a stranger
I do not understand its language
It does not understand my silence”
― Bei Dao

All I want for Christmas is some peace and quiet.    I need a retreat. A retreat from noise, a retreat from interruption. A break from the outside world that interferes with my thinking and writing.  I must do both of theses things and if I don’t for a while I become like a caged tiger. I pace the confines of my cell all stored up and ready to pounce, except that I don’t pounce–I suck it all in.

I am kind and patient. Seldom do I lose this demeanor but there are times that I feel as though I am a ticking time bomb ready to go off.  The pressure builds and builds, I cannot flee–I cannot fight–I hold it all in. This can’t be good for my health.

 

tiger art maxresdefault

 

There is no place where noise does not scream at me. I pretend that it doesn’t effect me like it does. I learned to fake nonchalance a long time ago but there is nothing nonchalant about me. I have prided myself in my outer coolness but I must confess and it feels damn good to confess that at times on the inside I can burn hot like a volcano.

 

WOMAN fire art

I try to meditate in my own way.  I seek out nature and I think good thoughts. I am earnest in my devotion to goodness, truth and beauty and all that. I believe I only lack one simple thing. Something that if granted to me would enable me to take on the world–whatever it takes. Silence, a wee bit of silence would save me. Time to listen to nothing would be utter bliss.

 

quote quiet still

 

If you have ever listened to silence you know what I mean.

Silence allows the mind to wander freely.  It gives us a chance to take a deep breath and relax.  The world is a noisy place, most of us experience a great amount of it in our daily lives.  These form the soundtrack to our lives. Most of it we cannot control.

 I seldom mention this but I am on the Autism spectrum (Asperger’s) and sensitive to sound. I have always been this way. Certain noises are amplified  in my head and at times this can be overwhelming.  Echoing reverberating noises, kids screaming, crowds of people talking, generally loud and unpredictable noises, these sounds can unhinge me but also small and meaningless ones too can set me on edge. I have learned to control my urges and I can block a lot of it out but this is tiring and doesn’t allow me to ponder like I like to do.

Noise effects me in good ways as well as bad. There are good sounds. Music is exquisite rapture and so are the sounds of nature; songbirds, the breeze in the trees, crickets, the ocean. These sounds speak to my soul. They call to the restlessness and the calmness in me. They soothe, invigorate and inspire.

These sounds are big and open like waves,  they do not mind sharing space with all the thoughts my mind.  These sounds not only allow me to think, to contemplate, they allow my mind to simply wander freely without intent purely for the sake of wandering.

Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon sky water beautiful

 

I feel at one with the universe. I feel at peace.

Sounds can transport one to another place. I have listened to recordings of birdsong and whales and other natures noises. I will close my eyes and imagine myself there; in the forest or by a lake or in a bird sanctuary wherever it be my mind can travel there.

Music is especially magical.  Slack Key Guitar music instantly takes me to the Tropics and certain Heavy Metal songs from the 80’s take me back to my rebellious teens.  Melodies paint colorful landscapes across the universe of my mind.

color tree mountain lake water night sinset beautiful back

Just thinking of all this is good for the spirit. Already I am calmed.  It’s through expressing myself I’ll find the peace I seek. I know that I create my own reality and I know that if something is important enough I will make time for it.

Writing and putting this post together has certainly worked it’s magic on me. And I hope it will for you too.  Please take a listen to the wonderful sounds by clicking on the following links that will transport you to the mythical land called Youtube where the music of nature will play for you.  Enjoy and have a nice day!

~NLM

beach waves gif

 

Sounds of Nature: Ocean Waves

 

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) perched on a branch in Manitoba, Canada.

White-throated Sparrow: Whistler of the North

 

field of flowers

Bach, Air (“on the G string”, string orchestra)

***

Related Articles

Musical Landscapes (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Listen   (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Wander

 

 

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

J. R. R. Tolkien

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.

 

art girl blowing bubbles planets

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.

 

vintage girl and elephant friend

 

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.

 

 

zoo girl and duck

Something to ponder on a cold and windy day in November….

Seems like I’m back for a spell.

~NLM

 

animal-children-photography-elena-shumilova-13 cat shadow girl

 

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
Mary Oliver

 

 

*

Fresh Quotes: LOVE Hafiz

 The words of Hafiz:  How they enchant. They move, they writhe and wiggle up and down from right to left; dancing like crazy….inspiring me like crazy… Hafiz is another one of my favorite poets. Never mind he wrote these words in the 1300’s. They are timeless, ideas even more so.  Translation adds a twist to these quotes. Daniel Ladinsky does a superb job. It’s hard to tell how much of himself he adds to the text. I concentrate more on the pleasure of reading and the places my thoughts travel to, invoked by the ideas, the whimsy and the thoughtfulness.

LOVE is always inspiring. Poetry lends the power of words and ideas and Hafiz adds the magic. Enjoy!

The following quotes are by Hafiz

 heart of compassion art

Your heart and my heart
are very, very old friends

Arces Natural Park Utah USA night sky rock vista star
Arces Natural Park Utah, USA

I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.

 

shadow morning sun woman

 You carry all the ingredients

To turn your existence into joy

moon vintage woman

“I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious –
So kiss me.”

vintage love couple kiss dunaway_cornwellengagement_connection_photography_34_low kiss

Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.

 

Gustav Klimt’s The KISS art
Gustav Klimt’s The KISS

 ♥

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Stranger,
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

gif hawaii ocean sunset gold

The tide of my love
Has risen so high let me flood
over

You. 

a-single-rose-of-love woman love romance

How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
Otherwise,
We all remain
Too frightened.

blue sky seed potential dandy

Let us be like

Two falling stars in the day sky. 

Let no one know of our sublime beauty

As we hold hands with God

And burn 

Into a sacred existence that defies –

That surpasses 

Every description of ecstasy

And love.

Hafiz quote Persian_Poet_  Love

hafiz

Hafiz (also spelled Hafez), whose given name was Shams-ud-din Muhammad, was one of the greatest of Persia’s mystical and lyrical Sufi poets. He was born in Shiraz in southeast Persia (modern Iran) c. 1320 and died c. 1389. He is affectionately known as “The Tongue of the Invisible”. His poems were artfully translated and interpreted by American poet Daniel Ladinsky.

Spiritual Sun  heart art radiate love

References and Related Articles and Recommended Reading 

Hafiz Bio (hafizonlove.com)
FRESH QUOTES: RABINDRANATH TAGORE 
Fresh Quotes: LOVE RUMI
"The Gift" Poems by Hafiz, The Great Sufi Master * Daniel Ladinsky
"A Year With Hafiz" Daily Contemplations * Daniel Ladinsky 

ESCAPE

quote Escape wall blue sky

 

 To all writers, bloggers, artists and creative types:

Do you ever yearn to get away from it all? Do you have a yen for some nice quiet time to create, contemplate the universe or just be?  Do you crave simplicity; an out from the unnecessary complexities of the modern world?  Do you need more free time to explore the possibilities? Do you feel as if you are you living up to your full creative potential?

Do you feel the aching desire to just escape and never look back?

Real life sure gets in the way of being a sensitive artist…

And so here I am. It is around 7 am. I have gotten up early before work to write for an hour; just sit and let the universe dictate my hand so to speak. I quiet my mind and allow the flow to manifest. The words fill my brain and I just record them. It usually doesn’t take much and my mind and fingers are going at full speed. I am in my own little world; a very happy little world where I am content and then it happens…

…it is always something. The kind of something that go with life typical of a busy working mom living in an interesting neighborhood in one of the weirdest cities in America;  some minor “crisis, malady or goings on. I try to take this all in stride and most of the time I can keep the flow going.  I have amazing powers of concentration…haha.  It gets out of hand when Mario, my famous but pesky cat, decides to jump up and sit on the keyboard in an effort to get my attention, he does, then sneezes all over. (he’s a sneezer that one)

I gaze out the window…my imagination travels to far and distant places…ahhhh….a misty mountain forest, a beach, a villa, a tropical retreat perhaps. I am not picky on this.  A  nice atmosphere is just that; nice.  At this point I’d take a room at fairly decent hotel with excellent room service…haha, really…okay a budget hotel on the coast, a pot of strong coffee, a sandwich….and peace and quiet, maybe the roar of the sea and the gurgling of the ice machine outside the door….

Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia tropic beach

 Ohhhh how delightful…

I am an introvert although I play an extrovert on the screen and I am solitary by nature. I do like people, as a whole and individually, some more than others. I wouldn’t be able to live alone but sometimes I yearn for a little solitude.  Just gimme some peace…no distractions…just nature…

Being on the spectrum doesn’t help. I am sensitive to sounds. That above all else impairs me. Sounds seem amplified, some more than others. I have sensitive hearing and I can get distracted by noises. It is like my mind is in tune to a dozen or so radio stations at once. I can live in harmony with this. My mind is active.  I like to think. I like to create.   Real life is louder–much louder. It is difficult to explain but it becomes harder and harder to endure until it becomes too much and I get an overwhelming urge to bolt.

I have to get away. I yearn to flee but unfortunately real life doesn’t allow for that…

forest light enchanted green trees fantasy

I would love nothing more than to be holed up in a nice and comfortable cabin in the woods.

I would love to not count the seconds as I contemplate the mysteries of the universe or the colorful hues of a symphony. The cabin would be well supplied with piles of books, spiral notebooks and bars of dark chocolate. I would lock myself away for a month or a few and emerge from this cocoon anew or at least with something to show for it. I would eat healthy, honest and pure food, drink lots of good coffee, keep strange hours and write to my hearts content.

Every day I would walk in the woods and at night I would admire the blackness of the sky and the brightness of the stars. I would have the time to explore my other creative sides besides writing which there are many.

gif water flow

I would paint the trees and the stars and the essence of hope. I would lie in soft green moss and dream the dreams of the enlightened. I would run and swim in a serene lake and hike into the hills. The only sound I would hear would be nature’s music. The crickets at evening and the breeze through the leaves of the trees, the rush of the wild river and the songs of the birds in all their varied loveliness….

peaceful gif dock water lake

From all that yumminess I would emerge renewed and bursting with creative juices. Like a happy Jelly doughnut.

Alas my dream must be put on hold . The practicalities of my life do not allow for any of this getting away from it all and I must deal with real life for now….but  it is nice having a vivid imagination and this will suffice for the time being.  Perhaps I can achieve that Happy Jelly Doughnut effect with that alone. Time will tell…

  Not having all the answers  but being fine with that right now.

~NLM

dog donuts anticipation yum

The Comfort Zone

 

gif water flow

 

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.

fantasy bed forest nap Photo by Ditte Isager

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.

 

 

autumn mountains cloud sky by Lars

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.

 

sara and nancy halloween 2
My daughter Sara and I spreading some Halloween “magic”

 

sara halloween scary face

 

nancy butterfly halloween profile pic

 

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.

Spotsy
Spotsy

 

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.

sbi serendipity

 

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.

Nancy

bill the cat

 

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awesome_vintage_photos_with_animals_ girl dog

 

 

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.

Seriously…

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…

 

cat face

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…

~Nancy

 

.

 

“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece”
Vladimir Nabokov

 

*

 

Schubert: Unfinished Symphony No.8