~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Word Play

Hear the subliminal audio call, the cadence, within “mystery” … mist … missed … tear, to cry or shred … terra, earth of ancient stories and soul … “y” —> why, the question that pries our fingers loose from container so we seek, wander, travel, to find what we might have missed; to cry over and through adventures in joy, anger, or sorrow; to separate, to tear ourselves away from our comfort zones in order to grow. Mystery. Its very construction is more than the definition we assign of the unknown because it is a living energy, this symbol of letters joined with sound to denote that which we currently cannot grasp but are led by curiosity to discover — like prowling through the mist on mountain, near river, through forest and glen, shrouded on an island barely able to see a few feet forward yet we step into the veil, away from our familiarity and safety to explore and, possibly, be transformed.
Seeming distance becomes short and a flickering candle leads me down a corridor to the last room on the left — no, the right — turning the rusty round knob with a screech that would put owl to shame and the groaning hinges would delight the fiercest ghost if it were lingering here among the storehouse of ideas where a little old lady lives with papers stacked every wall creating a maze of towering manuscripts, edges of paper a rough symbol of gradual building of this world in the room and other worlds as well far more colorful for these towers are merely various shades of white as they mellow into faded beige, even yellowing crisp edges that disintegrate when fingers brush against them. As tall as I am, the paper towers are stacked in randomness except they are not — their creator with a purpose as they camp within specific countries and territories of similar vision; this one lying in the riverbed of past youthful follies while another spends its days pretending to be one of the mountains it sits among in the Rockies, a range where home is high and vision clear, the pages crisp, sharp, unmarred though as easily aged as the rest. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Travels and Tales


I've made a recent decision to travel to Scotland next year. Yes, the Highlands are calling! Scotland has been beckoning me for decades, and, well, I'm not getting any younger. So, I'm done with waiting!

At this point, I don't plan on going with a tour group, but on my own, to make it both a Writing Retreat (several of the characters in my novel are of Scottish descent) and a tour of sacred sites, historic castles, and rugged landscape that my feet are already itching to walk. The timing may change, but I'd like to schedule it for a few weeks in either May or June, both of which will be lush with green and beautifully wet -- to follow and counteract what is usually a long dry winter and spring here in the Sonoran Desert. A curious side effect of living in the desert is that, while I've never been much of a "water person" before, I seem pulled toward oceans -- going to the Island of Crete in 2012, and I've already decided to explore in Scotland the Isles of Skye and Lewis, and then head north to venture onto the Orkney Islands. As I've discovered, my body will be begging for what Scotland has to offer elementally, and with the delicious benefit of a different culture, fabulous accents, and walking the land of some of my ancestors.

I'm only at the beginning stages of planning, but did find this fantastic blog by an American for discovering Scotland: Traveling Savage. Periodically, I'll mention itinerary ideas or tidbits of interesting information as I come across it, and, please, if you've been there -- do share comments!

I thought after my pilgrimage to Crete that I was finished with airplane travel and was going to stick with road-trips only, stay with traveling this exquisite, diverse North American continent. But I imagine there will come a time when I won't feel physically capable of overseas travel, so I best do it now… !


First, a query: if we're called story-tellers, how come we're taught in writing to show, not tell?

Second, a comment: I currently spend more time writing about my story than writing the story itself. I wonder why that is? Is it common to do so? Is it simply where I happen to be in the story's creation?

Third, another thought: I wonder if I should stop reading everything for a while because it seems like every non-fiction book I read gives me more and more ideas! LOL

Oh, the joy of writing, and I truly do mean JOY. For even though I come across confusion and quandary, insecurity and frustration, they are always riding the waves of creative flow that are absolutely sublime.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Death: Borderland to Bridge

Death touches us many times before our bodies die; it is a commonality we all share. Because of that, the topic presented itself to be explored in one of my University of Arizona assignments: the text in context paper. Even if you haven't seen the movie Babel or read the article, "the lines that continue to separate us," (both of which were assigned, not chosen; students were to interpret the movie through the lens of the article, to which I then added another lens), my hope is that the piece will be clear and interesting. So, in the spirit of sharing, of opening into our interconnected threads of experiencing life and death, I share my paper below.

Death: Borderland to Bridge
Death is the ultimate architect of border and can draw people closer together or push them apart. David Newman’s language in his article, “The lines that continue to separate us,” can clarify and expand our conception of death and our reaction to it as it is subsequently portrayed in the movie Babel, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Newman in concurrence with Babel helps us to see death from a new perspective: that dying and/or death can be an impetus that sends people into a borderland, one that can potentially lead to a bridge of acceptance toward the unknown. Babel displays a grand narrative of acute personal experiences, interwoven with death’s borders, and detailed through striking visual elements. This paper will specifically address how an American couple progress through the borderlands created by the death of their baby to eventually access a bridge of emotional healing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Finding Love or Allowing Love?

While it may seem like only a silly, albeit entertaining, series, Sex and the City is also about getting to know and be comfortable with one’s self and choices. Because I witness this growth process in myself, re-watching the series every few years reminds me of how we change yet stay the same. For many women, me included, we endure a long journey laden with stumbles, falls, and climbing up over the ledge, repeatedly, before we can give voice to our uniquely individual truth. And even after discovering our authentic voice, we lose and find it again how many times? And this becomes even more complex when falling in -- and out of -- love is added to the journey.
In 1998, when the series began for thirty-something Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha, I was thirty-seven. I had just been through four years of intense and major changes, had been living the single life for over a decade, and felt like I was in pretty good company with these four. Not similar on the outside, but on the inside. After all, they were more ambitious and stylish than I was, my spiritual inclinations set me apart from them, and I was a country-girl, but how could I not relate to them when I was also a single woman in her thirties trying to figure out who I was and maybe, just maybe, find love along the way? Add into the mix that in 1999 I met the love of my life, and I was hooked into every episode.
I just finished watching the series from start to finish again, including the two movies, and I laughed so hard I nearly cried sometimes! As Carrie says:
“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all 
is the one you have with yourself. 
And if you find someone to love the you you love, 
well, that’s just fabulous.” 
Another aspect of this series that I now see, and I’m not sure I did the first time around, is how all of these women soften through their experiences while trying to retain their voices. This is not an easy task in the modern world, whether ten, twenty or even thirty years ago. When we allow love to find us, we are within the feminine essence of being; when we seek to find love, especially through a driven or desperate or demanding energy, that is the masculine. How does love come to us? And is it important to understand this?
Marion Woodman wrote that: 
“Women today are reaping the harvest of generations of rape. 
Grandmothers and mothers have adjusted to patriarchal values 
to the point of extinguishing their own femininity.”  
While at first glance, the women of Sex and the City might appear to be ultra-feminine … are they? Do clothes and make-up, style and sex appeal result in or from core feminine energy? Or do we need to look closer, to draw aside the veil? By the time the series wraps, each of the four women has found her own path to balancing the opposites of animus and anima; this meant they had to soften into their relationships and expectations, while remaining firm in Self. 
I wonder what I will think the next time I watch Sex and the CityWhere will I be in my own life in another five or so years — will my voice be lost or found? What about you? 

Last, but far from least, is how much I like the friendship maintained between these women. No matter what their trials and tribulations, they were always available for and forgiving of each other. 
Here's to women, authenticity, feminine energy, and friendship!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Depths of the Sea

"To understand what makes Earth different from any other place, and why life can thrive here, it would be logical to focus on the part of the biosphere that supports most of the action -- that is, the sea, of course. Since I am by nature an air-breathing sun-loving mammal, it has taken some time for the awareness to seep into the cracks of my brain that most of the biosphere is ocean. All of life on Earth lives in the dark at least half of the time, and much of it lives in the dark all of the time -- in the depths of the sea." ~ Sylvia Earle, Sea Change
One of the characters in my novel has a background in oceanography; she wanted me to read Sea Change after listening to Sylvia Earle speak with Krista Tippett OnBeing. I'm also going to be reading Rachel Carson's The Sea Around Us and her other two books about the sea.

I've never been much of a sea-person; I'm far more at ease hiking in the woods -- being in the depths of the forest. However, did you know that "almost anyone listening to a recording of humpback whales can identify them as humpback whales--but experts can pinpoint where a song has been sung, and even when." (Earle) Isn't that incredible?
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