Sunday, December 15, 2013

Days of Gratitude - Day 5

Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.
Kak Sri

I now know how barking sea lions and seals feel. After 5 days of coughing I decided a trip to an urgent center was in order. I found out why myself and seemingly half the residents in city I live in are sounding like a chorus at Pier 39 on the Embarcadero. There's a flu virus going around that seems to mutate into pneumonia. So here is how I'm facing gratitude today. Thank goodness for health insurance, thank goodness for supportive friends and I was able to turn a stay on the couch into a opportunity to catch up on videos and books.

Here's hoping that by Christmas Eve, everyone is having a silent night....

Cambridge Choir of King's College, "See Amid the Winter's Snow":

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Days of Gratitude - Day 4

Trials and suffering can actually refine and deepen gratefulness if we allow them to show us not to take things for granted.
Robert Emmons

When you talk about gratitude, people often think you are a Pollyanna with no sense of how difficult life can be. Actually it is the difficult times that have taught me the most about being grateful. Today I found out my 1 year old niece is in the hospital in Michigan in critical condition. It doesn't look good for her...I could rail against the forces of life or I can work to arrive at a sense of gratefulness that the rest of my nieces and nephews are healthy and that she has been in our lives...

You can see ugliness in the forest of thorns or you can see that they have their own beauty. Does it mean I don't feel the darker emotions i.e. a sense of sadness or frustration and so on....No, it's what you do with these feelings that will give life it's meaning: despair or hope....hatefulness or gratefulness. It's not an easy lesson, but only you can chose what you will do with the experiences you are given and what meaning if any you will assign to them.

And that is where my gratitude lies today:  that I'm getting better at the lesson,. I'm not perfect yet, but I'm working to arrive there.

Daddy Stove Pipe, "Maria Wanders Through the Thorns":

Monday, December 9, 2013

Days of Gratitude - Day 3

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
-Albert Camus

This butterfly was found in a desert botanical garden a week ago. An unexpected thing for someone who came from the Midwest originally to see at this time of year. It reminds me that no matter what the season, there is always the unexpected. That you don't have to accept the limitations of what you are indoctrinated to expect. That you can fly and soar and be what your heart tells you to be. Today I am grateful for this lesson.

Have a good start of the week.

Loreena McKennitt, "To Drive the Cold Winter Away":

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Days of Gratitude-Day 2

“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:
Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.” 
― Kahlil Gibran

Many fruits come into season here in California this time of year...persimmons, grapefruit, oranges, pomegranates...It's a time when I am grateful for the ripening of life. A year and a half ago I didn't know how many more seasons I would see after the cancer diagnosis...I still don't, but I have learned  to rejoice in the fullness of everyday I am given. 

May all beings learn this lesson.

Southwest Women's Chorus of Temecula CA, "Apple-Tree Wassail":

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Days of Gratitude Day 1

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

I didn't return to my blog as planned, just because life was busy. But after returning from Arizona where I had spent a week with three of my four siblings (where much healing began to happen), I realized in this season of craziness and busyness, I do want to take time to reflect. So I am returning to a concept I've worked with before gratitude. 

Today is Day 1 and I am grateful for imperfection, for the layers of my life that have accumulated with age. Further that I am learning to to see how beautiful I have become because of the people who have made that journey with some or several of the years with me.

I am grateful for the blossoming of my soul that has and continues to occur.

As always I try to share of the music of this time of year. Since we are frozen here in California. I will share an carol from Spain from several centuries ago which translated to English means "Frozen December".

Musica Nostra, "El Desembre Congelat":

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Find Your Way Back

You may lose your way from time to time, but if you listen to your heart, you will always find your way back home.

It's been awhile. And I've been busy. Shortly after I wrote my last post there were some events that happened and well....I found myself the owner of a new Jeep and a travel trailer. Her name is LivInn Magic Moments and I have been. I've been exploring parts of California I have missed and am out glamping every 3 to 6 weeks. Indoctrination into this life was intense (I am still learning). I've been taking my dog Bella with me and she loves it. 

With the intensity of this I moved away from a few things I had been doing, this blog, my embroidery....But I'm finding my way back. The cancer is considered in remission although we have struggled with my medication and it's side effects. I'm on a third drug and as they say third time may be the charm. I have reconciled with my sisters and that is a good thing. 

Now I'm working on if I will stay where I am long term or make changes. I'll be taking a week long glamping trip in about 3 weeks with the purpose of relaxing, seeing parts of Northern California I have never seen and figuring out what's next with life.

I promise I will write more and share what is going on in life.

Jefferson Starship, "Find Your Way Back":

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Early Morn Commute

You're only here for a short visit.
Don't hurry. Don't worry.
And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.
Walter Hagen

Sometimes if you have to catch an early morning BART you may find it's just you and one/two other commuters. In the silence you watch the sun play along the seats. You sink into contemplation and relaxation.  For a few moments there are no worries. Just the soft click of the rails and the warmth of the morning.

Who needs coffee?

The Beatles, "Ticket To Ride":

Monday, March 4, 2013

Just Another Monday

Mondays should be optional.

I am not a morning person by nature. Add Monday morning to the mix and I move even slower then usual. Eventually I will get to where I have to be usually fueled by a morning cup of java. It is getting ready to rain here so it's also a little misty and grey. Saw these boots while visiting the beach and they made me smile. A bit of unexpected whimsy. So this AM I am dedicating them to all the people who are not morning or especially Monday Morning folk. Find something that makes you smile and Monday might not be so bad.

The Carpenters, "Rainy Days and Mondays":

Friday, March 1, 2013

In Like A Lamb

boulder stands quiet
against the ocean's vastness
sentinel of peace

Jesse Cook, "Ocean Blue":

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And It's Beautiful...

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
Helen Keller

And I finally resumed some "normal journeying". For the first time in my life I went to an RV park. I had gone with my harp teacher as we both had repairs to be done on our harps in San Luis Obispo. We stayed in Morro Bay on the beach. It was relaxing, creative and insightful.

For three days I basked in the sights and sounds of the ocean and its occupants. Took an incredible amount of photographs and just fell in love again with the whole process. It seems as if I have been so far from it. To discover a lost's beautiful....

Gordon Lightfoot, "Beautiful":

Monday, February 4, 2013

Old is New

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.
Rainer Maria Rilke

I haven't written in awhile. Life like it often does became busy. It has been in a good way. I've been very involved with continuing my exploration into the fiber arts. I was taught the beginnings of sewing, knitting and embroidery years ago but never went any further. In the past few months I have revived these old skills and have worked on making them new again.

With looking at my career and where I'm at with it, I'm also trying to bring the old into the new. Repurposing or upcycling if you will. So I'm trying to find ways to keep an income, but have some passion and love for what it requires to bring in that income.

Finally I received positive news that the breast cancer has not reoccurred. Six month post surgery blood tests, exams and imaging studies show I'm remaining healthy.

The above photo was taken yesterday when the sun hit my shower. It showed a beauty of form that I didn't expect and taught me yet again to look at the familiar with new eyes.

So things are pretty good in that the wagon wheel of life just keeps turning, going on and I'm happy for it.

Old Crow Medicine Show, "Wagon Wheel":

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Threads of Life

I like that embroidery serves no function. It's unlike knitting, crochet or sewing in that regard. Embroidery is pure embellishment. It's the frosting of needle arts, but it's almost always secondary to a functional object.
Jenny Hart

Happy New Year to everyone. Life has been busy, busier, busiest. So it's no wonder that I dive for an hour or two almost every night into the calming, meditative threads of embroidery. The quote above is from Jenny Hart who runs Sublime Stitching in Austin Texas. The discovery of her work has sparked me into picking up the needle again. I'm finding ways I can use my photography eventually with the embroidery and other possibilities for weaving it into mixed media art. The scissors in the photo above are from her shop and just an example of the fun ways she has turned grandma's embroidery on it's head.

2012 was a tough year for many. I'm kicking off 2013 with lots of hope and openness to possibility.

Today I'm grateful for the revival of so many of the so called old school crafts and the modern twist that is being given to them.

Dale Bendixen,"Threads of Life":

Beginning Yet Again

  "Never feel guilty for starting again." -Rupi Kaur These days being a flaneuse has been more mental than physical. I moved to Ar...