Sunday, July 7, 2013

Maturity And The Art Of Growing Up With Grace

“I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay with being different, and with being this alive, this intense. (xxvi)” 
~ Eve Ensler, I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

the rose by heylormammy

I am by no means "old"!  Alas, I am aging.   It is a life experience I greet with both excitement and in trepidation.  Being a "now" oriented person with an eternally youthful  approach to life, the concept of becoming an elder,  a mature woman and a golden ager has me thinking far more than I care to.  Oh, it is not that I don't enjoy this new status of existence but it is confusing as hell!  Both my mind and body seem to be functioning in different realms, leaving me struggling for balance while trying to appear graceful and maintain a certain level of classiness.  The awareness that my outward appearance no longer matches my mind is ever present, especially when I am surrounded by younger friends.  I feel like I am 24 inside but my external body says, "Hey Grandma, how's your knitting?"  What others around me don't realize is just how difficult it is to be outwardly mature, especially in my actions and thought processes.  I am torn between what repetition and experience have taught me versus what instinct and my true nature are saying.  They are in complete opposition!  It is a fine line and not being on the appropriate side on any given situation makes me look ridiculous, foolish.  Choosing how to behave is my daily challenge, keeping in mind, I am still a student on the subject of life and may be here for another quarter to half a century before I am ripe and ready for Heaven's harvest. 

Photo by Bob George

Last night, I had a troubling dream.  In my slumber adventure, my eyes kept turning amber yellow.  My real eye color is a deep ebony, courtesy of my Mother's genetics and Scottish/Irish  ancestry.  Awake, I pride myself in the piercing strength of my soul's gates.  I identify with and love my eyes, so to have them change to a pale yellow in this dream upset me.  I awoke very puzzled and wanted to understand my subconscious mind's message.  After consulting and researching, I found that my dream was an expression of my recent frustrations with aging.  I feel my body is secretly betraying me with health issues, loss of strength and youthful energy, youthful vigor and color.  I harbor anger at things changing beyond my control.  Worst of all, I am cultivating stress by fearing the the loss of my identity as I crawl into unfamiliar territory transforming into a strange new version of me. 

autumn rose by ~Asligg

In recent years, the structure of my family, career and purpose have all changed dramatically.  I recently had a discussion with relatives about a memory that serves as a wonderful life analogy.  When I was a child, our family celebrations would overflow beyond a regular dinner table.  The adults would be privileged to sit in the dining room at the 'grownup' table while younger members would be seated in the kitchen at the 'kids' table.  A feeling of wonder and elevation of rank surrounded the dining room.  "Someday, I will be a grownup and able to join my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles.", I thought.   It never occurred to me then that by the time I made it to the 'grownup' table, my loved ones would depart this life and I would become the privileged, grey haired relative to the next generation of kids sitting in the kitchen.  My point is, change is so hard to grasp or prepare for.  It makes things happen that we can not, in our limited view, predict until we arrive.  That is why aging is so damn hard!  It is inevitable but always a mystery, a surprise bundle and a learning experience.  I never thought the grownup table would be so empty or that the kids I sat with then would be the only company when I arrived.  My greatest regrets are my limited perceptions and inability to understand what was to come leaving me feeling uneasy and quite foolish.

Frozen rose II by Tija205

Reminiscing, that is something I shamefully never had patience to listen to when I was a kid but now find myself doing on nearly a constant basis.  But today, it hit me like a ton of bricks, why I felt so horribly awkward and full of clumsy missteps on my aging pathway; awkward like wearing the wrong outfit to a party and clumsy like spilling a tray of hors d'oeuvres on an unsuspecting guest.   Everything I have learned along my journey so far was to help prepare me to be so much more than I anticipated on becoming.  I am not a conventional creature.  I am in my late forties, single, childless and carving out my own career.  I am unable to define myself as many of my peers do so I find my preferred company among rebels, artists, entrepreneurs, Bohemians and dreamers.  All my life, I thought I needed to become just like my parents, step into a familiar identity but that would be such a waste of my creation!  After all, we are each a unique being, never before or will be again, so what a foolish notion to think I should fit into a space that had already been filled in the past.  Seasons constantly evolve our world and with each passage of nature's scene, new delights occur.  Snow covers with a soft white slumber to thaw and bring fresh greens with new life that soak into sun drenched fields of lush growth that finally explode into an Autumnal colored canvas of vibrance before the cycle begins again.  And with each passing season, it is so obvious that although one can see a resemblance from year to year, no show in nature is ever truly a predictive duplicate.  I now know, this is my time, my show and I am approaching my Autumn, my most vibrant period of life.

womanhood by ~Katastrophey

I have come so far and taken so long to bloom!  The changes in my life have brought a new awareness I needed desperately.  No longer able to define myself by my past, I think I have finally found a new identity that makes sense to me, something fresh and exciting.  I can look back over my shoulder and see how far I have come, unashamed by my clumsy learning, finally elevated to a state of strength and grace.  Still growing and learning about everything, I am not fading, nor am I withering.  I am forging ahead more vibrant than I ever have been, more aware than I could have believed.  I am alive, open and ready for adventure.  I compare myself to no one for I am unique and that makes me beautiful.  That is pretty damn powerful, sexy too!  Welcome maturity, I have been expecting you.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Music Boxes, Mirrors and Magic

Art by Svoja I Nicija 

For many, nothing beats the charm of a music box.  Those delightful windup miniature symphonies can help you recall countless memories.  For me, it makes me think of my grandmother's dresser, playing with her beads and jewels and wishing to be all grown up.  I can recall being so excited the first time I received a jewel box of my own.  It was lavishly decorated with pink roses and golden swirls.  Inside, in front of a tiny mirror, a minuscule ballerina on a spring, donned in a white net tutu, would twirl to the melodious strains of Fascination.  Of course, as a small child, I lacked the jewelry wardrobe to fill the chest.  Often, my jewels consisted of plastic trinkets found in cereal boxes, carnival prizes and discarded baubles from elderly relatives.  Still, I managed to gather a fabulous collection that would rival Tazewell's Littlest Angel.  What was in my treasure box?  An Eisenhower silver dollar, a four leaf clover found on Grandpa's lawn carefully preserved in plastic resin, a hand full of wedding favor aluminum rings, a yarn ribbon in my favorite color red, two cat whiskers, a brooch my Grandma gave me with colorful rhinestones, a perfect white pebble, a paper fortune teller and a mourning dove feather all guarded by my golden ballerina princess.  

I would sit for hours, sorting through the contents of my box, watching the ballerina twirl and marveling to the music.  Most intriguing to me was the tiny mirror.  It had magnifying properties, to enhance the details of the ballerina, no doubt.  Being so oddly imaginative and very aware of Alice's adventures in Through The Looking Glass, I was convinced that tiny mirror was magical.  It already had the amazing ability to enlarge things, so I wondered  what else it might be able to do.

Art by Lan Wu

I would always dream that there was another place, other people and adventures inside of mirrors.  Even before I was enthralled by Lewis Carroll, I would gaze, mesmerized by the possibilities for enchantment in any mirror.  My home was filled with antiques so most of the mirrors in our home were worn, stained and flawed  by time making them so compelling!   I would climb up on old dressers, crawl inside cedar wardrobes and hang upside down from insane spaces hoping to capture proof of my beliefs.  Alas, as a child, I never did figure out the mystery. I have, although, learned to master the magic mirrors hold.

Art by My1Heaven on deviantart

It was no mistake that a mirror was on the inside lid of my jewel box.  Mirrors have the power to double everything.  The image within is immediately multiplied by its own reflection.  In magic, mirror energy is used to increase prosperity and draw love.  In Feng Shui, mirrors are used to increase positive energy.  It is believed mirrors are sources of spiritual water and can soothe as well as heal what they reflect.  Placing my tiny treasures into a mirrored box made my luck increase and turned my golden ballerina into a talisman for happiness, vibrant health and beauty. 

Art by Moonmomma

How many of us place some of our greatest treasures in front of a mirror without even thinking about it?  What sits on your vanity, in front of your mantle mirror or similar place?  What are you unknowingly manifesting in your life?  Perhaps we all need to do a little meditation on this thought.  In The Littlest Angel, God chooses the cherub's little box of earthly treasures as the greatest gift over gold and jewels. If you want to bring some true positive magic into your life, take a tip from a minuscule ballerina and place the things that truly mean the most to you in front of your mirrors.  Double your loved ones, your memories, your dreams.  Let beauty and music fill your heart.  Make what you see in the mirror be what you truly want to reflect to the world and you will be surprised what gazes back at you.  There is indeed something else on the other side of the mirror, it's the person you always dreamed you could be.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blue (Dedicated to Vincent)

Art by kubcia on deviantart


Not like anything I've known before
Whisper soft and sensuous cool
Perfect like the moonlight kissing the sea 
Blue is the color you are to me

Elegant like the finest silk
Wrapping me in a subtle love
Caressing my heart with gentle touch
Healing spirit to spirit means so much

Where we are headed, what tomorrow knows
Only our angels can say 
To all four corners, I will gladly follow you 
Color my world with your beautiful blue

Dedicated to Vincent 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dandelion Fluff And Sowing The Seeds Of Love

"Oh!  What have I let you do to me?
I've become fluff and let my poor heart just drift away like dandelion seeds floating on the wind!" ~ T.C.K.

Today is the Summer Solstice, longest day in the year. Being a shadow creature, I welcome the additional sunlight but not without remorse for the lessened starlight.  I love to spend my wishes on the night, softly whispering my dreams to the heavens.  Being resourceful though, I will make the most of the solstice gift and instead, wish on some dandelions!

Photo by Angeleyes-ltd on deviantart 

Always the imaginative child, I spent so much time outdoors on the family's country homestead.  I did the kinds of things many children do, chase butterflies, pick wild flowers, make a whistle from a blade of grass, tie clover necklaces and wish on dandelions.  In fact dandelions were so much a favorite, much to my Mother's chagrin, my hands would be stained black from their residue, the odor of the flower permeated in my clothes, seeds tangled in my long, wild mane.  I have always been filled with an abundance of wishes and the need to send them scattering out to find their happenstance was something I took quite seriously.  Along with the desecration of innumerous daisies for their romantic prophecy, I huffed and puffed my way through acres of dandelion in the quest for love.


Although considered by some to be an annoying weed, the dandelion is actually an amazing flower!  Its use in teas and salad greens is legendary.  The plant's healing properties could replace a medicine chest with its antioxidants, liver and blood cleansing abilities plus being an effective digestion aid.  Personally, I have always been intrigued by the dandelion's metaphysical properties.  According to Gypsy Magic, the flower generates the energy of abundance, regeneration and the courage to start something new.  Scott Cunningham wrote in his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs that the dandelion is useful for wish manifestation, divination and spirit communication.  It is said that if you imagine a message then blow the seeds in the direction of the desired recipient, they will telepathically receive your thought.  Drinking dandelion root tea before scrying, enhances your divination skills.  Burning dandelion leaves like incense brings prophetic dreams and lures spirits to your side.  Being a cartomancer and a necromancer, no wonder I am a dandelion child!

Photo by xeyelinerxwhorex on deviantart

With all this dandelion fluff blowing around, it has occurred to me that there is an interesting element about the power of a dandelion.  By its very construction, it resembles a burst of fireworks, doesn't it?  As the tiny seeds explode from the stem, they look like sparks!  As the wind or your breath hit the flower, the white tufts explode into the air.  Have you ever seen a dandelion smothered field?  It could easily be mistaken for a sunshine drenched version of a fireworks display, filling the air with explosive energy, bits of amazement and miniature cataclysmic bliss!

  Photo by denull-co-uk on deviantart

When kisses are spoken of, the cliche of "seeing fireworks" comes to mind.  Memories of countless celebrations, picnics, and festivals that culminated with star spangled detonation are supposed to be the sure sign that we have met our alchemical match.  But if we are to know for sure that we have found the perfect mate, shouldn't we see something more natural, enduringly more magical - perhaps we should see exploding dandelions?  Then it would mean the most romantic flower would actually be the humble dandelion, something I am certain roses, with their thorns, would envy.  I would like to think that all the puffs I sent out into the cosmos, all those seeds scattered on the wind would surely bring my manifested wish back to me this way.  So today, the longest day of the year, I hold a white puff of magic in my hands.  I gather the sweetest thoughts in my mind, whisper the name of one I adore and exhale gently.  I'm rather certain my message will be received for that is the magic of the midsummer night!

Art by Howard David Johnson
"Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere.
I am the merry wanderer of the night!"
~ William Shakespeare from Midsummer Night's Dream


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Walking In The Grey Area - Confessions Of An Angel Demon

Art by Anne Stokes

"I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hours. To teach us how to live, to show us how to give, to guide us with the light of love. They wear so many faces, show up in the strangest places, and grace us with their mercy in our time of need. Oh, I believe there are angels among us." ~ from "Angels Among Us" by Alabama

Did you ever have a moment in your life when fear had a tight grip on you; a feeling where you couldn't see any way out, true hopelessness, complete failure wrapped itself around you and made you feel like you were suffocating, drowning, abandoned in the dark?  Unfortunately, I am rather certain we all have had that awful experience.  Yet, we are sharing this blog narrative, so we all somehow found a way to survive.  There was always something or someone that came out of the shadows and guided us to a brighter place.  That miracle, gift, helping hand or illuminated thought arrived just in time to rescue us.  I believe that rescue was no coincidence, because I believe in the existence of angels.   I also believe that angels are among us, perhaps we ourselves are angels.  Let me explain.

Art by Anne Stokes

Author, Dr. Doreen Virtue, has interesting ideas about angels.  A highly respected psychologist, Virtue believes she has proven celestial intervention and also developed theories about our own individual souls and life missions.   Although I am not certain about Virtue's theories, I do believe that our ability to share compassion and experiences with others is so strong, it can drive us to do amazing things for even strangers who need help.  Inside, we all have an inner angel.  Few I know can sit and endure someone in pain, be idle when we hear a cry for help or feel shallow coldness for someone who is suffering something we have survived.   Is that part of some grand divine intervention beyond our understanding?  Our humanity surely guides us, but why are acts of  kindess seemingly rare or only triggered in certain situations?  Is our own free will to blame for suffering, is there such a thing as karma and do we really get what we give?  I wonder.

Art by Anne Stokes

This whole angel thing becomes rather complex when I think back to when I was a child.  I confess, I think I may have encountered angels in my dreams.  Entities I did not know, offering advice and guidance through difficult times.  Whispers in my ear would come to me when I lacked the answer or reasoning to get through a sticky situation.  A bold sign or symbol would appear at exactly just the right moment to remind me of specific wisdom I needed when I was tested beyond my ability.  Where does all this come from?  Is there really some guardian behind me, following me in spirit, shielding me with invisible wings? I wonder if there is some poor soul indentured to serve me for some unknown exchange or that perhaps a beloved relative, passed over, protects me.  When I have discussed this with others, I find the most amazing confessions.  I have encountered all my assumptions and more.  It seems to happen to almost everyone.  That can't be coincidence on such a mass level.  With so much unexpected good around us, my beliefs have become even more solid that someone out there cares whether we make it or not.

Art by Anne Stokes

As my years grow in number and my experiences amass, I have found my inner voice directing me in unusual ways.  Like the story of the Miracle Worker, I find myself learning more by teaching others what I have already discovered.  I come, sometimes unwelcome, pouring out information to guide, heal, protect, inspire and more.  How did this come to pass, when did this change inside my conscience mind occur?  Have I survived enough tragedy, scars and nightmares to finally earn my status as a guardian angel on earth?  It may be possible.  I have met such individuals who absolutely convinced me they were angels on earth.  They were people who had experienced incredible horrors and somehow emerged into the light, intact. Amazingly, not all were silver haired elders, some where children, still others were peers and even pets.  Each entered my path when I was lost, all left a lasting memory and an impression on my heart so vivid they changed my life.  These souls surely must have been angels.

Art by Anne Stokes

I am, by nature, a creature of shadow.  I can't imagine myself, after all I have learned and experienced, being a golden or white beacon of angelic light guiding anyone.  After careful thought and extensive deliberation, I have decided that I am a grey guardian.  Like the legend of Amzer, I will always walk between light and dark so I think that is the kind of angel I am.  I always see the goodness around me when others see rebels and rockers, love to inspire and nurture unusual people and dark things to grow.  Using my divinatory abilities, I work to help people make better decisions by providing the knowledge of choices and healing those consumed by in-trepidation by giving them the ability to see beyond their immediate situation, instilling hope.  I mix potions to soothe a nightmare filled insomniac or ease a persistent cough.  Each day, I try to give a helping hand wherever I see opportunity to say or do something supportive or encouraging.  My black spirit wings spread behind me, I fearlessly walk among the monsters, embracing the feared and comforting the mad ones.  This kind of realm, I understand.  I dedicate myself to be a champion for those who dwell in the grey areas of life.  I am both Angel & Demon.  After all, what would heaven be for the tenebrous souls without a touch of shadow?

Art by Anne Stokes

Thank you Michael Stokes for being my inspiration!

Monday, May 21, 2012

May, Lilacs and Spiders

"The earth and our environment is all connected like a spider web or invisible thread. These webs are then connected to each other composing a multi dimensional pattern which illustrates life and all our surroundings. The web is so large and delicate, that any event on one part of the web can affect the whole." ~

I have acute fondness for the month of May!  As a child, May meant that the old lilac tree beneath my  bedroom window would faithfully burst into beautiful purple blooms and fill the air with their intoxicating fragrance.  I learned to love the heady scent so much that I would perilously dangle myself from the second story sill and breath as deep as I could.  Sometimes I would crawl under the shady boughs of gorgeous blooms.  The lilac is a wondrous shrub that not only allures humans but also an unending menagerie of all sorts of creatures.  It is from the lilac that I first developed my adoration for spiders.

A hopeless daydreamer and a sickly child, I would spend countless hours gazing out the large picture window in my second story bedroom.   Alone with my imagination, I could escape to anywhere, in my mind.  The window also served as my observatory, surveying the orchard, creek and porch roof.  The Victorian oak sill also allowed for lots of living space to all sorts of insects that would come visit the lilac below.  Moths, bumble bees, ladybirds, fireflies and spiders made an appearance when warm weather came.  Being a vampire fan, I favored the spiders.  I came to think of them as pets and would watch them spin their delicate webs from the flowers to the glass.  I observed all they did in their life span.  The intense labor of web spinning, the tragedy of rain and wind, their tedious dedication to rebuilding, the bait and capture of prey, the feasting and ultimately their demise all played out at my window.

Dreamer by Mystali on deviantart
"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." ~ Pablo Picasso

Spiders amaze me!  I am inspired by such a tiny creature fighting to survive alone, forced to consume its guests for survival and dying almost immediately after finally taking a mate.  The spider endures a tragic existance.  A misunderstood artist, a loner, a vampire, striking fear in those who do not or will not respect it makes the spider incredibly Gothique!   Besides being creepy, the spider also taught me that everything, no matter how obscure or tragic, has a purpose.

Spider by Kaeros Stock on deviantart

Spiders actually spend their lives trying to consume villains and pests, so like the famous Marvel hero, they save us daily, silently.  The insects they catch, mosquitoes, flies, and gnats, can make life intolerable but the spider dedicates itself to creating a peaceful balance in our environment.  In its tiny, hated existence, it manages to impact the cosmos.  It got me thinking about how people are the same.  Our own personal agendas have a ripple affect on everything surrounding us.  Many of us work unnoticed, under appreciated, yet are essential to the balance of everything!  We go about our daily activities, thinking we are individuals and that what we do alone has nothing to do with anyone else.  That is so untrue!  From the moment we open our eyes upon awakening, we begin to place our influence on the world.  Whether we are observed or not, we are all trying to survive and with each action or choice, we touch another life.

"It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel." ~ John Keats

Like the dew on a spider's web, we are all interconnected.  Where we choose to live, shop for our needs, who we choose to speak to, work with, love and befriend all spins a web.  In this web, we hope to capture what we need to survive and become what we feel we should be.  Some of us are washed away by the storms of life, others spend our days in the sun.  Some are feared, others killed simply for their appearance. Still others perish from a lack of what we need to carry on.  Each of us searching, diligently working, often for no reward.  All of us clinging to whatever gets caught in our web.  Each one trying to manifest a miracle with what we have been given.  We are all spiders!

melancholic spider by giorgosmaravelakis on deviantart

Over the years, I have garnered so much respect for the arachnid clan.  They have taught me that even if I feel small, my existence has a big purpose.  I have learned that everything is connected, even if the threads that bind are diaphanous and transparent, they are still there.  I also realize that the mechanics of this great universe and its reality are no more complicated than a spider dwelling from the lilac bush to the window sill. Maybe next time, when you come across a web, you'll think before you swipe it away.  Before you destroy that tiny universe, at least be aware that it is a thread of your own.  At the very least, it may keep a mosquito from biting you tonight and it may give a fellow spider a reason to celebrate life like Cinco de Mayo.

 by Rafterman1 on photobucket

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Accumulated Wisdom & Kissing Frogs

"Life is just what happens to you while your busy making other plans," ~ John Lennon from "Beautiful Boy"

March 31st marks my anniversary of another year spent on this crazy planet.  Consequently, I have been excessively reflective about my own existence and the purpose I serve to the universe more than I usually do.  It made me think of frogs.  Let me explain.

Art by Jackie Ocean

My childhood was spent in a rural area.  I wandered through fruit orchards, pretended to chase faeries through the woods and captured fireflies in a mayonnaise jar for a night light many times.  There was a small creek that ran through the homestead property.  It was a source of endless fascination for me, with crayfish, minnows, big warty toads and countless little frogs.  Like most children, I had been taught the tale of the little princess who's kiss transformed a frog into a prince and lived happily ever after.  Unlike many children though, I believed that story to be absolute truth and noteworthy wisdom.

Art by Melonie Steffes

On sunny afternoons, I could usually be found having tea parties with my teddy bears and rag dolls under the shade of a big old walnut tree, near the creek.  After a cup of pink lemonade and a strawberry jam sandwich, the loneliness of being an only child, at that time, would get the best of me.  With a heavy sigh and a bit of desperation, I would cautiously make my way to the creek bank and look for a frog.  "Surely there is magic!" I would think as I held a squirming amphibian tightly in my hands.  I would close my eyes, pucker and kiss that frog with all the love I could summon in my heart.  The results I wished for evaded me.  Day after day, frog after frog, kiss after kiss and never a princely appearance graced me.

Art by Toni Dogma

Time marches on and we grow out of silly notions like fairy tales, teddy bear tea parties and kissing frogs.  We accumulate wisdom from our experiences and become so much better for it ... or do we?  I feel fortunate to have managed holding on to a large portion of my child's heart.  Ever hopeful, always believing in magic and never giving up entirely on my dreams, I have accrued my wisdom selectively and colored it rosy.  I apply the Frog Prince theory to everything I do.  Taking frog leaps of faith into the unknown, seeing the beauty hidden inside everyone and offering tender kisses unexpectedly to magically transform darkness into wonder.  One can never plan to become this way, it just happens.   It may make others shake their heads, but I think I was born to be just a little crazy, be the frog kisser and truly believe that anything is possible.

Being a destined frog kisser has its benefits.  I find the most amazing and beautiful things hiding out of sight, under mushrooms, in the mud, where no one else treads and in the shadows.  I can see the way out of misfortune, unpuzzle impossibilities and side step improbabilities with grace and aplomb.  I cultivate the most enriching and unexpected friendships and alliances.  I embrace magic and all the amazement it has to offer bringing so much good into my life.  

So, on my birthday, you need not wonder what I'm doing or where I will be.  Look for me kissing frogs and working hard to make my dreams come true.  This is my purpose, my place in the cosmos.  As for birthday gifts and tokens, I can always use another lip gloss!