Tag Archives: change

It’s Not Just About the Destination

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“It’s not just about the destination” sums up my thoughts while traveling to escape the noise and fast pace of the city and my work-business life. It is not to escape who I am or what I love to do… my passion and commitment are firm, although, at times, I doubt the strength I have to continue on certain paths. Plagued by self-assessment, as anyone might be while trying to navigate the rough roads of every day, I often wonder if I should just run off on some other trail–change my direction–change my destination. Then, I remind myself… it’s not just about the destination because, in fact, we all end up the same place anyway. It is all about how you see your journey there and I am constantly reminding myself to stay in the moment without worry about what happens in the end. Therefore, I do realize that I see things somewhat differently depending upon my situation and location. This trip was about certain goals, but everything in between, before, and after is up to fate and fortune. What you make of a day is really what thought you put into it and the effort afforded to enjoy every moment. It will all be there when you return, so to worry about “what to do” or “what about” or “what if” is a waste of such a beautiful surrounding.

I am happy I am able to reflect on the time I take away–this time we were really tired at the end of the day and barely had supper and did a few mundane tasks before sleep claimed us. There is something about the mountain air and being out in the beauty of nature that fills you with enough that you are pleasantly exhausted. My knees couldn’t help but remind me that I did more than usual even though I try to do it on purpose, whenever I can, in order to claim every minute of the day in action. To bed early–one would think we’d stay up late writing… however, a tired body won out over a determined mind this week.

Day One arrival was nice and early and we could even check into our hotel room and then go exploring on Wednesday. We took a trip to the Beaver Boardwalk–my daughter recommended it last trip, but we didn’t make it there. Going this time was a treat. What a beautiful nature spot in Hinton! Yes, we have our ponds and walkways here at home, but sorry, Sherwood Park, the most obvious thing missing is setting… I sometimes (well, often) wonder why I still live here with so much soul/spirit connection to the mountains. This park was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours, wandering the boardwalk through the marshes and beaver habitat, traipsing some closer-in trails, and taking a look-out post in the tower to admire the view. I say closer-in because I am not one to wander onto the forest trails–hiking was a younger days sport for me due to my limitations, ones I have accepted, and am able to push to some extent enjoyment of the activities. Also, there’s the fact that we are in wildlife territory and bears and cougars just don’t excite me up close and personal. From the truck window, I am a brave soul – not on foot, however.

Trips away with my dear friend, Mandy, make me appreciate her even more because of the similarities we have –I don’t have to try to keep up and do things I feel out of my comfort zone with… we match in many ways–our appreciation for nature and its fragility to human invasion; yet, the strength and majesty and power of it awes us in the same breath. I could travel the same roads and see the same sights each day or weekend or whatever, and still be in wonder at the amazing embrace of nature–the bold colors of plants, the cuteness of a baby animal, the calming peace of water and wind, the warmth of sun–even if it only peaked through clouds throughout most of our mid-week trip.

We never lost sight of the reason for our trip, although it was in the back of our minds as we connected with the precious moments of each opportunity. The Beaver Boardwalk was more than just walking through a nature setting–it was about stopping and appreciating the finer details of plants, trees, the view, the colors, the sounds, smells, and feel of it all on your soul. Nature caresses one’s spirit with renewing qualities to create a mood of relaxation and connection. There was no sign of any wildlife–other than a couple of birds and fish in the ponds. I wondered about the lack of waterfowl on the ponds… Mr. and Mrs. Beaver must have been relaxing in the shade of their studious home–we saw signs of them being around, of course, but no chance sighting of the animals.

Impressions of the place are best in point form, because that is how they hit you when you are in the moment:

  • The song of the red-wing blackbird
  • The amazing arrangement of wooden walkways over water
  • The variety of flora with bursts of color that stand out so vivid against the greenery
  • The sound and tempo of the wind through the trees as it rises and falls
  • Sun peeking through the overhead canopy in an otherwise dull cloudy sky
  • The man who looked at me funny for taking an overhead picture… yes, look up, too!
  • Wire mesh protecting perimeter trees from industrious beaver clearing crews
  • Signs giving information about the place: make less noise to see more wildlife or be aware and cautious and informed of bears, cougars, wolves… :O
  • Picking up a couple of interesting stones from the rock pathway to commemorate
  • The lookout tower and amazing view of the nearby mountains through the trees
  • Patterns in nature–ripples on the water, long grass blowing in the wind, piles of drift-water-worn limbs

My thoughts may not match anyone else except for those who have the same appreciation for the beauty and magnificence of nature. But, even in that similarity, there are personal differences. The photos I take are not ones that another may take as I look for the shot that appeals to me; I don’t take people pictures; I don’t do selfies. I want the essence of the place where I am–what attracts me, what speaks to me. To each their own.

The take-away for this activity–always invest in the time to enjoy “every precious moment,” as a friend posted. The emotions that grab me in the mountains are awe-inspiring, captivating, yet overwhelming, at the same time. The thought that this glorious world we live in surrounds us for so short a time in comparison to its own life span is one for self-contemplation. No matter what you believe, it’s what adds to a beautiful life–it’s not just about the destination.

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Smoke, Heat & Memories

The day has me distracted. I try to remain focused on my job and the work I need to do. It has nothing to do with being Monday. It’s not because I had a tiresome weekend nor am fatigued or overly pained. It is not because I am eager to get back to the work on my company projects. It’s not because I have an upcoming trip planned and am looking forward to hitting the road. It is merely to do with the date and something I have in mind that I need to write. It’s a good feeling – that need to write, and even if the thought that started this is internally sad it is not a sorrowful post. Quite the contrary, and I always give in to the urges when they are this strong.

This past weekend was marked by a special event – the marriage of two wonderful people who I am proud to call friends. They both looked amazing and the ceremony was inspiring despite the heat and smoke – it was an outdoor wedding so both elements played a significant role in comfort. Even bringing the party into the shelter of the nearby community hall for the reception didn’t reduce the sweat factor. I am sure everyone dropped a few pounds that day…

Robyn and Joe

I am happy to have a beautiful event mark this weekend in my memories. It is not that new events ever mask or replace old memories that might have marked the days, but it is nice to have rejuvenation to the ones that marred the memory banks. July 13th, 3 years ago, was a day congested with heat and smoke in the air – I won’t forget it. It was a day I found out something that changed lives forever. Changes, whether good or bad, have an effect on one’s life journey. Sometimes it means you go it alone. Other times, it means you have someone to share it.

Best of luck and lots of love on your life’s journey – Robyn and Joe – July 11, 2015

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Day 8 – Routine, routine, routine…

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Routine… sometimes I am consumed by it and others times it allows me to breathe easier… Day 8 blog image - Routine

The concept of routine can be diametrically opposed to a creative mind although it guides our everyday life. The familiarity keeps us in a place where we feel at home. We can feel confidence in that knowing. On the other hand, the repetition can be a detriment to free thinking. After doing something for a number of days, it has become routine, habit, the norm… but it also drains on the thought processes, to a degree, forcing me beyond what I expected to be easy, comfortable, and second nature. That expectation can cause disappointment and frustration until an idea bleeds through, prompting an attempt. It does not matter with a challenge to what extent you push yourself, it just means that you are at least making an effort. I appreciate routine. I loathe routine.

For the photo today, I decided to go for the #TBThursday and posted a find from another day – one that I found while taking a break from routine. And I added the special effects that I love to do to alter the already interesting shot. A throwback adheres to the routine of collecting favorites and remembering them when times are strained. A throwback is a tribute to something that was while you are considering in the moment what is. It is a comparison. It is unique. The directional finders above are indicative of my journey, which can go in any direction depending on the wind, with precision or precariousness. As long as I move forward, routine is fine.

The day is what you make it… follow along or change it up if you don’t like routine.

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From Where Does Inspiration Come?

Thank you to Spiritual Echoes Community FB page for this image. Check out their page for more inspiration.

 

As with many writers, I am often overwhelmed and overtaken by everyday life. We get caught up in the passage of time doing what we need to do to make a living, all the while in our hearts we desire, dream, demand something totally different for our lives. We become complacent and comfortable with that which is around us while our very soul needs another place, another time, another focus… The picture above spoke to me – as most with the magnificent horse do… but the sentiment by Faulkner hit home as I profess to be “freeing the creative spirit” in mantra, yet let myself get so wrapped up in stress and situation that my spirit is literally penned (or un-penned if one is referring to the writer in me… pardon the play). And too often I find myself confined by my desire to help others that I cannot help myself – I support while ignoring my own inner desires all the while they are screaming to be free. So, in all this… from where does inspiration come?

I confess I do not have to look far to find it as I have a huge supply of creativity ready to burst forth – old ideas needing revamping, fresh ideas needing growth, new ideas needing encouragement, interaction with groups, and association with loving friends… some ideas spring forth and take over coming to fruition in record-breaking time – see our new calendar for the WFSC 10 year fundraising efforts! For me “freeing the creative spirit” IS freedom. And in that freedom inspiration grows. My journeys and retreats this year – to visit words, mountains, lakes, wild horses, and loved ones – those were freeing and inspirational, and… oh, for an endless supply of money and time to do them continuously! Realistically, I am pleased with what I did this year and it gave me many good memories (and photos). If given to heeding my own advice, I would say, “stop being so hard on me,” as I managed to explore and achieve and produce and create…

I guess the serious nature of my contemplation recently is due to a change in my current situation, and there are several things in the works. The liberal freedom part of me wants to “get the hell outta Dodge…” while the conservative weighted “stick to what I know” part of me is timid and partially stressed over the impending transition. It’s not bad – not bad, at all. It’s change. It’s something different. And it’s not just because I want to pick up and run… it’s because there is someone in my life with whom to make this move, to share this change. We both want less, which to us equals more – less stress, less confinement, less congestion, less interference… and all this equals more. “Living the freedom” is how we see our future. Still it’s an easy thing to say, but in all honesty, hard to perceive. Why not go for your dream, when given our limited time upon this earth? Inspiration comes from the freedom of doing what you love. Freedom comes from living the way you dream. Giving meaning to both is by being true to yourself and by loving someone who rounds out your life with happiness and pleasure.

That’s where inspiration comes from – from inside, while taking note of your surroundings and appreciating what you have. Be happy with the life you make for yourself.

blogging wordle

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

~William Wordsworth

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Creative Spirit

 

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Freeing the Creative Spirit

In Every line and curve of his body there was a lithe, wild gracefulness, an exultant beauty that was strength and swiftness and freedom.  ~ Herbert  Ravenel Sass

Shortly after the completion of a busy weekend, I posted a gratitude on my Facebook timeline expressing my appreciation for those who share my passion for writing and all that goes with it. This addresses more than the usual surface “thank you” and delves deep to that place where there is a connection to words and the life we live producing them as readable works. And it dives beyond that even further… to those who share the innate need to dedicate one’s life to encouraging, inspiring, and promoting the timeless beauty of the written word.

Those of you who connect with the above thank you, do not write as a hobby, merely taking up pen just to have something to do. We write because we have to as if in answer to an urge residing deep within our soul; words are part of who we are, writing is our essence. If there were a perfume made of ink, we would give off that written scent, because it courses our veins, channeled from places we know not. Sure there is mastering techniques, studying to improve, writing to practice, and “honing the craft”… but the true ability and that “knowing within” is granted to those who eventually discover and realize its use. Upon that discovery, the love flourishes and they then continue to caress and refine their own work while encouraging others to produce, as well.

The often raised and arguable question that Shakespeare did not write his own work speaks to the doubt of those who do not believe in the given gift. He was of poor upbringing and uneducated in the way we would think for some of such literary prowess. It is preposterous to support such allegations. He was a talent that came to be through dedication and molded through passion which is a possible outcome to anyone of any lineage who finds their journey. If we truly believe we were meant to do this, it is not only for ourselves, but for the good of all.

Like the horse is built for freedom and revered for its beauty, the writer is a channel through which words flow and a creative vessel to display the end result. ~ Freeing the Creative Spirit

Herbert Ravenel Sass: A 1905 graduate of the College of Charleston, Herbert Ravenel Sass was an old school Southern gentleman – historian, novelist, short story writer, amateur ornithologist, naturalist, artist and poet. He published a number of books touching on Charleston’s history as well as on the local flora and fauna, and, for almost fifty years, published numerous articles on topics as varied as birds, the American Civil War, and race relations.

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The Wedding of Winter

The last sliver of daylight slipped silent into the good night. The time was not yet right even though it fixed upon the earth a golden sand-like mirage and laid it like a shimmering slip cover over a desolate white land. A gilded aura fleetingly caressed every bony branch, embraced each high pine crest, and kissed the tangled webs of earth and sky as it engulfed nature with ethereal bed time comforts. As the studded heavens opened up to reveal their jeweled gifts, she smiled. The time was now drawing near.

Crystal took great care in making the headdress – for in the making there required consideration to all elements. It must portray the purity of new fallen snow upon an earth unmarked as a virgin presented to her mate on the wedding night; it must show the very beauty of her being with a single floral bloom, but not just for show, as it required also a magical quality; it must dazzle with light comparable to a million stars to shine the way into the darkness of their seasonal embrace. It was the longest night but the brightest start and it had to be perfect for the bride named Winter.

Meanwhile, Sphere put the finishing touches to the cakes – soft icing mounds white and sweet – cool to the tongue, a tasty treat. It was with great pleasure she sculpted them into peaks then placed them carefully on ice to last through even the most tempting of rays from a short day sun.

So it was that Winter came to wed the earth wearing shimmering white that sparkled silver diamonds in the moonlight with a halo of mistletoe interwoven with angle hair.  Her frosty breath upon the air whispered through the trees like flitting ghosts of silent prayer seeking night choirs, calling wolves to howl and prompting hoots of owl. The darkness reflected all her glory as she rivaled day with light so bright – a magnificent evening show. It was not that she did not like the hue of fading dusk or the shine of the celestial watcher of the day; rather, it was that she preferred moonlight silver to gold, velvet darkness to light, and she was proud to wear downy white to marry shortest day with the longest night.

Winter lay her frosty touch upon a sleeping earth with a chilling wedding promise.

Wedding of Winter

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Autumn Equinox

Persephone danced. With outstretched arms she embraced the sun, her tawny skin alive with the season’s color kissed upon her; beaded moisture played along her flesh and among the lighted beams became alive like dazzling diamonds. Breezy fingers sent shivers up her spine and she laughed as she welcomed the soft-tipped traces as they felt their way up her arm to her shoulder then along her graceful neck and to her chin. Her laughter turned to a pleasant hiss as Summer’s lips touched hers in a sultry, forbidden kiss.

“You must stay with me, Persephone, as I would miss you as I miss the warmth of this season’s day.”

“I cannot.” She was immediately sorry for her sudden and tactless answer. She took a breath and gave an apologetic smile before continuing. “I wish for nothing more, my sweet, but a promise and a pledge must be honored, whatever the toll.” 

“It is not only I that misses you – you know your mother wants you here, where you belong, her own flesh and blood.”

“I feel her desperation while I am gone – it allows me no pleasure, and yet I am expected to provide it.”

“You have pleasure here, you love the sunshine and…” Summer turned a shade of pale pink, a blush that highlighted her youthful face “…you have pleasure in Summer.” Persephone stopped. She glanced upon the girl who dared express rash dreams as bold desires, even as autumn threatened near, yet unseen.

“You are a most precious friend and confidant – our days together will provide encouragement and inspiration enough to get me through my long dark sojourn. But know this…” she grasped the girl’s shoulders, her eyes intense and promise sure… “I will always return to you in the spring.”

Persephone took Summer’s warm hands in hers and they twirled in dancing circles upon a fading green. Their lively show of carefree gaiety mimicked the limbs of beckoning trees and together they swayed on nature’s stage. A circling eagle took up the cry from far above and Persephone paused. Summer came to an abrupt halt. As daylight waned and warmth passed into cooling dusk, where crimson fire melded to a midnight velvet; the hours equal light and dark – Persephone knelt upon the earth and placed her hands upon the soil, her eyes closed, head bowed. A single tear slid down her cheek.  

Quietly, Summer offered her friend a Sunflower bloom. “Please take this – to remember me by – I’m feeling weak as if already without you, and yet you are not gone.” Feeling faint, Summer laid her head upon Persephone’s lap, her hand brief upon her lips to retrieve a kiss, and then touched to Persephone’s tear-stained cheek. The girl’s hand was frosty cold and Persephone shivered.

A golden mantle fell from all around, swirling, teasing, hiding green and calling forth with upraised voice; and the last summer day burdened by its dying wish and in a labored breath spoke of cooler winds and crystal laden air – a brief warning of the things to come – yet trying to hide the treachery and deceit with golden promises and a fleeting warm caress. The Sunflower withered, blackened by the frost and Persephone laid it upon the deadened earth. With a whispered good –bye, she faded into the night, giving in to autumn and its golden splendor, her heart and soul once again called home to Hades.

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Feature and Follow

Connecting with other Writers - As a writer, being in a somewhat lonely craft, it is imperative to make connections, when possible, to others who share your passion. The commitment to the written word is best known to others who spend their time immersed within the aura of creativity. The blogging world is one such place to find a friendly, encouraging sort - reading, writing, sharing, and following... is what makes this community connected.

Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that is designed to provide some much-appreciated exposure to the bloggers participating, and to expand their following. Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each of whom feature a chosen blog for the week, it’s an interesting way to get to know one another.

Please take the time to read and follow my blog and I, in turn, will read and follow yours.

Thank you to those who read and already follow; I appreciate your support and comments, when time permits.

Keep on reading, and writing!

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Metamorphosis of a Poem

The rough draft of this “poem” was written as a prose response to a fellow poet’s challenge – both of us knowing that a poet cannot go too long without writing some words to which they have an intimate connection. Then… special feelings, although cautious due to circumstance, came into play and the “poem’ was going to express this suppressed covetous desire… However, waiting long enough to actually write these words to this end, they became the true feelings of this poet – the love for words and sharing them with you – the reader, whomever you are. Hope you enjoy them, love them, take them with you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My heart took its time to let go of the words as I pondered the concept thinking it mostly absurd; for it was you who inflicted upon me the desire, yet my responses were cautious… as I stepped over the fire…

The fear of those feelings mixed with welcome ones, too – but the words didn’t hit me right out of the blue… Oh, I thought about them, and then rethought again – or was it perhaps, they just came to me… then –

as if they were cast off, ignored, and not heard, within the tangled emotions, an expression of words; they got caught in my throat – or so it appeared, because I couldn’t separate them from the feelings I feared.

If I were only a poet engrossed in my work pulling imaginary emotions from the depths where they lurk; I could relate to the words without asking to define, but I am more than a mere writer asking you to be mine.

With such intimate detachment there can be such sadness and if explaining your feelings is the ultimate madness; it goes without saying and often goes without thought that your soul and a part of your heart is now caught between some of the spirit embodied then lost; they still glow in the aftermath paid as small cost –

Despite all this dread, I did write the words… disconnecting my soul, not wondering if heard, for I’ve no way to explain, but to say they are free and to say them out loud, they no longer belong to me…for once they are freed by composition and verse –

they now belong to you

for better or worse.

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Saying Good-Bye

We can go all crazy and start to make our resolutions early even as it only creeps up on the late hours of the eve of New Year’s Eve – promising to make the most of the upcoming year, in a whisper rather than shouting it out in party fashion. Another 364 days to do what it is we want to, need to, and have to do. That equals 12 months or (after some calculation and minor struggles with the adding machine) 8,736 hours and if we average out that 1/3 of the day is assigned to a necessary but time-consuming sleep action, we are left with a grand total of 5,824 hours to divvy up amongst the many other things (or people) that make up our lives.

For most, if we work full-time, we only have to do so 5 of the 7 week days, and that equals another 2,080 hours consumed by another significant duty in our lives. This does not allow for the workaholic or the unemployed, retired or otherwise non-working person – in which case, you will either have less time due to overworking, or more time due to not working. In general, most of us will be left with 3,744 hours to do anything other than sleeping or working.

This little exercise is going nowhere serious and is only useful as we look back over our past year if it takes us to the realization that time is valuable and so is what we do with it. It is important to remember all the things that have been accomplished but equally important is the need to fit in time to relax without expectation to prepare our minds and bodies for all the rest of it. Things might not have gone how we would have hoped or as expected, but in the long run, it generally goes as it is supposed to.

Saying good-bye to 2010 may be a blessing for some if it was not “a good year” and for those whose year was a good one, it is never hard to let it go, for the good times pay it forward to the next and the next. For this writer, there were ups and downs over the past twelve months, but more significant were the chances given that were not always borne of happy or easy events. This blog is not for specifics but more for generalities as most of the statements expressed here at this time cater to the big picture – it is too easy to knit pick the little things.

As I look back and prepare to say good-bye to 2010, I also remember to say a general thank you; although there is always hope with the dawn of a New Year there is also uncertainty.

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