Tag Archives: love

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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Birds of Spring

Preface:

The love for spring and birds and all things beautiful prompted me to write this – the robin started it all and the progression to put the words to page ended up including thoughts about my mom. Both of us are spring babies and the appreciation she had for nature inspired me to follow paths where the wild things live. I am not brave. I fear death. Yet in my own way, I am an explorer and an adventurous soul. I am not sad. I am merely reflecting on beautiful thoughts that still bring tears.

*****

RobinWe sat on the back deck under the umbrella and chatted. We cradled ceramic mugs adorned with images of birds. The hot tea warmed us and cool spring breezes washed over us like whispered conversation. We had grown comfortable with the sporadic comments and the pleasurable silence that punctuated our early Saturday morning visit. The sun was still to our right but would soon be to our backs as we sat in shade of the house. Bundled in large knit sweaters, we settled back in the canvas chairs, sipping green tea and warming our hands. Overhead, crisscrossing jet trails cut the wild blue yonder into slices of pie.

“Why do they have to mess up the beautiful sky?” she would ask. We always looked up watching for birds and small planes and whatever else the countryside might offer. I knew she loved the view from the deck at the back of her house. The jet trails were something we always noticed and talked about. It was something we often speculated about – was it weather related air current type stuff, or was it a conspiracy to create cloud when there was none, or was it just because it was what jets do at a high altitude. Whatever the reason, it would come to be my way of knowing she was always with me – perhaps, even her way of showing support wherever I might be and whatever I might be doing. The jet contrails and the birds of spring, both beautiful and meaningful in their own way, are a necessary part of how I was able to move forward without her.

Because of her love for nature and her little house in the country, I began to take more notice of those things around me that drew me to her. Yellow eyed daisies growing in white waves always remind me of her, because they grew wild in her yard and as the years went by there were more and more of them. I see every full moon and remember her calls to me, “Did you see the moon?” I watch for the geese and their return to the northern climes after a long migration. Then in the fall when they coo and swoop in large masses collecting their formations way up high amongst the clouds, I regret their leaving just as I regret hers.

Winter was beginning to be unbearable and the worry about her living alone is one thing that weighed as heavy as the snow on her little roof. She did not relish moving into the Park to be closer to the civilized world; it was not in her destiny to move into any kind of senior’s residence, either. The fates took care of that concern, although I would have shoveled her driveway forever and took care of her when the time came. It didn’t come, though. Her journey was not with that kind of finish.

This year I noticed the robins more and their activity around me. It seems there a few around who accompany me on my day. One makes its home in the eaves above my apartment window and you can hear it singing in the still early morning. One stopped for a picture on a post outside my cabin window while I was in Jasper and another hopped up to the truck for a picture while I sat in the parking lot at Miette Hot Springs. Yet another hopped closer and closer while I loaded the truck with books this past weekend.

Everyone deals with loss in different ways. Recognizing the little things we used to talk about and remembering the things she loved is how I am able to move forward. Writing these words helps, too – as I am able now to express them from my heart without pain tearing into them before I even have a chance to put them to the page. The test would be to read them out loud – although I am sure I could attempt it, one never knows how one’s emotions are going to interfere at any given time. The wound is deep and will never going to go away, but it is healed over, protected from outside exposure.

*****

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes

 

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Taking it to Day 19… Blog-Photo Challenge

Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 1I am standing in a valley surrounded by large hills and rocks and precipices that tower above, stretching into the darkening evening sky. As the sky changes from brilliant yellow and red and pink, finally fading to indigo, the silhouettes become almost eerie as I continue to take note of my immediate path with a cautious eye to the journey ahead. Even in the darkness there is light and it is a good habit to always try to look for the positive in any situation. I feel overwhelmed, a minute speck in a desert of sand… part of the bigger picture yet so insignificant on my own. I cannot call out – the row of wind turbine sentinels drowns out my voice, and even with all the advances in technology, there is no reception in that low-lying spot. Besides, who would I call to come into my deepest fears with me? I attempt to reason why I find myself alone here staring up into the astronomical abyss…

 Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 2

At times, this is how I feel when it comes to dealing with everything that goes on around me. My desire is to just write and create and yet when I get Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 5stuck in this valley it is hard to focus on my own words. By taking on too much, I make things so complicated that it’s hard at times for me to fill my own shoes.

So I withdraw and I hide. The confusion manifests itself as physical pain and then the climb out is even more difficult – it’s not only mentally and emotionally taxing, it is physically exhausting.

 

Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 3

The golden dream in the dark valley is the reason I push myself. There is something I want and only by working toward it, never giving up, and always dreaming… do I stand a chance of achieving it. I seek it. I reach for it and use it for leverage when I need a hand. Don’t ask what it is because it is hard to pinpoint exactly – it could be happiness, it could be leadership, it could be my passion, it could even be love. It’s not a thing – it’s a state of being.

Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 4

 

The day is what you make it – in a valley or on a peak… dream it. Do it. 

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30 Day Photo-Word-Blog Challenge: continued…

Day 15 main image

 

30-Day Challenge

Day 15… Silhouette

I love to watch from my fourth floor apartment window as the sun slides past the horizon for another day. Its progression is slow, at first, with a bright show of rainbow colors bursting at the edges of the distant rooftops. The upper expanse of deep blue is amazing as it stretches into the great beyond. Then, as it always does at this time of year, the day disappears in short time leaving us to late afternoon darkness. The orange pop of streetlights against the darkening sky is a cool contrast.

Day 15 slide show image


30-Day Challenge 

Day 16… A Good Habit 

Day 16 - A Good Habit image

Just click on the images to see them larger in a separate tab.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your likes and/or comments.

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Eye … Cannot Live Without – Photo Blog Challenge

 

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

Eye Blog image January 14

Blog Challenge – Day 13 Cannot Live Without and Day 14 Eyes

This blog is not going to be long and involved

Thinking through options my challenge is solved

I went through the list of things that I love

I thought of all people near, far, and above

There was coffee, chocolate, and all comfort food

Wine, sunset, and roses to set romantic mood

There will always be words and writing no end

Sunshine, spring, and horses – no need to pretend

But imagine a world where you cannot see

Where things are to imagine what they might be

So when I thought about all without I cannot live

I am blessed for my eyes and the insight they give

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Challenge – Day 11 and Day 12 – Creative License

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

Day 11 and 12 – Something Blue and Sunset

Day 11 and 12 Blog image - Blue and Sunset

The sky was the hue of winter Alberta blue…
If we are fortunate enough during the winter in Alberta, we have many of these days where the sky is crisp, clear, and blue – when sunshine is always a welcome addition, and a highway drive is warranted on a weekend afternoon. By contrast, I shot some pictures on January 1st at Elk Island Park and you will notice the grey winter day where sky and horizon blend where air and ground meet. The kind of day that dawned bright on Sunday was opportunity to obtain clear shots of the Alberta blue skies to fulfill that day’s challenge. The vantage point shifted from the apartment catching one of 3 jet contrails tracking across the sky in a short time span, to the countryside as the sun made its way beyond the day, and back again, to capture similar shots the next evening. The amazing properties of working with light are the shadows cast and the deep blue of snow in the sheltered areas; it’s the background it provides to many objects silhouetted; it’s the variance of color that reflects on sky, trees, snow, and other objects. Something blue… The thing about winter afternoons in early January is that no matter how bright they are they begin to fade by 4:30 with dusk bringing its own lingering beauty to the countryside.

To close out any day, the sky is my view and it paints magnificent scenery for me to appreciate from my 4th floor apartment. This vantage gives me a clear shot of the sky and its many colors as I witness many a sunset. Combining the prompts made sense but would have certainly created a huge challenge had the sky been overcast and grey, or if it had been white with snow. Treasures along our sightseeing journey:

  • Jets with contrails streaking across a clear blue sky always remind me of my mother and I feel her watching with me, commenting on their intrusion.
  • Horses pawing the snow-covered field searching for frozen shoots.
  • A companionable silence while driving a snow-covered country road.
  • Millions of stars in a dark velvet sky.
  • Using GPS and a little bit of intuition to connect with the right secondary road.
  • Arriving home with a loved one after a memorable day.

The day is what you make it… so, remember to always appreciate the little things along the way.

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Day 9 late, but here :)

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

Day 9 – Someone You Love 

Day 10 - photo challenge - Someone You Love

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January 6, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

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

Day 6>> Obsession

Day 6 Blog image Obsession

I have a confession – I have an obsession … or perhaps even two, or three…

Thesaurus: mania, fascination, fixation, passion, preoccupation…

The definition of obsession in one dictionary indicates that it’s “a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal” or “it is the object of that attention, as in, an obsession.”

Other variations in defining this term take it to the lesser extreme of “an activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing” to a full definition claiming “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.”

If I considered the things that are my obsessions, I would not describe them as “disturbing” or “unreasonable” but I guess that could be the case, depending upon what your obsession is. When a writer talks about being obsessed with words, it is because there is the realization that words are a deep part of who we are and what we need to do. It is a passion. A visual artist could be obsessed with the effects of their work and manipulating their work to present something totally different and original. I like using the special effects on my phone or on my computer programs to change the photos I take – sometimes. Most times I choose not to manipulate images, preferring to catch the picture in the moment. Other “obsessions” for me are ones recognized by others, such as the lovely Shakespeare mug, a horse calendar, and horse pocket watch – all received recently from dear friends. Thank you for accepting me and my obsessions – it is what makes me, “me.”

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January 1, 2015 – 30 day Photo/Blog Word/Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

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

Day 1 >> Self-Portrait

Ah, yes. Me, myself, and I. Day 1 - 30 day challenge Self-PortraitNot my favorite subject… in photographs.

No matter how creative I think I am or how acceptable my image seems to be to me in the mirror… there is always something that doesn’t translate onto the “film.” I have accepted that I will never be in motion pictures or in magazines or on the news anchor desk. Don’t get me wrong – I love me and all I represent and have grown to be over the years. I am happy with my accomplishments and look forward to so much more as we go on. The past year was one of freedom, in many ways, for me. It was a discovery of self and a connection with inner self. It was a realization of what was needed and what will never be the same. It was a search and destroy mission – searching for sense while destroying the senseless blocks that weigh me down. Although I anticipate 2015 to be a year of change, 2014 was one of rediscovery and adjustments, too. The chance to reconnect with love on so many levels came to fruition – and love is something I cherish deep in within my soul. I am a hopeless romantic, at times. I was able to complete my long time WIP – An Elizabethan Affair, thereby finally publishing my affection for William. I set limits while breaking boundaries. I realized some of my own goals while helping others to realize theirs. I moved forward without looking back.

January 1st is always a day to dive with caution into the goals one sets for oneself. Often resolutions are made with high expectations that end up being measured with somewhat waning results. I do not want to make promises to myself that I end up abandoning because of my work or company schedule. My goals involve the creative aspects of my life and have been unchanging for a number of years now. For writers, our methods of inspiring new work may change, but the output is always the same – words. Our passion lies deep – we cater to our desires. My desires also lie in complimentary areas of creativity, especially photography. I am a truck window photographer – a fly by skidding to a halt picture taker along the side of the road hoping for a handy turnout… just ask anyone who’s been along for the ride! Today’s challenge of self-portrait was considered here and there with a little bit of “yuck”… but when the opportune moment hit me… it fit the assignment and it fit me. It is my reflection in my own truck window while on the day’s sojourn.

Searching for sunshine on a grey day >> only pop of color = Sunshine (my truck) and the flag; only life form = sunshine (my man) Ray:

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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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