I thought it was high time for a little "lightness" and Patches, my crazy calico cat, is really excellent at humor. You can watch her as she is riveted to the screen for her video debut in "Kittens in the Cushions" -- a highly entertaining romp with my two cats, Patches and Samantha, jumping in and out of the sofa cushions and having a blast!
"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” ~ e.e. cummings
It’s taken me many years to accept that being “myself” is both weird and wonderful – sometimes alternately, sometimes simultaneously. I have led a richly varied life, mostly following my heart and with gratitude, doing what I love to do – with passion and purpose. I see that as an incredibly precious gift!
My life path has lurched from incredible “peak” highs to seemingly bottomless lows, like a drunken manic depressive sailor – and with occasional accompanying colorful language to match.
For today’s example of pandemic weirdness, I awoke convinced that it was Sunday. I went about my morning tasks, thinking about setting up a zoom session to “go” to church, when my husband pointed out that he would attend tomorrow, when it actually was Sunday. Or will be. Pandemic time warp strikes again! I think this is the single most disorienting thing about the pandemic: the feeling of time warp, almost being “separate” from and outside of time. It’s become very elastic – and fluid, changing day to day and moment to moment as to how I experience it. Sometimes it is fleeting and flying, others it’s like dragging around a giant boulder – heavy and slow. Anyone else finding this to be true?
I am trying my best to use this unprecedented time of pandemic confinement as a gift to explore my inner self: to meditate, read, write, take tours of memory lane through photos albums, scrapbooks, re-reading journals, recalling just who I have been and hopefully informing who I will be going forward on life’s evolving journey.
I recently rekindled a love affair with the work of author Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) in her book, The Vein of Gold. It calls for using tools such as Morning Pages (three pages of long hand, stream-of-consciousness writing to dump out all the mental minutia and clear the brain), Artist Dates (priming the creative pump with art, beauty, nature, by oneself), daily walks in nature and also creative play via arts and crafts to reconnect with and heal the inner child and strengthen our Divine spiritual lifeline. My inner child likes to play and I am finding it so enjoyable to regain this part of my life!
Remembering past achievements, experiences, joys and sorrows has been very heart-opening for me – particularly through photos and my journals. I have found many life stories that I need to share with whoever can enjoy/benefit – but mainly because my inner writer is clamoring to break out. If not now, when?? This prolonged self-isolation with very little distraction is a perfect opportunity for this kind of introspection, integration, healing and creativity. Now, if I could just remember what day of the week it is without resorting to buying the cute childhood solution of days-of-the-week underwear! OK, the adult solution is checking my cell phone or computer. But, therein lies a dangerous distraction. Before I can form my own thoughts about the day, I am bombarded with news, politics, tips, opinions, pandemic updates…well, you get the idea. I have had to limit my exposure to news media (a really difficult task in the age of being electronically tethered 24/7/365)!
I have spent some time updating social media profiles, posting pictures of places I’ve lived, and doing a nostalgic post honoring my Dad. So now I am taking on the estimable task of taming monkey mind, which is usually swinging from branch to branch in my brain each time I try to meditate. Sometimes, the best I can accomplish is to slow the monkey down a bit.
I often feel things too deeply, acutely aware of the pain so many thousands or perhaps millions of people are enduring. My nerves feel scrubbed raw (like my hands are in actuality, thanks to almost obsessive washing and sanitizing -- of me and my home.) So, how to deal with the incredible angst, uncertainty and unprecedented nuttiness of this time? My answer is multi-faceted: Music (listening and singing), heart-to-heart conversations with friends, photography, yoga with meditation and deep breathing, being bathed in my cat's soothing purring and warm cuddly presence, reading, praying, spending time outside in nature, writing, sunbathing.
Do I manage to achieve deep peace and calm every day? Well, refer to the sailor-like language mentioned above. Sometimes I am not myself. As if someone else took up residence in this skin while I was sleeping. No, not loony-tunes, just being human and feeling what I'm feeling.
I would love to hear how you are coping. What helps without hurting (some escapism is self-sabotage in reality). I know this from direct experience! What are your experiences of this pandemic time?
My two feline companions, Samantha and Patches, pictured below:
As the year and the decade draw to a close, I thought some deep wisdom (and humor) might be in order. So, here are a few true insights from my beautiful feline friend, Misty, who is now happily frisking around in heaven after spending 20 years blessing us with her sweet self. I would love to hear your feedback on Misty's marvelous advice, and perhaps you can contribute your own tips on how to live a better life, based on your experiences with our four-footed friends. Dogs may also apply :)
I watched this video clip from the Hubble Space telescope and found it so deeply affected me. It is images of ultra deep space and there are no words to really describe how incredible it is! Please watch, comment, share.
Hello friends! I haven't posted in quite a while. Too much insanity going on in life. But, today I decided that I have to find fun, a sense of balance and some joy in life wherever it may be. The song from the musical Sound of Music which recounts favorite things as a way of distraction from fear seems an appropriate theme. So, I'm sharing some of my favorite things in a pictorial gallery. Enjoy!
These are some of my favorite things. Now, I invite you to share yours!
"Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." – Helen Keller
Life feels dangerous. It feels exposed and vulnerable. And even knowing that security and, for that matter, control over life events is mostly an illusion -- something we humans make up to make us feel better -- the daring adventure of life often seems more like a carnival ride gone completely haywire. How do you cope when the adventure gets a little too daring? Stop the world, I want to get off!!
The bizarre juxtaposition between outrageous, unbelievably tasteless, crass and scary political antics on the US Presidential campaign trail and devastating, horrific terrorist attacks and refugee suffering leaves the mind spinning wildly, trying to find some sense in it. There isn't any to be found. It's easy to let the tide of negativity engulf and take us under. And yet, and yet...every morning there is a sunrise and every evening a stunning, unique sunset like the one I photographed above that soothe the soul and feed the spirit. Nature always does that for me. Just when I start to completely lose my way in the crush of the craziness, God paints another incredible sunset or rainbow on the sky, and I feel reassured, comforted.
This Earth Day, I am reaffirming my commitment to protect our beautiful planet. I've been doing so since I was a teenager, reading Thoreau's Walden and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. I'm letting go of the things I can't change and concentrating on having the biggest impact possible on those things which I can influence. Fighting some of the same battles to protect dolphins and whales, manatees (and panthers and elephants and turtles and wolves and wild horses) that were being fought 30 years ago. Meeting head-on the challenges of global climate change, striving to keep fossil fuels in the ground and create a safe, economically sound alternative clean energy grid. Working against the multinational corporate greed that's plundering our precious natural resources of food and water with no accountability. Promoting organic, sustainable agriculture. Educating, blogging, speaking, doing, changing -- one step at a time. Watching more sunsets to inspire hope and knowing at the heart level, the Earth is worth every ounce of protection we can offer. After all, good planets are hard to find. This is our only home. She needs our help as never before.
This is a very unusual, touchingly beautiful video presentation, featuring the singer, Sissel, singing Auld Lang Syne with a collage of stunning winter scenery and breathtaking mountain views combined with nature videography of animals in winter settings. Beautiful prayers for the new year begin and end this lovely tribute. Wishing all a Happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2016!
Enjoy some holiday musical cheer with the Twelve Days of Christmas a la the a cappella group, Straight No Chaser from Indiana University. Very creative performance with over 18 million views. Get ready to smile!
Last December, the day after Christmas, we said goodbye to our nearly 20-year-old wise kitty, Misty. We were bereft, since she was the last of the six cats who were such a beloved part of our family through the years and she had been with us since birth. Luckily, we did not allow ourselves to be "catless" for very long, since the house was so empty we couldn't stand it. We found these two simply amazing kittens at our local Humane Society and have been enjoying their lively, energetic kitten comics ever since. In a quirk of serendipity, they were each named and had the same coloring as two of our kitties who were gone over the Rainbow Bridge. We knew immediately upon seeing them piled together sleeping in the window, that they were ours.
They are without a doubt the most intelligent, inventive, playful, athletic and adventurous cats who have ever owned us! Our breakable plates, glasses and knickknacks have taken a pretty big hit, (six glasses, four cereal bowls, two cat food dishes, and a crystal basket so far) but we are so grateful that these furry felines have chosen to be with us for their life's adventure. Below, please enjoy their romp through the cushions. They can entertain themselves endlessly with pretty much anything: paper bags, boxes, a crack in the tile floor, their tails, each other. Here's to feline fun!
This new video features Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow and many others singing a heartfelt love song to our Mother Earth. Beautiful!
I am a singer, a writer, a craftswoman, a student of life and of Spirit, a wife, a friend, an inquisitive adventurer on the learning path. Seeking, sensing, sifting and now connecting! Please join the fun by leaving a comment or passing on a favorite post via your social network. As you can tell from the category list, my interests are varied and somewhat eclectic. I am seeking all that brings joy & excitement to life, purpose & passion to our daily round. I am curious about pretty much everything.