My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as those who simply love to read. You will find eclectic snippets here—news of projects I’m working on, comments regarding books I enjoy, favorite authors, quotes, and reflections regarding my own experiences. I especially like to write about my dreams—those parables in the night seasons. Symbols and metaphors delight and intrigue me. You will find them here.
The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it's a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers--of persistence, concentration, insight and sensitivity--to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.~Susan Cain From Quiet
I spied the crescent moon as I backed my car out of the driveway on the way to work. I shifted into park and sat gazing awhile at that comma shape smoldering in the early morning sky. Was the moon speaking to me in its silent, glowing punctuation? It seemed to be enticing me to pause. I yearned for a slower life pace. For weeks, I'd been saying to myself, "Let me off. Let me off this ride. It's too fast. I can't keep up."
The culture is often too noisy for me. Requires too much talking and promoting that leaves me exhausted. I was blocked from Instagram and know not why. I filed a report, attempting to discover my error, but still no word. I cannot post or comment. At first I fretted, but then realized it doesn't matter that much--just another expectation to "get oneself out there and be noticed." What if one does not really enjoy "getting out there?" The very pressure to promote one's writing these days is a job in and of itself. I calmed down. Let it go. Maybe I'd get unblocked at some point, but if not, that's okay.
If we address stories as archaeological sites, and dust through their layers with meticulous care we find at some level there is always a doorway.~From The Ten Thousand Doors of Januray by Alex E. Harrow
I learned a new word this week: omnium-gatherum. The word is defined as a miscellaneous collection. Often I've felt my life could be described by such a phrase, yet more negative than positive--a mismatched plethora of scraps, faded photographs and dog-eared books. Mistakes and riddles unanswered, and a sprinkling of gold dust that sometimes reflected a life more shiny than it truly was.
Sometimes, maybe a lot, if I'm honest, I've identified or wanted to identify with other peoples' stories instead of my own. Individuals who are more physically attractive, richer, smarter. Better writers. Over the years I've strayed from my narrative. Discounted it. "Oh, anyone could have done that, or survived that." "I could have done more, most likely--I could have done a better job." "That accomplishment was merely a fluke. I probably could never do it again." My life downplayed. Minimized.
Then I saw the photo of the door. I could not let its symbolism drift away. How was this image speaking? And why?
Be alone with the sea for it is there you will find answers to questions you didn't realize existed.~Khang Kijarro Nouyen
I longed for something I couldn't name. I tried to read, but my mind raced. The words on the page blurred, and I read the same paragraph over and over. I couldn't go shopping to assuage my emptiness. I needed to stay out of stores. Save money. I wanted the ice cream in the fridge, but I knew I would feel horrible if I ate it. My yearning was not physical hunger.
Between my junior and senior year in college, I lived and worked in Hawaii for one summer taking classes. I didn't always make enough money to buy food every day. Many nights I bought a package of corn nuts at a convenience store on my way back to the dorms. I savored each salty, crunchy morsel, making the bag last for two hours. I worked for a local hair salon, handing out coupons on a busy street corner in Honolulu to tennis shoe-clad tourists. I got paid on Friday mornings according to how many persons presented to the owner's salon and used the coupon. I was broke most Thursday nights, but knew I'd have cash the next morning and could buy an Egg McMuffin. To distract me from the hunger pangs, I'd head to Waikiki Beach, wading in the ocean at sunset, picking up shells. The lapping waves and sky decked out with streamers of russet and orchid distracted me from my growling stomach. When I got back to my room, I'd place the shells on the window sill to dry, little scraps and snippets of beauty from the sea.
Perhaps I thirsted for beauty now. I opened a notebook I keep by my bed. I write eclectic lists, quotes and ideas in it. The notebook is messy and crammed with yellow legal pad sheets folded in rectangles. Here are some things I found, in no particular order. Like the shells, the words are lovely. Little bits of beauty that filled my longing for something I could not name.
The most sophisticated people I know--inside they are all children.~Jim Henson
I began reading a new book this week, It's Never Too Late to Begin Again, by Julia Cameron. Ms. Cameron assigns various tasks throughout the book. One of the first: "Describe a sound from this period in your life (age 0-5)."
I imagined my four-year-old self getting up each morning, yawning, my ponytail askew, still in pajamas. I could see my mother filling a blue ceramic bowl with Cheerios and pouring milk over the mound of circles. She'd hand me the bowl and I'd trot off to watch Captain Kangaroo on the black and white TV. When I heard the theme song for the show, pleasure coursed through me as I knew I was in for an hour of laughter and surprises with no one to interrupt me. The Captain and Mr. Greenjeans were my friends who greeted me each morning.
As a preschooler, I was beginning to "practice the regulars." Discovering ways to consistently be filled with messages of love and acceptance. I first heard this phrase when Graham Cooke, author and speaker, used it in one his podcasts. He spoke of finding a verse or two in the Word that is easily memorized, a phrase even, that one goes back to again and again when facing difficult circumstances or making critical decisions. Living everyday life.
Do you know why birds sing just before dawn? Scientists believe it's to tell their mates that they made it through the night, as a way of saying, "I'm still here."~Jeff Goins
This past week Giovanni and I walked down a pathway through an archway that only he and I could enter. To be with someone sometimes in that place is both fearsome and needful.
I sent him an email raw with emotion, reflecting marital pain over these last months. He, in turn, felt hurt and blindsided by my unbridled words.
We just love so differently.
"Don't you see, Priscilla, I love you by cooking and mowing and mopping the floor?"
"Yes, I do. I do. And don't you see that I love you by telling you, touching your face, kissing you, affirming you? I want that too. I need that too."