Fortunate.

This blog was forged at the beginning of the year; it began lightly, dancing over a veneer, oblivious of its purpose beneath. I remember at the start trying to be witty; ad-libbing funny in a thought out manner, writing about me, me, me. It felt narcissistic and full of ego and I don’t mind saying that although I enjoyed the act of writing, of sharing, it felt awkward and sometimes embarrassing; the attention-seeking sense of it all.

It is known now that this was not created by the part of me that is offered to the world; the funny, make-em-laugh girl with an easy smile and helpful manner. I know because it has become something much deeper, as if the words themselves have carved away the inside of me allowing spaciousness for soul, allowing room for spiritual growth and development.

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Journey. I love that word –  an odyssey, a quest, progress, adventure. Life is this journey. The goal is clear in that eventually we will leave our bodies, and since this is already figured out for us, shouldn’t we make the most of our journey? We have no idea of the length of time, or what the surface will be like along the way. It’s wild and woolly sometimes, heartbreaking and filled with sorrow. Other times it’s so joyous we could burst, sometimes simply quiet and comforting.

This place here has become a proving ground, a learning ground, a welcoming hollow to write about the highs and lows. All the valleys with their dark undergrowth that seemed to go on forever, and through which I stumbled, weeping and blind. The peaks that looked out onto sunny skies. Over there, the roller coaster rides that rocked and stunned. All around, moments, people, situations…life. 

I am fortunate to  have this place, these pages, and as this year closes I acknowledge the time I have spent digging down to truth, making way for self.

I tip my hat to my friends who read. I hope I have helped or maybe *pinches thumb and forefinger together* inspired a tiny bit.

A lesson I have read many times, but only recently truly taken to heart is sitting with emotion. Thanks to Tara Brach by way of this lovely group, I am learning this: Whatever comes up, and whenever it comes up – take pause. Breathe into the feeling, allow yourself to feel it, give it room, acknowledge its presence, and it will pass. By doing this, a wiser choice can be made.

I hope to practice this during the coming year, and all the ones beyond.

Merry Christmas!

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Liebster Love

My husband drove the car yesterday while the rest of us settled in for the two hour car ride to the beach.  It was our first daytrip of many for the summer and although the forecast seemed a little ominous, we were happy to go.

We decided on a new destination this year; my husband’s old stomping grounds and it did not disappoint. His phone did the navigating while I tootled around on mine:  Facebook, CNN, Scrabble, WordPress, Weather, Gmail, Liebster Award, Facebook….wha…??  Liebster?  A Liebster nomination for me?  I had seen the award bandied around but assumed it was given to bloggers with more longevity than me.

My fellow blogger zeelikestowrite has humbled me with her nod in my direction and I would be honored to answer the eleven questions she has posed.

1.  Describe in two words what a world without WordPress would be like.

Less connected.

2.  When did you start blogging and why did you decide to start?

I began blogging in January of this year.  My husband was more gung ho about creating his own but he convinced me to start one too.  I will admit that at first I felt conceited and wondered not why I shouldn’t do this, but who would actually read it and find what I have to say, interesting?  Also, I was concerned about it becoming more of a diary than a journal about my journey with insights to share.

3.  What is your favorite possession, and why?

It was the spring of 1977, I was seven and living in Kent, England.  I was sitting among the clover on a  large swath of grass opposite our house searching for a four-leafed clover, not with any determination, just sort of  leafing through patches left and right.  To my surprise, I found one.  I plucked it and ran inside to show my Mum who brought down from her jewelry box an old locket she had.  It was on a long gold chain and was shaped like a small ball which unscrewed to become two halves.  One half was filled with glass so that it became a magnifying glass on the outside and the other half was hollow.  She placed the clover in it and gave it to me to keep.  I still have it.  It’s been opened only a handful of times over the years because the leaves, although dry and brittle are all still attached to the stem.  As for the why, I think simply because it’s a keepsake for the happier moments during my little years.

4.  Which author would you like to interview and what would be your first question?

Anne Tyler.  Ms. Tyler, what things inspire you to come up with the first seed of a story?

5.  Which book, already published, would you like to have written?

Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

6.  What is the most adventurous food you’ve eaten?

In the mid-eighties, a girl in school came back from South Africa with what she said was ostrich.  I took a tugging chew but couldn’t confirm if she was telling the truth.  Other than that, I think I had emu at an Australian-style restaurant.  But who knows, it could’ve been some kind of domestic pet for all I know.  I do love Indian food though and that can be quite adventurous.

7.  How often do you check your stats on WordPress?

Honestly, not very often.  I get email updates regarding Likes, Comments and Followers.  If, however, there were more detail in the stats such as City, State and Domain Name I’d be all over it like shit on a stick.  I have another blog on Blogger.com that is linked to Google’s Analytics website and from there I can see everything that satisfies my ego.

8.  Where do you do most of your writing, and why?

Believe it or not, I do all of my writing at work.  It’s rather cushy because although the company I work for is large, it is based in Europe.  My boss and I man a very small office on the East Coast, however he travels extensively which leaves me by myself for weeks at a time.  I do my work and with my free time, I write.  I have lovely visions of writing at home during the summer evenings when the kids are in bed and my husband is watching telly but we like to sit near each other at the end of the day and talk and laugh and watch our shows.  So I get creative with a view of trucks driving past and the Delaware Memorial Bridge in the background.  Suits me fine.

9.  What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve not been writing long but have been given plenty of advice.  So far, the best has come from my Mum, a published writer herself. She reviewed my first short story and warned me of ‘purple prose’ which I think a lot of newbie writers feel they need to include.  This is why I like Friday Fictioneers; those 100 words have to convey so much, it’s excellent training in curbing unnecessary waffle.

10.  What was the most embarrassing moment of your life?

I thought I’d had it with on-air mishaps or farting in the delivery room but the most embarrassing moment (although definitely much larger than a moment) happened earlier this year at the One Act Festival.  I was in a two-person play and had performed in it twice before about two months previously.  The Festival draws community theatres from around the state and the winner proceeds to the Eastern States Theatre Festival (or something like that – the next bigger one).  I changed one small detail at the start of my monologue and the whole play went down in flames.  For me, there is nothing as mortifying as being onstage knowing that something has gone horribly wrong and being unable to find a way to jump back in again.  The spotlight seemed brighter, the silence poured all over me and my poor teenage castmate could only stare at me helplessly.  It was terrible and I felt stung by it for days.  Even now, it’s difficult to tread over again.

11.  What country would you like to visit, and why?

French Polynesia.  Because my husband and I haven’t taken a vacation in eight years.  If we could go anywhere it would be here, specifically Bora Bora, to a thatched-roof hut on the water with no television, no wifi, no phones, no computers.  Just sun, sea, sand, fruity alcoholic drinks, delicious food and each other.

Thank you for the nomination.  I can only continue to grow and develop as a writer because of what’s in my heart, my mind, my soul and by having WordPress as my platform for creativity.