Wings

Oh, to catch the winds of flight

And soar where eagles go, 

To leave the woes of troubled souls

Behind me far below.

I’d listen tot he song of birds

And sail in endless flight,

Then chase the sun through cloudy paths

And play with stars at night.

The boundless heavens for my home,

The breeze to lift me high, 

To rise a one my mortal bonds

And never have to die.

Knowing I have found the way

To trails where angels trod,

And when my wings could fly no more—

I’d take the hand of GOD!

~C. David Hay

I had a very simple day.

I took my computer, my iPad, and my phone to the kitchen table and spent the day reading, writing, and watching birds swarm our bird feeders.

From my inside perch, I quietly observed as the neighborhood feral cats slyly prowled the fence line while different flocks of birds staged themselves in nearby bushes. Each little cluster of birds flitted from branch to branch as they awaited their turn to storm the stations. Close at hand was my quick, fold-out bird guide of Texas along with a pair of binoculars. I was prepared for a little work and a day of bird watching. I was not disappointed.

It was the best therapy.

Soul searching is hard work and I’ve roughed up some old wounds. This hearty dose of Mother Nature was just what I needed.

“Be kind to your body, gentle with your mind and patient with your heart. Stay true to your spirit, cherish your soul and never doubt yourself. You are still becoming, my love, and there is no one more deserving of the nurturing grace of your love.” 

Becca Lee

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Checks and Balances

“Talk between women friends is always therapy…” 

Jayne Anne Phillips

I have been lucky this past week to have had the opportunity to have lunch with two new friends.

We shared old stories from our past, compared daily challenges we face because we’re now home not building careers, and talk openly about what we plan and dream for our futures.

The power of these luncheons has surprised me. Our maturity and past experiences seem to accelerate our friendships. I feel as though I’ve discovered a strong and ever-expanding circle of new old friends.

All of this could not have happened at a better time to help balance out the stress of filling out tax paperwork. It amazes me at the amount of data requested and how it all fits into some rather foggy and mystical equation. I’m not sure this is at all what the founding fathers had in mind.

This afternoon, I raise my glass to my friends, to my Michael for working so hard on the taxes, and I give thanks for my many blessings.

“This is a question too difficult for a mathematician. It should be asked of a philosopher”(when asked about completing his income tax form)” 

Albert Einstein

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

A Few Words About Words

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” 

Rudyard Kipling  

My word for 2019 is awareness.

It took some time for me to narrow down my word choices.

Initially I thought aware was my word. It’s a great word but it’s an adjective. I can’t explain why but for some reason I did not want my guiding word to be an adjective. To me, an adjective is not a thing–it’s a word that describes a person, place, or thing. For this year I need a thing–a noun–as my guiding word.

Already my awareness has helped me to slow down and gather a lot of information that will enable me to learn and grow. I am looking forward to sharing.

 “While they talked they remembered the years of their youth, and each thought of the other as he had been at another time.” 

John Williams, Stoner

Surprises can be such fun.

Yesterday an old childhood friend sent me a text to call her. By the time I was able to call her our time was limited. I needed to postpone our conversation until today and she agreed.

What a treat to talk with her today and hear about her family and some of the old friends we both grown up with back in Traer, Iowa. We talked about our lives as young adults and our lives now. I smiled as she talked because I heard her use words and phrases I’d not heard in a very long time. It was a wonderful gift.

Thank you, Carole Dalby, for taking me back in time and bringing me up to date with you and your family. You are one brave and incredibly strong woman. I look forward to talking with you again soon.

“Talk between women friends is always therapy…” 

Jayne Anne Phillips

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Thank you, Judith Weitzel Wilmink, for allowing me to use your picture of our hill country sunrise this morning. 

The Reflection in the Mirror

“A woman or man of value doesn’t love you because of what he or she wants you to be or do for them. He or she loves you because your combined souls understand one another, complements each other, and make sense above any other person in this world. You each share a part of their soul’s mirror and see each other’s light reflected in it clearly. You can easily speak from the heart and feel safe doing so. Both of you have been traveling a parallel road your entire life. Without each other’s presence, you feel like an old friend or family member was lost. It bothers you, not because you have given it too much meaning, but because God did. This is the type of person you don’t have to fight for because you can’t get rid of them and your heart doesn’t want them to leave anyways.” 

Shannon L. Alder

I have been home from Colorado for a few days now and I have some incredible memories.

I was welcomed into my friends’ homes where we talked for hours. The years evaporated as we all remembered old times while sharing our latest adventures and hopes for our futures.

One visit was especially special. It is the picture highlighting my story today.

Not only did I get to see my dear friend, Paula, she set time aside to cut my hair. Now–this probably seems like no big deal.

It was a very big deal–let me tell you why.

I met Paula in 1985–she was just out of cosmetology school and I’d just moved to Denver. We were both searching for people we could relate to–not an easy assignment for anyone back in the 80’s. We sat together through many stages of each others lives. I followed her around to various locations, sitting in her chair as she stood behind me–both literally and figuratively. We supported each other through the big hair days, perms, perm re-dos and more perm re-dos, highlights, blind dates, engagements, marriage plans, marriages, births, deaths, and dozens of other assorted stories we have both sworn to take with us to our graves.

She has been my professional confidant for decades. I had no idea just how much I’d missed her.

It’d been well over three years since I’d been in her chair. To have the opportunity to plop my rear into this spot once again was both powerful and healing. In a manner of minutes, I saw my old self emerge.

My haircut was the immediate visual part of our visit. It was during the quiet moments that followed as I made my way across town I realized my soul was once again rejoicing in another much needed Denver re-connection.

Thank you, Paula. I love and treasure you.

“While they talked they remembered the years of their youth, and each thought of the other as he had been at another time.” 

John Williams, Stoner

I am…

B…simply being…

I am blessed and I am grateful.

~Peace be with you, my dear friends~

 

 

 

And so it is.

“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”
― David Richo

It’s been close to thirty years ago when I met my friend, Sandi.

We’d both found our way to a non-credit course at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado. I don’t remember the name of the course. We were both looking for ways to find and fix ourselves. The ever-evolving list of self-help books was no longer meeting our needs. I think most us very devoted readers found themselves more confused than ever.

My friendship with Sandi is a perfect example of God placing people in our lives when we need them.

We were both from the Midwest. Our stories were and remain complex and convoluted, to say the least. We had been in several of those self-help classes offered at ACC. By way of these classes, we had a very strong bond–a bond formed between two survivors.

After we’d both completed a course taught by Rochelle, we were both made aware of the opportunity to have personal therapy sessions with our instructor. Unknown to each other, we both accepted and became one of her clients. After some personal sessions, some of us we asked to join an after-hours group session.

It was the mix of one-on-one sessions with Rochelle and working with that special group of people who’d been selected to work together due to our similar life experiences that changed my life forever.

I talked with Sandi for a few minutes last week. We touch base when we both have a minute or two and those infrequent conversations are moments of soul recharging.

This last conversation was a rushed one—I was in the car and she had family visiting. The one important thing she shared with me was this:

“Did you know that Rochelle died?”

It was news to me.

There was no time to elaborate.

Our shared counselor retired from seeing clients rather suddenly. In my mind, I always felt that our select group was, perhaps, too perfect in our combined needs.

Once dismantled, we did not meet as that group again.

I always thought I’d see Rochelle again.

I always thought I’d have a chance to tell her, face-to-face, what a difference she’s made in my life.

Over the past few days, I’ve realized my blog is an extension of many of the insights Rochelle gave me.

She knows I am grateful–and so it is.

God’s work, at times, is not always so mysterious.

It is, however, always miraculous.

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic, and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”
― Graham Greene, Ways of Escape

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless us all.

~Peace~

My thanks, once again, to my dear friend, Kimberlee Salimeno, for allowing me to share her beautiful picture. When I saw it this morning it reminded me of the setting we had for our group sessions. It was another sign to talk of Rochelle and express my gratitude to her and all those I met through her. Thank you, my dear Kimberlee.  I love you.

The Gift of Music

Music can touch and heal that secret wound of the soul which nothing else can reach.

Debasish Mridha

After stumbling upon this picture today, I finally figured out what my heart was missing.

Music.

Not just any ol’ music. I needed that fix that soothes me right to my core–communicates with my soul. I needed to find some Dakota Blonde.

Who?

I would have asked the same question until my husband and I went with our friends Doug and Lana, to the High Peaks Music Festival. This festival is held annually in Westcliffe, Colorado, a small community nestled in a mountain valley surrounded by the Wet and the Sangre de Christo mountains.

That September afternoon when Mary Huckins, Don Pinnella, and Tony Raddell stepped on stage, I was thrilled. Lana talked about them and shared their music with us forever. Now I was finally going to hear them for myself.  What took me completely off guard was my reaction when Mary began to sing. I began to cry. Not a dainty little cute cry–I went into a big old sob fest–and it was all good. Best therapy ever–which is also good since all three are music therapists. Who knew? Best therapy I ever had!

I share all kinds of things in this space. Today’s share came unexpectedly and is one of my favorites. The music created by these three people is powerfully simple. It is a little folk. It is a little acoustic rock. For me, I hear an underlying current of Celtic mysticism. When I listen to their music, I don’t just hear it, I experience it.

Take a listen for yourself. Visit their home page: dakotablonde.com. 

If you find yourself in the Westcliffe area the first weekend after Labor Day, check out the High Peaks Music Festival. It is a refreshing experience on many levels. The small town atmosphere, the eclectic people in the crowd, the majestic scenery, and the multi-talented musicians lined up to fill your day with joyful sounds.

I found this quote today–I just have to share.

Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio. 

Hunter S. Thompson

I am…

B…simply being…

I ask that you keep those struggling due to the fires and storms in your prayers. They all have a very long road ahead of them.

I love Y’all.

Peace

 

 

 

Exploring

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the starts, and they pass themselves without wondering. 

St. Augustine

I have been doing a lot of research. I began my blog as a way to get my thoughts out of my head. I wanted–I needed–to share my life stories and experiences. To me, this has felt as though I am back in some type of new therapy. Alone. Bouncing thoughts, ideas, and memories on and off the papers I have scattered around me. I have pages saved, pages tossed, pages where question marks abound, and pages that give me pause–I shake my head and wonder how I had survived?

The focal point of my research has been women writers. Women writing about writing and women writing about their lives–their memoirs. I love my little local library and I visited it earlier this week. A book caught my eye as I walked in, the woman on the cover vaguely familiar. I thought, hey, cool, a new memoir. I grabbed it. I was in for a treat and some direction for my own writing.

Grace Notes by Katey Sagal won my heart and soul. So many of the things she writes about prick long-buried memories of my own. Isn’t that what it’s all about, though? Sharing and helping each other through this journey called life?

Her book is arranged in “snippets” and they are simply lovely. She had me from the prologue on. Here is a collection of lines from the prologue:

I am getting older. 

It is time to write things down…

…I need to start now.

Because getting older makes me think a lot about the end…

…My keen sense of knowing that this amazing life I have could end at any time is a fucking pain in the ass. Seriously. 

And it is always on my mind…

…In other words, I have the time.

Time to write.

I can sit still now…

…I now feel more grounded in the center of myself, with no desire for overstimulation or permission needed to wallow in wherever I am. 

To be myself…

She had me captured–word by word, line by line, chapter by chapter. The final chapter came quickly and here are a few of her thoughts from there:

…Like everything I do, I wanted to keep my writing to myself and share it, both at the same time…

…along the way, I have struggled with the vulnerability that these “notes” of mine have brought up. 

Am I brave? Am I egotistical?

…I have set myself up for attention, and true to form, I’m not sure I want it…”

Katey’s notes–snippets–were encouraging, comforting, and enlightening to me. Thank you, Katey Sagal. You were a wonderful addition to my small little group therapy session.

I am…

B…simply being…

Peace.