Reaching

So fellow travelers,  sitting at in the library of the high school where I work, I sensed a change in the ambient light.

 After hours of grey lake effect squalls driven by a subzero wind chill brutal enough to delay school for two hours yesterday morning, the sun had managed to push a few rays through a gap in the storm front.  I glanced towards the big windows and saw light filtering through the leaves of one of the plants. I took my chances on grabbing a shot with my not-an-IPhone-camera and as I worked on editing the image, words emerged and formed a bit of poetry.

libraryplantEdit

 

Leaves reaching for Light

yearning for sunshine and warmth

Unrequited faith

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready

The Face of Old Man Winter

So fellow travelers, I am profoundly grateful school was closed last week for winter break. It gave me a respite from the doldrums of work and plenty of free time for creative exploration. I have been sketching, painting, editing photos and writing blog posts to my hearts content.  It’s granted me an eyes on the prize glimpse of what’s in store when I reach the finish line of this phase of my professional life.   I’ll return to work on Monday, refueled and committed to regularly topping off my tank with inspiration.  I know I can count on finding it daily at the CGBF Facebook page.

I also know in this winter of record breaking cold I will have to push myself to head out for more than shoveling paths to the dogs’ yard, pond  and birdfeeders.  Yes, I shovel paths to my bird feeders. I am very committed to keeping them filled throughout these months of  deep snow cover.

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Besides, I have a resident nuthatch who scolds me if those feeders are empty when I come out with the dogs in the morning.

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Here in Upstate NY we are no strangers to winters with seasonal accumulation of snow measured in feet and periods of freezing temperatures with subzero wind chills. (There’s a reason the roses in my garden are a variety called “Polar Crossing.”) Still it looks like February 2015 will be one for the record books, clocking in as the coldest month on record in Syracuse since 1901. While our snowfall total is just about average for this time of year, what is significant is about two thirds of that total fell within the last few weeks. Hence the reason it has been necessary to clear the aforementioned paths on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.

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Add in the fact that we have not seen a high temperature above freezing since late January and will not until sometime in March I know better than to count down the days until “spring” because this year’s equinox will likely still be sitting under a couple feet of Lake Effect.  Since Lake Ontario has decided not to wait for me to visit her beautiful shores and instead deposited herself generously in my yard,  I decided to use this as an opportunity to work on some photography skills.

Winter is a difficult time to capture good photos, not just because of the immobility of multiple layers of outwear. When it is cloudy the light is “flat” and images lack contrast needed to create depth.

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When it is sunny, images can end up blown out, as details are lost in the brilliance of reflected sun on snow.

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I am working towards gaining an instinctive knowledge of my camera’s settings, so I can shoot in full out manual mode.  Often I start with a semi-manual setting just to give myself a point of reference. Depending on the type of photo I am trying to capture, I pick either an F/stop or shutter speed  to work from .  I try several shots varying the other setting and see what works.

IMG_2331    underexposed (1/2000  f22)

   IMG_2333    over exposed ( 1/2000 f11)

IMG_2332   just about right (1/2000 f16)

I know am getting better because the day I caught Old Man Winter lurking by my pond I was actually able to grab this shot of his windswept face.

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After which I told him it was time to be a gentleman and step aside for Lady Spring.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

The Call of the Wild: Embracing the Heart of a Warrior

So fellow travelers, an amazing Spirit has returned to the Great Wilds.

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Frieda was artist Maria Wulf’s guardian Spirit Dog. Her amazing story, is chronicled in author Jon Katz’ book Second Chance Dog. It is the kind of journey which Joseph Campbell describes as living mythology.

I have had the great good fortune to spend a little time in Frieda’s kingdom.  While I have never ventured off trail on my Adirondacks hikes, I have felt the magnetic pull of freedom from deep in those woods. I have rested in the sun under an apple tree, breathing in the Peace of  Bedlam Farm. Along with my CGBF friends, I have caught glimpses of  Jon and Maria’s precious love, moments which touched my heart with grace and hope.

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Each time I attended a Bedlam Farm Open House, Frieda had an increasing presence.  From short periods at Maria’s side surrounded by a crowd of admirers, as Jon spoke about their book to hours in the yard while local artists sang or read poems.  During one reading by poet Mary Kellogg, I felt something stir deep in my heart. I looked across the gathered circle of listeners and locked eyes with Frieda, laying by Maria seated in the grass.  My first impulse was to look away, knowing from my work with rescue dogs that looking directly into a dogs eyes can be taken as a challenge.

 “Wait, Watch, Listen.”

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So I kept eye contact, but tilted my head slightly downward and sideways. Something Shifted. It was as if I heard the words of Mary’s poems not with my ears by with my heart, a wild song of Truth and Freedom.  Then Frieda yawned, rolled her head towards Maria who scratched her ears

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“Thank you,” I whispered.

I do not presume to have a personal connection to Frieda or any of the Bedlam Farm animals. As Jon often writes in his blog, he is well aware the animals at the farm are Spirit Guides who touch the hearts of many followers. I only know Simon helped me heal a childhood fear, the memory of being loved on by Lenore fuels the compassion I need for rescue work, watching Red work inspires me to stay focused on my creative calling and every time I have been in Frieda’s wild and wonderful presence I come away feeling closer to my True Self.

It takes courage to make the decision to set the Spirit of a beloved companion free knowing the heartache goodbye will bring.  Maria writes eloquently about her goodbye  and in choosing to share once the turning point in her journey, again blesses us with Frieda’s message to live free and open to the next adventure.

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

I would hope in the spirit of fierce independence my readers who wish to read The Second Chance Dog by Jon Katz would order their copy from Battenkill Books in Cambridge.  Connie’s independent bookstore is the kind of  bookstore the CGBF and I are committed to supporting. Meanwhile, Jon’s beautiful tribute to Frieda can be found on his blog here.

Sunday’s at the Rescue : Making Friends

So fellow travelers, I came across this wonderful painting called  Just The Two of Us by artist Joe Hawthorn. Dogs are frequent characters in his work and naturally, as a volunteer dog walker and rescue dog “mom” those always catch my eye.

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Here is what Joe had to say  about Just The Two of Us:

“JUST THE TWO OF US…..As the song goes….”just the two of us against the world”…..There are times in life when we feel we are up against it, perhaps at times our fears are found-less, perhaps not. But it’s in these times we turn to our partners, our soul-mates for support and understanding, to walk through the harder times with.
In my contemporary painting here I have placed two dogs looking out on a scene that they are uncertain of, but as friends they face the future together. ” 

Coming off a few days riding the rough waters of doubt, his words struck a chord and the colorful image hit my retinas with a burst of energy which went straight to my heart, sparking a creative ember into a flame.

I clicked “like” and started typing a comment.  As it grew in length and detail, I realized I had more to say than a simple comment.  So I requested permission to use his artwork in this post and started writing.

Sunday’s at the Rescue is a blog series I have been mulling over since I resumed my regular volunteer shift at Helping Hounds Dog Rescue. “Sunday” is the name of  a young dog that came in around that time. No matter how long I am away from the dogs, I always find myself coming back. It requires careful balance of emotions to continue working in the rescue arena without burning out.  It’s easy to lose perspective, something I wrote about a while back.

One of the many joys I get to experience when volunteering  is watching the dogs who come in form “friendships.” For some it’s the first opportunity for socialization they have had in their young lives, especially the ones rescued from the streets. It also prepares them for becoming part of a family pack, as many of our adopters already have a dog or two at home, quite frequently an alum from HHDR.

When the dogs first arrive at the rescue, they are often scared and disoriented.  Whatever circumstances they are coming from, stray or surrender, local or transport from another area the rescue is an unfamiliar, sometimes chaotic place.  The day a transport comes in we might take in thirty to forty new dogs and have upwards of fifty total with current dogs on hand. There are a lot of hungry mouths to feed, a lot of paws to get walking and plenty of crates to clean, especially if there are several puppies in house. So as Joe says, in times like these it is good to have a friend.

Last month while working one of my usual evening shifts, I had to opportunity to snap some photos of the dogs hanging out in the playroom which doubles as a meet and greet area during adoption hours.  It was bitter cold and sleeting that evening, so outdoor walks were limited to quick trots around the parking lot to get their “business” done and head back inside. Many of the dogs in this group had arrived earlier that weekend.  It was uplifting to see the transformation some of them had made.

Linden Day One

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Linden came off transport so scared one of the volunteers sat with him wrapped in a blanket for about an hour until he stopped shaking and settled in. It didn’t take long for him to open up and while still shy, he was always happy to play with his friends.

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At first, the dogs don’t interact, some go straight to the door wanting to go back to the safety of their soft warm beds. Others go straight for the toys…..

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But soon someone’s tail fires up “Hey there’s other pups in here!”  and there are some tentative greetings

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“Say have we met?”

and then suddenly its full on pup party time, a blur of fur and fun.

playroomdogs3

 

 

After that it takes patience to get good shots like this one our vet tech Janet snapped of Bo and Billie  coming to the “self-serve” window looking for treats.

playroomdogs4

 

We volunteers fall in love regularly,  we all have our favorites, the ones we cherish walking and sitting on the cuddle couch with, soaking up a little “two of us” time. It’s a feeling outmatched only by the joy of being there the day that dog picks their new family whether it’s a single parent or a whole ready made “pack” with Mom, Dad and both two and four legged kids. Seeing them leap off the couch after the obligatory adoption photo and head out to a new life, tail wagging like crazy, yeah sure, your eyes sting a little from the pull on the heartstrings.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Special thanks to my rescue friends Janet Rath and Carolin Booth Murphy for the use of their photos.

Joe Hawthorn’s art work is posted with permission. He is a fellow member of the CGBF and his colorful, whimsical stories on canvas intrigue me. He also happens to have an affinity for Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach, 1970) and frequently incorporates the winged hero of my teens in his paintings.

Into the Breeze  by Joe Hawthorn

JLSbyJoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding the Wave

So fellow travelers,  here we are on the beach  staring down this big wave of change in education.

 switchfootposter

Eye witnesses say the first sign of a massive tsunami is “drawback,” a surreal  super low “tide” effect, as the water is pulled far out off shore.  It is often the only warning of the incoming super wave. One sees this in a more benign state when there are big waves at the beach.  Word to the wise, if you find yourself standing on a beach and see drawback,  run for the highest ground you can get to.  For me right now, running is not an option.

Which brings me back to my current vantage point at work.

Here’s the background: I am primarily assigned to work in a 12:1:1 program; its name refers to the ratio of students (12) to instructor (1) and teaching assistant (1).  Ours are the students who are “mainstreamed,”  meaning they attend high school, but have a modified curriculum because of their disabilities (autism, downs syndrome, MS, etc.) I love my job and thoroughly enjoy working with “our kids.”  Every day one of them says or does something that makes us smile because it shows we are helping them navigate life skills they will need once they exit our program. Even though our students do not receive a high school diploma they can and often do walk the stage at graduation  when they “exit” our program. Very, very cool .

Recent scheduling changes have pulled some of our staff out of the modified program several times a day to provide added “push-in” support for resource classes left short handed by deep budget cuts.  In this setting we work with students with diagnosed learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, auditory or visual processing disorders, etc.)   On any given day I may be called to read a test, scribe answers on a worksheet or reteach class notes on any subject taught at the high school.  I don’t mind the changes in my schedule in fact I thrive on the diversity within my day. Teachers are wonderful people to work with because most of them are dedicated and passionate about what they do.

Only that’s not the prevailing atmosphere anymore. Very few educators enjoy their work because they are frustrated by reforms intended to “improve education” which actually prevent them from doing what they do best: teaching our kids.  Not one person pushing these reforms in our state has ever worked professionally in an elementary or secondary school classroom, but still claim to know not only what but also how students should be taught.  Many of the comments posted with my last entry indicate this experience is widespread.  Several people said it framed their recent decisions to either leave the profession or retire early, a trend that is both disheartening and disconcerting.

Educators are trying to push back and raise public awareness, parents are beginning to wake up to the need to get involved.  I lend my support and voice where I can at meetings, in parent conferences and even online, an arena I usually avoid. Still by the time the tide has turned, I will be long gone from the system. As I said in my previous post, I am not used to feeling so ineffective or hopeless.

So I turn to my creative life, the one I live after hours to keep my spirit alive.  The zentangles I create during my down time in the work day, the bits of poetry that rise to my consciousness sparked by a seemingly random moment, the photo walks I take on weekends and days off, these are the surfboards keeping me afloat. But I want to do more than just cling to that surfboard trying to stay afloat as the tsunami roars in. So I come to the Creative Group at Bedlam Farm to hone the skills I need to ride the waves of life. It is a haven of encouragement for experimentation and creative growth, a community built on a foundation of genuine trust where negativity is not tolerated. It has become an essential part of my journey.

Our CGBF mentor Jon Katz once wrote “Encouragement is an ideology, a philosophy. It holds we all hold creative sparks – creativity, ambition, achievement, love. Nobody gets to decide who we are, that is our mission, our sacred tasks....we live in two worlds, the world we seek, the world we have, and we are forever balancing these two….In the creative life, there are always obstacles….money, distractions, obligations, fears. In the spiritual life, reality is always (intruding) on the search for peace and constancy. But the core of it is this – our work, our aspirations are our identity, our voice to the world. They are not things that others can give or take away. Only we can do that.”

I may be riding out a storm in one career, but I am paddling like crazy towards my future.

portlandwavesEdit

Canon Beach, Oregon  July 2014   The beginning of my Left Coast Dreams.

Postscript:  The day after I published this series  I came across these lines which sum up in a way I wasn’t quite able to what I sense has been the “purpose” of recent doubts.

Because I have questions and doubt, I am allowing myself to see and appreciate the shadows. And I choose to accept the reality of the light in the cave that is my reality, not the shadows that try to fool me. That thin line between hope and doubt is the ability to see past the cynicism to find the Truth in the Light.”  posted Feb 15 on the wordpress blog The Dragonfly’s Student

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Under the Big Top

So fellow travelers,  I recently came across this expression:

 

circus monekys

 

It is a translated Polish proverb Nie mój cyrk, nie moje malpy which is a very intriguing way to say  “It’s not my problem.”

I honestly had never heard it until someone used it as a comment on a social media site but it had a strangely familiar feeling, although I did not know why.  It came up again today, while I was searching for an article on line. This time it was like finally finding the right key; a door in my consciousness clicked open.

After my previous post, a friend and creative mentor encouraged me to explore what lies underneath my feelings. What surfaced in our discussion was my frustration with current trends in education. I have composed a full discourse (which I won’t put forth here) on the insanity of holding school districts hostage to poorly thought out Common Core “standards” and performance based pay programs designed to pit colleagues against one another. Withholding state and/or federal funds is only going to create an  unbridgeable gap between impoverished and wealthier districts. Eventually the latter districts will increase their local funding for basic education and cut “expendible” programs ( a trend already begun.) Concerned parents will create booster clubs to keep extra curricular programs running. No such rescue operation will surface in financially struggling areas, some of which used to be solid middle class neighborhoods before the economic down turn of recent years.

OK,  you’ve gotten a taste of the speech.  No apologies, it’s all you need to understand my position.  You see up until recently  my main perspective has been a “Thank goodness my youngest child is graduating from high school this year and I no longer have any kids ‘in the system’  because the system is about to shred every child’s confidence in their ability to learn anything.”  Like the proverb says: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

It’s an easy attitude to adopt.  I am only a few years from having the option to retire if I wish. I can ride out this current storm of ill advised “reform” and simply walk away with a modest benefit package and enough income to take that cross country road trip in search of my monkeys.

nancys monkey

(Fun Monkey photo courtesy of  Nancy Gallimore.  You can read about her monkey adventures here.)

The problem is I have always been that person who gets right into one of the three ring acts to make something happen. When the district cut all transportation funding for field trips, our PTA (of which I was treasurer for seven years) lead the charge in creating a fundraiser to keep those trips in the elementary school program. When one brave mom (now a popular social studies teacher at the high school) took on the challenge to breath new life into a reading partners program which was about to be discontinued because of lagging participation I signed right on as co-chair. When the word got out the Board of Ed was planning to discontinue in school lessons for strings students,  I hauled my then second grade daughter to a meeting and politely but firmly asked the members of the board to please explain to my daughter why she would not be able to take lessons in school next year since at that time private lessons were beyond our budget.  That was eighteen years ago; and even though she and her younger sister eventually had the benefit of private lessons, those in school lessons continue to be part of the orchestra program. Not that I claim this as a personal victory because a lot of parents spoke up at that meeting.

Yes, I am a “Where’s the circus and which way did the monkeys go?”  kind of person.

But suddenly I am discouraged.

I am discouraged and very, very tired.

Working as part of a truly dedicated special education team I have seen programs come and go. I have watched teachers both in special and general education weather trend after trend  from “spiral math” to “inventive spelling” (a program used ten years ago in the elementary schools which produced at least two graduating classes of atrocious spellers including my youngest National Honor Society 9.64 GPA daughter.) But I have never seen anything like this.

I have never seen morale so low nor known so many kids to fall between the cracks even as those gaps in the system are growing faster than teachers can bridge them. So far reforms have managed to produce a wave of students who appear to “just not care.”  What I have discovered in spending time with students in a non academic setting is their attitude actually masks a growing confusion about what they are supposed to be accomplishing. There is a growing disconnect between the content they are taught and information applicable to life outside school.  For example, once students hit the part time work market they rapidly discover test taking is not a skill in high demand, while being able to make change is far more important than calculating sine, cosine or tangent.  And those are the “gen. ed” students.  Kids who fall into the “instructional support” category are falling further and further behind. If it’s this bad in the Northeast, where a far higher percentage of students score well on college entrance exams what on earth is happening in the regions with less than fifty percent graduation rates?

Worse yet are the conversations I have had with student teachers.  An increasing number of them change their degrees programs after finding it impossible to reconcile what they know to be effective teaching methodology with the requirements of ill advised profit driven reforms. Education degrees used to hold a solid thirty percent of college undergraduates and forty percent of graduate degrees.  In 2012 that rate plummeted to less than fifteen percent, the lowest ever in the history of American college education. In five years there will be a staggering teacher shortage.

For the first time in my life I feel like I am looking at a tidal wave too big to out run and too dangerous to dive into. Maybe it’s time I learned to surf.

switchfootposter

 

 

(to be continued)

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

Don’t Follow Me…. I’m Lost.

So fellow travelers, in a group as prolific as the CGBF,  there are bound to be common themes.  Repetition is more common when a specific challenge is posted, such as the recent Winter Color Initiative, a call to brighten up the dreary winter with color infused posts. At times there are rebound or spin off posts, pieces inspired by the work of another member. Often they are a simple exchange of a shared interest. When one of us posted experiments with Zentangles® ( a trademarked doodling technique using repetitive abstract patterns to create intricate designs) it started a flow of zentangle art. Wow!  I had been playing around with those for several months since I learned the technique in an art class I was assigned to with one of my special needs students, so I posted some of my own creations.

Dreaming of Spring

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It can also be a form of active meditation; the process of focusing on the repetitive patterns can be quite relaxing.  So, zentangling is something I do during my break time at work to relax and grant myself a sense of creative accomplishment.  This sense of ongoing creative accomplishment has become increasingly important to me.  My work week affords minimal time for creative pursuits. Weekends disappear during Band performance seasons (right now we are in the midst of Indoor Drumline Competitions).  I usually have several written pieces or photographic essays in edit mode.  During school vacations (like next week’s Winter Break which we have just been blessed to start a day early) I can complete a project within a day or two.  When in full time work mode, it can take me over a week to get something posted. Often by that time the piece feels stale and I dump it.

It’s frustrating, yet I know I am only a few years away from being able to devote more time to my creative interests. I want to hit that ground running.  I continue to draw inspiration and encouragement from the Bedlam Farm Group.  I see photos which encourage me to get out and try something different, even when all I have on hand is my not-an-I-phone camera.

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( Sunrise from my android phone cam, tweaked and edited in Photoshop)

I read wonderful poems which push me to extend beyond my 5-7-5 safe zone.  A heartfelt blog post will spark an idea to fill the void left by a dumped stale entry. They are grace in writing since the experiences I write most fluidly about in my journal I cannot post because I am bound by professional confidentiality. I keep those notes as investments in a creative future and find openings for expression where I can.

Which is why a recent post from our mentor on the creative page struck a chord of fear in my heart. It questioned whether too many of us were “following” one another and not posting enough original creative material.  In the early days of  becoming a member of the group I constantly questioned whether I belonged with award winning writers, bloggers with well established followings and professional photographers. Initially I limited my contributions to commentary often in the form of clever haikus but it did not take long for the encouragement to sink in.  I started this blog, took classes to challenge my photo skills, adjusted my volunteer schedule at the dog rescue and committed to posting regularly.  I am learning what works, what I feel strongest about and what feels “authentic.”

But, I suddenly questioned whether I was being “just” a follower, whether my offerings were original “enough.”

The post hit me harder than usual, showing up after a particularly tough day at work.

I panicked .  Right now the group fans the embers of my creative drive into frequent fires of creative production.

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(Icicles by my good friend and fellow CGBF member Beth Heffern)

An amazing shot of icicles, gets me fired up enough to throw on some layers and brave the cold to see what I can capture with my camera before the battery gives in to single digit temps. But wait, would the photos then be just followup?

KCsSketchedit

(Sketch from Kathy Cary.  Kathy often graces our words by writing them in her beautiful calligraphy. )

Inspired by some watercolor sketches and paintings posted by several artists, I recently picked up a batch of watercolor pencils, planning to try my hand at a medium which previously frustrated me into submission.  My doubts wont keep me from playing around with them but will I feel daring enough to share the results?

Feeling paralyed, I message a friend in the group, who immediately responds “What are you doing? Are you having a crisis?…. You are a valuable member of the group.”  Tears of relief burst from my heart, spilling out of “sweaty” eyes and down my cheeks. Wait DAMMIT, what AM I doing?  Where is my head that one content guiding question makes me burrow under the sands of self doubt?

Why is it so hard for us to BELIEVE in the creative spark we carry? I realized it comes down to understanding why it is so hard for us to believe in ourselves.  And we have to believe in ourselves because if we don’t, who will?

I am here to expand my horizons.  If I do not step out of my comfort zone I will never grow as a writer or visual interpreter. If I start judging my process by comparing myself to anyone but myself I will never take the necessary risks to develop my “voice” and “vision.”  So I will risk following my inspiration until it brings me to the true source of my original creative spark.

Milkweed Fairy  one of my favorite photo captures from a Jeff Anderson photo workshop last year.

MilkweedFairyrEdit

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Red Sky of Friendship

So fellow travelers,  this morning’s sunrise gave me the photo I needed to illustrate a bit of poetry I wrote last month as I headed East for a weekend reunion with some of my creative group friends.  Sometimes, you just have to follow your heart right into the eye of the storm.

The Red Sky of Friendship

Morning sky warning

Adventure calls louder still

Friendship trumps weather

 

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Walk gently on the path my friends and ma adventure find you ready.

 

 

The Beauty of Hope

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Wow!

Right?

Wow! indeed.

This amazing photo by Jim D. Thomason from the Bedlam Farm Creative Group Page is just one example of the inspiring creativity which fills my news feed these days.

It’s impact stopped me mid-scroll.  My heart skipped a beat and when I clicked to enlarge it my eyes began to “sweat” a bit. Something was very familiar in this image. Not the photo as much as the feeling which rose within my consciousness.

So I spent some time with it, letting the feelings wash over me.  I had a odd realization.

My first emotion after taking in the beauty of Jim’s shot was a jolt of fear as somewhere inside my head a voice said “BIG Storm Imminent.” When I let that feeling run its course, without reacting to it, I was filled with a sensation of exhilaration, a kind of “bring it on” adrenalin rush.  A surge of confidence in our capacity to survive pushed fear right out of my mind.

I said “our”  and realized it was meant in the most global sense possible.

With the instant “viral” effect of social media that frames our awareness of current events it is easy, almost instinctive to be swept up in currents of doom, gloom and fear.  We get sucked in by our fascination with the horrible. Anyone who has been close to the terrifying power of nature knows the beauty within a monster storm.  I think our mistake comes when we stop at fear and run with that as the primary emotion motivating our choices.

What if instead, we stop a moment, take a breath and dig deeper to find the resilience within that comes from generations of survival. We remember the acts of kindness and compassion that can be, if we choose, the lasting legacy left by a storm, instead of its spreadsheet of destructive sum totals.

What if….

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Photo posted with permission from Jim D Thomason.  You can check out his photo gallery here. If you would like to be inspired by the creativity of the Bedlam Members like Jim,  check out the Creative Group At Bedlam Farm  facebook page.  Its open for public viewing.

On Magic. Indeed I Do Believe

So fellow travelers,  I am using this gift of a snow day to play with some mixed media and enjoy being creative. I will post pix of the results later.

Taking a break to check in with my CGBF friends I came upon a wondrous post from Lisa Dingle, whose blog is a blessing I soak up like sunshine in midwinter.  Her writing keeps me going through the challenges of these final years of parenting and inspires me with her humor, gentle insights and unbridled capacity for joy.

Today’s post put into words something I have been thinking  (indeed ponderin’ ) about since our mentor Jon Katz’ final post from his Disney Trip in which he wrote about “moving on” from  childish fantasies.  Being someone who loves Disney inspite of the commercialism spawned by it’s corporate empire,  Jon’s words gave me reason to stop and question if my perspective was childish.

Had I , like Peter Pan refused to grow up? Why do I love (most) Disney movies so much ?  Why am I willing to spend exorbitant amounts of hard earned money to travel to as many Disney Parks as I can? Am I running to some sort of escapist fantasy? I thought long and hard about my feelings and realized childlike is not the same as childish. 

So I will not only keep my childlike belief in magic,  I will nurture it, allow it to grow stronger, so I can as Lisa says “take the hand of someone having trouble finding that light…..which survives the darkness.”

Read Lisa’s post here…( yes, that was a directive, not a request )

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Me and my pal Mickey  charting a course for  Possibility.  Tokyo Disney Sea April 2010.

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.