Monday, April 30, 2012

A Message For Your Monday... stop for a moment, today, to let Nature heal you...

"As long as this exists, and I may live to see it,
this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts,
I cannot be unhappy....
as long as this exists, and it certainly always will,
I know that then
 there will always be
comfort for every sorrow,
whatever the circumstances may be.
 And I firmly believe that nature
brings solace in all troubles."
-Anne Frank

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Wish (36)

Its late at night on a Tuesday. Everyone has gone to sleep. Everyone, except me. The stars twinkle, the flowers have closed their blooms, no birds sing, even the ocean sounds quieter. And the crickets? I’m sure they are just talking in their sleep, aren’t you?

I check in with my belly…is she hungry? Well, always, but does she want to eat something? Nope. Ok. And so maybe my head does ache a little bit, but not enough to keep me this wide awake. So I decide to get up, to get my computer, and to write—you.

Did you know that I always dreamed of a life that would sweep me away with magic and mystery? The kind that would surprise me with nuggets of joy, with morsels of riches so beautiful my hand would often cover my mouth or touch my heart. I did. And did you know I dreamed of faces with soft eyes and warm hands, of gently spoken words and laughter that bubbled out like honey? And what about the dreams I had of foreign lands and intriguing scents, of sights that would make me blink….and blink….and blink again, unable to take in so much color and beauty all at once. Did you know about those? Oh, dear friend of mine, you see, I dreamed up stories and imagined feelings all my life. And then one day when I was older, I saw my guardian angel and asked her to help me even more…

To find joy in the little things
To invite peace into my heart.
To breathe my present moments into my soul
To taste the depths of love and
To ooze it out like scented air…

To travel this grand and beautiful world
Connecting with people
With faces very different than my own
And to open my heart up
For angels in my everyday to set up
Where they’d plant flowers
To bloom,

So tonight, when everyone has gone to sleep, I find comfort in writing you, in taking to you of my dreams. I know you are listening because I can feel your open heart. I know you care because I can sense your soul. And I now know why I couldn’t sleep. Because I needed comfort, needed kindness, needed you to help me see that where I am going is a path well lit, a path that is in alignment with all that I have ever dreamt, my entire life.

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What did you dream of when you were young? What made your eyes sparkle and your belly do a happy little twist? If it’s hard to remember, breathe in your wish to see, and breathe out those ornery fears…as you drive, as you shower, as you wash dishes or do mindless work. Occupy the left side of your brain to let the right side bring you back….to those sacred moments when you dreamed your future alive. What did you imagine for yourself? What made you smile when you did? Feel those dreams, wont you now? And then begin --with me, tonight, today-- to inch a little bit toward them, no matter how hard it may seem. Fly with me, let your dreams come alive again, let your life begin anew….

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Wish (35)

The market hummed with activity that morning. A lone piece of gravel crunched under my foot but I didn’t notice. My senses were too busy with the scent of sugar-fried dough, the pleas of vendors, the vats of boiling grease, the kind warmth of my beloved Mexican sun. I bought a small bag of strawberries and let their juices melt into my tongue, my naughty smile bringing curious stares. Shoulders bumped me. Voices sang out deals. Sweat beaded up in the small of my back and the strawberries kept me centered. In the juice of my hungry spirit.

I wandered past the plant lady, the silver man, the baskets, the glassware, the jewelry and the pottery. I touched some wooden bowls, some leather belts, a wreath made of corn husks, and a few purses made of oil cloth. My sandaled feet were content, or so I thought. And yet I never stopped walking for very long—tasting another strawberry here, admiring a new craft there, wandering somewhere I hadn’t yet known.

His paintings were hidden. They weren’t on the main path. I looked over at a table of trinkets and when I looked up to smile at the vendor, a wash of color over his shoulder caught my eye. I propped my sunglasses atop my head, swallowed my last bit of strawberry and looked again. And like a magnet, found my way…closer, closer, closer still…

‘Hallo’, he said with foreign sweetness.
‘Hello’, I returned, my eyes sparkling.
He watched as I stared. I tried not to, really I did, but I couldn’t stop. The colors, they danced. The shapes, they sang. And the feelings that suddenly awakened in me…wow...who was the painter? I needed to know. I looked up and into his eyes, the secret of every man’s soul.
He smiled.
I offered him a strawberry.

He told me of the little green men who lived under his house. Of the places they took him when he dreamed. He told me of the blues in the lakes and the forests, of the deep purples in hidden hearts, of the yellows and the oranges and the reds and the turquoises, his paint splotched fingers talking in the air, his eyebrows arching and bending like frantic fuzzy worms. He showed me what the paintings said, where their songs belonged and why all the other people that day walked by, every one, unable to see. My heart raced. My fingers tingled. And I think the eyes of my heart, they must’ve grown.

‘That one. You must take it home. It belongs to you.’ He was so sure, I almost felt naked, revealed. How did he know?
I gave him a nervous laugh. ‘I wish I could. Maybe one day. It’s beautiful.’ An original painting? Me? I spent my weekly budget on my bag of strawberries. (Ok, practically.) There was no way I could afford his work. No way.
‘You see it. It sees you. It belongs to you.’
I gave him a double take. My skin itched. I looked over at the painting again. ‘I don’t have enough.’
‘Yes you do.’ His voice was calm, kind.
‘Look,’ I opened my wallet. ‘I have 500 pesos (less than $50) and I need at least 100 for gas to get home. That’s not enough.’
But he didn’t hesitate, he just reached down, picked up the painting and handed it me. ‘400 pesos, then. I told you, it belongs to you’ 

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What do you want to walk toward? And why then, do you walk away? What would happen if you lost yourSelf in the sweetness of the strawberry and went for it, let your itchings show you the way? Might magic happen? I dare you. I dare you to try it, to let yourSelf see....

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

May the beauty of the season remind you blossom, to become the beautiful flower you were always meant to be.

The Life of flowers (Жизнь цветов) from VOROBYOFF PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wednesday Wish (34)

Scented memories spoken with pictures. I think I’m asleep when a movie begins to play, its scent ridden in on the back of a breeze. I inhale the strangely sweet char, watch the tall green blades of grass begin to appear and suddenly, I am transported back, deep into the Papua New Guinean jungle….

*          *          *

My sandaled feet, lightly dusted with dirt, are taking me to where we are living—a hut in the middle of a coffee plantation in the Eastern Highlands. I breathe it all in again, to be sure I am where I was called, and this time I take in not just the blades of grass but the scent of bilums (bags woven from tree bark), and fried flour balls, bottles of blue kerosene, and wisps of unnamed smoke, and let me not forget the ginger stewing in the bottom of my tin cup—all of it wiped with an invisible rag across my face. It’s with with me now, as if I never left.

I come up to the tightly woven walls my adopted family and I call home. The fire in the dirt courtyard is smoldering. A tarp piled high with red coffee beans waits for tending. A baby pig grunts as he scrambles out of my way. He came from inside the house.

A group of women are waiting for me. It’s the day they have decided to transform me, to make me into one of them. I find my strength—breathe and trust—that what they will do to me wont hurt and it wont last. I am so present that I don’t even remember to get my camera ready.

They are gentle with me as they undress me to my underclothes, as they paint my body, as they decorate me in feathers and woven tree bark, in bird beaks and leaves. My face, my arms, my legs, my back and chest—I am multi-colored, shiny with pig fat, my skin alive, immersed in loving attention.

They mumble as they work and even more, they laugh, oh, do they laugh. And not a controlled laugh like the kind we westerners are used to. A high-pitched squeal that isn’t just fresh and wild to twenty-five year old me, it reeks of authenticity. They are happy! They are excited!

“Its time,” they say between giggles.
“Time?” I ask, still not sure of the language that I am trying to speak.
“Yes, time for you to ‘sing-sing’,” says my adopted mama, her hand upon my shoulder.

And as I peek my head out the door to emerge from the palm thatched roof, I know right away I won’t be ‘sing-singing’ alone. Kids, dogs, pigs, even my elderly bubu with a missing finger for every child she lost over the years was ready to accompany me. They start to chant. Someone bangs on a drum. And then they begin to bounce. We begin to bounce. All the way down the street…with high pitched squealing, dogs barking, old men staring, and kids fighting over who can dance next to Linimuto, little mountain, a name that I will never, ever forget.
Image by Jerry Oldenettel via Flickr

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My Wednesday Wish for You?

If you can’t travel this week, journey with your imagination. Visit new lands, meet new people, open your mind to new ways of seeing, thinking, feeling and believing.  Resist stagnation, embrace change, for change keeps our spirits alive and our hearts beating with passion. Passion? Yes, passion for life.