Zzzzz the last but not least

This commitment for the month of April to blog came out of the blue for me.  A real beginner at the writing genre and calling myself a writer, I felt the #BloggingAtoZChallenge would be a perfect start for me.  It was a challenge to say the least.  Today is our last letter and our last challenge day.  It is a bittersweet moment.  I have been introduced to so many amazing bloggers.  The visitors to my blog have widened my world.  Thank you!!  To those who have completed this challenge We Rock!!

file0001969012862ZZZZzzzzz, the sound of someone sleeping.  Oh the sweet disturbing confirmation of no one being present to us.  It is a conundrum.  Do we stop the misery, our misery, and wake them from their slumber?  Do we nudge just ever so slightly in hopes of their own awakening?  Perhaps the pillow will dull the sensations but alas we are disappointed.  Why is the only symbol for someone sleeping ZZZzzzz?  Is it  significant as the last letter of the alphabet?

This word, if we seriously call it that, is so representative of life events that can alter lives.  It destroys relationships.  It is not exclusive.  Holds no prejudice, lacks humor (well for some) and has been known to arrive at decibels off the richter scale.

 

file0001104767429It has a softer side.  The faint sound of our babies sleeping.  Their soft murmur brings us twinges of a deep love.  As we gaze upon the face of someone sleeping there is a tenderness, a sense of departure, and wishfulness.  We innately know they have gone somewhere without us.  They can’t be followed.  Watching we long to engage in our journey.  The journey that awaits us when we sleep.  Upon all our sleeping faces is the events of our nightly journeys.

 

For so many, the sounds emitted, reflect a language unlike no other and we wish they would just shut-up and keep it to themselves.

Adeiu, Farewell, Buenas Noches, I hope your time spent here with me has not led to ZZZZZzzzzz.  Thank you for visiting.  I will continue writing.  It seems I have a knack.

Z

 

Yesterday

The Beatles came at the beginning of my formative years.  I have older siblings so there was other music introduced to me before the Beatles.  I liked some of their earlier stuff but never quite got into the screaming, hormonal condition of so many fans.  Previously music was not so much about the lyrics for me as it was about the notes.  Playing an instrument in school gave me the opportunity to feel into the music itself.  There were lots of songs I sang around the house, singing parts with mumbled sounds when the words escaped me, dancing with the record covers in my hands so the words were close, and then there was one song whose phrases just stuck.

“Yesterday ”

All my troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday……

There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

I knew this was about a love gone wrong but that is not what I heard or what struck me deepest.  I was 12.  The concept of love that had come and gone was non-existent.  I hadn’t been bitten yet!  It was the concept of ‘Yesterday’.  How it was a specific time in space.  It wasn’t just about memories.  It marked events.  It could mark you.  It carried a “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger sign.  It became a rite of passage for me.  “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.”  Yet there was another aspect to Yesterday.  It could change today and tomorrow.  It could return to haunt you or drive you further.  It was something to be reckoned.  It could stop you.  You could get stuck in it.

Allowing yesterday to determine your identity left you stuck and only partial of the self you were.  It does become a shadow, casting out the light of today, the mist of tomorrow, holding you captive.  There is an art to turning yesterday into today.  It isn’t an art only open to lyricists, painters, and writers.  Oh no, it is available to all who want to live to the fullest possible self.

As others fell deeper in love with John, Paul, and George I fell to pondering their lyrics and those of others.  I took to analyzing all songwriters as my world grew.  What were they doing with these lyrics?  Where they writing with a higher energy bringing metaphors and symbols to waken me, stop me in my tracks, push and pull me when I grew tired, or were they just singing what I felt deep inside.  There were some genres I did not resonate with no matter how often I listened.  Some music struck me but the words repulsed me.  It was those who wrote with the same cadence of essence as “Yesterday”.  The same mysticism in the lyrics of that song appeared in other songwriters.  It was those songs that stuck a chord deep within me.  A chord that cautioned me on miring myself deeper when I should be moving forward.  Years later I can still feel that mark of time, that essence of those simple lyrics whenever it is played.

Music played its secondary roll of fun, stages, and road trips all through my life as it does for all of us.  I can dance for hours, sing at the top of my lungs completely out of tune, joyous in the moment every time I hear music.  It brings back days of youth, special occasions, love won and lost but it is the mysticism that holds my soul.  It is the timelessness, the universality and connectedness.

Awake your soul!  Let Yesterday be yesterday!

Y

 

 

 

Xylophone

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Once upon a time in a world far, far away there lived a tiny xylophone.  His world was filled with many trees and special rocks.  No one spoke and not a sound was made.  Every day he woke and looked up through the trees to the bright blue sky.  He hoped that one day he would find another tiny xylophone just like him.  Days and weeks passed still no one came.  The silence sat heavy upon his ears.

Early one morning a limb fell from the tall oak above him nearly hitting him. Angered by this sudden disruption the rocks gathered around the limb edging closer to tiny Xylo.  Unable to move he tried desperately to make himself  tinier than he could ever remember.  Fearing he would be hurt by the rocks anger he kept very still.  Barely breathing and hoping soon someone would come find him.

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Days flowed into nights for Xylo.  He watched closely as the rocks and fallen limb danced in confrontation.  Unable to find an escape from them he decided to settle down and watch.  The daily bickering created smaller lengths of wood from the limb.  There was much chaos that created sounds that both repelled and drew him closer.  Fearing he would be injured in the altercations Xylo hung back.  The rocks continued their assault on the limb breaking more pieces and severing them into smaller pieces.  As night grew dark Xylo fell sleepy, unable to keep his eyes open, sighing he settled into his corner.

The rocks drawing strength from their bravery advanced for a final battle hoping to push the limb completely out of their area.  Xylo exhausted from fear closed his eyes and slept.  The scuffling of the rocks lulled him deeper.  Swaying with the noise he noticed a tiny tingling sound joining the scuffling.  Unable to determine its origin, he slept on swaying to the rhythm of the sounds, heading into dreamland.  He dreamt he was a mighty xylophone tall as the trees above him and solid as the rocks.  He knew his destiny in the dream.  Grasping for anything to make this dream real he determined that no longer would he be frightened by anything that surrounded him.  He determined that when he woke up he would grow to be the best xylophone he could ever imagine and then some.

What dreams are you reluctant to grasp and live?  Go out and exceed your expectations!

X

Wisdom

Wisdom is not learned from a book. Wisdom is revealed by our willingness to crack out of our limitations.

Although I will go on from these two simple sentences this is really all that needs to be written about Wisdom.

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We come into this world with an inordinate amount of wisdom.  Slowly overtime we forget how to access this wisdom.  As we move further into our lives we begin to believe that it is only through learning and experience that our wisdom develops.  We take courses on ancient philosophy in hopes of developing a storage box of knowledge.  This knowledge, we surmise, will bring to us the wisdom necessary to have long, productive, and happy lives.  We add the assumption that receiving an A+ in the course work will ensure the production of enlightened wisdom.  It is important to read and learn about all the aspects of our life.  It is equally important to not rely on just books to develop our wisdom.

The real wisdom we are seeking is deep within us just waiting for the beginning of a crack.  A very simple crack that allows for a glimmer of light to shine into the darkness.  The dark recesses we have been reluctant to peak into out of fear.  These areas don’t hold boogie men or demons.  They hold an ancient and knowing piece of us.  A piece that once accessed brings forth more life.  This life refuels and gifts us.  It doesn’t run out.  It isn’t expensive.  It is rich with an understanding of purpose, calm, and a love that soothes our aches.

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Wisdom comes into us daily.  It is the sunshine that enters our homes nudging us to begin anew.  It is the laughter filled moment.  Even those moments you wished hadn’t come bring wisdom.  A wisdom that nurtures deeper than we are conscious as it works.

It is our reluctance to allow for self guidance that keeps us from reaching into our wisdom.  Our belief that wisdom comes from outside hampers growth and peace.  Inside each of us is the wisdom needed to fulfill our day.  It takes a very small crack in our dogma, patterns, and definitions to allow for the wisdom to breach the dam.  Wisdom doesn’t disappear.  It doesn’t run dry.  It is infinite and always present.  We are ancient spiritual beings carrying deep within us the ability to reach out far into the stars and bring forth wisdom.  It isn’t held from us only to be shared in our elder years.  It is present every day.

Wisdom is blessed and enriched with age.  The years of experiencing the rhythm of life amplifies the wisdom.  In our elder years we have finally obtained ‘permission’ to release the dogma of society and allow our natural state expression.  For some this permission does not come until their call home.  When their death walk begins it leaves precious time for expression and engagement.

Study, learn, and open to the deepness within you to bring forth the wisdom you hold.  Use your wisdom to nourish and create the life you desire.  Allow for the ancient knowledge you carry to gift and fill the world.

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Why wait?

 W-2

Visions

Oh we all have them.  We follow them till they dim.  We ignore them till they smack us.  We so want to live them.  They come in all sizes and colors.  Some of them hit the headlines while some just make someone incredibly happy.  I know I have lived many.  It is my understanding their importance is downplayed.  They feed and nurture.  What happens when they are ignored?

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At the mere age of 4 I had a vision of living in a small traveling vehicle visiting all the people I loved.  It was an odd vision since I could not reach the pedals and everyone I loved lived with me.  It was a vision that I clamored to accomplish.  Totally making no sense to my parents, they figured I had an active imagination coupled with a limited english vocabulary.  My mother was tasked with growing my verbal skills and I was given a new coloring book.  Not to be distracted I took my favorite doll and traveled the alleyways scaring my mother to death.  I eventually gave the vision up for another.

Soon I had a vision of becoming the flying nun, traveling the world, healing the sick, teaching and visiting all the people I loved.  My world had broaden to include several years of parochial school and a larger group of people I loved.  This vision moved forward towards accomplishment until one summer day.  My mother and I were inside the convent collecting books for the next fall term.  I happened to spy the living arrangements of the dear nuns.  Upon deeper reflection I gave the vision of the flying nun vocation to the discard pile.

As life would have it, I was faced with a new arena of experiences that required a new vision.  Having recently enrolled in public school the world according to my surroundings changed.  I was engulfed by strangers trying desperately to fit into already established groups.   My first true realization, what I had tried to curtail for others in elementary school the pain of being left out and misunderstood, was a common experience now.   I wasn’t a stranger to the feeling.  We have all had times when we felt left out.  The difference was how constant it became in the new school.   A vision began to grow for me.  I wanted to help others not feel left out and misunderstood.  I wanted everyone to have the same opportunities.  This time I could actually begin to live my vision.  I helped with the civil rights movement, women’s rights, and lowering the voting age.  I typed, handed out leaflets, demonstrated, and walked petitions through neighborhoods.   I was finally actively pursuing my vision.  I saw death, defeat, destruction and success.  I grew up and began to realize the true nature of my visions.  I became aware.  I also had to become real.

1795624_559499050823795_1078788267_nVisions are inspiration from our deepest soul space.  They are signposts upon our journey here.  They are not standard and one size fits all.  Visions incorporate all the wisdom we carry inside.

Having visions allow us to thrive in a world we think has gone mad.  Being a visionary doesn’t require amazing feats.  It only requires willingness to allow your true nature to speak.  A vision of world peace is available to all of us.  When we take the time to examine our visions, changing within us those things curtailing our limiting beliefs, they come alive and flourish.

My simple vision at the age of 4 of traveling and visiting those I love is happening right now.  I can now reach the pedals and my friends are across the globe.  My vision of the flying nun was adjusted.  I don’t wear a habit but I do help those who are ill and in need of company, traveling when necessary.   I continue to help to right injustices, protect our planet, and my favorite, support others in seeing and living their visions.

It took time for me to grow and crack open the world I had hidden deep within me.  I continue to crack and grow and thrive.  My visions develop and express themselves. I tweak them if needed but never change their original voice.  Most importantly I follow them with the same thrill of a 4 year-old.  I will go through the Black Hole one day even if only in my Book.

Happy Visioning!  Make them large and wonderful the world needs you!

V-2

 

 

 

 

Uka, Until, Undecided

Bounding amidst his nine siblings his gangly gate endeared me and I knew instantly he was mine.  He ran between my son and I begging for recognition.  As the others tumbled over each other continuing their play he ignored them instead he demanded our attention as he gamboled past.

I remember that day when I finally decided another dog just had to grace my life again.  There were actually two black mixed puppies that clambered towards us.  I could not see bringing them both but my heart could have been changed by one look in my son’s eyes.  He didn’t want to push it I guess because we only took home one.  My Uka a gordon setter, golden retriever mistake of natural love begot under the guise of the open gate.

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It didn’t take me long to find a name for this powerful puppy.  As a child I had an imaginary friend from my original planet who came to visit and help me when I was unable to understand the world around me.  Seeing the delight and understanding in his eyes I knew there was only one name for him, Uka, not Yukon!  Many a vet form had to be corrected.  I never gave up informing them of the correct spelling and pronunciation.

Within the first 4 months of his life his nickname of ‘devil dog’ appeared.  Reaching my waist, however did that happen, his penchant of constantly standing in front of you barking drove many a friend crazy.  He didn’t want out nor more food he wanted you to listen to him.  Yep, listen to him.  He would stand facing you and just look you dead straight in the eyes.  Eventually we created a language between each other.  I used some commands in public yet at home alone we seldom spoke unless I was irritated.  Mind you not irritated at him but at the day or myself.  His size seriously took me by surprise.  My son often told the story of the day we went to find our dog.  As we departed the car we were greeted by his father, a beautiful strong gordon setter that stood at my waist insisting on being petted and fussed over.  Apparently I remarked about his size and then promptly forgot my surprise upon meeting all 9 puppies.

Uka proved difficult to corral and totally a free spirit and my not being a strong alpha I had to go into training.  We lived for his first year on 40 wide open acres.  He loved chasing the deer and elk across the fields.  Bringing home his prized catches required boundaries.  Leave the lovely gifts on the porch, please.

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The  greatest joy he brought for me were all the nights we spent alone together.  Sipping a glass of something and he laying his head in my lap brought a deep connection to us.  So often I wasn’t sure if he loved me or my son and finally realized his heart filled upon seeing us both.  Uka would ride in the manual stick truck with my son patiently waiting for him to coordinate the shift/gas sequence.  One particular time as they drove off the property, Uka riding shotgun, and my son trying desperately to find the clutch rhythm, I burst out laughing as on the 3rd attempt Uka turned his head towards him and gave a huge sigh.  Chuckles still come each time I remember.

Until I was faced with the death of my son I had no idea how very important my Devil Dog would be to me.  Although Uka visibly missed my son, heading to the door each time the truck pulled in, he never left my side.  He accepted the change to city life from the open expanse of his earlier days.  He adjusted to his new sibling, Solas, a bounding ball of golden retriever fluff.  He never gave up his position of the protector of my heart.  Knowing exactly where my heart was each day he responded with is big brown eyes peering deeply into my soul reminding me he would always be here.  His head found my lap, his paws nudged me out of the tears, and his constant barking at nothing reminded me that life was asking me to join it.

Uka stayed a part of my life for 13 years.  He was old for a large dog with severe hip-dysplasia.  A disease now rampant in dogs that guarantees a painful deterioration of their hips.  He compensated for the disease by building up his shoulders.  When those began to break down unable to hold up his slipping hips I had to make a decision.  I was so undecided.   I knew that Uka was my last strong connection to my son.  I knew Uka had brought so much comfort to me.  I knew that by saying good-bye to him I was saying good-bye to my son.

Spending many a night alone with him we decided it was time for him to leave my side.  Solas was old enough to take his place.  It was also time to finally place a closure to this journey of our lives.  The decision was made for April 15.  The night before I couldn’t find him, fearing the worst, I calmly called him one more time.  Waiting in the dark for a black dog can lead to many a surprise.  Coming towards me, wagging his tail in triumph, he graced me with one more present.  He had finally caught a SQUIRREL!  Determined to bring it inside for safe keeping the argument ensued.  After all these years of good training my alpha role won out.  Placing the squirrel carefully in a towel Uka had decided was worthy of his prize, I walked into the garage placing it out of reach of intruders.

Uka has never left my side.  He was there when I had to say good-bye to Solas 3 years later.  He runs the hills I hike.  A tiny piece of his final prize is held in my medicine bag.

Once your heart has been deeply touched there is no turning back.  Whether it is a dog, cat, child, person allow your heart to be awakened.  Your open heart will draw more connections leading to a life fully lived.

U

Talent

“We are so sorry to inform you.  The talent you thought you had, well, it’s not going to get you where you want to go.”

How many times have we feared hearing that sentence or something similar?  Everyone has talents.  They may not be mainstream, billionaire-making but they always have an impact.   Talents are genuine expressions of us.  They carry gold within in them.  When expressed they are as impactful as a Golden Globe or other form of trophy.

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My mother couldn’t carry a tune.  Her pastries filled out home with delectable scents.  The love coming from the kitchen softened many a blow.  Having children of my own I realized how talented she was as I struggled to make her cream puffs and peanut brittle, finally giving up for my stand-by oatmeal cookies.  She dressed us in handmade sweaters as we grew.  When mohair was the rage she knitted a lined coat for herself and a mini dress for me.  The compliments and ‘where did you find that’ made me smile and proud to say ‘my mom made it’.  Americas Got Talent would have given her 4 X’s.  Her talents weren’t made for TV they were made for us.

There were many in my family with talents.  Brother’s on athletic scholarships, sister’s painting skills that brought extra money, and a father who could weave a story but none of them were rich by most standards.  With each of the talents they held their self-esteem grew and difficulties faced found solutions.

My early talent was seeing the wonder in each person and urging them to further development.  I was the cheerleader with a cohesive voice.  It wasn’t the “rah, rah, rah, sit down, stand up, fight, fight, fight’ cheer.  It was more the development cheer.  Helping each person to find a way our of their dilemma.  I would do this through storytelling and basic psychology.  It was natural for me.  It was just there every time I needed it.  My ability to garden and landscape each of my homes was a natural talent, dancing,  laughing, and creating large gatherings grew stronger as I grew.   I didn’t need to attend an awards ceremony.  I knew that my talents brought pleasure to myself and others.  Seeing their relief, smiles, and enjoyment were enough reward for me.  Sitting in my gardens basking in the scents and sounds brought me my Golden Globe.

I do have a confession to make.  I picked my words before I started as most of the challenge participants did.  I trusted there would be something to write about each.  Recently I joined a writing group and claimed that I was a writer, not just a storyteller but a writer.  I went through the ‘normal’ resistance and soon found myself penning a book.  Last night we were placed on the hot seat.  We were asked to read 400-700 word passage from our book.  I struggled with two different sections mightily.  I also could not find a natural stopping point of 700 words so I went with 921.  I wasn’t nervous preparing I thought.  Apparently I was very nervous as I nearly dropped my phone when my turn came.  I read my passage.  I stumbled over a few words… good indication to find replacements.. and then it ended.  There was dead silence.  No X’s.  Nothing.  I am not new to competition.  I am not new to performing or giving speeches in front of large crowds.  I am new to reading my art to others for feedback.  The nervousness, the personal critiquing, and the fear of “we are sorry but ….”  creeped up higher and higher.  It was so loud that I did not write the rest of the evening.  Every possible smallness piece came flying up into my face.  I could pace the room or I could use my talents and sort through all my emotions.  It wasn’t easy.  Again this morning I was still churning around in my head to quit writing.  It is not easy to set yourself up to exposure.  Resistance as I wrote recently is futile when you are being asked to change your patterns and beliefs.  I am a writer and I will meet resistance every step of the way.

It doesn’t matter  what talent is being challenged and asked to be embraced deeper.  The confusion and resistance come.  The end result is always better and leads to a deeper sense of self and accomplishment.  Accomplishment isn’t bright lights and awards.  Accomplishment is a composure of love that runs counter to your wordy head.  It is an acceptance of the multi-dimensional wealth deep within you.  It is the great seal of self approval that propels every one of us towards the ultimate trophies – self love and acceptance.  Those two trophies have the power to change the world.

So remember YOU’VE GOT TALENT!

T