Tag … You’re It ~ Writing about Writing

Having committed to participating in the Blog Tagging ~ Writing about Writing event, I needed to tag 3 other writers. I immediately thought of Jenn PoniatowskiLynn Pollaine Miclea, and Michele Truhlik.  They all agreed to participate!  Please enjoy their musings!

First up, Jenn Poniatowski!

Jenn is a writer, full-time mom and an everyday shaman. She most recently completed an amazing nine month period of study in Robin Rice’s program, “Healing with Presence and Beauty,” learning deeply about the soul and ways to access wholeness. Her for10506944_467885923314147_5687932639669656999_omal education is in the field of marine biology and you’ll find her love of all things of the sea to flavor her writing. Some of Jenn’s favorite stories in mythology come from ancient Norse and Celtic sources. For more, you are invited to visit and subscribe to her blog/website at FairyMotherMedicineWoman. First chapters of works in progress the Sea Witch and Morrigan’s Apprentice are posted there! Also find Jenn’s essay on new motherhood, Isabel, published in Igniting Hearts, Inspiring Hope, book published by Stories of Women and her contributing articles at www.wild-woman.com

Enjoy her post here Blog Tag

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Next up ~ Michele Truhlik!

Michele is a writer, blogger and small business entrepreneur.   Previously an owner of an advertising agency and a bar, she currently has a dog-sMichele Truhlik & Picasso (2)itting business and a jewelry business and is much happier being out of the corporate world. Following her calling she is currently studying as an Animal Chaplain/Pet Shaman and will be officially credentialed and ordained in 2015. She has been rescuing and adopting greyhounds since 1999 and has been owned by 8 greyhounds. You can find her blogging about dogs and life at angelsbark.wordpress.com. For more about Michele, see her AboutMe page.

Enjoy her post!  http://angelsbark.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/writing-about-writing/

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My finally participant is Lynn Pollaine Miclea!

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Having recently retired and discovering newly-found free time, Lynn has unveiled and developed a passion for writing. She has written numerous poems and short stories, and she is currently in the process of publishing her first book. Lynn currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and two small dogs.

For more information about Lynn, please visit her blog at www.lynnpuff.wordpress.com

A Big Thanks to Jenn, Michele, & Lynn for being willing participants!  Tag-On 🙂

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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

Swing

To swing or not to swing should never be a difficult question!  Try to remember the first time your mother placed you on that yellow bucket swing and her push released you into the open blue sky!  Remember the first time you sat on your mothers lap with her arm around you as she pushed off into the open blue sky?  Push me, push me you would yell!  After a bit you grew brave and stood up pumping higher and higher.   What is it about swinging that thrills everyone?  Is it the motion and freedom?  The imagined worlds you can go to or the dare to see how high you can fly as the seat gives a jig on the backward rise, perhaps it is the ultimate dare to jump off the swing as it propels you forward?

As you grew older did you lose you desire to swing or did you sneak off to swing and ponder your developing philosophy?

I still love to swing.  Spying a playground with a set of swings I will stop and throw my cares to the wind.

But there is another kind of swing I love just as much.  It is swing dance.  Born of WWII parents we were encapsulated in their dance styles.  Taking turns with our dad we learned some basic steps dancing to Glenn Miller each Saturday night in the kitchen.  Those evenings led me to pursue a dance major followed by a lifetime of dancing.  I can tell you it is the motion, the music, the thrill of combining the two that brings me back every time.  I do believe my dad still dances and will be waiting to take me on a spin across the floor when we meet again!

Enjoy!!

Pause and Quench

Good morning – I missed posting my word for P due to pain in my back and my inability to sit for any length of time.  Today I decided to combine my two letters for my post ~ Pause and Quench.

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Seldom do we allow ourselves to really pause in our daily life.  It is as if our Type A ancestors genetic makeup has blossomed into a full fledge robotic life for us.  Driven by a need to stave off death and destruction our ancestors hitched a ride from their homeland to the new world.   A place where they thought they could find peace, happiness, and safety.  For the most part everyone found something.  There were thousands who were  forcibly taken from their homes and forced into a life they hadn’t chosen; a life of slavery.  Many found themselves in a life of failure and isolation and many did discover a new start yet not necessarily a 5 star life.  All of them created anew and birthed generations that still carry the desire for peace, happiness, and safety.

With all the knowledge that has been unearthed for us in the 21st century in America there is still a large resistance to pausing daily to quench ourselves.  Many of us have a daily religious practice that has been effective in showing a path to reflection and the abundance of peace, happiness, and safety by pausing to quench our souls.  There are still many who rush through their daily life on their way to attainment never pausing, never quenching their deeper essence.

How difficult is it to incorporate these two words, this habit into your life?  Is it really something that takes hours out of your routine? Is your desire to accumulate and complete your list of daily tasks so long, so intensive that a pause to hear the spring birds, smell the freshly mowed lawn, feel the rain, or listen to the snow fall completely impossible to allow?  Does the ability to curve your lips upwards create such pain within that you cannot smile as you pass each person you meet?

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Pausing and quenching yourself and others can become a trait of the Type A personality.  If it makes it easier for you to incorporate this action, to add it to your list, it has been proven to increase your ability to accomplish more tasks.  It has also been shown to intensify your sense of accomplishment of peace, happiness, and safety.

Starting today, pause just once and allow the beauty and uniqueness of today to quench your soul and add a little bit of fun into your pursuits.  And don’t just stop there.  Make P&Q a daily practice in your Type A life.   It just might alter your future generations and bring a big smile to your ancestors.

Pause and quench…. ahhhhhhhhh!

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O is for Ouch!

For the past several weeks I have been very fortunate to be working part-time at our local nursery.  Per colleagues I hear I am in the prized section called WIP also known as Work in Progress.  I have to agree with them.  I get to help plant all the hanging baskets, the flower bowls and all special orders for their commercial customers.  It is actually a dream come true to be playing in the soil, the sweet aroma of the flowers and the color filled greenhouse.

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It is amazing to be surrounded by living, breathing plants after a long winter.  The winter this year has been very long for so many in the US.  In this zone planting is not advisable until after Mother’s Day which may even prove to be to early for 2014 with snow once again forecasted.

With all the beauty and fun I am having there is one item that continues to plague me.  My lower back is having a dialogue all its own.  I am not sure if it is jealous of all the attention the plants are receiving or if it has decided to just be contrary.  I receive great sympathy from my planting buddies even at 19 their backs are behaving the same.  This knowledge is a huge relief.

The stretching, core work, heated rice pads, ibuprofen, and words of love have not made much of a difference.  It must be that my back needs to be heard.  Suppressing a single syllable word has become taxing.  I have decided if I recognized the Ouch in my back perhaps it would cease.  Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!

Times up! Heat pad is calling!!

O

Kites

It is finally early spring!   What was the first outside activity we all had great fun with after a long winter?

How often do we allow our child-like innocence expression?  Think of someone you admire and marvel do they relish their innocence?  Allowing themselves to soar through life with abandonment to the simple joys present daily?  Even with our children are we allowing them time to express delight at all the stages of their life?  Are we pushing them too hard to success early?  Can they make a kite from scratch?  Can you?  The simple art of kite making and flying is the ability to use our imagination.  Creating joy through the perfection of artistic freedom.  It isn’t about creating a perfect kite.  No, it is about creating through expression of self.  When was the last time you made something very simple from scratch?

Kites remind us of freedom and delight.  Today seeing kites is rare.  Why?  Advancement does not replace spontaneity, joy, childhood, and delightful expression in freedom.  A very simple life brings deep joy, healing, and wisdom.

Take time today and go fly your kite!

K