qpBoard
i enjoy exploring the magic in the everyday ordinary, co-creating change through a focus on love, gratitude, good health & sustainability—and occasionally pausing to take a few photographs or write a little. welcome & thank you for being here.

between chapters and cups

IMG_1440

this past year has been fun and insightful.

a few highlights:
traveling to spain…in my mind, candidly addressing several questions upon discovering that i no longer like mayonnaise after a ten-year hiatus, convincing a friend that it would be a good idea to give people macaroni art this holiday season…and writing out the traditional list of obscure and irrelevant things that sort of happened, happened or that just make me laugh when i imagine them happening. (i convinced nobody about the joy and wonder that would follow opening a macaroni-laden paper design.:))

on an entirely different note; last winter seemed rough. the far-too-long-feeling break from the outdoor activities that i love and accompanying sense of disconnection felt palpable and weighty.

this year, i am back to appreciating this stretch of time for what it is and what it offers; our earth’s primordial invitation to settle into stillness and an opportunity to quietly reflect and simply be.

the art of doing less and turning inward comes with big rewards.
i always reconvene with the more active spring-time world with a refined awareness of and appreciation for the source within me, for the intelligence of my cells and body, for directional clarity.

another year of boundless possibilities and sincere connection lies ahead of us.
for now, i’m content to occasionally think about it all between chapters and cups.

happy new year, loved ones!
warmth and blessings for a beautiful 2016!

sky & earth

IMG_2041

it is no secret that i love to write, yet some days i don’t feel like writing much at all.
i am content just to be, to notice, to take in; occasionally, when i have a camera with me, to photograph the things that catch my focus enough to revisit later.
i have become a little neglectful of this online space.
this morning, however, it occurred to me that i have been unnecessarily limiting myself.
i tend to share here when my thoughts seem many.
i can share, too, when my thoughts seem few.
i can drop by with photos and a handful of words.
i can drop by with photos and no words at all.
i can drop by with quotes that echo in my mind.
inspiration is everywhere—and has no boundaries or rules or limits.

IMG_2038

“the mind i love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind.”
—katherine mansfield

 

i am that

IMG_0754

 “i am that which i am seeking.”
—franciscan mysticism

i spend many daytime hours writing and editing, but it is an interesting treat when i write during my sleep. during rare late-night or early-morning hours, i will wake up remembering an experience—and, further, remember having written about the experience while dreaming.
this happened last night.

i dreamt that i was in my hometown at a local cafe. a few high school friends, whom i haven’t spoken with since that time, walked in. we were all excited to see each other. one of the guys began negatively speaking about the state of our world. he wrapped up his delivery by telling us all that there is nothing any of us can do about it—aside from asking God to change our experience.

once he was finished, and everybody was in a space of quiet contemplation, i offered up the idea that Source, or the energy of God, runs through each of us—and through our daily intentions and actions, we, ourselves, have great ability and potential to change our experience, both individually and collectively.

“God is a verb, not a noun.”
—buckminster fuller

there are quiet, surrendered moments during which i choose to speak, create and pray with Source in a more conversational way—in the way that i learned and was accustomed to while growing up in both a catholic and protestant church.

many more moments, i choose to speak, create and pray simply through the ways in which i live—through kindness and compassion, through playful interaction and understanding, through focused intention and visualization…through plan, process and movement.

the specifics of what we each have and will come to believe about God matter less than the ways in which we allow this divine energy to move us and to move through us.

“within myself is that which is perfect, that which is complete, that which is divine; that which was never born and cannot die; that which lives, which is God—the Eternal Reality.”
—ernest holmes

 

i am here

IMG_0590

thirteen years ago, after a short stretch of teaching, i had the treasured opportunity to work on a state-funded project at the state nursery in southern indiana. i spent many, mostly-solitary days grafting trees and taking care of the orchards—a couple of which i planted, while trying to stay onboard an old, shaky planter making its way through rows of rugged terrain.:)

i cultivated lasting friendships with these trees in the same way that i cultivate friendships with any other being. they have listened to my dreams and have heard my laughter. they have caught frustrated tears and have touched my sweat. they have witnessed both weak and strong moments.

it’s been over ten years since last visiting them.

they have grown and changed.

so have i.

often, while working here, i would slow down the tractor—or pause, if on foot—to take in the beauty around me—the trees, the insects, the animals, the forested, hilly vistas just beyond my immediate surroundings. i remember frequently, during these momentary breaks, hearing myself say the words, ‘i am here’—an audible acknowledgment of all encircling grace.

this majestic world was and is a part of me, in ways that i am certain i will only appreciate more as i continue to age with this planet.

i really loved working and being here.
it was good to be here again.

IMG_0595

 

country mouse & the big city

SAMSUNG CSC

while i am not typically drawn to large cities, i can barely make it through a day without reading or hearing something about new york city—enough to be interested in checking out its paths, people and on-goings at least one great time during this life. these past couple of days have gifted this time.

not being a fan of crowds, my first impression, as the openness of the highway gave way to the nighttime hustle and bustle of times square, was of feeling stifled and disconnected. i could no longer see the sky. i could no longer see the ground. there were only people and pavement and buildings and cars and lights and noise. …and it must have been trash day—at least i hoped that it was, because the streets were lined with piles upon piles of plastic bags. the following day, however, the same streets were lined with the same amount of bags and somewhere in between seeing how much waste the more congested areas of our country can produce in one day and retaining a trust that each of us is continuing to make big ways-of-living changes, a couple of tears traveled down my cheeks.

any interest in the lights and the buildings, the noise and the hurried, forward rhythm and pace has quickly shifted to an interest in the people around me—an interest that is often present.

i have watched lovers parting ways, bikers weaving through traffic, a woman, cozy in her sidewalk home space, painting her fingernails purple with a huge smile on her face—a sincere smile which she freely offers each time that we cross paths, groups of people deep-steeped in their normal, everyday routine and groups of people very far away from theirs. everywhere i look, i am reminded that, regardless of where we are, who we are with and how our lives are momentarily rolling out, we are all human, with human hopes and joys, human pains and problems.

i really like the subway. in its own unique way, the crowded, hot, under-city stretches of people waiting for a ride feels like a different brand of ‘real.’ doors sliding, time overlapping, people meeting and maybe meetings missed…by only seconds.

ellis island is especially interesting to me, as well. even while surrounded by the intense on-goings of the city, my mind often drifts to thoughts about the many groups of people who ventured to this ‘new world’ with little aside from a few belongings and dreams of a different life.

would i want to live here? nah, but i’m not ready to leave this morning and i have a feeling that ‘one great time’ will be an idea that i once had before deciding that ‘many great times’ is a better fit for this place.
***
as we were driving away, i turned around—as if a few more seconds, through my eyes, would more permanently etch the skyline somewhere in my mind. i thought about one of my favorite childhood books, “country mouse, city mouse” and how abner’s own snug bed in his own little house had never felt so good.

side note: i love that i was able to write most of this while sitting in central park. …maybe i’ll keep the ipad.;)