Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Small Wonders are Everywhere

i will leave you with that thought as i head out in the morning for the midwest.  i know this is true, but i need a little reminding now and then.  i truly believe if we are open to the wonders, we will find them and they will make our lives that much richer.  try it!

this is my first trip to michigan in over 2 years.  when my parents were alive, i went much more frequently, but this time it’s a class reunion prompting my return to the city of my roots.  we are not a class that reunions often – in fact, it has been 30 years since the last and only one!  yikes – these people are now grandparents!  what happened??  it should be very interesting and i’m so glad we will have nametags!!

it will also be a great time of family connecting.  both of my siblings and most of their growing families live in the area.  not sure i can see everyone, but i’ll give it a shot!  also really looking forward to a girls’ overnight in saugatuck on lake michigan with my sisters.  we try to do this every year, but we have missed a few!

and then there is artprize.  my good friend debra and her partner have put together an amazing contribution to this major art event, which the whole city gets behind.  the entries are from all over the globe and there is huge prize $$ involved, based on the votes of the people.  her entry has to do with the consequences of the recession on the lives of individuals and my little story of losing my job is included in the piece.  so excited to see this!!

on the home front, muffy seems to be doing very well.  thank you SO much for the well-wishes you have sent our way!!  these pets of ours always amaze me with their ability to adapt and carry on without complaining.  2 weeks on meds, then re-dos on the x-rays, hoping no surgery will be required! 

back to my original theme: “life is short and every day there is an element of magic, miracle and mirth to be deeply embraced”  jill badonsky

and furthermore.... i was listening to a little moody blues on my ipod to get into the 70’s reunion mode and happened upon this line from “dawn is a feeling”:

“you look around you, things they astound you”....well said, justin.


oh, one more thing: new post on my retreat blog.  thanks for stopping, enjoy the wonders out there and see you next week!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not the Post I Planned...

no, it’s not the post i had planned, but it’s what has occupied my day, not to mention my emotions.  i may not be the most emotionally expressive person (hey, i’m dutch, not Italian!) but i feel things that happen right away in my body.  so last night when muffin went to chase her dingo bone (as she does every night) and suddenly couldn’t get up to get it, this horrible feeling washed over me.  why?  because this beautiful boy, at the age of 2, and after we had owned him just a few months, developed a sudden paralysis in seemingly the same manner and had to be put down.
Corky  2000 - 2002

so it all came rushing back, even though i wasn’t exactly thinking about that. it was like my body remembered it. sleeping was next to impossible, eating not much better and i’ve been feeling this heaviness inside, anxiety, yuck!

i mean this girl is a very cherished member of our little family. she has seen places that other dogs only dream of and has had a life, up till this point, that would rival that of a true canine princess.

but she is so worth it.  her enthusiasm for life is so endearing that she is very difficult to deny.  so, yes, she gets a lot of attention, and she thrives on it.  i can’t see anything wrong with that!  other than, at times like these, the emotional investment really takes its toll.

so she’s back home and resting.  diagnosis?  herniated disc or possible spinal infection.  we watch and wait and medicate and go back for updated x-rays in two weeks.  thank goodness, not paralysis, but we are not out of the woods yet.  as you can see, she is a climber.  we’ve always been amused by her cat-like ways, but  this is a habit that needs to change.  no more jumping or climbing.  so we have our work cut out for us, but are so happy she is back home!!

i am feeling better, but now my wallet seems to be hurting....

Friday, September 24, 2010


i memorize the color of the sea

wrap it up and store it

in a subterranean treasure chest

safe and secure

ready for the day

that i need its cobalt elixir

to bleed into the dull and formless gray

of ordinariness.

wafting up from the depths

the soft succulent breezes

kiss my face with sweetness

and energize my very essence

reminding me of now and then

and here and there

and the oneness of it all

have you ever been introduced

to the power of the pacific?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shooting in the Dark

lately when i get up and head out for my walk it’s pretty much pitch dark.  i kind of like it – like the world is still under the covers and hasn’t quite started to stir just yet. i feel like it’s a really soulful and peaceful way to start the day.

i’ve had my eye on a cactus plant that i could see was getting ready to bloom.  they have such gorgeous white flowers, but they are short-lived.  so i took my camera even though it was pretty dark out there, hoping it would be light enough to shoot it by the time i got to the plant. 

well, not really, and with no tripod i had to use a high iso (or flash); hence, the noise, but i do think they are kind of dramatic.

you never know!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

To Grow or Not to Grow

as i’ve mentioned in my profile, i’m all about wisdom.  it’s one of the things i collect!  there is an abundance of it out there, in such a variety of forms:  books, blogs, quotes, videos, etc.  it can be a little overwhelming and difficult to pin down into a “useable format”.  so i love when i land upon a powerful concept that is condensed into just a few words.  that’s how i felt about the silence under the chaos.  since i grabbed that idea and made it my own, it has come back to me on numerous occasions and altered my thinking – in a good way.

i recently stumbled upon another such concept.  it was in christina baldwin’s “life’s companion”.  she is talking about difficult circumstances in life and how, when they are thrown at us, as they inevitably will be, we are faced with the choice to grow or not to grow. simple, right?  simple to understand, perhaps not as simple to put into practice.

i was able to put this idea to the test just this morning.  we live on a hill.  we have a steep driveway and it is shared by our neighbors.  they moved in as a couple seven years ago.  they now have four kids and have a building project underway, pretty much all of the time.  which means our “shared” driveway is subject to a constant parade of vehicles, including trucks of all sizes, accelerating up and coasting down. 

and then there is the noise of building – hammering, voices, machines of various sorts.  well, with no break from the last project – a pool which took one year to put in, it appears that they have started another.

i’ve tried to analyze why this makes me so crazy.  for one thing, one of the reasons we moved here was because it was quiet.  i think we feel a bit violated, disrespected and like the subjects of constant rude behavior.  but getting back to the point, just framing the situation in a “to grow or not to grow” framework somehow makes it feel very different.  to be honest, i’m not yet sure what form the growth will take, but now that i am open to it, i know it will happen. and that's a good thing.  interesting.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spread Some Love!


in thinking about my upcoming “anticipations”, i’m super excited about all the social connections i will be making.  since i stopped working last year, i have spent a fair amount of time working at home by myself.  while the solitude-loving side of me really thrives on the freedom of this life-style, the social side sometimes struggles with the isolation and  misses the social interactions (thank goodness for all of my internet buddies!!) so i will relish my time around family, old friends and new friends. 

thinking about this reminded me of some lines from a poem i wrote a few years back for a friend who was retiring:

the lives that we touch are like droplets of color

spread out through the earth

each one touching another

this thought in turn inspired these little digital images.  i had a great time creating them and I hope they remind you that every single day you touch lives (even if only through your computer) and i am so honored that you are a part of mine!!  thank you so much for stopping by!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


this phrase was taken from a longer quote by barara kipfer in “self-meditation”.  simple, but it really hit me like a ton of bricks.  you see, with all my “anticipations” coming up, i sometimes feel lost in a morass of details, not to mention a party at my house this weekend, the printer is broken, my car needs service, blah, blah, blah.  my mind flits from one thing to the next… i make lists, only to leave some of the really important things off and forgetting to cross off those that are done.  well, i’m guessing that you get it.  welcome to life in the twenty-first century, right?

so this little quote came into my life to remind me that there is more…. more than busy details and deadlines, so much more in the experience of living. and the more often we can bring oursleves back to that silence..... (under the chaos)..... the more meaningful moments we will have, moments to remember and cherish, and ultimately, to help us through the details and the chaos.

in other news, it appears that i'm not the only one watching the birds!

Monday, September 6, 2010


remember that carly simon song??  well, i've been finding myself singing it lately!  i'm anticipating 3 big events coming up this fall and wanted to share my excitement.

at the end of the month, i will be flying back to michigan for a class reunion (yikes - haven't had one for 30 years) and a (short) girls getaway to the beach with my sisters.  i'm really looking forward to it!  if you have never seen lake michigan, you are really missing something fabulous (just don't go in the winter!)

then, in late october, i will be heading up into the mountains with 5 beautiful souls for my 2nd space between creativity retreat. i am still fiddling with the venue details, but it is going to happen and it's going to be wonderful!

and last, but certainly not least, in november i will be re-connecting with all of the wonderfulness that was last year's bepresent retreat on the coast of oregon. this experience and the subsequent connections resulting from it have been nothing short of life-changing and we are having a reunion, aptly named, "unfurl".

i think this year's holiday season may seem a little anti-climatic after all of this excitement, but it's ok.  i feel incredibly fortunate to be having all of this goodness to look forward to!!  do you have some anticipations in your life??