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Archive for September, 2017

http://www.sneemstorytellingfestival.com. Credit: Dominick Walsh Photography

 

I read for pleasure all the time. Reading is the most pleasurable choice time I have. I share Madisyn Taylor’s thoughts on this wondrous activity.

 

GUEST BLOG FROM Daily Om

Reading for Pleasure

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Each time we read for enjoyment, the empathy awakened within us creates entire landscapes in our mind’s eye.

Every book has the potential to touch the human soul deeply, arousing patterns of thought that might otherwise have lain dormant. The pleasure we derive from the written word is unique in that we must labor for it. Other forms of art provide us with stimulus and ask nothing more than our emotional response. Reading is an active pastime that requires an investment of emotion as well as our concentration and imagination. The words we read are merely a starting point for a process that takes place largely within our minds and hearts.

There are few activities as comforting, relaxing, and healthy as perusing the pages of a good piece of fiction or nonfiction. Curling up with a book and a cup of tea is one of the simplest ways we can remove ourselves from the confines of reality in order to immerse ourselves in the drama and intrigue of the unfamiliar. The pleasure of transcending reality is only one aspect of the reading experience, however. Each time we read for enjoyment, whether we prefer the fantastic nature of fiction, the empathy awakened within us by memoir, or the instructive passion of nonfiction, we create entire landscapes in our mind’s eye. The books we choose provide us with the inspiration we need to accomplish such a feat, but it is our own creative reserves that empower us to use our imaginations for this unique and beautiful purpose.

The tales you lose yourself in can lead you on paths of discovery that take you out of your own life and help you see that existence can unfold in an infinite number of ways. You can learn so much from the characters and mentors who guide you from page to page. Your emotions are awakened each time you read, allowing you to become vessels of the passion that pours forth from line after line of print. Ultimately, the books you absorb–those that touch you deeply–will become a part of who you are, providing you with a rich and thrilling world within that you can revisit anytime you wish by simply closing your eyes. If you haven’t read a book for pleasure lately, try and allow yourself the time–you deserve it.

 

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Harvest Moon Rising

 

Harvest Moon Rising

Susan Heffron Hajec

A shimmering moon came down
from the sky
and touched her in the soft earth
of the Wildwood.

“Will you take a ride with me?”
asked the moon, gentle and kind.
Intrigued by this visit, she sat herself
in the welcoming center womb
of the moon and it rose
once again into the high reaches
of the swirling color creations
of her moon-lit sky with no ceiling.

“Where are we going?” she inquired
as stars, like lightening bugs, flicked
and sparkled all around her.
“To your harvest,” replied the November moon
as the horizon widened below them.

She looked down and saw millions of seeds,
reflections of her love, planted over the varied
seasons of her life span.
They had fallen deep into the soil, seeking
both the heat of the earth’s center
and the touch of the sun above.

Risen to the surface were bountiful fruits,
many of which were random and scattered —
unplanned spontaneous seedlings —
some were such simple seeds as to have been
forgotten by her.

Now they spread across the Wildwood
seeping out into the wider world, they
enriched all that they touched.
She, the author of kindness and creation,
relaxing in the kaleidoscope of color-filled purpose,
breathed into the movement of Harvest Moon
and now, opened even more
to the discovery found in journey.

 

 

 

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The symbol of the turtle. Turtles take their homes with them wherever they go. Turtles remind us to remember our roots while still welcoming new places and phases in life.

Turtles remind us to appreciate our simple, true necessities; shelter, food, drink and most importantly,  faith.

 

The turtle’s slow gait requires the animal to have faith that it will eventually get where it is going and that its needs will be satisfied along the way.

I have been doing some process art study with Cat Caracelo over the past year, including Quest Journeying with image and art mediums and turtle has come over and over again to me.

Turtle once visited our labyrinth in our backyard, a very large land turtle.

Turtles are on my mind.

 

I wonder how the turtles fared during Hurricane Irma.

 

One of the most beautiful beaches in the world was hit hard by hurricane force. This is a beach we have had the pleasure of being on several times when visited my parents.

 

St. Johns Virgin Island

 

 

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Now we live the days of…aftermath. The reults of unleased fury of wind and rain. The demolished homes and properties that must be repaired or rebuilt. The in between space of lack and need of daily living routines that are comfortable and safe Well, maybe safe, but very needy. A sense of ruin covering over what used to be a satisfying way of life.

The call to resilancy and reaching down deep to deal with and transform the destruction thust upon many is on stage and necessary for the human spirit. The human spirit that serves where it can. Then many aid and energy power workers going beyond duty’s call to restore as much to as many possible in ravished conditions. The call to faith and trust, once again, in the Higher Power beyond and through this all.

At a time like this it is most difficult to “lean into His goodness” but you hear it in the voices of the affected victims and the helpers alike. They speak, not only of frustration and need and awesome disbelief of the show of nature’s power, but also of “coming back” and that sense of hope and determination does indeed call for a trust and a faith in the unseen.

This is Napkinwriter”s share of my quiet time prayer journal page this morning. Between these lines printed on the page, I inserted my own prayer requests for family and friends’ needs.

These words  from My Prayer Journal Mornings with God, were gifts to me. I lend them to you.

 

“Trust in the Lord

You will never regret putting God first. Lean into His goodness. He wants to bless you with good gifts. He is your loving Father.”  (I also lean into the Mother God Divine Feminine and Mary.)

Father, I lean on my own understanding, don’t I. Help me to trust that You know what is best. Often I make plans and attempt to figure things out when I should submit it all to You in prayer. Bring to mind, as I sit quietly before You now, the times in the past when You have come through for me. Give me faith for my future, knowing it is in my Father’s hands. Amen.

‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’  Proverbs 3:5-6″

I carried that Proverb on my daily planner and appointment keeper when I was busy in the business world. I carry that proverb in my heart now as I continue the life that is mine to live in this world.

 

 

 

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It is Monday morning, September 11, 2017 and Hurricane Irma, with devastating power, has torn across the Carribbean  islands, leaving wide wreckage in its path, then winding northward between Cuba and the Bahamas now has made landfall in seven different places on the Florida coast.

The sounds and force of the blowing plus one hundred miles per hour winds and the sights of the surge out to sea and back in again play across the television screens of all of those not knocked out of electrical power in the effected areas.

Hurricane Irma cuts a wide path of destruction across the entire peninsula as her Cat 5 rating lowers to a 2 and then as a 1. Then the tropical storm heads into the Southeastern states with plenty of wind and rain left to cause havoc to residents along the way.

The sounds and images of this traveling disaster that are imprinted upon me, one who resides outside the danger area, are the human sounds and sights of help and consideration. Everywhere in the physical areas awaiting the storm, officials took charge and put their Disaster Plan into effect and kept their number 1 priority the safety of its citizens. Even with warnings that went ignored by some at their own peril, their directives were largely heeded by the majority of Floridians.

Individuals and families prepared their physical properties as well as they could and followed the evacuation orders or shelter in place so as to save life and limb. Gas and oil companies, so often maligned, did everything they could to keep gas flowing for those travelers who had to leave precious belongings behind but take the only thing that really mattered out of harm’s way — their own lives.

People out of the danger areas offered up space in their own homes so the journey would not be so far for those with homes in flood zones. Out of State friends and family of Florida residents, if they could do no other, kept the highest good for their beloved ones in the top of their minds and hearts and offered what they could in support by prayer, monetary and durable goods to “flood” into the area that would have great needs over the next few weeks.

THESE ARE GOOD SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN THE FACE OF HIGH IMMINENT DANGER.

This is humanity choosing to move forward each day, confident that somewhere within themselves they have the RESOURCES  and ABILITY to express life, love, wisdom and even the seed of divinity.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps. 118:24  Well, maybe we don’t rejoice IN the day that brings hardship, sorrow and trouble, but we reside IN the day with a spirit that is summed up in the Serenity Prayer:

Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change.
To change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

There were many people in Florida embodying that short statement and still are.

And all God’s creatures.

 

And one mayor said,  “How can you help us?…Prayer is not the last thing, it is the FIRST!”

A friend told me this morning that she was recently in NYC and had seen and been deeply affected by the 9/11 Memorial. Today is sixteen years after the unspeakable horror of the attack on 9/11/2001.  She wrote this interesting observation:

“I’m guessing all of us remember were we were when we heard about these events of that day and how that morning turned quickly from the everyday, common tasks to grief and fear and so many other emotions. Why is it that we don’t realize the significance and beauty of ordinary things until those things are threatened or taken away?”

I ask myself that same question, realizing how the ordinary can blind us to its beauty and truth.

I learned in my childhood faith that a man who knew himself as Divine — Jesus — told us in many different ways, “I came so that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.”

I still believe that today, as a well-travelled spiritual seeker of truth, peace and love and elder  citizen.  Only I recognize that I don’t always know or acknowledge what and where my true abundance is.

I think the it is, for some reason, more visible in a time of danger and need. Can we carry this truth, peace and love on into our ordinary days ahead, once we have been restored to the normal in our lives and the disarray of our political system.

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