Archive for October, 2020

This image came up as a memory on my Facebook Feed. It is a good theme for today. I am into small magic today…

I finally “sat” for a gratifying and renewing pedicure, after procrastinating for way too long, not wanting to spend the time. The new color, which lasts a long time, seems the slightest part of the process for me. I love the combined leg massage and foot reflexology that comes with it. Reflexology is a holistic wellness tool I employed for a long time in my life, and even had some effect on the disappearance of a brain tumor quite some time ago.

Now, maybe I will resume it and find some money in the kitty for occasional therapist Reflexology in 2021. So my new colorful and “tamed” toe nails are enjoying small magic today.

I located a missing mailing of JOURNEY GIRL today to add to the magic. Yea team.

I enjoyed our yard border tree line changing of colors in the 75 degree fall breeze and the magical flight of leaves swirling and dancing to the ground.

A grateful heart is never small magic. It’s the best magic. And I have that today for myself and others. A calm ending to a Friday afternoon. A darkening afternoon — and here comes the thunder! It’s magic!!

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The words of Henri J. M. Nouwen from “The Only Necessary Thing.” I have read Nouwen deeply and particularly loved his journals through his life of service to others.

“The prayer of the heart…is indeed like a murmuring stream that continues underneath the many waves of every day and opens the possibility of living in the world without being of it and of reaching out to our God from the center of our solitude.”

” … prayer has become the active presence of God’s Spirit guiding me through life.

To pray, I think, does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to spend time with God instead of spending time with other people. Rather, it means to think and live in the presence of God.

We pray unceasing when all our thoughts — beautiful or ugly, high or low, proud or shameful, sorrowful or joyful — can be thought in the presence of God. “

Napkinwriter Note: AND we are always in the presence of God.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

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Amy and I played “fashion” so many times when we were together.

There is a scripture passage that tells us to “Put on our garment of love.”

I thought about that today while I was waiting for the completion of Tom’s latest MOHS skin operation. If I thought about my garments for the day, being garments of love, would I remember to bring that into my activities of the day.

I think I would.

Grandson Andrew in his high school band uniform. I LOVED that garment and his performances.

Now he is in his fourth year at Central Michigan University and marching in the drum line for the Marching Chippewas. These performances are exciting and even though I am a big football fan, I am definitely there for the B A N D. So many fun times, all filled with love.

My big brother Dave has passed on now. I love one of these last photos of us together and can still feel his love through his soft garment plaid shirt.

Dinner table celebration of Laura and Carl’s 25th Wedding Anniversary

Last Saturday night, Tom’s and my time with Laura, Carl, and Amy was a celebration we all put garments of love on for. The remarkable story of 25 years of love lived in family life and extended family life. The only way it could have been more loving is if we could have had the love of the Warriner family with us.

We are hoping they will be here for Thanksgiving!

So we are faithful to our garments of love — no matter the occasion. Love comes through them from our family heart and soul.

Our beginning love garments.
Baptized in garment of love. Living our promise.

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Col 3:14)

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New Guidelines

Like everything else that is changing on programs I work on now my blog post has changed as well. No more quick, easy posts or thought-sharing. Now I must know new formatting rules and how to get a photo on here.

Always supposed to be better or easier — Never is!

So now I have grabbed a photo and inserted it and copied to the top.

Today, I put a prayer on my Facebook. “It the only prayer I said was thank you, it would be sufficient. That’s from Meister Eckhart.

I say thank you very often during the day — for the simplest and most abundant blessings in life I receive.

My life is a blessing. Given to me by my parents and ancestors. I am grateful for the life I have and share with my family. The world is in topsy-turvy mode and so many questions and changes ahead of us.

I trust in the day. I trust in this day. I do not know what tomorrow brings. I have never known what tomorrow brings. It just seems intensified now.

For me, I will trust to love. That is what I know.

A little exercise in learning this new format. I liked the other better.

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Sister and Brother

Since the last time I posted in Napkinwriter, it looks like WordPress has changed its format and…..

I have to learn all over again how to insert photos and write a blog. Bah Humbug!!!

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Jan Phillips – Artist’s Creed

May 13, 2011 by napkinwriter | Edit

This Artist Creed is a repost from a long-ago, now it seems, post I made. I have been friends with Jan over all this time and this creed hangs on my wall in my creative room. Jan recites this poem on her CD All the Way to Heaven, which I also play frequently. This is one of the meaningful creative connections (Intersections) I have in my life’s journey. I met Jan through my attendance and teaching at the summer conferences of International Women’s Writers Guild on the campus of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is where some of the first seeds of JOURNEY GIRL started to fall upon the pieces of paper I scribbled on and were further coaxed into being by Dorothy Randall Gray, Susan Tiberghien, and Eunice Scarfe.

Later on, I would meet Janet Conner, who set down a framework for deep SoulWriting in my creative practice, for I surely already heard THE VOICE that came from it through my pen and was already teaching a form of it in my workshops, Write! Now. Then came INTERSECTION FOR WRITERS, an on-line course with Janet, where I was introduced to the whole avenue of writer through drafts, queries, and book acquisitions practice and commitment.

This happened over a long period of time, while much of my life spun with wild activity, business ownership, ill-fitting job placements, multiple relocations and movings. But NOW, I recognize the INTERSECTIONS for my writing that happened and rehappened until in September of 2020 (the year of COVID-19), JOURNEY GIRL: Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary was published by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House Publishing.

Now in October 2020, on Sunday, October 18 at 2pm EDT, Janet Conner is hosting a ZOOM launch for Journey Girl where I will describe these important intersections that already happened, keep happening, and reignite connections to the path of the writer in me. I am grateful.

Below is what I wrote many years ago.

This Artist’s Creed has been around since 1994 and it is possible that it has inspired more women to stay true to their writing mission than any other singular piece of motivation. It is reprinted here with Jan’s permission.

Then I follow it with a short explanation of how it came to be through Jan. This is a short part of a much longer interview format I am working on for Jan.

                          Artist’s Creed

I believe I am worth the time it takes to create
          whatever I feel called to create. 

I believe that my work is worthy of its own space
               which is worthy of the name, Sacred.

   I believe that when I enter this space, I have the right
to work in silence, uninterruptedly, for as long as I choose.

 I believe that the moment I open myself to the gifts of the Muse
                 I open myself to the Source of All Creation
          and become One with the Mother of Life Itself.

I believe that my work is joyful, useful and constantly changing,
    flowing through me like a river with no beginning and no end.

                   I believe that what it is I am called to do
              will make itself known when I have made myself ready.

           I believe that the time I spend creating my art
         is as precious as the time I spend giving to others.

      I believe that what truly matters in the making of art
          is not what the final piece looks like or sounds like,
               not what it is worth or not worth, but what
         newness gets added to the universe in the process
                      of the piece itself becoming.

        I believe that I am not alone in my attempts to create,
    and that once I begin the work, settle into the strangeness,
the words will take shape, the form find life, and the spirit take flight.

                          I believe that as the Muse gives to me,
                                 So does she deserve from me:
                      faith, mindfulness and enduring commitment.

                                     ©  1994 Jan Phillips

from my interview:

Tell us about your poem, “The Artist’s Creed”, when you created it, where it led you and what impact it had on your life and what you know of others’ lives. 

JAN:  “The most stunning thing for me when I taught my course at the International Women’s Writing Guild Summer Conference Program at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York was that I went into the room and I was with all these women among four hundred attendees and my thought was that I’m in the midst of all these marvelous women who are writing down their life. But as they raised their hands to my query of what they were writing, they began giving me all different reasons for why they were not writing.

One said, “I don’t have time to write”; the next one, “I don’t have a space to write”…my husband doesn’t support me, my kids are in my hair, I don’t think I have a story worth telling.” They gave me a whole litany of reasons why they were not writing.

 So I thought it would be a good idea for us to explore what each of our obstacles were to commitment and take a non-dualistic approach to it to see if we could spin it around and turn our obstacle into an opportunity. In facilitating this class, which I just whimsically called “Marry Your Muse”, I discovered women were in  deep trouble about their voice and expressing it. So I felt we really did need to have a ceremony and a ritual to put some energy into their newly discovered opportunities and not regress back into their old obstacles when they returned home.

These women now knew they did have time; they could make the tiniest of space work for their writing time; their work was important to them and the world, they could set boundaries for the kids; it didn’t matter if hubby didn’t support her activity; and most important, they were indeed worthy of this activity. 

So we had a commitment ceremony and ritual on the last day of class. I called in a woman, the oldest IWWG member at the conference, Dr. Benji Brooks, a pediatric  surgeon, to be the witness. We blessed water and anointed each other with water and each woman said her vow, based upon how she was reframing her obstacle.  Suddenly you have “I believe my work is worthy of whatever time it takes.”

I believe my work is worthy of its own space, worthy of the word sacred.”

 So actually the Artist’s Creed was a re-write, because I didn’t have anything written down. But I went home and I said, “These are the areas women were stuck, so I said “I think this is pretty close to what you all said and I made that creed into a card which I tried to get back to everyone in the room.

After I had done that from my home in Syracuse, this little voice  in my head said, “You need to say more, you need to write a chapter of every one of these tenants of the creed.” So I did. I wrote a chapter on time. I wrote a chapter on sacred space. I included stories of about twelve women working artists about what keeps them buoyed up and excited and light-filled during the dark times. My book, “Marry Your Muse” is a very good book for people who can’t remember why it is important that we put our creativity into the world.”

The Napkinwriter is one of the ones from that class who keeps remembering that it is important to put my creativity into the world. Do you? 

Sign up for Jan’s newsletter, “The Muse Letter” to find out more about her, visit her giftshop and perhaps discover she has a workshop coming in your area. Jan loves road trips!  http://www.janphillips.com/museletter.html

                                                            Jan Phillips

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