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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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August 21, 2017

On this date, several years ago another miracle occurred in my life. I gave birth to my second daughter. I love her with all of my heart. I have snuggled with her, played with her, laughed and cried with her. I have witnessed her two miracle births and wondrous young children, my grandchildren.

This is a fully open heart occurrence in my life; one that beats through every moment of my life with gratitude and sheer wonder — yes wonder — that the life given me is filled with the awesomeness of being a tender-hearted mother, who enjoys life focused on family.

This is what love is…not always understanding, not always quiet, but always resolving how we are in relation to one another and how the love that beats below the base line centers us and creates our purpose.

Today in a few hours, MOTHER EARTH will experience a Total Eclipse of the Sun.  This mother has been having a tough time of it lately.

She knows and I know that much of humankind have open, loving hearts and intentions that serve her lands and waters with respect and care. But the SHADOW side of humankind is right now getting all the attention.

SHADOW likes to argue, cause ruckus, destroy, intimidate, hate…yes even take pride in being hateful…claiming the right to BE hateful….SHADOW’s time appears to be NOW in the turning of the planet.

I am not versed nor educated in the astrological physics, but I think I understand that there is a principle that’s been in existence since the Big Bang and that is that our Universe is continually expanding.  I have studied further that we are in the universe and that the universe is in us. Meaning that the same atom particles of the exploding stars are the same materials found in the human body that have existed since the beginning of time. (or was there a beginning?)

So, today, I want to think about this. If the universe is expanding and I am expanding, I choose to expand with all that looks and feels like LOVE.  I choose to leave behind and cut myself away from the shadow of anything that inhibits that free flow of love within me so that this expression can enhance my own life and the life of others.

THAT MEANS, to me, to continue to do things I’ve been learning all along to do: forgiveness of self and others is primary. Then working in harmony to accomplish what is mine to do. I can think small in order to accomplish big things…a simple smile, a word of grace, establish orderly living, and free myself for time into creative endeavors I feel called to.

This will be my Total Eclipse of the Heart. My intention for living in this manner. I hope, that like the sun that will once again shine through after the passing of the shadow moon, my life will contribute to the light of the world.

I do believe the darkness will never overcome this light.

 

 

GUEST BLOG:

from

Mark Kolack.

THIS ECLIPSE IS AN EJECT BUTTOM FROM UNIVERSE

Beloveds,
Tomorrow between 1:22pm – 4:17 pm Florida time, peaking at 2:54pm on August 21, 2017, people across the USA will see the Sun disappear behind the Moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature to drop rapidly, and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the Moon. On this day, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.

This is the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental USA in 38 years. It is the first Total Solar Eclipse in 99 years to be visible in its totality across the lower 48, and the first in 1500 years to be ONLY visible in totality across this region.

What does this eclipse mean? Reset: this celestial event will wipe the slate of your life, past, shadow, clean and set a new direction in your life parallel to what intention, vision, direction you set for it. What we visualize and focus on will be set into motion for years to come!
Make the choice to go deeper: admit what you really want and believe you can have it: face what you have been running from, good and ‘bad’ and embrace them both so they manifest and dissolve respectively. Ask God as yourself to free you and to fulfill your heart’s desires. Pray this into the vortex between 1-4pm.

On a psychological / metaphysical level a Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) blots out the conscious mind and allows the unconscious (INTUITION, as well as repressed emotion) to emerge. This is one of the best uses of the energy of a TSE: allow your ego to be blotted out and allow your Divine Knowing/Intuition to be revealed! We do this through prayer and affirming that this is what you are intending, what you are doing, and then it is what is happening! Then ask and listen and reflect.

On the flip side, any skeletons in your closet will dance when the moon (unknown, subconscious, repressed shadow material) takes over, but this is for the best. Dance with your shadow remembering that what you choose to release under an eclipse will disappear forever. It’s an eject button from the Universe.

This is a time for centering, visualizing, believing, asking, affirming, decreeing, commanding, surrendering and being grateful. Imagine if you were given a series of wishes from a beneficent genie: and all she required was that you got real with yourself, touched your heart; admitted what hurt you, asked to have it removed: and then asked for what your heart truly desired:

This is what this eclipse is: on a grand planetary scale of personal and epic proportions. Get real. Admit what’s up with yourself. Pray and affirm it into the eclipse vortex. Then go in peace.

We are going through the eye of the needle into the New World tomorrow. Don’t bother packing. Only self-love can fit. Leave the rest. Unhook your seatbelt for maximum effect!

Fly!
Eternal Love and Blessings,
~mk~

 

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That’s a tall order for the day, I think as I glance at my To Do list and see the words Make Elephant not crossed out on my list.

I like the TO DO pad I found at Office Depot one day. It has two columns: On the left, it says TODAY, and on the right it says, LATER.  I take full advantage of being a retiree, so my list is not two columns. It is just one running across both columns. Those not crossed out at the end of today…you guessed it are the ones that are left for LATER.  Works pretty well.

It seems the Elephant was left for later.

It is the last of 5 daily assignments of Carla Sonheim’s Art Week for Kids 2017. This kid, age 74, really had fun with the art we all made. Besides making the art, and learning a little about famous artists, the best part was a private Facebook page where our Art Gallery existed and so many posted their creative work, it was a blessing to enjoy.  Each of us doing same assignment, all of us doing unique, individual, no-two-alike creations and having fun while doing it. I am going to be a kid again next year and join the others.

First, we went BLOB hunting….finding cracks and shapes and shadows outside that we drew the outline of and then created Blobimals from them.

And then we studied the Durer Rabbit (Hare) and many of us discovered that we loved the oil pastels we made our creations with. Some of us were very surprised that we liked the oils so well. Most of us found that our rabbit shapes came easier to us when we outlined him like a blob and worked from there.  This is mine.

 

Many of us like blue.

Then we went on to the Russian-French painter — Marc Chagall and created paper art in imitation of his Merry-Go-Round with horses and his sense of fun and delight in life.

 

What came next was pretty wild and crazy and most of us could not stop at one. We made more and more and more and became great fans of artist Picasso. We made the Picasso Cat. Mine fell asleep and took a nap in the sun.

 

 

Others were quite active…dancing

Or were quite blue….

 

One more just for fun, because this was F U N…

 

So, last Friday, we came to the elephant.  And for me, life interfered with art (I hate when that happens!)  and I only began to make my elephant. Beginning means that I found a cardboard corragated box and ripped shapes off of it.  These shapes sat next to the dining room table on the floor while I did life and watched all the wonderful animals appear on the Facebook Art feed.

And here is blue again.

There was even a pink one. I have to find her in the herd.

Alina posted pictures on how she made her elephant. After getting her pieces in the shape she wanted for her elephant, she is painting gray onto the elephant. This is going to help me remember how to make mine.

Here she is deciding which shapes to use.

Now, we can see her magnificent elephant. Oh my, he is so awesome.

Each day, artist Carla Sonheim led us in our art with a brief 10 minute happy encouraging “let’s do this” video and a written list of instructions to follow that were simple.  Along with a jumpy little tune, I know I was just like all the other kids and if I had had a mommy by me, I’d be bugging her to “Let’s, go, mommy, let’s go.”

And they did. And I did.  And this weekend I will be piecing and painting and gluing my elephant together. I think he will be silver gray.

Peek into Carla’s world if you are interested in having fun in creating.

http://www.carlasonheim.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I haven’t been able to post new photographs here, so son-in-law Carl, looked into it and seems my seven years of blogging has cramped the space and a new enhancement is needed. I have done that and am now on experimentation ground.

Well, my first photo surely uploaded quickly. Off to a new start.

I have been having some fun playing with art lately. I was so happy to travel to artisan village Berea and take two classes in Asian art that I will follow up on with small group meetings with others who find this type of art appealing and serene.  In the tradition of the Japanese, copying from the Masters is the way of perfection.

Then I also jumped into a week-long kids art class from Carla Sonheim on-line and this has been so joyful. One project a day and so many creations are put up on the Class Facebook page. I would take the class just to be able to see the other paintings (like me, there are some “little-big” kids in the class.)

We have played with Blobs, and blob creatures, rabbits, a Chagall Merry-go-Round with horses and a Picasso cat. How fun, how fun, how fun.

Selections from the class:

 

 

 

One more project left for tomorrow but I think the blobs shall never stop appearing to me and needing to be made into animate objects.

Next week, I return to regular scheduled and steady writing on my book. During the lapse of writing, much has come to me that is going into the writing, so I am grateful for that. I am pretty sure the cover image is changing to the second of my two choices AND I have a top talented graphic artist who will work with my cover design for me which will be M A G N I F I C E N T.

I continue to get great response to the title of the book, as I talk about it more frequently than I have in the past:

“Being Faithful To The Quiet”
Finding the Peace that Frees Your Soul

I don’t know where to find my new tools. I will have to explore some more. But the photos are working nicely again.

 

 

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The Chinese character for mystery, or yugen, is the same character for mountain, which looks like an inverted T with two squiggles on each side of the vertical stem.

“The line is the mountain and the squiggles on either side represent the mist in the valley that invokes a certain anticipation of the hidden.”  (The Zen of Creativity, John Daido Loori)

We often associate mystery with the darker side of life, the unknown. Then in religion and art, mystery is actually light, itself.  I am interested in mystery today because I am attempting to “sort out” and “be with” a great mystery of loss which has befallen my friends, in a sudden and tragic death of a young mother and friend.

Being with this loss is indeed taking up all aspects of mystery — the terrible darkness it brought upon us and the light we must seek to go back to center and live from there.  Peaking around the next corner into the darkness is not my forte.

 

In his writing upon mystery, John Daido Loori,  one of the truly great Zen Masters, says:

“Mystery is the seed of discovery. The term ‘mystical’ means: ‘Having a spiritual meaning that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intellect. It is direct subjective communication that we can’t process intellectually. We can’t see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it, or think it. It is very subtle and slippery, impossible to nail down or explain. Yet we’re somehow aware of its presence, and it has a real impact on us.”

He goes on to explain how we can become aware of its presence.

“In order for us to perceive this subtle quality, three elements must be in place: trust in our spiritual practice, trust in the creative process, and most importantly, trust in ourselves. If any of these are missing, the whole structure collapses and we retreat into certainty. So we trust, even if we can’t explain or justify why we do what we do.” P 194 The Zen of Creativity

I had underlined the first part of this and made notes in the margin when I was first reading this book, probably over fifteen years ago.  After several moves, and still not having my categories together on ever-moving bookcases, I pulled it out today, thinking about Zen, Reiki and Japanese art because I am on the brink of an opportunity to take two workshops in Japanese flower painting and Wabi-Sabi collage next week. Which I am so excited about, I could pee my pants.

Also, because I am filled with grace to have come under Janet Conner’s (Janetconner.com) tutelage since Writing Down Your Soul, Lotus and Lily AND Intersection for Writers on-going instruction modules and books.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE TEACHES …..THERE IS NO WRITING COURSE OUT THERE THAT I KNOW OF THAT INSTRUCTS AND INSISTS ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AS PART AND PARCEL OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

And her process for writing, to those of us listening and learning, goes directly to accessing that special mystical quality and writing from there….and trusting it. That is her belief and her brand. That is the sweet spot and her students are zeroing in on it. What fabulous books are being authored that are going to reside on bookstore shelves across the world and fly from the internet into homes awaiting their special gifts and wisdom.

SHE IS SO RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT. WE ARE  SO BLESSED, BLESSED, BLESSED.

Just how long did it take to grow the mountains? It’s a mystery, right? So many layers, so many changes, over time…over time. Just like a mystery. It is a mystery to me how my eyes fell upon this section  of the book, after having been out of my sight for so very long. But for me, this is a special seeding time. The field is ripe and the conditions are powerful and potent. I am about my purpose. I have been guided to my guides, here on earth and beyond. I am in good hands. Who’s hands?

Well, that’s a mystery.

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Good Morning! I will believe in Good Morning. My body is still achy, numb, tired, and compassionate for my friends and their families who have suffered a sudden and traumatic and violent loss of their loved one.

 

A mother has lost her beloved daughter. A husband suffers the solitary loss of his soulmate wife who together created a life of good in their home, their work, and their play. Two young adult college age daughters have lost their earthly bond to their mother. Brother and sisters are minus one in their family – minus two, as they lost their father in his passing two years ago. Cousins, young, lively, playful, and filled with family outing memories, like the one they were returning from when disaster on the highway struck, suffer a hole too big to replace in the family fabric.  Friends and companion teachers stand present, yet walled in by the daily absence of Judy’s presence in their lives.  Students, present and past, have lost a friend, mentor and extraordinary woman.

 

I will believe in Good Morning….

 

Judy was a bright light and she shone brightest in two areas of her life – her family and her middle school classroom.  There is no light switch that can remedy the darkness in these spaces. A dimmer dims the spots she occupied and for now, it looks very dark and it hurts.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…

 

For awhile, our personal and world compass is turned upside down. South is the new North. Each of us must find new paths – paths we never intended or suspected we would have to take. Paths we don’t want to take. We look for an escape route and it is not there. We are stuck with  “what is.”  And we surely don’t like what is.  We are tired, beyond what we know, and each day comes, asking of us to take one step forward.  We don’t want to.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…

 

Husband, daughters, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, mother…..we want to be there for you in our own little daily world. It can look like, after the initial liturgies and visitations are performed, we go about our lives, as usual.  But it is not true.

 

You, dear ones, are the ones most deeply touched by unspeakable grief. But, as your friends on the outside, we too are changed forever. We will never, ever be the same within our families or our world, as we were before this loss befell you. It is in us as well and it will never leave us. Our composition is altered. We will all find new light eventually. We will all suffer the “new life” that will be lived. We will all feel the hole that only faith, hope and love can heal. We will all look at life with “new eyes” – eyes that cannot understand –eyes that want to see differently – eyes that look toward an earthly horizon and into the heart of the beloved one who has gone home.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…with a heart of hurting love.

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My Apologies

My apologies as Napkinwriter. I have been experiencing the wild side the joyful side and a deeply entrenched tragic side for friends of mine where you can be present to their pain but not very helpful. So my writings have lagged.

I have been on a lavish 52nd anniversary vacation with Tom on St. Thomas VI and celebrated high school graduation of my grandson, Andrew.

And I am having trouble loading photos to this post, which I will have to get son-in-law Carl to help me with.

I have also been busy with the writing of an actual book which I desire very much to give birth to. Along with that, an intensive course with Janet Conner, Intersection for Writers, and a wondrous JourneyQuest Art course with Cat Caracelo. So I have not been away from my calling. I have just not stopped by for Napkinwriter. That ends now.

My promise today is that Napkinwriter returns on a regular basis.

 

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