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Grandparent Blessing

 

Reprinted from text of Journey Girl, Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary, a Memoir planned for release in 2020.

Grounding and Flow – Supported in Mystery

Native Americans refer to the moon and the sun as Grandmother Moon and Father Sun. The great gifts my grandparents bestowed on me were both connection and flow. They provided me with loving touch and experiences and connected me to both the earth of my daily life and the skies where future dreams formed like puffy white floating clouds.

I am a child of the Universe, stretched between two worlds of living and passed parentage. I am supported in mystery. Love leads me and grace lights my way.

I wish to thank my grandparents
for providing the daytime seeds
that anchored me to the ground
and for supporting me with the spiritual lattice-work
that helped me seek the wonders of God.

I shared wide-open days with my grandfather
who produced the miracle of planting seeds
in the spring-turned sod and reaped wholesome harvests
after a season’s care.

He, the laborer in the vineyard,
answering to the God he called
the Man Upstairs
with the faithful, daily rhythm of his day.

I learned from grandmothers who mentored
the worthiness of female in me
and taught me to ponder the delicacy of Irish lace
and the strength of good-will and persistence.

I treasure my grandparents who helped me touch the stars
and roll around in the grass,
secure in our snuggles
and whispered secrets in the night.

I bless my grandparents with a grateful heart
for I absorbed mystery in the midst of love
freely given, if not explained,
by their being present in ancestral place-holding.

I Fiddle with Flowers

I fiddle with flowers. Yes, I do. I am in love with watercolor and how it teams up with the colors on the paper and the brush of the artist.

I have been learning, through practice, the fun of watercolor. I am in awe of its beauty and power that comes from many committed artists who paint because they too would feel less for not painting.

I came to the watercolor paper a timid and frightened student. I remember the first time the class was drawing and painting an apple. It only occurred to me then that I had to create a round shape three- D idea of an apple. It stunned me. I wondered if I had to fold the paper into a cylinder shape.

I didn’t get the hang of it early on as I sat in amongst seasoned artists and accomplished teachers. I didn’t catch the spirit of it. But I never lost the attraction I had toward watercolor as I stopped to gaze upon creations in public places, especially medical facilities, which I have spent a lot of time in with my husband over the last two decades.

It convinced me that watercolor is truly uplifting, healing, and inspiring and truly served a magnificent purpose in and among the human population who were dealing with life and death circumstances.

I continued to paint…a little….and store my scary attempts at art down deep in my drawer or tucked away in a cardboard portfolio only to be forgotten, until the next urge came upon me to “mix color” together. There were long absences from my experiments.

Now that I am of Grandma Moses age range, I am fiddling once again, and more purposefully. A couple of years ago, I met artist Angela Fehr. This was a miracle and it kept me near my watercolors and paint. I haven’t met her in real life or a class offering, (but if she gets within a one-hundred mile radius, that may change). She lives in Canada and she leads classes online and offers many free episodes on utube.

Her teaching surrounds the premise of “I want you to become your own favorite painter.” She also refers to us as “Fearless Artists.”  She shows us the way toward “intuitive painting”, and painting that is “heart-led”.

Well, that ties right in with my spirituality and so I am all in. I’m delighted to see my “happy mistakes”  and to know so much possibility lies ahead, just for the fun of it.

Angela cautions about overdoing it and getting your idea down in a few heart-led, creative strokes of the brush, softening into backgrounds, painting in layers, oh so gentle and soft in the beginning.

Well sometimes I show up broad and noisy in my first strokes, but I am seeing where it takes me. I can’t rush the process, but just like with books…..so many images, so little time.

 

 

I am concentrating on trees and flowers at the moment. Flowers are amazing and I am never happy with them while the paint is wet. I am sure I have another failure on hand, but after it dries it is often another story. Because the paint keeps creating as it dries, and there are brand new nuances you didn’t have much to do with at all. Then, I fiddle…just a bit, in a few places on the painting. Then I see the petals, if not totally defined, at least hinted at.

I paint for the joy and happiness I have as I am in the process which overcomes disappointments and mistakes. I paint the softer side of life. I paint the gentle within me. I paint the love I extend outward to others. I paint the discovery that lies all around me, making each day new. I am pretty sure I won’t stop painting ever again.

 

The Divine — the Creator of all; Masculine and Feminine Divine —I gain so much appreciation of with each stroke. The song, “Paint with all the Colors of the Wind” comes to mind.

Hark! The herald angels sing….Glory be…. The Christmas hymns sing of them, the Christmas stories have many mentions of them. I believe in my guardian angel and so many others who attend to us, help us and guide us. I have an angel story that happened in our home during one of Tom’s many surgery recoveries. I reprint it here for angels know no season. They are present when needed.

Reprint of Napkinwriter blog:

I Have Something to Tell You

This happened in the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 22, 2013

“I have something to tell you, stay there a minute.” This is what Tom said to me this morning when he got up. I was sitting in my “quiet chair” with early morning prayer and meditation. I stayed where I was.

He returned and sat down in his lounger chair and told me the following:

“Last night I got up around 2:00 o’clock AM. As I turned to come around the bed to head into the bathroom, I noticed a bright light near the door of the bedroom. I turned to look at it and I saw a white form just leaving the room. I only saw the back of her. My first thought was, angel.
I walked to the doorway and looked down the hallway that opens to the kitchen area. I saw two of these white forms standing and conversing with one another. They had white/tannish flowing garments. I could not see where they ended at the floor. I watched them. I could not hear them. I felt very peaceful.

I had to go to the bathroom so I did and when I returned, they were not there. I still felt the peace and returned to bed and went back to sleep.”

Tom is healing from the first of three scheduled skin cancer surgeries. I had given him Reiki healing/love energies as he fell asleep last night. The heat coming from his body was quite intense as I held my hands softly above his head and drew the Reiki healing symbols onto him. He fell asleep quite easily and was not in pain.

My guidance tells me Tom saw his healers. He said he knew them to be feminine, but doesn’t know how he knew. He has Archangel Raphael, the healing angel Icon above his workspace since his back surgery a couple years ago, when the green Raphael Energy flooded him with an instant turn-around from a crisis situation in the hospital.

So I have been conversing with my angel guides on a regular basis now for a couple of years. I write what I hear as my guidance in my journals. I sense their loving and guiding presence around and within me. And when I say “they” and “their” I mean only ONE — for that is all there is, ONE. In fact, the name I’ve been given to converse with is…..WHO — Whole and Holy One.
This year, I have opened to not only hearing and writing and sensing my guide, but I have told my guide I Am ready to see it.

And WHO sees his guide(s)? Tom, of course. He has that type of accepting spirit. I read, and meditate and think, and “do”, all of which has some merit. But I know that I need more of a “Mary” consciousness than a busy “Martha” (but bless her abundantly for I love her biblical activity and understand where she’s coming from). At least my hallway was neat for the angels to converse in!

Then I remember an angel correspondence I wrote down and posted in Napkinwriter and went back to look for it. This was posted one and one-half years before last night’s experience.
I am glad with joy! In the year of 2013- My Intention Mandala Year of Joy and Fun!

Angels in a Doorway

August 25, 2011 by Napkinwriter

A Message from the Angels
By Susan H. Hajec
Dedicated to Margo & Janet

In an open doorway, there is a space.
It is the space between
where you are
and where
you are going.

Pay attention to what comes to you
when you open this door
with the space between
you
and your future.

We are in that space
as your guides
and as your direction.
We are your angels.

So there is no need to fear
when you make your choices
from the love and light
that are in this doorway.

We are willing to pull you
or push you through the appearance
of obstacles or a harsh wind.

In this doorway you can create
a new now
filled with what is attracting you.
It takes only your decision.

There is no need
to hurry, dear one,
no need to rush.

Just be in the quiet
in the space
in the open door

between you
and your future.
We are here!
And in a millisecond
of the time it takes you to decide,
we will make it happen!

Again, do not be afraid.
It feels like you are lost
but you are not.
You are just in the space

in the open door
immersed in possibility and potential.

When what you have enjoyed
has come to an end,
it is your turn

to choose once again
what comes next
in the open door
where you can create
and just be.

What Am I Waiting For?

What are we waiting for? Ah, the virtue of patience is once again called to mind as the season of Advent brings us ever closer to the day we celebrate as the birth of Jesus.

Every pregnant woman and family waits for a period close to nine months for new life to be born into their family. A time of anticipation; a time of dreaming; a time of preparation for there is much to be done before the day of the newborn’s arrival is at hand.

Each type of waiting brings about different things for us. Throughout our lives we will over and over again experience times of anticipation. When we are young and small, we anticipate being adult and all-grown-up. There will be many years, probably at least eighteen, before that comes to pass. And even then, we will have much important growing up to do and it still may be more years before the mantle of adulthood properly fits our shoulders. It takes time. One step at a time.

I was always taller than most my friends during my childhood years. Well-meaning relatives often stated, “She is big for her age” or “She looks older than she is.” Somehow those remarks carried a tinge of meaning I perhaps misinterpreted.  I heard these remarks to mean I should be something other than I was. So I waited for my own adulthood to arrive where age blurred the lines and no one would say, “She is tall for being 21.” A child’s thought perhaps, but I looked toward the day where age would not distinguish me for being too much of what I am.

Other happier times of childhood anticipation certainly was waiting for Christmas, waiting for graduation, waiting for vacation fun with cousins, waiting for mom’s great-smelling dinners from the oven or her fresh baked bread, with the aromas filling the house; waiting for my first date. As I got nearer to being an adult, I waited for my first job, my true love and marriage, our first child; I waited for our first home, I waited weight loss and management over and over again. I waited to see who our children would become, who they would choose as partners in their lives and what passion would fill their souls for the gifts they would bring to the world.

I waited for seasons to pass. I waited for problems to be solved. I waited for mysteries of life to reveal themselves to me. And for this I am grateful. As a young child, I read all the Nancy Drew mysteries, but that is not the genre I chose as an adult. I chose non-fiction that filled many book shelves throughout my I favored biographies and particularly  autobiographies. I developed a strong taste that started at a young age for spirituality and mystical studies of the saints and beliefs in the time of our ancestors of long ago. Human psychology and development peaked in my young adult life and never ceased. I sought to discover the mysteries of life in these books much more often than in a fiction novel.

The trouble waiting presents is that it is focused on the future. What I had to learn was to keep my focus on the present, do my work, praying, hoping, and believing in the present time. When I could keep my eye on the ball in the day I was living, my dreams or worries of the future would take care of themselves; and when the conditions were right, manifestation would occur. That could be either a deeply desirous dream in which I could rejoice. Or it could be some future problem waiting to appear from my jumbled and mixed up thoughts in the present.

So, what do I await now? Most of the time, I await for the day I am living in, my part of doing good in it and my recognition of both the need and the blessings I come in contact with in this very day.

GUEST BLOG 

Dark Journal 
writing.ritual & art making

Suzy Banks Baum

There is not a day that passes without me doing this:

I set out to bring the veg scraps to the compost. I pass the majestic oak. I pass the ancient maple stump that was 250 years old when the rest of its tree self fell 20 years ago. I walk on the mossy grass and murmur prayers of thanksgiving to all the spirits who hold this land. I send prayers of honor to the people who inhabited this place before me. Before the people who built our house in 1898. Before the white settlers came to this area and called it Great Barrington in 1726.

The traditional Native inhabitants of this area were Mohican. Stockbridge Mohican, as I learned from my friend Jimmy, who is a member of that tribe. Long displaced to Wisconsin, the tribe has a presence here in Berkshire County, no matter how many years have passed since they hunted, traded, and lived here. Just to the north of where I sit, stands Monument Mountain, a sacred place for Mohicans. My children went to high school in its craggy shadow. We have hiked it more times than I can recall. A few miles east is the confluence of the Umpachene and Konkapot Rivers. That land was a special meeting place for the Indigenous inhabitants of this territory. We go to those waterfalls for sanctuary in every season.

By my estimation, that Sugar Maple stood while the Mohicans still populated what is now called Berkshire County. This fact alone causes me to stop and say thank you for the shelter that tree provided then, and for what it gives to my family now.

How does the land you walk on nourish your day? How can you give thanks and acknowledge those who came before you? How does the act of breathing, step by step, connect you to yourself and help prepare for the coming winter season?

If you find yourself edgy and twitching from seasonal sensory overload, here is a small gift. It comes to you without cost, for it is the freshest and most readily accessed gift we can find every moment.
It is breath.

Place your right hand on your belly.
Place your left hand on your heart.
Begin to breathe so that you lift the belly hand slightly with your inhale, while your heart hand stays still.
Continue to breathe in this pattern, slowly. Inhale, move the belly hand. Exhale feel your belly fall toward your spine.

Continue in this breathing pattern for at least ten rounds of breath. If you feel lightheaded, please stop and try it again later.

This practice quiets my nervous system. I awoke this morning worrying about my daughter. I put my hands on belly and heart and breathed slowly for ten rounds. As I did, I saw her with plenty of strong solutions to the snag she is in right now. I saw her swimming forward in her life with strong brave strokes. I continued breathing and noticed how my mind, so quick to enter the day agitated, instead relaxed.

I hope you will consider joining me for Advent Dark Journal, a nourishing 6-week self-paced guided experience with writing, art, and ritual prompts delivered to your email every Saturday morning.

You can read all about it here.

Or go ahead and register here.
With love from my heart to yours,
Suzi

Copyright © 2019 Suzi Banks Baum, All rights reserved.
Via SuziBanksBaum.com, or at LaundryLineDivine.com
Our mailing address is:
Suzi Banks Baum
Post Office Box 224
Great Barrington, MA 01230

Add us to your address book

TO Suzi from Napkinwriter:

I needed this in this exact agitated moment, dear Suzi. I will share on Napkinwriter. Hearts and blessings to you, dear friend. I am breath…
Sue
aka Journey GIrl

 

 

 

Making Meaning of Your Life through Writing

A Guest Blog today written by:

Suzanne Murray

December 5th, 2011

A creative writing class may be one of the last places you can go where your life still matters.” – Richard Hugo

Poet Richard Hugo, who started the creative writing program at the University of Montana and taught there for 30 years, thought that writing allowed you to more readily make sense of your life and see the value of it. He saw the practice of writing as “a slow cumulative way of accepting your life as valid, of accepting yourself over a lifetime, of realizing that your life is important. And it is. It’s all you’ve got. All you ever had for sure.”

I find that whether I’m writing essays or poems or reflecting in the pages of my journal that I gain increased clarity about who I am, what I value and how I see the world. I tap a deeper thread of meaning in my life that helps me makes sense of everything I have ever done and everything that has ever happened. It helps me put things in perspective and opens me up to new insights.

You don’t have to “be a writer” to benefit. The practice of stream of consciousness writing where you just let the words flow uncensored gives you access to an expanded way to knowing and deeper wisdom. It gives you access to the powerhouse of your subconscious/unconscious (that 93 percent of our mind we are not usually aware of.)

It’s a great way to get answers to the questions our heart and soul want to ask
Like

• What do I need to know right now? or

• What is trying to emerge in my life right now?

 

Just play with it and see what happens.

https://www.creativitygoeswild.com/

 

 

Today, we are rising on a new dawn after elections across our country. May we and they know the sacredness of each new dawn. May we, the voters and citizens and the elected perform our responsibilities in the magnificence we can bring forth. May we listen to the whispers of wisdom, stand with the lessons of age and ancestors, envision what could be as we take even tiny steps toward common sense mixed with a passion for change that is for the good of all, supported by the sacred power of a God and Goddess of love.

It is time. We are the ones. The American dream awaits this dawn. And we are the creators.

 

Whispers at Dawn
By Gloria Burgess
Hush now.
Listen.
Lean into those voices
That whisper at dawn.
Stand gently
Proudly
On the broad bones
The great shoulders
Of the grand mothers and fathers
Who dreamt you
And held you
Keep you
And walk with you
Stroking your face
As dawn paints
That canvas of sky.
(from Legacy Living by Gloria Burgess © 2006, p. 47)
Congrats on getting back in the saddle!
Sara Pranikoff
sara@artandwritingcircle.com; http://www.womenwriting.org