many languages, many ways to “speak”

Today’s prompt: What language do you wish you could speak?

In the eleventh grade, we had a French foreign exchange student come to our school and he created a lot of excitement. We had never had a foreign exchange student before, so everyone was anxious to meet him.

He was in a couple of classes with me and I got a crush on him—and, fortunately for me, he sat next to me in our classes so it seemed natural to talk with each other. When he had a question, he would lean over and ask me to explain more about the meaning of some word the teacher had used—that French accent was so thrilling in the tones whispered in my teen ear. We did become friends pretty quickly and good friends before long. We ate lunch together and spent a lot of time working on improving his understanding of the confusing “American” English language. I decided then and there that I needed to learn to speak French so I could follow him home . . .

Of course, I never did learn French and I did not follow him home, but I have always thought I should learn to speak French in memory of a very special friend from, oh, so many decades ago! Latin is really the only language I studied other than English and, of course, I do not speak Latin.

BUT, language is just a means of communication,
and there are many ways to “speak”—
I do feel that I speak and understand pretty well in “cat’ and
usually do okay in “dog” and maybe a little in “bird.”

A language I have wished I could understand is “squirrel.” They always seem to be chattering about so much that I figure they are either sharing some really “juicy” gossip or giving out information on the best eating places—could be very interesting to hear what they have to “say.”

Bottom line for me: I need to listen better so I can “speak” better with those I come in contact with – because speaking is not just about being heard, it is about being understood . . .
tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | 1 Comment

Walls —> Darkness —> Light

Today’s prompt: “What is a song or poem that speaks to you and why?”

For me, it is both a song and a poem because the poem explains why the song means so much to me.

the poem:
“Reaching Beyond the Wall” I wrote during one of my dark times when I had planned to end it all but was convinced by my mother not to (that is a long story for another time)—

and the song:
“Light at the  End of the Darkness” is one my brothers and I used to sing when we performed as a band and it always reminded me and still reminds me today of a truth I repeat often . . .
“the sun is always shining” even if I cannot see it and day always follows night—those are the facts!

THERE IS a light at the end of the darkness. If the clouds are blocking my view, I can still know “the sun is always shining” – if darkness seems to be covering my life, I can know there is a light at the end of the darkness and that a day will follow the night . . . in the world and in my life!

Experience has taught me that my Life is guided by what I believe and what I believe leads me to either darkness or light. I have found that it helps me to keep music around me that reminds me of this Truth, songs that give me hope with words that speak Life to my spirit and light to my soul.

There’s a Light at the End of the Darkness—
through the walls, after the darkness, there is Light . . .
I have seen it!
Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers:

tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | Leave a comment

Love – the Flow of Life

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman originally published in 1992 was a book that opened my eyes (heart) to an idea I had never considered – that different people had different ways of showing and receiving love!

My life had been filled with trauma, with “love” defined in so many dark ways that I was deeply wounded and did not even realize how I had hidden away from those wounds within my own dark room.

I not only did not know what love was, I was not capable of accepting love or of giving it to anyone else—how can you dip water from an empty bucket? My life before I read this book had destroyed all my preconceived notions of what love and life would be like for me and left me confused and stuck in a dark, empty place unable to see any way out of the dark,
BUT . . .

The idea of “love” as a way of behavior that comes from a place within
caused me to stop, look, and listen—and realize that my inner self had to
be faced and worked with if I ever hoped to give or receive love. Hatred of
myself and others would not bring me to what I needed and wanted—what
we all need and want . . . to be loved for who we are!

This journey was not easy and was filled with many discouraging times
and struggles with long-worn “acceptable” masks that were painful to
remove and scary to drop—BUT . . .

I met some people who accepted me for who I was with all my “warts” and
who encouraged me to find ways to express myself creatively and very slowly
I felt a tiny pinpoint of light in the darkness that was me and then I met my
husband who was secure within himself and was comfortable with imperfections
without judging and my journey to light from darkness began – a process of
life that never stops being an “onion journey” (peeling away layer after layer to
expose and heal) so that love could grow and overflow more every moment.

Many sages have helped me on my journey, many philosophies have guided me
and my Judeo-Christian background gave me the Life and Truth of Jesus, the
Christ, that brought me to want to live LOVE as he did . . . to step into that flow
of LIFE and Love. May Love always flow through my life as my heart continues to
heal and overflow from a bucket full of unconditional love . . . the flow of Life . . . the flow of Love!
tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | Leave a comment

Rain Speaks . . .

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | Leave a comment

Dreams – Becoming Who I Am . . .

Dancing in the ballet . . . a dream for as long as I can remember—my earliest memory in childhood is of a strong conviction that I would be a ballerina.
I had a Tina the ballerina doll, a storybook and a record my grandma had given me and I longed to be just like Tina. My grandma even made a matching outfit for me and Tina.

I was determined and mom could tell I was committed to doing whatever it took so she signed me up for ballet lessons (it was tap and ballet, there was no class of just ballet in our area for my age). I wanted to do just ballet, but . . . did I mention I was/am a strong-will child to the max, so I would not give up!

Unfortunately, I had rheumatic fever as a child, spent time in a clinic receiving treatments and I was in and out of the hospital until somewhere around the age of eleven. Mom was able to find a doctor doing a research project involving special injections that were supposed to bring improvement to me and eliminate the need for me to have so many periods of hospitalization.

AT THAT TIME, a standard part of treatment for rheumatic fever was a total
elimination of exercise or exertion of any kind. I graduated from high school
with NO physical education credits which were normally required in many
places in the United States, but I had a medical exemption so NO physical
education classes for me.

SO, before long, I was forced to stop my dance classes due to the exertion
required in tap dancing. I was SO devastated—I cried many times and felt
that my heart was crushed. I slept with my first hard-toe ballet shoes and
refused to give them up for a long time. Eventually, my mom packed away
my ballet shoes and Tina because she reminded me of the dream I felt
I had lost and I cried every time I saw her.

I still love ballet for the same reasons I wanted to be a ballerina –
I see the beauty, the grace, the storytelling –
and my heart would sometimes ache for the loss of that dream from
my childhood . . . to be a ballerina . . . dancing freely, joyously . . .
I am a ballerina – I see beauty all around me, within my spirit I dance and
soar gracefully, and I feel compelled to find other ways to tell stories—
my childhood dream may look different than I thought it would,
(no rabbit fur in hard-toe shoes) but the dream still lives in me . . .
the heart of a ballerina lives on . . .
tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | 4 Comments

Fascinating Journeys . . .

My favorite author and why? That is a hard one for me.
I have many authors who have taken me on journeys into adventure – romance – history – inner exploration – parables – wisdom
and more!

The journey I find most intriguing is the one that causes me to think beyond myself and discover some “truth” that seems to cause my journey to stop while I contemplate the impact of that “truth” on
where I have been and where I am going . . .

The definition of “author” comes from Latin auctor author, from augē re to increase and that is what my favorite authors do for me—each of them somehow increase something in my heart, my mind, my soul –
and I find them fascinating!

MY FAVORITES: Thomas Merton and Joseph Campbell
WHY: • they draw me to see the “commonalities” in our world
and the interconnectedness of everything
• they plant seeds within me that encourage me on my path

Flights of fancy or flights into all the colors of the sky . . .
authors should increase something for me: understanding, enjoyment,
reveal markers on my path, help me see myself and my world –
a fascinating journey for the wisdom, for the fun, for the life!!!

tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | 4 Comments

Repetitive Negative Thinking Is Dangerous

Today’s prompt, in my opinion, leads to negative thinking—it would tend to draw a person to dive deep into thinking about what is “wrong” about either the structure they live in (house, apartment, etc.) or
their body.
WHY would I want to do that?

Instead, I would try to look at anything that “irritates” me (angers or annoys me) from a different perspective.

In response to today’s prompt:
one thing that COULD irritate me would be that I moved into my parents’ house when they passed and my dad, who grew up in the Depression Era, always chose to make any repairs or maintenance in the cheapest way possible—
BUT what that gives me is the opportunity to replace things with
long-lasting quality materials – to improve my home instead of getting
angry and/or complaining. One response impacts my body and my
mind in bad ways and the other way of looking at it gives me the
power to make better choices and improve what is my home.

While I know every coin has two sides,
I also know there are some things which are impossible to view from
a positive perspective, hard to find a way to see anything “good” in it,
but it seems like a better thing to me to try to find even a tiny point
that is positive before wasting my time and my energy by focusing
on what irritates me.

One study found that a habit of prolonged negative thinking
diminishes your brain’s ability to think, reason, and form memories.
Essentially draining your brain’s resources.

SO, I am NOT going to spend my time focusing on what might irritate
me, but instead will choose to be thankful I have a place to live
even if it is, like me, imperfect!

tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | 2 Comments

What Colors Do I Speak?

Focus today: what color describes your personality and why?

When I put this question to my husband, he replied “rainbow.”
“Rainbow describes your personality.” Interesting, right?

I guess I would say “blue” describes my personality because
it is a calm, serene color and I tend to be a pretty calm person
“most” of the time—
then, I would say black and white for my early life because I grew up
in a family that believed everything was black and white with no gray
areas and then . . . life happened and taught me that there
were many gray areas in reality, and many other colors to be seen.

Colors speak – whether it is in artwork by man or God. When I look
at anything, the colors bring forth certain emotions, sometimes very
strong feelings and other times a peaceful flow.

There are resources available to help understand the impact of
color on humans. I first came to research color when I worked in
graphic design and advertising for many years and found it useful to
understand color theory and that led me to research the psychology
of color and how color impacts marketing and design.

The use of color in our world is often the first thing I notice about my
surroundings, natural and manmade. I could watch a sunrise or a
sunset or a river flowing or enjoy hours at an art gallery because
the colors speak to my spirit.

Of course, it is hard to beat all the colors of nature, the various tones,
the shading, the seasonal basket full of nature telling us what is
going on – the seasons, the cycles of nature, what is coming!

Then the birds and the animals – what amazing colors are to be
seen just by looking around—colors everywhere!

The Egyptians and Chinese used colors to heal, a process that is
known as chromotherapy. Colors were used in order to help the
body function better. Everyone perceives colors differently, so . . .

And, yes, I believe our brains pick up on colors our eyes may not see.
Consciously or unconsciously, we may respond to colors our brains
are “seeing” when we see others—what colors do I speak?
An interesting question . . . maybe we should share more about
what colors we “see” in each other,
an interesting, little-understood language . . . the colors of Life!
tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | Leave a comment

LIFE – Hodgepodge or Exact Science?

Cooking . . . it can be throwing things together to make a dish or a meal OR it can be exact measurements made while following a detailed how-to recipe—just like LIFE!

There are some who go to a culinary school to learn the “right way” to cook and there are some who follow in traditions of those who have gone before to make dishes for which no written recipe exists.

I think COOKING and LIFE are a lot alike:

• measure each step carefully
OR —jump in and throw it all together
(make goals or “wing it”)

• study to learn how to do it “right”
OR —go with your gut to decide what is “right”
(check out resources or go with what has always been)

• sift the flour before using
OR —just dump the ingredients in together
(see sifting as improving my efforts or take less time–dump and go)

• choose a recipe for what you want to cook
and what you want it to look like
OR —work it out as you go along
(looking at what someone else made to help guide me
or just go with what “feels” right at the time)

• make sure you have the ingredients you need
BEFORE you start to cook
OR —run to the store in the middle of cooking to get
something I am missing
(check what is needed to make what I want to make
and get it all together before starting)

Cooking and life . . . hodgepodge or exact science?
My favorite meal to cook is a hodgepodge AND exact science—
roast beef and mama’s homemade noodles . . .
and memories show me my life has been the same!
tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | 2 Comments

Happiest day . . . and more to come!

So, the prompt to write about today is “describe the happiest day of your life”

Happy – meaning “greatly pleased and content” is from the 1520s.

To describe the “happiest day” I suppose would mean picking
a day or event that stands above the rest of the days.

SO – how about at my beginning? You can see in an early picture of me the joy on my face, innocence, enjoying the simple little toy duck and smiling at those around me with
pure joy. No worries, no anxieties, no complaints . . .  just plain happy. It did not matter what was going on
outside – it mattered what was going on inside!

Maybe that is what I need in this time of loud voices and
dark fears . . . enjoyment in the simple, smiling at those
around me, and letting the worries, anxieties, and complaints
slide right off of me like off that toy duck’s back!

I am going to find that duck and all that goes with it!!!
Here’s to another “happiest day” of my life . . .

tag: bloganuary

Posted in Bloganuary 2023 | 2 Comments