Monday, December 31, 2007

Dear 2007,

I just wanted to write and thank you for everything.

*thank you for my family - for my Mom and Dad and my brother and sister-in-law and my gorgeous little niece, and my extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins and one Oma. Thank you for their health and happiness and just for them being here in the first place.

*thank you for this blogging community. I'm not very good at it anymore, but people still come to read what I have to say and I appreciate that. Thank you for all of them. Thank you for their honesty in their own posts and comments. I hope they all have love and happiness and that they know that their words matter to someone. (I won't put links here because I don't want to hurt anyone by forgetting them.)

*thank you for the tribe of women I have encircling me. They know who they are. It's been a difficult year in a lot of ways. You gave us a lot of work to do and some pretty big challenges. We have made it through and are stronger than we were in 2006! Thank you for their presence in my life.

*thank you for the roof over my head, continued health, a job, and for constant inspiration and challenge.

*thank you for the most romantic moment of my life - so far.

*thank you for other adventures - for Bath and for London and for Bournemouth and for walks around reservoirs, and for Dartmoor, and for the beautiful place I live.

*thank you for my parents coming and seeing me where I live and for every ounce of unending support they continue to provide - even when they don't understand their unconventional daughter.

*most of all, thank you for another year with the love of my life.

Thank you for everything, and I look forward to meeting your successor.

All my love,
meg
xo


Dear 2008
,

You are going to be the best year of my life - so far.

(Just thought I'd better let you in on that so we are both on the same page!)

LOVE, meg. xo



(Happy New Year everyone!! Make a good wish tonight and I'll see you in '08!)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

into my pail

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss


I had "one of those days" yesterday. Things have been strange and difficult here so yesterday I finally dropped out. I had one of those days when I put on clean pajamas in the morning and then go right back to bed. I read Oprah, ate soup, napped, but mostly found myself staring off into space for vast stretches of time. I haven't had a day like this for ages. If I paid attention I could literally hear the index cards falling into place as my mind filed and sorted through the accumulated bunf that has been filling my head lately. I felt sorry for myself, I cried, I sighed, I understood, I held my breath and at some point in the evening I came up for air.

I'm writing this because there are people out there who read blogs and think that other people have it all together. There are people out there who compare their dark sides to the sunlit sides that we allow ourselves to put out into the world. Sometimes life gets too hard, but hard is important in our stories too.

Today I am feeling a little better. My Mom calls days like that "going into your pail" after the character on Star Trek who used to have to go into a pail to regenerate every once in a while. Sometimes we need to retreat into our pail and let our filing system get to work. I'm going to spend some time with my oldest friends tonight. That's another kind of regeneration. Between the two I should be ready by tomorrow to take on the world again.

xo

Sunday, December 23, 2007

my Christmas rant.

“The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.” - Helen Keller

I need to warn you, this will be a little bit of a rant. NOTHING bugs me more this time of year than people saying that they hate Christmas. HATE CHRISTMAS?!? HATE CHRISTMAS?!? Well, if you fall into that category, I'm sorry but you just don't get it.

Now I understand about hating the commercialism and the crowds and the pressure. I understand about being sad and lonely during this time of year. I understand about the weather and the traveling and feeling overwhelmed. I get that. I understand all of these feelings, and often feel this way myself. But I am here to tell you that it's not CHRISTMAS' fault that we feel this way. It's our own. WE create our reality. If you spend Christmas worrying about the perfect present or having the right amount of baking done or whether or not you can spend one more moment in the company of someone, this is not Christmas' fault either.

One year I spent Christmas in bed. I worked at a Christmas craft show at the end of November and came home on December 5 with a socking great case of Mononucleosis that kept me in bed until nearly March. I was completely bed ridden and semi-conscious for much of the month and when you are in bed in December there is not very much on television except those specials. Being in bed meant I didn't help with the preparations or the shopping and I got out of the hoopla by having a neck swollen out past my ears.

When you watch nothing but Christmas specials for 20 days you begin to see a bit of a pattern. Whether it is The Grinch who Stole Christmas (the original one!) or Frosty the Snowman or The Year Without a Santa Claus or Rudolph or any of the nine million other Christmas specials that are on, the message is exactly the same. The point of Christmas is to be nice to each other. To love each other. To believe in magic. And most of all, the point of Christmas is to "keep Christmas in your heart" for the the rest of the year. KEEP believing in magic. KEEP being nice to each other. Believe in love.

So go ahead and hate the crowds, the pressure, the multiple family crisis', and the commercialism, but don't blame Christmas. Look at what you are doing that makes you hate Christmas and for heaven's sake, DO SOMETHING ELSE. Hatred is not the way to move into a new year.

So I wish you peace and joy and warm cookies and angels. I wish you warm legs to put your cold toes on. I wish you laughter and calm and love. I wish you help getting everything you need to get done. I wish you a perfect moment of peace. I wish you belief in magic. I wish you a moment of clarity. But I don't just wish this for you today. I wish you a whole year of these things. I hope that you can keep love and joy and magic in your heart until I can wish it for you again in 2008.

Ho Ho Ho.

(If you are need of a little bit of Christmas cheer, go onto iTunes and download Stuart McLean's "Dave Cooks the Turkey" or any other of his Christmas stories. It'll be the best .99c or .79p you've spent this Christmas! I promise.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

OFF to the Great White North!!

Yo Hosers! (Canadians'll know what that means!)

We are off right now for the two day trip to Canada (don't ask!) where they have been snowed in already!!

Yay!

See you in North America!

Sigh.

homeland here I come!

xo

Thursday, December 13, 2007

weirdness!

This little fella is a "Pink Fairy Armadillo." Strange little guy isn't he? Kind of makes you wonder about evolution and how and why it works. In fact, if you go to this website, you will find LOTS of reasons to think twice about evolution!!

Mark and I saw one of these at the Natural History Museum in London when we went there at the beginning of December. If you are ever in London, GO to this museum! Even if you just walk in the door and walk out again, you will feel just like a little kid. It just looks so much like a museum you might find in a movie. There are monkeys carved into the walls and every single surface seems to have detail on it. Our overwhelming impression of this building was, "they don't make 'em like this anymore!!"

We went to London to see the exhibit of Terracotta Warriors at the British Museum. (This picture is from their website.) This is the largest exhibit of these statues that has ever been outside of China. It was really amazing. (If you don't know what they are, go here.) We marveled at the scope of one man's power and need for immortality. It's interesting that 2000 years ago a megalomaniac was able to create an entire world for himself and be in control of an entire nation and achieve a kind of immortality. Our modern megalomaniacs (Michael Jackson, for example) create their own worlds (Neverland) and we think that they are crazy, (and I suppose he also has achieved a kind of immortality.)

Funny isn't it?

On our trip we also slept (as Mark says) in Tupperware (open the 'small rooms' link near the bottom of the page), shopped in our dream grocery store, and ate in a most unusual place! We had lots of talks about what we want our life to look like and where we are going and what we are going to do. Things are tight right now, but we are really going places. I have been inspired by beauty and potential and the unusual this month. I hope my eyes stay this open.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

earliest memory

It's surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time - Barbara Kingsolver

Do you know what your earliest memory is?

I think I figured out what mine is today, and I don't know if it's good or not!

We were talking about chickens at lunch and I was recounting a story about when I was a child and my parents had chickens. When I was just a tot they decided that they were going to (with a bunch of their friends) kill and butcher the chickens themselves. There is a photograph of me at about 2 or 3 kneeling on a table in my navy jumper and tights and cute little blue cardigan sweater looking at a half butchered chicken. I don't remember that part very well.

Today when I was telling that story, though, I had a vivid memory of our friend Lawrence showing me an egg that was still inside one of the chickens when he was cutting it up. I remember that it looked just like an egg but that the shell was still soft and squishable. I can see it as clearly as if it was yesterday. I have a few other memories, but it's getting so that I don't know if the memory is actually mine or if I have seen a photograph of it and it has turned into a memory. So I think that this is my first honest to goodness memory.

A dead chicken and a squishy egg. What does that say about me?

What is your earliest memory?


Sunday, December 09, 2007

bigger and bigger

"Feel the light caress your fingertips.
You have just begun, the word has only left your lips.
Maybe in time, you will find
your arms are wrapped around the sun."
- Deb Talan (Big Strong Girl)

When I saw this ring on Thea's blog (and then her Etsy) I knew I had to have it! It's my new writing companion. It's a tangible reminder that FROM NOW ON my intention is to be so much more than I currently am!

RRRrrrrrroooOOOOoooooAAAAAAaaaaRRRRRrrrrrrrr!!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

big day!

I keep three wishes ready,
Least I should chance to meet,
Any day a fairy
Coming down the street.
I'd hate to have to stammer,
Or have to think them out,
For it's very hard to think things up
When a fairy is about.
And I'd hate to lose my wishes,
For fairies fly away,
And perhaps I'd never have a chance
On any other day.
So I keep three wishes ready,
Lest I should chance to meet,
Any day a fairy
Coming down the street.

Annette Wynne


Mark's Mom let me see her copy of The Wish Book a few weeks ago. According to that book today is one of the few days in the year when all of the cosmic forces are aligned properly and you can make a really big wish! Apparently the powers are strong all day, but most powerful between 3:18 & 3:22pm today. (Now, I don't know about time zones... that one is tricky! I'm just going to go with it!) It doesn't matter if you subscribe to the idea of cosmic ordering or not, it's a lovely idea that today is a powerful wish day and that all over the world, people are believing in the power of magic, the universe and their dreams.

I used to wish the same wish for everything. It used to be a wish for my Grandfather, but now that he is gone I am a lot less focused. If I met a fairy or a genie walking down the road, I'd be all flustered while I searched for something. So I think that today I am going to come up with my BIG wish and wish it at 3:19. It can't hurt, can it? You NEVER know!!

Do you have a great big wish ready?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

testing the waters

"Hopefully the era of gurus and other benevolent dictators is over. Ultimately we have to learn to draw our own lines." - Gabrielle Roth

(Can you see the face in this picture? He has huge eyebrows and the big rock for a nose!)

I am sneaking out of hiding to dip a toe back into the world of blogging. I feel quite different after a month off! I have come to terms with some things, discovered some others, come up with a new project (yikes - another one?!) and found that, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I have been looking for all of my answers outside of myself. A small physical blip has pulled back the curtain and I realized that I have been totally living from the neck up.

So I am warning you now - things are about to get a little messy. I'm climbing back into myself from the ground up. For the first time in a long time, I am taking very deep breaths.


P.S. When I was away I spent some time with the gorgeous Susannah. She took the picture of me that is in my new banner (and she took the picture of the leaves too!) Look at this AMAZING shot from her photo blog!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

...please leave a message after the beep.

Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise.- Maya Angelou

I took this picture one afternoon at the cottage in Canada. I love it because it's not a black and white picture, it just looks that way. The world at that moment was very much in black and white. (With a teeny tiny bit of blue sky peeking out over the trees.)

I'm taking a break. I found a link for NaBloPoMo last week and then I remembered that it is November and that means NaNoWriMo is happening too. I got all excited thinking about which one I could do. Then I took a good long look in the mirror and realized that I ALREADY have A LOT to do! So I giggled a little bit at myself and shook my head and decided that rather than leap out into a month of imposed deadlines, I would pull back into some work of my own.

So I am taking a blogging rest. I need to get out and live some life so that I will have more to write about. A year ago I went on an amazing journey and met some wonderful women. The months since then have been a whirlwind of good and bad and creative and dry and friendship and loneliness. I decided then that there was a lot I wanted from my life. I think that the anniversary of that trip is a good time to pull focus and get back to the heart of what I want and what I need to do to get there.

Keep me posted on you and know that I will be back in a month. I hope to have an exciting project started and a book nearly finished by the time I return. But until then I will be 'out of the office.' I'll see you when I get back!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

33 years.

"A few years back… not so long ago, heaven and earth erupted into a major celebration with the news of your impending adventure into this very time and space. You see, someone like [you] doesn’t come along all that often… in fact, there’s never been a single one like you, nor is there ever ANY possibility that another will come again. You’re an Angel among us. Someone, whose eyes see what no others will EVER see, whose ears hear what no others will EVER hear, and whose perspective and feelings will NEVER, ever be duplicated. Without YOU, the Universe, and ALL THAT IS, would be sadly less than it is." - my birthday wish from the Universe

As this is MY blog I will not feel one eye-ota (I don't know how to spell eye-ota!) guilty about wishing myself a happy birthday!! I am 33 years old today! It's been an interesting year and a lovely day! I woke up to a sweet version of 'Happy Birthday,' had some lovely presents and birthday wishes, spent the day shopping with a friend and had a nice meal out with Mark and friends. I feel ready and willing to walk boldly into my 34th year with gusto! Watch out universe - this year is going to knock your socks off!

Monday, October 22, 2007

sharing some niceness


The more you flow you into existence
The more existence will flow into you
It is always in the same proportion.

Whatsoever you sow, you reap,
And whatsoever you give, you get.

So, if you want to get more energy,
Give more energy.

If you want to get more love,
Give more love.

If you want existence to shower on you
Great torrents of Bliss,
Then make people Blissful
Wherever you go.

-Osho

I've been surfing the web and found the most yummy site! Amazing deliciousness... maybe someday they will deliver to the UK!

(The photograph above was taken near the cottage Mark and I went to with my parents. This stump is usually submerged but the water is so low this year, it was standing on the beach - beautiful!!)

Hope you are having a good week, wherever you are!

xo

Saturday, October 20, 2007

hello there!

We're back!!

(We were actually back on the day before yesterday but required some time to re-boot the system before I attempted anything coherent!!)

Canada was wonderful! We managed to see nearly everyone I am related to. (At nearly 100 people, that is no easy feat!) But they were kind enough to have big family reunions while we were home, so it was easy! In fact, I also managed to spend some time with my oldest girlfriends too! Now that I sit here and think about it, I saw A LOT of people over the last two weeks!

When we arrived we stayed over night in Brampton so that we could visit my Oma and our possible wedding venue with my parents the next day. And I am so glad we did because we booked our wedding for next October!!!! (weird!) It's going to be at a conservation area that does sustainable energy education programs. The food is all Canadian and "realistically organic" (heh heh heh) and any profit that they make from us goes straight back into programs at the site. We are keeping our fingers crossed for "sunny and warm" for next October because we hope the ceremony will be outside under the fall colours!

Then we had family reunion number one, and then we went to the Norwood Fair (the second photo of the taffy pulling) with my brother and sister-in-law and our niece (the cuteness in the picture at the top!)
THEN we went to a cottage for the middle week with my parents. It was very rustic, very relaxing and very cold. Both Mark and I went swimming, we all went canoeing, I slept and read in nearly equal amounts, and we ate lots of barbequed food. Despite the body count (one mouse and one worm) it was a great few days!

It's strange to be back here again. Even though the flight was only 8 hours, we were traveling for more than 18. When I walked in, I couldn't rest. I needed to fuss and open the doors and windows and unpack. I always feel like our house shifts a little while we are away - like it begins to slide away from us - and I need to make a little noise and bustle to bring it back to us again. I always feel like things are in a different place from the way I left them. I can't explain it any better than that. I've forced myself up early this morning and it feels like it's all back in focus again now.

Sigh! So that's where I've been. I'm feeling quite jet-lagged still, but excited about our year ahead. On Thursday I turn 33!! In less than two months I will be back again for Christmas. A year from now lots of things are going to be different! When I turned 30, my friend Karen gave me a card that said that 30 was going to be MY year. I didn't believe her. But for some reason that card has been haunting me over the past few weeks. I hear it whispering at me. Yes. You know what? I think that maybe it's THIS year that will be MY year!

So how have YoU been???

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Powerful/Canada!

This is going to be a multi-layered post! I am leaving for home this week so I need to make it good!

The prompt this week at Sunday Scribblings is 'powerful.' This is a topic that I have been mulling over an awful lot over the past few weeks. The novel that I have been working on so much has this as one of its underlying themes. It's about female power; about learning to listen to yourself and to get past some of the barriers that a shocking number of women in the western world have up around themselves. It's about where we put that power and what we allow to have power over us.

It's such an intense thing to be thinking about all of the time. A little while ago I decided that I needed to stop writing about all of the ways that I wasn't good enough. I decided to stop writing about all of the ways that I was frustrated and unhappy. Out of that decision came the most productive writing time I have ever had. Writing about power has shone a light into my own perceived lack of it and I have spent some uncomfortable moments realizing what that means.

We are surrounded nearly every moment of every day with the message that we aren't good enough. We aren't thin enough, we aren't rich enough, we don't have enough toys, enough gadgets. We aren't creative enough, we aren't eating the right foods, we aren't using the right products. We are so frightened we have stopped listening to ourselves. We listen to the false internal voices of self-doubt and the mean external voices of discontent. Happy, contented people don't buy lots of things to fill holes and gaps. Frightened, discontented people do. Marketing companies want us to be afraid. They want us to believe we are somehow lacking. They want us to spend money to make up for that perceived lack. They want us to believe that we need their product to make us feel good again. Type 'diet' into Google and you get one hundred and sixty-two million hits. WHAT are we DOING?!

I have a group of dear friends who I think are among the most beautiful women I know. They are creative and beautiful and strong and feisty and fierce. Every single one of them also worries about her weight. Not one of them needs to. If we each took back every ounce of energy that we waste being AFRAID (of being too fat, too thin, not good enough, not strong enough, not lovable, not worthy, not beautiful enough, not creative enough, not, not NOT), things would be different. We could reclaim our power. We could change our lives. We could change our world.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am leaving for Canada this week! "Oh Canada, [my] home and native land!!" We are going home for two things that aren't happening anymore, but we are doing three different things. We are going to two huge family gatherings and spending the week in between at a cottage on a lake. I am going to lay on the dock and canoe with my parents and play with my niece and hang out with my brother and sister-in-law, and play in the autumn leaves and (hopefully) book a wedding venue (eep!) and relax.

We are kind of dashing home so we won't get a chance to see everyone, but we will be home again at Christmas for longer, so that visit will be better. THIS one is about actually having a holiday - YAHOO!! I've told you before how much I love October! When we get back it'll be my birthday and then my work changes and then before you know it it'll be time to go back again. I miss Canada with all of my heart and soul. It's been 9 months since I was there. I'm very excited to reconnect with my landscape.

I'll see you when we get back! Take care of you!

xo

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

quickie post!

Hi there - only time for a quick post but this made me laugh out loud.



Have a marvelous Wednesday!

xo

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Babbling about writing...

"These days

whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them
dangle

And the dirt

Just to make clear
where they come from"

-Charles Olson


Forgive me for my absence and also for my complete obsession with my own words. I have been writing. Yesterday I passed an important word-count landmark. Before when I have written books, I have gone back time after time and edited. I have waited months, even years to complete a paragraph. I have wasted so much time going back and reading what I had already written that I have not finished until the story was stale. But this time it is different. This time I have just been writing it down as it comes to me. I try not to judge or to edit or to read back. I have been leaving the dirt on the roots.

I have hit rough patches. Three of my characters sat in a van for a few weeks as I tried to get them to tell me what they did next. I had to go a chapter ahead and wait for them until they finally told me how they got there. One of my characters spent the better part of a week in a garden shed before she told me that she had discovered the seeds stored in a dusty glass jar on the top shelf. She's out now and has just finished growing a garden full of sweet peas.

I've been devouring the book Fruitflesh as I have been working. So far I feel like I have been collecting the bones of my story, and with every word I read of this book I get more excited to move on from the adventure of the first draft to the juice of the second. For the first time in my life I have completely given myself over to my own words. I have been showing up at the page, listening to the whispers and allowing my writing from the inside out. I can't explain it any better than that. But that is where I have been.

Here's a little bit of advice on writing (or any creative outlet really) - I HIGHLY recommend this book!! (and I just found the author's blog!!! YAY!!)

"If you find your writing getting away from you, bring your focus back to the body. Reel your words back under your skin, to what you're experiencing in the moment - the taste of sourdough in your mouth, the way the light hits the blue lip of the water glass, the scent of dirty laundry wafting across the room. Let yourself be fully present, in the world and on the page. Tell the story only you can tell, the one that hums inside your cells, the one that only you can release. Let the warmth of your body bring your words to full ripeness." - Gayle Brandeis Fruitflesh pg. 15

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

a quote

Wow - two posts in one evening! I was going to stop with one but then I found this quote and it made me want to run and dive into a pot of paint. It made me want to stay up all night creating. I made me want to call Mr. Gregory and invite him over for a delicious tea-party or home made sushi to thank him for putting this piece of writing into the world! So of course, I had to share. (This is an enormous quote and there's MORE than this! It comes from his wonderful book, The Creative License.)

"To be creative, you must be brave and allow yourself to take risks. You must also be a little crazy.

But have an appropriate degree of perspective. Reassure yourself that by doing a watercolour or throwing a pot you won't set off some chain reaction that destroys your entire universe. The whole reason you are feeling any sort of need to be creative is because you, as an organism, feel some need to adapt to changes in your environment. Your job may be too restrictive. Your relationship may be showing you new possibilities. Your daily paper may be reshuffling your deck. Your body may be changing. Or you may just be more sensitive that those around you, a canary in a coal mine, bellwether to changes that others don't yet sense.

Under all those conditions, creative change is no longer a risk - it's an imperative. Give yourself the chance to experiment and reconfigure your life. Start today. Before the volcano erupts or the meteor hits the earth, before you get hit by a bus, or your candidate loses, or your boss makes a cutback - before the changes erupt, and it's too late.
It's time to stop being a dinosaur and start figuring out how to be a bird." - Danny Gregory, The Creative License page 78.

Good night!!

a bit from me...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson.

This quote is one of my favorites. It's been quoted so often by people that sometimes I think we forget to read what it is saying. I know it's been a long time since my last post. I've been... percolating! I've been writing my novel (over 30,000 words now!!) I've been fleshing out another idea, I've been working on the website, and I have been hiding on the couch eating too much chocolate when the possibilities get too big. I admit that am scared of my dreams. But now I am determined to be afraid of them as they are coming true instead of being afraid of them before I have even tried. Subtle. Tricky. But crucial.

xo

Saturday, September 01, 2007

a new year...


"Most of us miss our own lives. Most of us spend our time preparing for a moment that never comes,
while the years slip by, unnoticed, unused." - Geneen Roth


Tonight I came home from work, had a quick shower to wash off the day, and set about beginning my 'divine mojo-boost' ritual. I wasn't sure until I sat down what I was going to do, but I knew that I wanted to get the autumn started off right.

I started by burning some sage. I like thinking that I have cleansed the air of any negative energy. Then I recited the bit of Mary Oliver poetry that I feel hits exactly the note of who I would like to be. (The one on my sidebar.) And then I did what I do best - I wrote - I wrote about all of the aspects of myself that I wanted to release and I gently read them to myself over and over and over again. At first I felt quite silly, and I felt like maybe nothing was going to happen, and then an amazing thing happened. I experienced release.

I felt it in happen in my stomach, just below my chest. I felt a tight place loosen. I hadn't even really known it was tight. I felt my forehead relax and my breath deepen. I felt softer than I have in ages. I folded up the paper, whispered a gentle thank you, burned some sage again and then took my paper out to the barbecue! I lit the edge and as I watched it burn I whispered a wish to the smoke for anyone else who was doing a ritual at the same time as I was. Then I whispered a prayer for those I love, and recited the bit of poetry again.

"I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings." -Mary Oliver

I hope that wherever you are you are feeling rejuvenated and ready for autumn to begin. Here's to a new season and a new year!

And what did you do?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

hunger.

"Trusting ourselves means being willing to hunger - for food, for intimacy,
for comfort, for self-expression.
It is the denial, not the acknowledgement, of hunger that destroys us.
We are all hungry for something." - Geneen Roth


I haven't been. I haven't been consciously hungry for anything for a long time. I have wanted things. I have hoped for things. I have tried to 'manifest' things. I have cried for things. I have eaten things because they were there. I have dreamed about being a published writer. I have been lonely for friends and family. I have felt not good enough as is. I have been afraid of things. I have absolutely longed for things. But I have not been HUNGRY for things.

For me, hungry means wanting something so much that you do anything in order to have it. For me, hungry means that you ignore all rational and conscious thought because you are so determined. Hungry means that there is a real gnawing hunger that needs satiating. For a long, long time that has not been me. I have not listened to my hungers.

I have been eating. I have been watching television. I have been sleeping in. I have been making mess after mess in my house that I need to clean up. I have been emailing, surfing, reading, and generally farting around. I have been wasting precious precious time waiting. Waiting for what? I don't know. I'm embarrassed to say.

Many people (including me) have said that life would be so much easier if we wanted to be ordinary. But I think that on some level I haven't really wanted to be a creative either. I have so many preconceived notions of what that means. I am so scared of so much of it I couldn't begin to list all of the things I am afraid of. Mostly I am afraid to want it too much, or put too much work in, in case it doesn't happen.

In January I declared a theme for 2007. I have decided that starting on Sunday I am going to declare a new theme for the foreseeable future. And it's going to be HUNGRY. I'm going to listen to what I am hungry for and do something about it. That's it. There is no more time to waste. None.

Wish me luck!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Powerful.

"Being powerful is giving yourself permission to feel good. Being powerful is allowing yourself to be as creative, outrageous, honest, sensual and demanding as you are. Being powerful is realizing that you don't have to hide anything from anyone." - Geneen Roth

I am home sick today. My stomach told me that it has had enough excitement and it needed a break. On my way past the bookshelf this morning, I picked up the very first book I put my finger on. It was one by the amazing Geneen Roth. As it turns out, it was one of the books that I have marked as I read it before. So today I was able to read messages from myself - to see what passages have resonated before - and to see how much I have changed since the first read.

Today I found this passage and I loved - loved - loved it. As I am preparing for my mojo-ritual on Sunday, I thought it was perfect timing! I wanted to share it with you:

"Ask yourself - now - what would happen if you were to become as powerful as you are?

Who would be frightened?
How would your life change?
How would you eat?
What would you wear?
What kinds of things would upset you?
How would you walk, talk?
What kind of work would you do?
Who would be your friends?
Does you life, the way it is now, support you in becoming powerful?
Do one powerful thing today.
Tomorrow, when you wake up, dress as if you were expressing your power. Then walk through the day as a powerful woman would.
Treat yourself as if you were already enough."

- Geneen Roth

Saturday, August 25, 2007

on beauty in two different ways

I am working on three projects right now! That's right - THREE! I am on page 90 in my book, I am working on our website and I got two amazing idea flashes in the last week or so. One of them I am going to shelve for a little while (after letting the Universe know that I accept it of course!) and one left me tingling so much that I think I might get started on it.

I have a real issue with all of this inspiration. I have a lot of trouble visualizing. I can sense my projects but I can't see them. My book has been easy because I am just writing it. It will be a novel-of-sorts. (It's sort of a grown up woman's fairy tale.) But the other two require some artwork or photographs or SOMETHING and I just can't do it. I have a whole non-fiction 'self-help/ inspirational' book written - WRITTEN - and it's just sitting on my computer waiting for me to go back and revise and edit and visually make it the thing I want it to be. But I can't do that bit. I can't get the beauty out of my head and onto the page. And I don't feel like I can send it to a publisher without the beauty. I know that they would get an amazing illustrator/ artist to do the images but I don't want my words to be rejected because I can't illustrate what they mean to someone. The beauty is instrumental.

So I continue to sit down and write the books and the pieces and then I leave them in files where no one reads them. My latest idea could be incredible. It involves a book and a website and helping people to create concrete evidence of who they are and how they got there. It could be a cool workshop as well... sigh. I have some artistic ability, but the link between brain and output just isn't there. I can't SEE what I want it to be, I can only SENSE what it already is. Does that make any sense at all??


(I meant this post to be about something entirely different today but the post took on a life of its own. Michelle put a link to a site on her blog and I went there. Please read Michelle's instructions and her fabulous post about it and then go to this website. It's absolutely incredible. You will be amazed.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

craving some "divine mojo!"

"Autumn... asks that we prepare for the future - that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go - to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness." - B.W. Overstreet

I have an invitation for you. I would like you to join me in a spirit-lightening, mojo-boosting ritual!

For many people the year begins on January 1rst. At the beginning of a new year we write resolutions and make promises to ourselves. We look at the things we need to change and we hope that by the end of the year we will have everything we ever wanted. For me it has always made much more sense to have those sorts of thoughts in the autumn. With school starting and summer ending, it always seemed to me that the year started fresh in September. I've written about this before here.

But here I am, sitting in the middle of August, feeling a little cramped by parts of my life that don't quite fit anymore. I read other blogs and feel the same thing from all of you. We vow to do differently than we do now over and over again. It's exhausting. I am feeling ready to relax the reins a bit. I feel ready to take a breath.

Yesterday I was feeling in need of inspiration so I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and opened the first book I touched. This is what I read:

"...create your own rituals - whatever you like, and for any reason whatsoever, as long as they really mean something to you and have some divine weight, some honest tang. Your rituals can be shaped around almost anything at all - like a job promotion or a breakup - or just because you're really craving some divine mojo." - Sera Beak - The Red Book

That's me alright - craving some divine mojo! So I decided to create my own autumnal ritual. And inspired by Jamie's Dance Party, I decided to ask if you would do it with me!

So you are invited to participate in a mojo-boosting autumn new-year ritual!

When: September the 2nd at 6pm GMT. You'll have to do your own math to figure out what time this will be for you where you are! (it should really be September 1rst but I figured more people will be home on Sunday to do it!)

What: a new you ritual. You can be as big or as small as you like. It's about stopping and taking stock, taking a deep breath, releasing some old gunk, and stepping into the rest of the year revived. "Some rituals are enacted simply to mark a special time, to focus a desire, break a nasty habit, encourage a healthier you, or celebrate a traditional event. There is much to be explored in the betwixt. There is much fun to be had in the between." - Sera Beak.

How: you choose what you do that would be meaningful to you. You could have a bath, light some candles, write yourself some vows, burn something (carefully), sip some tea or some wine or some champagne, get a tattoo, write poetry, marry yourself, burn some sage or incense, bake bread, meditate, or anything else that will help you feel different when you are finished. Participate at the same time and offer a small wish at the end to the other people who are doing it with you. Then blog about it if you like.

Who: Everyone is invited (even non-bloggers!) I believe that the more people do it, the more powerful it will be.

Please join me - and we can all breathe deeply and move lightly into autumn together!

xo

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I need your advice!!

Okay peeps, I have a question for you!! (All of you - even the lurkers - I wanna know what you think too!!)

Mark and I are about to embark on weddingness. Since we got engaged people have been asking us what we are doing and when we are doing it. We have no idea when or what or how. We are going to sit down and start talking about it soon but everything I look at about weddings is SCARY!! It all seems to involve lists and things that we must do. There doesn't seem to be anything anywhere about how to make up a beautiful, meaningful, simple, elegant, memorable day.

So what I would love is if you would give me some advice. What did you do that worked? What have you seen done at weddings that you thought was lovely? What wouldn't you have done? What would be your dream wedding? What advice/ inspiration/ tips/ wisdom can you give me? Our facts are: two countries, small budget, and enormous family in Canada.

So can you help?

P.S. Karen - the Pimms & Nibbles are for you!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

possessed.


"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else." - Glorian Steinem

I am finding it increasingly difficult to remain in the real world. I have just finished reading the final Harry Potter book and I am having difficulty climbing out of it. Plenty of books have come and gone in my life that have left no impact. I can remember most of them, but they did not come to be a part of me. There have been books, however, that left me reeling. This feeling does not necessarily come from a heavy or intense story, but usually from the sense of being fully immersed in its world. When I finish a book that has claimed me, it is often like coming up for air. Part of me wants to be out, to be done, to be back on firm ground and part of me is longing to be back deep inside.

But the strangest thing has happened to me this week. I have been inhabiting two books at the same time. One was Harry Potter and the other was my own manuscript. The characters in one of the books were bringing me along with them as I read about their lives, and the characters in the other have been taking up residence in my head. I don't feel like it is me writing this book. I feel like it is being whispered to me. When I am not writing it whole scenes appear before me, and sentences, paragraphs and snippets of dialogue swim by in quick succession. When I am writing it I don't always know what is going to come out until it is there on the page. If you watched me reading it back you would see me shaking my head in surprise.

So the result of all of this is that my head is a bit full of fiction. There is scarcely time or space for anything else. There was simply no question of stopping reading or writing so the rest of my life has suffered. I find myself being angry at my 'real' life because it gets in the way. I missed a wonderful bit of conversation the other day because I was dealing with something at work and I couldn't stop to write the words down as the came to me. I've said before that I needed to stop writing so that I could get by in my daily life. That's still true! But now I want to give up the daily life to make room for the writing. Oh, to be able to sit down and focus on one thing at a time!

Reading this back it sounds quite negative and that is not how I mean it to sound. I am deeply, passionately in love with my book. I was deeply involved in reading Harry Potter. I am happiest and most in 'the flow' when involved in such relationships with books. It is just overwhelming sometimes. I have never felt like this about a piece of my own writing before. I have had wonderful feedback from a few friends who have read it and from Mark (he's even asked me what was going to happen next a few times - a very good sign as it is a VERY woman-y book!) I know that I am going to have to come up for air sooner or later, but in the meantime, you'll have to forgive me for any absence. I've returned from Hogwarts, but that was only part of me. I'm still not fully here. I'm afraid I've become lost in another book, and this one is going to be much more difficult to leave behind.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Universe is kicking my butt!

(When we were in Exeter with my parents we walked by this amazing door and of course my Dad needed to see what was on the other side so he pushed it open. Turns out it was another door!!) (Deep eh?!)

For the last little while I have been doing a lot of thinking about all of the ways that I DON'T do the things that I want for myself. But when I started doing that today I could actually hear Dr. Phil in my head saying, "How's that working for ya?" So I decided to stop and think about the ways that I DO work towards my dreams. "Enough of this defeatist bullshit," I thought. Clearly I do more good than bad or I would not be living the life I do.

This week I have been up by 6:30am every morning and I have written my book. It's been my sacred date. I have pushed past my blockage (I had three characters sitting in a van for ages. Two wanted to be in the book, but I didn't know what to do with them,) and I am now bustling towards the 60 page mark - yippee yahoo!

This morning I found this quote:

Again and again in history some people wake up. They have no ground in the crowd and they move to broader, deeper laws. They carry strange customs with them and demand room for bold and audacious action. The future speaks ruthlessly through them. They change the world. -- Rainer Maria Rilke

It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I hope that in some small way by the end of my life, I have done something that changes the world - even if it is just for one person.

And then today I got this message from the Universe:

Live your dreams now, Meghan, to any degree that you can. With every purchase. Every decision. Every hello and goodbye. Every assignment. Every conversation. Every meal. Every morning, afternoon and evening. And never, ever, ever look back.

Reframe every thought, word, and deed from the perspective of the person you've always dreamed you'd be, as if your life was already as you've always dreamed it would be. Die to yesterday's illusions and be reborn to the truth of your vision.

And let's just see if you can handle the onslaught of treasures I send your way.

Your greatest admirer, biggest fan, and truest friend -
The Universe

And it kicked my ass. I would like to report my friends that I am BACK ON TRACK!!

Some days it is easy to move toward your dreams and some days it is hard. Some days I can pay attention to the good things I've done and some days I can only eat my weight in sugar. Some days I am strong and some days I need to be quiet and still. Sometimes I feel inspiring and other days I need inspiration. I am so glad that when it is needed most, inspiration seems to come - even if it needs to come from inside, from the outside, or from the universe.

xo

Friday, July 27, 2007

Songs that make me happy and 8 things.

I was half way through creating this post when I was tagged by Denise to reveal 8 random things about me. So I am going to use the songs I was linking to as one of my things.
  • We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  • Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
  • At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and they should read your blog.

1. I am crazy about collecting music - but I am very selective. I only want it if I love it. (Any suggestions for people I should listen to?) Here are the songs I was going to share with you today anyway:

This one makes me happy!

This one makes me dance!

This one makes me wriggle!

This one makes me laugh!

This one was sent to me by a friend!

This one makes me smile!

and this one is just plain wonderful!

2. I am scared of mushrooms. Seriously. Someone told me once that they don't need sunshine to grow and I have been suspicious of them ever since. I can only eat them if I can't SEE them. I am also scared of the dark but that comes from working at camp. I won't elaborate.

3. I'm weird about eating things in twos. If you offer me something to eat that is small like an M&M, I will always ask if I can have two - one for each side of my mouth.

4. I moved to England in October of 1998 with a bag, £300, and three nights in a hotel in London (thanks to my Mom!) I had no idea what was next. I ended up moving to the tiniest village in the world and meeting the man who I am now engaged to. Crazy old world.

5. I think I have told you this before, but I once made an apple pie dressed in a full pioneer costume on Breakfast Television.

6. I can flip my tongue over and I can wink one eye without scrunching it up - like a doll. People are usually a little freaked out by it.

7. I am very messy. I ALWAYS need to clean off my desk before I can get to work. The result of this is that I do most of my writing while sitting on the couch surrounded by my notes. My dream is to have a big office just for me with a drafting table, desk, supply cupboard and lots of inspiration all over the walls.

8. I LOVE beautiful things. When I was younger people used to come into my room just to sit and look at all of the things I had on my walls. I love ribbon and cards with quotes on them and pictures of flowers and glitter and... well... just everything that makes me smile and sigh. Now I have just one bulletin board and my desk that I can make chaotic with colour and beauty. But when we move - look OUT!!

Okay - so 8 people. The problem is that so many people have already had this. If I tag you and you have already done this, please forgive me! Please - no pressure!! XO I tag Jamie, Claudia, Jessie, Tori, Frida, Maddie, Bee, & Jen.

long lost me!

(This photo is Mark and I on the 'Jurassic Coast' near Lyme Regis. It's a world heritage site, and as you can see, it's a lovely hot sunny summer here in the UK!)

I keep coming back here and saying how long it's been since I've been here. It's getting ridiculous. I really am going to try to get back on here more. I miss it. I find myself blogging in my head every now and then, and wondering what it going on with other bloggers. It's strange to care so much about people that you have never met.

I have been away from the computer for awhile because my parents were here for ten days. When they were gone it took me a couple of days to find my feet again. Before this trip I only missed them in Canada. Now I miss them here - does that make sense? So I was experiencing re-entry issues. I didn't want to be at work, I missed them, I was irritable and grouchy, these are all road blocks to a sunny blog post!

But I am also really tired of coming on here and complaining. I'm tired of coming on here and wishing that things were different. I am tired of coming on here and being inspired and having nothing come of it. I am tired of myself. I am so bored of myself I want to have someone pinch me and wake me up. My readership is dwindling and I tell myself that it is because I am never here, but maybe it's also because when I am here I am SO BORING. Blah blah, overweight, blah blah, not writing, blah blah homesick, blah blah don't want to go to work, blah blah blah blah blah BLAH.

Does anyone out there have that golden ticket? Does anyone out there know exactly what key I need to unlock that bit of my brain that won't let me KEEP ON doing the right things for me? What do I say to myself when I sit down to watch television instead of writing my book? What charm do I rub to get me to remember that staying where I am is actually scarier than taking a big brave leap? What song can I sing to myself that will charge me up like Maria in The Sound of Music to go running off, suitcase in one hand, creativity in another to meet my dreams?

I know that making a leap is actually a series of lots of little leaps and it's about making the decision over and over and over again. Wouldn't it be grand if we could just LEAP and that one choice would propel us out and into our lives, changing our attitudes and decisions forever? Wouldn't it be grand if the simple act of writing, "From now on things are going to be different!" in our journals could actually MAKE them different! Wouldn't it be grand if saying no to one cookie could make us able to eat healthily forever! Wouldn't it be grand if all it took to live creatively was to dip a single toe in that river. We would be swept away and all would be well. We could live in a swirl of glitter and ribbon and words and colour and abundant income. So come on, what's the magic word then? What will it be?

Life would be so much easier if I wanted to be ordinary.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

too many layers

"Whatever has happened to us has contributed to us." - SARK

I am a worrier. I am a worrier, a planner, a bag of nerves, and a internal-freaker-outer. But I am also a coper. I am also a rationalizer, a deal-with-it-er, and a fix-er. While all of these sides of my personality have their moment in my head, sometimes, like this week, they all set up camp at the same time, wear their biggest fanciest hats, and have a tea party that seems to be half located in my brain and half located in my digestive system.

This week seemed to have me on a permanent state of alert. I had a big interview for a big grown-up job on Tuesday (which I didn't get,) I had big serious meetings, lots of questions from people about our engagement, only one day off last week, and my parents arrived on Wednesday. I had equal amounts of excitement, nerves, stress and joy coursing through my veins. This all equals a me that realized last night at dinner that she was forgetting to breathe!

But it's simply amazing what difference a night of good long sleep makes. I woke up this morning feeling philosophical about the job (obviously it wasn't meant to be,) excited about a day spent out with my parents, and rested for the first time in weeks. The tea party appears to have ended. They have all retired to their beds leaving the rational bit of my brain to sweep up the crumbs, empty and wash the glasses, and put away their hats. It doesn't mind being left to do the cleaning. It likes some space now and then.

P.S. I took this picture in Rome because I loved how it looked (and because I thought that it would be a picture that my friends who are photographers would be proud of me for taking - ha ha ha!) It felt like the right picture for today's post!

P.P.S. Susan P now T. if you are reading this - please email me! I've been trying to email you and I think I have an old address!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

past lives and scary snakes

I have had the strangest day. We went to a 'new age' festival. I use that term for lack of a better title. It smelled of incense, chai tea and hemp bags - there were people there with dreadlocks and briefcases - you could buy prayer bowls and Buddhas - you tell me if you can think of a better term for the day. We have gone other years and participated in money manifestation meditations, I have had a healing done, met my guardian angels, and bought some strange plants for our garden. This year we only signed up for one session. It was about past-life regression.

Now I will not get into what I believe or what you believe or if you think I was right to go on a session of this kind. I am fascinated with all aspects of energy and life and I love 'taster-sessions' about things, so this type of place is perfect for me. I get to have a look in without ignoring what I believe fundamentally. We went in and sat down and listened to the man doing the session for awhile. He then took us through a meditation to open our chakras and then lock them down. There were so many people in the room he said locking our energy in would be better.

I have said before how much trouble I have visualizing. When he took us through that first meditation I did fairly well. I am not sure if I did it right but whatever. After talking some more he began taking us through another meditation. I won't give you a play-by-play, but I did really well at first. I could actually see what he said I would see. When we got to a last door, I had a vivid impression of a huge serpent on the door. Just after I saw this he said that I would be meeting an animal guide that would help me find my way to my book. (I can't remember what the place was called but there is apparently a library in the astral plane that has each of our own personal books in it. In these books is written the story of our lives (all of them) and on them is written our spiritual name.) I was a bit shaken by the big scary snake apparently being my animal guide but I followed the snake through the door.

At this point the meditation got scary. I was supposed to come to a book - which I did - and I did see a name on the cover which shook me (I can't explain why, I'm not supposed to tell what that name is.) When I opened the book all I had in my head were scary images - long, dark blowing hair (like a mermaid's might look with pointy ends), scary faces, pointy Hallowe'en-y trees, etc. I was supposed to be seeing a 'past life' or something, but there was nothing like that. I was so shaken when he finally brought us out of it, I was physically shaking.

So if anyone reading this knows anything about any of this - help! What does it all mean??

P.S. THANK YOU for all of the kind wishes on our engagement! Put your thinking caps on - I am going to be asking for your creative advice!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rome

"Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city." - Anatole Broyard


I wanted to wait to write this until I had spoken to a few people on the phone but with the time difference, that has proven tricky so I just can't wait any more.

Rome was amazing. If Paris is the city of love, then Rome is the city of passion! Everything about it just seems robustly alive. This energy coupled with the surrounding antiquity takes the breath away. We had a marvelous time. It was extremely hot so we would get up early and see the sites and then go back to our flat for chilled wine and olives and cold cold showers. Then we would venture out after dark for Gelato. If you ever go to Italy and don't have Gelato I will find and slap you. Divine.

We got up at 5am on our last morning. It was just dawn and we made our way blearily to the Trevi Fountain. On previous visits we found the fountain crawling with tourists and we wanted it to ourselves. When we got there we were alone (except for one policeman.) Mark took a few pictures and then we sat on one of the benches for a moment and then he got down on one knee and proposed!

So we are officially engaged! People have been asking us for details already but we don't know anything except that we are enjoying being engaged for now and we'll deal with the details later!!

Sigh!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Where we've been...

I'll tell you a story tomorrow when I have had a chance to unpack and to process it all. The places we've been, the things we've seen and the things we've done have left us reeling with the romance, the heat, the beauty and the passion that was and is Rome. Yes, you read that right. We spent a long weekend in ROME. sigh.







Thursday, June 21, 2007

Magical Mystery Tour!

I am just moments away from a magical mystery tour! Mark and I are off for our first holiday in months! We have been slogging and working and trying and writing and creating and painting and we are running away for a few days of none of that!! I have NO idea where we are going. All I know is that I MIGHT need a passport and that Mark slipped and asked what he should use as a 'carry-on!'

I am very excited!!

xo

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mom, Dad, Dave, don't read this.

A couple of years ago I spent a day at the London Zoo. When I got to the Elephant enclosure, I was shocked and saddened to see two beautiful elephants standing side by side, swaying back and forth. Anyone with any sort of empathy could see that these incredible creatures were experiencing massive amounts of stress. Although it was only a few weeks later that I heard that the elephants had been removed from the zoo, I often think of them and wonder about where they are and if they are feeling better.

Last night, I went into the bathroom and a few minutes later I realized I was doing exactly what the elephants had been doing. I was standing still in the middle of the room, staring off into space. I was even swaying a little. I told you before that I am a very bad DIY’er. Well, I officially hit a wall last night. I am stressed. It’s more than my house being in chaos that is getting to me, but it used to be that at least when I got home, I could relax a little bit. Now I have added another level of ‘shoulds’ to my life and it is really affecting me.

This morning Mark said, “I feel like we are chopping our way through a jungle, and there must be a clearing around here somewhere, damnit!” We have so many plans and dreams and really when you step back and really look at our life, it’s not bad at all. But every single thing around us seems to have a leak that we have to plug, and I am rapidly running out of fingers. Is everything always going to be this hard?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

big things ahead!

I subscribe to Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology horoscopes.
This is what I got this week:

"SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I suggest we title this chapter of
your life story "The Perplexing Joy of Hundreds of Emotions,"
or maybe "The Wild Peace of Way Too Many Feelings." That
may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's an apt reflection of
your immediate future: extreme, expansive, melodramatic,
spectacularly educational, and filthy rich with intrigue.
You may not break the world's record for most mood shifts
in a good cause, but you could very well smash your own
personal record."

Oh dear. Should I be excited or terrified?

Monday, May 28, 2007

new normal.

"Listen, are you breathing just a little,
and calling it a life?...
For how long will you to continue to listen to
those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!" - Mary Oliver

Quoted in "Oprah," June 2007.


I am feeling so overwhelmed by yuckiness right now. I have a wicked, evil cold, an inflamed nerve in my shoulder, and Mark and I are doing DIY. I am a lot of things that are great. I am NOT a good DIY'er. I get cranky. Two years ago when we had an extension of sorts built on our flat, I got a real stomach ulcer from the stress. So when I say I am a bad DIY'er, I mean it.

I spent most of the weekend painting. We decided on 'Almond White' for the walls. (Hilariously it has dried with a definite pink tone.) I painted while Mark worked on our bathroom. My parents are coming for just over a week in July and I wanted one of the walls to look better for their visit. It's turned into a full-blown fix-fest.

When I was going through some sadness a few years ago I was intrigued by the concept of creating a 'new normal.' As I was standing in our kitchen last night the idea came back into my head. I looked at our new walls, and I realized that I already had trouble remembering what it looked like before. I was already forgetting the yellow that I had lived with for four years. I had already begun to experience 'new normal.'

When big changes or big sadness or big emotions happen in our lives, gaps are created; we don't fit anymore, and things will never be the same. Normal as we knew it is no longer possible, and we can either get stuck in the muck of what-ifs or we can create a new normal. I realized last night that all of the things that I have been struggling with have been because I am continuing with the same old shit. I have been reenacting the same old patterns as if I was the same old me. But I am not the same woman that moved to England all of those years ago. I am so different in a lot of ways.

Ironically as I made these huge realizations, I came down with a stonking cold that has forced me onto the couch. Never mind. A kick in the ass is a step forward, right?! So I got a kick in the ass AND a time-out all at the same time. I think I'm going to take the time-out first and then take the kick in the ass when I am feeling better. But don't worry, I will try to learn the lessons of both!

snuffle.

(The photograph above was taken by the gorgeous Susannah.)

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Big Blogging Break

"Love who you are and what you do. Laugh at yourself and at life, and nothing can touch you. It's all temporary anyway. Next time you will do it differently anyway, so why not do it differently right now?" - Louise Hay

Where I am/ where I have been - A List.

1. I have been writing. This has been overwhelming because the more I write the more my projects fill me. If I ignore the urges and I don't write in the day, I can get on with my life quite easily. If I get up and write in the morning, I can't seem to stop. I find myself scribbling on any scrap of paper I can find, making notes, writing all day long. It frightens me and I can see why I stopped writing in the first place.

2. I am also overwhelmed by my need to change. I have been trying to work with the Law of Attraction, but I have so many things I want for myself (healthy weight, published book, successful website, clean house, good relationships) that I feel tightly stretched over my life. I feel like I need to pick one at a time to focus on, but none of these things can wait. I get so excited about all of my possibilities and I can't get focused on just one. It's tricky.

3. I have been going to work. It's been hard. I am in desperate need of a holiday!! Luckily I get to spend this weekend with a dear friend!!

4. I have been trying to cook more. I always get flack because I don't cook very often. Mark cooks almost every meal. He is an astounding cook. I am not. I have been known to cry when faced with putting a plate together. I call this picture, "Why Mark Cooks." I was making Cottage Pie & this is our kitchen. Yeesh.

5. I have become addicted to Nutella. I put it on ginger-oat biscuits. This is not good for the healthy weight portion of my goals. (I am slightly horrified to see that it has a website. Should I be?)

6. I am forcing myself to wait to read the new Joanne Harris book. I LOVE her writing. 'Chocolat' is one of my favorite books and this is apparently a follow-on from that book. I have it sitting right beside me on my table as I type. It's calling me. It's tempting me. But I am not allowed to read it until I have written five days in a row. I realized after making that vow that I am going away this weekend, so I am going to have to wait until next weekend. Sigh.

7. Please accept my apologies if I do not come here very often. My job takes up so much energy that when I get home I don't have very much to give, and I need to give it to my goals. I'll let you know how my visit goes this weekend!! YAY for mini-breaks with friends!!

8. Here is a little beauty for your life. Go here to make one for yourself - it's fabulous!

B E A U T y - blue star memorial

Friday, April 27, 2007

Miss Potter

The strangest thing happened to me tonight. I had a movie-induced moment. I won't call it an epiphany, but it felt like something quite close to one.

I've always been a girl who loved magic. I don't mean hocus pocus or scary people in robes in the woods, I mean the magic that happens every day. I was blessed with an unusual childhood and unusual parents in a place where it was easy to believe in magic. I was also blessed with a Grandfather who made me believe in leprechauns. While I loved the Anne of Green Gables books, it was Emily of New Moon that enchanted me. I wanted to believe in faeries in the woods.

When I was old enough to decide that I wanted to be a writer I began looking for people to whom I could relate. When you are a teenager and female and you love writing there is a core reading list. I was drawn to Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath but I had real trouble reading them. They were both profound and incredible but I found that I could not relate to them. Bad things had happened to me but I had not embraced the darkness as they seemed to. I stumbled around a little. I could not be a writer. I lacked the angst and the issues that a Real Writer must stumble against. I did not recognize myself anywhere.

So that brings me back to tonight. Mark and his Dad were away tonight so his Mom and I decided to watch a girl-movie. I rented "Miss Potter" and I was just expecting a nice movie. I didn't know anything about her and I don't really remember reading her books when I was a kid. I was completely enchanted. I recognized her. She was an ordinary women who did not want to live an ordinary life. She saw magic in the world around her and enjoyed it. She was creative and a strange extrovert/introvert mix. Bad things happened to her but she recovered. She never lost that sense of magic and possibility.

So I am sitting here at midnight feeling lighter than I have in ages. Until tonight I hadn't realized how I felt about being a Writer. I didn't know that I couldn't see myself as a writer because I hadn't anyone to compare myself to. I didn't know that I didn't want to be a writer if it meant darkness and angst. I was given a gift tonight in an unlikely package. I was given a bit of insight and I was given a heroine. I am deeply grateful.