Tuesday, June 23, 2015

RIDE!



When I was young, I had a red, Kawasaki 125 dirt bike, complete with a kickstart, choke and hot, Southern evenings.  I would count the hours until I could get home, finish homework, and head out the door to crank her up (sometimes, it would take a while) and just RIDE. She'd sputter and die, but I'd crank and crank until she'd finally start, engine spitting and oil smoking.  I still remember that smell.  My little brother had a Honda 50.  Off we'd go, for hours, round and round our property on a circular trail until the dusk arrived, and the sun said goodbye.  Summertime was the best.  It was an absolute escape for me...and God did I desperately need that departure from my life.  The only thing that was most difficult about my evening rides was the moment I'd reach the fork in the trail...the wide open dirt road. Every single time around, oh how I wanted to take that fork, and let go, go fast, and go free.

Now, I can take the fork on the wide open road, and I do so with great anticipation and great respect.  

Great anticipation, because I never know what is waiting ahead for me after I round the bend.  My senses, always heightened.  For I must be fully and completely engaged in each moment, without hesitation.  The sounds of my motor beneath me makes me feel alert and alive .  Scents, so many wonderful, authentic, organic scents.  Fragrant, blooming flowers and trees, the pine sap and grass.  Pastures of green and smoking leaves.  Birds swoop down from the sky, and seem to dance with me, if only for a moment.  Hot air balloons gently lift off the ground.  Sometimes, the setting sun is in front of me, sometimes, behind, but it's always there, surrounding me with blankets of soft light.  It illuminates the road before me.  I feel the changing temperature as I ride through an oasis of tall, towering trees.  It's hot, it's cold, it's cool.  Oh my God, deer appear, from out of nowhere. Now, I'm really alert and alive. Which is why I always greet my rides with respect.

It's a dance, this ride, and it's about honor.  Honor and respect for a machine that is larger than me in so many aspects.  Respect for others, respect for myself.  But it's agreeable, and we dance together in beautiful harmony.  The longer we are together, the more we bond.  I get what I need...therapy and freedom from the endless to do lists, emails and  "deliverables" of life.  A chance to just be, for that's all I can be in this sacred space of me, a machine and mother nature.  And it's empowering to master the ride. It's not about domination; it's about collaboration.  And that waltz is wonderful and liberating, even ecstatic.    It's flying, without wings.  

For anyone, especially women, thinking about getting a bike, I highly encourage it.  Yes, it's risky...but isn't everything in life, on some level?  It's the degree of risk that supports the highest reward.  I've never felt more free and more relaxed than when I'm riding.  It's an addiction, a healthy one, that is fulfilling on some many levels.  My father, one of the bravest men I know, having served three tours in Vietnam, is one of my biggest fans and advocates.  He's been riding for years, and being able to share this love of the road with him is very special.  

So I encourage you...take that fork in the road, and let go, go fast and go free. The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, especially on warm, Summer nights :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Do You Notice?



Do You Notice...

Do you notice?  Do you?  Do you notice the small, amazing, beautiful things in your amazingly beautiful life?  Do you notice?

Do you notice the ever-changing hues of the sky under which you walk, every single day? How sometimes it's filled with soft, wavering tones of blues and pinks, and other days, it's fiery, consumed with shades of siennas and golds?  How it transforms, like magic, from morning, to noon, to night?  Do you notice the millions of stars, and vastness of our universe on a crystal, clear evening?  Do you notice how you are part of this divinity?  Small and infinite at the same time?  Do you notice the rings around the moon, and how she shifts and moves, pregnant and full, to crescent and curved?  Then how she disappears, only to peek out again, slowly, leisurely, night by night.  Do you notice the clouds, when they are heavy with rain, or lazily passing by, with a soft, temperate breeze?  Do you even notice the wind, how if feels against your skin, on a cool, summer evening, after a humid, hot day?  Do you notice the sweat on your brow, and how it stings as it rolls into your eyes? Like bridled tears. Do you notice the scents of an early spring or a late fall?  Sweetness of flowers, spice and fire.  Do you notice how the wet grass on a midst-filled morning feels against your bare, soft feet? Or how the leaves look and sound when they twirl, gently, dancing to the ground to form a spellbinding kaleidoscope of color, blankets of beauty.  

Do you notice the euphoria and gratefulness in your parent's voice when you call them just to say "hi"?  Do you notice?  Do you observe when they are sad, or lonely, missing you?  Do you notice how blissful they are when you spend those extra few moments with them, that you "sacrificed" from you seemingly important and busy day? It makes them feel special and valued, even though you might be a million miles away, focusing on your insignificant to do lists.  Are you truly, fully present with them, sharing that moment in time with them, that you will never, ever get back? Do you notice their unwavering devotion to you, their belief in you, and your dreams, if you are oh so fortunate?  Do you really listen to the angelic sound of a child's innocent, immaculate giggle? Do you notice how they notice you? Emulating you, admiring you?  How they stare into your eyes, to recognize, your soul?  Do you notice how it feels with a wet, cold nose pressed against your cheek, a request to give you, selflessly, unconditional love?  Do you notice a heart-filled welcome home, a magnificent gift after a long, hard, stressful, day?  Do you?  Do you notice?  

Do you notice the seemingly insignificant, meager, subtle, small gifts we are given every single day in this amazingly, beautiful life?  Please begin to notice. I am trying to notice.  

Every.Single.Moment. Every.Single.Day.  

Blessed be.



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Nature's Wheel



“Life is like a flowing stream; once the flow stops, our life becomes stagnant. When we remove the dams and debris we have accumulated and encourage it to flow freely, it becomes a source of sustenance and renewal and growth for us and for all with whom we share it.” 
~Tom Hackett~







With Spring and a renewed focus on what truly matters in my life, the dams are slowly but surely coming down.  This past Winter was burdensome and heavy.  I felt the cold on so many different levels.  I was actually melding with the bitterness and frigidity that Winter oftentimes brings as she invades the colorful hues of Autumn.  

Little did I know that my sweet dog was in the Autumn of his life, and as January arrived, he would quickly move into the Winter of his days.  It was painful.  Excruciating?  Agonizing?  Actually, there really are no words to adequately express  the feelings that such a tremendous loss brings with it.  If you've ever really loved something, and lost it, then you are enlightened to this heartache.  

But Nature is beautiful in her ever turning wheel, and just like the cold, harsh Midwestern Winter, the loss of Guinness was also a season in my life.  As Winter slowly retreats and gives way to the flourishing blossoms and colors of Spring, I am embracing her lesson of this loss and flow. By releasing fear and anger, and surrendering my pain, I'm feeling renewed and my creativity is slowing raising her head.  I still cry almost every day, but I know he walks beside me, and will always be with me.  And I know, without hesitation, that he guided Stout my way.  Who else would give me such a miracle, complete with a heart on  his nose?

For those of you who may be going through something similar, or equally painful, seek solace in the seasons of life.  Know that Winter always gives way to Spring...





Some new things for Spring, coming soon!  I love you all.  Thank you for being in my life!

 s










Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Succumb to the Numb




I am going to die with my music still in me.  I'm going to die with my music still in me if I don't start making some radical changes in my life.  Yes, this is a rather intense and introspective, personal statement. It's not easy to admit that I'm lacking color and energy, and have, by default "succumbed to the numb".  I recently read a quote by Anais Nin that seemed to shake me to my core because is resonated so deeply with my soul.

"You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken." 
~Anais Nin~

When I first started making jewelry, I felt like a giddy child that had just been given the keys to a magical kingdom.  I spent hours exploring and playing and making things.  I was spellbound by this mystical place.  My muses  constantly surrounded me, and urged me to try new things.  And I felt this way about it for years. But lately, my muses are elusive.  I missed them at first, but then I got used to them not being around.  Deep exhaustion set in.  A kind of "bone deep" tired.  And then...numbness. A surrender to the gray, grind of life. Existing but not really living.  I've slowly allowed the demands of life to extract the life force of creativity and exploration from me.  My soul is sad right now.  But I view it as a wake up call to take heed and notice. To acknowledge and embrace, once again, the things that make my heart happy and the activities that cause my soul to sing.  I have to create and dream.  I love writing and art and poetry and music.  I must surround myself with these pleasures to feel alive and justified. 

I realize that these feelings are cyclical, and they will pass.  One of my favorite authorsClarissa Pinkola Estés, says, “The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place.” 

I'm in a season of solitude and incubation.  The important thing is that I recognize it, acknowledge it and move forward with integrating the things I love so dearly back into my life.  Only then, will I be complete and whole. I refuse to die with my music in me.  I'd rather share it with the world.





Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nothing Gold Can Stay


Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay
~Robert Frost~


I adore Autumn.  I love everything about it.  The scents and the colors and even the way the light gently falls on the early morning and late evening.  Rich hues of auburn, sienna and gold.  The aroma of freshly baked bread and thick hearty soups.  Sweaters and boots, hoodies, blankets and fires.  I was born during the Fall, and celebrate this season more than any other.  

But as much as enjoy this time of the year, I'm always met with a bit of melancholy that I cannot explain with the turning of the great wheel.  The warmth and light, like a sweet friend or beloved relative who has visited with you, and shared hours of fun and laughter, alas must bid you adieu. You miss this friend for days after her departure.  You feel empty, alone and shed a few tears.  Something is definitely missing, and nothing seems to replace this sinking feeling.  

We are approaching the Autumn Equinox, otherwise known as Mabon.  Mabon marks the time of reaping the harvest and gathering the fruits of summer labor and toil.  The day and the night are equal.  Balance exists, if only for a day.  However the scales will tip, and our beautiful, sweet golden light will once again will slowly slip away for a while. I always miss the light,and the absence of it makes me a bit sad.  

These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago.  This GOLDEN color was permeating the early evening sky and I was able to capture a moment. Pure, sweet, GOLDEN light.  It graced me with its presence, it then, just like that, it was gone.  I was gently reminded that nothing gold can stay...

"The days may not be so bright and balmy - yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory.  Over everything connected with Autumn there lingers some GOLDEN spell - some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power.
~Northern Advocate~

MAY YOU ALWAYS BE SURROUNDED BY THE LIGHT


MY SUN, MOON AND STARS!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Vintage Moon Collection!

Oh how I love the Moon.  La Luna.  The feminine divine.  I've always been drawn to her.  All her phases.  Her soft, gentle glow among the stars provides me with comfort.  She is ethereal and magnificent.  

I wanted to incorporate the essence of a vintage moon into a collection.  Softness and light.  Haze.  Enchantment.  Glow. Bewitching. Captivating.

Here are a few new items from my Fall "Vintage Moon" Collection. I am loving how the patina pieces evolved.  The sunflower and seahorse are perfect demonstrations of taking something old and lifeless and infusing color and creativity.  My Mom gave me the seahorse years ago.  It was a worn pewter color and although a very special to me, I felt it needed to be amended with some warmth and light.  (Next time, I'll take before pics).


The patina worked beautifully on everything.