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Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

tears of sorrow

tears of grief

tears roll daily

no relief

lame distractions

cheapened hope

castaway dreams

frayed rope

perfect storm

of guillotines

natty to rags

ball gowns to jeans

for the better

was the goal

end result

darkened soul

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Reblogged from October, 2011…because what’s old is new again:

I suppose it wasn’t really there after all. I must have been daydreaming. When you’re hanging at the beach, some things just kind of blur together, like the pod of dolphins the other day at one point clearly being a pod of dolphins, gradually fooling the eyes into trying to decipher what was bottlenose and what was fin and what was tall wave. The playful animals somehow melded into being waves. Eventually when the excitement wanes and you start questioning your own senses and sensibility, you learn to quit looking, and refocus anew on what is, on what was, to begin with.

I thought I saw a ship, of great proportions, traversing the horizon. It had a bright color that caught my eye, contrasting from the sea, and maintained a steady path, as long as I dared to watch.

While it caught my gaze, I imagined where it came from, how long it had stayed in port, and where it now headed, what it carried. The Sunday newspaper keeps a public record of such data, but it’s been a month of Sundays since I read a Sunday paper.

But the ship was real as long as I looked at it.

I was driving, though, and could only afford intermittent glances. I was driving fast, windows down, music loud, hair flying.

I know it was there. But then, I glanced again, and it was not. Simply slipped out of my vision, out of my reality.

It reminded me of the man I used to see come home on what I calculated must be his lunch hour, as I ran the last hill on my runs. His house was one of my reality checks – I used it to remind myself of my goal, since it was at the peak of the knoll, the hardest and steepest hill of the three I conquer on my usual 2.5 run.

Once upon a time in the season of jasmine, I marveled at the tall southern pines which graced his front yard, with something that looked like clematis climbing up the trunks of each tree. They were so fragrant, I came to look forward to springtime runs, just to get to that last, steep incline.

 

Each labored inhalation was rewarded. His front porch was typically Southern, a wraparound with ample rocking chairs and detail in the woodwork, beckoning one to stop for a glass of sweet tea (slice of lemon) in the fragrance of the climbing flowers. The trees, and the clinging flowers, disappeared up into the sky-blue like some Jack-in-the-Beanstalk fairy tale.

How I would have loved to stop!

But my course would have been ruined had I done so – I was compelled to finish what I began, compulsively dedicated to completing my circuit, and his house was only one stop on my way to my destination. How sad…and it always seemed…no, seems (I still go by) so inviting.

Through the spring and part of the summer, I saw him come home. He would be parked in the side driveway, sometimes standing on the porch, sometimes inside, sometimes conversing with his landscapers. Sometimes just standing there, yakking on his phone, or pausing to watch me and wave.

And I always kept going.

Although we saw each other nearly daily, he was a stranger, and I to him. He was at the end of my run, at the top of the steepest hill, and I could not, would not stop, no, never. Never meant to be. He and his coveted possessions were well out of my league. I would not be interested in such.

I had to keep running, keep my pace, knowing the end was near and soon I would have rest. But in that rest I often thought of how nice it would have been to stop my run short and crash on that ample front porch and get acquainted with the wealthy neighbor. He didn’t know me, not really. And I didn’t know him. No, we were Worlds Apart, on two different courses, two different schedules, two different paths. He may have thought he knew me; he probably imagined he knew me, but he would have been wrong. Someone like that and those Things could not have understood or known joy from someone like me and my things.

And, like the ship that I’m not sure ever really existed, he also ceased to exist after my weeks of illness which prevented me from my daily runs. I have gingerly, carefully resumed and gone back, as I sit at the lapping water here, but he no longer comes home for lunch. And I have not seen a ship like it on the horizon since, either.

Both are gone; I am alone, and left wondering if they ever really existed, or if they were figments of my imagination, like so many other things.

I suppose I was a figment, too…not quite real, not quite tangible. Just sort of, out there. Interesting to imagine, but not really existent.

There is safety in not really being real, not able to be figured out, comprehended, perceived fully. Perhaps it is best if figments remain figments, visions as visions, dreams as dreams. That way, things of intrigue remain as we wish for them to be thought of, and we do not run the risk of disappointment, should the harshness of reality not live up to our dreams.

Our dreams…our delusions…our mirages serve us well, to provide the comfort of distracted vision, and of hope and curiosity, without the pain of what is, what must be, no matter how satisfying what must be, is.

Both the ship and the man were elusive and surreal as they passed before what I thought was my reality, bringing interest and reason to look while they lingered in the periphery of my reality, ever just so out of reach and causing me to question my sanity, yet serving a purpose by challenging myself to keep looking and to keep running all at the same time.

Oh, why O why, didn’t I stop long enough to verify the existence of the ship? and the man? Was I afraid they’d be real? Or that I would have to change to accommodate their reality? Was it better that they came and went from what I thought was my vision, that they remained a part of the Unsure?

How bittersweet, never to know for sure. I could never pursue either, and must stay on my circuit.

Damn, today’s run was totally to mentally detox. The news at high noon (delivered in the best room with the best catered food which I didn’t eat) was supposed to be good, which I couldn’t swallow, either. It was good to everyone but me. My crestfallenness did not go unnoticed, and I know they saw me tear out of the parking lot on my run after the meeting with more vigor than usual Upon my return, I was swamped with Higher Visitors and calls from all angles, feeling me out, no one daring to ask. The Secret is not theirs to uncover, they knew. And I was helpless, speechless, unable to explain. Only someone like me could be living such a dual life in so many dimensions.

But the run was hard and fast, and the man wasn’t there…again. I guess I missed too many days, so it was…just…a run. And I returned to face reality, my dreams and thoughts and feelings sequestered to the depths of my inner being, where they are better kept behind the game face.

But nothing can erase the ship on the horizon. I know it was there. I know it seemed like it wasn’t at one point, but I can still see it, I can still picture it crossing my path when I had time to pause my gaze. It was big and bright and happy, and added perspective to the horizon. The fact idea that it was there gave enough impetus to relish the rest of the surroundings, even after it disappeared.

Even if it wasn’t real, it was…just for a moment…it really was. And if I willed it to be so for the sake of my sanity, is there anything wrong with that?

The fumes of belief fuel faith.

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There has been a bit of Transmogrification going on in my town as Halloween approaches…

Our neighbor and his dogs were mysteriously transmogrified overnight:


Then our town was transmogrified into a witch’s coven and they jammed the streets on a bike ride, brooms on board:

Courtesy al.com

Witch-Madonna!


 

Not to be left out, our beloved town’s waterfront fountain transmogrified from crimson to sapphire, almost overnight:


On my morning walk today, I found a fruit-bearing sago palm was transmogrified into a banana spider’s lair:

Lastly, a tiny seed, over the summer, transmogrified into a beautiful, soft blossom of cotton, across the road from our house:


Abracadabra! 

Hocus pocus, you’re a bat!!


Thank You, God, for transformations. We are the clay, You are the Potter. Thank You for metamorphosis and for all things changed and different. Change is challenging, but it beats stagnation any day. Please give us grace and wisdom in the face of change.

God, please help us to be aware of when it’s time to change, give us the courage to go forth and to endure the process…knowing that we will be blessed, one way or another, by the transformation. 

And, if I may be so petty, please grant our Cubs a miracle.

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I love this week’s Photo Challenge which is all about taking something and running with it – about going many steps beyond your wildest dreams.

Never believe that the impossible isn’t possible or that a dark and gloomy prognosis means the end of the track.

From a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 8 months old…told IF he lived, he would be in a vegetative state and die by age 4…

  
…to Special Olympics, 2015 – Kissing a pretty girl fifteen years later makes it well worth coming out of a coma and surviving!

 Believe in the extraordinary – faith, hope and love are the greatest of gifts.

Thanks, God, for second, third and fourth chances. And tenth and seventy-seventh chances. 

You know, God, sometimes I think that Your lessons about faith, hope and love are as much about our aspirations as they are a reminder of Your unwavering faith, hope and love for us. It IS a two-way street, isn’t it? 

That when our ordinary faith, hope and love stray, You – our Rock – never lose those three things for us, and it is Your extraordinary faith in us, Your hope in our return and Your eterrnal love for us draws us back and is what causes such rejoicing among the angels when we return.

Many happy and extraordinary returns!

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Leap of Faith

In a recent conversation, I posited that faith is not tangible, that it is blind trust paired with hope. Expected outcome without guarantee. 

As a lawyer’s daughter, I think faith might be experienced by walking a thin tightrope held up by a combination of idealism, high expectations, justification and a pinch of foolishness.  Better carry a good, long pole for balance!

What makes us trust? What makes us run? What makes us cling in the face of no sound reason or rationalization?

Lately I have been challenged to trust…and others to trust in me. How can I expect them to trust in me when I might not fully trust in myself? Doesn’t it take at least one person to step forth and proclaim “CARPE DIEM!!” ? Who determines who goes first? Is faith a chicken and egg conundrum?

The wounded shy away from trust and need to be coaxed, reassured and led. 

The doubtful need to be shown.

The Pharisees need to be out-foxed.

So what do the faithless need?

Proof? Facts? Numbers? It can’t be…that is the essence of faith.

If you are waiting to be shown, for veracity to be proven in factual terms, you’ll be waiting a long time. 

The onus is on YOU to believe. Only then do dreams come true.

Thanks, God, for the gift of faith, no matter how little or how great ours may ebb and flow over the course of our lifetime. Thank You for getting my 12 year old on those planes and safely to the other end of the continent today. 

Thank You for showing me things when I step back and have time and space to consider facts vs. faith. Thank You for trusting in me, even when others may not, and even when I may not even trust in myself. Thank You for the great gift of faith!

 (he had only heard and read about the Grand Canyon prior to today, but this plane afforded him visual proof!) 

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Swept Under

Swept under, swept up and swept under again…

 

2014-05-11 13.32.55

Forever means nothing except in eternity;

A taste so rich, a swing & a miss –

Priorities lie where the heart’s not so shy,

But dreams can be true bliss.

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Today marks the third birthday of this blog.

It began as an alternative way to communicate. And, like many blogs, it evolved into a completely different animal altogether, then transforming to a platform for creative writing to a platform for photography to a platform for prayer and reflection. God, the sea and musings have never failed to tie them all together.

All these things are a reflection of growth having occurred, of forward movement, being swept up in the current of life.

If you’d asked me three years ago today if I saw myself (or this blog) where I am today, the answer would have been an unequivocal NO.

Growth is so cool, y’all! See where time takes you? Places you never dreamed!

Staying stuck sucks. (say THAT ten times fast!)

So in honor of the third birthday, I offer a bit of creative writing, photography and prayer.

Minus the mistakes I’ve learned from, like ditching the 2k word post, straightening out the horizon on my beach shots and such.

Why, here’s a picture I just took this weekend on my beach – how many of you were too polite to tell me in days past that my crooked horizons made you seasick? This one’s for you:

2014-07-05_10-14-28_755

Okay, so the horizon is just about straight, but the damn chair is crooked – I’ll get it right one of these days. Thanks for bearing with me….

Oh, but here’s another one from the same day – is this better? (Side note: water temp, 82 degrees F, perfect for snorkeling, boogie boarding, kayaking and tubing – all of which I was blessed to play in those cerulean waters yesterday – c’mon down, y’all)

(and no, I did NOT photoshop any people or crowds OUT of the picture – this is really what my beach looks like – never ever a soul encroaching)

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Okay, the horizon is not slightly off – that’s the curvature of the earth, right?

(I went for a run later down the beach and saw that catamaran up close – it’s a beaut!)

I was told my blog had been branded as this or that and I felt compelled to live up to the brand, one of which included reverent prayer. I was so busy bowing my head I got out of the habit of blogging for laughs, like the Expense of DIY post or Chore Evasion and others like it, back in the day.

As I sought a title for this post, I Googled the word THREE and these suggestions popped up (my memoirs of the last 3 years in parentheses):

  • Three waters green (I am surrounded by three waters of green, blue and other colors depending on whether or not BP decides to blow a gasket near my beach)
  • Three days grace (What I needed last year when I counted up the number of lawyers (eight) for various reasons I never foresaw, between work and family matters)
  • Three circle church (I don’t go to that church, but I did find myself involved in three different churches/denominations at once, which was growth-promoting)
  • Threes (Things come in threes – I have nothing witty to say about this one)
  • Three mile island (What could be said about the state of my house right now, especially after a neighborhood of kids chose our front yard as pyrotechnics central for the 4th)
  • Three stooges (3 of my 4 children who are still in the stage of finding flatulence funny)
  • Three brothers arms (What I often sternly say I’d better not see in my rear view mirror after the car line at school)
  • Three dog night (What happens in my back yard when our dogs and the neighbor’s dog get crazy over a nighttime thunderstorm, and they jump the fence)
  • Three rivers state park (A beautiful area, if you’ve never been, where Florida and Georgia share water, sorry, no 3 year connection here)
  • Three days to kill (If this is any insightful analysis into the state of my brain right now, I had to read this twice to decide if it meant if there was a deadline of three days to murder someone, or if it meant I needed a vacation….I settled upon the latter)

But my FAVORITE thing that popped up when I Googled THREE, was this literary gem:

Three Years She Grew

By William Wordsworth

Three years she grew in sun and shower,

Then Nature said, “A lovelier flower

On earth was never sown;

This Child I to myself will take;

She shall be mine, and I will make

A Lady of my own.

 

“Myself will to my darling be

Both law and impulse: and with me

The Girl, in rock and plain,

In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,

Shall feel an overseeing power

To kindle or restrain.

 

“She shall be sportive as the fawn

That wild with glee across the lawn

Or up the mountain springs;

And hers shall be the breathing balm,

And hers the silence and the calm

Of mute insensate things.

 

“The floating clouds their state shall lend

To her; for her the willow bend;

Nor shall she fail to see

Even in the motions of the Storm

Grace that shall mould the Maiden’s form

By silent sympathy.

 

“The stars of midnight shall be dear

To her; and she shall lean her ear

In many a secret place

Where rivulets dance their wayward round,

And beauty born of murmuring sound

Shall pass into her face.

 

“And vital feelings of delight

Shall rear her form to stately height,

Her virgin bosom swell;

Such thoughts to Lucy I will give

While she and I together live

Here in this happy dell.”

 

Thus Nature spake—The work was done—

How soon my Lucy’s race was run!

She died, and left to me

This heath, this calm and quiet scene;

The memory of what has been,

And never more will be.

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

Hey, God, thank You for three years of evolution, of coming into being and coming to You.

God bless the readers, artists and publishers of WordPress for this positive momentum of growth and self-actualization. Hitting the PUBLISH button isn’t the end-all goal, it’s the journey that counts and the joys found therein.

Thank You for this platform for finding my way, for taking me through, bringing me up, keeping me afloat and sending me into the future. And most of all, God, for bringing me HOME, home where I belong. Thank You for the journey, God.

And thank YOU, dear readers, for joining me here on my beach. Your friendship is the most cherished thing of all.

~~ssm

Happy Anniversary!

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