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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Expected Response

Last night it was 10 and I shut off my phone.  I was so distracted by it.  My focus was not in the things I needed to do, was not on the screen in front of me {otherwise known as this blog}, and my brain was tired.  So I shut it off.
I wrote a draft for a blog post about 2 weeks ago about expectations and vulnerability.  {FYI: I didn’t publish it, because honestly I just needed to type and get words on a page.  When I read through it I discovered there were holes and rabbit trails, so I filed it away.}   It got me thinking about the expected response.  We have an expected response from those around us.  We have an expected response of the things we post, link, gram, pin, tweet, copy and paste.  We expect an audience and expect specific responses.
Part of the reason I turned off my phone was because something I had posted on the internets was not getting the response I wanted it to get.  It was information that was for the betterment of others, not myself, but the motivation was for the betterment of me.  I would not have seen that underlying motivation if I received the response I wanted.  In the words of a friend “So I guess that’s good.”
When I turn my phone on this morning I may have notifications and little messages that show that I got the response I wanted.  And that’s ok.  Or I may have no notifications and that’s ok too.  But the point is my worth is not determined by the response I get.  My worth was already determined long before I was born.
I realize that the last few posts around here have been heavy and anything but lighthearted.  Thanks for reading or skimming {whatever you do}.  Some of this has thoughts about my life and others about the things going on in ‘my world.’  One of such events has been a sweet family whose story is written at the blog Charlie’s Song.  Needless to say, there are no rosecolored glasses around here!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


In grief it is often hard to do something tangible.  It is difficult because grief is the reality of a feeling.  Grief wreaks the body.  It seeps into the cracks.  It overcomes the strong and brings them to their knees to where the feeble are.  Grief it has a pattern, but can not be explained.
It is difficult to describe grief because it is different in every situation and circumstance.  It changes and morphs.  The response to grief varies.  Will this be the correct response for this person in this moment?  Or is better to wait?  Better to hold ones tongue?  Better to hug?  Or better to let be?
When presented with grief it is hard to know how to respond and it is hard to do something tangible.  Yet in the midst of tragedy there are tangible things that can be done.  Meals can be brought, clothes cleaned, houses swept, children looked after.  And though tragedy and grief are not mutually exclusive the way they are responded to looks so very different.
In grief I will meet you. 
In tragedy and suffering I can meet your needs.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Famous People

Shirley Temple
I’ve been thinking about famous people lately.  As a little girl I was a big fan of Shirley Temple.  And yes I own a large number of her movies as a young star.  I perfected the impression of “Oh my word” from the end of “Curly Top”.  I practiced with my sister, as she tapped her way through “Animal Crackers”.  I even went as far as to dress up for Shirley Temple for Halloween one year.  Good, clean, adorable fun. 
                When I was a freshman in high school I did a report on Shirley Temple and learned new and exciting things about her life.  It was the first time I heard of the diplomat side of her, and I was in awe.  During that time I was beginning to love other countries and different cultures.   
                For my high school graduation I received a beautiful gift of a blue pitcher, collector’s item that had a picture of miss Shirley herself and her signature.  I had admired it at my Grandma’s house and love that I may now call it my own.  “Bright Eyes” you and your smile will be missed!
In other famous people news…
President Abraham Lincoln
Yesterday was and will be an important day in my life because it’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  Ok, that’s not the whole truth.  It’s my Dad’s birthday and also happens to be the famous president’s day of birth as well.  We enjoy the many similarities that the two hold.  Yesterday I found some fun facts about Lincoln and shared them at the dinner table For example, Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent {my dad also has his name on a patent}.  We then had some “fun facts” about my dad.  And then I broke the news…Lincoln seems to have really liked cats.  My dad on the other hand, he does not like cats.  So although there are some similarities between the two, {height and birthday and patent} they are both different men.  I am so glad that my dad is who he is. 
Happy {belated} birthday!

Friday, February 7, 2014


Rain Drops on Puddles - Prints available here:
Today it’s raining.  While I usually put on music while I work {ahem…working to find work} today I am just listening.  The rain makes beautiful noises and it reminds me of kindergarten; nature walks, leaf rubs, muddy shoes, puddle jumping.  Sound. 
Our world is so loud.  It doesn’t need to be, but it is.  Water makes some of the most beautiful noises.  A few weekends ago a friend and I went paddle boarding out at Santa Cruz. {I know, I was at the beach and in the water in January.  Crazy talk} While we were out, cruising, and getting mad at the boats making wakes, she remarked that this was her quiet.  That is what refreshes her soul. 
Today, the sound of the rain on the roof, hitting the brick patio, sliding down the thirsty plant, is refreshing me.  The world is making music.  This time around I’m happy to listen.
{And I’m happy that we have rain in dry California!}

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Just Breathe  - Vintage Style Print in Turquoise Blue Green - 8x10 inch on A4 type poster.

His chest heaved, labored, his face red.  He squirmed, trying to pry himself from the situation.  ‘Hey T we’re going to take 3 deep breaths… 1 {inhale, exhale}…2 {inhale, exhale}…stay with me buddy, one more 3 {inhale, exhale}.’  In and out, his chest rises and falls.  Easy rhythm.  Life goes on.
T is all boy, rambunctious, energy, and lover of water.  At 2 and a half, he needs to be reminded that one of the most basic functions sometimes needs thought.  He needs to remember that breathing puts things in perspective.
In the midst of sadness, I breathe. 
In the midst of anger, I breathe. 
In the midst of hope, I breathe.
I stop I breathe, and often pray, before moving into the situation. 
Breathing is supposed to be this non thinking, easy, does it by itself, function and yet, sometimes it’s not.  We need to breathe to have life.  What a concept.  But when we think about this thing that does well all by itself and doesn’t need help, we realize that sometimes it needs reminders.  It needs reminders to slow down.  To take it all in.
When I think about what it means to breathe I find that the focus shifts to that one thing that allows me to keep on living. 
Let’s take deep breaths together.  Let’s realize that the rise and fall rhythm gives us life in more ways than one.