More than just brush strokes on a piece of wood

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I had forgotten

that freedom of imagination

was the best part of being a kid.

Time has marched on,

but memories of childhood still linger.

Tears were shed and wiped,

but the laughter still echoes

in the hallways of my mind.

A piece of wood,

a few hours of shared time by siblings

and memories captured

on a cedar shingle.

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These are the memories

I never want to lose.

The days of innocence,

painted on wood,

frozen in time.

A body at rest tends to fall into an exhausted coma

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I think I now moderately understand the mentality of a football player when their season comes to an end.  I have spent a great portion of my time planning a party that happened on Saturday night and now, the party has come and gone, and I feel like something is missing.

I love planning events.  I love paying attention to the smallest personalized details to make the experience memorable and let the person being celebrated feel how special they are by the little nuances that appear in the party’s finer points.IMG_0266Although the week leading up to the party had a few speed bumps, the party was a great success.  From the food choice and preparation, the slide show and the soundtrack of his past 50 years, my brother was able to celebrate his upcoming milestone with great friends and family and it was a great way to honor the special place he holds in all of our lives.

After spending the entire day in the kitchen, partying like a rock star until 3:30 in the morning, being the first up at 7:30 to prepare for breakfast and spending the next day cleaning the lodge, I came home, possibly had a little “hair of the dog” and watched the end of the Masters through barely opened eyes.  I poured myself into bed at 8:00 pm and slept solidly for 11 hours.

Physical exhaustion aside, I would do it all again next weekend!  Happy 50th Jamie…..you deserve every bit of fun that party had!

 

 

 

Keeping a piece of you with me

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butterfly

This pendant hangs around my neck,

a talisman of angelic proportion,

to be a gentle reminder of a life that once was.

This simple butterfly

holds the key to my beginning

and serves as a great source of comfort

when I feel like I am falling

into the abysmal chasm of grief.

For this charm holds a piece of you,

of each of you,

and I draw strength knowing that a part of you

will always be with me,

there to give me that sense of your presence

whenever I need it most.

Ashes to ashes

as yours are forever bound to the other.

(image credit)

Taking a breather to chase some tail

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Now before your mind wanders into dangerous territory, I meant the Easter Bunny’s tail.  I am taking a brief hiatus from blogging this weekend to enjoy some much-needed R&R – Red wine and Rabbit (of the chocolate persuasion).

bunny

(image credit)

Hopefully a few days of not pressuring myself to write every day will ease the feeling of having a deadline and coax back the enjoyment of the creative process that I seem to be missing.  This weekend signifies rebirth and I am taking the meaning of the holiday to heart.

I wish all of you a very Happy Easter weekend.  May your days be filled with the love of family and friends, and maybe a little bit of tail for good measure.  The chocolate….I meant the chocolate!

The portal of wants and wishes

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I love dreaming.  I love waking up in the morning and putting together the pieces of colors and images that have splashed themselves onto the blank canvas in my sleep.  I thrive on spending time over coffee attempting to put together the jigsaw cut-outs and make sense of what they are trying to tell me.   Mornings are a constant source of recollection, collaboration and interpretation.   The maelstrom of the previous day becomes a masterpiece in my dreams that only I can put together the next day to make any sense of it.

Does that ever happen to you?  You spend so many conscious hours with something or someone at the forefront of your brain that they unwittingly seep into your nocturnal hours and wreak havoc in your dreams?  And it may not be the type of havoc that has you waking in a panic, covered in sweat, but the thought of them is left lingering in your mind to chase you around for another day.  It happens to me quite often with a myriad of things I encounter during my day.  It could be work or it could be a person I just can’t seem to shake from my thoughts.  I spend so many minutes of my day thinking about those things that I carry them into my dream world in a back pack that seems to open of its own volition and spill out into the landscape of my REM sleep.

(Image courtesy of Google)

And it is not that I go to bed with these thoughts whirling around in my head.  I have found a way to relax my brain before I drift off into that long-awaited slumber and wipe the stress and experience of the day from my mind.  But no matter what good intentions I have as I let the night pull down the shades of my eyelids, those waking thoughts transform themselves in my nightscape and travel through that mystical door of my dreams.  The invisible portal is opened and a new world of ideas and scenarios creeps into my subconscious.

And sometimes, if I wake early with the dream still lingering in the realm between awake and asleep, I long to get back to the dream.  Cherished moments, although created in another dimension of my reality, seem so real that I can live there again if I could only drift back into sleep.  My wishes wait there for me.  My desire holds firmly in its place to anticipate my safe arrival back through the portal of my dream world.

However, the invasion of my reality into those dreams is anticipated.  On occasion, work and family are now holding the seats in the front row of the performance of my dream to watch as the scene plays out for those final moments of my reanimated sleep.  The panorama that I had so carefully constructed in the previous hours of my dream world becomes interrupted with more genuine actuality than was originally anticipated.  Somehow that carefree abandon is now speckled with a plethora of reality and the dream that I truly wanted to dream about is invaded less by my unconscious and is now dominated by my conscious waking moments.  My dream is now a host to real life.

What about you?  Do your dreams take you on an adventure or do your dreams consist more of your reality?

The real reason we should celebrate

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If this past weekend taught me anything, it is that you don’t have to see people everyday to be reassured that they will still spend a moment to think about you.  It was my birthday on Saturday and I was overwhelmed by the number of messages I received from people who I am unable to see on a regular basis or have never even met face to face.  There are still a few people in this world who may look down on social media and digital communication but the numerous birthday wishes I received through those forums meant just as much as the messages I received in person.

I took the time to read each birthday greeting and every word that each person sent meant so much to me.  It is almost effortless to ignore the constant reminders in our hand-held, digitized lives but I have realized during the many years that I, too, have been a slave to the cyber-enhanced face of reality that it takes an infinitesimal amount of time to reach out.  It is the same small fragment of time that it takes to ignore that electronic reminder and, if the recipient is anything like me, a simple string of words can have a profound effect.

At one point during the afternoon, I was overcome by gratitude.  I, admittedly, had been feeling the effects of the long winter and the very distant signs of Spring and was a bit down about the snowy, barren landscape that greeted me on the morning of my birthday.  But each notification, each acoustic announcement of an incoming message, turned that desolate panorama of my morning into a garden painted by Monet.

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 (image credit)

Because of the wonderful blend of the real world and the cyber world, I got to celebrate my birthday with everyone.  I had a glass of wine with the family I work with who has become like my own family.  I was able to hear from friends near and far and I was able to have a great night with good food and lots of laughs with my brother, sister-in-law and my nephews.  What started as a day to celebrate the day I was born turned into a day of celebrating everyone who has joined me along the way.

The birthday present that keeps giving

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The first phone call today won’t be my mom or my dad calling to wish me a happy birthday but somehow I know theirs will be the first wishes of the day.  That is how it always was and how it shall remain.  And the first face I shall see when I wake up is the same face (or close to the same face) it has been since I was a child.

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My mom made this Winnie The Pooh for my first birthday in 1970 .  Since then he has helped celebrate my successes, been suffocated in my hugs, saturated in my tears and dragged through more drama than a bear should have to face.  But his allegiance to our friendship remains just as strong now as it was then.

Birthday celebrations would not be the same without Winnie.  It may be a childish tradition but that bear represents a great deal of love and a longing to hold on to the memories that mean so much.  He has seen his share of joy and tragedy.  He has undergone facial reconstruction and some botched plastic surgery (thanks to an over-excitable Labrador Retriever that belonged to a roommate) but he never fails to hang in there to share year after year with me. He and I have weathered many successes and many ominous periods together but he still remains the same source of comfort he has always been.

I can’t imagine a birthday celebration without him.  And now that my mom is gone, Winnie is the strongest connection to her that I can still hold in my hands.  His abiding presence in my life not only allows me to look to the future but keeps me rooted in my past.

Happy birthday Winnie.  May we be together, sharing our day, for many years to come.