Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This blog will be closing...

Dear Ones,

It is with some regret but also necessary that I close 2 of my four blogs so that I am not spread too thin. My mother is about to pass in the next few days and when that happens my life is going to be drastically altered and past getting through the experience just ahead I will be moving. I will be leaving the blogs up for some time but will not be updating them, and the subject matter in those two blogs will be incorporated in the other 2 blogs.

My other two blogs, Maitri's Heart, and Life at Dragonfly Cottage will still run on, and I hope you will visit there.

I wish you all blessings, love and again, I thank you for your kind support.

Maitri Libellule

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wrong Turns and Right Directions and Not Being Afraid To Follow Your Heart...

Fellow Journeyers...

I've been thinking a lot about this entry for the last couple of weeks or so. Tried to start into it three different ways, and stopped. Something held me back, but then I realized it was just part of my process. You can't write about a thing until it has had its gestation period, until you have figured things out, and I've been on an odyssey of sorts these past weeks as my mother went on hospice, and, as I write, is near the end. So it was at this particular time, as you will read in the last entry, that I wrote with great gusto about doing NaNoWriMo, the month dedicated each year to an intensive writing period that turns out a small novel in a month. I really wanted to do it. I wrote nearly 2000 words the first day. I loved it and was excited, and I have saved it because it's a story that I can see myself writing one day. But not now, and I knew it by the second day.

The second day I kept putting it off, meaning to do my allotted writing for the day, but watching it, kind of like a paper sailboat that gets away from a child and floats downstream faster than they can catch it, moving swiftly away from me and I couldn't catch it, and then I realized it wasn't going to happen. We cannot escape reality, when someone close to us is dying, by trying to write a novel in 30 days. At least I can't. And I am certain I will return to it one day and have the ride of my life writing that novel, but now was not the time.

I wrote about this on my Maitri's Heart blog just after I'd stopped, and I was writing, there, more about the inner emotional journey. What I wanted to write about here is how often we have a dream, and if we start and it doesn't go bang off, running in the right direction at full speed, if we have second thoughts about it not being the right way to go, or that it isn't the right time in our lives, we often feel ashamed and embarrassed. I have learned over the years that those are useless emotions and detrimental to the overall journey we are taking.

Often, what feels like a wrong turn is actually taking us in the right direction, but not having gotten to the place that we did before the sharp curve ahead, we would never have made it this far and gone round the bend into just where we're supposed to be. There are no accidents, as they say, and there are no wrong turns in my book. Just changes in direction as we right ourselves on our course. It makes perfect sense to me.

I can't tell you how often, in my thirty plus years of life as a writer and artist, I have been chided by people close to me because I "started so many things I didn't finish." That is also in line with writing nearly a dozen novels over 3 decades that didn't sell amidst the many non-fiction works that I did sell. I never thought, really, that I wasn't cut out to be a novelist, in fact I feel inside of me that I will finish the novel I started with NaNoWriMo, but if I write it now it will be askew because I will be trying to write around the experience of my mother's dying, perhaps making it awkwardly funny and over-written in places because I'm trying to hide or escape from the inevitable pain ahead, or it could go the other way and get maudlin and melancholy in the parts that are meant to be the more serious and thoughtful passages because of the grief I am feeling. I am not a quitter, I simply know when I cannot do the work justice because of the current life circumstances that I cannot control. It's really not a big deal, as long as we don't let it freeze us. We have to keep moving forward, no matter how many bumps and twists and turns we encounter along the way.

Every single thing in my life that looked like it "wasn't finished" was a very important step along the path I needed to go. The things that we
don't do can be just as important as the things that we do do. We carry something with us from every experience we have. Every time I started a piece of art that I didn't finish, I was led down a different path that, while making something seemingly quite different, had it's roots in the work unfinished. I have learned to accept that as part of my process, nothing more, nothing less. I have unfinished projects all over the place, and some I look at fondly realizing that had I not started working on them I wouldn't have made the leap over into the work that I finished, sold, and took great pride in.

It's important to take risks and move forward. It is equally important to know that it's okay to stop, to set the thing we are trying to accomplish down, with no shame, with no guilt, with no apologies, and if the world laughs at you, or mocks you, or tells you they knew you would never finish "it," realize that you owe no one an explanation, because in doing so you will explain away the dream itself. I say, "Oh, I haven't quit, it's in a gestation period." Some people just shake their head, but I don't care, they couldn't possibly know my process and how I work and that I'm not afraid of the forks in the road that head me off in a different direction than the one I started. If I go with the flow everything I'm learning flows along with me and enriches the work just ahead.

I have learned to let go, to trust, to believe. Some of what I write here on this blog may sound contradictory, but no, our lives and our experiences, the path to our dreams intermixed with our everyday lives, will lead us down unexpected roads. It is all part of the whole, and every facet is true, even if some of them seem like polar opposites. Life is like that.

The hardest thing that we come up against is not other people's expectations of us, but the expectations we have of ourselves. I have no expectations. I know what I can do, I know what I'm good at and what I'm not and, in a larger sense, what direction my work will go, but it's all the little twists and turns from day to day that I cannot know or expect until I get to them that will be important in shaping me and the piece of work I am doing at the time, and they no longer "throw me off the horse," but give me a more interesting ride. It is even part of The Mystery. Why do these things happen? What will they mean to us in our journey to achieve our dreams? Really, it doesn't matter, just accept what is and keep on keepin' on.

So for the time being I will move forward with tender care as I move into the time ahead, to a place that we all must go, and many have already gone, in this lifetime. You cannot stave off grief, you have to live through it, you have to keep moving forward even if only inches at a time. And you and the ones still with you will help one another, and something inside will cause you to shapeshift, to grow, to deepen, so that when you return to what you were doing before you may have outgrown it completely, or you may find that you finally have the answers that you needed because you have come to a much deeper place inside yourself where you now understand things you couldn't possibly know before. Sometime the jagged painful edges we brush up against in life are the things that carry the deepest messages. Let go, and float downstream gently, and know that when you finish one phase and return again to head toward the goal you yearn for, and dream of, you won't have lost anything, you will have brought something with you that will change the outcome, and this is something to be grateful for.

Always be grateful for each moment as it comes, even the hard and the painful ones. They are inevitable, and yes, can be devastating, but they change us in ways nothing else could, and when we turn around on the road again and head back in the right direction, we can be forever grateful for the wrong turn, because it got us just where we needed to go.

Don't be afraid to trust your heart, and be very gentle with yourself as life has its way with you. It will all come out right in the end. If you believe that, you cannot fail, and no matter what the dream, you will always succeed.

Here's to the Journey...


Friday, October 30, 2009

If We Will Only RISK! And don't forget the diamonds in the dustheap...

"A lone syllable. A single word. Sometimes a noun. Always, in the heart of it, a verb. All creative expression depends on our willingness to take a risk, and yet just to say the word creates a feeling of excitement and fear in most people, a sense of danger rooted in the threat of change. Years ago I was told a story in which the painter Paul Klee said, 'When I paint what you know, I bore you. When I paint what I know, I bore me. So I paint what I don't know.' Isn't that wonderful? Paint or write what you don't know. Create what you have not even begun to suspect! This is risk. It is the freeing intent behind most original work. According to Klee, the means to help our deepest selves make their mark in the world is right here in the tip of our innocent pencil or brush -- the one we hold in our hand -- if we will only risk."

~ Peter Levitt ~
Fingerpainting on the MOON
"Writing And Creativity
As A Path To Freedom"

I have been sitting here with reading material all around me, all sorts of books, fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, not to mention sitting here thinking nothing with a pug on my head...

It's actually a very good way to keep your engine running, a shot of gas in your old slow running clunker, when a pug falls asleep on your head and starts snoring on your skull, shaking your brains all about, it wakes you up and makes your engine start to purr again. God knows, my engine is hard to crank with so much going on in my life right now I need someone to shoot me out of a canon to get me going. And it's a good think Sampson is snoring so loud on top of my head, because I am about to take a big RISK.

The day after tomorrow I start NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), with people all around the world who commit to writing a novel in one single month. You've got to write 50,000 words and end up with at least a small finished novel in that month. Now of course it will need polishing up and likely extending, but the very heat and momentum of the days of writing (Like sitting with your pen in a pressure cooker...) has actually resulted in a number of people selling their novels and even ending up on the New York Times Bestseller List.

I timidly took my calculator and divided 50,000 by 31 and came up with about 1613 words per day which equals something like 6 1/2 pages a day (But God Forbid, don't quote me on that.). My eyes widened in horror, and then I thought, "Heck, that's not so bad. Why, if I don't eat, sleep, answer phone calls, feed the birds, or take the 5 dogs out to the potty the 27 times a day they usually want to go, I think I might just make it." As the saying goes, "Denial is not just a river in Egypt."

As if that isn't scary enough I have to tell you that while I have sold non-fiction to newspapers, magazines and even had 3 small presses since my 20's (I'm now 55.), I wrote I think something like a dozen or so novels in the 80's and 90's and despite my best efforts, ALL of them were rejected. I told my husband it would be easier if the editors and agents that read them said, in a kindly and compassionate tone of voice, "Listen sweetheart, you just can't write. Go get a job at K-Mart and sell socks." So apparently my fiction sucked a rotten egg, and now here I am, wide-eyed and terrified, with a month of fiction writing staring me right in the face. (Shudder...) It's a risk, and a big one. But I think I've figured it out.

It's like Klee said. I can't write what I think you, the audience, might know and like. I can't write what I know (Lord God, after all the non-fiction I've written about my own life, and with 3 different non-fiction books in various stages in the works, I'm all non-fictioned up!). I will write what I don't know, and go like gangbusters. I already know the title and the main character, but I'm not telling you, and we're not allowed to start writing until we burst out of the gate, eyes wild and pen moving like a streak of lightning, November 1. (I will admit to having wanted to cheat and start a month ago, but for once in my life I'm going to play by the rules. Don't count on that ever happening again.)

So here's the thing -- all you have to do to make your unimaginable dream into a reality is risk, jump off the high dive or the Empire State Building if you have to, but RISK! JUMP! FLY!

Now, you don't have to be Superman or Wonder Woman to do this, and you don't have to be an artist or a painter, mainly you just have to get out of your own way. I think this is an AA saying, but wherever it came from I love it. Act As If... All I need to do is act like I'm the greatest novelist that ever walked the planet earth and I simply have to write something like 6 1/2 pages a day. Easy Peasy, or so I keep telling myself and Acting As If, and believing it.

There is a quote that I love, and it's Virginia Woolf, buried somewhere in her diaries. She wrote...

“I have just re-read my year’s diary and am much struck by the rapid haphazard gallop at which it swings along, sometimes indeed jerking almost intolerably over the cobbles. Still if it were not written faster than the fastest typewriting, if I stopped and took thought, it would never be written at all; and the advantage of the method is that it sweeps up accidentally several stray matters which I should exclude if I hesitated, but which are the diamonds of the dustheap.”

I firmly believe that the person who started NaNoWriMo based his or her idea on that quote by Woolf. I mean really, doesn't that just sum the whole thing up? And never mind writing a book. Isn't that just like coming up with an idea for anything? An architect, a mathematician, a rocket scientist, all had ideas, and they kept working them over and over and balling up pieces of paper (and likely throwing them across the room shouting obscenities...) and finally -- BING -- what they were looking for -- the answer -- came to them clear as day. It doesn't matter what you do, what your dream is, you just have to jump in somewhere and START! RISK! GET ON WITH IT!!!

I'm starting November 1.
What are you waiting for? The sands of the hourglass are running away like lightning and there won't be a grain left soon enough. Shouldn't you start now? Believe in yourself, act as if, grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and just start writing any old thing down. And write and write and write, ball up pieces of paper and throw them across the room, and then keep on writing, drawing, dreaming your dreams into a reality.

Put your Big Pants on and pretend that you've already achieved the dream. Then what? It's behind you, you've done it! Hooray! Lord knows I'm on The New York Times Bestseller List. I just have to get started. Act As If...

November 1. How about you start then too? BANG! We're out of the gate! Get a move on and don't stop for the whole month of November. It doesn't matter what you're doing, it just matters that you start and if you let your dream drift out in a sea of ambiguity it will end up so far away you'll never find it.

November 1 is the day after tomorrow. Shake a leg. There's no time to lose.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

You Do The Hokey Pokey And You Turn Yourself Around, That's What It's About....

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. What IS relative in relation to the way we approach achieving our dreams? We have been brainwashed into believing that there is only one right way to do anything, and if you put one toe outside of the box, a monster will grab you and carry you off to the darklands, where rule-breakers are taken, disposed of and never return or are seen or heard from again.



I mean, who came up with this...

"You put your right hand in...."

(What if you want to put your LEFT hand in?)

"You put your right hand out..."

(Now what if you are really getting somewhere with your left hand, coloring outside the lines, coming up with the theory of relativity, having tea with Einstein and coming away having learned that you too can have a bad hair day and break all the rules and and be given big awards and never forgotten because you dared to go against the grain?")

"You put your right hand in..."

(And there you were, just getting somewhere. Tsk, tsk. What a shame...)

"And you shake it all about."

(Now, I can get down with that!)

Now, the last verse is finally getting somewhere!

"You do the hokey pokey
and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about."

Now turn yourself around and do everything backwards.

2. Left Hand
3. Right Foot
4. Left Foot
5. Head
6. Butt (I can't help giggle at that!)
7. Whole Self. (At this juncture run all around the room, scare the living daylights out of everyone, tell them they've been doing it WRONG the whole time, and in the end, you might just save some lives.)

At least that's my approach to things. Saving the world is never an easy job.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

The First Attempts... Vincent Van Gogh

"The thing has already taken form in my mind before I start it.

The first attempts are absolutely unbearable.

I say this because I want you to know that if you see something worthwhile in what I am doing, it is not by accident but because of real direction and purpose."

~ Vincent Van Gogh ~

No truer words have ever been spoken.... "The first attempts are absolutely unbearable." Truly. Think about anything of import that you have ever done in your life, and you will realize that this has been so. I have a great many of these things just ahead of me.

By now everyone knows what is going on in my life. The intense, heartbreaking, over the top grief that will befall me at any moment when my mother passes, and the numbness thereafter, and then the walking through a portal into my new life which includes many things I've long dreamed of and never knew I'd have, the excitement around that, and then the bowling ball that drops in my stomach and says, "And then what?"

I was sitting here the other day feeling the whole gamut of emotions surrounding everything above, and because I am trying my very best not to dwell on the choking sorrow that will overtake us all any time now, I tried to move into plans about my future and the dreams coming true, at least some of what I see as the foundation for making the bigger dreams come true, and all of a sudden I thought, "Oh my God, what I thought were the 'dreams come true' were only the beginning, the tip of the iceberg."

I think of having my own little home with a fenced yard for my dogs and room for a wonderful garden. I am already arranging the fiber studio in my mind, and my writing room/study, and having room to breathe, time to write more, and finally, at long last, getting back to my fiber work -- spinning, crocheting, weaving, doing free-form one-of-a-kind pieces and re-opening my etsy store as well as selling locally and putting my work in some galleries in town, and all of those things, all of my work and a life of my own, a kind of freedom that I've always wanted, suddenly terrified me.

Okay, so I get the house and move, I get a new (to me, newer than my 17 year old mini mini van that people look afraid of when I pull into a parking spot next to them at the grocery store. It is old, beat up, and the most unfortunate color of faded and now rusty green.) car, a kind of crossover something-or-other to hold all of my 11 and counting animals that I am always rescuing and taking in, a toothbrush and a clean pair of underwear (After the animals that's all that will fit.) if we have a hurricane here because we live in a place that has hurricanes just to keep us on our toes. Here, when you move to town and are looking at property, the cheery realtor will say to you, "Don't buy near the beach unless you don't mind losing everything." Welcome to town.

That of course is just after, or perhaps before, she tells you about all of the alligators that come up out of creeks and such and might be found in someone's yard or swimming pool, and have been known to eat dogs when people were out walking them too near the water. I was so terrified when we moved here after one trip out with the realtor -- I hadn't wanted to move here anyway, but we had to because of my husband's job -- that I was firm about never letting my children out in the yard to play, absolutely certain they'd be eaten by an alligator. We have lived here 18 years now and I have never seen an alligator, though I know they are in the water here and there where they belong, and yes, my children did play outside.

But the fear that rose in me, the utter terror, the "what comes after I..." suddenly hit me. The things I have thought of, because they are so big and overwhelming and something I never knew I'd have, have been taking up my mind, but it will be the work afterward that will really matter, and I actually have to do it. I've all of a sudden felt like my whole life was a dress rehearsal and I was about to take it onstage for the real performance. I wanted to hide under the rug with a pug on top.

No more saying... Someday I will, or, When I have time for _____ I will, or anything of the sort. You get the foundation, and then you have to "do the thing you think you cannot do," as Eleanor Roosevelt said. It is as simple as that. Yes, (I am telling myself...) it really is that simple. It is exactly as Van Gogh wrote... You already have the thing in mind before you start (You know this is true.) ... and your dream will take direction and purpose. Somehow I feel like Dorothy setting off for Oz as I begin to set my sails for the dream ahead, and then I wonder if I'll get there and feel like "There's no place like home." I think the key is balance. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes, but don't be afraid to go for that long-held dream with all the gusto you can muster.

I have many more things in mind about the journey ahead, but I'll write about that next time. What I want to leave you with is a quote from Thoreau. It is one of my favorites and quite pertinent here...

If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

~ Henry David Thoreau ~

I am advancing confidently in the direction of my dreams. I always seem to live a life unexpected in common hours. I think I might just have a chance.

Now, to begin. How about you make the leap with me?

Let's jump!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Savor The Journey...

For a very long time I have loved snails and I had postcards made up that said, "How Slow Can You Go?" with a snail's picture on it. I thought a lot about the fact that we go willy nilly through life at top speed so that tomorrow we have half forgotten what we did today, never mind last week. Oh sure, we remember the big stuff, like going to work, but can you tell me what you wore, what you ate for breakfast, what the weather was like? Inotherwords, we may reach our goals, and achieve our dreams, but not remember how we got there, and part of the joy of achieving our dreams are all of the many things that we experienced, learned, things that made us grow and change along the way. Remembering those things will make the dream made manifest all the richer and more satisfying. Let yourself savor the journey...

I am moving toward, coming closer and closer, to a dream I've had for decades, and the last decade has been almost brutal at times, but had I not gone through every single thing that I did, I would not appreciate what I am about to achieve, and when I walk through that door into my new life, I will be carrying a backpack filled with all of the memories, places, people, and little lessons I learned along the way that helped me get here. That's one of the reasons why keeping a journal is such a wonderful thing. It helps you remember, and it needn't be some weighty activity, full of deep soul searching, and wrought with angst. It can be fun.

As I've talked about here before you can write your thoughts down, those little steps and big ones too that you took along the way, as well as doodle, and paste in pictures of your dreams as they became clearer and took more definite shape. Often we think we know what we want but the closer we get to it we will find it morphing into something slightly different. It's a marvel to look back and see how you really did achieve your dream, and you will carry these tools with you on into the rest of your life, and they will serve you well, as another and another dream begins to take shape in your life. We never stop dreaming.

I have always loved the quote by writer Ursula LeGuin...

"It is a good thing to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end."

Savor each moment. Take your time, breathe deeply and notice every little thing. The snail creeping along in the grass, the blue sky with the puffy white clouds and how one of them looked like a giraffe, the best breakfast you ever ate in a little diner when you were traveling some place to find just the right thing you needed that you were missing, and that day you found it, and you will never forget that breakfast that day in that diner. Remember when you were at your lowest and you ran across a quote that nearly knocked you over and got you going again. If you don't have one right now, go find one!

How slow can you go? Make a conscious effort to go slower and slower each day, and treasure every precious moment. Your dream will manifest much more quickly than you can imagine and you will never want to forget what got you there. What is time anyway? Remember how when you were little you couldn't wait to get older, and it seemed that time just wouldn't move fast enough to get you there? A year was an eternity. Now time flies so fast it can be frightening. You have it in your power to slow time down. Use that power, and never forget that you can. Remember the snail. Write those words on post-it notes everywhere as a reminder... How Slow Can You Go? Fall in love with snails. Fall in love with everything, and one day when you are sitting smack dab in the middle of your dream finally achieved, you will look back to the path that got you there, and smile, and your life will have deepened and become richer, and your dream will be more satisfying and thrilling than you ever imagined.

I'm going to go meditate on snails now. And the hill I have been climbing. And I never want to forget any of it. Go slow, slower, slowest, and you will be happier than you have ever been.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

If You Can Dream It, You Can Make It So...

I have been thinking about this for the last few weeks and I see it coming up for many of my friends around me, in different ways and varying degrees, some know that they will have to change their way of living and being to achieve their dreams, others need to adjust their attitude, some are just plain depressed, defeated and afraid, and want to crawl under the rug and hide. I seem to have experienced all of the above at different times, and have been pretty much stuck in the last one. I have been hiding under a rug, and really, it hasn't served me very well. I decided to come out from under the rug.

I have felt some of all of this as my world keeps shape-shifting and I know big change is coming and I know what it is and I know what will have to happen for the changes to occur, but I have no control whatsoever over the latter. I believe in my dreams, I know the things that will happen as I cross the threshold into this whole new world, and I know good things are coming, but those are immediate things and what comes afterward is the scariest part for me.

Once I get the new cottage and the new (to me, I'm looking at pre-owned certified cars for now) and get settled into the new space and my new and much larger studio is put together, I will once again move into my art, and the book that has been dangling and jangling about in me will need a little push to create forward motion, so that I can finish it and get on to other things. I have several books that I am making notes on but one I've been working on for some time, and it's time to finish it. On that front I've decided to do NaNoWriMo this year, writing everyday with this wonderful online group of writers to give myself that push. I seem to be the kind of person that doesn't do well with a feeling of great spaciousness, but I work like a demon when it gets close to deadline. I once wrote a novel in six weeks, but it had been percolating inside of me for two years as I made copious notes. I wrote nearly round the clock and was wild eyed for those six weeks, and everyone cleared a wide berth around me and let me be. I wasn't fit for human connection at that time.

These latter creative dreams, my fiber art and my writing, are the goal, it's how to get to the place that I know I will gain the momentum I need to move forward with everything, because it will be an especially hard time, even amidst the new changes. The changes cannot come until my mother passes, sometime very soon, and it will be a bittersweet time indeed, and I think that right now I'm afraid to even think of the work ahead, the new life, and finally finding my way into my dreams only after my mother has passed, and the time for grieving works it's way through. I thought I knew how I would achieve my dreams, but now I am just confused, and sad, and uncertain. Frozen, afraid, but then, as always happens, I seem led to a quote that is a great teaching for me, and helps illuminate the path ahead, and knowing this helps me to gain the courage and the strength to go on, and to know that there are many ways to achieve my dreams, perhaps, I think, I need to just find a different way of working toward them. So this quote set me right again...

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,
don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

~ Confucius ~

We often get so set in the way we imagine that things need to be done, that when they don't quite go that way we feel as though we have run into a brick wall, and, since we can't see around the other side, we give up, turn around, shrug our shoulders, and, defeated, head back, with our dream lying dead in the road. What we need to remember is that even The Great Wall Of China has a beginning and an end. All we need to do is walk around the wall. Life is full of change and the best laid plans seem just meant to go KABLOOEY just as we are about to take steps to achieve them. In the dance of life there are many steps that we can take. Simply turn in a new direction and find new ways. The fact that you can't get from here to there in the way that you had imagined will probably be a very good thing. It will broaden the scope that we all need to see many more ways to move into our new life. I can be exciting. Dreams only shatter if we let them. We are not going to let them.

I always like to think of Grandma Moses. She didn't start painting until she was 75. She painted until she died at just over 100 years of age. I love the quote attributed to her, "Well, if I hadn't started painting I guess I would have raised chickens." Life was big to her, she could paint, she could raise chickens, she could do anything she wanted to. It never bothered her that she was 75 years old when she started. I don't think that gives any of us a good excuse to say it's too late. I know men and women in their 40's and 50's who have already given up on their dreams. Not what would Grandma Moses say about that?

When I was young I had a beautiful poster of a ballerina flying in mid-air in a beautiful dance move. The poster said, "If you can imagine it you can achieve it, if you can dream it you can become it." It's time for us to start imagining and dreaming, and walking around any walls that get in our way. Everything is possible. Let's begin...


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You Know More Than You Think You Do ~ Believe In Your Self!

A dear friend, as well as others, have asked me to teach a writing class online. They felt that they needed to write better, you know, grammar etc. Well, the answer is no. You see, I have taught writing for 30 years and I am a professional writer, but what I have taught has been a very healing journal class, with prompts and exercises and more. One of the main tenets of my classes, and of many other journal teachers that teach in this vein, is "Don't worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar, or writing rules of any kind." The whole purpose of my classes has been to get people to start to write to reach their inner being, and connect with that which is important, or true, for them.

Often dreams are deeply buried under years worth of having to take care of other's needs, working at a job that leaves little time to write, and many, many other things, that the dreams are almost forgotten, or so painful that we long for them and never believe we will ever be able to accomplish them. My job has never been to teach the kind of writing we learned in school, or professional writing. If it comes to that you can tell your story with as great a clarity as you can muster, and there are always people around who can, for a small fee, edit your manuscript and help you with those sorts of things.

Let me tell you a little about my classes, and you will see what I mean, and then I will tell you a little something that I learned along the way.

If you came into my class, no matter what the venue, we would all sit in a circle. I have an introduction for a class, and an exercise that will help my student leave the day behind so they can enter where they are, not stuck on the lady that cut in front of them on the freeway, or the crying baby, or worrying about something at your job. Once they did that and cleared the way for writing, having emptied themselves, they are ready to jump into their subconscious mind and watch amazing things come out on paper. They don't even realize that they are so amazing, and when we go around and read, very often people are stunned by what they've written, some even cry, and that's okay.

It's timed-writing, which people have used for decades, so that whether you are writing for ten minutes or for thirty, once you are led into the exercise and given a prompt, you have to keep writing until the time is up. You cannot stop for any reason. Your mind will go all over the place, and you don't worry about the spelling, the grammar, etc., because those things freeze you up and hold you back. You just let it all flow. And it is amazing where your mind will go.

You can start out writing about what the color purple means to you and you might write about one summer when you made grape jelly with your grandmother and then your mind jumps to the fact that you once had to be a bridesmaid or groomsman and wear something purple and it was hideous and you go through many layers and just let go and let what will come, come, and finally you find yourself hitting a theme or memory that stays more focused. When we had written three exercises, we would go around the room and read, and no one ever had to read if they were uncomfortable, but I really encouraged them to. It's a very powerful thing to read out-loud what you have written, and most people don't even really know what they've written. I always did the reading period after 3 exercises were finished so that there would be one of the three that the student felt more comfortable sharing.

The hardest thing for people in my classes came after the reading time. The would read, and I would bow and say, "Thank you." That thank you meant, "Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with us." This is important. It is a piece of you. And you need to learn to honor that. I allowed no comments or criticism and we went around the circle like that. My classes were very Zen and I usually wore Zen robes to class, used a Zen bell to begin and end the exercise, and it was very simple, clean, and clear.

You see, in this world we are used to being judged. We are hungry for people to tell us that we are okay and that we've done a good job. Most people, at least on some level, are desperate for validation. That wasn't my job to give. I wanted my students to know that they were of value, doing something of value, simply by doing it at all. We need, in this world, to learn to stand up with who we are, and not need, or be swayed, by
someone's opinion of our self. We need to know that we are okay.

This was very important for students to learn, and also very difficult. It made some people uncomfortable and some even angry. Many would rather have been judged harshly than not at all. You simply must know that you are exactly who you are for a reason, and that you should know that you are okay being just who you are. When you get no praise, no criticism, simply thanked for being there, and taking up your pen, and writing, being true and honest with yourself, and hide nothing even if you feel you have to burn it later so that no one might ever see it, go out and burn it later, but write it NOW. It can be a ritual, and a healing, and a great learning, one we all need to know. It comes back to the teaching of "
maitri," the basis for my ministry, the Buddhist teaching of loving-kindness and compassion, and most importantly that we must first have it for ourselves if we are to have anything to give to another. This is very very hard for people in our society and absolutely necessary to live a full life, and to achieve our goals and dreams.

Now what I wanted to share with you, and it never ceased to amaze me, is that the first week we would go around the room and introduce ourselves to the group, telling our names and a few sentences about who we are and what we do in the world. I've taught doctors and lawyers, therapists and ministers, housewives, musicians, artists of all types, and more, and it never ceased to amaze me that not only were the most "successful" people in the world's eyes often very shy and almost apologetic about who they were, but some of the housewives, painfully embarrassed, would say something like, "I'm just a housewife, I probably won't have anything very interesting to write." I can't tell you how often that "just a housewife" wrote the most powerful things in class and just blew people away. Few of us know our true worth, unless we work at it, and writing is a very useful tool to peel the layers, like that of an onion, to get to the core, know who were are, remember long-held dreams long forgotten or given up on, and once found, start writing about ways we can achieve that dream.

Writing it down makes it real. Continuing to write, to brainstorm and to do the things I talked about several entries back when I talked about making scrapbooks, doing collage, doodling, collecting pictures or quotes, and so on, we begin to access ways to work on our dreams and then achieve them.

Unimaginable Dreams Made Manifest.

So no, I don't and won't teach a writing class online, the kind that people want me to. As writers we need to find our own voice first. We need to write and write and write and keep writing, and as we do we become better writers, and finally, even if it's taking an adult ed. class at a local college, we can learn what we need to know. Read a lot. That helps your writing too.

If I teach online again it will be my journal writing classes. I had a lot of students online and loved doing it. But my life won't allow for that now. It will be part of my ministry if I begin again, because I believe in the healing power of writing.

So start with what you know and go from there. Believe in yourself even if you have to "act as if" at first. Soon it will come naturally to you, and in the midst of this growing awareness of the power of self, the seeds of your dreams will be remembered, and you will have the inner strength to accomplish those dreams.

If you look at my Maitri's Notes, Quotes and Flashing Thoughts blog, you will see an exercise I did a few entries back called
At This Very Moment... That is the exercise I began a great many of my classes with, and that entry might be very helpful to you.

Trust what you know. Believe in yourself, celebrate yourself, and know that anything is possible if you want it badly enough and are willing to work toward it, make sacrifices if need be, and not put a
time frame on it. Keep following the path you are being led down and one day you will find yourself smack dab in the middle of what you've always wanted. There is nothing more powerful. There is nothing more important.

Believe in yourself. I do.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meditation, Mindfulness, Miracles & More...

Three Quotes by the Loving, Gentle Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh...

Live by these words and your dreams will rise like steam up off hot pavement. Dreams come from peace. Dreams come from awareness. Dreams come from kindness. Dreams are living miracles and perfectly ordinary...

"To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem. To meditate means to observe. Your smile proves it. It proves that you are being gentle with yourself, that the sun of awareness is shining in you, that you have control of your situation. You are yourself, and you have acquired some peace."

"When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love."

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

Meditate, Be Mindful, and Watch
Your Long Held Dreams Appear...


Monday, September 21, 2009

The Man Who Will Make You Believe That Dreams Are Possible...

*Click on the little box at the bottom of
the screen on You Tube and go full screen
for this.
You simply must!*

Be Prepared.

You might want to have a tissue ready
(I went through loads of them)

This man changed the world in one moment
and made people everywhere
believe in themselves
and that anything is possible
and you'd better get ready

your life will never be the same again.

Now, what are YOU waiting for?
Don't hide your light under a bushel

Click the button above
Watch it 20 or 30 times
(I've watched it more than that)
Then get ready to BURST
of the little person suit
you've been wearing.

You're about to change the world...


... standing on a little knoll and
watching you all climb mountains
to reach your dreams, and I'll be
tearful with JOY, and cheering
you on as you make it.

I know you will. Do you?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Untangle... Go Now...

... and read Gordon MacKenzie's

Orbiting The Giant Hairball

And yes, I've linked it to amazon.com so you can find it more easily

And no, I don't make any money for doing so

And yes, you can put the above on your blog, website or whatever

Just link it back here

Thank you

Your Partner on the Journey...


Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Dream Deferred, and Heading On Toward My New Life...

"What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?"

~ Langston Hughes ~

The first time I heard this poem by Langston Hughes, in my youth, I was at first completely overwhelmed with emotion, I, a child of the 50's, studying this poem in high school, coming in the middle of the worst times of that decade. The terrible roar of anger and grief justly felt by a beautiful race of people held down too long. I remember that I cried and cried and something in me did, indeed, explode!

What happened for me at that time was a kind of bursting apart of a societal norm that excluded those who were "different" never looking at the beauty, the power and pride, the incredible gifts that African Americans brought to this country (by no means their choice) and yet what I saw was a proud people, downtrodden past belief, who could raise their voice on high, and lift the spirits of those around them higher than, I truly believe, any race of people ever has.

In my life I would not tolerate unkindness or injustice of any kind, and as an adult I have legally taken the name Maitri, from the teaching of loving-kindness and compassion, and been ordained a minister to celebrate love, compassion, empathy, non-judgment, and a true reaching out and embracing every one around me with love and gentleness. Langston Hughes helped in that transformation, decades ago, but then, it was just a seed planted, something that would take a life time to grow.

I am at a very different time of my life right now. I am 55. My mother is about to pass and I will be an orphan in my mid-fifties, now, the Matriarch of the clan. When I was ordained and given the title Reverend Mother Maitri, it was perfect for me, because in a sense all that I do, want to do, try to do, is to bring a loving, motherly spirit to all people. I have given much, but it has only been as if a drop of rain in a rainstorm next to all the love, support, gentleness, kindness and caring that I have received back. My motto is "Each one, reach one." We don't need armies in the carrying of the torch of love around the world, we need, most importantly, to reach out, heart to heart, hand to hand, with tenderness, gentleness, and a loving-kindness that soothes the spirit and heals the heart. In this way it grows rapidly in proportion to those who practice
maitri, and in the last couple of days I have been showered with this love and support by many people, and I have learned so much that I am completely in awe, and still wanting to be very quiet and take it all in.

A couple of days ago, having planned for some time to move 30 miles away and buy a cottage by the sea, and having done unbelievable amounts of research along with my realtor, we spent the day looking at cottages, some I've shown here, and I had my heart set on that blue one. When we arrived, much to our horror and shock, what looked good in the pictures (Beware pictures in catalogs!) was literally a falling down, falling apart cottage with so many holes clean through it could rain inside, and the smell of mildew and worse almost made me ill. When we went around all day long for hours and hours looking at so many cottages I lost count, I was shell-shocked realizing that this darling little area had now become one where you had to be very wealthy to buy a decent home, and the whole day my heart was aching thinking about being that far away from my daughter and her family, my precious grand baby, and my dearest and best friend, very nearly my blood brother, Jeffrey. I came home, collapsed in a chair, and wept. And then I couldn't move, I was simply so worn out that I listened to the snores of the puglings and sat limp in the chair. I felt defeated.

But it was the "dark before the dawn." By yesterday morning I woke up feeling as if I had a new lease on life, that I had been saved from a terrible mistake, and that that day, hard as it was, was meant to teach me a lesson. There is a reason that the Bible says, "Thy will, not mine, be done." We can pray for the best outcome for our lives, but truly, don't (seldom?) fully know what that is. The morning I was leaving I wrote to my friends online and showed the little blue cottage (Before I saw it and got the shock of my life... sadly I am incredibly naive about these things...), and so many of you wrote in with prayers, warm loving support, Bible verses, positive energy, and more that I was lifted up on high. When I came home I thought about that a lot, I had been overwhelmed by the kindness and love and prayers that had come to me from so many, but then it came to me that the prayers and such had worked
PERFECTLY! The prayers themselves were reaching up on high and asking for what was the best for me. I went surrounded and protected with loving guidance and support and angels all around me. And I realized that I was going down the wrong road. And I was lifted up and set down on the correct path. I will stay near my family, and all of a sudden hordes of possible places started rising. We are looking at 2 on Tuesday. And I will take my time, and I will let the table rise. Everything happens in it's own right and perfect time.

A Dream Deferred, in this case, is what saved me, and I EXPLODED into a million pieces, dreams dashed and shattered in all directions, and I landed in soft clouds with the angels singing all around me. I got the message, "All will be well Maitri, just take a breath, slow down, and all will come in the right and perfect time." Of course we know this, and we can preach it to others, but when it comes to ourselves we often forget everything we know.

So I thank all of you for your love, prayers, kindness, support and the angels you put in the car with me that day! I don't have to exactly begin again, just turn in a slightly different direction.

Don't curse dreams deferred, not in this sense. This time, for me, it was a saving grace, and I thank all of you who helped me, and held me aloft, with your prayers, on such a very hard day. Onwards and upwards as the saying goes. I'll keep you posted, and you keep working toward your dreams too...


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dreams, Destiny, Our Purpose In Life Or All Of The Above & Then Some?

I've been sitting here wondering, you know, meandering in my mind (I've got to be so careful. I could get LOST in there, maybe take a wrong turn and never find my way back!), wondering if our dreams are really our destiny, and perhaps even our purpose in life. To wit -- why is it that everybody has different sorts of dreams, some seemingly little, some gargantuan, and yet the dreams they/we have, even if not yet attained, seem to be meant to be for us. We might have a hard time imagining it, and most people are stuck in a rut, or scared, or it just seems too overwhelming to wait, and plan, and work it all out when we live in a fast food society, where everything seems to move at breakneck speed and if it takes awhile most people just shrug and forget about it. But it's the dreamers that really make things happen.

It was Thoreau who put it best...

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

I have always loved that quote, but then, I'm a transcendentalist at heart.

One of the things I've been talking about with a friend recently, someone who works for a lot of very wealthy people, is how so many of them have quite a lot of money but are very unhappy. One said something so poignant that it was heartbreaking. She said, "When you have all of this money, you've already bought or achieved your dreams, and when there's nothing left to dream about, there's not a lot to live

If you ask most people what they want most (You know, besides World Peace, and the other obvious answers...) a large percentage of them will say that they want to be wealthy, want to win the lottery or the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. I've had my share of those kind of dreams too, but I have come to realize, at 55, what one really needs is what feeds their soul, what leaves them with a sense of contentment, or feeling fulfilled. What brings you joy?

I am thinking things through very carefully now. Our dreams aren't and shouldn't be just an acquisition of
things, although many of those, like the cottage I am looking for, are simply practical and necessary things to have to live in the world. I have been acquisitive and ended up with a bunch of stuff I quickly didn't care about. I was trying to fill a void that not only turned out to be a bottomless pit, but got me in trouble financially over things I couldn't even remember buying. We learn the hard way. I have learned my lesson. I want a little cottage, the used car that I've found (My current one is a 17 year old mini-van with rust and cracks and dents and water keeps leaking into one headlight through a crack and the other headlight has a hole about 2 inches round broken smack out of the middle of it. Inotherwords, the poor old thing is kind of held together by bandaids and duct tape, and still, I love this kiwi green mini mini van, but it's just not safe to drive anymore, and you don't dare chance driving it far. I need a car that is dependable and reliable and I'm tired of carrying around a crate full of duct tape, "just in case." But a newer used car will do me fine.

I will be living on a modest but comfortable income, enough to meet my needs and have a bit left over, hopefully making money selling my art and my books and other writing projects to make a little extra, and I will garden like mad and grow some of my own food, and I will live a peaceful existence of solitude and work that I love. It's taken me a long time, nearly three decades of marriage and raising children, a decade of being alone, a starving artist, and at mid-life I am settling into the peace and security that I need. I don't want or need a big life, I need a life that fulfils my needs, I want to help others through my work, I want to care for my bevy of rescued animals, and marvel over my children and grandchildren and I will be happy, and at peace, and filled with gratitude to have just that.

Our dreams do not go away or grow smaller, they become part of us, they go deeper, wherein the perimeter might seem smaller but we have gone down into the vast well of our being and found our truth, our purpose, our mission in life, our destiny. We will find these things if we are patient, and take loving care of ourselves and others along the way, and if we band together to help support one another as we all walk ahead into the land of dreamy dreams, we have a better chance of achieving them.

To that end, one of the things that is important for me to do with this blog is to help others by allowing them to send me their questions which I will post and I will answer as I can, and hope that readers will, in the comments section, help the dreamer see their dream made manifest. This life is an endless journey. Let us walk it together...


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And Then There Is The Thing I've Always Wanted...

A Historic Home...

1910 Cottage, renovated in the 1970's, but needing work. Price likely too high if he won't come down, but right in the center of the town I wanted. Sometimes I think I want this house so badly I could cry, but money is an issue. And I think what it comes down to is...

What are you willing to give up to achieve your dreams?

This is something I am weighing right now.

Just look at these rounded windows. They don't make them like that anymore....

I want to sit inside and look out of these
windows at the passersby. I want to sit
near the windows reading, and spinning
my hand-dyed, hand-spun yarns. I want
to write my book by these window with
the natural light coming in around me.
I crave these windows in the most
unseemly way...

And then, and

A big dream of mine has always been to have a little historic cottage with a white picket fence...

The white picket fence around the little 1910
Blue House. I have also always loved blue
houses, always wanted one -- I am an artist,
I really need color -- AND my best friend,
just the day before I found this house --
hold onto your hat -- dreamt that I would
end up in a little blue house. This is a man
that dreams things and they come true...


What am I willing to give up to achieve my dream?



C'mon Now, You've Got A Right, A Responsibility, To Go For Your Dreams...

So yes, I'm dreaming my dreams and finally at a place to manifest them and make them happen. My dreams started ten years ago, the part about the little cottage by the sea. And some of my dreams I've been waiting a lifetime for. You see, the thing is, not to worry about time-frames, or dollar amounts, focus on what is dearest to your heart, what you want more than anything. Maybe it's a certain kind of car, moving to another state (or country) or getting a pair of red roller skates, it doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that you KNOW you're WORTH it.

I knew, when my dream began ten years ago that it was going to take a good while to get to this place, and I'm not all the way there yet but I'm beginning to cross the threshold. How did I do it?

First of all, you need to spend a lot of time dreaming,
allowing yourself to dream. It's not silly or foolish and don't let anyone tell you so. In the last ten years I have written about my dreams, take tiny steps along the way, kept a journal of what I wanted to achieve, and most of all, and this is really fun, get a great big cheap sketchbook and collect magazines and have Cut and Paste Days. You know, rainy days, days off work, when you're in the doldrums, when you feel creative. You take a big pile of magazines, scissors, an exacto knife, and a glue stick, and you RIP those magazines apart page by page, and anything that applies to your dream (and new things will keep coming up that are part of it) you cut out, paste down, one picture to a page leaving a lot of blank space for writing and doodling, making notes and jotting ideas, and even making little lists, as ideas occur (You will go back and forth between the picture pages as things occur to you, so leave LOTS of space, or you can also have a series of big sketchbooks.) of steps you might take to realize this dream, all the dreams, a whole BIG WORLD of dreams.

In the end, it doesn't matter HOW you do it, what matters is that you believe you can, AND YOU KNOW YOU'RE WORTH IT, and your joy, excitement and anticipation will spread to others around you. Think outside the box. Be a beacon of hope for all the world around you. Drive down the road singing and giggling as you know you are finally on the beginning of the path that will lead to your dreams.

You can do it. Start now...


Okay, Here Are The First Two Cottages, Give Me Your Opinions...

This is so much harder than you can possibly imagine. And there are so many, but I'm only going to put a post so as not to make it more confusing, and then I'll add to the list as I keep looking...

I call this
The Little Gnome Home and I am absolutely in love with it. I was smitten on sight in fact. The UP side is that it is adorable and what I wanted was an unusual house that I could make into a magical little place. The DOWNSIDE is that it is pretty small, and a little further out of town than I wanted to go, AND it will need a fair amount of work inside to make it comfortable, whimsical and so on. But if it's in good shaped, structurally sound, and just needs some inside work, could you possibly resist this one?

And then there's the one I call The Little Blue and White Cottage. It's adorable and reminds me, from the outside, of a little old schoolhouse. It's closer in but doesn't have the magical charm of
The Gnome Home.

I really need some help here, and I'd love your advice on choosing houses, adding on, etc.

The upside of this little cottage is that it is right in the little town I want to be in, but while it's cute and may be the one, it doesn't have the charm of
The Gnome Home. What do you think? I'd really like to know...

I will be anxiously awaiting your opinions, and you can just leave either or in each post. That simplifies it instead of hitting you with too many houses at once. C'mon, what do you think. I could put twinkly light all around the roof's edge to leave up year round, blue I think. I could put gnomes and elves and mermaids and all manner of things. I am going to create an English Cottage Garden all around with magic and whimsy and garden art and more.


Thanks for helping me decide!

Maitri, confused but hopeful...

Yes You Can! And, Believe Six Impossible Things Every Morning Before Breakfast!

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Alice & The White Queen in
Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll

Dear Ones,

I bought this unimaginably LONG url some time back. I started the website. Life kept encroaching. I decided to do a blog instead. I designed the outlines of this blog. It sat. I deleted it. I
undeleted it (I didn't even know that you could do that on Blogger but I'm so glad that you can. I'm apt to delete something on a whim and then want to hang myself in the tulip patch (The gnomes always get me down, scold me, and push me back in the door. Besides the many animals, there seem to be an awful lot of the wee little magical people here...). However, a couple of days ago, and in alignment with my current life circumstances, I am having to make manifest all manner of unimaginable dreams. I thought I'd take you along with me, and at the same time encourage you to do the same in your own life.

This will be a magical, whimsical, mysterious, joyous blog. This is the blog where the imp in me runs amok. This is where I pave the way for you to believe six impossible things every morning before breakfast, and then we will all work together to make these things happen!

think "Mr Ed" couldn't really talk. They had no scope for the imagination as Anne of Green Gables would have said! These same people most likely think that those "pink plastic flamingos" in people's gardens and yards are simply that, pink plastic birds on a stick. If they only knew.

I have an in with the wee folk and I'm here to tell you that those flamingos jump off their sticks and come fully alive at night and run amok making mischief everywhere. I also believe they are behind that eternal question,
"Why is it that you put TWO socks in the washing machine and only ONE comes out?" Well I'm here to tell you that I'm usually up into the weesmas (wee small hours) and I've been witness to things most people never see! Do you know that all of these flamingos frolicking round and about laughing as they turn things upside down, inside out, and then paint them all pink are ALWAYS wearing ONE sock. Now where do you think THEY came from. Believe you me, they've been in your dryer before you have!

So come along with me as I build my dream future in odd and whimsical and down to earth ways. I will show you pictures of little cottages I am looking at, the Big Whomper 8 year old 2002 4wdr with 100,000 miles on it Yukon XL and being sold to me from a dear friend for a song. I don't drive a lot but when I do I need ROOM. When you live in a tiny sea town where a hurricane might sweep the whole town away, or make of your little village the next Atlantis, and you have to load up 5 dogs, 6 parrots, all in their carriers and cages, you'd best be able to fit them in. I'm told there is seldom a hurricane here, but it would be just my luck that the biggest one in history hits 4 minutes after I move in and by gosh and by golly I'ma gonna be ready! I don't like a 4wdr because of environmental reasons, but this is used, has the room I need, and recluse that I am, I barely go anywhere at all.

A 2002 Yukon XL. Don't you think it would look
FABULOUS painted a sparkly lilac???

I've already named abovesaid vehicle Jezebel, and had just about decided to have her painted kind of a misty lilac when the current owner, my best friend Jeff, started to go into cardiac arrest. Sigh... Well, I'll spruce it up somehow. I've already decided to put a vase of flowers attached to the dashboard somehow just like the new little VW bugs have (I wanted one of those but they don't so much fit a dozen animals or so...), and I saw the little Smart Cars which look like a child's bootie and nearly gave ME a heart attack, imagining, first of all, trying to fit my Polish behind in the thing, and realizing if I could fit anything in there it would be a slip of paper, which one doesn't much need when there's no elbow room to write, and then there's the fact that a bug could squash you in the thing, and it all made me so nervous I did a wheelie in the car parking lot to get away from it, panting all the while.

I'm going to get one of those little old lady 3 wheel bikes (... with a BIG seat to ride comfortably with my abovesaid Polish arse.), which I think is a dandy way to get around a little town where everything is nearby and there's even a nice big basket to carry things...

But what I really want is the surrey model, but it costs half what I'm paying for my car... (shaking head sadly), and it even comes in red, blue or yellow, but LORD, wouldn't I look GRAND in this...

What I really like about the surrey is that is says the bench seat fits 3 people (Ha ha ha... 2 maybe...) and the front seats 2 little children with safety bars to lock them in. I figured I'd carry a coupla pugs up there for decoration and to give the little hooligans some fun, but I'm not entirely certain that they would appreciate it. But just
imagine tooling around a little town in a surrey with two pugs up front. It needs no gas, it emits no emissions, and I could wear my flamingo hat and really make an impression!

Yes, I really do have, and sometimes
wear this very hat. It's head goes way
up high and it's feet come right to
breast level. So fun the way you can
shock the socks of the neighbors if
you wear it to go out to get the mail,
but I can assure you, they'll never
bother you again...

A flamingo hat makes everything better. I wear it around the house when I'm in the doldrums, startling all the animals no end, but I tell them to buck up and get over it, we all cope in our own ways...

Well, I guess I'll close here, but next time I'll show you some of the cottages I'm looking at, and you can feel free to leave comments with your opinions, and I shall discuss how you, too, can manifest your own dreams. In the next entry after that, I shall likely write about the magical garden that I am already designing. It will be a dumpster diver/artistic paradise, and the gnomes and the flamingos will love it.

Whimsical Maitri
Who Believes In