Sunday, July 26, 2009

two magical hours swept away...

i made an agreement with myself earlier in the week
to keep a date with artist's date.
so for two hours last friday i set out around town,
with camera in tow, to see what i could see.
i peeked in the windows, then went inside
"...i have my camera, i'd like to take pictures, do you mind?"
the friendly shop owners only too welcoming replied,
"take your time, have fun, and if we can be of help just ask."

from there i slipped into another life
a photographer's life, an artist's life
while my eyes excavated treasures i'd never imagined

crystals casting rainbows inside my imagination

shapes, form, texture
mixed elements giving way to the softness
of the feminine form

i wasn't only seeing, but feeling, hearing
the gentle spirit of another time

where a woman is a lady,
and a man a handsome knight in shining armor

my head swirled in the beauty
shining dance floors lit with crystal magic
and i imagined grand couples spinning in waltzes
as i heard long ago music playing

i heard the wisdom of the ages
in a voice whispered by a funny little china man
transfixed by his stare
he became my model, standing ever so still
allowing me and my camera the pleasure of his company

and in a turn i was stopped still by a look of innocence
who is this child? where did she come from?
is she yours, is she mine?

i glanced down at my everyday summer skirt
and wished, oh how i wished
that i could dress in such beauty each day
wondering how it really was in another time
a time when a woman was allowed her femininity
and a man wasn't completely dressed without a tie and a hat

soft color, muted tones, the bliss i was in
who needs new things
when such treasures can be found
i made a promise to shop resale, antique, flea markets
to fill the empty corners in my home

if one listens closely the objects have stories to share
sitting pretty on the dressing table
of a lady oh so fair
dances, parties, midnight interludes
who knows what shadows of long ago tales remain
sitting silently waiting for me only to put my ear to
and just listen

i got down on my knees
looking at pictures like i did as a child
i crawled right inside the scenery
and pretended i was there

and for a time i was, for those two hours i spent
two hours set aside to open my eyes, my mind
to something quiet deep inside me
my creativity, my artist's heart
right there all the time waiting for me
i took such peace in reminding myself
that when i seek, i will find.

this week, go searching yourself
i bet you'll be thrilled with what you discover!


Friday, July 24, 2009

are we having fun yet...

well, are we?
are you genuinely having a good time
just living your life?
can you admit to yourself
", mine, is just plain fun?"
can you say with honesty
that you're truly, simply, happy?
i was thinking about this, being happy, having fun
on my way to work this morning.
i was experiencing the joy i get out of just gazing around
the crazy, wonderful, down home town
i live in, work in, play in.
people dropping their dogs off at the doggie salon
folks sitting outside the local coffee shop
soaking up a precious summer morning
our local barber sweeping yesterday's dust off his front step
runners, bikers, moms pushing strollers - happy babies tucked inside
coaches whistles blowing,
waking the boys from summer slumber,
preparing them for another grueling year
of competition on our high school football stadium
seeing the boys on the practice field, lining up, running drills
...and for a moment slipping back myself to days when it was my boy
who'd grumble his way to those early summer practices
while, little did he know, it was then, those times,
that taught him lessons he'd be using for the rest of his life.
and i thought to myself, for me this is it.
just this. i'm having fun. doing nothing more than just living my life.
i don't need fancy restaurants or jet planes flying me here or there
(though i admit i'm grateful when those infrequent opportunities arise)
i don't need an expensive wardrobe
my home is just that, a home, filled with bumped up, banged up furniture
pictures of purple monkeys, rainbows, quotations that move me
covering my monstrous frigidaire (bought second hand, of course)
and i have fun, bona fide, true, honest fun
just living my life...
asking for nothing more.
how about you,
are you in need of a "fun check?"
if you're lacking, do something about it
now, don't wait.
the clock is ticking, life in all it's glorious simplicity
is too rich to miss.

with a smile and a wish for a happy weekend...

this afternoon i'm looking forward to the fun i'll have on my very first
personal artist's date. just me and my camera and a two hour trip
through the antique shops in my town.
two places i've longed to visit but never taken the time.
i can't wait:)
and isn't the photo the coolest? it's a vintage postcard photo of my town,
main street, wauconda from the u.s. war archives. see? fun!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

the virtue of discipline...

establish a life of simplicity
do what you can to reduce meaningless activity

once steps toward a simpler life are taken,
we can live a life of joy when focusing on what
we feed our mind, how we exercise,
and how we rest our mind, body and spirit

people who greatly enjoy life tend to be those
who are involved in the disciplines of service
and meaningful work balanced with fun

-lindsey o'connor-
from "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"
read it over, read it again, and then over again

it sounds so simple, doesn't it?

photos - shining stars captured by my camera on an early morning walk in my garden

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"your intuition is your best friend"
"you are unlimited"

"there is nothing more precious than the self"
"when ego is lost, limit is lost. you become infinite, kind, beautiful."

"travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light..."

these are the little messages that are printed out on the
tabs of my favorite brand of tea - yogi.
i've saved lots of them, pinning them around my office cube
reminding me daily of universal truths
that effect me, and you too
i just opened a box of my new favorite, peppermint
it rests next to my old favorite, super-antioxidant green
little packages of warm tea and soothing wisdom
lying wait in my desk drawer
to savor, to heal,
to give cause for a smile and peaceful thoughts.

if you're a tea drinker like me, you should try some
even if you don't, i'll bet you'll be glad you did:)


Friday, July 17, 2009

it's a little after three on a friday afternoon
and i'm wishing so bad that it was a little after five.
what a long, very long few weeks i've had.
no complaints really, a vacation, a weekend in the city,
it's just that i need a serious dose of HOME.
i haven't had a do nothing, no plans,
normal weekend at home since the beginning of june.
my home looks unloved.
there's unattended piles of stuff everywhere.
there's windows to look out of,
bringing in the sweet scent of fresh air.
my eyes are longing to escape the tedious view
of the nine to five workspace
and just soak up the homeplace.
i'm on my own and home alone this weekend.
husband is away, son will be working.
and i'm going to be catching up...
dusting off, restocking, re-arranging.
but tonight it'll be just me,
that crazy paperback romance novel i'm into,
a bottle of wine and a dish of cheezits
and the weekend before me giving me time
to reconnect,
settle down and sink in,
rest and reflect
on the healing effects of being home...
ah...that was round about three hours ago.
now i'm here
black and white on the tv, you'd crack up...
tcm is running a ma and pa kettle series.
i'm lovin' it.
the laundry is going, my grocery list is ready
in the morning i'll run fun errands
picking up groceries and all sundry
from my fave here-and-theres'
but right now
the candles are glowing in my home on this
i have this, right now, this moment
who could ask for more?

happy weekend angel readers...

photo was taken the last time i hung out at home - peonis...
it's been a while:)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

sending positive thoughts...

your way. and sending them to others as well. since i've become wrapped up in a cocoon of reading which encourages self improvement and self awareness, i've become acutely aware of how i perceive others. i've become more aware of how i see people and more aware of those nasty little snap judgements i/we make about others as we go about our lives. you know the kind, those nasty little thoughts you have about others - does she realize how bad those pants look on her, get out of my way jerk - i have places to go, if this cashier would move just a little bit quicker i'd really appreciate it, do my coworkers HAVE to talk so loud? don't they know i'm trying to concentrate?? - those kind of thoughts. we have a million of them a day. or maybe i do, i shouldn't assume you do too. but we're human. we can't help it. or maybe we can.

i've become more aware of those negative thoughts, about how they destroy, the negative energy they create, how they demean and make me feel like a lesser person. i'm doing something about it. beginning with my early morning trips to the gym, with every person i see i try to connect a positive word or a positive thought. because really, people are amazingly beautiful, incredibly wonderful, perfectly unique. it's so much fun to look at a person and think to myself - beautiful hair, friendly face, gorgeous smile, cute outfit, warm and friendly voice, good friend. what a difference a positive thought makes! and hopefully that extraordinary energy will make a difference for the blessed person on which intentions are sent.

it's a cool practice, and really, a challenge. which leads me to my next thought which is that we should be doing the same for ourselves. for our own inner angel. crush the ego that says we can't accomplish much, that we can't write, can't sing, can't draw, are out of shape, our thoughts don't matter. turn it around on ourselves. you can accomplish the world if you believe in yourself. there's a writer in you waiting to be discovered. you have a voice - speak, sing, laugh out loud. draw yourself a rainbow, paint a picture. you're beautiful, you can be healthy, you can run a mile. what you think, what you matters.

look around you. see the beauty. look in the mirror and see the beauty looking right back at you. look inside yourself and unlock your potential. share kind thoughts - give them away a million times a day. and be kind to yourself. be aware of the beauty and talent that is yours alone.

happy wednesday my friends...


Monday, July 13, 2009

what about bob...

days happen as the ebb and flow of the tide. one minute you're riding the tip of the wave, the next minute your bikini bottoms are full of sand. such is today, my monday. this morning i woke up hoarse, my voice tired from the singing, screaming, cheering i did at the styx concert at mil park last night. my sis nans and i had NO IDEA what we were in for when we grabbed a cab from our south side hotel. our plan was, after a literally literary day at the ala conference to head over to mil park for the sights and sounds of a gorgeous summer night in the city.

we popped out of the cab and were instantly hypnotized by the sheer beauty swimming in a cultural soup at the crown fountain. indian, mexican, asian, african american...all the children running, splashing, laughing - what a sight for the eyes, an incomparable song for the ears. and the skyline, how do you describe the beauty of the chicago skyline at sunset on a warm and perfect july night? as the energy of our surroundings swirled around us, our ears perked to the tune of "lady" as can only be sung by dennis de young just a short walk across the park at the pritzker pavilion. we thought, no, no frigging way!! but there he was, crooning out a tune that instantly took me back to the steamy backseat of my boyfriends car during my sophomore year as a carmel high school fudgie. and it was him, them, STYX in the flesh!

after gathering the details of "is this really happening, yes it is, what time does it start, we have to hurry back to get our seats" nans and i scouted out reinforcements (food, drink) in preparation for the show. our thought was to grab take away, but we instead opted for the draw of a cool watering hole - pazano's. three beers, a "vegas bomb" shot, a basket of calamari and a platter of the best damn quesadillas later we were prepped, primed and ready to rock. and rock we did. singing, dancing, swinging the flame of a bic lighter over my head (thanks to the guy behind me who heard me say "now all i need is a lighter nans!!), dancing, belting out come sail away, domo origato mr. roboto - the evening was, indeed, "the best of times."

and we weren't even expecting it. we just popped in the car with a plan for nothing more than a walk through the park and a quick bite to eat. but it was a night i'll remember FOREVER.

flip side, fast forward. after a WAY less than favorable experience (back in may) at a local restaurant on the lake in wauconda that's located in a big yellow house, and which recently added a huge new tiki bar deck to draw the thirsty to their bar stools to empty their wallets on over priced drinks, i was personally invited by the operations manager to come in and enjoy a meal on the house. this gentleman promised me that he wanted to give me "a most positive dining experience." his words were "come enjoy dinner on the house, bring your friends back so that we can make things right with you."

well, after a very trying day for the hubby, i wanted to treat him to a nice meal on a gorgeous night. today he went on his first job interview in more years than we can even remember. this is in attempt to be reemployed after losing his job of nearly 26 years. i thought hey, let's go celebrate your awesome interview, let's do something romantic. let's have some fun. so we went to that said restaurant in the big yellow house on the lake. the one right on 176. long story short, the manager forgot the promise he made to me. and then he remembered. and then he forgot to tell the manager who took his place after he left for the day. and i ended up embarrassed, treated EXTREMELY poorly by the said manager and vowing to myself to NEVER set foot in that place again. the confusion, the bad energy, all of it made for a most unpleasant experience and certainly not the nice, celebratory plans i had in mind for my husband and i.

i shake my head when i think of how nans and i were in the city all weekend long. china town, south side, north side, hotels, restaurants, cab drivers, wait staff, bus staff, housekeeping...and NOT ONCE were we treated in the same poor sorry ass manner as we were at the local restaurant in my own home town. pa-fricking-thetic!! everyone we encountered during our visit to the city of big shoulders treated us like a friend, like family, like their home was our home. i remember when that (local) restaurant was owned by the mers family. you were NEVER treated like that. you were family. you were served a great meal, and you were made to feel welcome. not the case now, certainly.

that said, back to our visit to the city. we saw authors: eloisa james, marjorie liu, debbie macomber, laura caldwell, cathie linz, nevada barr, richard peck, carrie host, and so many more. we raked in loads of free books by pulitzer, newberry and caldecott honor authors. we toured china town, eating like asian royalty. we laughed our asses off, walked everywhere, drank it all in like a tall glass of water after a stretch in the desert. a perfect weekend - fave friends us two - making a memory that'll last a lifetime. and then that concert. who knew? and only, ONLY in the city of chicago!! the only bad thing was that I FORGOT THE BATTERY CHARGER FOR MY STUPID CAMERA SO I DIDN'T GET ANY PICTURES!! except the one above. and that was the sky, a kiss from above as we sailed away...
so the story goes
my best friend and i.

the title of my post? an inside joke between two friends.