Finding My Way

Its been a while since I have written anything on this blog. I am finding my way back. That statement carries a good deal of weight in my life. I am of an age, sigh, that means I should be slowing down. I don’t want to slow down. I want to explore the world, meet new people, experience life. I get hindered by fear, as so many people do. There are things that stop me, family, friends, uncertainty.

I was listening to the radio this morning about the Marlins pitcher who was killed in a boating accident. Why he was killed is another discussion, a sad one. Nonetheless, it was reported that he exuded a love for life. I miss that. I am passionate, these days it comes out in frustration rather than joy. I want to find my way back to my joy.

Back from Patagonia

I had the opportunity to go to southern Argentina and explore, for a short time, two places in Patagonia. One was the Beagle Channel the other was the glacier. The trip was fantastic. My daughter and I hiked and rafted and braved the cold weather. We went horseback riding the last morning we were there. Neither of us had ridden in years.

I love to travel it gives me such a sense of well being. I love to experience other countries, other cultures, other people. I have always had a serious connection to history. My favorite literature is historical novels. What can I say, I am in many respects stuck in the distant past. The ability to visit other places has always given my energy and set my spirit soaring. I am enlivened by my experiences.  My daughter has not had the opportunity to travel as much as her brother, but she chose Patagonia over Paris. Any place is fine with me. LOL. And as she trekking one day she threw her arms out in the wind and said, “I feel so free.” I can relate. We didn’t go on the intensive trekking groups as I didn’t think I could hike for 12 hours a day.  The groups were joined were between 8-10 people. Most everyone was in their 20s, and then there was me. Decades and decades….older. But I did not embarrass myself.

I had planned 5 years ago to go on a hiking trip along the Amalfi coast, but my daughter became ill so I cancelled my trip. I had always wanted to go on a bicycle trip through parts of Spain. But the rest of my family voted me down. I think one type of trip I will do involves travelling to places and doing volunteer work. That fascinates me as well.

What Comes to Mind

I am sitting at my computer having just finished playing brain games. I guess that tells you I am of a certain age. Never mind! I did well in most games and poorly on others. It is a mystery to me. I didn’t realize I was spatially challenged though my husband tells me so. LOL.

I came to post something, and a Frank Sinatra song popped into my head. “The days linger on to a precious few…” Now that is weird. I don’t even like Frank Sinatra. I must admit that the issue of aging has bothered me this last year. I don’t look old, I know I don’t act old, and I don’t feel old, yet I am getting older and older. It doesn’t help that I live in a community that has a great many older people. I do not like where I live. I would prefer to be in a mixed community–diverse in all respects. Looking out and seeing nothing but elderly people depresses me.

My mom, who is soon to be 90 is vital, as was my dad who passed away just shy of his 90th birthday. My mom is at a motivational class today and told me it was very nice. She plays cards, goes to shows, is an avid reader, drives, etc.  She is tough. I need to follow her example.

I was at my husband’s house this AM, that is another story, and he was telling me about a saying someone gave him: Count your blessings.  In my world, that translates into gratitude for what I have, which is quite a bit. I just finished a conference call about a small project I have and in a couple of weeks I am off to Argentina with my daughter. We are going on an easy hiking trip to Patagonia. How wonderful is that!

So, there isn’t anything specific on my mind, but there should be a great deal of gratitude. On this nasty, rainy, cool day I will have gratitude for the abundance in my life.

Last 20 Secs of 2015 Super Bowl Big Error?

I am not a big fan of watching football but I did watch the Super Bowl game this year. The passing play that lost the game was confusing to say the least. I can only think that the coach thought he would fake the Patriots out letting them think the play would go to Lynch….

What is the lesson here? If the move seems logical to go straight ahead, with three tries shouldn’t one go straight? If, the play had succeeded and Seatle had made the touch down would the headlines be screaming about the worst play ever? Probably not!

I don’t know if there are any lessons to be learned. The coach gambled and lost. It was a calculated risk, one that would have gone done in the history books as brilliant had it succeeded. Instead, it failed and it goes down in the history books as a big failure to do the most obvious thing.

I think we are often faced with making the obvious choice or choosing the risky, even outrageous choice that, IF it succeeds, will be brilliant. I often seem to be caught between do the obvious and take the risk. Creative behavior always has a risk attached to it. There is never a guarantee of success. Actually, I think more times than not failure looms great.

You have to give the coach credit for taking such a monumental risk. He played all his cards in that one move and lost big. Still it took courage and guts to commit his team to such a risky play. Perhaps it could have been executed more precisely, then we would be having the other discussion about brilliance…

Listen to the Music and Spread the Word That’s the soundcloud address for an up and coming young musician-keyboard player and composer. The sound is indeed soulful. I love R&B, jazz, funk, Broadway music, classical music and the like. The only type of music that irritates me is country music. I understand the complex musical roots that went into the creation of the genre and the way it is merging with other musical genres now.

I digress. I have heard Ben’s music played on a piano, a sound I also prefer over keyboard, but I do believe that is a generational thing. The thing about music is its ability to touch one’s core. Is it one’s soul? Is it one’s essential essence? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I am touched by music.

I received my Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts so it is not surprising that I relate to many artistic formats: painting, sculpture, dance, music and writing, now my creative expression. In the beginning, it was theatre; that was my creative expression. I do sometimes miss it, but I have made choices in my life which took me in other directions.

Writing and reading other’s writings is central in my life but my life would not be complete without other artistic inspirations. I thought I would share some of this music with you and hope that you will share it with others. Quality work is that, quality and should be experienced by as many as possible. Happy listening and sharing!

For the Love of Stressing

One would think that I have never travelled. I am leaving in a few days to visit friends in CO. I am a nervous wreck about the altitude, my migraines, and the cold. I am from NY but have been living in the south longer than I like to admit. So the thought of the cold is very intimidating. My friend said “It gets into the 40s at night. We sleep with the windows open.” OMG. That is sub-zero weather to me these days. I will shiver my way through my vacation.

Last year I was in Peru and Equador, and I suffered from migraines induced from altitude issues? I don’t know. I thought I would floar away from drinking so much water. My friend said, “Are you drinking a lot of water?” UGH. I am bad about it. I know the miracle of water, but I am bad at providing my body with that sustenance.

I am looking forward to being in the Rockies, hiking, etc. I expect to take magnificent photos. There is nothing to stress about, but I will stress anyway. I am such a garden type neurotic. If I didn’t stress what would I do? Have energy for more productive behaviors? How boring is that, really!

Cherishing the Moments I Work with Women

I facilitated an expressive writing class today.  There were to be ten people attending. Only a few women showed up. It didn’t matter. I love working with women as there is much in their experience that is difficult, if not impossible to get into when men are in the group.

I understand that men have their traumas and their pain, and indeed, we are all human and can share the pain. However, for women struggling to make sense of their pain, shame, and guilt, having a single sex group is helpful.

I enjoy engaging with women. The irony of that statement is grounded in my youthful dislike of women. I didn’t know then what I understand now. That is not to say that I have patience for those females who are superficial, mean-spirited, or airheads. Listen, I never said I wasn’t judgmental.

We learn from the stories other women share with us. Years ago, I wrote a non-fiction book on women and creativity. The stories that were offered to me during those interviews were precious. For the most part, after speaking for a short time, the raw stories of these women tumbled out. I was honored that they shared so openly with me.

I have taught many workshops, most of them to women and every time, the sharing has had a profound impact upon me and others. I cherish those women, their honesty, their courage and their willingness to share.


Thinking Myself Out of Writing

I think too much. I once had someone say to me, “It is too bad you have to hang out with yourself.” LOL. Really! I can worry and ruminate and whirl about something that should be left alone. I sit at my computer trying to organize my workshop for tomorrow. The challenge: each session will be complete. People will  regularly change. How do I impart anything about the writing process if each session is completely new.

I sit working on my novel,  long term project of mine, and I reach a point where I have to change the approach. I get tired and have to stop. Just as I can think too much, I can write too much narrative and not enough dialogue and action. I have been accused of being too much in my head.

Maybe that is why I get headaches. LOL. I am keenly aware of my habits, the feelings in my body, my thoughts. I have been working on mindfulness and positive thinking. Right now I feel as if I have to practice “Acting as if…” Do you know that expression?

There is always respite from myself when I exercise and when I pick up a book to read. Today, I will use both those tools AND I just got Netflicks so perhaps I will watch for the first time House of Cards to see what I have been missing….Oh, I didn’t talk about my art. Since Sept., I have been painting with watercolors. Some of my work is impressive, some of it is awful. However, that is another blog.

What I know: My workshop will happen, and I will learn some lessons. My novel will get written and published, and I will learn some lessons. I will address my behavior and learn some lessons. Hopefully, I will accept the joy in learning the lessons.


At the Edge of Fear

I am by nature a fearful person. The irony is that I am a strong, fearful person. Figure that out. This week I begin a new project. I am going to teach a creative non-fiction writing class at a substance abuse treatment center. I am scared. Why? because that is my first response. It doesn’t matter that I have taught college for many years. It doesn’t matter that I have facilitated workshops many times. It doesn’t matter that I understand and write about addiction. It doesn’t matter. The old voices in my head scream out to me, challenging me. 

I am much better at handling those voices then in the past. I have learned how to diminish their power. It was many years ago when I first became aware of my inner self talk. I hesitate to use the word voices as I do not suffer from a mental health disorder. But, I do suffer under a mean and wicked judge who doesn’t like to give me a break. 

A friend of mine told me, “What are you worried about. Even if you could do something wrong, who would know.”  I think part of the problem is my desire to be unique and outstanding. I have a wealth of creative energy and understanding to offer and want to change your life. LOL!  There is a saying in 12 Step rooms that is ” I am an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.” So, I will prepare my workshop, and hope that I can touch someone’s life for the better. If I can do that, I can’t loose anything.

Peaceful thoughts, calm energy, and mindfulness to me and all of you.


The days linger on….

I have no idea what that title may mean. I am sitting here at my computer planning the day’s work with thoughts tumbling about in my mind. So, I will write about a few things as the hot days of summer get going.  I love to travel, and I associate travel usually with summer time. After all these years, and it is many years to be accurate, I am still on the old school schedule. Summer vacation!

I just came back from visiting my daughter and that was great. In July, I plan to visit a friend in CO and in August I am scheduled to go to a wedding in Ireland. I would like to travel in the fall. I actually thought I was going to Paris in the fall, but that has been delayed replaced by the Ireland trip.

Switch subjects: I went to a fantastic Christian McBride concert Sat. night. This year’s South Florida Jazz Concert series was outstanding. Next year’s promises to be wonderful as well. One of Sat. night’s trio was a 24 year old piano player, my my. What an extraordinary talent he was and just a baby, as it were. So exciting to see that talent and hear him play.

Sunday was father’s day. My husband was visiting our daughter: my son is away in Nashville, and I went to visit my dad at his resting place.  He would have been 93 yesterday. I do miss him. He was a good guy,  funny guy, talented guy. My sense of humor and perspective had a lot to do with my dad. I am grateful for him in my life.

Today I was reading a Buddhist magazine. Yes, I am reminder of being mindful. I have many blessings in my life if I stay out of the negative stories I spin in my head and remember to disengage and observe.

Happy, mindfulness to everyone on this hot summer day.