Full Moon Dreamboard – Light

I’ve done some vision board collaging in my journal before, but this is the first time I have participated in Jamie Ridler’s Full Moon Dreamboards.

However, I wasn’t feeling much like the old magazines/scissors/glue method today. Instead I opted for looking through my photographs to see what stood out to me today. So here is my first Full Moon Dreamboard:

From left to right: the sunrise Thursday morning, the sun on a cloudy winter day, and the stained glass windows of a church on New Year’s Eve.

Light is playing a big part in my life right now, which became even more clear to me as I gravitated to these photos. I’m learning to shine my own inner light without fear and without expectations.

To see what others are dreaming about, visit Jamie’s post.

Grandpa

A week ago today I arrived in Florida 14 hours after the death of my grandpa. The next five days were a whirlwind of activity as the entire family worked together to arrange services and comfort one another.

None of us were prepared for this loss. It will take some time to figure out how to go about our daily lives with this void in our hearts.

The one thing I’m not sad about is that grandpa got his money’s worth out of this life. He remained active, stayed busy, and lent a helping hand until his body gave out and, as he would have said, the Lord called him home.

I miss him a lot. I’m also sad for my grandma who is trying to figure out how to be “just me” instead of half of a “we.”

I wrote about his generosity and his perfect answers on Too Many Toasters- my blog about families. Read it here: Saying Goodbye to Grandpa.

Grandpa was and still is an inspiration to me.

Now, go hug or call or write to your loved ones. I sent my grandpa a birthday card two weeks ago and I visited him last summer. Looking back now, I’m so happy I did.

Vocabulary of an English Graduate (lots of monster battling here)

I have a degree in English. I should be prolific and insightful and bordering on snooty. Isn’t that how English graduates are supposed to act? I should use big words like… I don’t know. See my problem? I can’t even think of any.

Yet there is this monster that comes up for me every time I read something I feel like I need to look up. This week it was a quote on Havi’s blog from <a href=one of her Item! Posts: “I like to… laugh at anything that pokes fun at commercialism, holiday treacle, or extreme reverence.”

“Treacle?” “Reverence?” When I read things like this the monster attacks me with “Why don’t you use words like that? You should know what treacle means. You should be able to use it in casual conversation. You are a disgrace to English graduates everywhere!”

It’s a mean, mean monster.

So when the monster reared his ugly head this week, I didn’t bow to its authority. I talked back. “No, I don’t know what treacle means. In fact, I don’t care. I like the way I talk. I like the way I write, sentence fragments and all. Take your ‘shame on you’ lecture and go pick on someone your own size. I’m just fine here.”

I’ve been doing a lot of talking back these days. Last week I trash talked the universe on Twitter. The other day I practiced changing the thought when the angry monster wanted me to growl at people. Now this.

I’m battling these monsters one by one. I’m done taking their crap. It is their turn to fear me.

I will not change the way I write to match some preconceived notion of what I’m supposed to do. I like to write in a conversational way. I think it’s meaningful. I like inserting my goofy jokes even if no one gets them but me.

I don’t have an ostentatious vocabulary (yes, I used a thesaurus) and I’m okay with that. Moreover, it doesn’t mean I’m dumb or that I’m a failure to the English language.

So to this monster who tries to tell me I’m a dunce, I bid farewell. You are no longer welcome here.

P.S. To the lovely Havi and Liz Enslin- This post in no way reflects my opinion of either of you. I think you are both divine! Keep doing what you’re doing and, dangit, use whatever words are true to you!

Changing Words

Last year I chose a word of the year on Christine Kane’s recommendation. The word I chose was focus. My intention was to use that word to help me focus on one thing at a time, to focus on breaking nervous habits like leg shaking, and focus on where I was spending my attention.

I kept that word in the back of my mind, drawing on it for subtle reminders to put down the cell phone or laptop or to spend some time letting my creativity run wild. It seems to have served me well.

A few weeks ago, I set out in search of a new word for 2010. I started along the lines of simplicity, be, and enough. Then I thought release. I tried it on for size, rolling it around in my mind for a little while.

In my frustration over a dresser drawer that was in disarray, I heard “release” and pulled out clothes to donate that I no longer needed or loved. On a tough day I allowed myself to release past pains and release my fears.

Then the battery on the van gave out. Then my husband’s indestructible tungsten wedding band broke after a small tumble from the counter. (This is the second time the indestructible ring has broken, so it isn’t as indestructible as advertised.) Then, of course, there was the day I dropped the baby Jesus while putting away my miniature nativity set. The baby Jesus survived and I laughed to myself because the word release was definitely showing its down side. The next day I dropped five different ornaments when packing up the tree and I started to think maybe I should go back to the drawing board.

On December 30th, something happened. My dog, Bruno, was suddenly very ill. I made three visits to the vet in four days and this weekend after bleak blood results indicating both his kidney and liver had shut down, I had to let him go. Even as I type this, I’m crying. I strengthened myself for him, pushed aside my fear of all things medical, and held him the entire time. I rejoiced for the nine good years we had together (pretty much my entire adult life). I certainly can’t be sad for that, but I’m sad to have had to say goodbye so soon.

My husband and my friends (who corralled around me with hugs via phone) and I all had to agree release was not the right word for me this year. I’m just not ready for all of the “opportunities” to prove I am able to release. My friend noted that my energy must be really strong, which is good, and that we should put some extra care in choosing a new word.

So here I am a few days in to 2010 without a word of the year. I’m jotting a few down. Feeling how they resonate. I don’t think I’ve found the right one yet. I’ll keep looking. I’m sure when the time is right, a new word will present itself.

In the meantime, it’s still me and Bruno against the world, even if only in spirit.