Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Creative’

NOTES

Two phones calls arrived on Sunday. The first was from a friend sharing the sad news that her sister had passed. It was not expected. She hadn’t been ill — in the hospital for some procedure. The second was from my husband’s older brother. We knew he had lung cancer, we didn’t know that the cancer had spread to his other lung and he didn’t plan to get more treatment.

I decided to send my book JOURNEY WITH ME to them. The stories in the book were written when my father first passed over to the other side. I was just beginning to recognize “help” from the other side. Since I was writing my first book TO PAP, WITH LOVE — I became VERY AWARE of the fact that I had an unseen editor. Writing the book was challenging on two fronts. The first was in remembering the events that occurred in the right order. For the most part I hadn’t kept a journal during my father’s illness. Sometimes I wrote a few notes which were a great help but most of the events relied on my memory. The second front involved “my editors.” I had TROUBLE in the writing — sentences disappeared, computer shut off, printing a hard copy became impossible at times. I don’t know if I kept notes on all the fun I had writing and rewriting the book. When I finally finished I tried without success to get a publisher. I ended up publishing the book myself through IUNIVERSE — an online publishing company that only prints books to order.

The great thing about publishing through IUNIVERSE was not only the affordability and the professional help, but the books are still available. Not only TO PAP, WITH LOVE but also JOURNEY WITH ME from Amazon. I found TO PAP, WITH LOVE quickly — JOURNEY WITH ME was harder. I needed to add the author’s name to the search.

Before I mailed JOURNEY, I decided to read some of the stories I had included. Some were very familiar. I was in the process of taking a class in creative writing at our city college. Some of the stories were written for the class. Others came from incidents that I included in TO PAP, expanded into more of a story. Others were brand new — no longer in my memory. I realized that if I wanted to get the books in the mail, I needed to stop reading and mail. I decided to read the last stories before mailing the books. TaDum TaDum TaDum included my husband’s second cancer surgery. I included a sentence that stated I knew why he needed chemo again because of a dream I had. ?????? What dream? What message? CONFUSED!

Since the writing was at the end of JOURNEY I knew the timeline it might have come from. For many years I have kept a daily engagement calendar. I guessed on the date of the dream and thankfully found a tiny note. Because there was a long time frame from the discovery of the cancer and the removal, there was more time for the cancer to spread. I referred to it in my notes as weeds. There was also a note from the dream on eating more vegetarian meals to help control my weight.

I was glad that I found the note on the dream. It would have bothered me. I have to admit that I’m still not good on taking notes. I either think I will remember (WRONG) or hide them from myself. I thought that discovering the importance from notes might make me more apt to take them, but the reality is that it won’t.

OLDER

I’m sure that something is going on. A message might be trying to get through but it isn’t clear. I haven’t the foggiest idea what, if anything, I’m supposed to do. Okay, have I confused you? Just what is it that I’m grumbling about?

In my morning readings I’m reminded “Trust God’s promises to you.” Abraham is popping up often. On the news — radio — TV — I’m reminded of people in their 100’s that are accomplishing amazing things. Recently on TV a 98 year old woman was featured playing Amazing Grace on a piano on the Grand Old Opera stage. She learned how to play as a girl, played for her classmates, got scared and NEVER performed in public again. I don’t know what program I was watching when I saw it. She was AMAZING — not only playing the notes but adding runs and other enhancements. Of course she received a standing ovation.

All of the people who are appearing haven’t reached their 100 birthday. I finished exercising one morning and turned the television back to a normal channel in order to listen to Jerry Lewis on his 91st birthday exercising his wit.

I get it! Age is not a factor in what a person can accomplish. My question is: “What am I supposed to do?” And of course there is no reply. Not that “I” hear — but since information comes to me in many different forms — I would think that I would get a hint of the task at hand. Instead I’m reminded that Angels are Playmates and Confidants or how important my family is to me.

And I agree to both of those statements but they don’t give me a hint as to the task at hand. Now I will admit that if I don’t have a thought ramble ready to publish my life becomes more complicated. Or I get hit on the head. Stuff still avalanches out of our freezer, sometimes falling on the floor, sometimes hitting me on the head or smashing on my feet — especially when I’m not wearing shoes.

So is the answer to my question that I’m just supposed to stay available to our family and make sure I have something written to publish once a week? I wish I could write that I have lots of energy and am accomplishing wonders in our house but I don’t like to lie. The truth is that the past few weeks have seen my lazy side. I’m exercising a little in the morning, a little in the evening. I’m walking Robin — it would be great to say 10,000 steps a day but I have trouble reaching 6,000. I could blame it on my knees — they don’t like the cold or the damp. For the most part I’m cooking — but if I can make something that lasts for a second meal I don’t mind.

Stay tuned — if I receive an answer, I’ll share.

ADMITTING TALENTS

Words coming out of my mouth surprised me the other day. I was in the entrance of a book store, looking at a collection of adult coloring books. A woman was standing there also, trying to decide if she wanted to buy a book, commit herself to coloring and trying to decide what materials she wanted to use. I shared my experience. She thought coloring might help with her anxiety.

At my daughter’s retreat in the Fall, I saw a group of women enjoying coloring, sitting at a table — using colored pencils. Shopping for Christmas presents, a selection of coloring books caught my attention. I bought a different book for two of my daughters, then bought a book so I could play too. I wanted to include tools so they could color right away. I bought 3 sets of markers. I was very happy with the deep color on the page — I WAS VERY UNHAPPY when I noticed the color soaked through to the other side. I returned two sets of markers to the store.

Next I tried crayons but once again I was unhappy with the results. Third try was colored pencils — I bought a set of 24 pencils. I was happy with the finished effect. When I paint, I often mix my own colors, or add white to get different shades. Having only 24 colors that I couldn’t mix was too confining. Thankfully our son had a big set of colored pencils that he shared. His set has more than six shades of green — just what I needed for coloring a garden that had many different leaves.

So when I was talking to the woman about coloring, I shared my experience. I also mentioned that I was a painter — those words, coming out of my mouth, surprised me. I usually don’t admit to having a special talent.

That isn’t the first time this week that my mouth opened to share something about myself. In this case I wouldn’t call it a talent. I accompany my husband to an exercise class at the Veteran’s clinic he attends. Recently a new person joined our group — it was his first class. And the class was more energetic than most. I was wearing my watch that measures my heart rate — I have trouble finding my pulse — and the reading was over 120. I couldn’t help but notice the rapid breathing of our new member — my mouth opened — words came out cautioning him to be careful — rest if he needed to, we didn’t want him to collapse onto the floor. Afterwards I explained to one of the volunteers that I can’t help mentioning something when I see or hear something hazardous. After my cautioning words, the volunteers gave him more assistance.

I seem to have become grandmother to the world.

RUFFUS

The Mind, Body, Spirit Exp. comes to our area three times a year. I try to attend at least two of the events. I’ll admit that this summer I wasn’t looking forward to attending. I had low energy, just plain TIRED. My husband knows how much I enjoy going — it is one place where I’m comfortable — the participants are more talented than I am — he convinced me to go.

This weekend, I felt like I was walking under a dark cloud that I couldn’t escape. Tired, no energy, no workshops that called my name — “Why am I here?” — that describes the situation. Since I go to the event so often, I know many of the vendors. When I stopped to talk to one, she suggested that I spend some time with crystals. I had already spent time looking for a new crystal pendulum without success. Each one I tried didn’t want to come home with me. I wandered to the booths that sell crystals. On the way, I stopped to chat and shared my quest. Doing so, I received help. A brother of one of the vendors suggested I follow him and he would help me find a pendulum. We wandered to the first booth I had stopped at that morning, but instead of pendulums, he stopped at pendants. “Choose one.” he said. There were more than a hundred pendants on the table — many emblems, many different colors — too many to choose from. I put my hand out and touched three — one for healing, a mermaid and a dragon. I almost chose the pendant for healing but both the creator of the pendant and the brother thought I should get the dragon — I’m fiery and have good energy. (Not Saturday but they’ve known me for many years.) I knew I needed a name for the dragon, but the brother told me that the dragon would tell me his name. I almost laughed, I have a hard time with names, titles. I stopped in the bathroom and thankfully the name Ruffus popped into my mind. The dragon had shared his name! And that is not all he shared.

I remembered the direction to spend time with crystals so I revisited the artist and asked what crystals comprised the pendant. Although I could list them, I have tried three times and each time something has occurred to stop my writing. Therefore I will take the direction that the knowledge of the dragon’s properties is for my use only, and just say that the various crystals in my dragon seems to be working for my good.

Sunday morning, I arrived in time to listen to a shaman who uses song for healing. Preparing for meditations, I always close my eyes — I closed my eyes to listen to his song and not be distracted by the outside. I was very surprised. I don’t have control over my talents — they are gifts that come and go at their will, not mine. With closed eyes, I saw a lion, a dog, a wolf, and an eagle. I knew I wouldn’t remember so I opened my eyes and wrote them down. Closed eyes again, I saw a buffalo, a deer, many winged species, then recognizable — a crow and a hawk. When his song was over, I asked the shaman if his song was meant to call in the animals and told what I had experienced.

Many of the crystals in Ruffus are for clarity and channeling. If Ruffus can chase the dark clouds and help with my other issues, he and I will be VERY good friends!

LESSONS LEARNED

LESSONS LEARNED

I don’t know what keys I pressed this time that changed the size of my print font and put the type into bold. It will be extremely interesting to see how this thought ramble appears on my blog. I started this thought ramble yesterday but ran into so many problems that I abandoned the ship and exercised instead. I thought that was the reason for the problems, reminding me to exercise, but today they are still here and I have already exercised.

Sadly my right leg is still causing pain. Sadly my weight is still the same. Whenever the pain in my leg gets better, I move the wrong way and undo the healing. I can truthfully say that the pain decreases my energy.

Recently I had cause to remember one of the lessons I learned years ago. I was leaving the grocery store when I saw a mother trying to free the leg of her young son which was stuck between the bars of the grocery cart. Somehow he got his leg out of the space that is reserved for legs and got it into the narrow space between the bars. I had just bought 2 boxes of Imperial margarine. I reached into my bag and extracted a box, removing a stick. I handed it to the mother and suggested she butter her son’s leg. His leg slid right out of the narrow space. Years before, Mabel, our chocolate lab puppy, got her leg stuck in the fins of our radiator. I poured olive oil on her leg in order to free it.

When we were in Hawaii, the curator of an art gallery suggested I take a photo of a painting that is a family favorite. I could transfer the photo to canvas and add a few touches to personalize it. It sounded like a great idea. The original painting of a ship coming out of a storm was done in shades of blue, about 25 years ago. The ship on the canvas is in shades of purple. After searching through my house, I finally found my oil paints. I tried a few colors to match the colors of the original ship and it worked EXCEPT the ship on the canvas is purple. I had decided that the first copy would go to my oldest daughter and her favorite color is purple. Purple was not a color that I used when I was painting regularly.

We stopped at a craft store today. I asked if there was anyone on duty familiar with paint colors and explained my project. I was referred to a person at the frame counter. Luck (?) was with me, the person manning the counter normally works more than 50 miles away but is there to help out since the person who normally works the area has a broken arm. The woman had embellished photos on canvas and recommended acrylic paint and helped me find complimentary colors. I haven’t tried them yet. I must admit it has been twenty five years since I have painted and am afraid I will damage the canvas. Normal for my life : Today at Mass, the homily concerned the storm, and the offertory song was “Be No Afraid.”

REFRESHING SPIRIT

It has been a long winter. Too many days of snow, cold temperatures, gray skies. As I write this, the country to our north is still getting SNOW — 9 inches. I’m sorry it is them, GLAD that it isn’t us. So now supposedly it is spring. Oh No — coldest spring in ____ years. We just had a week of rain, gray skies, cooler temperatures. To make matters worse, my husband’s cough required a trip to the doctor, which led to an EKG, than an appointment with a heart doctor — scheduled stress tests. First test he couldn’t breathe and we needed to reschedule.

STRESSED — I guess so. He passed his next stress test with flying colors. Afterward he suggested I take the rest of the day off — enjoy the warm ( 88*) day, blue skies, — visit the Botanical Garden. I didn’t argue.

Daffodils were still in bloom — tulips too. In fact, the Garden had planted 26,000 tulips to bloom for Mother’s day. The cold spring didn’t stop their flowering. The crab apple trees are forming buds, no flowers yet. As I wandered the garden, camera at the ready — I wondered what photo would capture the day. Would it be the single swan swimming in the lake? I wondered where it’s mate was. Then I heard young voices from the fountain in the rose garden. Two girls, shoes off, were enjoying the water.

I wandered from garden to garden — many flowers showed the effects of the weather, many flowers stood tall, showing off their blooms. Birds — many voices — many species sang their songs. Reminded me of ourselves — struggling through the challenging weather — doing the best we could. I passed many family groups — some with toddlers in strollers, some with handicapped people in wheelchairs, some elder couples — hand in hand — all enjoying a brief respite.

I stopped by the bubbling waterfall — listened to the water music, rested my eyes, when I opened them, I saw a flying bird with a large wing span. I recognized a blue heron and changed my path to discover its spot on the shore. My camera took a photo as the bird dived into the water for a fish — I just captured an outstretched wing.

I didn’t have the length of time to wander the Garden at my leisure. I wanted to be on the road before heavy rush hour traffic. That being said, I visited my favorite spots, took photo’s in passing and headed for the exit. A toddler, shoes off, dipped her feet in a fountain. The pair of swans swam under the bridge as I left — closing with the sights and sounds as the day began.

Wandering with SPIRIT is ALWAYS an adventure. This time the Garden was REFRESHING as well.

CHILD’S FAITH

I’m always on the look out for new books that might be enjoyable to read. I LOVE a good mystery, I’m not really into romance or science fiction. I won’t mention how many cookbooks are in my collection and it is still growing. Self-help is one of my interests and of course — spiritual books — angels, heaven.

Recently a bargain book at the store — When God Winks At You — caught my eye, written by Squire Rushnell. It was published in 2006 so it wasn’t a new book. I know that I’m more aware of help from the other side but I’m always ready for new ideas.

I read a story told by Tim Conway of how he went to a carnival when he was a boy and tried to win a cross at a booth. Each chance cost a dime. He only had three dimes, tried but didn’t win. Leaving the carnival, he found a dime. He stopped and prayed that he would win the cross before giving the dime to the man. He pulled up the duck with the number one which won the cross. The story said that he kept the cross until he went to college. Who knows, even though he is now rich and famous, he might still have it today.

Of course, I enjoy watching Tim Conway. I liked the story so I shared it with my daughter in Florida. She in turn told me a story which I had forgotten. When her son was four, he was really into Poke-E-Mon. I had no idea what that was when he asked for it for Christmas. He was at a store that had a Poke-E-Mon prize in the vending machine. He asked his mom if he could have it. She told him that he could only take one try, if he didn’t win, that was it. She said he dropped to his knees, bowed his head and prayed. Got up, put the money in the machine and won the prize. She was amazed.

And I’m sure that she told me the story. But time has passed, he is twenty now and I forgot the story. But last Christmas we were in China town and I saw a Poke-E-Mon bank. Guess what my grandson got for Christmas.

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