The Most Valuable Present is Not Always Under the Tree.

On his knees, staring down into the murky water, Bobby sobbed, “Please bring daddy back to us.” Despite, The wooden planks of the small pier biting into his knees, he didn’t care. This small pier jutting out over the water behind his house is Bobby’s sacred spot. When...

Why I Love My Family’s Christmas Traditions

The Christmas traditions in my family are likely older than the traditions in most other families. There are two specifically that have been practiced every year for over a hundred years. There are other, younger, traditions that sprang up to serve their purpose for...

Precious Breaths

Your problems aren’t as big as they seem. Snow was everywhere. The air was cold and dry, stinging my nose with every inhale. I was already behind schedule as I rushed out the door, my twin brother frantically waiting to leave.  This wasn’t normal. Keith and I were...

The Old Man’s Song

This song is solace -the song of an old manLet me restI’ve been traveling alone for a long time.My feet, worn outMy heart has agedMy mind is satisfiedMy journey is the color of sunset.This weak vessel still carries a young soul -soul inhales knowledge, exhales...

A Tear Fell From My Eye

A tear fell from my eye And in that tear, I saw My husband absent from me My dad, I could no longer see The grave had filled my soul With grief and pain, it stole And caused my heart to cry A tear fell from my eye And in that tear, I saw The waves overwhelmed me Those...

Letting Go

Deepening awareness in my spirit Knowing what is important now, Present to this sacred moment Feeling where it is in time. Ripples of truth from within Insights into who I am, Letting go of my past follies No need to think of them again. Living with these present...

Falling Star

The first to hit the floor was a pale blue sphere laced with silver swirls and dusted with glitter. The plastic ornament bounced on the hardwood with a hollow knock and rolled until it came to rest against a chair leg, leaving a faint trail of sparkles. The tree...

eBay Kindness

I’ve been on eBay since 1997, which seems like a pretty long time ago, 21 years to be precise. If you go back 21 years in the other direction, it would be 1976, the bicentennial, and that is a REALLY long time ago… Anyway, a couple of years ago I was trying to amass a...

The Art of Shutting Up and Listening

I tell these tales not to boast about what I have done and am doing but to show the miracle of what happens when you shut up and listen and ask questions. I met this young guy at a meeting in Malaysia where a bunch of us were talking strategy and was instantly...

Life lessons I learned from my cat

I’d dare say that my cat is the most awesome cat in the entire world, yes, I’m biased, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Apart from being super cool and easy to live with, he doesn’t seem remotely bothered by my incessant desire to make him dance with me to Taylor...

Turning Negatives Into Positives

We all have days that test our patience. And today started out like that for me.  Chasing my two-year-old son around the house this morning trying to get him ready was one thing.  But turning up to daycare only to be told he can’t attend today because he was sent home...

Wisdom

Speak up my sonSpeak the truth to menDon’t hold back a wordTell it time and time again I know your but a boyAnd early in your walkBut I will fill you withThe way in which to talk I know of the fearAnd doubt within yourselfBut you’ll learn strengthTake my word down...

Christmastime in Manhattan

Sidewalks overflow with teeming mobs Darting in and out of overloaded shops, Windows of electronics, clothes and jewelry Boldly draw these throngs into their midst. Raw scents of chestnuts permeate the air Music of the season plays in every corner, Lights, bows and...

Christmas During The End of Days

Light among the darkest days We may be people who celebrate the season of light in the darkness, but we still have work to do.  We should celebrate holidays, but we should also reflect upon others in distant realms. Even if they are of another faith, or color, or...

Morning Darkness

Sitting in shrouds of morning darkness Listening to resounding silence, Few lights mar my present view Comforted by being all alone. Emptiness in morning meditations Letting whatever comes just pass, Calmness soothes my heart and soul Peaceful beginning as time...

The Christmas Refuge

It was a fortnight before Christmas. In a small village near the coast, a little girl turned off her flashlight. She used it to secretly read under the covers when it was past her bedtime. Alyssa sat up straight in bed, thinking that she could hear reindeer flying...

That Christmas Gift You Never Wanted Might Be Good For You

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time you get what you need.” — The Rolling Stones Christmas is the time for giving. It’s also the time for receiving — awful gifts you may not necessarily want. I had an instance of this occur to me very...

How I Learned The Surprising Truth About Santa

My Wish For You — May Your Days Be Merry And Bright When I was a little girl, I was told that Santa brought the tree on Christmas Eve. Late at night while we were all tucked in our beds dreaming of toys and sweets, he would slide down the chimney with a beautifully...

The Best Christmas Gift My Grandpa Never Gave Us

I made my Dad cry From the time I was 8 till I was 15, I lived in an old farmhouse out in the country. I attended a suburban school district, very forward looking and head and shoulders above the schools my official street address said I should have attended....

Letter to my daughter at Christmas

Dear Daughter, You were born two months early, and I wasn’t so sure either one of us would survive. But here we both are, eleven years later, and as Christmas draws near, my heart is writing this letter to you. Many times, I have commented that it is not easy being a...

The Anonymity of On-line Dating

She remained glued to her laptop and gazed at the profiles like one of the HR professionals, looking for an immediate replacement. Finding a right guy scrolling up and down was about choosing a person whose political opinions are neutral, a wanderlust, an avid reader...

3 Ways to Deal with your Unwanted Gift

At this time of year, we may or may not look forward to the idea of giving and receiving gifts. Whether you are religious or not the tradition of giving gifts is steeped in history and closely associated with Christmas to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by...

The Fascinating Ritual of Christmas

There is something about the Christmas season that is so mesmerizing and also, endearing. How did it come to be that for a solid month large swaths of the world become intoxicated with the same seasonal spirit, preoccupied with the same seemingly frivolous pursuits,...

I laughed in spite of myself

No one was allowed in Grandma’s attic.  “Bats and rodents live up there,” Mother cautioned.  “Then, why do you keep all those boxes up there?” I’d ask.  “We have nowhere else to keep them,” she’d reply.  That worried me. All the months those ornaments and memories lay...

Welcoming the Law Of Attraction Into Your Life

Whenever we want to change something about our lives, we look to others for a solution. What if you were empowered to alter your course and in effect, be your own genie in a bottle — with the ability to manifest every dream you have from this point on? Throughout our...

A Christmas Carol Tale

“Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.” “War is cruel!” The elderly man threw aside The Examiner...

Forget Conventional Success

& create your own path What is success? A high-level career, a six-figure income, holidays in Bali, a big house, marriage. Society keeps throwing these images of success in your face. You know what your life should look like, and which boxes you have to tick for...

Christmas Pearls

Sometimes, my partner, Dave, blows me away with his wisdom.  Some days he is a pain in the ass, when he tickles me, chases me around the island in the kitchen with his cold hands, or pokes fun at me, but I pester him as well. We have a great relationship when it comes...

Contentment

Awareness of all within myself So deeply and completely felt, A peaceful feeling of contentment Full acceptance in this moment. Once important thoughts no more Gone to ethers of the past, Letting go of disturbing tensions No longer grasping for more and more....

The Battle for River Neckinger

“I am reminding you, Richard, If you win this case for us, you will definitely be made a senior partner here. Also, you can carry on with your profession as an attorney,” said Mark Chelmsford sipping a cup of hot latte. “Yes, I am aware of that Mr. Mark. You are...

Grandpa! You Are Embarrassing Me.

Families were all gathered huddled in small circles waiting for their future concert musician to come out. We had just finished Landon, my eldest grandson’s Middle School holiday concert. He is a violinist. Playfully, I reached over and tapped Bently, who is six, and...

A Friend of Depression

This is a story about living with depression. Yet this is not a story about living with depression. It is not me that lives with depression. Yet it is me that lives with depression. Depression does not affect me daily. Yet depression does affect me daily. I am not the...

How to Stop Being so Sensitive

Photo by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash Everyone has their own reaction to criticism, slights, and bad news.  Some of us are naturally more sensitive than others.  However, becoming very upset due to a perceived insult isn’t something you’re born with. It’s a skill that...

Why You Must Stop Searching for a Soulmate

Are you unhappy in love because you’re desperately trying to find your soulmate?  There’s a better way!  You don’t have to spend your entire life looking for love.  In fact, true love might be right in front of you, but you’ve been blind to it. Open yourself to love...

America’s Persona

Sun shines brightly in pale blue sky Clouds painted with pink and gray, Knowing mysteries will be revealed Thoughts begin racing through my mind. Stirring emotions with these thoughts What persona is my America wearing? Once strong character seems to be lost Riches...

My top 3 reasons why owning a dog is the best

For my whole life, I have always had a dog (or two). They have been my constant companions throughout many ups and downs. And they have each had unique personalities that have greatly blessed my life. I love dogs. I can’t help it. Here are my top 3 reasons why having...

Opening Heart

Emptiness felt within my being Wondering why I feel it here, “Empty of what”? I ask myself, How shall this emptiness be filled? Perhaps renewed feelings of love Love more deeply for all beings, Stronger compassion to be felt For those invisibly passing by. Eyes wide...

Love across the Berlin wall

Love across the Berlin Wall “Did you hear the news on the radio, Sam? The Berlin wall will fall this week,” said Anna peeking towards Sam avoiding the barbwire on top of a bullet-ridden Berlin wall. “Yes, I have heard Anna. Finally, we will get rid ourselves from this...

Jigsaw

The first I went thru the motions, Just took my turn, Never really realize The slow and steady burn. When it was over And he had had enough, I was getting started, Although the road was rough. Though he had fallen out of love, Needed to start on a whim, I had had 7...

Character vs Reputation

Today I read a tweet sharing a variation of the quote by the American basketball coach John Wooden, the original quote I believe is, “Worry about your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are, and your reputation is who people think you...

“And, O, The Stars Were Bright!”

A Christmas Poem There are so many wonderful songs and poems that tell the Christmas story. From the sonorous verses of the King James Bible, to the soaring lyrics of our favorite hymns, poets and musicians down the ages have taken their turn at telling and retelling...

Unique Beings

People pass their years in many ways Some constrained by norms to meet, Others being selves felt deep within Not caring much what the world thinks. Independent souls feeling true freedom Going where their roving spirits lead, Authentically themselves in actions taken...

Why not love and affection?

Why not ask for love and affection? Do you not think you are deserving my friend? ………….. Why fear appearing needy, when we are all in need of something, as humans on this planet. As humans on this planet, we are in need of love and affection, more so now than ever....

Rescue me!

My Human Thinks She’s A Cat Whisperer! Okay, so in a nutshell, my human mom started watching “My Cat From Hell”, on Animal Planet a few years ago, and now she thinks she’s a cat guru… In my humble opinion, well not really, but until she speaks cat like I do, all bets...

The Best of Peru’s Sacred Valley and How to See It

What is Peru’s Sacred Valley? Machu Picchu always grabs the headlines as the Andean destination of dreamers, scholars and intrepid tourists. Retracing the Inca Trail and the steps of the early 20th century explorers who “discovered” the “Lost City” has become almost a...

Doubt and Fear

Doubt is always hanging around telling me all the excuses why I can’t do something. “Oh, you don’t want to attempt to run 100 miles in one shot. You’ve got weak knees, you’ve never done anything like this.” Doubt comes up with every reason why not to try something and...

I Got the Car, He Got Christmas

December 1 is a rough day for me. This time of the year is not the joyous time it once was. It is a struggle for me to put up the tree, make my house festive, and look at everyone’s beautiful decor when they invite us over for celebrations. On December 1st, 9 years...

Doubt and Fear

I’ve got these two friends I hang out with a lot. My two friends have been hanging out with me pretty much most of my life. They seem to be a constant in life no matter what I’m doing, where I’m going or who else I’m with. When I was dating my now beautiful wife they...

Life Is The Dancer and We Are The Dance

It’s That Simple Life is so simple and beautiful. More than anything, it so magical and alive. I can see it dancing everywhere around me in the form of my surroundings. A few minutes earlier, I was sitting in my balcony. Luckily, my head slowly tilted upwards as I...

What Season This Year?

Season of lights is here again, Season of peace Season of love Season of reconciliation. This Christmas Season is wondering Will it be filled with hope and joy? Will people engage in meaningful ways? Or will it be another season of discontent? Will people of goodwill...

Mosaic

Broken bits of everything, added to the pile, torn and shattered composition, forced to wear a smile. Is this what human’s are made of, or is it only me, trying to plant a seed in a pile of crap, in hopes I’ll be a tree? Perhaps a bit simplistic, but the fault indeed...

Moonlight in Wisconsin

A Lesson in Baseball — and Life He was the only player in the history of baseball to make it to the Major Leagues from Class E minor league ball. Not bad, considering the lowest official designation in the game has always been Class D. He was a thirty-six-year-old...

The Vow

If I promised you forever, Would you understand, A love that is eternal Stronger than any man? If I asked for forever, Never leave my side Facing every trail together Never run and hide If we had forever My love would only grow Giving me eternity To find new ways to...

Inertia-The Activity Killer!

Make choices, not excuses! “I wish I’d gone traveling more. I can’t, now I have Grandkids.” “I would love to lose weight, but I look awful in lycra!” “I wish I’d learned to knit, but I don’t have time” We all do it. We talk ourselves out of things. When I moved onto...

You Need to Do More for your Loved Ones

“Your loved ones are unhappy. Do you know about it?” A friend of mine did the Unthinkable.  In other words, he committed a career hara-kiri. John had all the good things in life, that everybody aspires for. He had a high profile consulting job which took him across...

Morning Silence

Full morning moon in the West With sunrise breaking in the East, Life evolving as it should New energy coming with the sun. Mind placid as clear lake water Ripples stilled and calmed within, Absorbing what is present now Enjoying this peaceful morning air. No thoughts...

Train Window

picture myself staring through a glass train window… ………………………. Picture myself staring, through a glass train window. ……………………. The choo choos are deafened, they become mere background noise as your tired eyes give you away, as weary, falling asleep. …………………. Warmth...

I’m Grateful for My First Podcast

Today’s Non-stop Gratitude is for my 1st Podcast Is it even okay to be grateful to yourself? I think so. I support your being grateful to yourself for things you do. I also support the proper use of gerunds. Today, I am grateful to myself (and a few others) because...

I’m In A Hurry And Don’t Know Why

Oh, Why Must We Race To Red Lights?! Do we really want to perish? Must our earthbound souls take flight?   Truth be told, I am still horrified to drive here in South Western Ontario. I will not, shall not, cannot drive on the 401. Surely, and truly, it’s not a load of...

The Choices We Make

Every day we have choices to make. Make that every morning, starting with the choice to wake up or not. Once we choose, movement takes over, we can crawl into the deep backwards, and there is no judgement in that, we can drink out morning coffee and read the...

Life as we know it

“Last hug”, I joke to my father at the end of a protracted goodbye. “Never the last one,” he says into my shoulder. I memorize the smell of his checked shirt, the tower wall of his rib cage, the front door lamp, its flickering farewell. Backing out of the driveway, I...

Revisiting the Myth of Sisyphus

Sisyphus (as in The Myth of Sisyphus) was condemned by the gods to push a huge rock uphill, but whenever he managed to reach the top of the mountain, the rock would roll back down and he would have to start his labors all over again. There is an intentional attempt to...

My Childhood Experience With Night Terrors

He felt a presence in the room and then hands on him, touching his blankets. He was wide awake in a flash but his body froze with fear. He could not move a muscle. His eyes would not open, no noise would come from his throat. And still the hands moved over and on him....

Pandora’s Box Has Indeed Exploded

Why Sending Me Shopping Is Unwise! A while ago I was living under a cloud of doom and gloom. I’m still digging myself out of a hole I only made deeper, by being impetuous and rebellious. I’m talking about shopping… and spending money I had no business spending,...

How I Survived Being Homeless at Seventeen

I made it back to the apartment close to 8:00 a.m. My boyfriend Derek gave me a kiss goodbye before he drove away, leaving me to deal with the consequences waiting behind my front door. My mother wouldn’t be happy I stayed out all night again even though she knew the...

5 Truths About Life That Will Change The Way You Live

Life is a funny thing isn’t it. I mean not funny ha ha but funny hmmmm. We’re stuck in a belly for approximately 9 months, we’re born, we go through this labyrinth for an undetermined time and then poof, we’re gone. So what is life and what is it that we are...

What’s your excuse for not doing it?

Whatever it is…drop it, avoid it and leap through it !!! What are excuses? Meaning of the word Excuse in dictionary: Excuse(verb): seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify. But we have completely changed the basic meaning of the...

The Laminate Floor

I’m not sure what you mean when you mark up the eggs that way… I'm not sure what you mean when you mark up the eggs that way. Dark x’s in permanent colored ink, placed right in the middle of the flavored contraption, how odd. Do I take the risk then, peel the egg half...

Cocktails in a Black Satin Nightdress

Hazel, wife of Dick Japp, the Wenela official, coined this phrase in one of her letters, from which I quote: “From a woman’s point of view, life in the bush soon showed up any short-comings, and one learned to make, make do or do without. One memorable occasion was a...

The Art of Gentle

The world is run by Chicken Little. “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” So it seems, anyway. The art of persuasion, particularly in the political realm, has been reduced to one key theme: Disaster looms! Only [your favorite platform here] will prevent it! While...

Life’s Worth

Don’t you ever doubt your self-worth… ………………………….. When the time comes, for your suffering, challenges in life you could not comprehend, don’t you ever doubt your self-worth. ………………………… Life without risk is not meant to be lived, it is the bloodstream oh humanity,...

My Grandmother Says

My Grandmother is a conversationalist. She has an opinion on every topic under the sun; after all, she is over seventy and has experienced much in life. We spend Wednesday afternoons together, my only free time in the week. I am all of fifteen years, and my name is...

New Frontiers

Spirits may lead to unknown places Exploring scenes never imagined, New frontiers enhancing our being Growing new powers deep within. No experiences ever void of wisdom When with awareness keenly felt, Some will open new horizons Others lessons from which to learn. Of...

The Day Jasper Went Home

Jasper the dog was a fluffy bundle of happiness. My two young sons adored him, petting and cooing at him at every opportunity. Jasper was content to lie peacefully on the living room floor next to Brendan and Shayne as they played Super Mario Sunshine on the X-Box,...

8 Lessons You Learn From Traveling the World

If you’ve never traveled much, it can be awe-inspiring to talk with someone that does. They have a wisdom and understanding of the world that you can’t gain from camping at the local lake or staying at a condo in Florida. Travelling gives you a more complete picture...

Memories or “Likes” – What are we Collecting?

Last night, I watched my girls board a plane without me for the first time. And I forgot to tell Facebook. As my girls excitedly traipsed across the dark, windblown tarmac to the waiting plane, I realized I had not snapped a photo to document the event. Oops. I...

I am so unbelievably grateful for modern technology

We didn’t have the internet until I was in Jr. High. Dial up internet was still fairly new and my Mom and Dad hesitated to sign us up for it. I told them I needed it for school (which was at least partly true) so we got a computer, and the internet. My parents went...

Gratitude

There is a difference between gratitude and happiness and although we say “Happy Thanksgiving,” one can be thankful without being happy. I think. So whether this holiday finds me happy or not, there are people and situations in my life for which I am grateful. Here...

Thanksgiving Blues

Thanksgiving is this week. Whether you celebrate the Holiday or not (there’s good reason to protest the inception of the Holiday) understand that the holidays are tough for some. Thanksgivings are not always happy. Some people have lost loved ones and this is the...

The Finest Grain of Life

Dear God, this beautiful ash coloured Sulphur Mountain, made of stone and glacial ice, surrounded by wisps of smoke, that we call cloud, but I call heaven. ……………………. As the eagle soars, like a king of the highest reaches, my tears speak for my lost speech, patterns of...

My Train Station Diary

‘Could you please hurry up Stuart? I have to catch a train to Vancouver. It leaves in half an hour’ I said glancing at my wristwatch. ‘Oh! don’t worry sir, I have never been late to the destination for any passenger. Surely you will reach in time and board the train.’...

Black tie

Dark figures cluttered the playhouse’s stone steps. Men and women in elegant gowns and coats, backs stiff against the wind, surged forward, eager to escape the flakes, the flurries, the white confetti, while gusts twirled left-over leaves around high heels and Oxford...

Tis the Season for Stress

The holidays always seem to bring out the best and the worst in people. “Never stop being a good person because of bad people.” - Anonymous I’ve worked several years in retail throughout my life. I’ve had countless interactions with people over the years when I was...

How to Connect With People

If you are ever feeling out of sorts, alone or untouched, tell someone the story of something that has touched you. The book “The Power of Kindness,” author Piero Ferrucci talks about how human beings are able to “resonate” with other human beings. I love this...

In praise of the heart of life

It’s under there, somewhere, the beating heart of the life that we all share. It’s beneath the skin — the infinitely variegated surfaces that each individual shines up or oils down or covers with glitter or costume or camouflage. It’s coequal with the head — the...

The Place Even Google Maps Can’t Find

I’m the worst kind of connected. So connected I don’t even realize how connected I am. I’ve got devices connected to other devices connected to vehicles connected to email accounts connected to thermostats connected to appliances. The engineer in me thinks this is...

The Best of Both Worlds

A Guide For People Over Fifty If you’re fifty or over and think that life has passed you by this article is for you. It will show you what works according to scientists who have studied the lives of people in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and above. As you grow...

The Secret to Happiness is Compassion

Be Compassionate, Be Happy If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.— Dalai Lama In this remark lies a simple truth. The way to happiness doesn’t lie just within yourself, but in your relationships and...

Know Thyself

Who Am I? Good Question How well do you know yourself? It is a toss-up over which Ancient Greek we must thank for this aphorism, but there is an equally compelling argument for it originating in Egypt some thousands of years ago. Regardless of its origins, it is good...

I’m Grateful We’ve Got Fat Back

Non-Stop Gratifeels What’s worse than egg whites or margin? Or margarine on egg whites? Or skim milk? I’m so grateful to the scientists who have worked out fat is good for you! I Drank the Non-Fat Flavor-Aid They just added more sugar! I tried the egg whites thing. I...

On Passion

I still get excited about the sheer awoken-ness of characters. About the mystery of them. While editing the second scene of Delta Phi (https://shethewriter.com/delta-phi/) I got to see the strength of a cinematographers instinct in a new environment, and the...

If you would be my child

If you were my child I’d want to see happiness in your eyes Just to hear your laughter Would make me overjoyed I would light the sun in the sky To brighten up your day I would even ask the moon To make the dark go away If you’d be tears all over I’d calmly comfort you...

Gratitude

A quick google search rendered this common definition for gratitude: grat·i·tude /ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/ noun noun: gratitude 1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 2. “she expressed her gratitude to the committee for...

The Discipline of Thanksgiving

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts…nevertheless, [they] set aside a day of thanksgiving.” H.U. Westermayer “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving.” Psalm 92:2 Grateful people live happier and fulfilled lives. Also, studies are suggesting...

Desert Beauty

Recalling stark beauty in the desert, Varied cacti with colorful blooms Rolling scattered rock formations, Seemingly barren but fully vibrant. Desert sometimes metaphors for life Desolate dusty spaces, withered and dry, At others, sparkling oases on horizons...

This is Why We Need Storytellers More than Ever

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” — Tahir Shah A few years back at the Sundance Film Festival, screenwriter and director Taylor Sheridan was greeted with loud applause as he walked on stage to discuss his film, Wind River. “Why you do it,” he said,...

A Season of Peacefulness and Abundance

What I Am Thankful for Right Now Every morning when I walk out onto my front porch I have a moment of silent gratitude. The air is crisp, the fog is creeping across the countryside, and I experience peace which reaches deep into my being. After our move almost three...

Why You Should Let Me Vent

Few Tips And Tricks To Make Your Partner Feel At Ease What If You Don’t Let Me Vent Well, if you don’t let me vent, I better start off by informing you of the subsequent behavioral changes that will show up for sure. Today, or the day after. If I am not wrong, I am no...

Beauty, Wisdom, Truth, Success

…beauty is to be found within and that cannot be missed because it is essential to self-growth and success. oday I woke up to a brand new day. As a sign of appreciation, I took a moment to decipher what was in my head at that very moment; each morning my head is...

I’m Grateful for Thanksgiving

Non-stop Gratifeels It makes senses, right? Express gratitude for the holiday during which we express gratitude. It's placed perfectly on the calendar. Fall is the Perfect Time for Thanksgiving! It’s a few weeks after Halloween. I’m Grateful for Halloween What an odd...

Ways To Help Make The World A Little Bit Better

Is it just me? Or does it seem that children are forgetting their manners more and more these days? Why might that be? This may be a big part of it, but certainly not the whole story. Children mirror what they see, what they hear… What they live. This seems like a...

The Day My Daughter Forgot Me

I hadn’t seen my baby girl for six months. Vanessa was only supposed to stay with her aunt Benita for a couple of weeks until I got things straightened out. At least that’s what Micah told me. I found out she was leaving when my estranged husband told me his sister...

Simplicity

Simplicity gives more ease to life In ways not always understood, Sorting out myriad complexities Never really needing to exist. The meaningful essence of life Realizing happiness as it evolves, Complexities move in circular ways Leading to unwanted distractions....

Stop By the Bar On the Way to Reverse

22nd Day in Spain One of my favorite things about Madrid is not needing a car. I haven’t had to drive in three weeks! The public transportation here is amazing. You can get just about anywhere in the city via bus and train and never need to drive. A car trip outside...

This is What Happens When You Learn to Surrender

“At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.”  — Maya Angelou A few years back, I dug my heels deep into the batter’s box at Owen Jones Field, a park nestled in the Oakland...

Drift away

You dwell inside a sleepy mist For as long as time allows Prefer instead to exist in dream Instead of here and now Where is your Xanadu, Your oasis, your Shangri-La That you merely close your eyes And yet travel so far Why do you stray so far from me Is coexistence...

Little History

Just now, while was at lunch, my sister Kathy emailed me to say she had discovered my father’s grandfather’s brother had been a successful cartoonist. It came as a complete surprise to all my family members. Our father lived a very interesting life. Working as a...

Unforgiven

Give me another chance Why, I’ve given you twenty And everytime you disappoint Although you’ve had more than plenty, More chances than you deserve Yet don’t seem to comprehend All the money and time lavished on you For you to just play pretend Everything is fine, and...

Don’t Speak

Can’t talk to you about this, I'm not supposed to feel, better to forget you, know my lips are sealed. I’m not allowed to love you, forbidden as you know, I think it’s time to say goodbye, yeah I think it’s time I go. Why do I linger, my feet deny my request, I try to...

Just Here

the clouds are parting, for you, just for you…. From the past to the present, we are all our bones, while we wait to be discovered, in the better light, tomorrow. ******************** But here it is, the clouds are parting, for you, just for you, do you not realize...

Unique Presence

Present now in peaceful calm Observing people in their trances, Many not present, just in motion Doing what they think they should. Some colorful characters standing out Fully alive in their eccentric personas, Expressing who they truly are With their gestures and...

20 Things I Am Grateful Every Damn Day!

I’ll keep this to 20 though there are a million things really. Thanx to Nicole (though she isn’t one of the 20 things, she’s one of the million things) for sending out a request to writers to write about gratitude. I could write about this all.damn.day. Before I begin...

Yes, You Are a Teacher

5 Simple Strategies You Can Use Right Now George Bernard Shaw is credited with saying, He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. At worst, this quotes makes all teachers look like frauds and charlatans. At it’s best, it’s a call to those of us who have done something...

Erased

A monarch safely hidden “When can I leave?” Isabel stared out the window, over the browns and reds of the wet stone courtyard, over the smooth black iron of the great cannon, beyond the fortress battlements. Fog swirling through the valley below erased all detail from...

Festival of All Festivals

Doubt is like darkness, Trust is like light, There is no way to destroy light by throwing darkness into it. So come together and enjoy the festival of lights. To fight the fears and heal the pain, The festival of festivals come again. To bring back everything that...

The Good Samaritan-One you Never Expect

“Where are my keys?” Everett Draper, social activist, and the pastor at St. Lukes Episcopalian Church checked his jacket pockets for his keys. Everett had just finished his workout at his fitness club. His philosophy, “To neglect the body is to neglect the spiritual.”...

The Angel Oak

Lessons from the original yogis I lay amongst the wet leaves and smell the rich soil. I feel roots going into the earth like tangled yarn. Each strand touches, caressing the strands of so many others. It is an unending chain. Am I asleep? Don’t open your eyes. I’ll...

The Tale of the Edinborough Street

My shopping was over and I started returning home on my bicycle. It had a front basket in which I kept all my groceries. The night had slowly crept in from the dusk when I started my shopping. I had to cross the Edinborough street adjoined by apple orchards, shrubs,...

Did I tell you about the skeletons?

The Skeletons went up October 1st. My dear neighbors did not wait for something decent like the 25th or the 29th. They charged out on the 1st of October and worked their deed. Eery white skeletons with bony smiles occupy lawn chairs. They appear engaged in romantic...

My Search Finally Ends, A Russian/American Fairytale

March 2002 “We have started our descent. We will be landing in Kiev in 20 minutes. The time now in Kiev is 4:00 p.m. and currently 5 degrees Celsius,” the pilot announces. Soon, I arrive in Kiev, but Lugansk, Ukraine is my final destination. I meet a few women from a...

Why Thanksgiving Day Is The Best

Family Gatherings, Good Fellowship, And Gratitude Though our Canadian Thanksgiving holiday is long past, I love to see the preparations for the many Thanksgiving gatherings which will soon be taking place in homes across America. Thanksgiving — I hadn’t realized it...

I Ghost You, You Block Me, We’re a Cyber Family

Did you sing that, like the Barney song? If you did, I applaud you. Let’s take a trip back in time, to the early 1990’s before Facebook became our main source of networking with friends and family. It was back when everyone had “house phones” and cell phones were a...

In Between Place

Can we talk about the in-between place? You know the place where I love you, but still try to guard my heart. Such a tricky place. It’s like a lukewarm place and I don’t like it. I understand the logic behind the in-between place. If things go left, I won’t be so...

When the Smoke Clears

When the smoke clears will there be the smoldering ruins of a vast and once gold tinted empire? Will the burned and scorched shoulder bones of a Titan blackened by the fires that burned so bright in heart lay among the broken glass and seared concrete? Or will just be...

Join Hands, Give Thanks

I lived through two decades before I discovered that there were people in the world who made dressing with stale bread cubes instead of fresh cornbread. My oldest sister’s second husband, the nice one, was from somewhere up North. New York, I think. He had dark,...

Omaha Beach & the American Cemetery

There are so, so many markers placed so carefully in ordered rows over so much ground. One comes and it finds you in whatever way it does. You find it, too, like partners in some strange kind of a dance, or round one fighters in the ring. Because that’s how it feels...

New Feelings

Newfound feelings of peace and love Abundantly alive within my spirit, Not sure from where or how they came Enjoying pleasant warmth they bring today. Waves wash gently through my heart Unexplained but deeply felt, Calmness as this morning breaks Light revealing...

The Caravan of the Desert

“No sign of water, No sign of vegetation, No sign of human habitation. We are doomed in this Desert” shouted a migrant of the Caravan. The Caravan mostly consisted of tribal communities who move about from place to place in different seasons in search of livelihood,...

A Way to Stillness

Epode to Tao You’ll find me in emptiness and stillness Though life in abundance, eternal continual of existence When accepting the constant with an open mind With compassion and even-handedness While understanding the equality, cadence of creations In effortless peace...

Winds of Change Are Blowing

The moving air around me  has given me new light. I feel the cold air blowing,  into the solitude of night. There’s something morphing, an odd sensation. I’m allowing it to engulf me A wind of change is here. It’s like a new epiphany. I embrace the cold, but fear it’s...

Why I’ll Never Forget Cody Coffman

My heart is broken into a thousand pieces today. Twelve people died a few days ago in Thousand Oaks, California, at the hands of a gunman at Borderline Bar and Grill. It’s a country-style bar frequented by young people complete with music and line dancing. It’s also...

The Importance of a Kickstand

A childhood lesson on leading by example and accepting that which you cannot control. I was in the back seat of the car, Mom and Dad in front and we were about a half a block from our house when I saw it. My old bicycle, lying down on the ground in the front yard of a...

Contentment and Freedom

Contentment with our place in life Contentment with its rhythmic flow, Watching new scenes unfold each day With changing nature of what is seen. Contentment in earth’s simple beauty Desiring no new toys with which to play, This contentment brings real freedom Freedom...

Everyone’s Obsession With Not Being Average

It will ultimately be your downfall Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, wherever you look, there is another “entrepreneur” who drops one of those inspirational quotes. They tell people to go out there and make a 6 figure income because they shouldn’t work a “9 to 5 job”....

The Day I Met Sir Ken Robinson

Several years ago, I had a magical experience, one that I nearly missed. The end result was me sitting in a Seattle restaurant on a Thursday night next to Sir Ken Robinson, he of the famous TED Talk on how schools are squelching creativity in children with nearly 54...

How to Eradicate a Kitchen Faucet

Our kitchen faucet suffered from a worsening water drip for years. An embarrassingly significant stream of water appeared this year. We spend excessive time delicately readjusting the faucet position with every use. At times, we succeeded in exiting the kitchen before...

Discoveries Anew

Cool autumn air kisses my face Awakening in a new season here, Brisk realities in day beckoning Sun slowly rising in eastern sky. Birds sing choruses in their flights Season’s migrations to warmer south, Changing seasons, changing views Earth continues on natural...

that’s when

I’m walking on wet ground bare feet touch the grass I see life in their green limbs that’s when I know the earth is happy. The unseen passes through me along with it, memories and wishes I find myself reminiscing that’s when I realized creation is blessed. I live in a...

Laughmares and Time Travel

19th day in Spain You lose half a day traveling from the central time zone to Madrid. 7 hours disappear from your life. Your watch and phone adapt as soon as you power them on in your new time zone, but it can take your body a few days to catch up. The Tale of...

How to enjoy life more through a simple realization

We have Linkin Park to thank for. It’s easy to get lost in the storm of life. Simply because one thing happens that leads to another and so on. It’s an endless chain of action-consequences. We gotta do that and this, we gotta go here and there. We are always on a run,...

Revelation

If you love me like you say that you do, if you truly feel that way, careful what you say and do, when it’s separate from what you say. You tell me that you love me, but in your heart you know, merely words upon the breeze, what do you do to show? Syllables without...

Yanni: His music can stir your soul and melt your heart

Thankful for 25 years of EXTRAORDINARY music “I don’t want to relax the audience; I want to engage them in the music, get them interested. My music can be very rhythmic, very energetic, and even very ethnic.” — Yanni Yanni originally known as Yiannis Chryssomallis was...

Why Do Women Call Each Other Sluts?

Glenna Scott is a slut! That’s what it said in the girls’ room in one of the stalls. I might have never seen it if I didn’t stop to go to the bathroom between third and fourth periods. The writing was large and in black marker, and my heart pounded like a fist in the...

Dear John,

Let’s face it, I stopped crying, the tears have had years for drying, if you heard that I’ve been missing you, I can assure my aim will improve. A little tip for the next one on the menu, keep expectations low, and he’ll convince you. As for me, my palate is more...

Nocturnal Visitors

Visits from a Leopard and a Pride of Lions. “Before dawn, as with the leopard, the lions simply melted away into the bush as though they had never been there.” In the 1950’s, Senanga, Barotseland, a remote settlement on the banks of the Zambesi, provided the setting...

Most Curious

Not all who wander are lost, not every soul seeks home, not every heart wants companionship, lonely does not always mean alone. Company is not a crowd, nor is love always shared, beauty is individual, unique, be careful when you care. We give the things freely, that...

The Best Advice You Didn’t Take

There seems to be no shortage of advice when you are undertaking a new adventure. Whether purchasing a car or getting married, everyone seems to have something to offer to persuade you one way or the other. This is especially true if you have an idea and want to run...

The Journey of a Boer Kid

The Journey of a Boer Kid Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash I went out through the creaking door of my house in the misty morning. Not much was visible in the foreground. The ground was soggy and the air had a terrible smell. The occasional grunting of vultures was...

Creative Forces

Creative forces daily enrich our lives Whether our own, or works of others, Beautiful paintings and sculptures admired And stories and poetry touching emotions. Never quite sure how inspirations received Or exactly how they will ultimately evolve, With feelings...

The Boy Who Could Hear Your Thoughts

I can hear you saying, “Wait, what?!” 👇 👇 👇 Part 1 👇 👇 👇 The Boy Who Could Hear Your Thoughts A Superpower That Could Drive You Crazymedium.comKid People…are…crazy. That is what I think after hearing everyone’s thoughts. After I could hear my Mom, I went over to my...

Kindness is Natural to Human Beings

Last December, the New York Times published an article called “Can Kindness Be Taught.” The author, Richard Schiffman, reached out to me while doing his research for the article, having heard about my work promoting kindness in schools and beyond. The day the article...

You Loved Me More

In the Fall of 2010, I met my first husband, David. We dated briefly and quickly moved in with one another. I soon found out I was pregnant, and we married a few months later. It sounds unremarkable because it was. There was no cutesy proposal, bridal or bachelor...

Einstein and Lao Tzu Shooting Dice in Nirvana

Mathematicians have chiseled reality down to fit square holes but reality’s round peg origins are always apparent. Bloody sweat dripped by hammering buffoons lubricates but never illuminates. When slide-rulers become swords governments can justify collateral damage...

Walking In My Nearly-Winter Wonderland–Photos

Frost Poems and Pictures My Halloween tree has shed its last leaves, now bare and ready for the fall’s finale. The end of grey and tan, ocher and rust. The snows have come. Sifting down in the cold, pre-dawn light, the little specks glide past my window, covering roof...

This is How Your Mortality Helps You Live

“You only live 26,000 days. I’m going to wear them all out.” — Quincy Jones My relationship with my mortality has gone from non-existent, to denial, to finally one of companionship. But today, I’m inspired by my impending fatality, and not in some ominous way. Knowing...

Fantasy vs. Reality

Or Man’s Ideas VS. Women’s Reality Fantasy: It should only take an hour to clean the house. Reality:  ( My reality anyway…) An hour to prepare for actual cleaning. Tidying up, putting stuff away in various rooms, getting sidetracked by other messes… By the time one...

Beautiful Lessons From My Ugly Painting

A few weekends ago, I had a yearning to paint something. Trust me when I tell you, I AM NO PAINTER, but my dear mom in law gifted me with some canvasses and paint brushes with encouragement to create something. She is a very talented artist and I feel like an awkward...

I Saw a Ghost on Halloween

The first time I met Mary was at my daughter Vanessa’s twelfth birthday party. She arrived with her son Hunter, one of Vanessa’s best friends, about an hour after the party started. Vanessa saw their car pull up from our window and squealed with delight as she and her...

Ignorance

We are born free yet we are in chains like Cain who striked his own Able not in vain, but in so much pain yet we are able to strike our own brothers and it doesn't even bother for an item, which even a father can turn his back on his son and then makes himself run...

How to Remove Toxic People From Your Life

“Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out” — Robert Tew There’s an old saying,  “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” The meaning behind those words are powerful. The truth is, the people you select...

How Bad is Regret?

“It’s not what your are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts.” — Oscar Levant There is always something which we want to do from deep within without any peer pressure or listening to external minds around us, which comes straight from the heart, soul and every...

Package Delicate, Handle with Empathy

My son’s pediatrician -Dr Crook was not a crook, but a gentle soul. He looked like a grown-up version of Harry Potter. Best of all, he did wave an invisible wizard stick. You would magically feel at ease in his presence. He would listen, I mean really listen to your...

Creek Torrents

Walking in early morning fog and rain Crossing stone bridge with kindred spirit, We stop midway seeing creek below Torrential water skims its banks. Brown leaves swirl aimlessly in torrents Having left trees where they once thrived, Trees tower high above raging...

Laws of Physics Complicate My Life

Albert Einstein(A German Physicist known to me for the theory of relativity and Brownian movement), Newton( known to me for laws of motion), Nicolas Copernicus (Mathematician and Astronomer)are known to the world for there unmatchable and significant contribution to...

Stone by Stone She Builds

A prosody Stone by stone she builds Rock on rock formations With every stone, she hopes To find her transformation Photo by Martine Weber A volcano so perpendicular To the clouds, always hiding Her crater lies in shadows On a plate almost submerging Dormant volcano...

No One Is A Weed

A Poem For Abuse Awareness in November We are, but dandelions… We are here for such a short time. When we go what seeds will we sow to the earth? Abuse is not only a “They” word. It is a “We” word. It is an “I” word. Once upon a meadow dandelions grew Free and wild...

When a Child has “behaviors”

In my day to day career, I hear this term DAILY. “Oh, he/she has “behaviors” and we can’t deal with him”. My career is in the child care industry. My role is to visit every type of early childcare program (daycares, preschools, out of school cares and day homes). I...

We All Begin as Strangers

Heads up!! This post references Tom Waits & Bette Midler! In my efforts to encourage my kindness students to do something kind for someone they don’t know, I often reference a song by Tom Waits, what Waits recorded as a duet with Bette Midler. It’s called “I Never...

The Spell

Whispered secrets in cemeteries, oaths made in blood and flesh, on this all hallows eve, witches take fancy, ascend into flight, cross silver moons if you believe. Dance around the mouths of graves, envoke the spirits past, break thru the realms of death, misbehave,...

Separation’s Tears

Jasiel cries himself asleep in darkness Lonely in his dusty tent, Tears of fear breed more panic Separated from Ritza and Andrus. Jasiel forcibly removed in Georgia, Only knows he is somewhere in Texas In crowded tents with lonely children, Never knowing where parents...

In Praise of the Regional Airport – a Travel Gift

If you’re lucky, you live near one. Wait, are those open check-in counters for real? Where are the snaking lines? Where’s the litter? The jostling crowds? It’s Albany International Airport serving New York’s Capital Region, eastern New York State and Western...

Freedom from Others’ Concept of Freedom

17th Day in Spain Life isn’t linear, is it? It meanders about, like water. When water flows down a hill, it doesn’t flow down a straight line. It takes the best path along the Earth’s surface. Water is good at finding the best path. The best path may not be as obvious...

Life in a small town; what would it be like?

Thoughts after watching ‘When calls the heart’ When calls the heart is a drama series revolved around a rich heiress; Elizabeth Thatcher leaving her pampered city life to become a teacher in a small town named Coal Valley. The story is based in the early 1900’s in...

The Demonization of Single Mothers

I am a 50-year-old divorced white woman. I’m a writer, coach, women’s advocate, feminist, abuse survivor, and a college student (again). I am also a single mother. What did she just say? Conservatives want to know. She’s a single mother, they whisper. Depending on...

Laughing Source

Feeling laughter coming from our Source Her sense of humor at our human deeds, At how we focus on meaningless matters Creating false myths to satisfy ourselves. She laughs at our avoidance of difficult truths Spinning tales justifying long held prejudices, Always...

Force

I was eating my lunch in the university cafeteria. Simultaneously, I was arguing with a colleague about whether colors are (really) real or not. I enjoy these discussions, and when I enjoy myself, I talk (really) loudly and wave my arms. During one of my passionate...

When Your Friends Hate Your New Boyfriend

I knew it was a mistake to invite him, but I did it anyway. I’d saved up enough money to treat myself to an overnight stay at Hard Rock Hotel. It was one of my favorite places complete with luxurious rooms, great restaurants, nightlife and fluffy beds so comfortable...

To Remember the Forgotten

What was it like to get up in the morning with excitement for the day? Smell the fragrant air of spring and hear a songbird competition when cracking the windowed dawn? What was it like to talk to the travelling other one, which led to captivating conversation, which...

Death by Facebook

The press was having a gruesome field day as the bodies began to accumulate. Whoever it was, they weren’t discriminating as to victim. He looked to not care who he killed — just that he did so. Detective Jim Stoval surveyed the scene of the sixth murder in as many...

The Haunting of My Own Grim Reaper

Through a flash of something I can’t describe; it’s not light, or darkness, it’s here. The air changes from peaceful to disrupted, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. It’s a presence that I can feel through the vibrations of my soul. It’s back for...

Autumn’s Signs

Cooler mornings signal Autumn’s return, Tree leaves slowly shifting coats of colors Green fading into yellows, reds and rusts, What mysteries will this season bring? Will new friends enter into our lives? What wisdom will engage our thoughts? When will our turmoil...

The Mountains in Morning

A brief mountain mystery “They trick you. Draw you off your guard.” Park Ranger Jared Masterson raised his binoculars and scanned the undulating land. “What does?” His partner Tess White breathed in the cool air and released it slowly. “The mountains.” Masterson...

The Boy Who Could Hear Your Thoughts – Part 1

A Superpower That Could Drive You Crazy (Note:- I’ll be using italics to represent the mind’s dialogues.) I woke up one morning to face the piercing sunlight entering through my windows. I pulled the pillow and covered my face with it. After a few seconds of...

What Does it Mean to Love?

I remember when my heart was broken for the first time. I remember thinking, how could she not feel what I was feeling? How could life be so cruel and unfair? How could I be so naïve and misled by my heart? It took me over year to get past that first heartbreak, a...

Quit Telling People About your Dreams

It’s not a competition. Have you ever told someone your plans and then they are telling you theirs and suddenly it’s a competition? Me too. Sometimes people don’t understand why we do what we do, pursue what we pursue or even love what we love. At times we don’t...

Shelter from the Storm

To give or to be given? It depends on which side of the parental equation you’re on. Tonight, we’re listening to the Grateful Dead station on Amazon Music. Shelter from the Storm by Bob Dylan, came on as my older daughter (12 years old) was drawing a picture in one of...

Maccers in Madrid (or The Same is Different)

14th Day in Spain Depending on how I count, my 13th Day in Spain was July’s 4th Day, Independence Day in the United States. It is my first Independence Day outside the US. My friends Clay and Nicole are also in Spain. So close, yet so far. The Familiar Outside...

NEWS FLASH: America’s in the Toilet

Confession: I don’t usually watch/read the news or read the paper. So, today I updated the OS on my Mac to Mojave, and while I’m truly digging Night Mode (especially that the desktop background is the nighttime version of the same sand dune shown in the regular...

Lessons From the Rising Mist Off Still Waters.

“When we enter the forest of silence we meet both the beauty and the beast: both forgotten memories of beautiful moments and repressed fears.” ~Kim Nataraja, wccm.org, Weekly Teachings 10/14/2018, Letter 30: Entering the Silence. Thought after thought pelted...

Parenting Perspectives from a Childfree Woman

In the parenting world it’s generally discouraged and frowned-upon for someone without children to offer parenting advice. And I totally understand that. It makes sense, right? How could someone without children ever understand what it takes to raise a well-rounded,...

Till Death Do Us Part…

Reflections on Losing the Love of One’s Life They are common words, so common they’ve become at times nothing short of cliched. Then again, at face value alone they mean the world — and beyond — for countless souls past and present. This all came to mind when I read...

Coffee Adventures on Two Continents

I love coffee. One of the things I love about Spain is the cafe con leche. It’s a glass of milk and little coffee, but a really strong coffee. Not espresso, just really strong coffee. Still, I've grown to enjoy and savor my coffee ritual at home. I brew dark roast,...

How I became a Private Investigator

Becoming a Private Investigator was an accident that provided income for almost a decade. Before that, I was a special-needs-school-bus driver and perfectly happy. It was the best job ever. The kids were funny and sweet. Every day was a joy to be with these amazing...

The Kind Of Father I Would Love To Be

To my future kids, Logan and Jasmine. Having children is my greatest achievement. It was my saviour. It switched my focus from the outside to the inside. My children are gifts, they remind me of what’s important. -Elle Macpherson During the past couple of years,...

10 Things About Me You Might You Might Find Bizarre

With a surprise ending The 10 things you don’t know about me challenge has been circling medium for a while and Colleen Golafshan tagged me in hers. So here I am with my contribution, but you might just find them bizarre. No matter if you find them strange, bizarre or...

How to cope when your friend succeeds and you don’t

The worst part of success is to try finding someone who is happy for you. Bette Midler Your friend has been there with you every step of the way. You’ve plotted together, traded advice, bonded over tea or coffee or wine. And then you get the phone call that’s almost...

Anguish and Panic

I feel anguish in their falling tears Tears of separation breeding panic, Cries in the night from strange places Places not of their hearts or souls. I feel their desperate pain and loss Not made by own deliberate choices, Forced upon them in barbaric ways Under...

10 Biggest Pet Peeves

There are probably a lot more things/people that piss me off, but these make the top of the list… BAD DRIVERS. Since moving to Ontario, this is my main pet peeve. However, it’s not so much that there are bad drivers everywhere, it’s that it’s quite dangerous. Also,...

For The Simple Beauties Of Life-Photos

Autumn In The North, All The More Beautiful For Its Brevity For The Simple Beauties Of Life — Photos Autumn In The North, All The More Beautiful For Its Brevity © Elle Fredine Autumn, in our neck of the woods flies by so quickly, if you blink, you may miss the whole...

What Are You Chasing?

I was asked this question the other day, and it really made me wonder. Am I chasing anything? Dreams? Wealth? Happiness? Faith? Fitness? Success? While dreams and wishes are what makes us feel driven and goal orientated, I am unsure if we actually “chase” them....

A shred of evidence

Immediately you finish this story it will shred itself. Or if Banksy had written it, it probably would. His brilliant piss-take of the art world backfired on him last week when someone paid a million pounds for one of his paintings, the girl with red heart balloon...

George III had blue urine, or did he?

George III is often called the “mad king who lost America” which could appear apposite to some people today, who feel that America may well be on the road to being lost yet again. For some time now historians have put his “madness” down to the physical, genetic blood...

Luck Journal # 4:  I grew up next to a killer

One of our neighbors owned the apartment Sue lived in. Mr. K was in our neighborhood forever and everyone knew him. He was this nondescript older guy — nothing really stood out about him at all. He would stop in my family’s store and talk to my parents. My brothers...

Junior Bear and the Banana-nites of Nanerville

Some of the stories in the Bible seem too unbelievable. It’s these stories that cause many people, young and old, to question the truth of God’s word. The story of Jonah is one of those stories. Everything seems very plausible until he gets swallowed by a whale. That...

Present

I tried to understand the words that came out of Jordan “J” Gross’ mouth, but the Hungarian internet network was really persistent in its unhelpfulness. Walking through the streets of Budapest —hoards of Asian(-looking) tourist taking pictures, untraditional...

Watching the Clouds Graze the Sky

Life passing us by, wondering where the days went. Time so frivolously spent. A dense fog clouds our day. Tears streaming, daydreaming, our lives quickly drifting away. Thinking, “The better day never comes.” Today’s opportunity sets with the sun. Wisdom revealed the...

A Canvas

Heavy moisture in morning darkness Like a shroud waiting for first light, Quiet stillness tranquilly present now But it will change as morning breaks. I feel soothing calm within myself Peaceful presence in own contentment, No anxious furies scurrying about me...

An Open Letter From a Labeled Child

Dear Mommy and Daddy, This is me, your 4 year old son. I just wanted to tell you I love you, and I know that you love me too. What I want to show you, is what my day looks like, and I hope you understand why I threw my supper on the floor, and had a tantrum. Let me...

The Blood,Sweat,and Glory of Parenting…

Quite often these past few days/weeks/months/years,. I’ve often wondered if I’m really mother material?! I mean, I get so frustrated I hardly know where to start! There’s so many factors and aspects at work, that truly my head wants to cave in upon itself!! If only to...

My Best Birthday Ever

For 13 months, from July 2010 through July 2011, my family lived in France. Our daughter Chloe turned 18 while we were in Paris. February 28, 2011 was quite a day, one that ended with this lovely sentiment from Melinda’s and my daughter, Chloe: “I think this was my...

9 Beliefs That Make Life Easier and Success More Likely

“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” — Henry David Thoreau Do you manage your beliefs? It’s our beliefs that determine our actions. And our actions determine our results. If you’re not getting the results you desire, your beliefs deserve some...

Lessons

Sensing history from ages past Lessons taught us by its follies, Wisdom learned in its successes Values from different times and places. Sweep of history always present Past creations living with us still, Egos often ignore this sweep Focused more on present desires....

Choosing Not To Suffer

“Grief is a matter of the heart and soul. Grieve your loss, allow it in and spend time with it. Suffering is the optional part.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer My father passed away almost seventeen years ago. I was a different person. Even though I’d always believed our soul goes...

Are you struggling?

Are you struggling with a mound of unpaid bills, do you feel threatened by all those unopened emails on your computer, do you have no idea what you’re going to eat this evening or how you’re going to clothe the kids and is your to-do list longer than Shakespeare’s...

On the run in to Christmas…

As we move to the run in to Christmas, it’s very important to get things in perspective. As you get out of bed and leave your loved ones and go home to your families, the warmth and glow of Christmas spirit begin to flow through your body. Or is that the rum punch...

For when I see your face

There was a time I wouldn’t speak The things I kept so secret To all the world I’d hide But you found the key to my heart You opened up my eyes To everything inside me To everything around me The first time I saw your face … That moment my world stood still When first...

Wishing for Peace-Poem and Song

My Wish For Peace — In Words and Audio If there where magicians Could they then swing their wand For every living being To live in peace in their land Let us all unit In a world full of respect No fear for each other No war and no regrets Imagine there is harmony...

Is your love visible?

a lesson from The Prophet “Work is love made visible. And if you can’t work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet...

Lost

Anything left to loose seems I’ve fallen so fast clinging on to only threads remnants of the past everything is gone washed away it seems all my hopes for tomorrow all my wants and my dreams I’ll never rebuild the home though the structure remains how do you repair...

Wits End

Fed up, broke down sick and tired that your never around. here for a minute, get what you need disappear into the night after you spill your seed. only caring when wanting considerate when you have an itch to scratch quickly learning that we are miss matched regret I...

I am My Mother’s Child

Above all, I remember the worried looks on the face of my parents, especially my mother. I grew up in a middle-class family the youngest child of three boys. My father worked as a machinist and my mother was what we would call today a stay -at -home mom. I seemed to...

A Mother’s Love

From crib to tomb, we are not alone. Wherever our mother’s love remains, there is a home. Fight for your child, teach them right, kissing boo-boos, tuck them in at night. A home is not roof, not walls, or floor, it’s a mother’s love and so much more. It’s the fountain...

Wisdom’s Call

What does wisdom really mean? Is it knowledge or is it truth? Perhaps a combination of both Deeply understanding what exists. Knowing what our values should be And how we should conduct ourselves, Ethical ways in which to live Beacons in vast seas of life. Wisdom from...

Madrileñas, Tejas and How to Treat a Customer

9th Day in Spain My wife wanted to go to a cafe called El Riojano on our 9th day in Madrid. I asked her if it is the place she wants to visit where the queen used to have tea. She said something along the lines of it was the place where a different queen had a pastry...

The Future Has Started Troubling Me

That’s Why I’m Switching Back To The NOW… This has no context with the post I’m writing. But since I liked the car’s pose… 😁 The future has become a monster for me. Every time I try to peek into it I come back burdened immensely than before. Thinking about anything...

Make a Donation & it is not only about money

OK, anti-poverty is an option — for those who are so enthusiastic about caring for the poor. These people are right in saying we do not have all the money to eliminate the problem of food crisis or provide clean water/education/medical facilitates etc. at the global...

Why Parents Are Always Tired…

Technically, it starts before your little bundle is even born. It is impossible to sleep in that last couple months of your pregnancy. There is no true position that feels comfortable. No part of you that isn’t propped up with a pillow to support your belly, your...

Eternal Presence

Orange streaks painted in blue sky Morning light rising from the east, Gray clouds slowly drift away In coolness of early morning air. Birds in flight are headed south Colorful flower blooms still smile, Summer slowly fades to Autumn Nature follows its endless course....

What is the true cost of travel?

I woke up to the text message that no one wants to wake up to. Short messages always indicate bad news. The words are pared down to the absolute minimum to pierce even more deeply. My good friend’s mother had passed away. I was shocked. I did not even know she was ill...

Finding Your True Calling (and Your Kids’)

Start by Paying Attention to Playtime We want to work and live out of our truest self. But calling can feel elusive. Like a hunt for buried treasure. I’m unsure it’s really a thing. Do I have a calling or is that just for special people? Why is it so hard to unearth?...

What Do You Have to be Thankful For?

“Slanted rays and colored days, stark blue horizons” — Gordon Lightfoot, from “Pussywillows, Cattails” Thanksgiving in Canada is just around the corner. It’s a joyful time of year when we gather with our families and celebrate the fall harvest. It’s our last big...

The Five Fifteen

Poem Defying logic, disobeying physics’ laws, a chance encounter on the five-fifteen — hissing doors at Knightsbridge station made him snap his head, while commuters crammed and thronged, huddled sheep, amidst a hundred harried faces, (eyes glued to hand-held...

Emptiness

Awakening to promises in each day Empty of what has gone before, Blank tablet on which to write and draw Inspirations from our common Source, Fresh air to be inhaled and breathed Not tainted by its old stale drafts, New pictures painted in the sky Looking down on our...

Seventeen Years of Diligence

Knock on wood.  The two little humans, penciled by God and entrusted to me to raise, are healthy young men who are out looking to discover their purpose in this world. I’m most grateful for that every day. But when my oldest was around seven-years-old he developed...

The Queens of Summer Camp

Folks in my hometown landed in one of two groups — those who went to church and those who didn’t. Churchgoers were mostly either Southern Baptist or Methodist. The Catholics on the east side of town kept to themselves except for their annual Christmas tamale sale. I...

How to Boldly ASK and GET It

Be bold, never regular. Please, sir, I want some more… This is what poor little Oliver, driven by his hunger, had the temerity to ask in Charles Dickens famous novel “Oliver Twist”. Oliver was beaten for his audacity of “asking for more”, black and blue. But in spite...

Terrible Situations Can Bring Out The Best In People

Hurricane Florence never stopped my town from showcasing its strength of character. Usually, when something terrible happens, it brings out the worst in people. But sometimes, just sometimes, good things can come from a disastrous situation too. And every now and then...

We Saw Each Other At The Same Time

I don’t know how I had gotten separated and out of eyesight with my squadmates. As my squad rounded corners and went through various buildings, we had to be super alert. The other side had shown real ability to surprise us out of nowhere. Other units had already...

End of the Rice Age

At Hime station only the elderly board the JR trains. Youth has abandoned the toil of the rice fields for the glitter of Tokyo streets. They ride the train into an autumn sunset comparing in whispers how much their hands resemble the gnarled branches of the passing...

The Practice of Kindness

Some Things I’ve Learned From Promoting the Importance of Kindness for 25 Years The students took right to the idea of doing random good deeds, thus providing me a couple of life lessons — “Kindness is inherent to being human” and “The younger the person, the easier...

Three actionable steps to overcome not feeling ready

My brother and I drove through the darkness towards Lidl in search of coffee pods, peanut butter and a sleeping bag. The latter was for my upcoming trip to Indonesia, while the other items were a subtle nod to our socially accepted addictions. My brother peppered me...

Protect Your Legacy

When considering your legacy I believe most people only consider their professional legacy. Professional accolades and achievements are sought after. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s pretty amazing that the granddaughter of a sharecropper is a practicing attorney. I...

See the Invisible People All around You

You don’t notice them, but they are there all around you every day. They are invisible to you. They live in the shadows. You may speak to them, but you do not see them. They are right there in front of you. They worry, they love, they feel lonely, some may have dreams...

A Day as Here as Anywhere

4th Day in Spain The hardest part of journaling a journey is the titles. The subtitles are easy. 4th Day in Spain. Are you going to click on “4th Day in Spain?” Oh, wait. You just did. Thanks! A Day as Here as Anywhere I could have spent this day in Carrollton, TX for...

All That Matters

It was my 10-year-old son’s manners, actually his lack of manners that drove me up the wall. The tissue box would be right in front of him, but he would refuse to use it. He would walk around with dried stuck on gunk and even taste it. He actually slept with one...

Five Books That Changed My Life Forever

My love of reading began at the tender age of three. I inherited this passion from my mother who was always reading at least three books simultaneously. One day, she presented me with a piece of paper where the word “look” had been written down for me. I was just...

I’m not having people think bad of me

Yesterday I went for a quick trip to the shop to pick up a new frying pan. I killed the last one, and if we’d kept using it, the peeling non-stick coating was threatening to kill us. As interesting as the frypan story well could be… I have a better one. You see, as I...

When Peace?

When will peace ever come again? Amidst new conflicts swirling here, Growing weary from this turmoil Conflicts from within and without. People seeking power with no harmony Selfishly chasing their own gratification, Few thinking about the common good Just own...

Why are stories so Important?

Why Telling Our Story to Our Kids Has Impact Do you remember looking at a photo album? I mean before technology changed everything. I may be aging myself a bit, but remember scanning through old photo albums. I remember seeing pictures of a trip to British Columbia...

Web of Lies

There’s a story that I must tell About a gypsy’s magic spell And a life shot all to hell  For it was all a web of lies A wealthy man desired a wife A charming girl to share his strife For his was not a happy life As he lived in a web of lies He found a girl so fair of...

Where I am from

It's tempting to say I grew up in a log cabin in Appalachia. While it is technically accurate, the reality is not nearly that dramatic. I was tagged by Linda A Robinson, PhD on a “where I’m from” story. Here is my tale. My “log cabin” was indeed a house made of logs,...

New Season, New Hopes

Dark gray clouds in light gray sky Bees buzz in red and purple flowers, Gentle breeze blows from the north Autumn coming as summer fades. Tinges of yellow dot green leaves Trees beginning to show Fall faces, Feeling season’s change in the air Cooler breezes blow...

This is What You Can Learn from a Millennial

“In youth we learn; in age we understand.” — Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach The age difference between my youngest brother and I is nearly 14 years. He is the self-proclaimed, “family blessing.” The gap in years meant I missed a lot of his childhood, while brooding 3,000...

S. O. S.

He glistened. Before he got into the water. His gray hair and receding hairline, seemed out of place with his rippling muscles as he eased himself into the lounge chair he’d erected in the sand. His arms, legs, and chest bore the tawny hue and slick sheen of a...

“My Time Machine is Breaking Down…”

“We are all traveling in a time machine — a personal one!” The declaration rang out and reverberated throughout the lecture hall, settling among the attendees sitting in stunned silence. No one seemed to understand what the speaker was talking about. “I know that many...

Death Doesn’t Knock

There’s a reason why we zoom in on their faults while they live, and their goodness when they leave. It’s not hypocrisy — it’s the way we, humans, deal with loss. I can think of a good number of reasons why I didn’t like some of the things they did, but not a single...

How Being a Bitch Totally Changed My Life

My name is Iva and I used to be a mean girl. There, I said it. Let’s go back in time just a wee bit. Ok so 30 years is a long time but this time frame is important so you can understand where I’m coming from. 30 years ago I was a greedy selfish rude bitch. Can you...

The Darker Side of Motherhood.

So many times, especially lately, I’ve contemplated motherhood and all the aspects it entails. The darker side of Motherhood. For those of us who did not grow up in a semi-normal happy childhood, or… you had a turbulent one, you will understand where I’m coming from....

How Knowing You Matter Can Change Your Life

2 real-life examples of how it did Knowing you matter is important. Knowing that you matter is only second to knowing that you’re loved. It matters so much your life depends on it. When people feel like they don’t matter they get depressed and withdraw. Isolation and...

Ruin: waking up at 30

The concealer is for the scars, the smile is used to hide the pain. Once the freaks told to hide in shadows, now take center stage. Long sleeves and high collars, to hide the bruises, conceal the truth, the trails and tribulations of my wasted youth. Remember the cuts...

Closed For Repairs

A world of advances But turned away She was broken No, not one understood Some said pride Others, simple-minded Wrong Closed for repairs Dashed. Damaged. Defective. Crusted in cracks For like Humpty Dumpty It was a great fall To do what was right for her With no one...

Aikido and Zombies

The role of Aikido in modern society and personal life. “In the Hagakure an early line is “Bushido is learning how to die.” Ōsensei would say ‘Aikido is learning how to live.’ “— John Stevens, author of The Art of Peace Source The world is a place of darkness in so...

My failed attempt to establish a 1-hour routine on Medium

Yesterday I tried to limit the time I spent writing on Medium to one hour. I was inspired to try this after reading an excellent article by Tom Kuegler. My Powerful 1-Hour Routine For Quick Success On Medium I’m actually going to give you a completely reasonable goal,...

Remnants

Earth always moves on its course Unfazed by games humans play, Eternal wisdom is always there Etched upon its face since time began. Civilizations have risen and fallen Some leaving their mark, others erased, Mountains, rivers, valleys still in place Letting human...

This is What You Learn at a Nepalese Orphanage

“Look up and not down; look out and not in; look forward and not back, and lend a hand.” — Edward Everett Hale “Where is that exactly?” people begged to know when I said I’d be volunteering in Nepal. The inquiry seemed to support my tendency to trek paths less trodden...

That Sparkling Spotlight

Those eyes look yonder, Looking upwards, In total wonder … At how she came to this. Once upon a time, It was her, at the center of the universe, A metronome, that is her body. Beats in her feet. Now the stars have shifted, Times have changed anew. And shine brighter...

Why Aren’t Moms Allowed to Have Personal Space

I mean seriously?! Dad’s can go off to their man caves… kids go to their respective rooms… Bar infants and toddlers, who may not understand that mama needs a break. But where does mommy go when she’s about to go batshit crazy? Sometimes I can’t even gather one...

Destinies Evolve

Marching boldly in light of day Voices of truth cannot be silenced, Deceitful voices hide in darkness Never knowing the clarity of light. What a difference motives make As they forge their ways in life, One seeks to illuminate life’s realities Another seeking to...

The Worst Thing You’ve Ever Done

The green room is just big enough for the three of you. The camera is set to go, its wires coiling near the tripod’s feet like an eddy. “Sound speeding,” you say, looking into the recorder. Numbers uptick in your hand. You can hear your own voice through the mic,...

Beware the Poppies: How to Find the Emerald City

“There’s no place like home”. — Dorothy The quote is as synonymous with the speaker as the ruby slippers that transport her home. There’s little doubt that when Dorothy clicks her red slippers three times she’ll be whisked back to the safety of her home in Kansas. But...

This is How Limitations Can Inspire Creativity

“The task of a man is not to see what lies dimly in the distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” — Thomas Carlyle Today, London’s West End is the mecca for theatre lovers from all over the world. The bright lights of the Garrick, Savoy, and King’s Cross...

Where is Wisdom?

Where has all the wisdom gone Timeless wisdom of ancient sages, Seemingly discarded and not heeded This harried world in which we live. Truths derived from ancient sages Ignored today in midst of chaos, Ethics and truths just cast aside Today’s characters strive for...

Ten things I haven’t told you about myself

Thanks for the mention KD Murray I didn’t think I’d have enough things to say. Truth is if it weren’t for my writing journey I wouldn’t have been able to list ten things. Honest. Here we go. ONE I fall in love easily with ordinary kindness There I was, working on my...

What now…

Original moment, seems like yesterday, The first time that we went to play, Stolen moments, fleeting kiss So quickly it was almost missed One time moment, so I believed But you had something up your sleeve And so the affair would repeat Behind closed doors, in the...

Fear and Loathing in Madrid

2nd Day in Spain Okay, there was no loathing. I shoehorned the Hunter S. Thompson reference into the title. Fear, though. There has been plenty of fear. How would you want to spend your second day in Madrid? I worked on the day job for almost twelve hours yesterday,...

School Lockdowns! I’m freaking out!

My first school lockdown drill The Drill What a way to start my day. I go to my volunteer job at the school library . . . and get to experience a lockdown drill. Not what I planned for my morning. I watched Columbine unfold before my eyes the day it happened. I...

Life and sacrifice

Broken pride, a youth in waste, for I chose to exist in haste for if perish tomorrow, want to know that I lived I borrowed all I had, cause it was all I had to give If going to jump, make it the deep end for when your drowning you find your true friends expire by...

Delicate Fusion

The shell of her ear curls like the petal of a flower soft and pink-rimmed. How many times I studied it when we were children - the delicate fusion of edge and inner furl. One was fused more than the other - one flower bud open. One...

Inner Feelings

Inner feelings coming and going Trying to decipher what they are, Why are they so intrudingly present? From where do they come, and why? Feelings can lead us to many places Inhabiting our minds and emotions, Sometimes controlled and fully rational Or careening like...

Rip It Up And Start Again

Dare to make space for your creative future When digital music first came about a few years ago, I loved the idea of having access to pretty much any music I wanted and these days, whether it’s downloading or streaming, there are even more opportunities to have no...

Silence

Touching the outer boundaries of age and Adrenaline, acknowledging the ambiguity of words amongst synonyms of life I am embracing silence. ************************************************ Learning the new definition of gender neutrality, admiring the masculine and...

Footprints

Awed by horizon’s expansiveness Feeling a small part within its reach, Knowing it continues without end Reaching forever beyond our grasp. Infinite expanse of our Universe A constant mystery to be fathomed, Desiring to know just where it goes What lurks there beyond...

Caller ID

I want to approach the pearly gates But I am laden with fear Saint Pete at the peephole Will further bolt those enthralling gates Satan has me on speed dial Father save my soul Calling incessantly Father save my soul Hades force Seemingly insurmountable It is of no...

Attending the festival, or “doing” the festival

Can we approach life the same way we approach a music festival? Exploring the difference between attending and participating. Sunday at the Walnut Valley Festival only the hardcore music fans remain. Crowds are in the hundreds instead of the thousands. There are only...

TGIFIM (Thank God It’s Friday in Madrid)

1st Day in Spain Summer in Spain: Day 1 Day 1 of the Spanish Era? I still don’t know what to call this. What should I call this grand adventure? Yesterday was a good work day. I signed on, had a good connection and worked on the work things. It wasn’t really a good...

Do You Want To Know A Secret?

Here Are Ten of Them. Shh … Don’t Tell Anyone, Okay? I have been tagged in the infamous “Tell Us Ten Things About Yourself” game sweeping Medium. Well, sweeping our little corner of it, anyway. So, here goes — a list, with explanations of a sort, of ten things you...

Why You Need to Curate Your Social Circle Now

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn I once had a friend who could convince me the world was going to pieces just by the way he said hello. Each time I nudged him to look at life through a brighter lens he’d say, “I’m just...

Solving Poverty One Acre At A Time

Everything is easier when you have food. It’s ironic then that some of the most malnourished people in the world are farmers — people who grow food for a living. When one thinks about a farm, the immediate image that comes to mind is edible crops as far as the eye can...

Sound and Silence

Quiet. The house is quiet. Oh, not deathly silent with no stray hum of a motor to break the stillness. The clocks still tick along and strike their way unceasingly toward morning. The dogs are restless outside the jalousie window, scratching at the soft dirt in their...

Take This Letter to My Past

Some people build a time capsule to, years later, relive their past. I want to create one with the reverse purpose: I want to send something to my past. In my time capsule, there will be only one item: a letter. I’m going to write it now, put it in the capsule, and...

She Calms | A Short Short Story

The sunlight dapples across the layers of battered paint where she leans against the house and he knows that her skin will be warm to the touch. But he also knows she will jump like a scalded cat if he does touch her. Or a scalded woman. She is as beautiful to him as...

Awaiting Storm:

Perhaps it’s Neptune’s wrath, whims of kelpie, or serpents best left alone The stirring, whirring creatures of the deep, competing for a throne. Leviathans below the surface, kraken at the gate Tentacles and mouths full of teeth, below the surface wait. Poseidon, or...

When magnolias bloom

  A short short-story Motionless, like one of her window manikins, she watched the man. He collapsed his strange-looking bicycle and locked it to the single post in front of her shop. The contraption was a cross between an English Greyhound and an anorexic pedal-bike....

Choices

Darkness slowly creeps upon us As bright day turns into the night, Beams from moon and radiant stars Aglow above this loving earth. Darkness envelopes scenes below As lively spirits sink into sleep, What wisdom from the dreams they have And how will it pervade the...

Small in Size, Large in Love

How One Tiny Cat Left Very Large Empty Place in My Heart Early Thanksgiving Morning, some years ago, I received a phone call from my vet. I was told that I had a decision to make. I’d taken my kitty girl in for a checkup two days before, and was told they needed to...

The Switch Around

I find it quite interesting when a person is caught in the act of a bad thing. Just something another is doing, or saying, they attack or blame you, and get mad at you about it. They switch around on you. Such an interesting phenomenon, don’t you think? How can this...

Plane Clothes and the Space Gem

9 Hours Before Takeoff Today is the day that the warm-up flight takes us to the layover city where we still haven’t come up with much to do. It’s going to be hot there. It’s hot here. It’s hot in Madrid. Why aren’t we going to Norway on a plane that takes off in 9...

Changes Within

Fog conceals what is distant Barely revealing what is here, New beginnings wait to happen As old endings fade and pass. Nothing remains the same for long Things continue in throes of change, Like the chameleon on a tree Color of bark, then of leaves. How beings...

How to Make the Most Out of Your Life

Life is a simple process. You’re born, you live for a while, and then you die. While this is oversimplifying the process, it is in essence what life is. Here are here one moment and gone the next. However, while we are here, we have a choice, Do we live our life to...

Rewritten;

Is it even English, the script upon the page, or am I just blinded by my sorrow, pain, and my rage? Writing honest feelings, although not sure how well received, a married man mourning his mister, or mistress be believed? Immoral more than likely, emotional for sure,...

Mountain Wisdom

Cloudless skies as far as the eye can see Pale blue space with shifting rays of light, A metaphor for life as we wish it to be Pleasant sunny weather with no storms. With the wisdom of the many mountains Towering above hills and valleys below, Letting changing weather...

P.S. I Love You

“Maybe you love me just a bit too much,” she tells me as we drive back home from her violin lesson, in that slightly angry, diffident tone that she seems to be using a lot these days. I feel like I’ve been punched smack right in the face. I feel stunned, angry,...

Cracked mirrors

not twenty-something anymore, not young and thin and sure treated my body like a landfill, intentions never pure pretty maybe on the outside, at least able to bare the face within the mirror, when the soul was not there thirty brought an understanding, the passage of...

Why Spanking Your Kids Isn’t The Only Option

When I was five years old, I walked out of the entrance to the trailer park I lived in with my mom and dad. Without telling anybody, I decided to visit the Stop and Go convenient store, and I walked out onto the highway to get there. I wasn’t afraid. I just wanted to...

The World She Leaves Behind

She sits on the precipice of insanity, Her heart constricts with pain, The judgments, the eyes … Constantly enveloping her. She holds onto the edge, Wondering the worth of her actions. The relentless strive for achievement, An unknown goal, out of sight. Her fingers...

Should I Namaste or NamaGo?

Now the countdown app says one day. That doesn’t seem right since the plane takes off tomorrow. I’m never counting down again. Other than it is about 57 hours until the second plane leaves. Yes, there are two planes. One is the connecting flight with a full day’s...

Homecomings Should be Happy, but this Sucks

“The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” — Sir Richard Burton If you’re a traveler, you know what it’s like to come and go often. Sometimes living life out of a suitcase is a backbreaker, especially if you travel with a lot of...

Executive Leadership: office door open!

Stories and Strategies for Nonprofit Leaders I have simple advice. It’s easy to do. Keep your office door open. Every day. Ninety-five percent of the time. Your office door, open or closed, speaks on your behalf to everyone else in the office. When your practice is to...

Dream Reruns

What are they trying to tell us? I enjoy reading articles and essays written by Jack Preston King. I particularly enjoy his essays about dreams; what impels them, what they might mean, and how we might benefit from analysis of our own subconscious escapades. Jack has...

If only;

If only the heart didn’t dream that desires took on life of their own If only I could set you free and still retain a clone part of you that I could keep to feel you in my arms to have you as my sanctuary to quiet the alarms If only I could say how I feel without...

A Window On The Heart of Life, Part Two

Adagio and Rondo Traveling every morning and evening, to and from the city where I worked, returning to the acreage where I lived, I daily passed through some of the most serenely beautiful countryside this side of heaven. It was home to the white-tail deer that...

A funny thing happened on the way from the airport

10 Unexpected lessons I learned on a three-day stay in Munich (The images tell their own story.) I was just being polite. I greeted the man in my best school German, inquiring about his health. “Guten Morgen, wie gehen es ihnen?” The Taxi driver at Munich airport must...

3 Hard Words

If I told you what I’m thinking you would think me mad an unnatural attraction but it that really oh so bad we’ve developed a connection and although the timing poor life is not about convenience but always wanting more more time alone with you more pf our easy...

Keep going and on

you urged me up the tattered hill pedal pushed lungs gasping for air. I chanted in my head keep going keep going and on down the other side to a steeper hill...

Safe Room

How safe do you want to be? “Good morning, Ms. Mukherjee.” Startled awake, she opened her eyes and clutched the hem of the blanket draped over her body. “Who’s there?” Darkness engulfed her, but she could feel this wasn’t her bed. The surface bent slightly and pressed...

What Day Jobs do to Artists

The sounds of my job: the door opening, the morning meetings, the step-step-smell of IT-step-step-smell of the coffee-step-good morning routine that I had come to appreciate, the first network of people I was around daily that treated me with compassion, they did not...

What is Love?

Sharing in the freedom of silence Intimate touching of another’s spirit, Knowing thoughts not yet spoken Compassion for what lies deep within. Together with what happens next Feelings of strength from one other, Joys and sorrows mutually felt Gaining wisdom on this...

How to Escape the Chains of Happiness

Finding the Truth about Emoticons When I was a teen, there was a popular saying that survives, slinking around in the attics of too many memories: Don’t worry; be happy. It spawned a popular song along with an unending swirl of smiley faces (THE origin of the Walmart...

The Inheritance

Lily Kane walked into her great-grandmother’s parlor with the rest of the family, to say their last goodbyes. She knew she was named after the old woman, but had never met her. The dusty room reeked of old memories and cobwebs. She thought it had probably been a...

This is Why We Need to be Careful with our Words

Words are like spent arrows Not again! You’d think I’d learn, I guess I didn’t. It started out innocently. I convinced myself my thoughts were important and that what I had to say was worth sharing. That it might help her. Sometimes I’ll ask someone if I can share my...

My Short Love Affair with an Umbrella

Yesterday, the shuffle on my phone unexpectedly threw up an old number of Rihanna’s called ‘Umbrella,’ and as she went “ella, ella, ella…” I suddenly recalled how when I was kindergarten, I too was crazy about umbrellas. My mother who used to pick me up from school...

Living In The Good Old Days Illusion

It feels like we are entering a new world. A combination of societal changes and new tech rearranges my perspective on an almost daily basis. But I truly hope that I never end up like one of those old men desperately clinging to their foggy memories of “the good ‘ol...

Urgencies, Emergencies and Idea Resurgancies

Do You Have a Stress Immune System? It’s like your immune system. You can have a strong immune system and still get sick. You won’t get sick as much, but you still get sick. When you have a strong immune system and rarely get sick, sometimes when you get sick you...

Asian Americans in Films: Why Are They Important?

My daughter, a UC Berkeley college student, has been following Crazy Rich Asians ever since she heard the news that Keven Kwan’s bestselling book would be made into a movie. She had read the book a few years ago and enjoyed it a lot. She has also been watching and...

Awareness Beyond Thoughts

Peace in awareness beyond thoughts Feeling passions flowing in the Universe, Awareness of what is here in this moment Warmth of feelings present in other beings. No interloping thoughts distracting us Pure reality of being in this moment, Really looking into the eyes...

Regret

“I’m sorry I haven’t called”, I tell my mother, but my voice rises as if I am complaining. “I was very busy.” This is true. It takes all my energy with my work and toddlers. But, I carry this guilt that I am not doing enough for her; for them, but mainly for her. I am...

When Praying Doesn’t Work

Earlier today when I was thinking about my day today, 4 Days Before the plane speeds towards the eastern sky bound for a summer of adventure, something bugged me. Then it bugged me again. And again. It’s the day job, which as usual, is a constant state of urgency....

When Was Your Last First Day at School?

How we can learn from our children being brave at ‘big school’? It’s September and that time of year again when children start going back to school and when you see children in brand new uniforms being taken to school by their proud parents. Some children have been...

A Window On The Heart of Life

An Artist’s View, In Four Seasons This is the first in a series of poems based on the idea of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, and written in the form of a classical symphony, in four movements. Symphonies most often begin with an overture, in which the major themes of each...

How to Avoid The Holiday From Hell

Holiday traps for young players… We all love holidays. And many of us would love to live the fantasy life of always being on holiday, whatever that means. But be careful about what you wish for because you just might get it. Here I will take a lighter look at the...

Diabetes: the fight.

Emotionally shattered, epic the fail crying for help, tuck in the tail whimper in pain, beg for release end my suffering, lessen at least the worst news delivered you may not think it so bad to be diagnosed with the illness that cost you your dad Overweight, twice the...

You Are Not the Mistake

It passes. You go on to be who you want to be. If you want to. Every now and again you make mistakes. You are not the mistake. From time to time you feel bad. The feeling will disappear. You are not the feeling. Mistakes and feelings do not define you. They are a part...

Surprises

Orange sunlight streaks early morn Birds in dutiful formation underneath, New day breaking through the clouds Morning air so cool and crisp. Color profusions in blooming flowers Nature’s beauty for all to see, What will happen in this day? Surprises awaiting our...

Of Forgone Lands and Distant Dreams

Sehnsucht Hello. I see your curiosity brought you here.  A tender wave of breeze stealthily creeps in through the window cracks sending a shiver cascading down my spine. It entwines itself with the tangles in my unbrushed hair, gently kissing the back of my neck,...

How To Expand Your Creativity With 33 Simple Dots

When I first started the 33 dots I had no idea that others would like to follow it, too. Meg Konovska, who is quite an artist, produced a body of work around the 33 dots, a simple experiment which she had learned as a child from her father. Find out more about her...

Developing A Fighter’s Spirit

How I developed a “fight till the very end” mentality. It was my bachelor party this past weekend. I had countless memorable moments with all my friends that joined me in the festivities. Yet, one of the most memorable moments I had was on the 3 1/2 hour drive up to...

Journey To Tranquil Freedom

Many journeys can be chosen to take Each leading in directions old or new, Some choose paths not previously traveled While others paths of past familiarity. My path is one of new dimensions Looking ever deeply into the soul, Discovering the being really here And what...

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to AAA

This is part of Shayne's Summer Travel series. Catch up on it and Shayne's other pieces here.  A funny thing happened today, 6 Days Before that plane departs for Atlanta. I worked from home so I could get an international driver’s license at AAA. We live just a few...

The Universe Sent Me a Sign and I Cried

The universe sent me a sign and I cried. I didn’t recognize that it was a sign. One Sunday night, I saw a scorpion in my living room. I’ve NEVER seen a scorpion before, let alone in my residence. I live by myself, which is new for me. I called a friend; he didn’t...

Like Oil and Water

She pressed faster this time: the sound came out sharper, but it still lacked accuracy. ‘Again,’ she thought, ‘I need to try once again.’ She hated when her body would refuse to obey and kept failing at bringing to life what sounded like a perfect melody in her mind....

Antiquarian Books, Oh My!

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” ~Erasmus What compares to stumbling upon a first edition copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain dated 1884?! Not much if you are a book lover. Photo by Ally My...

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans A Book Review “Grief finds it hard to keep up with you when you’re on the move.” A man I met while I was travelling in Mexico once said this to me. I’d been grieving over my wife leaving me, and at the time I hadn’t fully understood the...

My Cup Can’t Overfloweth

A lesson in you can’t give what you don’t have I was thinking last night about what a busy weekend I had. School sports pictures, soccer game, hoco dress shopping, new running shoe shopping, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, cake decorating . . . Sunday Dinner...

3 Reasons a Week Away Brought Excellent Life to My Spirit

How a Family Holiday Can Revive Us Holidays with Family We relish them and are sad when they are over. But the memories live on. We recently returned from our yearly vacation with our family at a rental cottage — 15 of us and 2 of our 5 dogs. We have seven...

Knowing Ourselves

Unknown feelings deep within What are they, why are they here? Where they will lead I do not know Need to decipher what they mean. Are they feelings of trepidation? Or new frontiers needed to explore? Feelings cause of so much we do Often not realizing they are here....

My Favorite Memories With My Father

The best times with my Father had nothing to do with money. Often times, in today’s society, we associate memorable experiences with the dollar amount spent to create that memory… How much money did you spend on your family’s trip to Disneyland? How much money did you...

Losing my true self through excessive reading

Jeremiah, because you read you are fake. Someone recently accused me of being inauthentic, lacking spontaneity, and untrue to what it is to be “real.” They attributed this degradation to the number and type of books that I have read over the last year. “These books...

In Search of Milk And Other Things in Outer Burbia

The search for milk in outer burbia yields many prospects but few rewards: on the corner, a produce stand with fruit and vegetables, but no dairy. There’s gotta be a deli around here somewhere. But “gotta be’s” don’t reflect reality — a vast bucolic landscape...

10 things about me

Here are 10 things. Take the challenge and tell the world 10 things about yourself. I stumbled across an article by Tim Cigelske, who wrote 10 things about himself. He also challenged the world to do the same, and to invite 10 more people to do the same. It sounds...

The Most Powerful Words in the World?

Who Are You? What do You Need? I found an interesting post this morning in my news feed. One of those tear-jerker videos that made me wonder, first, “Was this staged?” and second, “Wow! This good Samaritan’s gonna get a zillion shares.” Well, I hope so — I hope this...

Self-Directed Learning: How We Can Excel

Education, as we enter the final years of the first quarter of the century, has become easier than ever. The world, by a benefit of being more interconnected than any other point in history, is also replete with opportunities and potential for self-growth. The problem...

Is Your Next Thing Consuming your Now?

How to Close this Chapter Well September is a time for new adventures. And stepping into the New often means leaving the Known. Whatever your new — college, marriage, a dream job, an overseas assignment — take care that your mind and heart don’t fly off ahead of the...

Life is Life Because It Happens

What if I leave out something important? Don’t start in the middle. Start at the beginning. 11 Days Before Takeoff Two Things To Do Write For example, there are two things I’d like to do in the last few days before the plane takes off in 9 days, with us or without us....

Goodbye is the Hardest Part

The plane will leave whether or not the POD is full, the dog is comfy or the mail is forwarded. Where do you even forward mail when you don’t know where you’ll end up? We do have a hotel in Atlanta. We got that covered. “Boarding stairs in the middle of an empty...

Benevolent Insanity

I think I’d like to spend my final years growing a long white beard, wearing a simple brown robe with a hemp rope belt and dirty sandals. I’d like to find a large park somewhere in a massive metropolis (preferably with perennial warmth), where I can spend my days...

Are We There Yet? The Summer in Spain

As of this morning, we have 11 days until the plane takes off. Leaving On a Jet Plane The plane will leave with us or without us, and we’d all prefer that it leave with us. The plane is going to Spain with a brief stop in Atlanta. By “brief,” I mean about 23 hours. We...

What If Money Really Did Grow On Trees?

Imagine for a second that money grew on trees. Think of the endless possibilities! My friend David who is a fellow writer asked me a very intriguing question the other day. He asked me how I thought the world would be different if there was literally a tree that...

Fading Summer

Cooler days in late August As summer slowly fades away, Still bright sun but waning heat Begins pervading summer air. As summer slowly fades to fall People’s masks start changing too, Carefree spirits become more serious Professional personas taking hold. People’s...

The Importance of Being Vulnerable

When you ask someone what it means to be vulnerable they oftentimes start talking about it as a synonym for weakness. To be vulnerable means to be at risk of experiencing harm. In the military, vulnerability is a measurement for how likely it is for damage to be...

How Judgements Will Make You Miss Opportunities

Be aware: Make sure that this isn’t happening to you or your children Sometimes I can’t believe I painted something that others actually clapped for or and better yet paid for! Someone bought 3 paintings for their stairway.  But that is what’s happening. It’s crazy...

The Money Tree

What if money grew on trees, at least on one tree, and in front is placed a sign, take only what you need? On this tree is dollars, franks, euros, and pounds, all just growing on this plant that sprang up from the ground. How much do you think you would take if you...

7 Signs You Take Competition Too Far

“Competition is very good as long as it’s healthy; it’s what makes one strive to be better.” — Christine Lahti Indeed, competition can make life exciting. It can cause you to do your best in situations where normally you wouldn’t. But sometimes competition can be a...

Poem-Stages: Part One & Two

A little girl watches as you drive away; she tastes the lipstick from your kiss goodbye. The teenager closes the door; against promises made in another room. A young woman tries to fill the hole you left in her heart, and fails. The woman grown mourns you, but finds...

Happy Birthday, Awful Gardner

True story. Life didn’t come cheap for Hezekiah Orville “Awful” Gardner. He came into this world sometime in 1825 (no record survives as to the exact date) and died seventy years later locked away in an Insane Asylum. In between, he certainly earned his nickname — and...

Scarlet Morning Sky

Morning clouds painted in scarlet Slowly streaking from east to west, A few gray clouds are swirling too Songs of birds serenading in sky. Morning ocean reflects growing light As white capped waves break ashore, Clouds of gray turn slowly scarlet As those clouds float...

Why It’s Okay To Be A Terrible Traveler

I seize every opportunity to hop on a plane, train, boat or car and go somewhere, whether it’s a cruise, a hike, a beach, a mountain, a city, a desert or Disneyland. I’ve floated over Egypt in a hot air balloon, dipped into a fjord in an Alaskan biplane, canopied...

One Day, You Will Be Forgotten

This is a morbid sentiment, but ultimately, it is true. There is no getting away from the fact that one day we will die. The further time advances past this point, the more we will be forgotten. Life goes on. It waits for nobody. No matter how famous you are, how many...

The Joy of Ferragosto and Life with Intention

It’s mid-August. In Italy, the country is on holiday. It’s planned. It’s anticipated, and it’s savored. The pinnacle of the month-long kick-back is August 15th, the public holiday of Ferragosto. Being Italian, it conveniently coincides with the important Catholic...

Bang, Pow, Zoom; A Poem

Sinister expressions, dark foreboding clothes, that’s how you spot a bad guy, everybody knows. Tattered black cloaks, their intentions plain, to cause suffering and heartache, destruction and pain. winning smile, perfect hair, neat as a pin, that how you find a good...

How to deal with judgment

Sounds like clickbait? Well, it’s not. Dealing with the judgment of others can be a really simple expression of human understanding and compassion. It can be the opportunity to reassess your own sense of self — self-respect, self-compassion, self-love — and mirror...

Ocean Horizons

Calm waves lap along sandy shore below Arriving from distant ocean destinations, Gazing out across expanse of sandy shore Far out to where the sky meets ocean vista. Wondering what might lie at horizon’s end Knowing much to be seen beyond horizons, Distant sun begins...

Ocean Meditation

White capped waves roll into shore Nine white sea gulls soar in flight, Light fog obscures distant horizons Pier slightly visible through the fog. Mind like the sea of breaking waves Thoughts emanate from distant shores, Some thoughts like giant surfing waves Others...

A Wondrous Window-View -  what do you see?

“We live on a minor planet of a very average star located within the outer limits of one of a hundred thousand million galaxies.” – Stephen Hawkins. Imagine looking out of the window of our planet and seeing through the eyes of Mr. Hawkins. Dear fellow readers and...

Why The ‘Good Old Days’ are Dead

And the Future is Better than the Past “There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” — C.S. Lewis Watching my daughter interact with my mom this morning as we sit in the living room at 5AM is pleasing to my soul. My two year old is so happy...

How Complaining Got Me Nowhere Until I Changed

I used to complain about my life. I used to hate my job. I used to live in a perpetual cycle of moving home. Something would always happen and I would have to move out. It was my story for many years while living a carefree single life in London. I lived everywhere in...

Liquid Demons

She wept. My shoulder drenched. The mucus coagulating. Slowly. Freely. Like an exorcist I patted. Granting the demons freedom. Her shoulders buoyant with fury. Boiling. Truly. My sister who never cried. The one who scorned weakness. Turned to me, me…the family...

Mindful Presence

Sitting comfortably in the open air Amidst the bright sun and gentle breeze, No thoughts, just concentrated awareness Fully absorbing this present moment. Now there is no past or future Intruding upon this special pleasure, No distracting thoughts causing ripples But...

Pretty in the Inside

“Vanity is a sin.” My father was teasing me. He busted me at age 16, posing in front of the mirror at different angles checking myself out. I giggled in response but walked away a second later, embarrassed to have been caught thinking I was pretty. I suppose I came by...

Short Story: The Dolphins and the Moons of Time

Bartolome swam across the coral and nudged Whitefinn playfully. But Whitefinn didn’t react as he usually did with his childlike smile, summersault out of the water or race off after a fishing boat. Whitefinn’s mouth remained closed and his small eyes barely gave...

Celebrations

Joyful celebrations felt in my heart Seeing bright flowers of varied colors, Cool summer breeze caressing my face Calmness now in just sitting and being. Small things often bring great pleasure Grateful for them coming into my life, Interesting people passing my way...

Is Youth Really Wasted On The Young?

Wisdom is not always the answer “Youth is wasted on the young“— George Bernard Shaw This saying is regularly espoused from the mouths of those who have lived a well-lived life. For we have travelled many roads and made many a wrong turn. And for reasons unbeknownst,...

Freshness

Freshness felt after falling rain Lightness in breathing new air, Lush growth in flowers and plants A new crispness in nature’s arriving. Fertility permeates our good Earth, New sprouts and blooms being born, This freshness felt deep within Igniting feelings of new...

Losing My Marbles

Or What’s Left of Them. If you’re familiar with some of my stories, you’ll know that I’m painfully absent-minded at times. Lately, more so than I care to admit. I’m not sure quite why, but if I had to hazard an educated guess, I’d say I have sooo much shit in my head...

Aug 6th-Aug 9th

I thought I’d be used to it after 15 years, the angry stares that hold a little longer on those days. Even though those old enough to have lived it are almost gone TV keeps it alive for the young. I want to say, “The decision was Trueman’s 35 years before I was born....

Whitewash

The room was whitewashed - the fresh coating of plaster smelled eerily familiar. The paint had wiped away any scratches or smudges that had adorned the walls previously. Had they left nothing behind, though, in the house they had spent so many decades living in? The...

It’s Time To Leave A true story

Over the span of twenty-plus years, a component of my business was to represent lenders in the sale and disposition of foreclosed real estate. Many of these were family homes. I am an empathetic guy; I have been the underdog in my own lifetime and again, and being a...

Meeting Prince Charles — A Memoir

The funeral service at Scots’ Church in Melbourne, Australia for former Prime Minister Robert G. Menzies had just ended. My wife and I were now at a reception and luncheon for members of the official diplomatic delegations to the State Funeral. It was May 19, 1978. We...

Samson’s Great Weaknesses

My life should have been so different. I know this is not the life my parents had envisioned. From the time I was a young boy, they told me stories about the angel announcing my birth. I was to be set apart from others, I was to be different. Born to lead. That may...

Why We Need Our Comfort Zone

A lesson I learned the hard way I’ve been doing a lot of new things this year. New things take us outside of our comfort zone. This can be fun and exciting. It can also be scary. When something is new there are unknowns. We’re comfortable with what we know. Unknowns...

Character

Streams of light run through the soul Illuminating truths in every moment, Truths that inspire our daily acts While forming strong character within. Beings adhering to these truths Become great souls for all to see, They act with love and dignity Using their gifts for...

This is What Happens When You Don’t Quit

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.” — C.S. Lewis On January 22, 1989, you could hear a pin drop in my house. Friends and family were huddled around our bulky Sony television set like a campfire. The San Francisco 49ers were playing the Cincinnati...

The Secret Life of Rock Ponds

Flash fiction A gust carried the cry of the solitary fisherman to the children huddled below at the rock ponds. For a moment the two turned their faces as the wind swallowed the man’s warning. His dark figure waved at them from the far end of the pier, silhouetted...

3 Reasons Why Travel is More Important in Retirement

Travel can be anywhere; just as long as you go. Travel is important at any time in life. Travel gets you out of your shell, your culture, your background, your self-imposed confines. At a young age, travel exposes you to the world, whether across the state, across the...

Ask More Questions on Social Media to Improve Your Life

“So, I have to ask, what’s with all the questions on Facebook?” I was at a funeral, talking with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. It was about the third or fourth time I’d been asked this question in the last few months. I began by explaining that I didn’t have...

Are You a Traveller Or A Tourist When You Go Away?

“All that is gold does not glitter; just as not all those who wander are lost.” — JRR Tolkien When I returned from my first prolonged period of travels — sixteen months backpacking around Latin America — I called myself a ‘Traveller’, without really thinking about the...

Peaceful Unity

Turbulence swirling all around us Arguments and acrimony everywhere, Conflicts about our common values What it means to be human beings. Different views about what is needed Conflicting rather than reconciling, No way for beings to find the truth Or live together in...

Kundalini Confusion

I have no idea what to expect. Some Indian music plays in the background, a sitar, warbly singing, Mantras maybe. We sit in a circle on a large white couch. The Deeksha Givers ask us to close our eyes and relax or meditate. I’m in half lotus slowly counting my breath....

Lost My Job and Found My Financial Freedom

Birkenstocks & Speedos Part 2 Where we left off last time, Nicole and I were feverishly praying for God to deliver us into financial freedom while working with our written budget and doing our part to make it happen. There were months of very little progress. Then...

My Daughter

Thoughts today of my grown daughter The lovely young woman she has become, Remembering holding her right after birth Tender feelings in that first embrace. Watching her grow as a little girl Enjoying her freedom with abandon, Reading her stories at many bedtimes Her...

Rethinking Weakness

Let’s change the way we think about being weak “We will become weak, just as we will become strong” I had these words running through my mind today, and it made me think about how we think about weakness. Strength is a very important part of our lives. Whether it’s...

Theodore and Libra

It is true. I have no need to worry about where my next meal is gonna come but I’d been thinking about seeking the kind of adoration that comes from being an-only-feline in the house. Now before you go calling me ungrateful, an infidel or worse let me just tell you...

Discovery

My heart abounds in freedom And the joy of being alive, Sharing presence with all here As the moments quickly pass by. People wandering in their worlds Possessing character all their own, Quite varied in what dwells within Always interesting discoveries to make....

Minds

Raindrops falling in unusual abundance Glistening brightly in an overcast light, Watering earth to quench its thirst Allowing nature continuing its course. Water is critical for nurturing growth In plants, trees, flowers and all of life, Just as tiny raindrops...

The Myth of the “Other”

As Old as Humanity Itself There’s a notion in the human mind of the “other.” Maybe it’s inherent, maybe it’s a result of the cultures we have been raised in, but either way, this concept persists in our thinking. Somehow we struggle to find some sense of personal...

UNFORGETTABLE LAST DAY WITH MOM

If you currently struggle with or have ever suffered from drug addiction of any kind, or alcoholism, or both, I dedicate this memory of mine to you. I applaud you for taking the steps necessary, or are in the process of doing so, and for realizing how change is...

Raising Kids Who Are Comfortable in Their Own Skin

It’s not as hard as you think Kids are born unique in some ways and shaped by their environment in others. Although there is more and more evidence that we can change our brains, and in some ways, even our personalities, there is still that thing deep down inside that...

Desert Blooms

Cacti growing in the barren desert With colorful blooms sprouting forth, Verdant with roots firmly in the sand Amid rocky forms of imposing stature. There is calmness in this desert scene Not easily disturbed by other forces, Cacti enduring and adding color To browns...

Honest Affection

We fight. Everyone does. Without occasional struggle there’s no story. But there’s enough days like the ones Mr. Reed sang about to keep us coming back. We’ll reap what we sow and smile broadly into the...

Yes It’s True, but Also Unhelpful

A quick lesson from a situation which turned out better than I thought it would Having a child who is basically a miniature version of myself is a bit scary. I see so much of myself in the way our seven-year-old talks, walks, and questions. You hear about this...

Amid the Fires

I wrote a piece about how to write a Rondeau, a 13th century form of poetry. The truth is that I’m not very good at this form, so I thought I’d actually put in the work and see if I couldn’t create something I thought would be worth publishing. I took me almost a...

The Best Part of the Day

There’s a reason bedtime with the kids is so great. A few days ago my wife told me people are often surprised when she tells them I take care of bedtime with the kids in our home. It took me back a little bit when she told me. To be honest, bedtime with the kids is...

A Million Feelings for One Person

An Ode To My Dad My Perfectionist I know You are my everything, Still I do scream on you so often Dad! I can’t live without you, Still I hold grudges against you Dad! ………………… You are my lantern for the night, Still we disagree on a million points Dad! You are the...

The importance a dad!

featuring 30 pivotal people in my life #30posts#30days If you have read my writing or visited my blogs — you know about my dad. The cabin he built, the fish he caught, his playfulness. You probably also know that he died when I was 7. The whole story is kind of...

A Day Like Any Other – The Oklahoma City Memorial

168 bronze and glass chairs, arranged in 9 rows, stretched across the green field. My fiance Andrew and I drove up to Oklahoma City the day before, a Friday, and spent an endless, tiring day at the car dealership where Andrew negotiated the purchase of used BMW. I...

I Am Libra

By name and by the month when my life started. When it really started. I don’t remember much from the first 9 months of my life. I just remember seeing them for the first time. The people who took me to my new home. When they came into the brightly lit white room, I...

Three pigeons on a wire

Three pigeons It was a typical big city sunset. The sky changed colors with aplomb, blue to yellow, orange and then to purple, promising an even better tomorrow, yet you couldn’t see the sun even if you tried. The concrete around you blocked every panoramic view...

I Never Said Goodbye

Grieving the Loss of a Childhood Friend Our final conversation was through Facebook and it was about the Keto Diet. She had been on some variation of it for years to try to keep her thyroid cancer at bay. Thyroid cancer is supposed to be one of the most treatable...

Tiny Miracles

Watching birds soaring high overhead Flapping their wings and artful glides, Nature’s graceful art in motion Everything a miracle of its own. Tiny miracles happening all the time Some noticed, others hiding and waiting, Beings perhaps nature’s greatest miracle How...

Musings About My Mortality

Our own mortality is something we all have to face, like it or not. You may choose to look at life like this famous author did: “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things”.-Kurt Vonnegut Last night I found out...

Ocean Sunset

The great fiery ball drops in the west Slowly descending into evening clouds, Pure beauty in its nightly transition From bright radiance to peaceful sleep. Sunset reflected in the ocean surf As shimmering light skims its surface, Light slowly sinking beneath the waves...

Coz no one is there to demotivate him…

A story of an 8-year old boy who saves his 15-year old friend from drowning. Back in the times in an Indian Village. There were two best friends. Rohit(8yrs) and Mohit(15yrs). Both enjoyed their time playing cricket and even going to school together. One beautiful...

Teaching in Uganda

Memories Of When This Teacher Became a Student I am a self-professed “process geek”. There’s nothing I like more than getting to the bottom of a broken or messy process and figuring out how to fix it. Whether it’s in a restaurant, a bank, a hospital, or an airport,...

Ocean Sunrise

Sun rising as a ball of eastern fire Above crashing ocean waves below, Signaling the breaking of a new dawn In this corner of the precious universe. Wonders appearing everywhere eyes can see In this stark beauty the universe provides, Crashing waves in the early...

Dear Summer (19)

Letters to my granddaughter Note: On February 15, 2018, I committed to write every day to my 10-year-old granddaughter, Summer, who lives with my wife Carla (Goggy) and me (Geep). The compilation will comprise The 365 Days of Summer, designed to be her Valentine’s Day...

Everyday MUSINGS — Follow your own path!

It was a cold winter morning when I decided to leave from Chandigarh to Delhi in my car since had to be in the city for an important business meeting. I usually start while its dark to avoid traffic on the highway and save time. But that day, nature had a different...

What’s Next?

Present fading into the past Future gliding into present, Moments never quite the same Forever changing cycles of life. Dwelling in this eternal present Watching time keep passing by, New scenes appearing every moment Beings absorbing them as we go. Accumulations of...

The battle between me, myself and I

Born without a cage, freedom prevailed. As a child living to my fullest imagination kept me alive in moments of darkness. Slowly the world around me collapsed as the harsh reality of not belonging kicked in. Escape into my virtual reality of love and affection was the...

Percy, I Never Knew You

Percy, I Never Knew You My relationship with my great uncle My grandfather, Lionel Clarence Going, was a Kiwi born in 1900, on the cusp of modernity. He is the seventh of twelve children. They were all born on the family ranch land in Ruatangata, Whangarei, Auckland,...

Provence Memories

Memories of Provence in south of France Horizons of Apilles and lavender fields, Peaceful, refreshing and still quite quaint Comfortable people with enjoyable tastes. History alive in all nooks and crannies From cobblestone streets to Roman ruins, Ancient bars...

This is How You Reclaim Your Youth in the World

I checked the time to make sure I hadn’t arrived later than my ticket had promised. It was 4:45 in the evening but looked well into the midnight hours. It was the kind of darkness that kicks up its feet and decides to stay awhile. After a few days of wandering through...

How to be More Accepting of People and Less Critical

You can change your mind Not one time. I’m not kidding, there wasn’t one time I can think of when I heard something positive out of my dad’s mouth. My mom would spend hours creating a dish and it would taste out of this world. And believe me some of the greek dishes...

The Heart of Summer

Summer breezes, scorching sun, Sweat glistening on an errand run. Slushie drinks, ice cream cones, Day-long trips, coming home. Photo by caleb-whiting on unsplash Vacation travels, sights to see, Memories in making — mountains or sea? Fireflies and June bugs, Garden...

Why the Bells Tolled

I don’t know what it was like where you lived when you were little, but in Corozal, the small town where I grew up in Belize, we had church bells ringing all the time. Being a predominantly Catholic country, the happy Christmas-bells, and New Year’s Day bells rang...

A Short Story: Light in the Shadows

Sierra sat up in bed staring at her laptop screen. She searched for a ray of hope to get through another challenging day; any light in the shadows would help. It had been 18 months since her fiancé was killed in a fatal car crash. All hope died with Seth. So much of...

Now…Forever…Ever… I Promise

I Promise. My mornings shall see your face and smile… Now.. forever..ever…! My hands shall clench your hands so tight… Now.. forever..ever…! You are the ‘One’ who can keep me charmed… Now…forever…ever…! You are the one who can make me smile… Now .. forever.. ever…! My...

The Red Jelly Bean

“C’mon Pete we have to walk a little faster or we’re going to be late for school.” Pete’s ten-year-old older sister said. “It’s just my legs won’t go fast Mary.” Five-year-old Pete whined. “If you don’t walk faster I am walking on without you. Do you want to go all...

Lost Love

The rocking chair creaks rhythmically. A metronome in the darkness. The thunder and lightning reflect the turmoil within. She sits looking out the window. The droplets cluster on the window, colliding into each other and disappearing into nothingness. A tear rolls...

My morning toilette went oh, so wrong

If you see me standing at my desk today, it’s not because I’m feeling particularly energetic or even avoiding the back pain that comes with sitting. It’s because I don’t want to sit on my dress. Not because I might mess it up (I already did that), but because I might...

Why do we lie?

Lying sucks Why do we lie? Americans are liars. Lying is socially acceptable, encouraged, and graded. The trend has become so commonplace that I discount others’ honesty until they have proven otherwise. How did we get to the place where we accept lying as the norm?...

Your partner says, “I love someone else.” Now what?

What do you do when you partner of eleven years finally tells you they’re in love with someone else? How do you get on with your life after that one? Well, you cry. A lot. Maybe you throw things. But if you’re going to do that, throw pots and pans. They’re noisy and...

How do you go on when a loved one dies?

After years of searching, and wrong turns, you’ve finally found the one of your dreams. Your eyes meet across a crowded room, in a dim cafe, walking by the sea — all those old cliches, yet fresh and new. Your best friend, your soul mate — you meet, you fall in love,...

Why You Need to Visit Budapest Before You Die

“It’s beautiful here. They said that of course, that Budapest is beautiful. But it is in fact almost ludicrously beautiful.” -Anthony Bourdain Hours after parting ways with Ljubljana, I entered a metropolis with nearly ten times more people and far rougher exterior....

You Deserve to Exist by Birthright

Attention. We all seek it, always in one way or another. Even those that deny it. Attention gives us a sense of belonging. Recognition from others will validate our reason for existing. How sad is that? How sad is it that many walk around on this planet thinking they...

The quiver of Robin Hood

As a teenager, Robin Singh was a big fan of Robin Hood probably because like his namesake, he too had suffered at the hands of authority. The boarding school in south India where he was studying, was ruled with an iron hand by Christian missionaries who firmly...

We Project What’s Inside Us

An Inside Job “I want to let you in on a secret to The Secret. The shortcut to anything you want in your life is to BE and FEEL happy now! It’s the fastest way to bring money and everything else you want into your life. Focus on radiating out into the Universe those...

How Would I Miss You, My Lost Friends?

The weekend of May 5–6, 2018 will probably be one of the most memorable moments in my life. I reconnected, thanks to modern technology, with my college classmates, with whom I had lost contact for almost thirty years. We graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in...

Stuck In The Stink of Unemployment

Escape to the sanctuary of the absurd. Day three in the same warm-up suit (2009) Jim passes me in the kitchen, avoiding the stink of unemployment that embodies me. “How’s the job search going?” he asks. “Slow. It’s a recession. But, I’d take a job at Kohl’s if it ever...

Memorial Day and Taps

Memorial Day is the official start of summer with a three-day weekend celebrated with cookouts and parades. However, it is more than a picnic day; it is a day of remembrance. When did Memorial Day start? In the years following the Civil War, mourners placed flowers...

Are you guilty? If so, how do you deal with it?

(This article is written by my wife, edited by me and published with her full permission.) I’m writing this not to gain sympathy but because I know there are tons of people who feel a million times worse than me. Through Play HuaHee, I’ve learned that there is power...

The Grand Canyon: Have you been there and done that?

  Before we kick the bucket, achieve as many dreams on your bucket list as you can. We are being encouraged to draw up our bucket list of things we want to do before we die. Places to see, friends to reconnect with, new experiences to try. Surely the Grand Canyon...

Into Eternity

This story was part of our 2017 Winter Writing Contest. I sit on the floor and hug my knees, heart aching. I’m going to die here. Soon. For days there has been only darkness and the long wait for death. In my cold fear, I keep seeing her green eyes and apple cheeks....

My Love-Hate Relationship with James Harden and Medium

I’m a long time fan of the NBA, and have been religiously watching as much as I can of the ongoing 2018 First Round Playoffs. Not being a US resident, I enjoy the whimsical luxury of switching the team I support, as and when I please. For the last few years, it’s been...

The Parable of the Tree

Once there was a tree that stood on a hill overlooking a town. The tree was lovely, with gnarled roots that twisted over pillows of mossy soil. Its strong branches waved glossy green leaves in the summer and scattered canary-yellow leaves in the fall. But the tree was...

Is this a Friendly Universe?

The Most Important Question It was Mr. Einstein who declared “Is this a Friendly Universe” to be the most important question any of us could ask ourselves. Are you asking — have you ever asked yourself that question? THE Most Important Question, he said. I have. In a...

My Brother, My Heart

Forever 37 My little brother. One of my earliest memories is the day he came home from the hospital. He had our mom on bed-rest for a long time, so I believe we were all ready for his arrival. I remember being in the family room, and mom was holding him low so I could...

Creating a Legacy with One Recipe

“The Nut Cake” I am the 3rd generation to make this cake. Maybe more. It has a history of its own, but since it’s my husband’s family — I can’t tell you. Maybe one day. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal, just a few comments that have festered over decades. When I...

How I Learned to “Go to the Fear”

The Power of the 5-Second Rule Hard to believe it’s already been a year since I stood before a room full of screaming 5th graders. My summer gig as a teacher had me schlepping books from one Bay Area town to the next, all in an effort to get kids to fall in love with...

How Traffic Jams Can Make You Smarter

Reframing a Monotonous Commute into the “University of Traffic” Anyone who’s lived in Los Angeles knows there’s traffic. A LOT of traffic. When I made the move to Tinsel Town from New York in the fall of 2014, I had to make quite an adjustment. If New Yorkers are...

Choices

What if the winter trees could talk, what are the things they’d say? Would they stand there shivering, on cold December days? Would we hear them grumbling, as temperatures dropped low? Or would they see the beauty of the freshly fallen snow? Photo by Arno...

Blindspots

That evening there were twelve kids at our lawn party. The grownups were noisily conversing to notice that the littlest boy was eating away at the candy from the colorful bottle sitting next to the ketchup and relish on the food table. I really don’t remember when or...

Stealth Bomber

For one year, I had the absolute pleasure of serving the U.S. Air Force at R.A.F. Lakenheath in England. Not as an Airman though, I was a contracted barber. Making sure the Airmen and government service workers looked good and keeping their hair up to regulations was...

My Recurring Decimal

Your life is a sequence of digits Repeating it’s self indefinitely One sin, one habit, one flaw That keeps recurring Mine is nymphomania Even without trying, my legs spread After the decimal point of salvation You have that digit that’s not rounding up A recurring...

Treble’s trouble… a musical love story

Treble clef, the environ of all femininity, awaited her soloist’s theme. A beautiful melody soon found herself in need of harmony, although the sharps she sang could not raise her soulful notes, flattened as they were by longing’s lower registers. The bass clef...

The Orphan People

America has founding fathers. Much of the rest of the world has founding tyrants. Perhaps this explains today’s many stark differences between the US and everyone else. I was born in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine four months before USSR’s collapse. Now, over...

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

I received an email from a man whose son is currently serving eleven and a half years in prison for a non-violent drug offense. He told me that his son read an article about me in the Omaha World Herald and wanted to reach out to me. After connecting with Brett...

Home is where my sister is – and she’s just moved

Some people talk behind other people’s backs. I merely write behind their backs… I would prefer to write only about me, but my life is inextricably linked to other people who simply must protrude in my writings. If I could write anonymously, I would. I would even...

Flipping my Lid

Describing me as a high strung individual, is a fairly accurate description. I tend to move about pretty quickly. Most of the time, I run around in what you might call, a state of panic. Unless I sit down, then I instantly pass out. During the day, I often feel as if...

How to Master the Skill of Saying Goodbye

I say goodbye. A lot. It’s been part of my job for the last 20+ years. Over this time, I’ve worked with thousands of international students, scholars, wives, couples, and families. Most of them stay in my city for 18 months to two years. It’s like a revolving door to...

How to paint yourself a Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Sometimes you have got to do it yourself. I planted my cane-wood chair out in the backyard. It was a starry night. No moon. Perfect. Just the way I wanted it. It is hard to have such a night in the city. I was delighted. I run back to the kitchen to fetch my bowl of...

Our Tulips Did Not Bloom in Time, a poem

Our tulips did not bloom in time, this March both cold and wet, rather sun and warmth left us destitute of their hues. And yet… We that have basic means bought bouquets, better than those of home, minus sentiment. Ages ago those foreign bulbs cost small fortunes. Not...

An Old Man’s Concerns for the Next Generation

Joshua reflects on Israel’s past and expresses concerns for it’s future. [Based on Joshua 23–24] I remember back when I took over the reigns from Moses. My hands trembled with the responsibility of leading. I was so worried about what might go wrong. “Do I have what...

NEVER IMPRESS A GIRL WITH FIRE (PART II)

Click If you missed part I The Good-Ole-Days Series #7 Remember when… Influence can be a powerful teacher, if you cultivate and use them wisely. ~JCG By John C. Gyorki SO, IT BEGINS I took my cardboard pencil box home from school to store and collect cigarette butts....

Burning Desire

I’m not sure who thought wood-burning would make a good class in middle school but I sure jumped at the chance. It beat sitting through another one of those other classes, like math. Yuck! Besides, what preteen boy would pass up essentially turning wood into charcoal?...

Never Impress A Girl With Fire (Part 1)

The Good-Ole-Days Series #6 Remember when… Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. ~ Charles Caleb Colton MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO Monkey see monkey do! A pidgin style phrase introduced into our culture around the early 1920’s. It simply means to learn a process...

How I Became Famous (It’s not what you think)

It was a revelation to me that relationships were the most important part of being a Cosmetologist and an Instructor. This was a struggle for me. As a military child, I moved around quite a bit. You could say I grew up without any roots. Before the age of the internet...

A Dogged Pursuit of the Truth

A poetic thought piece. I almost lost my mind today but found it along with the point. An old dog lays on a pillow twice his size. His head entombed in a cone facing sunlight, as the day dwindles to an end. I obsess on intangibles. My to-do’s caught in an entanglement...

Life Change

Newfound Freedom Selling Everything In sight with delight.   Current Stage of Life Calls for less, not more.   Freedom! Fun awaits! Where will we go next?   Just go! Everywhere! The world’s a playground.   Get out! Gotta go! Where’s our next cuisine?   Visit Nicole at...

Becoming An Instructor Taught Me Four Things

After getting my license in Cosmetology, I immediately enrolled in the instructor program. Simultaneously, I started my first salon job in which I worked five days a week. This left two twelve-hour days for me to take my Instructor classes. As a result of working full...

My Music. Your World.

Do you remember the time you still had a my music folder on your computer with all your best tracks burgled, borrowed or stolen? In this week’s article share with you some images of my time as a Durban Povo… Durban Povo : “Cool White Guy in Durban Area who can’t get...

Listen to Your Mother. You Just Might Win an Oscar

Tom Hooper’s mother had been invited to attend the reading of a play with some friends. She really didn’t want to go, as it didn’t sound like a very exciting way to spend an evening. However, it turned out to be a date with destiny. Once she got home from the event,...

Why Children Are Our Greatest Teachers

I have a very easy tell when I am nervous, excited or scared, I stutter. From the moment my wife told me that she was pregnant, right up until the birth of our first son, it was not very difficult to figure out how I was handling it, I was in full-out machine-gun...

How a Hair Massacre Got Me Here

While attending high school in Germany, during the late 80’s, I became mesmerized by New Wave and Goth culture. I felt a strong desire to look like every member of the bands I listened to. Especially my favorites, Depeche Mode and The Cure. This led to my inevitable...

The Exhibition Challenge: Negotiations

Day 19 of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

The Exhibition Challenge: Why Not?

Day 20 (FINAL) of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her...

Let Love Carry Us Through Space and Time

Day 18 of the Touch with Good Challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

Shift Gears in a Sticky Situation

Before enlisting in the Army, I lived in Germany. The amount of things to see and do was endless. Rich history, castles, museums, and bordering countries that people pay thousands of dollars every year just to visit for a week at a time. Even driving on the autobahn...

El Camino de Santiago: Connecting People

Day 17 of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

Looking for My Authentic Self

“Authenticity is about being true to who you are.” Michael Jordan STRATEGIC PLAN The past couple of years have been worthwhile reading about and researching the craft of writing. I have taken in and digested so much information about the topic with hopes of...

El Camino de Santiago: You’re Never Alone

Day 15 of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

Martin Luther Had A Dream. Dodge Ram Exploited It.

In a Super Bowl ad, Dodge Ram used Dr. King’s words from a sermon to sell a truck — It backfired! The Dodge Ram ad pitted spiritual against material, demeaning the civil rights movement and people that embodied it. Dodge had an idea: to sell a truck using Martin...

El Camino de Santiago: Thy Pain Shall Be Erased

Day 16 of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

Scarred for Life

On most pairs of jeans, there are five pockets. Two located on the back, two in the front and then that little one that you usually find nestled inside the right front pocket. I never really understood what that little pocket was for but when I saw what she did, I was...

Flowers for 8th of March

Day 11 of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

It’s a Game of Give and Take

So this is my introduction. It’s me, Rowen Smith. I am quite a cool guy from Cape Town and I do have an opinion and also a sense of humor and also an attitude. I do swear a lot, so sometimes I’m gonna swear and I hope you’re cool with that… but tonight. I’ll keep it...

My First Barbie

Day 12 of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

The Butterfly Effect

Day 14 of the Touch with Good challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch...

Hand Painted Greetings

One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch with Good/ kindness (originally in...

Something Nice to Make You Happy

One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch with Good/ kindness (originally in...

Fear of the dark

I’m not sure how it starts, this fear of the dark. We all have some form of it, causing our minds to play tricks on us. What lurks in the shadows of the basement?  What will I find if I open the closet?  Did anyone else hear that noise?  Why is it that we always turn...

We Have a Heart

One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch with Good/ kindness (originally in...

Audacious Bartering

One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch with Good/ kindness (originally in...

I’ll Wait

A poem about winter Branches bare before me naked, trembling trees cold is slithering around to soon devour me quiet isolation nothing left to do pulling blankets over me I’ll wait til winter’s...

Arresting Development

My wife and I dated for a very short period of time before we tied the knot. During this courting period, we tried to spend as much time together as possible. Yes, it was that kind of love that makes everyone sick. You know, because we still liked each other. When...

Feeding My Inner Road Rage

I wrote this while stopped in traffic, so it’s probably longer than it needs to be — just like my wait at 34th street. Today it took me four cycles of the traffic light to make it across, which gave me plenty of time to feed my road rage. This intersection at...

A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed

One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch with Good/ kindness (originally in...

Where Did That Rock Come From?

The Good-Ole-days Series #5 Remember when… When we are no longer able to change a situation-we are challenged to change ourselves. ~ Victor E. Frankl GRAYLING, MICHIGAN I had no idea how this trip would affect me for the rest of my life. Terror lurked underneath the...

Personal Brand and Reputation

Day 2 of the Touch with Good story challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Needless to say, sometimes our professional relations grow into genuine...

The Kids and the Christmas Coins

Day 1 of the Touch with Good story challenge One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to get involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision. Needless to say, sometimes our professional relations grow into genuine...

Vampires Unite: Live Action Role Players

Players Describe Player Community as Family 7 Corners Pub in Falls Church has been taken over by area Vampires. Or that’s how members of the live action role-playing (LARP) group, Night Falls, would describe it. “There are two different styles of LARP. There is what...

Crappy Day

Grade school had its challenges for most people, but for me, it was especially difficult. My level of awkwardness out-shined all of the other students. It seemed as if there were only two or three kids at a time that were willing to associate themselves with me or...

Bike Versus Boy

Walking to and from school was always an adventure. My family lived in a military housing neighborhood that was quite a distance from the school. In order to get to there, we had to walk through our area, as well as another entire neighborhood. If I were to go back to...

Fantastic Feasts

And where not to find them Byline credit to K. Akers for helping me see the magic of the beasts as she sees them. Over school break, my daughter left her case… I mean her lunch box at school. I tell myself it won’t be a big deal because knowing school will shut down...

Scooped! Dumpster Diving Pays Off

Ninety-four degrees Fahrenheit, a couple of shrubs, and a hot Oklahoma parking-lot would usually motivate anyone to move along quickly. But this was not your ordinary family driving to the local and very neighborly grocery store — if you consider neighborly to mean...

How to Survive the First Year of Marriage

They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. If you can make it past this benchmark, it’s all downhill from there. This statement might be true because we definitely had some issues during our first year. It probably didn’t help that we only knew each...

Reflections in the Pit

Joseph wonders about Father God’s promises. It’s so dark and damp down here. Luckily there was some mud at the bottom to help break my fall. Although I’m sure it has ruined my robe, even though it can’t see to tell. How did my life get to this point? I thought...

Do You See Me?

The walking wounded are everywhere, Waiting for someone to reach out and care. The world is harsh and unfair. So many hurting people in despair, Wanting to voice their troubles and share, How much they are in need of prayer. Please open your eyes and be aware, How...

My Fear of Spiders

I am afraid of spiders. There are many reasons why, but the scientific reason is, they freak me out. It didn’t help much, that I lived in the south for a large portion of my life. Places in which the infamous black widow and the terrifying brown recluse both reside....

Dust

Here is God with dust on his feet With us, the children he came to meet. Sitting on the ground,   I need his laugh and his accepting smile, I think I’ll stay with him for a while. Sitting on the ground   Dust on his hands, and sunlight in his hair The great I Am,...

Evel Knievel – If You Only Knew, Part II

Part 4 of The Good Ole Days Series. Find other stories in this series here.) “I am a guy who is, first of all, a businessman. I’m not a stunt man. I’m not a daredevil. I’m an explorer.” Evel Knievel Here's Part I (in case you missed it). School's out Finally, the...

Mommy, You’re Beautiful

So, there I was… (That’s the beginning of every fantastic story if you’re a member of the Akers family. We use that prompt to entertain each other and tell countless stories. Sorry for the brief interruption — Back to the story.) By-line credit to my girls for helping...

This is Why I Miss How Things Used to Be

We need to talk It started out as a joke. Someone noticed if I didn’t have eye contact with the person I was talking to, I’d stop talking. One of the others in our group thought it would be funny to see what would happen if the lights were turned off. So they had to...

I Lost My Brother to Trump

My brother and I were always close until recently. He supported Trump, and I did not. Like many families fractured by partisanship, my brother and I had aligned with opposing tribes. I’m not surprised it happened. Trump was a perfect fit for my brother — Someone who...

Santa’s helper needs some attention

On the outside, I sported a conservative, black wool coat, black tights and ankle boots with a red scarf — and a Santa cap jauntily angled atop my head. I wasn’t purposely hiding my elf dress. In fact, I was slightly disappointed by my reflection in the mirror as I...

Twas Five Nights Before Christmas

‘Twas five nights before Christmas And all through the home No one was stirring Because mom was alone   The guys had all headed To the movies to buy Tickets to watch Star Wars Last Jedi   So mom in her sweats Sat down on her chair surrounded by pets and not giving a...

Simple Holidays with Kids

The holiday season is magical, but often tainted with so many consumeristic messages that the season can quickly morph into the “season of gimme’s.” When the kids were younger, the “I want’s” typically started at my house before Halloween, with the boys hollering at...

Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas

An artistic look at Christmas Painted by Janis in Batik Watercolour Art by Janis Cox — from years gone by And from our front yard to your house. Let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas. A look at our inside creche: “For to us a child is born, to us a son...

How to Have Perfect Holidays

The holidays are upon us! We’re a good couple weeks into the joy and mayhem. In my neighborhood, some Halloween lights transformed into Christmas lights overnight. As if by magic. As wonderful as holidays are–or could be–we tend to allow unwanted stress to find its...

Honeymoon Kidnapping

We were headed back to the cruise ship, after a long day of walking around the island of St. Thomas. We just finished touring and shopping when we found ourselves standing in a parking lot being approached by a stranger. Just like the way car salesmen comes running...

Perfectly Simple Potato Soup

Cooking should not be complicated The Potato Soup Recipe I give this recipe out all the time — its great for adults and kids, vegan, vegetarian and omnivores can all adapt this recipe. To download a PDF go → here. To watch the video go here → video. Yes, I could live...

Grasping for Christmas

In a world filled turmoil and strife, we are all looking for some good news. When the television is filled with negativity, we find ourselves spiraling into a dark place in our soul. Our social media feeds are overloaded with news that causes fear and trepidation...

Scuba Disaster

It was my idea to sign us up for a bunch of excursions during our honeymoon. The cruise line offered so many and I signed up for two per island. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. My wife just wanted to lay out in the sun and relax on a beautiful beach. St....

Beloved Child

Take comfort in the knowledge that There will always be A hand to hold tight your own in its grasp; Always a safe-haven but a step away; Always a shoulder for your head; Always an embrace to melt away the strain; Always refreshment for your thirst.   Nothing too big,...

My yard is a metaphor for my life

When I was a waitress, back during my college years, I often heard and learned to use the phrase “in the weeds.” We used it when we were exceedingly busy — as in just short of complete chaos at the greasy spoon restaurant where I served breakfast and lunch. I might...

Evel Knievel  – If You Only Knew: Part I

The Good-Ole-days Series #3 Remember when… “I thought I was bulletproof or Superman there for a while. I thought I’d never run out of nerve, never.” Evel Knievel WARNING I’m sure you have heard the disclosures from advertisers, “Don’t try this at home…blah blah blah.”...

Our Honeymoon Isn’t Over

The first compromise within our marriage, was deciding where to take our honeymoon. My wife, Lindsay, wanted to go somewhere hot. A place where she could lay on a beach and enjoy the sun. My idea was to go somewhere in which we could see as many sights as possible....

The Way I Struggle

You don’t understand my struggle? This comes as no surprise I don’t get them either, And I’m looking through my own eyes. Little things can shake me, Like a memory, a phrase, a glance, Is all it takes to knock me From my sure-footed stance. Im not proud of how I...

God, Sometimes I Am Weary

God, sometimes I am weary, my eyes can barely see, my thoughts get jumbled in my mind, I simply want to be. He answers me with gentleness, you know I know what’s best, how about you sit with me and I will give you...

Abraham’s Impossible Request

My hands are trembling. My heart is still racing. I rushed home after the experience and I’ve been laying in my tent, sweating, and battling my labored breathing ever since. I had the boldness to request of my Lord to change His plans and I have not recovered from the...

This Vacation Tried to Kill Me

For my twenty-eighth birthday I decided to take a trip to Ireland. Because I was already living in Europe at the time, I thought it would be fun, to visit the country that my mother’s side of the family came from. With a backpack, a Fromer’s vacation guide to Ireland...

Strings

Sherry Henson is the most incredible woman on the face of the planet. Seriously, I’ve checked. I’ve double-checked. Heck, I’ve even cross-referenced it. The proof is undeniable and iron-clad; there could be no one more perfect than her. And she’s my soulmate. Now, I...

I Almost Ruined My Wedding

My wife Lindsay and I met in hair school. She had been enrolled as a student for about three months, when I was hired as an Instructor. There was a mutual attraction between us and eventually we started dating. It didn’t take very long for me to propose to her....

The Good Ole Days Series #2 – Penny on the Train Track

FOREWORD: My father was a mischievous little fella as a child in the late 1930’s, in war torn Hungary, during and after World War II. Well, I should say, all his life. Since I am a product of my father. I became a genetically enhanced version of him. He loved to tell...

Magic Soap

A white lace bra, matching panties, and black ankle socks come off one by one until nothing remains but skin. I neatly fold and set the clothes on the fake marble counter next to the many bottles of moisturizer, anti-wrinkle creams, and face wash. Naked, I stand in...

Reflections on a Quote About Giving

I am a quote collector. Always have been. I kept a quotes notebook when I was a teenager, mostly recording memorable passages from books I was reading at the time. I wish I still had that little notebook, but it was lost during one of the many moves in my life. These...

Sickness And Motherhood

“Why don’t you relax? I asked again and again You are sick. We will be alive still. Why do you keep working through the pain ??? “ There was a time not long ago, Maybe a decade but not more … I was not a mother but had one And constantly her persistence I abhorred....

My Baby Was Born Without A Face

It finally happened, we were going to have our first child. A daughter, who would change our lives forever. It was an exciting time for my wife and me. One of Lindsay’s life goals was to be a mother and this dream was becoming a reality. Impatient is not a strong...

Scars

Everyone seems to have it all together. Everyone, that is, except for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been different. My body is disfigured, covered in a vast multitude of bruises, deformities, and scars that fester and boil when exposed to the air. Over the...

Does Electric Shock Cure Bed Wetting?

In my dream is a running stream that slips over and around smooth stones. As it travels along it dumps into a river and begins to pick up speed, crashing into larger sharper rocks. Large white caps appear as the water churns turbulently. At this point, it’s course...

How to Celebrate this Season: Find Beauty

I wrote this as a poem to share the joy, wonder, and glory I experience as I connect in love with international women (and their families) from all around the world.    I Find Beauty I gaze into the translucent blue eyes of my Ukrainian friend Savor the spices of...

Babies and Puppies: How to Keep Your Sanity

And, how to keep your sanity Your heart melts. The furry head tilts to one side, her eyes big. The puppy seems to say, “Buy me.” You can’t resist. You rub your bulging belly and walk away with the fuzzy creature, future exciting. What could be better than a soft puppy...

The Good-Ole-Days Series

Remember when… THE RUNNER I like reflecting back on parts of my childhood; some of it good, some of it, not so much. Overall, I survived. Life lessons are the ones I am particularly drawn too. What enjoyment do I find in this activity? I like digging deep within my...

Everything Has Changed: Adam Struggles After the Fall

It's so cold. The sun is still shining in exactly the same place is was a moment ago, except now the warm rays must be bouncing around me. Instead of its warmth I only feel the judgment its rays carry. Why must the sun be so bright? All it does is expose what is meant...

The Future of Death

The Ongoing Life Lesson that began in 2013 Yesterday was a friend’s 65th birthday. She asked her friends to share the most important life lesson that, up until now, has made each of us happier, better, or stronger. I knew the answer immediately. All the emotion that I...

Renee’s Culinary Resume

A timeline of food, love and passionate learning I’ve been working in a “kitchen” for the last 48 years. At first it was a chore, then a labor of love and now the kitchen is my sanctuary. A sacred place to honor the Earth and my family and friends. 1969 — 1972: At age...

Lukewarm

“Come on in, Jeffrey. Take a seat.” I walk into Pastor Pete’s office. As soon as I step foot on the peach-colored carpet, a change enraptures the air. It feels almost sterile, like a hospital room in between patients. The burning scent of bleach, lemon, and lavender...

Stuck in a Language Rut

I’m not the only person who gets stuck in a language rut. I know, because I hear it in others’ speech all the time. You know, those annoying words and phrases we insert into our speech because our brains and mouths aren’t working at the same speed? Um, uh, and ah are...

A Long Drive Home

A long drive home. A beautiful April Sunday, my life as a carefree teenager was in full swing. Finished with the Mass we attended every Sunday, I prepared to meet my friends for some time at the beach. The phone rang cheerfully in the kitchen, and I picked it up. “Hi,...

Roller Skating Fiasco

My life has been one of many embarrassing moments, and fitting in has never been one of my strong suits. I’m ninety-two percent positive that I could give Napoleon Dynamite a run for his money. Growing up in the 70s and early 80s, roller skating was the coolest thing...

Trailer Life

At the age of 3.5, my dad was reassigned to the Air Force. We moved from a beautiful countryside in England to a backwoods, country red neck area, of Sumter, South Carolina. My parents didn’t have a lot of money and so they bought affordable housing in the form of a...

Rambo Knife Plus Teen Boy Equals ER

  When I turned 13, I proposed a purchase to my mom and dad. I know that it was probably something that they had been waiting their whole lives to hear. With great enthusiasm, I exclaimed, “I want a Rambo knife!” Now I know what you’re thinking, “He’s going to hurt...

Adventures in Walking to School and Back

In 1979 my family lived in military housing at Shaw AFB, South Carolina. I was about nine and my brother was about eight. The school we went to was pretty close to where we lived, so we walked to school and back each day together. There are many fond memories of...

Cursed: Cain’s Tale

Here I am, kneeling in the dry, dusty soil. My head in my hands as tears turn the dirt on my cheeks to pathways of clumpy mud. The air around me feels as dry as the soil under me and the wind burns my skin, as if it is also angry with me. All in a matter of moments my...

How to Paint With Plastic: Simple Instructions

A lesson in watercolour using plastic printing techniques. Today I used a plastic bag to make prints and create an underwater scene in watercolour. I have called this Plastic Bag Printmaking. I loved the printing process when I used the styrofoam print to make a...

I Love You!

My pulse raises, my knees grow weak, I am giddy in your presence. I cannot live without seeing you, touching you, smelling you, hearing your voice. I can’t get enough of you. I love you! This is a love letter, but not the kind you expect. Family, I love you! Let’s...

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