Friday, September 24, 2010

Just Keep Doing It

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

You do  not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You  have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

~ Martha Graham

Found in Carol Lloyd's Creating a Life Worth Living and cross-referenced to thinkexist.com

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sometimes It's the Mood


Sometimes It's the Mood
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
While this photo looks nothing like the real scene and nothing like the original photograph, it does a better job of conveying the surreal sense of peace of that moment at that place than either.

The sense of vast vistas, of human presence, of near civilization yet deep in the heart of nature, the limitless sky and the curve of the land letting me go all the way to the horizon provide the contrast needed to bring each piece into focus in the whole.

I'll be shocked when I go to this place again and it doesn't look like this picture but I know it will feel the same way even so.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

To Be Together

This morning I saw a dark- haired man in lycra bike shorts on a slick tired bike looking back quickly, chin up, smiling, for his partner who is far behind on a fat-tired cruiser. She is dressed in relaxed-fit khaki pedal pushers, her lips pressed into a thin line. He wants her to be next to him I think, but he does not realize that requiring them to go his pace means she cannot.

This pattern was repeated among many couples.  A few men were wise enough to trail behind their beloved, on rollerblades, on a bike, running beside, at her pace so they could be together, a concession made in love with apparently ample reward.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

4 Ways to Keep Your Inner Alligator At Bay

I lived my own poverty of spirit today, when I actually thought that someone was winning over me, forgetting that I am cared for, forgetting that there is abundance in the world, forgetting that I am given all that I have and lashed out to protect myself. The alligator came out in me.

There are at least 3, okay 4 ways to keep the alligator asleep:
1. Remember that I am truly loved by God
2. Try to look at things from His perspective.
3. Trust in His abundant love for me
4. Trust that no matter what goes wrong, He can make it into something good. He is the ultimate creator that way.

I'll get plenty of rest tonight and try again tomorrow.  His mercies are new every morning and so shall mine be.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who Are You?

I've seen the same idea a number of times and in many diverse places this week: Am I / are you living your personal unique calling or are we doing something else?

While reading Phyllis Theroux's The Journal Keeper, I found this quote:

You have a day to perform.
Do anything else, do any number
Of things, occupy your time fully
And yet if you do not do this task,
All your time will have been wasted. - Rumi

In my Crosswalk newsletter, in an article titled "Is Your Work Your Calling or Your Profession," Dan Miller, the author, refers to an old Hasidic tale that addresses the desire of many to be someone else and the importance of being the best unique self we can be. Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man, said, "In the coming world, they will not ask me: 'Why were you not Moses?' Rather they will ask me: 'Why were you not Zusya?'"

And in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 12:29-31 God didn't give everyone the same job, gifts or skill set.  Some are healers, some are teachers, etc....

I am not sure I am living my unique calling.  But I can ask God to show me. So can you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Golden Grass


Golden Grass
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
I have heard photographers' refer to the golden glow of late afternoon as "sucker's light" with a curled lip for those who succumb to the charms of the sun at dusk as if anyone who was transported by the sight was somehow inferior in intellectual capability.

Yet all of creation is a testament to the existence of, at the very least, a powerful creator, and for me, to God turning "sucker's light" into jeering for falling in love with the maker of all that beauty and for praising Him.

How could I? from their point of view. But from mine, how could I not praise Him in the face of such overwhelming beauty which still shines through even in a troubled world.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heart of My Heart

For the last month and a half, I have daily enjoyed Heart of My Heart by Kristin Armstrong. It's a book of 365 Reflections on the Magnitude and Meaning of Motherhood.

It was one of the books recommended to me by Sarah Bagby, the owner of Watermark Books, on-line and in Wichita, KS. She had other great recommendations as well.

Originally, I thought of this book for my sister who just had her 2nd child this year. But as I read, day after day, I realized that while Kirsten was a mother of 3 and was writing for mothers, 90% of her reflections were also useful to those who didn't fit that category either because their children were grown and gone or because they had none either yet or to begin with.

Kirstin has a unique platform from which to speak.  She's a runner, writes for the magazine Runner's World, is a mom, is a single mom, is a divorcĂ©e, was formerly married to 6 time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. She's an accessible role model both admirable and unfinished.

I'll still buy this book for my sister.  She's a mom and a runner herself just like Kirstin. But I'll keep this copy for me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Athleta Gear Review

First, the full disclosure.  Athleta doesn't know who I am and I bought all the stuff I have out of my own pocket. There, feel better?

When your jeans feel too tight and shorts are too cool and you want something soft and comforting to wear on your legs, try the Fusion Pant. I plan to spend the weekend in these and may stop wearing jeans altogether. They also run well and, though I haven't tried it yet, I bet they do yoga well too.

Pair these pants with this Equator Tank for a busy backside view.

Friday, September 10, 2010

10,000 Views on Flickr

This week I turned 10,000 views old on Flickr.

 Believe it or not, this image of a Chanel Pillow Stitch Eyeglass Case is 3x the most viewed image.

It has been a slow ramp over 4 years. I posted 6 images in 2006, skipped 2007, and a handful in 2008. In 2009 I posted 10 pages worth and in 2010, so far I'm up to 14 pages.

Out of all that, Flickr calls "Tulip Skirt" (below) my most interesting image and sure enough, it has the most comments and favorites.

Almost a year ago in October I started participating in Project 365 where your goal is to make or take a photo a day. It has certainly made photographing a more regular part of my weekly if not daily life. I'm on Day 296 and plan to finish by Thanksgiving.

If you'd like to give Project 365 a try, look for BD365 on Flickr for Blissfully Domestic 365. You'll find a welcoming group there.

Danger Burn Out Ahead

I'm a workaholic, and I didn't know it!

I subscribe to The Little Pink Book, an e-mail newsletter associated with Pink Magazine. In this week's issue, titled Women Achieve-aholics there was a link to a quiz that promised to tell me if I was in danger of burnout.  Trusting, I clicked....and after whack-a-mole-ing interfering pop ups navigated to the Forbes site to this quiz.

Perhaps my first tell-tale sign, I didn't bother to read the brief, very brief intro paragraph but went directly and immediately to the start button. Question 2: I get impatient when I have to wait for someone or when something takes too long (like reading the directions). Possible answers: never true, sometimes true, often true, always true.  How about something between often and always because I'm sure there's one or two times I don't get impatient....a year.

But hey, it's only question 2.  How bad can it be? But then I clicked often true or always true all the way to 10 and I realized I might have a problem.  But wait, maybe there's a lot of questions so this is just a small proportion! By the way, why are there more questions?  Isn't this enough?  Aren't we done yet?

But the next 5 questions my answers dropped down to between sometimes and often.  Maybe it's not so bad? And oh, by the way, how many more questions are there? Are we done yet?

Number 23 got me: I put more time and energy into my work than I do into my relationships with loved ones and friends.  Most definitely need to change that one.

After 25 questions I ended up with a score of 71 and a downer of a fortune cookie: "You are a workaholic. You could be on your way to burn-out, and your friends and family may be experiencing emotional repercussions as well."

Whew! I took the quiz again, thinking it must be wrong.  I got the SAME score....and the same doggie downer result. Time to do some thinking!

How about you?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time Out

I just read a fabulous post over at Pioneer Woman about the 10 Important Things that Ree has learned about blogging.  Her post is reminding me that I need to show up here daily, often, even if it's only a clam baked thought...or half of one. Because you appreciate consistency. Someone showing up day after day.  Frankly, so do I as a reader.

If you've been reading me I really appreciate it.  Your visits and comments are part of my existence proofs.

Lately, work has been so busy I feel like I'm skiiing down a diamond slope....on my face. But I know that life is like that for all of us to one degree or another so it's no excuse.

I'm off to grab a cup of coffee, pray earnestly for God to help me through the day to get up, dress up and show up. I'll ask the same for you. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Insolubles

Intractable seemingly insoluble problems are like a window painted shut, only the most precise of pressure will release the long solid seal without shattering the clear glass.

I can make my own list of barely tolerated insolubles. You too, I'm guessing.

Yet these problems have a shiny side.  They drive me to God. "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord." goes the song while Isaiah 40:31 says, "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

One piece of worldly advice I've absorbed is, "Do something, anything and change will follow."  Quite often, that something is pray. Pray for direction, for wisdom, for a spirit of endurance, joy and unity. The thing that changes in my insoluble problem may be my heart, my outlook.

I'm only beginning to understand in my finger bones how a journal is different from a written prayer, yet the 2 are like inseparable friends, walking hand in hand down the road. In my journal I recognize the sources of my discomfort and joy, the seemingly insoluble stuck shut areas. In my prayer I open them to the care of God and I take in and praise Him for His detailed care for me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Physicality of Phyllis Theroux

I've read Phyllis Theroux's introduction to The Journal Keeper twice.  She writes with a wonderful physicality that keeps me moving.

"...where my children were still scrabbling around with their fingers in plates of spaghetti."

The word "still", alliterative with scrabbling, is so critical to meaning.  Imagine the sentence without it. "Still" means something, like they were unaffected by what happened before the word "where".

"The practice of writing, of laboring long hours to buckle words around an idea and make a sentence slide across the page like Fred Astaire across a dance floor, lay ahead of me."

The contrast in movement between "buckle" and "slide" is one thing.  The comparison of a "sentence" which doesn't move to "Fred Astaire" (if you haven't seen a DVD of him dance, you should) another and the warm bronzed metal of a "buckle" to the blue abstract coolness of "idea" is another.  She's taking flesh and blood words, words of the body, of corporeality and fixing them to words of concept, of theoretical but not physical substance.  The joining of the 2 worlds in one sentence is breathtaking.

"Details that had been lost, like puzzle pieces in the sofa cushions, were retrieved and pressed back into the larger picture. Events that had come unglued from the calendar were put back in chronological order."

The  "Details that had been lost" are made physical by being compared to "puzzle pieces" so now an idea is a concrete thing.  The "puzzle pieces" move because they are "retrieved and pressed back into the larger picture".

In a high tech highly conceptual world, this ability to turn ideas we can't see into something that obeys the laws of physics and gravity like our bodies do, is critical.....to navigating the constant stream of new, to creating new business ideas and platforms, and most importantly, for understanding what impact a new meteor of an idea may have on the constellation of where I live, what I do for a living and whom I'm with. In short, the physicality of my life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Eyes to Hear

China saucers rattle with thin
ceramic sound. Cups clink
accompanied by a sigh;
pot lids rattle with impatience.

A deaf couple signs, their waving low to the
table and tender, like the waves of a quiet lake
lap the shore.

A man with thick fingers
sits across from a tousled
woman who pays. His hard eyes wander
the aisles and tables. Hers flit
to and from him, checking. But,

the deaf couple does not see;
their eyes are rooted deeply in the other,
like the roots of a whispering cottonwood
that searched for water below the dry creek bed and found it.

A gray-haired man with jowls and glasses
reads the crackling paper he holds in front of him
like a shield. The woman with him reads the message
written by the back and begins, "You always,"
interrupted by, "I never...but you,"
and turns away. But

the deaf couple does not hear;
their inner ears tuned to an outer silence,
as different in sound as the sibilant wheat fields
of Kansas are from the raucous streets of New York --

a golden silence
that leaves room for eyes to hear
the mouth of the hand of another.

by Jennifer Henderson
First published in Time of Singing July 1998