Tuesday, December 25, 2007

taking a break...

Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum
Lucy's run off to the Caribbean
A week in the tropics and she'll be alright
Sporting a tan when she comes into sight

See you in the new year!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

i couldn't resist sharing...

...with my "perfect" blogging friends!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Christmas blessings to all of my wonderful readers! You have made my life richer this year with your presence (and that goes for all of you, too, who insist on remaining anonymous!!) Maybe today is the day to screw up your courage and stop for a moment to say "Merry Christmas, Lucy!"

Peace to you and yours.

collage by lucy of lucy 12.22.07

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blue Christmas

Here's a little simple entertainment for a break in this busy week.

I took the following shots while walking around my neighborhood last night and then came home to find this very inspiring rendition of "Blue Christmas" by Jon Bon Jovi. If you need a little hot throb (oops) I mean heart throb today...take a peek.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


...a continued reflection

Our heart is an amazing vessel that often lives in its shadow side. (Think “Tinman” in the Wizard of Oz…"If I only had a heart.” The heart is filled with blood vessels. Yes, vessels…carrying the lifeblood that runs through our veins. The blood that comes from our ancestors. My mother. My grandmothers. The “greats” I never knew.

Vessels of life. Petals of red. Red roses. Red poppies. Red wine. Blood. Sacrificial blood. Dying so that we might live. Opening up space. A field of flowers. Open and wild. Making room for forgiveness. Making room for me. For only when I love myself deeply can I do the same for others. Rainbow’s promise. The pot of gold. Vessels.

Vessels of crystal and glass. Of wood and earth. They are all fragile. They break. They crack. So, care for the vessel. The holy carrier of God. Hollow me out, Lord. File away the rough edges so that I may be filled with you. Let the lifeblood flow freely through the vessels of my heart.

"blood vessels" found here

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vessels, Empty Space & Advent

Yesterday was a day filled with shadows and vessels. It is raining here in Seattle (no surprise there.) My living room is still filled with furniture from the basement and contractors go in and out of my house. A list sits patiently by my computer, but I did not want to go anywhere yesterday…no driving, no errands, no last minute Christmas duties. And so I stayed in for the day and made a collage. The topic: vessels. I asked myself “why vessels?” several times throughout the process.

What do vessels represent to me? Holding. A bowl. A womb. Cupped hands. A shell. A box. A gift. A decanter. The arms of God. Safety. Confinement. Cups & glasses. Crystal. Pottery. Earthenware. More questions: What am I trying to hold? What do I need to let go of? What does advent really mean?

Finally in the evening, I visited Back Road Journey and read these words:

“This gift (empty space) takes me down a path I may not have chosen otherwise: emptiness, brokenness, darkness, without-ness. The invitation is there, I have only to cross the threshold. And I am discovering that there are layers to this threshold, layers of emptiness and brokenness to live through. Perhaps this is what John the Baptist spoke of when he said, “Prepare the way.” What if prepare isn’t about pulling out all the Christmas boxes from the attic or basement in order to get the house just right or about baking up a storm but rather it’s about emptying, being without, getting rid of, all in order to make room? Could it be that it’s in the empty spaces and brokenness where there’s room for Emmanuel to be born?”

Something shifted in me as I read her words and I began to see the connection between vessels, empty space and advent. Preparing the way. Smoothing the vessel. Making room. Letting go. And this morning these words continued the journey. What edges need to be sheared away? Rough places chipped off to make space for God? For forgiveness and holiness. Grace & mercy. Filled up only to be emptied again and again. Opening the door to my own dark places. Seeing the images that still lie in shadow. There is much to consider in this time of waiting.

In closing, I will share one last thing (although another post is already brewing.) Here are words from Jan L. Richardson’s, Night Visions. They have been working on me for nearly a week since I read them. (Not surprisingly, they also were perfectly printed at the end of Redbarn’s post ☺ .) What places may still yearn to be hollowed out for you?

You hollow us out, God,
so that we may carry you,
and you endlessly fill us
only to be emptied again.

Make smooth our inward spaces
and sturdy,
that we may hold you
with less resistance
and bear you
with deeper grace.

collage by lucy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A is for Anniversary

While doing a little writing this morning, I decided to see what I was up to at this time last year. I came across this fun game and decided it was worth posting again this year. I loved looking at my list and realized it still holds true for me today. Have fun reading and I hope you might decide to take a break from whatever you are doing and play a little!!

This is a fun little game I discovered at Christine's Blog who originally found it at Cathy’s blog. (I don’t happen to know Cathy, however, we are now connected through this letter game and if I had the letter, C, I would add the word Connection, Christine and now Cathy.) Many who played the game said it was harder than you think. I imagined it would be hard to come up with 10, however, my brain switched into high gear and I had a list of about 45 “A’s” before I told myself to slow down and pick 10. So here goes.

1. Christine gave me the letter A for Awakening, so I shall start there. Awakening my creative spirit, awakening to each new day and experience, awakening to life around me. These are most definitely things I love!

2. Advent season has been an amazing time of waiting and discovery for me this year. Great expectation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and anticipation of what new birth is happening in my life.

3. Aging. I wavered a bit on whether or not I truly love aging. It is one of those love/hate dilemmas, however, aging has provided me with a new perspective and a new zest for life that I did not have in my younger years. It provides a preciousness to each new day and each new year. I turned 50 on September 11 of this year, so hurray for Aging!!

4. Asking questions and seeking answers. I love this, particularly done in community or in my quiet time with the Lord. The beauty is that there are no pat answers and half the fun comes in the asking and seeking.

5. I love Angels! Doesn’t everyone?? I think one of the things I imagine and envy most about angels is their wings. I love the possibility that they can fly which leads me to #6 and….

6. Airplanes. Airplanes take me to far away places for adventure and reunion with friends. My favorite airplane was the tiny one that I jumped out of and flew through the air myself. The air was buoyant and felt like the hands of God gently holding me in my downward flight. It was…

7. Amazing! Life just gets more and more amazing to me. There are new adventures each day, new awakenings, new people, places and things to discover. Truly Amazing!!

8. I could not finish a list of things I love with out including at least one author, because books are one of my very favorite things. I choose Anne Lamott to grace this list. I love her irreverent reverence and her advice from Bird by Bird that if you want to be a writer, “Write!!” These are words that get me going when I often wonder where my writing will lead. Just write!

9. As with authors, the list would not be complete without mentioning a few places since I love adventure and travel. I love Asheville, NC. I have had dreams of moving there and becoming an artist full time. Arizona is wonderful with its beautiful deserts and warm dry climate. Alaska must be fabulous because it produced my dear friend, Maria, and Africa birthed my wonderful husband, Bill—both are places I hope to visit in this lifetime. (Australia is also on my very short list of places that I love before ever having been there.)

10. Since this list of gratitude and love could go on and on, I will end with Abundance and Amen!!

Thank you, Christine and Cathy. If anyone else would like to play, send me a note and I will send you a letter. Blessings and Abundance to you during this Amazing season of Advent. Amen.

photo by h3images

Monday, December 17, 2007

Advent Journey Continues

So, what do you do when you have too many words, thoughts and events running through your head that it would take pages and pages to even begin? I realized this morning that when that happens to me often a poem will pop out. Advent continues to be an amazing journey for me. I have been very nearly overwhelmed by the thoughtful and thought-provoking responses I have received on my last few posts. I am blessed by each of you in ways you likely cannot imagine. I am grateful. I am humbled. I am pondering.

This graphic is a collage card I made last week at an evening workshop. I am still unraveling what this art has to say to me. The poem is one of a continuing journey; weaving times, places, people, & events in and out. It seems appropriate to preface it with these words of Ronald Rolheiser, given to me in a post comment from Gabrielle.

"Advent should not be confused with Lent. The crimson-purple of Advent is not the black-purple of Lent. The former symbolizes yearning and longing, the latter repentence. The spirituality of Advent is about carrying tension without prematurely resolving it so that we do not short-circuit the fullness that comes from respecting love's rhythms. Only when there is enough heat will there be unity. To give birth to what's divine requires the slow patience of gestation."

she is most interesting to me
gazing at me through pools of brown
lovely eyes aglow
do not be afraid
it is a time of shedding & rebirth
an awakening
creative & colossal
shining in the shadows
hidden light revealed
ancient wisdom in 5 year old eyes
vibrant & watchful

she is most interesting to me
poppies in hand
serpent looming
entwined with god
one god
lives rippling outward in time
embracing the whole
the beloved
ancestors dance the bridge between day & night
angels float in shadow bright
golden shimmering
shadows joining light

she is most interesting to me
crown donned with flowers white
lucy of the light
patron saint of blind
mother earth
rebirth & new life
speak of shadows feared
step into them & see
they are filled with light
shadowy brilliance
sorting through life

yes, she is most interesting to me

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Preparing Space. Letting Go. Shedding.

“Why is there so much Lent in Advent? In this season of joy, why do I bump up against my wounds? The wise ones who journey with me remind me that there are cycles of shedding before there is conception, that birthing is painful and messy and loud, and that we find it so hard to let go, to open so that new life can emerge.” Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions

Preparing a space. Letting go. Shedding. Before me lies a table full of photos of a young girl. Me. I see my 2nd birthday; my fifth; another one or two. I think I look dorky. Sullen. Goofy. I think I look brilliant. Wise and beautiful. God’s perfect creation. One in need of constant shedding and letting go.

It is time to start letting go of resentments toward the imperfections of my childhood. I know that I was cared for although not always well. My parents were, after all, human—just like me. I was clothed in handmade creations. Were they made out of love or necessity or possibly both? At age eight, I fell off my bicycle and broke my front teeth and split my lip so badly that it would droop for several years until my mother took me for plastic surgery. Ironically, I appear to be most proud of my school picture taken after my teeth were broken for it is the only picture that bears my signature. The pictures are tiny and could easily have been lost over the years. I am grateful to see my young handwriting testifying to the spunk I had even in my brokenness.

I am grateful for the table full of pictures that I did not think existed. They show me that someone saw to it that my life was documented—perfectly & imprecisely. The school photos. A few snapshots. The glamour girl with my sixties “fall” (i.e. fake hair). A new bike at Christmas. The dangerous sled ride being pulled behind a mini-bike by my father. The trip to Niagara Falls that I wasn’t quite sure we had taken. My dad’s semi-truck. Skipper the dog. My cousin, Vicki who snuck olives from the table with me. My sophisticated sister and my skinny brother before he grew into his ears ☺. Mother holding me on the day I was born.

These photos are helping me shed that which I no longer need. They are marking the time to let love back in. My mother was a woman filled with imperfection. My father was often absent for long periods of time. Together, however, they raised three amazing children. “Good genes,” we’ve always said. “Good hearts” is probably more like it. This, of course, makes me think of my own children. May they grow up well in spite of me AND because of me. I love them the best I can…just as my parents loved me. Yes, it is a time of preparing space. Letting Go. Shedding. It is the time of Advent.

photo: Mom & Me

Everlasting Love

Many of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the time I was in kindergarten. Those memories hold images of skipping and playing and having the freedom to just be Me. That age (around 5 years old) has also been a place in time where it feels like things shifted for me. Kindergarten was a time of living fully in my true self as a little person and also the time that I became aware of the heaviness and darkness that exists in the world. (The entering of paradox, perhaps?)

My most joyous memories come from being in Mrs. Peck’s kindergarten class. It was a private little house just around the corner from my home. I remember the independence of being free to skip around the block on my way to school. To this very day, I can sense the embrace of Mrs. Peck when I hug women who feel like her. Her whole being resonated unconditional love.

Yesterday as I was sorting through some photographs, I came across a cherished picture of me with my beloved teacher. I remembered the photo and was delighted to find it again. The bonus of the day, however, was a letter in her handwriting which I do not ever recall reading before. The envelope had my name on it and said, “Kindergarten Report 1961-62.” While I could regale you with tales of my brilliance at this young age (and there is no doubt I was brilliant ☺), I was most struck by this paragraph.

“It has been most gratifying to watch her development. She is a sweet child and one any parent could be proud of and I know you are. Yes, she is quite right I do love her and it has been such a pleasure to have her in our class. She is most interesting to me.”

Obviously I had picked up on her love for me and shared it with my mother (with great emphasis no doubt.) I have always known deep in my heart that she loved me, but also questioned if I had built it up in my imagination. What a gift to find these words of confirmation almost 50 years after they were penned (for she had not only written them, but also underlined her words of love)! This is a huge affirmation of the power of unconditional love for it has sustained me in ways I cannot begin to fathom. I believe Mrs. Peck is a lovely example of Christ's incarnational love.

The timing, of course, could not be more appropriate. During this season of Advent that emphasizes the importance of waiting, I often ask, “Waiting for what?” An obvious answer is we wait for Christmas; for Christ’s coming. But I believe it is more than that for God is always with us as reminded by the name Emmanuel (translated - God with us) and evidenced through people such as Mrs. Peck. Most often we have no idea for what we are waiting. Little did I know that I was waiting to receive this confirmation of love that had marked my heart with indelible ink.

For what are you waiting this season of advent? Will you allow yourself to rest in the mystery?

photos: Mrs. Peck & me...circa 1961-62

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Tale of Lucy

There once was a beautiful girl with pools of deep brown eyes. She lived in a normal house in a quiet neighborhood and some would say she led a privileged life. From the outside it looked that way, but on the inside she felt as though she were locked in a tall tower. No one could climb the tower to reach her. In fact, no one ever really tried. Only the evil gremlins communicated with her and all they said was, “Sit still. Look pretty.”

Although she was, in deed, quite pretty, she never felt that to be true. And as far as “sitting still” went….well, all she really wanted to do was play and skip and laugh and shine. The gremlins were quite envious of this playful behavior and in their resentment, they cast a spell over the beautiful girl. They used sweet sounding words tinged with bitterness that gently lulled her to sleep. But, just before she went into a deep slumber, the girl realized that she was being tricked. She knew something was terribly wrong and deep in her heart she clung to the dreams of her childlike nature.

Alas, the spell still took hold and the young girl was silent for many years during which time she became bitter and resentful just like the gremlins. She was crabby and spiteful and often pushed her companions away with her nasty demeanor. One day, a very brave friend looked at the girl and said, “You are Lucy. Lucy Van Pelt. Charlie Brown’s nemesis.” Hearing the name and making the association was like being struck over the head with a large stick (or awakened from a deep dark sleep.)

The name stuck and the young girl (who was no longer so young) realized slowly, but surely that she was not really Lucy Van Pelt in character and she still wanted to play and skip and dance to music and to have her heart touched by those she loved. She came to learn that the more she knew about herself, the more she wanted to love and care for others in return. And so, she began to play again; and she started to shine; and music followed her everywhere she went.

Birds gave her special messages and dolphins danced along her path. She was full of light. It was as if she had her own magic wand and she could use it to help others see their own light. She glistened and glowed. She transformed back into who she had always been deep inside her heart. She played. She skipped. She did the gratitude dance. And one day, she learned that her new name, Lucy, meant light. She was not only Lucy Van Pelt, she was also St. Lucy—Patron St. of the blind.

She was playful and beautiful and her pools of deep brown eyes could see clearly now. When she was scared and under the spell of the gremlins, she would pull footballs out from under unsuspecting victims, but when she was grounded and filled with love, she was St. Lucia. She was Lucy in the sky. She glittered with diamonds and pearls of wisdom. She was magically fulfilled.

Today, the girl-turned-woman loves both her “Lucy’s.” They make the completeness of who she is. The dark and light. The serious and playful. The crabby and kind. She needs them both. And so, you see, the gift of Lucy (given to her by a very brave friend) was one of the greatest gifts she ever received. For without that gift, she would not be Lucy of the light and there would be no diamonds for her to share with the world.

Today is St. Lucy’s day. Please join me in celebrating the Light!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Love Your Inner Child Today!

Here's mine:

Your Inner Child Is Surprised

You see many things through the eyes of a child.

Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.

You cherish all of the details in life.

Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Eyes of My Ancestors

My quiet time continues to bring more and more new results. The most recent in the form of a poem prompted by Christine @ Abbey of the Arts. Part of me hesitated to even post this here, because it feels a bit melancholy. However, there was something very powerful in writing it that gave me a new way to look at things.

When I think of my ancestors, I am reminded of stern faces and more often than not words of criticism rather than kindness. Maybe it was due to the serious times they were raised in or possibly the influence of the Bible belt, but there never felt like there was much, if any, room for play or imperfection.

In penning this reflection, however, I became very aware of the many dimensions of these ancestral women . While their words may have stung me deeply, I believe I can bring something new to the world by breaking their ancient patterns of hiddenness and propriety. I pray that through the realization of my own dreams and forgiveness, these women can be honored in new and glorious ways.

the eyes of my ancestry.
hollow & vacant. cold & elusive. barren of love.
are they my eyes? my fate?

do those eyes still watch & judge?
or do they weep for their veiled dreams?

might I be their eyes today?
might I see things differently & shed grace where once was derision?
might their eyes be washed clear by my tears?

the eyes of my ancestry.
are they watching now?
were they ever?

photo by christine.

Gratitude Dance


The Quiet Time

Wow! Sometimes God is just entirely too cool. For this post to make the most sense, you must first read, Monday Morning Gibberish. Literally moments after pushing the publish button, I picked up a little book called, God Calling. Here is today's reading:

"There may be many times when I reveal nothing, command nothing, give no guidance. But your path is clear, and your task, to grow daily more and more into the knowledge of Me. That this quiet time with Me will enable you to do.

I may ask you to sit silent before Me, and I may speak no word that you could
write. All the same that waiting with Me will bring comfort and Peace. Only friends who understand and love each other can wait silent in each other's presence.

And it may be that I shall prove our friendship by asking you to wait in silence while I rest with you, assure of your Love and understanding. So wait, so love, so joy."

Like I said, "Sometimes God is just entirely too cool." Think I'll sit and wait awhile.

photo by lucy

Monday Morning Gibberish

Ever have those days where too much is rolling around in your brain and nothing coherent will pop out? Last Monday I was filled with excitement over the wonderful weekend spent away with my sister and her husband as well as the wonder of entering the season of advent. I had posts just waiting to fill the pages. And then, the floods came. So here it is Monday again and even more stories fill my brain, but nothing wants to materialize in any recognizable format other than gibberish.

The odd thing about today is that I am not particularly rushed. My schedule is reasonably clear for the day...the week even (and I hesitate to even write that with concern that a disaster may appear without notice...always a possibility), so I have time to write. I have journaled pages and pages already this morning. I have spent quiet time with centering prayer. I even lit my new candle from Zena Moon, "a candle for writing." I have done a little word study on my name(s): both given and nicknamed. The sun is shining. My dog has been fed. My daughter is at school & my husband at work. The house is quiet except for the sounds of the garbage trucks outside.

So, my friends, what you are reading here is a bit of a brain dump. It is with the hope that at some point in time I can write the words that really want to come. Those stubborn thoughts that swirl and twirl throughout my brain like a feather floating on the wind. I jump to grab them, but they slip through my fingers. Maybe I am trying too hard. Maybe there is too much to say. Maybe I just need to be still awhile longer. Maybe I just need to wait. Hmmm...isn't waiting what Advent is all about?

katrina photo from here

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sister Sister

Before the snow, before the flood, before Me even…there was my sister. Last Friday, November 30, this wonderful woman turned 65 years old. The world should know that she is fabulous! A gorgeous woman with an amazing presence. She is several years older than I and moved out of our home when I was only 3 or 4 years old. So we didn’t really get to know each other until much later in life.

I remember being a little girl, peeking out at my sis as she prepared to go to the prom or some equally glamorous event. Her date handsome in his tuxedo. She with her crinoline dress, fluffy and ethereal. Me in my p.j.’s and lopsided ponytail yearning to be part of the glamour. She was my idol. The beautiful princess. Outgoing cheerleader. Fairytale bride. Young mother. World traveler. New York City chic. (As seen through my little romantic eyes, of course.)

My sister was my hero then and even more so today. I realize now that she has always been a more grown up and self-assured version of me. (She will laugh at the “self-assured” description. She will know it is both true and untrue all at the same time. That’s one way we are so alike ☺.) While we did not “know” each other for much of our lives, she is now one of my very best friends. The years between us have shrunk. We are pals and playmates. Confidantes. I could tell her anything and she would still love me. It’s a wonderful thing to know at this time in life…with so much still ahead. It’s a true delight to have your idol and hero off of the pedestal where you can play and laugh and be REAL together! I am so grateful to have her in my life!

This one’s for you, Sis. Happy Birthday! You are amazing! I love you!

photo from here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Shadow Reflection

"But the sacred presence is there, breathing in the shadows." Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions

My breath has come in fits and bursts today. with tears & anger. grief & sorrow. loss. I have felt silly about my emotion, because I have so much for which to be grateful. Yet I do not want to rush toward the light. I need to be solemn. Alone. To have solitude, but it's not to be.

Children rustle around me. The phone rings incessantly. The dog breathes hard and asks to be noticed. Messages pile up and clamor for my attention. The soaking carpet screams at me through my nostrils. Momentarily, the smell of warm soup comforts me & then the tears come again.

I am tender. Holy. Yearning to be still. Be still and know that God is here. Emmanuel. God with us. Something beckons in the future, but all I have is now. The late afternoon darkness wraps its arms around me. I want to sleep. To close my eyes & dream. To sleep a night without stirring. Without the need to awaken and check my surroundings.

I yearn for warmth and comfort. To be held in arms that ask for nothing. An embrace that gives without condition. Yahweh. Breath of God. Today I am tired. Worn out from disaster and work. Spent from holding in emotion. I want to cry. I want to create. I want to rest in the shadows.

photo by lucy. snoqualmie pass 12.02.07

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Rains Came Down....

...and the floods came up.

Many great stories in the making...but not today. A wonderful trip to celebrate my sis' birthday. Snow. Rain. Kids. Rain. Advent. Rain. Shop vac. Rain. Moving. Oh, did i mention rain?

I went to sleep Sunday night with this breath prayer: "Breathe God in. Chaos goes out." It was lovely and fortunate since I knew things did not bade well when my husband woke me up yesterday and said, "I could really use your help. There is water pouring into the basement."

If you haven't heard, Seattle just experienced the second largest rainfall in any 24 hour period (3.5+ inches). We are fine. Fortunate, in fact, compared to many throughout the city. Our basement (which is probably the largest livable square footage of our house) is wet and its furnishings are now residing in my living room and dining room. Bill and I spent more than 12 hours vacuuming and pumping water out of the house at the rate of about 120 gallons an hour. We are fortunate. The water came out of our house. We will not know for awhile how severe the damage, but the rain stopped before bedtime.

Needless to say, I have a full day (week, month) ahead of me. I'm still not sure about the breath prayer because my house certainly looks chaotic right now. The cool thing is that everyone I encountered yesterday commented on how calm I was and what a good attitude I had. Hmmmm. Yes, I am fortunate & grateful. More later...

Photos from Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The washout is about 1 1/2 miles from my house.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This Week's Little Prayer

All the Good I Can

Dear God, guide me to
Do all the good I can
By all means I can
In all ways I can
In all places I can
To all people I can
As long as I can.

from The 12 Step Prayer Book Volume 2 by Bill P. and Lisa D.

photo ©h3images

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poetry Party

Come join Abbey of the Arts poetry party here.

full moon speaks her truth
bold & brilliant
shining for all to see

illuminating darkness

floating in the sky
moving & shifting
glistening & hiding

illuminating darkness

mother moon
shines her iridescent self
for all the world to see

illuminating darkness

children of the womb
stand in awe &
adore full mother moon

illuminating darkness

photo courtesy of abbey of the arts

Monday, November 26, 2007


This morning I awoke thinking of the energy of the earth…of God…of humanity. Are we really all connected as one? Like a beautiful mosaic? I am surrounded by a community of seekers. Why and how do we find each other? Is it by accident? By choice? By a power greater than we can even imagine?

Surrounded by seekers of God…of creativity…of wholeness. Are they not one in the same?

Consider the following thoughts:

“As individual stones, we can do little with them
except compare them and judge their beauty and value. When, however, all these little stones are brought together in one big mosaic portraying the face of Christ, who would ever question the importance of any one of them? That’s community, a fellowship of little people who together make God visible in the world.”
--Henri Nouwen

“For as the body is only as healthy as its individual cells, the world is only as healthy as its individual souls.” --Mark Nepo

“The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world.” –Elizabeth Gilbert

My creativity heals myself and others. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work. –lucy

And, last but not least…a repeat from yesterday’s post:

"Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world" Lao-Tzu

"Across the centuries, we have this timeless medicine: Live directly, wait, and care for your soul as if it were the whole world." Mark Nepo

I am blessed to be a part of this community of seekers. Today, may you care for your own soul as gently as if it were that of another.

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
--Jesus - Luke 10:27

photo by bill ©

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pondering: Hope. Faith. Love. Forgiveness.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." --1 Corinthians 13:13

Yesterday was a glorious day in Seattle--cool, clear, crisp. I took my stiff from car-riding, turkey-eating, Thanksgiving holiday self out for a nice brisk walk followed by raking of leaves that continue to fall in my yard. While doing these activities, I listened to a podcast from Speaking of Faith on theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. Having not read any of Niebuhr's works, I was intrigued to learn he was a lover of paradox and considered to be "a listener at heart" who could speak well into the issues of the world around him. The podcast was so rich with food for thought considering issues of war, evil and, in my opinion, simply living in the world. Today, I would like to share one of the quotes from his book The Irony of American History.

He wrote,
"Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, could be accomplished alone; therefore, we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our own standpoint; therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness."

One could look at this as a "hopeless" viewpoint such as written in Ecclesiastes 2:1, "Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless." However, I saw it as filled with hope and guidance for us to live fully and intentionally today. That although we may not see the results in our lifetime, we can begin the process. That even though it may not currently make sense, the results will be there at some point in the future. We cannot do things alone, therefore we need community and God. And, forgiveness is the greatest gift both for ourselves and others.

It is at this point that Niebuhr's words (serendipitously perhaps) coincided with the message of Mark Nepo's daily reading. Starting with Lao-Tzu's words, "Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world," Nepo says, "Across the centuries, we have this timeless medicine: Live directly, wait, and care for your soul as if it were the whole world." Live directly -- Faith. Wait -- Hope. Care for your soul--Love. Be reconciled with the World -- Forgiveness.

Niebuhr & Nepo. Christian & Taoist. You & Me. Simple & Complex. "Across the centuries, we have this timeless medicine." Faith. Hope. Love. Forgiveness.

Hmmm....That's a lot for me to ponder on this glorious Sunday morning. How about you? I'd love to know your thoughts.

photo by bill

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The little dog wiggled his way into their hearts with ears of bright pink and hair the color of an old woman’s or a young punk star—silvery with darkened roots & undertones. Teeth like Dracula’s fangs—more inclined to nuzzle rather than bite. Still, he is ready to pounce at the nearest squirrel or unassuming bird—standing stock still with 4-inch tail on point. He stole their books (found shredded & even buried in the garden), their draperies (heaped near the patio door, the casualty of a squirrel hunt gone bad) and their hearts (forever changed by his presence).

Typically, one thinks of the dog as offering love unbounded. While this may also be true for Riley, his rascalian ways seem to have brought a new kind of unconditional love into their lives. “Love me. Love my dog.”

Oh, that the world could look at the mistakes and misdoings of others and laugh with delight the way Riley's family does with him.

"riley" photo by lucy

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"Grace rarely makes sense to those looking in from the outside" --The Shack
(quote found @ Discombobula)

The beauty of grace
is that you receive blessings
for no reason.
As above, so below.
PRACTICE random acts of grace.
Give to others for no reason.
Offer kindness to those who are undeserving,
love those who no one else loves.
Practice grace.
Daniel Levin, Zen Cards
(quote found @ Sacred Ruminations)

Be generous. You don't know what you get back until you give. --Bill Clapp

("morning sky" photo by lucy)

a hard one to post...

I need something lovely to write and to say. I want a beautiful picture to post. Things are all locked up…the words...the photos. Much as I don’t want to admit it, I think I hate the holiday season. All anyone can talk about is how busy they are. How much there is to do. "Are you ready for the holidays???" Why the hubbub? What’s the big deal? So, you cook an extra meal or two and stand around at a couple of holiday parties where you are bored to death. What’s the big deal? Aaaaarrrrrggggggghhhh. Maybe I do hate the holidays...or at least what they seem to have become. I think it makes me sad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Writers' "Affirmation" Block???

What I am actually saying is that we need to be willing to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly. --Shakti Gawain

Hmmmm. Very curious. As I mentioned yesterday, the post entitled, Blurts, received one of the highest number of reader comments ever on this blog. As of this writing, there have only been two responses (wonderful lists, i must add!) to the challenge to turn those negative statements into positive affirmations. Now, I could easily assume that people in the U.S. are too busy to read, because of the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, however, my reader log shows that yesterday had the highest number of readers ever!!! So, what's the deal? Is it really true that we are amazingly successful at conveying the negatives and find it impossible to pen anything positive about ourselves?

For a little added inspiration, here is one of my favorite little videos on writing. Enjoy!...and I will patiently await those affirmations ☺.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Who would have thought that a blog entry called Blurts would be one of my most responded to posts? Could it be that we are most comfortably interconnected through the inner critic of our minds? That voice that tells us we are not really writers, painters, artists? In the aforementioned post, I shared with you a walk down memory lane and posted my "blurts" (negative self-talk/beliefs) of four years ago. I wish I could say that they no longer exist, but alas that ugly critic still pops up more often than I like. However, thanks to the topic of this post, Affirmations, I have at least moved forward a tiny bit.

Julia Cameron author of The Artist's Way says "if we can become one-tenth as good at positive self-talk as we are at negative self-talk, we will notice an enormous change." Enormous? Maybe. Four years ago I could barely write for myself and now have the courage to share with others on a regular basis. Maybe I have taken bigger steps than I realized. But, I digress.

The challenge for today is to make peace with our blurts and turn them into positive affirmations. So take a look at the previous post and see what happens when we listen to that kinder, gentler voice who wants us to succeed.

Here are my responses:

1) I am only 47 (half my lifetime) and I can already eat, walk, read & write!
2) I am smart. I can learn to write. I can write!
3) Follow God. He will give me the time.
4) Lame excuse. I am willing to learn to let myself create.
5) My creativity heals myself and others. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
6) As I listen to the creator within, I am led.
7) Through use of my creativity, I serve God. God will show me what is 'productive.'
8) Artists are brilliant. They can experience and share things in a way no one else can.

Wow. A little older, maybe a little wiser, but the affirmations feel so much truer than those silly old blurts. I feel stronger already. So, lovely readers, here's your chance, bring on those positive affirmations! I can't wait to read!!!

photo by janey

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Seven Random Things

Storyteller @ Small Reflections has tagged me to participate in writing "7 Random Things about Me." Here are the "rules."

* Link to the blog of the person who tagged you.
* Post these rules on your blog.
* List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
* Tag seven random [?] people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
* Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

After many years of diligently following "the rules," I am choosing to deviate here and while I will follow numbers 1-3, I am not "tagging" more fellow bloggers, but instead invite you to participate at your leisure. I would LOVE to hear your random thoughts!!

Okay...enough of formalities and onto the randomness. It is always curious for me to see where my own mind goes with this sort of thing and this morning's results popped out in the surprising format of my first seven grades of school. There are actually 8 items on the list, because I can never decide if Kindergarten really "counts". (Hmmm...the psychotherapist in me could really spend some time analyzing this list, but I will leave that for another day.) So, here goes:

1)Kindergarten - I joyfully skipped around the block to Mrs. Peck's kindergarten where I road her miniature-sized roller coaster, shared ice cream with a puppy and loved waking my fellow 4-year olds up with the magic wand at the end of nap time.

2) First grade - I started to lose my nerve and become really aware of what other people thought. I was afraid to ask to go to the bathroom and ended up with a puddle underneath my desk hoping no one would notice. Guess what? They noticed.

3) Second grade - One of my favorite memories is of gleefully skipping across the playground hand in hand with my new friend, Linda. She didn't stay at our school for long and I wondered why. It was not until years later that I realized Linda was a lone black face in a very white community. Is that why she left?

4) Third grade - My first realization of social injustice as my teacher belittled a boy in my class for being "slow and stupid." My little soul was horrified. His name was Ricky and we later learned he had a hearing impairment. I hope Mrs. Johnson (the teacher) was ashamed of herself!

5) Fourth grade - I came in 2nd place (i.e. lost) in the big reading contest to a girl, Kim G., who admitted to me at our 10 year high school reunion that she had cheated.

6) Fifth grade - My first kiss (very chaste but still memorable)! John Humphries was his name.

7) Sixth grade - I was declared "pretty" by my best friend, Jan R. I really wanted to be "cute" instead with her freckles and round cheeks.

8) Seventh grade - Started Junior High with a ringworm on my arm from petting a stray kitten. There were threats that if it spread to my head, they would have to shave off my hair. Yikes!!

Whew...that's enough memory lane for today. I hope you will decide to play, too. Otherwise, I am really going to feel geeky here like a bald thirteen year old girl!!!

btw--did you know that it is impossible to skip and be angry at the same time?!?!?

"angel in my garden" by lucy 10.31.07

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Do you know God?

It is when people are not aware of God's presence everywhere

That they must seek God by special methods
and special practices.
Such people have not attained God.

To all outward appearances
persons who continue properly in their pious practices
are holy.
Inwardly, however,
they are asses.
For they know about God
but do not know God.

--Meister Eckhart

photo @ Soltura by lucy 11.07

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thanksgiving Past

"If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before."

--Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

I miss the Thanks-
givings of my past. I didn’t know how much I enjoyed them until they slowly disap-
peared. As a child lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather at the appointed house for the holiday festivities of food and football. For years I was the youngest one in the family until my older cousins and siblings started having kids of their own. I was closest in age to my cousin, Vicki. We would sneak past the tables before they were officially open and place black olives on each of our fingers and delight in eating them one by one. (I am befuddled to this day that neither of my children even like black olives. Can they possibly be my offspring?) The lingering memories are festive and warm even though I resented always sitting at “the kid’s table” and my mother was usually totally stressed out during the time surrounding the day. I can still, however, smell the pumpkin pies that were always baking when I came home from school on the Wednesday before and that smell is still pure comfort to me.

Those times are long since gone. In between were Thanksgiving celebrations with the family of my first husband, often including my mother since my brother and sister no longer traveled the long distance home and my father had died soon after I started college. The next memories I recall were as Bill (my husband of 20+ years) and I shared Thanksgiving in Tulsa with his sisters who also lived there. One of the defining moments of my life came as I prepared my first turkey in my own home at the ripe old age of 28. It dawned on me that somehow I had become “the” adult.

When we moved to Seattle in 1989, we found ourselves in the midst of a motley assortment of Thanksgiving guests including random cousins, Bill’s parents and friends we met as new residents to the city. For years we created our own family and it was my house filled with the smell of pumpkin pies, roasting turkey and young children’s laughter. Somewhere in time, things started to slip away. Cousin’s graduated from school and moved away. Parents decided the drive was too risky through the mountain pass. Friends drifted toward other places and cities. Children grew up.

So today, I find myself one week away from the holiday with no plans. (We were originally invited to be with friends, but life circumstances have removed that option.) My kids keep asking the question, “What are we doing for Thanksgiving?” I don’t know. And while I realize that I have so much for which to be thankful and my gratitude is immense, I still long for a house full of family and for my stressed out mother who has long since passed away. I want someone else to be “the adult.” I realize this may sound a little selfish or at least self-centered, because I know there are millions of people with no home, no family, no food & no warm memories. Please understand, my caring heart does not diminish their sufferings. And still…

I miss the Thanksgivings of my past and today (in the present), I wonder what the future will hold. What does this holiday season evoke in you?

"pumpkin pie" from wikipedia

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Do you ever find yourself caught between the premises of living in the present moment and planning for the future? It is a constant balancing act for me. Today I am trying to put some order to the creative projects that are percolating in my brain. Yesterday I started reading a book which will help me with a couples workshop on which I am collaborating. I realized that if I do a chapter a day, I will be finished in 10 days which seems quite manageable.

The bigger theme(s) that are stirring around is my desire to write something more tangible (whatever that means) than daily ponderings like those you read here. So, this morning I decided to start traveling through my journals that I began nearly four years ago when I was introduced to The Artist's Way. I can see this is going to be a long process, because I only got four pages into it before I found something I wanted to share here.

One of the early exercises is to write the "blurts" that come into your head when you think about being creative. So, to kick off my venture backwards into not-so-distant time, here are my blurts:

1) I'm too old to start something new.
2) I don't know anything about writing.
3) People will think I'm crazy.
4) Where will I find the time?
5) I don't have the right computer to write on or the right place to write.
6) No one will want to hear what I have to say.
7) I don't know how to get started.
8) This may be a waste of time. I should do something more productive.
9) Smart girls aren't artistic/creative & artistic girls are definitely airheads.

Those are my blurts. What are yours today?

photo by janey

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sand dollars

Sand dollars. Whole. Broken. Covered with bugs and barnacles. Green hats of seaweed finery. Perfect on the outside. What is on the inside? Decorated. Plain. Upside down. Right side up. Holes all the way through. Broken in half. Waiting to be taken back to sea or taken home by a passerby.

Last week I walked the beach at Soltura for one last bit of leisurely solitude before the new workshop participants arrived. Little did I know that the words above (penned during those moments) would become the metaphor my mind returned to when asked to share my recent experience.

Words seem so inadequate & insufficient. Even powerful words like glorious, magical, terrifying, magnificent, pure & true. Learning. Growing. Changing. The Light. The words are everywhere if only we open our eyes to look and to see the miracles before us.

"Whole" with finery and beauty keeping others at bay. Broken wide open yet still hidden behind tears and confusion (bugs and barnacles). Boldness that says, ‘Get away!’ The caretaker, the mother, the protector—looking out for others while slowly letting their “control” cover them over like tiny bugs invading the shells. Holes in the middle. Others broken in two. Torn between two sides with a gaping space filled with nothing. The nearly invisible one—buried deep in the sand on the edge slightly away from the others. Will you notice that one?

We see each other in each other. Together we gently pick up the shells. They cannot return to their original form. They will never be the same and yet they will be whole. The beauty is that we get to re-define what wholeness looks like. Maybe it looks like glorious, magical, flawed & broken, pure & true sand dollars on the beach.

Sand dollars and people—are they really so different?

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Cry of the Heart

the cry of the heart. anguish and joy. yin and yang. contrast. paradox.

recent strangers shed tears to say good-bye while nuclear families barely say hello. eagles—soaring, chasing, playing. their majesty & beauty both horrible and incredible all at the same time. paradox.

coming home while leaving home. it sounds cliché, but home is where the heart is. home is with me. how can I be true to myself no matter where I am? in a room full of strangers, students, friends, colleagues, family or alone. how can I be me? the heart of me?

the cry of my heart is to see and be seen. to be me. my beautiful heart. lovely, kind, free. full of joy while always threatened on the edges by my hatred and humanity.

I need both—anguish and joy. for one would not be the same without the other. the swing of the pendulum. feeling sorrow. despair. weakness and pain. letting go. returning home. listening to the cry of the heart.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Let There Be Light

Last week Hearth Talks wrote a post called It's all about the Light. The word 'light' has been dancing and playing in and out of my life more and more, so for some reason I saved my response to Sister Kathryn and wanted to share it here today.

I will be gone for the next several days, hopefully spreading light with others and more importantly helping them find their own light as I help facilitate a workshop for Soltura. If you are a praying person, please consider keeping the women who will be journeying together in this soul searching work in your prayers. Good thoughts are also welcome.☺

Now, here is my comment in response to It's all about the Light:

"ah, yes, the light...an image that daily becomes closer to my heart and soul. it is a reawakening to something that has been present all my life, but was "hidden under a bushel" of shame and silence. a couple of years ago, a friend gave me the gift of "lucy". originally, it was as a reminder to me of the times when i get quite prickly and appear not so kind. it was a gift because it was to remind me that my true essence is one of kindness and joy not bitchiness, etc.

only last december...december 12 to be exact (the feast day of st. lucia) did i learn that lucy means light.

yes, the light is dear to my heart. it is a gift that keeps on giving. thank you for this beautiful reminder!"

Wishing you Light in the coming days!

sunset at shilshole bay by bill

Monday, November 05, 2007

Poetry Party

Come join Christine's Invitation to Poetry here.

two doors stood before me
one of joy
one of sorrow
i choose joy

Worth Pondering...

"It's just a tempest in a teacup," someone says to the Warrior of the Light.

But he never exaggerates his difficulties and always tries to remain calm.

And he never judges someone else's suffering.

A small detail--which does not affect him in the least--could serve to ignite the storm brewing in his brother's soul. The Warrior respects the suffering of others and does not try to compare it with his own.

The cup of suffering is not the same size for everyone.

Paulo Coelho - Warrior of the Light

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Refusal of Silence

“Being a Silent Woman is not about being quiet and reticent, it’s about stifling our truth. Our real truth.” --Sue Monk Kidd, Dance of the Dissident Daughter.

A few days ago I wrote a post called “Simmering.” Many interpreted it, including myself, as a poem about anger—my anger. And, yes, of course that is true and yet it is not. For as I wrote those words I could envision a specific time and place, I could see the room, feel the tension in my young body, and witness the face of the one who was simmering. The words were about that face and that time and place AND the words were bigger than that with a parade of other faces, times and events being added along the way. They were not simply “simmering” faces. They were faces that attempted to "silence."

Ah, but the beauty is. This woman; that little girl; refuses to be silenced.

Last weekend I was drawn to create a collage using my own picture as the base. When I started, I envisioned layers of color ranging from dark to light with an emphasis more on the darkness that I felt had been surrounding me for several days. But as I worked, the darkness began to recede and colors of life and light arose. A lioness emerged with her power and courage. Jewels began to cover the page. The process was amazing, because even as I had selected dark rows of background, I found myself covering them with flowers and diamonds and kisses; with sweetness and bubbles and butterflies. Something very real emerged. Even in the midst of darkness, my true essence would not be silenced or stifled.

"Even in the midst of darkness, my true essence would not be silenced or stifled." I believe that is something truly worth pondering. How about you?

Friday, November 02, 2007


"An open mind, like an open window, should be screened to keep the bugs out." Virginia Hutchinson

This morning was a great example of why I should never open my e-mail before doing my quiet time and journaling. I spent half of the night (or at least it felt like it) pondering my post of yesterday along with a book i just finished reading. There was a seriously fabulous post rattling around in my brain. For some ridiculous reason, however, I chose to open my mail before journaling and now my head is filled with other stuff.

I received two chuckles from friends...a prayer request from a sister in need...an e-mail from a disgruntled co-worker...the new download of Grey's Anatomy...a great morning reading about "choice" and an update from a friend who is sheepishly leaving today for a Mediterranean cruise. Throw into the mix that my son is having minor surgery this a.m. and papers to grade for Monday and guess what...the 'fabulous post' must wait until later.

Hopefully I will find a little time today to put the 'screen back on my window' so not quite so many 'bugs' fly through!

photo by permission from j.d. stevens

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The mind is so complicated. A memory returns in a flash and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in that remembered moment your heart was pierced deeply and the wound is still healing decades later. Sometimes the healing does hurt more than the original wound.

anger simmers like a pot on the stove; threatening to explode while silent and steaming.

turn up the heat just a bit and you will be burned, so steer clear and gently tilt the lid letting the pot release some pressure.

still the anger simmers; ready to bubble over and make a mess. so, you inch away but not before inhaling the aroma of contempt and blame.

you believe you have made the mess. if the pot explodes it will be your fault; and so, you control the temperature as best you can with your tiny hands.

hands thrust inside too big oven mitts that swallow them like boxing gloves. as time goes by your hands will grow into them, but they will always feel clumsy.

never allowed to take a healthy swing, you punch the air like windmills spinning in the wind.

the circle continues on. the steam releases ever so slightly, but still the anger simmers like a pot on the stove.

photo from here

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Renewed Awareness

"Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions"
Natasha Bedingfield

In just the last couple of years I have become more conscious of the seasons of the earth and life along with listening to my own rhythm as well as that of the world. This fall season has brought renewed awareness of my feminine self. (On the surface it feels "new", however, my soul tells me it is more of an awakening thus the need to use the word "renewed.)

I have also spoken of my connection with the sun as well as dream work and collage. For a few weeks now I have been thinking of a poem I wrote last fall during my first experience of working with collage. Today I revisited that poem and noticed that the "season" was nearly an identical time frame to this year's "work."

Coincidence? Synchronicity? The rhythms of life? Who can say, all I know is that something powerful is at work!

Here is my poem from last fall:

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Feminine World

I am the pain of the world, covered with blue scarves & white.
I am the beauty of the world, bare-shouldered with upswept hair.
I am the fire of the world, burning with desire and hope.
I am the joy of the world, reaching toward the heavens.

I am the beauty of the world, bare-shouldered with upswept hair.
I am the luscious berry, bursting with flavor.
I am the joy of the world, reaching toward the heavens.
I am the soul of the world, centered through pain, beauty, touch and taste.

I am the luscious berry.
I am the fire of the world.
I am the soul of the world.
I am the pain of the world, covered with blue scarves & white.

photo by maryjane hughlett

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Apatheia or Apathy?

Yesterday Tess at Anchors and Masts wrote a post in response to my recent writings about “The Battle”--here and here. Her perspective caught me a bit off guard as she interpreted that I was speaking of internal battle. My recent experience, however, has felt more like one coming from outside of me rather than the inner battle with which I am quite familiar. (Her post gives a great picture of why and how we often choose to “backslide”…and I do believe it is a choice—conscious or not…so I highly recommend popping over there for a read.)

A very perceptive friend sent me these words which articulate well where I feel I have been recently:

“It sounds like you suffer from the classic case of ‘a threat to evil’ disease! It normally seems to come after a tremendously blessed event where souls are set free from ‘disease’ and you are involved in that healing process. It’s as though all their diseases ball up and pounce on You.!”

I have definitely felt “pounced upon”, so this leaves me wondering if
there is a difference between when we are standing in the gap or battling for others and/or trying to stand firm (i.e. not backslide) for ourselves?

And then there is this new question of “How much attention should we pay to evil?” Gerald May in his book Will and Spirit says: “when encountering an evil inclination or a questionable force, the most ideal form of spiritual assertiveness is: the best response is no response.” He goes on to mention the term apatheia which the Desert Fathers recommended to prevent showing fascination and undue self-importance to the “questionable force.” Apatheia is a term from Stoic philosophy that means something quite different and far more interesting than apathy (mental laziness). It is a conscious not-caring about things that are unworthy of concern.

So, how much concern toward evil is too much? I kind of like this idea of a “conscious not-caring”. It feels much stronger than denial or apathy.

For today, I think I will leave it at that for I have little more time or space to continue. Please understand, however, it’s not that I don’t care ☺. What do you think?

photo by h3images