Thursday, January 31, 2008 "perhaps"

Dear Sensible One,

WE are going to Paris!!! Can you believe it? Our friends have all said, "Go!Go!Go!" Even people we don't know have popped on line to comment and say, "Don't look back!"

We are all dreamers searching for the great adventure, but few people actually take the step and go for it. You, my dear, have learned well from me. You have learned to listen to your heart and step through the fear and apprehension. You are full of life to be lived--not tomorrow or next year, but right now...Today!!

Congratulations! You pressed the "buy" button even when you tried to tell us 'it's not practical.' As Tess said, "Screw the crockpot!" Seattle will still be here when we return. So celebrate this time. Read those guide books and fabulous memoirs and novels. Listen to your French tapes and mentally pack your suitcase. Because, my dear Sensible One, WE ARE GOING TO PARIS!!!!"

love, lucy

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


There are almost too many thoughts whirling through my head to land on any one topic today. I started back to work yesterday after almost two months away. I love it and I want to stay home and create. Today, it seems like I am most struck by the contrasts of life. How there can be such fullness and emptiness wrapped up together. How being in a room full of people one can feel totally alone and then sitting alone in silence, one can be met with the fullness of life. One minute we can be on top of the world and the next moment we can only feel its heaviness.

It seems to be this place of navigating where I will choose to live (in the fullness or emptiness or the in between) is what is most on my mind today. It is important for me to experience the richness of one or the other rather than staying stuck “in between.” Mark Nepo shares, “Being half anywhere is the true beginning of loneliness.” And I have come to know that I am really not a 'half anywhere' kind of girl ☺!

Hmmm… So, that is what I have to offer today. As always, I would love to know your thoughts. What are the contrasts of your life? Where do you see yourself living in the ‘in between’? How do you navigate through the contrasts of life?

(Check out lucy creates!!! for a different view of a similar topic.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008


There is lots bubbling around in my mind this morning with very little time to write or process. I decided to share this peaceful (I think) reflection written on holiday as 2007 winded down. Enjoy!

Listening to the voice inside my head and outside in the world. The sunlight dancing across the veranda. The wind gently rustling the green vegetation. The "tink tink tink" of the fan. The call of the kiskadee. The voices of my loved ones. A veritable symphony in creation surrounds me. The blank pages of a new notebook await my thoughts and musings. My ponderings. A new year lies before me. Much will feel repetitive, but each day will be new. There will be no other exactly like it. No two moments are ever the same. They are each created in the instant they happen.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Yesterday while doing a little shopping, I ran into a woman who I have known for many years principally through our children’s school and more recently by attending the same church (which some of you may recall is no longer the case.) I could hear the question before it was even out of her mouth, so I was prepared to answer boldly.
“Where are you fellowshipping these days?” she asked.
“No where” I answered strongly, because I refused to feel guilty about our decision. I then, of course, hemmed and hawed around about how “It is hard and we are looking, blah blah blah.”

Walking away I felt like I had just told a big fat lie…not the “we are looking” part, but the “no where” part. It felt like such a falsehood, because in reality I am fellowshipping daily with the world; with myself; with my internet friends; on the phone with my sister; with my husband as we talk about our faith journey; with anyone really who wants to be even a little bit authentic or at least listen to me as I practice my often feeble attempts ☺.

So, what is fellowship? In the way this woman asked, it felt so a single building in which to perform ritual on a specific day and time of the week. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in ritual and gathering together in relationship, but fellowship feels so much bigger to me than something we just do on Sunday morning.

As I thought about this I realized that this week alone, I have made new friends in Paris, Scotland and a number of other places around the world. I witnessed an amazing sunrise through the sharing of a man’s childlike drawing he made to remember the red of the sky flashing in house windows…that is fellowship. Strangers and friends from all over listened to my heart and said, “Go! Go! Go!!” rather than scoffing at me like I was a naughty child…that is fellowship. When my heart connects with the beauty of nature; the moon, the sun, the cold air on my face, the flowers at the market…that is fellowship.

Fellowship is not simply held inside four walls with a designated group of “believers”. It is life. The homeless man on the street. The laughing infant in the coffee shop. The "stranger" in Paris. So, back to the original question: “Where am I fellowshipping these days?” EVERYWHERE! And it feels really good to say that and mean it!!! So, my friends, I leave you with the same question to ponder…

Where are you fellowshipping?

photo by lucy taken on a recent neighborhood walk

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

a sign perhaps?

At the crossroads,
where one could go either direction;
she chose the road less traveled
and that made all the difference.
It might have been easier
to take a conventional path
of relative safety and comfort;
of predictability and routine.
But she wanted to fly to the far edges of things,
to venture beyond the horizon
where adventures beckoned,
curious and irresistible,
shaped by constant change.
No set boundaries
for this small town girl,
always longing for excitement
and new discoveries.
Even if the road proved bumpy and long,
pearls of wisdom produced along the way:
unexpected blessings.

© Tara Bradford @ paris parfait

see related post here as well as more visual journal pages at lucy creates!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Paris Perhaps?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” --Mark Twain

Well, dear readers, you cannot imagine where this quote (seen yesterday at Anchors and Masts) has taken me in the last 24 hours. I read those words and my mind was off to the races. The long and the short of it is, I think I am going to Paris…in four weeks…potentially alone. Now for some this might seem like a normal event, however, I have never been to France (or any other European city except London and I am not even sure Londoners consider themselves European..somehow I think not.) But I digress. I have been talking of going to Paris for a few years now. It has been on my ‘short list’ per se.

Why now, you might ask? Well, why not?? I have had nearly two weeks blocked out on my calendar for several months for a trip with friends to Mexico. That trip fell through this weekend and I will be darned if I will let two wonderfully open weeks, set aside for pure enjoyment, go to waste! So, I checked airfare to London. Cheap! Then I checked airfare to Paris (which is where I really want to go). Cheaper!!! In fact, I can go on frequent flyer miles for a total of about $75.

The brave side of me says, “Go for it!” as does my dear, wonderful supportive husband who really has no interest in going to France nor can he disappear from work and home quite so easily. But the insecure side of me says things like, “Are you crazy?” “You only have two years of high school French” “Where would you stay?” “What would you do?” “You don’t even know which side of the Seine the Eiffel Tower is on!”

And then I think of brave, women like Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations) and Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea) and I realize this could be an amazing adventure…And then the not-so-brave voice steps back in.

So, here I am with a ticket on hold and two weeks to make my decision and just over four weeks to plan a trip. It feels like “sailing away from safe harbor” and I can see my inner sails filling up with the trade winds. My inner poet is saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” My practical side says, “I need to put dinner in the crock pot.”

To be continued…

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I just lit my “candle for writing” and simultaneously I am thinking about darkness. The words ‘shadow side’ are bubbling in my head. Why do we avoid our shadow? Steer clear if we can. Think it is ‘bad.’ We hate to even acknowledge that we have a dark or shadow side to us, but guess what ...pretending it’s not there does not make it so.

Lucy Van Pelt represents my shadow side. People have come to see “My” Lucy as playful and creative rather than bossy and crabby. Is it because I do not let her ‘shadow’ side come out so much on the page? Or is it maybe things have shifted inside me as I have come to embrace what she represents?

Lucy is my inner (and outer) critic, but she also motivates me. This was a great productive and creative week for me with much of it driven by shadow and hurt. There were dark pages in my visual journal that I have not shared. And, my ‘darker’more challenging soul collage cards did not appear to be well-received (at least based on the lack of comments). Ironically, the process of making those cards helped me process some of the chaos and anxiety I was experiencing thus helping shed some light so-to-speak.

If you look closely at my collages there is always light in the ‘dark’ cards and darkness in the ‘light’ cards. (This is unintentional, by the way.) Just as initially Lucy Van Pelt was rejected by me as too crabby, bitchy & bossy, she has now become my greatest ally as I have learned to embrace her.

My greatest joys have come with much pain….(childbirth, for one.) Also, who has not experienced deep loss of some sort? If the hurt is acknowledged and processed, is there not some growth and healing that happens? Sometimes the best thing to be able to do is say, “I am sad” or “I am having a shitty week”, but in some ways I feel censored to be so honest. (My inner censor speaks loudly.)

One reader said I was in a “dark” period and subsequently quit commenting—resulting in more sadness over that loss. Others may consider overabundant joy and consecutive weeks of fabulousness to be too shallow and impossible to believe. So where is the balance? For some reason FDR's quote: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” comes to mind.

I need to be able to share when I am sad and when I am joyous without being afraid of the response (or lack thereof). My emotions produce great creativity from both sides. I do not believe that makes one better than the other. They are simply different, but it appears that “darkness’ is less appealing to many. It seems frightening perhaps.

The length of this post is beginning to 'frighten' me now ☺, (I do prefer shorter discourses). So, for today I am going to consider why you (I) run from the shadow side. Or maybe you don’t. Either way I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Why do you run or avoid shadow? How do you embrace it?

Wishing you lightness in your day, so you may also see the shadows ☺. Peace.

photo by h3images

collages by lucy. see related post here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


If any one day had not been lived, how much different would I be? Less whole or more so? For some days have torn holes in my heart and others have penned indelible images into my soul. If any one moment had been skipped over or passed by, would I still be who I am today? Do we need all of the moments? I might guess ‘no’, but some are so defining they could not be missed.

It is kind of like the word ‘whole.’ Without a single letter, “w”, the word becomes ‘hole’ and indicates something empty or lacking or possibly waiting to be filled. Our life is filled with moments built and woven together like a fine tapestry comprised of death, divorce, marriage, birth, rebirth, life…repeated over and over in seemingly random patterns.

A moment…When does it become defining? When does the weight of a moment become irreversible? What times do children choose to remember? What are the moments I have chosen to hang onto? Why do some seemingly disappear from memory? Are they always with us? Lingering. Waiting. Forming. Shaping. Making up the wholeness of who we are?

So, what is wholeness? I see it as being fully and completely who we are at any given moment as best we can. Knowing that a moment in time can change a life forever, because the tapestry is always growing thread by thread.

So, what are the moments that have shaped you? What will you choose to do with the coming moments of your life…beginning right now?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Tribute to John O'Donohue 1956-2008

BY JOHN O’DONOHUE, from ‘Benedictus – A Book of Blessings’

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the music of laughter break through your soul.

As the wind wants to make everything dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the freedom of the monastery bell,
May clarity of mind make your eyes smile.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May a sense of irony give you perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May fear or worry never put you in chains.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
To hear in the distance the laughter of God.

found at god is not elsewhere

Lucy's Fave 7 for '07

Magpie Girl, a sponsor of Small is Beautiful, has asked for a lineup of my favorite seven posts for the past year. So, here it is...somewhat random...kind of like me ☺!

The Man on the Bus
The Words will not Come
Young at Heart
A is for Anniversary
The Tale of Lucy
Beauty in the (not so) Small Things

(Dear Readers, if you have a favorite post or topic, I'd love to hear what you have to say!!!)

photo © Check out this new photo website. It's marvelous!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

i'm a rock star!

I am always a sucker for a "blog thing". Found this one over at Zena Musings . I love the description although I am certain my teenagers would beg to differ!!!

You Are Liz Phair!

Sexy tough indie girl...

Who's not afraid to be a little girly

"I am extraordinary, I am just your ordinary

Average every day sane psycho



"God of mystery, help me to hold the questions, lead me to live them, bless me to bless them for disturbing my path." --Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions

Yesterday was messy. The above words and the ones I share below were penned before I even got out of bed. Little did I know how much I would need them today.

Honor the questions. Hold them lightly. Let them guide but not overwhelm and obstruct. They may disturb the path—the journey not to look how I think it should, but that’s what I get for thinking.

Follow the path like a butterfly dancing across the garden. Touching here. Lifting there. Following the breeze and scents. There is a plan perhaps, but it is not mine. Is it God’s—the man with strings in the sky? NO. I think not. It is mystery. Life force. God.

It is not the God of my elders. A God who controlled with fear and condemnation. It is the God of love. Serendipity. The God who is with me in tragedy, but who does not push a button and make it happen.

The journey is one together. The questions will always continue. Hold them lightly. Honor them well. Life is messy.

photo by lucy 1.13.08

Saturday, January 12, 2008

love & & hate...not so different

Lucy, Charlie Brown & Linus make this great statement for love & hate. I found the cartoon at Experimental Theology where he is doing an online book on "The Theology of Peanuts." (It's a quite thought provoking series aside from the fact that he equates Lucy to the Satan figure .) I thought it fit quite nicely with the discussion on love & fear.

(fyi--if you have trouble reading the cartoon, click on the photo and it will be enlarged.)

Shall we all practice leaning a little to one side? Now would that be the right or the left?? Hmmm....Let's all lean toward the love side, what do you think?

Friday, January 11, 2008

More thoughts on Love

Thought I would share a couple more thoughts from others on the topic of love. These two excerpts "sandwiched" the writing of my post on love and fear.

Maturity doesn't come with age or intellectual wisdom, only with love.
--Ruth Casey

We may have thought being mature meant being "grown-up." This meant acting rationally, showing good judgment, no longer exhibiting childish behavior. It's doubtful that we ever considered the expression of love as an act of maturity. However, we are learning that the key to sustained growth is the ability to love one another and ourselves.

It seems so much easier to focus on others' faults than on their assets. In childhood we learned to compete with our classmates, and this taught us to be critical of one another. No teacher tested us on how we expressed love; rather, we worked on spelling and multiplication tables, and we were pitted against other students for the gold stars.

Now we are discovering how much more comfortable life is when we all get gold stars. We are handling every situation more sanely now that we have realized the gift of serenity that accompanies our expression of love.

My growth, my maturity in this program, can best be measured by my attitude today. Am I loving, or am I still competing with the others?

You are reading from the book:

A Woman's Spirit by Karen Casey

This next quote is from actor, Val Kilmer. It appears in the January issue of O...The Oprah Magazine.
What if we made it mandatory to teach love in schools? It would be a subject you study, like algebra. You'd have to pass a test to get married or have a baby, after learning how to love. Our children would learn to be nurturing. It would be safe for boys to be loving. I heard a quote once: "Men have come and for a time made evil victorious, but they never win...Love always prevails." If we taught love, it would do more than prevail. It would manifest through our actions. Total love would liberate us all.
And here are those questions again: What if we taught love in schools, instead of fear and competition? What if we chose to act daily from love instead fear? What if we started right now with a hug instead of judgment? How would the world change?

In closing, here is one of my favorite videos that I have shared before. Think about it, please.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Two Choices. Love. Fear.

Two choices. Love & Fear. We all live there. We make those choices daily in a multitude of situations, but we are usually not conscious that is what we are doing. While we would like to profess that most choices we make are out of love, I choose to differ.

One of the most profound examples of this comes from personal experience and the time my husband and I decided to send our son to Mexico to a therapeutic boarding school. Easily, we would say we did it because we loved him and wanted the best for him (which is, of course, true.) However, at the deep root of this decision was our terror (big fear) that he would not live to see another year if we didn’t do something drastic. So, truthfully the choice was made from fear disguised as love.

How often do we see that in the world today? This post began when a friend let me know she would not be allowed to teach in a Catholic church unless a priest “supervised” her program. I was reminded of another fabulous woman I knew in times past who spent 40 plus years on the mission field in Africa, but was not allowed to teach a protestant adult Sunday school class without a male partner. Personally, I was declined leadership in a women’s Bible study because I was divorced and might encourage others to leave their husbands (indirectly, of course ☹.) It would be tempting at this point to rattle on with a multitude of other examples such as war, prejudice, etc. but I shall not. I hope you can start to see in these examples where “well-meaning” people have disguised their fear in terms of what is best for others (so-called love.)

I am feeling close to being in over my head here, but I would like to pose the following: What would it look like if each day, each moment and each interaction we asked the question: “Am I acting out of love or fear? What is my motivation?”

This doesn’t mean that fear needs to go away (for there is no chance of that anyway). Fear can be very helpful and healthy and often keeps us safe. For example, I believe it is good to have a healthy fear of drinking and driving or having unprotected sex. (I am, after all, the mother of two teenagers.) Fear, however, can also keep us trapped inside a box—immobilized and stuck in old patterns of living. Stuck in fear!

We cannot change the past or the future which are both great feeders of fear. The only thing we can affect is this moment. The past is gone. The future will never arrive. All we have is right now. We have two choices in how we will live it. Love. Fear.

So, what might happen if each day, each moment and each interaction you asked yourself the question: “Am I acting out of love or fear?” How would your world change? I hope you will ponder that.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wednesday Whimsy

Sometimes life is just too much fun. I am enjoying new music by Sia and took time to take these fun little quizzes I found over at Sacred Ruminations. As she said, "Share if you Dare."

You Are 89% Creative

You are an incredibly creative person. For you, there are no bounds or limits to your creativity.
Your next creation could be something very great... Or at least very cool!

Your Intrapersonal Intelligence Score: 91%

Your Intrapersonal Intelligence is Very High

You've spent a lot of time introspecting, and it's really paid off.
You are comfortable with who you are, and you have a life philosophy that you are happy to live by.
And you're always re-evaluating what you believe. Because you learn something new about yourself each day!

Your Interpersonal Intelligence Score: 80%

Your Interpersonal Intelligence is High

You are definitely a "people person." You enjoy spending time with others.
You instinctively understand people, and you are both a good counsellor and mediator.
However, there are definitely times when you've had enough. And that's when you cherish being alone.

Monday, January 07, 2008

This is what I see...

I look into her eyes and see the wisdom of the world. Young. Old. Ancient. She transforms into the white-bearded God. The humble servant. Christ on the cross. Mary. The eyes of the ancients. The core. The source. The atom of God.

I see God in those eyes. All-knowing. Kind. Wise. They are my eyes. At my core. At my source. They are my heart. My soul.

Again she grows the beard and wears the ancient robes. She spreads her arms and lifts into flight. God. Sun. Source. Water. Fire. Earth. Air. The promise of the rainbow. The covenant. The wings of angels. The stars in the heavens. Creator of heaven and earth. Miracle of transformation. Dark & light. Serious & playful. Mischievous. Serene. Calm. Reaching—not striving. Moving. Growing. Changing. Transforming. Universal.

I look into those eyes and I see peace. Life. The paradox of creation. Unique. Odd. Magnificent. The tree of life. The covenant of the rainbow. Welcoming arms. Arms that say, “This is my world. Come to me. Look at me. See what I can do. You can do it too.” She is I and so are you. The source of life. The atom of God. The core. The beginning. The seed. Rest. Chaos. It’s all there.

The eyes of a child. Where we meet God. Yea, lest you become like little children…that is when you enter the kingdom of God. She speaks to me. She calls me. She touches me. Light. Life. Wisdom. Source. The tree. The miracle. The eyes of the world. The stranger. The foreigner. The dog by my side. My beautiful children. Everyone. I see the world when I look into those eyes.

collage by lucy. see related post here.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


The journey toward wholeness is never complete, but still we reach and yearn and move toward and through it. Gradations. Variations. Two steps forward and one step back—for we are always changing. As Jung says, 'if two meet and connect, there is a reaction and we are transformed.' (Paraphrased--see direct quote here.)

Morphing like the Animorphs books my son read as a child. Our nature may feel like that of a butterfly—a miracle born of the cocoon. Or a bird on the wing lifting and floating through the air. At other times, we may feel like the snake on the ground with no arms or legs to move us, tasting only dirt within our teeth.

The butterfly breaks free from its cocoon. Birds molt. Snakes shed their skin. Yet at no time do they cease to be insect or bird or snake. They simply morph into what they already are—journeying toward their completeness.

photo © h3images

Friday, January 04, 2008


2008 is off to a fabulous start! I have enjoyed reading other people's musings on beginning a new year and have appreciated the well-received reception of lucy creates!!!! (If you haven't visited yet, please pop on over soon.) Much of my time recently has been spent creating the new site and pondering what this year may hold.

Barefoot Toward the Light had a very evocative post today on Hope which seems like an apt topic for this season. She ended with the question: "Now, in what or where lies your hope?" Here is what came to mind for me.

my hope lies in remembering how and where God has met me in the past...turning impossible situations into amazing outcomes far beyond anything i could possibly imagine. my hope lies in the present moment for it is all i have. my hope lies in the future for i know there is more to come. paradoxical? maybe. complete? you bet! my hope lies in the past, the present and the future.

How about you? In what or where lies your hope?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, I am back with loads of new photos, ponderings and maybe even a little poetry to begin this fabulous new year. Today, however, is dedicated to the introduction of my new blogsite called lucy creates! While "diamonds" will continue to be my primary site, I have taken on a challenge here to introduce creativity into my life each day of 2008.

I hope you will visit both sites and journey with me through this new year. Cheers!

"moon gate" by lucy