Reena’s Exploration Challenge – 81 4-9-2019

It is time to peep into your creative processes once again. Welcome to Week 81!

PROMPT

This video inspired me. Maybe you like to see it or use it as a creative nudge.

https://aeon.co/videos/then-fit-our-vision-to-the-dark-exploring-sight-with-emily-dickinson


We grow accustomed to Darkness. Darkness is in our hearts. Our minds. Our souls. Anybody who has not been tempted by Darkness is a liar.

Some of us grow up in darkness. Some of us grow up in Light, finding Darkness when we realize Light is not all there is in this world. This is the Darkness which crushes the soul, destroys the spirit, leaving nothing behind but despair.

Some of us live in Darkness all our lives, never finding the path out. Never seeing even a spark of Light, our eyes so blinded by Dark.

Some of us are created of Darkness, some of us of Light. But it is the Darkness which finds us in our hours of despair, when the pain is so all-encompassing we no longer believe in Light. Some of us never escape the Darkness and drown.

Some of us…. all of us…. grow accustomed to Darkness.

Reena’s Exploration Challenge – 78 3-17-2019

Today, we have a paragraph as a prompt. Do whatever you can with it. Reflect on it, twist it, break it into pieces and use a phrase or just write if you agree/disagree or whatever you think about it. As usual, there are no restrictions on length or format. Suit yourself.

PROMPT

“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow; “and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Land of Oz

“Leaves of a tree, my butt,” grumbled the Flying Monkey perched in the tree. “Ill show him leaves on a tree.” But he wouldn’t. He was, after all, a kind Flying Monkey and not a bit of the meanness in him that consumed his brethren.
Still, he hated to be called a leaf as if he were no more than one Flying Monkey among a thousand Flying Monkeys. And he  hated, hated, hated, being called common. Hadn’t he left the Witch’s Castle and set out on his own, searching for a kinder, gentler, place among the vastness of Oz?
No, he was a failure of a Flying Monkey; hadn’t he been told that all his life? Hadn’t the others mocked him and laughed at him as he helped earthworms across the Yellow Brick Road and rescued ladybugs from the dank of the Witch’s Castle?
Dorothy had been a single girl out of thousands. Toto a single dog out of thousands. The Scarecrow a single scarecrow out of however many scarecrows might be around; the Tin Man the single out of the world of Tin Men. And the Cowardly Lion. How many lions were there in Oz? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? And yet, he was the only one of them who was scared and kind.
Was he maybe the Cowardly Lion of Flying Monkeys? Was he one of a thousand Flying Monkeys who wanted to be kind to those around him? Did that make him common? A leaf on a tree who would live and die unnoticed?
Could he be instead the catalyst of change among the Flying Monkeys? Could he be that one unusual Flying Monkey in a thousand who didn’t die unnoticed? Could he be a hero?
Spreading his monkey wings, he flapped from the tree, racing after the unusual band.

I Am Brave 30 Day Challenge Day 20 6-14-2018

(I almost forgot this series. Maybe I should have called it 30 Month Challenge:)

 I Am Outgoing


TODAY’S BRAVE ACT

Commit to one uncomfortable conversation today.

TODAY’S JOURNAL PROMPT

Sometimes it seems I have uncomfortable conversations every day. Okay, that is an exaggeration, but you get what I mean. Sometime any conversation is uncomfortable. In my much younger days, I couldn’t speak at all (mentally not physically). My voice was trapped inside. My voice is now free, but there are still hard conversations.

The hardest ones are with my kids. It’s hard to show tough love and compassionate love at the same time. Tough love? Hardly. My ideal of motherhood is my mother. And what would she do for her kids?

Anything!

How do you argue with that? I work on finding a middle ground, doing for my kids and yet not enabling them. I want them to have their own lives.

Yesterday, I had the same conversation with my youngest which I seem to have ever day.

“K, I need you to pick up all the trash in your room and throw it away.”

He nods.

An hour later.

“K, are you picking up your trash?”

“I’m working on it.”

Another hour.

“K, please get to your trash. Do I have to stand in the doorway to make sure it gets done?

“No.”

“Then do it.”

“I am.”

Needless to say, this morning all the trash was still ensconced in his room.

Sigh.

Back to working on a middle ground.


 

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Sylvia Plath


TODAY’S WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

I am eager to invite others to take part in my brave adventure because though it all, memories and goals are much more satisfying when savored. From best friends to complete strangers, I listen sincerely because each perspective brings its own unique value.  An attitude of understanding removes limiting barriers and allows for mutual constructive growth. I always seek to recognize the potential in others and will encourage them in their own brave intentions.


Intention Inspired
1706 NE Weidler St
Portland OR 97232

I Am Brave 30 Day Challenge Day 19 5-23-2018

(I almost forgot this series. Maybe I should have called it 30 Month Challenge:)

 I Am Optimistic


TODAY’S BRAVE ACT

In a moment of misery, crack a smile. To prep yourself for this moment, try to force a giggle—maybe even a full-on belly laugh​ right now 🙂

TODAY’S JOURNAL PROMPT

Being optimistic is a choice.

I just posted a quote to Facebook which deals with optimism.

Image may contain: text

Some people may disagree with this statement. I know some who already have. I don’t know if the disconnect is in their mind or they are simply afraid nothing will ever change and expecting change leaves them disappointed.

I try to be optimistic. I used to be a pessimist until I realized what I was focusing on was what I was getting out of life. The problem was, I was focusing on the wrong things: what I didn’t have; what I didn’t want; how horrible the world was around me. Thus, those were the things I was manifesting into my life. When I changed my thinking, I changed my life.

Unfortunately, I lost that change and haven’t fuller reclaimed it yet. I fell back into being afraid which kept me stuck in the pessimistic mode. My attitude is improving again. I am focusing more on the positive, trying to remember how to keep the world from pulling the rug out from under me on a daily basis.

I am trying to be optimistic, but not be a Pollyanna, a very difficult distinction. The difference between the two is a Pollyanna think nothing bad will ever happen and an optimist knows bad things will happen but they look for the positive even so.

Maybe I am just making that distinction in my mind so I can stay a Non-Pollyanna. Or maybe I am just fooling myself. Maybe being an optimist and a Pollyanna are the same thing.  I’m not sure why it matter, just that I hate the label of Pollyanna.

Even so, if I have to claim the label, I might as well do it with as much cheer and positivity as possible.


“Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been and look at what can be.”

– Marsha Petrie Sue


TODAY’S WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

As I encounter fear and opposition, I will greet it with an extra degree of kindness and care. I will let the curve of my smile grow into every negative thought and emotion. Navigating difficulty in this positive light turns obstacles into opportunities and empowers me to press on courageously.


Intention Inspired
1706 NE Weidler St
Portland OR 97232

Question of the Day 5-16-2018

Please feel free to answer these questions on your blog or in the responses. If you leave me a link to your post, I will re-post it on my blog. You can also feel free to forward these questions to anybody who might be interested. Thank you to those who have already shared their thoughts.


What song is stuck in you head right now?

Read my Mind by The Killers

On the corner of main street
Just tryin’ to keep it in line
You say you wanna move on, and
You say I’m falling behind

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

I never really gave up on
Breakin’ out of this two-star town
I got the green light
I got a little fight
I’m gonna turn this thing around

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

The good old days, the honest man
The restless heart, the Promised Land
A subtle kiss that no one sees
A broken wrist and a big trapeze

Oh well, I don’t mind, you don’t mind
Cause I don’t shine if you don’t shine
Before you go, can you read my mind?

It’s funny how you just break down
Waiting on some sign
I pull up to the front of your driveway
With magic soaking my spine

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

The teenage queen, the loaded gun
The drop dead dream, the Chosen One
A southern drawl, the world unseen
A city wall and a trampoline

Oh well, I don’t mind, you don’t mind
‘Cause I don’t shine if you don’t shine
Before you jump
Tell me what you find
When you read my mind

Slipping in my faith until I fall
He never returned that call
Woman, open the door, don’t let it sting
I wanna breathe that fire again

She said, I don’t mind, you don’t mind
Cause I don’t shine if you don’t shine
Put your back on me
Put your back on me
Put your back on me

The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun
When you read my mind

Songwriters: Brandon Flowers / Dave Brent Keuning / Mark August Stoermer / Ronnie Jr. Vannucci

Read My Mind lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Question of the Day 5-15-2018

Please feel free to answer these questions on your blog or in the responses. If you leave me a link to your post, I will re-post it on my blog. You can also feel free to forward these questions to anybody who might be interested. Thank you to those who have already shared their thoughts.


Do you live to work or work to live?

Definitely, work to live. I should have lived in a simpler time, one where I enough money so I didn’t have to work. I am perfectly happy at home, relaxing in those moments when time seems to slip away and everything stops. When I can stand in my kitchen and watch the birds out back at the bird-feeder for what seems like hours with no sense of wasted time or time passing me by. No ‘You need to be doing (plug-in anything on the To Do list) NOW!’

The years I stayed at home with my oldest were some of the best I can remember. Long days between putting her on the bus and getting her off to dream, play and work. I cleaned my house from top to bottom yearly during that time, including taking everything out of the attic, sorting it and putting it back. My house had never before – and never since – been so clean. Probably never will be again.

I don’t have a ‘career.’ I have a job which I enjoy, but it is not my life. It is the money-maker which allows me to live my life. Some people have a driving need to be a Doctor or a Lawyer. An accountant. President (heaven forbid). Jockey. Movie Star and endlessly on. I don’t and I never have.

I like it that way.

 

 

Question of the Day 5-14-2018

Please feel free to answer these questions on your blog or in the responses. If you leave me a link to your post, I will re-post it on my blog. You can also feel free to forward these questions to anybody who might be interested. Thank you to those who have already shared their thoughts.


What does Motherhood mean to you?

I can think of no better answer than the piece below, written in memory of my mother.


Everything I learned about being a mother I learned from my mother.  Simple, right?  Of course I learned from her.  But it’s not so simple as that.  I was the baby of the family, the introvert, the dreamer.  The nonconformist.  I lived inside my head, inside the stories I was always telling myself, understanding those stories and their characters better than I could ever understand the real world around me. My mother was just the opposite; she lived in the real world and had no use for the daydreams and fantasies of her youngest child.

I always thought this was the reason we so often clashed.  Now, however, I think we weren’t so different after all.  She had to live in a reality that I had not yet known.  She had a husband and kids and a house to run.  Groceries to buy, food to cook and endless cleaning of house and laundry.  When I grew up and had these same things come to me, I had to learn how to live outside my own reality.  There isn’t a choice when you have children.

I have come to understand that being a mother comes from the heart and from the soul.  It is the greatest surrender any woman can make to put aside her life for 18 + years to focus on her children.  Not all mothers make this sacrifice, but my mother did.  There are no absolutes in a mother’s world, no true rights or wrongs.  Everything we do as mothers is in the Now, the eternal present. There is no past or future in mothering. Every word we choose leaves it’s input on our child forever. As a mother myself, I can now see the challenges and sacrifices that she made from both sides.  She did the best she could in the Now.  When she knew better, she did better.  What better mantra for any mother?

Somewhere in the turmoil of our relationship,  the truth of being a mother changed.  Maybe she leaned that you can’t fix your children.  Maybe she finally saw me for who I was and not who she wanted me to be.  Or maybe she just learned how to stop being a mother and start being a friend.  Time and again, she stood behind me without questions, no longer trying to fix my life, but simply being there. She learned that I didn’t need somebody to fix my problems (though I may have wanted that),  but instead I needed somebody to hear me.  I needed to know that I had value as me and not just as the person others wanted me to be.  I needed somebody who would never leave.

But there is no permanency in motherhood. Eventually mothers go away from their children, leaving behind an empty space inside that will never again be filled in the same way.  Sometimes this leaving is first mental, just as you have gone away into a world of imagination where I cannot enter, our roles switched in what seems a tragic irony of fate.  Eventually, however, it will be forever. This, too, is motherhood.  A letting go, a final freedom, the ability of a child to physically let go of their mother when the time is right and the knowledge that, in truth, motherhood never ends.  It is an endlessness that has carried women from the first moment of the world, uniting us all back to the first mother, that very first instant when a woman looked upon her face of her newborn and fell in love.

What better tribute could there be?

Question of the Day 5-12-2018

Please feel free to answer these questions on your blog or in the responses. If you leave me a link to your post, I will re-post it on my blog. You can also feel free to forward these questions to anybody who might be interested. Thank you to those who have already shared their thoughts.


If you are being extremely quiet, what does it mean?

If you believe the old saying, it means I am pissed. You know the one:

A quiet man is a thinking man. A quiet woman is usually mad.

Or:

If a woman is quiet it doesn’t mean she is mad at you, she is simply giving you a chance to think about what you have or haven’t done.

There are others, I know, many not so humorous. That, however, isn’t the genesis of this piece. I like taking the humorous approach; it fits with my often odd sense of humor.

Quietness can mean many different things in my life. I can be angry-quiet, usually before I explode into a fit of anger. I can be quiet-happy, quiet-sad, or just plain quiet.

I love quiet. As a matter of fact, I love silence. There is no better day than being alone and not having to hold a conversation with anyone expect myself and my pets. Or, okay, the plants inside and the trees outside, any random dog or cat or creature I might happen upon. You know what I mean.

I talk to myself constantly. Mostly it is stream-of-consciousness or holding a conversation with one character or another. Put me in the situation of having to hold a descent conversation with another person, however, and I am often in the dark. I can do it; I’ve taught myself how over the years, but quiet time is best.

So being quiet can mean many things in my world. The best times are times of quiet contentment when all the world seems right and everything and everybody inside of me is at peace.

I am hoping for those times today.

What does it mean when you are quiet?

 

 

Question of the Day 5-11-2018

Please feel free to answer these questions on your blog or in the responses. If you leave me a link to your post, I will re-post it on my blog. You can also feel free to forward these questions to anybody who might be interested. Thank you to those who have already shared their thoughts.


Would you take a trip to outer space or to the bottom of the ocean?

This is a hard question. Either trip would be amazing. I’m not up for traveling to some distant planet, mind you, but I would love to experience the vastness and weightlessness of space.

If I had to choose just one, however, it would be a trip to the bottom of the ocean. I am amazed by the depth and mysteries concealed by the sea, along with glimpses of  those weird creatures which inhabit those deep, dark depths.

Photo: Close-up of a deep-sea frill shark
The Frilled Shark live up to 5,000 feet below the surface.
Photo: Close-up of a fangtooth fish
Fangtooth Fish – They live 6,500 to 16, 500 feet below the surface.
Photo: Close-up of a Pacific viperfish
Pacific Viperfish – Live up to 13,000 feet below the surface.
Image result for creatures living in the deepest part of the ocean
Goblin Shark – They live at least 4265 feet below the surface.
The list goes on and on.
The thought of floating through the ocean thousands and thousands of feet beneath the surface is magical, if impossible. It is also terrifying. The thought of the pressure of the water and the darkness, the very fact of being trapped if anything should happen, scares the heck out of me. I never would have made it on a submarine.
I don’t have claustrophobia, per say, but shut into a tiny submersible to travel to the bottom of the ocean would defeat me quickly. Then again, so would being trapped in a space ship.
All in all, it is smarter for me to stay right where I am, safe and sound. After all, Goggle, YouTube and all the other resources on the internet are much safer and have much better amenities.
Pass the popcorn!

Question of the Day 5-10-2018

Please feel free to answer these questions on your blog or in the responses. If you leave me a link to your post, I will re-post it on my blog. You can also feel free to forward these questions to anybody who might be interested. Thank you to those who have already shared their thoughts.


What is the meanest thing anybody has ever said to you?

Besides lying to my face? I know ‘lying’ isn’t necessarily saying mean things, but it does do all sort of mean things that aren’t acceptable.

As for the meanest things which sticks in my mind, I have to go with the following. As I have said, I collect model horses. Collecting is a huge hobby which includes things like model horse shows – both photo and live, pedigree assignments, and many other things. I was at judging a live show once and had a showers come up and ask me which division was judging. When I told them, she looked right in my face and said, “I’m glad I’m not in that division.”

This might be confusing for those who don’t know anything about model horse showing, but she was trying to be as mean and nasty as possible. In other words, trying to say I was a horrible judge and didn’t know anything about horses. I have also had other showers lie to my face and to the event holder about me, but that goes back to lying.

A little about Live Model horse shows for those not in the know. Live shows mean taking your models to wherever the show is being held (this particular one was on Chincoteague). Classes are divided by breed, Manufacturer and sometimes color. Everybody in, say the Arabian class, puts their Arabian models on the table and a judge does just like at a real horse show – except the horses don’t move.

I used to judge at many of these show, but – like most things – the model horse hobby is full of clichés and politics. I have since stopped judging because it is not worth my time to deal with these people. I still go to maybe one show a year, if that, but I just go, show and come home. I avoid all the drama as best as I can.

Here are some pictures from my last Live Show and the only one I will attend this year.

 

The first photo on the top left is my show string. The first one on the right is the Mustang class. On the front row, the smaller horse to the left and the rearing one to the right are mine.

The stacked pictures on the left are pictures of the show hall and the rings (tables).

The largest picture is my guy, Glory Knights, (a Percheron/Quarter Horse cross) who won the Peter Stone Draft Division.