Charming Photos and Uplifting Writings

Archive for May, 2011

Sylvio’s Conclusion

Sylvio's Conclusion

Suzanne: You know, a cat has it so easy when it comes to love.

Cat’s thoughts: If you only knew what I had to give up in this household.

Valerie: (petting the cat in her lap) I know. They call the shots. They come when they want affection, walk away when they rather be alone, are fed, brushed, and I have to scoop up behind them.

Cat’s thoughts: Your baby brother pulls my tail, you give dry instead of can food, and you don’t understand anything I say; instead I have to listen to some demeanor of baby talk when some speak at me. Like that actually gives me a thrill. (Sarcastic look at the girls)

Suzanne: I wonder if cats fancy love any more than we beautiful young girls do? (Tilting the head with a flirtatious smile). I mean, true love…can love be compelling and powerful? Is it full of magic, charm, and passion? Does your heart truly flutter and your palms sweat?

Valerie: My mom’s tells me that those emotions are crushes, just a physical attraction at the moment. All I know is that I have never met or felt like the quote that hangs behind you.

Suzanne: What quote? Oh, that one that says:

  • Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Cat’s thoughts: You have never experienced that kind of love because, at your age, hormones are raging with lust and passion that have taken control of your mind and body. You all haven’t gotten pass the giggle stage.

Valerie: I enjoy reading that quote, but right now I will admit I don’t quite fully understand that definition of love.

Suzanne: Me too, but I will say, that the new boy at school is…well, has me looking so to speak. (Girls laughing). It would be gratifying to meet someone that is kind and patient and that made me want to be a better person that is friendlier, confident, fully trusts to believe in others and has hope for the best will happen. That would be romantic!

Cat’s thoughts: Get a dog!

Exercise Creativity

Take Me Home

It has been one of those weeks when cloud cover seems to stay and moisture lingers in the air with the scattered thunder storms. It has been a pleasant week to complete some things indoors, including reading. I have read some intriguing books and even read that typically the genre I find fun to read is often the best genre for my writing. I do not know if there is a lot of truth in that ideology. I have enjoyed books of mystery, crime, and even romance, but I write through the view point of a cat.

I had done an exercise in the past that suggested picking an age I had fond memories. Then describe myself at that age and what I wished for out of the future at that age. Then compose that description into a character. Believe it or not, that is where I got the idea for speaking through the cat. At a young age, I was so fond of animals, especially cats. When neighbors lost their pets, they would call my house first to see if I had brought them home. If a puppy came up to me as I was walking home from school and seemed to want to follow me, and then home with me, he came. I was more than willing to let him stay, provide food and water and give him a name. I was determined to rescue all abandoned pets. Today, I still have a weak heart when it comes to stray animals. So, now explaining that exercise, that gives insight to where my characters come from in my stories.

I will admit that various exercises suggested through classes, magazines, and the Internet can provide inspiration to writing. When I have those moments, and hopefully less than more, and my thoughts do not seem to stay focused on writing the story at hand, these exercises seem to help add fuel to give creativity a boost. One exercise I liked, I call the Hallmark exercise, and you were to think of a Holiday, one that was memorable and exciting. Let yourself go back in time and feel the emotions you felt. Then write about the emotions in tangible detail. What would you describe that can be touched, but expresses tender joy? Another was to write about your favorite Holiday food. Allow yourself to use your senses and capture each element of aroma, texture, taste and appetizing appearance.

The first time I attempted some of these exercises, well, some of those first drafts have been deleted. But I will say, I have gotten ideas from those attempts and even used some of the descriptions from the exercises in some of my stories.

So, if it is a rainy day and you find it is a reasonable time to remain indoors, what genre do you like to read? Maybe it is an opportune time to write, like a letter to a friend and describing that new recipe for cheesecake you just baked. Make your friend reach out and contact you because she could just smell, taste and see that scrumptious, delectable dessert.

Sylvio’s Creative Thoughts

Sylvio's Thoughts

Cat:  Don’t you think it is time to feed me?

Me:  You have dry food.

Cat:  Excuse me, can food, please!

Me:  You will be fed in the afternoon and it is not even lunch time.

Cat:  Let me explain, the bowl is empty.

Me:  I’m busy right now and it’s not time.

Cat:  So, what are you writing now?

Me:  Various ideas.

Cat:  I should be the main character this time.

Me:  Ok…I hear you.

Cat: You hear but you are not listening…like you don’t hear that my bowl is empty!

Sylvio is right about one thing.  I have had those moments that I hear someone talking, but not attentive to listening to what they are actually saying.  I might be busy, and my attention might be focused on what I am doing.  Sometimes, when I attempt to multitask, listening might be sacrificed.  There are times when my mind is just preoccupied with upcoming events, but whatever the reason, I know I can seem distant and even rude.

I have been on the other side, and I will admit the feeling that I was not respected, or be pushed aside because some did not have time to listen to me, I do not like.  I have even been accused of arguing when I attempt to express something, so the conversation will come to an end.  I have walked away and felt unimportant, unappreciated, and even unloved.

I don’t know about you, but I know I can get so involved with a task and ignore those around me.   Turn on the music and sit at the computer writing.  Run out to capture photos in the morning or evening lighting.  Find an intriguing book to read and tune out the outside world.  Start a household project and just forget that others are around.   I realize that if I did not like how I felt when some did not have time to listen, then I am doing the same to others.  I don’t want to do that.  So, even when I strive to take pride for what I am doing, I also need to use that passion for the relationships that surround me.  Folks used a term, “know your P’s & Q’s” when I was young.  There are some “P’s” I can use.  I need to be “P”- patient with my family and hit the ”P”- pause button at times when they have the same passion to share and communicate.  “P”- practice what I have taught to the children and demonstrate to others how I want to be treated.  And, like I said earlier, I need to have “P” passion for those around; they are part of my life and share in the journey.

Me:  Now for you Sylvio, it is just not time for the can cat food.

Cat:  Are you practicing what you just said?

Me:  Yes, I am practicing the passion of being patient with you.  So, let us both pause and accept, you will get fed this afternoon and right now, you have dry food and fresh water.

Cat:  You are right.  I am being patient with you.  I will pause for a passionate nap.  Something I have practiced well.

Passion for Creativity

The Moment

There are times when I would rather be sitting around on a rainy day or sunny, spring day at the beach, reading a book and letting time go by. It’s those moments when the clock is ticking, but savoring the moment has made time pause. A moment escaped into another world when the imagination lets me be a character that’s in love, on an adventure, or fights with passion for what is right.

There are times when I can close my eyes and my imagination takes off into the dreams of what I want to come. That is the times when I can type up a story where I’m communicating with my cat, seeing new worlds, or meeting those unique individuals of mystery.

Finding that passion can bring to life that enthusiasm to get up, create, and desire to move forward with the energy that fuels my eagerness to live.

I am grateful for that inner yearning that burns from within to set new goals. New goals, whatever dreamed, it could be writing, photography, crochet, or hiking but I want it to keep me active both physically and mentally. I have read that walking at least 30 minutes a day, can increase feeling more energetic and lessen health problems. I have also read that reading, or furthering education provides stimulation that enlightens to think, and can reduce the risk of dementia. These factors may be true, but my opinion, when I am doing things that excite me, then I do not have time to worry about the negative things that can bring me down. Down to that state that a sunny day can seem gloomy, and I feel blue.

I have worked in the Social Work field over 25 years and have seen with the experience those that have lost that inner desire to move forward for positive results. I say a prayer and listen. I will have to say that something was said to me that enlightened my understanding. I was told, “Putting down the drugs and alcohol was the easy part, it’s facing that part of life that lead to the blinders and staying sober that’s hard.” I know those demons of the past can be haunting and blinding to the unlimited possibilities of tomorrow. When childhood has not provided that firm foundation it can seem like the construction of life is destructive.

I cannot speak for others, but I can share what works for me. I have tried to view life as spring cleaning, if it has no purpose and it only takes up space, then it is time to discard. There are times, when some memories of the past need to be faced and then discarded. Taking that active role of responsibility will lessen the desire to blame and hold onto unproductive and negative feelings that hinder. It opens the opportunity to create those new memories today that can repair and add stability to the construction to living.

I was once told that ‘Life’ was a basket of choices and what I choose was my decision. If I picked a rotten apple, then it was my decision to drop. If I decided to hold onto the rotten apple, then I had to accept that it could affect the others apples or my future decisions. Learning from the mistakes can be difficult to face, but the lessons have provided a stronger ability to select a more appropriate apple that becomes the gift of apple delights and roots to better apples. It is not easy at times, and it does take energy and the ability to think to make those choices into the life I dream. So, I savor those moments that can add passion for living and focus on the positive to be creative.

Future Opportunity

Open the shutter,

Take a deep breath,

Savor the moment,

Think of the gift.

The gift of choice,

The decision to pursue,

To improve the quality,

The dream of life!


Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a day I want to express how thankful I am now. It’s also a time; I like to reminisce over the days when the children were small. Those creative gifts my kids made years ago. Some had to be thrown away due to bugs in the macaroni, and others will be kept in my ‘Mom’s treasure chest’. To me, I will remember the honor it was to receive those cards with their hand prints painted on with joy. To see their faces glow to give me something they were so proud to have made. Those handmade, painted frames with their school picture. Those handmade crafts made from their little hands of colorful beaded necklaces, those artistic pictures and play dough hearts.

Mother’s Day is a time to reflect on the blessings shared with my mother. I can still remember the handmade gifts I gave to my Mom. As I grew, I am grateful for those moments from childhood to adulthood when she offered that support needed to become a mother.

Mother’s Day is a time to be thankful for my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Those moments when they could make me laugh, smile and give meaning to being a family. When receiving those chocolate-covered kisses and messy hand hugs with a happy smile and twinkle in the eyes gave a pause to the moment like a treasured photo.

Today, I am just as glad to receive the flowers and candy. It’s the grandchildren now that show that glow to give me those handmade gifts. It’s also fun to participate in the making of gifts with the grandchildren for their mother’s. Like I have said before, children can bring out the best and creative side to an adult.

It has become an honor to know that I have participated in the grand journey of motherhood. It has had its moments of fears, scares, and trials, but the joys shared have undoubtedly outweighed those moments. It has been a responsibility that has offered lessons learned, treasured moments, and experiences filled with love. Motherhood has added comfort to my journey in life.

I truly wish to every Mother, Mother-to-be, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother and Godmother this coming weekend, a time to reflect, a moment to share, an event to create and days when prayers are answered for participating in that honored league of Motherhood.

My Creative Opinion

The Journey

There is a celebration to some, and there is sadness to others.  I have had the opportunity to read comments and watch TV, and I too have my opinion.  Each day can bring to some, news they want to celebrate, and that same news can produce conflict or sorrow to another.  I have come to see that it is a balance, both good and bad, joy and sadness, conflict and peace.  I had been told even when I was a child; you have to experience both to appreciate the better.

No matter what the experience, it adds growth to the journey.  There can be challenges to one’s strengths and beliefs. At times, the journey can be of mystery, the unforeseen future, a surprise party in the making, so-to-speak, and then, there are times when it can be predictable.  There can be times, when the question has been asked, “Why?” and other times when the words of gratitude have been expressed.  There are times when the experience has been shared, and other times, it has been the choice to ignore.  There are times, during my journey, when I am there physically, but not in spirit, so I have missed the complete experience.

I have experienced occurrences, spoken at folks and been present in situations physically, but not in the spirit.  I have attended events and yet not been an active participant.  I have talked at someone and not given them the respect for their opinion, which has led, to an argument.  I truly believe that when I talk with someone, I can respectfully give them the attention and acknowledgment they deserve even if I disagree, and then it is the act of talking with them.

Have you ever been somewhere, but wished you were someplace else?  Have you ever been with someone and wished you were with another?  Have you ever talked at someone and not with them?  I know I have been in that situation.

Technology has been able to create many things, but not the spirit within a human being that gives life.  That abstract concept, unable to see, cannot put your finger on, which some call heart, mind, drive, soul and I call spirit.  I give credit to a power greater than me for the development and breathing life into my spirit.  During the journey, I have grown and rely on that higher power, God, to give meaning to my spirit.

I believe when I strive to do something that is just, productive, and can be shared with others, my spirit will be actively involved with me physically during those situations.  My spirit finds meaning on my journey.  I truly believe that the spirit within was created to be shared.  Shared in friendships, powered by love, and will offer sacrifice, and when shared, that spirit grows and brings meaning to living.

I have witnessed one take full credit or greed for the attention and glory, which the ego can take control and make a person’s spirit become hidden from sight and not present, and seem lonely and destructive in their journey.   When the spirit is withheld and not shared, I have seen the ego take control and the physical body cries out to control, manipulate, and even hurt in that search for meaning.   I have seen individuals with so much to give and by choice withhold.   They have looked sad, angry, and miserable, and seem to push those near away.

I do not claim to have any answers, but I will strive to respect what was believed to be just, productive and could be shared with others for the better of humankind with all the opinions, including mine.  I also believe, it is not for me to judge another person’s spirit, only that privilege is given to the creator himself.

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