14 July 2018 Seeing Without Eyes

Hello there.  How are you doing?  It’s Saturday night and now that the sun is dimming, it’s finally cooler.  It was a scorcher again today!  I slept a lot today to try and shake this fatigue I’ve been feeling.

A message came to me as I was trying to drift off, “You don’t have to have eyes to see.  There is vision in feeling…the clouds use the winds to see as well as feel.”   Those who have lost their vision can be physically blind or spiritually bankrupt.  It’s so easy in this world to be tempted to give our souls away to people, places and things that don’t deserve them!

Something I’ve had to learn and relearn over and overdon’t give your personal power away! 

What came to mind with this message about vision is what often happens when I go outside with my head phones on, close my eyes and move my hands through the air around me.  Sometimes I will go out and it’s completely still, no air moving at all.  Then I’ll do that simple ritual I do and a breeze will start to flow through the trees and around me.  It feels like nature responding to my touch almost!  It’s a beautiful experience!  I often imagine I’m flying when this happens.  I’ll open my eyes and look up in the sky and all sorts of birdies will be soaring around above me.

In all honesty, I’m thinking they are enjoying a nice meal I’ve stirred up for them with my moving around!  It’s magical to watch anyway!

22 9 19 9 15 14

V I S I O N = 88/16/7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

19 9 7 8 20

S I G H T = 63/9 cycle

2 12 9 14 4

B L I N D = 41/5 divided by 2 = 2.5 = 7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

19 5 14 19 5 19

S E N S E S = 81/9 cycle

6 5 5 12 9 14 7

F E E L I N G = 58/13/4/2/1

5 13 15 20 9 15 14 19

E M O T I O N S = 110/2/1

19 25 13 2 15 12

S Y M B O L = 86/14/5 divided by 2 = 2.5 – 7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

23 15 18 4

W O R D = 60/6/3 cycle

I’ve shared this here before, I just love this scene, I love this movie.  This scene shows what it’s like for me sometimes when I’m outside, there is music in the winds.  When we just allow ourselves to connect with the child within the world becomes a place where anything is possible:

August Rush Opening

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14 July 2018 Inception

Hello to you.  Just a quick note before I get breakfast started.  Not sure the painting on canvas is going to happen today.  We have lots of chores to do today and my butt is dragging a bit.  May be tomorrow?!  Part of the reason I’m so tired is just before falling asleep last night there was a loud explosion like someone set off a firework right in the middle of the street.  I was so pissed!  Not good to try to go to sleep mad.  It was hard to go back to sleep after that.  We found out this morning the sound we heard was someone hitting our neighbors truck!  UGH!

Then there were all the dreams I had that made me think of the movie Inception – dreams within dreams.  I’m with the Kyle I know but I’m like a person within a person as I lay next to him.  Then there is a man with dark hair and dark eyes telling me, “I have work to do.” Then all the sudden I’m in something like a fight scene in a movie on a train with stuff flying everywhere.  Another was of going to a beach that was all vibrant with a lot of teal green going on.  There were seals and I could see a life guard.  Then that same scene was devoid of color, of seals and the life guard – it was all washed out, cloudy and drab.   When my brain is running like that, I don’t wake up feeling very rested.   I guess my dreams are a reflection of the influx of random stuff I’ve been putting in my head via television, movies and internet.

  1. in·cep·tion = 105/6/3 cycle
    [inˈsepSH(ə)n]

    NOUN
    inceptions (plural noun)
    1. the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity.
      “she has been on the board since its inception two years ago”
      synonyms: establishment · institution · foundation · founding · formation · initiation · setting up · origination · constitution · inauguration · opening · beginning · start · starting point · outset ·

      [more]

Sending you hugs, love, prayers and positive vibes through the wires today!

Be kind,
for everyone
you meet
is carrying
a great
burden.

ian maclaren – circa 1898

Adapted from original version: “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.” Ian MacLaren was the pen name of Reverend John Watson.

13 July 2018 My Present (birthday), chalk drawings and Once Upon a Star (poem)

Hello there!  Hope you are doing well today.  Today is my husband’s 34th birthday and he said this morning, “It seems like your more excited for my birthday than I am!”  I replied, “I am!  Today is the day my present got here!”  Long before I met Kyle I can remember standing under a starry sky and asking, “Where are you?!”  Little did I know such a person was on their way to my heart and to my life.  Having a husband like Kyle is proof I must have done at least one good thing so far in this life!

I have been sharing a lot of pictures lately knowing I’m probably going to run out of room lool.  It’s worth the trouble.

Once Upon a Star – (Blog poem I wrote 3 May 2006)

Weary eyes and weary soul my light embers dim

I look into the heavens for Pleiades and sing a faraway song

A forgotten hymn

The sisters dance forever make haste to Venus

A veil of silk and dreamwork

Cast a spell between us

Sitting in my plane of invisible air I fly

Through space and time

To your gleaming spires my voice will cry

Once upon a star

Neither light nor shadow

The distance far

 

12 July 2018 Double Rainbow on the Morning Walk

Hello!  We are just back from a walk with Link and Spot and were treated to a rare sight, a double rainbow!  One was bright and the other harder to see but it was there.  I was so excited I even stopped a neighbor as he drove by to ask if he saw the rainbow lol.  He smiled and said, “Yes I did!” I wasn’t sure we’d make it home in time to get a picture of them:

When your me and something like this happens where you’ve been drawing and or thinking about something and then a double rainbow appears, it feels like a conversation has occurred with God as I understand them.  They are saying with a colorful band in the sky “I am here.  I hear you.  I see you.  I will not only give you one rainbow but I will give you two!”  A reminder to slow down, let it go, look up and see the beauty of God in all creation! 

The three drawings here are me trying to work through finding out there was a reason I had a particular actor and his family on my mind these past couple of days.  I hadn’t checked on him in awhile to see what projects he was working on.  Well yesterday I decided to and found out there was another negative incident.  My prayers and positive intentions go out to him and his family.  What he is going through with anger resonates with me on so many levels and what his wife is having to go through resonates with my husband who is often my caretaker when I go off the rails.   I care more about this man as a person than I do as an actor and hope he can get what it is he needs in this life besides anger.

He and I need to sit on my back patio with all my chalks and draw together.  Chalk therapy with Jackie.

Egyptian archeologists found this massive black sarcophagus — and no one knows what’s inside

This was exciting to see – Kyle and I are hoping it’s some scrolls that avoided being burned in the main library of Alexandria or something!  WHAT’S IN THE BOX!!! 

11 July 2018 Picture like a painting

Kyle and I have been talking about pulling out a couple of blank canvas’s and painting together this weekend.  I’m excited to see what he comes up with!  Sometimes I am intimidated about adding color to my drawings and sketches.  I’ve screwed so many of them up doing that lool.  Anymore when I’m in the midst of “arting” I just say quietly, “God, guide my hands” and hope for the best!

8 5 1 18 20

H E A R T = 52/7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

9 July 2018 Spider Wasp and Bird Goes Free (Chalk Drawing)

So after my post and breakfast this morning,  I went out to draw.  I’m drawing this loving and spiritual sort of thing and this little spider comes running up to me.  I of course got out of their way.  Then seconds later I see this little fly looking insect on top of the spider.  I couldn’t understand what was happening.  It happened so fast!  In a manner of seconds, this spider wasp (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_wasp) disabled the spider, dismantled the spider and ran off with it’s midsection right in front of me!  I felt powerless like I’m sure nature photographers often do when they are witnessing the sometimes brutal realities of nature in motion.  There was really not much I could do about it.  I’ve seen a larger wasp dragging the body of a spider 3-4 times it’s size in front of me before.  It’s so shocking to see!  It almost feels like nature actively trying to toughen me up.  Trying to show me what the circle of life is for most living beings “See, this is reality!”  UGH!!!!  I DON’T LIKE IT!  Says the little girl in me!  TOUGH SHIT says nature!  My Dad is always teasing me that I am “too soft” about these things.  He’s right of course.

The quote from Temple Grandin I shared on my earlier post was very loud in my head watching this scene from National Geographic play out!  I wonder if that’s what it is like for God with us?  Even if help is sent.  Even if everything that can possibly be done is done, the outcome is going to be just the same no matter what?  There must be some sort of plan we just can’t see.  All the “domino’s” must be lined up just so otherwise they all will fall.  That’s why messing with events for time travelers is such a no-no.  There are so many micro-events attached to one event.

May be the overall plan is as simple as making sure the circle of life continues to rotate?!

After watching how quickly the wasp dispatched the spider I have question if nature is all that cruel or is it just more efficient?  Human morality doesn’t weigh in to survival for most living beings in nature.  They can’t afford to stop and decide if they should or shouldn’t dispatch another being if it’s the difference between the life or death of themselves and their young.

2 9 18 4

B I R D = 33/6/3 cycle (of course!)

3 8 15 9 3 5

C H O I C E = 43/7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1 (like perception, choices involve the activation of intellect)

12 9 6 5

L I F E = 32/5 divided by 2 = 7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1 (between you and God)

4 5 1 20 8

D E A T H = 38/11/2/1 (pretty straight forward)

2 9 18 20 8

B I R T H = 57/12/3 cycle (of course!)

19 21 18 22 9 22 1 12

S U R V I V A L = 124/7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

19 16 9 4 5 18

S P I D E R = 71/8/4/2/1 (8 legs!)

23 1 19 16

W A S P = 14/5 divided by 2 = 2.5 = 7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1 (kind of what happened to that spider going on in these numbers!)

8 July 2018 Mermaid Got A Friend (chalk drawing) and Alleluia Skies (chalk drawing and photos)

“Sometimes when it feels like I am irretrievably lost in my spirit I just have to look up and realize I am home.”

7 July 2018 Mermaid Returns (chalk drawing) and Genome of Redwoods

Found some quotes I liked from the Daily Good site – http://www.dailygood.org/ :

Great art picks up where nature ends.
Marc Chagall

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
C. S. Lewis

When we show our respect for other living things, they show respect for us.
Arapahoe Proverb

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
Bertrand Russell

Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
Meister Eckhart

I hope this finds you well in mind, body and spirit as you visit here.  I’m in the ocean and in the woods today lool!  Going to try and go back to bed and see if I can get some sleep.  I seem to be experiencing a bit of insomnia which is uncommon for me.  In talking to several other people, this condition seems to be going around!

I hope no one minds me sharing this Interesting article.  I am grateful for CBS News for posting it.  Sometimes these positive stories get overlooked in all the negative “b.s” that usually permeates the headlines.  This morning I actually woke up with it on my mind!  I have wondered for the longest time if this type of thing was ever going to be done.  I have wondered why we aren’t doing autopsies on falling trees to find out their stories so we can do more to preserve them.  Looks like they are actually doing this now:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/mapping-the-genome-of-redwoods/ar-AAzqj3W

CBS News

Mapping the genome of redwoods

Our liberties and traditions are rooted in history, as are some of our natural monuments along our West Coast. Lee Cowan reports our Cover Story:
Deep in one of California’s few remaining old-growth forests sat an oddity, popular with tourists since the 1880s: a giant sequoia so giant a tunnel was carved in its trunk.

Last year that tree toppled over during a storm. It was estimated to be around a thousand years old.

It – and others redwoods like it – are a testament to how much we are fascinated by these ancient evergreen, but it’s also a reminder of how much we’ve abused them.

“It looked like the redwoods were a limitless resource, that we could never possibly cut all of them down,” said Ranger Alex Tabone. “We needed those for houses and lumber camps, and mine shaft tunnel shore-up poles.”

a person standing next to a tree in a forest: Correspondent Lee Cowan with Ranger Alex Tabone at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Correspondent Lee Cowan with Ranger Alex Tabone at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California. Tabone is a ranger at the very first state park in California – Big Basin Redwoods State Park – about 65 miles south of San Francisco.

It’s been a park since 1902, ever since a photographer named Andrew P. Hill led the first of its kind conservation charge to protect these giants – like what’s now called the Father of the Forest tree.

“It was probably only going to be another six months to a year before all of these old-growth trees were standing in right now, would have been gone,” said Tabone.

While those trees were saved, other old growth groves were not so lucky. In a 1965 CBS News documentary, our own Charles Kuralt reported on the rush to turn some of the last remaining redwood forests either into lumber or to clear them out of the way to make room for a highway.

“A hundred years ago the great original Redwood forest covered two million acres along the California coast,” Kuralt said, “but more than two-thirds of the virgin redwood trees are gone.”

Their loss was lamented even then. One woman told CBS News, “The more you can preserve of this, the better. I don’t think that the world needs any more freeways. Pretty soon you’re just going to end up with a bunch of roads with no place to go on ’em.”

The final tally: 95% of California’s original Redwood forest was logged, wiped clean, leaving only giant stumps as reminders of what had stood here for so long.

And it’s not as if threat is entirely over. Even today, only about a quarter of the coast redwood habitat is protected from commercial logging and development.

Those that remain stand as cathedrals of nature. Some have been here long before Columbus landed in the Americas, and tower some 30 stories tall.

Cowan asked, “What’s it like when you’re here and you see someone that’s never been in a redwood forest before to come here and see this?”

“That’s the best, that is the best,” replied Sam Hodder, president and CEO of the non-profit Save the Redwoods League.

“What do they say?”

“Usually it’s something along the lines of ‘Aaaahhhhhh my God!” he laughed.

a close up of a tree: Lee Cowan and Sam Hodder in a ferry ring of densely-populated redwood trees.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Lee Cowan and Sam Hodder in a ferry ring of densely-populated redwood trees. His organization’s founders started buying up forest land a hundred years ago, but much of it is younger forests that aren’t maturing as big or as fast as some conservationists would like to see.

“We’re working with redwood forests that have been clear cut multiple times, and are growing back with such a density of stems, that they’re crowding each other out,” Hodder said. “It becomes a thicket of spindly trees that don’t get enough sunlight, that don’t get enough water. … There’s too much competition.”

So, there’s a subtle shift underway from forest conservation to forest restoration – which includes one idea that may have you scratching your heads: logging.

Over the next five years, Save the Redwoods League will be working to thin over 10,000 acres of smaller trees in order to give the remaining redwoods more space, more nutrients, and more light – in order to grow faster.

“Just like in a garden where you prune to accelerate the growth of the dominant plants, you need to thin,” said Hodder.,

But figuring out which of these precious trees stay and which ones go is no easy decision.

“We treat all the trees like they’re the same, but they’re really, really not,” said League scientist Emily Burns. She and University of California at Davis professor David Neale are trying to unlock the genetic secrets of some of the oldest living things on the planet.

Cowan asked, “So, as old as they are, and as iconic as they are, we don’t really know that much about them?”

“They’re the strong silent type,” Burns said. “And so we have to use science to help decode what’s going on with these trees.”

Last year in two labs – one at UC Davis, the other at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore – they began the complex task of mapping the redwood genome, to uncover Nature’s blueprint that is as unique to every tree as our own genetic makeup is to us.

“You have to have a parts lists to understand whether anything is the same or different than it was before,” said Neale. “The parts list for redwoods did not exist.”

“It is a daunting task though, right?”

“Yeah, we won’t be able to do it overnight, you know? I mean it might take a few years, but it’s achievable.”

We as humans have three billion pairs of DNA – pretty complicated. But the coast redwood has some 30 billion base pairs.

“But I thought we were the most complex organisms on Earth?” asked Cowan.

“Well, no, you should rethink that!” Neale laughed.

It all starts with the redwood’s cones – and the seeds embedded in them, high up in the canopy, where someone has to make their way all the way up and pluck them off by hand. It’s from the seeds where the DNA is extracted, one scalpel cut at a time.

a close up of a tree: Plucking cones from the tops of redwood trees, some 200-300 feet in the air.©

Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Plucking cones from the tops of redwood trees, some 200-300 feet in the air. Millions of little pieces of DNA, the chemical building blocks of life, are all sequenced, and then fed into a powerful computer. “Basically you take a puzzle and you throw it on the floor, and now you have to put it back together,” Neale said.

The $2.6 million project has been funded by mostly private donations. When it’s done, scientists will have mapped enough of the genome in enough trees to help identify the kinds that are the most resilient and likely to live a nice long life.

“Within a hundred years we absolutely can set these forests on a healthy trajectory where they have many of the characteristics we’re looking for in old growth,” Burns said.

Call it a nurturing nudge from science, all to save what John Steinbeck once called “ambassadors from another time.”

“When so much of the conversation today is about what we’ve lost – the damming of the world’s waterways, the receding glaciers – we have in the redwoods a sense of hope,” said Hodder. “And we can truly leave the world better than we found it.”

a close up of a tree: The "Father of the Forest" redwood tree.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The “Father of the Forest” redwood tree.       For more info:

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Boulder Creek, Calif.Save the Redwoods LeagueDavid Neale, College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis        Story produced by Mark Hudspeth.

In order to restore old-growth giants like those in California's Big Basin Redwoods State Park, scientists are studying the DNA of the coast redwood tree and its relative, the giant sequoia.: redwood-trees-promo.jpg

© CBS News redwood-trees-promo.jpg

6 July 2018 Thank you and Poems

I don’t need many words for what I want to say to the God of my understanding other than “Thank you for the rain!” 

A couple of poems from Kyle and my past to share:

Raining Time – Kyle Wygant March 13 2002

Washing away the ground

In a triumphant descent

Littering the sky with muted mutiny

Filling every the very holes

Meant to remain unspoiled

Gushing down the walls of time

Winding, whirling and dodging

Pummeling down on the ledges

Of the newly founded changes

Brought down from on high

To rinse away the tainted soil

While nourishing the newly

Undamaged ground

 

Untitled – 28 June 2006 by Jackie Schmidt

Before me the road is cleared of trees and any vision of the past

The view out of me is blank and clear

Behind me lies the wreckage twisted and sharp

Painful to touch, painful to feel it brings tears easily to my eyes

Sometimes these new days are so bright I am blinded in my happiness

I find at times I cannot believe what unfolds can be real and true

Can these blessings really be for me in all that I have been?

I spread my arms wide and the rain falls

I lift my head to the heavens and sun shines

I kneel down and the earth trembles

I look around me and the walls fall down

All is layed bare and new; the earth scoured clean the lion roars

From behind the curtain of uncertainty the doors of eternity open

Before me now the shadow passes and light is left in it’s wake

The White Tree shimmers in the dew slipped dawn

There are no leaves just shimmering silver

A new Hope for a new time……..

 

Some interesting results here!

18 1 9 14

R A I N = 42/6/3 cycle (of course!)

20 8 21 14 4 5 18

T H U N D E R = 90/9 cycle

12 9 7 8 20 14 9 14 7

L I G H T N I N G = 100/1

5 July 2018 Milk Glass Vase, Watching a Different Sort of Darren Criss, The Practice of Walking (Daily Good)

Hello to you.  Just a quick visit.  I’m really tired.  I haven’t had much sleep the past couple of days.  We had a really nice visit with Kyle’s family yesterday and that of course included lots of furry people too.  It was just nice to get caught up as we hadn’t seen each other in several months.  They understood that it was best to steer clear of us until my cycle was over.  So we had burgers and chicken from the grill, some potato and macaroni salads, the blueberry pie Beth made from scratch and my chocolate pudding pie.  We played  a round of Yahtzee and Kyle and his Dad were the only ones to actually roll Yahtzee’s lol!  There were far too many zero’s on my score sheet but it was so fun to play together.  I like the sound of the dice in the cup when you shake it for your roll lol!  I like my dice shaken but not stirred lool!

What is Yahtzee?

Yahtzee

Yahtzee
Yahtzee is a dice game made by Milton Bradley, which was first marketed as Yatzie by the National Association Service of Toledo, Ohio, in the early 1940s. Yatzie was included in a game set called LUCK – 15 Grand Dice Games. It was marketed under the name of Yahtzee by game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe in 1956. Lowe is also responsible for introducing Bingo to the U.S. market. The game is a development of earlier dice games such as Poker Dice, Yacht and Generala. It is also similar to Yatzy, which is popular in Scandinavia
This mornings drawing isn’t what I had wrote myself a note to draw.  I was supposed to draw a mermaid for my dear Cindy! I will be sure to do that after I’m rested so she actually looks like a mermaid!  I’m not firing on all cylinders lol!  One of the two milk glass pieces my Aunt Ruth gave me that belonged to my Grandparents made it into things today.  When you think of milk glass do you immediately think about dipping an oreo or something in a glass of milk?  Well there is a type of glass that is actually called Milk glass:

5 July 2018 Milk glass vase that belonged to Grandma and Grandpa Becker Alvarado TX

https://www.countryliving.com/shopping/antiques/g2965/milk-glass-facts/ – a vase like the one I have is actually in this article, valued at about $10.  It’s worth much more in sentimental value of course!
“Opaque Glass originated in 16th century Venice and came in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, blue, and brown. The white variety beloved today rose to prominence during the Victorian era, when 
it was coveted as an economic dead-ringer for porcelain. (The Victorians also get credit for coining the term “milk glass.”) Its production and popularity waned during the Great Depression but saw a resurgence after World War II. Thanks to a frenzy of mass production during the 1950s and 1960s from companies such as Anchor Hocking, Fenton, and Westmoreland, the mid-century finds are readily available today—many for mere milk money. Here are some pretty pieces to add to your own collection.”
—————————————————-
Last night Mom Beth and I stayed up late and watched about half of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story starring Darren Criss (Blaine from Fox show Glee):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Assassination_of_Gianni_Versace:_American_Crime_Story

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is the second season of the FX true crime anthology television series American Crime Story. The season premiered on January 17, 2018,[1][2] and concluded on March 21, 2018. It consists of a total of 9 episodes,[3] and explores the murder of designer Gianni Versace by spree killer Andrew Cunanan, based on Maureen Orth‘s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History.[2][4]

I normally don’t like to watch television shows with gun violence or based on real stories.  I used to but with the way things have gotten in this country, I don’t need it in my entertainment too.  This said, this was Darren Criss and Beth and I both have an appreciation for him ever since his role as Blaine on Glee.  While it was strangely delightful watching him dance around in a Speedo at one point, it was equally awful watching him murder people and be the kind of human being he was asked to be for this part.  At least they didn’t do the cardinal sin of showing the harming of a dog (physically.)  Ryan Murphy was at the helm of this production.  You could tell.  He knows how to do character development almost too well!  There were times as I was watching that I squirmed, felt a great awkwardness with watching Darren as Andrew being a sociopath and just never telling the truth.  I was physically uncomfortable, cringed and just felt so mortified for the people being portrayed that had once been alive and how Darren Criss’s character Andrew Cunanan destroyed them.

The last I saw of the show last night was the part that brought Beth and I both to tears and it was enough that I don’t know if I could watch anymore of the series.  It’s when he killed the young architect David Madson.  Ryan really put together a sequence for this that just really brought home the message that David was someone’s little boy once and he was dearly loved.   No matter how his Dad felt about David being gay, he loved him more than anything. 

Like I said, I don’t indulge and or relish watching gun violence in most everything now.  When the violent parts happened in the show, I kept saying to Beth, “this is why I like to watch baking and home decorating shows!”  I see someone being hurt, it’s like it’s happening to me.  This said, this scene I am sharing isn’t all about that.  It’s a painfully poignant scene where Andrew is gunning David down and in this process David is transported to one of his most special memories with his Dad.  He realizes he shouldn’t be there again but it brings him peace in the middle of yet another terrifying bit of time with Andrew and just before he dies:

American Crime Story Versace 2×04- Andrew kills David ( Ending Scene)

How do you smudge your soul after channeling someone like Andrew Cunanan?  I see young actors like Darren, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and others who take on these very dark aspects of human nature and I worry about them.  What is the aftercare for their soul after exposing it to such horror?  Even if it is “just pretend?”  I imagine it is probably therapeutic to some degree to be able to “let loose” of the shadow self.  I know when I’m allowed to really yell, scream or release anger I feel better afterwards but how do you bring things back to balance afterwards?  We’ve seen many instances of actors who just couldn’t get back to balance.  It’s very rare that someone can channel such a villain and not implode or explode afterwards.  People like Christopher Lee, Anthony Hopkins, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson and Mads Mikkelsen don’t come along too often!

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Frederick Douglas

Great article topic from the daily good to share!

http://www.dailygood.org/2018/07/05/the-practice-of-walking/this is one of the most important things in my sanity toolkit.  A 40 min walk is great therapy!

But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations. –Gwyn Thomas

 

The Practice of Walking

–by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee & Hilary Hart, syndicated from heartfulnessmagazine.com, Jul 05, 2018

In the busy-ness of our contemporary life, we are drawn into ceaseless activity that often separates us from the deeper dimension of ourselves. With our smartphones and computer screens, we often remain caught on the surface of our lives amidst the noise and chatter that continually distract us, that stops us from being rooted in our true nature. Unaware we are drowned deeper and deeper in a culture of soulless materialism.

At this time I find it more and more important to have outer activities that can connect us to what is more natural and help us live in relationship to the deep root of our being, and in an awareness of the moment which alone can give real meaning to our everyday existence. Over the years I have developed a number of simple practices that bring together action and a quality of heart-centered attention, or deepening awareness, that can nourish our lives in hidden ways. These activities, like walking, cooking with love and attention, can reconnect us with the web of life, our natural interconnection with life in its beauty and wonder. They can help us ‘declutter’ our outer life and instead become rooted in what is simple and real. One of these practices, which combines action with awareness, is walking.


Walk as if you are kissing
the Earth with your feet.

—Thich Nhat Hanh


I have always loved to walk early in the morning, to sense the Earth at the beginning of a day, to feel Her pulse, Her beauty and magic, before thoughts and demands clutter my day. Waking early, I have a hot cup of tea, meditate in silence, and then, as soon as the first light comes, I walk down the hill to the road beside the wetlands where I live. Sometimes the frost is sparkling around me, sometimes the water is clouded with fog, an egret appearing white against the reeds. This is another time of silent meditation, walking, breathing, feeling the Earth. I try to be as empty as possible, just to be present in the half-light, aware of what is around me. Prayer, meditation, presence, awareness – these are just words for a practice that immerses me in a mystery we call nature. Here the sacred speaks to me in its own language, and I try to listen.

Now I live beside the wetlands, and the tidal water is part of this meeting, this communion. Other times, in other landscapes, it has been rivers and streams, the sounds of waterfowls’ wings, the dawn rising across meadows. Or in forests, a different bird chorus, animals skittering across the path, a deer and her young. Always it is a listening awareness, a deep receptivity to what is around me, an honoring of a world other than people. It is a remembrance of what is essential, elemental, and its nourishment carries me through the day. It is a return to the sacred, sensed and felt, without words or thoughts – a primal consciousness as if of the first day.

This is a practice that has been with me since my teens – when I first started to meditate I also needed to walk. It was not taught or learned, but came as a need, a way to be, an antidote to much of the world around me – a world of people and problems, demands and desires. When one foot follows the other and the day has hardly begun, it seems these demands cannot touch me, as if I am immersed in something simpler, more essential. Placing each foot on the earth is a practice, but a practice that comes from my own roots, not a book or a teacher. Later I came to hear it called “walking in a sacred manner,” and it is sacred, a return to what is sacred. But it also is deeper or more primal than any purpose. Nature speaks to me and I listen. Nature calls and something deep within me responds, and I just need to give it space. I am part of a life far greater than any ‘me’.



The Earth gives us sustenance: the air we breathe, the food we eat. She is generous in so many ways, even as we forget Her and abuse Her. But there is also this deeper nourishment, this invisible, intangible giving. My early morning walk is a communion – if I am receptive, it is a wine drunk deeply. It comes through Her landscape, moss dripping from the trees, white and pink blossoms welcoming spring, the cry of a sea bird. Those first rays of sunrise are always a blessing. I do not understand this with my mind, but my soul feels it, needs it. Once again we are back at the beginning, in that elemental world we never truly leave. Our present culture may have forgotten it, disowned it, covered it over, may pretend we no longer need this communion, but my soul and my feet know otherwise. This is the landscape of the soul as much as it is the wetlands stretching towards the ocean. But it is also any landscape we walk. A walk on city streets is made of the same elements: feet touching ground, the rhythm of walking, breathing, the same sky overhead, the wind touching the face.

I would like to say it is easy, but so often I have to remember to reconnect, to empty the clutter of the coming day from my mind, my everyday thoughts. I have to stay in a place of awareness, sense my feet, feel the air, listen. I have to remember that I am not separate but part of everything around me. I have to push aside this great myth of separation, the great untruth. We are the air we breathe, the earth we touch, the same one life, alive in so many ways. We are the Earth awakening in the early morning, just as we are the buds breaking into color in the spring. To be fully alive is to feel how we are part of this embracing mystery. My morning walk is a remembrance, a reconnection, experienced in the body and felt in the soul.


So often I have to remember to reconnect,
to empty the clutter of the coming day from my mind,
my everyday thoughts.
I have to stay in a place of awareness,
sense my feet, feel the air, listen.
I have to remember that I am not separate
but part of everything around me.


Walking Practice


Walking reinforces our connection to the Earth, one step at a time. Attuning to the rhythms of one’s feet, the swaying of one’s arms, the in and out of breath, the ways walking moves us through time and space, helps develop this relationship, reminding us consciously and unconsciously just how much a part of nature we are. Nature is cyclic and rhythmic, and walking – when we are not focused on where we are going – attunes us to this non-linear reality.

Walking practice is perhaps best begun alone, when the intimacy of nature’s communication can be sensed without distraction. Just as when we meet a lover in the early part of a relationship, we do not want to share that meeting with others. Choose a time when you can be alone, when listening, hearing, and sensing can take place. Perhaps the start or the end of the day, before life’s clamoring takes hold or after it lets go. Lunchtime or an afternoon break from work might be more difficult, but if that is the time available, then make sure the walk is long enough for you to let go of work thoughts or tensions of the day.

Turn off the cell phone, or better yet, leave it at home or the office. There is a way that the vulnerabilities that come with being alive have been squelched by our daily-life safety tools, like cell phones. If you can be without the protection and constant access they provide, try it. Social media will not miss documentation from your walk.

Find a park or a path through quiet woods if you can. Let the rhythm of your steps soothe your mind and create a space for listening. Feel how your feet connect with the earth, how the air moves through your lungs. Follow your attention as it is drawn inward and outward both – to the inner movements of your body and to the feeling of warmth or cold, the sight of birds, the sound of a distant plane. Let your thoughts and impressions move through and out, as part of the natural rhythm of walking. Just as we come back to the breath in silent meditation, return your attention to your feet and their meeting and letting go of the ground.

Commit to walking every day if you can. Walk without expectation, with an attitude of openness and gratitude. If you feel a longing inside you – a need to connect, a desire to be closer to nature – let it motivate and guide you.

The nineteenth-century existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote in a letter to his niece, “Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.”


Syndicated from Heartfulness MagazineLLEWELLYN VAUGHAN-LEE & HILARY HART explore the contemplative, spiritual value of walking in Nature, and share with us a simple walking practice.

 

 

 

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