In Moments

Last night, I was sitting on a small bed in the lamplight and I was brushing my teeth. It was midnight and I was staring at my lover sitting at the opposite end of the room, staring off into space. He seemed to be thinking deeply about something, occasionally shifting his head and nodding, sometimes stroking his beard with his right hand. Distractedly, I moved my gaze to the ceiling, to a wreath I had made yesterday out of mustang grape vines and spent poppy pods. Feeling something, I looked back, and noticed him looking at me and smiling.

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Sunset thunderstorm with rainbow…yes, it was actually this color

On Sunday, I took a walk with a small and young friend who is new to me, despite having known him since he was about three. We watched pond skimmers on the surface of a tannin-stained creek and then threw rocks of increasing size into it, creating cannonball-like effects upon its surface. We moved on after the largest one created waves so large they spread almost instantly across the creek bed. Later, we were walking along a country lane and came upon a large field with a tilled-up bed on its left. The earth was black and stood up in perfect rows and the rest of the landscape was that early spring green that is so electric it seems colored in with a pencil rather than created through chlorophyll and sunlight. As we stood there, my young friend said, “don’t you want to own a bunch of land someday and have half of it fenced off so all you could do is ride a horse all around it?”. I smiled and said yes.

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Ireland’s fuchsia bells interpreted in textured sterling silver

Last night, my jewelry teacher of ten years, Bob, walked up to me and hugged me so close and laughingly asked, “are you suffering some culture shock? Hmmmmmmmm?”

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Good morning poppy forest

Last week, my best friend and I walked through my old and her current neighborhood, gazing at fancy houses and drinking iced coffees on a late spring afternoon. She tricked me, you see, into a false sense of strolling, because all of a sudden, we turned down an alley and before us was a house with four wooden tall birdhouses and a field of poppies. Rather like somewhere in Europe, but actually in Austin, Texas, the poppy flowers were suspended on their stalks and in the air at the same time, moving lightly and liltingly in the breeze. Someone else was on the other side of the field: we watched each other til we realized he was taking photos, so we moved out of his way.

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Sunlight at the Barton Creek Greenbelt

When we were driving back from Houston via Route 71, meandering toward Bastrop on rainy but sunny Saturday afternoon, two weeks ago?, on the right side there was a large field populated by beautiful black cows. The cows were that perfect, deep, midnight black that seems to pull all light into it. Some were standing, some walking, some laying down with babies beside them. The field, normally green and grassy, was overwhelmed with thousands, millions maybe, of pink buttercups, a wildflower that some call primroses but children of Houston seem to know them as buttercups, from the years of balancing them on our noses and holding them up to reflect their bright yellow pollen color onto our necks. The field was filled from highway to horizon with nothing but pink flowers and black cows. In the background was a bright blue sky, dotted ever so perfectly with white clouds.

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Maidenhair ferns on limestone

The other night, I drove home through a huge thunderstorm, in which my car was buffeted around by winds that reminded me of blizzard wind. Across the sky in front of me stretched a flash of white lightning on black sky so large it seemed to span miles.

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Look up!

On Monday I sat on a cool concrete patio of an old hotel-house with one of my best friends: someone I hadn’t seen for three and a half years. We drank Arnold Palmers and beers and went for a walk and looked at photos and laughed and confirmed our mutual doubts that we really don’t know anything.

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Top secret phone-call-making spot behind an ol’ oak tree

Being back in Texas is beautiful and overwhelming and friendly and strange all at the same time. Last night I skipped through the halls of an antique shop and spoke in silly Russian accents with another old friend…”you are soooooo prettttyyyyyyyy” we said. “No, you are sooooo prettyyyyyyy….your mama, she did goooood.”

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Branching

Heart Over Head

Spring solstice arrives
Lighting the flames of true love
While Pelicans dive

From the I Ching Weekly — reading for the week of March 16th, 2015

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It has been a narrow passage
All is opening
Spirit hails love
A joyous returning

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When a wound has become infected it will not heal unless the poison is removed. This is your condition now. You have been in battle and now you are returning. A bit battered and deeply tired but you are returning and are mostly in tact.  It is your ego that has taken the hits and is feeling the wounding. The ego would have you retreat and be with shame…don’t go for it….there is no shame and no blame, you are human after all and this is part of the process to wholeness and light.

On this return it is simplicity that will salve the wounds and heal the spirit. Old relationships too are being made ready to be healed as you come back to the source, the primal mind, made free of a troubled ego.

It is as if the tides have changed and the tide of change that washed away what you built, desired and cared for is now bringing back the very things you thought were lost. This is a joyous time and a time to celebrate in humility and grace.

These are the winds of change you have felt would come, they have. This time the winds carry no danger, they carry promise; the promise of love, abundance and stability.

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The great forces of Gaia can at one-minute blow winds that devastate the landscape, feed fires that blacken the earth, then comes stillness wherein there is the miraculous returning of life. These are of the universal laws of life and death, leaving and returning.  All is in natural order. You stand now at the point of the freshness of return while behind you lies old useless patterns of behavior and convoluted associations that have been fraught with difficulties.

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Thinking and analyzing will not have summer return in winter; now it is to either trust the energy of returning or get embroiled in an unpopular and unsolvable puzzle of obstacles on a road leading nowhere. So it is with your situation now. Don’t think it through, this is not the time to analyze your situation, you have done that and you are exhausted from it. Give yourself, and those around you, a break.

There is occurring not only a return to clarity of thought and vision it is also a return to innocence; time when what is now returned to your field of energy will inspire creativity and confidence.

Surrender; let this cycle of gradual progress toward love and success happen with no thinking. Know that the coming tide moving you inevitably forward is unstoppable. Let it happen. Allow yourself to ride this wave to the shore, arriving refreshed and rested, not tired and weak from effort. It is your choice., it has always been about choice.

The necessary re-birth will be realized not by pushing forward through the jungle of old patterns and promises. The energy will be found by returning, by following the breadcrumbs left on the path so you could find your way back to from whence you came. In you was a knowing that seated somewhere in the recesses of your monkey mind, the primitive sense of wisdom, where you knew this time would come.

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Your ever so gentle and intuitive primal mind swathed in innocence will guide you back to where success and abundance is waiting for you. When you get there it will feel familiar like remembering some lines from a poem you read or was read to you as a child. It is in that light of innocence where you will find the power of the creative and the strength to bring to completion and welcome that which you most desire.

Don’t be surprised when you find members of your tribe coming your way to fill the gap of aloneness that you have been feeling. They could not find you before; you were behind a wall of self-involvement and judgment that obscured your authentic self. Open your heart and minds ear to the returning souls and beloved ideals; talk story with the tribe; let yourself be loved. You have been so damn good at giving and fixing; now is the time to LISTEN and to receive.

Your mind has been busy and noisy not able to hear or see which way to turn, where to seek the knowledge necessary to extricate yourself from the hold the ego had on you. Now in this returning you are being shown promising bypaths to where self-knowledge will be found and it is this self-knowledge that holds the key to your freedom. Freedom to love and be loved, speak and be heard and the gift of coming to stillness where you can listen…fully listen to the coded sounds of nature as she speaks to you through the perfumes of nature, the calling birds song, the flowing waters and the beating of your true loving heart all in harmony with the sentient beings of this, your home planet, Earth held in the loving grace of Gaia.

Take to heart these words this week:
Be love and teach peace

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The Veil

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It was a pack of cards with optical illusions printed on both sides, it was a stamp of a skeleton, it was a book about a mysterious girl with a colorful cover, it was a gilded leather jewelry box. It was memories: the memories of times gone past, of another life, of being oh so much younger. Held onto for years, they were tucked in the corners of old trunks and the shelves of bookcases.

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Moving, packing, sorting, organizing: de-possessing. Communing with all of the things in this cabin in the woods: holding each item in my hand and examining where it came from, who brought it, what it meant over the passing of time and asking myself, honestly, whether it had a place in the house anymore. For most things, surprisingly, the answer was yes. Over the past few years, I have done a really good job of shedding the errata, the flotsam of life defined as possessions.

What does it mean to let it go? It is a phrase that we often utter ourselves or hear others utter in terms of life and its myriad experiences. Let it go, we say, not really knowing what that may mean to others or to ourselves. This week is the beginning of spring, although you wouldn’t know it here on the coast of Maine where snow seems firmly planted in our landscape everywhere you look, but nonetheless, Friday is the spring equinox and the beginning of the sun’s warmth beckoning the living things back out from under the ground, under the snow. Shortly, Persephone returns to us and her mother will celebrate by giving us flowers and leaves again. Shortly, the days will become much longer and we will be able to celebrate the feeling of the warm air on our shoulders.

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Let it go….let go all of the stuff that is holding growth, feeling, evolution back. That pack of cards went into the fire, that stamp went to the growing free pile, the book went to the library. Such magpies are we: holding on to shiny objects, putting them up on shelves or in drawers to be gazed upon during the dark moments. What does it mean to really glean from our lives those items that have meaning and purpose, and to slough off that which doesn’t? Does it mean we are losing or gaining ourselves? Does it mean that we are better at the growth, or worse at the remembering? Does it mean we shall find ourselves at some future date wondering where that bit or bob went? Possibly, but after all, it is just stuff. You can’t take it with you, as the other popular saying says.

Spring is a natural time of cleaning, sorting, and developing better habits for the warmer days. It is a time of reckoning with oneself and with the earth as we witness the huge shift that is happening beneath our feet and around our heads. It is an antsy time: a time of intense preparation, hesitation, and promise.

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Where are we all going on this tiny blue planet hurtling through space? What will happen to us in this new year, after the beginnings of it have been so slow and so cold and so dark? The only thing I know is that I don’t know: I feel like I know less as I learn more about this game of life we all are lucky enough to play.

Lately, I have been trying to appreciate something about the place in which I live each day: mostly I notice the mountains that I can see from my front garden: the dooryard, as it is called here. In front of me each morning is a line of graceful, arced mountains that are dotted with trees that appear black and stand out of a uniform field of white. Behind them, during the day, the sky is either white with snow or blue with sun. At sunset, the sky transforms into a pink-purple-salmon wonderland that casts the roll of those mountaintops in beautiful relief. The lake at their base is beginning to melt: the ice is going out, again, as they say here.

As we all make this grand transition, again, as our axis posits us in greater exposure to our central star, my goal is to remember something simple, something about being in the present moment, something that goes something like this:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”

Frida Kahlo

A Late Night in Pittsburgh: Compare/ Contrast

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Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.”

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Assata Shakur 

I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.
I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.
I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know any thing at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home
to port.

Mirages — or, the Power of Forgiveness

FORTY-FIVE

Great accomplishment seems imperfect,
Yet it does not outlive its usefulness.
Great fullness seems empty,
Yet it cannot be exhausted.

Great straightforwardness seems twisted.
Great intelligence seems stupid.
Great eloquence seems awkward.

Movement overcomes cold.
Stillness overcomes heat.
Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.

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In my house, near the door, there is an old mirror that I gleaned from my parents’ camp house in Salisbury Cove, before it was torn down sometime in the fall of 1999. The mirror is chipped and faded: covered in scratches, you can hardly see any reflection but light. Tucked in one of its corners is the mantra: to err is human, to forgive divine.

For a few years now, I have posted this mantra in two places: by my front door, and on the wall of my studio-workspace. I look at it multiple times each day and think about what it means for that specific day and time. For the most part, I seek forgiveness of myself: for my mistakes, for my actions, and sometimes, for my speech.

When I returned from Austin last week, late on Tuesday night, I found my home changed. No longer was it the comforting, cozy space that I had left. Instead, it was a comforting and cozy home in which I live alone, on 10 acres, far off in the distant lands of Maine. After ten days in the light and love of friends and discovering new love, I came to Maine changed. I realized that I have a powerful and profound sense of positivity, and this is something that I can hold in my heart as a true strength, despite any and all adversities that are flung at me. However, as in all things, it is valuable to take time to reevaluate circumstances and belief systems when they are presented with alternative truths and/or realizations.

About a week ago, I took off on a road trip to West Texas with my best friend of many years. We camped in Marfa and in Presidio, Texas, and we drove through Big Bend. On our first night out in the desert, we made bean tacos in a community kitchen and camped in the parking lot of a place called El Cosmico. We drank tequila and smoked cigarettes whilst wearing hoodies. We laughed and we cried, but mostly laughed. We stared at stars. We talked about friends and lovers and life and husbands and divorces, change and acceptance and the present. It was, to me, one of the highlights of our friendship. The next night, we met a gaggle of strangers and later left them to perform some rituals in the dark that involved prayers for presence, prayers for strength, prayers for forgiveness, and a genuine desire to strive to be happy. In the darkness of the Chinati mountains, with a frog chorus behind us, we lit some words and some photographs on fire, we stamped them out from this world into the next, and we drank more tequila and laughed and cried and told stories to each other and thanked each other for the other one’s time.

Upon returning to Maine, I was forced to reevaluate that positive attitude that I am so proud of. I realized that maybe I was missing some things, or kidding myself, somehow. I realized that the vision of myself as an axe-wielding, blizzard-braving woman who lives in a cabin in Maine was missing some huge pieces: namely, the love of old friends and the love of one who sees your darkness and wants to walk with you, anyway. In Austin, I was almost constantly struck with the beautiful merging of those two relationships, for my friend-family in Austin not only have loved me for years, but recognize my darkness and choose to love me, anyway. Perhaps this is the mark of true friendship: something I have been lucky enough to find here, as well. And in a mystical universal bonus, I found one old friend who wanted to hold my hand and gaze into my eyes and love me and walk with me. When I think about those ten days, it is with utter awe that I reflect upon them, for I feel like my large and open heart, one that keeps growing as time goes by, was rewarded a million fold by those who already lay within it: my friends, my loves of my life.

In this cabin, late at night on a weekday, as I sit in the light of an old brass lamp and listen to music on a tiny speaker, watching the crackle of wood in the wood stove, I am almost constantly reminded of Jackie’s kitchen with its loteria cards, of Rodi’s laughter in the West Texas desert, of Chuck’s maligning of roses in his living room vase, of Angel’s tarot trailer, of Cody’s garden and the stars that shone out above him, of Bob’s studio and his knowing smile, of Julie’s tears and honesty, of Martha sitting in her office in her purple silk shirt, of the movement and changes of all the people who formed my family of friends for twelve years. It is the history of our lives, the mystery of the wending and waving paths of life, that forms our concept of love and life and friendship. While I have loved my time here, and I truly have: having grown from a broken and bent version of myself to the stronger and resilient and more prone to humor version that presents itself now, I have done so with a sense of resolute solitude and independence. However, whilst in Austin, not only did I realize that I ran away from my life of many years, from my family and friends, but that I was a critical part of a net, a spider’s web, of people, who would never really let me go no matter how long I stayed away. So while I felt truly alone, which I did, especially in the fall-winter of 2012, all my loved ones regarded me from afar with love, kept the net close and strong, and waited with love for me to visit them again.

There is a great comfort in change and realization and personal growth. There is a message in this from the universe, and that message is the one tacked up on a piece of white paper, written in blue pen, decorated with squiggles and eyeballs and hearts: to err is human, but to forgive, divine.

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A Love Story

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

– Roald Dahl

This story begins in 2002, when I was 21 years old. I was sitting in a parking lot of an office park in Southeast Austin, hanging out with friends and a new boyfriend who had just returned from a long road trip to Mexico. I was sitting on the hood of an old Bronco, drinking beers in the afternoon sunlight of a hot Texas day. I finished a beer and a tall and lanky fellow grabbed my empty, scooted off, and returned with a full one for me. This is how I met Cody Creech.

We hung out a lot in those days, that group of friends, partying and eating dinner at each other’s houses. Cody had started his tattoo shop and it had been painted by his friend Jason with desert and alien scenes in plaster. Two years later, I received my first tattoo from Cody: a cicada to mark the 14 year cicada brood of 2004. It was the largest brood of cicadas in many a year, and the cicada, traditionally, was a symbol of wisdom and morality. I was graduating from college soon and also getting married. When I got married, to that same boyfriend who was so new two years before, we held a wedding on a shoestring budget of $5000. We got married at a sculpture garden and had the reception in our backyard. We rented chairs to sit on, and couldn’t afford to get chairs in both locations. I remember talking to Cody about our conundrum, and he and a friend of his managed to find a truck, load the chairs, move them to the reception and set them up for us before we got there.

Cody had been dating a woman and they ended up pregnant with a son who was also born in 2004. I remember talking to Cody about becoming a father and the stress of that on top of a new business. I remember that he was dedicated to his little boy, even before he was born, and had drawn his ultrasound in white pencil on a black background and hung it up in the shop.

Soon thereafter, my husband and I moved to Mexico, and before we left, I went to Cody’s shop and dropped off some fish for his fish tank and my prized Ludisia discolor, a jewel orchid that I loved very much. I thought it would look good in the shop and knew he would take care of it. We lived in Mexico for about a year, and then moved to New York briefly before returning to Austin in the early days of 2006. We lived in an apartment before buying our friend’s house in East Austin. We had had many parties at that house, with that same group of friends who had, long ago now, been on that trip to Mexico.

When we returned, Cody and I started on a giant tattoo project that originally was supposed to be very small. He tattooed my heart on my sleeve and surrounded it with growing apple branches and rosemary, for remembrance. At the time, I was working way too hard and long at a very difficult school, and was swamped with work and responsibilities. My marriage was not going as smoothly as I had hoped, as we couldn’t really communicate through problems and my husband was having trouble figuring out what he wanted to do. I was overcompensating and taking care of everything, and the toll of the stress of it all impacted our home life in palpable ways. Over time, we grew apart. Over time, Cody and I worked on that tattoo, coloring it after a couple of years of black and white. Once, we went to have dinner at a taqueria on the side of 290, a crazy stucco place that looks like a space pod, and then I sat in his shop all night grading papers while he drew up the final details of the tattoo.

Cody moved shops sometime around 2007 I think, to a great new space in the heart of downtown. I was proud of him and excited for him; he was going through a lot but still maintained his philosophy of love and care and compassion despite the stresses of his daily and home life. He was struggling with the details of life, but remained stalwart and kind. I always enjoyed our time together and our deep talks.

By 2009, my marriage had fallen apart and ended, and we had sold that house that had held so many parties with our loved ones and friends. I was living in a tiny house in Hyde Park, and Cody and I were still working on that dang tattoo; adding color here and there, but mostly, our tattoo sessions were long talks that lasted hours and the tattooing was pretty minimal.

On New Years Eve of 201q, my friends Rodi and Lyndsy and I were invited to a party and arrived not knowing anyone, but armed with a giant bottle of Bulleit Bourbon, succeeded in meeting many people. We were all smoking outside at one point, and Cody happened to be sitting on the porch, smoking as well. It had been a while since I had seen him and was very happy to see his face and listen to his funny stories about what was new in his life. At midnight, we were inside the living room, drunk and in the half light of the Christmas lights, and I kissed him, immediately remembered I had a boyfriend, and we laughed and he said it was ok. Somehow we missed each other in the goodbye phase of the evening, and I didn’t see him again.

In early 2011, I decided to leave Austin for points North. I couldn’t deal with the memory bombs of my present, felt ashamed for many decisions I had made, and decided to make a geographical change to see if it would help. Off I went, in a giant truck, for Philadelphia and to begin what would be the hardest year of my life.

Time passed, and in the interim, I would often think of him because I saw his art on my arms every day. I came back to visit in the fall of 2012 and tried to find him, but didn’t. I think that his shop had been sold out from underneath him, and for whatever reason, during that week, we didn’t find each other to catch up and talk about the world in which we found ourselves. I stayed in Maine, always wanting to go to Austin but afraid to make the trip that I feared would be fraught with the pain of the past. That is, afraid until about two months ago, when I bit the bullet and bought a ticket south.

Turns out that everyone I love had kept moving and working, just as I had. Turns out that Austin had grown and changed and was full with what seemed like ten times the amount of people that were there when I left. Turns out that facing the past meant that it didn’t mean as much anymore, and I was able to enjoy myself and my time with my friends and my time in the beautiful Texas sunshine. Turns out that I missed it, a lot, and realized that maybe my homesickness meant more than I had thought. Two of my best friends, for the last three years, have asked me to come home, and I militantly said no. I said no out of fear and out of a sense of “you gotta make it wherever you are”, but when I was home, seeing everyone so productive and motivated and happy, I realized that I missed that spirit and those feelings.

On Monday morning, I was texting friends to see who was around at the awful time of 7 in the morning. I thought of Cody, not even knowing if his phone number was still the same. I texted him that I was in town and wanted to see him. Immediately he texted me back, saying “what? you’re here? I’ll call you later when it gets closer to quittin’ time”. I thought, maybe he will, maybe he will forget, but, being Cody, he didn’t and called me right at 5:30. We talked for an hour and then he came over to pick me up so that we could go and cook dinner at the farm where he is now living in Southwest Austin, out on the road to Driftwood. He showed me around the farm, I hung out with his roommates and their dogs, and we talked the whole time, cooking pasta in the tiny kitchen of his trailer, drinking beers and laughing and talking about philosophy and belief systems and what was going on in life. Later, we were outside in the gardens, looking at the stars, and I told him a little about Philly, but mostly about how I loved the stars and could see the same constellations from the top of my driveway. He laughed and said how glad he was that I was there, and I said the same thing. He hugged me, and I him, and he asked me if I remembered kissing him on New Years five years ago. I said yes, and that I was sorry and that I was really drunk. He said he’d been thinking about it for five years and would I like to kiss him, again. I said yes.

A couple of days later, hanging out in his trailer, I had my hand on his heart and his on mine. A day or so before, we had talked about how we had always liked each other but never could do anything about it due to life circumstances, but that we had a lot of love for each other and truly loved the other one. In that moment, while he was wearing an orange shirt and standing in the doorway of his kitchen, he said to me “this is so great!” and I said, “this IS so great.” In that moment, I recognized a sense of love that I didn’t really understand until right then. I realized that the cliche of “when you find the person, you will know” was absolutely right, and that I wanted to be with this person, this gentle, strong, stubborn, beautiful and quirky person, always. I wanted to hold his hand to my heart and his to mine for a long, long time.

Over the next week, we spent as much time with each other as we could, talking about what to do and how to be together, and how neither of us had had an experience quite like this before. We went and got tacos one day and I told him I was nervous because I liked him so much. He pressed me to give more details. He told me he didn’t know what to do since I live in Maine and he in Texas. I told him that, in my opinion, once you find the person, all the other stuff is just details. He asked me if that was really how I felt, and I said yes, and he said the same thing but that he had been worried that I was just going to go back to Maine and forget about him. I told him that people like him hardly ever come around, if at all, and that I loved him and wasn’t going anywhere.

Soon, after my week of enlightening experiences, facing the past, seeing the present, and being inspired by my wonderful family of friends, I had decided to come back to Austin for the winter. Long have I tried to become friends with Maine winter, and this year, she just plumb beat me with all the snow and the dark. I decided to be a snowbird. Late one night, in the airstream trailer that is fast becoming a greenhouse, we were laying around and I told him about my plan. He offered to come and help me move in the fall, and I said, “you would do that?”. He told me that there was very little that he wouldn’t do for me.

So here we are: in love and about 2000 miles apart, for the moment. But as he said, after five years, another six months just doesn’t matter. Oh yeah, and that Ludisia discolor that I had given to him ten years ago now resides in the kitchen window of his roomate’s house, blooming like crazy in the sunlight. He had macramed a pot holder for it and given it to his roommates. He said to me, “see? You’ve been here the whole time!”So my lesson in this, lovely readers, is that you never know what might happen when, after some serious soul searching in a new place, you go home and see an old friend in the early spring in central Texas.

I think it was about dang time for a love story here, don’t you?

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A Vintage Valentine

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“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” 
― Bob Marley