Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Weather Eye

Albert Einstein said,"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." And, while I know that to be true, I often wonder how it is that one comes to believe that. When you're standing in the middle of an upheaval, if I were to parrot Mr. Einstein's theory, you'd likely snap back, "It's all relative! (Get it? Einstein-relative-theory; funny? Not so much? Fine!) And easy enough for him to say; he's not dealing with all of this!"

So, I'm wondering: How do we come to this spot of encouragement? Is it from experience? Sure, but it has to be more than that.

Is it the perspective of the backward glance after the difficult time is over and you've had the chance to process what you went through and what you have when it's over? Is it when we can see what has been learned or gained?

Is it the rescuing touch of a trusted hand of someone who was there with you through the difficulty? Someone who was there to listen and guide?

Was it your trust, faith, belief in the rightness of everything in your life, even the difficult?

Perhaps sheer tenacity? Some seem to hunker down and wait for it to pass, to change. Weather the emotional storm as it were.

Or, is it the ingenuity of some of us to think outside of our comfort box? A curiosity to tinker with what is there and decide what can be done with it?

I'm wondering...if you believe this statement to be true...and you have an example of how a difficulty turned into an opportunity, large or small, would you share it with me? Tell me how that was for you?

Will you give everyone who finds themselves in a difficulty hope to believe the very same can be true for them? Help instill some measure of belief that it can become opportunity.

Share it so you turn the eye of a storm into an eye of hope...

To all my readers, trust me when I say that the stuff to read in this post is on the comments page. Those are your story tellers today; I'm just the gal who asked the questions!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Questions

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

My Bold Girl ~ Fiona

The wishing question today, is: What do you wish to remember? And, I show you Fiona because she's my brash little girl who lives life on her terms and often gets to hear, "Fiona, leave it! No!" She always does it eventually and she always lets me know she's sorry if she upset me. Depending on what she's just done, sometimes it's easier for me to say, "Okay, that's okay..." Sometimes that's hard for me to do. That's her face when she finally understands that I'm upset with her. My wish comes from experiences with seeing that face. More lessons from my dog:

I wish to remember that I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. I sometimes take a step off the path. I wander around and poke at things that maybe don't wish to be poked. I blunder. I talk when maybe I should have just listened. I offer when I should have just accepted. I act when maybe I should of been still. I attempt to fix when no fixing was asked for. I wish to remember that my inquisitive nature is not appreciated by everyone. But, I am what I am.

I wish to remember all of that. And know that even with those short-comings, I'm just fine. I can come back from mistakes and be better for having made them. It's how I burn into my brain, "Well, Holly, don't ever repeat that one, hear?!"

I wish to remember that even though I apologize as soon as I know that I have injured someone by crashing into them like a big ol' dog, my apology may not be accepted. Still, I must offer it. I live with the lesson of having hurt another, am disappointed by that, and I learn my lessons from how that feels.

I wish to remember to move on when told, "Go away." Move on to the next learning because Hard lessons are only made more harsh for as long as I continue to circle around and around them. Sometimes the best direction to travel is away from what has been and look forward to something new.

I wish to remember that I am only Human...and will make mistakes. I wish to remember that and give my Self the gift of forgiveness, most especially when it's withheld by another. Because in the end, my ability to forgive myself? That's the grace that heals the deepest. And, it is a grace that only I can give.

Come along, Fiona, let's go see what joy awaits in our day~

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka A Human Being aka Fiona's Mommer

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur
when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
~ M. Scott Peck

My prayer for today is that I always have the courage to take the road less traveled. And that, along this unfamiliar road which may be difficult at times, I meet opportunity to expand what I know and who I am. I hope to find the beauty in every curve and bend. But, mostly I wish all travelers on their unique journey, "Peace. May you find what you seek."

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Fellow Traveler
~ Images courtesy of the Internet

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not A Thought... my head this morning. Not a one. I happened to find these in my garden over the weekend. And that first one reminded me of tie-dye. Then I was reminded of how cool it is to be able to take my own pictures. Of what ever I feel like.

But a thought to share? Umm, they all fell out of my head overnight. I'm sure when I make the bed, I'll find them laying around on the mattress. I'll scoop them up. Try to put them back where they belong. Just know, I don't plan to make the bed for quite a few more hours, though. So best not to wait...

Instead, you'll just have to look at these and make up a story or a thought for yourself. Leave it for everyone else to consider in the comments.

Please, you'll be doing us all a favor. And remember, sometimes the best tales are the ones we don't think are important enough to share.

Now, go discuss, talk amongst yourselves...what did you come up with?!

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

And, I fear my passing not at all. My enthusiasm is perfectly understandable, you see, for the view from here is so very fine.

- David Baldacci

Namaste' Till Next Time,
~Image courtesy of the Internet

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Inside Out

My dear creative Beth, of Be Yourself...Everyone Else Is Taken, has a fun post today and she's a fab photog. I love to see what she's doing. She's participating in a shooting challenge and invited us to play, too. Now, I really shouldn't because she has a truly wonderful eye, where I am a hack when it comes to visual arts. But she is encouraging me to find my visual voice, as it were, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. The notion is to see what lives inside your space and then see how you connect it to something outside. So, here goes...

The colors in the first image above...

Seemed to reflect the colors I found here.

While the predominate shape in this shot....

and maybe the color...

...seemed to match up pretty nicely with this little bauble.

And, it was the form of this statue...

...that made me laugh when...

...I saw it reflected by the stance of my wild highlander resting for a wee bit. Certainly it wasn't the regal bearing of the statue because there's nothing regal about Rory. He's just completely loving and spiritually simple.

The serenity of this image...

...and I think, the colors too, corresponded to...

...the serene expression here. And, in part, the colors.

Let's hear it for the red, white, and blue!

...inside and outside, too!

Do not be alarmed. That's Merv, The Griffin. He is the happy guardian of our front door. He does not bite, unless you are a bad person and he is very discerning. Otherwise, just give him a pat on your way in.

It's a wonderful thing to be made to look at the usual to find the unusual. Thanks Miss Beth, for asking me to play along...hugs & kisses from, the...

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Queen of The Universe
Yes, that actually does hang in my kitchen; no lie!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Gift of Grief

I write to gain perspective or a new way of looking at things. A way to puzzle through some of the complex things that make us even more complex as Human Beings. Sometimes I have to remind you, and myself, that I'm no different than you. I don't know all the answers; I don't even know all the questions. Especially with very sensitive issues or topics. I don't shy away from them, but occasionally it causes me to worry that taking them on could alienate me.

I do not presume to know how you feel; I never discount how you view the world. I respect what you know as real for you. And while I respect that it is truly how you see the world from your vantage point, there are times when I will most respectfully disagree or challenge you to consider a different way of seeing.

I am not a licensed therapist. I am not a mental health worker. I was in health care and absorbed a great deal over 20 years, but not as a clinician. I am a communicator and so, in order to take complex information and boil it down for the average person to understand it, I had to first learn it so I could modify it for public consumption. I'm very, very good at it. But, I remind you I am not a licensed practitioner.

I am married to a caring and deeply spiritual man who is a funeral director and views his work, not as a vocation, but an avocation. He is compassionate and intimately familiar with grief and grieving; we both share that ability to be unflinchingly present to people when they are raw with emotion. I have been a social worker as part of my career. And, I have training as a healer in terms of Reiki; I am a Reiki Master of the Usui tradition. That's the extent of my qualifications, except for the fact that I am a very seasoned Human Being. And for the remainder of this post, that's the qualifying voice with which I will be speaking.

Lately, the theme of loss and grief has filtered through several corners of my blog world. I see it and hear it very clearly in the words others are leaving for our reading. The momentum seems to be building and I have left comments with the writers, some of which have caused a maelstrom of emotional response. That reaction suggests that I should more deeply discuss my thinking. So, I share my ideas with you here without the massive emotional charge that is generally invested in this topic. I invite you to read it the same.

If you type, "pictures of grieving," into a search engine, you get a wide array of images that represent this topic. Some are fascinating; some truly horrifying. Most are despondent and dark, attempting to capture the harshness of grief. The utter loneliness and desolation of the griever. Very few, however, are able to show the profound spiritual depth we gain from the gift of grief.

Some few, some miraculous few, make us drop to our knees as we witness the courage, bravery and testament to love that grief forges in us.

Such as this one...a global representation of the profound grief a mother experiences in the death of a beloved child. No matter how old that child may be, no matter how long the parent had the gift of that child. It does not matter...

What is most compelling about this image is the Madonna's expression. The sense of grace, courage and acceptance this woman imparts while grieving. Acceptance, not of the loss or the details around it, but acceptance that grief is the exacted price for having been given the gift of loving another. It's part of the circle of life. Courage in facing it, moving through it, releasing it, and living after it, is the Magick of the circle. Just as the ability to love is a gift, the ability to grieve is also a gift, but we don't view it as such until we live it and through grace, come out stronger on the other side.

Many get stuck in grief and refuse to move on. Refuse to move forward out of a misguided sense of loyalty. Believing that reliving the grief represents how much we loved someone. Refusing to move because of mistaken belief that if we let go of our sadness, we let go of the person. It's a way of holding on to the one who is gone.

Some of us get lost in grief and wish to move on but don't know how. Some do not have others who will determinedly wade into the darkness, insist that we grab hold, and lead us out.

There is no time table for grief. How fast or slowly an individual moves through it to the far shores, is dependent on so many things. Willingness; being hopeful; a solid sense of Self; a support system that is grounded and loving; one's passion for life; a connection to Spirit; faith in the rightness of things most especially when we can't see or feel it; the ability to trust in the Divine's plan for us; and a desire to live life after major change. A curiosity to see where life leads.

If these things are missing, it becomes difficult to move on. Some get stuck because they do not know how to move through it. But, some stay stuck because it's the only thing they have that's theirs. Some live the grief because it's the only thing that is left of the person we miss. It's the only thing that makes us feel unique, different, or special. Some wear grief and loss as though it is a badge of honor. We keep grief because we think it proves we truly loved someone. Eventually we become defined by our loss instead of known and admired for the courage to take up life once more.

If those around you do not feel you're moving on, some will challenge you. They'll say things like, "Okay, hasn't it been long enough? Time for you to be getting over it, don't you think?" Their words are intended to be supportive but leave holes when they hit your heart. Their concern and fear for you comes out as impatience. Their honesty sounds like judgment. But, when you can finally be honest with yourself, you'll know when you're hanging on to hurt too long.

And, if you don't know how to release it, that's the time to say, "I think that's possible, but I don't know how to let it go. I don't know how to not let it define me anymore. I don't know what to do." Once you admit that, the resources will begin to appear. When you feel the rightness of returning to the living, the way to do that will make itself known. A prayer is always answered.

Occasionally, a griever is surrounded by people completely supportive that they're wounded. They continue to support the 'woundedness' believing they are being loving and kind. Some want you to stay hurt without even being aware that they do. If they live with hurt and dysfunction as part of their construct, they think it usual that you should have the same in your life. On lots of levels, misery loves company and many feed off the drama often associated with intense emotions. If years pass and you still identify your life by your grief, and others around you tell you it's all right that you do... It is NOT all right. Not.

While Love and Grief are corner stones of our Human Experience, Spirit, who loves us does not intend for any to stay stuck in grief, which is a negative state. We are not meant to live with hurt, loss, anger, fear, abandonment as the definers of our existence. We are challenged by our losses and experiences to grow our spirits- grow our bliss. This means we must eventually put grief aside and learn what it means to live a new way. We are meant to continue to share ourselves by living in the light, not surviving in the shadows.

In the Buddhist tradition, all pain and suffering is created by our unwillingness to let go of strong emotions and our insistence on remaining static. Being told this makes us rail- "How dare someone say I am miserable by my own design!" But, if we stop allowing ego to run the show for just a minute and consider that statement, we can also ponder that if that's true, then- We Are Happy by Our Own Design! We possess the power!

We are travelers on this Earth. We are meant to walk through the days of our life, stopping briefly for rests along the way. We are meant to travel through our experiences as we quest to find more. We are meant to flow through our emotions so we can continue to feel, be, and learn. As a Seeker, the question you need to ask is, "Am I moving on? Am I traveling well?" If the answer is no... I think you know what you need to consider.

When, in cemeteries, we see statues of angels mourning, we immediately think it's a representation of the grief felt over one who has died. We very rarely consider that the angel is also weeping for the griever. Grieving that we are hurt, feeling lost, hopeless, lifeless. The grieving angel cries for us frail Humans as we face our demons. They weep with us and for us. They assist us as we move from grieving to remembering.

Your grief is singularly yours. It is another expression of the divine thread you are in this tapestry of life. No one should discount it or make it feel less-than. Likewise, when someone who cares reaches out, regardless of how clumsily they may act or say, don't discount that. Don't say, "Well, you can't know how I feel and what I've lost! How dare you suggest that you do?!" Because the fact is that all of us have suffered loss. All of us. And, while some are more difficult to move on from, our shared humanity means that all of us resonate with what you feel. We all know what it is to grieve something.

Accept a hand when it is extended. Hear the words of concern when they are said and not how they are said. Allow a show of support when it is proffered. Take comfort in any form it is given. Consider help when you know it's time to move on.

And, share your hard-won gift of knowing what it means to move past grief, back into life with others who have lost and grieve. You can be the life line to the one who is in the darkness. But, only if you put grief aside and walk into your life once more. Only if you have the courage to define your life by what is in it instead of being haunted by what has gone from it. I wish you well in your travels. God & Goddess speed you on your way.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka A Fellow Traveler
All images courtesy of the Internet except the last one which is mine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

This week the Wishcasting question is, "What do you wish to tell the world?" As it happens, I was pondering that very question last night: I wish to tell the world, whispered very quietly like the most fervent prayer, "I am here."

I wish to tell the world, "Remember me." I wish to tell the world that I've worked hard in my time, this pass on the wheel, to become wiser than I was before I came and desire to add that collected, hard-earned wisdom to the spirit that is me.

I wish to tell the world, "I know a great many of you think I am wise and knowledgeable, but that I'm simply a Human Being trying to do the best I can while I learn to be better, still. That I have more questions than answers; I wish to unflinchingly ask them of myself first and then others.

World, I want to tell you that- "I walk in the truth, although it is hard and often lonely. But, walking in the truth is the only way to walk free. And I never share the truth to hurt or wound. Because truth does not hurt; real truth sets us free. It is the most liberating when it is the most difficult to consider."

I wish to tell the world, "Be brave, have courage, do not fret. The misery you feel today will pass. The joy will return. And you must be prepared for the cycle to start over. Because that's the way of things- nothing you feel, no matter how intensely, remains fixed. Feel what you feel and move through it and past it. Do not allow it to hold you hostage and bound."

But most of all, I want to tell the world, remind the world, "I am here..."

"...and though I may resemble thousands of others, I am the only one of my kind. And, I have work to do that only I am able to do. Give me the fortitude to walk gracefully in the truth and power of that miracle."

Namaste Till Next Time,
Holly aka The Truth Teller

Monday, July 20, 2009

On-Line Dating & Other Anomolies

One of the cool things you notice if you blog long enough, is that thoughts seem to run in cycles. You'll also find that it's not uncommon to have blog entries sync with other bloggers. So, I grinned when I went for my daily laugh at Joanna Jenkins' blog, The Fifty Factor to read an hysterical story about her husband's great idea of hooking up her best friend with an acquaintance of his. She's lucky she still has a BFF. I had this post already in the works when I read her piece and I just knew I had to go with it.

I am a survivor of the On-Line Dating Wars. No, check that; I'm not a survivor, I am a champion! Listen to me here, because I absolutely know about this! And, you know I never lie so you'll get the real 411 on this bizarre topic. You also know you have a friend who could use this tutorial!

While I was on my own, after years went by and I wasn't dating, friends tried to help but most were paired up and didn't know anyone to introduce to me. Every now and again, someone would find a guy and the ensuing blind date left me thinking, "Holy crap I've been friends with her for a thousand years! Doesn't she know me at all?! What did she think the two of us would have in common?!!!" Other than both being alive, I mean. Well, check that, on a couple of those, I wasn't sure the guy had a pulse. It was almost enough to make me say, "No really, I like living alone. In fact I'm taking hermit lessons now! I hope to live that way for the rest of my life."

I knew they loved me and were well intentioned, but it got so I'd quake at the mere notion that they might know someone who knew someone who knows someone for me to consider. NO! So time passed and I still wasn't in a relationship- or even close.

My friends pondered, "Wow, Holly you work at a huge hospital! There must be lots of men, can't you find anyone there?" I would then explain that most of the staff happened to be female and I'm not gay. And that doctors were only available on soap operas but in real life, already involved or married. They'd say, "Oh, yeah, I see...gee have you thought about joining a church?!" How's that for a segue, huh?!

One day, when I'd stalked the bookstores yet again, sitting with my coffee and book, attempting to look fetching so that some guy reading Guns and Ammo, or Gear Head Magazine might look in my direction, I thought, "There has to be a better way!" Getting involved in groups or volunteering wasn't any better.

Going to bars was out; no way that ever turned out well. Going to friends' houses was good fun but Mr. Right wasn't ever there holding a drink and looking awe struck when I entered a room, "Surprise! I've been here waiting for you forever!!!" Nope. Never.

So, I got the idea to look into on-line dating. I lurked for quite awhile before I worked up my nerve and posted a profile with picture and began chatting. I learned that, generally, women are more serious about the quest to meet a partner. Women are looking for relationships, but most of the men on-line are looking for episodes. The guys are on the hunt to get laid or were bored with playing Guitar Hero, or their buddies were paired up and their new women afraid of his bad influence on their newly domesticated men, just wanted the free-wheeling bachelor gone.

Once I learned the basic rules of engagement, it became a pretty interesting exercise in Human watching. And while it had its weird moments, it was also a great deal of fun.

When my friends found out, they sounded the alarm, "Oh my god, Holly, you're not going to do that are you? What if he stills lives with his parents or spends time playing Dungeons & Dragons in their basement! How the hell can you trust any of those men? Most of them are probably lying or married, or who knows what?! " To which I calmly countered, "Okay, so you're suggesting that because the guy's on the computer, he's probably lying, but the guy I meet in the bar who really just wants to get laid, oh, that guy surely can't lie, right? Look, let's be real- if a person wants to lie, they'll lie. The venue is not what makes that more possible. "

When reasoned that way, they couldn't argue. So, I started in-

And, I met a lot of interesting, nice guys. Not all of whom was I romantically, physically, sexually, intellectually interested in. I only met two who still lived at home and that's all I'm saying about that. Likewise, I was not always the gal for some of the guys for whom I thought I was a good match.

Women aren't constrained by geography when it comes to finding the right guy. If we think a guy's a good prospect, we start Mapquesting to plan the fastest route. Heck, some women even chat with men in foreign countries figuring, at the very worst, they'll wrack up frequent flier miles!

But, men? If you don't live in the shed in their back yard, you probably live too far away to consider. You quickly learn that usually, if the guy is willing to come any distance to meet you, he's probably fished out the waters in his immediate area and now has to go to new fishing holes to get lucky. A rare few were enlightened men who knew quality and were not going to let geography get in the way. If distance wasn't a deal breaker for the guy, I knew he was more serious about the possibility of connecting. John was like that; he lived in Virginia and I was in Maryland. It was hard, but we worked around it.

The next thing you learn is that some sites attract more nuts and those who are just looking to get lucky. was like that for me. Although I hear it's changed now, when I tried it, I seemed to attract guys who started out okay only to have them send pictures of their penis. Is the plural of penis, peni??? After the second time it happened, I dropped the site and demanded my money back...which I got. Men? I know you think your Johnson is the best thing ever, but we females just don't find it that charming as an ice breaker. Got it?

Now, we know I'm not a prude. Don't even play one on television. I'm pretty open to most conversations and topics. I will warn you, however, that when it comes to on-line dating, you have to have limits, stick by them, and call the person on it when they cross your line. But, you have to remain open. With that said, you have to be aware that most guys want sex pretty early on in the dance. So don't get all offended. Don't get all worked up about not being respected. It's got nothing to do with that. It's just the way it is. You have the choice to pass or play along. If the guy is a player, and you don't want to play, tell him, "Thanks but no thanks," and wait for the next bus to come along.

Here's the thing: When I didn't want it, "No," was the answer and I stood my ground and was not talked into it. However, when I decided yes, I had a great time with the ones I chose. Sometimes I knew it wasn't going to be much more than a physical thing, but so long as it was my choice, it worked great. Don't make the mistake of thinking if you have sex, it will open the door to further discovery and interest on his part. That doesn't happen.

If you want to sleep with the guy- do it. But, be prepared that it might be nothing deeper than scratching an itch that you can't scratch for yourself. You're a big girl; deal with it. If you want it, go for it. Booty calls are not just for men, you know!

So here are the rules of engagement: If after chatting on line, you decide you're interested in each other, the next step is talking on the phone. You get a feel for the person by how they sound, what they're interested in, how they approach you and subjects. You should talk a few times on the phone before committing to meet.

Your first meeting- go someplace for coffee or lunch. Those imply a brief meeting. That way, if it's not good for you or him, your expectations aren't set too high and there's less pressure on both of you. If you click, stay and chat for as long as you like.

I never met a guy without the following in place: I always drove to meet him; no having them come to my house to pick me up until I knew them better. I always picked a place where I felt comfortable. I once met a guy at a great bar where I was friendly with the owner who is a burly Greek guy. Gus hung very close by at the bar. Eventually the guy, who I wasn't all that comfortable with, noticed that fact. It was good to be able to say, "Yeah, Gus is a friend of mine and he knows I'm having a meeting with you." Can I tell you? The guy began to behave himself a bit better. Score 1 for me! And, realizing he wasn't going to get lucky, excused himself shortly after. Gus poured me a fabu martini and I spent the remainder of my evening in pleasant conversation with him.

I always had my cell phone with me. You must have a wing-man; someone who knows where you are and can be called on for back up. I always told my sister-in-law Linda, where I was and the guy's name. About a half hour after the meeting started, my phone rang as planned and Linda would ask if things were all right. If they were, I'd say yes, and if they weren't, well, I had an excuse to leave. I only had to use that emergency hatch one time.

Don't be afraid to tell the guy that the call is your family checking on you. If the guy thought it was lame, that was my clue to say, "so long." For the most part, the guys were pretty impressed with my thinking and precautions.

If the man wasn't someone to whom I was attracted, kindly and honestly, I let him know at the end of the encounter. Yes, it's awkward, but it's still more respectful. I said I believed that their time was valuable and their quest was as important to them as mine was to me. They always accepted and thanked me; a few said how refreshing it was for someone to be honest. I behaved the same when it was my turn to be told that hard message. Being graceful in a difficult moment is always remembered. It's a good skill to master.

I'm still friends or friendly with several of the guys. I was lucky enough to work with one who is a professional photographer. Even though he and I were not a romance match, he is a great guy and we worked together very well on a couple of projects. Others, well you can never have too many friends. And, some were great lovers and that's all they were. I remember them all very fondly.

I tried several dating sites and you should, too. Even though you may run into some of the same faces, don't limit yourself to one. Take it seriously, but don't think it's the end of the world if you don't find Mr. Right right away. Guys have more fun with this than women do because they're all right with the process of the hunt. I'd say, stop desperately hoping every encounter could be the one because investing that sort of energy just wears you out after awhile.

Sometime you just need to take a break. Pull your profile down for a bit. Take time off. The second time I was on Yahoo personals, my subscription was just about up and I had decided not to renew it. As a farewell, I scanned the profiles a final time to see who was there that might not have shown before. I even looked at ones that the system didn't pick as a match for me.

And just before I signed out, I happened to come across this guy:

He only lived about 30 miles from me...he was really cute. When I read his profile and got a couple of laughs I thought, "Wow, how come this guy was never seen before and how come the system didn't pick him as a match?!" I looked further and without finding a reason to discount him as a potential, I sent the following, "Nice bike!" That's it, nothing more.

A short time later, I got an answer back, and it went from there. Turns out the guy already had my profile bookmarked and liked what I had to say. He was quite gentlemanly, educated, charming, witty, and you could tell, a bit shy. We talked several times on the phone and made a date to meet for lunch where we ended up talking for three hours.

And that's how Holly Dietor met Michael Frock. We wouldn't have met had we not been brave enough to take our destiny into our own hands and try something that made us a bit uncomfortable. Try stepping out of our small worlds and into the world of on-line dating.

Yeah, you'll meet a lot of odd ones, and nerdy ones, and ones who don't want even remotely what you're searching for. You'll have some sexual encounters that are great fun but don't lead to romance. And, I won't lie, you'll meet some where you think, "Eww, I don't need to do that again."

But all are Human Beings who are doing the exact same thing you are, which is hoping to find the one that makes the world a bit more complete. Hoping to find the one that makes you feel, when you hear them speak your name, as if you are hearing the most beautiful music.

And, if you are serious about it, and open to the possibility.... just might get your happily ever after, after all.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Mrs. Michael Frock

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

If you can't pray a real prayer, pray hypocritically, full of doubt and dry-mouthed. God accepts counterfeit money as though it were real! ~Rumi

Namaste Till Next Time,
Image courtesy of the Internet

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Of Spotted Wolves, Fireflies, and Mocking Birds

I sit as the day is slowly eaten
By the hungry dusk, small sliver by small sliver.
I sit on the ground,
Nothing more than the cloth of my pants
Meeting the moist, soft grass
Supported by the hard, warm earth.
I watch as evening wins and day gives in.

I sit and breathe the perfume
Given up by flowers as the air turns cooler.
The fragrant sigh of comfort after the heat of the day is done.
I sit and watch as the garden lights
Energized by their day in the sun
Begin the erratic flickering to life.
One by one following as if afraid to be left out of the crowd.

I watch as just out of my sight,
A wolf circles round and round.
Then sits regarding me
With level gaze and a canine grin
Unblinking it waits till I begin to know,
Then, without a sound, it pads off
And I watch it go.

I sit in the quiet and watch the display
As the fireflies begin their swirling play
Out of the lawn and into the night.
I watch as they multiply and make me smile.
I remember nights of catching them in jars
And safely letting them go before I headed to bed.

I sit there in the glory of early night
Giving thanks for my senses and my delight.
And, just as I think of sitting no longer,
Off in the distance, I hear the sweet song
Of my dear friend, the Mocking Bird,
Paying its homage to the day in its way.
Mimicking the songs of every other
But having no song of its own to sing.

And, as the serenade begins to fade,
I become aware of a new shade sitting close.
Just behind my right shoulder, on the grass
Close behind me with eyes the glow of
Firefly light and inky as the night now here,
The Panther sits and contemplates me,
And I, her, without fear.

She has made herself known to me on this
Summer night, as I sit on the grass
And watch the night grow
The fireflies dance,
The world slow.

With a prayer to the Old Ones, I say my thanks.
I rise with grace renewed and move toward the house.
This new acquaintance slinks quietly,
With familiarity, beside me.
A new chapter begins.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Seeks
all images, except the last one which is mine, courtesy of the Internet

Can't Decide

It's one of those can't decide. One moment it's this way and one moment it's that. I find that I feel exactly the same. The day can't decide if it wishes to be sunny...

...or if it should stay flat gray.

And, I can't decide if I want to blog or go astray....and not post.

Miss Fiona prefers when it's not too sunny as it's very hard for a gal wearing a black fur coat to stay long in the sun. So out she goes with me to do some gardening. Out pops the sun and she

...finds she must find a spot of shade to sit about. Pink tongue flapping in and out. Which could be so un-ladylike if it didn't happen to perfectly match the color of her collar.

Then the sun disappears for awhile and these guys get all confused. You know that sunflowers...

...really do turn their heads to follow it, didn't you? There have been some days when I go out to the garden to see them twisted straight up in their search for the elusive orb.

All of this in and out of the sun and my indecision about posting or not, has given me a headache. Well, mostly it's my weather head telling me that a shift in the force is upon us.

I think that I've spent my entire life trying to fight indecisiveness. Always having an answer. Always certain to go left or right. But, lately I'm wondering if I need to be so certain. Perhaps it's all right to not decide anything. I can't decide about that, now, either.

So, I think it's best if I leave you with this guy...

I'm sure he'd love to tell you some gardening secrets. He's quite good at his craft. Hope your day is visited by unexpected pleasures and treasures.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Fiona's Mom

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

This is a good week to start wishing again. Not that I stopped, especially with my birthday just a few days ago and you and I were doing a whole lotta' wishing then!

Today over at her lovely, artistic, and expansive new web page, Jamie Ridler Studios, Jamie asks, "What do you wish to invite in?" And after you read about my wish, make sure you stop by and see Jamie's new digs; it's really quite impressive.

So, I wish to invite in the fresh summer air especially just after the grass has been mown. Or, if it showers and you can smell the rain, I wish that air to waft through. Fragrant fresh air into my home and to my thinking.

I wish to invite in anyone who wants to stop by for a visit or a chat or a drink or a hug. Or maybe just a quiet sit by the fountain. Invite my Self in to visit with Me.

I wish to invite in a sense of peace. About my life. About my current internal struggles. About the world around me. I want to invite in, peace.

I wish to invite in a sense of order and structure to my days. I'm loosing too much time contemplating my navel these days. Time to get moving on things instead of just thinking about them. That may mean less time here in the blog world. I'm still considering my options with this one.

I wish to invite in a sense of whimsy and charm. It seems to have gone missing in action for awhile now, and I would dearly love to have it come home and race around me like a puppy, enticing me to romp and play.

I wish to invite in a song...into my heart. A melody that brings me cheer and lets me know that everything will be all right and as it is meant to be. My singular song...I wish to be able to hear it clearly.

And finally, I wish to invite in a continual dance in sync with The Divine...and be all right with following instead of insisting on leading all the time. Because when I insist on leading, I find the dance is not as magical as it could be.

These are the things, I wish to invite in.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Summer Tastes Like

This is what summer tastes like if you were grown on the succulents foods of the East Coast. This is what socializing on hot summer evenings consists of...this is what you wait for all year.

That is what my birthday meal used to be...before I moved a state away and further inland. That's it right there. It doesn't come any better than that. Maryland blue crabs done the right way. YUMMMM!

Here's one pre-crab pot! The Maryland blue crab, Callinectes Sapidus which means beautiful swimmer. My, when you watch them fluidly glide through the water, you know how appropriately they are named. They're feisty...snappy...a bit mean. They'll eat you first if you don't eat them, so you might as well not feel sorry for the little scavengers. Don't be deceived! There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like the taste of a Maryland Blue Crab. In a pinch, if you have to get crabs out of Louisiana, well all right, but only as a poor substitute. And, if you've never had them...plan a trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore in the late summer or early fall and run to a crab house. Do not walk...RUN!

We love them so much, we've even written books about them and the life-style and industry that has grown around them. If you'd like a good summer read pick up, William Warner's- Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs & The Chesapeake Bay.

In Maryland, we do NOT use butter on crabs; that's for Maine lobsters. Many of the crab houses, heavily patronized by tourists, now put melted butter out with the crabs. But, that's some sort of freak of nature to those of us who grew up in B'More or the surrounding eastern shore areas.

Oh, we won't make you feel foolish or unwelcome if you like it...we'll just smile at you knowing you're not from around these parts and get back to eating our crabs the correct way...steamed gently with rock salt, occasionally some beer, and tons of this on them....

Old Bay! Yep...and if you're like us, in the dead of winter when you're longing for the taste of summer, you find that you flip this can off your spice shelf and put it on chicken or potatoes, or anything else that will hold up under its bold and flavorful self! You have to try this if you like spice and warmth in your cooking!

Along the Eastern Shore, over the Bay Bridge headed toward Ocean City, you pass so many small towns. They used to be sleepy, picturesque places when I was a kid, but now they're growing and becoming a bit too metropolitan to my taste. Still, I'd live there if I could.

You see the beautiful state flag flying proudly next to the American flag. Flapped by the stiff breezes that blow across the water. Boats anchored bobbing in the wind.

I love that flag! It's so medieval, isn't it? That Lord Calvert was quite the courtly gentleman! Did you know that Maryland's state sport is jousting? Yeah! Let's here it for the old ways! The Queen of The Universe is very pleased!

We start them young in Maryland...that love of the crab...the crack of the mallet...

It's all about the socialization that happens over the long time that has to be invested to pick a crab clean of its sweet goodness. You talk. You laugh. You drink beer or soda. You get dirty as you eat and eat until you're too full. And, don't worry that you don't know how to pick a crab. It's our duty as Marylanders to help you learn the ways of getting down to business. We love showing first timers how to do it!

But, don't take my word for's a great article from The New York Times: and read about how good summer can be...Summers in Maryland....along the Chesapeake Bay or the ocean areas.

Summers in The Land of Pleasant Living- Ahhh! I truly miss it and it's never far from my thoughts. Really, I can't believe that summer can be better any place else on earth. But, I'm willing to try. Because life is about finding the best in all situations and locations.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka I'm From Baltimore, Hon!
All images today courtesy of the Internet

Monday, July 13, 2009

Would You Trade?

Would you trade it?
If you knew that the
of saying goodbye would be as
significant as the
of saying hello?

Would you trade it?
If the idea that
could be so much harder than
and hurt for quite awhile after?

Would you trade it?
To avoid the sense of
that stays as you watch them drive away
or you're the one who is driving
feeling that you're
everything in your rear view mirror?

Would you trade it?
When you realize that the time together is
too short
and you achingly remember you love them
so much?

Would you trade it?
Absolutely~ no.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Airman Frock's WSM
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