Archive for the ‘beauty’ Tag


Here’s something I’ve figured out and that I want you to know:

Often it is difficult to tell when someone genuinely cares about you. Other times it’s crystal clear. One thing that makes it easy to tell is investment. When someone is invested in you, your interests, your feelings, it becomes clear and undeniable that they care for you and about you.

Investment, to me, is more than mere affection. It is effort and time. It’s listening and reflecting back what you hear in words and in deeds. It is communicating as well as communing. It’s empathy and enthusiasm and encouragement. It is stomping the brain weasels when the other person can’t make them behave. It’s being vulnerable and letting that person in. It’s being brave and letting that person see parts of you that you’re not proud of having. It’s trusting so they’ll trust you. It’s being a safe and soft place for that person to land

When it matters that you care about someone or that they care about you, being invested in their happiness, their interests, their feelings is the surest way to overcome that internal saboteur’s voice that tells them not to believe, that they’re not worthy of such regard, that they don’t have value.

Being invested in someone, putting in that effort and showing them your investment…that’s one of the rarest, most potent, most beautiful gifts you can give to another person.


New year, new approach to posting to this blog. I hinted in posts a few weeks ago that perhaps the purpose this blog serves in my life is evolving and that I might not need or want to be so regimented in what, how and when I add posts here. Since then, I have all but convinced myself that assessment is accurate and a change is in order.

What that change entails, its scope, and how it manifests may evolve over time. But the immediate change, likely only I will notice, is that I’m letting go of the revered weekly posting goal. I think it served its purpose and I’m happy that I was able to maintain that streak for basically the whole of last year. But the psychic pressure that has put on me is beginning to outweigh the benefits that I saw from maintaining that discipline. So, if it happens weekly, all to the good. But I’m shifting my focus to being more deliberate about posting things that have meaning for me, even if that meaning isn’t obvious to anyone else.

Apropos of that, I’m making my first 2020 post a no-context list of thoughts that are loosely related to each other and very closely tied to what’s been most on my mind the last few weeks.

In no particular order of which I’m aware:

⁃ “But in that stubborn, nearly irrational way that liars often refuse to lie to themselves, my brain, so full of lying anxiety readily dispensed in cruelty, refuses to tell me comforting lies about how safety can be achieved. Instead, still out of cruelty, it bludgeons me with the harsh truth that safety is unreachable, has dropped beyond the horizon and the only remaining path is forward through the perils.”

⁃ Sometimes perilous things are exceedingly pleasant and enjoyable.

⁃ A broad, richly detailed and imaginative vocabulary is an exceedingly beautiful thing.

⁃ Those things…or that person…that randomly pops into your mind, that instantly refocuses your attention whenever encountered, that so fully possesses your imagination and consumes your consciousness that you lose track of time? That’s your passion. Pursue it, even if you might fail. Even if failure is certain. It’s the pursuit that matters.

⁃ Rancid brain-weasels don’t deserve your attention. “Stomp them” mercilessly, as I have recently been wisely advised. Preferably while wearing some devastatingly stylish “stompy boots”! Codicil: stomping brain weasels for a friend is a kindness and a mercy.

⁃ There are few things in this life more satisfying than letters from a smart, witty, incisive, and honest correspondent.

⁃ Making room for mystery and magic in your life is never wasted effort.

⁃ Sharing your view of a colorful sky and sitting quiet and still together is among the best kinds of comfort you can find in another’s companionship, even from afar.

On the lighter side

I’ve been venting a lot lately. It has been necessary and life-preserving. But I don’t want to always be negative; positivity and self improvement remain my goals.

So, in the spirit of reframing the negative and finding silver linings, here’s a short list of the glimmerings out of the muck from this week.

  1. Starting with the least-shiny of the linings…maybe pewter instead of silver: The workplace politics has found an uneasy level for a while, and I and my team aren’t in the crosshairs for now. Hopefully the worst is over. There will be more upheaval in a couple weeks, but at least it will likely be short-lived and mostly in someone else’s organization. That’s not the brightest or happiest outlook, but it’s not entirely dark and depressing, either. Taking what little good I can from all of the bad.
  2. In that same spirit – of finding something good in the barrel of muck – I was glad to get to contribute to a project today that has the potential to bring about good change. My boss asked me to collaborate with him on a strategy and innovation project. It was one of those think-tank type of logic problems. The board and CEO chose a current-fad business method/pop-sci kind of book and gave the executive leadership the assignment to devise an actionable, yet big-bet/blue-sky idea to spark growth or market transformation. Using the concepts in the book that combine freeing the mind from current paradigm restrictions with the facets of current-form success (i.e. the things we do best today), we were supposed to strategize a way for our established company to provide new solutions to solve customer pain points. Essentially, we needed to suggest ways to reinvent or transform our current strengths to adapt to novel problems or to provide new approaches to existing problems. It was all logic, thinking, head-work with cooperative discussion and brainstorming with my boss. It felt really good to use my brain in a non-emotional, non-political, non-reactionary problem-solving effort. And I came up with some really good observations, insights and ideas. I’m proud of myself and of my work today.
  3. Finally, I is (apparently) International Selfie Day and several of the groups and lists I belong to on Facebook were full of fun, interesting, cute and clever pictures of an amazing variety of queer people celebrating their uniqueness and individual beauty. I was so uplifted to see so many folks overcome their shyness and insecurities to post pictures of themselves in clothing and settings and situations that made them feel good and confident and accepted. Not everyone is a glamorous beauty queen or a handsome star or a gorgeous specimen of humanity. But each picture I saw showed courage and confidence and a love of self that makes me glad to be a part of this community.

Happy Summer Solstice and a good Friday night to all. I hope your weekend is full of sunshine and ease and time enough to enjoy the little things that make life worthwhile.


A recent attempt to be positive that I posted on another forum:

So much has sucked the big one lately. But I don’t want to be always negative. What often makes me feel better is looking up at the ever-changing, beautiful sky. Here are a sunset, a rainbow, and a sunrise from earlier this week – bright spots of beautiful things in a very stressful week. #lookingup #sunrise #sunset

Allegory for Peace

Listening to the news, reading news accounts online, hearing of events in conversation, in whatever way it comes to me, the news never fails to distress and unnerve me. I don’t see any good that comes from following it. Yet, it is necessary to be aware, at least generally, of what is happening in the world. As Veteran’s Day approaches in the US and stories abound of heroism and sacrifice, juxtaposed with news accounts of aggression, incursion, and death, my mind and sensibilities are unsettled.

My family is full of military heritage and patriots. My personal experience of late full of struggle for equality and authenticity. And the world continues to evolve, revolve and devolve by turns with respect to individual and communal quests for peace and equality. It’s all such a jumble. And, as is sometimes the case when my mind is swimming in stress and unresolvable puzzles, my mind creates in order to make sense of what is impacting on it at the time.

Imperfect, rough and unedited, the following clawed itself out of my brain after viewing a particularly unnerving documentary about soldiers returned from war and the art they created to express their experiences. Their art was both beautiful and raw, evocative and frightening. This bit of verse is none of that, but does serve to siphon some of the nervous energy that seeing their art created in me.

An Allegory of Peace

In everwood
Beyond the sunset
And under the shadow
Of the forever tree
Lived a simple soul
Still and quiet when at rest
Yet full of vigor and passion
For life and love and the beauty
Of the human heart
Peace, a fitting name for such a one
Crowned in equity
Cloaked in justice
Shod in freedom
The might and nobility
Gravitas and grace
Of Peace was coveted by all
Yet Peace was hard won
Elusive, Peace could only be reached
Through paths often perilous
Winding from fields of honor
And courts both lawful and profane
Uphill to plateaus of logic and peaks of erudition
Down slippery slopes of expediency and compromise
Over narrow bridges spanning chasms of ideology
Teetering on the precipice over abysses of war and pain
From age to age
Seekers of Peace carried many bags of motive
Some filled with hope and reason
Some dark and heavy with vengeance
Others light, full of optimism and faith
Many bristling with weapons of fearful hate
Their journeys fraught with doubt and danger
Peace seekers seldom emerged
From such treacherous paths unscathed
Some who sought Peace’s repose
Who braved the treacherous paths
Who gained and lost ground in the fight
Often fell within sight of Peace
Yet theirs was not a vain struggle
Nor their sacrifices empty
For the trails of their labors
Paved wider roads to Peace
Others survived the journey
Each one with a story
A parable of warning
Or a song of triumph
But each with a scar, a badge of sorts
A testament to the hunt
A few who succeeded in their quest
Lived for a time in that fair land
Enjoying the fruits of Peace’s reign
Even in small ways not always recorded for posterity
Staying in that cool and quiet glade
Singing their ballads and hymns of praise
Awash in the glory of Peace
Others who lost their way in the hunt
Battered and torn by brambles of strife
Bruised and weary of the climb
Stopped searching and settled
In a rocky valley of limbo
Where all paths circulate in endless
Rings of repetition hedged in stubbornness
Passing by highways to equality
Snubbing pathways of logic
Rejecting gateways to common ground
Those that dwelt in this desolate place
Roiled and seethed with bitterness
Resenting the gains that
Seekers on paths beyond the hedgerows
Seemed to make against the mountain of evolving ideology
Angry at the erosion of their historical stronghold
These by-dwellers in the valley of stony resistance
Struck out against the Peace seekers on the outside paths
Cycle after cycle of struggle and strife
Wars both physical and ideological
Raged in varying degrees constantly
All in the name and pursuit of Peace
But the progeny of the Peace seekers
Who rested in the reflected glow of Peace
Heard the sound of ongoing strife
Heard echoing cries for the bounty of Peace: equally, freedom, choice, self-determination
These beneficiaries of prior struggles
Answered the call
Poppies and ribbons, crosses and flags
Symbols of the causes of their forebears
“Lest we forget”, “Never forget”, their refrain
No longer at rest, never truly in repose
Seekers of Peace know
That the struggle goes on
In small ways and large
Over all the world
In ways sometimes unseen and unacknowledged
Yet ongoing
At home and abroad
With reason and diplomacy
Through logic and law
From heart to soul
Respect to respect
Until every warrior returns home
Until all are equal under law
Until every seeker finds Peace

Thankful for…changing seasons

Autumn is my favorite time if year. Always has been. I love the way the air smells, fragrant with leaves and wood smoke and frost. I love the colors of the world around me, as well as all the decor that folks adopt–rich, warm jewel tones and bright, sunny golden themes. I love the flavors that mark the season, also rich, warm and spicy. It is a time of change, but hopeful, not sad.

The change from any season to the next is always magical for me. I can be happy in any weather, though high heat and I aren’t the best of friends. Still, every season has it’s magic and I love to see how the earth lives through the changing of the seasons.

I’m grateful I live in a place where the seasons do change and more than just from frozen to blistering hot and back. 🙂 I’m thankful to get to witness the dynamics of change in nature and in people, from slumber to awakening to vibrant life and back to slumber. It’s steady, beautiful evolution is a source of joy on so many levels.

Here are a few favorite pics from the seasons I’ve experienced in this, a personal water-shed year:










Saturday Quick Hit

So, I’ve been belly-aching about working too hard and long days. And I’m a believer of not complaining if you aren’t gonna do something about it. For me, a good solution to over-work is a little play time. Today seemed a good time for that mental break.

I spent some time with my sister-in-law and a few of our art friends, having a creativity day. What a great time! Good conversation, lots of laughs and good-natured ribbing. But no drama, no negativity, and tons of creative sharing. Lots of variety, too. A couple people worked on torches creating lampworked glass beads. I worked with wire. Another did clean-up/finish work on some fused glass projects she had started previously. Lots of really amazing talent among my friends and family. I’m blessed to get to watch them in action.

My projects for today were two wire-wrapped pendants. One is a moss agate stone wrapped in copper wire. The other is picture jasper wrapped in silver wire. I had a lot of fun making them. And the best part was the seven hours of down-time with fun people and not a single thought about my job. 😉

Here’s hoping your Saturday was a blast!



Come, Be Quiet With Me

Author’s Note: I know precisely zero about poetry, verse, lyric and ode. I know nothing of construction, cadence, syntax, pacing or poetic style. What I do know is my own heart, what is in it from moment to moment, what needs to stay safely hidden there, and what must come out to give me rest. This, another raw, unedited siphoning of the swirling flotsam at the top of my mind, is some of what needs to come out of me to give me rest. This, unlike any other post I’ve written, terrifies me to publish. But, as with so much of what I file away here, in this place of Sudden Awareness, this fragment of thought (it cannot qualify as a poem) must be put out into the universe to become real.

~ Come, Be Quiet With Me ~

Come, sit beside me here
In the still, quiet hour of gloaming
Come, hold my hand
Be complete with me in quiet companionship

Your presence beside me
A balm to my riven heart
Your presence with me
A peace, a hush to my noisy mind

Come, sit beside me here
In this hectic place of pressure and stress
Come, hold my hand
Ground me in the present, deflect the missiles of uncertainty

Your heart is a precious gift
A boon from a generous and kind providence
Your heart is a mirror of true vision
A source of ease and rest

Come, walk with me here
In a garden of possibility
Come, walk beside me
Hold my hand and choose a path with me

Your heart is a source of light for me
Though you oft times see darkness alone
Your spirit is generous to me
Exhorting me to happiness

Come, be quiet with me awhile
The world spins round about us
Come, be still with me a while
And rest

I will…

[Author’s note: Writing is my way of processing. Sometimes, like now, it’s raw, unpolished, unedited. I need to get this out of me, so I can start living it. This is good, positive growth.]

I can do this. I will be brave. I will not cry. I will not fail. I can do this.

I will not betray your gift of beauty by covering it with guilt. I will not regret any moment.

I will not be sad. How can I be sorry for myself, knowing what I do now? Trusted with your secrets, I will hold them safe and cherish the gift.

I will smile through the fear, uncertainty, doubt. I will hold tight the beauty we shared and live in the lightness.

I will fake it ’til I make it. I will be brave so you will not regret. I will be well, so you can be, too.

I will hear the beauty you spoke to me–hear and believe. I will own it, so you will know you did not waste your breath. I will become the fruit of your labor.

I will soldier on. I will not falter. I will prove myself equal to this task.

I will open my heart to beauty. I will not scar.

I am strong enough. I am brave.

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