Eclectic Thoughts

How does one decipher,

Mixed messages conveyed?

Go where there is no path,

But be careful not to stray.

Reach for the stars is guidance…

That often goes around,

But can this be achieved…

When keeping both feet on the ground?

Am I shooting for the moon…

If I aim to rise above the crowd?

Or is this evidence…

That my head is in the clouds?

Unraveling ancient proverbs,

Double edged, their meanings dual,

Will knowledge bring me power…

Or the wisdom of a fool?

—Janet

Written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Eclectic

the Boardwalk

Footprints left behind,

In the ocean of my mind,

Memories captured.

—Janet
Haiku #6

I’ve shared this image before, in Pier Madness, but it was severely manipulated and I don’t like that version anymore. The girl taking the iPhone pic is an old schoolmate, and our friendship was the inspiration behind the Haiku.

It’s still raining, and they say it should continue for a couple more days. I’m actually loving it (my comfort weather), but we’re keeping an eye on the news. Some of our friends live in areas that were damaged by fires recently, so you just never know what’s coming.

Wool-gathering

—BAD DAY AT SCHOOL

It required too much effort;

Listening to his speech…

Dreaming of tomorrow,

Things just out of reach…

“Learn anything?” he asked…

As I exited the class,

“Well…” I answered softly,

“These chairs sure hurt my …”

—Janet

Weekend Writing Prompt #92: Wool-gathering (36 words)

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Anything

RDP Saturday: Effort

Just a little weekend fun.

Gratitude Hour

Time can be a little deceptive. It’s been two months since the fall semester ended, and—to be honest—it feels like it’s been a year. I’m grateful for the “down time,” don’t get me wrong, but that old familiar feeling… that it’s time to get moving… has taken hold, and Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

It’s kind of like long, out of town vacations. They’re awesome! They’re fun, relaxing, and refreshing, but eventually you reach that point where you just want to go home. So… Daily Addiction’s word today is Inspire, and I’ve been thinking about that word quite a bit (burning the midnight oil again).

In my pondering, I realized that one of the reasons my life, and this blog, have morphed and grown so much over the past couple of years is because so many of you have inspired me.

Undoubtedly, I’ll be online much less once my classes start… so it seems like the perfect time to express my gratitude for that inspiration.

To all the photographers out there, thank you for sharing. Seeing all of your beautiful images inspired me to pick up my camera again… and learn to use Photoshop (well, at least until I get better). Ha!

To all the writers out there, thank you for sharing your words. All of you helped me realize that I DO want to write, and your posts; be it poetry, stories, or commentary, have inspired me to work harder at becoming the best I can be.

To all of the artists out there… I just love what you do. I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life, but thank God for digital art! Thank you for sharing your work with the world and inspiring me to create.

To every blogger who dedicates their time to encourage or teach us something… about God, about recovery, about work, about life or psychology… thank you. You inspire me for sure.

It’s funny too, as I write this post… I see how everything connects… and I can almost see my future unfolding before my eyes. More on that as time goes on.

I’ll still be here as often as possible…

…as the journey continues.

—Janet

Peace & Love!

To anyone who has ever taken time to read, like, or comment on something I’ve shared… thank you to you as well. You inspire me to keep going! 🙂 And now it’s past midnight… and I realize that this post sounds like a big goodbye… but it’s not! HaHa! It’s just a big thank you.

Into the Unknown


Haiku #5

Enigmatic Path,

Shadows and light intertwine,

Past and present merge.

I found several old road trip photographs while (still) sifting through my archives. I believe this one was taken in Utah. My boyfriend (at the time) wasn’t one to make pit stops, so my head was hanging out of the window most of the time—taking pictures—when we traveled together.

I thought this was a good candidate for the Which Way photo challenge today. The fact that you can’t see where we’re going; only where we are and where we’ve been was the inspiration for the Haiku. Maybe road trips really ARE a bit like life. And relationships.

The rain did, indeed, arrive today and we had some exciting lightning and thunder earlier this afternoon. That being said, I’ve put off my errands for now, and hope to get to some of the word challenges soon.

Which Way Photo Challenge: January 31

Balance

Rain taps the window,

Inviting us out to play,

Childlike dreams return,

Cares melt away in each drop,

Balance is being restored.

—Janet

Written for Your Daily Word Prompt: Inviting, & RDP Tuesday: Balance

Rain is like macaroni & cheese to me. It’s my comfort weather. The fire goes on, blankets get piled high, and I have an excuse to stay in bed with a good book (guilt free!). A day like that is a great way to restore balance.

I wanted to share some exciting news about school. After working as an unpaid graphic design intern for two semesters, I’m going to be official this semester. I will actually get paid for my work!

Helter-Skelter

The midnight oil is burning. Scribbled words on shreds of notepaper litter the floor beneath my seat. I let out a yelp as the computer warns of pending doom: “Online storage approaching maximum capacity; purchase upgrade for more space!

Perhaps I shouldn’t write tonight.

Shuffling through images from my past, I contemplate long and hard about which ones to retain, and which ones to throw out. Some of the photos seem so sad, so grainy. I look beyond the flaws, and into the memories that they bring. Perhaps I should save them all, it’s so hard to let go.

Attempting to consolidate only creates more commotion, more chaos…

I’ll finish tomorrow.

Weekend Writing Prompt #91: Helter-Skelter
Word Count: 111

Word of the Day Challenge: Yelp

I don’t know if it’s cheating the 111 word count to go on like this, but I’m a rebel anyway so who cares. 🙂

I wanted to say something about my collage. I actually thought about writing a Haiku for this, because it reminded me of how little boys dream… usually about what they will be or do when they grow up, and how—once they reach a certain age—they tend to dream about being young again.

Anyway, my grandson and son are actually a part of this creation and I’ve shared both images in different forms. That’s what got me thinking. I worked on it for hours last night, and again this morning, and finally decided it was time to move on to the next order of business.

That’s all for now. Today is softball Sunday, so off I go……

Peace & Love Everyone!
—Janet

Pull up a Seat

This photo challenge seemed like an opportunity to make some art out of an image I’ve had around for a while. These seats are/were located in the small (and beautiful) town of Buena Vista, in Colorado.

We were lucky to have three months ‘without‘ snow when we lived high in the Rocky Mountains, so taking the 35 mile drive was like going to heaven for a day. As we made our way down, the sun would start to shine, the air would warm up… and the snow along the highway would dissolve.

It was a pleasant surprise to spot this outdoor seating arrangement, and sit for a rest just above the Arkansas River.

Pull up a Seat Challenge 2019: Week 4

TGIF!

In the Distance

Turquoise Lake, Colorado

I think this photo was made for color, but I thought the lake and mountains in the distance were perfect for Cee’s Black & White challenge today.

Also… I found an interesting quote that I’m going to keep in mind when I go back to school…

The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.

Ansel Adams

Go With the Flow

Late last night, as I pondered what to write about in my next post, the question “what are you trying to accomplish here?” came to mind.

I thought about how my blog started—how I wanted to share the story of my recovery, and offer words of “hope” to other people who were still suffering—and then I thought about how the subject matter has twisted, turned, and evolved over time.  

I wondered if certain words that I’ve written were (or were not) necessary; whether or not they conveyed anything “positive or uplifting” to the person they might reach, or if they were just “filler.”

The bottom line is that I want to write words that matter, and I critique my words harshly… reprimanding myself at times for being hasty; not thinking things through carefully, or failing to do my very best. I think it boils down to two things: impatience and perfectionism. I always feel rushed—like there’s some ‘imaginary’ deadline I have to meet—so I zig zag around to get things done at warp speed and then, sometime later, I look back to question everything and point out the imperfections.

Needless to say, the only thing that emerged from all of my overthinking was a bunch of unnecessary stress.

As I laid down to rest, I did what comes naturally now…

I surrendered.

I listened to my music, turned everything over to God… and I allowed my body to relax… as the tears rolled down my cheeks. They weren’t tears of sadness or frustration, mind you; they were tears of peace, tears of joy, and tears of love. Surrender will do that.

For today’s Which Way Challenge, I decided to use this photo because it reminded me that striving too hard, or failing to surrender, is like trying to force your way through rush hour traffic. You can push and prod, change lanes frequently, honk your horn… and even shout obscenities, but the fact of the matter is you won’t really get too far. Plus you’ll suffer from self-inflicted stress, and probably piss off other drivers in the process.

Surrender, on the other hand, reminds me of my road trips. I know it will be a long journey, I know I’ll run into traffic, and I welcome the unexpected detours. I relax, play my music, go with the flow… and soak in the scenery.

And if anyone asks me which way I’m going, I answer “hmmm… I don’t know… wherever the road takes me…”

Peace & Love—
—Janet

Which Way Challenge: January 24th

The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender.

Dating Disasters


Over at Harry’s Beach Bar,

The music plays all night.

My date and I stopped in there,

To have a quick little bite.

Regrettably I’d told a tale,

About my rock star vocals,

How shocked I was,

To read the sign:

Karaoke TONIGHT for Locals!

No doubt, I was in a pickle,

For my singing he’d abhor,

So I excused myself…

To the ladies room,

And left through the back door.

This was a fun prompt, and a great time to share another image from my trip. This late night photo was sort of messy, so I doctored it up and added ‘shooting stars’ to give it new life.

The funniest part is that I think they actually DID have Karaoke going on when we went by. Needless to say, we didn’t go inside… we were busy walking around and taking photographs.

Three Things Challenge: Rock Star, Beach, Pickle

Behind my Veil

Do I deceive myself?

Does this thin veil protect me,

From your copious attempts,

To whisk me away into the night,

Penetrate my covering,

Steal my heart,

And leave me vulnerable?

Or do I deceive you?

Hoping that you’ll instigate the affair,

So that I can watch,

As you search hopelessly,

Allowing you to believe,

That my heart is actually hidden here?

—Janet

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Copious

Word of the Day Challenge: Instigate

This isn’t really my style, but I had some revealing thoughts recently, about the roles that I’ve played in some of my ‘tragic’ love stories. I guess it’s true what they say… it really DOES take two to tango.

It’s not always beautiful to see the truth about ourselves, but we’ll never be able to change what’s wrong until we do.

Anyway, I thought the poem went well with my art. This was an accidental piece, and it lit a fire in me to try some new techniques… so I hope to do some more experimenting today.

That’s about all for now—
Peace & Love Everyone!

New Perspectives

Oftentimes I tell the people I meet about my transformation; how much I’ve changed since entering recovery and coming to believe. The way I usually describe it is that all of these changes are internal… they can’t be seen. Well, aside from the fact that you won’t “see” me drinking anymore.

Sometimes I refer to it as a “new attitude,” and other times I say that a lot of it has do with “gratitude.” Even so, I still find myself complaining or whining at times (especially when I play softball), but I’m able to recognize my behavior, pull out my tools, and work on fixing the problem.

While pondering the word angle—I realized that looking at life, myself, and others from different perspectives is probably one of the KEY factors behind my transformation. My new attitude stems from seeing things from new angles, and the ability to do so keeps me grateful.

One of the greatest things I learned in recovery was that I need to look at my own reflection when something is bothering me, because… as they say: No matter where I go, there I am.

It’s easy to feel discouraged, hopeless, irritated or angry when you believe that everything ‘outside of yourself’ is the cause of your condition. When you learn that YOU hold they key, and that you have the ability to change how YOU feel or react to these things… well… suddenly the world looks totally different!

—Janet

RDP Tuesday: Angle

Life is good and God is GREAT!

My Mind’s Eye

From where I was standing,

I saw beauty everywhere.

The gulls appeared to know me,

As if they recognized my stare.

My mind’s eye scanned the horizon,

Rousing dull shades into vibrant hues,

Melancholy grays,

Into sapphire blues.

Moving quickly,

I traversed the mud and the trash.

I saw snowflakes and crystals,

As I watched the waves crash.

The storm the eve before,

Left puddles, wind, and freezing air…

But on the coast that morning,

Not a surfer,

Nor I,

Had a single care.

—Janet

Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Dream