All posts tagged: Hope

Birds of a Feather

—Feathers of Hope Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul— and sings the tune without the words— and never stops— at all. Emily Dickinson This image is something I’ve been itching to do for days now. Every bird photograph I’ve taken has some sort of detail in it that I love. Eyes, beaks, legs, wings… even some claws. I see so many different angles to approach. So… tonight I worked on feathers. It’s an extreme zoom, so I hope it doesn’t get stretched and pixelated, but—other than that—it’s exactly what I was hoping for; lots and lots of feathers. Maybe this is a test. I’m trying to decide if this is something I want to perfect; to make a print. Would love to hear your feedback, as always. That is all for now. Goodnight! I’ve had some issues with images shrinking down to nothing in the mobile reader. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but if it ends up being a microscopic thumbnail… HERE is a link to …

Come Together

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. —Henry Ford This is a bit of a mishmosh of thoughts, but it all ties together. First of all the image is just something I was toying around with. I combined three different photos I took of kids playing at the beach. Then I did some tinkering in Photoshop and Illustrator to create the look of a drawing. I added outlines to give it a poster kind of look and to (hopefully) tie in with the “come together” theme. I had my first writing class last night and I have to say that it already has me thinking about how writing may (or may not) fit into my future. I’ll repeat what I shared in the class, as we each had to talk briefly about why we took the class. Since starting this blog, a recurring thought I’ve had is “Can I really WRITE? OR do I just know how to write about myself?” I WILL say that the reason I started …

In This Moment (Trust)

Separating topics is not easy. Not on the blog, anyway. I did some tinkering and there is no logical way to do it. I think that going to regular A.A. meetings (and looking to be of service) was the real STEP that I needed to take, and I’m doing that. At least I’m gaining clarity! Anyway, it’s been four whole days since I started studying the word TRUST, and I want to share my first day. I chose Psalm 40, verse 4. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! What REALLY struck (and amazed) me were verses 1-3. I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put …

TGIF

Hello everyone!! I’ve been spending a massive amount of time experimenting on Photoshop and I almost hate to say it, but it’s really hard for me to come up for air. And I’m only in the beginning stages…  I just love learning new things! I’ve mixed a Utah field, one of my many taken from a moving car photos, with a moon shot taken here in California- in our back yard. I’ve actually posted the moon shot in Howling at the Moon. It was one of my—oh my gosh that actually came out good—photos of the moon, so I hope I never lose it. After my “meltdown” awhile back, when I pretty much closed up shop on my virtual business, I turned off my computer and had no desire (whatsoever!) to ever open it up again. It sat collecting dust for months actually. In fact, the only thing I used it for was journaling, and then in October when I started this blog. That being said… this past four and one half months has been different. It’s kind …

A Tale of Redemption

A few things happened today that really moved me, but I’m only going to talk about one for now. Tonight was the meeting that I co-secretary for, and it turned out to be a pretty emotional meeting. There’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about, but I was never sure if the time was right, or if bringing it up was even the right thing to do. Tonight I got the answer (and permission). I’ve mentioned before that I have three grandsons. A photo of my oldest grandson (who is eight) is here in the blog, buried back in an old post. I have far fewer photos of him than I do of the other two, because I don’t see him that often. He lives with his mother and grandparents, and his father (my son) is now married and has the two younger boys. His mother is a recovering heroin/meth addict. I was in my four years sober without a program phase when I met her over eight years ago, and she had just gotten clean at the time. I …

Signs of Change

Now that I’m back in the realm of randomness, I’m messing with alterations. This is a street sign by my old High School. Actually, it’s the street that I used to hang out on when I would cut classes, and do other experimental things. I’ve always said that I hated school. I really DID back then—but I thought of something today. When I was hanging out there recently and taking pictures, I watched the kids for awhile. Some were practicing their sports, joking and laughing, and others were talking and hanging out while waiting for their parents to pick them up. They all looked so happy. For a moment, I was a bit sad (or disappointed) that I hadn’t experienced that kind of enthusiasm in my school days. It appeared to be a fun place now! Looking around, I thought why did I hate it here so much?!? Today I knew the answer to that while I was modifying this sign. There was only one reason why I was miserable back then, and it had nothing to do with the school- or the people that I went …

Art: A Great Read

I’m sharing someone else’s words today. “An old silent pond. Into the pond a frog jumps. Splash! Silence again.” It is perhaps the best known of all Japanese haiku. No subject could be more humdrum. No language could be more pedestrian. Basho, the poet, makes no comment on what he is describing. He implies no meaning, message, or metaphor. He simply invites our attention to no more and no less than just this: the old pond in its watery stillness, the kerplunk of the frog, the gradual return of the stillness. In effect he is putting a frame around the moment, and what the frame does is enable us to see not just something about the moment, but the moment itself in all its ineffable ordinariness and particularity. The chances are that if we had been passing by when the frog jumped, we wouldn’t have noticed a thing or, noticing it, wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But the frame sets it off from everything else that distracts us. That is the nature and …

Confessions: Part Seven

We had an interesting topic come up during our meeting last night. The enemy. Cunning, baffling and powerful. I decided that this subject would be a great opener for the final chapter. Why DO we believe negative things about ourselves, and where DO those thoughts come from in the first place? Why do we self-sabotage and attempt to destroy ourselves, either in an instant… or through painfully slow methods… like our addictions? A revelation came to me after writing the following in Part Two: “You know… perception is funny. As I’m writing this, it makes me wonder. Where on earth did I get the idea that being cool meant doing those things, anyway? Is that a preconceived notion I had, or did someone tell me that?” Seriously! Where DID I get the idea that alcohol, drugs and failing school were cool? Which brings me to the final chapter… Life Goes Full Circle Exactly one year ago today, on January 6th of 2016, my eyes were finally opened to God’s existence, and His divine intervention in my …

2016 Reflections

What a year! My cousin posted on Facebook that she was tired of hearing people talk about how bad 2016 has been—so she listed all of the good things that happened in her life throughout the year. It’s been one helluva year, that’s for sure! I have to say it’s been a good helluva year though. First and foremost; I got sober! 2015 was insane. If I had to count, I’d say I had about seven relapses that year. And then 2016 was my major turning point. Everything started to make sense, and life changed. I have a very LONG way to go to rebuild anything that shows outwardly—but that’s OK. I’ve had a lot and I’ve had a little—and I have the same amount of joy no matter what! I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 I have two Bible …

Joy in Giving

My cousin is great at knitting and crocheting. She makes batches of scarves that are shipped out to women in shelters and she asked me to write something that could go on a card with each scarf. The yarn she uses is nicknamed ‘Magic Yarn’ because it’s made up of remnants of old pieces of yarn—leftover scraps in a sense—so that no yarn is ever wasted. So… I wrote a fairy tale in rhymes: The Tale of the Magic Yarn There once was a seamstress, who made garments of white. Everyone wore them, what a beautiful sight! She knitted, crocheted and sewed wonderful things. Hats, scarves and mittens, with tassels and rings! The town looked so crisp, clean, shiny and bright. They all dressed the same, their garments so light! With pride they stood tall, as they strutted around. Not a blemish was seen, not a stain ever found. Then one day by surprise, a great storm hit the sand. Thunder, lightning and winds…blew right through the land. When the chaos was over, they all came …

Conversation with God

Father, you feel so far away,I’m not sure that my words are right.All I ask is to feel you near…Did you hear my prayer last night? Open your eyes my little one,Remember the veil was torn apart.Be still, and know that I am God…for I am speaking to your heart. I’ve summoned the wind to join us,My spirit stirs amidst the breeze.Look! The branches, they dance about…Rustling leaves whisper melodies. Forever and ever I am with you child,I’m everywhere, and in everything.Your words need not be perfect…I know your heart, I hear it sing! Oh thank you Heavenly Father,for this song that you’ve given me.I’ll be back again tomorrow…to dance beneath our sacred tree.

A Child of God

Asking God to help me see my life from His perspective is what truly helped me. I went back forty years, to when I was lost in that awkward limbo between childhood and adulthood, and serious issues consumed my thoughts. I was convinced that no one would EVER understand what was going on in my head. I was the odd man out, the outsider, and a teenage misfit. I just didn’t fit in anywhere, and it was too risky to try. I let fear win. How I saw things now was that a curious young girl stood before me—full of intriguing thoughts and questions about life—and I silenced her. I introduced her to alcohol to help ease her angst, and we hit the fast-forward button. We raced into the adult world- totally unprepared. What I came to realize was that, although my outward appearance had changed, that child had lived on. She carried-on in protest like a rebel without a cause—always reminding me that I was not like everyone else, and that I’d never measure up in …

A Step Forward

There’s a term pink cloud that refers to a state of mind in early sobriety, characterized by extreme happiness and grandiosity, in spite of problematic conditions. The newly sober person feels high on life because they’re experiencing emotions that were previously numbed by alcohol. Once I read up on the subject, I knew it was time to take a harder look at myself. Not to mention the fact that a couple of my longtime sober friends expressed their frustration with me, uttering cries that I “wasn’t getting it!” Needless to say, I was booted off of my big cushy cloud. Fortunately I didn’t plummet and hit the ground exploding, but I DID crash land. Rather uncomfortably, I might add. It appears I don’t handle criticism very well. After I picked myself up, I realized that I’d been holding onto an optimistic delusion about recovery. Every time I managed to “get” sober, I considered the crisis over, and deemed the problem solved. I’d frolic around—reveling in my sobriety—and never REALLY attempt to change. Given my previous track record, …

The Great Escape

It may seem odd that I always look on the bright side of things, but that’s how I roll. I’m an optimist ninety-eight percent of the time. I don’t enjoy writing the other two percent of the time, when I’m feeling down and out. I don’t even like thinking about the times when I wanted to give up. The nights when I wondered why I was still breathing. It seemed like my life was meaningless, and I had nothing left to offer. That’s how I felt when I had to move. I had lost my job that paid my rent, and I had no other options. I don’t think I need to explain why I lost my job; it’s pretty self-explanatory. I hated the idea of moving. I had spent a year and a half decorating my place with second hand treasures, and I was SO proud. I LOVED my things! I never spent enough money on things to merit paying for storage though, so I knew I’d have to let so much of it …

Fighting to Win

Never be afraid to tell your story because there’s somebody who needs to hear it. I have to keep telling myself that. I get those little twangs inside, telling me to just stop—that I’ve already said enough. But, I’m not going to let fear win. When I mentioned taking down the enemy in my last post; I was talking about sobriety, and my own spiritual battle. I wasn’t declaring war on men. I just want to make that clarification in case it wasn’t clear. Anyway, after doing some careful self-examination I started to realize something about my man pursuits. Not to sound cliché, but it wasn’t them—it was me. After getting some male opinions, the general consensus was that—for them—it was like a hunt. Chase, conquer, pick up your trophy and go home. I’m not quoting them, but that’s what I took away from it. I mulled it over for a bit, and thought about how it compared to my own pursuits. It was startling to discover that I followed the same pattern, in a …

A Sprinkle of Faith

There were a few things that were weighing heavy on my mind when I first reached out to my friend Gil. He’s the one that I wrote about in Hearing God’s Whisper. I had reached a point in my life—and in my drinking—where I knew that I was not only ready, but I NEEDED to find God. The life I had been living was without faith, without belief, and—looking in the rear view mirror—seemed pointless. I had no purpose. One of the most significant things that changed my perspective entirely. Gil inspired me to write my story. It wasn’t so much that he encouraged me to write, it was that he proposed that I “write about how people can change at any age.” I think that’s when I had my first epiphany. I was ready to accept the challenge! I was going to write the story of how my life was transformed. This actually meant something HUGE. In order to fulfill the mission, I actually had to change! I HAD A PURPOSE! I started with …

A Lighter Load

Some people won’t look up to God until He puts them on their back. That point really hit home for me. Agony, sickness and feelings of despair definitely put me on my back. I was truly humbled, and it forced me to look up to God. Whenever I quit drinking before, it was merely that. I quit picking up the glass. I would continue on—just as I had—but with a clear head. I strove harder, forging ahead faster, stronger, and more diligently than ever. I had something to prove. The failure to see results would eventually discourage me. Exhaustion would eventually set in, and I would inevitably turn to the one thing that gave me comfort. The bottle. This time I just KNEW that my life was going to change. Once I had that moment of clarity, and realized that getting sober (and staying alive) meant more to me than my business (or anything else, for that matter), my priorities shifted. My business wasn’t much, but it was MINE. I built it, and I owned …

Reality Check

I’m going to get REAL right now and tell you that I started this blog to share my new faith in God, the ups and downs of my journey through recovery, and the wonderful discoveries I’ve made along the way. It really IS a good story. My first “reality check” took place when I received my first LIKE. I was immediately flattered and excited! What struck me to my core, though, was a sense of humility. I thought… Oh dear God… someone is actually reading this?!?! I know. Don’t say it, I already know what you’re thinking. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that while I hope my blog goes on for years to come, and will eventually be filled with pages and pages of my journey, the short of it is that I finally discovered that the emptiness inside of me, that drove me to a life of pure insanity… was actually a “God shaped vacuum,” as Blaise Pascal so eloquently stated. And now… praise God, that vacuum is full.

Hearing God’s Whisper

Whenever I talk about finding God, I always wonder how people perceive that. You know… like… I wonder if they think I saw a vision (or thought that I did). How else DO you acknowledge that you’ve found something that can’t be seen or touched? Sometimes people come into your life, and whether they stay long or just pass through briefly, they leave you with something. They have an impact on you. To me, that’s God. When I was younger, the handful of times I attended church had discouraged me. I showed up. I tried to understand. Sadly, I was like a fish out of water. I felt nothing. It was like walking into a theater… in the middle of a movie. The entire time you’re watching it you’re trying to catch up, but it’s not making any sense! Everyone there knows something that you don’t. They know the WHOLE story. I spent months on end corresponding with a dear friend of mine (the one who inspired me to share my story) when I was drinking …

Just a Little Tidbit

I wasn’t completely satisfied with my previous post when I hit “Publish” yesterday. It didn’t seem complete. I wasn’t feeling it. That’s another defect of mine that I discovered in my months of reflection; not listening to my gut. Needless to say, much of my life was spent doing damage control. Anyway, I realized today that I need to fast-forward through so MUCH of my journey. Writing is extremely healing, especially in recovery, and I would recommend it to anyone. But in all honesty, reviewing my life “on paper” has given me a pit in my stomach and a tremendous headache. It’s like I want to stand up, violently shake the woman who wrote it, and shout… “GET OVER YOURSELF!” So that’s where I’m being led today. I’m going to go with my gut and tell you that today my life has meaning. Somewhere along the road of recovery I learned that the world does NOT revolve around me, and I am forever grateful for that. While so much of my progress was made while writing my story, …

Sweet Surrender

I’m always doing things backwards. Act first, think later. Of course my first thought after doing something is always “Now WHY did I do THAT?” And then there’s the other side of me that refuses to take a micro-step until I know (and understand) everything there is to know about something. And I mean EVERYTHING. That might explain my lack of interest in all things spiritual for the better part of my life. If anyone asked me what I believed in, the most accurate answer I could give would be “nothing”. The only thing that I knew to exist was my own little reality, and it wasn’t pretty. Still I prayed at times, mostly when the chips were down—and I mean REALLY down. Even then, I wasn’t sure “to whom” I was actually praying. Several years ago, in the throes of a downward spiral, I fought to hold myself and my business together—by a thread. The harder I held onto that thread the more everything seemed to unravel. My mental state was deteriorating, I was …