Saturday, July 14, 2007

A New Pack

I am amazed, thrilled and overwhelmed. I have for so long felt the Lone Wolf when it came to writing. I never in my wildest imagined there were so many other Lone Wolf writers in the world. Now I've discovered blogging and I've seen a Pack, so broad and diversified, connected through the internet, accessible through the internet, that I am - to use an overused expression that I normally avoid - blown away! Pow! I'm out of my vintage chair with the back slat that needs gluing and falls out if I wiggle wrong, and smack on my back on the floor blinking in wonder, gasping to catch my breath!

There are so many of us!

And not just the beginner with the wisps of a novel pixellating across Word in front of his/her nose in silent, exquisite pain on a ten-year-old monitor. But there are successfully published best seller authors, editors, agents, publishers out there encouraging our joyous addiction!

How did this happen? When did it happen? While I've been scurrying about, trying to juggle a job that doesn't support me with family, studies, and eeking out minutes to spend on my fix, a global Writer's Pack has grown like Topsy just a mouse-click away from me!

Wooo. . . .

I shall have to go have a think and a cup of coffee. My knees are still wobbly.

Friday, July 13, 2007


So, I just get here and I'm tagged for songs that have changed or impacted my life. Okay, you may be sorry you asked!!

1) Ramsey Lewis' "Wade in the Water" -
Picture this - a sixteen year old girl, dressed in her best (balloon-skirt dress, patent heels, sweater over her shoulders), sitting in the second row in an auditorium at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on a first date with a friend. The year is 1965. (Ok, count it out! I dare ya!) The Ramsey Lewis Trio is on stage. The girl is so transported by what she hears she can't keep still. From her seat she can hear that Mr. Lewis' wife, who is singing out her joy backstage, feels much the same way. But this IS 1965 and at IIT, so there's no dancing in the aisles. Her date seems resonate with her and Mrs. Lewis. He has his hands plastered to his legs like he's forcing himself to stay seated. He looks at the girl with the same googly grin and bright eyes that she's mirroring back to him. How could we possibly not simply levitate?

I feel no differently today when I listen to the Lewis recording. It's the theme for my life. It's an old slave hymn, if you aren't familiar. Here are the lyrics:

Wade in the water (children)
Wade in the water
Wade in the water
God's gonna trouble the water

If you don't believe I've been redeemed
God's gonna trouble the water
I want you to follow him on down to Jordan stream
(I said) My God's gonna trouble the water

You know chilly water is dark and cold
(I know my) God's gonna trouble the water
You know it chills my body but not my soul
(I said my) God's gonna trouble the water

(Come on let's) wade in the water
Wade in the water (children)
Wade in the water
God's gonna trouble the water

Now if you should get there before I do
(I know) God's gonna trouble the water
Tell all my friends that I'm comin' too
(I know) God's gonna trouble the water

Sometimes I'm up lord and sometimes I'm down
(You know my) God's gonna trouble the water
Sometimes I'm level to the ground
God's gonna trouble the water

(I Know) God's gonna trouble the water
Wade in the water (children)
Wade out in the water (children)
God's gonna trouble the water

It speaks Freedom. Freedom to be who you are amid the Troubled Waters. I have the original vinyl album. One groove is much deeper than the others. It's one of my few most treasured possessions.

2) "Brighten the Corner Where You Are" - an old hymn, lyrics by Ina B. Ogdon
This was the only hymn I ever heard my father sing. (He was brought up Swedish Baptist). He'd belt it out every once in a blue moon. I think maybe it was his theme. It says much about who he was. He left its legacy within me.

3) "Fields of Gold" - Sting
Once again, transported the first time I heard it and ever since. In a much quieter way than "Wade in the Water," though. It reaches a peace-filled place inside me, opens it, and radiates it through me.

My son sang it at his senior voice recital. Need I say Mum sniffled and mopped her face the entire time?

Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold

Youll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in the fields of gold

4) "Angel Eyes" - Jim Brickman
No words with this one. Which seems appropo. This number is my daughter to me. Every time I hear it, vignettes of her growing up flash before me. Our relationship is one still unwritten. But that's a good thing. Room for growth.

Oh, all right! I've been reminded I need 5-10 songs, so I'm borrowing one of Michelle's songs.

5) "Sounds of Silence" - Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel
This and the next are hallmarks of my college days. We had to be sooo blinkin' relevant back then, ya know. Flowers in my hair, bare feet, peasant dress...*sigh* But it was good and fun and forged me.

6) "Both Sides Now" - Joni Mitchell
But it was the Judy Collins album that reverberated through my dorm hallway. Over and over and over.
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's lifes illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's lifes illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all

7) "Quick" - Eddie From Ohio
This is now. My son got me hooked on these folks. If you don't know them, here's a link:

Albert Einstein was never good at math
But he found time down a curving path
The faster you go, the slower you grow, the less that you have to fall
The faster you go, the slower you grow, until you weigh nothing at all, nothing at all, nothing at all

I love them. They are quirky, funny, intense and intelligent. And I have to be ready for them...Judy Murphy Wells is incredible...and quick!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

She Who Heals

July 14th brings a new moon phase. In the Seneca tradition this moon is associated with the Clan Mother She Who Heals and the lesson, How to Serve the Truth.

This has had me pondering a bit today. Yes, I know what a Healer is. And isn't it lovely! However, when I look at the meaning of the word to heal - to make whole or sound - and slide that up against serving the truth, it gives a different dimension to the role of Healer, doesn't it? It puts me right smack up against the 3 I's of Intent, Integrity and Impeccability, but something else is there. There's that bit about Wholeness.

Making something Whole?


The Truth is nothing is whole, in the sense it is commonly perceived - healed, fixed, back to the way it was, repaired, the same, pure and spotless of flaw. Everything is fluid and changing. As Remy in the current animated movie Ratatouille states, Nature is Change. Wise little Rat!

So, if that's the case what does a Healer do? How do we heal? What is Wholeness?

I've been asking myself that today because I've got some things I want to heal - yet another sinus infection resultant of a chronic condition I've had all my life, financial nasties that hang over my head resultant of a "sick" period of my life, relationships that have taken bumps and bruises over the course of many years, a job that is bleeding me rather than providing for me. All sorts of healing is needed.

And that's just the personal stuff. What about Healing the Earth? What about healing the world of violence, poverty, war, abuse, bigotry?

How do I do that? How can I be a Healer in face of the Truth?

To be honest, I don't know.

All I know that I can do is face the next moment with those three I's and accept the changes that result. The results may not meet my or anyone else's expectations, may not be what I want at all.

All I know is that something will change.

And perhaps that is all a Healer actually does.

Monday, July 2, 2007


This morning our 6 year old Black Lab, Dusty, and our 6 month old Black Lab pup, Brandy, were tearing through the house tangling with one another yet again. Brandy is already a hefty 75 lbs and Dusty isn't much larger than that. No matter how often Dusty whacks her upside the head or nips her ears and sends her sprawling, she keeps coming back for more. We know this is part of Brandy's finding her place within the Pack, but it sure as heck wreaks havoc in the household. The cats go scrambling out of the way, knocking things from tables, counters, etc. in order to find safe harbor. Voices are raised and out comes the old Febreeze bottle with the rocks in it. We shake it at the canine culprits to settle them down.

They settle - for the moment. Both look sheepish. Brandy hangs her head and won't look at me. She knows she's being a pain in the kiester, but she can't help it. She is what she is - a pup defining herself.

It made me think about how we all do this - struggle for definition - no matter what age we are. Who are we within the Pack? Who are we outside the Pack? Is there a difference? Should there be?

We butt heads, and other parts of our anatomies and psyches, with those around us in the struggle. We often send others scrambling for safe harbor until someone steps up and shakes something at us to settle us down. We feel sheepish, but we just can't help it - we've gotta find that definition, dang it! It just keeps pushing at us.

Earlier this morning I wrote a response to someone who had made the discovery that she was "enough" just as she was. That she didn't have to "be" any more or less than she was. There was something in her which had always kept her distanced from joining or following and yet she longed for it, too. I responded:

"Something in me always knew.... The "want" was about "fitting in" to someone else's perception of enough. It always seemed that no matter what I did or how hard I studied I was never enough, but I wanted that feeling of belonging...yet also didn't. It was confusing and painful...a very lonely feeling, too. And that's not surprising, either. Since when holding ourselves accountable to another's perceptions we are separating ourselves from our wholeness. But when I released that "want" I felt whole and more integrated into the Web of Life - intricately connected to others in an entirely different way! A paradox, but an incredibly rewarding one."

And that is the lesson of the Pack, too. No place within the Pack is any more or less valuable than any other. We are always "enough." It is only when we compare ourselves to another's definition/perception that we feel distanced, separate, alone. And we butt heads. In releasing the need to fit in with someone else's perceptions we feel whole and connected.

Brandy will find her way to that. She's an intelligent and observant character. I just hope the rest of us survive to see it!