Weekend Coffee Share, Earth Week and Care for our Physical Presence

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, in which I have reached Earth Week in the 28 days “Soul Coaching” book. Earth Week (and Fire Week too for that matter) has been full of water. Rain, rain, rain. At any rate, as we sit in my ‘cafe’ with Agnes Obel in the background, a solid favorite with beautiful piano notes, I drink green macha tea and I am so grateful for the sunshine this morning.

Yesterday, we had a morning of sunshine as well, which was such a blessing after days and days of gray wake-ups and rain. After breakfast, I sat in the sunshine in my driveway with the dog at my side. He sought the shade of my chair after a few minutes. I don’t really know how many minutes. Do I really have to know? My skin felt good, my eyes were shut, and my dog did not complain. I seem to know when is too long for Vitamin D exposure. My body and spirit did need those few moments to warm me, especially since I was suffering from a sinus infection this week.

Yes, ironic isn’t it, that during Earth Week I had a body that did not allow me to do a five mile walk or get out of the house much? The rain discouraged me, too. I got the appropriate rest, ate well, slept late when I could. I exercised to an extent that did not push things too far. I read, continued the 28 days book, and took care of Bixby. I do think I appreciated the earth in fitting ways. That one morning of sunshine was wonderful, since I was just feeling well again.

I certainly would have done more if I felt up to it, but I imagine I’ll make up for it next week. It has been too long since I walked the beach! Two weeks, at least, and it is such a centering practice for me. A part of Earth week in the book suggests imagining being a rose, a willow tree, or a pebble. I would prefer being a willow tree or a pebble. The willow is motherly and familial, peaceful, and soulful. The pebble is a young child/ tomboy’s dream, always useful–be aware I climbed trees when I was a child! I would not choose the rose, for I feel I’ve lived that: the sweet flower pruned to look good and often plucked to die in a vase. Sigh, the plight of many women before this generation; the vase being a ‘good’ marriage that puts a girl on a shelf. Yet, I was allowed to climb trees! Not so bad after all, but society sort of tried to hold us back, you know? Things are changing though, but I digress.

Earth week reminds me of my kinesthetic field. A quiz once told me I was equally visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Sometimes I just dwell on one, but my life is happiest when I honor all of them. So, I’ll seek to do my 5 mile walk in a few days! I’ll sit in the sunlight again, soon. I will laugh with a friend again as I did yesterday….no details needed, it’s just something I am wisely making room for in my life even through stress or rough days. 🙂 And I will always add music and buy clothes that hold a color that draws me in. Perhaps it will soak up the sun into my spirit more strongly, but am I digressing again? 🙂

Bixby also knows the benefits of Vitamin D!
Crossroads Diner is a short story I self-published this week!

In the realm of writing, I self-published a short story that is sort of supernatural and metaphysical in nature. You can find it on Amazon by searching Crossroads Diner Kindle. There is a contest I have entered through an online Book club, and I also just want people to read it. Reviews on Amazon are a great way to get feedback on this story’s ideas and are so appreciated! I plan to work more on the Ellie manuscript this summer, though I do have my little trip to Rochester coming up. I so look forward to it!

So, as of July 1,we’ve made it through the first half of the year! I survived the first half, including the end of a pandemic teaching year. My son is still not speaking to me or his dad, not to anyone in the family. He had an issue in his life, and I wanted him to solve it a certain way; he did not want to do that. It seems he’s doing it his way, and I pray it works. Now, I send him loving or encouraging texts. That’s all I can do, since he is grown. I am still trying to live my own life, since I know he’s living his own life. I am practicing acceptance. He is venturing into his own life and will reach out to family again when he’s ready. I believe that.

Flashback photo…

The rest of the year may bring more changes, and they may be wanted or unwanted. I am going to have faith that I have instilled strength and willingness to work hard in my son. I am going to keep laughing for the sake of laughing. I will surround myself with those who encourage me to smile and laugh yet listen if I need an ear. I will accept others for what they are and give them leeway to be that while trying to bring out their best. I am going to move toward tomorrow fearlessly and avoid expecting the worst; yet if it approaches, I will battle it like the warrior that I am, like a flexible, sturdy oak or an empathic willow tree (depending on the day :).

So, how’s that for setting my intention for the next six months? I don’t remember what my New Years’ resolution was, and who cares? I think I’ll set six months’ intentions each year, one at summer solstice and one at winter solstice–a great way to honor the physical world and this Earth that we have been granted by a marvelous Creator. Enjoying nature brings me closer to my spirit. I hope to do more of that this week!

**Weekend Coffee Share is a Bloggers’ Community share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Visit her Coffee Share and get details at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/07/02/what-made-june-joyful/

Adapting. #amwriting #FlashfictionforAspiringWriters

Photo credit, @yarnspinnerr.  Thanks for the image prompt!

“Adapting”, (c) 2017, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Katarina Jenkins sat the plate down.  She had eaten the meat and left what looked like bones.  She was still unsure what kind of meat it was.

Still, any food was a plus right now.  The ship carrying her mother, father, and her had been smashed against the rocks.  She arrived alone at this island full of purple people, wary, fearful, and starved, her parents carried away on the waves.

These people were nice enough to offer her food.  Now, they stared with eager eyes, and one of them pushed the plate back toward her.  Am I supposed to eat the bones too?  Who are these people?  Where is home?

Another, painted with war stripes like a leader or hero, pushed the plate away gently.  Thank God.

Instead, he offered a seashell full of  purple moosh, pointing at it, then motioning to spread it on her face.

Gladly, Katarina accepted.

*150 words

Each week, a photo prompt is posted at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers with a challenge to write a flash-fiction story within the parameters.  

For a variety of responses to this week’s photo prompt and/or the rules of the writing challenge, visit https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-12-2017/

 

 

In the Deep, #writephoto

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“This sure is some prime real estate, Jack,” Erin whispered.  There was an eerie, yet reverent awe to her voice.

“We’re as far away from the front lines as we could be.  It’s safe here.” Jack hoped this was true.  The fighting had gotten dangerously close to their home, and he didn’t want the boys to live that way.

“How long?”  Erin asked.

Jack noticed a note of worry in her voice.  “I’m sorry, Erin.”

“No, don’t be, Jack.  This place is beautiful.  It is full of imagination.  It’s just, the lack of sunlight is going to get to me in a little while, maybe a few weeks.  On the plus side, it is cool down here.  Much better than it was up top.  I just don’t know how long I can stand it.  I’ll start getting weird dreams, and after a while, I won’t be able to sleep.”

“How do you know, Erin?”

“Before the fighting started, my dad was Air Force, stationed in Alaska.  We lived there with him.  You know, they have those months with no sunlight.  It got me, bad.   Then, when I was fifteen, he went to serve in the war.  So Mom and I came back here.  He never came home.”

Jack sat down and laid out their provisions, which included a soft cushion for each of them to sleep on.  Of course, they wouldn’t be staying here forever.  Erin sat beside him.

“How did it come to this?”  Erin asked.

Jack put his arm around her.  “I’m sorry, Erin.  We’ll get out of here as soon as we can.  Think of it as a camping adventure.  I know we should have evacuated when they first gave the warning.   Now our home is in the middle of a battlefield.  It’s like the Civil War or World War II out there.  I never thought we’d go back to such primitive ways.”

“At least I didn’t lose you to the war,” Erin said, as she took their youngest, Jeremiah, by the hand and changed his shirt.  He needed the longer sleeves.

“No, Erin, and you never will.  As long as you and the boys can remember what I taught you about survival, we’ll never have to be a part of their evil ways.”

Erin rested her head on his shoulder while Jeremiah ran to catch up with Stephen, who was exploring another tunnel.

“I’m glad we’re so much more civilized.  Even if it means living like this,”  Erin said.  She’d be okay, she decided right then and there.  This was a matter of survival.  Her fear was dissipating.  She’d rise to the occasion and hold it together for her family.  It would be alright.

~The End~

The #writephoto challenge prompt can be found at https://scvincent.com/2017/03/16/thursday-photo-prompt-deep-writephoto/

If you’d like to join the challenge, follow these instructions:

Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.  You can find all last week’s entries in the round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers.

I will feature as many entries as I can on the blog during the week, but given the volume of contributions we are getting every week, that will not be all of them! All posts will be included in a round up on Thursday 23rd March.

Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work.

How Much Do We Need Community?

What do a recent rap song, Johnny Cash, the movie Fight Club, and the Bible have in common?  A post on society and the ones we love.

“No man is an island, entire of itself…”  – John Donne.

This quote has stayed with me for over twenty five years.  I have used it,  in conversations, in my classroom.  I have felt it, when I was in my third year of college, after transferring to a university from community college.  Classes were huge, and I felt very alone.  Over the years, I learned the value of forming friendships for many different reasons, to handle difficult situations at work, to enjoy life a little more, to have someone to talk to, or to share a value with others (such as charity, faith, volunteerism, recovery).  People go to many types of places to feel a part of a community:  hobby/enthusiast groups, church, bars.  That’s quite a variety of places, but a lot of it starts because we need someone to talk to.  Some of us are fortunate enough for it to happen in the workplace.  It sure makes working a lot more fun.  Some are not that fortunate, and have to seek other places like the aforementioned.  I imagine, in early civilization, hunter/gatherers survived cold weather and wild animals better if they banded together to survive.  Farmers usually rely on a community to get their work done.  They have to get along to get things done together.  I look at these huge farms in the Midwest and I know just one man alone could have never gotten all that done.  Community seems, to me, to be a key to survival for mankind.

The Christian Bible preaches the value of community.  I made a promise to myself to use or read the Bible more often during Lent this year.  It’s not too much of a cheat if I found relevant verses in an online subject search, is it?  From http://dailyverses.net/community : “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 | NIV

Since the Dark Ages, even earlier, people have gathered together to appreciate art, music, and Literature to enrich their lives and minds.  I am seeing that as one way we “walk in the light.”  We still gather to do these things.  Sometimes we just enjoy them in a solitary way.  I don’t mean to contradict myself here….

Or, take this Bible verse about supporting each other, maybe even inspiring one another to be better people:
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
But yet, there is plenty of fuel to fire the opposing argument, that the lone wolf is that way because he chooses to be because he is totally independent.  In a current, popular song, that I just heard for the first time today while switching stations, by G-Easy, the lyrics go like this: “It’s just me, myself, and I/ Solo right until I die/ Because I’ve…got me for life.”  I at first thought the song might be a little narcissistic, then I watched the video (uncut lyrics).  It depicts a star who really struggles with himself and the fame that has come to him, perhaps realizing his large number of false friends.  Perhaps that just comes with fame and riches.  I may never have that problem.  I’ll admit the lyrics are catchy.  I was drawn to them after hearing Jonny Cash’s rendition of Empire of Dirt, a song that could make me cry on a gray day.  Similar themes, but quite a switch!
And then there was an article shared by a Facebook friend today as well, titled “Why Millions of Men Lose Friends in their 20s,” available at http://www.vice.com/read/why-men-lose-friends-in-their-20s?utm_source=vicefbus which totally touches upon the subject as perhaps not always being  a choice, or sometimes being a regrettable one.  “As we get older….we might start to wonder whether there’s a reason most wolves hunt in packs.”  As if most men interviewed by the writer seemed to acknowledge that life would be easier if they had a “pack.” By the way, the falling away of friendships in your 20s happens just as much to women.  But it was good to read from this perspective since I get concerned about my son in his young adulthood and his lack of community or even any concern for being part of a community.
Of course, modern technology makes it easier to do everything from the confines of our home, even conversing with others (through our acronyms, LOL). Thereby, it decreases active participation in a community.The quality of conversation has really declined, BTW.  🙂 On an average day for many, our survival involves sitting in our cubicle, pecking away at a computer under artificial light.  Hmmm…I am getting an image from  the movie Fight Club!   Ed Norton or Brad Pitt with a shiner, what a way to fight the artificially lighted cubicle!  The word “club” stands out here in my mind, almost as much as Brad’s shiner.  His character started out as a socially awkward young man, feeling withdrawn from society.  Modern culture seems to perpetuate that.  We were all so much thicker skinned in the past, but we did it through community and teamwork.  That was a key to our survival as a species.  It is even helpful today.  Without it, there may be many lone wolves, but I doubt their descendants will go too far.
I’ll put this in my own personal terms.  Sometimes I need something to do that I know will benefit someone else; that gets me away from selfish concerns or worries.  Or I need to talk to someone about anything that will get me out of my head or my worries (that sometimes can chase themselves like a dog chasing its tail).  I know community is a key to survival.  I also love my lone wolves, especially since my son is one of them, and I know he needs love and acceptance, even when he accepts it so tentatively.  I think they have an important place in our community, if for no other reason than to fix things, build things, produce art, Literature, or music to make us think or help us escape. Then there are also those who think up the theoretical ideas, yet can’t talk in a social setting.  They are still invaluable.  Perhaps the lone wolf is, at times, an inspiration to the broken-hearted or newly single?   They’d never admit it, but in some way, they do need us.  I just hope they realize they mean something to the rest of us.  Yet, I see that I have to accept anyone’s choice to be outside of community.  So do we just leave them be?  As a mother, I adamantly say, No.
I just hope our lone wolves realize they mean something to the rest of us.  Yet, I see that I have to accept anyone’s choice to be outside of community.  Take the example of my son.  One may speak to him and get very little reply.  It doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect you.  It’s just, you may have interrupted a thought process; he may have to work hard to switch that off.  But he may have really needed those kind words, even if you got very little response.  You see, I’ve been working on understanding this.  His mentor that we knew from church was learning this.  One day, he told me, “I got a smile and a chuckle out of him today.  It was a real smile!”  Yes, I believe it was.  Sometimes that’s all you get.  God bless him for trying.  Maybe we can’t change a lone wolf into a social being, but just let them know they’re loved and accepted.  Awkward can be awesome.  If we are truly a loving community that will survive together, we should be checking up on our lone wolves, and embracing those Emily Dickensens and Van Goghs, long before they’ve left us with nothing but their art or interesting memorabilia collections.
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