Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
Which parts of your own well being will you sacrifice
To rush ahead in a mad dash to spend, light, over-do
Partying till you can’t remember why you started
Celebrating by stretching the calendar beyond reason
Saying it is an obligation that comes with the season?
You can stay home with a hot cup of cheer on the mantle
Enjoying of the cozy pleasures of darkness with a candle
Welcome to my home this 31 December, 2016. May I offer you some coffee, tea, or a cocktail? We have a lavish buffet of fruits and nuts to tickle your taste buds while you tickle my imagination. Do tell what your Christmas, or last week, was like for you. If you are visiting Tucson from a cold climate you will enjoy seeing all the flowers still blooming in my yard, and the grapefruit tree loaded with fruit. We had a good rain storm last night so the air is clear and fresh. Stay for a while before you have to go back to winter.
Our holiday decorations have been taken down and stored in the barn. I keep it simple, so striking the set takes little effort and time. The days are quickly lengthening again, and the narcissus is blooming in my garden. In a way we have a two-phase spring, and not much of a winter here. It is almost always sunny, a blessing and a curse. I went to my dermatologist for a light treatment for all my sun damage. This painless procedure requires 3 days in darkness to recover. I fully indulged in my 3 dark days, which fell between 18 and 21 Dec, the darkest days of the year. I hibernated, emerged for a party weekend, then went back in my hobbit hole at home this week. I have been at the gym or at home all week, and it has been divine. I have been reading a lot of new books and generally soaking in the season. I may have also watched a little too much TV, since we have a few free trial channels going now.
For 2017 I look forward to by every day life, which I find to be very pleasurable. I make no resolutions, and so far have not chosen three words for next year, as I have done for a while. I may choose three before the end of the day, but my basic philosophy is to be as helpful to others as I can with the talents I have. In order to be of service I need to accurately assess by own self efficacy, then improve on it. I am going to try writing fiction in 2017. I see a lot of flash fiction that fascinates me, and I have not given fiction much focus. I think if I use a journal to stimulate fictional stories I can get that engine started. I will do NaPoWriMo in April, writing a poem a day for 30 days. This gets easier each year, but I wonder when I will turn into a poet.
I appreciate the coffee sharing community and the diverse cultures and views we represent. May we all party on in good health in 2017 and release all our petty regrets from the past. To join this weekly party check in with Diana. Comment, read, or add your own two cents. Thanks for being such good company, my coffee sharing friends. May the force be with us. I wish you all health and happiness.
If we were having coffee this morning I would serve you any hot or iced tea you might like or a cup of medium roast coffee. For those of you arriving at cocktail hour from other continents I have some cranberry vodka for cocktails. It is pretty and tasty at the same time. Have a seat, put up your feet on the fireside ottoman and tell me what is happening with you. I have the room seriously scented with lavender and citrus essential oils. The wood stove is a perfect diffuser. I need to replenish the moisture it sucks out of the air, so I position two containers of water on top to continually evaporate. It is a little bit shocking to see how much goes into the air. I dump substantial amounts of essential oils in those vessels, which become my giant air fresheners all winter.
Citrus is the scent of the season for me. I have purchased a full set of citrus essential oils for December which are going quickly because I love using them liberally. Now I am rocking sweet orange and mandarin, mixed with a lot of lavender. These are all high notes in aromatherapy, or uppers if you will. The idea is to extend comfort and joy in the atmosphere. I have my ceramic gingerbread diffuser rocking the scent with a scented candle as the heat. This is the only time of year when I burn wax candles in my house because it does pollute the air inside that we breathe. I am not worried about the amount of pollution a few tiny tea lights will emit. I also have my digital candles with remote control LED lights that change color. They make me very happy. My decorating theme is not exactly geared to a modern religious holiday but to the winter solstice, and a celebration of light that seemed to happen universally in ancient times around the darkest night of the year. I am fully ready of Old Man Winter. We are stocked with wood for the fire and I have mounted all manner of solar twinkle lights in the front and back yard. We are warm and, if I do say so myself, lit.
If we were having coffee and American politics came up I would tell you that yesterday I attended a meeting to organize a satellite protest march to show support for the Million Women March on Washington, 21 Jan. Many American women are traveling to DC to march on the mall to protest the inauguration of the Donald. I have much sympathy for this movement, but not enough to travel to DC. I decided to find out what the Tucson group looked like, and what they planned to do. I live streamed the event to my FaceBook page. The meeting was at once very uplifting and disconcerting. The median age of the women in attendance was around 55 or 60, with very few under 40, and I saw nobody under 30. They debated the language of protest and how to best express the outrage they felt. They talked about Gandhi and Martin Luther King, which was predictable. There were 3 men over 60 in the crowd. One with his wife, one with Occupy Tucson, to convince the group to join their march, and one who had very good sense who came out of nowhere. He suggested the group use positive rather than negative language. A lot of women wanted to show off and talk about their previous political involvement and how they knew Trump supporters who were poor and underserved who needed to be converted. When I asked them if they knew how hashtags work I was told they planned to find high school girls who would instagram and hashtag the whole thing for them. These old ladies have missed the point. They can march until the world looks level and will have little sway on national politics. They need to learn how to lobby, how to hashtag, how to trend, and how to relate to the youth. The times they have been are a changin’ and they need to acknowledge that the problem here is not HOW Americans voted, but that half of Americans did not vote at all. I am in favor of their march and movement, but the medium is the message. The most efficient and effective mediums must be exploited along with the labor intensive.
If you were relaxing by the fire today I would now end my observations of politics and society in general and find out what you have been doing. I have a killer nutloaf of spinach and almond with a nice parsley sauce. Let me heat up a slice and serve it to you while you enjoy the fire. I have almost used up all the nuts from last year, but am still pitching the nuts to guests because they are so healthy and tasty. Thanks for stopping in today. You are welcome to take a nap by the stove after your snack, especially if you have a long trip home. Alexa is loaded with Amazon unlimited music, so please ask her to play your favorite music. Just say her name and tell her what you want.
Ending the year with this sophisticated group of digital coffee drinkers is a pleasure. I appreciate knowing you, sharing with you, and learning about your writing journeys. Thanks to Diana for keeping the party going from New Orleans even week. Drop in and comment, post, or just enjoy the coffee. Cheers!
There are several goddesses involved in different aspects of peace. Spring was a season in ancient Greece associated with military campaigns, therefore a time when peace was hard to achieve. Irene is a daughter of Zeus and Themis, one of the Horai. Along with her sisters she rules natural timing and seasons. Her season is Spring. She is a peace goddess who guards the gates of Mount Olympus. Conscious clear peace is a result of coming into alignment with Divine Time. Peace and harmony are results of staying in tune with natural rhythm and seasonal harvests.
As mistress of timing and peace Irene is a natural diplomat. She has the skills and power to negotiate differences between sides to reach solutions. Her symbols, Herme’s staff, corn and the infant Ploutus, represent wealth and abundance. In times of peace prosperity can flourish and progress can be made. Now, as in ancient times, war is devastating to both civil and economic success. In personal ways we can employ the wisdom of Irene to bring more peace into our existence. Take note of the phases of the moon, the seasonal changes around you, and the longer cycles of global warming and dramatic weather. You don’t have to be a farmer to feel the power of nature’s timekeeping. How do you fit into the seasons, Gentle Reader?
When I began the #ROW80 journey with fellow writers I had an expectation that I would become a poet by grinding out a poem a day for 80 days. 54 days of this trip are now water under the bridge. I am happy to report that I have not only established a habit and practice of writing poetry, but have learned a lot about creating better, richer written work. Both my plain brown paper wordpress blog and my illustrated poems on Tumblr need new perspectives, interesting characters, and dazzling descriptions of scenes to be more compelling. I am grateful to other writers who have shared works in progress and personal creative systems. I have been too eager to finish and move on to another brief encounter with poetry to spend a proper amount of time revising and refining my first drafts. I have rushed as if I had a quota of quickie poems to write, and then I would start creating more meticulous work. I see the folly in this speed system. I can only become meticulous by practicing specifically to choose each word above all other words for effect and artfulness. I am practicing taking more time and trying on subjects I have not used in the past. So far, so good. I am going for quality, not quantity.
Lunar cycles are central to agriculture and other businesses that need to work with nature. I observe the new moon each month with a clean slate for new intentions and projects. I keep a bundle of marjoram in each of the four corners of my home. This little charm grown in our garden is used to protect our home from harm, both physical and psychic. I empty the old herbs and replace them with freshly picked marjoram that smells delightful. The picking of the herbs includes a little ritual, and I treat the old plant material as depleted magic waste. I return it to the earth as compost or as mulch in my back yard. By refreshing these four sachets on the new moon I remind myself to start again on stalled projects, or refresh commitment to ongoing goals. We have had two new moons during the 80 day challenge. I do notice a difference in my willingness to write creatively. The first new moon found me enjoying the poetry discovery, but not personally applying myself very much to improve. This second new moon that just passed last week was a commitment to the poetry writing goal, but with a shift in attitude. The unexpected consequence of meeting writers and learning about their processes and goals is a much higher standard for my finished product. I have a big realization that bursts of zen poetic flashes are just not sufficient. The first shot is rarely good, so I need to go back to enhance my initial inspiration, work with my muses, and labor a bit.
Next month the new moon will include a solar eclipse on 20 Mar, 2015. This event has symbolic implications beyond the normal new moon. The shadow of the moon is cast on the earth, blocking the sun. The solar eclipse is a time to turn within and come to terms with any unfinished personal business from the past. Our 80 day written program will conclude just after this auspicious occasion in March. I believe this exercise will benefit me long after we stop our check ins. I think the next new moon will bring unexpected gifts. We have only to find them and put them to use.