Wednesday, January 31, 2007

FULL! If you only read one post in this blog READ THIS!

Full! FULL!! Is this right to post this?
My mom finally discovered this blog tonight (not even knowing what a blog is). She called and I unwittingly answered the phone, not knowing what was happening....

She had me in tears of joy and disbelief. I pass this on to EVERYONE as their birthright--your parents are proud to bursting of who you are, regardless of how they express it. They are BLOWN AWAY by your talents and the beautiful footprint you leave upon this earth. It was enough for them to have given you birth, brought you into existence on this crazy ball of mud and fire. For that alone they should have your endless gratitude.

They are CELEBRATING YOUR VICTORIES with you, regardless of how it may look. And you can turn that back to them pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, even as you pay it forward. If it's easy, count your blessings and pass them on!

I know some of you are bitterly scoffing, "not MY parents!" Try it on. Act as if that celebration, that pride is a given. Consider what has gone on in THEIR lives that makes it impossible to show their love in a way you can receive it. Instead of feeding the monster of hate, criticism or crushing indifference,
multiply their contribution to your creation with acceptance of God's grace as you overcome obstacles and supersize successes. Even if it hurts, buckle down, reach out and offer a hug in some form or another--it'll be returned with interest in ways you can't even imagine.

As I hung up with mom my brother called. Five years ago I didn't know what family meant, and now, through them, I know existence more profoundly than ever.

Count your blessings, even if you don't yet recognize them....

A Glimpse of India from West Virginia

I'm still on cloud nine from last night-- my first Indian food in years, and great Indian food at that! My thanks to the Wolf for hunting down India Palace in Winchester. The first sip of mango lassi was like a kiss from an old lover: the pleasure of the moment mingling with memories of lassis past (mmm, remember the one in Toronto with the chunks of ginger?) of the fun and the friends of the time... "NOW I remember why I liked you so much!" The Navrattan Bhaji was even better as a bedtime snack than dinner. Somehow, being cold, the individual spices were able to self-actualize. The clove alone sang symphonies. A cacaphony of clearly distinct and exotic flavors-- YUM! Hungry now, and plotting a return trip....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Heart full, I try to get to blogger tonight through a shortcut and end up at the British Library, which claims to be "the world's knowledge." Rather pretentious, I think. This has been a night of old friends, wonderful memories, Wild Horses and purple Corvettes. Underscoring it all are heirloom irisis, there but for momentarily forgotten passwords go I....

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Home Again.... and Again!

We land in DC around 7 am. I sleep deeply for a few hours on the plane--bliss! One of my goals is to be able to sleep anytime, any place I choose. I count this a step in the right direction! I down copious amounts of coffee and collect JEB, who is thrilled to be home from doggie camp and promptly discovers a dismembered deer leg to drag up to the house.

My luggage is having such a great time it decides to visit Chicago and Atlanta on the way home. Makes unpacking much simpler!

Liz and Cy fly in this evening to Baltimore. I crank up the tunes and keep poking myself to stay awake on the drive in to pick them up. Two metro DC airports in less than 12 hours! I contemplate driving into Reagan National to give someone a lift and complete the trilogy.

Home again, again, and looking forward to sleep!

Cheval et Chihuly

The night is inexorably creeping onwards. Mom and Louise are troopers, but they begin to drag. I beg, I plead, I keep heading down the Strip, Bellagio-bound. We missed the Ansel Adams exhibit earlier. I REALLY want to experience the Chihuly glass installation on the ceiling of the lobby.

Cirque de Soleil posters give way to public service signs like "Responsible for getting more people laid than any other bar in Vegas! Please use condoms." At one point Louise stops and pulls me close. "See down there?" her arms sweeps. "And up there, as far as the eye can see? It's ALL Ceasar's Palace!"

I try and look innocent. "All I said was that the Bellagio is right next door!"

"Chi-WHO?" asks Mom wearily, certain that NOTHING would be better than to crawl into a taxi and head to the hotel.

The cold, endless walk continues in the smoke filled rabbit warren of the casino. We thread our way through beautiful people dressed to the nines bearing martinis, and blue jeans and flannel shirts hoping to hit it big. And then we are in the lobby. And there above, the crazy aerial garden. And wholly unexpected, fiercely arching his enormous neck under the wild glass jungle, prances a giant, sparkling warhorse!

We have arrived!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Receiving Freedom

Deskwork morning. I chuckle, as always, at the name of my favorite credit card: Freedom. But add the name of the bank in front of it and the meaning changes drastically: Chase Freedom. If ya chasin', y'ain't catching!

That pretty much sums up the nature of credit cards. They seduce you with promises of your hearts delight, then chain you in clear sight of the vision that inspired you to begin with: close enough to tantalize, never to touch. Not to disparage their usefulness: know thy adversary and it becomes thy servant.

So what is the true nature of the quest? If the universe is truly a infinite feast, belly up to the bar! Chase freedom becomes receive freedom. Receive freedom becomes live freedom.

Jim Brandenburg Musings

A friend and I were in conversation about Art Wolfe, and I brought up a book I misremembered as his. The author/photographer in question was actually Jim Brandenburg. Well, he makes pictures of wolves, so collapsing wolf art with Art Wolfe seems a logical way to make a mistake! Since it was on my mind I ventured into the Cold House and found it patiently waiting between Joyce Tenneson and Robert Vavra.

Facing burnout, Jim Brandenburg gave himself an assignment in which he allowed himself 1 and only 1 picture a day for 3 months, with profound results.

I wonder how I would handle the contraint if I were in his shoes. I seldom give myself lens time, so when the camera is in my hands, I'm like a starving woman at a smorgasbord--every visual delicacy clamors for attention, and with the shameless abundance allowed by digital, I gorge. Very different state of being than he was in when he embarked this project, so I guess I'll never know.

In his words: "My photography had originally been a means, and an excuse, for spending time out-of-doors, but in the midst of my own success I found myself wed to a drudge named technology, living in a world lit by computer screens instead of the sun. I wanted to wander the forest, to see what was over the next rise, to follow animal tracks in the snow as I had done so happily as a boy. Each photograph would be a true original, like a painting. Not the best selected from rolls and rolls of similar frames, and not altered in any manner except occasional cropping or adjusting tone and color. I sensed there would be new lessons learned."

So that generates the question, "what would be an analogous project tailored to my-- or any other-- lifestyle?" Hmmmm. I'll think about that one. What do you think?

I'm a big fan of questions. Ask the RIGHT questions and the answers can transform the world.

What a pleasure starting the day thinking about photography and growth!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Flying Solo: Finale

Folks begin trickling back into my life late tonight, then I head out Friday to Vegas for a financial seminar (no, that is not a euphemism for "winning big!" though I plan to do that too! As God is my source, I am laughingly winning $100,000 for the good of all involved.)

My Week Alone is drawing to a close.

The results?

The solitude has been productive, introspective, at times inspiring. I need to remember how much I love alone time, time to lean into the yoke and just plow through projects that have quietly piled up. Time to luxuriate in a candle-lit bath with a good book that has absolutely nothing to do with business. Time to just hang out with God, and listen to Him (even if I don't like what He says at first), and pay attention as He does His work in me.

Remember the story of the Chinese Bamboo tree? You carefully tend it the first year. Nothing happens. You feed and water it the second year. Nothing happens. You nurture and care for it year after year and nothing happens. Then, in year 10, it explodes into a tree of glorious proportions.

The week began slowly, my surge of energy attacking my projects in stark contrast with the absolute lack of results apparent in the world. Bits of business picked up--a good thing, but thiefing precious time. A conference I'd forgotten about yet knew I needed to attend devoured the better part of 3 days.

Then, three days ago, things began happening fast and furious. Seeds planted years ago grown to fruition and falling into my harvest basket. Broken relationships with friends and clients restored. Baby projects growing legs and beginning to carry themselves. I'm half dizzy keeping up--and delighted! All credit goes to God. I'm just grateful to be along for the ride!

A Call To Arms

I didn't call the gym in time to extend the hold on my membership, so voila, I found myself on the ellipticals this morning before my chiropractic appointment. I always choose the machines on the end, as far from the tv screens as possible, and plug in some great, uplifting tunes or success principles talk. Good little predator that I am, though, I am drawn to the flickering lights and moving forms on the screens. We are futher inflicted with the (dis)service of captioning, so it requires intention to escape the gorey details of the latest tragedies sweeping the world.

My mom once told it was my responsibility to know what is going on in the world. No doubt. It is also, and far more crucially, my responsibility to impact the world. Can I watch the news without being swept in a wave of despair? Barely, and only with effort. I am too empathic for my good. Hearing the stories are bad enough. I am a visual person. Images haunt me, hurt me, chisel away at the tools of the co-creative trade.

I came home and logged in, and my mailbox homepage informed me that the "doomsday clock," reflecting someone's opinion of the world's proximity to nuclear disaster, had been moved forward. "Oh woe!"ing that knowledge, or launching a tirade around the water cooler or in the barn aisle, only increases our focus to the problem, only feeds the monster.

If the news started with a call to arms in the form of creative, solution-oriented thought, how fast could transformation take hold? If the anchors (perfect name for them!) challenged their listeners to create a backlash of love and peace, helping and change in their own words and worlds, what could we be seeing on CNN in a month or so?

Try it! Let me know what happens!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Secret-- A Momentary Reminder

I love this quick reminder of who we are, the world we live in, and what we are capable of!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Travel Prep, and Ode to Grapefruit

Liz and Cy are leaving tomorrow to rebuild the Katrina-wracked gulf coast. As I leave their house, Liz empties perishables out of their fridge. Thankfully, I don't recognize anything I gave them out of my fridge when I left for Washington for Christmas (nor at that time did I regift them anything they cleaned out of their fridge before Maui a few weeks before). I walk out with a half-full head of lettuce (I'm not dead yet!) and a glorious box of grapefruit, and wonder who I'm giving my perishables to next week when we're all in Vegas....

(to the tune of Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah)

I love grapefruit
Its so yummy
Now its filling
Up my tummy

Makes me thinka
Bein' in Flo-da
Better than a drinka carbonated soda!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Flying Solo

It's a conspiracy. A handful of friends--the ones I spend most of my time with-- will all be gone this next week.

I'm excited.

I love being with people, love the energy, the synergy, the fun. I love to cook for them, and to make them laugh hysterically, and to sing to their guitars and to beat them at board games. But I also love alone time, and its been long enough that I almost don't remember what that means.

I say my goodbyes, already missing them, and sketch out my goals and visions for the upcoming week.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Last Night In Olympia

The plan was to go to Stanley and Seaforth for large slabs of cow. Now Stanley Seaforth is an amazing restaurant but it’s a ways away, actually, not far from the airport. I suggest going someplace closer, more together time and less drive time. Mom is set on Stanley and Seaforth.

We decide to start the adventure at the Eastside, Joy’s and Todd’s favorite bar, with some pool and local microbrews. When Joy and I arrive, Todd, Mom and Rob are already inside. Suddenly my heart leaps—there’s Jaimie, a great friend of Joy’s, who I hadn’t seen this trip. And then my heart sings— behind her are Dan, fresh from vacation, who I last saw Christmas ‘05, and Tim. Yay! Everyone’s here!

Battles rage on the pool table, the ping pong table, the air hockey table. The most eclectic jukebox keeps the tunes flowing. The hands on the clock continue creeping. The fun outweighs Mom’s burn for a faraway restaurant, and we play on. Eventually we end up at the Water Street restaurant. Dan is a waiter there, and shares all the subtleties. Rumor has it that the cow I eat was fed Sapporo and massaged with Sake.