Sometimes all you can do

Standard

Poetry

Sometimes all you can do
Is take a deep breath
Look up to the moon
And accept the inevitability
Of the passing of love

Sometimes all you can do
Is look back to the life
As the stars shine on
And see the beauty there is
In moments of bliss

Sometimes all you can do
Is rest in the still night
Listen to the giggles
And appreciate lives you hold
In the palm of your hands

Sometimes all you can do
Is to sink into the gentle breeze
Let it take you across
The timeless memories
Into which the future will unfold

Sometime that is all you can do

~FlorenceT

 

This poem is about acceptance. There is wisdom to be found in accepting that of which we have no control. Unlike resignation, there is peace in choosing to accept. It contains the positive energy of creation and transformation.

So it is that this post is a linkup for Silver Threading and RonovanWrites “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge” – prompt theme being ‘wisdom’.

 

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

Romance is not love

Standard

Crave

Love is romantic.

Each person in a relationship of real love is both giver and recipient. As Lao Tzu said, to love deeply gives one courage, the courage to be and the courage to do what she desires. And the knowledge of being loved deeply gives one strength to be vulnerable. It is in this open receptive space, beauty emerges. The soul speaks and its language, these acts of romance naturally come – authentic, generous and unique. There is no prescription of how they should be – no rule of single or a dozen red roses nor Hallmark cards on Valentine’s Day.

Romance is not love, not always. A feeling of excitement and mystery does not love makes. Of itself, devoid of love, romance is merely a series of calculated acts. And some would say, a product of good advertising and commercialism.

Within love, romance manifests in everyday happenings, every day which makes up a life together. It is in the kind consideration, the gentle persuasion, the vehement support, the worrying frowns, the distracting humor…

It is in

  • the way she greets him which says ‘I miss you’
  • the way he holds her hand which says, ‘I’m here”
  • the way she smiles at him which says ‘welcome home’
  • the way he looks into her eyes which says ‘you are beautiful’
  • the way she touches his shoulder which says, ‘I see your strength’.
  • the way they say good night which confirms ‘you are mine’.

Every gesture unique to the love relationship, meaningful and true only to its giver and recipient.

 

This is part of Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by SilverThreading and RonovanWrites on the theme of ‘romance’.

– FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Image from allwomenstalk.com

Living conscious – Are you there yet?

Standard

consciousness

Conscious being, some of us are and at some of the time.

When a certain insight hits us, those ‘a-ha’ moments (no, I don’t mean the Norwegian pop group), when our attention is focused on another for his or her sake, when we are attuned to our impact on the world around us. Been here?

For some of us, these instances are not persistent or sustained.

Being conscious is a habit cultivated through practice.

It does not come easy. Yet we are too busy to be mindful, to take time with it.

Stephen Levine, meditation teacher, who had spent his life assisting people in ‘conscious dying’ passed on some ten days ago. This spiritual writer of books such as ‘Who Dies?’ and ‘Meeting on the Edge’ spoke of conscious dying as a process which begins with conscious living.

To live a conscious life, we have to take responsibility. Responsibility, not blame.

We need to live light. Let go of the ego need to be right, to come up triumphant…to dichotomize and polarize what is. We participate fully in our experience of living – with the joys as with the pain. But few want to experience pain – our rational minds build fortresses to protect us from them and we assemble weapons to defend ourselves. Ah, the war metaphor… but it’s true, is it not?

To live consciously is to acknowledge pain in our lives.

To accept it but not as a tool for self-pity. Pain is a universal experience – my pain hurts me because it is mine, your pain hurts you because it is yours. There is no greater or lesser pain – just the pain. Once my pain becomes the pain, it becomes a ‘thing’ which we can observe, and let go if we choose to. Yes, we have choice too.

Pain need not be suffering because suffering is choosing to be attached to the pain, to identify with the pain, to stay stuck with the pain. Conscious living is to accept the pain and know that it is one of many states we go through. Nothing more, nothing less. It too will pass.

A phrase I have heard in recent years is the term ‘conscious coupling’ and in more recent times, ‘conscious uncoupling’. Perhaps I am more ‘qualified’ to speak of conscious uncoupling. Many therapist have stated conscious uncoupling invariably finds its source in unconscious coupling, where two beings got together for gratification of their unconscious minds. Examples? Partnering a thrill-seeker who is ‘exciting’ mistaking it for courage and strength, being with an intelligent person who ‘understands’ mistaking it for wisdom and compassion, determining not to marry someone like our fathers or mothers… Familiar?

Partnering, or coupling, is but a state in our journey of life. I have a responsibility to the conscious uncoupling, not for it. There is no one to blame, only to accept it is part of life’s journey. The once partner will remain a figure in your past, a catalyst for your growth (I hope). Whether your coupling lasts 1 or 10 or 50 years, it runs its course as life unfolds. No blame, no regret, no suffering. And in this space, the possibility is open for this human being to be a part of your present, which is quite significant when there are young children. And there are also instances when it is imperative for the conscious uncoupling to result in a strict separation, a ‘never to see the other again’ state. There are indeed many ways of being in a conscious uncoupling. It is personal. I have learnt that it only takes one to consciously uncouple to make a difference.

To live consciously is to watch joy and pain as transitory states; which like a river flows through the landscape of our life.

Are you conscious? Practising?

– FlorenceT

Visit SilverThreading.com’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Ian McEwan for further Quotes selections and RonovanWrites.WordPress.com Louis Nizer-“The excitement has never diminished.” for more #BeWoW (Be Writing on Wednesday with positive articles to share.) offerings.

All quotes courtesy of Florence T.

2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

Roll up your sleeves

Video

This singer-songwriter from Melbourne wrote a letter to herself.  I have included the lyrics – its interpretation is up to you. 🙂 Though Susan Sontag said,

Abstract loveReal art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, comformable.       ~ Susan Sontag

Tame? We don’t want tame, do we? So perhaps we ought to dispense with the interpretation, and just go with feeling. Let the emotion takes you where it will… and therein is the message.

Sadness, resignation, resilience, self-soothing, … words that spring to my mind … what about yours?

For those who can’t view the video, here’s the Soundcloud track.

Roll up your sleeves
And face the face it’s looking right back at me
It’s easier to leave it oh
It’s easier to fake it, oh oh
So I’ll go and I’ll join the free
There’s people there, they’re just like me oh
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright

So I’ll go and I’ll change my name
But they’re chasing them just like me

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Roll up your sleeves
And roll up your sleeves
Background image: Celebration by Cianelli
– FlorenceT
 © 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Summer reflection

Standard

This is summer…

The pool

Summer in Australia officially began on 1 December. With all that has happened and ‘life’ continuing to be busy, my conscious mind did not acknowledge the changing seasons. To be honest spring came and went in a flurry of activity and minimal appreciation. I speak of this with a little regret. That is my perfectionistic side screaming I did not do ‘perfect’ though I did plenty and (I think) kept a family psychologically and emotionally intact as change happens. And yes, I am fortunate to have people keeping me sane too!

Sitting by the side of this pool was not what I had intended when I woke this morning. The plan was a touch serious 🙂 – to catch up on some work. How plans go awry… but it didn’t really. It was as it should be. I notice this now. Thanks to two young ladies, I was ‘forced’ to bring them here… And the universe conspires to render the mobile signal non-existent.

two ladies

So time to stop and “smell the roses” then. This is a local pool built in a valley surrounded by lush green trees, with picnic areas and playground close by. The sun is nearly setting yet the warmth of the day lingers. I can feel the cool-ish air blowing in… another 30 minutes before the young ladies emerge with their shivering forms asking for hot pies and/or hot chocolate. 🙂

Summer

Life is not meant to be hard. Life is not meant to be a task. That is to say, life isn’t worth less or valued less because it was not ‘done’. Living has many facets, and at any one time, we sit with the tension of one and the other. That is fine. To hold one’s purpose unwavering, to work with it in mind, and at the same time to appreciate moments such as this. What is the benefit of working towards a goal, with such earnest that you lose the entertainment of the process, the thrill of the achievement, or the beauty of what surrounds you as you are ‘working’?

I made a promise to myself to do things different. Perhaps today is the day to re-commit to this – to not just ‘do’ but also ‘be’. Yes, there will still be deadlines to meet, but they will be approached with a sense of equanimity and a certain grace.

As John Lockwood Huei says, life is a reflection of intention. My intention is firm, instead of my life being a response or worse, a reaction, let my life reflect this.

To live life with Love… I say, yes!

agave

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

New Strengths in New Friends.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quote on New Strengths
Standard

“With the new day comes new strengths and new thoughts.”-Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt Quote on New Strengths

“The stress of life is the past carrying over into the present as well as the future pressing back onto today. Live in the now.” -Ronovan Hester (Your guest author for today.)

 

As a person of yesterdays and tomorrows colliding in the now, I find living in the now tends to be the best option for me.

For a man who lost all his memories, except for those of his son, due to a head injury, for a man who doesn’t plan ahead because he’s not certain tomorrow will be a day he will get out of bed, I lead a pretty decent life up here in the noggin.

Yes, I have a few things I ‘plan’ for, but those are long-range plans, towards which each day builds. If you had asked me two years ago if I would have a successful blog, a book about to launch, with several more in the works, I would have laughed if I had known how. I could not spell, speak, and when I did write, I would alternate which hand to use. You read that correctly, I did not know if I was right or left handed. I used both with equal ability. Eating was an interesting time. The foods given to me were the kinds you could pick up with your fingers, just in case I forgot to use the fork.

Three months later, only a month after I discovered I owned a laptop, I had written the first draft of a novel. I am not saying it was a beautiful piece of literature, but I had accomplished something. Where the rest of my body failed me, and even at times my mind, my imagination never left me.

Today, there are days I can’t walk. On those days, I do not eat for those obvious reasons. During those moments, I throw myself at the world of Romance, Adventure, History, or wherever my imagination takes me. I get looks of pity. And often times worse looks than that. I do not look on anything as a reason for pity or a cause for regret. But the day my head hit three to four surfaces on the way to the floor of my home, I count as a day of awakening.

There are places I’ve visited since that day I never would have otherwise. My son and I have visited the Amazon looking for an ancient church treasure our Scottish ancestors hid centuries ago. I’ve earned a medical degree, made a mission trip to Northern Africa, and escaped a rebel group to make it back to the love of my life. And I’ve solved murders by demon-possessed individuals in a small New England town.

On top of all of that, I’ve made friends around the world who are closer than any, except perhaps for a very few, I’ve ever made in person, with Florence being at the top of that list.

The former owl who’s feathers were hiding a beautiful mother and daughter and brain now allows me to step into her home here and share my thoughts at times because my own is a jumbled mess at times.

Don’t take that sentence for more than it is. A man can call a friend beautiful and be stating the obvious as opposed to stating something else. In this case, I am speaking about the person she is, not the physical casing that houses the wonderful person she is.

She encourages my writing. She calls me stupid when I hate my stories. She pushes me to finish a book. Moreover, she wants to see my name on a cover of my own solo book maybe even more than I do, mostly because she knows she’ll be in the acknowledgements from correcting my punctuation.

‘With the new day comes new strengths.’ Sometimes a new strength comes from within, and sometimes it may come from the other side of the world. I have the thoughts; sometimes she gives the strength I need.

Ronovan Hester Quote on Living in the Now.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, a new Weekly Friday Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

Love is love

Video

Love is love, don’t you think? Does it matter the occupation, the socio-economic background, the gender, the race, the culture, the nationality, the age, the abilities…

We love because we do, and we are loved just because. Some have a tendency to overthink, to intellectualize what is deeply emotional.  I wrote about labels we in society give to each other which serve to bound and limit our creativity, our self-expression, our sense of self. The risk is we end up allowing these labels to define us by their dominant attributes.

Here’s an interesting and recent TED talk about a heartwarming journey of two women who explored the world seeking hope and belonging.

“And in the end, love is gonna win out!”

– FlorenceT

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday-Woman

Standard
Florence is a bit busy of late, I imagine you’ve noticed. And when I say busy boy do I ever mean BUSY. The above quote is something that reminds me of Florence at times. It seems as though she always has some form of pressure going on and pushes through it. But I think at times we can take people that are like that for granted.
We don’t see the pressures they are under because they take them in stride. And we don’t realize we ADD to those pressures. We think we help with our suggestions and taking over things perhaps, and I’m not simply talking about us men, I mean everyone around a person that is calm under pressure.
Family can be the secret pressure cookers to a person. Believe me, I know.
You know what happens to a tea bag that has been cooked and recooked time and time again? Figure it out.

“A man who graduated high in his class at Yale Law School and made partnership in a top law firm would be celebrated. A man who invested wisely would be admired, but a woman who accomplishes this is treated with suspicion.”

Barbra Streisand
Here is another quote that reminds me of Florence. A brilliant woman. Do you know what strong, intelligent, talented women do for men? They scare them. Men that are in professional situations with such women do everything they can to take attention and credit away from the woman. What they should be doing is working on their own abilities and taking advantage of the intelligence the woman has.
 
How many times do you see a relationship where you wonder, how did he end up with her? Women are often times more likely to look past a lot of things to give love. They overlook things. Nobody’s perfect, right? Nobody has to be perfect, but they should be reciprocating. I just liked that quote as I do the next one.
What I am looking forward to once Florence is able to return to a routine is her sharing her writing and her thoughts again. A frazzled brain can’t share much of anything . . . well except maybe what it’s like to have a frazzled brain and keep going. Interesting that. Florence seems to have an air of, hmm, I am trying to find the right word. Perhaps serenity is the word. I thought of using quotes about serenity today.
It takes a lot of strength to find serenity in the world of being an actively participating and functioning mother and daughter. I think we often like to help people achieve serenity when in fact the best way to help is to get out of their way.


Ronovan HesterRonovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015


Love in practice

Standard

Love is undefinable. There may be words, strings of words for the wordsmiths among us, shapes and colours for the artists, to describe the expression or impression of love, yet its essence is mysterious and perhaps subjective.

One of my favourite quotes of all time, which I have shared here before:

“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” ~Anais Nin

And so it is with love. How do we experience love so that we will recognize it as love, and not something else? For example, when a close one gives you solutions, do you experience it as love, care… or a slight? You know how it is… the ‘don’t you know I can solve my own problems?’ stance. Or when a dear one attempts to lighten the mood with humor, is he or she met with understanding and gratitude, or with annoyance for being belittled?

I know perhaps you may say, he or she doesn’t get me… doesn’t appreciate what I am going through. Perhaps they don’t. When does the judgment of fault or wrong ever improve a situation?

“You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.” ~Miguel Ruiz

So what I am about to say is probably my ’translation’ of love in practice. Do you agree?

  • Love involves an openness to the possibility that the other is trying;
  • Love involves a desire to impute positive intentions by your loved one;
  • Love involves the acknowledgement that perhaps the other may have good intentions (even if he or she lacks the capacity to care and love you as you wish to experience it);
  • Love involves a kindness in spirit to the other;
  • Love involves a willingness to withhold judgment and seek clarification;
  • Love involves seeing the worthiness in another;
  • Love involves accepting when you are not met, in spirit or soul, by the other without blame;
  • Love involves communication in silence, of looks and gestures without words;
  • Love involves sense of safety, of being emotionally and psychically held;
  • Love involves loving yourself enough to be capable of doing all that is before.

Herein lies the crux, the most difficult exercise of all in my view. (By the way, self-love is not synonymous with narcissism.)

Our capacity to love is infinite, and if we allow ourselves to draw from this abundant well then we can love many without taking away from another. And in here too, the love we experience adds to our loving yet it is not overflowing because there is no limit to the love we can receive.

(Without putting a damper on a post about love, when one is love then nothing negative, reducing or hateful can penetrate, yes?)

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ~Stephen Chbosky

Be wonderful, be love.
– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Dare to fly

Standard

Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge prompt words – grief and  pine – hit a spot this week. So first, my haiku.

storm

Sorrow like a storm
Cleansed the debris of this farce
No longer pining.

At the same time, thinking of Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday – to be by a poet this week – brought this contribution.

ErinHanson2e.h. is Erin Hanson, a talented 20 year-old Australian poet. Her work shows a depth of maturity and a rhythm that appeals to me. So here is one of her poems. Hope you enjoy!

ErinHanson1Incredible poem, isn’t it? You can find e.h. on The Poetic Underground on Tumblr, or Pinterest, or Instagram. Check her out!

Sometimes we spend so  much time focusing on what we have lost and the fear of losing that we fail to just stop, step back and consider the big picture. Beyond the usual ‘advice’ to be grateful instead, for me loss is just is. The judgment we place on ‘loss’ as being good or bad gets in the way of our truly seeing – that certain things are meant to be lost so we can find, that the loss in fact enhances what we have, that the loss may indeed free us, that the experience of loss is growth…

Within every experience of loss, there is a gain.  Let this gain be worthy of the beauty that is you.

Namaste!
– FlorenceT

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.