Summer Break

I’ve taken a hiatus from writing this summer not because I’ve been on fabulous, adventurous vacations. Not this summer.

Earlier this summer a beloved family member made her transition to the spirit world. She loved rock and roll, was not religious at all and was supportive of my writing. Then, there is the matter of my day job that has had me so stressed out. I’ve also been thinking about writing a new chapter.

Being outside in nature this summer, however, has been relaxing and inspiring.

Inspiration

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh

 

Like a lightning bolt, I never know when inspiration will strike.

Nature inspires me every day. I love the hues of blue and gray -whites on a really cold winter morning. I love how the sun dances off the water, glimmering sparkles of gold after a summer thunderstorm. I love the reds and golds of the fall foliage. I’m inspired by the textures of scenery – I love how it all comes together. I am always photographing it.

I’m inspired by a film with good, no, passionate acting and the cinematography. I love the beauty of film.

I’m inspired by art in the form of music, painting, drawing or photography, a play or musical. I love the passion that people exhibit through their work, their art.

I love a good book, not just a good book: literature. I love works by Tracy Chevalier and Patti Smith.

I’m inspired by people. People who live their lives with passion, a sense of adventure, an apparent acceptance of self so much so that they are content and able then to live in the present.

In high school I took a Humanities elective out of desperation. There was one other option that I would not take, the subject I don’t recall. So, I signed up for the comprehensive art class and was reluctantly accepted by the teacher. The class consisted of mainly art students and future art history majors. The teacher was refined and knew by looking at me that I didn’t deserve to be in his class – I was a bit rough around the edges but determined to stick it out in the class. Early on in the class there was a slide show of various paintings and other art pieces. One painting was Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy. He asked everyone in the class what we thought about the piece  and offer a description of it. I had seen this painting before and when it was my turn  to comment I said “I like it.”  The teacher said my answer was unacceptable. He wanted to know why I liked it.  

What I learned in this class stayed with me. It wasn’t the teacher, but rather the subject that inspired a love for the arts. When I go to art museums I really look at the piece, the colors, the subjects, the smallest details. What was the artist feeling, what did the artist wish to convey to us, or did the artist create it for themselves?

When I take photographs I don’t just see the scenery. I see texture and colors and light and I feel the emotions it evokes within me. Those are the elements of an art piece whether it’s a film, book, an historical piece in a museum, a painting, drawing or photograph. I am always interested, curious, grateful and inspired by life.

 

 

THE GIFT

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THE GIFT

Writing is not what I aspired to. In English and History classes in high school, I dreaded writing and barely got past the first paragraph. College papers, when they were required, were the bare minimum. My papers resembled lists and I repeated myself in those essays or reports. I did not enjoy writing. It may have been explained in English class, but I did not really know how to construct an essay, a story or a report. So, I could never have imagined then that I would become a published author.

It is said that to write well, you need to read to understand how sentences are structured and how to put a story together. Growing up, I loved reading books. I read classics like, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” ;  Guy de Maupassant’s tragic short story, “The Necklace” twice, and every book by Tracy Chevalier.  I would read biographies on almost anyone and I still do,  for school and for enjoyment.  I read magazines from cover to cover, the New York Times and watched television news programs. This is how I learned how to deliver and write a story.  I saw writing as a way to obtain information or for entertainment, never as an art form.

And then, in late 2008 I had a life change. After twenty years working in the accounting department for a  media company that included a newspaper and a magazine, I was laid off. During the first year of unemployment when I had related the story of my spiritual journey to someone, it was suggested to me that I had a lot to tell, and that I should write books. I thought to myself “Never. That is not something I would remotely be interested in doing.” I did not like writing….I could not write. On reflection I wondered if that was because I did not think I had a story to tell.

Well, I did not think about that exchange again, until two years later when I took classes at a community college and found myself looking at the college’s club bulletin board. There were clubs and organizations for nearly everything and everyone.  I found myself looking straight at a notice for the college newspaper. I was led to it. I felt it was a sign, so I humored my spirit guides, even though I still did not believe I could write anything.  So, I attended the first meeting and I got a positive feeling. Something inside of me changed.  Shortly after that, I wrote my first brief on an  event at the college. A simple paragraph. I could not write any more than that. Still, I kept at it. There must be a reason why I joined the college newspaper.

My next assignment was to be an article on plagiarism. The publisher said there had been increased issues with students copying papers and cheating on tests due to the availability of cell phones. I took my time with it and really got into investigating and interviewing people for  the piece. I really enjoyed what I was doing and the writing came easily: I wrote over 900 words. The editor told me the writing was good and nothing needed to be edited. I remember thinking: what happened in that one month from the first piece that was a basic paragraph of information that I scraped together to this 900 plus word story? I never took a writing class. I was never a journalist. So, how did this transition happen? Where did this sudden burst of writing come from?

I don’t know how else to explain it other than it was meant to be. Destiny. The universe led me to it. Specifically, on a soul level, it was planned before my current incarnation. We all have “blueprints” of what our human experiences will entail. The who, what, when, where and how  of our souls journey. Who our parents will be, what lessons our souls want to learn, where we will live, who we will marry, how  many children  we will have, and when our souls current mission will end. I believe my spirit guides and guardian angels, who were with my soul during the planning stages for this incarnation, gave me gentle reminders about events that were pre-planned and guided me through the implementation of those plans. They led me to that bulletin board and subsequently helped with the writing of my book, “Sweet Dreams”. While the characters in the short story are composites of people I knew in this life-time, and are now on the other side, I am very certain one of them  also assisted with her part of the story.

Everyone has a story to tell whether it’s happy, tragic or inspiring. Writing is only a part of  mine. Although it did not come naturally to me until a few years ago, I really enjoy it now. For me, writing is a gift that I share with everyone. It is not mine to keep.  I am grateful for this gift. Who knows where it will take me or for how long. Everyday, I look for something to write about; or an idea will “pop” into my head – divine intervention. Be grateful for your gifts whatever they are.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for all great things in 2015.

Sweet Dreams