Monthly Archives: June 2018

Rock On!

keep-calm-and-rock-on-5694When you are ready to make a change towards something more positive, you have to get your feet moving and become like the little penguin, Happy Feet. Take small steps and rehearse the verse “Precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:13).

Snails may move slowly but they are thorough and effective. They keep it going like the tortoise in Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare. Those who run at an amped-up pace like the hare usually deplete themselves.

They are too exhausted to be around for those important things. They may have seen a lot of things as they moved at a breakneck speed, but did they truly experience them? Was every moment truly savored or were they wondering, “What’s next?”

Slow down and smell the roses but keep moving both gently and succinctly. There are ways to let the universe know that you are ready for something new.  Try moving a few pieces of furniture or fixtures around in your home and create a bit of feng shui.

It has been said that the movement of 27 items immediately brings new energy, new auras and new points of view.  Wayne Dyer stated, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

While living in this society that demands instant gratification, it is crucial to take the time to become quiet. Listen to that still small voice.  As you become aware of new things, jot them down. Stay open and formulate new plans of action.  Then, glide forward effortlessly like a sailboat on a sunny day and rock on!

Lynn M.                                                          June 30, 2018

 

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In the Stillness!

breahe When life is shaking you up and down like a salt or pepper shaker, just stop. Go inside to the center of your power like the eye of a hurricane while things on the outer are being tossed in circles.

Give thanks that you are a witness and not a victim.  If you are able to see or observe it from a distance, then you have a chance to walk away from the shuffle.  Yes, it may cause some discomfort but change is like that because as the adage goes, “No pain, no gain.”

Realize that you are being shaken from your foundation and the old beliefs and thoughts that no longer serve you must go. They have no place in the new and evolving you that is growing and stretching.  New and beautiful islands are formed from unsettling and scary volcano eruptions because Mother Nature knows what she is doing.  Similarly, the oyster’s inner agitation produces that priceless pearl.

So, in the midst of mighty change whether on the world stage or within your own soul, first find a safe space.  Create a breathing room, a reflective spot or a scenic corner where you can find solace for a short time while the outer things continually spin around and around.

Let the storms of life pass over as you become still.  Breathe deeply.  Become centered and take time to remember who you are when nobody is looking or demanding your attention. Reflect on times gone by as you acknowledge and bless them.  It took every nuance and event to shape who you are today. Now, pause.  Salute the new and wonder-filled you that is determined to push right on through!

Lynn M.                                                                                         June 23, 2018

Staying in the Know!

Spanish in 100 DaysEach summer, I take on a project that is new, eclectic and memorable.  Summers are very special to those of us who live in the chilly Midwest.  We have to make the most of this all too brief season.  Outside of getting out to soak up some sun, it’s a great time to learn something new! 

This year I have chosen to learn or shall I say become proficient in speaking Spanish.  Educators that cannot speak Spanish are beginning to feel the effects as our school districts make way for its new little ducklings.  That would be the Spanish-speaking children who in turn need bilingual educators.

In an effort to stay on the cutting edge, I have enrolled in a Spanish class again.  A few years back, I took a two-day workshop called Spanish for Educators. Thank goodness, I kept my detailed notes and teaching tools.  I also pulled out my Spanish-English Dictionary along with a book called Spanish in 100 Days that I had packed away.  I am pooling my former efforts along with the new teaching program because it is truly time to take this venture seriously.

I took French at many different points in my life, but I still cannot converse in French. C’est dommage.  But now as I am writing and learning Spanish words, voila!  It all makes sense because I understand feminine and masculine nouns, pronouns and articles from my years of studying French.

As in life, each experience prepares us for the next thing coming down the pike.  Both are Romantic languages.  Yet, I feel a little guilty when I sound out an s as I pronounce Spanish words because in French, that is a huge no-no!

During this uninterrupted stretch in my life, I plan to hunker down and focus.  When I see my young Spanish-speaking students in the fall, I will be able to say more than hola or adois.  Hopefully, I will feel confident enough to use what I have learned and try to converse with them.  Oh, the joys of staying the know!

Lynn M.                                                           June 16, 2018

Our Souls at Night: Book to Film

Our Souls at night-bookIsn’t nice when a writer leaves a screenwriter some material that he or she can mold and make come to life?  Well, the late Kent Haruf did just that when he wrote Our Souls at Night.  I happened to pick it up from the New Books Shelf at the public library.

The plot is unique where a widow knocks on her neighbor’s door who is a widower and asks him to do something quite unusual.  She, Addie Moore, asks him to come over and spend the nights with her. She admits that the nights are the hardest for her and she simply wants to talk.

Louis Waters, a former high school teacher, is taken aback and quietly contemplates her offer.  They both have been alone for years and ultimately each feels that there is little to lose. So, on the next night, he travels through the alley with his pajamas and a toothbrush in a paperback. He knocks on her back door and thus, the story unfolds.

In the small town where they live, tongues start wagging but they are in their seventies and they are quite oblivious to what others think about their actions. They proceed and share many intimate details of their lives.

She talks about the tragic loss of her young daughter who was hit by a car.  Both her husband and son basically shut down and their marriage suffered along with the loss of any intimacy.  He, on the other hand, had an affair with a school teacher which almost ruined his marriage and did indeed destroy the other woman’s marriage.

Both Addie and Louis continue their new routine and at one point, they decide to make a public showing.  As others gawk, they walk down a main street arm in arm.  Just as they are reveling in their new-found friendship, the unthinkable happens.

Addie’s son calls and says that his wife has abandoned the family and that his finances are in shambles.  He asks her to take in her seven-year old grandson Jamie for the summer. This leaves Louis wondering how and if he will fit into the new scenario.

Fortunately, Jamie is in need of a lot of comfort, so the three of them have a number of experiences that help them bond.  He accepts and gets used to Louis coming over at night; they play catch ball; they go on a hike in the mountains and Louis gets him a dog as a reassuring companion.

And then, crash.  Gene, Addie’s son comes to her house outraged that she is allowing Louis to stay over around his son and things get pretty salty.  It was a prime example of how some people cannot run their own lives, but they still feel the need to control others.

As I was reading the book, I met a woman who saw the cover and told me that Our Souls at Night had been made into a movie.  To my astonishment, not only was it a movie, it starred Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.  Who knew?  I was excited and knew that I had to compare the two after finishing the book.

Souls-movie

Afterwards, I was able to see a blurred version of the 2017 movie on You Tube which I observed closely. The script pretty much followed the book with a few exceptions.  In the book, Louis used a family of mice to entertain little Jamie but the movie chose an electric train set instead.  Also, the movie added a scene which included Louis’ adult daughter Holly.  And most importantly, it minimized the son’s aversion to their union and this made for a much lighter ending.

When I finished the book, I was a bit disturbed because Addie was so vulnerable and was being victimized by her controlling son.  He made her leave her house after she experienced a fall.  She was subjected to him and his yelling wife who had returned home.  Addie had to sneak and call Louis to talk and it made me think of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic ending.

However, the movie’s ending was more tolerable and it left me feeling hopeful.  Yes, she did move in with her son and grandson after having a fall, but in the movie, the wife did not return home. It seemed like a more peaceful living arrangement for the three of them.  And yes, she does call Louis but she does not sneak and it signals a happy continuation of their relationship.

Thank goodness for great writers and thank goodness for optimistic screenwriters who know the importance of leaving their viewers with a good feeling!

Lynn M.                                                         June 9, 2018

June Images!

Splat, splat, kids dash at this and that,
June sun. Free. Hair not in a plait.

Kids can laugh, swim, roam, dance and sing,
No more school bells go ding-a-ling.

Blue skies beacon us all outside,
Much time inside- taken in stride.

Vacation plans neatly unfold,
New stories waiting to be told!

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Lynn M.                                       June 8, 2018

Beam On!

beam

Have you ever felt like you’ve just scaled a mountain?  Or perhaps, you may feel as if you’ve been running like there is no tomorrow?  Either way, at some point, you have to stop and take a station break, so to speak.

And then, you turn and look back and when you see how far you have come, what you were able to do and how far you have moved forward, you simply say, “Wow!”  Then, you can Cash In, the title of a song by the great Phoebe Snow.

You can take all of the chips that you have gathered and as you count the stockpiles, you can hear the cash register ring cha-ching. There are monetary gains yes, but there are so many other assets.  There may be new friendships and associations formed or new skill sets added on as you unconsciously prepare for your next level.

Then you pause again and see that it’s time for a little self-indulgence.  You may not be where you want to be but when you really get still, you can express gratitude and sigh, “It is enough.  I have enough. I am enough.”

So you smile softly knowing that you shot your best shot.  You have let your light shine.   You then take the time to repair your mind, body and soul.  You know that yes, the battles of life have taken their tolls but the rewards are immeasurable.

You realize that every wrinkle was bought with a price along with all of the other changes that come from walking this earth over time.  W. Herbert Brewster, a Southern poet, wrote a poem called “Be Proud of Your Wounds and Scars.” Accepting life as it comes and presents itself, you just beam on quietly knowing that you gave it all you had!

 

Lynn M.                                                                                                             June 2, 2018