Reclaiming our child eyes


how your child eyes
saw the sun
you drew those beams
with rainbow crayons

posted to the Facebook group Small Stones-Writing our Way Home,

by Carole Herzog Johnston, reposted with permission


"Designer" paper from Ampad, an adult artist's juxtaposition of a child's sun and a Smiley face

“Designer” paper from Ampad,     an adult artist’s juxtaposition of     a child’s sun and a Smiley face

Remember drawing sunrays?  Every picture we drew with our crayons had a round yellow circle with those black lines radiating from it.  Those suns shone down on square houses with triangle roofs (complete with a chimney and a wisp of smoke), each with a door in the middle bracketed by 2 square windows, trees like lollipops, and people composed of circles and twigs.  (Yes, we drew triangular peaked roofs with chimneys even in west Texas where our own ranchstyle homes had flat gravel roofs, and asymmetrical front aspects, and I didn’t know anyone with a fireplace!)

Were we taught to draw the sun (and houses, trees, people, etc) in these simplified, standardized ways?  Is so, by whom—mothers, teachers, siblings, schoolmates… actively or by example, or did we copy it from our reading primers and storybooks?

In the case of those sunbeams, I wonder if we did actually see them when we disobeyed our mothers’ warnings and looked at the sun?  I don’t remember, but Carole does.  She commented on her Small Stone, “A friend of my mother once asked the child me, why do kids always draw those lines emanating from the sun, as if she never saw them. I just felt sorry for her.”

I wrote back, “I wonder if developing eyes actually see the sun’s rays in a clear sky, while older eyes must wait until sunbeams are created by clouds or tall trees or housedust…. I have assumed the crayon lines were a convention, like kids’ houses w/ peaked roof, door in middle, 2 windows. But now I wonder!”

And she replied, “I think you can see them if you squint at the sun. This morning I saw them clearly as I watched the sun rising in the crook between two trees. I guess the light was refracted in some special way.”

Well, I’m sure I squinted a lot as a kid who played outdoors all summer, in the days before sun- screen/ glasses/ hats and all the addictive indoor electronic amusements. Proof–all those little wrinkles beside my eyes that formed early in the “aging” process!

I’m also wondering when did we switch from seeing crayon lines to Divine sunrays?  Sometime in my Sunday school education, I accepted the stereotype of holiness made visible in the rays of light coming through a break in the clouds, or the canopy of tall conifers (those “cathedral column” redwoods of California!).  To me now, those are gorgeous views, rare enough to be special, and transfixing even without a belief in a Divine Artist.

What I do remember from those lazy childhood summer days, lying on the itchy Bermudagrass lawn skygazing with my best friend Sarah Kelly, are the shapes we could so easily see in the clouds, and how strange it was that the cute puffy poodle would morph into a greedy crocodile into a _____….  Now as a too-grownup, it’s hard for me to find the patience to watch clouds long enough to catch those evanescent images. Somehow I just don’t see things in clouds very often. To my artist’s eye, clouds are color and texture, and I love their ever-changing form.  To my gardener’s eye, trained in science, clouds are weather.   Perhaps I need to rediscover my child’s eye, and see more playful magic in the sky!

Heart in the Sky--captured by Tanya Levy

Heart in the Sky–captured by Tanya Levy, and reposted with her permission

the stretched heart-visible to the naked eye–Small Stone and photo by Tanya Levy.  w/ permission

Another member of Small Stones, Tanya Levy, frequently sees hearts in clouds.  Someone posted in that forum that Tanya is a newlywed, and so I think the hearts she sees have romantic meaning.

Although I post a lot of “<3” hearts when I more than “like” someone’s Facebook post, romance seems to be long gone from my soul after 18 solitary years.  I see beauty, and magic and miracles, in the minutia of Nature and the large paintings of sky and landscape.  I am mostly happy or at least content, and occasionally get excited, but I see sacredness or flower-bee sex-and-nurture, but not romance, in the hearts of flowers I love to photograph.

Fiery Dragon of Sunset

Fiery Dragon of Twilight

Swimming clouds

Swimming clouds

And I see color and texture in the cloudscapes and unsets.   Although once in a while, a pod of cumulus whales or flock of cirrus swallows float into my view.  And recently, I’ve started seeing the Dragons of Twilight!

But not hearts.  Except for those rabbit or javelina- chewed prickly pear pads….

What do you see in clouds?  Do you remember seeing sunbeams like crayon lines?  What do sunrays coming through tall conifers mean to you as an adult?

Do you see with child eyes, romantic eyes, religious eyes, scientific eyes, tired eyes?

Can you change modes of perception by choice?  That’s a skill I want to cultivate for myself!


Giving Close Attention–with my Camera!

Wolfberry, which leafed out with the first monsoon rains, is beginning to flower.

Wolfberry, which leafed out with the first monsoon rains, is beginning to flower.


“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

~ Henry Miller


Yes!  Isn’t it amazing what wonders surround us, unseen and unappreciated until we stop and pay close attention!



Now that I am taking photographs, I find I am focusing longer on each thing that catches my “scientific” interest or “artistic” attention, viewing it from different angles, zooming in on it, seeing it at different times of day or under different lighting….

From time to time I am frustrated that what I see is not accurately portrayed–or, astonished by what the camera reveals that my “naked” eye couldn’t perceive .


Wild grasses sparkling with a rea

Wild grasses sparkling with a rea




I tried to photograph the dew drops on the wild grasses sparkling in the early sunlight, …






Guttation droplets that form at the ends of leaf veins under high humidity--rare in the desert garden!

Guttation droplets that form at the ends of leaf veins under high humidity–rare in the desert garden!

and “guttation” droplets on the edge of the large squash leaves, …









IMG_1698and the tiny dewdrops on the pinnate leaflets of the Moringa tree after the last rain.

I’m still using the automatic feature of my newish digital camera, and I just could not get it to capture the sparkling magic that my eye was seeing.


As for the glitter on some of my collages?  Dull black specks, argh!



Desert Verbena blooms most of the year in my irrigated "enhanced desert" garden

Desert Verbena blooms most of the year in my irrigated “enhanced desert” garden

Long ago, when I used an SLR camera with Kodak or Fuji film, the resulting photos very accurately showed the colors that I saw through the viewfinder.  With my newish digital camera still set to automatic mode, I am frequently disappointed by the fading of some colors, especially pink, sometimes red, purples…. Verbena’s pale but saturated purply pink fades to grayish drabness, as does desert lavender’s intense-(yes!)-lavender hue. It takes many attempts, under different lighting conditions, before the camera finally records these flowers true colors.  What can I do to help the camera with its color challenge on the first or second shot?



Another awesome sunset!  Camera did not capture the greenish sky peeking through near the horizon.

Another awesome sunset!  Camera did not capture the greenish sky peeking through near the horizon, and enhanced the blue of the overhead sky.

I’m a connoisseur of sunsets.  I really want my photographs to show accurate colors of sky and cloud for the awesome sunsets we have here, with their amazingly strange color combinations toward dusk (the sky near the horizon pea soup green here, aqua there, colors that clash with the clear blue sky peeking through above lurid orange pink red gold (etc!) clouds…)



A stunning sunset enhanced into luridness by my automatic camera

A stunning sunset enhanced into luridness by my automatic camera. The clouds above the sunset colors weren’t this stormy!


While sometimes the camera takes a rather drab skyscape and turns it into intense beauty, I’d prefer to do that manipulation(or not!) in a photo editing program, and have what I see be what the camera records.

And since most desert skyscapes (especially during out summer monsoon season) are amazingly colorful, I really don’t need the camera intensifying their colors!






Alcea's heart, such a magical place in the center of a hollyhock!

Alcea’s heart, such a magical place in the center of a hollyhock!

On the other hand, when I let the camera magnify the heart of a flower, magic occurs!  Try as I might, my eye cannot really see what a magnifying lens or closeup photography reveals.  Looking at something, perhaps a flower, I sometimes get an intuitive urge to move the camera in close, or use the zoom button—and magic happens more times than not.


Kaleidoscopic heart of a young Lantana blossom

Kaleidoscopic heart of a young Lantana blossom, whose open florets are powerful butterfly mangets


Who would have guessed that the unopened buds in the center of a Lantana blossom would look like something seen in a kaleidoscope?






Heart of the Viola backlit by the mornng sun

Heart of the Viola backlit by the mornng sun


Or that sunlight shines through the heart of a small Viola?



I intend to post my favorite photos of this magnified magic on my newish Pinterest board “Sacred Space–Hearts of Flowers.”  More are already in the photo gallery at



If you have suggestions of a good (and free or low cost) program for organizing my almost 2,000 photos and creating digital art from them, please leave a comment here!  I’m rather overwhelmed by the jumble of photos that result from my camera uploading by date, and how long it takes to find a specific photo to insert into a post.

And if you can suggest a very simple online photography class or how-to book, please do so.  If you know how to capture the sparkle of dewdrops, or the true colors of the sunset clouds, the purple-pink verbena, the intense lavender Salvia, the sparkle of glitter on a collage, please post your tips!

I’m having fun with my camera, and yet my Virgo/ artist self wants to capture the glitter, the true colors, my chosen depth of field.  I hope my desire will motivate me to get off the oh-so-easy auto-pilot built into these modern digital cameras, and graduate to semi-automatic at least… my Canon becoming a Gattling gun!

Wasp Moon(s)

Wasp Moon #1, posted to Small Stones 1 June

Newly discovered paper wasp nest in my persimmon tree, 1June13

Newly discovered wasp nest in my persimmon tree, 1 June 2013

In persimmon

small paper umbrella

never noticed


this morning

six yellow wasps


to the underside…

Newly discovered paper wasp nest in my persimmon tree, 1June13

Another view of the paper wasp nest in my persimmon tree, 1 June 2013

I shake the tree while watering

one wasp flies away

five others

not yet ready

stretch wings toward

young sun


I first posted my Wasp Moon photos and small stone on June 1, on the Facebook group Small Stones-Writing Our Way Home.  I have watered that persimmon tree almost daily over the summer, and only recently noticed that the wasps have never left.  Instead, they have continued to enlarge the nest, one tiny mouthful of slowly masticated bark at a time.

I wonder, without winter’s frosts, would this nest be continually expanded for years? What wonderful mysteries there are in my yard, too frequently unnoticed!  When will young wasps emerge from the eggs sealed in those paper cells?  I hope I can be more mindful to look at what is happening each day in my little tree!

Paper wasps, slowly  enlarging persimmon tree nest for over 2  months

Paper wasps, after slowly enlarging persimmon tree nest for over 2 months


Wasp Moon #2, written 7 August 2013:



paper wasps

I thought hatchlings

were adults slowly enlarging



I’m learning that mindfulness is about noticing small changes (or sometimes, lack of change) in the same things previously noticed.  Even my aging, fatigue-challenged self craves the excitement of new experiences.  Even my Nature-connected, science-trained, slow-moving self gets lost in my own vatta-predominanat [air-]head and forgets to notice the small miracles and mysteries that abound in my small world.

Hohokan petroglyph located 10 miles by crowflight from my home

Hohokan petroglyph located 10 miles by crowflight from my home

Summation Stone for the Wasp Moons cairn:


I am

[for] eyes to see….

May I use them


Full Moon Musings for a warm summer evening

With this Aquarius Full Moon at perigee (closest to the Earth), it should be gorgeous tonight!  But visible in my sky?  Who knows in this desert’s monsoon season!

Almost full, near perigee moon in a "30% chance of precipitation" nighttime sky

Almost full moon, near periee, in a “30% chance of precipitation” nighttime sky.

One of my favorite things is seeing the Full Moon rise as the Sun sets!  Some months the timing is so perfectly synchronized it is astonishing.  I first saw this astronomical synchronicity when I was twenty years old, inside the Parthenon, a guard down below blowing his whistle loudly, trying to make me leave the temple at the sunset closing. Enthralled by the beautiful balance of the sun setting through the western marble columns, the full moon rising through the eastern pillars, I remained in the center of the hilltop temple as long as I could, leaving just before that grumpy guard puffed his way up to me.

I returned to the Acropolis a few hours later when the grounds were opened again for the full moon–so magical on white marble!  So romantic, and that hippie from Chile so friendly!.  Why oh why didn’t the guards, and the people setting the closing times, notice and honor this sunset-moonrise phenomenon, and realize that at the Full Moon it made good sense to keep the grounds open until midnight?

After my eye-opening experience in the Parthenon, I never forgot that the full moon rises at sunset. That’s such a simple knowing, and yet it is a mystery to so many modern people.  I know the lights are bright in the city, with tall buildings and smog and busyness occluding the sky vistas.  And yet, as I drove an east-west artery through Tucson last spring, I saw this same setting sun-moon rising phenomenon in a pink-tinted sky–ahead through my windshield and behind in my rearview mirror. Gorgeous!   And accessible to any city dweller who cared to notice (I wanted to broadcast an alert to every car radio, and somehow tell people to go outside their homes–onto their roofs or into the streets to see!)

I have an artist’s soul, but was diverted from becoming an artist by early teachers and family.  And so, beauty became something that touched me deeply in my rather solitary life–beauty from Nature rather than beauty of my own, or others’, artistic creations.

As a young hippie, I grew to love the light cast by the setting sun, which brought out the red of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where I lived.  I remember wonderful “times out of Time” with lovers, sharing sunsets and moonrises over Monterrey Bay.  Later as a wandering gypsy on my solitary journey through menopause, the golden near-sunset light would call me away from any late afternoon activity to walk the wild desert landscapes where I camped.

Now that I’m claiming my artist self, that sunset light still intrigues me.  What are the names of the colors of leaves overlain by sunset light?   Can my camera capture what I see?  (Too often, no, alas!  But sometimes, yes!).

Double rainbow and sunset's golden light on mesquite trees

Double rainbow and sunset’s golden light on mesquite trees

I know that I am more solitary and more moved by beauty than most folks.  I’m wondering if what moves me, inspires me, and makes me feel deeply connected–the natural world–can move, inspire, and evoke deep connectedness for the typical city dweller.  Or is this something for a special tribe, those “we’moon who want to run with the wolves”?  Probably the latter, and so I am grateful to be meeting that tribe at last.  You are my sisters on the journey….  Blessed be!


Desert sun setting into cloud ocean

Desert sun setting into cloud ocean


Full Moon of June in pre-monsoon clouds, looking a bit like Saturn!

Full Moon of June in pre-monsoon clouds, looking a bit like Saturn!

This evening, watch the [just barely] Leo Sun set in your summer sky.  Enjoy the Aquarius Full Moon this warm summer night, sisters, whether it sails a clear sky, plays peek-a-boo through rainbow tinted clouds, or hides behind thick storm clouds–or perhaps a deluge of rain. Celebrate what has [wo]manifested in your life since the last New Moon, and call the energy of fullness and high tide to keep momentum going where you choose.



ps, Tomorrow and Thursday are auspicious for planting, with the moon in Pisces and still quite full . Here, it’s time for a final planting of the Three Sisters (indigenous monsoon-adapted varieties of corn, beans, squash), and time to start seeds of winter crops for transplanting in 6-8 weeks.   And of course, time to harvest the bounty in the summer garden–Enjoy!

Agreeing with Proust: Having New Eyes


At first glance, a charming thought. But then I realized no one “makes” me happy. I am the charming gardener of my own life, & so I shall send this card to myself!

On Day 1 of the Blogalong, I was “Arguing with Proust,”  a French author who lived quite a long time ago (1871 – 1922) and apparently responsible for this rather innocuous, but to my mind extremely outdated, quote featured on a contemporary thank you card.  After purchasing the card for a friend, I started thinking about the quote and it really annoyed me.  (Isn’t annoyance grrrrr8 inspiration for an energetic blog rant!).

Today, however, when I was cruising through my “Quotes useful for Nature Wisdom Journey” folder looking for inspiration for a blog less subjective than a number of my preceding posts, I found this delightfully relevant quote from Marcel Proust himself:

“The real voyage lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”
~ Marcel Proust

I can get behind this quote!  It speaks of a voyage—a journey of discovery, and of how to get to the desired destination—which is a new way of seeing (or, I might add, thinking).  With new ways of perceiving, we find treasures hidden in unexpected places.  We also notice things that need changing, after tolerating them for such a long time (my clutter comes to mind).  My coach has helped me find—and transform–subconscious beliefs that really hadn’t served me well for a very long time (or perhaps ever!), and I am excited by the prospect of helping others in that way.

To go on a journey to new inner landscapes can be as exciting as a voyage of exploration in the physical world. We can access our subconscious mind via hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming techniques (NLP).  Or we can go on shamanic journeys to access intuitive knowing in wonderfully playful ways.  I call my shamanic world Shamalandia, and each journey is interesting, amazing, playful, insightful in its own unique way.

Another technique to invoke inspiration and find answers and content is to invoke our Muse to access our creativity for art or writing.  I have found that if I write my question for my Muse, then switch the pen to my non-dominant hand I can “download” Her answer.  It often seems that my Muse and my shamanic Guides tell me things I already know, but their choice of what to say is helpful, and they often surprise me, especially if I use divination cards before going into trance.

Complete photo collection as of 23.5.2013 048

Shrine to my Muse, GaiaLunaBrighid

Do you have a Muse?  Do you know her name?  Have you made a portrait or image of her?  How do you invoke her?  (If you haven’t become conscious of, or created, your Muse, would you be interested in doing so?)

Do you travel the shamanic realms with your Guides?  Would you be interested in learning how?

Have you worked on transforming your outdated subconscious beliefs?  Would you be interested in doing so with a guide who is further along that path and eager to extend a helping hand?

As you can see, with today’s questions I am seeking expressions of interest in the programs and courses I am currently developing.  ARTbundance coaching is already available (sign up while it’s still offered by “spirit-guided donation!), and I will take an NLP intensive in the Fall to deepen my coaching skills.

By whatever means you choose, “Goddess speed” on your personal journey!  May you find “new eyes” to discover the magic of your inner realms, where your inner wisdom awaits.

Bon Voyage!


New Moon Musings, a bit belated, for August 2013

Waxing crescent with Saturn and Venus, a few evenings after the New Moon of August

Waxing crescent with Venus, a few evenings after the New Moon of August


I’ve set the intention to post Moon Musings at the Dark/New and Full moons.

I wrote my Leo New Moon Musings a bit belatedly (due to surgery)



Waxing gibbous moon of August, with clouds portending long-delayed rainstorm



and am quite belatedly posting them due to a very long Internet outage).

Here are my New Moon Musings for August, posted the day before the month’s Full Moon….



It is widely believed that the Fourth Quarter phase of the moon is time to weed our gardens, prune trees and cull unnecessary things.  In my Wiccan practice, we believe that the Dark Moon is time banish what no longer serves us.

If I could have chosen the date for my cancer surgery, I would have chosen a day right before the Leo Dark Moon.  However, two surgeons’ schedules had to be coordinated, and so the surgery took a day after the New Moon.  Thankfully, with Mohs surgery, one is sure that all the cancer is removed, so this waxing moon will be bringing “regrowth” to me, not to the cancer cells.  A little belatedly this waxing Moon, I’ve set intentions of deep, easy healing, increasing in power and fulfillment day by day, night by night as the Moon’s slender crescent grows to the Full.

Out here in my wide desert valley we’re currently in a lull between monsoon rains, with hot sunny days and awesomely starry skies.  Along with the brilliant Evening Star (Venus), accompanied by higher in the sky Saturn, my beloved summertime star-friends are bright in the evening sky:  Scorpio and the awesome Milky Way…

I love to “follow the arc” [from the “handle” of the Big Dipper] to sparkly Arcturus, then “speed on” to Spica [the brightest star in my sunsign Virgo].”  With the recent clear skies, I finally was able to see Orion rising, and the tiny planet Mercury currently visible in the early dawn sky (using binoculars and following the line of the ecliptic angling downward from Mars to Jupiter to Mercury).

Being “wounded,” I’m mostly focused on physical healing this Moon.  I’m letting myself rest, and allowing my intended business launch to move from Summer into Autumn.  I feel some frustration over another delay, and yet, each postponement has allowed greater clarity of vision, enhanced skills, and new or deepening personal connections that will serve me well in the world of spiritual entrepreneurship.

I plan to continue writing a post to my blog every day this month (posting whenever the Internet allows).  I’m brainstorming how I can turn posts like these into the newsletter that I will send with each phase of the Moon (or at least on the Full and Dark/New Moons).  This “moonth” is my time of healing, and making slow gentle progress toward my goals, a time of fascinating skies and surprising weather, brilliant color in the summer gardens, and gratitude for friends, whether in my physical or virtual realities.


Friends, I’m letting the wonder-full healing blessings you’ve sent to me flow through, healing first me and then others in need and our precious Mother, Gaia….

Blessed Be!

Saying what I’m feeling–Blogalong Day 11, & another day post-surgery

“Be who you are and say what you feel,

for those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

~Dr. Suess~


Today, Day 11 of the Blogalong and for me Day 3 post-surgery, I’m feeling rather like a freight train ran over me—you know, the one from this cynical rewrite of a Pollyannaish old saw:

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel…

…and it’s a train headed your way!


Anyone who has been following my blog knows that I am usually a happy person, or at least hopeful and focusing on positive thoughts.  I have cultivated my good attitude through two intensive years of personal growth work and play, and I take well-deserved pride in having overcome a long lifetime of pessimism and severe depression.  A gifted life coach (Scout Wilkins), along with other teachers, healers, and mentors, guided me to amazing self-transformation, and I am in the process of becoming a coach and teacher/mentor myself.

I’m living a conscious life, and developing programs to offer to others, which means I am practicing and mulling over and sharing what I have learned in the process of self-transformation.  Thus most of my recent blogs have been about how to live a happy life, with digressions into feminist exhortations and pagan musings, and I have enjoyed turning the focus from “me” to “you” at the end of most posts.

Today I’m having trouble cheerleading myself into the frame of mind that I want.  I wrote in my Gratitude Journal this morning, listing nine things I am grateful for since Thursday (Surgery Day), but I found it difficult to feel the emotion of gratefulness, because the acute pain is rather fierce (and I’m stubbornly avoiding the prescribed narcotic and trying to minimize liver damage from Tylenol).

I hurt.

But I’m not having a meltdown into wailing, or hyperventilating over certain self-care procedures, like I did yesterday.  I am becoming inured to the appearance of the wounds that I must cleanse and dress, and my bowels are almost functioning normally as the narcotics leave my system.  I slept fairly well last night—or wonderfully well compared with the night in hospital!

OK, that last sentence looks more like my usual style of genuine gratitude.  A little “fake it ‘til you make it,” but that’s okay.  Power of positive thought!


My mantra for today is one I learned from a wuwu hypnotherapy cassette tape I grew to loathe back in the late ‘80’s during one of my horribly long and dark depression episodes.

Every day in every way

I am feeling better, better, better!

I remembered this long-forgotten mantra while talking w/ the cashier at Trader Joe’s on my way home yesterday. You know how they always ask, “How are you today?”  First I replied, “Better than yesterday!” and then I put my hands into meditation mudras and recited a paraphrase of this quite relevant-if trite-healing mantra.  We laughed, and for that moment I did feel better.  (Laughter is the best medicine!)

Today, I am loving this mantra’s intention.  Evoking belief is not easy while feeling so much acute pain, but I’ll do my best, and celebrate every sign of healing progress.


Thank you to everyone who has sent healing energy, intentions, wishes, prayers, blessings!  You moved me to tears when I checked in with blog and forum comments yesterday.  Today I’m especially remembering the woman who commented on my Day 8 post (paraphrased from memory) “Thank you [for the coaching part of that post], but remember to take really gentle care of yourself as you heal.”  I took her directive to heart this morning, and Dr. Seuss’s quote as well, and am focusing on myself and “saying what I feel.”

I hurt.  I really hurt!


And I know the healing has begun, and will accelerate day by day.

“Every day in every way I am feeling better, better, better.”


I hope that whatever pain you may be feeling, whether physical or emotional, will ease, day by day, or lift in an instant of miraculous transformation.  Please know from my testimony that even the darkest and most hopeless times not only pass but can be transformed into sustainable happiness.  And if you’re a redhead and/or at midlife or beyond, please don’t wait 4 years to see a dermatologist about a “questionable” spot like I did!  I have done the “live and learn” thing on that one, and hope you will avoid the mistake I made.

Sending y’all love, and feeling almost teary to be connected with you through the magical worldwide web.  That makes it easier to deal with the “what is.”  Thank you!

Blessed Be!

Are you defiant enough?

Blogalong–Skipped Day 9 (1st day post surgery).  Day 10 today, posting this previously written draft from last Sunday or Monday, w/out photos, alas.  I hope to be back w/ “technicolor” posts tomorrow or very soon….

Thank you to everyone who has sent healing energy/ wishes/ prayers.  “Every day in every way I am getting better better better” 🙂


I recently saw this quote, and it is inspiring this next post for the blogalong:.

”If you have never been called a defiant, incorrigible, impossible woman… have faith… there is yet time.” – Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves.

I love this quote!  How about you?  Do you still care so much about what others think that you aren’t yet living authentically?  Personaly, I have been a rebel since adolescence but often hid my radicalness under a veneer of “niceness” in order to keep the peace (and my job).

At some dreadful cost….

I love being an outspoken old woman!  It feels so good.  Too bad it is often hard for us to speak our truth and live as our authentic selves before menopause and empty nests and retirement remove the social constraints that hold most women back from defiance or even truth.

But there’s still time!  If you feel the call, go for it, ladies!  (Or should I write “wimmin”?!)


In case this particular quote doesn’t appeal to you, how about this “bumper sticker” quote, a great favorite of mine?

“It’s not too late to have a happy childhood!”


I invite you to vote for “defiant,” “happy childhood”, both, or neither in the comments section below.

Day 8: Surgery and Self-affirmation Day


Sunrise through one of the mesquite trees at my campsite, taken earlier this week

I am writing this post for Day 8 of the Blogalong  a bit early, because I will be leaving home at sunrise tomorrow to go into the city for MOHs surgery. MOHs is an elegant way to remove basal cell carcinomas, with biopsy  done on the spot (pun intended), repeating the excision-biopsy sequence until the margins are clear of cancer cells.

Because The Spot is on my nose, and has gone deep (procrastination does not work when cancer is involved!), I’ll probably have to have reconstructive surgery with another surgeon, which will be done under general anesthesia (unlike the MOHs which only requires local anesthesia). I’ll see if I can write anything after I wake up tomorrow afternoon–What emerges after “twilight sleep” drugs might be quite interesting!  (Or not)

What I’m thinking about right now is how proud I am of having posted to my blog every day (I certainly didn’t expect to!). I’m also pleased to report that I have actively participated in the Blogalong by reading and commenting on a few posts by other blogalongers every day, and I’ve been posting in the Glitterhood forum on Facebook (the sponsoring site).  I’ve also linked relevant posts to other forums that I participate in….

Wow, what a lot of networking!  What audacity to put my voice out in such a big-for-me way!  What great practice this has been for easily finding inspiration–and writing at will. And what a lot of great copy I have for the newsletter I will launch as soon as my website has a good email list generator.

Pride isn’t a place I go to often.  I’m more likely to say I’m pleased with something I’ve done, or avoid affirming myself at all. Maybe because my mom would quote the old adage about pride going before a fall…and all that early programming in the ’50’s and ’60’s for girls to be modest, gak!

This feels like healthy pride, pride in accomplishing easily what used to be so difficult (writing), pride in the product created.  I love how a word, image, or small event has inspired an idea which I expanded into an essay and illustrated with my own photos.

It took me days to write, and edit, and reedit the original posts on my blog, and the few photos I inserted all posted sideways.  I think I’m most proud right that I accomplished each of these seven posts in less than a day from idea to publishing.

Previously, inspiration came infrequently, and neither my writing nor my agility in the technical aspects of blogging were improving much from post to post.  That is an old story–I’m hitting delete and rewriting it as

“I am an inspired blogger!”




My first wish for you today is that you can easily let go of false modesty and take genuine pride in being your creative self.  Let your light shine brightly!



Katy did “like” my recent post, and other bloggalongers left nice comments!

My second wish for you is a quantum leap in your own writing.  If daily blogging in a supportive group might help (or just be fun!), come join us on Effy Wild’s Blogalong–we’re having a great time blogging, and are becoming better bloggers in the process. It’s not too late to join–there are 22 more days to go, yay!  Click on the link below for more info:

Random synchronicity or shamanic visitation?

Written late afternoon of the previous day, to post on Day 7 of Effy Wild’s Blogalong

I was doing a bit of tranceplay in the Magic Chase a little while ago, getting intuitive “downloads” for the Blogalong, noticing how easy it is to get inspired to write these days.  I went to the Lower World of my personal Shamanalandia, where my animal guides reside, and inquired if anyone had a message for me.  A curved-bill thrasher in the physical Healing Grove started calling whoo-eet, pause, whoo-eet, which seemed to me to translate into “Listen up!”  A bird I had never heard before would reply to each “Listen up!” with a 3-part call that seemed to say “Check your [rattatattatatta],” which I intuitively knew referred to all those files labeled “Blog Ideas,” “Daily prompts,” “Writing Assignments” from writing coaches, “Quotes Useful for NWJ,” etc.  “OK,” I thought, “very clear, thank you…” and secretly (I hoped), “…but that suggestion is not very exciting.” (I am rather addicted to spontaneity and newness).

My thoughts wandered to the way the sky overhead (through the mesquite branches) had become less cloudy and more blue, the remaining clouds whiter and less substantial, during my time reclining in the chaise.  Suddenly, a rather plump female hummingbird flew past my head and perched up in one of the mesquites.  I couldn’t see her due to the overlay of many branches of the mesquites overhead and the tall wolfberry bush next to me, but I could hear the quiet comments she was making to herself.

IMG_1739I spoke quietly to her from my near-trance, Nature-connected state.  “The wolfberry is blooming,” I told her.  Immediately she swooped down to a small blossom quite near me, dipped her long beak inside it, uttered a rather loud squeak, and then proceeded to feed from other blossoms on the bush.

My old rational mind would say, “random synchronicity of timing.”  Subjectively, shamanically, I feel her immediate flight to feed on wolfberry nectar, plus that one, unusually loud, call when she first discovered the nectar, was a direct response and quick thankyou to me for the gift of information.  I know which belief system gives me a lot more joy!  And, synchronistically, the Medicine Cards teach that Hummingbird represents Joy!  And wolfberry nectar will be the drink of choice for my emerging tribe of “we’moon who want to run with the wolves!”

Joy Joy Joy!  Small creatures like Hummingbird open my heart so easily.  Writing this for my blog a day early opens space for the physical work I need to do tomorrow.  The reminder from MysteryBird of the abundance of ideas and prompts that I have as backup, just in case I don’t receive inspiration one of these blogalong days, gives me comfort.  And I know it is unlikely that I will need to consult those old files.  Inspiration is flowing here like the creeks up the mountain flow so musically right after a rain!



Okay, I’m going back outside now for what promises to be another awesome sunset.  I’ll take a photo to show you, and post this tomorrow, Day 7 of the Blogalong.

Thanks for reading my story.  Hope you enjoyed it!

G’night, y’all!