Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I am ready

A good time to think positive... well, actually every day is good for that. This is one of my photos with the quote on my calendar for April.




Saturday, April 19, 2014

dreams and reality as a mix

Basically I am not a person who thinks much about what was. Only once in awhile do I purposely think of what my life has been in the past. I am not sure of the why of this. I more or less have the view that today is what matters and either living in the past or future only leads to less joy in the one time I have.

When my son was 6 months old and my daughter three, I thought-- this is it-- this is as good as my life will ever be. I think I might have been right. It's not that I am unhappy with today. That time, however, was an apex, a mountain top moment. Most of the family I loved was still alive. I had my family, my babies. I was strong, felt empowered. Wow, does it get better than that?


I won't say it does get better. Having your children, before the world draws them away is definitely a high, but there have been a lot of wonderful moments since then. They are ongoing and often come in the most unexpected ways. I've said it before and totally believe it-- the smallest moments are often most filled with joy, and they happen all the time for those aware.

We discovered something last week that totally amazed me. I knew that food growing in the ground is still alive when we cook or eat it. That is I knew it abstractly speaking-- like potatoes sprout if they are not used soon enough. You can cut off a carrot from its top, give the top moisture and it will grow  a new top. What I hadn't known was you can take an onion, peel off it's outer layers, slice off part of it to eat, and that onion is still alive. 

It kind of had me thinking about that. I know some feel eating living plants is different than killing living animals to eat; but how do we know the plant doesn't have feelings also? We sliced off part of this living onion, cooked and ate it but it did not kill the onion. We will plant it in the garden and see what happens, but right now it's been one of those things I had never thought about. Does it make for a bit of a philosophical thought as to what is life?

When I am writing something like the recent paranormal trilogy, it requires my thinking a great deal about life, its meaning, and what we take as reality. My dreams this week have been scary with violent people in them. I don't know if that relates to the books I've been writing or the newspapers. A dream the other night was vibrant, very full of images. I woke remembering it. Understanding why I might have dreamed it and very much hoping I don't get more like it. 
In the dream, I had a friend who was having a kind of gathering of mostly Jewish friends but with some like myself also. So I had been to a similar event this lady had in the past, but this time I was surprised how it had grown in sophistication and popularity, as the room was totally filled with all ages, from when she began with maybe six attendees. She was leading it and said everyone would be given a reading to share. I was nervous whether I'd do well with that and kept looking at mine to be sure I would read it right as others did theirs. When it came my turn, I looked down and saw advertising type words, not the ones that had been there. When I hesitated, the friend running this event told me just read; but when I began, she stopped me as the words didn't fit. I looked down and realized the original words had been a layer over these; they were crumbled on the floor. I'd evidently worried them off by holding them nervously and looking at them so many times. About then, there was a knock at the door. A group of Nazi type neighborhood guys showed up, barging in checking whether the room had too many people in it, using any excuse to harass. One of them stopped in front of me and said I was beautiful. He wanted a kiss. I said no. I was married and pointed to my husband who was talking to some others and oblivious to what was going on. This guy then said, that I was too beautiful for someone else to have me, if he couldn't, and he brought out a knife to either slash my face or kill me. That's when I woke.
There are dreams where i can totally understand the why. Our newspapers could explain this one more than my recent writing, but some aspects of it still surprise me. For instance when I was young and probably was beautiful, though I didn't think much about it at the time, I didn't have dreams where people were always telling me how beautiful I was. Now I do. Is my subconscious trying to reassure me about something? I sure don't spend my days lamenting lost beauty. I understand life has changed as have I, but my mind is on other things. So the popping up of people to tell me this is a mystery to me. In the dream I was probably much younger than today although the event seemed very current. 

The woman having the event is not a close friend in my daily life but someone whose blog I read; so not sure why I'd have had her dominant in the dream as though I really knew her. Characters in my dreams rarely relate to who I am interacting with daily. When my kids are in a dream, it's generally them much younger-- even if I am not.

Also why the violent dreams lately? It's the second one this week where a group is proving dangerous. The last one was going to a parking garage to get my vehicle where nobody was on that level except a threatening youth gang. Again I woke before bad things happened-- even if they seemed eminent.

If I watched violent movies I'd understand this better; but I am being very cautious in what I see-- currently sticking to comedies, musicals, chick flicks, or kid movies. I guess the newspapers are enough because we don't seem as a world community to have learned anything by past mistakes. 

Where it comes to nightmares, I might normally get one several times a year not several times in one week. Can I blame it on the blood moon-- which we didn't get to see thanks to cloud cover?

Finally on this business of great moments. This week when I was taking a catnap, one of the cats came to lay with me-- then the other. They provide so much joy to each other and us. When we lost Pepper, one of those low points, I knew we needed a cat who would work for the three of us. With Raven we found her.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

life is fair-- or not

 Yachats, Oregon March 2014

Once in awhile it seems good to stop and think about life values and philosophy. For me, there are so many things that can inspire that kind of thinking. I read someone talking about how unfair life was in a certain situation and i wrote the following.

One thing about fairness... life isn't. As best I know and have seen it, it's just the truth. We do bring on some of our own woes but often what happens is something we call fate. Seeing it go well for someone who doesn't deserve it based on faulty character and another suffer with losses or trying to do something good and finding it turned to dust definitely can be frustrating if we think there should be fairness. Maybe it is fairer than it looks, if we could see the cosmic picture, but my personal take on fair is don't look for it in how things work out. Live it as best you know and that's the only reward you can expect-- that you did it your way and true to what you believe is right.

If someone has a belief in a cosmic daddy, they will look for rewards and punishments to what has been done. it gives the believer comfort to think it all is balanced out eventually. I even wrote a novella (second in the series to come end of this month) called When Fates Conspire, which came from a dream, about purpose and fairness in life. It's a paranormal but based on things I've read and that dream.

The book indicates that life is fair but only in the long run and with the assumption that reincarnation is true. I know some think the fundamentalist Christian view of life is fair but to me it would not be. So a man lives an entire lifetime as a good person but at the very last he rejects Christ because he ceases to believe-- hell. Another man lives a life of hell raising and hurting others but at the very last he declares he believes-- heaven. 

The Old Testament view of God and eternity would seem even less fair. It indicates a god who can attack for reasons humans barely understand, who can ask a man to kill his son to prove he loves God, who tests a loyal man by putting him through hell but then it's okay because he later rewards him... Really, you want to believe in that version of fairness and God? It's more like the Greek gods than what I'd want to see as the god that really determines our fate.

So if reincarnation is true, regardless of the story of Jesus or not, then life can be fair but not in one lifetime. That would mean we learn and make right what we can and if we didn't in this lifetime, we will in another. For those who suffered seemingly to no reason, it would be fair because it would be their choice to have gone through that to grasp a deeper level of say compassion. Reincarnation would enable life fairness-- nothing else really does.

And even with reincarnation, we cannot worry about whether it's fair. We should concentrate on learning our lessons and understand that we can't make right a terrible wrong with a few pretty words. It will take recompense. We should not look for life being fair to determine how much joy we can receive from living. 

If we have been blessed-- good. If we have suffered-- hope it had a purpose we cannot see. But live each day as best we can with what level of truth we have to date. Then fairness doesn't matter.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

a beach garden

 Whenever I am at the coast, I enjoy the gardens. The temperatures are just a bit more temperate and often I have found delightful yards to photograph as I walk down a street. I rarely know much about those who created them.

Here, however are more pictures from JJ's garden where I did get a chance to know more about its creator. I think what made her garden so exceptional was not just the many different influences or the use of plants and textures, but those tiny vignettes where you came around a corner and there was another surprise. Because of her use of diverse plants, even when there weren't a lot of flowers, there was so much to admire.

I do want to go back. A painter could spend a week painting just her gardens with their delightful juxtaposition of shapes and ideas.













Then when I did a bit of a search, I came up with this. It was a garden tour a year after JJ had died. It shows clearly how when the bones of a great garden are established, they continue to remain strong years later. Yachats Garden Tour.  This tour was in 2004 and yet the garden still looks much today as it did ten years ago. That says something all on its own.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

ACA and a rant

Although I haven't yet put my rants into my blog list  (I am debating whether I want it there), for you who are interested, know that I opened it up again-- at least for now. The ACA and the misinformation out there on it is part of why. 

So check it out if you are interested in either a rant or discussing the ACA. As usual, the comments, both pro and con are what make it better. It's good to read what others think and great when readers add their own experience, fears or ideas.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

life of a writer... or two


while in Yachats
 
This week, for my other blog, Rain Trueax, I wrote a piece on how I do my writing-- my personal goals for what I want my books to say. 

It must have been a good time for thinking about such as I came across an article by another romance author with her own process which I not only related to but found fascinating. 

If you are interested in writing yourself or reading, I think you will find both pieces of interest.




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Inspiration for a garden

I have to say my garden is not nearly this tidy. I admire very much the family that keeps this home looking as much as possible like its owner created. As anyone, who has a garden, knows-- gardens head toward chaos if not tended. This garden is lovingly tended. They invited any renters to weed but I didn't see a weed. Back or front garden, each showed balance, sense of humor and a love of nature.






and a back garden