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All you need is love-02410 smI awoke this morning to the sounds of light drizzle in the air. Softness abounds. I thank the heavens for my life, for giving me this time of transition and for loving me so very much.

I have come to realize that the most important thing for me is to live in Love. To let fear fall to the wayside, to shed it like the second skin it has become. I don’t need this fear anymore…it doesn’t serve me and never has.

Love is the antidote…

I heard someone say once before…”Love is the antidote that leaves the cloak of fear behind.” Truth has never been spoken so reverently and loudly.

Today I state to God and everybody… Love is the truth, Love is the answer, Love is what will bring us through our most difficult times. And this is what I want in my life. Love.

To live a most fulfilling life of Love, what more is there?

For me, what is important to remember is that life is a circle. What do we want to perpetuate in our circle? The viciousness of fear or the warm embrace of Love? I choose Love.

Now is the time to let the cloak of fear fall from my shoulders and embrace the Love that surrounds us each and every day in every way.

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Yesterday was gorgeous, today not so much.

feeding birdsYesterday was May Day (Labor Day here) with beautiful sunny weather Everyone was out. There were demonstrations in some parts of the city with people here and about carrying flags. We took the subway to the oldest part of Paris to walk in Les Tuileries gardens. People were out in droves, and most everything was closed. We needed to eat and forgot we could eat in the gardens…that was a mistake. We ended up in one of those “trendy” restaurants, you know the kind where a coke costs the same as a glass of wine and the food is…well “eh”. Young girls were sitting outside smoking their little lungs out while families and older people sat inside to escape. We ate appetizers with only one being worth the money, the rest were forgettable at best. The gardens were beautiful with amazing statuary, flowers blooming and perfectly green grass surrounding the paths and walkways. We marveled at the detail in the sculptures and the amount of people in the gardens. Everywhere we looked there was eye candy in all forms amazing art, flowers, a young boy feeding birds from his fingers, families with their kids on tricycles and young lovers in the grass.

One of the coolest things about yesterday was stumbling upon Shakespeare and Co. This is the oldest English language bookstore in Paris and it’s quite a joy to wander in. Books and old photos line the walls, the floors are old and well worn hardwood, a little tile here and there. A step leading to the back read, Live for Humanity, I loved that! I could have easily spent several hours perusing the shelves and wished we had found it earlier. We bought a book while there called, “The Invention of Paris: A History of Footsteps” Éric Hazan and David Fernbach. I’m looking forward to diving in.

Today was cloudy with afternoon rain. I had lunch with my friend Carol who lives here and introduced her to the restaurant we had visited a few nights before. The food was just as good and she was impressed, that was fun.  We later took the subway back to Les Tuileries, I wanted to walk around parts I hadn’t seen yesterday. I enjoyed wandering in the rain with umbrella and camera, with eyes wide open. I walked, got lost and found myself again.

Stained glass in churchI discovered a church with beautiful stained glass windows, paintings of saints, statuary and carvings. Some of the vestibules had been painted long ago and were fading with time. It was dark with very little light and I was surprised there wasn’t a sign asking people not to shoot inside like there is at Notre Dame. I would occasionally see flashes of light as people shot their pictures. I chose to shoot hand held, no flash. Thankfully there were a few places I could steady my camera as I shot.

Tomorrow? Who knows, Chateau de Versailles?

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The other night I went to bed early around 8:30, I was tired. And I wanted to read a book.

I like to read before going to sleep and a lot of the time, I read on my iPad. The only problem is it’s a little heavy and it’s electronic and I tend to stay up later with electronics. They seduce me. While I love to read books on my iPad, I’ve noticed that I don’t read them as much as I would a “normal” book. With my iPad, there’s too much temptation to check my email, Facebook, read blogs, play games or any myriad of other things I do on it.

Sometimes, I just want to read a book. It’s kinda like Freud said, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Well in my case, sometimes I just need to read an actual hard or soft cover book, feel the paper against my fingers, smell the newness or musty oldness. If it’s a new book, there is something quite satisfying about being the first one to crack it open. I love to turn the pages, hear the crinkle and switch as my fingers brush against the paper.

It’s not like that on an electronic device, be it my trusty iPad or someone else’s Kindle. I notice my eyes don’t hurt and water as much when I’m just reading a plain old book. And I gotta say, a book doesn’t hurt when it falls flat on my face as I’m falling asleep reading.

So now, I’m interested, is anyone else out there feeling the need to read a real paper book instead of their electronics? What is it that you find most satisfying? And most importantly, what are you reading?

Currently I’m reading, Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. And I’m just truly enjoying the whole experience. If you want to check it out, here’s the link to Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Paris-Moon-Adam-Gopnik/dp/product-description/0375758232

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My parents have had a wonderful reawakening of sorts… they laugh!
I love this, it’s such a beautiful sound
The sight of their joy fills my heart.

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Gershon died on the morning of Good Friday at 1:30am in Orcas Island, WA

He was a barefoot walkin’ wonderer, painter, yogi, healer and one of the most wonderful people I have ever met.

He walked into our lives about 6 years ago. From the first time he and my husband met, it was clear they were going to be fast friends. Within a week he was house sitting for us while we took a much needed trip. When we came back our animals were in love.

I always called Gershon the “barefoot wander”. The only time I ever saw him wear shoes was when we went out to dinner or a movie. He later told me he only wore shoes in airports or restaurants because, “he had too.” He said he quit wearing shoes, I think, 40 years ago…I was astounded. The weather didn’t matter…rain, snow, sleet, searing heat…he didn’t care. His callouses were thick enough to handle everything except broken glass. He hated broken glass, who can blame him? For the record, when he did wear shoes, they were always those little black chinese shoes you see in China towns everywhere.

Gershon had wanderlust in his heart…lived the life of a wanderer and loved to travel. From my understanding he didn’t live for more than a few years in any one place. He traveled the whole continental United States, spent time in India, Hawaii, Mexico, probably more places than I will ever know.

Whenever he landed, he painted. He painted til he filled all of the walls in his space, then he knew it was time to pack up and wander out into the world again.

When he lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, he had a tiny place with a beautiful garden. He would sit outside under the shade of the trees and paint. When finally he went to India for the last time, he left all of his paintings to be sold to help feed the beggar Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Did I mention he had a heart of gold? The grandma’s and grandpa’s were dear to Gershon’s heart. Every Christmas while he was here, he would help hand out sweaters, blankets…whatever was available for them. He took great pleasure in that.

Gershon practiced yoga everyday, especially the Breath of Fire, I’m convinced it’s what kept him alive. You see, Gershons’ blood vessels around his heart were closing. He needed a by-pass and had needed one for a while. The doctors couldn’t understand how he was getting oxygen to his brain. But I know…it was the Breath of Fire. Do that 50 times each day and you’re sure to get much needed oxygen.

He was also a healer using massage or watsu. His massages would last at least 3 hours! Those of us who were lucky enough to work with him would say, “he doesn’t just massage the body, he rearranges the molecules!” I know that his work was special, his hands were gifted and he helped create a deep healing for everyone he worked with.

We are going to miss Gershon. He is and was a very special human…one of those special people that touch your life and forever leaves it changed.

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Silence is golden they say, as I sit here listening to the inner recesses of my brain. It’s not very silent.

It says I should get up and paint, shoot some pictures, or maybe I should look at all the pieces of my life…. throw out the stuff I don’t need anymore. And look for those little nuggets of truth that will lead me on to my more perfect future.

What does perfection look like? Well, I say it’s all perfect just the way it is at this moment, and the next, and the next.

Silence, well I have seen a lot of gold in it ’cause my mind hasn’t become fully silent. And when it does become silent, does that mean I’m dead or truly alive for the first time? Who knows… I haven’t reached that point yet.

All I know is that for me, silence is a beautiful thing that allows me to hear myself without having to concentrate on someone else. And in that… there is true gold.

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Higher Love…

Yesterday, my husband brought his ipod and speakers into the kitchen while I was washing dishes. He was playing Steve Winwood’s, “Higher Love.” As I heard the music playing and the words to the song, it brought a smile to my face.  Shivers ran through my body, I closed my eyes and remembered a time last November when I was in a 8 day retreat with 32 other people. I had never met any of them before and by the end of the week I had fallen in love with each and everyone of them, as well as myself.

We all went through a sort of death and rebirth…. learning who we each truly are… shedding the skins that no longer represented who we thought we were. And allowing our most authentic selves to shine through. In this way, you could say that we resurrected that part of ourselves that had been buried. That part of ourselves that truly knows the love that exists within each of us.

That particular retreat was a catalyst for me in totally allowing my creativity to shine through. Since that week, I have taken chances that I thought I would never take in my life. While I still have moments where I “get in my own way,” they are fewer and farther between. And I’m learning to trust myself to speak and allow the authentic part of me to shine through. In essence, I allowing a higher love to shine through me.

Today on this Easter morning, I am grateful for my 32 friends who loved and supported me through those sometimes grueling 8 days. I am grateful for the instructors that guided us through our process and I am grateful that I have my family and friends that grace my life. I now know what higher love feels like and I never want to forget that feeling again.

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