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Nature, Films, and Devotion

18 Mar

Nature (part 1):  Finding my way through the great out of doors.

I am not a photographer.  In fact I abhor the task of photographing anything.  Yet with the cell phone camera, now at my disposal, I have found myself more eager to capture something I want to remember.  For instance, while out on a walk or hike should I come across something in nature that causes me pause, I think to myself, “I would like to capture this inspiring moment and share it with someone else.”  But more important than this nonsense of my use or non-use of a camera is the idea in the aforementioned sentence of nature giving one, a cause to pause.  For as you know, from reading my last few posts, I am slowly crawling out of the pit of extreme stress.  And while in the pit, I don’t care what kind of natural phenomenon might occur before my eyes, my soul was too bogged down to appreciate.  Oh my mind was keen to understand the beauty before me if an instance such as a hummingbird allowing me the rare opportunity of a private viewing, should present itself.  But my soul would have no response.  It was just plain ‘ol, flat.

So it is, when I am out and about in my suburbian nature and my soul is touched by something, not just my mind, I can delight in the knowledge that I am “coming back”.  For when in darkness, it is difficult to even recognize oneself.  I am a nature lover, thus when nature I cannot love, there is an obvious disconnect.

The following photos are ones taken with my little Samsung cell phone, while out walking with Piper the dog.  Their occurrence before me caused me pause.  And in that quiet state, I thanked my Lord for utilizing nature (once again) to call me back.  The beauty of the Cherry Blossom seemed to say, “I lay dormant along with you, but it is again time to bloom.”  The trickling of the San Juan Creek reminds me that while the hand of man is just a few steps away, the hand of the Lord is always present (as the running water, in an otherwise dry creek-bed, testifies).  And the colorful turning of the leaves of one solitary tree, amidst the evergreen backdrop, silently demands recognition…you decide what it says!  For me, its silence enacts a balm-like remedy to my spirit…the golden quiet.

Last, but not least, is the juxtaposition of the man made stop sign alongside the pink blossoming tree.  Actually, the sign is appropriate to the context of this post.  “Stop,” it says.  Stop and redirect.  Somehow, someway, get a new perspective.  See again.  Breathe again.  Take pause.  Utilizing the grand, or not so grand, natural occurrences around us can call us back.  Back to a place of understanding who we are.  Even in a city environment one can experience the powerful call of nature as a weed makes its way through a crack in the concrete, shouting loud and clear, “I am Here, I made it!”  And the inadvertent message to us should be, “so can we.”

Next up, Films, part 2.

Nature in Suburbia

Nature in Suburbia

Fluffy2012

The accomplice

SJCcherryblossom

Engulfed in Pink

SJCcherryblossom2

Harmonious living

San Juan Creek

The running creek

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Frankie Goes to Hollywood

23 Oct

My title should actually be, “Relax…”; However, with that title I begin singing the song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood…”Relax, don’t do it, when you wanna get to it. Relax…”  I’m not exactly sure if the lyrics have sexual connotations (though I’m leaning toward a definite ‘yes’ on that one), which is why I utilize the ellipsis instead of finishing out the lyrics.  But the theme of “Relax” is where I’m at, though ironically instead of heading north to Hollywood, we headed south to San Diego.  We being my most benign partner in crime, my beloved, Brian.  He bears the title of benign because he is my anchor to following the laws of the ‘establishment’.  For you see, I do not imbibe alcoholic beverages, nor do I utilize mind altering prescription/non-prescription pharmaceuticals (drugs–for you street smart folk).  Therefore my “high” in life comes from the perpetuation of “breaking the rules”–or bending them at the very least.

My Brian does not do those things willingly.  And if he does, perchance override the system, his conscience hounds him mercilessly into the wee hours of the night.  Not so for me.  I am happy to trespass, go through a ‘do not enter’ door, run a red light when no one is around, ride my bicycle on the sidewalk when the sign says, “no bikes allowed”, and drop the moniker of my cousin, for personal benefit, though she is not the songbird one would think she is, etc..  And much to the dismay of my loving husband, I do not lose one wink of sleep as a result of my shenanigans.

So here we are, the grateful recipients of a private shelter, gratis and courtesy my prima, Suzanne Vega.  I will refrain from sharing a photo of her home, as I am sensitive to protect her loving abode from the bombardment of more hooligans, such as myself, looking for a free-ride of a vacation. 😉

We packed our bicycles (my Raleigh 1973 and his 5 dollar who knows what it is) into our 1956 Ford Customline vehicle and headed south.  We had intended to also bring along our 1930’s kookbox surfboards (modeled after a Tom Blake), but Brian strained his back, thus we decided the ‘water-loggers’ would better serve his recovery if left behind.  Now it was our intent to have a full two weeks respite from regular life, and by ‘leaving our nest’ our two not-so-little ones would also enjoy a break from the watchful eyes of their parents.  However, given how our vacation began–we were skeptical to the reality of the ‘two week’ dream.

The short of the story is as follows (skip if human feces, and the discussion of it, causes you a problem)…

For some reason, our plumbing likes to fail only on a Sunday.  Sometimes it will choose a different day of the week, but only if out of town guests are due to arrive on another day.  So on Sunday October 14th, our main sewer line decided to back up.  Brian and I were alerted to the situation at 6a.m when our daughter came running into our room to proclaim, “my shower is not draining and the toilet is overflowing.”  Since this exact issue caught us off guard two months prior, I was keenly aware that her news carried with it the undeniable truth that all of our toilets and showers (two to be exact), sinks and the like, were now ‘out of commission’.  And being it was Sunday, I knew our faithful plumber (and good friend) was also not available.  I did put a call into him, just to give him the heads-up of the situation, and ironically he and his wife were in San Diego for a weekend getaway…not courtesy my cousin.  There it is…fate.  It was fate my plumbing, my plumber, and my vacation plans were intertwined with each other.  For when he came on Monday, to clean out our line, he told me the stories of where he and his wife found enjoyment in the southern city–exact locations my husband and I intended to visit in the upcoming weeks.

Back to my story…

What to do in the event my bowels decided to move, as is customary for me after my morning brew (of coffee)?  Well being the intelligent woman I am, I borrowed from my experience with the portable head on our sailboat, and I covered my loo with a plastic bag which was, yes GROSS, but a better alternative to the non-flushing option my husband utilized after ribbing me of my ingenious efforts.  In fact, I do believe his exact apology came in the form of a cry from the bathroom…and it sounded like this, “GET ME A BAG…please!” 🙂 🙂 🙂  Those little emoticons showcase the laughter emanating from my being as I handed him the bag and he “ate face” in his own stubborn toilet-y mess.  Not exactly the best overall tone in which to launch an intimate, and relaxing, vacation–but it is how we started.  I promise, I don’t make this stuff up…life hands it to me in the bag! hahahahahaahahaha (oh that was bad)

San Diego at last, albeit the relaxing part is a work in progress.

Our first week was a trial in error, with our bicycles and extended family helping to keep us accountable to our ‘vacating’ frame of mind.  We were blessed with agreeable weather and the legs to pedal us forward.  The plumbing has been superb which proves complimentary to my freshly ground, morning cup-o-joe.  Brian and I are very much in synch when it comes to our interests in architecture, history, design, and culture (well I’m more of a culture buff than he, though he lends me his listening ear as I explain the “Dia de los muertos” influence and tradition, seen more rampantly here in the border-near town of San Diego).  Although his knowledge of history gives my cultural education a run for its money.  In other words, we are complimentary one to the other and enjoy tooling around investigating ‘new to us’ finds and locales.  So far our children are faring well…minus a trip to the doctor for my daughter’s ailing kidneys for which her brother foot the bill, and an emotional hiccup for my son who was grateful to have the nurturing comfort of his loving sister.  Given the circumstances of the last two mentioned, it is a wonder I am still here…on vacation.  I say “I” because my husband has found himself in the middle of an employment opportunity, right here in Little Italy, San Diego.  He has been commissioned to design and build a new office space for a creative firm.  Being we were already down this way, he took the position.  We trekked back home yesterday so he could gather his tools and such, paint a few paintings, and then head back down.  The timing was perfect because I needed to re-group as I ended up being plagued with a horrible migraine headache, which required my being home for a few moments to get it under control.  I dropped him off at the location this morning and returned to my little bungalow away from home…alone.

Today relaxing means to me, the opportunity to be quiet.  Do a load of laundry.  Clean the borrowed bathroom.  Remove the full trash bags and replace them with empty ones.  Eat lunch utilizing the leftovers from my cousins ‘main house’, and sit in silence as I write this blog post.  Relaxing to Brian means, creating and spending his time engaging his artistically fabulous gifts.  What a good life! 🙂

More on the second week of our journey next time.  La vie c’est grand…

Mid Life Crisis-sing

4 Oct

Just so you know, right off the cuff, I am not near my mid life, therefore I cannot be crisis-ing about it!  It so happens that the women in my line live forever.  Therefore at a mere, 42 years of age, I am not even close to the mid-line.  I am, however, in a mid-of-something cri-song.  No, I have not been studying Dr. Suess in preparation for this post.  I am, I suppose, a natural devotee, of sorts, to the great doctor and my method of thinking probably reflects my “Hop on Pop” view of things.

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

Not “Hop on Pop”, but worthy material just the same!

Now back to my Cri-song…  Within my not-so-mid-crisong is a new state of poverty (not an actual state, merely a line on a governmental census).  It is the happy reliance upon a benefit check which tides the family budget over, “just enough.”  This is not so bad, the state of “just enough.”  For I find, actually just discovered this morning, that my silver jewelry is shinier within the present state.  I even think I have MORE jewelry now that we qualify for assistance (not really, it is just that I have opened my jewelry box to investigate its contents).  In fact, I have re-discovered jewels that were previously considered, by me, not worthy of my standard.  However, they now present themselves within a new light.  And with this new perspective comes sparkly goodness upon my fingers, my ears, my neck, and my wrists.  Oh La Lah!

Silver and Crystal Necklace

I do believe this was a gift I received for my Bat Mitzvah, a sliver and crystal pendant.

In my previous jewelry wearing persona, I carefully and simply would only congregate like metals.  Thus, yellow gold with yellow gold, and silver matched only to other silver–or white gold with white gold only.  NO MORE…  The new Cri-song demands all sorts of metal be mixed and interwoven (or twined) with other metal.  And what I considered, beforehand, to be gaudy and overbearing, is now placed upon my appendages and worn with triumphant fervor.  I am resurrecting jewelry from my Bat Mitzvah days, and wearing it with the gargantuan Granny rings that have somehow made it into our repertoire after loosing Brian’s mom and Granny to the call of Heaven (through Brian’s mom we inherited a few Granny pieces).  I have even rediscovered a Cartier bracelet I was given “way back when”, which might boost me into a more affluent social class should I have it on.  You know, it might help the nouveau riche overlook the fact I carry around a vintage, patent leather purse which I recently purchased for $12.oo from the Discovery Thrift shop.

Vintage 1950's Purse

Nice and Shiny

Yes, the Cartier I must begin to wear again.  Which means I need to find the golden, flat head screwdriver which came with it (Heaven forbid I utilize anything other than the golden screw!).  Wow,  I did a Google search, just now, for a bracelet like I described, and I learned that the bracelet has “been seen on all the hottest celebrities”.  Oh no…and now I just looked up the value of said bracelet and my husband and I looked at each other and said, “MY oh MY, we must sell it!”  And then we laughed, for which is more important, to follow the example of “all the hottest celebrities”, or to have cash in hand to buy some fresh milk…  Decisions, decisions, decisions! 🙂  Ok, now that I’ve taken you (and me) for a ride, the truth of the Cartier, as I remember it, is it is a “knock off”, not the real thing.  Which means I would probably have to pay to have someone even look at it!  Aaaahhh more Cris-songing.

“So what is the point of all of this rhetoric?”, you may ask.  Well you might not ask, but as I write I am most certainly asking myself, “Rivka, what is the point of this post?”  The point of this post is to illuminate my best intent on blooming where I am planted.  It is merely one in a series.  For example, the post about my Raleigh bicycle and me, is to showcase my utilization of what I have, where I have it, and the fulfillment which comes from investing in my imagination.  As opposed to bemoaning the loss of travel opportunity I am currently enduring (used loosely, enduring is a bit too heavy handed an adjective).  Blooming where I am planted means waking up thankful.  It means my little world of Southern California can fulfill my hearts desires, if my heart and mind are in the right focus.

For instance, Brian and I went sailing about a month ago.  Out at sea, I turned toward our shoreline and the area south of us looked just like the photos of a little town in Greece I have always longed to visit.  And in the spring, when the hills are green and the air still crisp, I take a ride in our 1927 Oakland, alongside my beloved, and the picturesque beauty of nature is reminiscent of the green hills in Ireland I have admired from photographs featured in my favorite Atlas.  So you see, the jewelry bit is merely my funny way of having fun…not to be confused with “having funds!” 🙂  It is blooming where I am planted.  And the blooming part equates to:

  • an attitude of thanksgiving
  • utilization of current possessions
  • resourceful inclinations
  • perspective alterations
  • imagination expression

So practically speaking…

Today I will utilize the above formula and transform a “shit load” of ground beef, which was given to me by a dear friend (by way of a charitable food organization), into several, and I might add, very palatable, meal choices.  In all honesty, I have never…let me restate that…NEVER, purchased so much ground beef in one sitting, as I have awaiting my, “good attitude,” on my kitchen counter.  For it, I am most grateful.  And who knows, I might even have a moment to spare to head over to the Pacific Ocean, which if I do have time to do, will double as the Carribean Sea (this time).  Enjoying life, where I am…today.

1927 Oakland Racer P.s. I must give credit to Kana Tyler who, by way of her own blogging style, has inspired me to insert photographs into my posts.  Her blog, http://www.kanatyler.com, frequently has “eye candy” in between her prose.  And I find, for an ADD type girl like me, the photos help guide my way through the words.  “Thank you, Kana.”

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