Comments

  1. says

    Hide and Seek

    The brush stroke in the painting,
    The meter in the poem,
    The key inside the novel,
    The rhythm in the music,
    The movement in the dance,

    The worm in the apple,
    The spider in the web,
    The snake in the grass,
    The moon in the eclipse,
    The universe in birth,

    The unity in the trinity,
    The word made flesh,
    The passion in the crucifixion,
    The glory in the resurrection,
    The body of Christ in the Eucharist,

    Faith seeks God in hidden things.

    • Jane says

      Dear Rosemary,

      This is lovely to read. My favorite part:

      “The rhythm in the music,
      The movement in the dance.”

      Thank you!

    • Lee Xan says

      Intriguing piece–the deceptively simple language that built using this strong structure–moving from art to nature to a religious context (which somehow surprised me)–love the last line too! Thanks!

    • jo says

      Hi Rosemary – This was a lovely read! My favourite lines were;

      “The brush stroke in the painting,
      The meter in the poem,
      The key inside the novel,
      The rhythm in the music,
      The movement in the dance,”

      For me, your piece beautifully brought to light those ‘hide and seek’ things that reflect the soul’s voice.

    • dawn says

      Feathery whispers on tender breeze, speak my name incessantly, mind over matter, heart tuned by soul, accepting the costs of living true, giving peace as shelter for the lost, heeding the wisdom, embracing the costs, rising up as life pushes down, “Shine” she softly speaks …..today I just may take her advice

    • Adrienne Drake says

      The unity in the trinity is very appealing to me. I think our soul’s language does boil down to faith.

  2. Barbara Keller says

    My soul says loud and clear “I’m unhappy. I love people who don’t love me back. Do something.” My brain answers with sensible suggestions. “Maybe they aren’t capable of loving.” or “Maybe you have picked all the wrong people to care about?” But since they are my only family, and my next door neighbors, and my oldest friend, I’m not sure that’s helpful. Or, “It’s the times – no one gets enough love.” Or, “It’s probably that you need too much love and you’re too demanding.”

    And still my soul is sad and wants something done about this impossible, nearly unbearable state of affairs.

    I haven’t found the solution. I try hiding out and avoiding people. I try reaching out, traveling across the country to visit family. I try sewing lovely gifts, and keeping in touch by phone and email, but being careful not to push or crowd. Haven’t found the answer yet.

    Probably the cause is complex, fluid and beyond understanding. And different for each unresponsive heart. Something about modern times, too much stress, sick children, fear of abandonment, fatigue and annoyance. And probably it’s too late to choose new people to love. So I tell my soul, “Try not to fret. It probably doesn’t mean you’re unloveable, just that for these people, at this time, it’s not happening.” And as these are the only people I have, I try to love them anyway. Then I work on not letting the sorrow in my soul color every aspect of my life.

    • Jane says

      Dear Barbara,

      This really captures the struggle of the human spirit, when we are feeling sad and alone. My “monkey mind,” as Laura described it so aptly, is often scrambling, dancing, shrieking at me, in many of the ways you have written about so beautifully here.

      This is my favorite part, of many favorite lines:

      “My soul says loud and clear, ‘I’m unhappy. I love people who don’t love me back. Do something.”

      This is followed by many excellent examples of some of the things we all do, to try to “Do something.”

      Thank you for painting this portrait in words.

      • Lee Xan says

        That line also stood out to me…”My soul says loud and clear…”–it just felt like the emotions were all out there and the thoughts. I felt the pain in the reaching out for something better and felt myself rooting for the speaker of these words, these thoughts.

        When I read, “It’s the times–no one gets enough love”" I felt myself rooting for, talking back, saying, “It’s not true–it’s possible to have enough love…” I felt the juggling in this piece of what to do with the situation–accept or change or?

        Thanks for this piece!

    • Laura Davis says

      Barbara, I could feel your grief so clearly in this piece. Your sadness. The loss of potential connection that you feel so strongly. Connection is something I’ve struggled with all my life–starting with the death of my identical twin sister shortly after we were born. So I could relate. Thanks for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us.

    • jo says

      Hi Barbara; Your piece beautifully captures the confusion and grief of not knowing why the people in your life struggle to express love. The line that resonated with me the most was “Probably the cause is complex, fluid and beyond understanding. And different for each unresponsive heart.” I think you’re right – sometimes there is no concrete ‘answer’ and for me, accepting that truth has been profoundly helpful at different times in my life.

    • Karla says

      Barbara, the integrity of your feelings in this piece made me feel awed. I think that not many people are willing to acknowledge that they feel any perfectly less connected or imperfectly loved, or that it is profoundly lonely to be with people and still feel alone. Your honesty did, as I think much good writing does, made me feel very connected to you.

      • Barbara Keller says

        All these responses were a genuine comfort and very much appreciated. This is a nice group, tender, compassionate, kind. Thanks so much for reading, understanding, and writing back.

    • Paula Hill says

      I really appreciate the way you astutely describe your struggles, feelings of isolation and impending growth within relationships…a universal theme….It hit home……thank you…

    • Adrienne Drake says

      Barbara, you express your struggle very well here. I think there is something about the human condition that allows each of us to identify with you on many levels, some more than others, and at different times of our lives. You sound like a thoughtful and sensitive individual so to think that it is too late to branch out and be open to new relationships may be being too hard on yourself. Some of the greatest people I have ever met were still reaching out and sharing their lives well into their old age!

  3. jo says

    What my soul is trying to tell me.

    I look at the sentence, ‘What my soul is trying to tell me’ and the word that jumps off the page and into my mouth is the word ‘trying.’ I let it sit inside my mouth for a few minutes, tasting it. It tastes like I’ve got something pointy and foreign in my mouth and it’s bitter and unpleasant. When I spit the word ‘trying’ into my hand I stare at it for a moment and brush it off my hand and into a garbage can. I suddenly realize that my soul isn’t ‘trying’ to tell me anything. My soul’s lesson has always been straight forward and to the point and I’ve been hearing it since I was a child. It tells me to write, plain and simple. Whether it’s short stories, a journal entry, an e-mail to my best friend or a poem about the red cardinal sitting on a branch in my back yard, I must write it all down so that my pen becomes the tool that allows me to bear witness to my life.

    For me, the word ‘trying’ comes into play when I try to listen to my soul’s voice telling me that I need to write. Some days I don’t listen to my soul’s voice at all and I don’t write a word. I let the stuff of life get in the way and I so I vacuum the rugs, weed the garden or watch television instead of listening to the steady voice of my soul telling me to write. Other days, nothing else exists other than my pen and a stack of fresh, clean paper. On those days, I don’t want to have to work, clean my house, pay my bills or waste time eating. The energy of writing is so strong that it keeps my body anchored to my chair and the words just pour out of me, unkempt and messy. Those are the days I know that I’m listening to my soul because it feels like all is right with the world and nothing else matters other than putting one word after another on the piece of paper before me. My soul is very happy on those days because the energy of synchronicity flows – my body, my soul, my emotions and my intellect are all getting along wonderfully. I lose track of time and the chair under me disappears and the pen melts from my hand. It’s as if what I’m thinking automatically appears on the page before me and in those moments, my heart opens wide and there’s no barriers between me and my truth. Those moments don’t happen often, but when they do, sparks fly and magic happens!

    • says

      Hi Jo,

      I loved this line, “The energy of writing is so strong that it keeps my body anchored to my chair and the words just pour out of me, unkempt and messy.” I could feel this in my body as I read this sentence.

    • Lee Xan says

      I love the confidence in the first part about the voice of the soul and its early roots…and the part about the word “trying” spoke to me. And the red cardinal. And then the shift to the voice being one that gets listened to or ignored and the pull of the writing voice that makes bodily needs disappear was intriguing. I like the words being “unkempt and messy.” Some part of me wanted to stay with the writer voice but also felt some relief at the bills getting paid and garden weeded and food eaten.

      Thanks for the piece!

    • Laura Davis says

      Jo, I loved this piece. It really captured your relationship with writing and your passion for self-expression. I also loved the way you entered the piece and it just grew in intensity as it went along.

      These were some of my favorite lines, “he word that jumps off the page and into my mouth is the word ‘trying.’ I let it sit inside my mouth for a few minutes, tasting it. It tastes like I’ve got something pointy and foreign in my mouth and it’s bitter and unpleasant. When I spit the word ‘trying’ into my hand I stare at it for a moment and brush it off my hand and into a garbage can. I suddenly realize that my soul isn’t ‘trying’ to tell me anything. My soul’s lesson has always been straight forward and to the point and I’ve been hearing it since I was a child. It tells me to write, plain and simple.”

    • Jane says

      Dear Jo,

      This is delightful to read. What Laura said is what I was going to say, and she beat me to it!

      • Jane says

        p.s. relieved to hear your description of that consuming compulsion to write. So vividly written. So alive with your Passion for life.

    • Karla says

      I loved the visceral-ness of your language in this piece, and hearing about the place of writing in your life.

    • says

      Jo, I love the idea of being able to taste a word in your mouth, spit it out, and throw it in the garbage can. I loved hearing about your writing process. Thank you.

  4. Lee Xan says

    what my soul is trying to tell me??
    can I hear my soul?
    whose voice is saying, go to work, go to work, go to work?
    that is, the official, money-bringing work,
    but isn’t that what my soul says as well,
    go to work, go to work, go to work,
    but with my soul, it’s the work I value
    the work presses me—
    the recording of these songs—of attraction and anxiety,
    hope/fear, wild strawberries,
    cones, cubes, spirals, animals…

    Is my soul a scattered soul,
    or is it a diverse soul spraying
    in seemingly different directions…
    and as I listen, throughlines come through—
    the divinely dissatisfied wrestling with my nature
    and the learning to nurture what is in me—
    the things I discount—the magic of fingers on keys,
    keys opening doors to known and unknown rooms,
    to my known and unknown self,
    keys trying to unlock others,
    but sometimes isn’t it enough to just try to find the keyhole in the dark
    and upon finding, listen to the rattle-y purr of the engine…

    • says

      Dear Lee Xan,

      The things you discount, and the use of the word ‘key’ in all of it’s meanings was quite meaningful to me.

      Also, the repetitive, ‘go to work’ is so how it sounds in one’s head.

      • Lee Xan says

        Thanks, Gayle Y-G, for your comments–and I didn’t really realize how I played with the keys in this piece–turning them over in a few ways, making them mean differently each time…thanks!

    • Laura Davis says

      Lee Xan,

      Thanks for this evocative piece.

      I especially enjoyed these lines, “the things I discount—the magic of fingers on keys,
      keys opening doors to known and unknown rooms,
      to my known and unknown self,
      keys trying to unlock others,”

      • Lee Xan says

        Thanks, Laura, for your comments! And for another great prompt! (I think somehow when I read your prompts it seems like I’m being prompted by the prompt–the quotes and/or your prompt that comes from the quote, but I feel like I am also prompted by your supportive and excited spirit that gives the prompt!

        I also just came across the part on one of your pages (maybe the blog part) where you had a post riffing on Hemingway bleeding on the page–great advice and voice in there–I like the quote from the person who said to write hot and edit cold! That totally makes sense to me…and the part you wrote about the people who come write and give up therapy and others who write and then find they need therapy–something about that is so interesting and also makes sense!

    • Jane says

      Dear Lee,

      I loved reading this. Cannot do the cut & paste yet on new screen, which makes it easier on me, since would be trop difficile to select my favorite part at all. Love the poetic imagery and the animated pace here.

    • jo says

      Hi Lee Xan – I so enjoyed reading your piece! I think Gayle Y-G is right – the repetitive use of ‘go to work, go to work’ is exactly how it sounds in a person’s head. I also loved these lines –

      “the recording of these songs—of attraction and anxiety,
      hope/fear, wild strawberries,
      cones, cubes, spirals, animals…”

    • Paula Hill says

      You said much in your minimalistic poetic expression of your soul….universal issues of work and soul…I felt your lust for life with the “diverse soul spraying”…love it….

    • Adrienne Drake says

      I like the diversity of this piece. I had to read it several times. The impression it left is more than the sum of the words… and I am left feeling your soul’s struggle to get you to “go to work” to express your true creative nature. Sometimes that is hard to do when we have to “go to work” to bring home the bacon!

  5. says

    I am sure my soul has been speaking to me from the beginning, but I have only been able to listen closely to it again over the past few years. I’ve missed my friend.

    I believe that when I was little I naturally listened to my soul every day, in that way that only the very young seem to always be in each moment of their magical world. Then, life happened. My family and their views of reality and religion, school and the drone of voices teaching facts and critical reasoning, work and the need to support myself and seek that ever-elusive feeling of ‘success.’

    What my soul has been telling me lately is to find and follow my calling. To seek not just what I can do, but what I was meant to do. To allow that the specifics of this may change from time to time but the overall direction of my sails will remain steadfast and true.

    My soul is reminding me that I can see things that not everyone sees. Right now my soul is wailing; asking me to write and speak about my experience letting go of my house, the state of housing and homeownership, and what it means to be ‘middle-class’ in a post-great-recession world. I see great opportunity in this crisis; not to make a buck off others but to offer a view that brings about more economic equality and community to the world.

    I am finding that listening to my soul as an adult is alternately terrifying and the most exhilarating thing I’ve experienced in a very long time. Sign me up! I’m along for the ride.

    • says

      Gayle, I find your transition from a child’s soul to your adult soul interesting, but your last paragraph was excellent: “I am finding that listening to my soul as an adult is alternately terrifying and the most exhilarating thing I’ve experienced in a very long time. Sign me up! I’m along for the ride.”

      Enjoy your ride.

    • Lee Xan says

      I felt the soul “wailing” at that part and also enjoyed the earlier part with the with what happens to children’s souls’ voices. From clarity to that schooled stuff that can clam one up, take them away from the earlier voice. The words “Then life happened” seemed to make a good transition–it’s only three words but says so much, especially with the part after it explaining.

      I love that “wailing” thought–how loud a soul can sound when something really needs to be written about. Thanks!

    • Laura Davis says

      This piece captures how easily most of us lose touch with that deep connection with our innermost selves. I’m so glad you’re reclaiming it and are “up for the ride.”

    • jo says

      Hi Gayle – I loved the movement from childhood to adulthood and the line, “To seek not just what I can do, but what I was meant to do.” was really powerful.
      Enjoy your ride!

    • Karla says

      I really liked the way that this piece evolved, both in terms of time and in terms of your willingness to listen. I want to hear more about what you want to write about!

    • Jane says

      Dear Gayle,

      Agree with the others’ comments here. Yes, way to go, to, “Go for the ride.”. This describes so beautifully losing our dreams, and then reclaiming and living out loud today.

    • Paula Hill says

      I appreciate your spirit that resonates with your piece….especially calling your soul, your friend….the metaphor of setting your sails steadfast…..and it perked my interest to know your stance on economic equality and steps to take during what you so brightly termed the “post-great recession”…has universal appeal….Thank you

    • Adrienne Drake says

      I think your soul’s message that you can see things that not everyone sees is terrific, and your ambition to share what you see will be so helpful to so many. (I first wrote “soul” helpful to so many….talk about a Freudian slip.) Keep going!!

    • says

      Gayle, I liked that notion of the soul as a friend and as someone who, for various reasons, may have been abandoned in childhood. It was fun to read of your new relationship with your soul.

  6. says

    DO NOT ENTER

    You think you have to know what lies within,
    now, think again . . .

    8/12/02 Hazel S. Muller
    (A split couplet) (Published in Poets’ Forum Magazine)

    My soul speaks to me in soothing tones and this is what she says:

    You have had a nice long stay on this earth.
    You have had so many more experiences than most people;
    you have crammed at least three lifetimes into this one.
    You have seen many things most of them very interesting and beautiful,
    some of them degrading and bad.

    You have gotten to know many people, many of whom you have loved.
    You’re growing older.
    You feel more alone.
    You have time to look back over your life uninterrupted by the telephone or knocks on the door.
    You, my dear, need to write about the things you have done; the experiences you have had, someone needs to read about them in order to know that they are not alone.
    Your writing gives them comfort and if it is just for one person then it has been worth it.
    Think about all the things you know, that knowledge should be shared.

    You have done your best to keep the family connected the fact that they do not respond anymore is not your fault. Think about all the good times they had when they did connect, the stories they would tell, the joy they felt, you gave them the opportunity.

    You have suffered much pain both physical and psychological but look at all the things that came to you out of that pain, your art, the things you have created.
    You are not alone, you need to share those experiences so others might realize that they are not alone either.

    You are so much more than the sum of your parts.
    I love you;
    I admire you;
    take pride in yourself as a good human being.

    • Lee Xan says

      I love the lines about alone and how that theme comes back, alone and writing so that others will not feel so alone. The ability or time/space to look back. I felt struck and curious at the changing family section–by the past of connected and the present in the piece of not so connected–

      “the fact that they do not respond anymore is not your fault. Think about all the good times they had when they did connect, the stories they would tell, the joy they felt, you gave them the opportunity.”

      I liked that the soul spoke in soothing tones and the title, “DO NOT ENTER” was a little intriguing…thanks for your writing!

    • Laura Davis says

      I only hope that I can reach your stage in life and feel this depth of peace and self-acceptance. Bravo!

    • says

      Dear Hazel,

      I really enjoyed the flow of this piece; the taking stock of ones life, the regrets, and then the self-love and acceptance. Thank you for sharing!

    • jo says

      Hi Hazel – I loved the perspective in your piece of looking back and recounting the joys and the sorrows of a life well lived. I also thought it was great that you want to share your experiences with the world – you’re so right when you wrote, “Think about all the things you know, that knowledge should be shared.”

    • Karla says

      Hazel, this piece evoked in me a sense of peacefulness, like a deep breath, that feeling of my shoulders relaxing, the scent of jasmine in the air. To be able to look at the path that your life has traveled with compassion for yourself is remarkable at any age, with the clarity that you do this, truly awe-inspiring.

    • Jane says

      Dear Hazel,

      The world is full of people, and each one manicures their own private pain. The gifts of your writing – your storytelling from your life – as you wrote here, who can say how a person might benefit from .reading about your nuggets of wisdom might really be of help to another. Please keep writing and sharing with us and with others.

    • Adrienne Drake says

      This so reminds me of the line in Shadowlands where CS Lewis says, “We read to know we are not alone.” Your soul seems to know this too!

  7. Jane says

    “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
    ~~Anne Sexton

    What my soul is trying to tell me.

    “You are one with the wet, dripping trees. Listen to the songs of the birds. Be still and listen.

    “You see me in the flying painted clouds. You hear my voice of peace in your heart when you watch the bubbling water slipping over green mossy rocks. You smell my fragrance as I feel your hand clasp mine in dark green, sticky pine arms.

    “You feel my silken skin as you stroke the downy infant, the lover’s cheek, the million baby seeds of my dandelion puffball. You rise and swell, then sink and waver, flowing with the tides of my oceans and my dance in the stars.

    “You rest in my warm and gentle embrace, and have lain in my cupped palms, rocking gently all the days of your breath.

    “You are a child of the Mother, singing at the place you are, at the intersection of all the tones each planet sings. All is well.”

    • Lee Xan says

      So much beauty in this! Love the nature images–the starting lines, “You are one with the wet, dripping trees. Listen to the song of the bird. Be still and listen.” Beautiful…

      “You hear my voice of peace in your heart when you watch the bubbling water slipping over green mossy rocks. You smell my fragrance as I feel your hand clasp mine in dark green, sticky pine arms.” Loved this section too–the bubbling water over the mossy green rocks and the clasping hands in dark green sticky pine arms…great sensory details–I felt like I could smell, feel and hear it!

    • Laura Davis says

      Thanks for this stunning set of images. I loved traveling with you into so much natural beauty, all woven throughout this piece.

    • jo says

      Hi Jane – I love the rich imagery of your piece! It felt like I was right there experiencing and seeing every line of your writing. It reads as if it would be a lovely meditation after a yoga class!

    • Jane says

      Thank you, each one of you, for your kind words. Now to continue to do the work you have done, to reconnect to that voice and learn to believe and trust it.

      As a writer, we can travel within and give that voice another chance to be alive.

    • Adrienne Drake says

      This is beautiful and so rich. The last two lines are so comforting. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  8. Debbie says

    I was sitting up in the bed when I awoke. Heart pounding, slightly sweaty, ears ringing, still immersed in the dream that sent shock waves through my psyche. I was dead! More accurately I had just died, my life traded carelessly in the pursuit of helping out “just a little bit more”, doing “just one more thing” before taking a rest, before caring for myself. In those first few moments of slowly arising awareness it was all so clear, looking at a retrospective display of how precious moments, irreplaceable life energy had been recklessly spent.

    The situation in the dream was so mundane, woven through with the type of decisions made every day. I had agreed to deliver three packages across a large geographic area of the city. At first, I decline the fourth package feeling it was just too much, knowing I was already fatigued before starting out. But resolve crumbled before the pleas, the lament “but these is no one else who can help us”, the guilt “couldn’t you just deliver one more thing, you will already be out there?” On the way to deliver the third package the car had gotten a bit out of control, starting to soar in the air like a video game. Expertly I was able to guide it back down to the roadway with a significant bump. I delivered the third package.

    Now on the way to deliver the fourth package, the car and roadway were on display before me, continuing the feeling of “driving” in a video game. As I approached the curve it was clear I was going too fast and the car soared out across space leaving the bridge and road behind. Continuing to steer, gradually the vehicle began to move back toward the pavement. The landing was hard causing 360 turns and somersaulting of the car. Suddenly there was a loud buzz and a large red cross covered the screen. Game over – just like that.

    It took a moment for the realization to sink in that it was my game that was over. There were no more choices, no more chances. The screen went blank and my consciousness struggled to grasp that I was dead. In my dream, through the soft nothingness in front of me I somehow made my way to the sweet lover who was sleeping soundly beside me in the dawn’s light. As I stood before her in the dreamtime, she rose slightly in the bed and called out my name.

    A cry of delight escaped my lips! “You can still see me?” I cried. Again she called out my name and turned in my direction. There was so much I wanted to say, so much still to share, regret for what would never be. Just as I was starting to speak, there was much commotion and someone ran into the room to waken her. Together they started talking and moving through and past me as if I wasn’t there. Which, of course, I wasn’t anymore. No longer a part of the living, no longer able to caress delicate skin with my fingertips, to linger over inviting curves, to enjoy a deep, penetrating kiss on soft lips. I was dead!

    This was the point where I woke up, wide-eyed and hyperventilating. Not because the aspects of the dream were so real. No, it was the essence of the underlying theme that was so terrifying. Because it was so much me. Because the metaphor of the unconscious had accurately evoked the very issues that had been haunting me over the past few weeks.

    Knowing the pressures at work these days, understanding the rigidity of a government imposed deadline, feeling a huge sense of responsibility for consequences to many that accompanied failure ; there had been plenty of seemingly valid reasons to put off checking on the vague sense of discomfort in my chest. To ignore the growing – and unshakable – fatigue. Plenty of justification for the poor food choices, decreasing hours of sleep and limited time for physical activity. Yes, my auto was starting to fly off the bridge as well, accelerating into centrifugal forces that would eventually lead to my destruction.

    It was so clear how I had already squandered time and opportunities to lovingly care for myself, invest in my soul. Always thinking I could do just a little bit more, take on that which no on else could seem to do. No longer under the delusion of my own immortality, seeing now how each moment is so precious, never to be recovered again. What a gift, this powerful and transformative dream!

    I turned toward the warm and loving partner lying beside me. For so many years I sent silent prayers into the universe for someone just like this. My heart cried out in revolt against these decisions that have put so much potentially at risk. No more! I do not want to stand sheepishly before my own soul, hanging my head, stammering about why I did not love my own goodness as much, or more, than anything else in my life.

    What is my soul is trying to tell me? That along the way you may take a rest but then you must continue the journey to wholeness and healing. That you can uncover greater joy within but then you must learn to infuse that joy into each moment. That no matter how much you “grow” there is always another layer to peel back, deeper understandings to be realized. That the truest measure of how well you have loved is in how you have cared for your sweet child within. And that it is never too late…

    • Karla says

      The story of your dream was so grippingly told, I had a hard time shaking back into your reality of being awake. I also loved how you interwove the message from your dream into your understanding of what you need now. Thank you!

    • Laura Davis says

      Beautiful story and I’m so glad you had this wonderful wake up call from your own spirit. I loved, the whole piece, Debbie (and loved having you back on the blog again), but especially these lines that I could relate to 100% right now, a very stressful time in my life:

      “there had been plenty of seemingly valid reasons to put off checking on the vague sense of discomfort in my chest. To ignore the growing – and unshakable – fatigue. Plenty of justification for the poor food choices, decreasing hours of sleep and limited time for physical activity. Yes, my auto was starting to fly off the bridge as well, accelerating into centrifugal forces that would eventually lead to my destruction.”

      Thank you for so vividly naming the precipice we all walk on from time to time….

    • Jane says

      Dear Debbie,

      I loved reading this. Thank you so much. Beautiful and powerful, haunting and tender, your transformational breakthrough dream was present and evocative.

      As I sit in my car now, the dark grey clouds slowly edged in, a light sprinkle of laughing drops changing into a pounding torrent of heavy rain.

      Only the pavement is slick with puddles. The trees, the dried grasses and flowers, and my dry spirit have gulped down as much sweet wet nectar of rain as possible.

      Thank you to all the writers here on Laura’s space.
      You quench my thirst each day

    • Paula Hill says

      Hi Debbie….exquisite…….deep, generous honesty, intelligent and your words melt easily into each paragraph that leads to a powerful transformation. The spirit of your writing has the warmth that somehow magically make comfortable a tumultuous storm that has been ridden….a very gratifying read…thank you….

    • Adrienne Drake says

      I do believe that our souls speak to us in our dreams. You report the message loud and clear, and I am glad you feel you were transformed by this experience. It is a lesson for us all.

  9. says

    Oh My Soul, Slow down and act your age. It’s time to quit giving away your energy.

    It’s time to give back to yourself and allow others to give to you. All these years you’ve taken care of so many souls to the exclusion of yourself. Relax and enjoy what’s left of the rest of your life.

    Listen to your body, really listen, Body and Soul are connected and want you to absorb every pore of your being into reflective undercurrents of energy which are now available to re-charge the hungry longings you’ve ignored.

    As you approach 80, I want you to encompass every feeling you’ve ever absorbed and hug yourself tightly, loving yourself completely and accepting the true love of living your life to it’s fullest.

    I’ve been lying dormant all this time, counting the years, being patient, waiting for
    you to finally come full circle and meet me.

    Enjoy everything I’ve prepared for you. I love you unconditionally.

    • Laura Davis says

      I love this love poem to yourself. Especially this! What a marvel!
      This is so inspiring:

      “I’ve been lying dormant all this time, counting the years, being patient, waiting for you to finally come full circle and meet me.”

    • says

      Thanks Fran. I love how you remind me that aging is not how we are taught to see it in this youth-glorified society. I am moved to know that our spirits can soar ever upward. You are a strong role model for women. For me. I always appreciate your contributions here.

    • Adrienne Drake says

      Fran, this is simply beautiful, and I hope you do all the lovely things you express so well. This was my favorite part: “Listen to your body, really listen, Body and Soul are connected and want you to absorb every pore of your being into reflective undercurrents of energy which are now available to re-charge the hungry longings you’ve ignored.” I think at 80, you have earned the right to do this!!!!! :-)

  10. Karla says

    What My Soul is Trying to Tell Me

    “Psssst,” whispers my soul, “over here.” Gently uttered, without a harsh edge. I turn my head a moment too slow, and it’s disappeared. I sense its presence but I can’t find it, grasp it, embody it. I know that my soul nests within me, but my magical thinking after a recent loss leads me to experience it as an elusive creature darting away from me before I realize it is there.

    I remember snorkeling in the murky emerald waters of the Caribbean, the day after a storm, where the reef that appeared pristine and sharp the day before was now cluttered with trash, strips of plastic and crushed cans like ornaments on the branches and spaces between the dulled corals. Gross, I thought, flippering away seaward, imagining that the deeper waters might be clearer and cleaner. The sun striking the water highlighted the silt, offering up the illusion that thousands of tiny flashlights were peering up from the floor of the ocean, lining my hands with narrow and golden stripes as I swam. Looking into the water was dizzying, a television going bad, tiny white dots distorting the shape and color of the reef. It was an abandoned picture, as if the fish and other wildlife had left these human dumping grounds. I wanted to cry.

    Before I saw them, I felt them surrounding me. A school of hundreds of Blue Caribbean Tangs, a fish with sleek fins, pronounced lips, and lavender stripes. Clasping my hands together, I kicked long and powerful to keep pace with them and tried to appear as nonchalant as they were. I wanted to hold my breath to prolong my time with them, as if that would preserve how mysterious and magical it felt to swim among them. Instead, I halted abruptly and kicked into backstroke to stop myself from being propelled into a non-human sized crevice of the reef where they disappeared. After I surfaced to remove the water from my mask, I spotted a large silver ring, like a tie-out stake, sticking out of the water and motored over to investigate. As I arrived, fish began swimming towards me and underneath me, solo and in small schools. Feet down, I held onto the stake and was still, waiting to see what appeared. A small, blood red squid appeared and it looked right into my eyes. Twitched its tail and darted away so quickly, I didn’t see its trail as it left. Then it appeared again, all at once, as if it was beamed there. It was so adorable, I tried to consume it with my eyes and it melted into the backdrop of the reef before my brain could register that it had moved.

    As I chase after my soul these days, I find it the least when I am looking for it. I am moving towards experiencing my life rather than trying to maneuver it to fit whatever I think it should. My soul feels fragmented and lost at times, but also still very much me. In the past few days, my soul has told me:

    “Swim. Swim until your shoulders ache and you wonder if you’ll make it back across the lake.”

    “Invite your child for a discussion right now. Give him a chance to say what’s on his mind.”

    “Write. You have something to discover.“

    “Have a little chocolate with your breakfast.”

    • Laura Davis says

      I love how kind and nurturing your soul is to you. And I loved these lines:

      “As I chase after my soul these days, I find it the least when I am looking for it. I am moving towards experiencing my life rather than trying to maneuver it to fit whatever I think it should.”

      I actually loved the whole piece. Helped me get ready to fly to Bali next week! I can’t wait to be underwater again and you just reminded me why I love it so much.

    • says

      Karla,

      I loved the way you told this story-starting with the wonders of nature in the coral reefs of the Caribbean and ending with the mundanity of day to day life choices that are so important too.

    • Jane says

      Dear Karla,

      It felt like I was swimming by your side. I’ve never been deep below the waves, and could see all the color and life you described in your writing. How exotic and entrancing it was to see all the magic there.

    • says

      Karla,
      It is so great to have you back here!

      This piece was so beautiful, your descriptions so clear though you were in murky waters. Even though I am terrified to be in the water, more than four feet deep, if that, I was comfortable swimming along beside you seeing through your eyes those wonderful things.

      I’m sure at this time in your life, “My soul feels fragmented and lost at times, but also still very much me.”

      Thank you for sharing this exquisite piece of your writing.

    • says

      Karla, I’m also so happy you are here right now. This is exquisite. The details and revealing bits splashed in, like one swoop of a paintbrush. I see the aquamarine water, feel it’s warmth, and have this wide oceanic feeling in my chest as I imagine all the space around you as your soul bobs in the water. The fish. I especially love your last line: “Have a little chocolate with your breakfast.” Thank you.

    • Adrienne Drake says

      I think your soul was one with the water as you enjoyed your aquatic journey. I could almost feel the ebb and flow of the currents pushing you and pulling you, and then feel you dart around here and there. I could also feel the pain of viewing human garbage. The juxtaposition and contrast of the images was great! I felt like I was there.

  11. Adrienne Drake says

    The other day I was playing gin rummy with a friend. At the beginning of the third hand, while she was shuffling the cards, I wondered if it were possible to call certain cards to yourself. My hard core medical education did not allow for such magical thinking or listening to ones soul. Nonetheless, the thought was obsessive so I decided to guess which cards would come my way.

    The first feeling I had was that they would be red, and immediately thought, “three or four of diamonds.” My next thought was that diamonds have scratchy edges and I got an uncomfortable, squirmy feeling. Then I thought that there wasn’t enough power in the lowly “three” and “four.”

    The next feeling I had was that of a sudden and comforting warmth spreading across my entire chest as I visualized a “broken run of hearts of high denomination.” The feeling stayed with me as my friend dealt the cards. It just seemed right.

    As she gave us each seven cards I tried to forget about my random thoughts, that is, until I looked at my hand. I was dealt the “Jack, King and Ace of hearts.” There it was before me, my broken run of hearts. Where was the “Queen of Hearts” and why was it the “Queen” that broke the run? Not only was she missing, I had the distinct impression that I would not see her at all this hand.

    Normally, I would discard a high card, such as the Jack, if it were not a pair or part of a run, but it was part of my “broken heart” run and I didn’t want to discard any of the pieces. Going against good game strategy, I held on to it.

    As the game progressed, I eventually picked up the nine and later on, the ten of hearts. There it was, my run of hearts. I soon picked up another Ace. Then, my opponent discarded an Ace and I was able to pick up the pile. Now, I had three Aces to lay down. My lone King of hearts was left matching nothing and it would have been wise to discard it so as not to be stuck with unplayed cards of high at the end of the game. Shortly thereafter my friend laid down three Kings. I could now lay my King down to close out the suit.

    As I knew would happen, I never saw the Queen of hearts. I never completed the obvious hand, the run I longed for. Nonetheless, with the other cards I picked up along the way, I was able to play a different strategy. I ended up with enough points to eventually win the whole game..

    The entire time I was playing I had this other-worldly feeling that I was being led, being told which cards to pick up, and which to lay down. It felt like I was playing my own Tarot Cards, and doing my own reading. In my deck of cards, is the Queen of Hearts my missing alcoholic mother who recently wrote me off? Is she my loving therapist who suddenly had to stop working due to a horrible personal tragedy? How would my life have turned out if I had experienced a loving mother? How will I go on without the nurturing therapist who saved my life?

    My Tarot Card reading tells me all will be well. I will have a different run of hearts. I will have fortunes of a different kind. My reading tells me that because of these missing mothering hearts in my past and in my present, I have had to seek other paths; other roads will open. I can heal my broken run of hearts, I can claim the Queen within. This is my healing path.

    Did I receive all my cards randomly or did I actually call them to myself? Did my soul play a part in this or did the universe, with its unfathomable wisdom, simply provide? You decide.

    • Laura Davis says

      I loved this story of the cards, especially because it was you with your linear medical background telling it.

    • says

      Dear Adrienne,

      I couldn’t stop reading! I loved how you wove this stunning experience into the theme of the writing prompt this week. I liked that you ended with the teasing question. Thank you.

      • Adrienne Drake says

        Gayle, yes, the experience did actually blow my mind. I had gone to a Vedantic Monastery that morning so I was probably already in a very open frame of mind. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for letting me know!

    • Jane says

      Dear Adrienne,

      This makes me wish we could play a round of Rummy 500 together. And after, you could show me the tarot with these many layers of possibility and meaning.

      • Adrienne Drake says

        I would certainly enjoy playing cards with you. And now I think I will have to buy myself a real Tarot Card deck, or at the very least, get a reading from a real reader. This is something I have never done, but it has always held my fascination!

        • Jane says

          Writing seems to be opening shutters inside each of us. If I had a magic wand and could, I’d grant you the freedom to follow your heart’s bliss in everything, down to the tiniest gnat’s wing.

    • Angeline says

      Adrienne,

      I enjoyed how you connected the action of playing a game and its connection to the call of the soul. So many times we take for granted the power and rare necessity of witnessing the simplicity and the complexity of our soul language. I found myself asking, Do we see and believe it? Or do we believe and see it. And most significantly. will we know it when we see it?

      • Adrienne Drake says

        Do we see first and then believe or is it the other way around? What a great question. I think we must be open to the possibility first. When I was a major scientific skeptic, I didn’t “see” anything. But I think my soul was always there nagging me and telling me there was more, and that’s when I began to open up to possibilities. Then….. I started really seeing. My healing has only come about from this opening up, and seeing and believing in grace. My healing has taken a tremendous leap of faith, and since then, the miracles have come.

    • Paula Hill says

      Hi Adrienne….I too play lots of rummy and thoughts run through my head about what the cards mean, especially when one card or a suit is thematic, or a card just pops out and oftentimes more than once in one sitting….Your writing about what goes on in your head for decisive strategy, the depth of meaning behind the decisions or card, and the possibilities of serendipity and calling the cards to you shines brilliant and bright. Thank you for a smooth, fun and wonderful read…..

      • Adrienne Drake says

        Thank you Paula. A few days before my “run of broken hearts” game, I was playing and got four eights and three Aces very early in the game. THE VERY NEXT HAND I again went out with four eights and three Aces and it didn’t take long to do so. The funny thing was, during the second hand, I had this deja vu feeling the entire time, and then….eventually got those seven cards. That really got me thinking….probably preparing me for the “hearts” game I wrote about here. It makes me think about so many things, the space time continuum, the language of the soul, how hard the universe tries to get us to see…….. you name it! Life is just magical if you ask me.

    • says

      Adrienne,

      This was really fun to read. I felt that I was in good hands. You guided me through a very interesting experience. Thank you.

  12. MaryL says

    What My Soul is Trying to Tell Me

    When I refer to my “soul” I am talking about my mind, about my conscious awareness of this time and place, about what is going on for me and for everyone else in the now. I refer, also, to my gut, as in gut feelings, intuition, sense of what is behind the facts of the hour.

    My soul is telling me – nudging me – to take it easier, to not try so hard.

    One of my favorite writers/teachers is the wonderful Buddhist, Pema Chodron, whose books include: When Things Fall Apart: Heart: Advice For Difficult Times.

    Well, I really can understand things falling apart, feeling frustrated when so many things have gone wrong and I’m wondering what else could possibly be added to the pile of stuff, and then something else painful DOES happen. Difficult times – there was a time I could write a list – a t-paper roll list – except that I was afraid that writing it would bring more misery.

    I never thought I would change the world, but I really did believe that if we all worked together we could make the world a better place. That personal commitment – to be part of the “improvers” – has stayed with me for as long as I remember. Recently, as I have been seeing more clearly that “history repeats itself,” bad things, cruel things, happen day after day, I have made a decision. STOP. Be silent and listen. Be vigilant and watch.

    Pema Chodron writes: “We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.” I can do that! In fact, that’s what I do. I have my purpose; I am living out my purpose. There will be no Nobel Peace Prize for me – and if there were, my siblings would laugh because I was always such a scaredy cat. But it’s okay. In fact, it is just the way it should be.

    I have been reading about Pope John XXIII in preparation for a course I’m building – very good stuff! And I wondered what the saintly man of Vatican II might say to Francis, the current Pope, who is very, very busy. Perhaps John would say, “Brother, take it easy …. and you could smile a little more.”

    This is easier than we think, than I ever thought. That does not mean it is simple… unless you think a teardrop or a snowflake is simple.

    • Laura Davis says

      I loved this. I”m a big Pema fan too. I especially loved this: “I never thought I would change the world, but I really did believe that if we all worked together we could make the world a better place. That personal commitment – to be part of the “improvers” – has stayed with me for as long as I remember. ”

      And also your ending, “That does not mean it is simple… unless you think a teardrop or a snowflake is simple.”

      Thanks for taking me on this lovely journey.

    • says

      I enjoyed your theme: “My soul is telling me – nudging me – to take it easier, to not try so hard.” And I think what follows is an important reminder of the power of each seemingly small choice or action we take. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Paula Hill says

      Your last line has so much punch for such an exquisite, gentle sentence….love this….thank you…

    • Adrienne Drake says

      I would say this piece is deceptively simple, and there is a lot of condensed wisdom here, especially in the last line! Beautifully written. Thank You!

  13. Paula Hill says

    When the clock alarm sounded, the first thing I did this morning was open the curtains to assess the mood of the day. The maritime weather has settled into this Northern California beach town, the sign that Summer season is upon us. Inland, where the temperature warms to uncomfortable ranges, it’s climate collides with the cooler waters of the ocean causing the fog’s mists akin to the steamy water flowing from the teapot sounding on the stove.

    There’s a quiet to the fog. Mile buoy is silent as is the wind, the sea, and the grayness of the sunlight. I sit upon the sofa obeying my morning ritual of hot English Breakfast Tea with milk and honey. Frankincense wafts it’s familiar fragrance throughout my bungalow while I think upon my intentions for the day, wishing the kindness of the universe for friends, family, the outer world, and for myself as well. I can hear the squirrels’ active, pattering sounds on the roof above.

    My mind abounds with familiar conflicts, nightmares, worries, self-doubts and all those wearying thoughts that whirl around when I sit with my feelings, but then…. in rushes the perennial Pollyanna who views life through crystals, divinations, meditative comforts and epiphanies; she who contemplates the ever-wandering planets whose configurations and poetic myths evoke soulful messages to accompany my daily journeys.

    Yesterday’s message was given by the Three of Wands to stay with my present activities, everything is coming to fruition, a new birth is at hand, and to resist could bring pain in a situation otherwise filled with grace. Last night, a friend mentored a meditative journey with a few of us in her home where I met an Elephant guide in a quite enchanting realm of my mind whose message came to me after I rode in a clear bubble over a rather calm sea, eventually landing on a distant tropical shore. Upon the back of the Elephant, I was guided to a particular place to find plants for making flower essences. These symbolic and seemingly general or imaginative perceptions are potent and unique for the particular issues occupying me at this time. I receive an all-pervasive understanding, and interestingly, the more need I have for insight, the more profound and uncanny the response.

    On omni-numerous times, and some beyond recall, I have entered the realms where profound messages are gifted from the depths where the Mysteries reside. The mystical adventures have given incremental as well as life changing guidance, linked with my earthly life in uncanny and synchronous means that go beyond imagination. I can only believe these experiences… whether they be meditative journeys, prayer, gleaning personal meanings from the symbols of a deck, the pattern of planets, a hexagram of an I Ching…are messages to my consciousness from my soul, a drop that belongs to the Sea that holds accumulatively all other drops of creation.

    As the sunlight of this day slowly dissipates the fog, the steam, the mist….the veil is lifted by these silent sojourns, gifting a charmed glimpse onto parts of my soul. The silent Voice shines through to my waiting, alert psyche. I listen to the soul’s voice kindred to hearing the squirrels’ lively scampers… knowing they are on my roof…though unseen from where I sit. I will now go into the day, perform my mundane responsibilities in light of trusting that my CD will overcome obstacles, the herb business will thrive and sustain, more clients will appear….and I will have the strength of my soul to guide and carry on….

    • Laura Davis says

      Paula, I loved the dichotomies so beautifully etched in this paragraph:

      “My mind abounds with familiar conflicts, nightmares, worries, self-doubts and all those wearying thoughts that whirl around when I sit with my feelings, but then…. in rushes the perennial Pollyanna who views life through crystals, divinations, meditative comforts and epiphanies; she who contemplates the ever-wandering planets whose configurations and poetic myths evoke soulful messages to accompany my daily journeys.”

      I love that you write on the roadmap. I love that you’re my neighbor! What a gift you are.

      • Paula Hill says

        Laura….I’m so grateful for the privilege to be next door to you and your family….my favorite neighbors ever…my heart is filled with warmth…..thank you for your encouraging, kind words…..Love, Paula

    • says

      Dear Paula,

      Thanks for sharing your morning soul ritual with us. I felt like I was with you, looking out the window at the fog, having your tea, reflecting on your dreams, and chasing your worrying thoughts away!

    • Adrienne Drake says

      Your love of nature and the universe shines through in your writing! Your holistic path is realistically portrayed and well described in your story. Thanks for sharing this piece of your life with us.

    • Jane says

      Dear Paula,

      It sounds to me as if you live in Elysia, and I thank you for describing the exquisite beauty and the Olympian struggles of your outer and inner worlds there.

      Reading this gives me a picture of safety, beauty, peace and following your path in life. Thank you!

  14. Edwin Fuller says

    What is my Soul trying to tell me?

    My soul sings to me a song of love and happiness , it whispers a secret of transcendence and it shouts a command to stand strong and be free. My soul feels old like the sea and in every wave the orchestral drops of water play a piece I heard clearly as a child. Now much older I must stop to hear it’s melody on the wind as it blows through the leaves in the trees. I must stop and be quiet and watch the unfolding universe as the dew and the sunset opens the curtains of another day. Anticipation and thinking like clowns at the circus are loud and distracting but if I close my eyes and I can see clearly the sermon of the soul, whispering a truth that is so simple that I am awaken from some ancient sleep to a reality I can not explain but understand fully. I am and there is purpose and the connection to the universe is undeniable. My soul bids me peace. My soul says love.

    • Laura Davis says

      Edwin, thanks for this beautiful tribute to listening. It’s so easy to miss those messages from within when we’re wrapped up in busyness or the external world. You captured that so nicely. I especially liked these lines:

      “Now much older I must stop to hear it’s melody on the wind as it blows through the leaves in the trees.”

      And, “Anticipation and thinking like clowns at the circus are loud and distracting but if I close my eyes and I can see clearly the sermon of the soul, whispering a truth that is so simple that I am awaken from some ancient sleep to a reality I can not explain but understand fully.”

    • says

      Edwin,
      Thank you for sharing. I especially liked your statement: “if I close my eyes and I can see clearly the sermon of the soul, whispering a truth that is so simple that I am awaken from some ancient sleep to a reality I can not explain but understand fully.”

      The ancient “be still and know . . .”.

    • Angeline says

      Edwin, thank you for sharing this beautiful soul message. I feel deeply connected to to this piece.

      “Anticipation and thinking like clowns at the circus are loud and distracting but if I close my eyes and I can see clearly the sermon of the soul, whispering a truth that is so simple that I am awaken from some ancient sleep to a reality I can not explain but understand fully. I am and there is purpose and the connection to the universe is undeniable. My soul bids me peace. My soul says love.”

      As I perpetually awaken to the call of my soul, the imprints that resonate from ” an ancient sleep” feel very surreal, and yet their resonance, provides me with knowledge and wisdom that I fully understand. It opens my heart center and I know what I came here to do. Again thank you for sharing this message!

      ~ Peace, love, and tender blessings flowing from my soul to yours~

    • Jane says

      Dear Edwin,

      There is no word I could speak to match the beauty, strength and truth of your writing here. So I won’t try. Just thank you.

  15. says

    Right now, I’m trying to listen to my soul. I’m trying to hear what my soul has to say. Sometimes the call seems very soft and hard to hear. Sometimes it feels so loud that it rattles my bones. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem to be words to me, more like a feeling. I have to get outside. I have to move. I have to write. I have to have a conversation that means something. I have to listen. I have to make a connection. I have to pet a cat. I have to sleep. I have to hear music. I want to play music. I need to sing. I need to witness the ocean. I need to walk. These are all things that speak to my soul.

    • Lee Xan says

      I like the soul’s voice as being more like a feeling and the list that follows that felt so familiar and good

      “I have to get outside. I have to move. I have to write. I have to have a conversation that means something. I have to listen. I have to make a connection. I have to pet a cat. I have to sleep. I have to hear music. I want to play music. I need to sing. I need to witness the ocean. I need to walk.”–Loved that list!

      • Lee Xan says

        I think it’s that “have to”–that imperative, that driving force of the soul that feels familiar, that feeling…Okay, now, I have to go pet a cat! Or find a cat to pet!

    • says

      Wendy, I to think that it is the “soul” that applies the pressure to do the things that make us feel good about ourselves. Sometimes I feel as though I will just fly apart if I don’t create something, it is not specific at all, just create and I think that is my soul pressuring me to do what is good for me.

      That “I have to . . .” feeling is surely the soul.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Jane says

      Dear Wendy,

      Thank you for writing this and for sharing it with us here. I wonder. . .yes, I can play music, but will I let me do that today? I can be gentle with babies, pets and children, or will I hide here? Hide from the prickly, jagged, sharp-edged people whom I fear?

      Reading what you write refreshes my spirit and brings a calm, safe feeling. Thank you for this gentle smile.

  16. Angeline says

    My soul wants me to know that I am free. I am abundant and whole. I am life. I am love. I am limitless. I am born to write.

    One of the greatest soul lessons I continually learn is that misery loves an audience more than she loves company.

    What I know for sure is that I am not born of Misery’s company, yet I am always in her audience. Through my writing, and my presence, I have the power to compassionately heal and tenderly nurture the souls of those who find themselves within the audience of Misery.

    Please join me as I share what it looks like to my spirit when Misery travels her path.

    Misery went for a walk in the park. She took a chance and left out into the dark. Her goal was very simple indeed. All she needed was little company, and so began her disheartening tryst. What she sought was neither hard to find, nor difficult for our egos to resist.

    It seemed everywhere she went people made time to share tales of woe and lives gone wild. Sad stories did abound. On each street corner and in every neighborhood, there was at least one or more willing to share how his or her precious life energy was spent.

    A broken heart that never seemed to mend. A spirit broken again, and again, a nameless face lost in the in the rat race. So many souls seeking a place to claim as their intimate and sacred space. Even the most decadently rich ones stayed on the spy, trying to claim that which they knew there money could not buy.

    Before Misery could blink her eyes, she gained a captive audience in the multitudes who passed her by. So many unique guests gathered in her name. The crowd grew quite large. It soon became an unsightly party. No Doubt about it, Misery was in charge. And I thought, “Oh what a shame. Oh my, what a pity!”

    Although at first they could not see, ushered in among the throngs, three strong sisters’ names appeared on Misery’s guest list. She paused and haughtily tossed her head and made a shameless hissing, sound. Misery sharply, and indignantly asked, “Who invited you to this party ground? And Faith, happily proclaimed, “Who me? Why are you so surprised? Don’t you know, I show up everywhere?”

    “You can count on me. I am always standing near. Even when you can’t see me, all it takes is for you to believe. Call out my name and I’ll be there. Even when you can’t see the net at all, take the leap, I am there to catch you, whether you stumble, trip, or fall.”

    Misery paused and turned her back. She was growing tired of listening to all this inspirational flack. Suddenly from behind the chaotic scene she heard a whisper. “Oh, don’t be mad,” said Faith, “It’s only the voice of my tender sister. Her name is Grace.”

    “Some folks say Grace is kind of strange. You see, she moves in all directions. And yet, she flows with intention. She moves along at just the right pace, and often leaves without a trace”. Misery heavily sighed and crossly whined, “Life is not fair! My favor comes really cheap. So shall I sow! So shall I reap! I adore the company that I keep.”

    “Excuse me; I beg your pardon”, exclaimed a mighty voice. “I am Hope, Do you not know, you always have a choice? Oh my sweet, I know, sometimes my arrival is a little slow. But always trust in me; I float in out and out…to and fro. I am here. I am there. I exist anywhere.”

    “Hold fast to your dreams. Together with my sisters in our hands we hold the greatest gift of all. It doesn’t matter who you are, big or small.” Misery, looked around, and to her surprise, the size of her travelling company was dwindling down. Even she, who started off like a super star, noticed her company slipping away. She was losing her crown. Misery could not hold her limiting space. She knew very soon, the truth was about to turn things upside down.

    Within the blink of eye, a great light burst through and pushed out the gloom. The three sisters formed a circle, and without a sound fell to their knees, and offered praise to the heavens above. From their raised hands and light filled palms appeared a rising dove. “Be not afraid it’s not a trick. It’s our offering of peace. It’s our present. Accept it freely. Within its beautiful promise you will find that no longer will your hearts be broken or sick.”

    Faith looked at me straight away and winked her eye that first night. Softly she spoke, “The next time you step out with Misery, the way you sometimes do. Remember she loves company it’s true. But in every crowd you must stand tall. Take the leap, feel our presence, we guarantee even when you cannot see, continue to believe, my sisters and I will be there to catch you when you fall.” One day you will know you belong to us.

    “We understand that there is no easy way down. The way back is a crooked mile. We share a simple truth, if you walk with Misery, and all her troubles, you will surely go down. She travels through life with a kick and a scream. In her company the ego leads, and souls lose sight of dreams.”

    “Be mindful of the company your keep. And remember inside the audience of Misery… Faith, Hope and Grace sustain. Their mother stands with them as a blessing from above. Her name is Mother Love. When your journey pulls at your heart, and threatens to take your breath away, do not let the audacity of Misery, and her myriad of temporary distractions, lead you astray. Take a breath. Call out our names. Misery will have no choice. We promise she cannot stay! You have the power to demand that Misery walk a different way.

    • Laura Davis says

      Angeline, what a delightful piece. I loved the personification of the emotions and mind-states and the struggle that unfolded between misery and the three sisters. This line was typical of what was wonderful about your piece and how you kept the reader engaged and moving along: “Misery paused and turned her back. She was growing tired of listening to all this inspirational flack.”

    • Adrienne Drake says

      Angeline, I thought this was very whimsical and clever. I enjoyed the rhythm and rhyme of the various voices. I though this was wonderful advice:

      “We share a simple truth, if you walk with Misery, and all her troubles, you will surely go down. She travels through life with a kick and a scream. In her company the ego leads, and souls lose sight of dreams.”

    • Jane says

      Dear Angeline,

      Beautiful and inspiring, I loved reading this and loved this glimpse into your angelic dream time.

  17. says

    I started writing this post and, inevitably, it became a demeaning session of soul versus my negative thoughts. I started reading it to my partner who could not let me continue. It was too harsh. I removed that one-track-mind side of the conversation, allowing the quieter voice to win out.

    We were watching the movie “Edie + Thea,” a tale of a four decade relationship. “It’s okay to cry, Terry. It IS moving!

    You can cry on her birthday. Do you not see? She’s sad too. This is a special story of romance and loving tenderness. Look. They dance, one in a wheelchair, and her eighty-year-old partner circles around her, eyes gleaming. Movement is not easy at all. Yet they stay this way for hours!

    It is a revelation to watch. Finally, Edie collapses in Thea’s chair and they spin around slowly in a one-off beat to the music. So beautiful!

    Why aren’t you happy? Are you afraid you don’t have that? That you never will. All-encompassing passion? Not just physical but emotional?

    Are you scared that you do?

    Slow down! You don’t need to take five or six courses. I know you are used to good luck disappearing but this will not. MOOCs will be there next month and even six months after that.

    Do all you can but stay healthy.

    Please remember that you are enough right NOW.

    Work harder on your book but take many breaks. Especially through the most harrowing, gritty bits. Bike to the gym and sweat out your rage, your frustrations.

    Cry freely without shame. There is nothing to be shy about.

    It will BE worth it. Get rid of it before it invades your system like a deadly mushroom.

    Do not let anyone make you feel bad about who you are.

    Breathe deeply. You give so much. You must rest. Chest pains are not a good sign. Ease off the gas a bit.

    Please stop that negative talk now. Do not allow it to sap one more second of your life energy. Please get a grip on yourself. Focus. You can do it.

    You already feel better, Terry. You just do not remember exactly how bad it was back then. In Ottawa. Kingston. Auckland. Sydney. You will never outrun your problems.

    You aren’t really happy, What is it?

    It’s okay to be afraid of losing friends again. If people reject you for who you are, they weren’t right for you anyway.

    The last three rejections broke your heart and it still hurts. You know two were miscommunications and the last, an inability to express yourself when a friend got triggered by her own things. It’s not your fault, nor is it hers. It’s just life.

    I know you want to hide and smother your own voice all over again.

    You think you won’t survive the memoir release.

    Let me tell you: You will! And you will come to know what freedom really means.

    A wine you would never inhale, swish or spit out. Not that you would ever pour away the truly good stuff of life–with how you embrace joy!

    Go to bed and sleep. For as many hours as you need. You’ve got the weekend to rejuvenate.

    Keep listening to me over all the clamour.

    • Laura Davis says

      Terry, I loved the way you wove your internal struggle into this piece. I especially loved the last line: “Keep listening to me over all the clamor.”

    • Janet Kauppinen says

      You’re doing fine! We’ll go back to Edie and Thea tomorrow night. I’ll cry with you. Keep listening to me and the positive messages in your head. Or else! :)

      • says

        Janet, how did you manage to put my head up there? I know you don’t have a gravatar but why my big skull? Thanks so much for sneaking this up when I wasn’t looking and for the long years of love and encouragement. I feel rich today! :)

    • Adrienne Drake says

      Terry, I just loved all the courage “against all odds” that shinned through here, line after line. I was intrigued by the sense of struggle and I am thoroughly optimistic that your good soul will defeat the negative voices!!!! I enjoy all your postings. Keep up the great work!

      • says

        Adrienne, I so appreciate your comments! It means a lot to me. I’ll be moderating while Laura is gone so I am looking forward to catching up with everyone. Thanks so much for your kindness and support!

    • Karla says

      Terry, the compelling honesty in this piece gave me such a warm glow and I imagined you reading it in your voice. This line struck me: “And you will come to know what freedom really means.”

      I so believe that is on the horizon, closer than maybe you can imagine. With love, Karla

      • says

        Thanks Karla. You know, I just re-read this piece and wanted to add something. After ‘like a deadly mushroom’, it should’ve said … ‘Yes. I get the reference. You’ve seen a lot of Midsomer Murders on your off-time.’ :) There’s sweet stuff ahead for all of us–even thru the bitterness of sorrow, hurt, and disillusionment. Love, me.

    • Jane says

      Dear Terry,

      “Please remember that you are good enough, right now.”

      Wonderful account of the squabbling between out soul, or who we really truly are, and the ever scrambling, ever-chittering “monkey mind.”

      Congratulations on this excellent writing, and on learning to love and trust your Self again.

      • says

        Jane. I am writing lines: ‘I am good enough right now.’ Only the monkey of that mind state keeps stealing my pen and will only exchange it for a banana and my memoir. Squabbling is right! Thanks for your continued encouragement and validation. Trust of self. I’ll write that out too.

  18. Karin Ursula says

    A good question. One I have been asking myself – and I guess, my soul –a few months, a year. Maybe, a bit longer. I’m late getting to know my soul.

    As a child in Catholic schools, I’d heard about souls before but never really thought having one applied to me. Forget about asking it want it wanted to tell me.

    Only when I put down the drink, did I slowly start to hear about spirituality. And God. And souls. I received a book, Eternal Echoes by Irish author, John O’Donohue which was nearly all about the soul and soul belonging and soul partnership and soul friendship and soul love. Wow.

    Then – fuck.

    Where is my soul? How do I get to it? And when was I supposed to hear it?

    Since I earn a living gardening, I make contact with all sorts of life – trees, shrubs, flowers, seeds, worms, pill bugs, field mice, giant toads, big black spiders, tiny white spiders, snakes, tree roots. My least favorite thing to see is a worm severed by my spade. Hacking a tree root in half makes me cringe. I swerve to avoid frogs crossing the road and provide hospice to those butterflies who collide with my truck, watching them in my rear view mirror hurl upwards from the force and fall to the pavement – butterflying no more with torn wings, sometimes a severed body. I take them home and provide them sugar water and a safe, comfortable place to die.

    You talking to me, soul?

    Frequently and with more urgency, I’ve been asking it – her? – what do you want from me? What is my purpose? What is your purpose? What the heck are we supposed to be doing?

    Hello?

    • Laura Davis says

      Karin, Welcome to the Roadmap Blog and thanks so much for this evocative, thoughtful first post. I hope it’s the first of many we see from you.

    • Adrienne Drake says

      I, too, have been hand raising a butterfly. She emerged from her chrysalis with a missing leg and a crippled leg as well as a deformed wing. All the defects are on the same side so I prop her up on flowers. Flight for her is impossible so I keep her in a casserole dish on my dining room table. Her will to live is most inspiring. I think my soul speaks to me when I do things like this. Perhaps your soul is doing the same thing when you do your gardening and rescue your butterflies. I think aligning with nature brings great purpose to our lives. (After all, we can’t all be neurosurgeons ;-) !!!)

    • Jane says

      Dear Karin,

      Thank you for writing this and for posting it here for us to read. I loved your description of all the creatures you meet through your gardening work. To me, you must be a tender Angel of Mercy to take the wounded butterflies home and nurse them with drops of sugar water.

      Please write more here. I am sure it will be as wonderful as this.

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