+WHEN DOES ‘FINISHED’ MEAN ‘FINISHED’?

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Friday, January 31, 2014.  I don’t know how my younger sister spells the term she coined for ‘it is finished’.  It’s either ‘tute fini’ or ‘toot fini’.  Hard to tell but my guess is it’s the latter.  It’s funnier that way even though many times events that can be lumped into that ‘toot fini’ category are not necessarily remotely funny.  Today is a ‘toot fini’ day for me.  I could say “fine with that” if I even knew why on earth THIS day and its events – that are TOTALLY unrelated to me – are bothering me at all!

I am a great one for saying that trauma repeats itself until the lessons contained within it are learned so that ‘mistakes’ related to it don’t happen again.

It’s not necessarily that the exact same trauma will repeat itself.  It doesn’t even mean that a ‘like’ trauma will repeat itself.  It can ‘just’ mean that inside of a person the FEELING STATES directly tied to the first trauma are repeating.  Sometimes that happens when a ‘trauma trigger’ arrives upon the scene of our lives that sets things deep within us to jumping around – or even those that lie close to the surface – because feelings are awakened so that patterns related to the trauma resonate – again.

Like a tuning fork the ‘sound’ of another woman today becoming my ex-husband’s 2nd ex-wife are reverberating inside of me.  This is ENTIRELY illogical and as far as I can tell are entirely unproductive!  Why should his 2nd ‘toot fini’ and HER 1st ‘toot fini’ awaken MY old ‘toot fini’ with this man?

It was 29 years ago this week that Joe ‘toot finied’ me so he could ‘formally’ date the woman he had been chasing after (and she chasing him) for 3 years prior without my knowledge.  A helpful neighbor in the small town I was living in at the time was kind enough (!!??) to telephone me the day before Joe’s 1st divorce went through as he ‘toot finied’ me to tell me of the 3-year history between those two.  “In case you don’t know….” she had said.  No, I did not know.

How I feel right now has nothing to do with a desire to pile up mistakes he made to see how his pile matches up with mistakes I made.  Or does it?

A part of me is asking Joe in my mind, “Was it worth it?”

I have realized since I happened to return to this area after all these years to reside here while this pair’s ‘toot fini’ occurred today that I never thought about any of that past at the time enough to figure out that those 3 revolving-door years directly coincided with the time I sought intensive and very difficult treatment for the first time to try to recover from the horrific abuse I had experienced as a child.  I was literally fighting for my life at that time.

Joe came to joint therapy sessions with me.  WHY?  He was at that time already hot after another woman – or hot with her.  The DECEPTION is what is getting me now!  I trusted Joe at that time and during those hard, hard months of treatment.  He was my husband.  Who else beside my therapists at that out-patient clinic was I supposed to trust?

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It is way easier said than done to discover the lessons that trauma needs to teach us.  I have no desire or any intention of ever getting involved with another man again.  I am learning that although I never spent any time thinking about it over these past years I did assume all of the ‘badness’ upon myself that led to that divorce.  At least I now carry only my 50% share as I mentioned in a post a few weeks back.

A spiteful part of myself with cute little horns and a pointy tail is “tee-heeing” at both of those two.  Do I normally rejoice in other people’s suffering?  “Not I.” 

So this must not be a normal time for me!

Once this day passes and takes its ‘toot fini’ with it I expect that I will move on — again — just as surely as those two are doing. 

I do strongly suspect that if I did not happen to know that ‘her’ mental illness of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) made that marriage an impossible affair in the end that I would not have the share of reverberations within me that are hearing the echoes of what happened between my father (another ‘nice guy’) and my mother that I do.  Was Joe swooped off his feet by her charms the way Father was by Mother’s — all to DISASTROUS ends – ESPECIALLY for me?

In other words….  As I write these words I hear my own question:   “Was I painfully struck again in my life by BPD where I was vulnerable through the impact this disease had on another man important to me?”

It seems that I was.

So while I was all snotty-nosed on the floor in therapy sessions pounding the depths of my pain out on pillows from my horrendous abusive childhood BPD was smoothly eating the entrails out of my marriage without my awareness just as it ate the entrails out of my infancy and childhood?

It seems that it was.

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I guess I am rather dismayed at myself that never once in the past 29 years since that neighbor woman called me the day before Joe’s divorce of me went through did I ever do the simple 3-year math to easily figure out what I see now.  No matter if BPD was involved or not in that charmed pair I was still being majorly betrayed at a time when I could not have been more vulnerable.  I know what that time in therapy was like for me — and so did Joe.  The fact that he said NOTHING and kept pretending he was on my side through that time — well…..

How did I MISS THAT piece of math?

Is this only coming clear to me now because I happen to know she is BPD?  I wish that I didn’t know — but families tend to garner information that sooner or later appears whether you want it to or not.

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Tick tick tock your way past me ole toot fini day!!   Be toot finied with me!!  I want nothing to do with ANY OF THIS!  So let go of me and be off with you!!!  That damage was done to me a long, long time ago.  I have not carried anger over any of this for all of these years and I do not want it now.

What is it I need to be learning here?

I will possibly be the last one to know.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment

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+LIVING WITH TRAUMA CHANGES (A SERIOUS POST FOR SERIOUS BLOG FOLLOWERS)

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014.  I search for answers and solutions in every direction I can think of as I try to make it through this life.  While I don’t especially recommend an astrological angle for anyone else on their journey I have found that when I have come to the most difficult junctures of my adult life some kind of astrological investigation of my chart – which I consider to be “an energy map” of my life – offers me some solace because it gives me WORDS and CONCEPTS I can use to inform my conscious thinking.

Years ago a very knowledgeable astrologer, Zane, pointed out the great “hole” in my chart that exists in the 4th house of my chart.  In astrological terms this whole exists in the form of a T-square with a missing piece in Capricorn in my 4th house. 

It is considered that such a missing piece in such a placement can dominate one’s experience of life as it motivates great effort to constructively and positively resolve the conflicts and problems existing in this kind of “energy map.”  Some of the most powerful contributions to the world have been made by people who have found a way to free their life force from this kind of restraint.

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This morning I found this:

The Imum Coeli and the Fourth House

The fourth house represents the most private, hidden area of your psyche, the opposite of your public image and the face you show the world. It is also concerned with all the things that you bring with you from your past; your roots, your family history and your home. Here, the search for knowledge which began in the third house ends and we come home to ourselves, settle down and reconnect with the well-springs of our being. The IC, or Imum Coeli, which lies opposite the chart’s Midheaven, is also often found here. Whatever Zodiac sign you may have here in your personal chart, the fourth house always corresponds to Cancer and the Moon as well.

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I have never tried to understand that term, “Imum Coeli” before today.  I still don’t understand it but I do understand that I am struggling greatly at this point in my life as the harshness of winter seems to be pushing against the essence of who I am with great force.  Due to the frigid conditions outside of my door I am LITERALLY “locked” within my apartment.  Having left my home far behind me this apartment feels no more home to me than a parking spot.

Yet I KNEW I CHOSE to make this move and that upon doing so I was going to face head-on every aspect of this difficult and complicated placement situation in my being.  It lies so near my core I cannot separate how I FEEL from who I am.

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The words Zane gave me years ago about this situation underlying myself in my life were:

“Capricorn, especially in a conflict within, is about REASONS TO KEEP THE SEED ALIVE.”

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I have been forced to live with great sadness, grief and “depression” all of my life directly due to the 18 years of severe abuse I suffered from birth.  I have stopped working on my books as I place my child history within the context of my psychotic abusive mother’s words because I COULD NOT at this time of my life pull myself through her description of me in her letters to my grandmother because I can SEE the depression – the great overwhelming SADNESS in myself as a child her treatment of me directly CAUSED!!!

In a very strange way my entire childhood and my entire life pattern is reflected in my astrological chart – the map of me is as specific as would be a GPS guidance system of travel in the material plane on this planet.

WHY???

I do NOT believe in reincarnation or in karma.

I do believe that God has reasons why our life exists in certain  ways and that the answers our soul needs about things that have happened to us – especially as very little people who hurt us – will be revealed to us in our future life of eternity that DOES NOT include our returning to this physical world.

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In the home of my body where I live severe abuse has left me living in emotional agony most of the time.  This is the truth.  I live my life not only WITH this legacy built into my body but IN SPITE of it – the best that I can.

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To discover a scientific background for what I am describing to two online simple searches and take a look at what comes up:  (1) genes child abuse depression, and (2) genes child abuse suicide.

In both cases research has shown that severe early abuse can trigger genes for these problems that would not have been triggered if the early trauma had not happened.  Even more significantly the research shows that having ANY SAFE AND SECURE ATTACHMENT RELATIONSHIP WITH A CONSISTENTLY AVAILABLE ADULT is the main modulating factor for the interplay between early severe trauma and genetic potentials.

There is much more information available – on this blog and elsewhere on the internet about these facts.  Without the warmth of the southeastern Arizona desert, its glorious blue skies, the multicolored hues of its landscape, the sculptural structure of mountains and unique vegetation I have chosen to place myself within a physical environment that is the antithesis of what my increased well-being required except for one overwhelmingly powerful factor:  I AM IN THE PRESENCE OF FAMILY and able to make a positive impact in the early life of the developmental stages of my two young grandsons.

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A few days ago I followed my astrological-related investigations into words that can help me structure my experience in ways that I can relate to right now into a site that gave me the following regarding a hole in a chart concerning a T-square in Capricorn.  This is greatly connected for me to concerns related to –

accomplishments and tangible, material expressions of identity.”

The abuse I suffered left me struggling with Dissociation Identity Disorder – without IDENTITIES.

Had I not found a way to give into the horrendous force Mother put upon me through abuse to disappear as an individual person with my own self, my own identity – I have absolutely no doubt that she would have killed me in her psychotic will to keep me NOTHING BUT a projection of her own perceived “evil” self.

Nobody was there to help me – but me.

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I do not like to write about these deeper concerns of my survival that I live with daily.  I don’t like to experience them, either!

I have “made things” all of my life.  It wasn’t until I found and read those words about identity itself being connected to this process that I realized this is a “To be or not to be” concern for me – very literally.

I MAKE therefore I am.

I am therefore I MAKE.

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Some of the making processes I have undertaken have been very large and involved moving the earth itself – by hand – in buckets.  I built an adobe addition on my landlady’s house in Taos and walked away.  I built a massive gorgeous adobe garden in Arizona and walked away from it.  I make – I give away – I share – and I do not make money because THAT part of the making process has so far eluded me (except for the brief time I sold my sewn bags in Arizona last summer which was very fun and positive for me – and SO RARE an opportunity).

Once upon a time I even traveled far to achieve a master’s degree in art therapy specifically because it is the PROCESS of making that matters most to me, not any product per se.

I have had times when all I could do was beg bags of rags from thrift stores for free so I could crochet heavy rugs which I used or gave away.  95% of what I hauled the 2000 miles on this move north – thanks to the greatest generosity of my family who covered the costs – was STUFF to MAKE STUFF out of.

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I would not consider publishing any book that does not have my daughter’s name clearly involved to reflect her work.  I do not want the money, either, unless there turns out to be quite a lot of it down the road – which I doubt considering the difficulty of the subject I write about.  (Meanwhile I struggle along in poverty on disability fixed income.)

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It is scary to live on the edge of this precipice.  It is humbling to write a post such as this one about my experience.  I do not desire “the moon.”  I just want to feel OK!  It is vital for me to know that it is not “my fault” that I achieve that OK status so very very VERY seldom.  The reasons for my struggles are due to trauma changes to my developing physiology from the time I was born.

What kind of SENSE can I MAKE out of this kind of suffering that severe early abuse and neglect survivors cope with all of their lives?

It was ALL unnecessary and it was ALL preventable!  Stop the abuse and neglect of infants and children and this suffering will stop!  Not for those of us whose body has already been trauma changed but for the FUTURE of those destined for this kind of suffering if nobody intervenes to prevent it.

Yes, it appears from any reading of my astrological mapping that I was destined for exactly what I have and do experience in this lifetime.  The inner pressure that is contained in “the reasons to keep the seed” of ME alive is about making something out of all of this!  I have to focus on my hopes that something I know and attempt to express can help someone else.

I know not what else to do and know no other way to be.  For all of my struggles I still AM ME.  The seed of me IS still alive.  I intend to keep it that way.  Will I ever sprout into a world of well-being?  Will I ever put roots down in the soil of just being OK?  I don’t know.  That future still awaits me.

What I do know is that every moment I can spend with my family right now is worth more to me at present than anything else I can think of.  That does not mean that right here at home in the center of me that there isn’t a whole lot of other stuff going on that is far from pleasant.  I never stop trying to learn what that means.

Thank you for reading!

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+A LOOMING MESS?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014.  Given the nature of my life and work it isn’t hard for me to find metaphors around me that give me pause to think.  The idea that our life is like a tapestry is a common image.  Yet because I now have a loom to warp I begin any thoughts I might have about that tapestry right at the beginning. 

Not only do I have to warp my loom if I want to weave a single thing upon it but I am working from that point forward with yarn I have spun from the stinky mess of raw sheep fleece.  From that point, in the drab place I have landed myself in, I now weave simply to bring more color into my life.

All seemed to be going relaxingly well this past weekend as I again measured off my warp –

last az plus weaving warping 2014 032

And went through the careful process of threading each thread in order through the rigid heddle and winding this warp onto my loom.  Suddenly right at the very end I discovered a very near disaster!  I had threaded my heddle upside-down!

mess warp 1

True, I am one of the few who can tell what I mean to show in this picture!  Clue:  What you see on the right side is my work to correct all that is wrong on the left side of the heddle here!

mess warp 2

That little notch at the bottom of the heddle was at the TOP when I carefully threaded this thing.  WRONG!  With no possibility of actually weaving a thing on this loom without correcting my error I set to work….

mess warp 3

carefully pulling each thread out and threading it in again correctly!

mess warp 4

All fine and good but yes, irritating!  I will not be making that mistake again!

Of course this whole process gave me time to think about what happens to the lives of infants and children who suffer from trauma in their earliest attachment caregiver relationships so that the “warp” of their nervous system and brain is set WAY off track from optimal in development from the start of their lives!

How are we supposed to weave a great super-duper tapestry of life on a warp that was all messed up from the very beginning?

mess warp 5

I could straighten my mess out here.  But straightening out my life from the mess my psychotically abusive mother made of me for the first 18 years of my life?

NOT EAZY-PEAZY, I assure you!  And in many significant ways – IMPOSSIBLE!

mess warp 6

Our nervous system and brain have a very particular exacting process of development that does not sit well with the interruptions early trauma creates!  An extremely high price is paid by the survivor of early infant and child abuse and neglect.  The developmental neuroscientists can now name the changes our development endures one step at a time in early trauma environments.

I can think of no simpler way to put it than — OUR WARP IS MESSED UP!

I mean — MESSED UP!  And in ways that cannot simply be corrected.  The best many of us can hope to achieve is a thorough understanding of what traumas we endured, at what age going all the way back, often to our womb life and the health of our mother.  Who hurt us?  Who was NOT there to help us, who WAS there to help us, and most importantly — How did the trauma we experienced change our development all the way down to how our genes manifest themselves?

mess warp yarn 1

Then we look at the raw material — what GOOD things, what resiliency factors were inside of us and available to us that let us weave the very best tapestry of ourselves in our lives that we possibly could?

mess warp 7

Most importantly — we have NOT GIVEN UP!!  Not once!  Not ever!

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I thought I had achieved a great stage of progress in my healing years back when I was able to know inside of myself that my entire infancy-childhood was life in a holocaust environment.  These last few days I have “revised my forecast.” 

I was a Prisoner of War.  A POW.  Whatever horrors my mother carried within her from her own traumatic childhood turned her inside out so that her hell was externalized in such a way she could PUT ME IN THERE instead of herself.  Yes, that was not only mentally ill of her but psychotically so!

18 years from birth forward – a POW of Mother’s war.  No wonder I hate trauma that runs down the generations and lands on the innocent and helpless little ones!

Just saying….

I came out of all that doing the best I can to make my life beautiful in any way I can — from the inside out — messed up warp and all.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+BABY, ART AND THE MEANING OF “UH-OH!!!”

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014.  I tried an experiment this morning.  I laid two small art books out on the wrought iron glider bench in my apartment today to see if my grandson B (age 18 months) would notice them and if so, what he would think of them.  He discovered them within minutes of his arrival this morning.  Over the course of our day together I was given cause to wonder about the capacities of little children and of the human race as a whole.

B picked up both books and sat down on the floor to look at them.  At his first glance at the cover of the Cezanne one (see photo below) he said UH-OH!! with the full force of his adamant expressive abilities when using that word.  (He learned it among his very first words when he was at daycare.  Evidently it is a common daycare provider expression for the MANY events of a day with a room full of babies where lots of things can “go wrong.”)

Once B moved on to the book of Picasso’s work the UH-OH!! became so disturbed in its expression that I moved to sit with him to assure him of — What?  That the world was not about to break into pieces around us both in the immediate future?  That he was not alone while in the presence of — What?

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After snacks and play and bottle and rocking and nap time.  After up-again and lunch and more baby frenzy I centered him at his child-sized table with his tin of large primary crayons and a taped-down piece of white printer paper.  He went to work on his picture and I went to work on my weaving — until another vehemently expressed UH-OH!! caught my attention.

As I turned to see what was going on in B’s world I saw him turning again to the wrought iron glider where I had placed the art books after our morning adventure with them.  He picked them up and placed them on the table next to his scribble drawing.  He repeatedly pointed at his drawing and at the covers of the books repeating UH-OH!!! many times as he did so.

Now Uh-Oh in babyville has been used on many occasions, for sure.  But never have I heard B inject such passion into that expression.  What was he SAYING??

012814 B art plus books

What was he identifying?  In himself?  In his art?  In the works in those books?  Within our WORLD?

I knew I was witnessing the power of art.  The power of those great painters even as their work was presented to this baby in age-dulled and pitiful rendition on the covers and in the pages of these old books.  Even as this baby made his own….

Art.  Making it.  Seeing it.  Art and its power to MOVE US, to ROCK US and to ROCK our world.  Art.  Just knowing it exists….

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I was reminded of something I witnessed in my 28-year-old son when he was only 4 hours old.  His little bassinet was at the foot of my hospital bed.  He lay there with his face turned toward the door with his eyes shut sucking his thumb until the song “Danny Boy” came on the TV suspended high above in the corner of the room opposite the door at which point I watched him open his eyes and take his thumb out of his mouth as he turned his head toward the sound of the TV.  He listened to the entire song.  When it ended into his mouth went his thumb as he turned his head again toward the door and closed his eyes.

I think about how every infant around the globe is born being able to make the same kinds of sounds.  Over the course of the first two or so years of life that range of sounds will narrow until only those spoken by people around the little one will remain within its capacity to vocalize.

When I witnessed my 18-month-old grandson respond so clearly and powerfully to art today I wondered, “What IS the true capacity of humanity?  What are we removing from our children by what we focus on — for them — in their environment?  What are we all losing?”

This little boy says very few words.  I hope I can continue to keep him connected to his own and others’ creativity long enough to hear what he will have to say once words can accompany him on his life journey past the power of his most used expression – UH-OH!!!

Hearing this today, witnessing this, left me mystified at the same time it awed me and even troubled me.  What do our little ones actually perceive of the world around them?  Evidently a whole lot more than what I would have guessed possible.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+THIS WAY – TOWARD A BETTER WORLD

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Monday, January 27, 2014.  Someone passed this quote along to me and when I read it I thought, “Gee!  THIS is the world I want to live in!”

Then I thought about days when I don’t feel too friendly toward the human race.  Maybe I can do better about that by paying more attention to when those negative thoughts appear so I can nullify them at the very least — and replace them with happier thoughts if I can be THAT preemptive!!

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They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consorting with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations. Blessed are such as hold fast to the cord of kindliness and tender mercy and are free from animosity and hatred.

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Author:  Bahá’u’lláh, Source:  US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988 pocket-size edition, Pages:  33-44, excerpt from TARAZÁT (Ornaments)

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It is certainly one of the characteristics of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that we tend to turn down the volume on stimulation in our environment by closing ourselves off from the world to increasing degrees.  It can be absolutely exhausting for me to be around the “noise” of human contact for long periods of time (and a lot of times even for short times!).

This seems to be more true the older I get as if my “human contact circuitry” is becoming obsolete or worn out!

However, I tell myself, I CAN try to pay more attention to my THOUGHTS!!  It’s not that I wish anyone ill.  That is not my nature.  In my isolation that my nervous system and brain requires for me to remain more calm I tend to disconnect myself from awareness that I AM connected to “all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.”

I am not all that unique!  I share far more in common with other people than I often let myself realize.  At least I can monitor my thoughts so that I can radiate out from my heart good wishes that might somehow help illuminate dark places on this globe. 

I certainly would rather be aligned with forces of love and healing rather than those of gloom and oppression.  I do have that choice even though these frigid winter days in this northern clime keep me within the walls of my apartment most of the time.  The walls of my thoughts and feelings need not be so constrained!  There is certainly more to life than what might greet my physical senses on any given day.

I want to become more aware of that fact and at least make some small effort toward the betterment of us all.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

Click here to view or buy:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+REALIZATION OF AN IMPORTANT SHIFT IN MY WRITING FOCUS

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Saturday, January 25, 2014.  First of all I wish to say I miss hearing from you Helen/Outloud 2 and am worried about you!  I think of you often and always with love and prayers!

Secondly in this short period of time I have before my daughter and my nearly 4-year-old grandson pick me up this morning so I can go to the free movie with them that should be big fun I want to say that I think I am in the middle of a major shift in my writing work.

This shift is being earned by me right now!!  The blessing is that I am still alive and “with it” enough to make it through this shift not only in one piece but also – I greatly hope – with renewed determination to finish the books I have started.

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With the publication of the first book as mentioned at the bottom of this post (although the cover is still under construction) I strongly sense this morning as I hear an inner voice that seems to be shouting at me from the bottom of a very deep well, my initial intention that has carried me through literally years of work on writing my story along with the story of my psychotic mentally ill abusive mother to help give a voice to currently suffering infants and children experiencing neglect and abuse without reprieve has been fulfilled in this first book.

Everything I write now and into the future, which includes what is contained within the 9 manuscripts awaiting editing and proofing, is about what it is like for SURVIVORS of the horror of abusive childhoods to continue living in their Trauma Altered bodies.

The stories of horrific infancies and childhoods does not end when some magical line is crossed in physiological development.  SIZE of the body and literal AGE is not the division point any of us can afford to imagine it is.

The silence of our stories continues right along with us throughout our entire lifespan.

On the deepest levels of who we are in this lifetime, right at the cellular/molecular level of our existence in our body we fight to move forward in our life with every breath we take.

I don’t imagine many  “others” truly wish to understand that the suffering early abuse and neglect trauma causes us lasts our entire life.  I also cannot imagine any circumstance when this trauma does not follow us into the lives of our children and grandchildren.

True the abuse did not follow through me into the lives of my kids but they suffer always without a happy healthy mother!  This is an incredible burden upon them!  I am NOT there for them in ways a happy and healthy mother can be.  I am certain of that.  They suffer for my suffering and I know they worry about me now and about me in the future.  They are POWERLESS to fix what they did not break!

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I realize I am now moving in the direction of giving voice to what it is like for adult survivors to be entombed within what the Centers for Disease Control label “The ACE Pyramid.”

http://www.cdc.gov/ace/

Our body is locked within the confines of Trauma Altered Development (TAD) as long as it lives.

Who among the therapists I tried to get help from ever even told me my abusive mother was severely mentally ill?  None of them.  They certainly never told me that everything I suffered through for the first 18 years of my life was directly due to the PSYCHOTIC nature of her illness that placed me in her hell at the core of it.

Certainly nobody informed me – FIRST AND FOREMOST – that everything I experience happens through the filter of my TAD body!! 

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I am going to a movie now.  Then I am going shopping with my daughter and grandson to pick up the bare essentials of life I need to survive another week in this place of frigid below zero (F) weather.  It will be wonderful to be in that love-exchange bubble for a short period of time before I return to this window-constricted tiny apartment to finish warping my loom for the next colorful back-and-forth weaving adventure that allows me to do some balancing between my heavily (TAD)altered left and right brain hemispheres.

NOBODY alive is more heroic than we survivors are!!  True there are people suffering in the present from all kinds of horrible traumas around us, around the globe.  But if they did not suffer TAD at the hands of their earliest attachment caregivers at least their body and brain works for them in ways that ours never will.

CUDOS to us ALL!

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment

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+CHANGED WHERE IT HURTS THE MOST: The inability to feel loved

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Friday, January 24, 2014.  It takes great crimes against an INFANT for the ability to feel loved to be prevented from developing within that infant’s nervous system and brain.

My guess is that there are few people on earth who can recognize the truth of what I am saying.  I would have to talk with some autistic people to see how they relate to the condition of FEELING what it feels like to be loved by other people.

But I was NOT born autistic.  Not even close.  My ability to feel what it feels like to be loved was given to me through psychotic abuse nearly IN THE COMPLETE ABSENCE OF ANY ADULT POSITIVE ATTACHMENT in my life.  The book mentioned at the end of this post discusses what love was available to me — and there was SOME or I would not be alive. 

But what little love was given to me starting in infancy was NOT enough to build consistent stable neurological circuits into my body brain that would allow me to know what it feels like to be loved except when I am in the IMMEDIATE physical presence of my “attachment” people.

Infants are supposed to progress out of that stage of dependency on the physical presence of their positive attachment people very early in life.  I did not have a chance to grow OUT of it because I never had the chance to grow INTO and THROUGH it.

Why I was chosen to be one of those few people is not something I will understand in this lifetime, but being one of those people gives me a very unique perspective from which to write about the concerns of infant and child abuse.

Do I WANT to have this perspective?  NO!  If I had sounded that NO with every breath of my lifetime it would not be enough to convey the tragedy of this state of being.

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I do not think my condition is connected in its difficulty to not being able to TRUST those who claim to love me.  The problem is that the damage done to me happened before TRUST ever developed.  There simply was so little love given to me from my first breath that I could not FEEL what being loved ever felt like (with the exceptions as written in Story Without Words).

If an infant never feels loved in the first place trust is a moot point.  A non-issue.  It doesn’t matter because trust originates within the INFANT as it connects the infant to its attachment environment.  No love = no attachment = no trust = a no brainer!

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Is there infant abuse and neglect so severe – in the absence of other adult or even older child caregiver attachment relationships – that can remove from an infant the ability to feel what it feels like to be loved?

Yes.

I know this for a fact.

I live this way.

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This is the hardest aspect of myself in the world for me to articulate.

I know what it feels like to be loved when I am in the physical presence of someone who loves me.  For all the complicated terminology that attachment experts use to describe the development of the neurobiological underpinnings within the body that process attachment-related information I only know that evidently I have no way to REMEMBER what being loved feels like very long after the person who loves me leaves my presence.

Because I have been an adult for a long time I have learned to use my intellect to buffer me during the “apart” times.  When my daughter could no longer come to Arizona at least once a year to physically see me I could no longer generate the FEELING of her love for me.  I began to starve to death inside for that feeling.

So I moved here.

Other people who loved me also stopped coming to see me.

This continued to my increased starvation.

I lost a very close friendship with a man I have loved since 2000.

This also contributed to my increased starvation for being in the physical presence of someone who loves me.

So I moved here.

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These thoughts came rushing through an opening in my heart last night as I posted those few last pictures of my Arizona home and as I looked around me at where I am now.

I have used my ability to connect to beauty around me to buffer the absence of the feeling of being loved all of my life from as far back as I can remember.  This ability was given to me as a part of my heritage of self when I was born.

There is some kind of counterbalancing process that goes on deep within me between the sustenance I find from PLACE and the sustenance I gain from being with the people I love (YES I do love!) and who love me.  This counterbalance is currently upset.

Fargo 2014 apt 001

This is my view out the sliding glass door of my living room facing west.  There is only one other small window, also facing west, in the bedroom.  This is the cat tail area.  These are probably the ONLY apartments in the city of Fargo that exist with this kind of space between buildings.  I am MOST fortunate to have found this place – BUT!!!!!

Fargo 2014 apt 002To my left looking out – the building to my south that faces north.

Fargo 2014 apt 003 Building to my right is in the north facing south.

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My yard.

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My yard shoveled – an 8′ x 8′ cement slab.  Food for the wild rabbits in the pan.  It is snowing again already and another blizzard will be here by tonight.

Of all the beautiful places that exist on this planet – I am not living in one of those physical places.

It is the LOVE in and of my family that has brought me here.  How long will I stay here?  My lease runs until December 1, 2014.  How much longer after that can I survive here?  Where would I go if I leave?  How could I keep my heart from not breaking from missing my family?  How can I keep my heart from hurting from what is to me such a lack of natural beauty around me?

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MY POINT:  Because of my severely altered attachment development through horrible abuse from birth I have had removed from me the ability to modulate feelings that operate on a continuum of SOME KIND for everyone who at least had SOMEONE to sustain them with love while their body was growing into this world.

I therefore have to process myself in this world in very painful ways.  I am at an inner point in my life where it is impossible for me to any  longer negotiate my feelings with my intellect.  I came to both a wonderful spot – family wise – and a spot that was horrible for me 30 and 40 years ago – a spot that I fought to escape with everything I had within me.

I do not like to complain!  Neither do I deny my reality.  I write on this blog about what my reality IS – so here I am writing exactly THAT!!  I have an insecure attachment disorder – to the MAX!

DAMN IT!

Just saying….

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+LAST PICTURES OF MY ARIZONA HOME – AND SOME NEW WEAVING

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Thursday, January 23, 2014.  I took my old camera for the first time tonight since my move.  Perhaps tomorrow I will take some pictures of the view out of one of the two windows (both facing west) that I have in my entire home now.  Those of you who have been following the blog for a while – and have seen the pictures posted at the top of this page under LINDA’S ADOBE PEACE GARDEN will recognize the place that WAS my Arizona home in these pictures.

last az plus weaving MY AZ HOME pink 2014 001

The last I saw my pink rose blooming coming in my front Arizona gate.

last az plus weaving MY AZ HOME Yel 2014 002

I mostly feel now leaving this place that I will never again truly have another HOME while I remain on this earth. 

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last az plus weaving BIG MANTIS COC 1 2014 020

My VERY favorite creature in the garden – a mother Praying Mantis who laid her cocoon on the south side of my hanging metal butterfly to protect from north wind in the winter.  OH HOW I MISS those skies, those clouds, those mountains!!!!

You can see the new cocoon here.  It soon solidified in a cement hard protective casing for those babies.

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I wrote the story last spring about being blessed with being able to watch new Praying Mantis emerge from one of these cocoons.  Something I will never forget!

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I fostered an environment in my flower garden that hosted hundreds of these amazing beneficial insects.  I wanted to take these pictures with me!  Here is the first I am seeing them.

last az plus weaving BIG Mantis 2014 024

Isn’t she exquisite!!  They change colors over time depending upon where they are living and feeding.

Now briefly my latest project thanks to the generous Christmas gift from my baby sister – a table loom which I can use without baby fingers getting tangled in my work.  Loom is not shown here as I am preparing a new warp for it

last az plus weaving warping 2014 032

The warp is commercial wool – nearly 7 yards long here at 170 threads across – lots of thread that has to be very carefully handled from measuring/winding here all the way to a “dressed” warped loom – and this is a SMALL warp.

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I just finished this one in handspun purple with heavy parts done from cut up old chenille sweaters.

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Handspun weft (going across)

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This is from raw fleece that was washed, carded, dyed and spun on a very special spinning wheel designed specifically for heavier textured yarn – which I love to work with.

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I think I am inventing a technique!  And the fleece is dyed in the oven before it is spun – sometimes spun without carding if it is a nice enough fleece because I also LOVE the variegation in the finished product – here in close up.

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Sideways – with a who-knows-what on the lower left there!

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This weft is all handspun natural sheep colors and LOVELY.  It was so relaxing to just throw the shuttle full of yarn first left, then right, then left….  That I just kept going as I changed colors (different fleece origins) – and now I have this long piece I have no idea what I will do with!

These pieces were handwashed in hot water with Ivory dish soap after they were taken  off the loom – then air dried.  After I took these pictures I ironed these and brushed them with a natural bristle brush – gently – to bring out some soft fuzz on them.  Speaking of FUZZ –

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last az plus weaving fuzzy 1 2014 037

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last az plus weaving fuzzy both 2014 033

Why these are coming up sideways from the way I took the picture I don’t know – and now too tired to figure out how to tip this.  These are fun wall hangings about 9 by 17 inches not including fringes.  They are meant to show off the beauty of natural sheep fleece that was spun very loosely for just this purpose.  (Oh, there’s one of my heavy crocheted rugs there under the kid table – they cover all the carpet in this apartment.)

These may go toward the “rewards” for the

http://www.kickstarter.com/ 

campaign we plan to put together for what is needed to move forward with our books — a topic for another post — but check this site out if you’ve never visited it before!

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And finally – I left my hens with the tenants I found for my Arizona home once I knew my rental days there were over last October – who I hear LOVE their new home, the hens, my two cats and the fantastic garden they inherited along with their house!

last az plus weaving hens 2014 008

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I really CANNOT imagine how people LIVE without a faith in God.  I have been blessed evidently from birth with the gift of never doubting what sustained me then and sustains me now.  To me my life would have been impossible for me to endure then and now if I did not understand that God has all of

THIS

already well figured out!!

All the comings and goings, the losses and changes of life — TOO MUCH GRIEF!

It would have all been TOO MUCH for me a long time ago if I did not believe I have help here – and a purpose for being here and a reason for being guided to take on even some really tough times – like these ones are for me now.  I have faith I was supposed to move here – although obviously I struggle with the whole thing ’cause it was POVERTY that kept me from visiting here and keeping my home………………….

Well, I cannot write another word or I will just erase everything I just wrote in this section – and ……

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+DISTRACTIONS AND INTERRUPTIONS

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Thursday, January 23, 2014.  I am thinking this morning about the interface between how well – or not – we can operate in our ongoing life as severe early trauma survivors when there are many distractions continually interrupting us.  I have often thought about how my mother’s psychotic abuse of me from birth continually did exactly that:  Distracted me as she continually interrupted my self experiencing myself in my own life by the horrors of her abuse.  I have concluded that this process greatly influenced how my entire physiology developed and is at the center of my Trauma Altered Development (TAD).

TAD people have altered nervous and stress response systems that have been forced to live in and adapt to hazardous environments.  We either respond TOO SOON with TOO MUCH INTENSITY to even what would be totally minor stimulations to other people or we operate at the other end of the continuum and MISS cues from the environment entirely that should alert us to DANGER!  We can respond from both ends of this continuum at different times depending upon many variables and/or be so physiologically altered that we feel the stress/distress of DANGER nearly all of the time.

Yesterday I was feeling as if I were living on a very narrow tightrope-highwire stretched over a massive abyss or a raging inferno.  It can take TAD people so much energy and focus to work toward feeling OK and balanced that there seems to be nothing left of us to ENJOY life or to feel we can tackle anything else that needs to be done or that we want to accomplish.

I am reminded again of what came to me over 6 years ago at the moment I received my advanced aggressive breast cancer diagnosis.  How I felt THEN at that moment – and how I imagine nearly everyone at that kind of moment feels – is how I truly felt ALL of the time during the first 12 years of my life.  (As I matured past that point into my later teens even though I was still suffering the same insane abuse I had always known my larger BODY gave me huge additional resources to use to cope with it.)

Now, how did I survive THAT – and I don’t mean the cancer!!!  How did ANY OF US survive the horrors of our early life?  In many ways we survived because our BODY knew how to change its early development to keep us alive.

We suffer in many ways the rest of our life not so much from the specific this-n-thats of the individual horrors we endured but rather from what the continual INTERRUPTIONS that DISTRACTED us from our experience of being our own young self trying to do what young ones are supposed to do — become our own self as we live our own ongoing experience with our self in it — did to us!

A cancer diagnosis threatens ongoing life.  It therefore threatens the individual’s sense of their self in their own life – in the present and in the future! 

We lived with this kind of threat all of our young life and it is often nearly impossible to wrestle our own experience of self in our life AWAY from the very body we live in because it has been formed to take care of us in a threatening environment it was TAUGHT to adapt to and form-reform itself to survive in.  What our body learned about how to keep us alive is built into it!

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Now when too many other things – both around me and within me – interrupt and distract me I can barely focus enough to think – to write – to do ANYTHING.  I think many people assess these kinds of experiences as being depression — but I do not give in that easily to a POP idea of what is going on for me in my life.

I need to evaluate how SERIOUS my current distractions are that are interrupting my well-being.  I am ten thousand times more isolated here than I ever was down south.  Yes, I see my rushing distracted over-stretched daughter a few moments a day when she picks up baby and for a few more minutes on the weekends when we race around shopping for life essentials.  But there is no TIME for relaxed time together. 

I won’t go into the details of being unable to drive, being trapped in a small apartment with a 40 below F windchill outside in the barren flatness of a winter in a city I detest, not knowing anyone except two people who said they were thrilled I was coming back here and have not in 3 months come to see me — of my poverty, lack of computer power to do the next stages of work for the existing 9 book manuscripts, the continual interruptions of my precious 1 1/2-year-old grandson I WANT to care for 5 days per week, etc. etc.

I have to tell myself that just as I say it was not the specifics of the abuse I suffered for 18 years(head bashed in toilet bowl at 4, locked in shed at 15, etc.) that truly matters to me now; it is also not true that it is the conditions of my physical environment now that matters to me so much as ——  WHAT?

The WHAT is the way trauma altered the early development of my body itself as those changes affect how it – and I – respond to change and to stress every moment I am alive.

How DO I overcome — and I mean marshal myself AWAY from the way my body is taking me through life — the disadvantages of being in hyper-survival mode all of the time so that I can make different choices about myself in my life on an ongoing moment-to-moment basis?

 I can give myself permission to validate exactly how I feel at any given moment.  I can honor the fact that there are reasons within my BODY that I feel what I do and suffer from the limitations (“disabilities”) that I do that are as real as anything in this lifetime is for anyone.  These are NOT disaster-ridden aspects of who I am in this life as they often feel to me to be.

I can give myself permission to expand my thinking about possibilities for a happier next moment and a happier life.  I can give myself room to breathe, room to imagine, room to explore options, room to entertain possible solutions to the problems I live with.  I can realize THESE choices I can make open up an infinite array of hope — as hard as this might be at any moment for me to realize and to DO.

I can use distractions and interruptions to my benefit as I seek to counterbalance the lifelong effects that early trauma implanted within me.  I can practice STEERING my SELF through my life rather than letting my body always do the responding for me as it wants to. 

This is response-ability.  The ability for me to respond to my life as I WANT to to the best of my ability.  But right now all that I SAY is very TOUGH for me to put into practice.  I am labeling this segment of my life journey as being among the top ten most difficult ones of my adult life, including facing and fighting that cancer.

Yet while I will not deny or underestimate this fact I also know that something as simple as putting food out for the cutest wild cottontail rabbits that run around here battling for their life in this terribly cold weather brings me rays of happiness.  And I still need to keep myself open to the appearance of beauty in this harsh place.

Yesterday I stepped outside my “prison” door for a moment and there in the southern sky I saw two huge brilliant rings around the sun so low in the sky.  The circles arched high through ice crystals against the blue sky with brilliant rainbow “sun dogs” to the left and right of the sun on the inner ring and directly above the sun on the outer ring.

This was one of the most impressive natural displays of wonder and beauty I have ever seen – and among the most unique ones.  I stood with my face uplifted to gaze at this while my face was being blasted by whipping snow.  I barely blinked (so there!). 

Although this vision only lasted another minute from the time I stepped outside before all but the two horizontal sun dogs vanished I will never forget it.  I felt as if I was being recognized, affirmed, even honored and guided by the natural world I so love.

Yes, I said thank you.  Humbly but also with renewed inner strength.  I am not alone.  This was a wonderful interruption and distraction in my day yesterday – and is one that I will carry within me to accomplish the same spirit-lifting I so need whenever I remember that sight.

I am a part of the circles of life – no doubt about it – so are you!

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  It may still be undergoing a few changes you can take a peek inside at this link:

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+OUR 1ST BOOK IS NOW EPUBLISHED: A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014.  I had to chuckle when my daughter Ramona emailed me last night that her effort to put our first book up on Amazon.com Kindle’s page for a preview ONLY somehow put the manuscript straight to publish.  So we ACCIDENTALLY published our first book!!

Here it is!

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It is listing for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Those of you who follow the blog here – please do NOT feel sorry for me as you read this!  You all know how tough I am!!

Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME!

THANK YOU to my daughter Ramona for editing this and for publishing it!  I could not have done that on my own.  We added “A” (at least I think we did!) to the tile because there was another book already published with our first choice of Story Without Words.  The cover was going to be revised somewhat – but here it is – I guess because it was TIME!!!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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