Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Absolute Write Blog Chain 4

This post is a link within a truly interesting writing exercise called the Absolute Write Blogging Chain. You'll never know where the next link may take you.

When this chain first started, the topics were focused on making the world a better place. I was pretty far down the list, so I had a few days to ruminate on this idea. Then I took a couple of days away from my computer to deal with real life and now it's my turn. The topic has totally changed and I'm staring another true confessional moment in the face.

Atomic Bear, the writer link ahead of me in the chain, has been evaluating his stuff. Stuff? Yeah, all the flotsam and jetsam that we all seem to leave in our wake. Frequent moving is one good way to keep it at a minimum. Well, if you move yourself that is. Nothing like the prospect of lugging all that stuff to make you reconsider its worth.

I have an excuse for all my stuff. It's an inherited genetic defect from my mother's family and I just can't help it. I have managed to keep my stuff more contained than she ever has, but the trait is still there. The house I grew up in had lots in common with a corn maze. My stuff fills bookshelves to overflowing and plastic tubs but there are still wide open spaces, just not too many of them. My stuff has value. I'm sure yours does too.

Last year, my craft room had to become a working office in a very short period of time. My craft interests had changed so I decided to try and sell some of my stuff on eBay. I knew I had lots of rubber stamps and assorted craft items and I really wasn't into stamping anymore so I started there. My estimate at the beginning of the craft room project was that I had about 500 stamps. So I started counting and bagging lots. eBay was very,very good to me over the course of the last year. Of course, it didn't hurt that the stamp count went closer to 2000...yeah, you read that right. A year later, I am almost done selling my stamping supplies. I'm about ready to move into the polyclay and beads.

Now, I am contemplating moving again within a year, so it's time to really reevaluate the stuff. I've already taken boxes and boxes of books to the used bookstore. I've used my local FreeCycle connections to move along some really good stuff. My non-genetically afflicted daughter comes over once in a while to assess my stuff levels and assures me that there is still more stuff that can be parted with. I dunno... maybe I need a recovery group.

Maybe I really am helping to make the world a better place by providing a home for so much stuff. It would be heartbreaking to have to pass some of this stuff on the street each day. Homeless stuff tugs at my heartstrings. Do your part; adopt some stuff today.

The next stop on your journey is Everything Indian, a very cool blog you shouldn't miss.

Want to read more? Here's the entire list of blogs in this round. Enjoy.

Pass the Torch
The Road Less Travelled
Fireflies in the Cloud
Even in a Little Thing
The Secret Government Eggo Project
Curiouser and Curiouser
At Home, Writing
Mad Scientist Matt's Lair
I, Misanthrope - The Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer
Beyond the Great Chimney Production Log
Flying Shoes
Everything Indian
The Hal Spacejock Series
Organized Chaos
Of Chapters and Reels
Just a Small town girl
Midnight Muse
Kappa no He

Saying Goodbye To George

Yesterday was very sad day at my house. It was time to help our boy George go home. If you're not a cat lover you probably won't understand the anguish and pain that accompanies that decision or the huge hole it leaves in your heart.

George was in our lives for 13 years. He adopted my husband and refused to be left behind after several attempts. The day he joined out household, we already had 2 cats and I didn't really think we needed a third, but the tiny black furball with the big purr was too irresistible to turn away. He learned how to ride on my husband's shoulder for fun. My daughter and husband taught him how to patiently wait by your side when you were eating a yummy snack and then gently paw at your hand when you were almost finished. He had a natural talent for turning somersaults. Not just the normal cat behavior of tucking their heads down and flopping on their sides. True somersaults, head down and tail over in a tight ball. As he grew, it was harder for him but he never quit doing them.

This past spring, George developed IBS and started losing weight rapidly. We tried courses of pretensions and antibiotics, he'd seem to be a little better and then relapse. Eventually he was down from his normal weight of 11 pounds to about 5. Nothing was helping and it was time for us to help him.

To the end, George was his inquisitive,trusting self. Purring contentedly, alert and loving. There were lots of tears on which George's soul could float peacefully home.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What's the Soundtrack of Your Soul?

There's been an emptiness and a yearning that I haven't quite been able to identify. For me, this is unusual because I spend a fair amount of time listening with inward ears. At last, it came to me. It's been too quiet in my soul lately.

Music is one of the top five things that I need to survive beyond the physical basics. No, I'm not a musician in the traditional sense. Can't play anything but the cd player. But music is a living thing that stays in my head, vibrates within my cells and keeps me in touch with me. It keeps me from being swallowed into the black hole of depression. It fuels my muse and excites the dormant idea factory. Music has soothed my young lover's aching heart, shown me the light in darkness, expressed political opinion, issued invitations, inspired visions, guided me through mysterious times and mended the unmendable. Some people keep their memories alive with photos, mine are completely indexed by the music I heard.

The main soundtrack of my soul is Crosby,Still, Nash and Young in all their various blendings. My first feelings of my identity, love and independence were underscored by 1970's Deja Vu and their first album, 1969's Crosby Stills Nash. I couldn't even begin to count the hours and events that are tied into these two.

CSNY are touring again this year and reporters say they have defined the soul of a generation and changed the culture. Music has power. It worries me to think of this and then think of the violent and demeaning music so popular today and what will become of the souls who have that as a soundtrack. Teach your children well.

Last night we watched a DVD of a new Neil Young concert, Prairie Wind. He's introspective about his life, like all the rest of us aging hippies. He's passionate, nostalgic, angry and still writing fine tunes.

We'll talk more about music in upcoming days. It's time to find my headphones.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Weekly Tarot - 08/05 - 08/11 6 of Cups

Six of Cups
Universal Waite

You may be on the verge of starting a period of serious work or starting back to school, but this week, it's time to relax and enjoy the simpler pleasures of life. You know the old saying, take time to smell the roses? That's the perfect summary of this week's card. The sixes in the tarot represent completion of a smaller cycle and you've earned the rest. This would be a great week to sneak in a couple of vacation days...days that you don't spend running adult errands!

Indulge in some of your childhood pleasures; go on a picnic, splash in the pool, take the kids to an amusement park or a cool dark movie theater for an afternoon matinee. Revist your fondest memories by organizing your photos in a scrapbook, journal about some of your favorite memories of games and friends from a 10 year old's point of view.

There's always going to be more work to do. You can count on that. What you can't count on is always having enough moments to savor the sweetness of life. Don't let it pass you by.