A lazy writer

That’s me!  I love to write.  I enjoy creating.  I don’t make the time to sit down and put,fingers to keyboard.   So I try again by taking a course and becoming a daily blogger. Will it take hold this time?  Who knows. But it can’t hurt to try. 

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I woke up this morning thinking God bless the outcasts. Those who live outside the margins. Bless those who feel like they just don’t fit. Who are we to judge who fits. But by the grace of God go I.

These times are filled with judgement. I woke up yesterday thinking we should all be more kind to one another. Less hate, more love. Less rejection, more acceptance. I’m sure those thoughts are filled with symbols of flowers, peace signs, and protests for some, that was my first thought. But is that such a bad thing?

God Bless the Outcasts
Lyricist: Stephen Schwartz

I don’t know if You can hear me
Or if You’re even there
I don’t know if You would listen
To a humble prayer

Yes, I know I’m just an outcast
I shouldn’t speak to You
Still I see Your face and wonder
Were You once an outcast too?

God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don’t find on earth

Please help my people
They look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will

I don’t know if there’s a reason
Why some are blessed and some are not.
Why the few you seem to favor
They fear us, flee us, try not to see us

God help the outcasts
The tattered and torn
Seeking the answer
To why they were born

Winds of misfortune
Have blown them about
You made the outcasts
Don’t cast them out

The poor and unlucky
The weak and the old
I thought we were all
The children of God.

I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I

God help the outcasts
The poor and downtrod
I thought we all were
Children of God

A Purple Palette

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I’ve always loved this building in Times Square on Fort Myers Beach Florida.   It looks blue in this picture but I always see it as purple.  The sun makes it purple.

I’m an aspiring painter and love that the sign is a palette shape. It says, go ahead splash color on me, draw flowers, create.  I painted this purple shop a little over a year ago while participating in a quick paint.  Two hours from start to finish.  The end result was primitive but having that time limit allowed me to paint without over thinking.  Kind of a creation at first glance.

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Assignment 2: Say Your Name

So this second assignment encourages me to think about RoundaboutRhonda as a title and if it’s still fitting

I chose the title because I love playing with words. If I say so myself, it flows off the tongue rather nicely. :-). RoundaboutRhonda. It also describes what I do.

A roundabout is a traffic calming road or circle that allows a person to choose an exit from the circle depending on your final destination. That includes, taking the road full circle and going back to where you started.

Roundabout fits me for the moment, as I take different roads down this life I’m living. I just need to be careful not to get stuck going in circles.

RoundaboutRhonda!

The Who. The What. The Why

Who am I and why am I here. Good question.

I’ve been retired for almost three years. Moved to Southwest Florida in August of 2013. Have been spending time connecting to our community.

Something’s missing. I think it’s that quiet time spent meditating. I also think it’s that magical time when I put the words down and my thoughts flow like water over stones in a stream. Not gushing full force landing with a splash in a pool, but more like gently and steadily moving forward through my stream of consciousness.

Okay, that’s kind of deep and metaphorical. Straight forward, I love to create. I love to see where my thoughts take me without pushing to hard for just the right word. Words taking shape as they leave the confines of my body, my soul and through my fingers take on a life of their own.

It’s fun to write. It’s fun to create. And I get a kick out of learning. That’s why I’m here. That’s who I am.

Filling Life With Living

I’ve lived a while and have seen many years end and begin.  Sometimes there were parties with food, drinking and dancing ringing out the old. Sometimes the ringing was done without me as I lay sleeping.  Sometimes couldn’t wait for a new year to start.  And then there were a few years where I was torn between hanging on to the old or slamming the door on the old year with hopes of a better year ahead.  What I’ve found is life moves on regardless of my own experiences, my own attitude, my own particular thinking.

2014 was a good year.  I made great new friends.  Connected with old friends.  Ran on the trail and in some races, learning that pace doesn’t really matter, but continuing to move forward does.  Learned how to kayak and found pure joy in floating down the beautiful Estero River with its wildlife and haunting flora and fauna.  I painted a little, but looking back not as much as I  should have.  Joined a blogging class and faithfully completed each assignment, but lost interest once the assignments ended; I love to write but don’t take the time, sometimes that puzzles me.  Golfed on our gorgeous golf course with my husband and friends, and joined a couple of leagues; golfing is fun and frustrating at the same time.  Yes life was good and full in 2014.

So, what will 2015 hold.  I suppose it will hold all I put into it.  What are my resolutions.  I’ll figure them out as I go.  Until then I’ll keep feeding my passions and living life to the fullest.  What that means at the end of 2015 is anyone’s guess.  What I know for sure is I want to fill this next year with as much living as I can.

So, Here’s to surprises and setbacks.  Here’s to the freshness of a new year.  Here’s to lessons learned in old experiences.  Here’s to a year filled with living.  May we all experience many more.

To be or not to be

Sitting out on the lanai enjoying the beautiful warm weather that is Southwest Florida.  Always changing.  Clear skies in the morning, clouds building in the afternoon.  Sometimes clear skies on the north side of street and storm clouds to the south.  Will we get rain?  Who knows.

Several weeks ago we bought some wall art and as I looked at placement saw that the fish and turtles were swimming to and away from time.  That’s what we all do, we measure days by minutes.  We control most of our lives by looking at two hands continuously moving.  And then there are moments where we don’t care what time it is.  Those moments are the best.  Moments lost in time.  Relaxing.  Watching dragon flies.  Watching clouds change.  Just being.

Does anybody really know what time it is.  Does anybody really care . . . .About time.

 

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And so it goes . . .

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorite writers. She is so down to earth. And I love that she asks us to embrace the mess with joy. To me, Elizabeth is saying, enjoy life where you are. Enjoy yourself. Learn to love yourself flaws and all.

I remember several years ago I traveled with my Presbyterian church to New Orleans to do some work for those who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. If anyone knows anything about Presbyterians we have the reputation of being a stoic bunch. So afraid someone will see us acting crazy. Many would wonder how I picked that religion, and I guess I’d say I’m less worried about religion and more concerned with my fit with people and the service.

With that said, for many years I didn’t fit at 2nd Pres. Or, maybe I should say I didn’t think I fit with the bunch. I loved the music, the sermons, the pageantry, but I never found my niche.

Back to New Orleans. I rode with a couple who are now my dearest friends and we talked about that Presbyterian stoicism. Jim, who is a Presbyterian from birth, said we are the frozen chosen. I noodled that for a while and said, well I’m the flawed thawed and I’d rather be thawed than frozen any day. When you’re thawed you’re living and growing. When you’re frozen you’re stuck where you are.

These days, I feel a little frozen. I love to write, but I don’t do it unless like several months ago I enroll in a class and am encouraged to write an assignment every day. I like to paint, but the canvas, brushes and paint are in a cabinet. And I can’t grow in those two loves if I don’t practice. If I don’t embrace them with the joy that once I start doing them they bring to my life.

It’s not that I just sit around and do nothing. I run and love to run. However, I need to have a race in front of me to get me to consistently hit the pavement.

I’ve come to believe I truly am results driven. I stay frozen until there is something ahead of me that I want to accomplish and then I thaw in order to accomplish that task. I suppose I’m driven to accomplish tasks set in front of me. I write when there are assignments. I run when there are races. I paint when I’ve enrolled in a class.

I want to live a thawed life, always growing, always learning. I want to embrace the glorious mess that I am and practice my passions. Life is messy, there are always things that get in the way. But it’s the glorious person that navigates the mess and makes time for the things that bring them joy. Results driven. No need for a stinkin’ race or class. Remembering the result that the action, that the passion brings should enable us to thaw and embrace that which we love.

Navigating a Life Changed

There seem to be a lot of deaths lately. Murders. Suicides. Death by disease. Death brought on by the aging process. And I think of all the people left to grieve the loss of a loved one. Life changes for those left behind and they try to navigate a new world

The death of Robin Williams and the thought of his wife and kids learning to live in a world without him has consumed my thoughts, and has caused me to reread parts of the journal I wrote as I roller coastered through the grieving process.

I wrote an entry in May 2007. At the same time families and friends were contemplating whether they would attend the Virginia Tech graduation. Their loved ones were killed in a senseless on campus murder and they were invited to receive their honorary degree. Walking through a normal graduation in an abnormal way. I grieved for them and me.

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Everything is new. Everything is foreign. Everything is kind of just not right. So emotions take over. Should I go out tonight; should I stay home. Should I join something; or should I stay home. Should I work late; or should I go home. It’s kind of all about filling the moments or being brave enough to sit quietly in them alone, in the same place you shared with the person you lost.

I was thinking this evening that I don’t have a life. But really, that’s not true. It’s just this new life is full of aloneness if I allow myself to go there. And when I make that choice to go there and sit within the moments, without company, I eventually learn that I am okay with myself, I am okay with the choice. It’s just that sometimes it takes a while to see that, many moments of sitting alone with my thoughts.

But that’s all part of working through grief. I read an article in my More magazine about a woman who lost her husband to cancer. She attended a support group but that wasn’t for her. Instead she went on a hiking trip to the Galapagos. She wasn’t athletic. She wasn’t even prepared. But she made it through the trip, met people, accomplished things, saw sea creatures and other new sites. And during that trip she realized she could move on, she could live without her husband.

I don’t know if you need to go on a long trip, or accomplish any physical fete, but sometimes I do think you need to do something different, something you wouldn’t do with your spouse. And sometimes that’s nothing more than leaving the house knowing you want something to eat, changing your mind a dozen times on the trip there, and finally getting what you want.

Getting what you want. Doing what you want. I wrote a little while ago about being an abnormal person walking through a normal world. Well, maybe part of becoming normal is doing what you want, is having experiences by yourself. And they don’t have to be alone, but they need to be your chosen experience. And, if after you make the choice you find it wasn’t the right one, you get the opportunity to do it over again taking the other road, at least most of the time.

Back to the commencement at Virginia Tech. I can’t imagine losing a child and going to the ceremony, hearing their name called to receive a posthumous degree. A degree given because they died and didn’t get the chance to earn it. I can’t imagine watching others get their degrees by completing the program and watching them walk across the stage with opportunities your child will never have. So, to go, to make the choice to sit through all that, to sit quietly through that moment, is more than receiving a piece of paper. It’s more about paying tribute to a life that might have been. It’s about truly feeling the loss. And it’s also about talking to others that feel the same pain; who really understand.

And to not go is to miss something, and in this case it is to miss something you will never get another opportunity to experience. And more than those who are apprehensive about going, who are emotional as they get in their cars or other form of transportation and make the trip, that person who doesn’t go suffers alone as they receive the insert with their son/daughter’s picture and writeup and honorary degree in the mail. They miss the moment and they miss the togetherness and the chance to talk with people who are walking through the grieving process, not necessarily in the same way, but grieving for a love lost.

The choices we make as we go through the grieving process. They are part of who we become without the person we loved. They are what we are becoming as we try to become a little less abnormal in a normal world.

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I made it through the passages of grief, and have discovered joy and new talents on the other side. I am happily married to a wonderful guy and we are truly living the dream in Southwest Florida. We love our life and adore each other. However, it took every moment in grief to get me where I am today. If you’ve lost someone, don’t short-change yourself by running away from the pain of grief. Live with it. Live through it. Talk to a friend, professional. Join a support group. Discover who you are. Learn to live and be open to joy in a life forever changed.

Spirit Dwells

Southwest Florida in the summertime is hot.  There’s no getting around the high dew point and humidity.  However it is through this heat and humidity that a spiritual stage is set.

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Mornings are still and that quiet lingers into afternoon.  Water reflects nature like a mirror reflects a human’s face.  Beautiful.  Still.  Individual.  

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Later on, clouds build and storms scatter in fields, swamps and preserves disrupting the stillness with dark drama.  Activities of the day.

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The rain fills the dry bowls of the preserve and renames them swamps.  The sun returns.  Water evaporates into clouds that linger with the sun until evening comes.  Sunset and the purple of dusk magnified in nature.

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Nature fills my soul with the spirit.  God is present in our days through the perfect changes in nature.  Peace.  All is well.