Tuesday, October 22, 2013

creative self esteem

I was at the Belfast Maine Poetry Festival this weekend to attend a couple workshops. It was very fun. In the second workshop, a woman I had never seen before was taking her turn reading out loud from an exercise we had just done. She prefaced her work with, "this isn't very good." We all burst into a cacophany of encouragement and praised her for her work, as well as for sharing. It got me to thinking about creative self esteem.

It is so hard for those of us who create any kind of art to feel assured in our work. We usually work in isolation. If anyone knows about our work, they may discourage us. They may feel threatened by the amount of time and effort we put into creatvity, or they may not "get" our work. They may also feel defensive because they themselves would like to be creative, but are afraid.

I was really happy to be part of a group of people who encouraged that particular woman. I hope that happens in creative communities more and more. We may not "get" each other's stuff, but we "get" what it is like to live a creative life.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

poem: autumn dance

just felt like celebrating the Fall. :0)


Autumn Dance—

 

In autumn the maple leaves blush

at one another, then jump their traces

leaving the trees to dance and skip

they disappear discretely when the sun fades

to dusk, to accept the quiet caresses

of the wind.

 

The apple trees, also laid bare of

their leaves, will not be outdone.

 

They sigh and coquet, waving willowy

branches to reveal

a brace of jewels—

ruby apples drip from fingertip

so abundant that some

may be thrown to the supplicant

squirrels.

 

A light buffet

of buttercups

is sampled by the deer

who delicately pirouette

on ballerina feet.

 

A pair of fat raccoons

promenade slowly through

the trees, like an old couple

hard of hearing, loudly

complaining about what

has been laid out

to eat.

 

The music of the crickets and

the frogs goes on til dawn

for the revelers know

that the seasons will change

in the turn of a moon

and all will be laid to rest

in blankets of snow.

 

As if on cue, to remind all revelers

of the season’s brevity

a swirling cloak of black crows

descends upon the fete

calling one another to the feast.

 

Imbibing broken apples’ juice

collecting fruit and seed

finding fallen butterflies

with broken wings

and cold cadaverous

caterpillars

shrouded in cobwebs like lace.

 

The corvid coven rises

remembering the fallen ones

to the angels

lifting them aloft on sable wings

in celebration, in no way stygian

as the dance goes on

and day embraces night.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ode to Freedom



This is a beautiful uTube sponsored by PETA2 (the youth activist branch of PETA). They also put out a tee shirt on the "Ode to Freedom" theme. Inspired by the concept, I made my own Ode. It is not a classical ode but it is done in metric verse.


An Ode to Freedom

 

Soft grass upon the hillside grows,

it blooms in gold and green

 

The worms below will till the soil,

all life on earth to feed

 

The mother cow takes sweetness in,

to meet her baby’s need

 

No grasping hand to steal her milk,

no predatory deed

 

From worm to cow to calf to me,

all creatures may be free

 

When we who take so heedlessly

allow all life to be

 

In concert and, by divine right,

exist in Liberty.

 

 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sunrise Trail - Poem


Sunny sky

Crystals of blue ocean water

Low tide

Sulfur smell lingers with salt

 

Rugosa Roses

White and pink with garters of morning glories

Their smell

Mixed with the tidal stink

 

They complement each other-salt and sweet.

 

The growth

A tangle of primrose, dock, vetch

Valerian

It’s smell a calming haze

 

A turtle

Shovels through a tidal stream

Her shell

The same brown color as the beach

 

Six crows

Rise slowly from a billowing elm tree

They float-wings still

Suspended

By nothing but belief

 

Winter

A distant memory

Summer

At its peak

 

The memory of one makes the other more sweet.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I am a writer

Such audacious words. I have always felt uncomfortable saying them out loud, and I know so many other women have been, as well. My participation in women's writing communities like the International Women's Writing Guild (IWWG) and the A Room of her Own (AROHO) foundation has shown me that I definitely am not alone.

If there is one thing to learn from the IWWG or AROHO communities it is that women ned to write. It is an important gift to ourselves and the world. It doesn't matter what the topic is. The important thing is to engage, reflect, and reciprocate.

So many women writers seem to share common insecurities. We don't feel confident to call ourselves writers, sometimes even after publication. And heaven forbid we have lacked the time, finances, resources, & blind luck to find ourselves in the pages of professionally done books or magazines.

We feel clumsy in our efforts. We absorb every fleck of criticism and repell encouragement as polite or insincere. We negatively compare ourselves to other writers-especially other women writers. We question and negate our own voices.

But, as I read on a fellow woman writer's blog once, (I'm paraphrasing and I'm afraid I can't recall the origin)

"We can't stop writing out of fear of failure. The only way to fail is to not write."

Our voices can only strengthen and purify through the work and the time spent writing. We all have a perspective, and they all have value. They are contributions to the present and to the future. For our strong voices will inspire the girls of the future.

We have to keep going. We can make the world better for ourselves, our sisters/mothers/grandmothers/daughters, our non-human relations, and the world.

That is why-say it with me-

I AM A WRITER.


IWWG:  http://iwwg.org/
AROHO: http://www.aroho.org/

My Article "Finding our Balance" in Circle Sanctuary Magazine

It shows my blogging muscles desperately need to be flexing that I never thought to post here that I was published in the Spring 2011 Issue of Circle Sanctuary Magazine. The article was about finding the time for spiritual practice in a busy day. Digital downloads are still available at:

http://www.circlesanctuary.org/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=44

Circle may also be printing my article on Vegan Pagans in the upcoming issue. Fingers crossed, we'll see.

Summer in Maine

Well, it's been a long time since I blogged here. Part of this is due to a new blog my bestie Gwen and I have been doing. But I still love to go back through this blog and remember the past. It truly is a digital diary and something I enjoy sharing with friends. It also holds some fun old stories that I wrote and I enjoy looking at from time to time. I have been writing more lately and I really am more committed than ever to being a writer, no matter what. It doesn't matter what interests me or what directions I am being pulled in at any given moment. Writing is my perspective. More on that later. For now, though, I wanted to share some pics of my recent wanderings along the Downeast Maine Coast that I am lucky enough to call home. And feel free to check out our other blog at: http://veganwiccan.blogspot.com/




The Sunrise Trail View in Downtown Machias

A view of Machias

Sunrise Trail, Machias

Hazy Low Tide in Blue Hill Bay

Jasper Beach, Machiasport


                                             Jasper Beach

Blue Hill Bay

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Riverdance

Mom and I went to see Riverdance at the Bangor Auditorium last nite. It was great to finally see it. I listened to the soundtrack a lot when it was new and I still pretty much know it by heart but to see it live was something I didn't want to miss. The show was great tho the old auditorium is being phased out and the ammenities weren't very nice. We were packed in like cattle and the driveway was partially blocked due to construction so flow of traffic was a bit cataclysmic. Anyhoo it was worth doing. Once.

Before the show we went to Miguel's and I had my fave...enchiladas mole with gimme lean filling, vegan sour cream and cheese, stirfried local veg on the side. And the warm chips with fresh salsa....gurgle. Good thing I didn't try to get to sleep until about midnight cause I was stuffed! :0)

http://www.riverdance.com/

http://miguelsbangor.com/

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Vegan(ist) Goodies Basket

here's my vegan gift basket for my workplace charity auction containing:

Veganist - the book by Kathy Freston (a great primer for getting started with plant-based eating, and a moderate approach) - http://www.kathyfreston.com/kathy_freston_veganist.html

Parma Raw Vegan Parmesan shaker

a Mahalo chocolate/coconut vegan candybar by Go-Max-Go foods



an Alternative Baking Co. cookie (pumpkin spice)

Irish Daisy Vegan Whoopie Pie (local)

Little Lad's herbal popcorn (local)

Primal Strips tempeh jerky

Sweet n Sarah vegan marshmallows

Livin it to let live

Wow, it always amazes me how much time slips by so quickly. I am a naughty blogger.

For the past two months or so (I think...I lose track of that too) I've been vegan. I was ovo-lacto vegetarian for about fifteen years, meaning I ate animal products that weren't meat.

I had tried being vegan a few times over the years but didn't follow thru for several reasons which I guess include:

I wasn't always a confident cook or willing/able to plan meals to support a whole week of eating at work, school, home, out, etc

The past few times I tried vegan the convenience products hadn't caught up to where they are now, enabling vegans to "fudge it" in some of the above situations with great products like daiya, gardein, health is wealth, amy's frozen non-dairy, etc. with more options exploding every day. I didn't always have the internet capacity or skill to order said products when necessary.

ummmm laziness and peer pressure (I sound flip but those are probably the biggest barriers)

and hence a coping mechanism of totally managing to phase out the facts about animal cruelty in the food industry...yes, including (in some cases especially)  eggs and dairy.


But last summer I started really buying more vegan cookbooks, trying more blog recipes, etc. My love of animals was slowly overcoming my self-induced denial fog.

And then my best friend Gwen suddenly suggested we do a 30 day vegan challenge thru PETA. And it appealed to me so I said sure, thinking we'd be gearing up for someday......

well she had started the day before! so boom we were off and running. I went vegan about eleven AM on a workday and if you it then, you've got it made.

Sure the first few weeks had surprises, hurdles, and concessions. Some products I thought were vegan but never bothered to look turned out not to be. Some fast food, same deal. And some things were just hard habits to break. I was shocked by how many vegetarian meat and dairy substitutes have egg in them and even milk derivatives. Hellowwwww people, why are we eating your substitutes if we are willing to consume those ingredients???! I mean I don't mind having vegan cream cheese because it reduces how many adorable baby calves have to die untended and stomped to death on a feedlot floor because their mother's milk was needed for .... um.....me. But why the hell would I eat fake cream cheese if it has milk in it????! Please.

And why, if I am avoiding meat because I am trying to reduce animal exploitation, would I consume a veggie burger that's second or third ingredient is the egg whites? From the unfertilized ovuum of a feedlot hen, genetically engineered to be so lopsided she can't even stand, housed in an unlit, dusty, filty pen with roughly the floorspace of one sheet of office paper...then likely thrown out to die when she is too old to make more eggs......

Why would I eat a fake burger with those eggs in it??????

Anyhooo, those are some of the primary challenges. I realize this choice is not for everyone and I go out of my way not to make the carnivores/omnivores around me uncomfortable with my choices (not that they always let me stay out of their way no matter how  hard I try). This is my personal decision and since I did it I feel great. Mostly spiritually and morally because it was a conviction I always had but long supressed. But also:

I have tons more energy and memory
I have used said energy to work out more, which I love, and feel much more fit
My allergies and chronic illnesses have decreased
I have lost about thirty pounds
I never seem to have acne anymore (something i just realized the other night during a proactive ad)
I spend LESSSSSSSSSSSS on food (yes, it's true)
I eat BETTER
I don't binge anymore, presumably because my foods have more nutrients (and I don't stress eat as much)
I deal with stress better at work and at home (no small thing since I work for a crisis response type agency)
I feel like I can tackle other challenges because I tackled this one

I haven't been to the doc for a while but I would guess my blood pressure and cholesterol are much better. There was a learning curve where I ate too many vegan convenience foods, which are too high in fat (just not animal fat) but lately I have been conquering that also with the help of Engine 2, Appetite for Reduction, Forks Over Knives, and Happy Herbivore (all have websites....hit the google).

I donated a $50 vegan gift basket to my workplace charity auction this month. I hope it helps some other traveler with the same convictions as me to begin this great journey that has made me feel so much healthier, more in control, and more hopeful about life.