out-smarting the conveyor belt

I used to think life held some great destination that I was going to arrive at one day and have it all figured out. I had a mental list of things that needed to be checked off and then somehow I was going to stop growing. Because I had gotten there. Or something weird like that. I don’t even know that girl anymore.

I am so aware of the journey now and cannot even visualize a destination, because that would be limiting myself from so many possibilities. I am cognizant of what I am passionate about yet believe there are a plethora of other things and experiences I don’t know I am in love with because I haven’t yet been exposed.  And if I was only on board for the destination I wouldn’t be living the journey. And how do you ever realize your true loves if you don’t constantly have your eyes open to what you might encounter on your path?

I am amazed that I spent so many years trying to get there, but didn’t ever really know where I was going. My journey was more of a transport via conveyor belt through a tunnel with ten demerits for opening your eyes or asking questions. I’m not so concerned with how I got dead-bolted to the conveyor belt in the first place, but rather with how I took a free-fall off of it, with eyes wide open, and realized the journey was up to me.

Truth is, I cannot even ride those airport conveyor belts any longer because they take too much of the control away from me; how slowly or quickly I choose to pace myself, or what I want to pause and take in along the way. I had my eyes fastened shut for so many years I don’t think I even realized what I was not living.

I find myself overflowing with gratitude for my life. I am living the life I choose to live. And I get it now. That in itself is a celebration.

 

love > markers

O lover of sweet treats and markers; I am a lover of you. Even with your guilty face and conniving ways my heart is sold to “and when I get back in here let me see all the colors laid out and ready for me” and “when I put this broom away I will take some money and a sweet treat” and “wow, so you’re doing the outlining first right mama? I bet I could outline better with those markers” and then there’s the (in whiny voice-at breakfast time) “but I just can’t think of anything to eat other than a cookie..that’s the only choice in my brain”.  She is a sugar coated, double dipped, ride-your-bike-to-7-11-and-spend-all-of-your-allowance on candy-coated me.  

I purchased some new supplies this week for a project on which I am working, and you-know-who couldn’t wait to get her paws all touching everything. I said no. No wrecking my markers. You have 4 cup-fulls of them that I have so nicely organized for you, and those you shall use.  Well…I made it through family art session numero uno with my markers and paper both in my possession. With fine tips and miss scribble-scrabble not being such good bedfellows I am reluctant to say mi palette es su palette.

Tonight is night two of family art and she has, I’m pretty sure, been thinking about how to get those markers in her hand since family art session number one. And then, from the looks of it, she has been through law school already and I am no match for her arguments. Or candy-coated cuteness. But I do experience great laughter and joy, and think even she is starting to get herself. So, we are all working on our stuff, in their room, with the new lamp that nearly took out my right arm (and, unfortunately, left me looking like a cutter). And really, I guess it’s my fault, because I asked for her artistic input on my project. And guess what? It could only be added, you might guess, with MY markers.  Markers = 17.99.  True Love > everything else.

Sure sis, you can use these but be gentle with them.  And then miss bossy pants arrives on the scene. You can feel the glow of accomplishment and marker-love exude from her every pore. I think this marker score may have trumped candy and sweet treat love. She begins with admiring her new accomplishment.  Then starts bossing me about whose turn it is and what color we are going to use. Then comes the “turn the markers my way when it is my turn and I will turn it your way when it is your turn”. There is a lot of Quinn-loves-Quinn talk to herself about the markers. There are a few little prayers of some sort. There is a big-ol’-smile and an “I need my hair in a pony so I can concentrate” request (demand really, but I’m okay with it). And before anyone can scream out “I Love Sugar” she has full control of both my marker set and my sketch book.  

And my heart. Always and forever my heart. Sugar-coated-candy-lovin’-sweet-treat-i-only-want-cookies-for-breakfast-can-i-use-your-markers-where’s-my-money kind of love. And I love it when you pick me up mama.  Is your back better? I don’t care baby, I love you. Let me carry you to bed.

 

melting into me

Does too much to say make the saying harder to come by? Have you consigned your will to create with the words that entice you or are they challenging you to do more and better, forcing you to feel deeper and stronger? You don’t know how to write yourself out of what you have fallen into so you simply stop writing because, maybe, if you don’t write then you don’t feel each moment as though it has permeated your soul.

You could fastidiously gather the words you love and compile them to write your story, punctiliously fashioning each chapter. But through trial and error you have learned that designing the chapters is not nearly as exciting as letting the chapters bring you to life. So you have an experience and define what it means to you; minute by minute, day by day, month by month, and you take pause with each temptation to formulate the words that will make perfect your sermon to self. Trusting and living with intention provides words abundant with which you can tell your story. 

The words that are so much a part of you are simultaneously screaming to speak and begging silence. There are lessons learned you want to share; perhaps in hopes of precluding collective travels down the same path you have found to be lackluster by comparison. You are learning to welcome love and pain, to let raw emotion consume you as it provides the truest form of living you have experienced. You have feelings so intense that they threaten the pillars of strength you have built, brick by brick, which ground you. And as each step and misstep petitions for grace as it dissolves into your melting pot of growth, you see your authentic self with increasing clarity. 

There are so many questions but you don’t know where to begin. What path led you to this leg of the journey; which choice or un-choice to this outcome. And as you think about your life and attempt orderliness of the pictures and flashbacks, of the note cards and summaries and dissertations, your omniscient core knows that the questions are not yours to have, to beg, to postulate. Journeys happen and they take you where they may and you tiptoe, run, walk and sometimes crawl as best you can in the moment. 

Meanings are myriad depending on what you choose to believe in that moment and from that experience; to where you let it guide you, to what ensuing experience you let it lead. Life has many serendipitous happenings if your mind is open to receiving them. The relational nature of life becomes vivid when you seize what presents itself along the journey. Open-minded living is joyous because the surprise of the next serendipitous moment is looming… another opportunity to make a connection on your journey of here and now. 

Life is education on your terms: you hold the power to decide how you will let each opportunity color, change, mold and improve you. Life is an auspicious exploration of self; an offer to learn, grow and attempt to understand you. One day at a time. And one day at a time really means one moment at a time, one experience and then another to form an existence, to create a story, to live a life. 

Be in love with you. Be in love with life. Be.

outside in

You, my child.

You are before me with eyes wide open and I search myself for what it means to raise you. Love over contempt, action over apathy, acceptance over fear. We teach by example, you and I; learning through each day we are allowed another opportunity.

I and you –  anger and retract, push and apologize, cry and try harder. I see me in you – the good and the bad – and am too hard on you when I see pieces of myself that I wish not to see.

You act and I learn, you fear and I understand, you hurt and I die a thousand lives in one moment while I hold you with voice strong and embrace stronger. Together we hold hands that at times are hard to extend when we are at our most vulnerable existence.

We are beauty in that we are. And then there is you, and you.  Individual and exquisitely you and I love with admiration deep and mind altering.  

And when I think I have seen the most beautiful creatures on earth I am afforded the opportunity to view you through the looking-glass of another. And I am in awe. Always in awe of you but the view from outside in is truly breath-taking.

mentor me tomorrow or always

I have been remiss in my writing.  I have no excuse other than one that is fabulous:  I have too many passions.  I am and have been trying my gosh-darndest to devote equal love to each on a daily basis but I am, as I have always been, a work in progress.

I could spend each moment of my existence happily floating amongst the freedom of art.  Creativity in motion.  In fact, I am working quite harder than is visible to the human eye (other than my own two which, coincidentally cannot see all that well) to propel my visions into reality.

And the reality is this.

I am 100% passionate about the following things:

-Spending copiuous amounts of time inside my own mind

-Writing and writing and writing my daily thoughts and observations; I have so much I want to share and so little time to put pen to paper to share it

-Each hand-written journal of quotes that I create; especially those designed for a specific person

-Every ancillary project that I have in the works under The Winking Phoenix

-Books I want to publish – forever wishing for more chunks of time in my day to free-flow my mental file cabinets

-Being the most loving, listening, kind, giving, compassionate wife, mama and general human being I can be each day

And, I am 100% committed to the  following things:

-Being the most loving, listening, kind, giving, compassionate wife, mama, and general human being I can be each day

-Being a better version of myself tomorrow than I was yesterday

-Offering the best of me to all I encounter, and absolutely to my husband and children on a daily basis

-Freeflowing my groove on a continuum that makes it all come together with some semblance of grace

So, with all that out of the way, I will enter into what propelled me from one creative endeavor to another:  What is a mentor? 

And you know I have a ton to both share and ponder.  And it was witnessing a mentor-in-action tonight that really got me thinking about the concept of mentoring, and what a true mentor does for others – and I am really excited to talk about it.

Stay tuned for my next post which promises to explore the many facets of mentoring.  I am tempted to start now (that passion thing is a killer)…but I am exhausted and it wouldn’t be as good as it could be for any of us…so after some much needed sleep I shall make my way back to these pages :-).

headbutt

i need you to know…

my love is there.

i push, because-

i want you to grow, into

your best you.

my strength – your strength –

same eyes,

same legs,

same heart –

butt heads;

push and pull, and

i know…

it’s hard to carry your load, and

it’s hard to carry my load, and

i need you to know…

my love is there.

i push, because

i see amazingness

in you.

i just needed you to…

know.

interior monologue

Art in various forms.  Warm rosemary bread and coffee; Vanilla Nut.  Drumsticks and earphones.  Dirty socks on the floor.  Stuffed Animals.  Beach artifacts.  Fresh herbs and scented candles of the real-wick type.  A swinging chair in which to sit and ponder life.  Palm trees and brightly colored, freshly planted flowers.  Painted Terra Cotta pots of twelve-year-old girls.

A B-B-Q pit; our first major purchase together.  Books and books and books and music. Always music.  Peak eared puppy scampering by.  Overflowing laundry baskets and unflushed toilets.  Jingling dog tags.  Cuts and scrapes on my hands boast labors of love.  Dog toys, pencils, discarded food wrappers breaking free from their under-couch resting place.  Basketball hoop, deflated balls, no air pump in sight for years.  Paint where it should not be and slightly unsightly hedges; both requiring too much attention to be addressed.

Voicemail messages from my long-distance love, saved and savored.  Empty propane tanks and price tags still stuck to their owners.  Teenage cologne and brightly colored hair.  A subtle stench in bedrooms that do not get cleaned to my liking.  Pilot pens.  Sunshine rays that reach past the umbrella novella shine brightly on dog leashes.  Breeze.  Stairs piled with belongings needing to be ushered away by those who belong to them.  Lives changing almost before my very eyes.

Ice cream and puppy treats.  Music.  Always music.  Drum kit, crafting, art supplies.  Sparkling water infused with joy and happiness.  Friends and sleep-not overs; cereal stuck to bowls not properly rinsed.  Dirty finger smudges, travel souvenirs; another string cheese wrapper.  Journals piled atop one another in hopes of becoming a book.  Hostage math text (remnants of someone’s fifth grade).  Coat closet bursting at the seams minus any actual coats.

Tortillas, cheese, and sour cream.  Elementary school recess loudness competes with the din of skydiving plane zooming overhead.  Magnolia trees promising eventual shade and privacy and waterfall-turned-herb-garden amid various grasses, plants, palms and neglected dog poop.  Warm sunny places to nestle and shady spots in which to nap.

Transformation.  Always transformation.  Grandma Tena’s too-small china cup and daddy’s ashes in a tin I once gifted him.  Discarded school papers, a painted starfish, and two dozen tulips blooming in matching vases.  Love.  Always love.  Sent by my love with love.  Music in the backdrop; music in the foreground.  Open and trusting bonds.  Acne and stinky feet and elusive showers.  Vans aside sparkly golden flats, both pair in need of replacement.  Broken ear buds left by the discarder and trash trucks taking entirely too long to complete their missions.  Cacophony of sound ripping through my silence; home entirely too close to the main thoroughfare.

Puppy kisses with stinky puppy breath.  iPhone chargers abound.  Shattered screens replaced with hard-earned money and vivid dreams that make no sense.  A drawer full of his clothing and lip gloss he always kisses off.  Puppy nose peeking from behind potted flowers; restlessness desiring of a walk.  Taylor GS Mini, rosemary bread with butter, and an end to deliciosly satisfying contemplative thought….

Memories to cherish and last a lifetime.

phoenix

from the ashes of her deconstructed being,

she learns to take hesitant breaths.

from the fears that left her knowing nothing of herself,

she sees glimmers of enlightenment

and love for her soul, and

lightness in her dark.

sate amid her famine

tears with a purpose, she knows,

but is still to weary to define.

from the ashes of her deconstructed being,

she learns to see herself as beautiful again.

from the fears that left her knowing nothing of herself,

she repurposes her heart

she walks with less trepidation, and

does not convulse

does not regurgitate

signs of healing, she knows,

and she allows herself to slumber.

more than

Tears well up and will their salty selves to fall from my eyes as I fight to hold them back.  Insecurity washes over me, and I mourn me as the corners of my eyes pull and sting with pain.  Sadness consumes my being.  Tears beg now to crash and fall hard and fully.  Wash me clean and allow me to begin again.

I hold my own hand.  I feel my strength and resolve attempting a return to me.  I search for a place that is larger and more powerful than my sadness.

I am worthy to me.