“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.“
– C. S. Lewis
I won’t be posting the monthly pages this year, but I thought I’d share the first month of The Women of Supernatural’s 2019 Calendar, In This Family. There’s space for writing a thought to go along with the theme of the month or I can add a picture of my and my family. I love the Supernatural family!
Happy New Year!
What follows is a list of all the books I’ve read in 2018. You can find them all through Google or your local library. Most of them were library books that I borrowed as e-bookis on my Kindle. The library is a great resource and it’s free!
I am currently reading four books; two will go into the 2019 “pile” and two are meant to be finished today, having read them daily throughout 2018:
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman
Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling
Women of the Bible: A One Year Devotional Study by Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda
The photo on the right randomly happened when putting spaghetti into the pot to boil for dinner. It struck me as an interesting compostion so I photographed it.
Weeks later, I thought it would make an interesting coloring array, so I repeated the composition in six different colors using Sharpie markers and then coloring over it with matching colored pencils.
It made me think of Warhol, without the obvious talent.
It was enjoyable and relaxing, and I’m thinking about doing it again with a different subject.Abstract Art. (c)2018
”The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them…”
How often have we ignored our well-trained tongue and have just spoken whatever’s on our mind? How many have we offended in so short a time? How many times would it have been better to simply not say anything at all?
I am forever giving my kids advice to think first, then speak, but how often am I in need of such advice? Or admonishment?
I’m reminded of a quote from The Walking Dead television series where Rick tells his son, who’s about ten, maybe slightly younger, “Don’t talk. Think.” I know many people, myself included who needs to remember this.
Another quote comes to mind from Aaron Burr in Hamilton: An American Musical when he tells Alexander Hamilton to “talk less, smile more.”
As we follow Jesus, stepping on and side-stepping palms being tossed as his guide, find some solitude and think about his journey and our own journey throughout this week beginning today as he, and we, enter Jerusalem and meet G-d’s will.
[Note: Some of this week’s posts were originally scheduled to be written last week, but I’ve been very ill since Wednesday. The only two that are slightly off as far as timely are the reflection for January, which was supposed to appear yesterday, and the review of the Wayward Sisters episode of Supernatural, which will appear later in the week.-Kb]
When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.
– Michael Leboeuf
Last Wednesday, I had planned to talk about focus, both in general and what my focus may or may not be for my writing, and that was going to tie into a post for this past Friday about intentions. Unfortunately, on Wednesday, i couldn’t focus on anything except continually alternating between covering myself and uncovering myself with two or more (or less) blankets, and being all around miserable and sick.
It really just illustrates that you can have the perfect planner, the schedule mapped out, the outline written, the post forming effortlessly in your [my] mind, and life will find a way to knock you down.
Because that’s what life is about. Whether they be big or small, life is about facing challenges.
I spent all day in bed on Wednesday, barely lifting my head when an angel from church texted me that she had made my family dinner. She had no idea that I was sick or how much of a lifesaver she was truly being. She had mentioned it last week, but it was a maybe, so when she called, it was a wonderful godsend.
And that’s also what life is about. Sharing love, sharing food, sharing ideas and thoughts and challenges. Apart from my family and church, my writing is the most important thing to me. I think that’s because it encompasses every part of my life. It surrounds and warms, it emotes and comforts, it laughs and screams, and when I can’t do it, for whatever reason, it pains me.
Choose was/is my word for 2018. My second word is focus. Not merely the pinpointing of a topic or a photograph or a subject, but where will my writing take me? Where will I take it? I consider myself a Jane of all trades, which is simply another way of expressing that I take on all kinds of things and remain expert in none of them. Like a Jeopardy contestant, I’m all about a little knowledge about a lot of things, and that’s actually a great thing for a writer, but is it a good thing for a writer’s audience?
Only time will tell, and you, dear reader, will also tell; by your follows and your likes and your opinions, which I love and appreciate.
So where is my focus? What do I write about? So many things interest me, and I can expound on many of them: spirituality and fandom. Self-help and self-assessment. Travel. Writing. I feel like sometimes I can’t decide on which writer, which person I want to be in the moment. I multi-task, but when I looked up synonyms for multi-task, it gave me focus as an antonym. How strange. When I muti-task I tend to focus more on what I’m doing even if it’s three things at once and a delegation of a fourth.
How does all of this align with who I am and the kind of writer I want to be?
What’s the one thing that connects them all for me or to me besides me?
2018 may take me on that journey of discovery. A fork in the road or a crossroads? We’ll see.
Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
– Greg Anderson
Lent is over. The Easter fire is lit. In just about seven or so hours, it will be blessed, we will light our candles and illuminate the church. And so begins the Easter Vigil; practically the same way across the world in their own time zones. It begins so late because we wait until dark.
Every year from Ash Wednesday until tonight, I am asked if it brings back memories of my own first Easter Vigil. I never know what to say. Of course, it does, in many ways, but in others it fosters new memories that blend with the old ones. It is also hard to explain that my Easter Vigil is often somehow with me more often than not. Every time, I cross myself at the holy water font. Every time, I receive the Eucharist, I think back to that very first one. Each one feels like the first time, and each subsequent one is a crumb on the path I have chosen.
For many, Christ is chosen for them, through their families and traditions, through their spouses or wanting to give something to our children to connect them to “their people”, but as we get older and understand more and hear more, and even listen more, we make choices along the way, every step of the path we follow. Turn left? Or right? Confirmation? Or not? Weekly communion? Or is that first one enough? Is it all that I need?
I didn’t know what was being offered when I chose Christ. I had only intended to choose a ritual, a place of being that make me feel…something; feel better about my life. In staying, I chose a new path, a dim path until one day, just like that, it was lit, brighter than the sun, all encompassing, my eyes rising to meet the glow. Despite the glow of suns and brightness unimaginable, my eyes stayed. I didn’t hear words or sounds, but my heart heard the words. Not words, but something translated, engraved on my soul, that while giving me many choices really gave me none.
Once it was there, it can not be taken away. My only choice is to accept what I’ve been gifted and continue my direction, my directing, my learning, my new way.
Every day that I have not been on retreat, I have attended the daily mass during Lent. For the past two weeks, I have remained in the church to recite the rosary. Those two commitments have given me a steadiness to carry me through this time in the desert.
Easter begins and Passover is ending, and they both celebrate the release from bondage, the exiting from the desert, the wilderness, our yearly exodus.