Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Prospective Retrospective

In order to continue posting my artwork, I've created a Substack page:

https://ellamuir.substack.com 

Sending love to all who happen to stop by here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Love


Still finding a need to share in a simple way what moves me and heals me, I'll be posting what I find on Tumblr from now on.  It's part of that something new that my psychotherapist suggested for April 2024.  I'm not deleting this blog because I want to honor the healing years from December 2006 to April 2024 and the world-wide community of friends I found here whose blogs I will continue to read and leave comments on.

Love,
am

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Sending love near and far


During this week in April 1968, R kissed me for the first time.  We were 18 years old.  During this week in April 2008, I began driving from Washington to Northern California to be with R at the Palo Alto VA Hospital during the last days of his life.  We were 58 years old.  

This blog's first post was when I was 56 years old, nearly 18 years ago!  That was on the 36th anniversary of the day R returned from serving a year in Vietnam in the U.S. Army as a helicopter mechanic.  A wise older woman, knowing how haunted I was by all that had transpired since R's return in 1970, gently suggested that I do something different on the anniversary of R's return from Vietnam.  Starting this blog was something different from anything I had done before.

The first name of this blog was "Old Girl of the North Country."  The focus of the blog was a retrospective of my art work from the year I met R while still in high school until his death in 2008.  All of that art work was inspired in one way or other by R's presence and absence in my life.  After that I posted photos taken from my porch and from my long walks in and around Bellingham, with R never far from mind.  Through the years, I've enjoyed posting music and other offerings from YouTube and other sources that inspired me and which I wanted to share.  In the last year, I've been posting my Tiny Mandala Series (drawn with my non-dominant left hand) which is still a work in progress. 

This past week when I met with my psychotherapist and mentioned that the anniversary of R's death was approaching, she gently suggested that I do something different to mark the coming days.  Today I took a walk up the hill to Big Rock Garden and took the above photo which shows one of the many blooming rhododendrons and, in the background, two lovely evergreen trees and the Empress tree which will soon be blooming.  


As I was walking down the hill from Big Rock Garden, I realized that it was in April fifty years ago, that I came to live here in Bellingham.  

I'm committing to living fully in the present, making the most of the last years of my life, beginning today.  



Tiny Mandala #42 of 52 (inspired by the Chinese character for "to stand upright.")



Harpo the Nomad in a quiet moment.  He's a lively fellow.  Good company.

It's been a long long time since I've had much to say on my blog.  My social energy is increasingly limited.  I'm a true introvert.  Given that the blog was created to help me work through "Prolonged Grief Disorder" before I even had that diagnosis along with a diagnosis of "Trauma, Not Otherwise Specified," I'm realizing that I'm ready to let this be my last blog post, although I'm not deleting my blog.  I'm grateful to all who have visited my blog through the years.  You've all played a major role in my healing.  

I'll continue to read your blogs.  You are dear to me.

Sending love to all, near and far.

Monday, April 8, 2024

¡Eclipse total de sol! / April 8, 2024


A near-total eclipse is nothing like a total eclipse.  Grateful to have seen one total eclipse in my lifetime.  I was just as astonished and emotional as the people in the above video when I witnessed a total eclipse in Fossil, Oregon, in August 2017.  


It's worth taking a trip to experience one, if one doesn't come to you.

Getting unstuck


Witnessing this video and seeing the possibility of gradual freedom from emotional baggage was healing for me and brought these three old songs to mind:



and


and


Friday, April 5, 2024

Freedom meditation




“Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one.”

- Ursula K. Le Guin


*

Thank to Beth for the inspiration



Wednesday, April 3, 2024

" ...Remember the people have always struggled to live in harmony in peace ..." / Young and old working together


I was listening to the voices of life
Chanting in unison
Carry on the struggle
The generations surge together
In resistance
To meet the reality of power
Mother earth embraces her children
In natural beauty to last beyond
Oppressors brutality
As the butterfly floats into life
We are the spirit of natural life
Which is forever
The power of understanding
Real connection to spirit
Is meaning our resistance our struggle
Is not sacrifice lost
Is natural energy properly used
One time
I was visiting with my relatives
The clouds the mountains the sky
The trees
My relatives touched my spirit
Nudged it lovingly
Listen to us impatient one
We are forever
You must remember the gentleness of time
You are struggling to be who you are
You say you want to learn the old ways
Struggling to learn
When all you must do is remember
Remember the people
Remember sky and earth
Remember the people
Have always struggled to live
In harmony in peace
Struggle against selfishness and
Weakness so the people may live
As nations
The old ways are hard
The people have always had
To work together
Remember impatient one
Remember and live
Do not be afraid of truth
Respect discipline
Share your life so the people may live
Honor sky and earth
Honor yourself
Honor your relations
Remember impatient one
The gentleness of time
Grandmother moon
You are more than light in the night
You are more than the moon
You are spirit connection
Your energy is our life
You are memories to generations past
You are the creator of sensations
That will always last
You are the knowledge the teacher
The influence to keep the people sane
You are a healer for spirit pain
Grandmother moon
We love you and we are angry
At the invaders who trash you
And violate our universe with
Their mechanical uncleanliness
We pray for you for us and for the
Invader who just can't comprehend
Respect love or the balance of life
We do not join the invading madness
From the way they act
It speaks of spirit sadness
Machine money progess is the
Cause of our common abuse
We see you grandmother
We feel you
We love you
We know through your reality
We will endure
We are one
We pray for you
We pray to you
Grandfathers whispering in the wind
Rejoice at the life you are a part of
Natural energy bound to natural laws
You will survive this
Temporary madness imposed upon you
Natural life is longer
Than opperssor's
Illusionary insanity
Spirits experience human deeds
But need not end
This is just one place of changes
Spirit life is forever if you want it
The universe is your home
You can survive here
Do not let them kill you
Keep your spirit strong
For distant stars and distant drums
Are the memories of spirit infancy
Children of earth let the spirit live
So you can grow in you place
In the universe

*

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*


*


Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It's not always gonna be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
It's not always gonna be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So I must be on my way
And face another day
Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always gonna be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So I must be on my way
Face another day
Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always gonna be this gray
All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

A GoFundMe for Willie and Aline


From Temryss Lane's GoFundMe page for Willie and Aline:

My dear Uncle Willie Lane and Auntie Aline's home burned down early on the morning of March 19th. Thank the Creator, they escaped the flames with their lives and second degree burns. Lifetimes of memories, cultural treasures, the smoke house (where my Uncle traditionally smokes salmon), their car, tools, clothes and their livelihoods went up in flames.

If you know Aline and Willie, you know they are in service to the community, exponentially generous, kind and loving, dedicated to helping people heal on their paths to wellness. Any offering you can make so they can purchase a new home and get on their feet again, would not only support them but benefit the entire community.

They have their lives and the clothes on their back. They lost everything else, including Aline's car. If you'd like to donate clothing items, old cell phones, a car, other necessities you can drop them at the Lane Family Home at 2877 Lummi Shore Rd.

Hy'shqe si'am! Our family feels so grateful Willie and Aline are safe and know that together we can help them rebuild their lives. Thank you for your generosity and support.

Temryss and the Lane Family

https://gofund.me/a1618623


Sunday, March 24, 2024

"... it is better to speak ..."


Thanks to Devin Kelly for bringing this writer to my attention today.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Walking / O California (the landscape of my younger days)


"Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts. I wasn’t sure whether I was too soon or too late for the purple lupine which can be so spectacular in these headlands, but milkmaids were growing on the shady side of the road on the way to the trail, and they recalled the hillsides of my childhood that first bloomed every year with an extravagance of these white flowers. Black butterflies fluttered around me, tossed along by wind and wings, and they called up another era of my past. Moving on foot seems to make it easier to move in time; the mind wanders from plans to recollections to observations."


*


*

I'm grateful to have been born into and grown up experiencing the landscape of California.  It brought a joy that is still with me all these years since I left, never imagining that I would spend the rest of my life living a thousand miles to the north in Western Washington which has its own beauty but is not my first love.  Eastern Washington does look much the way coastal California did when I was young but only for part of the year, and the Cascade Mountains separate Western and Eastern Washington. Eastern Washington has snow in the winter and extreme heat in the summer, unlike the coastal region of Northern California where I grew up, never far from the Pacific Ocean.  I continue have dreams where I rejoice that I am living near the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

#41 of 52 Tiny Mandalas drawn with my non-dominant left hand (the true color here is elusive) / Devin Kelly's essay on falling and getting back up


The camera on my cell phone distorted the blues in this mandala.  I wish you could see the true colors.  Nothing I did with the edit function could remedy the discrepancy between the actual mandala and the photo image.  

This reminds me of my recent experience with replacing the lenses in my glasses.  The optician asked if I would like the new lenses on my old frames to have a blue light filter to protect my eyes during the hours I spend looking at my laptop.  I said, "Sure."  It took me about a week looking through those new lenses to realize that the blue light filter gave the world a yellowish tint, making everything, especially the sky look the way it looked before I had cataract surgery.  The yellowish tint had a decidedly depressive effect on me.  One afternoon I took the glasses off and realized that the world looked so much better.  When I compared the view through the blue light filter and the true color of the sky, I was appalled by the way the filter diminished the beauty of the color of the sky.  The relief I experienced at seeing the true color of the sky was astounding. 

When I called the optician's office, I was assured that they would replace the lenses at no cost.  They had forgotten that they had told me that my frames could not sustain another change of lenses because those frames are 50 years old.  All was not lost, however.  Now I have a pair of glasses with lenses that are protecting my eyes (albeit with the color distortion) for the hours that I sit at my laptop, and I bought a new frame and had clear lenses inserted that allow me to see the true colors that I love so dearly.



I love this song. Always will. It brings healing tears every time I hear it.

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Grateful to have found Devin Kelly's Substack through a link from Sabine's blog and to have read the essay he linked to in today's post.