Me in the Middle of ETSY.com

Labor Day Weekend is behind us and thoughts turn to the Holidays! I’ve had a lot of fun setting up my shop on ETSY! There’s a Package of Six Christmas/Holiday Greeting Cards. For anyone who loves Ireland, you’ll find 8 x 10 reproduction prints and note cards as well. Shipping is Free within the US.

I hope you’ll visit, mark as your favorite and share with friends and family!

Thank You!!

********************

SketchesbyMaryLou

https://www.etsy.com/listing/541710852/handmade-watercolor-christmasholiday?ref=shop_home_active_4

Me In The Middle

Christmas Roses #2 SketchesbyMaryLou

My Shop is now open!!  

My ETSY experience has been very similar to my WordPress experience ~ Plunge right in and ask questions later!  I guess that’s the way I learn.  Instead of reading up on everything and then beginning, I like to learn as I go along.  Similar to life, I guess.

After I received the first request to buy one of my sketch prints, I was determined to give all this a try.  It’s really fun and interesting.  Visiting the local printerand learning all about proofs and costs started me thinking about gifts for the family and possibly selling more.  I became more inspired the more I experienced and now I have a shop on ETSY.com.  Please click on the link and take a look!  🙂

Sketches by Mary Lou

*protected by copyright*

View original post

Haiku – Difficulty

It’s in the looking back that we’ve come to know how true this is….. And in the present moment that we’ve come to have faith and hope in the future. ❤

Find Your Middle Ground

mindfulness
~
May the truth you seek
Rise out of difficulty
Find your Middle Ground
~

Every experience we have in life is an opportunity to witness. To step back, observe and attend to.

Beneath the discomfort and suffering is something precious that wants to be known.

In times of difficulty, pause and be with whatever comes up. Give it space so you can feel it fully.

As you come to this place full of hard and hurtful edges, let yourself soften.

Open your heart to it, and let compassion melt the negative thinking and resistance.

Find your Middle Ground and the truth and love within.

Namaste

View original post

Me in the Middle of Summer Reading (#FlashBack)

“There are people who are kind, and people who are not kind, among all races and cultures. It was a White man who gave me opportunity so I could realize the American dream. Our friendship transcended race, and built a positive connection between the races. We can overcome racism through friendship and positive cross-cultural relationships. “ 
~ Francis Mandewah ~ Friendship-A True Story of Adventure, Good Will and Endurance

It’s FlashBack Friday ~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc. 

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on August 16, 2016.  To see the original comments to that post you can click on the title  ~ Me in the Middle of Summer Reading ~ below to be taken to the original post.  I chose this post because of the quote above.  It’s from one of my Guest Bloggers, Francis Mandewah, written in his memoir ~ Friendship-A True Story of Adventure, Goodwill and Endurance.  I read Francis’ story during the summer of last year (Third Book).  He wrote of his journey from the Sierra Leone to the United States.  A journey that was aided through his friendship with a white man, Tom Johnson, who he met when he was a 15-year-old teenager.

The recent events in the nearby city of Charlottesville have left me with the need to reflect on the ugliness of racism that was on display the weekend of August 11-13.  The repercussions continue to unfold.  In his memoir, Francis speaks of this awareness and his experiences of racism since he became a citizen in the USA.  He speaks of his love for this Country and his hope to contribute to its healing.  Most of all he speaks of the role that this one friend played in helping him to recognize that goodness lives in the hearts of people no matter what their color.

******************** 

Me in the Middle of Summer Reading

First Book

i-will-not-die-an-unlived-life-col

This poem moved me so deeply that I followed up with a Google search and found that Dawna Markova had written a  book by the same title.  “Why are we here?” is the question she asks both herself and the reader of this wonderful book ~ I WILL NOT DIE AN UNLIVED LIFE ~.  It’s written while Dawna is on a retreat to solitude in a cabin far away from the hectic pace of modern life.  Her story travels along different paths than mine has and that’s the whole point of her book.  We’re here to follow our own passion and dreams.

“Anyone on a spiritual quest, seeking to discover their own deep wisdom, and uncover their “calling” will be enriched and energized in a powerful and gentle way……”

(Forward)

“Like the rest of the natural world, human beings go through seasons.  At one point, we are in the full bloom of summer, harvesting, committed, in abundance.  Then, naturally there is an autumnal time of falling away, disillusionment, stagnation, a shedding of what has been used up.  Then must come the fallowness and dormancy of winter, death, rest.  Eventually, as is happening right outside the window of this cabin, there is a great melting into muck and mud, which, if one can persevere, opens naturally into an abundant yellow-green time, when everything is possible and horizons open.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

“In a similar way to A Gift from the Sea, the readers of this book (I Will Not Live An Unlived Life) are invited to accompany me on a journey to come to know more intimately the value and purpose of their lives.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

*******************************************

Men, Women and Happiness Cropped (2)

Ink Sketch and Watercolor by Mary Lou Q

Second Book

Gift from the Sea #3

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book ~ GIFT FROM THE SEA ~ was shared with me by my mother back in the 90’s.  I packed myself a lunch and took a ride to the beach, setting up my chair in front of the ocean.  It was a restful day that I needed badly and I hoped to find nuggets of wisdom and truth from this book.  At the time it was difficult for me to concentrate on it.  I kept thinking ‘How can this wealthy woman whose life is so different than mine even relate to what I’m experiencing?’  It’s only been down through the years and coming across Anne’s various quotes from her book that I’ve decided to read it again.  Dawna Markova read it to inspire her book ‘I Will Not Live An Unlived Life’ and I decided to read them both this summer.

********************

anne-morrow-lindbergh-quotes-3

The Introduction to the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of Gift from the Sea (2005)  is written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s daughter, Reeve Lindbergh:

“I read Gift from the Sea at all Seasons of the Year and of my life.  I never once had the sense that my mother’s 1955 book has lost its freshness, or that the wisdom contained within its pages has ceased to apply, whether to my own life or to what I’ve learned , overtime, about hers.”

“Above all, I think, Gift from the Sea offers its readers an unusual kind of freedom.  It is hard to recognize, or even to describe, but I think this freedom is the real reason this book continues to be so well loved and so well read after all these years.  I am talking about the freedom that comes from choosing to remain open, as my mother did, to life itself, whatever it may bring:  Joys, sorrows, triumphs, failures, suffering, comfort and, certainly, always, change.”

Thanks, Mom!  I get it!  ❤

********************

A Gift from the Sea

********************

Third Book

Francis Friendship

Francis Mandewah is one of my Guest Bloggers

Me in the Middle introducing Guest Blogger ~ Francis

I was so inspired by what Francis wrote in his guest blog that I bought his book on Amazon Kindle and I’ve just begun reading it.  His story begins with his life as a 15 year old young man in the African country of Sierra Leone and in the heart of the African diamond zone.  His story too is a spiritual journey of trust in goodness in the world in spite of the hardships and realities that might come along.  It’s his trust in this goodness that makes it possible for Francis to be fully present when God opens a door in his life that leads him to the path of his dreams.

“As I chronicled my trials and tribulations I discovered my voice in between the lines of my story ~ a voice that was filled with faith.”

~ Francis Mandewah ~

“I suppose this dream has been the script for my life, because even as I sit, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always feel a tinge of uncertainty, as if I’m eternally looking for a flight itinerary. I have lived a life filled with the adventure of being ushered onto stage and the turmoil of being blindfolded and locked in a cage. Through my travels, my willingness to walk to and through the door, I discovered within myself a will to not just survive, but to thrive, no matter the circumstance.”

Blood Diamond ~ Sierra Leone

 

“There are people who are kind, and people who are not kind, among all races and cultures. It was a White man who gave me opportunity so I could realize the American dream.  Our friendship transcended race, and built a positive connection between the races. We can overcome racism through friendship and positive cross-cultural relationships. 

Francis Mandewah

 

Weekend Coffee Share: Charlottesville

It’s good to know that good is conquering evil through so many speaking up.

Following Seas

Weekend Coffee ShareIf we were having coffee I’d want to tell you that I knew something bad was going to happen in Charlottesville this past weekend.

And I’m not referring to the usual vandalism and looting that often go along with protests and demonstrations.


The Friday night images of the “Unite the Right” demonstrators wielding torches evoked a distant memory. As they marched across the darkened UVA campus I was reminded of a scene from the 1931 movie Frankenstein.

Scene from Frankenstein movie (1931)-townspeople with torchesThe townspeople in that story were on a mission to destroy a creature that they feared.

He had a kind and gentle nature but was “different” in appearance and behavior.

Based on these differences they made incorrect assumptions and treated him with hatred. Intimidated by his extremely large size and peculiar looks they labeled him a monster.

Eventually, he too became violent due to the hostility and maltreatment they had shown him. 

Without ever attempting to communicate…

View original post 477 more words

Me in the Middle of Hope

I live just outside of the City of Charlottesville in Albemarle County.

As I watched last weekend begin to unfold on last Friday night with the intimidating appearance of  torches and hate-filled messages on the Lawn of the University of Virginia I knew things were going to progress in ugliness.  I also knew that Charlottesville Va, a friendly and welcoming place for all people of good will, was destined to be a pivotal part of history.  Before I got off the internet and spent the weekend with family I read this post by one of the WordPress Bloggers I follow.  It was obvious to me that this ‘millenial’s’ post was going to go viral ………………… and it did!  10,000 plus shares on Facebook!

********************

My Fellow White Americans

August 12, 2017

These are images from Charlottesville, Virginia last night.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 10.59.03 AM

These are white people in their twenties and thirties. Like me.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 10.59.22 AM.png

These are people who are in my generation, the millennial generation, the one frequently lambasted for “participation trophies” and “needing safe spaces.”

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 10.59.36 AM

These are people that look like my coworkers, my colleagues, my brothers, my cousins. People I know and love, who also have white skin and wear polo shirts.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 10.59.59 AM.png

These are people who, like I was, were raised on a diet of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which teaches tolerance and understanding of others. They’ve probably seen the Indiana Jones films, where punching Nazis is considered a virtuous act. These are my actual demographic peers in the United States of America, which means that these are people who sat through the unit on the second world war in their history class and looked at images of concentration camps and gas chambers and burning books and Anne Frank’s attic and still thought, well, hang on, maybe those Nazis had some interesting ideas.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 11.09.49 AM.png

These are people who chanted “Jew will not replace us.”

These are people who yelled “The heat here is nothing compared to what you’re going to get in the ovens.”

These are people who didn’t even bother to wear hoods. 

What does it say that in 2017, I’m struck by the fact that the Ku Klux Klan members at least shielded their faces so that no one could identify them? That the same type of societal pressure apparently no longer exists today? That these people feel comfortable espousing the rhetoric of racist, genocidal maniacs in a public space that was widely photographed and broadcast?

My anger is bigger than my ability to write,  but I’m going to try to say this as succinctly as I can.

White nationalism is morally indefensible. This is not a point that is up for discussion.

If you are willing to give these people the benefit of the doubt, you are complicit in the rhetoric of racists and bigots. Playing “devil’s advocate” is unacceptable.

To Continue Click on the Link:  My Fellow White Americans

********************

On Wednesday night, the people of Charlottesville came together to Take Back the Lawn:

 

Which side are you on? If you’re on the wrong side of history then please get out of the way. I have faith in the goodness of the next generations.

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd and night