Me In The Middle of Creating My Life

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 A New Creation

~ A poem about finding expression through art ~

One thing that tough times have taught me is to look to the center of things….. the center of me where I hope to find a way to move forward through whatever is going on in my life. It’s not always easy, especially when there’s a lot going on and things get really overwhelming. What works for others is not always the answer for you.

During one period of my life, it seemed I was searching nonstop for ways to get through the stress, chaos and upheaval that kept coming my way. I walked (a lot!), I exercised (a lot!), I meditated/prayed (a lot…), I wrote and created poems (off and on….) (Sometimes I partied (a lot!), Sometimes I drank (moderately…), Sometimes I totally stressed out! (a lot!) …. And that’s OK too! 🙂

It was during this time when I discovered the power of creating through ART. It’s my go-to escape from life’s tough times and it has never failed me. You don’t have to be perfect …. just express yourself and let go.

So I’m sharing with you a poem I wrote, during that chaotic time, about discovering my life through the joy of creating art.

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 A New Creation

Dormant stirrings of artistic talent
Laying in wait for expression
Smells of turpentine and linseed oil
Stretched into my memory
Carefully laying out the tools
For bringing thoughts to life.

Palette of colors
Arranged in warm and cool sequence
Easel with stretched canvas
Assorted brushes and knives
All symbols of promise
A new creation ~ a new hope.

At last a participant
No longer the spectator
Lost in concentration
Hours pass like minutes
Strong mystical feelings of peace
This was my universe and I felt free!

Maternal love nurtures new life
Returning to touch and nourish
Inner sense of Letting Go
Stepping back to set free
Contemplating the finished product
A genuine part of me.

Mary Lou Q

Sketches © Mary Lou Q

Me In The Middle Of Stretching To New Heights

Stretch to New Heights #2

Image by Mary Lou Q

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This sketch was done as part of the Inktober 2018 Challenge using the prompt ‘Stretch’.  It got me thinking about this poem I wrote back in the 70’s when I was in my mid-30’s and striving to find ways grow more, see more and be more.  Now I’m in my mid-70’s and thinking to myself “Wouldn’t it be great to publish a children’s book using my poem and sketches of this little giraffe!  🙂  You’re never too old to set goals and dream dreams!  “I wish you JOY, giraffe!”

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~ Stretching to New Heights ~

What is it about each of us
 that we are always exploring?
Stretching to new heights?
A hunger to be set above
 the rest ~ to be special.

It amuses me that even
 the tall, lanky giraffe
(head towering above most trees)
still seeks the new juicy leaves
 on treetops high out of reach.

You’d think she would be proud
~ this long-necked gal!
Content with the height
 she was given!
But No!

Just like each of us,
 she wants to grow MORE!
See more! Be more!
Experience all
 that this life can offer!

And my thoughts for her are;
“I wish you JOY, giraffe!”

by Mary Lou Q

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giraffe-2

Pixabay.com

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(This is just a fun post with a poem I wrote back in 1979 when I returned back to school to take some college courses and begin to move forward to improve my life in positive ways.)  ❤

Me in the Middle of Summer Reading

 

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First Book

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 ~

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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 bookGIFT 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.

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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!  

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A Gift from the Sea

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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.  “

 

Me in the Middle Turns One Year Old (#FlashBack)

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What a difference a year makes!  

My One-Year Anniversary badge from WordPress got me thinking about what inspired me to start blogging in the first place and what I’ve gained from this whole experience.

Me in the Middle was the beginning of my sharing my life story with family and a way for me to write about things I needed to let go of so that I could move forward in my life.  It was my hope that through sharing my journey I might encourage others and pass on lessons learned.  It turns out that, in one year’s time, I’ve been able to do that and so much more.

At first I found other bloggers who met that need for support through experiences of abuse, trauma and PTSD .  Bloggers who encouraged and supported each other in a positive way.  Then my enthusiasm for blogging grew and I began to open up my focus to many different topics and directions.  The WordPress Team and Community inspired me and helped me with any questions I had.  Soon I was connected to a wonderful group of blogger friends that have moved me well beyond the need that had initially brought me here last year.  I found that ‘Letting Go’ is an on-going process of being mindful of when we’re allowing our thoughts and emotions from flashbacks of the past to disrupt the wonderful experiences of the present.

One of the major influences in making this transition was the A to Z Challenge 2016.  I used it as a way to bring together all the lessons learned through my life.  It was a real purging and letting go of the past.  So, what a difference a year makes!

one-year-old

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When I first created my website I posted an Invitation to Guest Bloggers.  I wanted to open the door for others to share in their surviving and thriving stories.  I re-posted the invitation again in May and the response was wonderful!  Take a look ~ Here ~.   I’d love to hear your Me in the Middle story.  

So, for FlashBack Friday I decided to post one of my first post at the very beginning that started me off through this great year of blogging.  Thanks to everyone for being a part of it!

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It’s FlashBack Friday~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of your that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by MICHAEL G D’AGOSTINO from A LIFE EXAMINED–That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on September 27th, 2015.  To see the original comments to that post you can click on the title below to be taken to the original post. 

I chose this post because it was one year ago that I created my WordPress Website and this post is one of the first I published.  I believe it’s relevant because it shows where I was back then in September 2015 at the very beginning of my blogging experience and just how much blogging has helped me to let go and move on in life.

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Me in the Middle of Learning to Stand on My Own

I found Two Poems I’d written ~ in those first years ~ when I was coming to terms with the reality that the person who I thought was there for me was never really there.  I was learning to stand on my own and to find ways to push through all the walls that were coming down.  I was learning to believe in the possibilities that might be opening up for me.  It took every ounce of creative effort and courage that I could muster.  Writing poems during those first years was a way of finding expression for what I wasn’t able to make sense of while I was experiencing it.  When I reread them from a different place, a more improved view, I saw how important these exercises were.  They were stepping stones to carry me through that time to a new and better place in my life.  A life that keeps moving forward with Hope while wrestling with Life’s paradoxes.

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Divorce

Not sought after ~ this divorce
Thrust upon me as last resort
Insanity running its full course
Destroying trust and mutual support.

Sacrament now turned nightmare
Unraveling years of hopes and dreams
Document once sealed our covenant
Now document seals our parting means.

Final period closing painful sentence
Marking wreckage left behind
Will one day find me free of malevolence
Allowing forgiveness and peace of mind?

© Mary Lou

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Choose Life

Currents of humor and understanding
Toward the human condition
Life’s path created by paradoxes of life
Challenging past held beliefs
Toward unique revelation
Sun shines on evil as well as good.

Forms of life-force and truth
Point toward responsible kinship
Belief in goodness and care for humanity
Moves me out of my own poverty
Toward unique evolution
Choose Life ~ that my future may live!

Poems andSketches © Mary Lou