Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Old Songs, Natural Highs, and my New Favorite Hiking Trail

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Linda says our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is a little complicated. Yes, but just a little which makes it interesting.

The prompt is: “song.” First, we find a picture–the closest one to us. Then we write about the “lyrics of the first song that comes to mind when we look at the picture.”    and as always, “Have fun!”

When I read the prompt, I was laying in bed after having driven the six hours from the mountains, though I think the trip took about seven hours because I stopped a lot to stretch the crinkles out of my old bones. The closest picture was a print I bought from Amanda Clark who is my favorite contemporary artist. She paints lots of earthy, whimsical, trees, bunnies, foxes, angels. The print I have made me think of the song, Blue Moon. But I just put that song in a post so I looked to my right and saw the painting I did in high school from a photo in National Geographic.

Rocky Mountain mist

I’m pretty sure the photo was taken of the rocky mountains. Though it might be somewhere like the Alps. I added the fairy mist coming over the ridge a few years ago.  In high school I had a dream of going to the Rocky Mountains, so naturally, I thought of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” whenever I look at this painting.

I was kinda obsessed with this song when I was in high school and the whole ecology movement. I thought I was going to be born again when I went to the rocky mountains. I’ve never  been though. I’m not sure if I will ever go, though I hope to go to the Pacific Northwest if this virus ever makes interstate travel safe.

Still, I have a little house in the North Carolina Mountains and a little house near the Carolina Coast. The last song I heard coming back home to the coast on around 6pm on my oldies station was “O-o-h Child.”  This song came out in 1970 and has been a big part of my life, especially during hard times, ever since.  I would sing this song to myself when I was lonely and didn’t know if I’d ever find love again. I sang it to myself when my job was driving me crazy and during my darkest years when I wondered if life was worth living.  I sang it to my daughter during her difficult teenage years.

And you know what? It worked! Things did get easier. Hard times still came and went, and maybe they always will. But today, after many years, things are much better and easier than they were 20 years ago.  Dreams have come true. Maybe not exactly like I thought, but I have a man who loves me and supports me in so many ways. I’m retired, and I get to paint and write and putter in the yard.

I’ve never been to the Rocky Mountains, but on Wednesday I went on the most wonderful hike in the Appalachian Mountains. I got a Blue Ridge Mountain High for sure. There’s a river not far from our mountain house that I am falling in love with. I’ve just got to share some photos with you!

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large brown fungus on tree
Name that fungus!

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I love this river!
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Just enough challenge to make it interesting.

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… and worth the effort!

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Ferns growing on a rock
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Raccoon Tracks?
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Blooming Rhododendron

PS: I impulsively clicked to go to the new block editor while working on this so who knows how it will turn out. It’s like learning WP all over again! :/

I need to learn how to make one of those collages.

For more Streams of Consciousness and guidelines, visit Linda Hill at:


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SoCS: The Days are Long, But the Years are Short, So Believe in Your Dreams and Find the Joy.

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Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “year.”

A year is 365 days. Remember how when we were kids a year seemed like such a long time. My granddaughter talks about a thirty minute drive taking forever.

Now a year zooms by like a flock of pelicans. Though pelicans glide more than zoom.

Line of Pelicans by JoAnne

They’re beautiful in flight, but they don’t stay long.

I was thinking about writing about what popped into my head when I read the prompt: The Year of Living Dangerously was a movie I believe I saw in the 80s. It was a about a journalist played by Mel Gibson and a diplomat played by Sigourney Weaver who’s one of my favorite actors. It was political, yet romantic in an exotic part of the world.

I’ve often thought of the first rebound after my divorce as a year of living dangerously.  That relationship lasted a year and was 365 days too long. But I learned not to settle.

Then, there’s “The Year of the Cat”which is a song I love the sound of. Mellow and maybe a little exotic though I don’t know all the words. But here are some.

“She comes out of the sun in a silk dress runnin’ like a water color in the rain.”

Who cares what it’s about? But I bet some one knows. It’s the sound that I love. Okay, I like the lyrics, too. Always have, even if I couldn’t sing them all from memory.

2019 was a strange year. We spent 7 months at the house that was my parents’ immersed in their history while sorting out their stuff during renovations on our home. Then we sold the house I grew up in and bought a house in the mountains. Never would’ve imagined that as more than a fantasy, but dreams do come true, even if they take a while. Anything  is possible!

Believe in your dreams

So here we are coming up on a brand new year. The word, JOY, has been coming to me lately. That must be my word for the year.  A year of living joyfully!

Not every minute will be joyful. But I bet I can find some joy in every day. How’s that for a goal? I think there may be some dancing.

Here’s to 2020! With all its mess and magic. There’s going to be joy in the sunshine and moonlight, birdsongs, and buttercups.  I know I’m getting corny now, so that’s all folks.

Just one question:

What brings you joy?

 

For details on SoCS, or to join in the fun, visit Linda Hill by clicking this link:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/12/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-28-19/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


15 Comments

Dream On

Belive in Your dreams

Today’s SoCS prompt is “dream.”

Feed your dreams. The good ones. Not the nightmares. Don’t feed them.

I’ve been a dreamer for as long as I can remember. Sometimes too much so. But I’ve learned to put work into the dreams that are goals. One step at a time.

For this post, I’m using the word, dream, as it relates to goals, though the dreams we have when asleep can be interesting and meaningful, too.

I dreamed of a partner who would be a good fit, someone compatible. That was after the divorce and after the rebound from hell, after I got over my cynicism where I tried to not want a man because they could not be trusted.

My father could be trusted. Maybe I put him on a pedestal. He is partly responsible for me being a dreamer with his proclamation that, “Nothing is Impossible.”

So I imagined a compatible partner, made collages including him, and wrote lists of his characteristics.  It worked! (except for the list item that said “if he snores it’s only a little so I don’t notice.” That one didn’t manifest, yet.)  We don’t always get everything we want, but believing in our dreams helps.  Plus we have to work on ourselves in the meantime We have to work on becoming ready for our dreams to come true. Becoming the best we can be without expecting perfection. Because perfection is a dirty word. Nobody’s perfect.

“Perfection is the enemy of progress.” — Winston Churchill

Baby steps are okay, because they add up. But we can’t just dream. We gotta take steps. So dream on and keep taking steps.

Dream on til your dream comes true.

Listen to these girls harmonize! I think they’re pretty amazing.

For more dreams and streams of consciousness, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/11/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-16-19/

socs-badge-2019-2020

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


28 Comments

Keeping Our Dreams Alive

(From my September Newsletter)

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Did you ever think something was dead, but it surprised you?

Around this time last year, I pulled up a small dogwood tree growing right next to our church foundation. There was no room for it to grow there. It was not easy, but I got most of the root. I planted the dogwood behind the church and gave it some water. The leaves withered and eventually dropped off. But it was close to leaf dropping time anyway, so I hoped it would come back in the spring. Through the whole season of spring I looked for new growth and saw nothing but a bare stem. I figured it was dead. I should have put some fertilizer on it. Then, in August, I just happened to notice two tiny leaves. Then four. The dogwood was still alive! Its leaves are growing as I write this. I don’t know if it will survive the winter, but there’s always hope.

There was a time when I wondered if romance was dead for me. But I never completely gave up hope. I had no idea that my first love would find me 39 years later, and that the love we had felt for each other as teenagers was still alive, dormant, waiting patiently for the perfect time.

(Sounds like a good story, right? You can order it here.)

 

Did you ever have a dream that you thought was dead? Maybe you’ve thought it was too late. Maybe you’ve felt like giving up, thinking: what’s the use? I’ll never be good enough. I think we’ve all been there.

In high school, I was pretty good at art, and I loved to write. But I didn’t value these talents. I  valued science. I wanted to save the planet. So, I declared biology as my major.  But higher math and chemistry got harder in college. I could have gotten a tutor, but I wasn’t supposed to need a tutor.

Discovering psychology was the best thing that could have happened. As much as I wanted to help others, there were things I needed to learn to help myself. After college, I spent over 30 years as a substance abuse counselor. I learned a lot during those years and was blessed with the privilege of being able to help others. And every now and then, I would dabble in saving animals, caring for the planet, being an artist, and writing. But it was just dabbling. There were long stretches when I did not create art and my only writing consisted of clinical notes at my job. When my marriage ended, I painted like crazy for a while and wrote in journals as part of my therapy. But I didn’t think I’d ever be an artist or writer full time. I had to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. Retirement seemed like a faraway land I would never reach.

But sometimes, I would dabble in my old dreams.

Then in 2011, my first love found me again. People got goosebumps when we told our story, so I started writing that story. I had a lot to learn about creative writing, about details, conveying feelings, and describing scenes. There were times when I wondered if I had what it took to write and publish a real book.

But you’ll never know if you’re capable of something
until you’ve given it a go. ~ Kristina Adams

For much of my life, I’ve had a habit of thinking my work wasn’t good enough, because it wasn’t perfect. But I’m changing that habit.

This article by Kristina Adams explains how striving for perfection can damage our confidence and motivation (not to mention our health). It’s helped me be reasonably proud of my book. It’s a good book. But what I’m most proud of is that Trust the Timing is a book of overcoming challenges and never giving up hope, a book that can help people.

Now, I have reached that once distant land they call “retirement.” Except that I’m not really retired. I’m writing and painting! I dabble in saving the planet, or at least a tree here and there.

What about your dreams? Did you ever think that you weren’t good enough to follow your heart’s desire? I am telling you now that you are good enough. There’s some part of your dream that still lives, a part you can nurture into new growth. Your dream might change, and that’s okay. Maybe you’re already living your dream, or maybe you’re just thinking about it. Dabbling. Either way, don’t give up.

May your sweet dreams become reality.


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When Dreams Fade

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This is my offering for the collaborative at Forgotten Meadows inspired by the prompt:

“When Dreams Fade Away.”

(The photo was taken by my friend Caroline in 1972.)

When Dreams Fade, By JoAnne Silvia

When you left me

all those years ago

against your will

and surely against mine,

the dreams in my young heart

faded slowly

into mere echos

of another lifetime.

Four decades later,

after years of doubt

and darkness,

a speck of dream

survived

asleep so deep

it barely breathed.

When the time came

that you found me again,

and you kissed me

by the river at sunset,

and I smelled your neck

just below your ear,

the dream awakened.

Sparks flew because we knew

the dream was more than just alive

and more than just a dream.

© JoAnne Silvia, 2016


23 Comments

A Forest of Dreams

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In the face of so much sadness and violence in the world, one community came together and created something beautiful.

When they didn’t get the grant they applied for, Professor Janna Robertson and Matt Carvin, the director of Dreams, an arts program for at-risk youth, put their heads together. The goal was to paint a mural on a 240 foot wall to beautify the neighborhood known as Northside where Dreams is located. They decided to ask community groups to sponsor creatures to inhabit the Forest of Dreams. Over 1000 volunteers worked on the mural, and I was honored to be one of them. We worked in the rain and the heat, with lots of ants and other crawly things, and I loved every minute of it. Not only was I doing something I loved, but the  consistently positive attitudes of the people around me gave me hope. I’ve never before seen with my own eyes such a diverse group of people working together to create something so beautiful.

My assignment was to paint a heron reading a book using a rough sketch as a guide. The heron was sponsored in honor of  Dr. Bertha Todd, a veteran educator and civic leader who served as an important mediator during the racial tensions of the early 1970s. The book represents Dr. Todd’s memoir, My Restless Journey, which I’m looking forward to reading. (If you’re interested in purchasing the book, contact me via my contact page.)

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The heron took a few weeks to finish. Then, I added the two bunnies below to another section of the mural, as well as the white rabbit in the bottom left corner of the top photo.

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Among the forest creatures, you’ll see scrolls which tell this sweet story:

 There once was a deer, small and gray,
Lost and lonely, only a stray,
The deer was alone but did not know why
So he lifted his gaze to view the sky.

He yearned for the welcoming stars,
And wished on each one from afar,
Until, suddenly, one star grew,
Revealing a world he never knew.

 In this new light, he saw colors bright
A forest filled with fantastic delights
And amazing creatures unlike any type
He had seen on his side of the night.

He played and talked with them,
Gave to them and got from them
Sage words, gifts, and most above
Acts of kindness and boundless love.

Voices in the wind from souls long gone
Sung to him, the words of a song:
Grow, reach your antlers to the sky
You weren’t born with wings, but you can fly.

So he leapt into the starry night
And became a constellation bright
A Prince for all to see
A guide for those who dare believe

A wall is not always a wall
Sometimes it is not one at all
When you paint the world with dreams
Barriers are not what they seem.

A dream is not just a dream
But a place to start, a place to leap.

By: Jamie La Londe-Pinkston

 

Here are some of the creatures who live in the Forest of Dreams:

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Kids Makin’ It is a program where kids make things from wood. I thought it was very cool that the owl’s wings look like wood.

 

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Memory Tree

The Memory Tree honoring those who have passed on.

 

Deer

The deer

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The deer close up

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”                    Margaret Mead

 

For more information, visit the Forest of Dreams Mural Website


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Wake Up Call

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Summer wanes…

Rustling leaves whisper:

Change is coming…

Time to take inventory.

What do I need?

What’s most important?

What dreams can I grab by the collar,

And haul up from the depths,

To save the rest of my life?

It’s late in the game.

There’s still time left,

But the clock is ticking.

What do we need?

What’s most important?

What dreams can we weave together

In a giant safety net

To save our only planet?