Missing Pieces

missing piece of puzzleWe went about the business of putting a 750-piece puzzle together about a month ago. It was a delight, a challenge and a disappointment.

As a budding cartoonist, I was overjoyed to be working on a Disney theme puzzle. Colors, lines, and shapes all blending into images as piece after piece fell into place. It seemed kind of cool and transported me back decades to simpler times. Two weeks of blissful puzzling passed to get to that “Aha – Ta – Da” moment of placing the last piece ever so firmly in place. It was a moment that would never come.

The quest for the missing bit began in earnest with the peeking under the puzzle, flipping of sofa cushions, rolling of rugs, the moving of furniture and flash-lighting underneath all that was within the puzzle zone. Next the reasoning began, “Well, maybe one of our dogs thought it was tasty?” or “Maybe the vacuum sucked it up?”. And then the pondering set in, “Where could it have gone?”. A few days later and admittedly another round or two of hunting, reasoning and pondering, a piece of the piece was found. It had somehow managed to make its way to the washer, then dryer and finally, with just enough remaining in the lint trap that we could tell it was indeed the missing piece.

But seriously, what do you do when that last piece is gone? Look for it; toss the puzzle out; graphically generate another piece; go buy another exact puzzle for that one piece – which leads to yet other completion dilemmas; put the puzzle back into the box then on the shelf; sell it for a nickel at a yard sale with a post-it note that says one piece is missing; or even write the company and ask for advice??

What if, then, the piece missing is something more urgent and impactful than a piece from a child’s puzzle? A professional disappointment, a separation, a loss of a loved one, a broken heart or some turn of misfortune. Do you run toward an answer, shy away hoping that it will magically be “ok”, or sit with it in thought until you reach an answer that makes sense to you? What steps do you find yourself taking towards finding that peace with the person, situation or choice?

In marinating on the topic of missing pieces that occur in my life, I began to formulate that perhaps, not one way is the perfect way but rather a combination of what works in a particular situation. A discovery of the importance of what was lost and what is to be found in the process of looking. Then to the finding of the importance of things and people before they are gone.

namasteMy uncle’s recent passing left me searching for answers in writing poetry but to no avail. No words came to write. No images flowed from my pen. There was only stillness for days. Waiting, hoping, struggling, and wishing for the right words to say to my family about a man who helped create the fabric of my childhood with vibrant colors of laughter, music and stories. But only a restless stillness. Finally, I stopped fighting, stopped looking for answers and then in that moment, an echo of his laughter and shadow of him shaking his head the way he did when he was amused but a silly joke. This was my way of reaching the point of importance. My way to begin to be complete with the realization that life moves forward. We live, love, laugh and help each other through community when pieces are missing.


For you, my friends, I wish you peace in fulfilling on the missing pieces in your life with whichever way makes the most sense for you. And when you find that peace, that importance in your life, share it with those around you who may be looking for the same.

Namaste.

Advertisements

Quota International of Santa Fe – St. Patty’s Day Fundraiser

w_shamrock-spirals



ST. PATRICK’S DAY FUNDRAISING DINNER



Saturday, March 11th, 2017, 5-7 PM (Raffle 6 PM)

New Mexico School for the Deaf
1060 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM.

Tickets: $12.00 Adult & $6.00 Children

(Event Proceeds: Betty Shockey Memorial Scholarship Fund for
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students; and a
Quota Diaper Drive at the event to benefit The Food Depot.)

Click for the event flyer or for more information about
Quota International of Santa Fe (QISF), please contact QISF!

w_shamrock-spirals

Letting Go

In a world of repetition and lack of originality, there is one book that speaks truth from the heart, uniqueness of thought, and reaches out to our humanity. Read, reflect and leave a word for the author.

 

Book Cover_ Letting Go by Holly NortonLetting Go, written by gifted poet Holly Norton, takes the reader on a poignant journey from childhood to middle age, from a dysfunctional family to a caustic relationship. Norton writes with vivid sensory imagery, weaving her words to superbly create the bitterness of betrayal to the sweetness of simple human touch. Her poems are inarguably the stuff of life, and the reader cannot help but be drawn in by her aptly-chosen words and deeply moved by her scenarios.” – Carmel Morse.

 

For more reviews & to order online: Finishing Line Press
Click for printable order form.

Post Election Thoughts

In the almost two weeks since election day, I have seen the increase in violence, hate and a more pronounced division between families, friends and work colleagues.

My own experience is one of having relatives land squarely on the opposing side of this great political and social debate about where we should go as a nation. My reply to a comment of ‘stop whining about it’ and ‘vote again in four years’ was at first, in my thoughts, met with disbelief that we are actually in the same family and WTF. Upon reflection and a few moments of deep breathing, the light bulb came on. The opposing side has that exact reaction to my views.

The reply I sent was to acknowledge that their opinion is just as valid as mine even though I completely disagree. Here’s the thing though, we cannot wait four years to see what happens. We must work within the system and hold those in power to account for their choices and to ensure that a larger division in our nation is not generated.

I will continue to speak out against those who incite violence, support bigotry and fuel hate while speaking for those amongst us who would be marginalized for being who they are.

While some may feel the need to check their passports, fill up the U Haul and head to the border, I am not going anywhere (save for a vacation, maybe), I am staying here and standing up for the country I know we can become. A country that embraces diversity, inclusion, opportunity and compassion. My America, meant for all.

If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
 

 

So, with this final parting thought, I leave you with words of wisdom from a young person with a bright future. Thanks, Kid President!

Happy Thanksgiving!

– Hope

Caretaker

breast-cancer-swirlOver the years I have heard stories about people leaving their jobs to assist with a family member’s illness. Whether it was to tend to a child, parent or spouse, the attention is 100% shifted from self to other. With that shift, a toll can be exacted on a person physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially.

Now with my own rounding the bend of becoming a quinquagenarian, this topic and experience has come to the forefront of many friend’s lives and to an extent in my own. I am not talking about why we care for others, as we do it from love and compassion among other reasons, so here I am talking specifically about the person(s) who carry the honor and responsibility of providing dignified care to those in need – the Caretaker.

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines caretaker as “a person who gives physical or emotional care to someone (such as a child, an old person, or someone who is sick)”.

Who then tends to the caretaker? Who helps support and nurture these people?

If fortunate, a Caretaker has a cadre of friends and family who will take turns providing care or who are willing to step in for each other for an hour or two to provide relief. For others, this might not be the case. So then, what can we do to assist with the overall well being of the Caretaker?

Keep it simple. Ask. If you know a person who is a Caretaker, ask them how you can help and let them know that you are authentically there to support them. They more than anyone else, will know if there is a task, a conversation, or other thing that will make a difference. Be open and willing to listen and their answer will come. Should either you or they need suggestions I made a little list of things that might lead them to their own answer.

Here might be some of the things you can offer to do:

  • pick up the dry cleaning or the groceries
  • drop off a latte or dinner
  • make a few extra meals for the freezer
  • offer to go on a walk with them
  • take care of their kids for a while
  • care for their pets & plants
  • clean their house, do their dishes or laundry

This quote sums it up for us on being generous to not only Caretakers, but to each other:

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

From the bottom of my heart, I wish the best to you and yours on your path!
— Hope

 

Breast Cancer …Any Cancer

breast-cancer-swirl

I know in my life, friends and family have lived with, survived and passed from cancer. I have witnessed the resilience of the human spirit in the face of staggering odds. While Cancer does not discriminate – it is equally noted that the human spirit can overcome anything that it has to dish out. 

So, for this month, let us take some time to reflect on the topic, take action and keep the wheels of progress moving in the direction of eliminating cancer.

 – Hope

Why I Sign & International Week of the Deaf

#whyisign

While foraging for nuts and berries one evening at the local grocery store, amidst the discussion of what to eat and how small the print of the ingredients lists on the labels have become, a young man asked me, “So, why do you sign?”. It took a second to snap to that I was wearing my #whyIsign t-shirt. My reply in a nutshell, “I sign to chat with people.”.

While the video below was made for the kick off of #whyisign earlier in 2016, the video remain as valid as the day it was created. It points to communication and opening up the possibilities of life through language. Special thanks to Stacy Abrams for launching this movement, Rosa Lee for her message in the video and to www.whyisign.com for sharing this message.

This week is the International Week of the Deaf. To celebrate and learn about this week, please read below and visit their site as together we can empower, partner and celebrate!

“WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF THE DEAF (IWD)?

International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and it was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. Since then, it is celebrated annually by the global deaf community. The International Week of the Deaf is held on the last week of September, the same month first World Congress of the WFD was held.

International Week of the Deaf is commemorated through various activities (marches, debates, campaigns, exhibitions and meetings), and call for the participation and involvement of stakeholders (families, peers, governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters, Disabled People’s Organisations).”

For more about this week, visit: https://wfdeaf.org/about-us/international-week-of-the-deaf

My recommendation:
Have some fun and take an ASL class or other sign language class and see your world expand!!

 

Back to School, Library Cards and Literacy

Empty notebooks waiting for everything from squiggles to ideas that will change the way we live; freshly sharpened pencils, fresh pens, and Sharpie markers that will seemingly never run out of ink are but a few of the images that come to mind when I think of the new academic year.

For some of us, well, the more “seasoned” individuals amongst us, learning is a lifelong love affair. Whether with the same subject or one that is new, peeling back the layers of a topic is the is a way to channel our natural curiosity and improve our quality of life. My experience of this is to do everything from surfing the web, to taking a class, to heading over to the library to unravel whatever mystery has come to the surface of my life.

This brings me to the two things in the realm of education that have come forward in my life with complete perfection in timing:

  1. September 2016 – Library Card Sign-Up Month 
    I learned of this event on one of my web surfing trips. I was completely delighted and just had to share it with you.

    I remember how I felt the last time I signed up for a library card. It was as if I was given the keys to new opportunities, new worlds and a door opened to become a better version of myself.

    Below are a few article and resources to help you and your local library.

    I Love Libraries: http://www.ilovelibraries.org/library-card

    The American Library Association has a wealth of information for libraries on how to start a sign-up event in your area. http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/card 

  2. Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe
    This amazing group of volunteers is dedicated to providing  free educational support for adults in reading, writing, English as a second language and in assisting students who are interested in becoming United State Citizens.
     

    They have been providing this service in Santa Fe, NM since 1985. If you have an interest in participating with them as a student, volunteer or Donor, please visit their site: www.lvsf.org

Take a minute to stop and think of the items above.

What is it that you want to learn? How can the library, a class or Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe be part of that journey? Where might that lead you? Who can you take on the journey with you?

My wish for you in unraveling the mysteries of your favorite topic – Be Curious!

 

love what matters

Contemplation.

I have been wondering what to say in the days since the various United States political conventions. Political rant? Social commentary? A plea for cooler, calmer heads to prevail? Sigh…

The interesting thing that I see about being unwilling to communicate regarding an issue is that there is no space to learn, grow or see that perhaps there is an alternative direction that has not been thought of or considered before. So, in these cases, I look for information, ideas and what folks have to say. I look in the news, in person and through social media…

What my quest lead me to was a journey through many different topics, including a few dog and cat videos – which is a must. However, the thing that struck the most vibrant this morning was a video from a police officer.

You may need a tissue for it, but here’s the link :


Find ’em on Facebook  and look around: Love What Matters

So, there you have it, Love What Matters!