Crescent Moon, Rising Sun – On little by little, one step at a time.

This post is a reflection on my experience. At one point, I had become fully engaged in multiple goals, personal and professional – maybe too many. I had always been a dreamer, and the type of person who felt guilty if there was a slot of time not filled with something productive. Multitasking sounded more than acceptable, and I engaged in it as well. It was right of my alley. I put a lot of pressure on myself over the past 10 years to accomplish everything that I thought “was due.” Some things I did not accomplish, some I started and decided to stop because the time was not right for them to be fruitful, and others, I decided to put aside for good. At times, it felt as if I was swimming at high-speed not to miss the boat that was already gone, or so I thought. I tried to catch up with my dreams and with time. It was a matter of time before the crash.

I had to learn to slow down and live one day at a time. I discarded the word multitasking and adopted a new philosophy of living – one thing at a time, one day at a time. I stopped blaming “others and the situation” and accepted the truth – that I am the only one in control, and the one who sets the pace. I had to go back and retrain myself in various areas. I also learned to depend more on God and less on my vision of things, although I don’t consider myself a religious person in the popular meaning of the word. This process strengthened my faith and patience. I saw that I could express more little by little, step by step. I enjoy the task at hand more, and am able to widen my vision; I see more now. I trust God’s process more.

I was a heavy planner and I thrived on multiple lists both short-term and long-term, many times as far as a 10-year plan. I am not suggesting that planning is bad, on the contrary, it is healthy; obsessive or too much structured planning is not the best choice. I had to understand that life’s plans can change in a split of a second – it is called life. Life doesn’t get in the way, it just is. It is called living. I plan now for living, not for the sake of achieving. Some of you might argue that part of living is achieving, and I agree. I say that achieving without living is pointless.

Now, I look at a crescent moon slowly gaining its fullness. I look at the rising sun after the darkness, and I know that all happens one day at a time. All.

 

New Pastures

It feels nice to be back. A year + has gone by since we moved to Virginia. It is very lovely here, and we are enjoying new beginnings. During those months, we worked from sun to sun to restore our 1910 farmhouse – an immense endeavor. We stayed with my sister and b-i-l, and traveled over an hour each way every day.  We still have tons of work to do but we were able to move in during the first seven months. We kept as many as the original features as we could, and strived to achieve a rustic early american look. I think we achieved what we set out to do. In two words – thrilling exhaustion. Will we ever attempt this again? I doubt it, but one never knows, so I’ll leave it at that. For some of you who might be thinking of undertaking a similar endeavor, this is what I learned.

  • It is more work than you will ever imagine.
  • It takes more time and money than budgeted.
  • You will drive each other crazy to the point of no return at times.
  • Sometimes, you will doubt your strength to keep on going, but somehow you do go on.
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Be prepared to handle good moments, somber moments, crazy moments, sad moments, angry moments, and happy moments.
  • You need to pat each other on the back to keep going.
  • When you see the results of your hard work, it pays, and it feels very good.
  • You must have patience, endurance, and vision.

During that time we were offline and totally disconnected. I found that I enjoyed the time away from all of it. During my free moments I managed to write The Five-dollar Miracle the old-fashioned way – via pen and paper. It is in the first stage of revision and editing, and I hope that by the end of this year it will be published. This one is a bit different from my previous works.

To all of you who followed this blog and read some of the older posts while I was away, I thank you.

Why We Follow? Why We Lead?

Why we follow? Why we lead?

The fact that we are social and gregarious might seem to answer the question, and to a point it does; however, whether you consider yourself a follower or a leader is only important because of the Why. I think we are a bit of both throughout our lifespan. Sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow. If we discard the image of the big leader followed by a multitude we do ourselves a favor. Many people aspire to be leaders; other people get offended if they are labeled as followers, almost as if one would cancel the other, when instead, we must be open to be both if we want to grow our humanity, and our spirituality. There will be times in our lives when we will have to step as leaders, and other times we will yearn to follow, and even the leaders will find themselves after the path of teaching by learning the yearning of the followers. We have been taught that one is better than the other, or greater than the other, when it is just a different side of the same coin, a different tonality of the same color. The only thing that will decide which side it is at a particular moment in our lives is the Why.

Why we step to lead or yearn to follow? In the Why we found the meaning, and it must be powerful enough to move us, otherwise, we end up pursuing illusions whether we lead or follow. Whatever we look for, the nourishment we need, or need to give, becomes the reason, the fuel, the dream … Somewhere in the process, what developed inside us, and has been there, we manage to transport it outside ourselves, and the search for it starts, and we lead, and we follow, and we keep searching, and leading, and following – and living.

Writer’s Predicament – WWTT?

WWTT?What would they think?

At one point in our writing we will ask ourselves that question. It comes from the concern that readers will associate what is written with our personality and think that we are it. Some readers will, some will not. That is a chance that the writer will have to weigh, and decide. I think that the work speaks of the writer, however, it does not define him/her.

As writers we decide how far we want to go with our writing, and how true to it we want to be. As an example – If I am writing a murder scene, you bet that I am going to be as descriptive and gross as I can be with the pen to capture the scene and translate it into a visual picture to readers. If I am writing about the killer, I will want to get as deep into his/her psychological persona as I can, to give the character life. Does that make me a psycho or a murderer? I don’t think so. Then, why do we hesitate to write? Out of concern – WWTT?  It is the predicament that stops the pen, the mind, the Muse.

Fiction writers have the “peace of mind” (do they?) that readers will take their works as fiction, but sometimes interpretation goes beyond, and the lines become a bit blurred, not so much for the author but for the readers. A latest example of this is the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. A fiction novel that stirred so much controversy and continues to do so with its movie incarnation. I have not read the book but you would have to live under a rock not to know what is going on with it, that is, if you are an active reader or movie lover. J K Rowling had to deal with the witchcraft criticism of her Harry Potter series, and I am sure that you can think of many other examples.

In the end, a writer decides how far to go with the pen, and how important WWTT is to him/her. To be or not to be, that is the question – Shakespeare.

 

How to Tame a Multi-Creative Spirit

TameChanged from natural wilderness to a manageable state. (American Heritage Dictionary)

 

The above definition will serve the tone of this post. As creatives we have an abundance of inspiration flowing, and many times, this same flow overwhelms our creative spirit. A person who seems to have many talents, or ways in which this flow of inspiration is expressed may find it difficult to focus on one talent, thus making it challenging to grow or develop a talent further. A multi-creative spirit may find itself in creative chaos at a particular moment becoming a bit confused as where to focus the intention to create. A writer may feel the need to pursue painting or photography, or any other artistic interest, pulling himself/herself away from the writing career that he/she is following. Many times, this burst of creative passion leads to doubt as to what path to follow. A person may be talented in many areas, however as human beings we live within the constrictions of a material world ruled by time and space, making it difficult to create as much as we wish to, and leaving us in creative exhaustion, spreading ourselves too thin, and eventually opening a door to frustration. So, what is a multi-creative spirit to do?

Focus seems to be the answer. Whether you are great at writing or painting or many more creative venues is not the issue here, but how to manage your creative state in a way that leaves you feeling outside of creative chaos, more fulfilled, and with a clear vision. It is fine to love all your talents and feel equally passionate about them, however one of them will need to be placed first in your fulfillment scale. Prioritizing next the rest of your passions. You may want to dedicate more time developing and growing as a writer, while enjoying your painting as a hobby or as a secondary source of income or fulfillment and not necessarily tied to your income, to present an example. This will take the pressure of the need to be “great” at every talent or perform 100 percent in all, at all times. It brings to mind the adage, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

As we live, we evolve, and so do our interests and passions. Wanting to excel in all our creative passions/interests might feel natural; however, when we learn to tame our multi-creative spirit it might lead to a better use of our talents, less frustration, and peace of mind, thus a more relaxed state of being that becomes fertile ground for inspiration to flow without the natural constraints that we put on it. In the end, it may work to our advantage and facilitate a state of creativity that leads to mindful fulfillment and nourishing of the creator in us. In this way we respect our gifts, as well as our creative self, and ultimately, the Creator and Giver of it all.

Intellectual Filth

A poem.

 

 

Intellectual Filth

 

Hate, war, pestilence, blood, deceit …

The legacy of human beings.

Oh God, why create such intellectual filth?

Nature does not need this sickness within.

 

The more I think, the more I see,

Faith slowly morphs into pain, hopeless disbelief.

Thin needles slowly prick a cold blue heart,

Bleeding its love, ice melts divine.

 

Oh God, why save such impure hearts?

Isn’t Earth better without virus-man?

Why not clean Earth, wipe us all out?

Have you ever thought of taking us out?

 

With a heavy heart a true voice I heard,

Buried deep in ice, breaking through mind’s cares.

“Many times I thought of doing just that,

Then I saw the one carrying a just heart.”

 

“Oh Child, there I saw

My early gifts bestowed,

Love, peace, compassion, trust, hope…

The pain and desire for a better world.”

 

“Love thriving in one changed a multitudes fate,

Then the one I sent with divine intent.”

“Pure love made flesh, the ultimate gift,

Myself wrapped in him to wipe all the sin.”

 

Oh God, nothing changed, I still see the same.

Destruction, pain, and so much hate.

I close my eyes to not awake,

Hoping not to see another such day.

 

Oh child of mine, your cares I see.

I see the pain, the heart within.”

“If only you would let Him in,

The love you need will pour right in.”

 

Oh God, you know the world is not me,

The love of one enough won’t be.

Maybe it is best to let me be,

I close my eyes; I rest in peace.

 

“Oh child of mine, did not I say,

That for the one my love remained?”

“The virus-man Love inoculates,

Today I listened, and you I heard.”

 

My Cloud

A poem.

 

Photo by M.A.D.

Photo by M.A.D.

 

 

My Cloud

 

I saw my life in a cloud,

painful memories within.

Hurt and pain, erased filaments of the soul,

Locked up tightly without hope.

 

I saw my life in a cloud,

passing by so fast, remote.

I saw myself as a child,

The adult I have become.

 

I saw my name in a cloud,

called aloud by beauty, white.

Aloofness turning to trust,

Forgiveness gave in to Love.

 

I saw myself in a cloud,

years of pain turned upside down,

by a dream pristine so clear,

that I could believe was real.

 

I saw my life in a cloud,

Beginning, between, no end.

As white blanket dissipates,

Angel mine, at the end awaits.

 

 

Bovine Rant

Poetic rant.

 

Photo by M.A.D.

Photo by M.A.D.

 

Bovine Rant

 

It was at times when I did not follow the herd that I was ignored.

At times when I walked to the beat of my tune that no one heard my voice.

When I painted my picture that eyes were shut.

When I opened my door that other shut theirs.

It was at times when I disagreed, that silence befell.

The rest of the time, the pasture was green.

It was the hardest lesson I understood,

Stepping into my journey did not make me bad,

And refusing to judge got me out of the barn.

 

Maria Antonia Diaz

The Day I Cried

A little piece of inspiration.

 

The Day I Cried

 

It was eight in the morning. It was Wednesday, or was it Tuesday? I grabbed a cup of coffee that was already half-empty, half-warm, and stared at it. I looked at the calendar and could not decide what day it was, was it Tuesday or Wednesday. I took a sip, and put the cup aside; who likes cold coffee? The day seemed to drag as usual, soon working hours, nothing out of the ordinary. Ordinary, orderly, order, who wants order every day? I looked outside and saw a leaf flying in the wind, or was it a piece of paper? One of those thin-weathered, annoying pieces of trash that seem to appear from another dimension when you least expect it. Was I expecting something? Who likes the unexpected? I turned around to grab a second cup of coffee. This time, I intended to drink it hot. I poured the sugarless black coffee on a new cup. I set it aside; something caught my eye. A black ant struggled by the windowsill; it had three legs, three legs. I watched it as it moved, as if performing a dance of pain where the only audience was a lonely observer. I thought of my coffee. As I went to grab the already warm cup, I collapse on my knees. The cup went flying in the air hitting the windowsill and almost sending a rain shower of warm coffee to the struggling ant. Shattered. I grabbed my chest; the pain I felt sent waves all over my body, chills down my spine converging in my head. I let myself go into the agony of crying as I felt the weight of the world crawling out of my heart, slowly, as a river of pain that floods the spirit and washes the soul. I lay on the floor, on one side, watching the struggling ant reach its destination – the flowerpot near the window. She was safe now. Images of war, revolts, disease, and technology zombies clouded my brain, revealing a dirty planet. I closed my eyes, as if wanting to shut the dams of the heart, only to find out that the more I squeezed them shut, the river grew bigger, and the sound of agony came out of my mouth, a symphony of despair, a song of hopeless cries that shoot into the heavens as hungry ravens in search of food and back. I opened my eyes; the ant wasn’t there, coffee all over the windowsill, a ray of light filtering through the cloudy glass, kissing my forehead. I sat up. The ravens flew away. The spilled coffee seemed as art in an ordinary day – orderly, order. Was it order what I felt? I wiped away the tears, and one by one, collected the pieces of an empty, shattered cup of coffee. There was art in the windowsill, and life in a flowerpot. There was life, after all.

 

Hope you enjoyed it.

The Gift

Wishing all a Happy Holiday Season. I will be back on January. In the meantime, I leave you with this Christmas poem I just wrote. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The Gift

 

A snowflake shimmers

Falling down to Earth

A blanket of purity

Awaiting a birth.

 

Far away a star twinkles bright the night,

Diamonds on velvet

The firmament shines,

Announcing King, Child.

 

The hay in the manger

Keeps Majesty warm,

While chorus of Angels

Sing quiet nearby.

 

A mother and father

Observe with delight,

A Savior from heaven,

Their innocent child.

 

Whenever you see a snowflake, a star

Or nested the Earth in the eyes of a child,

Think of Heaven’s Love

For you, wrapped up on that night.

 

 

 

Love,

Inkspeare

Photo by M.A.D.

Photo by M.A.D.