A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Thursday, April 21, 2011


in Barnes & Noble.

This morning I was left alone in the Barnes & Noble. Trapped for two hours.  With feelings and words blowing through me like a balmy spring breeze.

With a credit card.

I went soul shopping.

My sister-in-law, who enriched my life Saturday when she handed me Anne Lamott's Grace Eventually, delivered her stack of Lamott novels on Wednesday.  And I had already finished reading Bird by Bird (which is, according to SIL - a writer herself - in the top three books for writers) on the kindle. 

Sometimes it's frustrating being so kinesthetic.  I'm grateful for the kindle words, but my skin screams for paper nap and the faint fragrance of ink and paint.  So I am delighted that I was able to put my sensually deprived fingers on a hard copy of Bird by Bird.  I can't wait for the re-read with highlighter and sticky tabs.  Also added Lamott's Traveling Mercies and Plan B to the stack.

At this point I was starting to feel pretty emotional about the day.  It was about 10:00 AM and already I had scored good news at the ophthalmologist in Santa Barbara (healthy eyes, stable vision, good conversation with the man who has been caring for my eyes for thirty years now) and my heart's desire in the bookshelves.  I headed downstairs in B&N to go see if they had a copy of my favorite cross stitch series from the UK and again struck gold.  The current issue (at least here in the States) of Cross Stitch Favourites is devoted to baby designs.

By now that spring breeze of emotions and words had picked up velocity. I was craving something to write in.  I headed over to the journal section.  Nothing expensive, mind you.  Just a tablet, really, something to tuck into the cafe with for the duration of my imprisonment.  Just something cheap to dash a few words onto.  That's all I wanted.

Until I saw this.

from The Spirit of Flight by Josephine Wall (Paper Pauper Press).  Journal available at Barnes & Noble.

I recognized the new myself.  The new me that fills sometimes with joy and thrills with life.  The me that feels that energy from around me blow through, dropping words and feelings and images off on its way.  I recognized my space, filled with butterflies and dragonflies and faeries fly.  And birds and other things with wings.  (Like the ladybugs who have decided that my overgrown front yard is the perfect place to raise their young.  The city may send us a nasty letter, but ladybugs come first.)

This is a yes journal.  I picked it up and the deal was sealed when I felt that it was embossed - front and back covers.  The eagle. The butterflies and dragonfly and faeries fly.  Leaves and flowers.  All a gift to the fingertips.

She is mine.

I think most of the people who know me would be surprised that I have all that color and movement and delight inside me.  I come across as pretty quiet.  Looking at her, there in the bookstore, I was reminded of a friend at work.  We share our struggles with weight.  Her story is not mine to tell, but I will note that she has her reasons for hanging onto her excess weight just as I had mine for most of my adult life.  We share a frustration with others who don't bother to look past our size to see all that is inside.

I celebrated my first day of Spring Break at Disneyland, and made a point of going to get a photo taken with Mickey.  I celebrated a weight loss milestone.  50 pounds lost, halfway to my goal.  I had given myself three years - at 30 pounds a year - to get down 100 pounds and I'm halfway through the journey.  Some progress photos for myself, but you are welcome to check them out, too.

Ready, set...


Getting there.  Feeling so much better.  More energy.  More stamina.  Back to clogging, which I didn't think I would ever be able to do again.

 50 pounds down!

 For what it's worth (and it's worth a lot to me), the key was figuring out that I wasn't unhappy because I was fat, I was fat because I was unhappy.  I used The Artist's Way to get to the why, and continue to write to work my way through it.  It's not always fun and it's not always easy, but it's always enlightening and empowering.

 Progress amazes.

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