Thank you Pema, Dusty & Emily…

I’ve been reading Pema Chödrön’s book When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, she writes about hope and fear—

“Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something: they come from a sense of poverty.  We can’t simply relax with ourselves.  We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment.”

HOPE verb: to cherish a desire with anticipation, to want something to happen or be true

FEAR verb: to be afraid of, expect with alarm

Hope was on my mind, so this morning Dusty Springfield’s 1964 song—Wishin’ and Hopin’ popped into my head as did Emily Dickinson’s poem—Hope Is A Things With Feathers. Oh you brilliant, creative women…you’ve been homesteading in my psyche the last few days. Thank you, your timing is impeccable.

Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’
Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms
That won’t get you into his arms
So if you’re lookin’ to find love you can share
All you gotta do is hold him and kiss him and love him
And show him that you care

Songwriters: Hal David / Burt Bacharach—Artist: Dusty Springfield

All of this hope talk made me think about parenting, religion, and my childhood. My mother’s prayers for me when I was growing up were that I would eventually become someone or something else—an idealized version of the raw potential she saw in me. Please help Lisa stop picking her fingernails, overeating, cussing, being lazy, not caring about her grades, reading the wrong books, listening to the wrong music, drinking beer, or NOT believing the way I do.

I don’t blame her, this was her programming. I’m sure it felt quite loving hopin’ and prayin’ for my needed improvements. She feared who I might possibly become, and truly believed her prayers could turn things around for me. Her faith then required that she gave the God of her understanding credit whenever my improvements, no matter how barely detectable emerged.

I did the same thing to my children—always hopin’ they would become the best version of themselves. I guess I thought wishin’ for the hidden potential in them to emerge would reflect what a stellar job I’ve done mothering and flatter my ego. Damn, that was my programming too.

Emily Dickinson’s poem, Hope Is The Thing With Feathers reveals the unsettling nature of the never ending loop of constant hope…and never stops – at all -.

Hopin’ I believed would make all of my sleepless nights and heartache worthwhile. However, instead, what I’m finally understanding is that all of that motherly wishin, hopin’, thinkin’, and prayin’ kept me from accepting them as they were/are in the present. I’m truly sorry Ellis, Lucy, and Willa that I did not learn this sooner.

Wishin’, hopin’, thinkin’, and prayin’ doesn’t seem to actually be working in any part of my life now that I give it more though...and never stops – at all—thanks Emily for that reminder.

What if I practiced more acceptance in all areas of my life? What would that feel like? Complacent? Uncaring? UnAmerican? Untethered? Unbelievable?

Let’s experiment, take a moment…breathe, just let the word acceptance settle into our soul a bit…repeat it a few times. Thoughts?

What if right now in America we just quit wishin’, hopin’, thinkin’, and prayin’ for things to be different than they are? What if collectively we ACCEPTED that the God of our personal understanding is desperately trying to reveal to us that all of the political division, rage, wounded egos, destruction, inequality, brutality, greed, spiritual aches, righteousness, grief, and suffering requires our heart’s immediate attention right now and we can no longer keep hopin’ and prayin’ for it to magically disappear?

All you gotta do is hold him and kiss him and love him
And show him others that you care

early morning on town neck beach

NEW VAGUS—my planet.

Yesterday my son asked me, “If you had your own planet, what would it be like, Mom?” Sometimes I rush these kinds of discussions and don’t want to play the game.  But, yesterday thinking about MY OWN PLANET entertained my brain all day. What would it be like? I needed to do something creative and playing with my photographs while thinking about my planet really sparked my imagination, thanks Ellis. The images I created are a very different direction for me. I finally went to bed at 1am still thinking about my planet.  It’s magnificent. I’ll be working on more images to convey NEW VAGUS…perhaps a recruiting  brochure, a psychological test, a song or a movie…I like options.

It’s called NEW VAGUS after my favorite nerve.  The vagus nerve wanders like a vagabond (I love that).  It’s also the captain of your inner nerve center.  If you get off course, your captain can get you heading back in the right direction.  There are some relatively easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve. I found this fascinating.  Gargling.  Cold showers.  Prayer.  Deep breathing.  Making some of these things a regular practice can help with inflammation, migraines, anxiety, addiction and so much more.  See link below for more options and information and share broadly.  It might really help someone you love.

How to stimulate your vagus nerve. This is your nerve captain speaking.

vagus-nerve-benjamin-cummings

“What happens in the vagus nerve, it turns out, doesn’t stay in the vagus nerve. The longest of the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve is so named because it “wanders” like a vagabond, sending out fibers from your brain stem to your visceral organs. The vagus nerve is literally the captain of your inner nerve center—the parasympathetic nervous system, to be specific. And like a good captain, it does a great job of overseeing a vast range of crucial functions, communicating nerve impulses to every organ in your body. New research has revealed that it may also be the missing link to treating chronic inflammation, and the beginning of an exciting new field of treatment that leaves medications behind.”

http://mentalfloss.com/article/65710/9-nervy-facts-about-vagus-nerve

la-chapel-world-lillibridge

firenze-planet-lillibridge

ireland-planet-lillibridge

packard-plant-detroit-lillibridge

nyc-framed-planet-lillibridge

sd-farmhouse-planet-lillibridge

cape-code-shed-upside-down  nolo-world-lillibridge-dakota

florence-i-never-saw-lillibridge

nyc-planet-lillibridge

dominican-planet-lillibridge

new-orleans-cemetery-lillibridge

Here’s the key to the photos:

Los Angeles
Florence, Italy
Kenmare, Ireland
Packard Plant, Detroit, Michigan
NYC on the High Line
Burke, South Dakota
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cape Cod, Sandwich, Massachusetts
Florence, Italy
NYC near Grand Central Station
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
New Orleans in a cemetery near a famous restaurant I can’t remember the name of.

when worlds collide.

farmhouse and hwy ten collide lillibridge beach approach farmhouse world

1.  HWY 10 in CALIFORNIA (Phoenix to Palm Springs)

2.  TOWN NECK BEACH approach, Sandwich, Mass

1 & 2.  An abandoned farmhouse somewhere in Gregory County, South Dakota.

Oh, circles—let me count the ways…

I am organizing my photos and I began playing a game in my head.  Find the (blank) and see how many times it shows up in my photos. Today it was CIRCLE. Without having to look very hard circles began appearing everywhere.  It’s such a pleasing shape.  I love a circular table.  Coins. Cookies. Pizza. Rings. Plates. Hoola Hoops. There is beauty everywhere when we pay attention.  Finding little ways to amuse ourselves is, I believe a good skill to practice.

I am also a very big fan of the square, but I will save that for another day.

DSCF8892 (1)_2IMG_8790_2 IMG_0453_2 IMG_4283 photo_2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_9736 IMG_6053_2_2 IMG_0047_2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cape Cinema, Begin Again & My Record Label Logo

dark socks and sandals

Last night with my family I saw the movie “Begin Again” it is a fun summer story about friendship, starting over, humility and collaboration. It’s also about music and I have always loved record company label design—so here is my quick stab at a hypothetical logo.

We saw “Begin Again” at the utterly charming Cape Cinema in Dennis, Mass. The ceiling is painted by the artist Rockwell Kent and it’s stunning. This is the theater that in 2004 while getting our tickets to see the movie “Whale Rider” my son, Ellis cut the tip of his finger off while having his hands on the old timey ticket cutter. We tried to sit through the movie, but when I looked at his finger it was sliced at an angle so I thought we needed to get to the ER to have it checked out. It looked like a cross section from a science class model. Not much blood. Clean cut. We drove to Hyannis to the ER and sat in the freezing air conditioning with very sick people. We finally gave up and went home. I put some antiseptic on his finger, wrapped it up and put him in bed with me in case he got a fever in the night. He didn’t.

http://www.capecinema.com/

The next morning we went to a clinic and the doctor asked me what I had done to take care of it. He said, “That’s what I am going to do too.” Then he said, “just get in the ocean, saltwater is good for the cut.” Ellis then asked him if he had ever been to the Cape Cinema. He said that he hadn’t and Ellis invited him to the movies with us sometime.

I never pushed the issue with the Cape Cinema. One season a manager offered us FREE PASSES but that was it. I don’t think the ticket cutter is still in operation now, but be careful and don’t put your fingers on the counter. But, do visit the theater if you get a chance, it is really cool.

Here is the link to the movie if you haven’t seen the previews.
http://beginagainfilm.com/#/home

A Ballerina Artist and a Sex Therapist Author

Gallery

Today while at The Flea Market in Sandwich, Mass with a friend and one of my daughters we met these most interesting women. Toby Kalman studied at The Boston Ballet and makes remarkably beautiful bracelets. Elaine Young is a sex … Continue reading