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Posts Tagged ‘optimist’

Sometimes it’s the little things. A recent development on our Jamaican acreage is the bounty of this magical fruit/vegetable. We are cultivating it in abundance, nearly by accident. It is a hearty grower with huge thirst and passion for life. Lately, it’s not uncommon to see plump, round bursts of color shooting up from the compost pile. Joyful. Effortless.

Imagine. Programmed to thrive. Hardwired for life. Each sprout reaching for the sun to extend the best leaf, pumpkin, self. There is a whole heap to be learned from pumpkins. Perhaps, even better than their performance in soup or pie, is the fact that these squash can do what they do almost anywhere. Pumpkin can grow on a rock, literally and with very little maintenance. Pumpkins put themselves out there for all of the universe to see. Rugged. Vulnerable. Authentic. Happy just the same.

What are you happy about? What are you reaching for? What is effortless today?

One Love, walk good, embracing effortlessness…

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So, I have officially uploaded my first video to something blu today! Never mind that it’s a close up, still shot, slide show of a few inspired and interesting corners of my little workspace on the rock. I am joining the crew over at studio jru, where some very creative folks will be sharing sneak peeks of our studios on Fridays.

Little did I know how challenging this would really be.

In my college days, at Reed, a couple of friends used to call me icon girl. It was a joke (but not really) to poke fun at the fact that keystrokes were completely lost on me. I was always pleased that my handy mac offered a little picture that I could click on to accomplish pretty much any task I desired. This is more and more true with the ever growing user friendliness of the Mac and computers in general.

Well, how ya like me now? I have learned so much about computers, technology, the internet, and wordpress in the last few years. And, I am not ashamed to admit that I am still icon girl. Forgive me photoshop. What can I say? I will always choose to click a picture for a function if it’s possible to avoid keystrokes.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my icon girl preferences. There must be thousands of us out there.

In the meanwhile, I keep my hands free to focus on what is most important. Laundry, meals, the occasional artistic adventure and producing life changing adornment for the folks who wear it best!

One Love, walk good, hope you love your space as much as I groove with mine…

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Warning! If you are committed to the advantadges and convenience of your global positioning system device, and furthermore, can’t bear the thought of driving without plugging your handy gadget into it’s car mounted, socket:

this post may not be for you!

GPS boasts many benefits. Never get lost again, talk on your cel phone hands free, and automatically communicate to authorities at the scene of an accident, are a crucial few reasons to own a GPS gizmo. I am not yet entirely convinced. Yeah clearly, it’s a helpful tool but what are the cons?

Let’s face it, and in favor of serendipity (always), there are places that your internal navigation system will take you that GPS will never go. Gut instinct will drive, walk, fly, you to destinations that open life changing doors of communication, acquaintances and relationships. Think about it, GPS tells you to advance “200 meters and turn right”, arriving you in a polite and timely manner. Serendipity beckons you around the corner where you find the sweetest little abandoned puppy awaiting rescue. Instant Superhero!!! GPS tells you to “merge left”. Intuition sparks you to jump in a taxi and head for the L train. When you jump out you spot a hundred dollar bill in the seam of street and sidewalk. Serendipity urges you to split it with the cabby. GPS doesn’t allow for sideways ducking into a hole in the wall, sub-street level, joint, where you order a salad  and meet your meet your first literary agent. Serendipity loves salad. GPS reminds you of the sharp left turn you are approaching and reminds you again when you miss it. Serendipity convinces you to take a right and go up three blocks which lands you in a devastating pothole, tire fatality, incident. You are offered a hand by the man, who years later, asks for yours.

Yeah, I get it with the GPS thing. I can see it being really helpful when your lost and it guards against asking for directions…

In the end, for me, serendipity always wins. She is my roadside, driving, walking, creating, companion and has yet to steer me wrong. Have I told you about the time I stopped in a one exit town near the coast to ask for directions?

One Love, walk good, serendipity rules…

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Geuss What? Dreams really do come true!

About five years ago our little family embarked on an extended exploration. It turns out the journey was even longer than we thought. And, as is often the case, the journey itself  grew more significant than the destination. Beauty is often revealed in baby steps. Little did we know…

Three years ago right now, we ended our long search for a piece of land here in west Jamaica. Exhausted and pregnant with our youngest, I’d finally decided to surrender the quest. After lengthy negotiations for ten acres we were in love with went awry, our offer was rejected. It became apparent that letting go and letting love was the only option. Perhaps, we weren’t supposed to buy at that time or in that area, etc. With some heavy convincing, my husband conceded and we essentially gave up.

Would you believe that a week later we went mango hunting, and re-discovered a seemingly “unclaimed” mango tree. We knew the tree from a previous visit to “land for sale” near by. My husband climbed it and began to chuck mangos to me. Eventually we were approached by a local resident. He was concerned we were stealing his goats, as they gathered to participate in the feasting. Apparently, someone with a station wagon much like ours, had recently packed a dozen or so goats into the back and driven off into the horizon (to a tune of thousands of Jamaican Dollars).

Turns out, the goat man’s brother was selling an incredibly bio-diverse piece of land just down the road. We talked for a long time. The rain came. And goat man took us to meet his brother. We quickly befriended the brother, who ironically is the splitting image of my husband’s father. Thus began the serendipitous exchange that led us to purchase our little piece of the rock. It has been a blessed adventure.

A labor of love indeed. I give thanks for my husband and the time, energy and work he has put into our little corner of Jamaica. Not long ago, he finally secured the perimeter of our land from goats. Trust mi, a nearly impossible endeavor. Unfortunately, we learned, the hard way, many times, that our fence did not protect our seedlings from nibbling, sure-footed, hardy, animals. Their feasts were our loss and I truly grieved when they devoured our first fully grown Papaya (known as paw paw in Ja).

Nonetheless, our devoted Daddy King stayed on the case and we now boast a growing array of striving fruit trees and flowers.

Today, I share with you our “real” first papaya, from a tree grown from seed. What a splendid event, to pick our first fruit and slice it lovingly to reveal it’s beautiful belly. Half to put in our mouths straight away and the other half to put into our ritual green smoothie. I thought you’d like to have a look. And to know that dreams really do come true. Even on the Rock!

One love, walk good, looking for beauty in baby steps…

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You can’t always get what you want is an old adage, cheezy sentiment, Rolling Stones tune and a general rule. Sometimes things just don’t go your way. And apparently, that’s okay. I am forever learning this lesson. Whether it is the inconvenience of not having stable electricity during storm season, not finding what you crave at the market yet having to make dinner again anyway, receiving a rejection note from a publisher, not seeing your family when you miss them most, or failing to carve out the quiet time that you need to accomplish looming tasks and creative endeavors, you can’t always get what you want.

I am in the midst of a design overhaul for my bizness. It has created a heap of creative chaos, identity crisis, overwhelm, frustration, indecision, need I go on? It has been down right painful (partly because I have limited time to devote to this project) and I think this process is kicking my ass. Seeing the above picture of my precious little ones reminds me exactly how I feel.

The photo was taken some time ago. I remember the day perfectly. We stopped for lunch at a little cook shop in MoBay. It was pouring rain and the children were playing with a small, rapidly, deflating balloon. It popped and all hell broke loose. They blamed each other for their loss and launched into hysteria. In unison,  “I want my bayoon” . Heart wrenching, really. But you know what I told them? You got it!  “You can’t always get what you want”. It took awhile to quell them. I think the food helped because eventually the wailing ceased.

Were I to wail it would probably sound something like this “I want to be done, I want to be done with this”. And guess what? Right again,

“You can’t always get what you want”!

“But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need”…

That’s all for today folks.

One Love, Walk good, getting what I need…

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How to stay positive when it’s monday morning and the current (electricity) is gone, again.

For the short version skip to the last sentence of this post.

Bring in a bucket of water from the tank. Did I mention that when we don’t have electricity we also don’t have running water??? This will sustain bathroom adventures, dish washing, the morning beverage ritual, thirst and hand washing throughout the day.

Boil water on the stove for your beverage of choice. This morning it’s coffee and tea to satisfy godfadda, the two babes and myself.

Sweeten with sweetner of your choice.

Sip and say ahhhh.

Smile and give thanks that you plugged in your computer last night and started this bright, humid temperature rising morning with a fully charged communication, creativity machine.

Post. And do it quickly especially if you have the plug in internet provider that is painfully slow and drains your computer painfully fast.

Call your neighbors to make sure their current is gone too. Especially if you paid your bill, in person, last week. This is, after all Jamaica. JPS (Jamaica Public Service) employees may not have entered your balance to your account.

Good, the entire district is without current. Well not good for the district but good for you. That it’s not just you, that is. you. This means that sorting out the bureaucratic nightmare of your paid balance not being added to your account is not the sole responsibility of you (i.e., me). If you have been through this already you know why I started the paragraph with “good”.

If you haven’t finished your beverage of choice (and hopefully you aren’t yet compelled to move on to something stronger, it is after all, still monday morning, etc) sip again and say ahhhhh. It’s the little things.

Indeed the little things go a long way to buffer feelings of irritability, humidity and questions as to why the electricity is gone again. There are no signs of weather, felled trees, etc. No storms in the recent past although they are looming in the future. I am grateful for the quiet atmosphere and my gas stove. And all of the creative resources we are blessed with. I give thanks for shelter and coffee, my babies, their godfadda and King Daddy who works so hard for all of us. I give thanks for the ackee, sweet sop, mangos, and other edible abundance growing, ready, ripe in our yard right now.

Off to eat a mango, gratitude is key.

One Love, walk good, in gratitude…

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Sunday Mornings, we listen to a radio show called Running African. Yesterday the electricity went out, which, in the July, early morning heat, in Jamaica, is anything but nice. It seemed appropriate however, given the show topic, i.e., the current situation in Haiti, six months (and a week) after the initial quake. Most of the survivors affected by the disaster are without housing, ample nutrition, water, etc, much less current (electricity). Fortunately my husband’s cel phone boasts a functional radio so we didn’t miss too much.

The word on our likkle island is that the majority of the millions, and millions of dollars raised for Haiti have yet to be spent. A significant portion of the perishable resources haven’t been distributed. There is little information available (especially from the more powerful funding operations) re: strategies, to be implemented to support the hundreds of thousands of displaced people. Listening to interviews with volunteers and relief effort folks in Haiti was depressing, at best. The general tone is one of futility, frustration and confusion as to why changes aren’t being made more efficiently. Oh yeh, and what’s happening with the bucket loads of cash we all donated to various organizations, (the biggest of which have spent between eight and sixteen percent of their funding)?

This blog generally isn’t a place where I flaunt my political, and humanitarian slanted ideals and opinions. But when my kids are asking me questions about what they can do to help and “where did all the money go”?. I mean, I’m just sayin’. What is really going on over there? Our islands are so close across the waters and yet we rely upon the radio for our birds eye view of the horror that Haitians are still experiencing. I made the heart pictured above as a part of an homage to our Haitian brothers and sisters. My heart melted when my son took this talisman into his hands and placed it over his heart, “This is my heart too mommy”.

It is this sentiment, brought once again, by an innocent child, that I seal with a kiss and blow like a wish from my palm across the waters this morning.

We are hoping for a change. We wish for dignity and integrity, compassion and genuine human concern to over ride greed and find their rightful place in the healing efforts. We wish that those who hold the wealth, the power and the resource to restore Haiti to her magnificent, bountiful self, will make up-ful choices. We wish…

One Love, walk good, this is my heart too…

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