Monthly Archives: January 2012

Perspectives

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Perspectives

Everything is Song. Everything is Silence. Since it all turns out to be illusion, perfectly being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, you are free to die laughing. James Broughton

I have wondered how often in my life I have allowed myself to live in the illusion of a dream, as if looking through a crystal and seeing the many prisms that aren’t really there, refracted in a rainbow of colors that my minds eye only perceives. I see the colors reflected within and they distort and evolve, turn the crystal one way and the colors change, turn it the other way and your mind’s eye is presented with a whole new rainbow of different colors, vivid and translucent. I find that people are much like this same crystal, filled with a rainbow of emotions and raw feelings that change in an instant. Look at them one way and you see one set of colorful emotions, look at them in another light and you see something completely different, yet the same. The colors can at once seem beautiful and sublime and at others so blinding they make you cry and break your heart.

It Just Takes One Little Thing

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It Just Takes One Little Thing

Charles Dickens – “It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something.”

Today when i was out for my daily walk I had this run in with a very cool squirrel. I was cruising along just enjoying my day when out of nowhere this squirrel bolts right in front of me and up a tree. He got in the Y of the tree and sat there laughing at me, I kid you not. I swear that had to have been one of the squirrels from that Geico commercial, you know the one where they high five after making the car wreck. Anyway, he just sat there staring at me and chattering away like he had somehow got the best of me. It was a pretty funny experience and sure helped lighten my heavy mood of the last few days.  It’s funny how little things like that can take a pretty rotten day and make it feel better.

Flight of the Thief

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Flight of the Thief

Dave Edison – “I’m desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.”

I have been trying to figure out why I have felt so down for the last couple of days and then it dawned on me that I always get sad around this time of year. It was a few days before my birthday 23 years ago that my brother passed away. I always get a little sad and I still miss him. One would think that after all this time I would forget or the pain would somehow be less, but I don’t and it isn’t. My brother, for all his unhappiness and sorrow, for all the reasons he chose to leave this life that I will never fully understand, for all his anger and raging at the night, for all of this he was still one of the most intelligent and brightest beings I have ever had the honor to know in this life. I hope one day in our next life or the next I am honored by his presence once again. Even though he chose to leave this life he taught me so much about the value of love and how deeply it can wound. He taught me to value the love I have of those close to me and to cherish every moment of everyday as if it were your last. He taught me the value of life, even in his chosen path of death, it was a lesson I valued and took to heart. I love you Michael Todd and yes, my darling brother, you are still in my thoughts and you still come to me in my dreams.

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO
THAT GOOD NIGHT-Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Smile and the World Smiles With You

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Smile and the World Smiles With You

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” -Thich Nhat Hanh 

Sometimes I forget to smile, especially when I am out in public. I find myself walking around, deep in thought and not aware that I have a rather grumpy look on my face. I’m trying to remind myself to smile at people when I am out and about, to share a little smile with just one person can alter how you feel and how that person feels. It’s such a simple gesture, but I think we all get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that we forget to simply smile at a stranger, to make another person feel a little warmth. To share a smile with someone you don’t know is one of the best gifts you can give and it’s free.

Aquarius Horoscope from Free Will Astrology for This Week

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Aquarius Horoscope from Free Will Astrology for This Week

Aquarius Horoscope for week of January 26, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
Collectors prefer wild orchids, says William Langley, writing in the UK’s Telegraph.Orchids grown in nurseries, which comprise 99.5 percent of the total, are tarnished with “the stigma of perfection.” Their colors are generic and their petal patterns are boringly regular. Far more appealing are the exotic varieties untouched by human intervention, with their “downy, smooth petals and moistened lips pouting in the direction of tautly curved shafts and heavily veined pouches.” Whatever your sphere or specialty is, Aquarius, I suggest you model yourself after the wild orchid collectors in the coming days. Shun the stigma of perfection. 

I don’t really believe in astrology per say but found this interesting. Maybe the cosmic forces are trying to tell me something?

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Choices and the Voice of Reason

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Choices and the Voice of Reason

“We must never forget that it is through our actions, words, and thoughts that we have a choice.” -Sogyal Rinpoche

Sometimes I forget this most simple truth in life. Somewhere along the line I forgot that I had a choice to change things, to make things infinitely better rather than worse. It was by my own hand that I nearly cut my own throat, it was by my own words and actions that I nearly made an error in judgement, a judgement that could have cost me dearly. I must always remember that it is no one else’s fault that I have done the things that I have done in my past. There in lies the key to salvation of my moral ground, the past is the past. I must live for today, live in this moment and by my actions, words and thoughts I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and say, “Yes, I am following the right path. Yes, I am using right thinking. Yes, I am being true to myself.” I have no desire to live a life suffering in mortification of the things I have done or may have been considering. For today I enter the water and wash myself clean. Today my decisions will remain clear and rational and not based on some flighty emotions or desires that may lead me on a path to destructive behavior.Today I will be true to myself!

 
Don’t look back, a new day is breakin 
It’s been too long since I felt this way 
I don’t mind where I get taken 
The road is callin, today is the day I can see, it took so long just to realize 
I’m much too strong not to compromise 
Now I see what I am is holding me down 
I’ll turn it around I finally see the dawn arrivin 
I see beyond the road I’m drivin 

It’s a bright horizon and I’m awaken 
I see myself in a brand new way 
The sun is shinin, the clouds are breakin 
Cause I can’t lose now, there’s no game to play 

I can tell there’s no more time left to criticize 
[| From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/boston-lyrics/don_t-look-back-lyrics.html |]
I’ve seen what I could not recognize 
Everything in my life was leading me on, 
But I can be strong 

I finally see the dawn arrivin 
I see beyond the road I’m drivin 

Don’t look back, a new day is breakin 
It’s been so long since I felt this way 
I don’t mind where I get taken 
The road is callin, today is the day 

I can see, it took so long just to realize 
I’m much too strong not to compromise 
Now I see what I am is holding me down 
I’ll turn it around 

I finally see the dawn arrivin 
I see beyond the road I’m drivin 

The Vulnerability of a Night Flower

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The Vulnerability of a Night Flower

I understand now that the vulnerability I’ve always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can’t experience life without feeling life. What I’ve learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it’s a strength.
Elisabeth Shue

At some point in our lives we are all vulnerable, it doesn’t matter who you are. We become vulnerable to those around us the minute we open up our heart to them. The strength really lies in not closing up like a flower closes it’s petals at night, but leaving yourself open to even the darkest of nights. For if you don’t leave yourself open to the night how can you ever expect to catch the beauty of a moonbeam as it gently caresses your petals and showers moonlight on your stigma. The moonbeams leave dew kisses for you to savor in the mornings rising sun.

The Empirical Path

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The Empirical Path

Aquarius (January 20-February 19)
“Here’s one of my favorite quotes from American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you think.” The current astrological omens suggest that this is an excellent message for you to heed. It’s crucial for you to know your own mind and speak your own thoughts. It’s smart to trust your own instincts and draw on your own hard-won epiphanies. For best results, don’t just be skeptical of the conventional wisdom; be cautious about giving too much credence to every source of sagacity and expertise. Try to define your own positions rather than relying on theories you’ve read about and opinions you’ve heard.”

This is what my Free-Will astrology said for the week. It is reiterating a basic truth that is taught by Buddha.  It goes like this, do not believe anything you read or hear just because another has said it or wrote it down. You must take all words, whether oral or written, digest them into your being and decide for yourself what you feel is empirically true. Do not follow a path in ignorance simply because another said it was so. You must understand these things and by your nature and determinism decide if they are true or not. To do other wise would be the blind following the blind and the one who leads in ignorance is the Sheppard and his flock is sure to fall off the same cliff of obliviousness.

Happy Birthday Kira Shanel

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Happy Birthday Kira Shanel

“I hope your dreams take you… to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.” ~ Unknown

I have no great pearls of wisdom for you my darling daughter on your 18th birthday in less than two days. I can tell you this,that when you were born into this world you brought joy and beauty with you. Your laughter is the sweetest, your natural gifts are amazing and you are one of the most beautiful creatures nature ever created. I feel lucky to be your mother, I feel graced for having been the one fortunate enough to give you life, and I feel pride at the beautiful young woman I see before me….Pearls of wisdom…I have none,  just a loving wish from me to you that each new day will blossom more beautiful than the last and that you will have happiness and find that great path in life leading you to your greatest expectations.

happy Birthday Kira…………………Love your mom

My Soulmate

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My Soulmate

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. ~Richard Bach

Never in my wildest expectations did I ever think I would meet you or find you. It was serendipity. It was one posting that brought you into my life, one strange set of circumstances that drew us together. In the time I have gotten to know you I have never felt more close or more drawn to anyone like you before, because there is no one like you! You are unique and you fit me like a glove. I have told you this many times before and I hope you only realize that you mean the world to me. You are my soul-mate through and through! 

Understanding Duality

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Understanding Duality

“Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.”  Louis Aragon

Whether we know it or not we all have dual natures, a darkness that meets the light. Most people are afraid to explore the darker side of their duality, the darker side of their nature. The fear of what they may find if they looked really deep into that dark pit keeps them rooted in ignorance of the truth within them. It takes a strong person to face their darkest fears, and those darkest of fears are the things which they desire that are not considered “normal” by societies moral standards. They fear the carnal desires that may live deep in their psyches, down in the trenches, pushed down and controlled. What of the serial killer? Is this the person who has examined his duality and acted on those desires?…It begs the question. However, if you truly want to know who you are you must explore those deep dark caverns to know with absolute certainty what and who you are in even your darkest fear and desire.

Sailing Through the Changes

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Sailing Through the Changes

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo Buscaglia

 

  • The winds of change are blowing in my life, they always are. This time though the winds seem stronger, more powerful. They seem to be blowing me toward a new beginning. I want to embrace the change, rather than fight it. I want to make a sail for my boat and allow the winds to help me get to where I need to be, a place that’s warm and inviting, safe and protected, that shelters from the darkest storms that may come. In this place I know is peace and happiness….joy and fulfillment….trust and love. I feel that in this place I will find deep understanding of myself and my nature. I will embrace and be embraced in a love so deep that the strongest winds could not blow it away. 

 

 

When the World Goes Silent

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When the World Goes Silent

Kahlil Gibran – “Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.”

  • Today as I was walking through the park I had a feeling of peace come over me. It is snowing outside and it is the first real snow this year.  The ground is covered with a blanket of white and as I walk I notice mine are the first footprints on the freshly fallen snow. The world inside the park is very silent, so quiet that I can hear the pitter-patter of a squirrels feet as he runs along the top of a fence line. Isn’t it funny how snow blanketing everything muffles sounds? In the distance there is the sound of cars going by on the busy roads but here inside the park it’s just me and that squirrel. As I was walking it seemed like all the tensions I have been feeling in my body and my mind just drifted away leaving me with a very peaceful, quiet state of being. I didn’t realize until that very moment, walking down the middle of the road in a park, how much tension I had built up. I realized it when I felt it leave my body and it was a relief. When I got to the end of the road I looked back at the footsteps I had left. They were right in the middle of the street and I realized that I have been living my life a lot that way recently, not on one side or the other, just down the middle. It helped me to realize that I need to make some firm decisions in my life. Had I not walked in that silence and seen the path I had left in the snow I may not have even realized how much things were weighing on my mind. It’s good to hear silence….it’s good to feel release.

Losing the Obvious

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Losing the Obvious

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau

  • Sometimes we can be standing in front of a person and they never see us, truly see us for who we really are. We are negative creatures by nature and tend to see things on a pessimistic level or don’t see them at all. You can look and look at something and it can be staring you right in the face and you’ll never see it for the forest through the trees. It is just our nature. We can have the best thing standing right within arms length but we never reach out and take hold of it. The thing that is so desirable becomes like a ghost shadow that we just see right through without realizing it has substance, it has needs and wants to be seen. The sad thing of it is is this;  if we don’t grab hold of it while we can then one day it is just gone, simply disappeared, and chances are we won’t miss it until it has completely vanished and we didn’t even know when or why.  

In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

We are a nation that is at war, a nation that is losing our young men and women to a cause that doesn’t belong to us. The people we are fighting so hard to defend, the nation we are trying to bring democracy to has been at war for so long with their own selves it begs the question if we even remember what we are fighting for. In a futile attempt to bring democracy to a country that seems to have no other purpose than to war with each other we lose our young men and women to a war that does not and should not belong to us. In this day and age we should be a country that strives for peace, a nation that fights for our homeless and jobless brothers and sisters that are on the street, a conglomeration of  loving, compassionate people that raise our children to a set of higher ideals and standards than we were raised with.  For our sake and for the future generations we must strive to find the balance, stop the bloodshed and stop the hypocrisy.

 

My Cup Runneth Over

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My Cup Runneth Over

  • “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Buddha

I have a happiness and joy in my heart today because I was able to share my joy with close friends. I rose early this morning and knew it was going to be a beautiful day, though the skies were steel gray and threatening rain it mattered little to my heart. I live for those fleeting little moments where I am with friends and enjoying the lightness of being. Just the simplicity of being in each others company, enjoying a nice home cooked meal. Every one bringing with them something to share, a story, a smile, a warm hug, thanks for a good meal and each others company. These moments in my life are so rare and I cherish them. I am the consummate chef and there’s nothing that makes me happier than cooking a meal and everything comes out to perfection, my friends are all happy and smiling with full stomachs and the comfort of simply sitting around enjoying each other. These are moments that fill the scrapbook of my mind. 

 

The Value of True Friendship

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The Value of True Friendship

  • “Thus nature has no love for solitude, and always leans, as it were, on some support; and the sweetest support is found in the most intimate friendship.” - Cicero

In my life I have met a lot of good people and I have been fortunate to make a great many friends. Through the years, as I have grown, I have discovered that my truest friends, the people I hold and treasure closest to my heart, can be counted on both hands. Some have been lovers and I cherish those friendships because we were able to share something special without losing sight of the shore, we stayed true to our course and have stayed friends through these long years. Although we may no longer share that intimacy we share a knowledge that is even deeper.  I have found, recently, that there is one friend I kept at bay…little knowing that all along he knew the deepest part of my core. It was only when I rediscovered that friendship that I came to realize what a very special person he is. He seems to know me better than I even know myself…is able to help me express those fears that are deepest inside of me and help me to raise them to the surface to be examined in a light where they can be seen. It’s a level of intimacy in a friendship that is so precious. A true friend is one that helps you face your deepest fears and stands beside you all the way.

Friday the 13th and Superstitions

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Friday the 13th and Superstitions

 Andrew W. Mathis – “It is bad luck to be superstitious.”

 

Friday the 13th has passed…did anyone have anything bad happen today. I didn’t. That could be due to the fact that I don’t believe in silly superstitions. Black cats?…absolutely love them. Walk under a ladder?…..I paint houses sometimes in my work and do it all the time….Broken mirror 7 years bad luck?…..I have butter fingers and if I counted every mirror I ever broke I would be truly screwed until the end of this life and into the next one and the next one after that. Superstitions are silly, although I’m sure there are those out there who fully believe in them and I am not judging. Everything in this life happens in it’s own way, in it’s own time and sometimes due to karmic reflex of things we have done to harm others, not because the neighbor’s black cat named Satan crossed our path. If you are superstitious I think there’s some old wives thing about throwing spilled salt over your left shoulder or some such thing (feel free to leave me a message and tell me about this if u know). As for me I know that life has an energy all it’s own and it will do what it’s going to do. My saying “It is what it is.” I accept that and I certainly don’t blame Satan the black cat because my car just broke down….

Trusting Myself Enough to Trust Another

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Trusting Myself Enough to Trust Another

Neil LaBute – “Relationships in general make people a bit nervous. It’s about trust. Do I trust you enough to go there”

 

In life I think we all have difficulty with trust. To trust another human being with our hearts and physical well being is a difficult thing at best.  Most every human I know likes to have control and is reluctant to let it go. Trust is letting go of some of that control. You have to ask yourself “Am I strong enough to let go, am I strong enough to relinquish a part of my self that I have control over?”  At the end of the day you find that if you don’t learn to trust and let go of some of that control you may never achieve the pinnacles of happiness and ecstasy that could not have been achieved otherwise. As humans there should come a point in our lives where we trust ourselves enough to trust in another human being. Letting go can bring you to soaring heights of joy you never even imagined existed. Of course with that trust comes the fear that they may let you go and you may come crashing to the earth, landing in a disheveled heap. But that is the chance some must take in order to reach beyond the greatest heights that they couldn’t have achieved on their own.

A Love of Learning

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A Love of Learning

“I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.” Bruce Lee

I love to learn! I find myself always searching out new information on the things I am passionate about, whether it be music, art, animals,nature or the people I know and those I have just met. The fact of the matter is this: you can NEVER have enough knowledge and once you think you know everything about a subject you have stopped growing as a person. There are so many things in this world to learn about, after 25 years I am still learning how to strum a guitar correctly. In 41 years I am still learning how to create new sounds with my voice, better and stronger sounds that give more meaning to the song. In 41 years I am still learning who I am as a person and what it means to be human. Next to music learning is my first love and I will always be a seeker for the understanding of the nature and beauty of the world around me.

Being Honest With Myself

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Being Honest With Myself

“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” -Walter Anderson

 

The person I lie to the most is myself. I swear I should have a State of the Jaz address once a year like the President or Governor does, the difference being maybe I could be honest. It would be nice if I just sat down with me and said, “Hey me, why am I lying to myself about how I feel about things?” I am so bad about admitting my true feelings about certain areas in my life. I don’t like to admit my short comings, I don’t like to admit that I haven’t done as many things in this life that I have wanted to, sometimes I think I just can’t bear to see who I am really deep down. I told a friend yesterday that I am like a still pool of water until you drop a pebble in and see all the ripples and the depth.I think I am afraid to drop that pebble and see who I am, who I really am underneath that smooth exterior. One vow this year,I am dropping the pebble.I am going to go spelunking in the caves of my heart!

 

My Daughter Kira

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My Daughter Kira

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”  Pablo Picasso

My daughter is the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me. She’s this amazingly talented, not so little girl anymore. As each day passes and she grows into womanhood I never cease to be amazed by her. I stare at her in wonderment and ask myself just how I created this beautiful, talented creature. It’s as if she took everything, every talent I ever had and amplified it into herself. She’s so much better than I was at her age. She makes everything I ever did as an artist and musician look minuscule in comparison  and I could not be more proud. When I see what she is and what she is going to become my heart fills with the joy of knowing that I had a small part in giving her a life to breathe and express with.

Suxuality (the things we hide about our desire)

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Suxuality (the things we hide about our desire)

To hear many religious people talk, one would think God created the torso, head, legs and arms, but the devil slapped on the genitals.  ~Don Schrader

Sex is a good thing, a great thing! I have found that I have been unable to tell my mates about my deepest, darkest desires. We all have visions in our psyche, sexual fantasies and mine tend to border on what some (probably most) would consider dark. Not extremist mind you like sado masochism more on sub lines! There are just certain sexual things I think about which “normal girls” probably shouldn’t think about. Why does it have to be so hard to tell your mate what it is you really want or fantasize about? My thought on this is fear. Fear that they will think your out of your tree, or that you are weird. I think we are always afraid of rejection and that keeps us from opening up sexually.

Winter Time Blues

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Winter Time Blues

“Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear Heart, Good night, good night.” Mark Twain

 

I’m not real fond of winter time with it’s cold temperatures & gray skies. I like to see big snowflakes falling from a steel grey sky. I love the way lights reflect off the prisms of freshly fallen snow in a million rainbow colors. I love to see the trees coated in a fresh fallen snow. But give me summer time, every time. I love the feel of warmth on my skin, the fresh smell of flowers, a warm breeze. Walking barefoot on soft grass, the beauty of new flowers blossoming. That’s when I am happiest.