mourning the imminent death of google reader

screen shot - Google Reader

I’ve been dreading it for months, ever since I first found out. The imminent demise of one of my favorite Google tools – Google Reader. For a few years now, I’ve tracked my favorite blogs daily on Reader, whenever I’ve been logged in to my email. Strangely enough, though, as soon as I found out Google Reader was on the way out, I suddenly stopped using it.

But I don’t want to lose the URLs of my favorite blogs – some of which I may not remember, if I can’t log in to Reader anymore. So for the last two days I’ve been pinning the favorites of my favorites to this Pinterest board, and transcribing the rest of them to a list of my favorite blogs that I keep on my hard drive.

Sigh.

It’s been surprisingly bittersweet. I DON’T WANT MY ACCESS TO ALL THESE BLOGS TO GO AWAY!!! Reading blogs every day was such an enjoyable habit for so long – like sitting down with a cup of coffee and the morning paper. Only without the paper. Or the coffee. There’s a hole in my life where Google Reader used to be. I hate that.

Update: I’ve exported all my feeds to Feedly.com. It worked like a charm – and saved all the old posts that I was afraid of losing from now-defunct blogs. Awesome.

importing

emelgy.tumblr.com screen shot

I had a thought-provoking conversation with Nicole Rushin on Google+ last week. She had posted this blog post, where she talks about how she came to write her most recent “about” blurb for her website. (Read the whole Google+ conversation here.)

In a recent webinar, Eckhart Tolle talked about the importance of telling your story.

Justine Musk asked in a recent post, ‘What is your one sentence?’

Robert Moss reminded me in his book, Active Dreaming, that a human being is an animal that must define itself or else be defined by others.

I have also had a couple of things happen that made me feel like I was dragging too much of my past into my present.

So, I rewrote my ‘About’ page and thought I would share it here.

Her post really hit home, because I’ve been struggling myself for the last couple of weeks with updating the “about” page here on emelgy.com. Unlike the “about” pages on my other blogs, Mirificationis and Kitchen Sink Wisdom, which have very specific subjects and were easy for me to summarize, this blog feels somehow amorphous. I haven’t quite been able to pin down – at least in my own mind – why this blog even exists. Until now.

Nicole suggested writing an email to myself – as if to a friend – so that’s what I did. Here’s what it said.

Dear Michelle:

I fear this is going to make you feel guilty and ashamed (because you’ll think it’s show-off-y and not at all humble), but here’s the deal: You’re writing this blog first and foremost for you. It’s your online journal or daybook.

Do you remember the first published journal entries you read? They were Harriet’s notes in the book Harriet the Spy, and you started keeping private notebooks of your own because of them. And then there was Go Ask Alice, the diary of a teenage girl who gets lost in the San Francisco drug culture in the 1960s… and a number of other Young Adult books written using the journaling device. More recently, you’ve enjoyed Sabrina Ward Harrison's art journals, full of her hard-hitting questions and luscious illustrations. Not to mention your current favorite blogs, which include The Bloggess and Chookooloonks – both first-person perspectives on their creative authors’ lives.

You like reading about other people’s stories for the same reason that you loved going to your friends houses when you were seven years old. It amazed you to see how other people lived. It blew your mind that you had choices – that not everyone lived the way you and your family did. Shirley MacLaine once said (in an interview with Barbara Walters), “Show me who you are, and I’ll know more about who I am.” (You liked her autobiographical books, too.). You want to know who other people are, and you want to know who you are. That’s why you write.

So stop feeling ashamed. Don’t care one whit whether anyone’s going to read this or not. Put your heart on the screen. Give a voice to the song that you hear running through your mind’s ear. Show people the things that you find beautiful. (Like that line from the Depeche Mode song that you love, “Let me show you the world in my eyes.”)

Maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who will someday find what you’ve written, and realize that they, too, have choices.

___
I’ve recently imported my Tumblr blog, A Little Instant Emelgy, here to emelgy.com. It’s going to take me a while to add titles to the blog posts and clean up any tags, but feel free to explore my archives for photos from my last couple of years.

Update: The Tumblr import didn’t work out so well. I’ve deleted all the Tumblr posts. Not sure if I’m going to try again, or just let the whole thing be.

so i’m writing this book

stack of art journals

I’m not quite sure how it happened (to be honest, it feels a little like a dream that I may wake up from at any moment), but I’m writing a book right now. It’s based on these daily blog posts that I’ve written for my Kitchen Sink Wisdom blog over the past two months, on the theme of ritual.

I’m excited and humbled by this project. It keeps me up at night, and puts a smile on my face every morning.

I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I never knew how to get a book written. To tell you the truth, the very idea of writing a book always intimidated me. How do you choose a subject? How do you make it interesting? Even though I’ve been a paid writer for nearly 20 years, the sheer length of a book scared me. I write short things: articles, newsletters, information sheets, procedures, training materials, blog posts, reports, business plans. But a book? No way. Too many words to ever get down on paper.

Then I found out that an acquaintance of mine has published 55 books in his lifetime. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. 55. And when I realized that his books were written one day at a time – sometimes one blog post at a time, the way I was writing – it finally occurred to me that maybe that’s how a book gets written. Through a regular practice, sentence by sentence, day after day.

The second, wondrous aspect of this particular book that I’m writing is that the subject matter of the book is the same as its process. Meaning, I’m using creative ritual to write a book about creative ritual. I’m tapping into an energy larger than myself (which some people might call God, or their muse, but I like to call creative Source), and letting that energy flow through me, while writing a book about how I let creative energy flow through me. Yes. Pretty trippy.

I’ve been blessed to have a small circle of readers who’ve followed the original blog posts day after day on Kitchen Sink Wisdom. Having them there has been a huge inspiration to me, and in honour of their faithfulness (and to help keep me focused), I’m making the working manuscript available to anyone who’s interested. You can read the introduction here. Email me if you want more. I’m happy to share.

concrete prints

maple leaf print in concrete

Every day (or almost) I go walking in my neighbourhood. As I walk, my eyes scan the houses and the gardens and the ground for interesting observables. One of the things that fascinates me is prints or stamps – purposeful or accidental – in concrete.

Sometimes I see footprints, or children’s hands, or stray leaves, like this one, immortalized forever in a sidewalk. My favorite are children’s names, written with a wet finger in just-poured cement. I wonder how old the kids are now, or whether they still live in the houses that their names announce. I wonder if I could go back in time, and leave a message for my today self.

“Smile,” or “Breathe,” I would write.

Or maybe an obscure line from a song, like “Never again is what you swore, the time before.”

writing

writing in WordPress on laptop

When I was a little girl and started visiting my friends’ houses, I remember being blown away by the fact that not every family did things the way my family did. It was a life-transforming revelation to me. Suddenly my world – which had never before seemed limiting – became HUGE, as I realized that there were literally endless possibilities for living one’s life. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by the ways that other people live. That fascination is the reason I read so much, and so widely – because I want to discover my options.

I’m especially fascinated by other people’s work habits. One of my favorite blogs is From the Desk of… because it’s a voyeuristic look at writers’ and artists’ creative spaces. I also used to buy all those magazines featuring artists’ and crafters’ studios, for the same reason. I thought, If I can have a peek inside their workspaces, maybe I can begin to unravel how they do what they do. And maybe there’s some gold there for me.

Apart from assignments for school, I didn’t start writing regularly until my late 20s, when I first began seeking out work as a freelance writer. I loved being published (and being paid for my work!), but I found writing for a deadline agonizing. Most of my articles involved interviews with musicians and artists (which was awesome!), but that meant endless hours transcribing interview tapes. I hated transcribing. I also hated being tied to a word count, because that meant making decisions about what to include, and what to leave out. (In retrospect, this was a blessing. It made me a really good editor – quick to discern what’s essential, and what’s superfluous.) I never had a huge problem with procrastination – I always made my deadlines – but I did pull two or three near-all-nighters in order to submit a story on time, usually because the perfectionist in me fretted endlessly over word choice and word order.

Discovering blogging in the fall of 2006 was another revelation to me. For the first time ever, I got to write exactly what I wanted to write, and then see it immediately published. My writing exploded, and I created dozens of blogs as I came up with new ideas for subjects that I wanted to write about. (Most of these didn’t live to see the light of day, mercifully.)

Then I began working in the business and nonprofit sectors, and adapted my skills for proposal writing and technical writing. I still write every day for my paid job, and I appreciate this experience because it’s taught me to be a workhorse. The subject matter may not always be scintillating, but I’ve learned how to write when I’m not inspired, or don’t feel like writing. And I’ve learned that “perfect is the enemy of done.” I’ve learned to release the work to the world, and move on to the next project. I’ve acquired grit and stick-to-it-iveness and discipline. I’ve learned how to be fast and succinct. I’ve gained facility.

Since returning to regular blogging nearly a year ago, though, I’ve been experimenting with my extracurricular creative habits. I know how to be a writing drudge, but is that all there is? I hope not. I’m still looking for something deeper. I have a sense that there’s more to writing than just showing up at the screen. (Any blogger using WordPress will recognize the photo at the beginning of this post… and will probably also know the agony of showing up at that blank screen every time they write.)

I’ve read some amazing books in the last five months, including three by Steven Pressfield that continue to inspire me to explore what’s possible as a writer. The War of Art is about battling resistance to creative work. Do the Work is a step-by-step coaching session through a creative project. And his latest book, Turning Pro, is about crossing the mine field of addictive and diversionary behaviors that incapacitate the artist. It was humbling for me to read this book, because in it I recognized many parts of myself that I’m not proud of. I also recognized that I’ve spent most of my adult life engaged in “shadow careers.”

Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.

Are you pursuing a shadow career?

Are you getting your Ph.D. in Elizabethan studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies that you know you have inside you? Are you living the drugs-and-booze half of the musician’s life, without actually writing the music? Are you working in a support capacity for an innovator because you’re afraid to risk becoming an innovator yourself?

If you’re dissatisfied with your current life, ask yourself what your current life is a metaphor for.

That metaphor will point you toward your true calling.

There’s no running away from that realization. I know what my calling is. And I know what I need to do. And so I’ll continue to show up, every day, in my free time. And write. And write some more…

magical day (6/6/12)

hopscotch

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 was a magical day, for these reasons:

  • It had a magical number: 6/6/12. 6+6=12. 12=12.
  • It was my nephew’s birthday. I was there 13 years ago when he emerged from my sister, bloody and beautiful. Life always cycling.
  • I read this blog post by Seth Godin, and bought this new book by one of my favorite authors on the subject of doing creative work.
  • I had part of the afternoon off – flex time due to an early evening event I had to attend for work.
  • I wrote a blog post that felt really good. For a change. (I often struggle with my blog writing.)
  • I went to the work event and had fun taking pictures and playing with sidewalk chalk (see photo above).
  • I read the ebook that I bought earlier in the day. (It was very short.) It was very awesome. It pulled together so many ideas that I’ve been thinking about and writing about lately.

Magical.

a moment

black and white vintage kitchen

Do you ever experience a moment where you just want to reach out and grab it before it gets away? Yell, “That!” and press pause? Hold onto it forever, suspended, for always? I sometimes have those moments, and surprisingly enough they often happen during very mundane, very insignificant activities. I had one Wednesday night.

From my journal:

Sitting in my kitchen. It’s 7:30 p.m.-ish. I just boiled a kettle of water. When it cools a little, I’ll enjoy a mug of hot water.

I spent some time online for about an hour. It left me feeling unsettled. I’m trying to get my equilibrium back. I sat down in my kitchen. I turned on some quiet music. A cat jumped in my lap. The other curled up behind my right shoulder, in my kitchen pass-through window.

I want more time in my life for detours – for un-doing. For non-trying. For anti-settling. I don’t need anything, right this moment.

I took both these photographs immediately after writing. The May evening light in my kitchen was perfect. Tear (below) was purring in my kitchen pass-through window.

black and white tabby cat

cowbird.com

avocado in blue glass bowl

I uploaded some new photo illustrations to Google+ yesterday, and I suddenly realized that I’d never really talked about Cowbird.com here on my personal blog. Cowbird is a community of storytellers. It was created by Jonathan Harris. (I think he’s awesome, by the way. You can see two of his TED Talks here and here to find out why.)

In February and March I tried to publish one story a day on Cowbird. In April I struggled to find time to continue doing that, but I haven’t abandoned the site. One of my favorite aspects of publishing there is creating the photo illustrations for my stories. A sample of some of my favorite Cowbird illustrations is below.

Beginning this month, I’m switching to weekday publishing only. See you Monday!

bunch of asparagas

cats on shelf

tree branches outside window

artichokes

red tulips

bananas and nuts

white garbage bag in trash can

All photographs taken with iPhone, and processed with Camera+

bodies, barbies, and the soundtrack of my childhood

Michelle Lynne Goodfellow, Grade 9 school photograph

Saturday night I was looking for something to watch on Netflix. I saw Xanadu (released in 1980, starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly) in the suggested items, and was immediately transported back to my youth. I remembered seeing the movie when it was released, in the theatre. Someone – I think it was my sister – got the soundtrack as a gift, or bought it with their own money, and we listened to it non-stop that year on our parents’ stereo in the basement rec room.

I watched the movie on Netflix.

Note to readers: Do not watch this movie on Netflix. Or anywhere else, for that matter. It is possibly The. Worst. Movie. Ever. Just saying.

But I did watch it. Right to the bitter end. Because of the music.

~

In 1980 I turned 13 years old. I graduated from Grade 8, started highschool, and learned how to shave my legs at summer camp. I still played with Barbies, read Stephen King thrillers and romance novels voraciously, and dreamed of being a writer someday. I believed in true love. I’d never been kissed by a boy. I wore fruit-flavored Bonne Belle lip gloss, and Love’s Baby Soft cologne. I coveted satin training shorts with white piping.

~

My dad built me a Barbie-sized dollhouse for Christmas in 1974. I was seven years old. It was made of plywood, and painted white. I get nostalgic for it whenever I smell oil-based paint, still. Dad later added a second story and a rolling base, where I could store my dolls and all their clothes. He built one for my sister, too.

That Barbie house was one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given.

~

Brooke Shields embodied the physical ideal when I was 12 or 13 years old. Long, skinny legs. Flat chest. Straight Calvin Klein jeans. I was 5’7″ and had a woman’s curves: 36-26-36. Breasts. Badonkadonk. Gorgeous, powerful thighs. I hated all of it.

~

I also had a lot of hair. My hair was probably my most culturally favoured feature in 1980. Watching Xanadu on Saturday, I laughed at the hair combs laced with ribbons that Newton-John wore. I made combs just like them for myself and my sister after the movie came out. Combs were big in 1980. I also dreamed of off-the-shoulder peasant blouses, but needed a bra by then. A real bra – not the skimpy, stringy, stretchy bras that all the flat-chested girls wore.

~

I listened to music while I played Barbies with my dollhouse. Whatever was in the rack of 8-tracks or vinyl records on top of the plywood shelving unit (that Dad also built). Sometimes it was old show tunes (South Pacific, Camelot). Sometimes it was Mantovani or Roger Whittacker. The Pat Boone Family in the Holy Land album was another favorite.

(I am totally serious, people. I listened to these albums NON STOP. Gack.)

We also had some contemporary stuff – my brother, sister an I. Donny and Marie. The soundtrack from Grease. Kenny Rogers.

~

Watching Xanadu as a 44-year-old woman in the 21st century was hilarious. Until a song came on. And then I was immediately 13 years old again. I knew every word to every piece. EVERY WORD. I sang along. No mistakes, no stumbles. I tried to fathom HOW MANY HOURS I must have listened to these songs at age 13, in order to have seared them so perfectly in my gray matter.

If you’d asked me three days ago to sing a song from Xanadu, I would have been hard-pressed to remember the title of even one. But once the music started playing?

I am still in shock.

~

I still have good hair, although it’s a lot thinner than it used to be. But it’s long, and takes literally 5 minutes to blow out from wet. I can’t complain.

I also can’t complain about my body anymore. Having seen my curves through the eyes of lovers and passers-by, I understand their appeal. I know how to dress myself now. Cashmere sweaters beat peasant tops, any day.

~

I begged my mom to teach me how to use her sewing machine when I was seven years old, so I could make my own Barbie clothes and accessories. My dolls had wardrobes that would make a tribe of princesses jealous. (My Barbies WERE a tribe of princesses, if the truth be told.)

I made up stories for them, set to the soundtrack of my youth. Long, epic sagas. Tales of dynasties of a dozen strong women and their lone, stud male. (A Six Million Dollar Man doll, permanently borrowed from my brother.)

Playing with Barbies made me a storyteller.

~

I don’t have any nostalgia for 70s or 80s fashion. I can’t believe all that stuff is retro hip now. The clothes only looked good on supermodels, and the polyester was sweaty. Plus it smelled funny when you ironed it. (People still ironed clothes, back then.)

But I did download the Xanadu soundtrack from iTunes Sunday morning. I liked the way those songs made me feel.

Hopeful.

Happy.

Whole.

~

Magic

Come take my hand
You should know me
I’ve always been in your mind
You know I will be kind
I’ll be guiding you

Building your dream
Has to start now
There’s no other road to take
You won’t make a mistake
I’ll be guiding you

You have to believe we are magic
Nothin’ can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don’t let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Destiny will arrive
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you

From where I stand
You are home free
The planets align so rare
There’s promise in the air
And I’m guiding you

Through every turn
I’ll be near you
I’ll come anytime you call
I’ll catch you when you fall
I’ll be guiding you

You have to believe we are magic
Nothin’ can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don’t let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Destiny will arrive
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you

(Instrumental break)

You have to believe we are magic
Nothin’ can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don’t let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Destiny will arrive
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you

Music: John Farrar, Jeff Lynne
Lyrics: John Farrar, Jeff Lynne
Performed by Olivia Newton-John
From the film Xanadu, 1980

©2011, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow. All rights reserved.

caring and compost, shit and stardust

Compost pile

I commented on a thread on Gwen Bell’s Google+ page today. She asked: “Tell me something about yourself. (Like: What are you learning about yourself right now? Like: What’s moving you? Growing you? Like: What’s asking you to be a little more tender?)”

I love Gwen’s questions, because they inspire or prompt me to look deeply, with fresh eyes, at my actions and beliefs. In this case, my answer was clear and almost instantaneous:

“Something I am remembering about myself right now (that is also asking me to be a little more tender): I am very comfortable (patient, caring, attentive and helpful) with seniors and sick people.

“Nearly a week ago I was at a meeting at a seniors’ residence, and helped one of the residents with her walker after the meeting. A simple act – all she needed was her walker brought over to her. But it was a strangely profound experience for me, accompanied by a kinesthetic memory of doing the same actions many, many times before. (My first paying job as a teenager was working in a nursing home. I was also a candystriper at a local hospital, and for several years was self-employed in a service industry where I frequently came into one-on-one contact with seniors. I have not worked with seniors or sick people for several years, however.)

“Then yesterday I visited a loved one in the hospital, and was surprised by what a calm, touching experience it was. Hospitals don’t freak me out the way they do some people (probably thanks to the whole candystriper thing), but I’m not necessarily good at making conversation with people who are unwell. In this case, however, what was really needed was a little personal care. I rubbed lotion on his back and limbs, to soothe his itching skin. I fetched him some ice chips (he’s currently nbm). I sorted out all his tubes and bags and took him for a walk. All of it was so strange and familiar at the same time.

“He was so thankful when I was done. I was so thankful that these things came so easily – that my body could remember things I’d forgotten I knew…”

~

In yoga we work with the “edge” – the place where a pose becomes uncomfortable. Working with the edge teaches me how to work with other edges in my life – the places where relationships become uncomfortable, or my work becomes uncomfortable, or my thoughts and emotions become uncomfortable, or my habits become uncomfortable. I’m often a whimpering coward when it comes to working with edges, though. Just saying. I don’t like pain.

~

I visited my loved one at the hospital again today. He was sitting up, waiting for me, eager to repeat yesterday’s “massage.” (Funny: for me the experience was simply “rubbing lotion on his skin.” For him, apparently, it was something much greater.)

I wasn’t as present with him today as I was yesterday. Yesterday, it was all uncertain and new. I could only wait and respond to what was needed. Today I expected (and was expected) to repeat yesterday’s magic. And somehow it wasn’t as magical (at least for me).

My edge, today, was my awareness of the nakedness of his need. He needed help getting a tissue. He needed help cleaning his glasses. He needed help checking his phone. He needed help getting more ice. He needed someone to touch him with healing intention, and love. He needed help using the toilet. He needed help going for a walk around his floor. He needed his hand held. He needed help pushing the little-blue-sponge-toothbrush-thingy to the bottom of his styrofoam cup of ice, so that it would soak up the precious few drops of water he was allowed to put in his mouth. He needed to know that his needs weren’t too many for me to help him with.

They weren’t too many. But having met all his asked-for needs, I rushed off to let him sleep – afraid of all the unasked-for needs I couldn’t hear. I don’t know what tomorrow holds for him. I don’t know what they’re going to find. I don’t know if he’s going to be okay. I don’t know if this afternoon was the last time I will ever see him.

~

There’s a hymn I used to love singing in church, although I could never make it through all the verses without choking up and having to stop. It’s called The Servant Song. I heard it today in my head as I drove home from the hospital.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
fellow travellers on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the nighttime of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping,
when you laugh, I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow
till we’ve seen this journey through.

Brother, let me be your servant,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace
to let you be my servant too.

That last line is a killer. “Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.” That’s another edge I withdraw from…

~

This morning I made a list of things I wanted to do today. I don’t normally make to-do lists, but I was feeling scattered.

* compost
* dreams
* visit —–
* x-mas card blog post
* Reader

The list was supposed to remind me of what was important. So I tended to the compost when I got home from the hospital.

~

There is a compost bin behind my apartment building. I don’t think anyone else uses it but me. I compost all my kitchen waste – and there’s a lot of it lately, since I’ve been eating a mostly raw food diet.

Funny, he was the one who taught me about compost. And about the rhythm of the seasons – the outdoor tasks for spring, summer, and fall. The composter is nearly full, and I know that when the freezing weather comes, the process of decomposition will grind to a halt until spring. I wanted to make sure there was room in the composter for all my winter waste.

I pried off the two covers at the base of the black plastic bin, and started scooping out dark brown humus with my kitty litter scoop. (I KNOW. At least it’s a really good scoop, okay? I paid a lot of money for it. It’s strong.)

I managed to get out about two buckets’ worth of brown mud. I slid the covers back on the bin. Then I worked down from the top, using my winter snow shovel to dig out layer after layer of progressively muckier rotting fruit and vegetables, in an attempt to get down far enough so that I could push the compost down into the spaces I’d just emptied.

It smelled awful. But it was beautiful.

Compost is a living ecosystem. I saw ants on the very top. (The fruit flies that had been omnipresent all summer died with the recent frost.) Near the middle of the pile I found earthworms. Juicy, plump, wriggling. They eat the decomposing organic matter, and their poop makes nutritious food for plants.

After I finished shovelling everything back in the composter (and gently relocated a few stray worms), I spread the humus on the nearby flowerbeds. Lilies of the valley and peonies will grow there next spring and summer. As I passed my hand over the humus to smooth it, I had a flashback of my palms rubbing soothing lotion over itchy skin.

Freshly spread humus

~

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sacred activities and ritual. About the intersection of the mundane and the holy. About purification, transformation… and shit.

~

There’s a blessing I perform on my apartment whenever I am about to have guests. (I also do it sometimes for myself, but this particular blessing is primarily for welcoming outsiders into my home.) I wander through each room with incense, blessing each of the four corners with a different intention. “Bless everyone who enters this place.” “Bless their intentions.” “Bless their creativity.” “Bless their relationships.”

As I leave my kitchen, I say, “Bless our elimination, which gives back to the Universe that which we don’t need.” By my back door, I say, “Bless the shadow, which makes us whole.”

~

Another person in my Google+ circles posted this a day or two ago:

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode.

“So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”

Lawrence M. Krauss

Christmas card star

(I never did get around to doing my dreamwork, or finishing my Christmas card blog post. But I did manage to edit some photos for it, including this one, above.)

©2011, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow. All rights reserved.