Spell a Day – Feb 10th 2016

Ash Wednesday, not a particularly important day unless you are part of the Christian faith. While I may not be in the realm of “practicing” anything these days, I still respect their traditions, as long as someone doesn’t try to cram them down my throat.

For today however, we are going to talk about reconnecting with nature. Even when I would have classified myself as a Christian (Methodist to be exact) I always felt this awe inspiring power in nature. As a kid I would go fishing with my cousin. We never caught much in the ponds near our house but it was still fun. As I grew older I became more of an inside person. I blame technology and too many books, along with the Carolina heat in the summer.

Shortly after moving to Wisconsin I enrolled in a university with the intention of becoming a high school English and Theater teacher. Yeah, I wanted to be that teacher. The one that assigns the 2000 word creative writing exercises then covers the grammar and spelling mistakes with red ink and an encouraging word to just “Keep writing, the rest is all in the editing.”

During one of my assignments in Creative Writing 101, we were tasked with finding a quiet spot in nature to reflect. In the midst of a snowy winter, I went deep down the cross country skiing/hiking trails on campus and found a relatively clean downed tree to sit upon. I was far enough away from any roads to forget I was even in the city. No cars could reach me where I was. I sat on this log and breathed the crisp air until my fingers and toes went numb. It was glorious.

I highly recommend finding a special place to do this same exercise and write down your impressions and feelings from the experience. Just dress warmly if you are doing this in a snow covered forest like I did.

Take care my Gentle Readers. Until next time.

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Spell a Day – Feb 2nd 2016

Imbolc, Groundhog day, The Feast of St. Brigid. That is right Gentle Readers, we are halfway though winter. While many of us in the US will be waiting for that little rodent to pop out of his home, I will be wishing for a more traditional Irish celebration. St. Brigid, the Matron saint of Ireland, shares her name and her feastday with the Celtic goddess of Inspiration. There are traditions of feasting and gift giving to ring in the coming spring. As the plow is also associated with this time of year, I read about a tradition where children decorate the plow and take it from house to house demanding sweets. The homes that failed to buy off these young people may find fresh furrows in their front lawns. I doubt we would get away with this today unless you really knew the neighbors. Or they wanted to plant a vegetable garden there.

The awakening of spring as it begins to win the war against the cold harshness of winter leading up to the spring equinox (at least for us in the northern hemisphere) is a cause for celebration and renewal. Today is the day to seek the blessings of Brigid for creativity and inspiration in your life and pursuits. Be they of the musical, artistic or literary ilk, she is especially important and this is a momentous time. Dust off those notebooks or tools of your trade and get back to your passions.

It’s also time to start that spring cleaning and purification phase of the year. Grab some sage smudge and push out the winter spirits to make room for spring. Organize that garage for the upcoming yard sale season, or to donate to charity.

A little springtime poetry. Until next time my friends.

Spring’s Awakening
Stretching to the sun
Seeking its life-giving warmth
Spring’s awakening

Pushing back the cold
Of Winter’s frozen embrace
Shaking off the ice

Relief is coming
From the bitter winds and snow
Of Winter’s harsh reign

Eyes turn to the skies
The sun peeking through the clouds
Spring’s Awakening

Spell a Day – Jan 28th 2016

moneyevil

So, I did a bit of reading and reviewing instead of keeping up with my Spell a Day my Gentle Readers, and I apologize. I hope you will check out the reviews I have posted and will be posting in the next day or so. Today’s topic regards money. Now, the Spell a Day has to do with redefining your relationship with money in order to bring abundance and prosperity. I went in a different direction with my poem this time. I hope you enjoy.

Money = Evil?
Some believe Money
Is the rot of all Evil
But why is this so?

Should we place blame
On inanimate currency
For man’s failings
And passions run amok?

Where is our moral compass
Why is it acceptable to dodge
What we responsibility we have
Because of want of money
Who thought this through?
How have we reached this point
When we can justify genocide
Because of want of money

Gold coins and jewels
Exchanged for dollars and pounds
Classic bait and switch

How does Money feel?
Being blamed for war and death
Throughout history

Spell a Day – Jan 26th 2016

Tuesday. One of my favorite days of the week Gentle Readers. This is because, unlike most people who work Monday through Friday. Tuesday is MY Friday. Depending on which week it is in my rotation, it is either a 2 day Friday (and I work the weekend beginning Friday morning) or it is a 5 Day Friday, granting me no work obligations until the following Monday. Pretty sweet deal for only giving up every other weekend.

Tuesday is also a day held to be sacred to Mars. Today’s topic focuses in on one of Mars’ traits, Courage. Courage can be shown in a lot of different ways. To some, the epitome of courage is our military service men and women. I am not going to argue that point. My little brother served two tours overseas in the early to mid 2000s. My grandfather was a marine in WWII and served in the Pacific theater. Nothing should ever be taken from the courage these people show. It is deplorable that our nation treats lazy baby factory welfare moms and illegals with anchor babies better than our military veterans. Before you get all up in arms about that last sentence, think about it a little. We have all probably met/seen those people who just like to bleed the system. I am not talking about single moms who are trying to make ends meet getting a little boost. I am talking about the ones popping kids out every few years to get a bigger check so they can keep themselves in nail appointments and fancy electronics. The freeloaders. Anyway, I digress.

Courage can also be found in small ways. Stand up for yourself and chase your dreams, no matter how big or small. It took me over a decade to try and share my writing with the world, and I am still not quite happy with it so I am going to be revising/editing again. To all the aspiring writers, poets and geeks out there, Don’t Give Up on your dream. Learn your chosen craft and show the world that you have value. Sure, there are going to be naysayers, but do you think any of the greats do not have moments of doubt? Even J.K. Rowling was rejected a couple dozen times. Now look at her. Dr. Seuss faced similar rejection. I grew up learning to read using his books. If he had given up, and not shown the courage to pursue his dreams, I don’t know what I would have learned to read while sitting with my grandfather.

Find your courage today Gentle Readers and chase your dreams. Until next time, just keep writing.

Spell a Day – Jan 25th 2016

Well, Gentle Readers, I am a little disappointed in today’s topic because it isn’t much different than yesterday’s. Apparently we are going to do things in pairs. However, today’s focus is on removing negativity using sound. I don’t know about all of you but I am addicted to my music, most of it from a previous decade, and some from before I was even born. Good music is timeless and has no age requirement to enjoy it.

My cell phone is packed with about 14 hours worth of music so that I can start it first thing in the morning and make it to work, through work, and all the way home without having to hear the same song twice. My coworkers have become accustomed to me strolling through the office with one ear bud looped in, the other hanging loose so I can grab the desk phone when needed.

Music is also a must when I am writing. I cannot count the number of times the right song has inspired something in me. It could be a difficult scene, or a poem. It helps to have my mind focused partially on the music, drowning out the distractions so I can focus on writing.

How has music helped and inspired you? Share in the comments and let’s get some discussion going. Until next time Gentle Readers.

Spell a Day – Jan 15th 2016

Today I am going to run straight to the point. My spell a day is about forgetting a bad memory. We all have regrets or experienced things we want to forget. Sometimes the mind is a blessedly intuitive device and we will have selective amnesia regarding these events. The truth is however that these events and memories shape who we are and how we see the world. One’s upbringing and experiences are who we are. While we would like to forget some things, we need to recognize the value of these mistakes and bad memories bring to our life. Now, I am not saying I hope that victims of horrible abuse or crimes should be force to relive those traumatic events. I wish with all my heart Gentle Readers that those people could find peace and solace from their mental, and sometimes physical, scars.

A memory that I wish I could forget, only if it would change the outcome, is the night I lost my grandmother. As my family prepares to welcome a new addition to our household in a few months, I cannot help but wish she was here to see the birth of her great grandchild. Her birthday is next month, she would have been 86 this year. Even though she has been gone several years now, I still shed a tear when I think about the woman that taught me so much growing up. I am ever thankful that I got to spend those last years with her, though I had to be the caregiver this time instead of her.

Somewhat related to the topic of bad memories, here is a poem.

Tears
Tormented nightly
Reliving the day again
When she was taken

So strong an sure all my life
The pain overwhelming my senses
To see her frail and weakCutting deeper than any knife
Into my soul, through my defenses
Even now my eyes leak

Tears of loss
Sadness at her passing
Tears of joy
For the years of laughing
Tears of peace
Now her pain is lacking

Wiping away tears
Shed for all the stolen years
Now just memories

 

Until next time Gentle Readers, I need to find a tissue.

Spell a Day – Jan 14th 2016

Today’s spell is about bringing prosperity into your home, and is something that we have unknowingly been doing every winter in my household. It involves taking some great smelling herbs/spices and boiling them in a pot of water on your stove. It makes your house smell great.

We have radiator heat in our older home so in the winter, it gets very dry. Because of this we often take cinnamon and apples, or orange peels, and boil them on the stove as a make shift humidifier. Unknowingly this is exactly the same thing recommended to bring some prosperity into your home. I suppose our lack of using the incantation or pouring the remnants outside instead of down the garbage disposal might account for not seeing the influx we were supposed to. I wonder if I can convince my wife that she needs to give it a little rhyme when she starts the water to simmer. Maybe it would work.

I penned a little poem about success and prosperity. Hope you enjoy.

Success
Success is the prize
Awarded for much hard work
A prosperous life

Working to perfect your craft
Whether or not it is in the arts
Even when others start to laugh
One step and your journey starts

You will stumble and fall
It’s only natural you see
But answer your heart’s call
To be who you’re meant to be

Study and work hard
To gain that which you desire
Personal success

 

Until next time Gentle Readers.