"We become what we think about." ~ Earl Nightingale

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then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - Remembering Taos

Entries from my journal

8-1-07 Wednesday's extended 3 hour writing time
9:15am - I'm listening to classical music as I would at home (with shoes off and water nearby) in the comfy chair I first sat and wrote in upon my arrival a day early on Friday ... which seems like more than just four days ago. Nearby, I have my notes from Suzanne's brief "writing set" for today shared a half hour ago in the dining room after a delicious breakfast and of course all my notes from the sessions and councils to keep me centered and focused.

This morning's meditative walk at 7am was as delicious as the meals and inspiring as the interactions with other writers here this week. I took many pictures ... so many that the memory card is full. I've exchanged it for an empty one, and I've taken some candid shots in the past half hour of writers at work on the way back to my room to retrieve my writing supplies and handy canvas bag I purchased in Red River on the Enchanted Circle Drive just before the retreat began.

Leaving Mabel Dodge Luhan grounds

Suzanne set a swift pace.

Colorful commemorative
floral displays along the roadside

and at grave sites in this cemetery.

A first glimpse of our destination.

Standing in this sacred place,
I noticed stones placed by previous visitors
perhaps in remembrance as some would light candles.

Returning, I focused on a series of
stone crosses along the path like this one.

What a glorious morning
and beautiful morning walk!

The textures of this fence

and this stone wall

(from another perspective)

the beautiful trees overhanging the road

unique homes

and this fence
each drew my camera.

Today's thought in the Big Room says "Give 'til it feels good" ... and I realize the photos I'm talking will make a wonderful email gift to everyone once I return home. I hope others will share their photos also.

I want to remember L's feedback on my photography ... and savor her invitation to take a "photo trip" together some time. She liked "the flow of the way I shoot pictures" ... saying it was similar to her own process. I am grateful. I feel authentically valued because I've seen her pictures and they're AMAZING! I don't believe I'm in her league -- but I'm flattered all the same and trying to let those feelings in and savor them.

Later after creating a few graphic pieces I continue:
I'm grateful for the comfortable chair and the inspirational music, though I miss writing outdoors. It's so beautiful and peaceful here. I'm wishing I had eaten less and hoping the feeling of fullness will pass quickly. Interestingly, my heart feels full also, and I'm grateful for this longer expanse of writing time this morning ... though I'm not sure where it will take me.

"Nothing forced ... nothing held back" ... allowing what comes to show up and surprise me. These feel like blessings too.

The soft chair and gentle music complement the warm roughly hewn spiral wooden column in front of me supporting the wooden beam of the ceiling. The odd shaped doorways, small and low enough to make me bow as I pass through them, add to the ambiance.

11:28am - I've returned to my journal after creating a few more "graphic free-writes" in my sketchbook, and am looking again at the opening pages of this journal ... written back in April.

Distracted by the delicious smells of baking fill the room, tantalizingly ... I'm reminded of the earlier startling smell of smoke coming from M as she took a cigarette break outside in the courtyard about a half hour ago ... and that bringing up vivid memories of life with G all those years ago. I don't understand why people smoke and probably never will, though as I write this I remember S once shared it as "the ultimate act of intimacy with himself" going on to explain the total self-absorption smoking generates ... but I don't choose to dwell on that now.

Choosing to shift gears ...
What keeps me from writing and submitting stories to Guideposts, Readers Digest, the Chicken Soup series and the like?

Excellent question V. What are you waiting for?

Wait -- I asked first! Isn't this cheating to take advantage of me in this manner?

By what rules?

I feel sleepy.


Maybe, although it's possible I'm actually weary from the late hour of evening sessions, the intensity of morning and afternoon sessions, the wonderful interactions with others, my early rising (as always around 3 or 4 am) seriously cutting into sleep time, writing so long this morning ... especially since I walked yesterday for more the 5 hours and again this morning AND I ate a bit too much at breakfast.


If you think so. Well, I do have doubts that anyone would be interested enough to read what I write.

Self doubt limits you and robs everyone else.

C just passed through and invited me to join her and Suzanne in the pergola at noon for a reading. I think I'll go because I'm anything but hungry.

Looking out the window, I notice many butterflies flitting from flower to flower ... and it occurs to me that in addition to suggesting TRANSFORMATION, butterflies mimic or MIRROR my distractibility and varied interests. Choosing that symbol for my "no nametag" introduction here may have multiple implications for me to think about.

I can't help but laugh. This afternoon's session is about "Coming Out Of Hiding" ... how perfect!


Mike Golch said...

I love the photos,Thanks for shareing.God Bless.Mike Golch

NicciN said...

Wow, this sounds like a great experience. I love the photos. It is almost like I went on the walk too!

Monique Kleinhans said...

Thank you for sharing in your thoughts and visual stimulations! What a great walk we've now been on with you!

storyteller said...

Thanks to each of you for visiting, taking the time to read my musings, and leave a response. I am grateful.

Mike - I'm glad you enjoyed them. I experienced difficulty selecting which pictures to include (and what to omit because I took so many). I worried I'd overdone it here.

Yertle - This Writer's Retreat marks a pivotal shift in my life. I've written of it previously and will no doubt do so again. The opportunity appeared in a surprising manner and I'm grateful I said yes.

Ladybug - I'm happy you found the walk and thoughts worthy of your time and interest. Isn't it interesting how much we can share in this virtual manner?

Hugs and blessings to you all,

Karen said...

This really took me back, Storyteller--and now I'm longing for that time, again. It was such a nurturing time/place, wasn't it?
The photos are gorgeous--I am so grateful you (and many others) took them AND shared them with the rest of us. I was experiencing the retreat in a different way, and ended up with very few photos of my own. Thank you.

And thank you for allowing us into your private thoughts.

Momisodes said...

What a lovely post and photos to go along with it. Your photos were a great escape for me today...a much needed one. Thank you :)

The Dream said...

T A O S - I love it there! New Mexico is a big time sacred for me. I long to get back there one day in the not-so-distant future. Thanks for the lovely photos today!

Eve said...

Beautiful pictures. They inspire peace in my mind. I've been to NM a few times, briefly. Never been through Taos, however. What a lovely setting to spur your creativity.

storyteller said...

How cool to find all your comments this morning! Thanks for taking the time to visit and write back.

Karen – I long for that time again often and I understand why many of the participants of previous retreats return. Revisiting my photos, journal entries, and writing pieces generated while at MDL warms my heart and refreshes my spirit each time. I’m glad this post brought YOU back to your own memories.

Sandy – I’m happy to have provided a brief respite here, especially in light of your own recent misgivings about your early posts and the unexpected problems generated by “Twitter” when you edited and/or deleted them. I’m not familiar with Twitter, but methinks I’m glad I don’t have it … whatever it is.

Dream – This was my 1st trip to Taos, but it won’t be my last. What an amazing place! I loved the surrounding area as well … the High Road from Santa Fe to Taos, the Enchanted Circle, and the Grand Canyon of the Rio Grande. Each was spectacular … and I know there were other places I could have explored, if there had been time.

Eve – This Writers Retreat is memorable for so many reasons (not the least of which is the serendipitous way I got there in the 1st place), and I’m more than grateful.

I’m pleased to know you enjoyed taking this morning walk with me onto Pueblo lands. You need special permission to walk there, and I felt privileged to follow Suzanne with my writing buddies. As for my musings, sharing what I write in my journal has never been easy, but I’m taking “baby steps” of my own … and coming out of hiding gradually. Your accepting encouragement is most welcome, so thanks.
Hugs and blessings,