American Soulbook: Melinda Doolittle Concert 2016

Have you ever gotten choked on something, and you coughed . . and you coughed . . and you coughed until the only thing in the world was your blocked airway?
No sight, no sound, no texture, only the need to breathe.
Now think about the first lungful of fresh air, the way it felt when it went easily, all the way down to your lungs.
The relief, the restart, the renewal of life.
That is my experience with Melinda Doolittle’s “American Soulbook” concert from last night.
Continue reading “American Soulbook: Melinda Doolittle Concert 2016”

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Adversity Is a Character Builder

It has been over a week since I have written anything here.
I am currently experiencing a state of zero energy, and brain fog. I think/hope it is a result of hypothyroidism, because if it is, and if I can get natural rather than synthetic thyroid medication, the problem will be solved, and boring health posts will be banished from the blog.
But since I started it, let’s just call this a biographical post, and I will briefly explain my challenges, because they are the foundation from which I have had to build my attitudes about adversity, and perseverance. This will not be my most interesting post, but I hope it gives you some insight to the way in which I have developed my philosophy for living.
When I was young, my Dad would always tell me that adversity is a character builder. I appreciate his words now more than ever, because I see these difficulties as strengthening agents, rather than impediments. So if you can slog through this post with me, I promise, there is a point I want to make by telling my story, and there will be something uplifting at the end.
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Darkness Be My Friend

Certain events stamp themselves in our memories, so that we never forget where we were when we heard the news. The day JFK was assassinated, the Challenger explosion, 9/11 . . . collective experiences shape the perspective from which the world will view events from that point forward. This is also true for personal experiences.
On a Wednesday afternoon in 1996, I went to the mall with a friend to buy a Christmas gift. I was twenty-two, college finals were finished, and I was looking forward to the holidays. The sun was warm for December, bright with a soft winter light. I noted how pretty it was, but I had no idea that it was the last “normal” light I would ever see.
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Serenity With Cats

Deep night could be a very lonely place for someone with insomnia. Not so much as a cricket chirping, and stillness so complete it’s almost tangible. Hours stretch and lengthen, making dawn seem a question, not a certainty. For me, . no light at all, no scents to give life to the air I breathe. But then . . . Continue reading “Serenity With Cats”

Blog Feature Explained: Heartletters

I don’t have to know you to care about you, and I don’t have to have met you in person to speak a kind word to you when you need it.

After reading between the lines of one cryptic social network post too many, I reached some conclusions.
We live in a society that is connected on a global level, but it seems that humans have never been more separated from each other than they are today. We read news from across the world instantly, yet we are often the last to know when the person next door, in the next cubicle over, or in the bed next to us, is hurting. Many people are suffering in quiet desperation, hiding in plain sight, pretending it’s Ok when it’s not, and going through the motions in order to spare others the pain they are feeling!
We have all experienced situations where we know friends or strangers are in pain. We are helpless to do anything about it, either because they won’t say what’s wrong, or we just don’t know them well enough to bring it up in conversation. I imagine at one time or another, we have all felt completely alone with feelings of anxiety, sadness, or fear. I love people, and I want to help, so I developed the idea of heartletters. (Sorry for the hokey name, but I couldn’t think of anything better to serve as a unique way of categorizing them.)

Each letter addresses a feeling or situation common to the human experience, and it will be written to “you.” I may not know you, but I care, and the post will be there if or when you need it. “You”could be anyone, and you could be feeling afraid, overwhelmed, bullied, successful and miserable, or any number of ways.

These letters are intended as words of solace during the alone times, for when friends and family are absent, or when there just isn’t a sufficient support system. They are meant to console, encourage, and soothe a wounded heart. However, they are not a replacement for medical advice or therapy, and if you, or someone you love, is in need of more than a friendly word, PLEASE PLEASE seek help from a professional!
I am not a teacher, or a doctor, or an expert of any kind. I am just a human with a heart, and I have read silent pleas for help one time too many. I cannot do a lot of things because I am not a professional, but the one thing I can do, in abundance, is perhaps the most important thing any one human can do for another. I can care!

While the words in these posts may seem obvious or cliché to some readers, I am a firm believer that human beings can never speak enough kindness to one another. If my words make one person feel less alone in the world, or show another person that there is a brighter future ahead, then I have done well with the gifts I have been given.

Feel free to share them with someone who needs them.
I don’t know how often I will write these letters, because I have so many things in mind for this blog, but you will find them under the category of “heartletters.”
Each post will be titled something like, “Heartletter: Abandoned”, so it will be easy for you to see that this is the letter you should read if you are feeling, or have ever felt, abandoned.
I hope this explains the feature, and I really do hope these letters will help someone.