Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dreamers...

What does it mean to be a dreamer? In today's world, the word has taken on some rather political and racial connotations.  When I use the word, I can see some of my friends tense up, anticipating a diatribe on freedom and opportunity.

But today, I'm not talking about those Dreamers.  Instead, I'm talking about the everyday person who has aspirations and hopes for more.  Really, they're not so different, but I digress.

What does it mean to be a dreamer? Well, it means hard work.  I haven't met anyone who was a successful dreamer who didn't pour themselves into their calling.  To be a dreamer means that you're picking a path that is not always easy.  Life isn't easy, especially nowadays.  It seems like there's so much hurt in the world, so much division and conflict.  Is there more than there used to be?  Is this time and this place more negatively charged than before?  I don't think so.  We're just seeing it now.  And once you see it, it's hard to go back to blissful ignorance.  Once you know the world is hurting, it's hard not to hurt with it.  To be a dreamer though is to see something that isn't there and make it so.  To be a dreamer is to take the glitter of star-shine and moonbeams and nocturnal ponderings and fashion all those ephemeral things into something you can hold and touch.

William and I are both dreamers.

We've dreamed things that should never have been and yet they came to be.  Something that wasn't became something that was.

I think that we have achieved what we have due to a lot of different factors.  I think there is a lot of luck involved.  Luck in the traditional sense, of having good fortune.  And luck in the way that Oprah describes it as opportunity meeting preparation.  I also think it's because we work hard.  It isn't the same kind of work as being on your feet for hours serving food or mowing lawns in the hot baking sun.  (I know!  I've done both those jobs.)  It's the kind of work that requires you to bend a vision into reality... and that takes many forms.  It takes the form of all-night work sessions until your back is cramped and your fingers bleed, planning until there's stacks of papers surrounding you in scribbled-on piles, plotting, doing dull drudgery, putting stickers on bags, tubing beads, and addressing labels, and always dealing with people the way you would want to be treated.  That last thing doesn't seem like it should be hard work, but sometimes holding your tongue and just defaulting that they are good and kind and deserving of respect and compassion can be tricky, especially when their words and actions indicate otherwise.  Being a dreamer means that you have to be optimistic, persistent, and a wee bit stubborn.

But the real key to our successes as dreamers lies in the fact that there are other dreamers out there who believe in us and our abilities to make the intangible, tangible.  There are other people who have a little bit of vision and a little bit of faith and a little bit of wildness.  They have just the right ingredients, in just the right proportions, to see beyond what is and can make out what could be.  We belong to a tribe of people who believe in tenacity and the power of manifestation.  And those dreamers allow us to reach higher than what we could do on our own.

I remind myself of what it means to be a dreamer when I'm faced with challenges.  I remind myself that we are not alone.  I remind myself that the things that once seemed so impossible are now everyday.  I remind myself of the feeling of standing outside of myself, at the edge of something more, something wild and unknown and brimming with both possibility and danger.  I remind myself of taking risks and having blind faith that is unwavering when there are those that say NO and there are those who would seek to keep things just as they are.  I remind myself that dreamers are fighters and survivors and people who overcome.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Six of Swords & the Earthworm...

9/20: Six of Swords,  The Wild Unknown TarotEarthwormThe Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck.

Grubby Little Hands...

I was talking with a friend the other day about birthday presents.  We were nearly rolling on the floor laughing about some of our most unusual gifts we have received over the years.  When we sobered up from our fits of laughter and uncontrollable giggles, they asked me what I wanted for my upcoming birthday.  Of course, my responses were pretty esoteric... concepts like "more time" and "continued happiness".  Exasperated by my vagueness, they said I needed a list.  The truth of the matter is that it was actually harder to come up with a list than I thought it'd be.  While we're not rich, we definitely are blessed with a life of abundance and if there's something that I want, generally I can work towards it and get it myself or William gets it for me, especially if it helps me create things.  When I was growing up, my family didn't have a lot of money and I realized fairly early on that my requests generally added more stress to my parents' lives, particularly if it was out of reach.  So it was best to wish for abstract concepts that wouldn't make my parents feel bad for not being able to do more.

In reality, I'm easily pleased.  Someone could give me a pretty rock they found on the ground and I'd be happy with it.  I value handmade things and little works of art.  I particularly enjoy the unusual and always delight in surprises.  I'm a collector of things – cats, owls, ravens, books, beads, and anything magical.  When I did finally come up with a list, it was pretty boring!  LOL! Mostly it was raw materials to make things, like metal clay and resin.  

After some time, I thought harder about the things that I wanted and I came up with this list.  They are all things that are currently on my radar and are things that I'll eventually get for myself, but do not yet have.  I know this list might seem frivolous, especially with everything going on in the world right now, but it's mostly just a fun little exercise for myself.  Of course, you can always CLICK HERE and contribute to our Beads of Courage fundraising page.  Their annual fundraiser is almost over and they need help to reach their goal.  Of course, there's also hurricane relief efforts for the aftermath of Harvey and Irma.  And earthquake disaster relief in Mexico.  Or pro equality and human rights.  Really, there are so many more people in need right now.

For what it's worth, here's my list:

With some of the polymer clay work that I make and metalsmithing, a bench top polisher would free up my hands and allow me to really shine some stuff up!

Recently, I was in a class with Christi Friesen and one of the techniques we did used PanPastels.  Since then, I've been thinking up of all kinds of applications for this art supply.

I have a lot of rough gemstone and mineral specimens that I'd like to turn into a more useful state.  I'd like the ability to carve my own stones and this would help me get there.

I'm a big fan of candles in general, but we got this as a housewarming present and it was delightful.  I was almost reluctant to burn it, because I wanted it to last forever and ever.

Who couldn't use a little extra luck? When we opened the store, we ended up getting a bunch of lucky cats.  With some projects in the works, it might be time for our collection to increase.

I first discovered the Fabulous Beekman Boys (Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge) with, "The Bucolic Plague".  Since then, their business and lifestyle brand has really taken off and they've launched several cookbooks.  I have a few and like them a lot.  I particularly love the photography.  This is their latest and it looks like a good one.

So, I wasn't really going to put anything on the list that I have had already, but I had some great ideas and was just about to execute them and then I ran out of this clay! Eek!  What I like about this clay is that it has incredible translucency. 

This is one of my favorite scents.  It has a rich warmth to it.  After years of adding a dab here and there, I am finally out and am looking for more.

This is another item that is on my list thanks to Christi Friesen!  In one of her classes, we worked with genuine gold leaf.  Normally whenever I use "gold leaf", I use imitation gold leaf, but in class I discovered some of the properties of working with the real deal and want to experiment more.

We recently became vegetarian and as a result, I've been researching recipes that are vegetarian friendly.  While looking up Moroccan and Northern African recipes, I came across this.  It looks tasty!

I know there's a big hubbub with some chefs and truffle oil.  I recall one of them saying that it's basically "perfume" and a "lie".  But you know what... I don't care!  I've had some fries that were flavored with "perfume" and "lies" and they were damn delicious.  This is a pantry item that I recently ran out of, but usually only pick up when I stumble upon a good deal.

Speaking of delicious fungi, one of my favorite dishes that I make is a wild mushroom risotto.  It's earthy.  It's buttery.  It's like someone is hugging you from the inside when you eat it.  I usually buy the broken bit medley from Earthly Delights, as it's usually cheaper and I don't mind if the mushrooms aren't in perfect slices.