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A few months back, I tried rebranding the blog. I understood why I tried it, but I’ve come to realize that it didn’t work. It just didn’t work for me. No matter where I am, I am exactly who I am — Seasweetie. I am always a work in progress (or road construction on a Colorado highway – the same thing). Earlier this year, I wrote to a friend that I thought I might be having a midlife crisis. Their response? ‘I’ve known you for 16 years and you’ve thought you were having a midlife crisis the whole time.’ That gave me pause. After much contemplation, I recognize that there is no midlife, because we never know how much time we’re blessed with on the swirling blue ball, and that any crisis is usually something we psych ourselves into.

I’ve long said that the only thing certain in this life is change. “Crisis” seems to emerge when we either don’t want to own our choices (or pretend they never happened) or won’t take the time to examine our lives with a modicum of peace on our shoulder, acknowledging our triumphs, our mistakes, the lies we’ve told ourselves, and the love that drives the life we’ve created for ourselves. Up here in the stillness of the Retreat, I’ve had time to sit with my choices as the sun rises to wake me and as dusk falls on pines, as I listen to the music of the creek at night and the birdsong in the morning. There’s a lot to think about. There’s no particular conclusion to reach. I’m just loving getting to recognize myself in this moment in time, all the while knowing that everything could change tomorrow. All I have is now. And the beautiful anticipation of the future.

What does the future look like for me? I only know a few things, a few plans. I know that the unpacking will continue, as everything in the house — including me — finds its place. I know I’m about to check something off my Bucket List in a few weeks. I know that I’m finding myself, my heart, my courage, my joy, my impishness, my sensuality, my nurturing soul, all of which feel like they’ve been somewhat MIA lately. I know that I still have my depression demon, and that sometimes I can’t quite keep it at bay, so today’s positive post, while sounding a bit Pollyanna-ish, doesn’t preclude the feelings that accompany a visit from that special breed of darkness. But that’s not today.

Today is about peace. And joy. And finding the write words.

Daily gratitudes: (It was BIG DAY for gratitudes!)
Not hitting the stag in the middle of the magic highway this morning.
Seeing A BEAUTIFUL ROUND BROWN BEAR by the side of the magic highway this morning.
Listening to MKL and K’s voices in my head telling me not to stop the truck to get out to get closer to said bear.
Seeing a small herd of antelope (my shamanic cohort) with babies in the dry field this morning.
Making plans for me, my truck, and my camera.
Nice words from someone I respect.
Kenny Chesney’s music.
My house hippo (pictured below).

I have talked a lot about my love of books.  I’ve grown up with them.  I keep them.  I treasure them.  They’re like my favorite food.  Bookstores are the refuge of my soul, my best escape short of an island.  The cottage has shelves and shelves of books, mostly unread.  They sit there, patient little souls, waiting for their own moment in the sun.

A corner of the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Colorado

I choose my books carefully.  There are so very many that I would love to read.  If only I could find a job that paid me wagonloads of money to read the books of my choice.  As it is, I suppose I will have to wait for heaven, which, I am sure, is filled with books and puppies and beaches and horses and ….well, a few other wonderful things.

Dutch, Puglet and Dice: this image is from one of my favorite blogs The Daily Puglet. Its author is a fantastic pet photographer whose work can be seen (and whose services can be requested) at

The book I’m reading now is the second in a series of historical mystery/adventures by William Dietrich.  I adored the first one.  It was one of those books you stay up too late reading, and fall asleep with the lights on, the book still poised in your hand.  The kind you can’t wait to finish, but hate for it to end.  Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the next book.  I can still remember when I found it in the grocery store when it came out – I practically shrieked with delight.  I shook Kelsea.  I hugged it to my bosom.  I had to finish the book I was reading before I could start it. 

Epilogue Book Company in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

And that last statement hints at The Reading Dilemma.

Sign in the Epilogue Book Company

I did finish the book I was reading at the time.  And I was delighted to start my new prize.  I got about 20 pages into it…and I was bored. Bored, bored, bored.  I couldn’t believe it, after all that anticipation.  It just wasn’t grabbing me.  I set it aside with the thought that I would take it on vacation  —  maybe I just wasn’t in the proper headspace to enjoy it.  But vacation time came and went and I took along slightly skinnier, lighter fare.

Black Cat Book Shop, Manitou Springs, Colorado

Well, I finally picked it up again a couple of weeks ago.  I started it.  And it still isn’t holding me.  But now, I’m determined.  I’m going to finish it if it kills me.  And that’s the Dilemma.  I absolutely WILL NOT give up on a book once I’ve started it.  No matter how bad it is, how boring it is, how confusing it is.  So here I am, not really enjoying the book, just trying to get through it.  It’s become work, not passion. 

The Bookworm, Boulder, Colorado

I don’t know why I don’t give myself permission not to finish a book I don’t like.  Who do I think I am failing, betraying or otherwise letting down by doing so?  I mean, no one would know about it but me.  Perhaps it’s a tint of my stubborn streak.  Or perhaps it’s a shadow of my feeling that everyone and everything has something good, worthwhile and valuable within it.  Which is why I don’t give up on jobs or relationships even when they might not be the best things for me.

Interesting to think that my attitude towards books is just a reflection of my attitude towards life – and love.

I am indulging myself with The Bonnet Channel on this windy Saturday morning.  It’s one of my favorites – The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn.  Big sigh for Errol Flynn – if only he hadn’t been such a dissipated rogue, although I guess that was a large part of his charm.  (I’ll write more about Erroll, and about Robin Hood, one of these days.)

Watching this film, set in 13th century – though I must say Hollywood seems to think that fashion in the 13th century was much more regal than I imagine it actually was – I started thinking about how and why the world has changed in to the last 900 years.  (Cue “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy” intro narration.)

It is hard to separate the idea of native intelligence from the intelligence of this technology-driven world in which we live.  I am certain that the men and women of the year 1266 were just as smart as we are today.  So why could they not figure out the things we have been able to in subsequent centuries?  We have always had the basic resources – which really come down to the four elements of which everything is composed, and from some variant/combination of which everything has been developed: earth, air, fire, water.

So were we just new enough that we were spending our evolutionary childhood figuring stuff out like infants and children do? I can’t get a peg on how long humans have been on earth; some sources say 200,000 years, others say 4,000,000, and still others guess any number before, after or in between.  If we’ve been around for four million years and we were still in our childhood 900 years ago, then we’ve had a serious growth spurt in the last few centuries.  Or else we’re now in our adolescence and we have an absolutely astounding adulthood before us.  Unless we burn ourselves out and leave a decent-looking corpse.

Anyway, the question is, were people intelligent enough 900 years ago to figure out things like how to make plastic or microchips or cars?  If so, why didn’t it happen then?  Were they just too busy trying to subsist from day-to-day?  I know most farmers don’t have the opportunity to spend their days or nights trying to create new inventions.  It seems that the issue is less the intelligence of people 900 years ago than it is their lack of leisure time.  But then the idle rich weren’t the ones who invented things – isn’t necessity the mother of invention?

Do you get what I’m thinking?  I’m not sure I’m expressing myself very well, but I’m going to put it out there for discussion as is.  I may come back to it later, once my brain has chewed on it some more. 

It’s nice having deep thoughts again for a change.  But it does help to have a dialogue about them.

Sometimes you must step outside your comfort zone to know its boundaries.  It is not unhealthy.  I have always believed that you need to know both ends of a continuum – you need to know an earthly heaven and an earthly hell in order to understand where you fit, to know your place in your own life.  That place will vary from day-to-day, from year to year, and can change, grow, twist and evolve with your circumstances.  And when change happens in your life, that is when you need to test the strength of the walls of the house of your soul, to push against them, to climb out of the window and see what it is on the other side.

Sometimes, the walls dissolve completely.  Sometimes you find a new house,new rooms.  Sometimes though, where your spirit lives simply expands to encompass new knowledge of your own soul.  You keep that which you thought was a part of you, because now you no longer just think it is a part of you, you know.  And even though that part of you may not look the same as it did when you first found it, it is still something you recognize, something that you must now adjust, and adjust to having, as a sculptor crafts a block of clay to reveal the form that lives within, shaving, trimming, carving, tweaking, until it is gently and restfully complete. 

It feels not unlike a birth.  Once a seed is planted, it grows and changes within you.  Sometimes it is comfortable and sometimes it is not, and there comes a time, finally, when you must push and struggle and show infinite strength to bring that fully grown seed into the light of reality. 

It happens over and over again in this life.  And in the next one.  We must recognize the joy in the process and the joy in the pain, and never, ever deny any of the truths that we know about ourselves, no matter how much we may doubt, dislike or distrust them. We cannot put pieces of ourselves aside when they are inconvenient or uncomfortable.  We must only learn how to accept the flawed perfection of ourselves with open arms, open minds and open hearts.

Again, we pause to contemplate the unexpected, yet questionable, wisdom – and humor – of the lowly bumper sticker.  I offer this sampling for your amusement:

Life would be much easier if we came with easy chairs. Birth would not.

Age brings wisdom.  Or age shows up alone.  You never know.

Never knock on Death’s door. Ring the bell and run, he hates that.

Without ME, it’s just AWESO.

If going to church makes you a Christian, does going into a garage make you a car?

I found Jesus – he was behind the sofa all the time.

I poke badgers with spoons.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

Can you think on your own or do you need the media to think for you?

Don’t get even – get odd.

Love is for the courageous.

Guns don’t kill people – gaping holes in vital organs do.

If you believe you can tell me what to think, I believe I can tell you where to go.

I’m an agnostic dyslexic insomniac who lies awake all night wondering if there really is a dog.

My idea of a White Christmas is a White Sand Beach.

Look! A Distraction!

Can’t sleep – clowns will eat me.

Life is too complicated in the morning.

Art is everywhere.

Never leap the chasm in two bounds.

People don’t change, they just reveal themselves.

Do you live by fear or by passion?

Remember who you wanted to be.

I am homesick for places I have never been.

The idea is to die young as late as possible.

Today is the birthday of the sewing machine, the telephone book and the Communist Manifesto. 

If you’re of a certain age, your mother probably had a sewing machine.  Mine did, and she made many of my clothes when I was small, as well as most of the clothes that my Barbie Dolls wore.  (As an aside, did you know there was actually a short-lived Trailer Trash Barbie?  I kid you not.  Someday, I’ll do a Barbie post.)

I actually did learn to use one – in high school, I created almost the entire wardrobe for the cast of one of the school plays.  That wound up being a very bittersweet experience for me, as I was somehow the only one of the crew who received NO recognition.  It pissed me off and embittered me towards sewing.  When I moved away, my Mom bought me a machine, but I could never get the hang of it.  I think it is still in Pat’s shed.  That’s sad because I enjoyed creating things.  Maybe someday, I’ll try again. I’m the only person I know with PTSD around sewing machines.  But then, I’m the only person I know with a fear of yeast.

Who can forget Steve Martin’s portrayal of “a poor black child” in “The Jerk”, yelling “The new phone book’s here!  The new phone book’s here!”?  On this day in 1878, the first phone book was published – it was one page and contained 50 listings for New Haven, Connecticut.  Just think, now we go to a lot of trouble to be sure no one can find our phone number unless we give it to them, yet at the same time, we are constantly connected to millions of strangers via social medium.  Ironic, isn’t it?

The Communist Manifesto was published today in 1848 by Karl Marx and Fredric Engels.  I’m not going to get into the details – you can find them elsewhere – but suffice it to say that pure Marxism promoted a classless society (in terms of segregated classes of people, not couthness), which, if it were somehow possible to abolish man’s natural tendency towards greed, might be the way to go, as it actually promotes democratic thinking. 

However, in Communist countries, the theory has been degraded and has resulted in the authoritarian, Big Brother types of societies that democracies find so objectionable.  (As I type this, “Dr. Zhivago” is beginning on TCM – one of my mother’s favorite movies, and one that demonstrates, with debatable accuracy, some of the tenets of communist society.)

It’s English poet W.H. Auden’s birthday.

In his honor, here’s one of his most beautiful and sorrowful works.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

And it’s the birthday of actor Alan Rickman, a.k.a. Snape from the Harry Potter movies – the character we love to hate. 

He actually has an extremely solid body of work, dating from 1978, even though most of his roles were rather villainous.  The Guardian named him as one of the finest actors never to have received an Academy Award.  He’s 64 and he looks very good for his age.

Today, we mourn the following individuals who have passed on:

Dutch philosopher Spinoza, best known for propagating the theory that God and Nature are just two names for the same thing.  I agree.

Dame Margot Fonteyn, prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet and partner extraordinaire of Rudolph Nureyev,

and Sunny Lowry, the first British woman to swim the English Channel.  At age 22, it took her 15 hours and 41 minutes, and society branded her a harlot for daring to wear a two-piece bathing suit that exposed her knees.  Talk about not having your priorities straight.

Lastly, it’s the day that the Carolina Parakeet, the only parrot native to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, passed into extinction in 1918.  May the beautiful little thing rest in peace.

Thus endeth the history lesson.  Hope you feel slightly enlightened.

As I have gotten older, the chocolate-brown puppy eyes of my childhood have changed.  E-Bro has noticed a similar phenomenon in himself.  I have gone from having eyes like a 6-week old Labrador, to having eyes that might once in a while be called hazel, to having eyes that are green with flecks of brown and gold. 

I wonder about this.  Is this something that everyone experiences?  If eyes are the windows  – or mirrors – of the soul, does that mean my soul is lightening?

My eye color has always been somewhat variable with intense moods or situations.  I remember a boyfriend in freshman year in college noting with amazement that they looked like bright emeralds in the light at dawn.  (I take the liberty of quoting from the site linked below:  “A warm lover’s eyes will be green, a cold lover’s eyes will be …. otherwise.”)

Mine are pretty eyes.  Pat, with his odd sense of humor, used to tell me they were “the color of a cesspool”.  Once on a visit to San Francisco with the Captain, I sat for a street artist who did a lovely picture of me, though it didn’t really look like me, except that he caught my eyes.  The Captain had the picture cropped to just my eyes, had it framed, and hung on the wall in front of his bed, so he could always see them.

In one blistering moment immediately after my Mother died, I went in the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and saw not my eyes, but hers, looking back at me, in my reflection.  My eyes have indeed come to look more like hers over the years.

So now that  I have these nile-green eyes, I ponder all the other connotations around green eyes in our culture.

The green-eyed monster, an image driven by Shakespeare, to represent envy.  Envy.  One of those deadly sins, and I can understand why, having fallen victim to it myself off and on.  These days, it is more of an “on” thing, though I am consciously trying to control it.  It is one of my least favorite qualities in myself. 

I envy people who buy what they please without regard to the impact such purchases might have on their future finances.  It’s interesting to me, though, that I don’t envy the actual stuff that people have.  I just envy their ability to be carefree about having it.  I know that the appearance of carelessness may just be an illusion though.  Their spending may cover some much darker emotion that can only be sublimated by acquiring things, things which serve to obscure their pain and sadness further.  You can bury a myriad of emotions under mounds of clothes and pounds of stuff.

I envy people with money to travel.   I know that this won’t be an issue for me; the universe’s recent gestures, such as pennies from heaven, have shown me this with an absolute certainty.  But for right now, I don’t think those people are as worthy of it as I am, nor do I think they appreciate it as I would.  That’s awful of me.  I know it is.

I envy couples who claim to have “perfect” marriages.  And I don’t believe them.  No one has the perfect relationship.  If we’re lucky, it can be perfect for a high percentage of the time.  But realistically, no couple can be completely, totally, absolutely harmonious all the time forever.  I’d rather not create an illusion within my own head that I might use to crush myself with later.  That said, there are such things are soulmates and true and selfless love.  I believe in those things with all my heart.

(Jealousy is envy’s sharper twin.  It involves a stilletto-blade of hatred, a toxic flame of possessiveness, a sulfuric covetousness.  I feel it rarely, but when I do, it hurts me.  I’ve been subject to it, and it has literally ended relationships for me in the past – and that’s probably been a blessing, for to be in relationship with a truly jealous man is like sleeping on a powder keg.)

Only 1-2% of the population of the planet has green eyes.  They are more common in women than in men, and can be found anywhere in the world that has even a hint of a melting pot culture.

In doing a little research for this post, I came across a fascinating work called “The Green Eye Project“.  This self-described photo-essay contains links to anything and everything you’d ever want to know about green eyes, including film references, song lyrics, art, and photographs.  (All that may be missing is literary references.)  I love this quote from the site:

“Perhaps when we see green in a person’s eyes, we feel a subliminal connection with the wild, sensual, carnal side of humans beings, where the blood runs hot.  The color not only infers the possession of this level of sexuality in the beheld, but also its potential release in the beholder.”

Today marks the 95th anniversary of the Avezzano, Italy, earthquake, which killed 96% of the town’s population and left on one building (Casa dei Palazzi) and the wing of another (Castle Orsini) standing.

The quake was felt as far away as Rome.But we humans are resilient, if nothing else.  In the relatively short interval between then and now, the city has been rebuilt and is thriving.

Amazing, isn’t it?  And that’s after the town was further destroyed during World War II.

I have never been to Italy, but it’s high on the list.  A month of crashing seas in a small Cinque Terre village sounds about right for next winter. 

I have been through a couple of earthquakes, though nothing to write home about – just little tremblers.

But the remarkable ability of this little town to rebuild itself after such a massive upheaval struck a chord with me, as a metaphor for my own life at this point.  Everything has been turned upside down (note that I do not say destroyed, because it hasn’t been).  I have that feeling of being in a world that is different, which I recall experiencing on a sort of cellular level after being in little earthquakes.  But I am glad to be alive.  I am shaking the dust of the past years off my boots.  I am ready to build a bright future now.

No doubt that Avezzano will experience other earthquakes (in fact, it already has.)  And no doubt that I will as well.  But it is important and precious to remember that you can always rise from the ashes to become something even more beautiful.

As Dumbledore told Harry Potter when he stood before the Mirror of Erised, “It does not do to dwell in dreams and forget to live.”  BTW, I just “got” the name of the mirror.  Duh.

As I am working towards creating a new life, even if it’s only mental work right now, this question keeps coming up for me.  In my dreams, I think of talking to the Captain, to my Mother, and once awake, realizing I never will again.  The sadness is overwhelming, and I want to change the past.  But I wouldn’t even if I could.  Both of those dear people needed to move on, away from their broken bodies.  And I have moved on in a world where they are not. 

It’s easy, especially around the holidays, to let regrets and longings get the better of you.  In this year that has been so heavily focused on my divorce, there are some natural regrets around “destroying my family”.  What I really did was destroy the facade.  The perfect family unit wasn’t there.  It was really dysfunctional.  I wasn’t setting a good example for Kelsea about being true to oneself.  Maybe my unorthodox exit strategy wasn’t a good example either, but I’m trying to live my present and future so that she has a positive role model.  A positive role model of a woman who exited a marriage that was not and never would be nurturing, who does not hold bitterness or vengeance for the wrongs committed by her former husband, who does not beat herself up too much, who stands up for herself, and who works to make a healthy, happy new life – and new love.

I still miss my house, my illusion of security and being cared for, the warmth of the home I tried to create for us.  I don’t want it back, I don’t want Pat back, but I want those qualities back.  Just like I want the support of my parents back, their words of comfort.  That’s how I live in the past.  The question is, how can I take those longings and transform them into goals for my future?  How can I help myself find the proper places in my soul for those things to burrow and live and bloom into something new, safe, secure, solid, and pleasantly poignant?

During times of transition, living in the future is easier for me.  Again, Dumbledore’s advice comes to mind.  The future is based on dreams, and you cannot live in dreams.  But if you have no dreams, how do you control the forward motion of your life?  Especially when things in the present are not as you want them to be?  I have spent most of my life going with the flow, as opposed to directing the flow (the concept of conscious living that I wrote about here).  I’m a big believer in going with the flow, but that doesn’t mean not having intention.  Intention does not equal resistance.  Intention does not equal opposition to fate. 

Reality is, I cannot just pick up and leave tomorrow.  I have two jobs, a lease, a daughter, Mr. GF, two distant dogs, two distant cats and a soon-to-be-ex-husband.  Responsibilities.  As much as I want to decry my responsibilities, playing my given role in the universe means accepting them gracefully and making the most of them, not shirking them.  The game is how to fit the new dreams into the picture so that the responsibilities I want to keep are not ignored, but the goals of the dreams are achieved.

I am trying to bring my future into focus, to harness the power of the universe, to create my own reality and learn to know myself better and in a more forgiving manner.  My future is not the perfect house and expensive things.  My future is in peace, simplicity, creativity, passion, adventure and love.

And that takes us to living in the present.  Living in the present, while paving the road for the future, and taking some steps towards that future every single day.  Not lamenting the fact that I’m not in the future already.  Not regretting the past.   It’s a delicate balance between what’s meant to be, what is, and what I can shape.  Several platitudes come to mind – “God grant me to strength to change what I can, the courage to accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – being the first, and “Today is a gift – that’s why they call it the present,” being the next.

So, when I slack off at work, or slump into depression, I am doing myself a disservice.  (I’m not being hard on myself, because I know that kind of thing will happen.  It already has.)  All of the work that I am doing, whether it’s at a job, in the house, or in my head, is helping me grow stronger and move closer to the new reality that I am shaping for myself.  The impact of each action, each project, each word, may be subtle, but if I stay tuned in to the future, while living fully in the present, I can see it.  It’s like spirits – you can often see them in your peripheral vision.  And when you do, you just have to believe in them.  They’re real.


First things first – today is Mad Hatter Day.  You probably haven’t heard about this holiday, but I love the concept.  Read more about it here:  It’s a day for seeing how silly our reality actually is – and best of all, it originated right here in Boulder, Colorado.

Honoring the explorer in all of us, today is also Thor Heyerdahl’s birthday.  I remember that E-Bro loved his books when we were young.  Kon Tiki’s voyage was successfully recreated in 2006 on a raft christened Tangaroa, and Thor’s grandson was among the crew for that vessel, which I think is very cool.

How and at what age do we define our identity?  Do we define it only once in our lives or many times over?  I’m sure it differs for different people.  Many of us fall into the trap of identifying ourselves by what we do – by what our work is.  Losing that identity upon retirement may be a strong contributing factor in the phenomenon of people failing and dying soon after retirement.  I can’t find any statistics to support this on a quick search, but anecdotally, we all know it happens.  People whose identities are tied up in their work seem to lose purpose once they retire, and just fade away.

The same can be said of women who only view themselves as mothers.  Perhaps I draw fire from some for doing a lot of things that focus on me, and not on Kelsea, but I am NOT just her mother.  I am a person in my own right, with goals, dreams and an identity that I am trying to define in this stage of my life, an identity that is independent of anyone else.  Being a mother, a worker, a writer, a photographer, all play into who I am as a whole, but I am not limited to one of those roles.  It’s as if I am a self-contained melting pot.  What an interesting concept.  And to Kelsea’s benefit, it probably keeps me from smothering her and sets a good example for independence.  (Maybe too good an example – we’ll see how the teenage years go.)

While you never stop being a mother, many women whose identities are completely enmeshed in maternal duties must experience a small death as their children become independent, and find themselves at a loss as to who they are and what they are supposed to do, which must put a strain on both the individual and the marriage (if it still exists).

So, with that said, does an identity need an anchor?  Or does that once again lock you into some prescribed, pre-defined role?  Some people find comfort in an identity based on their religion.  Others base their identity on their political beliefs or where they come from.  Is the anchoring identity only useful as a reference point for others, or is it also necessary as a reference point for oneself? 

I suppose a parallel question would be, “If I have no name, what do I say when someone asks me who I am?”

Thought fodder for the day…


October 2021


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