A Place to Stand

Wysteria – Catania, Sicily, Italy, 2018

A Place to Stand

I’m looking for a place to stand, a place past

judgement and labeling, past anger and hatred, a place beyond

fear. My feet keep moving, stretching, searching, hungry to find space

where my heart can bloom and my soul can sing. I stay awake and pay attention because

this place is subtle, like the flavor of saffron lingering in my mouth. It’s a nuanced spot

that only speaks when you slow down, when you reach inside and listen deeply

to your body’s wisdom. The location settles you in a contented solitude, a seclusion

that moves you past the duality of good and bad, stability and freedom, attachment and aversion.

When you follow your embodied experience, you find a place to stand where

your being is washed in light, where your heart opens like a flower, where possibility

flows like a river over your feet standing along the stony shore. 

This poem is part of an online collection I call All the Shapes of Joy.

When the seedlings are encouraged

Hostas sprouting in spring by Vicki Flaherty, 2019, Iowa

When the seedlings are encouraged

They can be so stingy with the essential ingredient,
the vitamin that strengthens the artist spirit:
They tear apart and break down, their intellect like a knife,
rather than lend their souls, like a salve.
Their perspective is fogged in and funneled;
what they see shaped by their rule books
and their own fear of being free:
should-haves, limitations, and imperfection,
instead of pure creative impulse filled with possibility.

We all start somewhere, seeds pulled by energy,
encouragement feeding the inner artist within,
our potential and willingness to try appreciated.

Imagine if all of us artist seedlings
were appreciated for who we are
and encouraged through our creative process,
what a beautiful world would flourish.

The seedling
with nature’s gentle hand
and the mature trees’ encouragement
flourishes in the forest.

This post was Inspired by Chapter 8 of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I’m going through this self-guided book and am excited to be 2/3 through. I’ve tried twice before – but never got beyond Chapter 1 or 2; this time I’m ready. I’ve been supported in opening my creative energy and acknowledging the artist within me. With a beginner’s mind, I am invited to try so many things. I recently had the courage to buy a few bottles of acrylic paint to dabble with painting. I also checked out books at the public library on collage and making hand-made books. I started playing with the former and excited to experiment with the latter. I’ve also been called back to old hobbies like photography cards, sewing, and crochet. I find I’m in love with different colors and textures of crafting paper and making things decorated with heart and flower punches – to delight the eye, open the heart and open possibility. I’ve included some photos of recent inspirations

A holiday crocheted hat, fabric bookmarks, yoga bag, shawl with beading detail, collage card, embellished photo cards, crafting heart punch and card stock goodies, acrylic paint on patterned paper posted to card, crocheted potholder,

The Song of Your Soul

Borgofranco d'Ivrea Italy.JPG

The Song of Your Soul

I went to a workshop
to improve my poetry.
I met some creative people
who revealed their view of the world.
The teacher was smart
with her MFA from University of Iowa.
She shared her secrets for writing
good poetry – form and other such details.
The problem is that nothing
she shared was about opening your heart,
not a single thing about how a poem
is in essence the song of your soul.

I’m experimenting with writing about details of my personal experience. This poem came to me one morning during my quiet time as I reflected on an experience along my poetry writing journey.

* I took this photo as the sun was setting on Borgofranco d’Ivrea Italy in 2018 when there visiting some family. It seemed everywhere I went I saw something beautiful – this was taken as we were driving to a pizza restaurant for dinner. Even the pizza was beautiful – see the bonus photo below! (For more fun photos, you might be interested in the joyfull eye, where I post my photography every Thursday.)

Pizzeria la Tana - Borgofranco d'Ivrea - Italy (2).JPG