Sunday, September 30, 2012

Free to Dream; Free to Fly with my Dreams!

Ready for a book signing;  Ready for the rest of my life!

I'm sitting here in my pretty yellow office, house immaculate, kids in the living room watching a show, preparing to work out.  There is a sunbeam shining through to my left, illuminating my hands as I type, tempting them to stillness like a happy napping cat but they resist its beckoning to stop my writing and go outside.

These past few weeks have been tumultuous to say the least but within the chaos, there has been a sort of calm that makes me smile.  The reason is that at last, I know I am on the absolute right path.

I love my children.  I have enjoyed every single moment of their babyhood and their demands took precedence over mine for 22 years but with my youngest about to turn seven I finally can start to fully turn much more of my attention to my own dreams and ambitions.

Of course seven isn't raised but it is a far cry from the demands of babyhood.  I'm comfortable working around them, they spend a great deal of time in school and because I raised them, they are incredibly self sufficient and independent.

They're girls who are growing up with a mom who is not going to set the typical example of martyrdom that many girls see.  They're going to see a mom who is forging every one of her dreams into reality and my dream for them is they will duplicate it.  If I had sons they would have had a mom who taught the men in her life how to respect her and would duplicate that to the women in their lives.

What has prompted my pondering on this topic?  Well two of my friends have recently had beautiful babies.  And invariably, as I coo over their immense cuteness and chubbiness, I get the question.  Do I miss having babies since I had such an affinity for the lifestyle of early family life when I was living it.

And my answer is a resounding no.  My forties have been my very best decades so far.  It is where I see that now I get time for what I want, what I want to do.  I feel I have come into my own in this decade, I have never had better health, a clearer vision of what I want my life to look like and new dreams keep appearing and I now have more freedom to pursue them fearlessly and without encumbrance.  It is liberating!

I am looking forward  to a chance to live my own life, something that can't fully be done with one dedicated to parenthood, for either a man or a woman.  Children are in no way a burden or a trap, but I always knew that I had more in me than parenting, that having small children to focus on was a temporary stage and that I needed a little more room to grow.  I also knew I would take full advantage of the freedom when it came and it started with me writing a novel the year my youngest girl started school.

I am now free to explore the world with independence sometimes.  I now have the abundance to enjoy more fully the freedom of being an individual for a week or two at a time, traveling with friends, staying in hotels, tasting new foods, drinking new wines, making and nurturing other relationships that serve the adult me.

I am free from Dora and Diego and Barney except in the joyful moments I spend with my Grandson and those moments are not often shared with a television!

I am free to take on new projects, ones I dreamed of doing for years, like a collection of books about Change Islands, my home town.

Yes there is still some planning but it's so much easier with big kids.

I cannot imagine the stress, emotional investment, the diapers and the demands on my time of a baby and looking back on the time when it was all I knew, I can't see how I did it then!

But to everything there is a season and that season, while fun, had its turn.  Now the sun shining through the window on to my hand is an autumn light as the summer of babies and toddlers moves into its appropriate place in my nostalgic treasure chest.  And the autumn I plan to live will be alive with red and gold and green and crisp with the breeze of newly found independence.

It's a Harvest Moon tonight.  I will stare at its orange beauty later and wonder what will come to fruition in this Autumn season.I can hardly wait for that moon to shine on the crops of all of my new endeavors.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Knowing You're on the Right Path

Flying;  She would make me do this forever!! 

Seems like life is a blur of sunshine and air and clouds and heat and flip flops and then like somebody nudged the thermostat just a little, a sweater is needed, socks and shoes are a better choice and the leaves start crisping into gold and red at the edges and autumn is here.  Plunk, like a coin in a juke box has dropped, the music of fall starts to play and it's one of my favourite tunes!

It has been such an interesting time for me this past while. A time of decisions and excitement and joy.  I've done a lot of reflecting on how life is going and how I want it to go.

Those who know me know that I meditate in silence to resolve issues, hammer out solutions, make decisions and just to fine my sense of center and self.

I realised that I had slipped just a little out of my groove over the past year or so.  Not entirely, certainly not to any real noticeable degree but something had been a bit amiss.

I started to sense that I wasn't quite in alignment anymore.  Not on the outside, I'm sure you wouldn't have noticed.  But inside something had changed.

I sat on this one day and realised that I wasn't quite the person I was just  couple of years ago.  I wasn't living my life the way I wanted to completely.  I had let outside pressures, expectations take over just a bit much.  I had no aspect in my life that I didn't want so much as my priorities hadn't been in order.

My work was overtaking my art.  And that is just not who I am.

So I started to reconnect with my writing.  I started on a screenplay.  I took some time and outlined some novels I've had ready in loose form.  I've got no real substance in anything yet but I'm in process.  I'm also spending time with artists, not necessarily writers but people who work in the arts because we live essentially the same sort of way, from the heart and creating is our purpose.  Actors, painters, musicians all feed my soul and feed my inspiration so that I can create my written work.

What caused it?  I don't know, just living I guess.  Life is hectic and sometimes it can get away from you.  I realised that while I had more things now, they're pointless without following my soul and being who I am, doing what I'm meant to do.  I'm not giving them back, particularly my BMW, but they're not what's most important.

I also knocked down some walls, removed some rules, opened my heart back up to all of the amazing people who are out there who own part of it.  I had become guarded and that doesn't mesh with the open person I just naturally am.  There seems to be a need in others to "warn" me about things.  I have a really good sense of my own intuition and a strong ability to handle what doesn't go quite right.  Warnings are not necessary for me.

I did mention this to a friend who said to me "You're always happy, how can it be that you're happier?" Perhaps I  jumped from happiness to joyful.  Perhaps I thought I was happy until I got happier.  I don't spend much time in questioning a good feeling, I prefer to spend my time basking in it.
I wish, sometimes that I could just infuse every person I meet with this feeling.  This contentment. Don't confuse it for having an easy life or not having problems.  It's not that.  It's a sense of everything will be alright in spite of them. 

Instead, I get up in the morning and make my goal to make the first person I see smile.  Then do it again all day long.  I can't think of a more noble mission for a day.  Can you?

Another person asked me, "How do you know when you're making the right decisions that you're aligned and things are the way they should be?" and I answered, "you know because it  feels right in the heart.  It's what you would do if there wasn't any influence and you could do what you wanted. And it makes you smile.  Use your heart, not your  mind."  Well that's what I do anyway.

I had a great time playing airplanes and spinning the girls earlier.  The photo above is from those moment.  Can you imagine doing anything more fun than that?  That makes me smile.  I posted it here because I thought it might make you smile.

I have healthy kids and my own health.  And at a time when my beloved aunt is about to leave this world far too soon, it's very easy to be grateful and happy for that alone.

I wish you joy.  Always.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Art Inspirations in Literature..and Vice Versa!

 A picture is worth a thousand words as Frederick Barnard once said. (Actually he said it twice and pretended it was a Chinese Proverb the second time but whatever).  Either way, it stands as truth in my life.  Anyone who has read my novel or sampled my poetry must see that my work is very visual.  Even the screenplay I'm adapting from The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle starts with "Life has always been about colour for me.  This scarlet sunset, that blue sky, the steel grey of the cliffs here at Rare Moon.  I see everything so vividly that perhaps I should have been a painter but instead I doodle with words.  Even love has a colour for me."

These are the words of my character, Christianna but they could be mine, for as I'm writing a scene, it feels like I'm painting.  It will appear before me and while the eyes may see the black print on the white of the page, my imagination has created a landscape on my mind's canvas as if I painted with oil.

So it isn't surprising that I would find great inspiration from the visual arts.  And it also should be no surprise that many of my friends are visual artists.

When the local ART SALON Group of St Marys, Ontario began to work on a collaboration for the Canadian Culture Days events with the theme of Art inspired by Literature I learned that the opposite is true.  That visual artists are also inspired by literary works.  I am delighted to be a part of the event as the only author showcasing my work to the public.

As a member of the ART SALON Group I've also been involved in the organization of this event to some small degree, helping out where I can.  There is a video interview series to be screened, Friday, Sept 28 at 2pm and then a panel discussion that I've also been invited to participate in, immediately after.  I will be at the event signing books on the Saturday as well.

It's quite a production that couldn't happen without the dedication of ART SALON Group gurus Darlean Morris and Rosemary Radcliffe.  Darlean is founder of the Art Salon and a visual artist whose works have been exhibited all over the world from Toronto to Venice!  She has work exhibited in the event in St Marys as well as a piece in the Halifax Culture Days event.  She will be flying there for the opening immediately following our event.

Rosemary is a veteran of Canadian television and film.  Some of her work includes her own television series "Coming up Rosie," back in the 70s, Second City and her role as Tina on the hit CBC show King of Kensington. You'll recognise her, she has changed little from that time, still vivacious and youthful and fun.

Working together, (they call themselves Bad Hair Productions) on the video, the event and the all of the details that go along with both, they've set the stage for what I believe will be a seamless and successful week of culture for local residents.  I'm proud to be a part of it.

Culture Days are Sept 28, 29 and 30 and the art show will continue at the Library until October 5th.

We hope locals can make it in.  I would love to see you there.  For all others there will be a follow up after the event with pictures! 

Being Directed by Rosemary Radcliffe

Lights, Camera, Action:  Rosemary Radcliffe and Darlean Morris are Bad Hair Productions!

Shooting Artist Rose Creamer's video interview

Darlean Morris working the camera

Showcase at the front for small pieces

We lined it in black for the best show

Art inspired by Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning~one of my favourites.

I helped with art intake.  This portrait was not to be in the show, I hope we changed the artist's mind!  It was beautiful.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon


Nothing like a lake and a full moon to set my fancy into flight!

 Blue Moon

Once in a blue moon
in a lake's shining reflection
I found the love of a lifetime
a touch of perfection

Far rarer than diamonds
haute couture for the soul
like topaz in silver
to have and to hold

Then like an orchid grown tall
blooming just for a day
a breeze blowing errant
took those petals away

So I stare into the lake
hear the call of a loon
mourning what was but once
in a blue moon.

I marvel at the moon,  indeed at all of nature, it is my creator and the inspiration for my creations~Carolyn R. Parsons