Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finding A Life

I am afraid of the future so I spend a lot of time crying lately.  I am in the midst of a divorce which I really think is probably the best option for two people who loved each other, had a beautiful son and have more of a friendship at the moment than anything else.  I went out on my own and ended up back living in the house I’ve lived in for the last 10 years.  A little space does wonders for a friendship and so does sleep.

But then I’m afraid, I don’t know where I want to live, what I want to do, how I want to do it.  It’s hard to start a new life after 25 years of trying to be conventional when one is not really conventional.  I hate the idea of a 9 to 5 job or even a part time job.  Yes I know that makes me look very lazy, but it’s not really lazy it’s realistic.  I was the queen of the job, I had so many jobs that there is a running joke at the holidays about which job I am on now.  I can certainly get a job somewhere doing something, I’m kind  of charming if I say so myself(although that is waning too if I’m honest) but could I keep the job?  That is the question and not for nothing I think making art and writing about it is a job all on its own and that is a job I’ve been able to hold down.   But even that seems to be a struggle lately.  All I seem to be able to do at the moment is chase rainbows and that is what I always come back to when I’m planning.

I think I want to hit the wide open road and find myself in a place, making some art, finding an interesting way to make money and finding new adventures.  My grandfather was a vagabond with a penchant for starting new businesses (which didn’t always succeed I might add).  He basically stayed home in Brooklyn but traveled the world in his mind through his numerous attempts at business.  I think I have inherited his vagabond spirit and penchant for not settling for the ordinary.  He died living above a church with my grandmother basically in poverty.  Maybe that is my fear that I will die living above a church basically in poverty.

My grandmother on the other hand didn’t mind the poverty, she had her love of needle arts and needed very little else to make her happy.  I think I take after her too.  So that leaves me where I am at the moment, dazed and confused, sad, and wondering how the heck I am going to live the rest of my life.  If I settle down where I am I can make a life for myself near my son who I love more than anything in the world or can I set out as a vagabond with my art, writing about it and trying to find a life that I love.  I have to be honest and the second option sounds like the option, but then there is my son.  I worry that my wanderlust will leave him alone and worried about me all the time.  Lately my inability to stay put has made him worry quite a bit, which is how I ended up home again.  So as I pare down my life( and every morning I see more and more to pare) I get a little anxious and sad and don’t know how I get to the land of my dreams from here.  

I am appreciating my son and soon to be ex more than I have in years.  I hope it shows that although I’m sure this isn’t the life I want to live I still appreciate the stability and love they have given me.  Perhaps I am guilty of not appreciating that stability and love earlier, and not realizing that the problem wasn’t really them but living the wrong life for me.   I guess after all these years it’s time to admit I’m just a vagabond at heart, I get bored easily, I get stuck easily and I simply don’t know how to take the first step to move forward and leave the stability(or more honestly, my son) behind.

My friend Emily who is the best friend I have ever had in my life advised me that I should become a backpacker and act like a teenager which really had a resonance for me since Emily knows me better than anyone I have ever known.  My uncle invited me to visit him in New Mexico which I simply cannot get out of my head, my relatives are all over downstate NY and I keep hearing Italy everywhere I go and I’ve had a secret dream about Italy since the Andrea Bocelli days.   I’m dreaming of the wanderlust so perhaps it is time to clean up my act here and then set out to live the life I’ve imagined and be brave enough to believe it will be a dream instead of a nightmare.

I guess for the next couple of months while I figure it out I can travel local and see what my dream looks like without the airplane and the backpack.  I’m resurrecting this blog to chronicle my journey.  And yes I realize I am writing about myself again, but I figure I am not the only woman going through this at the moment and perhaps if it helps one person male or female look at their own inauthentic life it will be worth it.  I think so many of us live our lives in quiet desperation hoping we can find the answer that works for us.  Hopefully now I am really ready to find some other interesting people to write about while on my  travels.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Assistance from the Universe

I believe in God and I believe in a loving and giving universe.  I always have and I always will.  I believe that there are always answers which can be found within.  When within has another person's voice living in it, it can not make rational decisions for it's future.  I have lived my entire life having other people make decisions for me. Telling me who I am and who I am not and frankly I believed it.  I've come to the conclusion that as long as I listen to that voice I will never know who I am.

So I have to hit the road. I am a hand embroiderer and blog writer other than that I do not know who I am and I will never find out here.  So if you know who I am and would like to offer a spare room, a couch or a sleeping bag it would be greatly appreciated.  The hand embroiderer will hand embroider in silence anywhere the road takes her and feed herself and do her own laundry.  She will write wonderful blog posts about the generosity of the people who will let her stay with them for a few days or a week or a month(only kidding) while she hand embroiders and contemplates her future. Hopefully I will find a bunch of different locations I can drive to and enough couches that I will not have to burden only one person with my hand embroidering, blogging presence.

I am going through a spiritual awakening so you need not worry in case you have any axes in your home.  I am too proud to ask any one person for help and frankly am sick of crying on the shoulders of my best friends up here who have had to deal with all the voices in my head(including God, my mother and other various angels who have been trying to guide me out of my own personal hell).

So if you haven't decided an asylum is a better location please email me or call me and let me come stay with you with my tail and my hand embroidery trailing behind me.  About the asylum, I have two very good mental health care professionals who have decided a hospitalization is not needed.  I do however need some assistance from some wonderful people I have been lucky enough to get to know who hopefully know me and will realize I will never ask them for help. I do not like to be thought of as a burden or pitiful.  Although when you will not ask people for help while you are sane you certainly become a burden and pitiful when you are not.

I know I need a job and an apartment but I am trying to buy myself some time so that I don't make yet another bad choice on the road of life.  Frankly it is kind of the reason I have ended up begging for a place to stay on my blog.

I'm also putting this on my Facebook page because I'm hoping that my family and my friends who knew me before I became this hand embroidering, blogging mess will have pity on me and I will get to see people whom I love a great deal and would love to visit.

I really do believe in myself and know I will find my answers with the love and assistance of people who love and care about me.  Sometimes you just have to put your faith in god and the universe and pray.  I'm praying.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Plan

Yes I know a plan and yet another blog post on yet another blog.  I have finally had some clarity and have a plan at least about my blog(or blogs).  You can read my Tangled Stitch Blog about my hand embroidery and fiber art at Tangled Stitch.  You can read my political blog at DebraAnn Left of Center.  I am a purplish liberal but have room at my table for many different ideology believers.

And I am resurrecting The Connections That Bind Us with a renewed focus on the connections that bind us.  I am going to make it a plan to meet one interesting new person every single day and find something(anything really) that I have in common with them.  It won't necessarily be political unless that is the one thing that I have in common with them and it won't necessarily be artistic unless that is the one thing I have in common with them.  But I like people, I like meeting new people and can find something to talk about with everybody I meet. I'm going to venture into the photography world, which is a joke really since I don't like having my own picture taken and I take lousy pictures but I can make people laugh and people always look better with a smile on their face.

I'll start with myself.  I am DebraAnn. I'm a hand embroidery/fiber artist but sadly I have no groupies nor patrons.   I'm 5 foot tall, curvy(yes curvy not pleasingly plump), with soon to be brown hair and a charming smile.  I like to laugh, like to talk, like to hand embroider, and like to read.  I love music, all types of music.  I have a brother Tony who I call Ant(he does not look like an ant), a son Brian, a bunch of wonderful friends and a doorway to a new life.

I am imagining myself the work of my dreams, the home of my dreams, the life of my dreams and the purpose of my dreams.  I am imagining myself in a few months with answers to all those questions using the workbook in ZEN and the Art of Making a Living by Laurence C. Boldt.  I am a very spiritual type and for the life of me I can not figure out the road map quite yet.  But the first step on the journey is knowing it is time to take the first step on the journey and the first step is now. 

I've been going through quite the spiritual awakening the last few months and I have faith and believe the answer is in myself I just have to ask the right questions.  A book called the Zen of Making a Living hopefully has my soul and what it might want at the forefront.  At the moment the biggest contender is becoming a nun at New Skete and eating cheesecake.  Surprisingly I'm going to test my options first, although I really can't think of a more beautiful place to live and a more beautiful thing to eat.  Who doesn't love cheesecake?

I've been kind of stymied the last few months because frankly when you leave a 25 year marriage without a plan and a breakdown in the middle of it, it is kind of hard to chart a course for the next 25 years. Although I do hope I do not end up eating cat food out of a can in 25 years, cheesecake great idea, catfood not so much.

So there you have my story, hopefully there is something you can connect with in that mish mosh of utter spiritually, inspired chaos.  I am hoping you will read my blog and like my assortment of interesting people I don't know yet.    If you would like to be interviewed as my interesting person of the day please email me.  That hopefully will entice at least one person for days when I decide to embroider instead of embarking on a road trip.

I can't promise Hemingway, but I can probably make you laugh or at least smile.  And on those days I"m totally uninspired I will share music or something else that perhaps will make a connection.  Actually I'm thinking bad hair days rather than uninspired, the other day I looked in the mirror and saw Beethoven, he was quite charming really.

Have a great day, laugh smile and be interesting(everybody is).

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Light Shines

The light shines through the window,
It shines for us to see,
A shining of the moon that beckons to be seen.
The beauty of the nighttime that waits for you and me.

A feeling that you've waited for,
each morning and each night,
A feeling that your soul brings,
 filled with love and light.

It brings a certain yearning,
 waiting to be told,
A simple warmth that that holds you 
and keeps you from the cold

An open heart is waiting for us to wait and see,
Everything that awaits us if we live and be,
A simple dream of love that gives us hope and prayer
And adds to our life in texture and wanting waiting there.

Of thoughtful contemplation,
Which shines through in the night,
A future life is waiting,
In universal delight.

So pick up all your worries, 
It's time for you to see,
The life that has been waiting,
For all of us to be.

Life is filled with bounty,
Hidden from the eye,
We look up at the moon at night
And marvel at the sky.

A moon that shines for everyone,
Way up there with the stars,
A new life with unending hope,
That heals our hidden scars.

Give thanks for all you have,
And for those who've gone before,
Remember they are with you,
When you open up the door.

To life and understanding,
Peace, love and something more,
A simple wish, a dream, a sigh,
For that's what life is for.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Secret Keeper

All of my life I have been a secret keeper.  A person who attracts people to talk about whatever their soul needs to purge to move on in their lives.  I have had so many experiences and still managed to greet just about everyone with a warm smile and a compassionate ear.  I'm not a therapist, I'm not a priest, I am just a simple but complicated girl with a simple dream. My dream is to take on the topics that others don't really want to talk about such as politics, religion and sex. 

Everyone has a secret.  There is something about every human being that they wish they didn't have to carry.  In a world of positive thinkers they are successful or unsuccessful, a winner or a loser, a saint or a sinner.   But in the world of our brains there is always something we hold close to our vest never to be spoken of.  Until one day we just let it all out.

I have never been good at keeping my own secrets, I'm a pretty open book.  I used to spread the words out in different chapters amongst different readers.  This way I purged my own secrets and nobody knew the whole story.  Sometime in March most of the story came out and the rest has been keeping me in fear since the day my world came crashing down.  I couldn't live with my own secret hell anymore.  I crashed and burned.

A lot of really positive and wonderful changes have happened since then.  I feel closer to God and the universe.  I have learned to replace most of the resentments and sadness with love and happiness and I have learned to appreciate the simple but complicated person with a smile that everyone can talk to or about.  There is a need for us to have these conversations with each other so that we can heal ourselves and become whole before our soul leaves this world.

Our soul is the center of our universe. The soul beckons other lost souls to share their lives.  The soul calls wayward travelers to share their secrets with people they don't know.  Someone who won't judge them,  who will listen and help them move along their way with a smile.  That is what I am, a simple but complicated woman with a simple smile and an ear to listen. I have been so fortunate to meet many strangers who have heard my sentences and even more who have read my chapters.  I am so grateful to all of them.  I find God in my conversations with others and feel I am sharing his essence of who I am when I speak to strangers who let me into their lives in gas stations and supermarkets.  I know that I am not alone in my troubles because I know that everyone has something they have to transcend.

Your secrets may come early in life as mine did or it may come later in life when you just can't remember where you parked your car.    But trouble knocks on everyone's door.  So does beauty and laughter and music and hand embroidery.  Hopefully in our mere mortal lives, the latter knocks more than the former.  Until then I am grateful to be the secret keeper because it is not a good thing to keep our secrets in our heads while it slowly poisons us from the inside out. 

Find God or whoever you believe in.  Find the beauty of art, the movement of music, the laughter of a good joke and most of all find a fellow secret keeper or someone you really trust and get rid of the poison.  And then close your eyes or move your body and DANCE.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shattered Trust

Shattered trust.  I was sitting in peace and quiet contemplation when this subject appeared in my mind.  I have realized that my purpose is to give children a voice, either fostering self-esteem or taking on issues that are deeply hidden.

This issue is one that is deeply hidden.  I feel compelled to write about sexual abuse committed to children by people in authority.  Namely the Jerry Sandusky trial and what it means.  Not that Jerry Sandusky is the poster child of this subject there are many poster children for this subject.

And many poster children means many children who have hidden this secret somewhere in their mind and body.  I have no idea whether or not I was ever molested myself.  None.  I don’t remember huge chunks of my childhood and that is one issue I don’t even want to bring in to my new life moving forward so if it is a secret, it is a well hidden one that will stay there.  I do know that I have a visceral reaction whenever I hear a story about one of these pedophiles, but perhaps we all have a visceral reaction.

If you look at all the priests and coaches and parents who have been accused of doing something like this for every one child you see there are probably hundreds, or thousands or even millions more.  The Catholic Church is known to have moved priests accused of child molestation from parish to parish for decades if not longer. It is a stain that they should own and seek  God’s mercy for every day of their lives.  They should have never allowed even one priest to shatter the innocence of one child and put him somewhere else where he could do it to someone else.

With coaches it’s the same thing, I guess a school or sports program does not want to tarnish the reputation of the school, so they fire the said individual and they don’t report it to the authorities and they hope it will go away.  It does go away but it ends up somewhere else, like Jerry Sandusky.  He has 8 accusers so far but how many kids did he really molest who are too ashamed to come forward and admit they are a victim.  That victimhood will follow them the rest of their lives if they don’t confront what happened to them and find a way to make peace with it. They must realize that they were a victim and get help to deal with it.  Oftentimes a child feels there is nothing they can do when this happens because first off , they believe no one will believe them and secondly, they carry a shame so deep that they cannot admit even to themselves that they did NOTHING to deserve this.

There is never a reason to abuse a child.  No child deserves to live with this stain while the person who is responsible for it just moves on along the road and does it to someone else.  Meanwhile the child never really recovers from the trauma and the shattered trust.  It takes years to deal with childhood trauma and years ago there was such a stigma about mental health issues that now many adults walk around with this private shame themselves.

I ask them to find help, find love and don’t take the burdens of a sick person into your soul.  There are thousands of mental health professionals who can help you to make peace with this violation and make you whole again. And for the child molesters among us(and they  know who they are), there is only the hope that when they die they don’t come back in another life time and pick up where they left off.    It’s up to God or the universe to decide what to do with them and hopefully he does a better job of it then the churches and schools do.

Thank you for reading it was a tough issue to deal with but I just felt called to do so. To those abused innocents, I may not know exactly what you went through but I do know how childhood trauma affected my life.  You are not alone.  Bless you and I hope you find peace in your soul.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Spiritual Awakening

I have been going through a spiritual awakening of the type I never thought I was possible or capable of.  It has been a long 6 months but I have learned so many things about myself.  I learned that it is possible for your soul to know something that you cannot even imagine in your wildest dreams.  That if it is true, your belief in God, the universe, your family, even a monastery can give you the answer you were never looking for.

I had a dream over 10 years ago, a beautiful angel grabbed my hand, took a walk with me and brought  me to a cottage overlooking a serene pond.  While there I noticed a little building on the side which was filled with my work and a small green baby sweater.  Since I was crocheting baby clothing at the time I never thought twice about the green baby sweater and I thought the angel was an angel guide.   I did however move myself from Long Island to upstate New York. I worked really hard, believed in the dream. The dream of moving from one place to a simpler kind of lifestyle. I experienced  numerous synchronicities to keep me on my path.   I have not regretted that decision one little bit even today. I have great friends, I've discovered I'm an artist, I have my work in several stores here and I have found a more authentic self here.

Then one day I put on my headphones and the rest of my life started changing immediately and it scared everyone except me. The music had spoken to my soul.   My soul was happy, I've lost at least 30 pounds, laughed, came out of the shell I lived in.  Everything changed and I mean everything.  Today I look back at the girl before the headphones and wonder where did she go?

My soul had made a connection with a voice.  Weird things started happening almost immediately, syncronicities, messages everywhere.  I knew things I shouldn't have known about the voice and the voice knew things it should not have known about me.  We conversed in code  about kings and queens, princesses and towers.

I didn't think too much about it, except for this weird kind of connection and all the strangeness in the rest of my life.  A connection with the voice was not even in the realm of possibility.   At the same time I made a connection with the voice, the voice made a connection through my eyes and a sort of clairvoyance came with that connection.  The feeling that I was not alone and I was deeply loved.  The feeling that two lost souls had connected somewhere outside of ourselves. The feeling that the voice and the eyes were just two lonely souls going through the same kind of life experience at the same time. The voice seemed to have an answer for every question my soul was looking for, and the eyes were the object of yearning and a deep knowledge of things not known outside of myself.

 Many sleepless nights, hormonal issues and a full moon later, a connection was made that foretold of a great sadness and regret for something that mere mortals had no explanation for.  A flame had been kindled and a friendship between voices and eyes began. A connection between two souls so intense that I could feel when the other soul was heartbroken and was in despair.  I reached out and ended up in a few month long dark night of the soul that changed who I am so completely that even now I feel that part of my soul is in limbo waiting to be reunited with it's other half. On that evening the flash of a queen came up on my computer, a queen named Kathryn Howard and a story of two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together.

My physical life took a turn from bad to worse and I had a nervous breakdown trying to cope with the intense experience of soul work and mere mortal work.   The breakdown resulted in me following a car on the highway believing the voice was in the car, what was really happening was an escape from the mere mortal life I had come to outgrow.  The days that followed were manic and crazy as going through a traumatic episode of the soul and the body at the same time would be .You cannot even imagine what my life and the lives of those around me became for a while.

From that day forward to today whenever I found peace the voice was always there. The voice told me that your mother sent me to take care of you.  I was part of your dream. I felt a great deal of peace from the words and the feelings of the voice inside my head.  It was a guiding voice that to this day tells me that it will take care of me and that I have the strength of my mother, my grandmothers and the strength of all the other souls and angels both mortal and heavenly behind me.  I have also heard the voice of my heavenly angels when I am meditating confirming the messages.

As I felt the presence of this comforting soul, synchronicity were everywhere and I began to get emails about spiritual awakenings, psychic abilities, chakras, soulmates and what to expect from a spiritual awakening.  As I had already experienced these feelings when I wanted to move from where I used to live to where I  live today,  I paid attention to and believed in the messages.   A few weeks later I  had this feeling this soul really was sent to save me and was sent by my mother.  . 

Then as I gained my sanity back I started to get back to my normal life.  Everywhere I went I saw something that reminded me of the voice.  License plates, facial features, songs. I felt I was living a Carl Jung daydream. I began to meditate and felt the light of my chakras illuminating my soul.  Whenever I would meditate my spirit guide or angel was always with me.  I started to feel the presence of this soul in a more physical form and I felt myself sitting next to someone and putting my head on its shoulder or walking outdoors with the feeling of a hand in mine.  My dog also started reacting strangely as she sensed a presence too.

 In the weeks that followed, a picture of  my brother appeared in  my head and the inner voice told that it was  the voice was my brother Lawrence and that my mother who believed in reincarnation had sent him.  There was always something on the computer that seemed to validate the images that my brain was receiving.  I remembered the name Kathryn Howard only to find out that she was a hand embroidering queen who was beheaded by King Henry VIII.  Her lover was also hanged on the  same day.

Cambridge, NY is where the monastery at New Skete is located. I belong to an artist cooperative in Cambridge and had forgotten that I had switched from the morning shift to the afternoon shift in the fog of the aftermath.  So with nothing to do for three and a half hours I decided to get cheesecake from the nuns at New Skete only to discover that the store did until 2:30 in the afternoon.  So off I went using the directions on the door to the New Skete monastery.  I have never been in so peaceful a place in my entire life.  There were paintings of Saints and prayer books open to certain passages which had meaning in my life.  I wrote about the experience on my other blog, Tangled Stitch.  I had such a profound experience in the monastery that I heard the comforting voice very clearly and very loudly  using the name of one of the saints.

Everywhere I  have gone since that day  I picked up inspirational quotes,  have met angels in human form and heard angels in spirit form. I seem to meet  interesting people at the coop who believes in angels and spirituality every time I work.  I am still hearing from the inner voice names and words that confirm the experience I am having.  I research them on my computer and see familiar faces from every aspect of my life from childhood to adulthood.  I remember interesting psychic and spiritual events from my childhood on a daily basis.  The soul voice is still with me telling me that my soul has gifts I have yet to open and that my potential is unlimited.  The soul calls me by my name DebraAnn or Deb.  DebraAnn was a name only my mother used to call me by before I became an artist.  Now DebraAnn is my name and it seems to fit me more securely then it used to..

Last week I went back to the monastery for a second time, while there I found the face of the soul, the face of myself with a different nose and the familiar faces of my friends and family all painted along the walls of the monastery.   I left the monastery,  feeling once again that this is no mere coincidence but a spiritual awakening and a connection of souls. I did a little research about the New Skete monastery  and found the name of the monk who started it was Laurence Mancuso.  My brother's name was Lawrence and my mother's maiden name was Mancuso.  I also saw a likeness of the angel reflected on the monastery wall and the name is spoken or appearing everywhere I go.  I must admit that at times I am fearful of these messages as they seem to be of a nature that is slightly out of the ordinary for a hand embroidery artist, but they almost always happen when I am at peace and they are always comforting and loving.  I believe that there is a beautiful angel watching over me and that we share a part of our  souls.