Thursday, June 19, 2014


Heartfelt thanks to another healing art friend, Sharon,
for permission to include one of her lovely photographs with my post

The preciousness and, at times, precariousness of life…
Yesterday I was reminded of this fact after receiving the news that a friend in our healing art circle passed away on Monday.  I grieve, yet try to ease the heaviness in my heart with gratitude.  Gratitude for connecting with this friend, for being inspired by and learning from her strength, courage and faith, her grace in the face of challenge  and the beauty of her spirit evident in person and in her art.  I hold her loved ones in my heart and hope they, too, can find comfort in her beautiful spirit.
I wrote an earlier post about another healing art friend passing away last autumn.  It is difficult to witness the precarious nature of life grabbing hold within our healing art community, yet from this community, amazing moments and experiences arise as we communicate and interact with each other.  These opportunities to open our hearts and speak through our souls, to listen and be heard, to understand and be understood, to support and be supported connect us at a deeply profound level.  At a heavy hearted time like now, I am lifted by the memories of these precious connections.

With love for and in honor of a precious, beautiful soul…

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Snowball And A Swap In Spring

My June confession and another reason why my blog has been on the quiet side…I feel as though I am stuck in a continuous cycle of cleaning up and catching up, and just when I think I’ve made progress, it’s time for another go-around!  This cycle started after our daughter was born nine years ago, gradually picked up speed as I was juggling parenthood and a full-time corporate job (plus business travel), then gained more momentum through my cancer experience.  This Spring, I found myself facing a gigantic “snowball” of clutter, to-be-filed piles, boxes, baskets and bags corralling paperwork and items needing to find a proper home (or make their way out of this home!), our daughter’s ever expanding collection of art, schoolwork and toys and an endless list of to do’s!  I’ve read numerous books and articles about decluttering, organizing, streamlining and managing time.  Although I believe I have a firm grasp on understanding what needs to be done, I admittedly struggle with the time it requires to tackle what has grown to be an almost insurmountable task.  I’ve been recently chipping away at larger chunks of the “snowball,” driven by an intensifying urge to liberate myself from all this clutter and unfinished business that keeps weighing me down.  I am grateful for all the wonderful experiences and opportunities surfacing this year and for renewed energy and purpose, yet realize I can’t fully flourish (this year’s mantra) until I can rein in and maintain greater control over physical and mental clutter. 

Of course, one area where I’d love to flourish is here on Paper And Ponder!  There is plenty of inspiration for writing, but free moments are less plentiful, so many ideas floating around in my mind have yet to be transformed into blog posts.  This is obviously an ongoing challenge as you may have read in past posts I’ve decided to just do my best on catching up with blogging whenever I can this month.

Speaking of catching up, although it’s been several weeks, I want to share my enjoyable experience participating in fellow blogger Dawn’s (Candidly Clyde) Springtime Swap.  I’ve been a participant in her semi-annual swaps twice before, last year’s May Day Swap and Ornament Swap.  These swaps are a fun way to make connections in our online community and take part in acts of kindness.  I was paired with fellow blogger Grey (Love Wishfully), and it was such a pleasure to visit her lovely blog (she’s a wonderful photographer), become acquainted and swap goodies between California and Indiana.  Grey appreciates foods and goods handmade by local artisans, as do I!  I loved the package she sent me which included a jar of strawberry jam from a local orchard in New Harmony, Indiana, a bar of Japanese Garden soap, also from New Harmony (in our bath now!), a ceramic planter made by her local university’s art department (soon to be filled with a succulent) and earrings made with wheat pennies.  Meanwhile, it was a treat for me to gather handmade treats for Grey from here on the Monterey Peninsula, Spring notecards I handcrafted for her, Lula’s caramels, a magnet made from vintage wallpaper and a little box filled with beachcombing trinkets.  My belated thanks to both Dawn and Grey for a delightful Springtime Swap! 

Meanwhile, my thanks to you for your patience as I try to catch up here on Paper And Ponder!  Are you tackling any catching up of your own?  Any tips to share?