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To those who have touched my life
A TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO HAVE TOUCHED MY LIFE
There comes a time, when one realizes that one's accomplishments and unique journey through life have been made richer by the presence of those who have touched one's mind, body, or spirit.
This lens is dedicated to the many gifted and gracious people who have left an incredible if not indelible impression upon me for which I shall be eternally grateful. To those who brought me into being, to those who have inspired me along my path, and to those who have befriended me and taught me valuable lessons about what truly matters, thank you so much for being part of my life!
Image Credit: i.509photobucket.com
PURPLE STAR AWARD
A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU
On, January 15, 2013 this lens, "To Those Who Have Touched My Life" received a prestigious Purple Star.
This coveted Squidoo recognition truly belongs to all those priceless people who have entered my life, taught me important lessons, and reminded me that love can move a mountain and create a miracle.
After writing online here for the past seven years, I've also had the pleasure of receiving encouragement and support from like-minded creative souls, and for this, I am also truly grateful.
Image Credit: Purple Star photo by quippingqueen.
THEY COME INTO YOUR LIFE FOR A REASON, A SEASON, OR A LIFETIME
It is said that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. The trick of course is to figure this out in time, so that you get a better grip on your broomstick or flying carpet and determine if you're headed in the right direction to get to your destination.
The purpose of this light-hearted lens is to acknowledge those who have brought me light, laughter, and love as well as the occasional lump in my porridge!
A REASON, A SEASON, OR A LIFETIME -- Author Unknown
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
TO THOSE WHO HELPED ME SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF LAUGHTER
I will be forever indebted to a host of humorous writers, friends, and family members who tickled my imagination and my fractured funnybone, some of them for a reason, others for a season, and still more...for a lifetime of laughter!
A dear friend of mine for more than two decades, (an enigmatic engineer who hails from "Rule Britannia"), introduced me to one of his cockammie countrymen, a silly sci-fi author by the name of Douglas Adams. I mean what's not to like about a fellow who contributed to that wonderful British satire, "Monty Python's Flying Circus", and who wrote a marvelously mirthful manuscript in five volumes called "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", in which he explores "Life, The Universe and Everything", "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe", "So Long And Thanks For All the Fish", and "Mostly Harmless" things that can be found floating around in the cosmos.
Frankly, when one is down in the dumps or is tired of putting pieces of poor me in a pity pot, it comes as a great relief to pick up a copy of amusing Adams anecdotes such as, "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" or "The Salmon of Doubt", (an incomplete novel and posthumous collection of his essays), to soothe one's wearied brow and settle an upset tummy.
Another long-time friend from the trenches of trials and tribulation by the name of Robert, realized that my appetite for off-beat thoughts, quick wit and satire might be satiated with a rather fine dictionary. Not any dictionary mind you, but one written by an American editorialist and language lampoonist, Ambrose Bierce, known for his wicked work entitled, "The Devil's Dictionary". He also thought I needed a bit more balance in my life, so one year on my birthday, he presented me another contribution to my comedy collection...a book by Canadian writer, Munroe Scott, titled, "A Sympathetic Overview of the Common Fart, Oh, Vulgar Wind".
And, lastly I send big balloons and a whack of virtual kisses to those who have gone before me but are not forgotten: my younger sister, Barbara, and my parents who brought me into this wonky world. To my father, who loved to tell stories in an Irish accent, hammer the heck out of things, and thump the lumps out of his porridge and mine; to my mother who convinced my father to make us a doll-houses and a wooden puppet theater while she made two felt hand puppets ("Eeyore" and "Raggedy Anne") so we could come up with impromptu performances in front of family and friends; and, to my sister who taught me how to endure a house with a leaky roof and frozen water in a toilet bowl during winter, but also got me in touch with our imaginary world run by "Yahootee" and "Biddy Cook" (a couple of crazy characters who knew how to have a good time after the lights went out) -- merci to all you merry munchkins!
BODACIOUS BOOKS THAT'LL JIGGLE YOUR JELLY-BELLY!
Douglas Adams is one of my favorite funny writers.
Now here's one way to get three chuckles in one reading!
One of the last writings of Douglas Adams.
If off-the-wall-humor is your bag, this might be it for you!
This blessed book inspired me to create my own brand of humor.
A SONG THAT LIFTED MY SPIRITS
Adapted from Cervantes' 17th century classic tale "Don Quixote", the musical "Man Of La Mancha" by Dale Wasserman, had one remarkable and deeply moving piece, "The Impossible Dream" (music written by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion). It has always lifted my spirits when undertaking challenging tasks and helped me to navigate through uncharted territory in my life.
FRIENDS ARE ANGELS IN DISGUISE
John Donne, a 17th century English poet and preacher once said:
No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.
"If you don't have friends, you ain't got nothin", as the old saying goes. Friends add a rich tapestry and treasury of tales to one's life. And, as Euripedes, an ancient Greek philosopher reminds us, "One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives", but as 18th century French philosopher and essayist Voltaire states, "Friendship is the marriage of the soul; and this marriage is subject to divorce." That's why it helps to figure just who is in the family (on both sides), who's had a falling out, and who's never been part of the clan in the first place.
To my decades long friend from high-school, Pat, I will be forever grateful for your friendship...being there at critical moments in my life ...my decision to marry and later divorce, my decision to move away and then years later to return home, and finally to celebrate the lives of those who passed before me.
To my angel in disguise, Laurie, who though she's no "Flying Nun", she has a heart of gold, a razor sharp mind, and a spirit of spunk that never fails to inspire me...especially when my cookies crumble, I've lost my marbles in an onion patch, or I can't find the darn "escape" key.
To my cheeky chum Carol, a retired nurse who has just discovered the joy of Zen (now where are the men), I know there's a reason why you came into my life. It wasn't your questionable investment advice in footwear for 25-mile hikes, but I have to admit, you make a very mean garlic-flavored hummus and healthy loaf of bread that weighs more than my first child. Oh joy, another evening of mindful meditation in the company of silent botanical companions.
And to Toni, a multi-faceted merry-maker, my adopted "wise woman", and my "mother-in-disguise", your sage advice about how to rule in a world of wackos and wet noodles or how to win friends and influence people who have a knack for saying "no" which always comes in handy, especially after a glass or two of fermented fruit at one of my wicked wench wine tastings!
The world may know little of its greatest heroes who wear no badges of honor, carry no patriotic flags, and never ask to be served first...but my friends are heroes with big hearts who also don't mind telling me when the Her Royal Highness Quipping Queen, Empress of Eccentricity, and Patroness of Pith & Vinegar is not wearing any pantaloons thank you!
And finally, let me offer a sincere apology to anyone whom I may have offended in the course of my work as a consultant, employee or home-maker. I now take full responsibility for the deleterious deeds of "Mouthy Martha", one of five recently discovered multiple personalities who have inhabited my body over the years; she's the "bad babe", the other four are mild-mannered mavens who can sing, dance, and play tiddlywinks, but can't cook a blessed thing even if their lives depended on it.
FRIENDS LIKE US -- Author unknown
Friends like us rely upon one another to inspire and encourage,
to support each other in follow our dreams as far as they'll take us.
Friends like us are precious -- not only because we believe in ourselves,
but because we believe in each other.
Image Credit: Vintage Poster - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold."
-- Zelda Fitzgerald --
A SONG THAT HAS INSPIRED ME
The talented American song writing team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, gave us many memorable musical productions such as "The Sound of Music". One piece, "Climb Every Mountain", to me represents an exhilerating personal anthem and credo to living a meaningful life.
TO THOSE WHO HAVE ENCOURAGED ME TO SEE THE LIGHT AND KEEP MINE BRIGHT
I would like to take this occasion to express my appreciation to those all those crazy Celts, and if truth be told, all of humanity across time and space who have preceeded me.
To the writers of the ancient book of wisdom (the Chinese classic text of cosmology and philosophy), The I Ching or Book of Changes, I cannot thank you enough for the timely and profound advice your words offered me at critical turning points in my life.
When I was seeking my own for reason for being, and my connection to my Celtic roots, two books by Irish poet and Catholic scholar, John O'Donohue, literally fell into my lap one day while browsing around in a bookstore. I found a treasure trove of Celtic insights, stories, and teachings on the universal themes of belonging, creativity, friendship, solitude, love, and death in his celebrated works, Anam Cara (meaning 'soul friend'), and Eternal Echoes - Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.
And, to Cherie Carter-Scott, author of If Life is a Game, These are the Rules, a vote of thanks for this wonderfully wise book. It's a handy-dandy pocket book of wholesome and entertaining truths about how to live a happy life full of self-acceptance, understanding, love, success, and the inner knowing that we're all in the game of life together and on the same team (or if you prefer, we're all passengers on the same ark that Noah built and loaded up with all those cantankerous critters!)
Image Credit: Lee Sutton@flickr.com
A SONG THAT TOUCHED MY HEART
"The Prayer" is not only beautiful lyric, (written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa, and Tony Renis) but, it is also a gift of grace, gratitude and a guidance in moments when we're not sure where to turn to reaffirm our place in life.
This is one of the most lyrical and lovely written books I have ever read.
Yearning to belong is an invitation for the soul to find its own sacred space in the world.
I have found the I-Ching an invaluable way of finding a lesson in life's difficult moments.
Finding the Hero Within is a soul-searching journey that will last a lifetime.
A HAND TO HOLD -- A HEART TO CARE!
"Heroes are not afraid of life. They embrace it.
Heroes are moved to share. They are unashamed to feel. They expose their hearts in their words, art, and music, so that others may benefit from their expression.
May we embrace the hope that within each of us lives an ordinary hero, for the divine capacity of the human spirit can make us all angels unaware."
-- Flavia and Lis Weedn, "Ordinary Heroes"
DECIDING WHAT'S IMPORTANT IN LIFE
Here is poem entitled "Desiderata", (Latin meaning "desired things"), given to me by my soul-friend, Charlayne, six months before she died of cancer in 2008.
Written by Max Ehrmann in the early 20th century, it is a simple yet haunting reminder of the things that truly matter in life, and how to go about living one's life to the fullest.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By the way, like illustrator, Lori McDonough of Whimsy Studios whose witty work of art is featured in this module, I would appreciate it if mornings began a bit later, so that I might enjoy a rare but delightful treat, breakfast in bed!
A MAN CALLED DAVID
In my case, I owe a good deal to "David", a man with whom I have shared almost 23 chapters in my book of life that chronicles my unique journey so far on planet earth. The theme that ran throughout our years together reminded me of the 1978 bittersweet romantic comedy with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn entitled, "Same Time, Next Year".
In the film, Doris and George meet in 1951 at an inn on the Northern California coast. Although they are each married, they have an affair and then decide to continue meeting once a year at the same place. As the decades pass, what began as casual infidelity develops into a deep emotional bond that reflects the ebb and flow of life, and their ability to find the humor behind the drama and difficulties they encountered, and their faith in the eternal spirit of love and compassion for each other and the world.
Ours was a karmic relationship. David, (a Pisces fish and friendly Neptune element that complemented my own Scorpio water sign), came into my life to teach me a vital and valuable lesson -- that I must take responsibility for all my choices and all my actions in life -- that no one else is responsible for giving me a sense of well-being, peace of mind, or happiness.
My fall three months ago was a clear sign that I had been for some time "off-balance", "out of sync" and "out of tune" not only with my environment but also with the universe itself. My painful recovery gave me the gift of time to reflect on my life. When I was honest with myself, I realized that I held a good many self-sabotaging beliefs. And, as a consequence, I had made an unwise choice resulting in resentment. I had allowed myself to settle for second-best -- for less than my own worth. I had made a habit of ignoring the important clues to my survival and well-being. I had disregarded what my heart, my soul and my body were telling me about the choices that I had made which neither reflected my very essence nor the best of who I am.
As my mother used to say, "every cloud has a silver lining", so I began looking for it in my fall from grace. I decided not to resist this powerful yet profound experience of losing my way and my balance. I also allowed myself to use this occasion to heal the unresolved pain of my past parental disappointments. I acknowledged the need to finally let go of all the things, people, and circumstances that I felt were holding me back to living a full life. Putting aside my self-created excuses, my self-imposed negative thoughts, and my old familiar pattern of handing away my life-affirming force to others in order to "fit in", I decided it was high time to undertake my own inner journey. And, I realized that I had to traverse uncharted waters, to navigate without bearings through the darkness towards light if I wanted to discover what was real and what was illusion.
This accidental fall was no accident. And, my lover's decision to tempt the fates with a decision to risk his own life in the name of having fun was a "wake-up call". This experience was a test of my willingness to face the truth. These traumatic events reflected both the iconflicts and contradictions that I felt but no longer could control in my inner world as well as the chaos and calamity that I faced but felt I could no longer control in my outer world.
I soon realized that this compelling and indelible experience was given to me so that I could learn to dig deep into the events of my life in order to find my strength, my truth, and above all the wisdom that lies behind these gifts that come in different packaging. For once, I had own up to my own role in the drama, to forgive, and to let go. Not only did I "grow up" but I have also learned to welcome the mystery, the paradox, and the uncertainty of life which gives it depth and meaning. And, I had to put my faith in myself and in my very being in this world. I also had to trust that the universe would unfold and reveal all that I needed and wanted without having to know all the answers beforehand. And, by relying on this insight, intuition, and inspirt, I knew that I would find my true self and take the next step on my own unique journey.
Learning to appreciate and to care for the neglected or unwanted parts of ourselves is like learning how to mine for our very own hidden acre of diamonds in the rough, often concealed in the ancient dirt, dust and mud of life. Yet if we are willing to take the journey, explore what lies beneath the surface, we will find what has been waiting all along to be recognized and transformed into gleaming treasures of love, care and compassion for ourselves, for others, and for our communities -- indeed to consider all living things and beings on this planet as precious.
This is the gift of life...and it is up to each of us to enjoy it, to live every day to our fullest potential, and to express our gratitude for all the gifts that come to us on our journey through space and time!
So David, thank you for coming into my life -- sharing your stories and sense of humor, being with me in moments of joy, awe and wonder, and for being gracious in letting me rekindle my own light, find my own way out of darkness, and begin a new chapter in my life.
It's time the real me revealed itself in all its splendor -- that includes both the luminous and shadow sides of my soul not to mention what makes my spirit soar like the eagle, or rise from the ashes like the phoenix bird that I am!
"I am a part of all that I have touched and that has touched me."
(From Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel.)
THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR JOURNEY
She was another soul friend who though we shared only a brief time on her journey through life, taught me much about the healing power of love. An intensely private person, she rarely spoke about herself, preferring instead to delve into the depths of why we are here, what the universe can teach us, and how we can discover the wisdom that lies within all of us.
Estranged from her many brothers and sisters following the death of her parents years ago, she received devestating news that she was in the last stages of bone cancer. Realizing not a moment too soon that she wanted to enjoy the best quality of life for her remaining time on this planet, she summed up all her courage and reconnected with family members.
She chose to treasure herself and her terminal illness. And, it was through this awakening to the true meaning of her life that she recognized and renewed her faith in love. She found incredible ways to share her love of life and appreciation of those around her. Whether it was strolling in Beacon Hill Park, sitting down by Fisherman's Wharf in the summer sun, or singing Christmas carols while sampling stolen and sipping ouzo last year, she brought light wherever she went.
So, in closing, I would like to say thank you for sharing a part of your unforgettable journey with me, for you are not lost dear friend, you are now part of a greater family called eternity.
"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. And we are never, ever the same." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Image Credit: istockphoto.com - 12329294