A Spark

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We gather inspiration in the strangest of places, those of us who fancy ourselves artists of sorts, myself included. I may not be able to paint, or draw, or sing like I used too, but my mind can create worlds that are unlike any I’ve ever physically seen. Sometimes I can see words and worlds inside structures and a story begins to form. Something as simple as a run down building or home on the side of the road can spark a slew of words running through my mind. Artists are often referred to as “mad” or better yet passionate, and even more often are misunderstood and unaccepted because we don’t conform the way others wish we would. My grandmother accused me of being schizophrenic once because I had such a vivid imagination, I never truly believed my imagination to be real, but it was fun to wonder “what if”, although some would say that “what if” is a trap or a rabbit hole if you will, we can easily fall down and never climb back out. 

When we find ourselves in misunderstandings or not being accepted for who we are, it can spin us into a depression and make us feel lonely. We long for connection, we long for others to know us and see us as we see ourselves, but mostly we want to be accepted. I think that every now and then we get very lucky. We find others who are like us or we find someone who does accept us no matter how mad or passionate we may be. We all deserve an Alice in our lives, who will see the Mad Hatter within and embrace that side wholeheartedly. If you ever find yourself shaking your head at someone and thinking I just don’t get it, ask yourself why it matters and then open your eyes to seeing who they really are, maybe they’ll be a spark.

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A Hopeful Mind

 

The song above was posted by a favorite non-profit organization of mine called “To Write Love On Her Arms” which is a movement dedicated to presenting hope & finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, & suicide. I have decided to start a blog series about hope, it has it’s own page and will have multiple contributors. I know there are probably plenty of places out on the web that can provide hope, I just want to add to that. I am inviting anyone and everyone to share their ideas, thoughts, stories, poems, songs, trials and triumphs centered on hope. 

I am a suicide survivor. I have seen what happens when hope is lost. I know how it feels to lose it, I know the pain of looking in the mirror and thinking that there is no reason to keep going, and yet the only thing to keep me going was the thought, the hopeful thought, that it will get better, that an hour from this moment, a minute, or a day, or a week, or a year, it will get better. That is the hope that sustains us.

I’ve been part of some powerful documentary projects, you’ve seen my posts about the listen series, I also co-produced a doc with my husband about fear, within these projects I’ve gained a stronger sense of hope and I believe others have too. I want to keep sharing this, I want to spread hope like a wildfire, because it is the one thing that I have seen that will keep people going.

Will you join me?

This is Forever

When my last sun sets, you’ll be holding my hand.

When I want to be a kid again, you’ll be there to play in the sand.

Thoughts keep me dreaming when you’re not by my side, and when you are there I don’t have to hide.

Because nothing can compare to how free I feel when I’m with you.

I see the world in your eyes and how much there is to do.

So lay your head on my pillow and tell me your dreams.

Bring me a happy a home and a life we can build together.

I know that love sometimes frightens you, but this is forever.

PBS SHORTS SHOWCASE FILM FESTIVAL!!

 

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To all my blog followers- I’m asking for your help to get the word out about TWO films we have in the PBS Shorts Showcase Film Festival. I’m posting both links here in this post, in order to vote all it takes is clicking the link and then clicking the like button for Facebook as well as the black and white Like-Vote button.

These two films are very near and dear to me, the first being our Listen project, which takes spoken word poetry and brings important topics to the forefront. Our first in this series deals with domestic violence and can be seen and voted on here: listen.violence is currently in first place, please share and vote —> http://shortsshowcase.com/portfolio/listen-violence/

The second film that is currently in third place is a documentary/music video called “And the Sky Will Never Be the Same” and brings to light the history of man’s attempts of flight and what we have done with it- the music provided is done by a very close friend of ours Adam Smith. What makes this film unique is that it is done strictly using archive footage- no new footage was shot or used. You can like and vote for it here: http://shortsshowcase.com/portfolio/shy-will-never/

 

Again friends in the blogosphere your help is much appreciated!!

Thoughts on Marriage

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The picture above speaks volumes. How does one continue to fall in love with the same person over and over? Especially when some  have such a skewed version of love? I will admit, I have been married twice before, and divorced twice. As of right now I’m all about 3rd time’s a charm. I’m confident in my marriage, I’m happy in my marriage, and most importantly I don’t have one foot out the door like I did in my previous two. I don’t think I ever felt fully committed and confident in my prior marriages. I feel bad saying that, it wasn’t fair to them or myself. I have lived and learned and that is why this time I did everything I possibly could the right way for us. I do fall in love with my husband over and over, I see him in new ways every day and this is a choice I make.

Relationships are hard work, no one ever thinks they should be though, we have placed an unfair and unrealistic expectation on each other. We think it should be passion and fireworks all day every day- news flash: that takes A LOT of energy to maintain and most of us live in the real world where jobs, kids, LIFE are all competing for our attention, if all you have is passion the relationship will eventually fizzle out. The reality is if you build a foundation of friendship, trust, and communication all the other stuff is bonus material! Obviously there’s got to be an initial attraction to get things going, but I believe that if a successful relationship is to be maintained you have to get that foundation built first.

We all strive for happy relationships, I strive for contentment which to me is more powerful than happiness because it’s an inner peace and joy that I feel when I’m with my husband. I feel alive inside when we’re together and that is far greater to me than happiness. Happiness to me are the cherished moments that we share- like on our wedding day, or when we’re filming an awesome interview, or helping the homeless. I guess I could just be talking semantics at this point about what happiness is or isn’t. I know everyone’s definition is different and everyone’s approach to relationships is different, but if we could make it more real instead of fantastical I think more people would be successful. What would it be like if we stopped saying our relationships should all be like romantic comedies and started focusing on who we are with the other person and who they are with us.

What kind of marriage or relationship do you want?

Who are you?

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This topic is inspired by my husband. When stating to him that I was contemplating what to write today he suggested to write about judgment of others- why do we do it? I frequently hear the saying “who are you to judge?” yet WE ALL DO IT whether we want to admit it or not. So, just exactly who are we to judge others? I think sometimes it depends on the context of the judgment. For example, I had to make a judgment call about whether my husband and I were truly compatible, I made the judgment of yes because of the information we had shared with each other. I think most of the time though human’s run around making “snap” judgments, which is judgment without all the information. Typically this is the bias that I was referring too when I said we all do it.

Sometimes judgment is necessary for survival- which goes back to the Type I and Type II errors that we make when judging whether something is a threat or not. A great example is given by Michael Shermer in his book The Believing Brain about the evolution of beliefs which stems from making these errors in judgment- Type I error is deciding that when you hear a rustling in the trees you automatically think it’s a threat and flee, thus preserving humanity; Type II error is deciding the rustling sound is not a threat and next thing you know you’re lunch (Shermer, 2009 p.59). I think this example illustrates the survival necessity of judgment, but where we get into trouble is when judging others and situations is done with negativity.

I remember very vividly being told as a child not to judge a book (person) by it’s (their) cover, and it is something I have tried to live by, and seem to fail at constantly. I admit it- I judge and then I kick myself in the ass for judging. Sometimes judgment is born from insecurity (ex. -jealousy, i.e. girl walks by in skimpy clothing, smiles seductively at my husband, my head automatically says..well you know)..and then I immediately feel bad because I have no idea who this person is. Because the truth is- everyone has a story, everyone is different, and everyone judges. We all judge for very different reasons and that doesn’t make it right or wrong necessarily, it just is.

So if we know that we all judge, why we do we get so offended when someone judges us? Most  of the time it’s because we feel it’s unjustified or it’s that they picked up on an insecurity about ourselves. However, those that are secure in who they are tend to not let the judgment of others affect them as much as those who are insecure. In the end, there’s a broad range of reasoning to why we judge and to what degree it’s healthy versus unhealthy. I still like the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”  because you never know what’s on the inside. So while we may judge, I would hope that we don’t allow that to stop us from connecting.

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