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Showing posts from 2018

The 12 Days of Christmas

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I heard today on the radio a question - what do people do on vacation that they rarely do at home? The answer was - order dessert in a restaurant. What? Are you kidding me? Dessert is the best bit, just like a gift shop is in a museum.  These must be the same people who go to Panera bread and when offered the bread, chips or apple, they brightly say apple. Really? An apple? In the place that has bread in its name and dough that boasts miracles, you order the apple. If you know me, you know that I have an incredible relationship with food. We either love and glorify in one another, fear and ignore one another, insult and delight one another, all on the same day - or I should say all just after breakfast. We have broken up many times. My friends have held me as I've cried, declaring that we are never, ever getting back together. Then gradually the special offers begin and the flattery coupons are shared and I hear myself say - This time McDonalds will treat me differently. I will have t…

Magic of Christmas Decorating

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For anyone who truly knows me, you are aware that swearing does occur. I am, after all a Londoner, where swear words are taught phonetically and included in the National Anthem.
In fact, when I emigrated, I quickly cleaned up my act as I realized that this is one of the differences in US versus British culture, that and driving on different sides, oh and we never saw Gilligens Island, oh yes and we don't understand American football at all, oh and I still say British people do not look good in shorts and American gravy is not as good as British gravy. Apart from that, we are very similar.

Anyway, I digress as this blog is about Christmas. I love Christmas. The lights, the stories and the cake. It's all a great joy to me and suits that very large part of me that believes in magic.
I am always the one on the street to put up the tree early, sorry, but yes, it's me.
Putting up my decorations has become one of my greatest passions. I actually have themes and this year it is a …

When Harmony Shatters

Life is both fragile and dramatic, holding extreme examples within twenty four hours and indeed less. Here is something I can not get out of my head right now & please read to see the two extremes of life.

I knew nothing of the world of Barbershop Quartets until this Summer with the meeting of my new love. His family are all creative, they sing, act, make, care, are healers. Beautiful people.
I just spent a weekend in Portland Maine at a competition of quartets and choruses, listening and cheering on people who sing for the purpose of entertaining and feeling joy. It was a fun, relaxed, inspiring weekend where generations easily mix and songs and tradition combine.
At the conclusion the entire audience are arm in arm singing, the harmonized sounds filling the auditorium.

It was surreal and heart breaking to then learn of the deaths at Pittsburgh. Pointless murder at a place of worship, at a place of comfort, love and peace. A synagogue where people learn, trust, cry, celebrate, br…

Why I wrote the play I wrote

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I was honored to be a finalist this month in The Modern Works Festival at Urbanite Theatre in Florida. It was an incredible experience.
In the feedback sessions I was asked why I wrote my play "Stalking."

The point of me creating and writing a theatrical piece of this nature was to highlight the deep roots that are set when abuse, physical and or emotional, take place.
Without a doubt - anything you have said in spite to another person was felt.
How much do we remember of childhood taunts? All of us can easily recall the words that stung.
No matter how small, and of course how large, some of them will remain.

So imagine the disrespect, fear, pain and bewilderment of a violation to your body. To your mind.
To the intimate part of yourself. To how the brain deciphers that situation. How the body physically holds the memory. How our brain will capture that as a lifetime warning enclosed in primal fear.

I wrote this play for those who do not care to remember their loss of virgin…

Losing the Yes, but..............

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This is a difficult post to write because it's a tender one. And a happy one.
Anyone who has suffered a significant loss, will understand the complication of saying you are happy.

I have had six birthdays now as a widow. All of them were made special by dearest friends. Extremely special. Plans that were simple or extravagant, always very personal, all involving cake and all arranged with love.

This year was a first. A very, big, slightly overwhelming, tender, fragile, amazing first for me.

This year was the first year that I could say, I felt happy without there being a part inside of me that screamed Yes But.............
Because as someone who has lost someone close, you appreciate everything so much more and find yourself saying that you are happy, while there is part of you yearning and holding such a deep rooted sadness. I had accepted that part of me would always be sad. I never expected it to go.
I would read messages saying "Have an Amazing day" and think yes, bu…

Purpose of Instructions

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I was facilitating a program this week and handed over an instruction sheet.
A participant waved the sheet in front of me and asked in a panic "Do I have to buy all of this?"
I said "Buy what?"
He again pointed to the sheet and using his six year old panic voice he squealed "All of this!"
By the way he was a forty year old executive in a great suit, but his ego and fear of the task wasn't.

The sheet he was waving between us was a set of guidelines to follow in order to achieve the task.
It was not a list of things to purchase, but in his head, he had decided what it was before reading.
He looked quite angry when I suggested just reading it.
I said it would really help him. He wasn't happy with that answer. He actually failed the task.

How human of us, to make these judgments and notions of what it is before we really do the research. How human of us to want to race in and get everything done, as though the Guinness Book of Records is watching with…

Rain in Ogunquit

This morning in Ogunquit, Maine it poured and poured with rain. It’s a summer day and expectations are high for beach, sunbathing and walking.
The small stores open with hopeful faces that people will visit between running to avoid the puddles - in fact a stream is traveling along Shore and Main Street.

By 4pm the rain has stopped and the clouds quickly roll away to reveal a bright blue sky and the sun beats down to dry everything and kiss the cold away with its warmth.

People again appear in the streets with their shorts and flip flops. Some go to the beach again with the reassurance that it’s summer as planned.

My observation is how quickly we re set. How plans are changed, option B replaces A and we face it all with the knowledge that we are ok and doing our best.

These changes described are only regarding the weather of course, though it shows to me the ability we have to adapt, accept and create a new plan. How our focus can be adjusted as swiftly as the umbrella is raised.

What a gift…

Better Days to Follow

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I stood for a moment this morning and literally felt all energy and determined action spinning around me. Life moves so quickly and the most effective way to manage it is to stop and pause. Do nothing for a moment. Dare I say, allow some magic to do it's best within that moment. And by magic I mean your faith, your true power.
I swear there are things in action that we have no control over and that they are there to help us.

This post is for those who are going through grief and great change in some measure. Of a job, a loved one, an animal, a home. Whatever the loss, it has its whirlwind energy that can destruct and then, if allowed, it will redesign and build.

I did not believe someone when they told me three years ago that I would feel differently, and yet here I am, six years into my own grief and I do, feel differently.
For all the hard work and focus I brought to my situation, something empowered me late last year to embrace something new. For all the positive affirmations I…

August 1st as One Year

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Yesterday, August 1st, marked one year since our dear friend Linda Pestana endured a traumatic fall.
Her entire life changed. From a healthy, hard working woman, she is now paralyzed from the neck down. She cannot do anything without assistance - and yet.................
Here is an incredible woman with the strongest spirit you will ever encounter.

Here is a woman who said that yesterday was about celebrating what we have.
I wrote to her and her amazing husband, Lou, about not looking back. That our responsibility is living in the moment, paying attention to what is around us, right now. There is a freedom in that. I use the word freedom with caution as I feed Linda, scratch her nose and brush her hair. I see what she goes through without truly knowing her total experience of it.

I guess, our past is about teaching us. It shows us what we want and what we do not want.
All of it deserves respect, even the difficult, sometimes traumatic events, as it shines a light on how fragile and ho…

Making Room for Narnia

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Tidying up my wardrobe this week, which included my Joan Crawford impression with the determined declaration of "No wire hangers!" I wondered when I ever thought bold stripes looked good on me and why so much orange? Be honest, dear friends, when have you seen me wearing orange?
Two large bags for the donation center later, I find myself within a pile of black tights and socks.
Take yourself back to the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". Remember Richard Dreyfuss with his mountain of mashed potato? Well I have that, but with a tangle of socks and tights. So many and yes it is the cliche that none of them match. And yes I think - what does it matter, black is black and no one will notice. Until I remember the number of times I have been behind people at the security airport line and noticed how their socks do not match. No judgment, just observation and the secret, quiet joy that I'm perfect as my socks match, or do not have holes. Perhaps I will get a …

My Lecture on Moving Forward

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I am fifty one years old. Ever since I could talk I have complained, joked about and quite honestly, been viciously cruel to myself about what I looked like. My first word was diet. My second was cake.
I was mocked as a child, ridiculed at school through every development of myself. I've been hurt, used, ignored and taken for granted and I've then blamed myself for most of it. (What a waste of time!)

It stops now for two good reasons.

FIRST
A dear friend has complimented me more than I have ever heard in my life.
This person who has looked at me, noticed that I have blue eyes, noticed the mark on my arm, noticed that the beauty of my soul shines through and how special that just may be. Noticed how close my heart is to always tumbling into every single area of my life - and that perhaps, just perhaps, that is worth being paid attention to.
Wow what a remarkable difference this makes. That I was told, I was proud to walk into that room with you. Bing, bing, bing, there's a …

Journey to New York

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An interesting thing had happened last Sunday on my way to New York.
I was on a morning bus from Providence and in short, the man two rows behind me was not well.
When he boarded with his older friend, it was clear that the two were perhaps, eccentric, not on the same wave length as most of us or just still on the effects of alcohol and or drugs.

Long story short by two hours into the journey, the man, who claimed he was an ex marine, was slamming his head against the bathroom door, crying, trying to open the emergency exit door and screaming racial abuse at passengers. His threats to beat a man up, turned into "I will put bullets into his brain" and finally ending in "I will blow this bus up."

I have never felt so sad and scared at the same time as I literally cowered in my seat.
The police were excellent. The driver was excellent. The other passengers were excellent.
All I could imagine was how this set of circumstances may have escalated. How any one of the othe…

Words of Freedom

A few months ago I checked a message on my phone while driving (NAUGHTY!!!).
I had to pull over and cried with happiness as I read a note from Ted Clement, artistic director of Counter Productions Theatre Company who asked if they could present a staged reading of my play "Stalking."

Thursday May 31st I sat behind a packed audience and watched this deeply personal story come to life.

I have worked extremely hard in my own life to discover that I alone own the key to my being.
Those that have disrespected me, taken my nature for granted, abused and ignored me do not have that power.
I am in control of my volume. If you get to see my joy and my truth, I am choosing to share that with you. I am aware, all too well now, and to my strength, of where I do not need to shine, and believe me, I do not. 

I am privileged to be able to have grown from trauma. My heart breaks for those that cannot and I hope that my play "Stalking" dips into that world.

A highlight on Thursday for me …

Art of Connection

I have been thinking a lot about connection lately. The beauty and power of both holding on and letting go. How does that connection effect us? How does letting go effect us? How sometimes when you think about a person you see their name everywhere. A street sign, a trolley name, a famous person, a place, on a car, in the paper, on a book.
You think did that name ever exist before? Now it’s following and surrounding you. Is it trying to tell you something?
Try this - close your eyes and choose the color red. Now open your eyes and looking around find all the things that are red. They will jump out at you for attention - or is it your attention seeking them?
A dear friend of mine recently wrote about the positive effect of finding a coin that reminded him of his special grandfather. Upon seeing that coin, how it gave him a positive boost and what he did with that resourced energy. It is known that coins may represent signs from our loved ones who are now within their next adventure. I too wil…

Divine Magic of Writing

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In 2013 I moved to Providence and made a promise to myself to return to my play writing. I nervously began by joining a class at The Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket.

Many, many pages and five years later, it was divine creative magic that had Jessica Chace from The Gamm, choose my play to direct for the Boston Theater Marathon.

The marathon receives hundreds of submissions, fifty are chosen and then local theater companies choose the one they wish to direct. Out of fifty companies, my jaw dropped when I read in an email that I was paired with the theater that had reignited my passion. I could not have chosen better.

I was walking on air to arrive for a rehearsal of my work at that theater, with actors I had seen and admired in productions, and here they are performing lines I had written. Every playwright understands that feeling. It's delightfully surreal.

Sometimes, we work incredibly hard and sometimes it is faith, whispers of connection and pure divine magic that will offer a helpin…

Loud Stuff & Cookies at an Airport

This week while waiting at an airport gate in Washington DC, I suddenly saw something leap in front of me and I screamed. Screamed like a child. No, I screamed as loud as a 51 year old adult can scream. There was I, sitting, early morning, eating my breakfast, I did not expect this.

A small bird had jumped out from the chair opposite to practically land at my feet, to beg for the cookie I was consuming. I screamed, the bird screamed, then shrugged its shoulders in disappointment (or sarcasm) and flew off.

Embarrassment arrived as I lifted my head expecting to be surrounded by armed security while everyone else would be laying on the floor. I would be arrested, green card taken and wearing orange before my flight had pulled in.

I looked around. The young girl opposite me said bless you, thinking I had sneezed, while the other said "Yeah fuck, I thought that was a rat."
Everything had stopped for me and yet only two people and a tiny bird noticed.

Isn't it funny from our o…

Triple A & David Bowie

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Last week, I had a conversation with my triple A man, aged 27 years - "I'm 28 on Sunday" he boasted as he fixed a new car battery.
He then asked me if I liked sports.
Then he asked me if I liked shopping. (I like shopping about as much as I like sports.)
Then he asked what music do you like?
"Well my absolute favorite is David Bowie" I replied.
"Oh" he says "Is he like Michael Buble?"

No, dear sweet, young triple A man - David Bowie is nothing like Michael Buble.

Throughout my life, the incredible music of Bowie has been my partner.
In moods, dance, inspiration, spirits, love, love making, ambition and work.
He is part of some of my favorite memories involving my brother, both of us screaming from a balcony in London as Bowie simply walked onto the stage and began to sing.
(Another terrifying memory was when my brother told me he too was an alien and could pull his face off, after we had watched The Man who Fell to Earth.)
A previous boss &a…

Blissful Love on Valentines Day

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I love Valentines Day, of course I do!
I found this poem in a book of anonymous writings and wanted to share.
Enjoy your day, always turn to love and never take it for granted x


TO SEEK A BLISSFUL LOVE
Is the real truth found within that moment
When you think
Could we be? Did we just....
Move slowly, or quickly into blissful intimacy.
Quiet time together
Longing for touch that lingers only
One breath away.

That gaze between lovers
Of years or just moments.
Trust into passion
And jumping back again.
Conversation and wine
Tea and toast.
That tumble of choices and kisses
Of ideas, of words and song.

I am fortunate to have embraced it all
Yet remain desiring for more.
As much as my life is full
With sun and glorious moon,
My heart beats for me and for another
Always to join.

Please bring that reaching hand,
With mind, soul and heart,
That, like mine
Gazes and whispers yes.
Finding the real truth within that moment
When you think, when we think
Could we be? Did we just....



Like Water Keep Moving

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After a work trip away this week, I had a long journey back home which included a matrix of logistics that had my brain needing to think step by step, and, I will admit, my soul was heavy and complicated with new emotions and feelings that deserved attention.

As I drive, I relax and go with the rise and fall of my feelings. I feel the strength and the tears, the empowerment and the loss and I attempt to pay no attention to any of them, I need to just let them flow in and flow out.  Welcome them, see them, then let them go. Like water is in constant movement - I need to do the same. Trusting that what is true and healthy for me, will eventually settle.

The miles and hours pass, the various drop off and collection points happen. Stairs, boxes, petrol, airport, return rental car, call a Lyft driver, blah blah blah. I even notice the emptiness of the moving walkway at the airport and what it conjures for me inside. How my brain lingers on the loneliness and not the moving forward.

I'm…

Inspired by

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It is at times easier to sit in bitterness and hold onto regret and anger.
There is a fear in letting go. There is a fear in being an open heart.
What if I love again? What if it is mistreated, again.
What if I'm used, again? What if I'm lied to, again? What if I lose, again?

And what if I don't?
What if someone pays attention, spends time and opens with you? With me.
What if they don't just talk at you, but they take time to ask, to listen, to share?
Will we be brave enough to answer? Will we know what we want to say?

To base a life upon lies, denial, sadness is to limit our true expression and what I believe to be our honest soul.

I admire leaders (known and unknown) who keep stepping forward. It is not moving on,
it is moving toward.To turn all we learn into a positive strength.

As I pay respect to Martin Luther King today - I know I personally still have a dream,
and am fortunate and grateful for everything that supports me.For those of us lucky enough to be in tha…