Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gratitude: Deb Shucka

Deb is writer, a memoir writer, and teacher of this craft. I love her writing, and I know she enjoys mine as well. We met through the blogosphere (of course) and have stayed in touch through comments and emails. I hope one day to take an online writing course with her, I know I have a lot to learn about this particular art form. (especially punctuation!) Please welcome today's delightful guest host, Deb Shucka, to Shine the Divine: Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice. Thank you so much Deb for lending your voice to my blog for Gratitude Month : )

photo by Deb Shucka

The best symbol I can think of for all I have to be grateful for is the red suitcase sitting patiently and expectantly in the linen closet, ready with abundant spacious roundness and slightly worn edges to be pulled out for our next adventure together. She represents dreams and adventure and home, and they are where love and gratitude grow in my life.

We bought her, justified the expense of the brand and size and quality with the belief she’d be accompanying me someday when I tour the world sharing my story and my healing. The need of her was evidence of our faith that my dream was worth pursuing and our belief it would come true.

In the meantime she has traveled with me to Europe, twice, both times surprise adventures that changed how I view myself, and the world, forever. In new places, far from the safety of home and every-day, I was more aware and more present than I’d ever been before. Every tree, every bird, every sunset was new and fresh and exciting. I felt like a toddler discovering new worlds for the first time. There was no room to be lost in my mind or to worry about either the past or the future. The present required all of my attention, and for the first time I realized I preferred the present and its gifts to the illusion of control past and future offered.

She has also accompanied my husband Walt and me on a number of vacations to places we’d never been before. Not only were those times of experiencing ordinary sensations in extraordinary settings, they were also times when we had to rely on each other in ways easy to avoid in the comforts of home. We came into sharper focus to each other, became more real and more appealing in the same space.

When I pull the red suitcase out of the closet, I know I’m going to be meeting new people, each encounter offering a gift of connection and worlds of potential for miracles to occur. I know I’m going to be vulnerable, the purest form of myself that exists, since I’ll be away from the security of habits and hiding places. I know when we’re together problems which might seem ugly and annoying at home, will become interesting stories as part of whatever adventure they’re attached to.

Perhaps the very best gift my plump red companion offers is the gratitude I feel upon returning home from our travels. Home: simple warmth and the many treasured mementoes that fill its rooms; the flowers and trees and open space; the joyous red wing of my dog’s tail and his smile; the plaintive welcoming complaints of three geriatric cats; the sound of the river just out of sight; the daily adventures of coyote and deer and eagle sightings; friends and family who missed me; my own soft bed. Home: a husband waiting, as happy to allow me the pursuit of dreams as he is to welcome me back into his arms. Home: my own heart where love and gratitude are two shades of the same color. A color shared by a simple red suitcase waiting patiently for the fulfillment of her purpose.

Deb writes @ Catbird Scout
and teaches an online memoir writing course @


  1. oh, Deb, this was good.
    I might just have to get a red suitcase!

  2. I loved this post, how just picking up your red suitcase puts you in mind of new adventures, new people, new mysteries. Thanks so much, Deb.

  3. Lovely and thank you so much for bringing me to this blog.

  4. I will follow you and your writing wherever it lands. With or without your red suitcase.

    Love you.

  5. Loved this! A great take on gratitude.

  6. A beautiful post as always Deb. You make me look at things so deeply and for that I am so grateful! You'll be a note in my gratitude journal tonight,as will you Laura! Thanks for having Deb as a guest poster.

  7. Hello Deb, The Love and Gratitude in your heart is wonderfully conveyed in your post. The suitcase as a symbol of present adventures is perfect. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. Wonderful! Can't wait to hear all about the latest adventures the 2 of you had!

  9. my suitcase is blue, but now i wish i had a red one :-)))

    guess i should just be grateful i have one and i get to use it :p

  10. Your red suitcase sound perfectly lovely...I love how it represents gratitude for so many things for you. Your adventures sound marvelous and yet isn't it the best feeling in the world to come home?

  11. I lived the story of your red suitcase...especially as I have a well worn red suitcase too and as worn as it is, I can't bare to part with it :o)

  12. i want me a little red suitcase...

  13. Beautifully narrated and so very candid.;) Indeed I so share these sentiments, the best about travels is the return home...

  14. Deb, how deftly you infused an inanimate object with hopes, dreams, experiences--shared and unshared. I felt as if I could crawl into that suitcase and hitch a ride.

  15. I love how your personified a suitcase like this:) Will never look at mine the same.

  16. Hey! I HAVE a red suitcase, a swanky gift from my daughter. It IS so cool and symbolizes my thirst for spanning seas and secrets!

    I LOVE your writing and your blog.
    Happy Thanksgiving, dear Deb.

  17. So lovely visualizing your plump red suitcase, waiting expectantly, already filled with the treasures of your travels. Thank you, Deb!


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