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.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mountain Through the Trees

mountain through the trees
Finding the mountain through the trees, how hard could it be, simply to see what is right HERE?

Yet when mind and heart dance in circles of desire, trust becomes lost and "now" seems farther away than I remembered it being.

Until I notice my breath again, until I rest in the complexity, the mystery of "just this," "only this," and faith becomes my exhale.

Exiled no more,
I embrace the mountains and the trees
with eyes,
and limbs

The desire for "other than this" veils both the substance and the essence of LIVING when the value placed on "it should be easier than this for me, for us, by now," stands in front of the beautiful, rugged mountain that life is. Mind wants to know, to understand and make sense of everything. But there are things that don't make sense, CAN'T make sense. Trees are lovely details (you know how I DO love them), but there are times when perspective shifts and they seem to be in the way. And yet, trees are part of the scenery, part of what is real. In our impatience we might want to cut them down, or cut ourselves off from our feelings, becoming entangled in emotional and mental branches like a kite that has caught it's tail, because we just don't understand the "why's" of life's complexities. And this is frustrating! To do so however, is to forget that all is sacred, All IS WELCOME.

Mountains are hard to climb. (Staircases are hard to climb!) We can plan for a journey up to a point, but there will be slippery rocks and jagged ones that we must to learn to negotiate. The beauty, amongst those sharp edges and possible falls make the awe of each moment more precarious, yes, but also far more precious.

Each day I climb a little higher up my MS mountain. Some days, I stumble and tumble; I fall.  Some days I can climb the steps in an almost "normal" way, once up and once down. My "successes" fuel desire, and I have to remind myself to slow down, relax, trust, be patient, have faith that each day is different and this has always been true. And so, I continue to accept each small step as a gift. I continue to open to the loving-kindness of many good people, helping my family and me daily, with genuine compassion.  I recognize too that not every one has a support system of family and friends the way that I do encircling me/us. My heart aches for those not as fortunate, it breaks for people who suffer alone, who do not have the  opportunities afforded me by chance, by birth, by the grace everyone deserves but not everyone seems to experience. I pray for ease, for joy, for laughter, for healing, for respect, for a shaft of light to penetrate the darkness cast by shadows of mountains that loom large through the trees.

May all beings experience at least one breath of beautiful tranquility today, within the craggy, slopes of fear and loss, between perfect imaginings of "how it should be" and "what simply is."  And may that one breath lead into another one and another after that, building cellular, soulular, memories of peace with each exhalation.

gentle steps,

For more black and white views and dances of shadow and light this weekend visit:


  1. Oh Laura I am so blessed by your words of the mountains through the trees...such good thoughts to start my day with. I too embrace my mountains and trees and all that they teach me.

    My heart aches for those less fortunate too...not just those without a home to lay their heads but for those that have no where to lay their many in our world are starving for love, forgiveness and peace and family and all that these things bring into one's life. Thank you for reminding me of this today...prayers for this today as well.

    Bless you and your family Laura...I pray that love, peace, joy and good health surround and fill your home. ((((Laura))))

  2. I so love mountains. Nice post!

  3. Your wish for me this day --
    I thank you
    My blessings for a special day sent to you this early morning.

  4. I like the shadow line in this shot, it makes the foreground ominous.

    I find your words very inspiring, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. A somber but great shadow shot for the day! And, as always, your words are very inspiring! Thank you, Laura!


  6. Laura, your words touched me very deeply. Often, I find myself wanting to get rid of the tree that simply is. "If only things were different," is too often my mantra.

    Now I breathe, and take in the now, simply what is and I live.

    Thank you Laura.

  7. Thanks for commenting on my blog.
    Your entry is always touching. Every person has each own mountain. When you are on the summit, you have your own view.
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend.

  8. It's all about living in the moment and seeing, really seeing the beauty that exists all around...thanks for the wonderful inspiration this morning!


  9. Beautiful words and a great shot!

  10. I love you post, Laura. It's so helpful to be reminded how harmful those "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" can be.

    Oh, those mountains. I take inspiration from this Issa haiku:

    Climb Mount Fuji
    O Snail
    But slowly, slowly.

  11. The mountains and stairs are metaphors of difficulties to the physically (un)able. Yet the mount remains, yet could that be a mere barrier to our growth - we know what we cannot do physically. However, it is easier to say 'no' or 'never' in intellectual and thinking things, where it is so easy to give up. The mountains in our own do seem to bigger barriers than the real ones...

  12. i always believe we already own the grace of Peace. We just lean out of its flow~

    righ now i see barely no tree or horizon, a white bluegray mistiness surrounds like a clean mirror Anything Possible could emerge from. Blessings and Miracles to you and Yours.

    Thanks for sharing your Beauty.

  13. LOvely shot and I am so glad I found your blog. I am excited to see you are also posting soulcollage images...

  14. I fear it is human nature to desire "other than this." No matter what we are or have, we want more. But I do appreciate the fact that you are coming from a different space than most of us. We all need to remember that if we are lucking enough to be blogging then we are luckier than most people on our planet. Thanks for the reminder.

  15. I like the photo Laura. It is sombre, yet the light of the sky echoes hope.

    Beautiful shot and words.


  16. this one hit pretty close to home...will be chewing ont his one today...

  17. Beautiful photograph, Laura, to go along with your beautiful thoughts.

    Yes, one step at a time, one breath at a time and gratitude all the time.

  18. Beautiful shades of gray, I like the contrast of bare branches to the sky, very poetic.

  19. " My "successes" fuel desire, and I have to remind myself to slow down, relax, trust, be patient, have faith that each day is different and this has always been true."

    This is so very true about living with chronic illness. You get used to the "what is," and then is changes, for better, or for worse, but the point is, it CHANGES constantly. There is never a place where it stays the same. And your words here are very wise. The key is to welcome, to yield, to accept each day, each moment, for what it is.

    Such a great analogy, Laura. Thank you.

  20. I'm so pleased that this post was inspiring for so many people today. Makes me feel good to know that in a small way I can reach out into the world an make a difference, even if it is by giving someone another way to think about something, or a deeper way to look at what is already known.

    We are off to a fundraiser in a short while...hopefully some of my photos will sell and help support our synagogue religious school. I'll be in my trusty chariot with my prince by my side...sure to be home way before midnight, or my wheelchair might turn into a pumpkin!!

    blessings to all!

  21. Your thoughts come from the experience of the essence of things. To suck the juice out of the moment is to be alive to all things.

  22. Dearest Laura,

    I am so glad that you have so much love and support in your life. You deserve it, as I know you would do anything you could for anyone else.

    Best of luck with the fundraiser! I hope that it is successful and that you sell some of your inspiring photos.

    Much love,

  23. Such a wonderful image and so dramatic in black and white!

    I hope all goes well at the fundraiser! Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

  24. A lovely post to go with a very touching post. Thank you once again for sharing your story with us, you are an true inspiration :o)

  25. Thank you my friend for your kind words on The Paradox. They were just what I needed to hear. I know that I will work this out. I just needed to voice my thoughts on all of this.
    You are a dear and I hope you are doing well. I think of you a lot.
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
    ♥ Bx

  26. It's very dramatic one!
    Wonderful and inspiring post :)

    Thanks for dropping by, Laurax...

  27. I loved your post! So many truths about life and its tortuous path!
    Thank you for visiting my place and taking the time to comment;o)
    Thanks for sharing;o)

    Have a beautiful weekend****

  28. This is so nice... it reminds the good old time.

    And your prose, hitted me deeply too.

    Thanks for sharing & happy SSS on 3rd Advent.


  29. I cannot image going through hard times without the support of family and yet so many people do. Have I mentioned how much of an inspiration you are? Well you are 

  30. So many things to mull over and consider. Your tree metaphor provides such an interesting perspective: lovely to look at, then perspective shifts and they are now blocking the clear view that we week. Desiring "other than this"; happy at progress, disappointed at challenges. And in all of it, remembering that all is sacred. All is welcome. Keep reminding us, sweet one. We need these reminders, this encouragement to remember the sacredness of all.
    Gentle, loving hugs ...

  31. What a gorgeous prayer for acceptance Laura. I don't know if I've said it, but I often find myself struggling with the small tasks, the "trees" that seem to block my view of the "mountain." It seems like one of my most powerful practices is to catch myself in these moments and "re-member" myself. Thank you for your devotion to these moments and their great value.


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