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.

Translate

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Embracing Solitude



azalea painted rainy morning view
I woke to a single bird’s song rising above the early morning thunder. The house is quiet now, but for the soothing rain, an occasional remnant rumble in the distance and the radio droning downstairs; my beloved forgot to turn off before leaving me for another day of solitude.

petal drying on the window

In a couple of weeks school will be out, the movement and voices of the girls in other rooms will fill the emptiness. I enjoy the quiet and while I look forward to my daughters' presence through the short New Hampshire summer season, I'll miss the sweetness of days that are mine for writing, napping, photographing, meditating, and singing to myself. Though nearly grown at 14 and 17, they will want (and deserve) my attention. They will also want their distance, their privacy, to be with friends...but our days will not be quiet. It is a strange thing, mothering teenagers. A push and pull craving as they grow into young women still needing their mother and defining their independence, while I embrace what I hope are still my middle years with a feeling of pregnant urgency (imagine 38 weeks with early contractions) to finally create without interruption.

abstract heart in blue and green
Funny how the past ten months, since the Gabapentin toxicity and flu shot debacle combined left me mostly cloistered in my bedroom, unable to drive my car or go places independently, has both blessed me with sacred time to focus on creative pursuits, and shifted the way I think about being alone. Now I understand the precious hours between 7am and 2:20pm as a gift, rather than an illness induced prison sentence of loneliness.

(The image above is from a car ride when my parents were visiting, I love the blur of colors and the mysterious heart shape that was revealed when I uploaded the photo. It is faint, can you see it?)

sky longing to be blue
Four hours have passed since I started this post. I took some time to capture moments in photos, a bath, write some lyrics, record a scratch track of a new melody floating through my mind, and emailed a few friends. The sun is shining intermittently but the sky is not completely blue. The storm clouds and heat have cast a white-gray expanse above the greens and pinks of rhododendron at the edge of the woods as I look out the window behind me.

rhododendron blossoming
If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you might be wondering about news regarding new meds. Yesterday I received a phone call to tell me our insurance company and the financial assistance program have approved me for Gilenya through the end of December 2011. However, I still have a few more tests before we can officially get started, to make sure it will be safe for me. So I don't have a start date quite yet, but hopefully within the next three weeks. This is big relief, as I feel like an MS time bomb without protection from a disease modifying medication in my system. Although I think the high dose of steroids from last week will provide a temporary shield against new lesions. I'm still in a bit of a post steroid fog, but better today than yesterday.

self portrait-reflection of a photographer's hands

Thank you for the amazing response to my last post. I feel encouraged to keep writing, photographing, composing and singing. I had stopped singing for a very long time, years of not feeling confident as a singer. I still have performance anxiety, but recording at home makes that a non-issue. Gotta love technology! It felt so good to release what was inside and share it with all of you. You are so kind and I am grateful for every single message.

self portrait-honoring the sacred feminine within
Gentle steps,
Laura

Linking to bloggers around the world through the following memes...click the buttons below to view some exquisite images from now through Monday!

 

Skywatch Friday

Click to see the rules and to take a badge for yourself.

http://mapleview.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/weekend-logo.jpg


NEW LOGO

96 comments:

  1. Your photographs are as lovely as you are. --Linda Eason

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful Laura, I love the savorous feeling of this post. So glad you are feeling a bit better, and creating such beauty. as the mother of two teen daughters as well, and a lover of both solitude and my family, your words rang so sweet and true for me around the busy activity of summer. This morning- I think to prepare for the tug of it all, I cleaned my office, cleared my writing desk and created a space to sit still and center. That way, when life here becomes a circus, I hope I will enjoy the circus! Sending you love and light, Ingrid

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this post for many reasons; first, I am a seeker of solitude. I have 2 1/2 years before DH retires, and I am trying to cram as much into those days as possible as my body continues to slow.
    All is good though; everyday of work accomplished is a little gem.
    Your photos are beautiful and yes, the heart in the soft colors glows!
    I wish you well with the meds; I currently stand in a no-mans land of not knows what is really wrong, and being a stubborn mule about taking things that do little. Gabapentin? Been there, hated that.
    All the very best to you dear!!!

    XXOO~~
    Anne, who dreams she can sing....LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is such a beautiful post, Laura -- your words and the photographs. I could feel my body and mind calm down as I read through it. Thank you for bathing me in this light. Love, Toni

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, Laura - I am so grateful that today was a day I was able to open and experience your offering. The feelings of losing a bit of solitude yet gaining precious time with family resonates clearly. And your images...so beautiful. Abstract heart in blue and green and self-portrait honoring the sacred feminine within are the two I find myself going back to revisit and know I will again and again. Sending you love and light from Texas as always,
    Jill

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful shots Laura. Happy Thursday!!

    SWF

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful images, glad to hear you have been enjoying some creative time and that there is some bright news on the horizon for your medication options

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really like the first shot, set the tone really well.
    Also such meaning in the words you tell.
    Seeing the lighter side of things
    As you spread your creative wings

    Enjoyed the read.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful photographs and because your words come from the heart they have a beautiful energy all of their own.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great photos for SWF,Laura!Have a nice weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Just beautiful..your words & your photos :) I can only imagine what it will be like when my girls are in their teen years. Sadly I'm sure it will be sooner then I'd like :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just spent such a peaceful, edifying few minutes reading your post and savoring your photos. I DID see the heart. . .thanks for sharing YOURS. This bittersweet push and pull of summer with teenagers will give you much to feast on...sorta like cheesecake!
    Take good care.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Absolutely beautiful images, Laura. I love the water droplets and the wet petal clinging to the window.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes, I do see the heart! I sure do hope you will be safe taking the new medication. Now I'm off to check out your previous post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautiful heart! All your pictures are beautiful, as well as your words. Thank you for sharing. God bless you!! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  16. A lovely read, Laura, and I so understand about the need for silence during the day - and the "heart tug conflict" teens and tweens. It is a poignant time for all. Enjoy your silence while you have it and enjoy the love when you get it, eh? xo

    ReplyDelete
  17. Life is many parts, being able to share with others is a blessing for me. Sharing from another person's point of view helps me very much.

    I pray the dots will all be connected regarding your new medications.

    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful images and words.
    Words that come from the heart.
    Solitude - I understand your words.
    What I was seeking I found in these woods.
    Peaceful wishes sent for tonight
    and every night..

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beautiful words
    Beautiful images
    I understand all you share
    about solitude.
    The reason I moved to the woods :)
    Have a peaceful night...

    ReplyDelete
  20. beautiful and touching words and photo's.

    laura....having ms can be all consuming. my 2 boys are grown, i often think about how difficult it was when they were younger, trying to hold it all together.

    thanks for the visit, i see the heart.....so pretty!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. lovely thoughts and images here... hope-filled.

    ReplyDelete
  22. well I'm thinking these are your most beautiful photos ever, and I'm certain that they are merely a reflection of the beauty within you. this post warms my heart. the writing and images combine to say "joyful". thanks for the lift. I hope you have a wonderful weekend Laura. be well.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The photographs are beautiful. I love the first one with the rain drops..Your words always touch me.
    I am so glad you are using your solitude time for such beauty and searching.
    Katelen

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like that description: "sky longing to be blue." I imagine the sky does weary of being grey day after day!

    RED SKY IN MORNING

    Red sky in morning,
    Sailors take warning!


    Who knows what might happen out on the sea?
    Waves riding high,
    Waves to the sky,
    Waves crashing and dashing all over me!

    Red sky at night,
    Sailors delight!


    Leeward or windward we sail with no fear;
    Water is calm,
    Healing like balm—
    Ahoy, fellow sailors, landfall is near!


    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Oahu Coast and Sky

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful post, Laura. Teenagers can be so strange to live with. First they want you around and then they do a 180. At least my 18yr old son acts that way. Enjoy your time with your children. I enjoyed your photos and I hope all goes well with the medicine. have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Beautiful post, Laura. Teenagers can be so strange to live with. First they want you around and then they do a 180. At least my 18yr old son acts that way. Enjoy your time with your children. I enjoyed your photos and I hope all goes well with the medicine. have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love your photos, especially the one of the brown veined leaf. And, on your other post, you have such a lovely voice.
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
  28. Very beautiful and creative post.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Some recognize that creativity is, indeed, a spiritual experience that takes on many forms and results in infinite transformations. I see this quality in each photo of your series. They all seem a touch mystic.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You're right -- solitude and loneliness are two entirely different things. Solitude is soul time with ourselves and the Divine.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Laura, Solitude is a gift we give ourselves many times--enjoy it when you have it. Love the leaf on the window-great photo. Have a peaceful, joyous weekend. Mickie :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Laura, your images are so beautiful and contemplative. I've enjoyed your "Small Stones" and other writings as well. Have a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  33. A touching post Laura with beautiful photos. The green heart is splendid.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  34. What amazing photos--particularly the top one. Best wishes and namaste...
    Dr. J

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wonderful shots. The flower is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Lovely post. Beautiful photos and my favourite is the first one.

    Have a blessed weekend, Laura!

    ReplyDelete
  37. That is fabulous news about the insurance coverage. I hope the tests conclude that you can go ahead with this new medication, Laura.

    Your photos are so lovely and arresting. Solitude can be so very fine and special.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hurray for the approval for your new meds.

    These photos are works of art!

    ReplyDelete
  39. to hear the still, small voice




    Aloha from Waikiki :)

    Comfort Spiral

    ><}}(°>


    ><}}(°>

    <°)}}><

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. You are in my prayers. Your comments about teenagers and the push pull needs they have resonated with me. Our son just turned 13 and I am wondering just what my role is with him, as he wants his space, but he is still a little boy in other ways.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Laura, these are beautiful thoughts and beautiful photos. I love how you have captured in words the "push-me, pull-you" of having teens.

    Have a beautiful weekend. Oh, my, reading your post has left me feeling so peaceful...

    ReplyDelete
  42. You are amazing... the photos are beautiful... I see the abstract heart. I also found little hearts in the azalea painted rainy morning view.

    THANKS for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love visiting your blog - it inspires me and gives me a sense of contentment.

    Hope you are feeling better today.

    loveNlight
    Gabi

    ReplyDelete
  44. A very sensitive post Laura. All things come to us for a learning, you have just learned to appreciate and savour solitude. We can learn so much when we go inward with absolute honesty and face our greatest fears with courage understanding and forgiveness for ourselves, we are just pupils in this world and we learn from our mistakes. It is the great power that loves us and forgives our trespasses before we commit them. Often when we feel that we have said something that was mean, it is because the other person needed to hear just that at that moment an we were just the tool to supply their need and give them a wake up call. Believe in yourself and that you deserve wellness and that belief can come true. at least it will do you no harm. I have shed cancer so I am walking proof of the possibility.

    God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  45. What a wide variety of subjects in your photos! They are all lovely!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Nice collection of subjects, I like your self-portrait!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Exquisite captures, beautiful words and a lovely way to start my day! Hope things go well and I'm holding good thoughts for you. Have a good weekend, Laura.

    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  48. Much to comment on here. I'll just keep it short and say that I like your photos and words. I also love periods of solitude. Sometimes, they are hard to come by...

    ReplyDelete
  49. Beautiful sequence of photos with a lovely light, I like the second with those tones so warm.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'd like you to know that my thoughts are with you. I hope your treatment goes as best as possible.
    The abstract photos are beautiful and romantic.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Breezing in from weekend reflections. We are practically neighbors...just across state lines.
    Gorgeous images....the first one I really like.
    Thank you too for sharing your words. I'm awed how you see this time of illness as a blessing in the solitude it has offered.
    A dear friend has MS....her blog Mehibital Days-might be a nice visit for you. laloofa.blogspot.com She uses dietary means to help her control her symptoms. Take or leave as you would like.
    Blessings to you.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Fabulous shots ! The reflection of drops is amazing, but my favourite is the leaf : colors and composition are just perfect on it.

    Thanks for the inspiring sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  53. You are really in touch with your creative artistic side. The photos are amazing and so is your attitude. :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. I always said I would make a great hermit. Solitude is often my best friend. I can't be alone in my house, so I seek solitude with nature, with my mountains when I can.

    Laura, you write so beautifully. You are a gift to me. Thank you for the memes, I may participate in some. I always send you blessings, and prayers that your spirit continues to thrive.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Those are awesome collection of photos. I especially the clouds.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Such beautiful images, I loved the droplets of water on the glass...soft words but contain a lot of truth...sometimes one wishes to be alone even in a crowd.
    Hope your health gets better. have a good weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I really like your 'handy' self-portrait!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Your photographs are so very beautiful Laura.
    Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Beautiful photos. I wish you the best in your recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Laura, I enjoyed spending the day with you through your post. Your words give me a sense of the the rhythm of your days; the pacing, the quiet, the gentle excitement that builds in solitude. One of my favorite times of solitude was the bedrest that came with both pregnancies. I had to grow into it because at first I was frightened, but as time passed, the peace that settled around me was like an elixer. I hope that some of that same peace remains for you when your kids are home this summer:) Shabbat Shalom, Hannah

    ReplyDelete
  61. Your photographs are wonderful! Thank you for your kind comments and for following my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Beautiful pictures !
    For me there is a big difference between loneliness and being alone. I never feel lonely I love to be alone (not all the time of course) and living with a teenager I fortunately have far behind me it was rather difficult because I had to deal with a boy ! Now a sweet grown up man and Dad !

    ReplyDelete
  63. Wonderful photos and post Laura.
    Enjoy the weekend.
    Regards.
    xo
    " Regina "

    ReplyDelete
  64. Wonderful and artistic photos!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend, hugs from Tania:-)

    ReplyDelete
  65. I can see the heart :o)I also love the rhododendron and the self portrait!

    What good news about the drug, hopefully the results from the tests will come back quickly!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Laura, I've been separated from my love longer than ever in our 26-years together, yet knowing I am in his heart makes all the difference between loneliness and solitude. I can relate to enjoying the solitude. My mother used to moan about our being "neither fish nor foul"... but she knew that this phase would pass. Wishing you the best with the meds. Keep seeing the hearts.

    ReplyDelete
  67. There's something more special than usual about your photos for this post. I especially love the one of your neck and the one of your hands and the green blur of a heart. You sound more like yourself, as well.

    Big blessings and lots of love coming your way.

    ReplyDelete
  68. thanks for sharing, Laura. I, too, cherish my alone time while they are at school. I didn't at first when I was forced to stay home due to illness but now I love it because it has given me a chance to be more creative than I ever used to have time for. Like it was meant to be....

    ReplyDelete
  69. So many beautiful photos Laura!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Beautiful photos!
    Have a nice Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  71. To come and read a post like this one...so beautiful! I can relate to this being the mother of two teen-aged boys.

    I hope you feel better soon. Your photos, your words are truly special. Thank you for visiting. I'm so glad you did!!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Such beautiful shots, Laura! :) Love each one!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Beautiful post and lovely rhododendron.

    ReplyDelete
  74. A beautiful post in so many ways, do hope you feel better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  75. YOur photographs are as great as you are, Laura....Congrats


    Oh...We had flash of lightining and thunder this morning...I photographed lilac flowers....

    Nice week

    ReplyDelete
  76. Dearest Laura, I was thinking of you quite a bit on our recent trip into the NC mountains. Your writing and your photos are always reminding me to notice the beauty and wholeness in the little things and that's what I did. Sending a big hug from Savannah!! Love, Silke

    ReplyDelete
  77. I like the color images very much.

    ReplyDelete
  78. wow, laura...83 comments! you are a beacon to bloggers, giving yourself, vulnerabilities, light, strength, questionings.....beautiful self portrait honoring the sacred within ... and you're SINGING!
    wonderful. good to have a visit.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hello Laura. I'm dropping by via Lisa's linky. Those are great shots. I came for the petal but enjoyed all of them. Be well.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Beautiful image of the petal against the window.

    Happy Macro Monday Laura.

    <3

    ReplyDelete
  81. I love to take blurry photos. Maybe a tiny corner in focus! Sometimes I move the camera on purpose. :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. very beautiful, Laura.

    Sending you hugs.

    Dani

    ReplyDelete
  83. I love your abstract photography art and the words expressed here. I hope you get better and better.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I like "abstract heart in blue and green." Yes, I can see two hearts, a smaller heart on the upper and below it a larger one. You must have felt thrilled when you found them.

    Following your narration and
    lovely photos, I've perceived calm energy for life and your shining femininity within. Have a nice week, Laura.

    ReplyDelete
  85. A busy weekend with my daughter- tI come into the bliss of your solitude late. Love the way your post evolves and wraps your day in lovely words. That first photo of the water droplets on the window stays with me as does the leaf and the side of your neck- All perfect. hope your weekend was lovely-xo teri

    ReplyDelete
  86. Your artist's eye captured nature's abstract beauty so beautifully ~

    Time is a gift. I have known that for quite some time. What I didn't realize until recently is that solitude is a gift, too ~ not the solitude I choose but the solitude the universe chooses for me.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Oh sweetie. I was offline for a few days, and am just now going through the links to Guest Heart Thursday from last week. How precious this abstract and surreal heart that found it's way to you.

    You are amazing, you know. You are often in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Great post! I especially like the self portraits and the purple flower shot.

    ReplyDelete
  89. i love, love, love that you heard the bird's song above the growl of thunder. this is peace, friend. and it resonates with me... with an exhausted spirit. thank you.

    ReplyDelete

Bright Sparks: