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Archive for June, 2014

I’ve always been fascinated with

twins.

I always wished I had a twin.

Slide2

I wanted to BE a twin.

Slide3

But I’m not.

I’m just me.

Slide4

[yeah, yeah, yeah,

the world don’t need

TWO of ME!]

Slide5

Can you imagine!

Slide6

I don’t know how old I was

the first time I watched

Sybil.

I was fascinated,

intrigued,

near entranced.

Something about her story

spoke to me.

Not the abuse,

but the people,

personalities,

identities

she had.

They spoke

loud and clear.

Multiple identities.

Safe identities.

Having a bad day?

Be another person.

Be another you.

Hide in your

other persona.

Your other identity.

One of your identities.

Be someone new,

someone with confidence,

someone with sparkle,

with chutzpa.

As I recall,

Sybil had sixteen known personalities.

Victoria was the confident one,

the defiant one,

the one in charge.

Why did this intrigue me so?

And why have my stories

ended up with characters who have

multiple personalities?

Or a twin?

Or who take another’s identity?

Slide10

I pondered this a while back,

and I was thunderstruck

with the answer.

I was so intrigued because

I didn’t like me.

Slide11

I didn’t want to be me.

Slide12

I wanted to be someone else.

Anyone else.

My affinity for acting is,

in fact,

acting out this very thing.

For all my lack of confidence off stage,

on stage,

I was utterly confident.

Not in my acting ability,

although that is pretty stellar,

if I do say so myself!

No,

my confidence onstage

was not confidence in myself,

but in the character I was portraying.

It wasn’t me.

I wasn’t me.

Slide14

I was

Dr. Anne Armstrong,

Edith Frank, mother of Anne Frank,

Emilie Ducotel,

Aunt Eller.

Fast forward a few decades,

and step back a few weeks.

My blog entitled,

“Friendship,”

[2 May 2014]

“Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was invisible.

Slide16

Or she thought she was invisible,

Slide17

felt that way at least.

Slide18

And when she felt people were staring at her,

she wished she was invisible.

Slide19

That little girl was me.

Hello,

my name is Robin,

and I’m a recovering invisiblet.

I wasn’t shy,

I was terrified.”

Well,

I’m happy to say,

I’m not anymore.

Not terrified,

not shy,

not an invisiblet.

But my characters,

apparently,

are.

Cassie wasn’t shy, really,

nor did she lack confidence,

nor was she terrified.

But she was invisible.

Lizzie is shy,

painfully so,

and terrified.

And she is

an invisiblet.

I have many stories in my head,

and as I look across the landscape

of my imagination,

I see many such characters.

Cassie’s story,

Tessa,

has come to its end.

[can’t say more than that,

t’would give it away –

you’ll have to buy it and read it yourself!]

Lizzie,

poor thing,

I’m not sure yet how her end will be.

And by ‘end’

I mean the end of her story,

and I fear, the end of her.

There’s Rachel York,

and Rosalie Muir,

Daisy and Caroline and Lucinda.

I don’t know their stories yet,

not fully.

But I know they’re there,

waiting their turn.

And I know there are personalities,

identities,

to answer to.

Of course,

I’ll have some fun with twin antics, too.

E and M might just be my next tale…

So to answer my question,

posed at the beginning,

the title of the post,

Why do I Write What I Write?

To best answer that

I shall go back to the first story I told.

Mine.

Entitled,

Under the Shadow,

it chronicles not only my story,

but sagas through

two preceding generations.

“Under the Shadow”

is two-fold in meaning:

under the shadow of depression,

which I was for many years.

But also

under the shadow

of His wing,

which I have been

and will be

always.

I started writing as self-proscribed therapy.

And discovered that

a)      I liked it

and b) I was good,

am good,

at it.

Storytelling,

writing,

noveling.

As I wrote my story,

I chronicled many of my childhood recollections and anecdotes.

And horror stories.

(and no, nothing like Sybil)

But the outcome,

the resolution,

the silver lining,

was all fiction.

(At that time, it was yet fiction.)

And what I wrote was,

the insipid little invisiblet

Slide22

gained her confidence,

Slide23

her identity,

Slide24

her life.

Slide25

And all my stories,

it seems,

fit this standard.

All of my stories reveal the untold story

of an invisiblet.

All of my stories

tell of the struggle and agony

of being lost and unidentified.

Fingerprints do not identity make.

Not all my stories have pretty endings,

their resolutions happy and neat and tidy.

Some end darkly,

and sad,

and horrific.

But all of my stories tell the tale of identity,

of conflict,

of discovery.

And that’s

Why I Write What I Write.

In a recent blog interview that I read,

the question was posed,

“If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life,

what would it be?”

I thought about that for myself.

What would I title a book that told my story.

Thought I’d have to spend time pondering,

perfecting just the right turn of catchy phrase,

when,

BAM,

there it was.

The title.

My title.

It is,

of course,

Invisible No More.

Slide28

I’ll write it some day,

of course.

#multiplepersonalities

#twins

#depression

#Sybil

#JulieAndrews

#CarolBurnett

#LilyTomlin

#Psalm91

#invisiblet

#Igottabeme

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The Moldau

I was telling my friend

about this

amazing

musical composition

the other day.

It’s my

all-time favorite classical composition.

The Moldau.

“Moldau”

is the German name

for the Czech name

“Vltava.”

It’s a river in the Bohemia region

of the Czech Republic,

and runs through the city of Prague.

Both words are derived from

old Germanic words

that mean

wild water.

As a river will be

sometimes.

Like life.

New jargon,

slang,

it all starts somewhere,

at some point in time.

Groovy

was never heard until a few decades ago.

Except,

of course,

referring to actual grooves.

And a web?

Well,

there was no internet,

so there was no

world wide web.

A web

was where spiders lived

and captured their prey.

And ate it.

Or, what about

contumelious?

It means scornful or arrogantly rude.

Or

excogitate,

which means

to plan, plot, or devise,

and gallimaufry,

a jumble or confused medley of things

[source: listverse.com]

Words we don’t use.

Which brings me to

fads.

Life lessons.

How many times

have we gone ‘round

the same mountain?

When I was talking with my friend last week,

about this very thing,

about seasons,

this music came to mind.

And I thought about

how a river is much like

all the other analogies

and metaphors.

A river traverses many miles,

many different terrains,

some even go through

different climates.

Aren’t our lives like that?

We cover many miles,

sometimes literally,

always figuratively.

We traverse varied climates

and terrain.

We pass through smooth waters,

easy currents,

and we relax.

We tumble over

rapids,

or waterfalls,

and wonder if we’ll survive.

We skim over shallows,

with rocks,

large and small,

protruding,

scraping our bottoms.

And we lick our wounds,

run ashore for first aid

and sustenance

and rest.

We set out again,

on our rafts,

or in our motorboats,

to catch the current

of our lives.

We wonder,

will it never end?

The turbulence,

the rapids,

the swirling eddies.

Then,

we’re thrust into gentle currents,

and we sigh.

Ahhh,

this is what we’ve waited for.

The current hastens,

and we sleep,

our craft rocks and tilts.

We awaken with fear

and consternation.

What happened to our calm?

It’s life.

In life we have

calm,

and storm,

ease

and turbulence.

We have crises,

and we have calamity.

And yet,

we can have

peace.

We can look at the waves that would destroy us,

indeed,

the very waves

that were sent for the purpose

to destroy us.

Yet we can have peace.

We can look at those waves,

and tell them to be still.

We have that authority.

We have been given that authority.

Not as a pebble on the shore,

to be found randomly,

but as a treasure,

a right and benefit and privilege

of relationship

with God the Father,

with His Son,

with the Holy Spirit.

It always comes back

to relationship.

He knows us by name,

and when we are

have a relationship

with Him,

we know His voice

we know His heart.

It’s not enough to know

about

Him,

we must know Him.

Walk and talk with Him,

(there’s that theme again)

as good friends

should and do.

It’s not about rules

so much as it is about

our heart.

Do

we

know

Him?

That’s the question.

Do you know

your friends?

Not just

about them?

What about

your spouse?

Your siblings?

Your parents,

your children?

The river of my life

has gone through many twists and turns,

over many rapids,

and plenty of deeps,

with silky waters on which to waft.

I’ve let my mind

be tossed to and fro,

abiding in the serenity,

and panicked in agitation,

wondering,

“When will it end?”

Over time,

I’ve come to understand

life is a river,

ever ebbing,

ever flowing,

ever changing current.

And that’s okay,

my watercraft,

my lifecraft,

is secure.

For the river that my life

is sailing upon is none other than

The River of Life,

The River of God.

There is no surprising Him,

He sees all,

knows all,

is all powerful.

And all protective.

So,

rapids and waterfalls,

come what may,

I’m safe in my boat

with my heavenly Father.

My friend posted on Facebook today,

“People change.

Seasons change.

Even circumstances change.

But the Word of God

remains faithful & true

through it all. ‪#‎faithandfaithful

There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

#lifeisariver

#peacelikeariver

#themoldau

#groovybaby

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Randomness of Life

A few years ago,

in my second semester of college,

I took,

as part of my curriculum

for Interior Design –

for Art Majors in general –

2-D Design.

Slide1

Although not part of the course,

it also piqued my interest

in painting.

So I purchased a standard rainbow

of acrylics.

And with those standard colors,

I set to paint

my masterpiece.

 Slide3

I don’t know if it is

a true masterpiece,

but to me,

it is.

It is my first ever painting,

and that sets it apart from all efforts

that have and will follow.

This lovely work is entitled,

The Breath of God on the Randomness of Life.

Long, I know.

Let me explain how I arrived at that.

First of all, let me explain

how it came to appear as it does.

I had,

and still have,

an idea in my head

of a certain image I want to convey.

This is not it.

For one thing,

the aforementioned image

[yet in my head]

is in black and white.

Not sure why I veered from my intention.

Sometimes it’s the way of an artist.

I’m happy with my results, though,

quite pleased in fact.

I got done with it,

stepped back to admire my work.

I liked it,

it was nice,

it spoke to me.

Then,

I took a brush,

recently dipped in water,

and swooshed it across the canvas.

I didn’t like it.

I cried.

I had ruined my

beautiful painting.

Slide5

I was heartbroken.

I stepped away,

to lick my wounds,

artistically speaking,

and scolded myself.

Rather harshly.

But

when I stepped back to assess the damage,

something happened.

Viewing with fresh eyes,

I saw what it had become,

what my dire,

and “stupid” mistake,

my careless whim,

had created.

I saw

The Masterpiece.

And I saw what Papa God

had stirred in me

all along.

I just hadn’t fully seen it.

Till my grave error,

my impulsive whim.

For that whim

gave my painting a whole new meaning.

And gave me its name.

That whim,

that last minute flourish of the brush

became the Breath of God.

And my swirly,

twirly colors,

the Randomness of Life.

For truly,

the breath of God doth blow

on the randomness

of our lives,

daily,

in curious ways,

unexpected ways.

Small ways,

grand gestures,

angels unaware,

kind word spoken.

A smile,

an ice cream treat.

But beyond these,

as intricate as they are to us,

are the orchestrations,

the symphonies,

the “just happened” arrangements.

You know what I’m talking about,

how one random moment leads to

some other random event

that leads to

another random occurrence,

and suddenly,

you “just happen”

to have a connection,

an answer.

A miracle.

Something you’ve been waiting for,

a solution you never saw,

never thought about.

Something that is a delight and a blessing to you.

Papa knows our heart,

He made us,

formed us in the womb,

knit us together.

He has plans for us,

plans to prosper us

and not to harm us.

There’s this clever little verse,

Psalm 37:4,

“Delight in the Lord

and He will give you

the desires of your heart.”

Now,

He showed me,

years ago,

what He means by that.

First of all,

when He did all that forming in the womb,

and knitting together,

He threw in some desires,

passions,

talents,

abilities,

giftings.

He designed our personalities,

our calling,

our strengths,

our weaknesses even.

[In our weakness, He is strong.]

What we are,

who we are,

He made that.

So when I say I love to paint,

that pleases Him,

because

He gave me the desire and ability

to paint.

And sing,

and write.

And when I express my desires,

my favorite this,

or favorite that,

of course He wants to give it to me,

He gave me the desire,

the longing,

the passion for it,

whatever it might be.

“Which of you fathers,

if your son asks for a fish,

will give him a snake instead?

Or if he asks for an egg,

will give him a scorpion?

If you … know how to

give good gifts to your children,

how much more will your

Father in heaven give the

Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Papa God is in every moment

of our lives,

whether we realize it

or not.

Whether we acknowledge Him,

or not.

Whether we want Him there,

or not.

He is faithful,

when we are not.

He is peace,

when we are in strife and strain.

He is joy,

and strength,

in the most horrific trials of life.

He is patient with us,

when we aren’t even

patient with ourselves.

He is kind,

He is good,

He is gentle.

His breath blows

across our lives,

as a gentle breeze,

sometimes

a gale force wind.

He speaks to us

through the wind of His Spirit,

He arranges

patterns in our lives,

on the wind of His breath.

That random act of kindness?

That was Him,

that was God.

That connection

that got you that new job

or that promotion,

that was Him.

That friendship,

that anonymous gift,

that “No.”

Sometimes that’s Him, too.

That’s His heart for us,

in every moment,

of every day,

since the beginning of time,

I saw a couple of gems

on Facebook this morning

that speak to this,

that rather sum up my point.

“When we set our hearts

to stay on God’s plan

through the leading of His Holy Spirit

who lives in us,

even if we “miss it” here or there,

the Spirit is committed

to getting us to our destination.”

– Gloria Copeland.

Random acts?

Coincidence?

Just suddenly?

But God.

And when we

wait and wait and wait.

And wait some more.

And see no results,

how many times

do we feel as though

nothing is happening?

God forgot.

He’s too busy.

He’s not interested.

Lies.

all lies.

God does not forget us,

ever.

Ever.

He’s never too busy,

He’s the ultimate,

quintessential

multi-tasker.

And He’s more interested

in our lives

than we are ourselves.

“Not seeing results

from the seeds you’ve sown?

God might be waiting

for the perfect moment.

Remember,

in his book,

there’s no such thing as a coincidence.”

– Elizabeth Mitchell

Exactly, Elizabeth,

exactly.

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