Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dreams and Determination

I’ll admit it. For many years, I have harbored the fantasy of being a guest on Oprah. I imagine myself sitting on stage in her modern upholstered guest chair, smiling out at the audience, discussing my new book. I feel the glory of applause and gratitude in response to my words. I enjoy the sense of connection, joyful that my creation has touched others. Oprah hugs me, not unlike she hugged Elizabeth Gilbert, and my book, now blessed with her Midas touch, becomes a best-seller.

This story could take on a sarcastic tone at this point. I could exaggerate Oprah’s influence, or poke fun at my fantasy. However, I write this in all earnestness. For many years, Oprah has represented a pinnacle for me, a goal to strive for, a sense of hope for my story being seen and heard by a wide audience.

The ironic thing is that, as of last Wednesday, her show has ended. Yet my dream of writing a book is still alive. My dream didn’t die with the Oprah show.

I believe in my mission, and it seems that universal forces do too. This might sound strange, but I found it necessary to receive the blessing of my maternal ancestors in order to proceed. I come from a lineage of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth women, who gardened for survival rather than enjoyment. I had to confront my guilt around “indulging” in an artistic pursuit when what I really “should” be doing is hoeing the soil to feed my family. But I realized that writing is MY way of working the soil, and my generation is the first in our family to have this option from birth. Once I explained that to my great maternal grandmother, we came to an understanding. No, I’m not a rotten apple on the family tree.

I have carved out time to write beginning June 21. I have divided my word count goals into days. I am not going to let anything stop me. This amount of determination, I’m discovering, is what it takes to write a book. I’ve confronted the “who do you think you are” whispers that have held me back. I’m daring to be more selfish with my time for awhile. I’m ready to roll.

Over the next six months you may find me rolling in self-doubt or reveling in happiness as I pound out a manuscript. I share this with you because good, bad, or ugly, I trust the process of creating something is worth documenting. I’m fully aware how declaring my intentions may be setting myself up for failure. I don’t care. I dare to fail. I'm encouraged by others I've seen do the same, and dammit, I want my daughter to witness me in this process.

So thank you, Oprah, for providing a chair for me to dream into. Thank you creative spark, for sticking around even after that chair has been removed from the stage. Thank you ancestors, for your blessing, and thank you WWFAC for providing me a sense of community to lean on. I’ve got a story to share, and I’m determined.

-- Kim for the Poplar Grove Muse

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Know Things

I Know Things

For as long as I can remember I’ve known things or seen things. I don’t know how I know them or why I see them. My first experience I can remember with this happened when I was around
eleven years old. The phone rang and before my mother could answer it I said,“Aunt Merle died”. I could tell by Mother’s side of the conversation and the look on her face that I was right. Aunt Merle hadn’t been sick, so it wasn’t something we were expecting. Mother never questioned how I knew that. She also has the same abilities.

In thesummer of 1995 I was in Scotland working at the Isle of Mull Hotel; I was sitting in the staff room having morning tea with my co-workers. One of thehouse maids, named Mary, looked at me and said, “You know things.” I smiled at her and said, “So do you.” “Ach,aye,” she replied as her blue eyes crinkled and we exchanged knowing smiles. I met many such kindred spirits in Scotland, a mystical place where the veil to whatever is on the “other side” is very thin.

On Sunday evening, May 1, 2011, I was sitting in my living room catching up on some TV shows that I had recorded. Suddenly, I felt this wave of euphoric lightness sweep over me, as if the world was lighter. It felt like something bad had left the world. A little later I was on my computer and saw that Osama
bin Laden had been killed and I realized what my earlier feeling of lightness had been about.

That news took me back to Sunday, September 9, 2001. I had gone to bed and was lying on my right side reading. I sensed something and looked over my book toward the corner where my Grandma Wentz’s sewing rocker sat. I saw an African American lady who was all dressed up in a navy blue suit and a big hat; two young boys, also in suits,were sitting in front of her. They looked as though they were posing for a portrait. Then they were gone. I didn’t know what to make of it and eventually got sleepy and turned the light off. That night I dreamt of a long plywood wall with hundreds of photographs on it,
some similar to the family I had seen in my room. Again, I wasn’t sure what it meant and mostly forgot about it.

Two days later, our country was attacked on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I watched this
all unfold with the rest of the nation. The anger didn’t come right away; I just felt numb and shocked. Then the plywood walls full of photographs of unaccounted for family members and loved ones started appearing on the news. And I realized the meaning of what I had seen.

But why have I been given this ability if what I can see doesn’t make sense at the time or
doesn’t enable me to help anyone? It can be very frustrating. I’m not saying that I could have stopped
9- 11 by telling the CIA that I saw a wall of pictures, but I still wonder what to do with some of the more every day things I see or dream about.

But there are cases when the meaning is quite clear. Many years ago when, a lady who had
been like a mother to me was in St. Vincent’s Hospice dying from cancer, she came to me in a dream and said that if I wanted to see her, I’d better come right away. I went the next day. She was having a good day and we had a wonderful visit. She died the following day. I’ve paid very close attention to
my dreams ever since. I’m starting to do more dream work and am very excited about it.

I would like to work on this ability and develop these skills further. I am able to sense things about people and this helps me to be more empathic. I believe that we have a collective universal connection. I’ve experienced that during a channeled writing workshop. If we could connect on a less superficial level and
be able to understand each other on a deeper soul-level, we might not be so quick to fight each other for domination over things that we don’t we really have the right to control. We could let each other just BE and all breathe a lot easier.

Rebekah for Poplar Grove Muse

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Moth will help in each transition and show how to adapt to the new surroundings.(S)He will teach you to find your own light as a beacon in the direction you should go. It is time to pay attention to your feelings to clarify your movement and discern what is real and not. Are you listening carefully to verbal and non-verbal cues, to what is and is not being said? Are you sensing the world around you? or sensing too much? Moth will teach how to be still, rest and listen and balance your being. In finding your own light, clarity in the moment of darkness will be found and your sensitivity to Spirit increases.—

For a week now, each time I’ve approached the door to the lovely old Schoolhouse I do most of my work out of, I’ve been greeted by a different moth resting on the entry door or the warm brick near the entrance. I know it’s that time of year. I think the Maple Tree, the Walnut, and other shrubs around the building are ideal places for moths to lay their eggs and of course the whole life cycle does it’s miraculous thing. May is an “emergence” time of year for many creatures.

But every moth on my doorstep these days has been LARGE…impressively noticeable as any creature goes: A Luna, two Cecropias, and several other Polyphemus, like the one in the picture. These, along with the less visible mothy creatures hiding in plain sight, flattened against the door, convince me I’m being asked to pay attention. Their lives are short, I've recently learned --generally a week or two long. So this daily visitation in this concentrated period must mean something.

“Hello”, they say in their quiet way, “What DO you need to see these days that has not been clear to you before now?” “What do you hear in what is being said around you? And unsaid?” “How do you need to tune your sensitivities for better balance and insight?”

I've been shaking the bushes like crazy this past week. Shining light in dark corners. This started at the same time the Luna Moth appeared. I've been seeking a voice and, I hope, some balance in this voice to ask hard questions in a public way. I've been finding courage for the unsaid to become said because frankly, and in spite of my very good intuition, I have an issue with the withholding of truth...the unspoken, the secretive and the dark shadows cast by individuals and groups refusing to be transparent with one another. Ech. It's hard, but I will say I feel stronger for having made myself vulnerable.

That the doorway to the place I work, where, by and large, lots of truth telling, transparency, hospitality, creativity and healing happens, has been a moth resting-place feels appropriate to me. That I've found a voice I haven't used in quite a while and strength (without dominance), to speak my own truth into a kind of darkness, calms something in me in the midst of turbulent weathers and waters. Times of change and great shifting.

I simply want to invite myself and any of you reading this to notice and celebrate the guides that might appear in your life. They confirm or suggest. They might just be pretty to look at or disturbing. Consider the signs. See where they lead you.

BLR for the Poplar Grove Muse

Saturday, May 7, 2011


You keep this for luck. It reminds you of the chicken you made with your grandmother when she showed you her best kept secrets for moist chicken. You try to forget the large wine stain she made on her best tablecloth (which you have since inherited) when she got drunk and spilled her wine when she got upset over the fact that her sister got the silver and all she got was the lousy china. Damn China. It was really a small matter and you have always thought it was too bad she couldn’t remember the finer things about that dinner. Like the way the chicken just fell off the bone and into everyone’s mouth and the way that the light softened the look on everyone’s face so that by dusk we seemed the very picture of the perfect happy family. Spilled wine be damned.

When the meal ended you carefully put everything in the kitchen. Tracing the outline of the dogwood blooms on the fine white china and wondering why your grandmother hated the china so much and also wondering why someone with so much hate for china could make such damn fine chicken. You see the weary evening of cleaning stretching before you while grandma has leaned her chin into her chest and begun to snore. Parts of the family are chatting quietly and others are putting on their coats. You alone remain in the kitchen scraping gravy remains into the trash and eating the last of the homemade rolls that smell just like grandmother. Making rolls, you think, will be next week’s lesson. As you slowly clean and put away the china and sip red wine you find that grandma has already been there, somehow carving the small wishbone from between the two clavicles of the birds neck. She has set it on the rim of the sink on a paper towel next to her diamond rings. Meat hangs on it and you pick it up and turn it carefully in your hands.

You pack it with your things and take it home and place it in your sock drawer. Grandmother died several years later, you remember her, at every chicken dinner from now until your own granddaughter takes over making chicken dinner. And you remember her when you are tipsy with red wine and especially then you get out your wishbone and turn it over in your hands and remember that night and the spilled wine and the glorious chicken and wonder what on earth your grandmother would have wished for had she been given the opportunity to pull this bone.

Amy for the Poplar Grove Muse