Monday, March 31, 2008

My poem: SEAGULL



A seagull

runs across the wet sand

in the early morning mist.

Dappled grey feathers

and a shattered wing.


shall no more


into the blue vault


dip into the sea

to pluck a fish.


will never see


morning's mist


he has lost his license

to the sky.



waits here for death.


dogs dashing across

the wet sand

will find him

welcome sport.

My Poem: Coyote's Song

Coyote's Song

Chartruse violets

Fall into my hands

Petals of pain and promise

From Nature's breast.

I laugh, tearfully, running

Along the path to the sound of

My heart beat drumming in my ears.

Nonsense lyrics form with each

Footfall and my movements

Become song, become dance.

I dance my life.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Poem: A Lover's Song

A Lover's Song

Let me wander barefoot

through the hills of your desire,

Drinking of the living springs

That set my soul on fire.

Lead me through the forests

and the jungles of your mind,

Let me be your shadow

and I'll not be far behind.

Let me know the passion

That burns within your heart,

And I will blend my world with yours

and we will never part.

Let me touch the hopes and fears

You've locked inside your soul,

And I will take each broken dream

and give you one that's whole.

by R. F-M

Saturday, March 29, 2008

YOUR POEMS (dedicated to the ONE who said "Let there be light!")


Hang sparkling in the air

Hand cut crystals

Shattering the darkness

With rainbow light.


Ring like bells

Singing for us all

Cutting through the silence

With a pure voice


Blow warmly down my throat

God's life giving breath

Transforming cold clay

Into living flesh.


Melt in my mouth

Sweet, sticky syrup

"Nectar of the gods"

to a starving soul.


Are the laughter

Of a mountain streem

clear as glass,

cold as ice, sweeter than honey.


Are tiny snowflakes

Crystalline perfection

Formed by a master designer.


Are as big as the universe

Contained in an atom

Revolving, evolving,

Infinite and finite.


Speak with ten trillion voices

In ten thousand languages

On a hundred other worlds

formed by your words.

Love poems

If the chains that bind my heart

to yours
Could bind your love to me,

This world of sorrow, pain and strife
A Heaven on Earth would be.


I stooped to pick a dandilion,

It wilted in an hour.

A lot like life... or love.

Sunny beaches

are barren icelands
when you're not there

with me.
by R. F-M

Two Small Poems


are ghosts that haunt us;

some are friendly,

some are not.


Walls of frozen silence

imprison me,

Indifference and Hatred

watch the door,

while I,

chasing butterflies

and picking daisies

inside my mind--

am freeer than my


This poem was published in a literary journal.

Written by R. F-M

My Poem: Prisoners With No Parole

Prisoners with No Parole

I recently toured a prison,

Not many know it's there,

The captives never had a trial

And no one seem to care.

Their eyes spoke words no tongue could say,

They paced the floor or slept,

For a moment I put myself in their place,

Then I turned away and wept.

They're waiting, clinging to the hope

That this is their last day,

Without that hope their fragile lives

Would fade and slip away.

For these were never criminals,

They once roamed wild and free,

Like human slaves they were trapped and chained

and shipped to this country.

No contact is permitted between them

and loved ones left behind.

To their growls and screams to be released

Their guards were deaf and blind.

And now, huddling together

in bare, gray cement rooms,

They pace and dream their lives away;

These cells become their tombs.

Tomorrow is another day

and we'll live each a free soul,

But the ZOO is crammed with animals;

Prisoners with no parole.

I wrote this poem 35 years ago and our zoo has been improved since then.

However, there are honored institutions where animals are tortured in the name

of medical science like OHSU in Portland, Oregon, and very few people care

or are aware of their suffering. Experiments are repeated

even when the benefit to humanity is zero.

Industrial farms keep animals in tiny cages or pens and fill the animals

with antibiotics to keep them alive until they can be slaughtered

to become our food.

I am a great admirer of Albert Shweitzer, who promoted

the concept of reverence for life

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Few Haiku I Wrote

I hang perfect joys

From silver threads inside my mind

Like crystal butterflies


Magical moments

Captured by an artist's eye

Never truly lost


Tenderly I watched

as every dream was shattered
and I loved him still


In the arms of love

I drank the dew of ecstasy

Savoring each moment


Within the soul of love

the lion and the lamb merge

Victory and Surrender

Turbulent winds churn

Impelling snowflakes down around

in the white fog morn

Raindrops dripping drop

Splashing into a barrel

Seeping through the cracks


Seeping through the gray

Spring's warm sunbeams filter down
Waking sleeping seeds


by R. F-M

Monday, March 24, 2008

Love Song

Come blend your soul with mine, my love,

come blend your soul with mine,

Until the two entwine, my love,

And I am yours, and you are mine,

Until the end of time, my love,

Until the end of time,

Our lives would be so fine, my love,

'Twould fill a plan divine.



has decreed

that I shall love you

longer than eternity

stronger than the timeless sea

deeper than the truth

without condition or measure...

It has also been decreed

that I must love you

with my eyes,

and voice

and thoughts

but never with my hands,

my lips,

my dreams.

Ever at a distance

must I love you.

Never shall I hold you to my heart.


Knight In the Rain

Blindly I ran,

'neath thunderclap and pouring rain

I cried out when I felt my

foot catch in the drain,

I fell, sliding in the mud,

feeling dumb and like a child.

You came and lifted me with such ease,

and looking down, you smiled.

Poems by R. F-M

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Poem: Bridal Mountain (written about 30 years ago)

Bridal Mountain
Veiled and snowy, a lovely bride,
The Winter winds caress her face,
And clouds, her maids, are gathered,
Dressing her in snowflake lace,
Our mountain waits for springtime,
Waits for her bridegroom's smile,
When he'll give her bright wildflowers,
and warm her every mile.
We, peeping from our cabin,
See crocuses in bloom,
And know her lover, Summer,
Will melt the winter gloom.
she trembles with impatience,
And crickets can be heard,
The air is crisp, the sky ice blue,
We'll soon hear the bluebird.
The bluebird is her messenger.
Perhaps he'll come today,
And sing to her that Summer
Isn't very far away.
When Summer comes to her at last,
He spends three months or four,
But he's a rambling lover,
And can not linger more.
Golden tears fall from her trees,
For Summer days are gone,
Gray clouds o'ershadow the sky,
And she's steeped in snow at dawn.
We'll wait with our dear mountain,
and watch with her for spring,
When daffodills and warm sunshine
will cause her heart to sing.
Summer's hand will come again
and dry her dewdrop tears,
and she will learn to live like this
For a hundred thousand years.
by RF-M

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Poem: Too Busy

Too Busy

(written about 35 years ago)

What ever happened to yesterday?

Our lives flash by like a busy freeway,

The things that we buy now

simply do not last

Joy and satisfaction are a thing of the past.

We rise, rushing to be on time,

ever in a hurry

Doctors tell us we are dieing

of bitterness and worry.

Where are we going at this mad pace?

Like lemmings, to our deaths we race.

What have we accomplished

through all of this?

Fast food, diabetes, and kidney dialysis.

by R. F-M

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Poem: Memorial to Yesterday

Memorial to Yesterday

Bits and pieces fit together

In the ruins in my mind,

Memories in shattered fragments

Of the years I've left behind,

I stumble like a blind man

As I wander through the rooms

Cobwebbed corners, shaded windows

And the musty smell of tombs,

Wrotting coffins lit by torches,

That will burn forevermore,

And I, weeping, wander sadly

Opening each and every door.

I place flowers to the memories

Of Loves I've seen grow old,

And I mourn, for 'twas not my heart

But 'twas theirs that did grow cold,

And when leaving I blow kisses

to the dreams I leave behind

Each of them are broken pieces

of the ruins in my mind.

by R. F-M

My Own Poems and a Painting

A Rose in Politics

A rose is like a politician,

Full of promise of perfection,

on the surface true confection,

Until you're stuck
'til next election.
Published in The Oregonian Sept 22, 1974


Redeemed from Despondency

Gray sky staring down upon me,

Harsh winds tearing at my soul,

fingers of ice creeping through my veins,

Vague shaddows grab and pull,

Tiny flicker of light above,

Hope comes dancing on a sun beam,

How can I be freed from hopelessness?

Surely unreal--it must be a dream.

Warmth is flowing into my heart,

Fear departing as the shadows flee,

I'm drenched in love's sweet light,

The chains fall off and I'm set free!


Autumn countryside

sheltered by the mountain tall,

warmed by Summer, turning Fall,

Winter's frost fingers will

steal the color from the hills

golden orange to silver white

like blazing sunset to misty night.



Oh slender hope,

how bright and flighty a butterfly you do appear,

and yet, although you might take flight

at any moment and leave me

cold and hungry,

I gently, slowly reach my hands out to you

and pray you will never leave me,

But, as my fingertips touch your delicate wings---

gold dust flies

and you are gone!

Hours pass in solitude, the silence

only broken by the endless throbbing

of my broken heart.

Suddenly, I see a flutter of gold

and the soft, sweet creature

lands on my nose

and spreads her golden magic

over my face,

Until I awaken to find

my dreams fulfilled,

my heart healed,

and my patience rewarded.

poems by R. F-M

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Poem: Starfirehawk's Dream

Starfirehawk's Dream

Circles of wisdom,

Eyes that are wise,

Hearts of fire,

Wings of wind,

Horse's hooves thundering,

A drum's heartbeat,

A strong Gaelic voice

so pure, so sweet,

Celtic knots wound

round my wrists,

An Indian ghost lover

and midnight trysts,

Dreams of dazzling,

Magical things,

Crafting Heart Magic

with thoughts that have wings,

Soaring, wings wide over the trees,

I range, I glide upon the breeze.

A Poem by R. Flaming-Martin

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More "Little Gems" Quotes

"Little Gems" is the title I gave to a pocket journal. I jotted down quotes I liked from all kinds of sources.


From Dr. King:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


Nothing pains some people more than having to think.


From Abe Lincoln:

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?


I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.


The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.


From Vince Lombardi:

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.


The harder you work the harder it is to surrender.


It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.


The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.


Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.


In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.


You cannot shake hands with a clinched fist.

--Golda Meir


If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn't thinking.

--George Patton


From Franklin D. Rosevelt:

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.


The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.


Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.


Remember, remember always, that all of us... are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.


I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.

by Teddy Roosevelt


Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

--Margaret Thatcher


We must build a new world, a far better world-- on in which the eternal dignity of man is respected.

--Harry S, Truman


From Booker T. Washington:

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.


One problem thoroughly mastered is of more value than many poorly mastered.


There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.


If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter.

--George Washington


From John Wooden:

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.


Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.


Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.


Sports do not build character. They reveal it.


Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your chacter is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.


If you can imagine it you can achieve it. If you can dream it you can become it. William A. Ward


The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.

--Oliver Wendell Holmes


Success... it is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.

--Wilfred A. Peterson


Never give up for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

--Hariet Beecher Stowe


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

--Eleanor Roosevelt


The fault-finder will find fault even in paradise.



Write on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Favorite Quotes from "Little Gems" Journal

The following favorite quotes were jotted down in a Pocket Notes journal I called "Little Gems" and carried with me everywhere. I have tried to give credit to the source and some quotes were my own ideas. If I have failed to attribute any quote to its rightful author, my apologies; I have had no intention of taking credit for someone elses words.


"...for only beings who think are men." Alexander Crummell (1819-1898)


We believe that happiness is in having what we want, instead of realizing that happiness is in wanting what we have. (From pastor Stan Thornberg's sermon)


A definition of COURAGE: to proceed despite the fear.


"It's important because all we've got is each other...."

(from the TV series Stingray)


Visualize crawling up into God's lap and snuggle against his chest. Trust HIM. We were created for that love relationship.

(paraphrased from Stan Thornberg)


It is unloving not to speak when sharing is in the other's best interest.


I am youth! I am joy! I am freedom!

from Peter Pan


Second star to the right and straight on til morning!

from Peter Pan


You just think lovely, wonderful thoughts and you GO!

from Peter Pan


Become a tree with deep roots, flowing with life--

Everything else will follow.

from the film Forbidden Dance


from Joseph Campbell:

"Find your bliss.

Follow your bliss--

There's something inside you that knows you're in the center; that knows you are on the beam...

if you get off the beam to make more money you've lost your life.

Find that burning point--

that becoming thing that is fearless.

It is not the destination that counts--

it is the journey.

The end is the journey.

This moment is the heavenly moment.


Men do not see it.

The Goal of your quest for yourself is to find that burning point--

that becoming thing--

which is fearless and desireless--

life is movement--

the life point--

coming into being.

(see the text of the series of interviews called, The Power of Myth with Joseph Campbell)


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil

is for good men to do nothing.

--Edmund Burke


"Hey! We're all on this ride together!" Sally J. ( possibly Sally Jessy Raphael)


"Life always flies back to life if it isn't penned up."

Liz Taylor in the film The Sandpiper


"Never be afraid of change, for change is progress....Welcome change as being a new opportunity and go with the flow, keeping your focus on the highest and best that you know." Fred Meyer


"It's every man's business to see justice done." Sherlock Holmes


The following is excerpted from

Dr Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech:

"...I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

...Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the highest plane of dignity and discipline.


From Dr King's book "Where do we go from here?"

"First we must massively assert our dignity and worth. We must stand up amidst a system that still oppresses us and develop an unassailable and majestic sense of value."


"We commit ourselves to a culture of nonviolence, respect, justice and peace. We shall not oppress, injure, torture or kill other human beings, forsaking violence as a means of settling differences." Declaration published in the Oregonian Sept 5, 1993 when leaders of major religions united for common values.

"What you do not wish done to yourself

do not do to others."


Don't allow other people to tell you your limitations.

from TV program AM Northwest


Dec 1993 McCalls mag p. 76+

"What my guests have taught me"

by Sally Jesse Raphael

  1. Courage is ageless.

  2. Anyone can change.

  3. In some situations, the less said, the better.

  4. It's never too late to forgive.

  5. Just when you think something is impossible think again.

  6. It's okay to grieve.

  7. The power of truth can free you.

  8. Another's life, dedication or passion can open your mind and change you.

  9. There are no limits to the strength of the human spirit.

  10. You always have more to learn.

  11. Everyone has something to teach you.



7 candles, 7 days Dec 26

created by Maulana Karenga

7 Guiding Principals"


Self determination

Collective Work


Cooperative economics





"The price of greatness is responsibility."

Winston Churchill


"I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right." Einstein


"The important thing is not to stop questioning....Never lose a holy curiosity." Einstein


"Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." Einstein


"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." Einstein


"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty."

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man can have, in this world, is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.

"My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me."

"Don't find fault find a remedy."

Henry Ford


There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self.

Who is powerful? He that governs his passions.

Ben Franklin


The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.

No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.

Mahatma Gandhi



Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easy Fabric Book Cover Instructions

Here are the instructions
to make your own
fabric collage book cover for
your journals and scrap books!

You can create your own fabric book covers. You'll need a piece of fabric 30% wider and 15% greater in height than the total measurements of your open journal. Open your journal onto the fabric and visualize the finished book cover like a pee-chee with pockets for the cover to slip into (see photo). This fabric should be a knit, such as a velour suede cloth. Next, you'll need 5 to 10 scraps of color coordinated fabrics with interesting designs and prints. You can include photo transfer fabric images. You will cut these scraps into pieces of various sizes and shapes. Lay out your colorful scraps on the knit fabric and arrange them into a pleasing pattern and pin them in place. Using the zig-zag setting stitch the raw edges of the scraps down to the knit fabric. You are creating a fabric collage. The pieces should completely cover the background fabric. Next, you'll need one or more yarns, cord or flexible trim. Zig-zag stitch over the yarn to cover the raw edges and create patterns and texture. Now turn the edges under and sew a shirt-tail hem all the way around.
Wrap your book cover around your book and fold the excess width under the front and back cover and pin where the edges meet at the top and bottom. Sew the edges together. Enjoy your book cover!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Little Meditations Continued

Disclaimer: I wrote these meditations in a small journal about 12 years ago. I was reading a large number of self-help books in that decade. I did not note any sources. If I have used anyone else's words I have not meant to take credit for them. Some of the ideas arose from sermons from my pastor, Stan Thornberg.

Reclaim your life.

Reclaim your power.

You have choices.

Express your needs.

Beware of being compulsively nice and therefore remaining silent in your pain. Stop being consumed with the desire to be more and do more.

Enjoy the moment.

Take time to relax and be content with where you are and who you are

in your journey of growth.

Celebrate your own uniqueness.


Seek moments of solitude to recharge your batteries.

Look inside for a deep inner calm.

There is a great danger in not feeling whole

by yourself.

You don't need things, people activities or sensations to be whole.

You can choose to be dependant or whole.

You have no deficiency inside yourself.

You are well and you are strong.

Believe it.

Own it.

Seek to practic self command.

If you feel you must repress your true nature you are quietly dieing.

No one can meet all you needs;

no one lover, friend, child, pet, possession no matter how unique and precious,

no one is your life.

Your life is made up of many things

and life is full of beginnings and endings.

Embrace life and step forward,

clinging to nothing.

Be at peace.


When you feel jealous or suspicious

you are not trusting

and you are trying to control others.

Let go.

You can't control anything and life is more rich anf full if you don't try.

Fell the freedom.

Open your heart's door wide and let the light of trust flood out.

Feel the joy.

Sometime trust is part of the transforming miracle of love and it is able to change the giver and the receiver.


Be vigilant in looking for ways to give sincere complements

and words of praise.

This is a gift of love and nurturing that never looses its value.

Br careful of criticism.

Cruel words cut to the heart and destroy as surely as violence.

Focus on the positive.

It is vitally important to every person to be praised,

to be noticed,

to be positively affirmed in their efforts.

A little applause can go a long way.

Ask what went right.

Reward people for even the smallest sucesses.


Celebrate DIVERSITY!

This includes the diversity within you.

Honor all of the sub selves--

the various characters that are within you.

Love and accept them into integration and wholeness.

Take a forgiving and optimistic view

of yourself, the world, events, and people.


I John 4:19 says

"Those who say 'I love God' and hate their brothers or sisters are liars;

for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, can not love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this:

those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'd like to share some little meditations from one of my journals

I hope these meditations offer you comfort. I wrote them about 14 years ago. I read them onto an audio tape and listened to them in my car when I needed encouragement and hope.

I set you free.

The bars will melt away to mist

when yo let go of the beliefs you allow to imprison you.

Let go of them.

They are only as solid and real as you allow them to be.

Anything is possible!

Dip into the well and drink.

Breathe deeply the fresh breeze of freedom

and let it wash through your soul.

Let it blow away the chains and burdens you have carried

as the family hero.


You are free to look for truth and light wherever you choose.

Treasure the truth and light you find

and discard the false.

Help yourself to the treasures, the joys, the possibilities.

Visualize your dreams becoming reality.

Believe in your right to have everything you want.

You deserve to live out your dreams.

You are precious.

Your needs are important.

You have the right to look for ways to meet your needs.

"No one has the right to abuse you.

Christ invites us out of abusive relationships

into the fullness of life."*

*(from Stan Thornburg, my pastor's sermon.)


**Set limits for verbal abusers.

Learn to say things like "I don't allow people to talk to me that way."

"I care about you and this relationship,

but I won't take this. You'll have to stop or I'll have to leave."

"This feels abusive; I'm going to end this conversation now."

"Lower your voice. If you can't talk to me decently, I won't talk to you at all."

Yes, it is scary.

Standing up to your abuser will require a strong sense of self esteem

and a clear understanding of personal boundaries.

Remember: doing nothing tells the other person you'll take whatever they give you and not stand up for yourself.

You earn respect by showing that you value yourself.

You deserve to be treated well.**

**(My apologies if any of the above words were taken from one of the many self help books I read.

There is no intention to take credit here for someone else's words.

I did not note any source in this journal.)


Use things and love people.

At the end of your life you will treasure the relationships

not the accumulation of possessions.

Do not trade people for things.

Your true wealth lies in who you love and who loves you.

The rest is minor--dust in the wind.

Never take your eyes off of the really important things in life:

being loved and loving,

being good and doing good,

learning and growing,

teaching and mentoring,

giving and receiving,

enjoying the moment and keeping things in perspective,

nurturing and healing others,

being able to accept nurturing and healing from others,

celebrating and grieving.


You are a free being

Others are free beings.

Never possess people

nor allow them to possess you.

No one owns anyone else.


Allow yourself the time to heal.

There is no hurry.

Forgive yourself

for your weakness and your lack of trust in God,

yourself and others.

Sometimes, the pain will be so great we can not see the benefit of working on our healing.

Trust the process.

This too shall pass.

You will rise

like a phoenix after being destroyed by the fire--

reborn into a new life.


Let go.

Feel you feelings.

Let your pain and dispair wash over you and go on.


Accept that there are mysteries.

There are questions you will never know the answers to.

You can ask any question you want to.

There are no stupid questions.


Value your feelings.

Trust your inner voice when you discern that it speaks your truth

and not just old tapes that are attempting to imprison you.

***Remember always that underneath all the coping mechanisms

and drowned out by all the noise of the chatterbox is your magical child

waiting to show you the journey as dance.

She dances the dance of her life uninhibited,


full of life and wonder,

creativity and adventure!

She is happy to be dancing right here in this moment--having

no grasp on the past or the future to weary her.

She breathes in joy and breathes out love.***

***I believe these words are mine but my apologies

if I took them from one of the books I was reading back then.

I did not note any source in this journal.

It is not my intention to take credit for someone else's words.


I'll continue tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More about Creative Journaling

One of my favorite kinds of journals is a collage journal. Begin by collecting interesting images from old newspapers, magazines, junk mail, etc. I prefer to use a blank book without lines for this type of journal. arrange your images into groupings on the pages leaving room (little spaces) to write. Feel free to combine your memory book or scrapbooking techniques with journaling. You may want to add fabric elements like ribbon or lace, mementos like movie ticket stubs, stickers, canceled stamps, personal photographs, drawings, feathers, silk leaves or dried leaves (warning: some things may not be archival), etc. Craft stores sell many archival glues you can choose from. The writing should be inspired by the visual elements. This is not a traditional dated journal/diary. Move back and forth in it adding new words and pictures over time. Let it inspire you-- maybe you will write a poem on one page and a dream you remember on another. Maybe you'll write a letter to someone living or dead, perhaps someone you admire from history like Lincoln or Dr Martin luther King. Feel free to include quotes from movies, books, and people you love too. There are no rules! Be creative!
Another favorite journal I always keep beside my bed is a Dream Journal. When I wakeup from a particularly memorable dream I quickly write it down before it fades. When I read through my dreams later it is very interesting to try to figure out what my subconscious was working through. Dreams are generally wishes or fears. Look for the dominant emotion you felt in the dream (this emotion is often very exaggerated). Now, look over your own day time feelings over the last several days. When did you feel that same emotion but less intensely? That will be the key to understanding the meaning of the dream.
I collect dozens of blank books, of all sizes and types, so I'll be able to select the perfect one when I want to start a new type of journal to process something like the loss of my beloved cat, notes and insights from reading several self help books with a common theme, jotting down ideas for improving society, story ideas and a list of names for characters, best memories of my life (good to reread when depressed), etc. I also cut or tear out images I like whenever I'm reading something I'm going to recycle. I have a 3 in 1 color printer so if I have a photo or an image in a magazine I want to use in a journal but I don't want to use the original I make a color photocopy.
If you like the ideas I have offered about collage journaling you'll want to read one of my favorite books: Soul Collage by Seena B. Frost. I took a series of classes on the Soul Collage process and created a collection of "soul cards." I then made color photocopies of my "soul cards" and made a journal. I created a slip on fabric collage cover for my journal and now it is a real work of art.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Creative Journaling Ideas

Creative journaling begins with stepping out of the old idea of the diary of what I did and what I watched, read, etc. Although I was already doing very creative things with little blank books I took a college class called Women's Writing and the teacher took us through a series of exercises derived from the book A New Diary. I highly reccommend this book to anyone who wants to dig deeper and write more deeply from their creative self. You can work on emotional blocks by writing with your non-dominant hand; you can write letters you'll never send top people you love who have died, or people who have harmed you. You can use active visualization to rewrite an event or imagine a fantasy that gets your artistic ideas flowing, and you can combine writing, collage, painting, sketching, scrapbooking, poetry writing, quotes from favorite movies, TV and books, notes on inspiring ideas, and more! into a free flowing journal that you just love to write in and re-read over the years.
I have a journal I called The Voyage Home. The blank book I selected has a three masted sailing ship on the cover. I attached tabs to the edges of pages, creating six categories:

  • Affirmations

  • Becky's TRUTHS

  • Sress Management

  • Visualizations

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Personal Rights

As I read through many books over the period of a year or two I wrote down both quotes I liked and ideas in my own voice, weaving them together into something that was powerfully healing and encouraging to me. People who have looked it over have gotten inspiration from this little collection of thoughts too. Here is an active visualization I use to relax when I am uptight:

Imagine you are walking out into a warm, safe, calm ocean with blue-green waves softly flowing toward you and then away towards the horizon. The sun is gently beaming down it's warmth and giving you a sense of being loved by God (or the universe/nature if you prefer). In your hands are all of the things that cause you stress and anxiety. Open your hands and exhale and breathe out saying the word release. Close your hands and breathe in while saying receive. You can say the words in your mind.

I'll continue with more ideas tomorrow.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Out of SIGHT= Out of MIND (lightbulb moment!)

I suspected I had ADHD when I took a class on students with exceptionalities and recognized myself in the profile of the ADHD child. It wasn't until a crisis in my teaching career that I sought out an actual diagnosis, read at least 10 books on the subject of ADD/ADHD, and took a battery of tests, that I came to see my entire life from a new angle. I became a better teacher and a more patient and tolerant human being. Learning to see my own strengths (artistic talents, creative thinking and problem solving ability, empathy, awareness of details, imagination, etc.) and my weaknesses (easily distracted from a task, intollerance of boring, tedious tasks and waiting quietly for things, impulsive talking out without waiting to be called on, flitting from one great idea to the next, forgetting names and appointments, organizational challenges, and misplacing things I had just laid down) made me more sensitive to my students' needs and challenges. A mother of one of my students with ADHD said "Out of sight, out of mind" and a light bulb went on in my brain! I needed to see things to keep them in mind! I created picture seating charts with the names of all my students and kept them in fron of me as I taught each of my five classes a day. I purchased transparent file folders and envelopes to keep papers in. I bought a transparent notebook with transparent dividers and pockets, as well as clear, hard plastic drawer systems and organizer boxes. I have taken this same idea home to my craft space and office. I hope this little tip is helpful, dear reader. Many brilliant, creative people have ADHD. If you or someone you love has this challenge I hope you'll read these books:
  • Driven to Distraction by Hallowell and Ratey
  • Women with Attention Deficit Disorder by Sari Solden
  • Journeys through ADDulthood by Sari Solden
  • You mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo
  • Think Fast! the ADD Experience Edited by Hartmann, Bowman with Burgess
  • The Edison Gene ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child by Thom Hartmann
  • ADD and Creativity tapping your inner muse by Lynn Weiss
  • Learning Outside the Lines by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole
  • ADD- friendly ways to Organize your Life by Kolberg and Nadeau

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Read, Write, and Create Art!

Ah, the upper right hand corner tab commands me to herewith COMPOSE! I have always wanted to write and publish. My passions are reading, journaling, and creating various kinds of art. I hope I can use this space to share wonderful and inspiring things with you, my dear readers. I do not intend to bore you with the tedious details of my life, but instead, I'll try to share the silver and gold threads that run through the tapestry of my life and experiences.