Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Focus…


Don’t simply fill your life up with busy work
just to feel your wheels in motion.

Be stingy with your energy
and make every choice count.

You’ll find direction faster than
you ever realized possible.

Written 04-09-2017, 6:58pm
Copyright © 2017 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

girl-camera-pictures-nature

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Random Thoughts, Writing

The Shelf Is Not The Place…


We get so busy surviving life,

That it’s easy to put what matters most on the shelf,

Waiting for “the right time.”

Waiting for a fresh breath of air,

Instead of the breath we have just now.

“I’ll come back to it later,” we say.

And our collection of “some day” grows.

Don’t. Wait.

There’s no better or perfect moments.

Just messy, muddy, imperfect ones.

Shelves are for decoration or storage,

Not for Living.

Thank goodness making mud pies

While taking mud baths

In red clay puddles,

With sprinklers and swings

And a yellow swimsuit, imperfectly ruined

Is one of the best memories ever.

Written 03-27-2017, 12:40am
Copyright © 2017 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

Archives

3 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts, Writing

The Reveal…


Elightened TreeThe din rises and surrounds me.

Complaints and feelings and judgements and hate.

Everyone hurts, at least a little.

And so I stretch and I climb.

Petty ideas and rigid mindsets
disassemble easily in the face of extremity.

Every thing someone wants me to invest into,
I can sling shot at that.

The true test of mettle.

You’ll never know how strong something is
until you push it to the breaking point.

This is true of ideas, things, ethos and people.

The Face of Extremity will undress anything.

My can crusher of Enlightenment.

Clatter beckons at my knee; I reach for limb and pull.

The noise has always bothered me; the annoyance and distraction.

I used to be impatient with it.

But right now it simply falls away.

My ears and eyes and heartbeat only have room for Now.

Purity, truth, honor, love.

The gap that swallowed me whole.

Right Now.

Right Now.

Just Now.

One heartbeat. And two.

Who knew faith required a plastic mind?

Written 03-18-2017, 02:48am
Copyright © 2017 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Thoughts, Writing

Logic Isn’t Always…


My meditation today…

One of the GBM patients in one of our support groups went holiday shopping with his wife. They went to pick out a gift for their daughter. It was a triumph, because he hasn’t felt good enough to get out of the house in so long.

Unfortunately, he has aphasia and he’s lost his peripheral vision. All too common for glioblastoma warriors. He tripped on a display he couldn’t see at a store and knocked everything down. He was so embarrassed.

As people helped pick it all up, someone had the gall to tell his wife that she should make him lay off the booze before going out in public. The wife doesn’t know if he’ll go out with her again.

I’m appalled for their experience.

But the thing is, I know that before I understood this disease, I might have thought he’d been drinking too.

I wouldn’t have said anything, but it is very possible that I would have thought it. Because I simply had no clue before. I didn’t understand brain cancer at all.

*Maybe* my experience with disabled children would have helped clue me in, but if I was busy, I doubt it.

Our perspectives in life are often reasonable, based on logic and data we already possess.

But that does not automatically translate into the truth, the whole truth and nothing but truth.

Logic alone does not make us fair and just. Seemingly reasonable does not equal justification.

We are capable of interpreting what we witness and experience as falsehoods. In our justified reasonableness, we can sin against our fellow man.

We can judge and accuse others of actions and beliefs they haven’t taken and don’t have. Because “actions speak louder than words.”

This is why temperance, compassion and love are so important.

They help us to take another look.

Compassion tells us not to jump to conclusions and to offer our hand. Love tells us to hold our tongue and strive not to harm our neighbor. Temperance reminds us that just because we can, doesn’t mean it’s right.

Steven Covey reminded us to shift our paradigm. Every major religion in the world reminds us to be slow to assumption and mindful in our choices. And God reminds us that we are all his children.

Kindness and balance are everything.

1 Comment

Filed under Glioblastoma, Random Thoughts, Writing

For all the octopi in my life, you are the best. :)


True friends are like octopi...

 

True friends are like octopi…

 

Save

Save

Save

1 Comment

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

In my estimation, we’re evolving…


earth_sun_nasa_imageI don’t believe in organized politics anymore than I believe in organized religion.

It’s become our new way to slander and crucify our fellow-man. The excuse we give to act less than we are. Our justification for ignoring what we should be paying attention to.

I suppose it’s born out of my rebellion against anyone trying to force me to conform to a specific label.

I  refuse to join a group, vote a party line, or violate my conscience to keep someone out of office.

More times than not, reasonable people assume I think exactly as they do, and therefore against anyone they don’t like.

This is only because I am open-minded and more studied than most. I don’t gravitate to media talk shows and labels to judge a situation or person. And I find reasoned discussion, disagreement, and even debate, to be edifying and essential to society.

I believe that as we evolve as a human race, our problems and their answers likewise evolve. It is the way of spiritual maturity.

I cannot agree completely with any one ideology.

And I hope I never do.

2 Comments

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

Disagreement Is Not A Weakness…


disagreementWhen we project the challenges we feel with our families – onto the world around us – we skew our perception of reality.

We lose our grounding and unfairly accuse others of actions they have not taken and beliefs they do not have.

Two people can disagree and still both be “right.”

Recognizing this is one of the levels of spiritual maturity we must all master.

1 Comment

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts, Writing

Be Your Own Fairy Godmother…


Be Your Own Fairy Godmother - image by Aberrant CrochetOne of my favorite fairy tales when I was a kid was a story called, “The Pixy and the Lazy Housewife,” by Mary Calhoun (1969).

In the story, it is told that pixies, while tricksy in nature, sometimes will help a housewife with her chores when she is sick.  Because while pixies may be tricksy, they are good-hearted folk after all.

So in the story, a lazy housewife hatches a tricksy plan of her own to get the pixies to take pity on her and clean her dirty house for her, because she doesn’t want to do it herself. Which of course backfires, as does anything when trying to trick the wee folk!

It wasn’t that I was a fan of the lazy housewife’s rotten house, or even the plight of housekeepers everywhere (where there’s always someone’s dirt to clean).

I fell in love with the idea that there might be unseen friends out there somewhere, with some kind of honor code and the power to do something, who might take pity to help on someone in pain or need.

Another favorite fairy tale of mine was Cinderella.  (The Perrault version from 1697 I might add.)  I loved that someone could find nurturing and love AND rise above their circumstances, no matter how painful a story their past.  And while fairies and wee folk in general seem to have their own interests at heart to serve, the idea of a fairy godmother was different.  Because fairy godmothers didn’t just serve their own interests. They took their charges seriously.

I don’t know about you, but I just love the idea of a fairy godmother in particular.  She’s not quite as juvenile as other wee folk.  She’s usually kind, all-knowing and willing to help.  And I just knew there had to be a fairy godmother out there for me.   Someone always there, who loved me like a mother (or grandmother), wise as the Universe, who understood my woes, would heal my wounds, treat me to enriching experiences and make magic happen.

There were other influences on my love of the idea of unseen help.  The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis mentions a grandmother who might have had fairy blood.  A wonderful notion!  And of course, there’s the character Aslan from Lewis’ books, who is practically (literally) a fairy God-Lion.

And so my love for the story of private friends and help, unseen to others, grew with each passing tale.

In adulthood, I’d even play the role of an unseen friend, cleaning house, paying bills, restocking pantries, leaving treats for friends and families. All the while, thinking of what I’d love to come home to sometime, and then doing that for someone else. After all, it’s one of the nicest gifts you could give someone. To wave a wand and grant a small wish or need.

But here’s the thing. We don’t have to wish for or wait around for our own fairy godmother. She’s already here. In fact, she’s right here inside our heart and soul.

We all hurt sometimes. We’re all tired sometimes. We all need a friend to lean on sometimes. We all need and DESERVE nurturing. We all need moments of magic sometimes.

But we should not wait for Prince Charming or our Fairy Godmother to appear and see to these needs.

Start now. Start listening to the small voice inside, who says I haven’t had fun in soooo long. And do something about it! Listen to the little kid inside who says – Ooooo! Sprinkles!  Give yourself a healthy, but tasty snack. Think of the one thing you wish most you had help with, and grant yourself a wish.

Buy yourself flowers, make time and room for a reading corner with something you love to read, treat yourself like a date and try out that recipe you’ve been eying and when you’re tired, draw a bubble bath and tuck yourself into bed. Treat yourself lovingly and bestow daily wisdom on your soul. Improve your working conditions.

Do something to increase your quality of life, love and happiness.  Grant yourself the gift of good memories.

The world would be happier if we would just listen to and take care of ourselves. Deep inside, we’re all still the same little kids, just trying to get through life.

So I challenge you thus:

1. Go surprise someone by playing the role of a Fairy Godmother and do something unexpectedly kind!

2. Find a mirror. Look yourself straight in the eyes, and say this to the beautiful young soul you see….

“I love you.  And today… I’m going to do something to prove it to you.”

And go for it!

1 Comment

Filed under Editorial, Random Thoughts, Writing

Face It…


Stained glass mandala loveSome people think that the best way to fight an enemy is to pretend that it isn’t there.

Or to somehow reimagine it as something less than it is.

I say call that demon by name and face it directly.  With the shield of God’s Love.

Save

Save

Save

Save

3 Comments

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

Every Moment…


Every moment is a deep breath and a step forward.

Everything stripped to its simplicity.

A rebirth with each raw heartbeat.

And still…

There is only Love.

Written 08-03-2016, 2:57pm
Copyright © 2016 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

4 Comments

Filed under Glioblastoma, Poetry, Random Thoughts, Writing

I don’t know yet how to begin to explain…


It’s like all the worst possible challenges you can imagine.

Mixed up with experiencing (mostly) the best possible of people.

And we’re just along for the ride.

I have no idea where we’re going.

I just hang on to John.

Take the next step and breathe.

1:44am
April 10, 2016

3 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts, Writing

Mom Thoughts…


As my kids grow older

and transition into adulthood,

I am ever grateful for 5 little words.

“Mom, I need a hug.”

02/10/2016
9:23 am

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Random Thoughts, Writing

Ever had that feeling….?


The kind where you just don’t feel right.

Like something’s afoot, but you can’t figure out what.

You wonder if it’s just the weather, or the food you ate, or Mercury’s retrograde.

But it’s not. There’s something else.

Like the world is holding its breath, waiting for an unknown shoe to drop.

That’s the kind of feeling weighing on me tonight.

Stay safe out there.

xoxoxo

5 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts

Getting Close Now…


I debated on what to write about tonight.

The only NaBloPoMo I ever lost was because of the Thanksgiving holiday, and unexpectedly NOT having access to a computer before midnight.

And of course, I didn’t have a smart phone of any kind back then.

These last 3 nights, I managed to blog via cell phone only. A neat trick, these new-fangled tech tools.

I attempted useful, meaningful and whimsy.  And overall seemed to avoid any major auto-correct mishaps on my blog.

Not that it would have really mattered for NaBloPoMo.  Since it’s not supposed to be about quality, but instead about commitment.

But if you’ve followed me for any time, then you know that I rather despise the idea of “lazy” posts.

I’ll experiment with writing exercises. I’ll play with different styles.

I’ll tell stories and write poetry.  I’ll share information and play show ‘n tell.

But I’m not a real fan of following the crowd or throw-away posts.

Real writing is about sharing some piece of heart, after all. Right?

Unless there’s nothing else left but sheer commitment to the process.

In the end, perhaps there’s a lesson in that.  As it’s often commitment that keeps the world ticking and that drives us to success.  Not the prettiest, the loudest or the tastiest things that cross our paths.  Simply the steadfast things.  The ones we know we can rely on. That which always has our back. What is it that’s always there, even when things don’t go to plan? It gets us through.

Practice, training, love….  None of these are always easy, always sexy, always fun.  But investment in each pays off in troves.

And to dig further into that… What do we want that foundation that we can rely on to be?  What do we really want to commit our energy to in life?  But likewise, from what do we wish to draw upon to help propel us forward?

It’s all too easy to put off important things, because we don’t think we have time to do it right.  We don’t write that letter, because it won’t be a masterpiece. We don’t make that call, because we don’t have enough patience.  We don’t share that story that’s crying to be told, because we’re not good enough to do the telling.  We don’t invest in the relationships that matter the most.  We don’t plan room in our lives for memories, for smiles, for people, for stumbling, for tears, for sticky fingers and sloppy kisses.

And when there’s no extra room, when we live our lives so close to the wire, by the skin of our teeth…

When every minute is spoken for in ways we’d never want for our children, much less ourselves…

It’s time to look up and see the cliff we’re heading for.

Thanksgiving is over and now November NaBloPoMo is winding down to an end. Tomorrow marks the last day of the challenge.

I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday weekend with good memories and camaraderie.

 

3 Comments

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

Numinous


nu·mi·nous

ˈn(y)o͞omənəs/

adjective

“Having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.”

or…

The feeling you get when you’re in the presence of something greater than yourself.

Have you ever felt “the Hand of God” upon you?

Ever known something you shouldn’t.

Had faith without logical reason.

Felt compelled as if it meant life and breath.

Charted a path against all odds, because something called you….

I’m here to tell you that if you can believe.

If you can embrace.

If you can allow yourself to calm the noise and simply Know Thyself.

It’s worth it.

Leave a comment

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

Is time travel like crochet or like knit?


We just watched the new Terminator movie tonight.

And it got me thinking about the fabric of time.

Is it more like crochet? Or is it more like knit?

If you travel back in time, and something goes wrong and the timeline is changed… is it like a run in your pantyhose?

Something that ripples like a straight line through the entire length of knit fabric, permanently changing the landscape? Erasing an entire line of loops?

Or is it more like crochet?  In that if a loop of the fabric is damaged, its spread remains fairly localized. But the altered appearance in that area is more pronounced, leaving remants of threads and half memories?

And instead of erasing a line of loops, a little pot hole is formed, and the face of the landscape changes across multiple “lines?”

Do you think time as we know it is at risk from time moths?

#musings

6 Comments

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

Diversify or Specialize: You Can’t Do Both – Right?


“Austin is a smaller version of New York city.”

This is what a friend of mine (from New York) told me once. I’ve heard that Austin and Seattle are similar in personalities, but I hadn’t heard it being anything like New York before.

Granted, I have not yet been to New York.  Still, I’m not sure that I can agree with her.  And certainly, it would probably be best for her to never repeat that to a native Texan who didn’t already love her. In fact, I’m not sure a native New Yorker would appreciate the comparison.

Still, if you stop and think about it, both cities are incredibly diverse in culture. Pretty much every kind of food, every kind of belief system, every kind of hobby can be found in both places. I never think about Austin’s unique nature much until I travel to other areas and suddenly realize that wait – something’s missing. Or when a friend comes to visit and comments on it.

Oddly, my friend’s comment got me thinking about competitive marketing in the Austin area.

Austin is a colorful and amazing city with a lot of talent to offer. And all of the surrounding cities take on a similar general personality. We’re laid back and friendly here.  We don’t take anything too seriously, except our food and our friendships.  And our social demographic is influenced by the fact that Austin/Round Rock is considered one of the most educated cities in the US.

There are so many diverse and interesting things that can be marketed or written about here. I figure working for Austin Monthly magazine must be a great job as a writer. Surely fun and rarely boring.

But then I was thinking about niche businesses. How marketing (and writing) changes when you specialize instead of diversify.

Austin’s happenings and culture seem like bountiful writing resources, where there’s a plethora of colorful possibilities – pretty astounding. There’s so much texture and color to explore here, all unified by the fact that is all quirky Austin.

But if I were to try to switch things up, and dedicate a specialized magazine to say – crochet in Austin – suddenly there is no diversification. Because in spite of our colorful and rich stories, Austin is still essentially a small town community.  We don’t have the kind of population you see in other cities.  Which also means that the amount of crocheters in Austin is pretty small. And hard to find. Or a least, when you need a substantial support system to justify such an endeavor.

That got me thinking.  That in marketing you can be specialized, or you can be diversified, but it’s near impossible to be both.

Unless perhaps if you walk the fine tight rope of specializing in being diverse.

Welcome to Austin Mural - Austin's Famous Street Art

3 Comments

Filed under Business, NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

Stop Salting My Chocolate!


I’m the poster child for “Ick, that’s too sweet.”  And I love dark chocolate.

The darker the chocolate the better.

Mmmmm... Chocolate....My husband jokes that one of these days he’ll come home to find me huddled in a corner, gnawing on a bar of baker’s chocolate.

Precious….

It’s that serious.

And it’s not a new thing.

I love chocolate.  But I am not a chocolate slut.

I am a chocolate snob.

Which is also why it is unlikely that my dear hubby will ever find me gnawing on baker’s chocolate.  Most of it doesn’t make the cut for that kind of treat.  And I should know.  Because making chocolate deserts is a hobby of mine.

I’ve been a fan of good dark chocolate, since childhood. I’m not sure if it started because my Grandma Leona also preferred dark chocolate, and so maybe I decided that because Grandma was cool, then I preferred it too.  Or if it was part of my ingrained <ick – I can’t stand über sweet things quirkiness> all along.

The thing is, dark chocolate wasn’t that readily available when I was a kid.  Or at least not in my area.

There was Hershey’s Special Dark, which I could sometimes get in a bar, but usually could only find in a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures.  Those Miniatures were one of the few types of candy bags my Grandma would ever indulge in.  (At least that I ever saw at her house.)  And usually only for the holidays.

Special Dark was better than milk chocolate, but it still wasn’t all that good.  Maybe the caterpillar that I once found wrapped in a Special Dark bar is what set me seeking in a different direction.  (No kidding.)  I took it back to the drug store, showed them the worm and his little cocoon inside the wrapper and got my money back.

And maybe I’d already decided that I could wait for better chocolate.

In general, I preferred Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.  Which, by the way, I swear used to have more cacao than they do today.  I mean today, now you see semi-sweet morsels AND dark chocolate morsels for sale at the market.  Today they seem much sweeter.  And when I make the same deserts I made 18 years ago with the semi, I don’t get the same results.  Baugh.  Seems I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Then somewhere in my teens, along came Dove and the world became a little brighter.

As I grew older, I explored many brands and flavors.  Dark chocolate and chipotle, dark chocolate and green tea, dark chocolate and pomegranate.  Among my favorites?  Dark chocolate and pecan, dark chocolate and hazelnuts, dark chocolate and caramel, and the ‘ol stand by of dark chocolate and almond.

I know.  Not quite as exotic as the others.

And I learned that chocolate, like coffee, has different flavor nuances depending on where it is grown.  Guatemalan chocolate is different than Costa Rican chocolate.  And btw, I think Godiva is overrated.  Except the liquor.

But the ickiest flavor to me is salted chocolate.  The only salt that should be allowed in there is the salt in any butter used.  That’s it.

And here’s the thing.  I recognize that salt can be used to help bring out a flavor, or even to create a spark of interest that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

But today, it seems most ALL the dark chocolate sold in store is salted.  If it’s dark, then by golly let’s salt it too.  Ugh.  And most of the caramel too.  If I want dark chocolate covered caramel, I’m extra out of luck.  Either the chocolate is salted, or the caramel is.  Either one tastes bad.  Ocassionally I can find it without.

I supposed I should count my blessings.  The flooded market of ocean-water flavored chocolate keeps me from indulging most of the time.

But still, leave me some options people! Those who like salted dark chocolate will still like unsalted dark chocolate.

It’s a binary system.  Those who like salted chocolate and those who don’t.

So leave options.

It’s a win-win.  And everyone gets to have chocolate.

Hopefully one day I’ll be telling stories to my grand-kids about how all the chocolate companies used to salt dark chocolate candies all the time. Kinda like how Coca-Cola tried to replace a winning product with New Coke.

And the kids will be all like, “Ewww, Grandma, for real?”

“Yep,” I’ll say, “For real.”

“But Grandma, how did you survive it?”

And I’ll simply say, “Well kids, therein lies the lesson.  Learn to make your own.”

 

4 Comments

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts

Ordinary People…


Today a friend shared her experience with reuniting a lost dog with his family.

She noticed him on the side of the road on the way to the store and again on the way back.

So she stopped.

He was exhausted and dehydrated.  He’d run his pads off.

She called the local shelter, who contacted an owner looking for the very same dog.

And she stayed with him until they were reunited.

An ordinary person. Making a difference to an ordinary dog and his family.

It’s easy to think that we don’t have time.

Or to think that we have no real impact in the world.

If I were to disappear tomorrow, the world would continue without me.
So why be bothered? Why worry?

But small random acts of kindness by ordinary people can make a difference to other ordinary people.

It is such as these that make for heroes.

Because now someone’s life and reality is different.

Now that future has shifted for the better.

And they’ll never forget the experience of kindness.

This is how we teach and mold a better society.

And this is why ordinary people matter.

I know I shan’t forget my teachers.

3 Comments

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts, Writing

The True Meaning Of A “Buttload…”


I try to learn something new every day.

And while today has most certainly been a weird day, it hasn’t been lacking in introducing me to new data.

I have finally been able to put to rest my un-ease about the word “buttload.”

As a kid, it always seemed like such an odd descriptor.

What the heck did it really mean?

Was it an insult to someone’s backside?

Was it related to loads carried by Buoyancy Operated Aquatic Transports?

Turns out, it’s from the Roman or Greek word buttisa large cask for wine.

According to Wikipedia’s Glossary of Wine Making Terms (and a few other sources), a butt is “an old English unit of wine casks, equal to about 477 liters (126 US gallons/105 imperial gallons).”

Revealing new perspective to the word “buttload!”

I’m not sure if it’s smaller or larger than what I originally thought.

But there you go.

Go forth into the world one word wiser. 🙂

beer-barrel-956322_1920

6 Comments

Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts