There's a reason life has been known to be a roller coaster ride. It certainly has been that for me. I find the muse, I find the joy, and I experience the amazing adventures. Then I crawl into a holiday cocoon, struggle to capture the muse and inspiration, while I contemplate life and the unavoidable news.
December was such a mix of events and emotions. After running ragged in preparation for being out of the country, I was on my flight (thanks to an airport angel helping me with an international e-ticket everyone was having trouble with) on a red eye flight to Newark. In the United comped club room, it was 7:30 a.m. but 4:30 a.m. for me with no sleep. I loved people watching in my fatigue haze as people were grabbing muesli and ordering drinks from the bar to start their vacations. I can't imagine alcohol that early. The booked flight to the Dominican was a bit delayed but I finally arrived in one tired piece for www.sendmeonvacation.org breast cancer survivor retreat. Being a part of the retreat and to be in the role of a facilitator as a workshop leader again was a true honor.
It was the strong, balmy breeze welcoming me and big, white clouds threatening tropical rain that I remember well from my mermaid days on the island of Key Biscayne. It was a comforting deja vu. I was also welcomed by the 6 women from east to west coast and one Canadian on our group. I found the muse to lead my workshop and it went better than I could have hoped for. A colorful and lyrical essay from my book titled, "Venice Vision" was the launching pad to presenting "Living and Healing Through Color". All-in-all the retreat was great other than one lose canon participant we had to deal with in its unpleasant manner. The Dominican people are warm and friendly and we had VIP treatment all the way. The ocean was not the calm turquoise blue I yearned for, but being in the tropics was lovely and connection with fellow-sister survivors treasured.
Following a rough and long trip home since traveling these days involves masks, delays, rerouting, and cancelled flights. I began to put my life in some organized manner but found myself distracted and deeply dismayed not only by personal challenges, but by the constant and convincing slow moving fascism in this country without the real Kingpins being held accountable... yet? Time to throw all the treasonous, spineless, creepy liars (supporting traitor Trump) in jail to avoid a future and even a pending violent coup takeover. I say, go after all those that supported and organized the violent attack on the Capitol and Democracy because they are the hardened criminals. How does one turn away from the news altogether? I can't, as I've never been one to hide my head in the sand. All I have to do is go to YouTube to view brief news clips about the shocking betrayers and hypocrites to set me off. As an activist for decades, I've never seen anything like what's been going on in this country the last several years due to most Republicans supporting authoritarianism and the big lie. It's damn dangerous. There, I've said it and I don't have the ability to turn away and drift into complacency. It's too critical. And thank you Liz Cheney for standing up for what's right to save democracy an uphold an oath (all public officials take) to protect this country from both foreign and domestic terrorism. I am worried and want a plan B to flee. I admit that I find it hard to not feel myself spiraling down the rabbit hole of despair so I have to remind myself of resilience and hold my beliefs close. Additionally, we are all so very weary of the ongoing Covid surges wreaking havoc on our lives. What else can we do other than be resilient warriors? Power walks, nature, travel, my kitty, and caring connection help me through all the chaos. It can still weigh heavy on my heart as I'm sure it does with many out there in the world making their way through strife and struggle while caring deeply about the state of things. My writing hasn't been flowing and neither has inspiration. There have been times, especially when I put my head down and wrote my book, where I felt a guiding muse moving through my spirit pushing me to a parallel universe of a special creative zone. I've been in the zone but haven't felt it for a few months and flying solo during the holidays didn't make my spirit soar. I hope the muse visits again soon because I have a 2nd book to get to and creative juices need to flow for poetry class that begins in a week through City College. One more writing class and I gain a Creative Writing Certificate from Santa Barbara City College--Just one of the pursuits I embarked on during our extended pandemic isolation. Staying active, good friends, and stimulating the mind has been a saving grace.
Happy New Year!💖 May it bring you a sense of grace, wonder, blessings, abundance, and love. Life can surprise you. Pleasant surprises and lovely connections could be right around the corner. May the muse be with you, and may the heroes step forward to bring us better and more encouraging news.
Keep on swimming and soaring through life, Valerie Anne