Monthly Archives: November 2013

November 2013

And I’m Grateful

Gratitude as a daily practice has changed my life.

My blood is blessed and burdened with the poetic fatalism of the Irish, and a love of blues-based Fado from the Portuguese. Of course the Catholic Church also gifted me with Original Sin before I’d taken my first baby breath. Translation: My typical take on life is dramatic, bordering on bleak.

When negative is second nature, the challenge is discovering how to shift to positive. For me, the answer is Gratitude.

Like so much of the best in life, Gratitude takes practice – a few moments set aside each day to acknowledge the constant flow of gifts I receive: My amazing husband; friends who love and sustain me; Peach, my furry guru; that unselfconscious bird song; sweet, nourishing rain; the smile of a stranger; Thanksgiving bounty; inspiration for my next story; the chance to sing and dance; lemons bright yellow in the sunlight…

Fortunately, gratitude is addictive and can happen anywhere, at any moment.

So, Thank You.

November Lands

I savor the last days of October amidst the ghoulish chaos of fake webs, skeleton garlands and my discarded Queen of Arachnids costume.

Last weekend we attended a stunning performance of Hula, The Voice of the People at the Palace of Fine Arts. This was a feast of evocative dance against stunning multi-media backgrounds, set to music ranging from traditional Hawaiian to jazz and pop. The dedication of these volunteer dancers, and the beauty of the Hawaiian worldview continue to inspire me.

Saturday night Mark and I had great fun decorating, cooking and coming up with a Goblin Grub menu that included such delicacies as traditional Eyes of Newt (meatballs) Red Bat Wings (quesadillas) and Dragon Drool, aka hot-spiced cider.

On November 1, the winners of a local Romance Writers of America chapter contest will be announced. One of my writing group partners, Christine, is a finalist and we’re rooting for her.

November also brings Day of the Dead and All Souls Day. I embrace both traditions as a chance to honor those who have died before us, and more… As I move toward winter and my birthday on New Year’s Eve, I want to acknowledge what has been taken away and all that has – or should be laid to rest. Time to clear my heart for new possibility: deeper connections to those I love, to Spirit, to my community and the world. Time to nurture health and joy for all.

This month I’m listening to: Lisa Lindsley at Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz on Friday, Nov 9th debuting her tribute show to Blossom Dearie.