A Violet by Any Other Name…

Every day in every way there are messages to behold in our worlds.

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African violets in a row on a window sill always leave me thinking of home, of mom, her habit of having African violets on a window sill – usually in the kitchen – of the goodness there was to share amid the chaos. The row of African violets didn’t change. It was always there, a sentinel in nights of bleak, a hopeful bloom again each morning.

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Mom once gifted me with a slip from a plant she called “Jesus Tears.”  That didn’t carry so much weight with me as the fact that she’d carefully chosen it (and a spare just in case), wrapped in wet toweling all zipped safely in a baggie to carry in her purse all the way from Ontario to British Columbia.  I had that plant for years and yes, it wept. Tiny dew drop like tears once a year formed on the plant, orbs of rainbow bubbles surely blown there by angels.

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The only person who took a slip from my plant and successfully grew that into a plant was a friend I had known for nearly two decades. My own Jesus Tears plant from Mom began failing when our friendship did. A year after Mom died, when my brain was shocked like plant roots with scalding water, my Jesus Tears began drooping. I managed to get it to perk up. But only briefly. It continued drooping. It drooped and it no longer wept but I did. I continued fretting and in the midst of PTSD, clutched that plant to me as the only living proof I had that I ever mattered to anyone. Still, the leaves began a slow browning I could not halt despite buying new soil, feeding and tending the plant like a baby. I had lost so much, I couldn’t lose this, too…

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Last winter I finally gave up my Jesus Tears when it grew infested with some kind of insect that began spreading to my African Violets. Once five, my violets now number four with another recently replaced due to those relentless, wayward bugs. Oddly, one of my violets has not yet flowered this year and my mind went to reasons why which prompted writing this piece only moments ago. Tears were shed by me when I finally gave the Jesus Tears plant up. And even then, I set it outside on a patio table where I could visit it, see it until the final hour. Finally in Spring 2013, I emptied the plant – some leaves still green, would you believe right through the wintry snows? – into the organic recycle and cleaned the pot out, sterilizing it for a beautiful new green friend, another relationship beckoning me to start anew.

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One of my sisters once said she wished Mom told us we are each a beautiful flower in our own special way: “You are the best red rose, you are the best pink rose, you are the best blue rose…”  In her own awkward way of not being born a parent as no one ever really is, she did. Her relationships with each of us are all completely different from one another. Not one of us views our mother in the same way. Nor will we ever. And that is how it should be. This is the proof that we were each special flowers, that mothers hold special powers sometimes visible, sometimes unseen.  This year one African Violet on my sill is not yet in bloom, perhaps may not be until next year. But it is not crying either. Saying goodbye to my Jesus Tears from Mom was a long, emotional process that began immediately after the life blows of autumn 2011 but I finally saw the message she was sending me from her winged home since 2010: that it was best for me to cut all ties with former friends, loves of ill with a chance to start anew.  Isn’t that what all good mothers do? 

(c) AuroraMorealist 23July2013

Just For Fun

MM172001 tagged me. She said it was okay if I didn’t follow all the rules but would like it if those she tagged answered her questions. So this is my post today, thanks to: http://mm172001.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/lets-play-a-game/

1. If you could go back and tell your younger self something.  What age would you go back to and what would you say?

Cassatt Mary Young Girl Reading 1908

Cassatt Mary Young Girl Reading 1908 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Age 13, I would say:

Many times in your life,  you will have to stand alone to be true to yourself and/or achieve justice. You won’t see these challenges coming and you won’t know what to do when they happen. Trust that you will figure it out, that the right people will be there with the right answers when you need them. Don’t go against your grain no matter what. It will only make you ill. Don’t expect so much from yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself, always.

2.  Favorite food.

Oatmealraisins2

Oatmealraisins2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oatmeal. Hot, Cold or Just Right, it’s all great by me :)

3. When did you start your blog? And has the purpose changed as time has?

I started my blog almost exactly one year ago at the urging of fellow writers who said, “you should blog, you are a real writer.” I finally caved. The purpose has altered greatly. I intended my blog to be more about writing but it turns out it is more about my healing journey and expanding my writing creatively, thanks to the inspiration, support and magnificent fellow bloggers I am so fortunate to be here among. I have discovered that community can occur anywhere and naturally developed as I blogged more and read more blogs. Now I am a full-blown addict and NO, I do not want any 12 step program, lol, because I never want to stop or be without my beautiful new friends including the one who prompted this post :) :) :) I had no idea where I was heading or who I might connect with but I am so glad to be here, I believe it saved my life and gave me a life I never even knew I had.

Allegory of Compassion Français : Allégorie de...

Allegory of Compassion Français : Allégorie de la Compassion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. What do you think your best character trait is?

My compassion. I can forgive almost anything especially if the other party or parties are prepared to do their work, too. Otherwise, forgiving is something I do to release and let go, often through writing, and move forward in health.

Mnemonic to remember the waxing moonphase (beg...

Mnemonic to remember the waxing moonphase (beginning after new moon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. What do you think is your worst character trait?

My memory. I can remember so much almost verbatim that it scares me and I often wish there was a way to shut my brain off because if I see horror images in a movie or bloody scenes on the news, it will keep me up, keep me from sleeping because I can’t get it to stop whirling around in my head. But I also effectively blocked many painful memories that I simply couldn’t bear until I was strong enough to process them. I once did a college distance study course in Memory Mnemonics and received 25/20 on my final paper with comments from the Prof. Still growing stronger and remembering many things I’m sure many would love me to forget.

Interior of the Schlosskirche before the 1850-...

Interior of the Schlosskirche before the 1850-1855 renovations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. What is the last thing you read?

House and Home Magazine latest issue. While I have a diploma in Interior Design, I find the pages of home design magazines or Architectural Digest soothing, comforting and they help me calm for sleep. Which I haven’t had much of lately, lol.

Line art representation of a Quill

Line art representation of a Quill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7. Hero?

Anyone brave enough to speak out about anything that is wrong in their world. It takes enormous courage to share but it is so freeing and so healing for others to know they do not walk alone. My hero is the everyday blogger, writer who inspires others or changes their lives for the better in some way without even knowing they did so.

Traditional freelance writer work system.

Traditional freelance writer work system. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8. How much time do you spend on the internet in an average day?

Two to three hours, mostly here but also email, etc.

Colin Henderson's winning design will be displ...

Colin Henderson's winning design will be displayed on T-shirts and other items at this year's Domestic Violence Awareness Rally, which is scheduled for Oct. 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9. If you had to choose only one social issue to fight for what would it be?

Domestic Violence/Abuse. Witnessing cruelty and enduring emotional or physical violence changes who we are. More so if we are children witnessing violence/suffering emotional or physical violations. I wish Life Skills were more available in the school systems. Domestic violence kills spirit, kills healthy relationships, kills desire, kills generations of positive, healthy family life… domestic violence and emotional abuse kills even if you are still alive. I know because I was dead once for nearly ten years and still thought something was wrong with me… it was… I wasn’t living, breathing free, I was anxious all the time. No more.

A view of North Pender Island's shoreline

A view of North Pender Island's shoreline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10. If you could live anywhere, where and why?

The Gulf Islands in British Columbia. It has long been a dream of mine to wake up and step out on the porch with a cup of tea in hand to survey the waters, the greenery, savour the fragrance and settle in to write for the day. I would love to wake up there and write every single day of my life. If I could, I would already be doing so… that is my dream life, to write every day all day long if I want to. So, in the end I guess the where wouldn’t matter so much. But the Gulf Islands are stunning and I do love them.

Brain 1

Brain 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

11. If you could choose to have the power to read people’s minds/know their thoughts, would you choose to?  It’s not something you could turn on or off, you have it or don’t.  Why?

No, I wouldn’t choose to. Because I already suffer from sensory overload daily with too much noise, too much information and too much visual awareness of everything around me. Some days it is so painful, I want to just curl into a ball and stop everything, close my eyes and rest from it all. So knowing others thoughts would just put my brain into a permanent ‘spin cycle’ that I don’t think I could handle. Sometimes I do know what people are going to say or do before they even do it and that is plenty for an HSP like me :)

JAM 23March2012

Writing in Vancouver

English: A view from Burrard Bridge to English...

I know, I know. I’ve said before how beautiful the Vancouver region is and I’ll probably never stop saying it.  Rather than repeat myself to your possible annoyance, let me just say what a friend who recently returned from a cruise to the Bahamas had to say.

“Everyone on the ship was saying every day, look at that view! Look at all that water! All I wanted to say to them was it’s great but I see it every day. It just needs a mountain in the back of it. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful but all they have is palm trees. All I could think was how beautiful it is in Vancouver.”

My world traveled friend confirmed again for me that I am so fortunate to be a resident and writer in the Vancouver region. We truly do have the best of both worlds.

While many complain of the rain, I’ll take a page from something Tom Robbins once said of writing in the rain being romantic. It is. And then some.

The rain simply does not bother me at all. In fact, when too many concurrently sunny days occur, I long for the rain to keep me cozy under shelter or inside with a window, anywhere I can write to the sound of the rain on the roof.

While there is an abundance of natural inspiration and resources many overlook in the daily shuffle to and fro, there are also a number of terrific writing resources in the Vancouver area. I’ll list just a few for now and perhaps add more, if interest warrants, at a later date.

Having attended the SIWC a few times, had the good fortune of being a member of writing groups with the founder of the annual conference and actually placed both Honourable Mention one year and First the next for fiction and non-fiction, I know first hand the value of the wonderful workshops and information. Not to mention all the writing/writer connections I made and still maintain.

Happy writing, happy reading, happy doing whatever you do, wherever you are.

Shining from Vancouver,

Aurora

Here are a few links to peruse, feel free to add any writing resource links you think valuable to others:

http://www.siwc.ca/

http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/

http://www.bcwriters.ca/

http://www.vpl.ca/branches/

http://www.fvrl.bc.ca/learn/sitemap.htm