Salutations and Sentiment

Season’s Greetings!

Boy oh boy, it’s been a while. How’ve you been? Well, I hope.

Me? I’ve been.

Yes, I’ve been.

That is all.

I have been happy. I have been sad. I have been lazy.  I have been hyper. I have been busy. I have been bored. I have been stressed (oh my, I have been stressed). I have been relaxed. I have been normal (as normal as one can be). I have been weird. I have been loud. I have been quiet as the grave. I have been thoughtful. I have been carefree like the wind. I have been cold. I have been red hot with anger and frustration. I have tried so hard to love that I have often fallen short. I have been hard on myself. I have been far too soft. I have been joyful. I have wanted joy. I have needed joy. I am grateful for joy. Good God above, I am grateful for the human capacity to be joyful in all circumstances. I have been many things, but I have not been joyful enough. I have not loved others enough. I have not been compassionate enough. I have not spread peace enough. I have not prayed enough. I have not had enough patience with anything or anyone. I have not been humble enough. I have not been present enough.

So that is how I have been. This is how I reflect on the year, and this is how I plan for the next.

More joy. More love. More compassion. More peace. More prayer. More patience. More humility. More being.

God bless you in all your being. Love, joy, and peace be with you, my friends.

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Ms. Scellaneous

Sometimes life makes us feel miscellaneous. In all the hustle and bustle of daily life, jam packed with the ritualistic routines and the unexpected happenings that make the best stories, life can leave us feeling scattered, unfocused, and exhausted. Because let’s face it folks, life is a worthy opponent in the battle to maintain our sanity. It lashes out with fierce strength, sending a volley of responsibility, expectations, and unplanned circumstances down on unsuspecting civilians, whose only answer is to just wing it and hope for the best. As we fight back as best as we can, with a barrage of squeaks, groans, and halfhearted sighs, we cling to what little structure and fallback plans that keep us afloat.

Life – 1. Me – 0.

NOPE. I will emerge victorious, just give me some time and a fighting chance. Just call me Ms. Scellaneuous – because I’m a mess, a muddle, and most often found marveling at life and all its magnificent surprises (and dodging bullets too).

Maybe Life Thinks My Play on Words is Funny 

>Next Year - Two Door Cinema Club
>About The Weather - Tom Rosenthal
>In A Drawer - Band of Horses
>America - First Aid Kit
>Jackie and Wilson - Hozier
>Step - Vampire Weekend
>Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan
>Cleopatra - The Lumineers
>Sun - Sleeping At Last
>Days - The Drums
>These Days - Nico
>Quietus - Foxing 
>Shield Your Eyes (acoustic) - Dry the River


You can win this war, with humor, good music, and good food,

Gabriella

Sleep, My Love

Monday winds down slowly, leaving hearts everywhere full of unimaginable feelings. It is nearly time to rest our aching bodies and close our weary eyes. A sense of calm, of peaceful surrender, blankets the physical being, while the metaphysical is awoken by the sudden urge to imagine. Thoughts scatter here and there, some preparing to quiet down for the night, while others are just getting riled up. Dreams begin to form in the furthest recesses of the mind as memories old and new flood the subconscious in a down pouring of emotional impulses. Sleep envelops the exhausted individual like the inviting arms of a lover. Eagerly, tenderly, it places kisses on eyelids like the scattering of seeds over tilled earth. With its soothing touch, we will all be reborn in the morning, carefree and light as young fools in love.

Kiss Me Goodnight:

>Everything That Can Be Invented –Tvärvägen
>This Is How I Let You Down – The Franklin Electric
>Look Out – James Vincent McMorrow
>Have We Met Before? – Tom Rosenthal
>The Only Thing – Sufjan Stevens
>Warm Foothills – alt-J
>Beach Baby – Bon Iver
>Einstein’s Idea – Johnny Flynn
>Passenger Seat – Death Cab for Cutie
>Shaker Hymns – Dry the River
>Land Locked Blues – Bright Eyes
>Nancy From Now On – Father John Misty
>Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran

Until Morning,
Gabriella

Write Your Wrongs

Stephen King once said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” I first came to understand this whilst suffering from a long and depressing bout of writer’s block in which I began to question everything I’d ever written and everything I wish I had written. Desperate to put pen to paper and simultaneously feel good about the action, I sat down and began to write. Simple as that. No fluff, no gimmicks, no high and mighty claims of enlightenment and deeper understanding. And as my hand continuously smudged over the fresh ink, something magnificent was happening. I was growing. I was learning. I was getting better, just by trying. I was righting wrongs by writing wrongs. And I’ve still got a long, long way to go.

Sure, inspiration is a beautiful thing, but until I sat down, entirely sober and entirely bereft of emotional and artistic influences, I had no idea what I was capable of and what I needed to work on. It was both challenging and immensely rewarding, and it continues to be.

Inspiration:

1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

2. The drawing in of breath; inhalation.

Draw upon the breath of your own skillfulness. See what you can do.

Gabriella

 

Weird.

Life is weird.

Weird like uncomfortable silence. You’re staring at your feet, giggling awkwardly at nothing in particular, desperately trying to think of something – anything to fill the silence with. The other person, equally distressed, rocks back and forth from their heels to their toes while simultaneously questioning everything about their existence. Time is slowing at an alarming rate, every passing second is pure agony, and you have nothing to do but pray that the other will break the speaking fast. It’s a painful, distressing, nearly unbearable experience that somehow leaves both parties feeling like they’ve been through hell and back, and have emerged from the depths hand in hand. We’ve been through this, there’s not much worse out there for us to endure.

Life is weird.

Weird like a long car ride. You’re jammed into a 13 year old rust-bucket with child protection locks on all the windows and only front wheel drive, sandwiched in between that one friend that smells all the time and the guy whose name you keep forgetting because you didn’t really want him to come with, but your other friend felt bad for him and insisted on bringing him along for the ride. Your legs are cramped and stiff, your hair is greasy, your back itches, and with each passing moment, your stomach twists tighter and tighter, groaning obnoxiously for snacks. It’s one big, chaotic road trip chock full of magical moments and not so magical moments all melding together to form the journey from Point A to Point B. If you make it out alive, you’ll be better for it.

Life is weird.

Weird like gas station bathrooms. You try not to touch the walls as you wait your turn to enter the chasm of darkness and suspicious stains. There’s a bearded biker with a ponytail and a neck tattoo in front of you in the line, an unidentifiable liquid spill beneath your feet, and a stagnant reek of artificial cheese that makes the air feel heavy and damp. Torn toilet paper litters the floor, the rusting faucet drips steadily, unceasing, and the image of despair is made complete by the graffiti etched into the dank, spotted mirror. It it horrifying, disgusting – but when you reemerge from the filthy pit, you now know just how strong you are. You have conquered insurmountable things.

Life is wonderful.

Wonderful like the quiet moments on long car rides in between stops at gas station bathrooms. Nothing is perfect, but amidst all the uncomfortable, unsatisfying, non-glamorous bits, you find that the journey itself is perfectly imperfect. The cold wind that rushes through the car window and bites at your cheeks, the tear-filled laughter that erupts spontaneously whilst telling stupid jokes, and the strange stories you have to tell after your unexpected experiences in dirty, rural gas stations all make the trip worthwhile. In all its random encounters, strange occurrences, tough spots, and hard times, life is wonderful. Very weird, but very wonderful.

Live the life. Live it well. Live it weird and find the wonderful.

Gabriella

Ways to Win Your Weekly Wars

Long weekends are both a blessing and a curse. They seem to arrive just when we need them. Our lives have become so hectic and fast paced, we begin to wonder how much more we can stand before we break down completely, and there it is – a redeeming light at the end of a formidable tunnel. The light is so beautiful, so bright we must look away, blinking deliberately to bring our eyes back into focus, and by the time we turn our faces back to its glory, it has passed, leaving us once again at the entrance to an ever-darkening tunnel. And this tunnel seems even more foreboding than when we last encountered it.

Only one thing is certain. We must carry on. No matter how frightening, dismal, or difficult of a task it may be – though we may scream and shout – tears may fall and feet may bleed. We don’t have to go silently, but we have to get to the other side. And there’s no saying that we can’t have a little help along the way.

So let’s not hesitate. Let’s face it head on.

Courage, My Friends:

>Slow the Time – Cataldo
>I’ll Believe In Anything –  Wolf Parade
>There is a Dark Place – Tom Rosenthal
>Stay Alive – Jose Gonzalez
>Dropla – Youth Lagoon
>Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine
>How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep – Bombay Bicycle Club
>Sun Giant – Fleet Foxes
>Heart’s On Fire – Passenger
>Lost Coastlines – Okkervil River
>Lovers In Japan – Coldplay
>Wake Up Children – J. Thoven
>Back Then – B Story


Have Heart. You were made to win this fight.

Gabriella

Simply Say It

Why do we keep really wonderful things to ourselves?

It’s a simple question with a more complex answer. Maybe we’re afraid to come on too strong or to make the other person uncomfortable. Perhaps we’re worried about the response we’ll receive, or what those around us will think. All these fears are natural and understandable, of course. In a world where we must all be on our guard, careful not to let anyone harm us or do us wrong, we have learned to keep a lot of things to ourselves. Our mothers all taught us that same age-old phrase, ingrained into our minds like our own names, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But they didn’t say anything about what to do when we have really nice things to say! So I say share and share alike! Simply say it. If you’ve observed something sweet about someone, say it for God’s sake! I promise you, it’ll make someone’s day.

Now this doesn’t mean that we should be insincere in our compliments and tell people things that we don’t mean simply to boost their ego. It just means that if somebody has said, done, or simply is something that we admire, we should thank them for their goodness by bringing it to the forefront. Take the goodness that lives inside you and share it with the world. Start with your own friends and neighbors, and watch it grow.

Don’t hold back,

Gabriella