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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Power, Perspective, and The Good Kind of Change

There is great power in a great story. The way in which a well-versed author crafts words, molds characters, and creates worlds is something truly inspiring. The compelling ability to draw a reader in between the lines of sentences and leave them pressed within the pages is something that I and many other writers strive for in our own work. It is the power to change lives – and to do it so simply, so eloquently – that is so alluring.

We all want to change the world. And there are many ways to change the world. But only a writer can do so with nothing more than an idea and a pen.

Life-altering words begin with the thoughts and experiences of those who put them down on paper. Perhaps what they say is deeply profound and eye-opening, or maybe it is just how they choose to say it that makes it captivating. Either way, the brief ideas that someone may have in passing could reshape their neighbor’s perspective in its entirety.

So why would anyone keep these thoughts inside? Oh writer, oh wanderer, oh scholar or simple man, for the sake of us all, share your thoughts, your ideas, your fears, and your questions!

The only thing constant about this world is that it is constantly changing. Let us all use what experiences, gifts, thoughts, and perspectives we have been given to be catalysts of good change. Meaningful change. The kind of change that occurs when you must re-read a paragraph of a book over and over again because the words have stunned your heart and you feel suddenly strange, as if you are no longer the same person that you were when you woke up that morning.

So tell me, what books, songs, poems, or other forms of prose have changed your life? Maybe they can change mine too.

Seek a new perspective,

Gabriella

There’s Something About Sundays

I woke up this morning beating myself up. With the sun cascading through my pale curtains, bathing my room in warm light, I had nothing to be unhappy about, and yet, I found myself in a state of unwarranted panic. I’m certain I am not alone when I fall into these periods of existential crises, but the solace in communal despair is short-lived when you find yourself staring the future dead in the eyes, unsure of yourself and everything that remains to be done. Familiar thoughts run through my head: I’m too young to be this stressed, but I’m too old to still be so lost in this life. But as I paced infinite circles on and off the worn carpet, I was reminded of something beautiful.

This is what Sundays are all about. We wake up, we pour a cup of steaming beverage, we go to church, we go to brunch, we watch the football game and read that book, we sit in the sunshine and feel the breeze dancing across our cheeks and swirling in our hair. We take that nap that has seemed so alluring, call that old friend that we’ve been meaning to reconnect with, or write that piece that’s been put off for far too long. It’s the simple things, the lazy things, the lovely little things that we do to reward ourselves for all the week’s hard work. Sundays aren’t for dreading the future or regretting the past – they’re for savoring the slower days of life that make all the other stuff seem worthwhile.

There’s something about Sundays that leave me feeling blessed at the end of the day, no matter how I woke up in the morning.

Soak it all in. Love every moment,

Gabriella

So This is Love.

Silent and sweet. Like just waking from a dream, when the world is still out of focus and everything seems distant. But it was a safe sort of distance – a comfortable space between the drifting and the returning to reality; A place where everything seemed peaceful and lucid. And that beautiful, unearthly distance lingered in the air and on our skin. When he was driving me home in the dead of night, and we raced the moon into eternity and sang songs to the stars – I stopped mid-sentence to just look at him and smile. And he didn’t notice when my soft gaze became a stare and I waged a war against flushed cheeks and a pounding heart, finally grasping hold of the strength to turn away. It was his shoulder nudging mine as we kicked at the dirt beneath our feet, and his tired hands reaching out for my wrist when I tried to walk away after he told a corny joke. His voice gently rising and falling with the blowing wind as we told stories along the coast, and the way I simply watched it all happen.

That is how I fell in love.

Balanced and unwavering. As the constant ebb and flow of the tide kissing the shoreline and rushing back to regain its strength. It is the long talks when he’s driving me home, when my thoughts play pinball inside my skull as I cloud the passenger window with hot breath and a thousand weary words. The way he listens with his heart and answers with his soul, and though he is a man of few words, they are all I need to hear. It is the transparency, the clarity of the moment when I wrap my arms around his neck and he swears that he doesn’t know what he would do without me. I never believe him, but he is nothing if not an honest man. It is the times when he lets me make peace between his restless mind and tender spirit that fight against each other relentlessly. How he gives of himself until there’s nothing left but his beating heart, and he’s willing to give that up too, but I won’t let him, because something has to keep him going. But he doesn’t listen. For if ever God made a man more unmovable than the mountains and the roots of the earth, it is him. And if a man can make the mountains sway, it is him. And I will join the dance with laughter on my lips and a song in my heart.

And that is how I continue to love.

Chapter 1

Well, you got me.

As I sit with my laptop in my small living room, typing and erasing this sentence over and over again, I wonder what on earth I’m doing. It’s far past my usual bedtime, I’ve made an ever-growing mess on this abused couch, and worst of all, I haven’t had nearly enough water today. But despite my fears and the dread of uncertainty, here I am. With sore fingers and sopping wet hair, I wrack my brain to find the proper words to say, only to remind myself at the end of every discarded idea that there are no improper things to say. All I have to do is say something. So, let this be a place to say those things – express those ideas, share that thought, and no matter what, keep on living and loving life.

You got me.

I’m here, you’re here, so let’s talk about it – whether you’re in the middle of your story, or just at Chapter one.

All my love,

Gabriella