Tag Archive | Novel

Laughter in the Rain

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“The stranger is here. I can feel it. She’s close.
The words vibrated in the dark room and stirred the night air inside the small izba at the far end of Tivil, where two dark-haired figures leaned close across a table within an uncertain circle of light. A measured sprinkle of aromatic powder sent a spiral of flashes swirling out from the single candle flame that burned before them. Together they inhaled its delicate fragrance.
‘I’ve drawn her close,’ Rafik murmured. ‘So close I can hear her heartbeat in Tivil.’
His hand hovered over a black cloth on which lay a heavy crystal sphere. It gleamed, shimmered, and seemed to pulse in the darkness as the gypsy’s hand circled above it, slow and attentive, listening to its voice.
‘What do you hear?’ whispered the olive-skinned girl.
‘I hear her heart tearing. I hear her blood spilling, drop by drop, and yet…I hear her laughing.’ The sound was sweet as birdsong in his ears.”
(The Red Scarf, Kate Furnivall, pp. 52) 

Isn’t this beautiful?! It’s out of a novel I’m reading that takes place in 1933 about a young woman who escapes a Siberian labor camp to try to help another prisoner escape later. 
Labor camps are prisons where many innocent people were locked up unjustly and for stupid reasons like just disagreeing with authority.
They are tortured and not taken care of. They are worked sometimes literally to death. They are killed if they make mistakes or do not submit to authority. Many died before their sentence was up. This story isn’t real but labor camps were.

In prison, this young woman, Sofia, meets another young woman, Anna, and they become very close friends. Anna saves Sofia’s life when Sofia gets cut and it becomes infected. She cares for her day and night until it heals. The guards and others do not take care of the prisoners and couldn’t care less if they die, are sick or in pain. 
Anna tells Sofia often, about the boy she loves and hasn’t seen in years. Sofia takes great pleasure in the beautiful stories Anna tells. It’s what sees her through the pain of being locked away in a labor camp day after day, year after year. 
Anna becomes deathly ill and Sofia wants to get her out of there and get her proper care but Anna is too sick to escape so Sofia risks her life escaping so she can go find Anna’s lover and bring him back to her so Anna can escape.
I haven’t read much of the book yet but on the back it says Sofia finds Anna’s love, the boy she still loves after all these years, and Sofia falls in love with him! Uhh ohh! :-/

But it’s more than just a love story involving romantic & platonic love. It’s a mystery and full of danger and adventure. It has a lot of substance and the characters have depth unlike a lot of characters in romantic love stories, who seem one-dimensional.
I love how it’s a love story that involves both friendship love & romantic love. I love novels about friendship. 

This book has over 400 pages. I’m on page 73.

So I don’t know what happens later in the story but it seems Sofia finds herself in a position where she can potentially make a choice to betray her friend or remain loyal but deny herself the love she has for her friend’s man. I hope she will choose loyalty to her friend. 

 I want to share the scene above because it’s beautiful and mysterious and I believe it’s a positive message how we can find joy & laughter even in the midst of sorrow, anxiety, and uncertainty. 

The man and young girl above are father & daughter, Rafik and Zenia, and the teenage girl, Zenia, finds the young woman, Sofia, stealing vegetables out of their garden before Sofia suffers a head injury and falls unconscious. The father and daughter take Sofia in, knowing she’s a fugitive and it can put their own lives in danger. But they are good people who want to help her. The man and his daughter have some psychic abilities. They don’t know everything though and the daughter’s are not as strong as her father’s.

It’s a lovely book if the part I read up until now is any indication. 

So, I hope you are having a great day or night and lots of love to you! ❤

😀

Xoxo Kim 

You’ve got LOVE mail!! <3

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“No stars are out tonight but we’re shining our own light.”

In the novel I previously wrote about, “The Last of Her Kind,” one character, a young woman, who I wrote about here,loves Mick Jagger and she heard that he was receiving “hate mail” so she decided to send him LOVE mail!

She writes this:

“I understand that you have received a lot of hate mail and even THREATS AGAINST YOUR LIFE. This has really freaked me out and has made me decide to write you LOVE MAIL every day. I don’t want you ever to forget that your true fans cherish and adore you and will always stand by you.” (pp. 170-1)

I just LOVE this concept! Not just sending someone love mail, that too, but bringing light and positivity into places where there is a lot of darkness and pain or negativity. It’s great to be positive in general but it’s especially important to bring light & love to places where it’s really lacking. 

I love how this character decides to take action to bring love to a place that she knows needs more. She is kind enough to reach out and remind the man that people still love him. He may or may not need that reminder or even care about all the people who loathe or even love him. But it’s still good to see someone putting love out into the world. It’s the best we can do. ❤

If we see someone receiving unpleasant messages on social media, let's make it a point to write that person positive or encouraging messages. If we meet or know someone who is hopeless, let's attempt to bring some sense of hope to that person. Maybe it won't work but maybe it will and at least the person will see someone cares. Let's brighten a dark room with the light of our smiles. Bring our own sunshine to a rainy day. Send healing energy to someone sick or in pain.
Let's remind people that for all the negative they encounter, there's so much more positive.
Like the character in the book reminds Mick, while there's so much hate directed at him, there's also so much love.
Let's focus more on the LOVE. ❤
Wherever we see that positivity, inspiration, light, or love is lacking, let's bring our own to those places. ❤

And remember when someone unnecessarily criticizes us, writes us a rude message, doesn't like us, wants to see us fall…there's way more people who do like us and ones who would if they knew us. There's more who want to bring us up and see us succeed. It's sometimes easy to focus on the one or few unpleasant comments or remarks or experiences. But there's more love in the world than negativity. 

Also, as I mentioned in my other posts about this book, on pages 79-81, there is a rape scene in case you read the book and want to skip it.

And here’s a sweet song:

All I Need – Jack Wagner – mobile

All I Need – desktop

Lots & lots of LOVE & hugs to you, whoever you are, wherever you are!! 😀

Xoxo Kim ❤

Yin-yang

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In a previous post,Embracing the Light,I mentioned I’m reading a novel called, “The Last of Her Kind” about two girls who were best friends in college for a couple years then had a bad argument and ended their friendship but the woman telling the story, many years later, still thinks of her former friend very frequently and is still impacted by her friend even though she has not seen her in years. She seems to no longer have any hostility for the girl who was once her best friend.

This isn’t a book review. I’m still reading the book, I haven’t reached the end yet. It’s a very great book, incredibly realistic and deep. There are beautiful scenes in this book. I will share one here.

But first I will again mention like I did in my other post, that there is a brief rape scene in the book. Whenever I write/talk about books that I know there is sexual violence in, I caution people in case anyone wants to avoid that part. I know it can be extremely traumatic for some people to read if they have experienced some kind of trauma. So on pages 79-81, the narrator talks about when she was raped by a stranger in a park, as a college girl. The worst of it is on page 80 in the book I’m reading. I think it’s a good idea if we all caution anyone we tell about a movie or book that has a scene like that. Even if people stop reading/watching after they begin,it can be too late and post traumatic stress or flash backs or any distress can already be triggered. Or some people feel that once they begin something, they have to complete it or may not realize after they begin reading/watching, how bad it will be. It’s always good to try to help in any way we can and a simple caution can help prevent a serious trigger for someone. They may still read/watch anyway and that’s up to them but it’s good just to let them know. 

(there won’t be any really big spoilers here but if you prefer not to know anything more about the book you may not want to continue reading if you plan to read the book)

Anyway, here is one of the beautiful scenes I will share out of this book:

“She lit a few candles around the room and she lit some joss sticks and she got out her guitar. I listened to her sing and wondered when she had become so good. Her voice was assured and pure and vibrant with feeling. The songs she sang were mostly songs she had written herself, and they were about love and pain and what was right with the world and what was wrong with it, and for all she had suffered she praised the wounded world and sang of her tender feelings for man, she sang angelically of hope and forgiveness, and I was blown away by this kid’s wisdom and goodness, and I was proud. Maybe my little sister didn’t have to go back to school. Maybe she knew everything already.” (pp.181)

How beautiful! The narrator, Georgette, has this to say about her little sister. 

Her sister is severely mentally ill and struggles with substance addiction and some physical illnesses,she cannot have children, she was also abused as a child and had, and still in some ways has a very difficult life. She has recurrent psychiatric hospitalizations. She doesn’t have a complete high school education. But she is full of deep wisdom, and often is able to keep hope and wonder alive and not only praise the good in the world but celebrate the bad with the good through her music, writing, and just in her being. She has a kind and gentle heart. 

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This is only a fiction book but there are real people like this too. Those who choose to cherish the good and use the negative aspects of life to their advantage by creating whatever it is they feel a calling to create…music, artistic material, singing, dancing, writing….or anything. We can take our pain and struggles and allow them to deepen our empathy and compassion for others. And we can take all our pain and joy and beauty and create something. Even something as simple as a blog post or message to help inspire or uplift others. 

Life doesn’t have to be perfect or without pain to be good. Life is beautiful even with the pain. Sometimes we may forget to celebrate the good when we’re too consumed in the pain, negativity, or distress and it’s great to have reminders.  

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(the sky wasn’t really this bright & pink, I put an effect on it but it’s pretty isn’t it?!) 😀

The world is full of bad but it’s also full of good. When we see on the news or are involved in tragedies like massacres or hurricanes and tornadoes, floods, fires, accidents, sickness….we see/feel/know the devastation. But we also see/feel/know the love and compassion of others, even strangers, that comes pouring in to those in need. We see people volunteering time, donating money and other material objects, offering to help, and just sending positive comments and well wishes. For every rude comment we receive on social media, we receive many more loving ones. 

There is more love, more light, more good than pain. And it's all what we focus on that will stand out. We don't have to deny the negativity, we can help it when we can and accept it and use it for good when we cannot help or prevent it. 

This beautiful scene is a great reminder to bring more hope and forgiveness to the world, more love and light and acceptance. We can't all sing and play instruments and write songs like this girl but we all have some way to bring beauty to the world even if it's just a warm smile or positive attitude or just sharing an uplifting quote. 

We all have the ability to put more light out into the world. ❤

Much love to you! 😀

Xoxo Kim 

Befriending our emotions

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“Life isn’t about learning how to weather the storm. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”~Vivian Greene

I read a novel, which I posted about last week, called “First Do No Evil” by Dr. Carey Baldwin, medical doctor and author, wife, mother, and with quite a few advanced degrees! She writes mystery books. The books are part of a series but can also be read individually. They’re mostly about doctors, usually a thirty something year old woman with a painful past who is now in some sort of trouble, like being stalked or the target of murder/homicide attempt, who meets a man who tries to help her and they begin to fall in love. The books are full of mystery, adventure, and romance. The characters are of substance and the stories are fascinating, page turners. Dr. Baldwin, the author of this book, former clinical psychologist, and now a family medical doctor, is a hopeless romantic and a genius! So her novels include romance along with the thrilling mystery and adventure.  Her books are intended for adults, not appropriate for teenages, as they contain explicit sexual scenes and adult language/content, and physical violence, even murder. Some romance novels are hallow, with no depth, not much of a plot, but these ones are not like that. They are full of beauty and amazing life lessons. 

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Here is one such lesson: 

“Above the clunking of snow chains, at last, Danny heard his phone. Grabbing it, he checked the display. It was the captain. His breathing grew ragged, and the hairs on the back of his neck lifted. Fear can do funny things to a man. It can paralyze his diaphragm and vocal cords so he can hardly breathe, so he can’t even manage to scream for help; or it can pump his muscles so full of adrenaline he can fend off an army of aliens. Fear can be a man’s worst enemy, or his best friend. Danny knew he had a choice. 
He chose friend.” 

This is a fantastic reminder of how seemingly negative or unpleasant emotions can serve a purpose if we allow them to. 

Guilt – can trigger us to make things right – it can inspire us to say sorry if we wronged someone, tell the truth, and avoid doing things to hurt others and be more mindful of our actions.

Anger – can fuel us or break us. When we get super angry about a certain issue or at a certain person, anger can trigger us to reach out to do something. Reach out not in a destructive way but in a productive way to help or to try to make things better. If we are angry about a political cause, for example, we can reach out in compassion and love to help, not give into the fury and react in a hostile way. Love and compassion can inspire us to act and so can anger and fury when we use it in a constructive way. 

Sadness – When we are sad, we can reach out to help or uplift others in similar situations. Our own sadness can deepen our empathy.  

Grief and loss– grief can help us in a similar way and can inspire us to build our lives into something better, we can become like new, use our grief to push us forward and rebuild ourselves while also reaching out in love and empathy to console others. 

Disappointment/sense of failure/frustration – teach us lessons and motivate us to work even harder. We can acquire/develop more skills along the way and use our experiences to help others. 

Pain of any kind can be our catalyst for positive change in general and can deepen our wisdom and strength and empathy. Pain can bring us to ruin and then we can take that ruin and become even better. Sometimes after experiencing severe pain of any sort, we can change our lives to be better in general than even before that pain. 

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Jealousy – When we feel jealous that someone has something we don’t, that jealousy can inspire us to work harder for what we want or to work on ourselves to accept how we are instead of wanting what we cannot have. It can also provoke us to look within and see what is going on, to see what we feel is lacking or why we feel that way. Then we can become even better/stronger than before. 

Fear/panic – fear can pump us to act or trigger us to collapse and we can choose which to allow.

Unpleasant seeming emotions can inspire and motivate us to create, to build, to reach out, to survive. 

Depression, anxiety, chronic pain, illness…anything that seems negative or unpleasant can be our friend, our teacher, our motivation. 

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Think about your unpleasant emotions. How have they helped you? How can they help you now and in the future? How can you use them to your advantage instead of letting them drag you down?  What can they teach you? Tapping into the wisdom of each experience and emotion is a skill that we can develop to be better. 

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~Let pain make you better, not bitter.~

I’m wishing you much love and light today and always. I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are! ❤

Xoxo Kim 😀

Today <3

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

Today is a very cold, very gray, beautiful wet day. It’s not exactly raining but everything seems wet. It’s night now but all day was gray and beautiful. It’s very cold, almost like Winter or the end of Fall. It’s bittersweet. I know it’s probably the last day or one of the last days that is cold. I LOVE all four seasons and they all have their blessings and unique qualities. They are all beautiful. I cherish each one and try to always be mindful of the beauty they are. But it’s always Winter inside my heart. In Winter and Fall I rarely wish for warm days. In Summer, there are more days I long for, even crave Winter or Fall. 

I’m soaking up every single bit of wet cold beauty I can today! 
Today on my way to Buddhist meditation class I was astounded by the almost palpable beauty. It was almost as if I could touch it, not touch the beautiful things but touch or hold the beauty itself. Touch or hold the concept, the very essence of beauty. I felt very alive and felt the heartbeat of the city become one with my own, as if throbbing in my chest, pulsing through my veins. I felt it deep in my bones, tingling in every cell of my body. Every breath I took, I felt I was breathing in the sounds, the sights, the scents, the intense beauty of the city. This feeling is not new to me but it always feels new. I feel it often, sometimes immensely, sometimes more quietly, sometimes not at all. But I can never get used to it. Sometimes this feeling, this life inside disappears for so long I am convinced it will never be back again. Then out of the blue, it comes and tightly embraces me like a long lost friend who promises to always come back to me.  

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This feeling has always come naturally to me but with practice and certain experiences, I have come to strengthen it. Sometimes it comes out of the blue, like today. And sometimes I can summon it on my own. 

One thing that I find that helps me deepen this sense of beauty and gratitude and awe of everything around me, is taking pictures/photography.  For people who are interested in capturing beauty in artistic forms like painting, drawing, or photography, whether as a hobby or professional career, it can be easier to see, feel, taste the beauty all around because our brains get trained to see things and look for things to capture in a photo or painting or drawing. Then even when we’re not out looking, even when we are without our phones or cameras or paints and pencils, these little gems jump out at us. The more interested I have become in taking pictures, the more developed my sense of awe has become. I originally loved taking pictures because I feel so much beauty and want to capture & share it, but then picture taking only enhanced that feeling of awe in me.

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Photography, painting, drawing, writing…. can all capture simple beauty in a way that makes it stand out more than it does in “real life.” I think many of us generally overlook very simple, very mundane things such as reflections, shadows, a sliver of light creeping through the slit as a result of a door on a dark room being ajar when the hall or other room outside is lit. We often stand in awe or deep appreciation of something dramatically beautiful such as bright, colorful flowers, a beautiful woman in a wedding dress on her wedding day or in stiletto heels and tight blue jeans walking down a street, a dramatic sunset over the ocean waves while lounging on a beach, a baby who is just born, an expensive mansion, an exotic animal, amazing looking food, an incredible looking car, an elegant dress, a flashing diamond ring,…you get the picture! But how often do we look in wonder at a shadow on a ground, maybe a shadow of a tree or person, the way sunlight reflects on signs or cars, the fuzz on a honeybee, the gentle illumination of street lights on a dark street at night, tattered signs, faded poles at busstops with the bus numbers on them, old pay phones, broken glass glittering in the daylight against concrete, an empty beer bottle resting in vibrant green glass, a lemon floating in iced tea, glistening ice cubes chilling a cup of soda….for many, it’s probably never or extremely rarely. But in photography, paintings, drawings, and writing like poetry or novels or descriptions, these things can be beautifully captured and portrayed in artistic forms that can’t help but force us to see, notice, feel the beauty of them, these things we tend to ignore in real life outside of artistic creations. 

And for people who engage in these activities, they can help us further ingrain our habit of seeing and feeling the beauty in real life outside of poetry and novels and photos and paintings or drawings. They help deepen our wonder at the things our eyes and hearts catch. They make it easier for simple treasures to jump out at us as we’re walking up a city street, sitting quietly at a riverside, driving on a busy expressway, meditatively peering out a bus window on a dreary gray day or a green day with life blossoming all around. 

But not everyone is interested in photography or painting, writing, or drawing. Whatever you’re interested in though, it’s fantastic to pursue it, engage in it, get lost in it and let it reel you in. This can bring you to life, fill you with passion for all of life, enthuse you in general. When we are so happy and passionate in one aspect of life, it can carry over into other aspects, even ones that aren’t so great at the moment. It’s like falling in love or having a big crush. You know the intoxicated feeling when you meet someone you are very attracted to or seeing someone you are in love with? That feeling carries over to everywhere and suddenly life is amazing in ways you never really noticed or forgot about…it can be like this even if we aren’t in love with someone. It’s falling in love with life itself. 

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We don’t need “big” things, lots of money, kids, or romantic love to feel this way often. These things are great too but we don’t need them to be in love with life. All we have to do is open our eyes, heart, and look, see, feel, stop ignoring the simple things, the mundane things, the blessings surrounding us always. You don’t have to be a photographer, a painter, or an artist of any kind. 

“Such a feelin’s comin’ over me
There is wonder in most every thing I see
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream
Everything I want the world to be
Is now comin’ true especially for me” ~ the Carpenters 

Imagine feeling this way everyday or at least very often or even just more often than now.

It’s possible.  

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Isn’t this beautiful?! It just goes to show how someone can inspire us and we can see life through that person’s eyes every now and then even if we aren’t interested in the same things. We can feed off of the passion, life, enthusiasm of others. This police officer is deeply inspired by his wife who is a painter with a passionate thirst for life, and while at work, he wishes she was there. This is out of a fiction book I’m reading called “First Do No Evil,” Book 1 in a series by Dr. Carey Baldwin who is an author, a medical doctor/family doctor, and has like two ph.d’s as well, she’s a wife and mother of multiple children. Ummm…is she like Wonder Woman?! I read Book 2 in this series already, not realizing it’s a series. They can be read together or separately and in any order and still make sense. The same characters appear in the books and there’s some subtle references to other books but the author makes it still make sense just to read one individually. She’s an amazing writer of mystery books. It seems most of her books are about doctors. Usually her main characters are a very strong,
beautiful, compassionate, loving, and broken woman who is 30 something years old, has a very painful past, a medical degree, and gets into trouble like is being stalked and needs help. I love her characters and how much depth they have. They are so realistic. And she’s a doc herself so she knows her stuff! Her novels involve romance, mystery, adventure, and healing. They also involve humor, sometimes I laugh hysterically, uncontrollably. They contain adult content in certain scenes. Very vulgar language at some points, and hot sexy scenes, definitely only for adults. Amazing plots, characters, and endings!

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Let’s remember to allow others to inspire us and remember to be the inspiration to anyone we can!

I hope you are having a wonderful day or night wherever you are! Much love to you!

Xoxo Kim

Sharing is Caring <3

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I’m reading a beautiful novel called “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall, which takes place in the 1920’s and is classified as “Lesbian fiction.” It’s considered to be the very first novel to condemn homophobia and the unfair treatment of gay people. It was originally published in 1928.

While it’s not an autobiography,  it is inspired by the author’s real life. It’s said to be the “thinly disguised story of Radclyffe Hall’s own life.”  It’s about a woman named Stephen who is considered to be very different than the average woman. She’s somewhat masculine and is a lesbian. Even when she’s not open about her sexual orientation, people can kind of sense it. But this is the 20’s and not only is homosexuality condemned by society, it’s not even thought of much and almost never talked about. Even though people have an idea of the concept, it’s like they don’t even know what it’s called or how to even talk about it in words or fathom it. It’s so unheard of, it’s like there’s not even a word for it, it seems in this novel. They all have an idea about Stephen, that she’s not how she “should be.” As a child she was said not to have the “pretty little ways” of the other little girls. She wanted short hair and to be a boy.
Since she was a child, she worked out unlike other little girls. Now she’s muscular and considered to be unusual. She also fences “like a man.” She doesn’t like girly things and dresses in masculine suits with ties.
She is considered quite attractive, just not in a feminine way. 
She’s kind of shy, lacks confidence, and often feels as if she’s being mocked by those around her. 
But she knows what she wants and goes for it even though others criticize and exclude her. I love how Stephen loves and cares deeply for animals. And people too.

People know as a young woman she’s not romantically interested at all in men. And they do not like this at all. She is only interested in being friends with men. 
But men/boys feel threatened by her because she’s better at boy activities than even they are.

Even Stephen herself doesn’t understand what is going on. She knows, as the people in her community suspect, that she’s only romantically attracted to women. She thinks there is something wrong with her but also she knows there’s nothing wrong with her. She knows her attraction and love for other women is not wrong or unnatural or immoral but she can’t help but feel in some way that there’s something “wrong” with her because of how others treat her. 

To her, her love feels so right, so natural, so strong, it can’t possibly be wrong.
Most people won’t accept her. They gossip about her very unkindly. The only two people who seem to accept her, homosexuality and all, are her dad and her teacher.
The novel is about how she falls in love with a woman who loves her back and no one around them accepts this and won’t even let them in their houses. This puts a kind of strain on their relationship. Then a man comes along and says he can give Stephen’s lover the “respectability” that Stephen cannot if she will leave Stephen for him. This is a threat to their relationship and puts their love for one another to the test. 

One of the most beautiful lines in the novel is:

“‘You’re neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you’re as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you’re unexplained as yet- you’ve not got your niche in creation. But some day that will come, and meanwhile don’t shrink from yourself, but just face yourself calmly and bravely. Have courage; do the best you can with your burden. But above all be honourable. Cling to your honour for the sake of those who share the same burden. For their sakes show the world that people like you and they can be quite as selfless and fine as the rest of mankind. Let your life go to prove this- it would be a really great life-work, Stephen.'” (pp. 154)

One of the characters in the book plans to say this to Stephen but she has to be careful or they both can get into social trouble if it’s overheard by others, Stephen for being a lesbian, the other character for supporting her . 

Isn’t this beautiful?! While there’s nothing intrinsic to homosexuality itself that is painful or immoral or wrong or detrimental and there’s nothing about consensual adult homosexual encounters/relationships that is wrong, to many lgbtq people, it can feel that way because of the way others view and treat them or their sexuality.  Homosexuality isn’t a burden. What is the burden, is having to put up with prejudicial attitudes and discrimination. 

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I think the line I shared above can apply to all of us with any situation we have whether good, bad, or neutral. We can have a situation that is painful or frustrating or distressing either because of the thing itself or the way people view the thing. For example when someone has depression or anxiety, that itself is not good, and on top of it, people often misunderstand or misjudge those who struggle with those disorders. And then there are even good things that can become painful because of how other people react. Like some goals and dreams some people have which may not be supported by friends and family of the person. For example, some people want to be an artist and the family won’t accept it, maybe thinking it’s pointless or that the person won’t get much money or get anywhere in life being an artist. But being an artist of any sort is a great thing! It’s amazing. But it won’t always feel that way with other people pressuring them to be/do something else. Stephen or anyone can have a beautiful romantic relationship with a lover of the same gender or even a different gender but it can feel “wrong” or painful because other people try to get in the way for whatever reason. 

But as this line in the book shows, there’s always someone out there somewhere in a similar situation who can really be helped in some way by our stories. They may be feeling very lonely and hopeless and knowing examples of others in similar situations can bring them consolation, inspiration, motivation, and help them muster the strength to keep going. 

It’s not always easy to share our stories because no matter what there’s always going to be those who criticize unnecessarily, mock, judge, try to get in the way…,whether they are friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers. 

 But I think it’s worth it to share our stories, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the taboo, and the unthinkable…to help others somehow. Some people want desperately to share their story of a life situation they experience/d but they are deathly afraid of being judged. It’s ok to be afraid. But I think we can “feel the fear and do it anyway.” There’s someone, many someones, out there who need us and can draw on our strength. When people criticize us unnecessarily and judge us negatively, we can love them and move forward, letting them judge and criticize. It has nothing to do with us or how we really are. 

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I love this book even though I haven’t read it all yet. It’s so beautiful, the story, the love, the imagery, the boldness, and how it’s written, almost poetically. The beauty and imagery just flow. And it’s written with passion and deep understanding as the author herself, has in reality experienced very similar circumstances as Stephen.  It’s a very old story but it’s not written in a way that is hard to understand. I was expecting to not understand some things as the English language long ago wasn’t exactly the same as now and in some old texts they had to allude to certain taboo concepts like homosexuality, suicide, adultery…as those things were considered unthinkable. But this book is quite candid. It’s said to be “Shockingly candid for its time.”

There’s not much allusion. The author is upfront in her writing. I love the candor. The author, I feel, is a hero for having the courage to write this novel back then, when she would have been horribly judged and  criticized, discriminated against. In fact, her novel was banned and her literary career was almost ended.  Imagine how many people were/are helped and inspired by this novel. Sadly, these things linger even today but fortunately they are often less severe than way back then, still, they are all too common. I think this novel is a gift to the world (and I haven’t even read the entire thing yet. Lol) I’m happy she had the balls to write and get it published back then. Imagine the strength it took. Even today lgbtq people are discriminated against and the targets of prejudicial attitudes, so imagine how much more courage it took back in the 20’s to put her story out there! 

So I find so much wisdom in the story and feel I must share it!

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Much love to you! ❤

😀

Xoxo Kim ❤

Sometimes we can all use a reminder <3

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I’m reading a novel called “When Crickets Cry,” and it’s beautiful, I read over half. It’s quite the page turner. 

It’s another one of those books I got just because I like the title/cover. I think I mentioned here before that I do in fact judge books by their covers. 😀 It’s ok though, it’s usually a positive judgment!

;-D

And here, I actually love the content as well!

I’m going to write about it later after I read the entire thing. I have so much highlighted throughout the book that I find beautiful and inspirational and there’s one thing I want to share today.

This is an excerpt or brief conversation out of the book.

It’s not a big spoiler in case you’re intending to read the book; it doesn’t give anything away to ruin the ending (not that I read the end but I’m assuming it’s no big shocker, however the concept does hone in on one of the main themes of the book) or anything. But if you would prefer not to know anything at all until reading it you know to stop reading here. This wisdom applies to all of us whether or not we read this book. 

A retired heart/transplant surgeon is talking to another character, the other character is the narrator of the book so he’s telling this of his conversation with the retired surgeon:

Surgeon:

“‘I knew a farmer once,’ he started, staring out over the fence. ‘Think his name was James. Had an orange tree, a lot like that one. It hadn’t bloomed in several years and wasn’t looking too good. Still had green on it, but not much. One morning I caught him standing next to it, sizing it up and murmuring to himself. In one hand he held a hammer, and in the other he held three twelve-inch spikes. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me to stand back, and then he drove one of the spikes into the trunk, about knee height. That nail split the thin skin on that tree, and the farther in he drove it, the more white ooze seeped out around the head of the nail. He drove a second at waist level and a third about here.’ He raised his hand level with his collarbone.” 

The second character asks:

“‘Why?’ I asked.”

Retired surgeon:

“That’s exactly what I asked him. You know what he said? “

Second character :

“I took the bait. ‘What?'”

Retired surgeon :

“‘He said,’ ‘Sometimes trees forget they were meant to blossom and just need to be reminded.'” 

Second character :

“I look at the three spikes and asked ‘Why not ten spikes?’ He shook his head and eyed the tree. ‘Nope, three is a good enough dose. Don’t want to kill it, just remind it.'”

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I think this is perfect. Sometimes we do need reminders that we are meant to bloom, meant to be fantastic, to be amazing. And it’s good to gently remind others as well as ourselves. 

Have you ever given up on who or what you are for any reason? Maybe you kept trying and not succeeding how you intended. Maybe you were criticized by others in some way, rejected, hurt, broken, exhausted….so you just quit.

Maybe quit something specifically or just quit participating fully, in this life, just walking around feeling stagnant, bland, blah, depressed, maybe succumbing to your bed or walking around like a zombie, not taking advantage of the gift of life we have all been blessed with.

It’s ok, you just need a gentle, sweet, reminder now and again to get back up and embrace you for you.

Since I’m prone to depression, I need reminders, sometimes frequently. Reminders to get back up and blossom into the me I know I am underneath the despair and pain.

I also appreciate the message of gentleness here. 

“Nope, three is a good enough dose. Don’t want to kill it, just remind it.”

We don’t want to be preachy or offensive, giving unsolicited or uncalled for, unwelcome advice, or use a condescending tone. There are appropriate occasions and appropriate ways to provide someone with truly uplifting, comforting, and inspiring reminders. 

It’s almost never good to say “get over it,” “pull yourself out of it,” or “it’s not that bad,” even if we’re intending this in a positive way, when to that person it really feels like the end of the world.  

It’s good to be firm but warm in some cases. 

We can use our intuition or knowledge to detect what stage of the problem someone is in. For example, if someone just experiences a breakup of a relationship or loses a person or pet to death, it’s probably not at all helpful to be saying potentially inspiring, motivational,  or uplifting things like “you’ll move on, find someone better, heal quickly, be happy again, recover….” those things are appropriate in some cases, at some stages but it’s too soon when it just occurs. No one really wants to hear it when two seconds ago, the person’s heart was ripped out and trampled on or when the person is currently in the throes of the deepest, blackest depression. 

At first it’s good just to attempt to provide a sense of comfort, listening, a hug, just being present, helping the person with everyday tasks to make things easier…

Also, sharing quotes, songs, and books on social media just to people in general is a great idea, then people can find it that way and can embrace it or leave it without it being in their faces or condescending. If it resonates with them, they can pursue it more, if not, they can click it off.  

Please, don’t give up, find your little specks of “green” that you still posses like the tree in the little story above. So much wisdom. Then nourish those bits of green in you until they blossom into beautiful vibrant leaves like the dawn of Spring. Keep going, baby, you got this!

😀 

Xoxo Kim ❤