Friday, July 22, 2016

In the midnight garden of my brain

Prompt: In the midnight garden of my brain

My face lifts skyward
I raise my arms
and wings unfurl
I take flight 
soaring among the clouds 
tumbling on the currents
exultation of spirit ascends
There is a beauty and grace 
In my every movement
Flawless synchronization of intent and execution
My midnight garden resides in the ether
Unbound and borderless
No depth or height
Just            being
I am so loathe to return to
To Earth - reality - 
To these mortal confines
But return I must. 
I know this truth
But in the deepest recesses of my brain
A secret lies - 
I can return to this midnight garden
At Will - 
And that knowledge sufficient must be
In my daily toils

~ Ellen Apple 7/22/2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Week of Gratitude

This is what we need to be able to focus on, not suicide bombings and guns and police/civilian conflicts that escalate too far, too fast. Our Earth, our lives need healing ... and soon.

UN Report says Small Scale Organic Farming ...
Is the Only Way to Feed the World ...

The UN Farming Report ... 
“Wake Up Before It’s Too Late”

The review benefited from the analysis of over 60 international experts, and its key message recommends“…
a paradigm shift in agricultural development: 
from a “green revolution” to an “ecological intensification” approach ... 
This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers”

Read GreenAgric's Blog ...
"Food Catastrophe Looms"

Please click on the link below to read the details ...

My Daily Gratitudes
My mother is back home after a week in the hospital. I hear she cried when she came in the front door. I know it is often said, but it bears repeating: Appreciate your family - none of us live forever.
Cats - my indoor cats both know the sound of my voice, and greet me with affection. I think animals help humans stay healthy.
Friends that have empathy and concern. I believe in surrounding myself with as much kindness and goodwill as possible. It helps me balance out the negative aspects of myself.
Books to read, always at my side. I even keep one in the glovebox of my vehicle. Because you never know when you will have a chance to read a chapter or two.
Roger - he brings a deep contentment to my life, and we always say "I love You" several times a day -
Living where I do - having a place and space to sleep that is safe. So many people do not have that gift.
Nekots and coffee and iced tea. . . and cheese.
What are you grateful for today?

Shared from my friend Barbara Cowgill

Humanity would really benefit if people were not so meanspirited. Be Kind - it costs nothing yet is priceless.


My Daily Gratitudes
I have the most amazing friends - generous, giving, compassionate, kind ...I am grateful for all of them, but especially today I am grateful that life brought me to cross paths with Andrea about 16 years ago. I hope all of you has a friend like her - she had a desire to make a difference in her community, and now a few dozen children will have new backpacks filled to overflowing with school supplies to start their new school year. She saw a need, and she addressed it.
Because of life in general, and Facebook specifically, I have friends in Europe, as well as Australia, Greece, Great Britain, well, pretty much everywhere but China and Korea. I am grateful that I can have relationships without borders, and without language barriers thanks to 'translate' - today I am grateful that as far as I know, everyone is safe from the recent troubles. But oh, how my heart grieves for the lost lives ... especially the children.
I am grateful for salty snacks - Bugles today - and ice cold water.
I am grateful for my job, even on rough days. It was not that long ago I had no income, and that is not a good feeling.
I am grateful for missed opportunities, they teach lessons hard learned and long remembered.
I am grateful that I live far enough out of town to be blessed with a lovely commute home ... though I admit to griping about low hanging fog , oh, about every single morning.
Be kind, friends. Please be kind, our times are crying out for kindness in large and small doses. Earth, and it is one kindness at a time.


My Daily Gratitudes
I am grateful for hugs - unexpected hugs from dear people I see out and about. I am doubly blessed, because I had two such hugs today ... One as I was going in to work, from Erica - yes, she works with me, but she is still a dear friend, and it helps my day start off so nice when I see her as I go in at 5 AM. I do not get to see her every day, so I am especially appreciative of the days I do. The second hug was just after I had clocked out to come home, and I saw Terri - another one of my AT&T blessings. I had a nice hug from her, she just has one of those joyful countenances that brightens any day, any time.
I am grateful for my ability to "unlax" when I get home from work, spending time with Roger and the cats. We chat about our day, and discuss topics ranging from the mundane to the sublime. Smokie, the black cat, hears my voice and has to have her "rubbings" and Mabon, the calico, sits along the back of my chair and rests her head on my shoulder. We are blessed.
I am grateful that when I married Roger I also gained a sister, Patricia. She is a good person, and has such a heart for the well-being of her family.
I have a vision of Earth, healed. Be kind - it costs nothing and is priceless - just look at the smiles you get in return!


My Daily Gratitudes
Being led to work this morning by the beauty of a Full Moon. Though the moon is "officially" full tonight, the fullness can be enjoyed on days preceding and following the event. I was glad for her presence this morning, because there are possibilities of rain overnight tonight, which may mean clouds ...
A kind co-worker gave me a full case of 9 Lives cat food for the outside cats. Her cat would not eat it ...
Voortman (sp?) wafer cookies ... they are a flashback food, and remind me of Bible School at church when I was a child. I like the chocolate, though the peanut butter is pretty tasty as well.
Book recommendations from good friends ...I am loving Ink and Honey by Sibyl Dana Reynolds and am glad I bought the companion book, The Way of Belle Coeur, as well. Thank you, Debra.
I have a vision of Earth, healed ... we heal our planet by healing our spirits. Be kind, and kindness will return to you in serendipitous ways. Lagniappes from life. :)

I am just as distressed by the negative comments and posts about both main political parties pretty well equally.
What has happened to civility?
Where is the place for resaoned, polite debate?
I know where it is not - Facebook.
I am in the process of unfollowing some friends. Not unfriending, just unfollowing the bulk of the posts.
For the good of my peace of mind and in hopes of a healthy blood pressure.


My Daily Gratitudes
I am thankful today, as I sit looking out the window, that there was light traffic and good weather as we travelled to Mountain Home TN today for a medical test.
Very thankful for small graces, today's was being in and out of the VA in less than an hour (four hours is the norm).
Grateful for Krogers, and their store brand coffee.And having the time and money today to purchase a few pounds.
I am grateful for being able to stay alert while driving after getting up at 3 AM and working a short shift.
Thank you Roger for always being able to make me laugh at silly things. Everyone should be gifted with a few uninterrupted hours with your outlook.
I have a vision of Earth, healed. Be kind, it makes anyone's day better, especially your own.

I have a vision of Earth, healed ... for the sake of flowers, help save our honeybees. Be judicious in your use of herbicides and pesticides. I have heard it said that without honeybees, the earth's ability to sustain life would be gone in three years.


Saturday, July 21, 2012
Life Wearies Me - Or Perhaps It Is Just People
A damaged soul, for reasons that may never be known [ and if known will probably not make sense or be coherent] commits a reprehensible act. Almost before we can process, the crap starts to fly around the blogosphere, drip down the Facebook feed, scream at us from the "news".

Conspiracy theorists. Gun Control. Terrorists.

Cameras and microphones and livefeeds as the friends and families and shattered lives are hounded relentlessly.

Religion and psychology and psychiatry and education reform and media influence and popular culture are all prodded and poked by the talking heads on the television screen, spouting theories and spinning lies and truths into a fabric that will be cut and sewn and ripped apart ad nauseum in the days, weeks, years to come.

Connections are made where it is convenient though implausible. The unscrupulous suck the tragedy dry like insatiable vampires as they desecrate the private pains for their own gains. Why not? they self-justify - my cause, my beliefs, my candidate, my agenda is what really matters.

There is a book  I read about six years ago for the first time that speaks to the idea that we create our own reality. As invincible as we go about life thinking we are, our current incarnation of energy that includes the ability to think, reason, dream, communicate is a very fragile and fleeting thing. Since according to Don Miguel Ruiz we create the reality we walk in each day, why not make it a reality of hope, of joy, of dreams, of possibilities?

I am not naive - one does not get to be 54 years old and go through the events of my life and retain a childlike innocence and naivete. I am firmly committed to the belief that life is about balance, light and dark, good and evil, yin and yang. That being said, we are sentient beings. Why are we (humanity as a whole) not able to function in a manner that is less base? What benefit is history, all the volumes of recorded history, if we continue to repeat the same actions and continue to get the same results?

There is greed, avarice, discord, hatred, cruelty in this world. Life is a cycle, and what becomes ceases to be. There is generosity, compassion, love, gentleness in this world. Life is a cycle, and what becomes ceases to be.

Embedded in the here and now for each of us is a chance to choose, to make a difference that matters in good ways.

Yet once again, when the incomprehensible has occurred, the lowest common denominator rises to the forefront.

Life wearies me, or perhaps it is just people.

My Daily Gratitudes
Yesterday I was grateful for the concept of Kroger's French Roast Coffee - today I am thankful for the reality. I brewed a pot early, about 3:30 AM, and had a cup with my Nekots, then took a cup to work with me. So tasty.
I am grateful that I am giving myself the rest of today off ... yes, I have laundry that begs doing, and house that needs cleaning, but I am weary. So I am going to Facebook play, then nap, then read, then feed people and cats, then read some more.
A smile and hug going out to my Facebook friends that buck the trends and do not repost demeaning "news". There is enough focus on the negatives in life, and I am so thankful for being in the company of so many who carry true compassion and empathy in their hearts.
I have a vision of Earth, healed. Be the friend to others you want to have. Most people will respond to kindness much faster than neediness.


Thursday, July 14, 2016


These are not my feet - but they could be!

Grass and clover they tickle 
Soil is silky when rock free
Thistle can cause a prickle
Mud may splash up to the knee

Feet go Splat! on the sidewalk
But stealth through dandelions
Cold creeks can be quite a shock
With grass skirt? Like Hawaiians!

When at work I must be shod
Give me choice I kick them off
Blessed release I applaud
Lest you try it do not scoff

Monday, July 11, 2016

Comforting the Comforters

"Who comforts the comforter?", I wrote the other day. And as in times past, words I wrote echo in my mind, singing out that they are still there, still needing to be heard. So today, again, I ask. 

Who comforts the comforter? Who helps the helper? Who heals the healer? 

This goes out to my Heart Sisters, my very own Wild Women, fierce and innocent, free and burdened, held down and rising up - fighting hate with love, they battle in their own darkness to be a light of peace. 

They stand in the gap when the call goes forth. They hold space when cries rip through the desert for justice. In the midst of the storm they are the refuge. Heart to heart and hand to hand, they encircle the wounded and their pure energy of intent warms and mends what was thought to be lost. 

Ah, but they are weary and worn. They bow low with the weight and worry they have so willingly taken, and will even yet in their own sorrow carry another. 

That deep breath they take is not a prayer for patience at your request. It is a recharging of their will and effort. When they shake their heads and straighten their shoulders, it is their very own silent battle cry. 

They are there for you, to comfort, to help, to heal. They know that a burden taken without rancour is made lighter for the sharing, and that sure steps are made when hands are joined. 

Their keening cries rise in the wind of the night, calling forth a fresh and better day. They toil alone, and for hours unknown. They lose their own selves, at times, and wonder where they have been, and how they journeyed forth and back whilst living their day to day. 

They ask not for appreciation, or compensation. That mother's heart that lives in the soul of every woman could do no less, than to give their all. It is a part of their essence, the lifeblood that courses through their veins and the sweet nectar that feeds their spirit. 

This then is for each of you. Listen, and know I mean each word.

I see you, and your beauty rips my heart with the brilliance you bring. I hear you, and I know that the music of angels falls from your lips. You enfold me in your arms, gather me unto your breast, and I know the warmth and respite I longed so for has been given at last. 

Yes, I have a vision of Earth, healed ...

and you are the 

my vision has called forth.

~ Ellen Apple 07-11-2016

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Seven Dark Horses Ride

July 3 

soft snores float in a quiet house

in the between time
in the between time when our
talk is awkward and eyes dart
and we appear to cower 
at the concept much less art
of crafting relation from
acquaint a ship floats apart
sails grab the wind ignore scum
and glides following no chart
ripples on surface become
a point on which focus part
hope more fear then waves crash
beauty and bare honesty
fill in the between time now

July 4

The dark horse will gallop
The cold wind will howl
Thunder roll and lightning flash
Red clouds boil across the sky
Heat and chill will meet then clash
Chattering calls of mad magpie
Keening cry in dead of night
Laments of empty day brought
Feed the endless appetite
Always seeking never caught
From the dragons goblet drink
Chase the magic from the day
Teeters oh so close the brink
Far from meadows of the fae
Ride that dark horse long and hard
Past that river of blue ice
Howling you greet yon graveyard
Once this journey will suffice
The dark horse will gallop
The cold wind will howl

writing prompt Howl at the Dark Horse

I apologize for my tardiness in reading the posts since the prompt went up yesterday. I wanted to write as my mind flew around the words, unencumbered by the images all of your words would surely invoke. Having been reading just now of your offerings, I see my wisdom, for had I read your eloquence, I surely would have stilled the clattering of these laptop keys posthaste, and watched a cooking show on television instead.

July 5

All his life he would howl at the dark horse. He would cry out at the pain, and run from the raw reality of what he had been, become. He turned to the warmth, the love, time and again. But the lure of the midnight frenzy pulled him away. In the end, the sharp and unforgiving hooves of that malicious steed ground him one last time into the earth, and he never howled again. He was just shy of 60, and that was a sort of miracle in itself.

July 6 

Howl at the Dark Horse

Laugh at the Pink Fish

Dance with the Spotted Pig

Make a Second Wish

Cry for the Teeming Horde

Whisper to the Sacred Tome

Build a cairn for the Small Stones

Love your way Home

July 7

Shots fired in the night, and at least one life lost. News from my region this morning ... 
and once more, 
random acts of violence (seem to) 
trump random acts of kindness. 

So the call goes forth, 
from a muted voice in an empty room, 
echoing across the barren landscapes 
and rocky peaks ... 
howl at the dark horse ... 
howl until strength lags then renews ... 
howl through the blistering heat and driving rain 

and howl again. 

For the lives lost, 
for the hearts shattered, 
for the hope that must not wither.

July 8

Will you hold space for my mother? 
Her name is Jan, and she is in hospital with head injuries sustained in a fall that occurred when she suffered a heart attack yesterday.  
update: the fall preceded the heart attack, which was mild. Small Mercies 

Thank You. 

I have yet another Dark Horse at which to howl, and my voice is growing weak.

July 9

Who hugs the one who always has

A hug for the aching soul

Who catches the tears that never fall

From the deep and lonely eyes

Who offers rest to the swollen feet

That pace in the darkest hours

Who howls at the dark horse

When the voice is frozen still

Who comforts the comforter

That is all I want to know

I have a vision of Earth, healed 

Be kind, it costs nothing 
and means everything

~ Ellen Apple 7/9/2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thursday ... and on the Eighth Day

Shared from the Facebook page of my sister from another mother, Lilian Mustelier - whose constancy and care in my life, and Roger's, has been a lagniappe from Universe in ways I cannot express.

Shots fired in the night, and at least one life lost. News from my region this morning ... and once more, random acts of violence (seem to) trump random acts of kindness. So the call goes forth, from a muted voice in an empty room, echoing across the barren landscapes and rocky peaks ... howl at the dark horse ... howl until strength lags then renews ... howl through the blistering heat and driving rain ... howl, and howl again. For the lives lost, for the hearts shattered, for the hope that must not wither.

Come away a while with me
Leave this mess behind
We shall see what we can be
Adventures we shall find

Unicorns and fairy folk
Will be our guides I'm sure
Be sure to wear your woolen cloak
The path leads through the moor

Bring a snack along as well
Tucked in your ample vest
Perhaps a trinket too we'll sell
Or give as grateful guest

We shall need both tent and kettle
For frequent stops and rests
Camps may harbor stinging nettle
And other loathsome pests

What's that you say
You think you'll pass
Too high a price to pay
Then refill my empty glass
And I'll be on my way

~Ellen Apple, 07 July 2014

It has been a week today that my brother-in-law Allen Apple passed away. Roger wrote, for all of the love and concern that has been sent his way, the following:

(as he wrote it – no edits or corrections)
Thank You too All that wished me and My Family Well
It has been a week of Allens Passing ‘ His history on our earth is over. But now I sit alone in a movie theater with Memories Flooding on a constant Loop with tears, Smiles and what ifs
To All Thank You Love you

Allen called me Arlo (here he drew three teardrops)

~ Ellen Apple 7/7/2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sacred Desecration

There are no unsacred places. There are only sacred places and desecrated places.

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.

There is an article in Appalachian Magazine that has struck a chord with me, and it resonated back to one of my favorite quotes by Wendell Berry. Which in turn led me to this wonderful meme featuring more of his wisdom. 

We are made of starstuff, Carl Sagan said, and well that may be, but the flesh and blood and bone that the starstuff created was birthed here on this beautiful lopsided blue marble. We are basically stuck here, you could say. The Earth is a closed environment. 

Earth ... Mother Nature ... Gaia

In Greek mythologyGaia, also spelled Gaea, was the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia was the great mother of all; the primal Greek Mother Goddess; creator and giver of birth to the Earth and all the Universe.

I have not always been the most environmentally aware person - but as I have aged, I have become more sensitive to what is happening to our planet as a whole. Not just the resources, but the people. 

Technology would appear to be the natural progression of the evolution of our species, but I am not sure it is all about the good. We have harmed our planet, with everything from drilling for oil, to fracking, to overfishing, to aiding and abetting in the extinction of an astounding number of creatures. 

We are a greedy lot, us humans. Greedy and clannish and merciless in our treatment of other living things. We poison the air and the soil and the water with our improvements. We turn on one another in an endless game of this is mine and that is yours and I want it all. We see not the beautiful mosaic that we are, but seem to want everyone to look and think and worship and live just like we do, no matter the cost or consequence.

We blithely cause pain and suffering to anyone and anything that strikes our fancy, but scream loud and cry hard if we are treated in kind. We satisfy our wants and the cost is the needs of others. Perspective is gone – we an insatiable beast devouring all and screaming for more. We insulate and isolate ourselves and become both hypersensitive and outrageously callous at the same time. 

Every once in a great while, we feel a prick of conscious. We perform some empty gesture to a handpicked audience of our peers to assuage our guilt. We push any true sense of self-awareness further and further away each time. 

But I am a schemer, a weaver of dreams, and I specialize in believing in what others may call impossible things. 

I do not believe we are doomed. Not as a culture, not as a society, not as a species, not this beautiful planet or the miracle that we are. There are scars, injuries to be healed. There are course corrections to be made, and they may not be easy. Uncomfortable and painful more than likely. Physically demanding, emotionally draining, psychically challenging. 

We can be better stewards of our resources. We can be more caring of the animals we share the water, land, and air with. We can be more tender and loving to each other, judging less and listening more. We can have enough, not excess, but enough, and in so doing ensure that another has enough as well. 

Maybe we need to look at our priorities. Ask ourselves some tough questions. Think before we speak, plan before we act. Be willing to help one another, and be willing to ask for help when we have need. 

I have a vision of Earth, healed ... 

Be kind, it costs nothing and means everything.

Be Blessed, Brothers and Sisters, and Bless others in the Blessing.

~ Ellen Apple 7/6/2016