Monday, June 30, 2008

Basic Instincts

"The active part of man consists of powerful instincts, some of which are gentle and continuous; others violent and short; some baser, some nobler, and all necessary."

Francis W. Newman 

'Tis true, what they say...  Our instincts are better followed than ignored.  But honestly, how many of you actually DO? 

I've been thinking lately, about my own instinctive abilities and inabilities.  Therefore, I am second guessing myself left and right ~ thoroughly frustrating myself to the point of exhaustion.  Looking back ~ and I'm talking YEARS, I consider all the crossroads I have come to and ponder my actions and choices based on instinct alone.  That's not at all to say that I have followed my inner voice on every occasion, because more often than not, I chose to do the opposite of what my instincts were telling me ~ and got myself in a heap of trouble.  Maybe not at that exact moment in time, mind you, but at some point soon thereafter. 

Like the fact that most recently, I KNEW my car would break down again... And it did.

My instincts HAVE gotten better over the years.  That is, while I continue to fail miserably at following them, I can honestly look back and see HOW strong those instincts were at the time, and how badly things turned out, by my having NOT followed them. 

I think about the day I became engaged and then of course, the wedding itself...  And the lingering doubt that crept it's way into my thoughts at the most INOPPORTUNE times (so i thought)...

I think about events that shattered innocence and hearts.  Events that, to this day, I continue to believe ~ had I followed my instincts, never would have happened.

Part of trusting your own instinct is having the very courage to do so.  Oftentimes, what we feel deep down is the truth, may in fact be what hurts the most.  It may be what brings us to our knees in the darkest hours of night.  Who wants to come face to face with that kind of pain?

But what if knowing and feeling and enduring brings us to that beautiful somewhere we thought we'd never go?  Isn't that what instinct IS?  Our gut ~ or our God, if I may, leading us into greener pastures and brighter tomorrows? 

And does basic human instinct originate in the heart ~ or the mind?  Someplace else then?  What if our hearts and minds tell us two completely different things ~ each one bringing very different results?  What then?

I will more than likely contemplate this forever... 

May your instincts guide you well in all you do...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer's Bloom ~ a video

Summer has officially begun, and I've had a lot more time to experiment and redevelop my creativity lately, which is a nice distraction from some of the heavier issues weighing on my mind. 

The video above is my first attempt at creating a slideshow using my photos AND putting it to music AND posting it on YouTube.  I've had a YT account for quite some time, but have never done anything with it till now.  The video ends abruptly and the song is cut short ~ I'm just glad I managed to figure out how to do it.  Of course now, I have the perfect song in mind  that would fit right in with the time frame....  "LittleTooLate" is my middle name, don'tcha know.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, for what it's worth.  The photos themselves seem blurrier than they do on the computer.  My desktop hard drive holds every digital photo I've ever taken, and is currently in the hands of the Geek Squad at Best Buy, so it's been theraputic to do something with the only photos I currently have on this PC. 

Happy Summer! 


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reflections ~ Magic Smoke Style

(as written in Magic Smoke)


"And the day came  when the risk [it took]  to remain tight in the bud 

Was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."     Anais Nin    



Greetings, fellow journalists ~ And a warm welcome to all those passing through


Please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Michelle, and I've been sharing my thoughts, feelings and fateful journey in the pages of my journal, Reflections, for over three years now.  What began as simple documentary of my daily activities turned into something I never would have imagined ~ a beautiful, fulfilling and delightful way of reaching out and searching within.  Reflections has been and continues to be so many things to me:  A place to vent.  A quiet retreat.  A connection to the world.  A place where friends always know they are welcome to visit and share a smile ~ or offer a shoulder.  It has become a celebration of the moments I have captured through my camera's lens.  There are times when I reflect quietly ~ even silently, as a picture paints a thousand words, or a poem finds my heart when my own words elude me. 


More importantly, I've been incredibly fortunate to have stumbled upon some wonderful journals that have brought some very special people into my life.  Many of them have been mentioned on these pages before, and I would gladly add them (and countless others) to my personal list of "must read's".  What I would like to do today however, is highlight a few journals that are relatively new additions to that list. And if you haven't yet already, I'd like to suggest you pay them a visit sometime as well.  You won't be disappointed.



VagabondJourneys "Ambling through a forest of ideas, influences, events, art and people I have known, trying to define in some positive way a difficult and troubled life, with honesty, humility and humor. No rituals, no rules, no summations."   A thoughtful man with clever with words and inspiring thoughts and ideas, DB has become someone I am honored to call "friend". 

Porchswingpoet  "my journey through time......"    Rarely do I find a journal that reaches deep inside and touches me as instantly as this one.  Your heart needs a little understanding?  Go here. 


Rosarium  "Mindscapes, rants, deep philosophical reflections...Well, okay, let's just say rants and leave it at that.  Man, you're fussy!"    Honestly, you won't want to fuss after reading some of these stories.  I have been deeply moved here as well.  Especially by the "Thankfulness" entries.

ChosenWords  "... mostly about poetry, sometimes art."   This is a brand new one for me, too...  But with each new visit, I am always left looking forward to the next one.


Iwasthinking...  ~ "Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can." ~ Douglas Pagels   Memories, thoughts and personal reflection ~ a journey ~ honestly and thoughtfully shared with the world.  You'll find yourself wanting to ride along. 


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity and honor of being this week's Guest Editor!  Happy reading ~ and writing!





Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Up, Up and Away.....

The above photos were taken Friday evening at the Quechee Balloon Festival in Vermont.  The NEPE (New England Photo Expedition) group had a Meetup planned for the entire weekend, but I was only able to spend a few hours ~ thankfully, a few GOOD hours! 

If you've never been to a hot air balloon festival, I would like to suggest that you search for one in your area to attend.  There is nothing quite like observing and experiencing such a magical event...  As soon as the balloons begin to inflate with their hot air ~ one by one until there are too many to count, it's like being a kid in a candy store. 

However, I must admit, I couldn't imagine actually riding in one...  I have a fear of heights that puts my kids into fits of laughter at any carnival.  It's gotten better over the past couple years ~ as I've found the inner strength to settle my self and my heart as needed, to will a friend across the edge of a bridge for a photo op, or to accompany my kids on a high gondola ride.  But inside, I am absolutely fluttering.  I find it interesting, that even with such inexplicable fears, my most enjoyable dreams are those in which I am flying...

Thank you friends, who have decorated my life in countless ways and have given me wings to fly.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Saint Gaudens National Historic Site

Our class recently took our annual field trip to St. Gaudens National Park in Meriden, NH.  We spent time in and around the gardens and home of artist/sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens.  We visited a sculptor in residence as well as a museum of St. Gaudens' work.  We also explored the grounds, ate a picnic lunch and hiked a trail through the woods (my favorite part).





View of Mount Ascutney from the porch (see below)


One of many beautiful spots


This angel seemed to be craving a burst of sunlight, so I gave her one.... ::smile::

Things are finally beginning to settle down here, as the end of this school year quickly approaches.  The students, however, are far from settled, as they anxiously await the first day of summer vacation.  Today was step up day, and we welcomed 17 new, energetic students into our classroom for introductions and activities. 

My own "little" ones are also finding it hard to sit still. They have some fun of their own planned for the summer months, and we are all looking forward to having a bit of time offI know I'll enjoy having more time to enjoy reading journals and hopefully writing a little more myself.  Still, the lazy days of summer will be hardly that ~ I'll be working part time, for the same catering business I worked for last year (put in almost 14 hours on Saturday alone!), and the "off" time will be well spent and celebrated in every which way.

Nothing new with regards to my PC troubles.  I'm having a difficult time trusting programs that offer to remove the bug(s) from my system.  I was finally able to get online for the first time in days (on that computer at least... Thank goodness my daughter is willing to share!) and tried a few things to no avail.   ::sigh::

Thank you to all who offered support and words of advice.  As always, your comments, emails and friendships are very much appreciated! 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Beware: Munching CYBERBUGS!

We've been invaded.....

MalwareProtector is a program that has just recently been launched (or so I've read ~ maybe you've all heard of this to some degree...) into cyberspace and is infecting computers at an astoundingly high rate of speed.

Mine's one of them.

At this very moment, as I type away at the notebook PC, large, disgusting black bugs (literally) are crawling all over my desktop computer screen, eating away at my files.  A tad bit disconcerting, to say the very least... A swift swipe of the mouse temporarily exterminates the little buggers, but soon thereafter, not one, not two but countless hungry critters return to dine upon my precious electronic world. 

The program flashes a warning that your computer has been infected and insists that in order to fix it, you will need to purchase Malware Protector for 50 smackeroos (don't waste this week's gas money, people....).  If you click on the link provided up above, you'll see that this is in fact a SCAM, to steal your money and perhaps destroy what's LEFT of your computer and all the files you've meticulously created and organized since the very first day you logged on.

I've downloaded the software needed to remove the program to no avail.  I just thought I'd put the warning out there to anyone else who may be experimenting the same technical glitch in their system.  There ARE ways of exterminating the little buggers for good ~ I just haven't found them yet.  When i DO, I'll be sure to let you know....

This is what your computer screen will look like when you've been infested:



Luck be with you.