What I know for sure is I live in my thoughts/head too much. It’s no wonder my world is dark and full hairy green monsters. I’ve lost my love for most things that used to give me pleasure. Coming here to my sacred place is a chore. From experience I know that the tapping on the keyboard is my pacemaker. It will help kick my heart back in rhythm. And so I make the effort. I still possess that curiosity, the need to investigate and fix things. At the moment I’m still intent on fixing me so that I could live with more ease.

I haven’t quite master the art of letting go yet. I can’t quite accept the idea that I am not God, that I am not all powerful. I can’t fix anything and everything. I exert alot of energy and waste my intent on things that I can’t change. It’s burning me out somewhat. I do see that though. Hurrah for me for the small but huge recognition. It’s started me on the road to reconciliation with myself. I am who I am but I can choose to do differently. I do not have to proceed down the same well trodden but wrong paths.

I need not be so hard on myself. I have to implement the nurture part of the R.A.I.N. meditation. I am not good at self love but I’m an expert at beating myself to death. One good thing that I possess is the desire for excellence in living. The spark is ever alive in me – to do my best, whatever is the best at the moment. Today, I’m trying to get my head out of my thoughts. I want to be awake to the light of the day even though it is cloudy. With eyes wide opened, the unamed hairy monsters/fears recede.

So I’m sipping roasted dandelion tea. I threw in some freshly chopped ginger in. It’s a good combination. I savoured the taste on my tongue. Thinking and thoughts are always with me but I need to reside in the physical world as well. I need to move my body as well as my soul. I’m leaving the monsters and fears on the page. Their power over me is diffused as I watch the letters and words march across my screen. It’s time for them to get the hell out. I have lunch to make. The brown rice is cooking in the Instant Pot. All the veggies are chopped and ready for me. I still stir fry them with some ground pork. I cannot survive on thoughts alone. I need real food. That’s what I know for sure.



The significant question of the day: What does my soul tell me are Divine truths and am I living in harmony with all that I know to be holy truths.

Today is the 5th and final day of my personal online spiritual retreat with Caroline Myss. There’s two more classroom sessions tomorrow and the next day. We were instructed to arrive with no expectations. I had none. At this very moment I can’t really articulate what it is that I have learned or achieved. Wait, I do have one observation. I see or I now admit that all my chaos and distractions have been for the avoidance of facing/answering the difficult questions/situations/truths.

I am sure I am not alone in all of this. It is difficult to face our mortality. It is not death itself that I am afraid of. It is the journey, the process. How will I be able to cope with my mother’s leaving? That has been a possibility the winter before last. I felt as if I had died a thousand deaths of fright that time. It’s only when I accepted that possibility, that the fright passed. It’s much like falling off a tall building. I accepted that I was falling. I could land with a thud. I didn’t. It was a soft landing. My mother proved to be a tough cookie and is holding her own.

I hope I am stronger for the next round. I feel I am. I am standing tall, trying to face the truths of this life. They are the same for everyone. We are born, we live and we die. There’s no getting around that. But I do believe in a force greater than ourselves. I draw my strength from that. I’m feeling my ancestors blood in me. I’m hearing my grandmother’s voice. There is a Tian/heaven, she cried when she was imprisoned by the Communist in China. My grandmother survived having to kneel on gravel, having cold water poured over her head and people throw angry words and stones at her. I come from good stock.

I know right and wrong. I have always tried to walk the higher path. I am not sure that I have always succeeded. It is difficult to make the hard choices but I do. It is my nature. I cannot do otherwise. How else would I know if it’s worth it if I don’t make those choices?Life is hard. I suffer for it. We all suffer. What would life be without a hitch? It would be a big yawn, would it not?

I’m not sure if I had answered the question of the day. But it is more than enough for now.





Today the sun plays hide and seek behind the clouds. The wind is sighing heavily through the spruce trees. I am spooked by the shadowing and heavy sighs. My skin crawls. I have to do. I can’t just sit and think. Questions, all kinds of whys and how comes would creep in and invade my head and infest my mind. Yesterday, I thought about makingupdating my will and last testament. I thought about who/what causes to leave all my stuff to, whether they are worthy or not. Then I started thinking about relationships. What is and what is not. I make myself stop.

It’s better to do than to think. I took my tea out to my workstation on the deck. It was still coolish but the sun was out. The wind can’t find its way through the screen. I was warm and snug in my sanctuary. The index cards, brushes and paint were waiting for me to make a start. After the first stroke, I was away, absorbed in the process. Gone were the questions, the uncertainties and anxiety attached to them.

So what do you think of my little pouty Geisha? She kind of reminds me of my groupy self when I was little. I had those puffed out cheeks and down turned lips. Funny how I always paint myself. Perhaps it’s my alter ego wanting to come through. She’s trapped all these years and screaming to come out. Now she has an avenue through my art.

This is much better than letting the anxiety getting the better of me. Yes, I feel its creepy, crawling fingers on my skin, its stirring in my heart. I know its ways. I’m soothing and smoothing it down with my brushes and paint. I’m turning its energy in the creative rather than the destructive direction. True, Miss Pouty is not perfect. She is rather sweet though, slanted eyes and all.

I never like doing anything. If I didn’t know any better, I would rather curl up like a cat in the sun. I could easily not do anything but purr and sleep. I know that’s is not a good thing to do all the time. So I packed up my gym bag and headed out for the pool. It was wonderful. I had it all to myself. I can splash to my heart’s content. I can make a fool of myself. No one to witness except the lifeguard. What a good opportunity to practice my backstroke. I can relax with no one breathing down my back. Up the lane I front crawled. Down the lane I backstroked. I did well. I talked myself into 15 minutes, then 30 and at 45 minutes, it was good enough. It was excellent. It was better to do than to sit and brood.


I am feeling more at ease with life and myself. Hooray! I’ve noticed that I am not walking on egg shells any more. You know that feeling, don’t you?  That any minute now something is going to happen. Or the feeling that you should have done something but you haven’t. It’s hard to rest wrestling with all those fears. Now that they are gone, Sheba and I don’t have to keep watch over our shoulders. We can move on.

Having said that, it is a bit strange that I am having some vivid dreams lately and remembering some details. Last night the guy had to reassure me it was a dream. I was screaming. I think I let out 2 or 3. A man was coming in through the basement window. I could see him putting his leg through. I couldn’t find my voice at first and had to work very hard getting the screams out. Apparently I succeeded! I wonder if my dream came from the book I’m reading, John Irving’s Last Night in Crooked River. It is a very good read. I’ll try not to read the ending first as often I’m unable to wait.

I seldom dream about work but last week I did. I dreamt that I had mixed too much potassium into an intraveous bag. I was trying to retrieve it and prevent it from being administered. That was all that I could remembered. I’m not sure why the dream showed up. It’s been 4 years since I’ve stopped working. Such an incident had happened many years ago. Only then it involved a dialysate solution. It was a REAL nightmare. I was happy I had good instincts and paid attention to my unsettling nerves.

The order for amount of potassium to be added did not feel right. I was assured that was what was ordered. I paced and muttered to myself all night. I had lined up the vials of potassium on my drug counter. I couldn’t make myself break them open, draw them up and put it in the solution. I checked and checked. It wasn’t till morning before I could detect the error in transcription from the Doctors Order to the medication sheet. I had not yet started the morning cycle of dialysis. Big sigh of relief.

I wonder how long things stay in our psyches to pop up in our dreams years later. I hope my psyches is cleared now and no more bad dreams in the night. It is very hard to bring out a scream in a dream. Maybe I am twice as scared in dreamland. I used to dream about ghosts sitting on and paralysing me. Only it felt very real to me. I couldn’t scream or move but I could blink. I would blink furiously to prove that I was awake and not dreaming. I would struggle to reach the lamp. If I can turn the light on, it would scare the ghost away. I would stretch and stretch. The lamp is knocked over. The cat jumps from the bed. The weight is off me. I could move. But when I looked over at the lamp, it was not knocked over. It was where it should have been.

The mystery is still a mystery. Were my ghostly visits dreams or were they real? I’ve had no more dreams or visits from Casper or other ghosts since. It was been a long time ago. I guess we do lose our sensitivity to their presence as we age.



It’s another Wednesday and another photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers to tell their stories of approximately 100 words.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here’s my story of 100 words this week – inspired by this photo, the heat and Leonard Cohen.

HOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

There was tension in the air.  You can almost feel it crackling like tinder under a match. Her heart raced and thudded.  It felt like a stallion was  galloping through her chest.  Any minute now.  It was coming.  She was sure.

The sky was grey and ominous. Enormous clouds hung over the rooftops.  The telephone wires drooped heavy with crows, gathered and waiting as if for a funeral.

Where could she hide?  Just then a bolt flashed across the sky.  She clapped her hands over her ears as thunder rumbled and shook the walls.  The rain came.  She was alright.


IMG_1628I’ve been away too long. My excuse is I’ve been lost for words.  On closer examination, it is perhaps I’m afraid of words.  If you say them out loud, they would be there to be heard and acknowledged.  If you tap them out on the screen/page, you can’t refute for having said them.  The letters, words are marching across the screen as I sit, tap, tapping here on this Sunday morning.

I’ve been frightened for many a days, weeks, months – of many nebulous things, thoughts, past events.  They are the stuff of mist, smoke, air. Hard to grasp, so how is one suppose to rid them?  For me, the way was the end.  That is to say I was backed into the corner of no escape.  It is much like the sensation of falling in your sleep.  You can’t stop it.  There is no impact to the free fall in sleep.  But there sure is when the boogeyman caught me.

IMG_4529The thing is, I was like Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall.  I could not be put together as before.  I didn’t appreciate the discomfort then, of being broken and suffering.  I see the value of such a moment now.  It was an opportunity for change, for doing different.  If I go down the same well trodden path, there was a great chance to encounter the same wall again.  Pain is a good teacher and deterrent even to a slow learner like me.  It pushed me, not so gently, to seek roads less travelled.

They are worth the effort to explore.  Don’t be afraid to do so.  When that magic moment comes, stay your stance and let it come.  Then march forth in a new direction.  You will not regret it.

STEPPING OUT IN THE DARK – AugustMoon finale

IMG_3070It is the last day of August and last day for AugustMoon 2015.  It has been a wonderful few weeks of writing.  These weeks of reflection have given me rest and pause to see with more clarity into the world and life as it is.  I am surrounded by sunlight streaming through the woods as I sit here tap, tapping on my keyboard.  I am happy and at ease.

AugustMoon Day 16 photo prompt
AugustMoon Day 16 photo prompt

We had a super moon last night coming home from our friends’ house in the woods.  In light of the full moon, our path was lit.  It was easy to take a step without stumbling over roots and such.  The trick in life is taking a step forward in the dark, not knowing what lies ahead. 

But if you can suck it in and take that bold first step, it gets easier.  Your eyes get accustomed to the dark.  You lose some of the fear.  You can relax a little.  Your shoulders come down and you can breathe.  You can think.  You might find that there is nothing to be afraid of.  There are no boogey men or demons behind every tree.  It’s only your shadow.  I have learned to take that bold first step.  It was terrifying and exhilarating like riding the roller coaster at the fair.  It is very worth the ride. 


AugustMoon Day 2 photo prompt

Let me tell you what I am afraid of – everything and nothing.  How can that be? How can I explain?

Going out with Sheba for our morning walk, I worried that I might be cold.  I put on warmer clothes.  On second thought, I worried about being overdressed.  I pared down.  How cold can it be when the tomatoes are still ripening on the vine? Heading out the door, I worried about sunglasses.  The sun might come out after all.

Life has been thus for me lately.  I feel much like the photo prompt – hung up by the horns, steeped in fear, going nowhere.  I am grateful to Alana Wolf for providing this space for reflection on this.  Perhaps, solutions will arise from putting fears into words.

The walk was uneventful.  I was dressed just right.  I was not cold nor hot.  The sun did come out.  I did fine without sunglasses.  The leaves and grass were that much greener after yesterday’s rain and without any tinted filter.  The flowers were brilliant in their colours.  The sun was glorious and life giving.

I wonder about my fears of nothing and everything.  What I am most afraid of is the taste of fear.  Have you ever had the occasion – of falling through space, your heart dropping down the elevator shute, goose bumps on your skin, your mouth dry as sand……

Thinking on these, I’ve never had a hard landing.  My heart is always where it is.  Goose bumps go away.  I can always put on a sweater and have a glass of water or cup of tea. Perhaps I dwell on and fight the fear of fear too much.  I’m very much like a dog with a bone about everything – getting to the bottom of things and fix them.  Once and for all!

I see that it might be helpful if I can relax a little.  Let Sheba have the bone.  She is the dog after all.  There’s other pleasures for me – a cup of tea, a square or two of dark chocolate, a good book of fiction, a leisurely swim, a hug or two or three……


It’s Friday and time for Friday Fictioneers.  We gathered every week to share our stories from a photo prompt of one hundred words or so.  You can join in the fun if you wish.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here is my story.

 PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

She has been afraid forever – of everything.  A cloud passes overhead.  It’s as if someone has walked across her grave.  She shivers, clutching her hands to her heart.  She feels so cold.

She tries so hard to be brave.  It is so very hard.  She bites down on her lips, trying not to cry, trying not to feel sorry for herself.  A tear spills out of her right eye.  She chokes back a sob, taking a deep breath.

There are monsters everywhere.  She starts to sing and dance.  “Do the monster mash”. It’s the only way to keep them away.


Here I am, feeling challenged amidst my challenges.  Have I bitten off more than I can chew?  They are not ‘musts’, life or death situations.  They are challenges I have signed up to give me goals, inspirations and structure for my posts and writing.  If I leave it to time or inclination, you know what will happen – nothing.  And so, I have signed up for #aprillove with Susannah Conway, April Moon with Kat McNally, and Ultimate Blog Challenge .

IMG_2503I am really loving the prompts and loving coming from these sources.  Keeping up is not easy, but it is not hard either if I don’t let my thoughts intrude and if I stop thinking in scarcity of time.  They rob me of creativity and mire me in STUCK.  I am not behind.  I am forging ahead the best I can.  I have to embrace the good and bad, the yin and the yang.  I love the day and the night.  What am I but one dimensional without my shadow? It will be good if I can accept and embrace my dark side. I am me, myself and I. Wherever I go, they and my shadow also go.

#AprilMoon prompt
#AprilMoon prompt

Cia, goodbye past, I am writing the next chapter, a new story of my life.  You no longer work.  And now I am free of fear of uncertainty, of the dark, of the shadows within myself.  I can breathe now and let me, myself and I out completely.  I am singing in the rain, dancing in sunshine.  Oh let those clouds come by.  I am not afraid.  I am kissed by sunshine, held in shadow.