Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This morning I discovered something new ... a "blog carnival" where bloggers are invited to write something on their blogs and then link it to the "carnival." The one I discovered, focused on the word "remember", was started by Peter Pollock (Blog: Rediscovering the Church). I thought for a few moments about writing something for the carnival but nothing came so I put it away. But, as often happens, the thought kept working its way through my brain until I caught the thread. What I wanted to remember was how big the world is and how interconnected we all are. What I remember now is how I forgot this.

Three years ago when my husband died from prostate cancer, my world as I knew it ended. Not only was the center of my world gone, but in the years of illness prior to his death my consulting work was put aside so my business was almost non-existent.

While I knew it was foolhardy, when an opportunity came to escape from my world and enter a different one, I jumped at it and settled into a small, safe place, disconnected from almost everything and everyone. I didn't write; I didn't work; I didn't talk to many people; I didn't go places. I did a little gardening; I tried a lot of new recipes; and I made some art. For two years, I hibernated and who knows how long I would have lived in that state if I hadn't been rudely kicked out by the growing reality that the relationship I thought would be happily ever after truly could not endure.

I have ranted and railed and thrown my tantrums but gradually I've looked around and realized that life is giving me exactly what I said I wanted. For years I had asked for more time ... time to do art, write and think about life. I tried several times to disentangle myself from my business ... a business I had loved but gradually knew I had to let go of but did not know how to cut the tie. By the time my husband died, there was so little business left that it was easy to walk away ... and what I got in return was time, beautiful, unstructured time that was mine to spend however I wanted.

After spending two years in a conversational desert, what I really wanted to do was talk ... about life, relationships, spirit, art and a thousand other things. I began drowning my friends, old and new, with my story, my feelings and my spiraling thoughts about what to do with my life. It didn't take long before I could feel myself wearing out the patience of my friends so I started a blog, thinking no one would ever read it anyway but I could pour my endless stream of words into a container and let them sit there.

But the world is big and it is truly interconnected and gradually I started to attract ... and be attracted by ... other bloggers ... people on a similar journey, people who also wanted to talk and explore the world through words and images. And, slowly I began to remember that I am part of that web of life. My words may be small and unimportant but they touch the web and it vibrates, if even just a little. When I feel disconnected and alone, I can remember that it is impossible to be disconnected or alone. We are always part of the Creative Spirit that put us here. We are always part of life's web. And, even if we never meet face-to-face, we meet in spirit and we are all companions on the journey.

As I have slowly remembered that I am part of this web, I also remember Maya Angelou's words: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." And, I give thanks for the technology that creates this electronic universe where we can share our untold stories and I give thanks for the people who share their stories and the ones who are willing to listen to mine.

And, a special thank you Peter for creating a wonderful topic ... and to whomever originally thought up the delightful idea of having "blog carnivals."

Note about the image: On a trip to California this summer, I discovered a small rock shop and fell into a conversation with the store owner who told me about buying a box of uncleaned amber. When he began to clean it, he found a piece that contained a perfect milkweed seed that was approximately 19 million years old. I couldn't afford to buy the piece (and it wasn't actually for sale) so I took a photo of it and continued to wonder how something as fragile as a milkweed seed could be so perfectly captured in amber. Later, in the magical space of Photoshop, that amber egg came together with a dead tree from Sedona and a very live hawk from a walk in one of the green spaces of Lafayette, CO. I call it Ancient Wisdom 2 since it's part of a series.


  1. Joyce,

    I'm so glad you went over to Peter P.'s site and connected with Louise, too. The blog carnivals are a lot of fun. At first, I thought to myself, I'd never be able to produce something in response to a prompt yet found I could, and I enjoy the discipline of writing to a prompt and reading all the others' contributions. Out next blog carnival is November 17 and the one-word prompt is "community".

    Thank you for the story about the image, which I just love. Imagine the stories that have gotten through those cracks and settled in.

  2. Welcome to the hodge podge madness that is carnival.

    I enjoyed reading your post and will check back again. It is nice to have people to walk with, don't you think?

  3. Joyce, this is a beautiful post and a wonderful addition to the carnival.

    I'm so glad you participated!

  4. Welcome to the carnival!

    I'm glad you joined and shared your story. It's just wonderful to meet the incredible variety of people who are out there on the web and share together.

    Don't forget to join in in two week's time with the next carnival.

  5. Thanks Jaime, Bridget and Peter ... the carnival is great fun ... what a treat to be able to dip into so many new blogs in one place ... and find so many kindred spirits.

  6. A beautiful reflection Joyce... isn't it true that we do always end up exactly where we are supposed to be? This is what I know for sure in my journey thus far. We can not control what life will throw at us, but the one thing we have complete control over is how we let it impact us and our lives. We can choose to feel the pain and disappointment for a time, but then eventually we have to reach upward to see where the next path will take us. Blessings to you on your continued journey.