Category Archives: Laura’s World

Inspiration: My Word For The Year


I have been absent from my blog for a while.  I guess I hit a creative and emotional block and just needed some time to work through the kinks.  Halloween came and went as did Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  Now with 2012 up and running full steam, I will try to get myself back on track.  In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I have given this year a word to live by, that word is Inspiration.  After a prolonged period of sadness, mourning and learning to let go, I have determined that this is the next step, the way I want this year to be for me and all who are a part of my life.

I began this year crocheting a prayer shawl for myself.  Usually I make these for other people but this shawl is for me, a rainbow of inspiration full of vivid & lively colors.  As I work on it I think of all the things that inspire me;  the dreams I have that still need to be realized, the people who support me in those dreams & all my hopes and desires for living a meaningful life.  I remind myself that fear, anger and hurt are depleting emotions.  They paralyze you and keep you from truly living.  Inspiration is just the opposite, no one who feels inspired can be paralyzed, it simply isn’t possible.  Inspired people are people in motion.  Their excitement for what they are doing drives them forward as they make their heart’s desires happen.  This is my year to attempt to live in this way.  My shawl will help me remember this when and if the paralyzing emotions try to take hold of me.

As it happens serendipity crossed my path recently with the sole intention of reaffirming this plan of action of mine.  This past weekend I was visiting a dear friend from college who I had lost with the passage of time.  She and I have found that we have just as much common ground now, if not more, than what we had way back in college.  She lives in Chicago and we decided to go to the city for a day of art, photography and food.  we happened upon a store that sold beautiful creations from rocks, geodes, fossils and semi-precious stones.  I just had to go into that shop !  The colors and the pieces displayed in the windows called to me.  As we were looking around we both asked questions about different pieces displayed.  We were just about to leave when a necklace caught my eye.  It was transparent but within it held wisps of color…some of my favorites…Purple/amethyst and  turquoise green/blue.   These colors swam in the transparency of the stone like water plants swaying with the tide.  I had to ask about this piece and of course as all stones do, this one too had its meaning, its significance.  The shop keeper explained that this stone represented spirituality, health and Inspiration.    SOLD !!!!

I had just been telling my friend about my shawl and in fact had promised to teach her and her daughter to crochet.  I was feeling inspired just reconnecting with my dear friend.  I had to have this necklace not only because it represented the particular journey I want to follow this year but also to symbolize friendship and the incredible inspiration that a friend can be.  Thank You Marita.

I would have to say that with this one small step, I have begun my New Year.

Hello 47


Happy Birthday to me,  Happy Birthday to Me,  Happy Birthday dear Meeeee,  Happy Birthday to ME!

Well here is my post to welcome my new year.     I googled the meaning of the number 47 and there was some pretty far out stuff but I was looking for the opptomistic side of this new beginning year and what I found that pleased me was:

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, begins with these words…In the beginning….   It then goes on to narrating the beginning of the world as we know it.

Verse Number 47 says simply this:  ” And God saw that it was good ”

I am hoping that this will be a good omen to the beginning of my 47th year…that it will be an expression of this new chapter of my life and that when God looks at my progress he will be able to say ”  It was good ”

For the moment I will begin this new year with a practice I have been following since I began this Self Portrait….

Here it is..produced by pummelvision:    Hello 47

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words


We have all heard this expression before and it is more than true.  However, no picture speaks the same thousand words to everyone.  We all bring to viewing anything and everything something of the person we ourselves are.  As we stand or sit before any picture, we see our own feelings, experience our own intuition, see a reflection of ourselves or we project our own experiences and beliefs onto the subject.

This is a picture of me.  I will say no more.  I am wondering what you see when you look at it ???

Playing With Squirrels


Yesterday I found myself yet another day at dreamland lake.  I had a lot of stuff to think about and dreamland lake is one of my local Meccas for thinking.  The temperatures have cooled quite a bit in recent days but with the sun shining it was a beautiful day to be outside.  I laid my thinking blanket on the ground and layed down to look up into the trees.  This reminds me how small I really am, how big the world really is and how transient life is.  It certainly helps to put problems in perspective.  The beauty of nature just kind of seeps into your mind while you watch the branches sway, it lulls you into a peaceful place, frees your mind a little of the pressures of daily life and if that doesn’t allow for space for solutions to problems to creep in, than at least it allows your mind a parenthesis, a pause from the pressure of worry.  While I layed there watching the trees and the sky, the sun broke through a small gap and I raised my hand as if to capture it and hold it for a while. The act of trying to hold light in my grasp, an impossible task, helped me to realize how many things in life just cannot be controlled, held or owned.  I studied my hand there in the light for a while and thought of all the things I use my hands for and how grateful I was to have hands to be able to do all the things I love to do.  Being thankful for the small things we take for granted also helps us to achieve perspective over the many things in life that are simply out of our control.  It was good to remember these simple truths.

As time went by and I was just meditating in the shade, pondering all these things I am saying here when Nature decided, I guess, that I was getting a little too deep and took it upon herself to lighten the mood.  She sent me a friend to remind me about the importance of play in life.   Out of the corner of my eye I saw my new friend skitter by and I looked up to see him trying to engage my attention.  He was not running away from me, although he kept a watchful eye, but rather doing all that he could to make me take notice.   He was running up the trunks of trees and skittering across the branches that were above my head and yes, he was even chattering at me, almost in a scolding tone if you can believe it !   I almost felt like he was saying  ” what are you doing laying there deep in thought when the sun is shining and the weather is perfect ???  ”   ” Come and play with me ! ”

At first he was skittish.  Staying at a safe distance while chattering away non-stop.

But as I snapped picture after picture of him, he got used to me being there and he got bolder.  He held still and I moved in closer.

We played like this for quite a while going round and around the trees of Dreamland lake, he chattering away and me obediently following and snapping pictures.   I don’t know what he was saying to me..but he definitely did not want me to be laying there deep in thought instead of appreciating the beauty of the day and the opportunity to play.

Then……..He got bored or tired of the game, I don’t know which.   I guess there is a time for everything.  A time to play and a time to rest.

So I left him to relax on the tree branch and thought how unfair it was that he pulled me out of my state of meditation only to then bail on our game.  🙂  But with a renewed sense of purpose and energy I walked back into real life and went to photograph the ducks.   They had been squawking at me all afternoon anyway so I decided to give them the attention they had been seeking.

When I left I remembered trying to hold the sun in my hand.  That was impossible but equally impossible was holding onto melancholy while surrounded by so much beauty and life.  I learned this from my friend the squirrel.

Spotlight: The Journal Ladies Unexpected Surprises


Sometimes unexpected pleasures come along and the feeling they bring is one of inner joy.  I have been journaling for 25 years.  I love journals, pens, colored pencils, really anything that I find that I can have fun with in my journal.  I love to draw things and stick and paste.  This is an exercise that has helped me along in life for many years.  And as much as I love to work in my journal I also love finding new journals.  I love leather most of all and I love the moleskin style journal for its size, line spacing or blank page and the flexibility of its soft cover.  Besides a moleskin journal feels and looks like a journal should.  🙂   However, having said that, I do love to find unique journals of all kinds and varieties.  This past weekend was what is called here in Decatur, The Decatur Celebration.  It is a very large street fair event which brings a carnaval to town as well as many craft and art vendors.  They set up 6 or more large stage areas all around the downtown and have bands performing on all stages for 3 days straight.  I enjoyed this event for many reasons, the first is probably because I am back in my home town and enjoying becoming familiar with all the goings on here.  Secondly, Decatur like so many small cities/towns in the USA is trying very hard to promote it’s downtown and keep it alive.  The huge superstores while convenient in many ways, are taking their toll on the small businesses of small town America.  So I am happy to involve myself in the activities that make survival possible for all.    As I was wandering the downtown area, visiting the food vendors and listening to music and feeling one with the crowd, I began to wander down the streets where the crafts were displayed.  There were many things to see, some were more interesting than others but one stood out in my mind and heart.   The Journal Ladies.  When I stumbled upon this I almost walked by without looking but then my eyes spied all the vintage book coverings that they use for their journals.  The sentence that popped into my head was ”  What a GREAT idea !!! ”   The journal ladies are a mother and daughter team that work together, the daughter in Georgia and the mother here in Illinois, to create unique and beautiful books using recycled vitage books.  They use the cover and select some of the interesting pages and excerpts from the book and sprinkle in blank acid free pages for journaling.    Well I couldn’t praise them more.  How many journalers will enjoy looking at pictures or reading excerpts from well loved books, while they consider what to write that day?  Really the proverbial ” sky is the limit ” phrase hits my mind when I think of all the ways one could adapt and enjoy journals like these. 

I of course got 2.  The first one I picked out, hits home with the moment I am living.  It is an 81/2 x 11 size journal made from an old Time Life book on ”  The Age of Exploration ”  Really !!!  It is so perfect I am at a loss for words.  The text and picture plates these women left in the book inspire one to explore their world.  What more could a journaler ask for ?   Well I would like to promote the work that these women are doing and to give them my two thumbs up on the creative niche they have found.

Go take a look at their web site to see the beautiful work they do and to see where they will be selling their wares next.   And to all my fellow journalers, I guarentee you will love their books/journals.

Dreamy Me


Some days seem made for day dreaming.  When worries seem far off and the sun is shining and you let yourself just enjoy being wherever you are at the moment.  Today I left work and had my lunch in the park.  Fairview park to be specific.  There is a pond there called Dreamland Pond.  I  was born here in Decatur and grew up here.  I have spent many afternoons in this park over the years and yet I never knew that this pond had a name until recently.  Now I find myself gravitating there for lunch on sunny days.  Today I actually took some self portrait pictures because I was enjoying the moment so much I wanted to see what I looked like.  Did I look as relaxed as I felt ?   About a year ago a very good friend was coaching me through some hard times.  He suggested I take self portrait pictures to help see myself more clearly.  Over the past year I have taken quite a few and the results have been more than revealing.  Some of those pictures  show a woman going through a major life struggle, I hope I won’t be seeing too many more of those.  But todays pictures show a more thoughtful and yes ” dreamy”  Laura….which seems appropriate since I spent my lunch hour at Dreamland Pond. 

Private Meccas


Whenever I find myself in a new place I ineveitably end up looking for a place to think, to get away from everyone and everything and find solitude.  A place to commune with myself and absorb and take in all that is around me.  It may sound strange but I find it absolutely necessary.  When my senses are being bombarded by new faces, new experiences, new flavors of life, I find that I need to find a place to go to and absorb it all, take it in, weigh it and balance it and finally make it mine.  If we are truely the sum of our experiences I don’t want to miss a thing.  I want everything to count.

Lake Decatur

Hello World !!!

Laura in Torrelodones, Madrid, Spain

It has taken me a long time to get to this place.   I feel fortunate to have made it this far.  Life has a way of taking unexpected twists and turns until we finally realize that we are part of the Journey.  The journey is life itself.  Accepting the changes that life brings our way is always challenging and always enriching.  I didn’t always believe this but coming to this point of acceptance has been the biggest part of the journey  I am ready to move  forward now..