In Search of a Word…

I was recently watching the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” where the main character, Elizabeth, and her friends were discussing if cities and people had one word to describe them. While each person seemed to know the perfect word, Liz couldn’t come up with what seemed a good fit. Her friend said “Maybe you are a woman in search of a word.” That stayed with me, because a person in search of a word is in search of who they really are.

I have had many words that described me over the years: wallflower, hopeless romantic, creative, nerd, free-spirited, stubborn, bossy, generous, loving, efficient, adventurer, introvert, single, married, divorced, etc. Each of these words has described facets of my personality, but none of them have ever quite hit the mark. I don’t know if there is a word that could completely describe one person, but I believe there might be a word or phrase that seems to describe different stages of life.

Having just recently had a milestone birthday, I realized I’m a woman in search of a word. But a new word takes time to develop. It must incorporate the old ones that described your past stages and life lessons learned along the way. It should bring together the inevitable cracks in your walls and the random wild flowers that bloom in those new spaces. It must merge the weather-worn and fiercely polished stones with that one brilliant piece of gold that shines when the sun hits it just right. It is past, present and hopeful future blended into one superlative description that seems to just cry “You!”

I don’t know yet what that word will be, but whatever it is, it will be beautiful.

Fernweh

Fernweh

(I wrote this while listening to the music below. So quiet, so relaxing…so full of Fernweh.)

I just discovered a new word…Fernweh. It’s a German word that basically means that you are homesick for a place you have never seen. It sounds silly, doesn’t it? How can one feel such a wistful desire for a place you have never been? But as a confirmed Hopeless Romantic, I can verify that Fernweh does exist. I have known it…many times.

It is difficult to describe, but when you hear a certain piece of music or see a photo or a maybe a scene in a movie, you are suddenly overwhelmed with a nostalgia and yearning that envelopes you. I have often found myself standing on an ocean beach or a windy hillside looking out over the distant scene and feeling that slightly sad and wistful yearning to go “home.” But home to where?

Ah…therein lies the secret. For in each person, our “soul home” is different for each of us and can sometimes change over the years. For me, it has been the same since I was a little girl. I listen to the music below and I yearn to stand on the faded glory of yesteryear’s castles looking at a storm sweep up a green hillside. I can see myself…in clothes of a bygone era, hair blowing freely, staring at the distant horizon waiting.

Why does my heart know this place? Almost like a memory, it is imprinted on my mind like a faded dream. When I wander the timeworn stones and pathways of a crumbling English castle, I have stepped back in time and can hear the sounds of ancestors’ voices. Was that the sound of horse’s hoofs on the cobblestoned bridge? Is that distant merry laughter from the ruins of the great hall below? I hear the melancholy notes of a Celtic flute and I’m instantly transported. I am reluctant to leave. I close my eyes and my soul trembles slightly brushed with that haunting desire.

Yes, I know and understand Fernweh, but I believe most do. For in all of us, there is a memory of a spiritual home. We may not fully acknowledge it, but we all hear that distant music. Someday we will all find our soul’s “home” and finally be able to lay aside that quiet yearning for something more.

Of course some will say “Melissa, don’t be silly, it’s all in your head.” But as Dumbledore said in Harry Potter, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” (― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

Dancing Under the Moon



It's a full moon 
I'm dancing with the fairies 
sipping honey wine from a flower cup 
made of moon dewdrops 
and silver rain

The golden haze of the Autumn light
Suspends reality 
Opening a door to the other world
of halcyon dreams
and glowing Aurelian walls

The cool, free winds
blow cobwebs away in my soul
brushing away old, dusty memories
as I find little me
leaping with the eternal stars

Tick…tock…

Tick…tock…
The rain drops hush the heat
Of an intense summer day
The night comes in gentle grey
With no sunset colors at play
All is one in unified silence

The midnight hour draws near
And the heavy burdens appear 
The ticking of the clock
Accompanies the melancholy
Of her relentless thoughts

It is in the stillness of this hour
That her inner critic begins to sour
Every ambition, every hope
With sobering truths
Of cold reality

The clicking of the endless clock
Is the wordless march
Of impervious time
Dutifully doing its mechanical part
Stilling the wishes of her romantic heart

She sighs...
Another morn will come
and with it she will smile
For that is her duty
To pretend for a while...

Photo by Rafael Barros from Pexels

Join Me in Paris

Join Me in Paris

Audrey Hepburn Eiffel TowerCome and join me in one of my favorite memories and trips of all time…Paris.  Let us wander the streets together.  The streets walked by millions of lovers, artists and hopeless romantics searching for that elusive idea of “love.”

Walk where the architecture swoons with every curve and where the Seine is graced by slow moving boats.  Stroll where a dress is a masterpiece of art and cuisine melts on the tongue.  Why do visions of Audrey Hepburn standing in front of the Eiffel Tower call forth the ultimate in femininity and class?  Why is Paris “always a good idea” as she once said?

Ah…Paris. The very name sends a little romantic thrill through my heart.  When I was 12 years old, I saw a movie that was based in Paris and ever since then, I’ve been in love with it. After wishing, hoping and dreaming for over 30 years, I finally was able to travel there for a few days.  It was both eye-opening and beautiful.

I remember being warned that it was dirty and not as romantic as many liked to think it was.  Of course I saw the dirt, the graffiti, and yes, even some vermin (both human and animal).  But I also saw everything that people love about the place.  There was a boulangerie with fresh baked croissants and bread.  Friends sitting with their coffee at charming little cafes, locals playing a game of Boules (a game that involves heavy balls), street musicians and entertainers, and beautiful locals passing on their bicycles.  And of course, there was that stunning French flair for fashion that made me a wee bit envious of the beautiful women that passed by.

There were Gothic churches that swept your eye upwards to the sky.

Paris Church

There was opulence in every corner at the Palace of Versaille.  From golden gates to painted masterpieces on the ceilings to the stunning gardens…no detail was left untouched.

Palace of Versailles

But most of all, there was the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel tower at night

To this woman, the Eiffel Tower was the ultimate romantic dream.  It symbolized the idea of love for me.  It was as if simply by being there, that one could find the love one had always hoped for.  Throughout the years, hopeless romantic daydreams were often accompanied by the Eiffel Tower in the background.

The day I finally got to see it, I was completely surprised at my reaction.  I left the subway and walked around the corner and up to the platform above it to get the best view.  When it came into view, I was suddenly overwhelmed by my feelings.  The tears started to flow and I couldn’t keep them back.  It was one of my first long-held dreams that had come true. (Video below of me and my reaction.)

As the character Sabrina in the movie “Sabrina” said, “Only where the light is pink, does the song La Vie en Rose (Life in Rose) make sense.” Why? Because to see Paris is to see life through rose-colored glasses.

And during these days, when the world seems so full of confusion, pain and darkness, rose-colored glasses help me to find the beauty that still exists.


We loved first in our dreams...
You reached from beyond
into my unconscious mind
and found me in the realms of fantasy
Falling in love was as easy as breathing
And we did with an intensity that seemed
To brush the very tenets of my soul
Every spiritual nerve tingled
As we laughed at jokes
As you tenderly touched my face
As your arms reached around me
And we sighed in perfect contentment
It was a fullness of joy...
That still companions me
in my waking hours
You reminded me how to love...
Which I'm holding in my heart
Until we meet again.

Unfinished Symphonies

Unfinished Symphonies

Waltzing in your arms
On the sifting sands
Swaying to the rhythm
Of the hushed waves
As the colors of dawn
Sang a silent song
Only the winking stars
And the rustling palms
Had been witnesses
To our fleeting romance

Our eyes sang a lyrical melody
Our entwined fingers
Played a symphony
With a rising crescendo
Of unspoken emotions
Our lips met…
Desire, passion, love, frustration
And hopelessness crashed
Into one unforgettable moment
Of impossible longing

We watched the stars disappear
As we held onto the night
That could never last
We fought farewell
As the notes of our symphony
Faded into a minor key
With one last wistful kiss
We watched the curtains fall on our dream
As the rising sun of our new reality
Made its melancholy debut

Nothing Left to Lose

Nothing Left to Lose

I wrote this a few years ago.  Originally meant to be a song, I had an expert lyricist look at it and then tell me her thoughts.  First she said it was a poem, not a song.  She was correct on that.  It is a poem, thus I have chosen to publish it here.  She also said it was too sad, too “victim” and that no one could relate to it.  Well, she obviously didn’t pay attention to the end, because as always, it turns around and gives one hope.  Somehow I think she was wrong and that more people can relate to this than she thinks.  And unfortunately, this is more true now than it was when I first wrote it, but I still see light at the end of the tunnel.

Nothing Left to Lose

Sitting on an empty floor
Watching the window and the door
Hoping that some inspiration
Will come through this time

No money, no career, no lover, no home
I’ve never felt so defeated and alone
Don’t feed me some kind of cliche line
that kind of fiction won’t work this time

I’ve got nothing left to lose
Nothing left to prove
Nothing left to confess
No one left to impress
Just me…

I have worked every job and moved every year
Began a hundred times and cried too many tears
Running a race that never seems to end
Begging for something that would help it all make sense

I’ve got nothing left to lose
Nothing left to prove
Nothing left to confess
No one left to impress
Just me…

But I realize that maybe it’s time to try again
So with quiet conviction and a shaky hand
I push myself up off the floor
Let my imagination roam once more
I will build up from the ashes of my life
And give my dreams at least one more try

I guess I do have something left to lose
I do have one thing left to prove
I have more that I want to express
But only one person left to impress…
Just me

rock-bottom-became-the-solid-foundation-on-which-i-rebuilt-5283543

Peace Be Unto You…

Peace Be Unto You…

In this turbulent world that seems to grow grimmer by the day, I wanted to write about one of my favorite subjects on this Easter Sunday…peace.   As the years have passed, I have come to discover that my favorite emotion is being at peace…that gentle, reassuring, loving feeling that all will be made well.

It has come on a summer’s night listening to crickets and watching fireflies dance.  It has come as friends sang softly by the light of a campfire.  It has come as I watched a sunrise from my window or walked through the quiet of soft snowflakes falling.  It has come as I lay warm on the sand listening to the ocean waves. It has come as I sat on a dock watching a sunset and listening to a dolphin sing.  It has come as I held a baby, calming it and letting it sleep against my shoulder.

It has come to me in a empty room where I hid to stop the tears of a broken heart. It has come to me in my mother’s arms and it has come to me under my father’s hands as he has given me a blessing.  But most often, it has come on my knees as I sought answers to desperate prayers.  My racing heart slows, my mind grows quiet, I feel a calm warmth that seems to spread over and around me as I listen for those words “Peace…be still.”

As the night draws nigh on this holy day, I listen to the birds singing the sun down.  The colors tint the sky like pale Easter eggs and the glorious words “He is Risen” echo in my heart.  I know He lives…and that He loves us. The world may rage on, but in my soul, I have peace and that is enough for me.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:26–27).

Not Today

Not Today

Lemon daffodil sunshine
Crayon blue skies
Pale rose tinged clouds
And lark song greet the sunrise
The world is awaking…

But as I stare out the window
After a long, dark night
Feeling the unspoken fear
Of unfulfilled promises
I turn away from the light…

Too many times
My butterfly hopes have faded
With a final flutter
Over the wishful horizon

They disappeared…

So just for today
I close the curtains
And burrow down
In the blue shadows
To hide my heart away…

Tomorrow will come
With bright hope renewed
But today I hush the world
To find the inner strength
To try again…

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Reverie

wishing (2)I stand at my window
Studying the elusive stars
In a moonless sky
Listening to the silence
Of a sleeping world
Cradling wishing dust in my hand
In simple innocence
I close my eyes…

I am wrapped in your arms
Resting my head
Against the strength of your heart
Content in our joy
Stillness in the moment
Feeling without saying
Knowing without words
Loving in silent rhyme…

I open my eyes…
I stand alone at the window
Fairy dust clenched in my fingers
I slowly let it go
Whispering the closely held wishes
Of a lonely heart
I watch it disappear into the stars
Still quietly hoping…

Clarity

Clarity

Several faces cross my mind
Memories of dried up wishes
Daydream bouquets wilted
Another handful of dry petals
Blowing away as I toss them
Into the cold spring wind…

March lions hail down
Pellets of frozen ice
Winds slice through my armor
another false disguise
Pulling my coat closer feeling resigned
I turn and bump into you.

A flash of immortal fire
splits the darkening skies

Two souls find each other
through the meeting of startled eyes
And suddenly with a lightning view
I realize in all of those confusing faces…
I was searching for you.

Another Auld Lang Syne

Another Auld Lang Syne

Glancing through old photos
I found one of you.
One that I had forgotten…
And I quietly withdrew
The ache surprised me…
I had not expected
That familiar twinge
Nor the silent tears

One photo…
Memories of laughter
and tender plans
of a woman in love
With an unforgettable man
A reminder of a pipe dream
that was just a mirage
A memory of love
That was only mine…

I know I have been consigned
To the distant corners
Of your heedless mind
I’m just another woman
In your long line of hopefuls
Just another distraction.
Just another wasted attraction
Just another faded illusion
Just another so-called friend…

Unable to throw your photo away
It gets packed for another day
When my heart is healed
and I close that door
When the sweetness
of your embraces

Don’t hurt anymore
When I am strong enough
To finally forget…
You will be nothing more
Than another Auld Lang Syne.

Christmas: A Season of Hope

Christmas: A Season of Hope

When I originally started my blog, it was a way to practice my descriptive writing. I never expected anyone to read it nor that it would develop into what it has. But as each inspired piece of writing has come out of me, I realized that most of what I wrote was about Hope.  As I have come through this 8 year journey since I began my blog, I have found many ways to endure difficult times and crises in small, everyday ways.

Every year for the past 9 years, I have had the same Christmas wish.  I won’t reveal what that is, because it’s too personal to me, but I will say that it has not yet happened. Yet every Christmas finds me gazing on that one star and making that one whispered wish.  Why?  Because Christmas is the season of Hope.  Hope that those promises made to us long ago will come to pass.  Hope that when we wake on that sacred day, that we will find some hint of our most treasured and beautiful desires coming true.

There are times I feel that it will never happen.  I lose faith…I lose hope.  Yes, it’s ironic that the woman who writes about hope sometimes feels it slipping away from her.  But we are all human, we all have our good and bad days.  And had I never experienced disappointment, how could I know the joy that comes from a hope fulfilled?

I can say that every time I come to the end of my rope, something happens to give me the strength to keep going.  It might be as small as a hug to something as large as an unexpected financial gift, but whatever it is, I see it as Heavenly Father’s way of saying “I’m aware of you, little one.  I know you’re struggling, but I am here.  I will not fail you. Be still and know that I am God.”

So here I am…still and quiet, listening, waiting and yes…hoping.

Merry Christmas my beautiful friends! May you all find your dearest hopes come to pass this New Year…

 

Homesick

Homesick

Slowly strolling along the streets of various neighborhoods, I am often struck with a strange sense of yearning that is difficult to pinpoint.  I ramble by old cottages with their aging patina that seem to speak sage advice and whisper of hushed mysteries.  I see tired structures falling down and newer homes who often appear to be waiting like an impatient child to grow in memories.

Each home is unique and presents its own story.  I observe vines growing over romantic, ancient stones.  I gaze at white, wooden houses facing the sea that reflect the charm of a sleepy holiday and the weathering of time.  Sometimes I pass a modern house with clean lines and artistic daring.  On occasion, I tour a grand manor and I immediately imagine fairy tale princesses, knights and Renaissance balls.

In my many wanderings, I have been fascinated with certain homes and I stop to decorate them with my imagination.  Would I leave elegant potted plants at the door or would I grow my own vines of roses and wisteria?  Would I have a wild garden or would everything be pristine?  Would I want bricks, wood or stone?  I have spent many happy hours imagining what my future home might look like.

I’ve never owned a home and it’s still a cherished desire of my heart.  I have lived in many rented apartments and flats, but always felt as though I was “in-between.”  These days, the need for one permanent home settles itself in my heart more firmly with each passing day.  I am tired of wandering.

Then the familiar yearning becomes clear…I am homesick.  I am homesick for a place I have yet to see.  Homesick for my own piece of the world where I can unpack, build, decorate, inspire, create and love.  Homesick for a garden that grew because I planted it.  Longing for a permanent pied-à-terre where I know every inch, because I have spent the time loving each space into existence.

Yes, it’s time to plant some permanent dreams.  It’s time to go home.

Sweet September

September-harvest-moon-micro-AdobeStock_89784561-600x319

Distant shores are calling…
 I find myself in the car heading north
Ending in an evening ramble
In the Northern wild forests  
My soul soars as I leave behind
the chains of an invisible prison.

Are the distant pines on fire?
No…the fiery, orange Harvest moon rises,
blazing triumphantly over the fading landscape.
I pull my jacket a little tighter 
As the heat of the day succumbs 
to the fresh, sweet night air.

It’s 2 am now…the silence here is profound.
No cars, no crickets, no birds…
No other sounds than the distant call of an elk…
Its mournful cry a story of nature primeval.
I had forgotten how silent nature can be.
It’s just me and the moon and the wind…
and oh how bewitching it is!

A part of me remembers this…the silence
Childhood adventures climbing
Over amber-colored hill tops
Dreaming of castles in the air…
When the silence permeated my soul
Like music in the wind.

My life has come full circle
And the little me still sees
Hope on the horizon of my life…
Some dreams fulfilled, some yet to be…
As sweet September turns another page
I stand still…
This perfect moment soon to be
Another memory in the book of my life.

(Some favorite pictures of my recent road trip to Idaho and Yellowstone.)

 

The Light Will Come

The Light Will Come

“The message of this moment is so clear
And as certain as the rising of the sun
If your world is filled with darkness, doubt, and fear
Just hold on, hold on, the light will come…” (Song by Michael McLean)

This song (which will be posted below) was written over 20 years ago.  The first time I heard it, it lifted me up in a very difficult time.  In the past few months, I have been wading through some very painful, personal struggles.  I have been spending a great deal of time in reflection and struggling with inspirations I had that didn’t seem to make any sense.  My head was fighting with my heart and I didn’t even realize it.  I had made some decisions that seemed practical  and logical, but why then did I grow sadder and more upset and angrier with each passing day?  My cynicism and bitterness began to grow and I began not to care much about anything around me.

This just came to a head a few days ago when I felt in complete despair.  I knew in my mind that the feelings I had of hopelessness and heaviness were obviously from a dark force, but they wouldn’t go away.  Finally, during a quiet moment, I remembered a strong answer to prayer that I had received and I paused and began to think about it, remembering other promises that had been made to me by Heavenly Father.  I then laid my head on the table where I was sitting and prayed.

And then it came…light, peace and sweet joy.  I had impressions so strong that there was no doubt in my mind where they came from.  Every dark and negative feeling was literally washed away…just gone and I couldn’t even remember them.  I was given direct answers to questions that had been plaguing me and direction that I had not thought of taking, but the moment I heard it, I knew it was right.  I felt (and still feel) both excited and peaceful, as if some great burden has been lifted off my shoulders.  How and when these things will come about, I do not know, but I know this…they will come.

The light will always come.  Always.  Often you have to fight through the darkness to get those answers, but oh…when that sweet relief comes, all I want to do is get down on my knees and thank God for it.

As the song says…
“If you feel trapped inside a never-ending night
If you’ve forgotten how it feels to feel the light
If you’re half-crazy, thinking you’re the only one
Who’s afraid the light will never really come
Just hold on, hold on, the light will come…”

Hold on, my friends…that sweet joy and peace will once again become yours if you seek it. It may not come instantly, but it WILL come. That’s a promise.

Softly, softly…

b690914ee208d7feb6aa477183acea1b--window-view-window-panesI press my fingers on the window pane
Afraid of this chance I must take again.

“Softly, softly…” I chide.

Too many times I have felt the searing pain
Too many times I have drowned in endless rain

Still…my heart peeks out from behind
the high walls of my protective shrine.

“Softly, softly…” I whisper.

His words beckon from a distance
His soul calls to me from the silence

Does my heart have courage enough to reply?
Can my spirit endure another goodbye?

“Softly, softly…” I sigh.

My secret dreams are stirred once more
Slowly and trembling I open the door

Softly…softly…