Who Fans Your Flames?
I am so in love with A Year of Rumi, the online course offered by Effy Wild. Between Rumi's illuminating quotes and Effy's gorgeous paintings and interpretations, the course enthralls me. This is my July painting (complete with mistakes but so much fun to create):
Set your life on fire--seek those who fan your flames.
The quote, of course, begs you to think: who fans your flames? Of course you yourself should be a primary person but I hope you can think of others in your life who support and encourage you at least most of the time. Maybe different people for different aspects of your life?
I lost one of those people last week. Her name was Lynn Davis and she was Bethe's mom. Bethe is a very dear friend whom I've known since the early 80s when we both lived in BC. Bethe and I met through a guy who dated us both (at the same time apparently for a couple of months unbeknownst to Bethe or I) and we became instant close friends and remained so throughout all the years of moving around (Bethe especially in her vocation as a pilot). We have the kind of friendship that just picks up wherever it left off however long it's been. Bethe fans my flames and she is a true inspiration for me.
The story with Lynn is more complex. Lynn and Bethe had a tricky relationship when I first met them. Lynn, especially in those days, was forthright and opinionated and my sympathies were always with Bethe. With Lynn I never knew if I needed to have my guard up or not. Was she going to be sarcastic or blunt or was she going to be interested, interesting and engaging? Despite this and with Bethe's promise that Lynn would 'behave', I asked Lynn to be the photographer for my first wedding in 1984 knowing that she was interested in photography and had a good camera. I wasn't disappointed. With her camera and mine swinging from her neck, Lynn took beautiful photos. One especially creative one was of myself on Dad's arm walking down the 'aisle', an outdoor path in the gorgeous gardens of Park and Tilford in North Vancouver. But what made the photo shine was that Lynn had framed us within the arc of a foreground fountain spray and somehow captured muted rainbows in the spray. I remember giving Lynn a couple of brass candlesticks with candles as a thank you. Bethe said her mom wouldn't take any monetary payment. I thought of the candlesticks due to Lynn's interest in the supernatural. She seemed to like and appreciate them. And I certainly appreciated her, never being forceful but finding creative angles and creating beautiful, memorable photos.
Later, at Bethe's wedding, it was different. I was in a room prepping things with Lynn and Bethe's sister and possibly a couple of other people. Bethe again had reassured me that her mom would behave but Lynn's nerves were high. I remember I was shelling peas and, to Lynn's mind, was taking forever. She made a couple of snide comments and I think was getting snippy with everyone. I think I retaliated saying there was nothing else to do once they were done yet we still had lots of time before the next step of whatever was happening. So what was the rush? What happened in the end is hazy. I think I might have shoved the bowl and the remaining peas at her. In my mind this is what I wanted to have done. Whether I finished up or whether Lynn did, no one had anything else to do for well over an hour. A very uncomfortable hour. Bethe, being extremely sensitive to atmospheres, noticed immediately when she returned. But it ended up being a lovely wedding and that was all that mattered.
Years and years later Lynn and I connected on facebook. We played Lexulous and followed each other's paths. Lynn became one of my most constant, loudest cheerleaders regarding my writing. Her encouragement, support and positivity regarding my writing was a force to reckon with. She buoyed my confidence no end. And it spread into more general areas of my life. I like to think I responded likewise but I'm not so sure. What I do know is that I miss Lynn. She endured some hard times but never seemed bitter. She died early last week, Bethe by her side.
Yesterday I was thinking about this blog post, knowing the link between people who fan my flames and Lynn would be a focal point. While I was sitting writing emails on my phone and contemplating this, a big bird flew into the window beside me. I rushed to the door, hoping the bird was okay. A gorgeous brown hawk, somewhat bigger than a pigeon, perched on the edge of the bird bath. It looked around with bright eyes as it gathered itself. Its beak curved to a needlepoint and its talons looked surprisingly furry. While I watched, it flew to a low branch in the front cedar and began to eat the prey (a mouse i think) it had carried in its talons. It stayed feasting for over half an hour until the letter carrier's van startled it away. It flew up (again into my window!) then away, uninjured, carrying the mouse remains.
I immediately sent a facebook message to Bethe. I said that after my mam's death she had told me she was okay through a deer but wasn't a hawk with prey more Lynn's style. Bethe agreed...it certainly was!
Heavy rain this morning made my front deck word rocks glisten, especially this one, the one that would be Lynn's favourite: DARE!
May you set your life on fire. The world needs your light. May you seek and find those who fan your flames...and treasure them.
A Summer Place
At home last night after work and after Rob and I had met for a delicious Chinese dinner, I fell asleep in the chair while the TV was on. When I woke up, the movie A Summer Place was on. It was interesting enough and I was tired enough that I stayed in the chair and watched the rest of the movie. Also, the music, that beautiful luring melody, kept me rooted.
Our nights are cooling off enough that some undergrowth and leaves are starting to change colour. This morning I sat outside for a while but felt almost chilly in the breeze although the sun warmed my skin. I watched my cats, Kaden and Spook, warily interact with each other in the sunshine. Then between them on the back deck I saw the shadow of a hovering humming bird. I looked up in time to catch a glimpse of it before it flew away. Is that how quickly summer came and went this year? It feels like it. I've closed some windows in the house and have put on a light cardigan for the first time this summer.
Autumn invigorates me. The slight chill in the air energises me. But I'm not ready to fully say goodbye to summer yet. I'm sure we'll have many more days of heat and sunshine but until then I wanted to record a taste of summer and create my own summer place to return to on a cold winter's night.
In other news, I'm amazed at how my subconscious talked to me during a dream the other night. I was struggling with a personal issue, questioning whether I should follow a gut instinct if it means possibly limiting someone else's opportunity. This is my dream. See what you make of it.
I picked up a bunch of strangers in my car. One of them was actually driving my car while I sat in the back seat. Lol. The group wanted to go right across to the other side of town so that's where we were headed. But I needed to pick up Rob's car from a garage on this side of town. Finally, I asked them to drop me off when we were midway between the sides. They reluctantly did (with a lot of complaining) then drove off without me. I had a long walk back to find the garage and even though I congratulated myself on speaking up and asking them to drop me off, I realised I was now lost and wandering through stores and warehouses trying to find the right street for the garage. In my dream, I became aware that I could have asked the group (in MY car!) to drive me around until we found the garage or I could have simply maintained control of my own car and kept my life much simpler. Before I woke up, I did spot Rob's car through a store window and was heading towards it. Wow! The subconscious mind, eh?
Wishing you a day of being aligned with yourself and able to celebrate the season you're in.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.