Standing O

Comments 2 Standard

Emma with Director Wally Hurst and Musical Director Brian Miller.

 

Hello Dearhearts,

Past few weeks have been a whirlwind whoosh of blessings and challenges. It’s a real life: a miraculously blessed, magical and sometimes painful one. So here I am, pinching myself in front of y’all, to make sure I savor this JOY, sharing one of my greatest memories from the past week and perhaps 2018: My daughter, Emma, finding and making her heART flow in the musical Annie.

I was sitting in the dark surrounded by many beautiful strangers. At the end of the play, Me, I wanted to leap out of my seat for JOY and GRATITUDE for the hardwork and dedication my daughter embodied, but I held back… trying to let humility lead my heart and actions.

Then came my dumbfounding. Such a glorious surprise gift from so many strangers, who–leaping out of their seats applauded my daughter and the entire cast of Annie, for their heartFULL dedication to creation of such a special and touching production.

Like Auggie in film/book Wonder says, every child deserves a standing ovation in their life! Every one goes through often unknowable adversity and challenges. Every human deserves an ovation. So I say, let’s cheer each other on much much more in 2018… let’s support each other through our very real and sometimes painful life of joys, risks, losses, vulnerabilities and challenges.

So here I am cheering on our beautiful daughter, and the wonderful cast of Annie, pinching myself grateful for all the LIGHT illuminating my heart tonight, and for all the memories we shall treasure.

Cheers! Cheers! Cheers! Cheering you all on up and through whatever you are going through and whatever is coming your way. The Sun’ll come out, tomorrow!

i love you. xoxo
becky

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 939 other followers

ps here are some photos and audio from an early dress rehearsal.

tokens: a wordplay between writer and her words

Comments 2 Standard

Dear Beautiful Humans,

This week I received another rejection letter from a revered and highly read publication, affirming again myself a rejected writer. Uh-hem, I must add rejected but NOT  DEJECTED. 🙂

I submitted a few writings this year that I’ve yet to share with you. Publications that accept unsolicited submissions typically won’t publish a piece that has appeared previously including blogs, unless of course you are … well, “published”.

Upon contemplation of my reasoning it seems this delayed sharing may be a waste of time. I mean … afterall YOU ARE THE REASON I write in the bloomin’ first place! I am not writing for acceptance, accolades, awards or approval: I write because I love people, namely YOU–dear souls who read my blog! Thank you for reading what I offer here. You are my reason. As I shared with my dear Elder, beloved friend and creative makerheart, Kate Stockman, I don’t necessarily write to be seen, but for the possibility that others may see themselves in my writing.

Tonight I offer a piece I submitted last winter. For this submission I wrote a third-person bio for myself as a “writer” which I find rather amusing to re-read. The essay or wordplay offers a glimpse of a battle in my mind about the intentional act of writing and using words to connect with people.

I hope you enJOY. I’d love to know what you think or feel.

Tokens
(WordPlay between Writer and her Words)

WRITER: Words. Words. Words. How when I cherish, collect, cultivate and revise thee, do you fail me?

How is it that when my heart floods with love for humanity and we begin our collaborative dance… Words, I choose you with intention—on my guard, on my honor—and yet you Words, hurt people!

WORDS: Oh you, you of too many of me. You little torch carrier. You aspirational human lighthouse. You do not understand me: You do not understand my spectrum of meanings.

You with your dictionary, your thesaurus, and your great Google Oracle! You think you have command of me, but you forget and neglect my potency when received by hearts not your own.

You believe your own limited interpretation and experience of me allows you to manipulate and fool your readers into becoming one with you, through me!

You cannot depend on me alone. I offer only pointers to your being of this world. I do not offer our readers the actual experience. Words are tokens.

Try as you may to edit, massage, rework, manipulate me, you can never truly bring someone completely into you. It is the problem—your human dilemma—this separateness of body, mind, spirit reality.

You are stuck.

Try as you may, sometimes you might get close to such connection—yet still you are not they, she or he. You are only thee—just a writer—separate and less than equal to those who read us.

WRITER: Have you quite finished? Have run out of yourself to say?

I heard you. I hear you. I hate you! And yet still, I fight for every single one of you. You, Words that fly through my being, through my heart, my hands and now through my fingertips.

With you I fight the separation. I fight to denounce human disconnection!

You are—my dear Words—paradoxically friend and foe; miraculously my greatest tool, my art supplies, my word paints, my linguistic box of matchsticks.

You + Me = Fire.

Together we can build fire to draw similar hearts closer to us, bridging the spacial divide.

We can write forth blazing, burning wordfires to replace chills in human bones with meaning and majesty.

Together we thwart these splinters of separation with a… an… uh…  INSERT WORD of hope.

 

Becky J. Suzik creates, mothers, and chases serial commas in Raleigh, North Carolina and online at beckyjaine.com. With hat-tips to an illness, she was awarded a complete career change in 2007 from marketing to creativity activism. She loves writing everything and aspires to one day write a profile that includes awards and books published –mentionables of her own.

 

❤ bjs

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 939 other followers

blowin’ smoke

Comment 1 Standard

dear ones,

There is so much more to my shadow than I can ever write about. Looking at my shadow–things hidden and things I choose to carry–I feel overwhelmed and grateful.

The truth of it is I you.

I how very much I need you and feel connected to you in lights and shadows and baggage. I love–and simultaneously feel really frustrated–by how consumed I am by multiple-muse-generated ideas about how we might could play and imagine and co-create and dance and write, sing, make and live our new story together. And yet all I can do is what is possible each 24 hours, every lunar cycle.

If time is my friend, why do I DAILY feel like I have so much more in me I was supposed to give?!

Pace myself, darling. Be kind to myself, dear love.

This month I received many gifts and lessons: endings and beginnings. I was reminded of the tremendous power one decision makes to our personal direction and narrative.

My heart remains flooded with ideas from the Appalachian State Expressive Arts Intensive that so many of you made possible for me … so many gifts (seeds) because of you. (I wish there were two of me so I could find time this summer to activate some ideas carving me out.)

But for now, my amazing children are out of school for our 5-week summer. I belong to them more than they EVER will belong to me. (Oh beloved Kahlil, your words become me.)

I send this flutter of words out like a me-shaped smoke signal, intending a giant virtual hug, to cheer YOU on in everything and in every way you are climbing up steep hills, and for every precious choice YOU make. We are connected. ♥

 my heart
bjs

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 939 other followers

my driving questions

Comments 3 Standard

dear ones,

Last week at a glance… in case you are interested to know… I spent a week at the Appalachian State Expressive Art Institute in the Blue Ridge Mountains, learning about creativity and play from some great teachers. Thoughts are bubbling up, so I wanted to share…..

My mind was overflowing with one-hundred-and-one stories: those of my easy-to-love loved ones, and stories of those I want and need to learn to love.

I drove myself up the mountain–a labyrinth-like-road–giggling to myself about the nervy, curvy road bends, and frightening myself with a few what-ifs.

I arrived at the top alone and unknown to join a group of 40+–each human offering a new-to-me-story that somehow now entwines with my own.

I stepped out of my life–up into the stratosphere–to focus on my own story, deepening my experience with and for the sacred work I feel a responsibility to.

Creativity and joy activism–what on Earth do these mean? What is possible for me to create and support and be connected to? What feels impossible, yet necessary? How can I serve with greater urgency, tenderness and love?

After four days carrying these focused questions in my heart and awareness, my body and spirit blown upon by the four directions… the answer?

Mmmm…. I still do not fully know. But whatever I am part of, I intend to remember to PLAY through to finding the answers and solutions our world so deservedly needs.

GROWN-UP PLAY is one of the most important things us grown ups can do for ourselves, for our children and for Mama Earth. Play is made of different energies than the problems we are facing right now… so let’s play, shall we?! When was the last time you played, dear one? If it’s been too long, be gentle with yourself. Perhaps start with a bottle of bubbles–a gateway joy device–an essential tool in the JOYFUeL playkit.

Wishing you love and a LOT of play, too!

bjs

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 939 other followers

Seattle Mindpebble #5

Comments 2 Standard

DSC_1812

“There’s are only two stories: a man goes on a quest, a stranger comes to town.” — John Gardner

Before I left for Seattle, I got this idea I couldn’t shake: I wanted to spend 24 hours in Seattle without money. A few years ago I wrote about Heidemarie Schwermer’s commitment to living without money . I had recently revisited her story with my friends who talk about gift economy on a regular basis.

Perhaps this was idealistic. But on the other hand, I was really committed to this. I was going to live through the consequences of my decision, no matter what.

My hotel accommodations were covered–thanks to my program director–for all but the first night of my time in Seattle. I investigated the same hotel for one night and it was a gazillion dollars… money I didn’t have. So this thought came up: I should commit to giftivism for 24 hours and see what connections I could make with Seattleites and find out how far I could push myself out of my comfort zone. Could I depend on kindness and our connection to take care of me? Not mooching, but seeking a deeper connection with people.

I made up my mind that when I arrived in Seattle, I’d check my suitcase a the hotel Concierge and then hoof around with a backpack for 24 hours, seeking legal ways to be of service that hopefully would realize my basic needs…. without depending on money. I thought about it deeply: I had a lot of ghosts about this, but dug my spiritual heels in. I was prepared to go without, if it unfolded that way.

IMG_0345

I wanted to live in Give Economy for 24 hours. I did not want to use money–not particularly because I didn’t have it, because I have a credit card, but because I am committed to living with a deeper awareness of money, and cultivating a healthier relationship with it than I did the first 40+ years of my life, so far.

In our collective conscious and culture right now, money promotes a gross untruth: That we are NOT connected to or dependent on each other.

If I arrived in Seattle and used money I could have everything I needed, all tidy and comfortable, an experience to fit my needs and expectations. But NOT using money meant that I lose control of all of that, and my experience of Seattle would be limited to my own creativity and connections with people.

I believe human beings–ALL OF US–are connected and dependent on each other. Money offers this false notion –a false sense of security that we can take care of ourselves, by ourselves. To a certain extent money sterilizes our connections with people. Money keeps us nice, transactional and quaint.

Now I’m not saying all money is always used this way, but typically when I travel, that is how I use it: to organize my experience as close to my expectations and needs as possible, thus limiting the depths of connection with people. Removing money got rid of the safety nets and opened me up to new people in extraordinary ways.

As I told a few friends about this, KOOKOO BIRD noises were swirling as I spoke. You guys were UBER concerned and fearful for my safety! I didn’t feel worried at all. I put myself in other people’s shoes: If someone was committed to doing what I wanted to do, how would I be able to help them?!

I promised my friends, no back-alley Mother Teresa-inspired she-roics. I was hoping I’d get to Seattle and work my way around the hotel and see who I could meet who might need my help with the next something. I figured if I helped, maybe they would buy me a cup of yummoh Seattle coffee, or lunch or let me sleep on their couch. That was my plan.

Well, I am grateful to stay I DID live in gift economy for 24 hours, but not the way I planned. Right before I left Raleigh, a friend of mine got in touch with her brother and his wife, residents of Northern Seattle–Shoreline to be exact. She told them my plans, and they said they would like to put me up for a night. And pick me up from the airport.

So my idea of how I would have to explain gift economy went out the window.

I accepted their kindness… the kindness of strangers.

It was really hard to let go of control. I had thoughts like, they must think I am a Mooch! Like I am a taker and user, and looking for a free ride-ugly thoughts that when I checked in with my heart I knew these were not true.

I texted a photo of me while I was waiting outside of Baggage Claim. I hoped my flight’s late arrival was not inconvenient to them. Gulp. It was hard. Was I imposing?

Then they found me. Big smile and handshake, and the car door opened. I was now sitting in the back seat of these two very kind strangers’ car. And woh, now they are now driving me–a stranger–and graciously pointing out different things on the rainy Seattle skyline.

I thanked them for their kindness and for hosting me that night. The man–whose name I won’t use because I didn’t ask permission–said, “You can stay with us on one condition.” I said, “Ok, what is that?!” He said, “You have to allow us to pay for everything!”

Double gulp. Holy Shmoly. Ok…. where is the eject button? I need to get off this ride! Now, not only are they putting me up, but now they are taking me out to dinner (well lunch by their time). Allowing such magnitude of kindness to be gifted to me was really hard. But I needed them.

We talked about this thing called kindness and shared stories about how the hardest kindnesses are the ones we must receive. They concurred….and laughed as they paid for my delicious seaside lunch.

After lunch, we arrived to their lovely home and they showed me my delightful room. I met their cat, who was rather put out by my presences, as he preferred MY room to all others, but he didn’t like me, and was not pretending anything. My new friends made some tea. We sat and talked for hours. I was mega jetlagged, but being a storyteller, I wanted to make sure I shared my heart with them and perhaps a few good stories. Perhaps they might enjoy my visit and not feel burdened by my presence.

We talked. We laughed. We connected. They told me wondrous stories about their family, their world travels, their lives in Seattle. And now their lives as retirees.

The next day they took me to see the Ballard Locks, where the boats and ships come through the canal to switch bodies of water. It was really beautiful.

IMG_0300

And here is a picture of my new friends, from behind.

IMG_0301

After the Locks we went to lunch and they again treated me to Vietnamese Pho–pronounced Fuhhh.

Yuuuuuuhmmmm! They took my photo 🙂

IMG_0388

They made me laugh as they told me about another pho restaurant called Pho King! LOL. Remember? it’s pronounced Fuhhhh.

We had a wonderful 24 hours together. I left them a little Joybird card and little art tile I made, small tokens of my HUGE gratitude.

I was inspired by their gentle, constant kindness. I enjoyed being with them. I was grateful to them. I also thanked my EGO for letting go of control so I could share a deeper connection with two wonderful human beings. I was surprised this experiment in gift economy wasn’t difficult or tough on me–well except to my ego. They taught me that an experience does not have to be difficult in gift economy to be authentic and meaningful.

I am so blessed to have two new friends.

Thank you for reading my Mindpebbles. I will continue panning my memories for the brightest pebbles of truth and beauty…. there are quite a few.

so much love,
Becky

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 939 other followers