Of Kindling and Light

Of Kindling and Light

Home from work
to a house cold and dark
I create a companion
of left-over embers, paper,
kindling, and cedar logs
My friend breathes
and moves and grows –
a living being of warmth
It fills my home with light
and comfort.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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You Are Never Outside the Reach of Love

reach of Love

Photo of sunset in Lincoln City, Oregon, by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

 

“Child of Mine”

Last week my dear FB friend, Caroline Martin, asked me to collaborate with her on putting together a youtube video featuring her beautiful song, Child of Mine, and my photography, Neither one of us had ever made youtube movies from our music and photos before and I had no idea, really, how to go about this kind of thing – but I said “yes” – how hard could it be, right? – and trusted that, once again, Love would lead the way as we entered a new adventure.

Serendipitously, I’d learned just a few weeks ago from my friend, Amy Duncan, how to put captions to my photos on pixlr.com. So after listening to Caroline’s song, and writing down the words to it, I went to pixlr and started adding the lyrics to photos that I thought might work well with the song. Then yesterday – also serendipitously – one of my high school students mentioned that most computers now come with free movie-making thingies – so I checked out my computer, and sure enough, there was a movie-making program I could download.  I added Caroline’s song and my photos to the movie-making thingy – et voila! – we had our movie!

Note: In the collage at the end of the movie there are four pictures – photos of Caroline’s beautiful children – that were not taken by me. They are great shots, though, and I would not be surprised to find that the ever-talented Caroline Martin took them herself. 🙂

If you go to the youtube link below our collaborative effort should appear…

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Things I Learned from the Year of Insanity

(All photos [except the Big Hand Karen photo, by Scott Terrell], were taken by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

The other afternoon my husband and I went out for dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. For whatever reason, I was feeling cranky.  Put upon. Impatient.  And then I saw the leaves on the tree outside the window, and I remembered what those leaves had meant to me during the Year of Insanity. I remembered a time when I hadn’t had a choice in how I felt – when I couldn’t seem to “make” myself happy, and had no control over what was going on inside my head. And I remembered the pledge I’d made to myself at the end of that long, dark time when I had a choice again: So long as I had a choice, I would never, ever choose sadness over joy. And right that moment, I let go of the crankiness, and, watching the leaves flicker on that tree outside the window, chose to enjoy my time at the restaurant.

The Year of Insanity was a whopper for me. I’d never experienced anything like it before – and don’t see a need to ever experience anything like it again 🙂 – but, looking back, I am convinced that I needed to go through that time. I learned so much from it – one of the chief things being that even when I’m depressed, I can be happy – even when I’m sad, I can experience joy. Another important lesson was that the pain passes – always, always. It doesn’t last forever. I learned I was strong. I learned I could survive.

There were certain things during that year that seemed to bring me peace when i looked on them. I can’t tell you why my distressed thought was comforted by these things – why they were the objects that seemed to calm me during that time – but I can tell you what they were: The leaves on that particular tree outside the Italian restaurant; sailboats on the bay; my hands; butterflies and dragonflies; seagulls in flight; and big bright sunflowers.

One of the things that happened to me during that time – and that has stayed with me – is that I began to – I was forced to, really – tune in more intensely to the beauty around me – I began to notice things in my surroundings that I might have just walked by in the past: Little insects on flowers; all the varied colors in the sky and water; clouds – I’d never so appreciated clouds before this time! The insanity forced me to live moment-by-moment, taking each moment one at a time – being grateful to have survived that moment before moving on to the next one. I learned to stop the constant dialogue in my head by taking a deep breath and focusing on the gifts of that moment – the dragonfly over the water; the sailboat gliding by; the flickering leaves on the tree. “Thank you, God, thank you, God, thank you, God” became my mantra. 

And one day I woke up and came back to myself.  I remember walking down the ramp toward the boardwalk – the bay stretched out in front of me, and a ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds and sparkling on the water – and I was free.

 The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. – Robert Green Ingersoll

 Step by step will those who trust Him find that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Mary Baker Eddy

(More about the Year of Insanity can be found in The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book.)

http://www.amazon.com/Madcap-Christian-Scientists-Middle-Book/dp/1477442456/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1378217527&sr=8-1