The Connections that Come from Sharing

It occurs to me that if I hadn’t agreed to sing at that wedding back in December 1982 I never would have met Scotty. If I’d never gathered my courage and published my first book I never would have stumbled into the Amazon forum and met all those amazing hooligans who have since become such an important part of my life. If I’d never put my photos out there I never would have connected with my fellow photography buffs. If I’d never shared my stories about my drives with Dad I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with the dear people who have entered my life in the last year because of those stories. And If I’d never started this blog I wouldn’t have met YOU. Even if nothing more comes from my creative endeavors than these connections with others, my life has been made so much richer because people opened their hearts and let me share with them. And my life is so much richer because YOU all have had the courage to share your gifts with me!

Thank you! ❤

***

More about the Humoristian hooligans –
So back in 2007 I was checking my first book out on Amazon and at the bottom of the book page I saw this list of Amazon discussion forums it was suggested I might be interested in. I thought I’d take a peek and see what was going on there. I stuck my toe in one of the forums – the “Christianity” forum – and my toe almost got bitten off right away – there was indignation and huffing and puffing and sermonizing and talk of hell and… yeah… so I pulled my toe out of there and tried out the “Religion” forum – and that is where I found my home – a wild and wonderful mix of atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, pantheists, and all flavors of Christian – Mormons, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, and at least one Christian Scientist – and what these people all had in common was the ability to laugh at themselves and get along with each other. They weren’t afraid of talking about their beliefs and debating them – they weren’t easily offended if people questioned them, and they could talk about stuff in a way that was straightforward and genuine – and they were willing to listen to what other people had to say, too – It was like a micro United Nations.

I started my own religion on there: Humoristianity. Here are the tenets:

1) You must be able to laugh at yourself.

2) You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others.

3) You must want nothing but good for everyone, everywhere in the universe.

4) You must have a natural aversion to meetings, committees, and scheduled events (as we will be having none of those).

5) You must enjoy the humor of… (here we had some internal conflict within the faith – but if you’re a Jerry Lewis kind of guy, you might want to think about starting your own religion – although we wish you nothing but good).

I met some of the most amazing people on there – and I still consider these people my dear friends – they got to know me, and my beliefs and thoughts, in a way that a lot of folks in my off-line life weren’t able to do – I mean, how often do you talk about religious beliefs with your co-workers and neighbors, right? All of them were writers, too, and together we wrote a book, The Humoristian Chronicles.

And some of my Humoristian friends I’ve actually been able to meet in the person! I shall include a collage below… along with the cover from my latest book, and a picture of the evening sky from last week. My offerings for today…

 

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Happy Day, My Friend!

“FRIENDSHIP IS A SPIRITUAL THING. It is independent of Matter, or Space, or Time. That which I love in my friend is not that which I see. What influences me in my friend is not his body but his spirit. He influences me about as much in his absence as in his presence.” – Henry Drummond, from The Greatest Thing In the World and Other Addresses

Happy day, Kathi!

Today you celebrate the beginning of another journey around the sun. May your journey be blest with all the wonder and beauty that you are.

To celebrate this day I give you a box full of jewelry:

A ring made of the October blueberry bushes I saw on a hike to a mountain pass in the North Cascades.
A ring made of the blue sky and bay along the boardwalk in Bellingham.
A ring made from the gold of the autumn leaves on a tree outside the Village Green.
A necklace made from the purple flowers along a trail through the forest.
A ring made from the waters in the Sound connected to the Pacific connected to the Atlantic connected to you and the hike we took together once along a Nova Scotian shore.

Thank you for all the kindness you have brought into my life. Thank you for the inspiration, the wisdom, the encouragement, the spiritual support. I am blest to know you, and to call you friend.

Love you,
Karen

photo jewelry

photo jewelry by Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Treasures Under Our Feet…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2011471/Pictures-sand-Close-photographs-reveal-incredible-beauty.html

If you go to the URL above, you’ll see pictures of grains of sand magnified to 250 times their actual size. And I’m pretty sure these pictures will bring a smile of delight to your face, as they did to mine.

I am a rock aficionado. I can’t pinpoint when, exactly, I became a rockaholic – maybe I was born this way (my dad is, after all, a geologist); or maybe it began when my fourth grade teacher loaded us all up on a bus and took us on a field trip to a place where we could dig up agates the size of duck eggs; or maybe it was my beloved Aunt Junie who lived on the Oregon coast and trained me how to spot agates on the beach from 15 feet away – but from as far back as I can remember, rocks have held a special attraction for me.

When I became a teacher, it became a Christmas tradition for me to call my students up one by one and let them choose a rock from a bowl of rocks I’d found on the Oregon coast. They’d stand in front of their classmates, holding their chosen rock, while I told them all the things I loved about them. Then I’d let them know that the rocks they were holding were “magic rocks” – and that every time they looked at their rocks the rocks would remind them of how much I loved them.  Today, when I run into former students, often the first thing they’ll tell me is that they still have their “magic rocks.”  That always puts a grin on my face.

Rocks as big as skyscrapers that provide me with perfect handholds and footholds on rock-climbing adventures; flat, smooth-surfaced rocks perfect for skipping; boulders with great textures and patterns; and agates for my “magic rock” bowl – I appreciate the beauty of them all.

But before I saw the magnified pictures of the sand grains, I’d never really appreciated the beauty of these tiniest of rocks.  My feet have probably tread over billions – maybe zillions! – of sand grains in my life – over-looking them as I looked for agates or skipping stones – never really seeing the smaller treasures that were right in front of my eyes.  It boggles the mind.

And it makes me wonder what other treasures I’ve missed that were right in front of my eyes.

***

To see a world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.

— William Blake

(All photos below by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)