Monday, February 28, 2011


Blue on blue.
Letters spelling affirmation. 
High above the littered streetscape
Where homeless hearts in tattered disrepair 
Hand clap to enhance blood flow
To seek warmth.

Bravo!  You've survived another day.
Bravo!  Another coin drops into a hat....

Bold applause
Remember to clap.
Remember to pat yourself on the back.
For what?  
For surrendering spare change with false pride?
Perhaps these letters sneer in sarcasm 
Exclaiming the real truth. 
We can do better.

Bravo indeed.

This week's Photo theme is Letters.  Signs, signs everywhere signs.....  For more shots of the words that remind, rekindle, remark and sell, sell, sell ....... check out Carmi's place right HERE! 


 late afternoon reflections along the Saint John river
summer 2009. 

"We interupt your daily living to bring you this moment of awareness.........."

I don't know if I'm addicted to drama, but honest to God, it  follows me like a determined puppy trying to get my attention.  My colleague and I often joke on Monday mornings that the upcoming week will flow calmly like an old river..... that all will be bright in our lives away from the office. IT never happens! One phone call, text, misstep, vomiting kid and we are off and running!  Our stories revolving around our connections with friends, men, family....heck even neighbours and community involvement ...the highs, lows, trials and tribulations.... the fun and the frustrations ..... seem to coincide with each others.  Drama sticks to her like glue too.   

We are both single Moms, working full-time. It is a strange and difficult thing to be heading up a household on one's own. Yes, I do get help, and I know she does too.  We are both very grateful, but when it comes to the "end of the day" we are in charge here of our kids, our homes, our responsibilities and it can be damn scary!  Juggle, juggle..... sort it out! 

It's always something!  There you are juggling your daily routines, and badabing!  Interuptions haggle for your attention!

I know there are people in my life who are afraid to ask me...."what's new?"  There are days when I dread that question. Where do I start? :) 

 This topic leaves me wondering what part of me seeks it out.  I mean, it all can't come tumbling into my life without me attracting it can it?  I'm like a lint trap for complications and extra baggage.  Emotional upheavals are a daily part of my life.  It seems like by the time I slip into a hot bubble bath at night, I'm both wired and exhausted.  My head is FuLL of stories all woven together with uneven stitches.   Though I'm learning to let go of the complications of others lives that is the core of my career in counselling, I also recognize that my automatic "go to" place in my actions is one of the "fix it fairy."  

YES, I am one of those...... However, I have discovered I am not alone.  There are many in my life who have used their gifts to help me fix stuff in my life this year too.  Thank God.

Most of the time, there isn't a damn thing I can do about an issue that creates the drama.  Some of the time I can because not only am I a fix it kind of fairy, I also seem to stir the pot..... sometimes by just asking a few questions, or offering to help when I honestly don't have the resources or the time.  Then, stuff in my daily life.... the stuff I SHOULD be attending to piles up and ignored.  Hmmm..... could it be that I "get my nose into things" as a means of procrastinating.  Well, yes.  

Maybe that's not a bad thing.  

Maybe there is a shiny silver lining to the incessant moments when life gets interupted.  hmmmmm............. maybe, just maybe the shake up of having to turn your focus on something else, someone else.......... an issue or a problem that needs attention promptly is when we are forced to put our guard down and just be human who is challenged, confused, pushed to the limits of what we think we can handle.   The free flow of activity, discussions, interactions, problem solving are so life enhancing.  In fact, it leads one more often to a place of vulnerability.  It surely can humble you, which in turn broadens AND deepens our  range of emotional capacity.  

Interuptions can be considered as gifts.  Perhaps they should even be viewed as the portal to feeling God's lovetouch of Grace? 

A big honking snowstorm, with all of its travails stops the world around you, and forces you to deal with the ramifications of it as well as the silence only felt when one is away from the daily busyness. 

Someone calling out for help....?  To be with them.... not sorting it out, but just to be with them opens the door to sharing something monumentally moving.  Your drama is my drama..... your life interuptions is mine. 

Taking a risk, stepping beyond the borders of your lifebox almost always provides interuptions in our daily lives due to its unknown qualities.  Add something to the mix of your day, and the journey alters.  There is a feeling of awakening boosted by nervous adrenaline when you tackle something new.  It's bound to provide a few new stories and a dollop of drama. 

Oh yeah........ the desire to run away to a warm locale with white sand and blue surf almost always kicks in because of the overwhelming jolt while trying to juggle a few extra balls. Fears drum up from your gut..... as you wonder if you're in over your head....... or if you can handle it all emotionally.   Who doesn't want to run and hide at least once a day?  We are survivors though.... and emotions are simply visitors who bring messages.  They leave opportunities for new reflections. Reflections leave pockets of inner strength and fresh resilience.  Emotions cleanse ........  like an awareness sauna where naked vulnerability takes its cue from surrendering. 

What about the interuptions where you find yourself surrounded in quiet?  Like a prayer-fully moving church service?  Like a day at the beach where time spreads wide open into eternity?  Like the silence found in comforting another when their day has reached a peak of no return?   Like an escape into the woods on snowshoes? Like an impromptu gathering around a campfire to share stories, to catch up, to help ease one another's chaotic workweek?   If we didn't pursue drama and interuptions in the grind we wrongfully define as a successful life, would we EVER feel that intimate sense of mysticism in the ordinary? 

Too much drama tips you over.  Too many interuptions trip you up.  Frankly there are days when I have two left feet and my thinking is blurred by it all.  I play a huge role in attracting it to my life.  This awareness is good.  However, I don't have a clue how one stops being the lint trap for it.  Or the desire to. The positive attributes have enhanced life for me in ways that are immeasurable, leaving me feeling a sense of whole heartedness.  

Hmmmm.... Think I'll organize a party.  A foolish party for April Fool's day.  Now, that may be fun! 

Taking a breath ...... inhaling sweet peace ..... let the day begin.
May you embrace life's interuptions as soon as you open the door to them.
You just never know......

Sunday, February 27, 2011

engaging in a classroom

I spent two days this week leading a small group of students, who are enrolled in a Human Services course, through a "canned" workshop on techniques to use when working with someone who is aggressive.  Non-violent crisis intervention.  Somewhat effective skills to have in your toolbox if you are planning to work in the frontlines.  It's the 5th time I've delivered the training in the past year.  The first time I had to pull it off, I was in complete and utter personal crisis! 

The whole experience during the first run through is a bit of a blur. From the feedback I received however the class enjoyed it. I was manic and so determined to hold on to the reins of facilitating all the while knowing my marriage was on the brink of collapsing into a dusty heap of broken bits. I think I came across as a stand up comedian on speed!  It was surreal when I look back on it almost a year later!  How I managed that feat is beyond my comprehension.  Crazy! I the NOW .... I've successfully completed day the workshop again.  My examples, experiences, skills, awareness have sharpened from all that has unfolded this year.  My humour has been honed too..... a little more biting I think, full of honest observations and big dollops of feelings I'm comfortable sharing.  My facilitating has a edgier feel to it.  In a good way, I think. 

Because this is my 5th go around, I have been able to incorporate more of my own self and knowledge in between the pages of the training manual I was supposed to be following.  Emotional awareness and lessons in emotional literacy have been slipped into the dryness of the regular training.  So are stories, and a strong encouragement for the class to engage, share, and tell their stories..... make connections between previous learning and new stuff. Making connections with one another.  That's where the best learning dwells. 

It was a tough little crowd. Quiet.  Leaning back in their chairs. Half listening. Getting "through" the "must take" workshop.  My feeling is that they have chose to spend too much time playing the roles of passive learners.......... listening, writing notes, living within the walls of  lectures.  They were also a quiet group. Introverted.  It's an interesting dynamic when you have a an introverted group and an extroverted facilitator.  You have to walk a fine line.......... and accept that at the beginning the will be a whole set of eyes staring at you like you're from another planet! 

Usually, I try to set the environment up to encourage a much more interactive discourse as quickly as possible.  It was a difficult sell. Blank stares greeted me whenever I lobbed a question or asked them to give me examples.  My silence only led to their silence.  So, I filled the air with SO MUCH OF MYSELF that I got home on the first day and felt like I had been in a frigging confessional for 6 hours!  I was sick of hearing my own voice!  That evening, I reflected on the day, and decided I needed to step back even more than a few silences to allow for them to engage in the material.

Reflection is such a key component in counselling and facilitating.  What worked? What didn't work? When was there flow?  When did it drag along?  What kind of teaching techniques were a hit?  Which ones should I put away for another group?

Facilitating and group work is such a rush for me.  Not only do I thrive on the challenge of creating the right learning vibes conducive to the collective personality of the group, I love the free flow that eventually breaks free of the ice jam that some groups are stuck in.  Day two was completely different with this group.  I saw the breakthrough right after the first coffee break.  They didn't leave the classroom.  Instead, they had gathered in a circle and were sharing.  Without me there, they found their voices .............. but they were talking about the workshop material.  Though I intended to start up with a teacher directed kind of lesson, instead, I quietly grabbed a chair and joined the group.  Turns out, it was the right thing to do. Their thoughts, feelings, interpretations, opinions and stories began to flow......... Lovely!

The next day, after the workshop was completed, I bumped into one of the students out in the parking lot.  She told me that during their regular class that morning, one of them cracked a joke in the middle of their class.  Their instructor laughed and said..... "that's what I get for sending you to spend two days with Dana..........!" 

I guess some of my crazy teaching antics stuck.  Hope they learned something too.  

Now, if I could only figure out how to take these skills, package them up, and shift the gears in my career so I could run workshops on a full time basis.  Self employed....... Big groups.  Small groups.  Many topics, all threaded to the important need to connect and to share.  This is my goal.  This is what I yearn to do.   More thoughts on this to come...........

Friday, February 25, 2011

lingering thoughts........

 early morning shot of my street in February

Late night thoughts......... smoke curling lingering threads so delicately balanced in my heart.  Wisps of mellow musings that are keeping me tiredly awake with their lack of answers.  Mysteries of how much we are attached to one another through experiences and emotions even though we hardly know one another fill my midnight thoughts as I reach out to envision what is happening in my community at this hour.

How many are quietly pacing the floors with a newborn in their arms?
How many are working to help someone sick in a hospital bed away from their families?
How many are out bars dancing their reality away?
How many are at the same bars swallowing their worries?
How many humans are lonely tonight?
How many are wrapped in the arms of a love?
How many have yearnings that seem impossible to conquer?
How many are celebrating a milestone?
How many people are staring at the ceiling in their bedrooms hoping for elusive sleep to find them?
How many are walking the streets looking for a ceiling to stare at?
How many have checked into the homeless shelter and are now trying to sleep amongst the snoring smell of unwashed feet?
How many have just finished their prayers?
How many are curled up on the couch reading a rivetting novel?
How about the students burning light while hoping that they can get their essay done by deadline tomorrow?
How many folks are packing a suitcase for a business trip?
Who is getting away on a much needed vacation, worried that the pending snowstorm will alter their plans?

How is the couple next door?  What about the woman I never see who lives across the street from me?  How is she, hidden behind her closed curtains?  I don't even know her name and she's been living across the street from me for years.

How are my children?  What are their thoughts?  I ask but, they only provide some.  Others are secret.  Just like me and you.  We keep many of our thoughts to ourselves.  Still, I ask..........Are they really going to get through this without too many scars and sadness over their parents screwing up?  They sleep soundly tonight as I write this.  I know because I've checked on them twice.... all snug and wrapped up in their duvets.  My wish for them is for big beautiful dreams........ their very own to come true.  I will do my best to help them attain them.  Loves of my heart.  

How many people have found new love?  More love?  True love?
How many feel that at middle age, perhaps they need to make big changes in their lives while they still can? 
Is there a baby being born at this minute?
Is there someone out there in my community taking their last breath?

Any eureka moments happening out there?
What about a person who has just figured it out?! I bet they are feeling relief.  I bet they are smiling too.
Who is in their kitchen making a midnight snack?
Who is enjoying some late night TV?
Music?  Who is listening to their favourite piece of music right about now? 
I bet there is a young couple out there somewhere coping with a croupy child.  Bless them! May they find respite soon!

How many are content? 
How many humans are exactly where they want to be? 
How many are up talking to a loved one reflecting on their days?  I miss that. Boy, do I miss that.
How many want more, more, more......... they just can't fill their boots enough to find satisfaction?
How many felt joy sometime today? 
How many succumbed to the ache of unbridled lovemaking?
What about frustration? Anger?  Grief? Confusion?  Anxiety?  Did you feel any of those biggies?
Were you nervous about something today?  What was it all about?
What is the person doing who is racked with guilt right now?

How about the human being who has softened into a sofa of satisfaction after a long day of taking risks, sticking their neck out, helping others and simply accomplishing a few goals they had today?  Can't you hear their sigh of fatigue just about now?  Good on them!  

Lingering threads, all wispy unanswered musings flow in and around me as they flow in and around you..... WE are connected you know?  What impacts you in your life impacts me in mine.  We can help one another, support one another, celebrate with one another as our lives intertwine through the magic of empathic wonderment.  Just thinking of everyone and wondering about their daily peaks and dips in their lives most certainly helps me find my balance in the middle of the pack.  

What is mine is yours.  What is yours is mine.  Let's figure it out together, shall we?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

an unwanted visitor..........

I have a new visitor who seems to have settled into my temples and refuses to leave.  February dreary is it's favourite month, when you're stuck inside  surrounded by stale air and shadowy walls that seem to wobble inward. This so called guest smells of burning rubber and overcooked meat. Not a great aroma when the windows are shut. It feels like dry chalk remnants on sun famished hands. No amount of lotion can quell the cracked skin.   It sounds like your least favourite song played over and over again!  It looks like a dopey deer caught in the headlights.  Or perhaps an overweight Ogre who blocks the sun with its disgusting flabs of flatulence.   

Well, maybe it does.... I haven't decided yet. 
I've tried to shoo it out the door, but it sneaks back in, bores straight into that familiar place in my head, sits right down on my resolve and spews out ongoing smelly ruminations thereby blocking any attempts I make to move forward. This unwelcome squatter has the ability to shake up my resolve, to screw up any attempt at a "to do" list and  to toss in unhelpful questions that force my eyes downward to gaze at my navel.  

Well, i think it does.  I'm not too sure......

Clarity?  It clouds every issue in various hazes of grey.
Focus?  It eats it for breakfast and then belches in victory.
Sleep? It wrestles your dreams into nightmare submissions! 
Determination?  It melts the reserves turning it into tearpuddle frustrations.
Creativity?  It continually smears my work with swaths of black gooey paint. 
Certainty?  It introduces the dance of doubt leaving me tripping over my dainty feet.
Confidence?  Well, this blasted boundary hunter is holding my courage hostage!
My Mother in Law used to say....... "Guests are like fish.  They begin to stink after three days...."  Well, if that's the case, I've got a guest that ranks as odourfically as lobster bait! Ever inhaled a whiff of that lovely concoction?  I WANT it GONE!  Open the windows, turn on the fans, clear out the stink!  Time to let in bountiful fresh air! 

Maybe, I havent been direct enough with my vamoosing.  Maybe I haven't been clear enough with this unwanted visitor ?  I want it gone!  Right? Isn't that what I want?    I don't know .......... oh shit, here I go again......... second guessing myself!  

Enough I SAY!  EnuFFF!  You know,  thoughts are only illusions if they remain unspoken or unexpressed!  They bing a bong like marbles in an pinball machine in your busy brain trapping you in a state of indecision so paralyzing that you miss out on LIVING!  Turns out unharnessed thoughts breathe life into my unwanted intruder who has completely overstayed its welcome.  You've got to bellow those thoughts out in any way you can .....clear a path through the mumbling marbles.  Whether its through talking, writing, painting, running, climbing, relaxing, praying, acting.... DOING, its time to find the breath of my own spirit again. Before my soul wears right through.......

By breathing them out, I deplete the strength of this constantly devouring interloper!  

I think.  hmmmm..... I hope. hmmmmmm.... OK, I know.  I KNOW this!

Indecison?  You've overstayed your welcome.  Heck, I didn't even invite you!  So, pack up buddy!  Get out of my life and do not interupt, invade, smear, attack, belch, or try to befriend again.  I've got reserves you don't know even know about.  I've got strength you can never touch!  I've put words to you measley thoughts and have depleted your stranglehold on me! And NOW!?  I've got my smile on, which I know VERY well is your evil nemesis!  Hahahahaha!  I win! 

Oh, and indecision, you smelly piece of fish waste, just in case you think you can take over my game, I offer you this piece of music!   

I dare you to have a listen! 

Photo of that "clown" indecision packing the trunk of his car.
good riddance!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am who I will be....

Its not that I have been stalled....... stuck in one place like a pillar of salt. Though, some may have come to that conclusion since I haven't been overly expressive in this venue for a couple of months.  Life's motions have taken me in circles, around and around the accumulated reflections of what had been. Its only natural.

In order to let go, you must be aware of what exactly you're letting go of, while keeping in mind that it is only your interpretation.  In order to let go, you must be aware of who you are letting go of.  This sounds so simple.  Its not. It's a struggle to recognize what was real and what was an illusion...........or in other words, wishful thinking.  Aren't illusions just a box of optimism and wishful thinking wrapped in a bow of denial?  Hope dangling from a thread?

I've learned there's no clear timeline to it either.  There isn't a specific day when one rises up above the dusty endings of a relationship to find a clear blue sky resolution.  Transformation begins underground, below the snowline..... It needs time, commitment, contemplation, nutrients, care.  It needs winter to buffer its growth, to slow its progress, to allow for moments of grief.   Hibernation lends itself to transformation........... to spring risings.

I am who I will be...........

Dusty endings have layers.  Layers and layers of complicated stories that require one to listen, to view, to feel from many angles. Grief is crucial life work. You can't let go if you only touch the surface of the dusty stories through one lens.  To understand is to make your very best attempt at trying to see things from the other perspective.  To understand is to blend yours and theirs into a mixture that one hopes is closer to the truth. Affirming  two sides of one truth, encourages responsible ownership of the role in the demise of a marriage between two people who once loved deeply.

But, does it really matter at this point?  It seems to.  Well, it does to me.  I want to learn so I don't make the same mistakes.  I want to learn so I can look at changing my own ways.  I want to be aware of those shivering vulnerabilities that seem to come out of the middle of nowhere AT the most inopportune times.  Like standing in front of the valentine card section in the store..... Every time I feel like I'm only one step ahead of lonely, when vulnerability kicks in with such force, I find that after the storm passes, I feel stronger.  More whole. 

I am who I will be.........

Darkness never lasts.  Feelings are only visitors.  The wicked ones come knocking on your gut, pass on a heart message, linger a while and then move on, arm in arm with lonely.  The key is to acknowledge them.  Address them.  If you don't..... they morph into shadows that leap from streetlights, that creep under bedroom doors, that seep into your dreams, that peep at you when you're naked.  It's best to welcome them, chat with them, learn from them............. Satisfied, those old emotions will journey forth,  intent on sending shivers through another human being.

From there, one learns to let go. Resolution feeds those tiny transforming seeds under the snowline.   From there, forgiveness of self and others begins to form.  Failure is forgiven.  Remorse is sent packing.  Choices as to how you want your history to help mold your present day and future become visible.  Before you know it, a little voice begins to hum.............

I am who I will be ......... dee, dee, dee ......... scooby dooby woweeeeee......

As the days begin to stretch out a little more light a little longer, revelations dazzle the dark side with eye twinkles.  I continue to live, breathe, carry on in all my roles.  I have not been paralyzed like a salt pillar.  I've been living out loud!  Rather, I've been refreshing, resting, resisting and reflecting, doing, trying new things!  Experiencing life as a single woman.  I'm in motion.  Internally and externally.  Somedays in circles.  Somedays with risky exuberance!  Other days, small steps along the road called "I am who I will be........."   It hasn't all been a serious mind wank.  My life has been abundantly enhanced in so many ways by new and refreshened relationships, great connections, good conversations that warm you up like a mug of hot cocoa.   

I am who I will be........... daily. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Somebody Closer

Painting by Martha
My love song attempt......
My Somebody Closer

Just poured a second cup of coffee,
Waiting for the dawn
I'm filled with haunting memories
In the body of our song
Of a day so long forgotten
In the rippling of the years
I'm lost in your soft expression
Trying to hold back my tears.
Can you be my somebody closer
Instead of a figment in my dreams
Or will you haunt my waking everyday
Your laughing eyes unseen
I want to live out our memories
Our love captured in the breeze
This is my early morning yearning
Please set my heart at ease.
We walked away in silence
too young to see ahead
No fairy tale ending binds us
Our separate ways instead
Yet through the fog of lonely
I see your shadow on my soul
I'm aching for your fingers touch
Your roughworn hand to hold.
Can you be my somebody closer
Instead of a figment in my dreams
Or will you haunt my waking everyday
Your laughing eyes unseen
I want to live out our memories
Our love captured in the breeze
This is my early morning yearning
Please set my heart at ease. 
On days when I am busy
On days when peace alights
I feel a stirring you're still near me
Like you're just within my sights
Then, I look up and all around me
Your real presence isn't true
Our lives unfolded separately 
Yet my heart's still yearns for you.
Can you be my somebody closer
Instead of a figment in my dreams
Or will you haunt my waking everyday
Your laughing eyes unseen
I want to live out our memories
Our love captured in the breeze
This is my early morning yearning
Please set my heart at ease. 

Happy Valentine's Day to my "somebody closer...."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

window of wonder

“A blessing is a red light that stops you, says ‘No, don’t do it yet, take time, have another look.’ It allows presence to become clear. For our rhythm to be restored, we need some kind of stillness, and a blessing offers this chance, a window of wonder on to what is happening.” John O'Donohue.
 There is nothing more guilt producing than the pleading eyes of my dog Lily when she needs to go outside for her last walk of the night.  Well, she's pretty pathetic during thunderstorms, when fireworks are exploding or some errant  hunter starts blasting his trusty gun at dawn down along the river during duck hunting season.  But, that's fear.  Her stance and glance come from a different place.   She wants protection.   A "take me for a walk" on the other hand, has the energy of a jumpy runner at the starting gate.   Except there are four legs doing the happy dance, and a long wet nose to nudge you towards the front door.
At this time of year, when the bitter winds feel like it's shredding your parka into bits of fluff, Lily's desire to romp outdoors after dark sends rippling shivers from my head to my toes.  It takes all of my reserves to force myself to bundle up and take her out there.    It's WAY worse when I have forgotten to complete this last routine of the day and have already had a long hot bubble bath, put my flannel jammies on and slipped into bed in search of stillness and sleep.
Ah, but the look....... the Labrador lingering look never fades.  It begins to pore into your comfy cozy conscience until the guilt shoves you out from under the puffy duvet, down the hall and into various layers of outdoor gear.  All the while, my lovable dog, who spends her day lazing about snoozing on various pieces of furniture and beds when no one is around to tsk, tsk her, turns into a snow puppy prancing while wagging her long happy tail.  Happy dance!  Happy prance!  
This was the scene the other night as I dutifully pulled my fleecy hat down to my eyes, my shawl under my long wool coat up to over my chin..... cheeks and eyes were all that were visible by the time I opened the front door and stepped into a chill so desperate it originally took my breath away.  It literally freezes the snot in your nose!  Instantly! 

Out we trudging in my fashionable mukluks, wrapped like a colourful mummy ...... she galloping over snowdrifts like they were wild growing hedges blooming in the summer!

As Lily bounded towards the end of the driveway, I slowly followed along.  It wasn't until I reached the road that I realized a few new centimetres of light fluffy snow had fallen earlier in the evening when it was a little warmer than it was now.  Did you know that sometimes it gets too cold to snow?  The temperature had dropped drastically during the time between snowfall and dog walk.  

Pristine.  Purely untouched powder lay on the street.  Not one foot print nor a tire tread had disturbed it.  We were the first crazy explorers to traipse through the powder.  As Lily ran ahead to attempt her trademark snow angel body rub, I stopped to look at the beautiful scene, and to listen to the muffled silence that only winter offers.  It was a quiet as an ancient prayer spoken inside the heart.  Peaceful as the sound before the first note in a song. 

I stood under the streetlight in front of my home and felt the stillness I had tried to capture inside when I was tucked in bed.  And, as soon as I felt this wave wander comfortably through me, I saw the artistry all around me, realizing right away that I had been given the gift of a blessing.  For on the new fallen white velvet were millions of winter diamonds shimmering a greeting.  Because the temperatures had dropped so drastically, the top layer of the snow had formed into glistening crystals that captured the light and reflected it up to my eyes.  

Irridescent glitter acting as minute mirrors startled into a rhythmic dance by the bitter cold air swirling above captivated my newfound gaze.  When I took a step, these clear gems delightfully jiggled all around me.  When we walked beyond the streetlight, they still sparkled as brilliantly as the stars above.  Perhaps they were pieces of fallen stars.....?  These beautiful sequins on white velvet opened the window of wonder just for me.  And I almost missed the red light.  I almost missed the blessing displayed outside on a cold January night.  Luckily I have a dog with pleading eyes...... She is a blessing too.