What can I say, but Thank You Dear Friends for your well wishes!
I hope to have a response sent very soon to each and every one of you that left a comment. I like sending a personal note back to those that are kind enough to visit and leave a message.
I have been spending these last several days still reveling in the moments of my birthday, visiting several of my favorite restaurants, catching a movie... also immersing myself in thought and quiet reflection.
While unpacking from my latest trip, I was looking over the lovely trinkets and treasures I purchased, along with several thoughtful birthday gifts I received. Charming items that interestingly all had a common denominator revolving around words.
Artists are such visual creatures. Although I am quite drawn to images, I have noticed a growing trend in myself of gravitating towards words. But not just any words, specific ones.
Over the last several years, I have conscientious or unconscientiously been surrounding myself with them.... as art... as meaning... as reminder... as talisman, as direction for my everyday.
So why, you may ask? Why, this need for words?
Well, they define and explain. I find them encouraging, enlightening. There have been countless speeches, stories, poems, and plays written and orated by great persons that have changed history. There is nothing better than a beautiful conversation between friends, or lovers. Yet, nothing so quick to cut and hurt as deeply as words said in haste or in anger. I think you would agree this way of communicating is very powerful.
And what if we gathered only the most uplifting, wonderful, and empowering words and drenched our souls in them daily... would we... could we embody and live the very essence of these mere letters strung together.
This year, my very favorite birthday gift came in the form of a necklace. Jewelry is always welcome and very delightful, but this particular piece was more than just a glittery bauble to wear.
It is worn and word filled. There are several charms attached to the beaded chain. One, however, boasts a most poignant phrase that completely moves my soul.
The one side reads"Live Each Moment", something I struggle with on a daily basis... to live in the moment, rejoicing in everything those few precious seconds hold.
On the opposite side, the charm reads,"With Intent And Grace."... most profound...and something each of us must face. How to go about living with more purpose, fervor, elegance, thankfulness... how indeed?
I am reminded of a paragraph from a favorite book, "Gracious Living In A New World" by Alexander Stoddard.
"To live with grace today, despite the strain of modern life often causing us to act against our own nature, requires a steady vision. To hold fast to the basic things, the enduring simple pleasures, is the surest way I know to sustain that vision. Following the rhythms of our hearts, believing in and using our own power, rediscovering the wonder of nature and the sensory world around us, finding satisfaction in our labor, sustaining closeness and connection to family and friends while also taking time for solitude to feed our inner well, and remembering always to celebrate.
Though we my never perfectly realize these ideals, by keeping our gaze fixed in this direction we will never lose our way for long."