Saturday, March 31, 2012
This was the first day in a while that I didn’t feel like I was chasing my arse to catch up with my face. Did that even make any sense? LOL!! Okay, you can see by my carefree verbiage that I’m feeling pretty liberated. It’s as though I’m coming out of a tunnel, or off a long plane ride—no! Plane rides are usually fun because they drop me off in exotic places, so I can’t use that one. Okay, it feels like I’ve been in book boot camp and I have finally received my first leave of absence. I know I have to go back, but for now I’m feeling pretty damn free.
Life is good. The sun is shining, I’m picking up Holly at the airport so she and I can eat too much, get too much sun, and talk too much for the next week. Holly’s one of those people who really knows how to enjoy life. She can make eating sardines on a saltine seem like caviar on buttered toast; she just has her own special way of turning up the volume of the remarkable on an ordinary day. For example, I’ll be drinking a cup of black coffee, and then Holly adds a splash of her special stash of exotic coffee creamer to it, turning my once boring brew into a friggen Mardi Gras! Afterwards I discover the empty creamer container in the trash and notice that it was the Wal-Mart brand creamer on sale for .99. Yeah, it was remarkable because it had the Holly factor!
I think I needed a Holly visit right now, what with things going way slower than I had hoped with the book launch (2-8 weeks for the paper/hard editions) and I’m still working, or I should say my designer guru god guy is still working on the cover and files for the e-book. He’s another one who brings tons of magic and wonder to my life with his eye for beauty and his never-ending list of skills. Actually we’re pretty close (we’ve been friends for over 40 years) and I think we’re related. Not biologically, but on a higher level than humanness, because we not only share a brain and a heart, but sometimes I think we share a soul too (is that even possible?). We’re like twins separated by distance but cosmically connected by the universe...and his vintage telephone.
So, today I am preparing for a sort of mini vacation from book Ville, although I know the launch will still be lurking behind each froo-froo drink that I order, and chocolate dainty that I devour, but that can’t be helped any more than writing in my head can be controlled.
This week, even though I’m as broke as a wino on Sunday morning, I intend to be a spring-fling Florida partying chica, seeking out the three-B’s—beauty, beaches, and bargains—with Holly and her fairykins magic! Thank you life!!
Posted by Leah Griffith at 8:30 AM
Monday, March 26, 2012
Earlier this week I had a telephone conversation with a close friend about life and how it likes to slip the scary stuff in with the regular stuff—as if we wouldn’t notice. It’s much like the random red sock that finds its way in with the whites—turning the entire wash load pink. She’s a few years younger than me and still has son number three in the nest. Son number one got married last year and son number two left just last week for an out-of-state job. She’s also in the middle of a big transition with her business, which may cause a slow down in revenue for a season—or two.
We were discussing how so many of our friends had already paid their mortgages off, had chubby little nest eggs stored away, and were enjoying beefy health insurance plans, allowing them the luxury to complain about their twenty five dollar co-pays. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves—compare ourselves with “them,” but we do, and that morning we did.
Of course after we’d vented a bit I got us centered on the truth because she was too overwhelmed to remember what the truth really was—what with son number two flying the coop and her business in being transition, besides, we made an agreement years ago to always tell each other the truth—no matter how painful said truth might be, thus providing a spiritual slap in the face for each other and extinguishing the hysteria before it gets out of hand.
I felt like a bit of a hypocrite because earlier that day I’d been thinking along the very same lines. I fantasized about how nice it would be to have the security of a steady income, health insurance, and a tidy little sum to retire on. I began feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have those things, momentarily forgetting about all the blessings that I do have, and then the phone rang and it was my friend, who just happened to need me a smidgen more than I needed her that morning. Fortunately I was able to put on my game face and find my way back to the light—for the both of us.
I’m a big girl. I’ve made my choices in life: living in many U.S. hot spots (Hawaii, St. Croix USVI, and Florida), I’ve sold t-shirts to tanned tourists, served piña coladas to drunken tourists, and strung black pearls for rich tourists. I’ve watched whales splash off the Hawaiian shore on Christmas morning, had my Island home decimated by a cat 4 Hurricane, leaving me to pick family photos out of the trees.
In North Carolina I sold new Corvette’s to middle-aged teenagers, Cadillac’s to geriatric pimps, and BMW’s to runny-nosed Yuppies.
I’ve been a surrogate “mom” to scores of troubled teenaged girls, most of whose troubles stemmed from having screwed up parents, and I’ve life coached developmentally disabled adults, earning the high privilege of witnessing the sparkle in their eyes as they clocked in at their very first job, or proudly purchased an extra set of keys to their own apartments.
I’ve endured a shadowy childhood, and then wrote a novel inspired by that childhood, thus taking life’s ashes and creating a thing of beauty with them. I’ve been married for 33 years which at times has provided me with love and companionship, but there were other times when being married was a lot like trying to learn how to swim while handcuffed to a buffalo.
I’ve raised three wonderful children, been blessed with a healthy and brilliant granddaughter, and I still feel as young as I did when I was twenty. Okay, the bod needs the occasional spray of WD-40, but otherwise I’m still ready to roll!
I guess I’m saying all of this to say, that I made my choices during my life, choosing not to stick with the traditional paths, thus forfeiting the security that long-term paths often provide. I have nothing to feel bad about. I’m not missing out on a thing. For me this was the right road.
I’ve seen first hand how generous life can be and how reliable the truth is—no matter how far away I wander from cultural expectations. Simply knowing that I’m on the right path provides me with a certain security that no amount of health insurance or long-term employment could ever offer.
I’ve been prosperous and poor, had all the bells and whistles of the American Dream, and then left that dream behind in order to pursue an even bigger dream. Along this journey I’ve kept a careful step ahead of the one fear that has nipped at my heels all along—it’s not the fear of sickness or poverty, but the fear of leaving something important undone.
I will never have the chance to live this life over again, therefore I must continue to move forward, sometimes traveling far from the familiar, but in the end I will have the absolute satisfaction of knowing that I have been genuine—honoring my path, and trusting the mysterious unction within that drives me onward like a migrating bird.
Posted by Leah Griffith at 6:12 AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Time, you’ve discovered, is an illusion; the past a blur, and happiness is as slippery as a river rock. And who dares to boast of their sure footedness, for feet do slip, and those slips may provide a nasty fall. Or is the fall nasty at all? Dare I judge my fall, or your fall, or any fall, for falls are falls and common to men—and ladies too. So lift your pretty skirts as you step from stone to stone with water rushing around, swirling with elegance like hand-blown glass, a blurry window to the bottom.
Lift them higher, lest you lose your step, and your white fluffy dressings get tangled around your delicate ankles. Step carefully, for the icy water moves with determination, and if you’re not careful you could be washed downstream—lost forever.
What’s this? You’re lifting your dress over your head, letting it fall to the ground—if a dress falls in the forest….
Your undergarments too? I see you’ve finally committed.
Your wintery skin is not used to being exposed to the glaring sun. Your toes grip at the rocks like greedy fingers, seeking surety and balance.
The river is restless and wide; but you keep your composure, for you see beyond the tumultuous waters, to the other side. Who is it that tempts you across the dangerous flow, for Jesus you’re not, but still you defy propriety and prudence, by persisting—moving along carefully, emboldened by the spring air. Your body prickles with goose flesh, yet you’re neither cold nor afraid; you’re drunk with determination and desire.
You’ve decided that your teachers were wrong. They said that you couldn’t do it, or shouldn’t do it—you can’t remember which it was, but what do they know anyway, for they sit and teach, eating donuts in the break-room, and marking red all over your soul.
They know nothing of true life, of walking along the stones in the springtime—naked. They know nothing of your desires, your perfumed flesh, now musky from effort, lips parted and glistening with intent. No, they know nothing of risk, and passion, for their folded arms prevent their hearts from admitting such hungers.
You close your eyes, feeling bolder still, stretching a blind toe forward, and searching the air for a sure place to land. You feel the thrill of not knowing, and must stop mid-air so you’ll never forget. You smile as you find the answer, that rock in the water whose smooth surface feels like cold velvet.
Each step is a pleasure when one pays attention to the moment.
No one can see you, or hear you—or judge, for this is your dance across the river; these are the stepping-stones to your journey. Your nakedness means nothing—and everything. You are like the trees and the river, you’re raw and free, and for once your nakedness doesn’t frighten you.
Just a few more steps until you reach the one who stirs your soul like a primitive witch’s brew. He is there, waiting, playing with a sprig of tender green as he watches you move closer. He’s smiling now, and rising—for you are near to the shore. Reaching out to you, he catches you as you lose your footing on that last wobbly stone. Together you fall backwards onto a bed of new grass, a lovers’ nest, startling and moist— together at last, like music and movement.
He feeds you ripe fruit, taking his time, admiring your beauty, the strength of your shoulders and the way they curve downward like steep white cliffs. He imagines himself diving from those cliffs, finally losing himself in your depths. You close your eyes, surrendering to his lavish affections. Never before have you felt so worthy and secure. Opening your eyes, you study his face; the sunlight dances in his eyes. He is deity.
You’ve no intention of leaving. Ever. Together you complete what was left undone—that thing that must be—the truest thing of all.
Posted by Leah Griffith at 2:04 PM
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I want to congratulate Brooke Meservy, a dear friend and fellow blogger at Bloomtopia for her recent contribution to the Wild Sister magazine. Brooke’s writing cuts through the thick skin of fear and rejection exposing the tender places within. Her words are bold and honest, escorting you to divine destinations where magical discoveries take place: discoveries about who you are, what you love, and where you’re going. This article on "finding one heart" is breathtaking.
Brooke says: “I am honored to be a guest writer in the March issue of Wild Sister. The title of my article is Beyond Imagination: Our Epic Treasure Hunt to Find One Heart
I'm loving the word Epic lately. When you feel as deeply as many of us do on this crazy journey, there is just no other word.
A lot of heart and soul went into writing this article, and in many ways it sums up the big picture for me.
If you don't know this online magazine, you might like to get acquainted with it! It contains very real and inspired writing by many beautiful souls. The colorful art and images are rich food for the senses too!"
Take a trip over to Wild Sister and Bloomtopia and experience first hand the gift of Brooke's writings and many more wonderful articles.
Congratulations Brooke! I’m certain we’ll being seeing your words grace many publications!
On another amazing note, I was thrilled to get up yesterday morning and discover that I had been honored with the Leibster Award by AngleJane at Angeljane’s World It came at a time when I needed a little boost, a push of sorts to remind me why I’m publishing my novel. Thank you sweet AngelJane for thinking of me and honoring my writing with your love and respect. You really made my day!!
For those of you who are not familiar what the word Liebster, it is of German origin and means“Favorite, beloved, dearest”
The honor of accepting the award is traditionally done in the following way:
1. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded you by linking back to their blog.
2. Pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know about your nomination by leaving a comment on their blog
3. Post the award on your blog!
So without further ado I hereby pass this honor on to five blogs that are beloved.
To Martha for sharing her wisdom, faith and inspiration. She never tires and is always there to encourage others.
To Rimly Bezbarauh for opening her beautiful heart up to us in poetry and prose.
To Tameka Mullins for embracing her gifts and sharing them. She keeps me on my grammatical toes!
To Alfandi for his keen eye for the lovely and rare, and gift for finding beauty in life’s flaws. His photography and artwork is amazing.
To Cheryl for saving the world from chronic seriousness. Really! Thank you!
Posted by Leah Griffith at 8:14 AM
Monday, March 5, 2012
Lately I’ve been enjoying some company, although I can’t really call them company because these two visit often, and seem more like family. Company requires a certain tour-guidey attentiveness, while these two require little attention, living their separate lives in my guest room down the hall.
I call them Jessie & Jessie—you know, like those law firms with redundant titles like: Shyster Shyster and Lips, and although one of them is an attorney, I only do this because; well—both their names are Jessica.
Life seems to carry them downstream at the most perfect of times and this time was no exception, as I was in the beginning stages of a funk—starting to feel a bit moldy and blue, which makes me sound like an expensive cheese, but mostly it was due to some losses over the past two weeks. So, when the phone rang requesting a room at the Hyatt (no really…that’s the name of my road) I was thrilled with the news that they were coming. I love how life lifts me up when my feet begin to drag.
They’ve been here for about a week now, with no sign of that bad fish stench that often occurs when company overstays their welcome. As a matter of fact we’ve found our rhythm, taking care of business during the day, and then meeting early in the evening for leisurely walks and interesting chitchat, providing an air of ease and camaraderie at the end of my hectic day.
As most of you know I am planning on launching my novel, Cosette’s Tribe, at the end of the month, and I am up to my earlobes in the numerous details of self-publishing. I always thought that writing a book would be the most difficult part of being an author, but now I see that writing is the fun part, and that self-publishing is the mountain in front of me.
Self-publishing encompasses being your own agent, and publisher, and also requires a mammoth amount of technical skills, which, thus far, have been a bit intimidating. Sometimes I find myself grumbling, “I didn’t sign up for this.” When in all actuality I did. I signed up for whatever it takes to get my book out there.
There are times when I haven’t got the slightest idea about what I’m doing. This used to polarize me, but now, I push on and do it anyway, and each day I find that I’m a tad closer to my goal. I guess you could call it stick-to-itiveness and chutzpah, both vital for accomplishing my task.
I see now how life accommodates dreamers by scattering the answers along the new path, luring us off the couch, and patiently waiting as we discover these answers for ourselves. I am full of gratitude for the help and gifts that life has brought to me on this journey. I am fully aware of their value and humbled by the generosity of my friends.
So, in order for me get through this one big push, I’m going to have to completely focus on my goal, therefore my presence online will be minimal for a little while. Please be patient with me, and continue to send all that amazing energy and love my way. Hopefully, by the end of March, my novel will be available to the world, and I will be a published author!
Posted by Leah Griffith at 6:08 AM