Soul Traveler

The entries recorded here are of my adventures, mostly fictional, in connection with a group of writers at Soul Food Cafe. If you'd like to keep up-to-date with where my travels take me, you can subscribe and receive my posts in e-mail. See the subscribe box in the margin.

Writing leads me to places within that I never knew existed. Fictional writing uncovers metaphorical wisdom I didn't know I had. Travel along with me and discover the secrets of my soul.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Breaking Away

Through a small crack I peer. The world outside my world is technicolor, so different from the black and white and shades of grey on the walls where I reside. A beckoning light shines through the crack. My nose picks up a faint wiff of fresh air. That slight sample invigorates my body. I'm hooked. I want, I NEED more.

I push against the walls of my world with all my strength. The crack widens. The view reminds me of Dorothy's first view of the land of Oz -- everything joy and sunshine. While I know this new world must also have its dark side, I've never seen anything as brilliant and amazing as its light side.

Pushing again on the walls of my world, this time I feel them pushing back. Chaos, rules, grey skies, finances, overburdened schedules -- they all scream at me as I attempt to push them away. They tell me that the grass always looks greener on the other side. I'm safer where I am. It's too risky to venture outside the safety of my caccoon.

I balk at their warnings. I know all about taking risks. Most risks I have taken have led me to a better world, a better life. I take a deep breath as I feel the strength rise in my body and I push away the walls of my world. I'm now free to step out and enter my new world.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Home Away From Home

I've taken so many journeys in my life. Some have ended at glorious pools of refreshing cool water. Others have kept me running in circles never to find an end. The ones I find most enjoyable are those that take me on a spiral path. With each turn I have the opportunity to gleen wisdom from past experiences and use that wisdom to face what's ahead of me.

One particular journey was very disconcerting. It ended at a dimly-lit crossroad. There I stood in the middle of the intersection, barely seeing the roads before me, not knowing which path to take. I stood there for years. I was afraid to take any particular path and it be the Wrong path. It wasn't until after I made a choice that I realized that no path is ever the Wrong path. There's always something to learn down every lane.

This latest journey, starting here in Duwamish Bay, feels different from my other travels. I am scattered, chaotic, anxious, ungrounded, and uncentered, oh, and a little lost, too. I feel almost as I did at that crossroad so many years ago.

I've settled myself at the Duwamish Inn. I haven't gone out to meet the rest of the travelers who are obviously enjoying each others company. A smile is brought to my face just by hearing the song of their infectious laughter. I'm not ready to step out into the group. I feel mussed up....on the inside.

For now, I'll listen to the laughter and excited chatter. I'll let it wash over me, bringing calmness as I catch my breath and settle in.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Arriving at the Grove

I have arrived in the Enchanted Grove after a meandering journey through the forest. I enjoy walking through paths in the woods, as long as mosquitoes leave me be. This walk was a peaceful one without swatting or stings.

When I first started out along the path, I thought the almost hissing sound was from the damp, fall leaves beneath my feet. They had only the slightest crunch remaining. Being a little slick after last night's rain, I had to be careful not to slip.

Starting to feel as if I was being watched, I stopped and listened carefully. The hissing sound continued for a brief moment even when I wasn't walking. Then all was quiet again. Finding a log nearby, I sat down to watch and listen in hopes of catching a glimpse of the creature causing the hissing sound. It took several long moments, and I almost gave up, but then I saw it. First it was just the wiggle of a blade of grass I saw out of the corner of my eye. Then I heard a soft crunch, almost imperceptable if I hadn't been listening hard. I gasped when I saw a little piece of purple fabric moving in the grass.

Training my eyes on the purple spot, I followed it until it reached a tree and disappeared. Then I noticed an orange spot following the same path and ending at the base of the same tree. Forever the curious one, I went to investigate.

Walking round the opposite side of the tree, I saw a tiny opening where an animal like a chipmunk or vole could pass through to get to a nest below ground. But I had a feeling this opening led beneath the tree, or possibly into its trunk.

With as little sound as possible, I crouched down and sat by the opening in hope to see a creature come out or go in. I knew it would take a while. If any of the creatures had seen me, they'd have to forget I was there. As the sun began to fade, I started to lose hope, but decided to do one thing in hopes of attracting the funny creatures of purple and orange. I started to sing. I don't know where the words came from. I just wanted to sing something that would tell the creatures that I was no threat...that they were safe with me. Perhaps the words came from the dreams I've had of singing trees, words I didn't remember consciously in my waking hours.

The sun so bright it sings to me
Its happy brightness orange be
Orange glows through out the land
Bring warmth and joy to heart and hand

The moon it sways in purple sky
Longing for a lullabye
I sing to moon and moon shines you see
Its gentle caress comforts me

Before I could begin another verse, a line of tiny beings marched from the entrance at the base of the tree and stood before me. There had to be at least twenty or more in a rainbow of colors. Each one was unique -- some with hair, some with none, some with pointed snoots, some with pointed years -- and each wore a different color within the spectrum of the rainbow.

After taking in the sight, I greeted them softly and gently. They smiled and bowed. I asked who they were and they chirped a musical sound I could not understand. I smiled and bowed. One, wearing a brilliant shade of fuscia, tugged on my pantleg. I wondered how long she had done this before I noticed. I reached out my open palm and she jumped on. I held her up to my eyes and memorized her curious beauty. She seemed to want to tell me something, so I held her up to my ear. There, her chirping song barely audible, was more understandable. I still don't know if she was singing English or if I merely understood her language when it was sung directly into my ear.
She sang:
We are the people of light
We bring you all colors of sight
From white to black, we shine so bright
Without us the world would be night.

A single tear of joy streamed down my cheek as I thanked Fuscia for bringing her color into the world. I realized there must be millions of these light beings, all a different shade. And if one should die, we would lose their color forever. I thanked them all for bringing so much color to my world before I said goodbye. I promised I would come back and visit again another time and that I would protect them and their forest home.


Living in a treehouse, I can't help but listen to the singing of the trees. They are more quiet during this time of year because, in my corner of the forest, it is fall. Most of the trees have lost their percusive instruments. Their singing is mostly a cappella and haunting. The tree's arms move in a creaking sound that at first caused me great fear. I was afraid a branch would give way to the load of my house, but Nina explained that branches can't creak if they are dead, and only a dead branch would break from the trunk. So, now I only worry when the singing stops. ;-)

On windy nights, treesong lulls me to sleep and in my dreams I am certain I hear the words the trees sing. Most nights they sing of dancing in the wind, of feeling strong and well rooted, or of their power to prevail any storm. After a day of storms so strong that nearby trees lose branches or fall completely, the treesong changes to one of grieving for a lost brother or sister tree. They sing of their dependance upon the soil and Mother Nature. These songs are humble and thoughtful and grateful.

In my dreams, I sing along with the trees. And in my wakefulness I dance to their rhythm. On mornings after the trees have grieved, I try to comfort the tree that holds my nest and those nearby. I sing to them of hope. I remind them of joy.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Nina's Treehouse

Would you like to visit Nina's Treehouse? It's very easy to get here. The journey isn't too long and there are no steep hills to climb. Just step off the back porch of Riversleigh Manor and you'll see a path off to your right that leads into the woods. Follow it a little ways.

Once you notice the forest becoming a bit more dense, you are almost there. At this fork in the road, take the path to the right.

Keep walking until you see a bend in the path that opens up to a lush clearing. This clearing is Nina's front yard. See how beautiful it is!?
Call up to Nina as you approach the treehouse. She'll be happy to show you the many ways to get up into the house.
You can go through the big red door in the tree and be magically transported up.

Or you can climb a rope ladder or a spiral staircase.

Either way, you'll be delighted when you reach the treehouse in the redwoods. Magic and fun await. Come on! What are you waiting for?

The photos in this entry were provided by photographers on Flickr who share their photos when given attribution. The treehouse image is a combination of two photos and Nina's own drawings. You can see more of these photographer's images at Jantik, Pikaluk, Dnorman, Katemina, Dailydog, and Evdaimon.

The Treehouse

When I moved into Riversleigh, I discovered a treehouse on the grounds. I took up residence immediately in this amazing birds'-eye view of the forest. Much to my surprise and embarassment, I discovered the treehouse was already owned an occupied by a precoscious young girl named Nina. With more grace than her years should allow, Nina insisted I stay at the treehouse. She said "company" is what the treehouse is missing. A treehouse is happy only when there are friends inside.

So I remain a resident of the treehouse with Nina. And, at Nina's request, I am inviting all of you to join us. Nina's treehouse is a joy to see. You will not believe your eyes. It is painted in the happiest of colors. And the rooms are too much fun. I have explored 3 of the rooms so far. One is full of toys beyond belief...all the toys you enjoyed so much as a child or always wanted. Another room is specifically for sending and receiving secret messages. Only one person in that room at a time, please. We have to keep those messages secret. The third room is a place to relax. It is full of pillows and books. Take a nap or read your favorite book or chat with friends...maybe even plan a sleep over.

Nina insists that the treehouse is here for all of us to enjoy. We all have children deep within our hearts and sometimes they just have to come out and play. Come play at the treehouse.

Nina doesn't have a computer and isn't interested in learning how to use one, so please e-mail me for the secret code you'll use to get into the treehouse. Nina wants to make sure all of her visitors are friends of mine.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

My New Year Seed

Oh my! What a seed awaited me in the packet I selected. I've never seen one this huge! I hope the pot I put it in is big enough.

The seed I received is perfect for me. It looks like a little clay ball. I have been enjoying playing with clay recently, so this seed will likely be the beginning of further clay adventures.

Being as large at is it, there's so much more it will hold for me in the coming year. Some of which I hope will include:
• Increased time for creativity and indulging my imagination
• A year filled with enough joy and laughter to balance out any pain or sorrow that is inevitable
• Career challenges that excite me rather than stress me out
• Find an in-person community to inspire me and befriend me as well as my online communities do
• More time, and motivation, to get outside and enjoy nature...ever with my camera with me to capture the beauty
• Find a balance between work time, home time, family time, partner time, me time

This is a lot for this seed to accomplish, but I have faith in it. It's a strong seed. I only hope it will sprout. Here in the shade of my treehouse where gentle breezes blow, I'm not sure if the conditions are condusive to sprouting. I'll tend to it carefully every day and adjust its location for the greatest amount of sunshine, warmth, and rain. Maybe under my watchful care, the seed will know it is in a loving home and will easily open up for me bearing goodness, joy, and miracles.

My Home

As there are only 25 rooms in this rambling estate and more than 25 guests, I found my perfect home just outside the Manor. Wandering through the woods, drawn there by the glorious elms Imogen pointed out to me, I found the home of my dreams. Here I can live right among nature. My windows look out upon the birds, squirrels, and other great and wonderful creatures I'm sure live in this forest.

The tree house image I found at
The sunset photo is one I took.