The Spirit Tree Visit

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It seemed like another normal day. I had taken my son and his friend to a special place from my child hood. It was a place from so very long ago.  They of course, being teenagers,  where not as fascinated as myself. Nothing seemed unusual or out of place. Well, nothing other than an eerie feeling that creeped over my spine. It was as if someone was watching us. My eyes spanned the parking lot and I saw nothing unusual. Nothing was out of place or out of the ordinary.

I shared my experiences from my childhood and then began to take random photos. I explained how I played in this very spot. I spoke of the cement lambs that once decorated the earth. The Mother Mary Statue that watched over this area. I shared how my brothers and I spent much time in this very spot.

The statues were gone but the memories were as clear as if I were watching a movie. I could see the three little children laughing and playing. I was the youngest, the only girl. Wearing a shabby dress and sandals called ‘Yoyos’. The memory was bittersweet. I could see my middle brother with his striped cotton shirt and his cut off jeans. My oldest brother all rolly, polly with fire engine red hair.  A smile traced across my face and a tear stained my cheek.

We parted this place. It was off for lunch and then the next place to share. Sharing a history that had little value to anyone other than myself. Sharing a part of something that perhaps should of been left cataloged in my head. I didn’t know why I had even come there other than I felt as if I had been beckoned. It was a feeling as if I had a divine appointment. Even on the way there I had felt lost. It had been so many years since I had been there. I almost didn’t want to leave. I even thought of returning alone. 

Later that evening after we returned home I looked through my photos. That is when I saw it, well her. It was an angel in the tree, perhaps even Mother Mary.  She looked like the same angel that had appeared to me as a small child when I was really sick. She was there. It was her I had felt watching over me. It was she who had called me there. I was amazed. There was more to the trip than just reliving another memory. Then I pondered, “Why?” Why had she beckoned me? Why had she sent all those reoccurring dreams? The truth is, I may never know why and somehow, it no longer seems important. 

 

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Indorato The Flying Painter

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Every now and then you meet an amazing person who has a HUGE impact on your life. I am fortunate enough to say I have been lucky enough to befriend someone who has done just that.

If you have been to New York City or perhaps to New Jersey along Jersey Shore, you may have ran into one of America’s greatest Artist living. Who is this artist you may ask? It is none other than Michael Indorato the flying painter.  This year I had an awesome once in a life time opportunity to accompany Mr. Indorato to the NYC Art Expo. Although I was not so pleased with the marketing strategy of the Big Shots who call the Shots, I was amazed at my friend and his work.

You see, as an artist we come up with stuff such as motto’s and artist statements. My saying has always been, ‘God Created Us to Create.’ That is a statement Mr. Indorato takes to heart. You see, Michael has created this contraption he calls it his ‘flying contraption’. It is a balance beam of sorts with room for two people. One painter, Mr. Indorato himself, and a musician. The musician sits in a clear bubble chair and just floats around while Michael on the other hand, lays on a padded seat and paints up above his canvas. This contraption allows him the freedom to move large canvas and work on multiple paintings at the same time. 

This is what Mr. Indorato refers to as combining the arts. He takes his love of music which is an art-form in itself and combines it with his passion for painting. He then uses to the two to get lost in his own world and bare his soul to his canvas. Large crowds gather and it is for certain a sight to behold. I am not aware of anyone else in the entire world who has done or is doing such as this.

If you ever have the opportunity to see Mr. Indorato paint live, I know it is something you will never forget! Mr. Indorato is always busy creating something new. His drawings are inspirational too. There is never a moment when he isn’t creating new art or getting inspired to create new art. He draws and paints. His work has been described as majestic, amazing, unreal, beautiful, just to name a few of the adjectives. 

Mr. Indorato has appeared in magazines, at the Art EXPO NYC, and all over New York and New Jersey at various art events. He has a website and he is such an approachable and friendly person. He is the most amazing artist you will ever meet. If you would like to see his work or watch him perform live you can contact him via http://www.indorato.com or on facebook!   

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Do You Really Die If You Fall and Hit Bottom in A dream?

Oh it is with great joy that I write on this topic! Often times through the years I have heard people say that if you dream you are falling and you ‘hit bottom’ in your dream that you will die! You will never wake up! Oh, what a fearful thought to think!  Well, I suppose if that has ever happened to anyone they never lived to tell. But as for myself, that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Every since I was a small child I have had vivid dreams and a wild imagination. Often times as a child I would dream of flying. Numerous times in those flying dreams I had to get a running start, Sometimes I had to climb a tree, a fence post, a light pole, a house top, or a large hill. Then when I reached the top I would jump. 

There were the rare occasions when I had a successful flight right from the first jump, but often times I had to try and try and try once more. Many times in those dreams I would in fact hit the ground. I have hit the ground from roof times as well as huge bridges that swing over tall canyons. I have hit the ground from 30 ft high as well as 200 ft high. All in my dreams of course. 

So what happens when I hit the ground? Well, sometimes I do ‘jar awake’.  I have the sensation of falling on most occasions when I wake up like that. But the rest of the time I really don’t ‘feel’ much, other than disappointment. Yes, the sheer, utter disgust of  not taking flight! So what do I always do? I climb back up whatever it is in my dream, whether it is a tree top or a mountain top, and I jump back off. I keep jumping until I am soaring. 

Nothing feels more exciting than being able to fly! Even if it is in your dreams at night. So the next time you think about being afraid of having a falling dream, remember, just get back up and jump again! You really shouldn’t die if you hit the bottom, at least, I never have! 

Maybe my dream just tells a little bit about my personality. Perhaps I am just strong willed, because often I do realize it is a dream and that I will not get hurt from jumping. Whatever the case, rest assured, not everyone who ‘hits the bottom’ dies in their sleep! 

 

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My Review of NYC Art Expo 2014

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The Covered Walk

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There is a place from my child hood so long ago. A place that has met with decay. It has been locked away because of what ever reason. The doors have been shut. Age has taken it’s toll.  What was once a thriving facility has been met with doom and gloom. It is dilapidated and no longer of use.

What was once thriving with beauty and life is just an empty tomb.  The beauty is still there but it seems so deserted. It is sad to see such a place of memories for so many to just rot away. Why were the doors closed? Who knows? I am sure someone does. There is so much history though.

The covered walk is no longer a place that is met with the foot prints of little nuns. It is chained off. The roof is sinking in and there are spirits in the puddles that are left when it leaks from the rain.  The sun light still spills in from the concrete walls that are designed to be open an airy. There is such a sadness though. A chain link fence is put around it to keep people out.

If you go to this place and have a look around you can only go so far. It is a reminder that nothing last forever and some day even the memories will disappear in time. It is so easy for thoughts to flood in as you stand there looking at this walk.  You can not pass through. You can not go. There is no life. Only a deep sadness.  Maybe it is best to leave some things in the past.

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Are Writers Really Lonely?

I keep reading about how writing is lonely and how lonely writers are. Is that true?  I consider myself a writer. I have been writing since I was in grade school. I remember I first began with poetry and then short stories. I had a hard time moving from one to the other and in time I mastered the ability to be able to do both at the same time if need be.

Growing up I felt lonely often. I lived way out in the woods and we didn’t have a telephone at my home. Our television only picked up two channels. Public Broadcasting and occasionally the news channel. Mostly public broadcasting.  My brothers were both older than myself and well we never where extremely close. My middle brother was mean. I lived my life feeling like he hated me. My oldest brother was my protector but he too had stuff to do that didn’t include a little sister tagging along.

I spent a lot of time with my little dog and my cat. I explored the woods and ventured into the wild. I really loved reading books but even those were scarce. I leaned towards stuff like Edgar Allen Poe. I liked the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. I remember reading my grandfather’ s westerns  because I ran out of materiel to read.

Now I am grown and I have the modern conveniences of a phone, satellite t.v., and even the internet! I have a lot of other conveniences as well. I do enjoy writing. I work full time, I am an artist also and a writer. I have a wonderful family, a home and yard to maintain. Pets to take care of to boot. I don’t feel as if I ever get ‘lonely’.

Writing of course does take your time. And it is not the kind of thing you can do with a whole group of people I suppose. You can on occasion reach out and ask for some input or suggestions. I am sure a group can work on a project together. But for the most part it is a very personal thing. Although you have to do it ‘alone’ for the most part does that truly make you ‘lonely?’ Or is the saying referring to the act of being lonely? If you are alone with your thoughts are you lonely? I don’t know about you guys but I have so many thoughts that ramble through my head that I don’t ever feel ‘alone.’ If anything I feel over crowded at times!

I think writers are whatever they choose to be. If they choose to be alone or lonely or lonesome then that is by choice. I get my best work accomplished when I don’t have others disturbing me. I think rather than that being lonely that is more like ‘smart work.’ Who knows. I have a way to go to cultivate my skills and talents and I just do not have a clue where they are taking me. I enjoy being a night owl and I enjoy being ‘alone with my thoughts.’

 

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The mind of a child

I had been to the doctor and had a horrible headache. It was a day that seemed to pass as quickly as it had begun. I volunteered to help my husband do recreation with the kids at bible school knowing I didn’t feel 100%. I was hot and felt terrible but I knew I would feel better as time went on.

Looking through my closet I didn’t feel like wearing pants. I had had surgery a few weeks before and anything that touched my belly seemed to bother me. I was burning up and the humidity seemed to add to my hot flashes. I flipped through my clothes and found a bright purple and pink pull over dress. It had buttons on the side and some little long beads sewn all over it. It was nothing fashionable but was cool and comfortable. I slipped it on and pulled my crazy, curly hair into a pony tail on top of my head and was ready to go.

During recreation time I was explaining to the kids we were doing a scavenger hunt. As I stood there talking a sweet little boy interrupted me. “Miss, Are you from Hawaii?” I was kind of puzzled by his question and didn’t know what on earth he meant. “No,” I replied still looking puzzled. I then asked him, “Why do you ask such as that?” Quickly he chimed in, “You just look like you are from Hawaii or would like Hawaii.”

I was amused at the little boy’s observation. My skin is not extremely tanned by any means. I normally think of people from Hawaii being very beautiful. It finally occurred to me he was referring to my choice of ‘unfashionable clothes’. The odd thing is, my aunt had given me that dress when I had visited with her on the coast. She said it was a ‘beach dress’.  It had sleeves. It didn’t go all the way to my ankles but it was very casual.  I asked him if he was referring to my clothes and he said, “Yes.” I told him that it was a beach dress and that I loved the beach but I had never been to Hawaii.  Quickly the conversation moved back to the lesson. I am amazed at what goes on in the mind of a child.

 

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Mail Order Plants Verses Nursery Plants

So I went outside and looked across my beautiful yard. It was a cool summer morning and had rained the night before. My day lilies and crate myrtles were doing great. Each of my rose bushes were full of bloom. The beautiful sago palm was putting on new growth and my rosemary bush needed trimming back. Sadly, my fire red ‘burning bush’ shrubs and my Rose of Sharon plants were slow growing. I had planted them the prior year and was very dissatisfied with their appearance.

I live in a rural setting. I have a large front yard and an equally large back yard. Every spring I get this planting fever. There are several local nurseries I go to and spend a lot of time and money. One year I had this mail order catalog and decided to purchase flowers and shrubs from them. After all, the prices were very reasonable and it would ship directly to my home. I was super excited to be getting so many plants at such a great value.

I made my selections and checked them off and then went online to finish my purchase. Then I waited. I waited and I waited. It seemed as if the plants would never arrive. Finally I phoned the company and I was informed they ship at certain times determined by the planting season. Eventually my plants arrived.

Maybe I had not read the fine print but honestly my expectations were somewhat crushed. The plants arrived in bare root form wrapped in plastic bags with very little dirt and soil. It was also highly recommended that you plant them immediately. I was not too pleased but at least my plants had made it to their new home.

My husband decided to help with the planting. We grabbed fresh potting soil, fertilize, water, and a hoe. Carefully each plant was placed into the ground with the potting soil. It was properly fertilized and watered. I attended my plants daily. Sadly I lost 11 plants. Several of my burning bush shrubs didn’t make it and over half of my rose of Sharon plants died as well.

So where did I go wrong? I suppose I went wrong by doing a mail order. You see, I go to local nurseries quiet often. Rarely do I have a nursery plant to pass away. All of my nursery plants seem to thrive and do really great. The nursery plants come in pots of fresh soil and you don’t have to rush to get them into the ground. You can take your time. Another advantage is you physically lay your eyes on each plant prior to purchase. The fact you can ask the care taker questions is always a plus as well. You have a live person standing in front of you who can give you advice or who may think of things you never considered.

When I realize that mail order plants verses nursery plants, I prefer nursery plants. The only advantage I see to mail order plants is the cost. You can get a larger quantity at a cheaper price. The truth is though, like the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” This stands true in mail order plants as well, in my humble opinion.

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‘Carmen’- So what does my name say about me?

As I read through different blog ideas one that truly appealed to me said, “What’s in a name?”  That of course caught my eye! I love that! Why you may ask? Maybe you have never thought of what was in name before. Well, I have! Hopefully by the time you finish reading my post you will too!

You see, my name is Carmen. It is a Spanish name. I am not Spanish. I was actually named after my aunt. Her name was spelled with an ‘O’ as in Carmon instead of the ‘E’ as in Carmen.  The ‘E’ in my name makes it feminine. The ‘O’ in her name makes it masculine. I am certain my great grandmother didn’t know that. She probably just liked the name. Carmen means poem or song. Now I love to sing but I sound like a cat whose tale is caught in a washing machine. I can’t carry a tune to save my life. I do love to sing though. But poems. Oh my. I use to sit in class and day dream and write poems. My most favorite thing in school ever was creative writing and poetry. 

Some people may not like their names but I absolutely love my name. I like the way it rolls off the tongue and how it sounds. I like the way it is spelled. It was actually rather easy to learn to spell in first grade. I also think it looks beautiful when it is written in script.I would like to think that I have a song in my heart and a poem in my soul.  I am very imaginative and well I think that goes along with having a name like mine. 

When I named each of my children I actually gave them names that not only ‘sounded good’,  but names with meaning. Names with value. I thought long and hard about what was in a name and that is how their names were chosen. You see, if I had not of been a poem or a song myself, maybe it would not have mattered! 

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Summer Nights in Rural Mississippi

 

Summer Nights in Rural Mississippi

by: Carmen H. Wilkinson

Summer in Mississippi is hot! The days are long and the air is thick. There are times when it doesn’t rain for days or weeks and then there are times it feels like floods are falling from heaven. But what are Mississippi nights like?

At night time in Mississippi there is something magical that takes place. The sun is resting and then the night falls over the sky like a warm blanket. The humidity is usually still ever present unless the day was graced with a rainfall and then it is even more humid. But what is this magic I speak of? Well there are little specks of light you can see twinkling like tiny stars. These little specks of light move from the ground all the way up high into the sky. These little specks of light are known as ‘fireflys’ and ‘lightening bugs’. It appears as if the stars have come down and touched the ground. An ever anxious child is glad to scoop them in a net and put them in a jar. That child makes a make shift lantern that really doesn’t give off alot of light but the child has fun collecting the tiny little bugs none the less.

There are creepy crawly things that come out into the night as well. You can hear some stuff moving around in the dark. If it makes a wooom wooom wooom sound chances are it is an armadillo. If it makes a hissing sound it just may be an opossum. If it is an armadillo it will run away but if it is an opossum and you scare it, well it is just liable to play dead. One summer we had one fall off into our swimming pool. I scooped him out with a net. Then he laid on the concrete and pretended he was dead. I stood there with a flash light watching. Eventually he peeked an eye open and after a while when he thought I was gone he took off for the woods.

The sounds in the night are like none other. You can begin to hear whippoorwills  sing way into the evening. They sound so beautiful. They sing their songs and call out. You can continue to hear them into the night. You also can hear the sounds of crickets and frogs. Sometimes when I was younger I had a hard time distinguishing the two. They have one thing in common though. If they get startled by the sound of a human they will silence. Then they will begin to sing their majestic melodies once more.

Later into the night you can hear owls. They make their ‘who who who’ sounds. I was once told by an elderly colored gentleman that his grandmother would sit up at night and listen for the sound of the owls. He said whichever direction the owl sang from that it meant illness had befallen upon someone from that way. He said sure enough, each time his grandmother would go and visit the neighbor from the direction of the owls song and there would be illness or death. That is just a wise tale but interesting no doubt.

If it happens to be a stormy summer night in Mississippi, there is nothing more beautiful than seeing the lightening as it streaks across the sky. I have heard lightening never strikes the same place twice; however, There was a tree in a pecan orchard that was struck on more than one occasion. Eventually that tree died. Everything will be pitch dark and then the lightening streaks out causing bright flashes of beauty. As a small child my aunt use to sit up late on rainy nights and watch the lightening out of her bedroom window. I too grew to appreciate it’s beauty.

At night in Mississippi we also have bats. Bats of course fly at night. They are blind but they move towards movement in order to catch flying creatures they eat. If you throw rocks up into the sky, normally near an outside light you can see the bats swoop in to chase after the rock. That is another form of entertainment I remember from being a child.

Then, depending on where you live I suppose there is the distinct cries of the coyotes. That is a very scary sound. You can hear them in large packs. It can sound like they are right in your back yard and can give you the eerie feeling you are being watched. None the less in its own unique way, even the sounds of coyotes can be beautiful.

Then there is of course the night sky. There is nothing more beautiful than looking up at a dark sky lit up with stars. Well, maybe nothing more beautiful except a full moon night. On a full moon the trees make a silhouette  of pure beauty. The sky seems bright and it looks like you can just reach up and touch the moon. If you are riding through back country roads it is an absolute beautiful sight to behold. It is also a good time to go camping on a creek bank.

The creeks sound more loud flowing in the darkness, I suppose it is because the rest of the world is sleeping. You take the sound of a flowing creek, the music of the crickets and whippoorwills. The occasional breeze that breaks through the humidity and you have a delightful Mississippi summer night.

If you ever have the opportunity to spend a few summer nights in Mississippi, it is a lot more enjoyable spent with family and friends. Don’t forget your mosquito spray though. That is one horrible little creature that loves to feed on anything with blood. Snakes also crawl at night so you have to keep an eye out on those. They make hiding places and sometimes they get bold and just don’t seem to care where they travel. A rattle snake will most of the times give off a warning and well, the copper heads mainly stay near the water. Other than the little fear of the coyotes or snakes and the ouch of a mosquito bite, summer nights in Mississippi are amazingly beautiful. They are worth taking the time to enjoy. Have a glass of sweet tea or a good cup of coffee. Sit out on a porch swing and enjoy the slow paced life of living in God’s country.

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