Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Notebook. . . It Just Gets To Me

"I am no one special, just a common man with common thoughts. I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect, I've succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived. I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and for me, that has always been enough."  

This is how Nicholas SparksThe Notebook  begins.  It is the line in both the movie and book that I have been unable to forget.   I have watched this movie about 10 times already in the past 6 months and I still never tire of watching it.  It has become my favorite movie ever.  Each time I watch it I am left wondering what it is about it that just gets to me so much.  

Everyone enjoys a great love story and this is one of those.  But when I really think about the story of Noah and Allie I think about that first line.  I think about the simplicity of life back in that time.  I think of how in love they were.  How strong of a love it was to have brought them back together after years of being apart.  Then I think about when Noah tells Allie that marriage is not supposed to be easy, it will be hard.  But that he wanted to share all of it with her.  I think they challenged each other.  Because it was tough it made them both better individuals.  The relationship Allie had with Lon was too easy.  He had money, gave her everything she wanted, but there was no challenge.  She was a different person when she was with Lon.  She lost her spark.  The one she had when she was with Noah.  It was the kind of love that has the power to challenge and change you.  In the end Allie realized where she truly belonged.  

In a world where everyone is looking for their 15 minutes of fame, the big break, the ultimate success, what really matters is love.  I wonder why that is too often put at the bottom of the list.  I think sometimes I focus on all the wrong things.  All that I need is always right in front of me.  And then I wonder why is that not enough?  

Did you see "The Notebook"?  What message did you take away from it? What is it about this movie that gets to you?    What is your favorite movie?  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Do Our Souls Know When It Is Time To Check Out??

Although I have not been following much of the Olympic Games I was sad to hear about the luger who was killed during training.  As I continued to read the article I was more stunned to hear that he told his father a few days prior that he was "scared" of the track.  It gave me chills.  It got me to thinking about Paul and his brother Louie.  It made me wonder if we know when we will be moving on from this life.  

This is a question I asked myself years ago when the accident happened.  First I thought about the conversation that Paul initiated the night before he died.  It was a discussion about what would either of us do if we lost the other.  He told me that I would be ok and move on without him.  Then I thought about how I found a small article Paul wrote about this life complete with a message for others.  It was almost prophetic.  I thought about his brother Louie when he told us how he was afraid to drive and didn't want to get his learner's permit. What 16 year old doesn't want to drive?   He waited till he was 18.  He had his learner's permit when he drove the car that killed them both that day.  Ironic. . . no??

Then I thought about how when I was a kid I learned about what kind of hospital Sloan Kettering was I actually thought to myself "What if I have to go there someday?  I wonder if it was a premonition way back when that I would get cancer?  It was the hospital where I was treated almost 9 years ago.  

I am sure this all sounds crazy to some but not to me.  I can't help but wonder if somehow our souls have knowledge of when our lives will end.  That it is something not in our conscious mind but an awareness we have that doesn't make sense at the time it may come through to our being.  My first thought when I read this story was that the fear of that track was coming from his soul's knowledge of check out time.   Paul used to tell me "Don't worry about me so much Cat. . .  when my number's up its up. . . " 

What did you think when you read this story? Do you believe in soul's? Do you think our souls have any knowledge of the future?  

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Doggie Sees Dead People. . .

When I was a kid I saw dead people in my room at nite.  I realize this may creep some people out.  I am one of those who believes in life after death.  I believe in the ability to communicate with the dead.  

This  would always happen at nite when I was in bed.  I would look through a fuzzy haze in the dark and see someone standing in my doorway.  Some were strangers to me that I would later recognize in old family photos.  Dead family members I had never met.  That truly freaked my mom out.  It never scared me back then.  The spirits would just look at me, smile, and wave.  Over the years since I have had a few occasions of seeing dead people.  One of them was Paul.  I saw him the night that he died.  To me it was his way of coming back to me to say goodbye.  I have had many readings with mediums.  I even went on a retreat with the medium John Edward just before he blew up and became untouchable.  

They say that children and animals have a greater ability to see spirits.  Partly because there is no fear there.  It is their innocence.  So it didn't surprise me one evening last week when my dog Bosco woke up and started barking at something in our living room.  I stopped what I was doing and sat silently watching him.  I didn't want to distract him.  There were no noises outside.  The room was dimly lit.  I watched his head and eyes distinctly follow something back and forth across the room.  It was as if he was watching  someone.  It didn't scare me at all.  I figured it was just one of the dead people coming by for a visit.  When my husband walked into the living room to see what all the barking was about I told him my theory.  Lou walked over by the corner of the room that our dog was staring at.  

 Jokingly Lou said "Where is he Bosco?  Over here?"  motioning his arm up in midair as if to put it around someone.   

 I watched his expression change as I asked "What is it?" 

 "Look. . . all the hair on my arm is standing up.  I just felt a chill go through me." 

"Bosco I wish you could tell us who it is."  I said finally breaking his concentration.  

I couldn't help but wonder who it was.  I have no doubt there was somebody in the room with us that nite.  This has happened many times over the past year and a half since my dad passed away.  My dad never had the chance to meet Bosco.  I like to think he comes by to play with our dog who he no doubt would have loved as much as we do.  

Do you believe in the ability to communicate with the dead?  Have you ever experienced any connection with the spirit world?  Have you ever been to a medium and received messages from loved ones who have passed on?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Painting And Creating. . .

I cannot believe I am sharing this but here it is.  This is my second attempt at a new creative outlet.  The first one was not suitable to share.  I actually hate what I did.  But if I really take a look I would realize it speaks about the state of my mind lately.  It is very busy and cluttered.  But rather than give up I decided to give it another try.  I was thinking cherry blossom as I was painting this one.    I had never even held a brush before.    So I bought a book about painting with acrylic.  I read it from cover to cover and then headed to the craft store to pick up some supplies.  It is no secret that I love photography.  To me that is art.  I create with my camera what I capture through the lens.  I have always wanted to paint.  I was intimidated with the thought of trying to create something from imagination.  Something without that lens.  I was only to rely on my mind.  

I remember when I was in the fourth grade I won an art contest.  It was a blue first place ribbon.  I used pastels to make a butterfly.  I was so proud of what I had done.  I never expected to win.  It certainly wasn't the best of the class.    It is a memory that has stayed clear in my mind for all these years.  I no longer have that ribbon nor do I have the drawing.   I only have the memory of it in my head.  Then life got in the way and as I grew older I never felt good enough or confident enough to pursue any of my artistic interests.  Not even writing.

Although I was less than pleased with my first painting I have to say I enjoyed the process.  I was excited to be brushing color onto the canvas.  To be creating in a different medium.  To be trying something new.  I was lost in the moment of what I was doing as much as I do when I am behind my camera lens.  The noise in my head began to quiet down and I lost all track of time.  That is why creating is so important for me.  It always helps me deal with fear and anxiety.  It brings me into a moment, into the present.  

I wish I knew how to do just that on my own.  Until then I am glad I have found new ways to step outside of myself.  I will try not to be discouraged with the product and enjoy the process. . .

Do you paint?  What made you pick up that brush?  What ways does creativity help you?  Any advice for this newbie painter?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Etsy. . . Where Handmade Rocks!

I first heard about Etsy back in the fall of 2005 before anyone knew what it was or how big it would get.  I was having fun making beaded jewelry at the time and thought of selling it on Etsy.  But being the procrastination queen I am it never happened.  Now Etsy has blown up and is THE place to buy and sell handmade.  I think it is great because it has given new life to handmade products.  There are so many things out there made on machines or by an assembly line of people.  It is wonderful to shop on Etsy and see all the wonderful creations people have made with their own hands.  I made my first purchase there in December.  It was an acrylic art print.  I love it!  I have it framed and hung on the wall in my living room.  I am inspired each time I see it.  Thats the thing about Etsy....its ability to inspire!  

I have often spoken about how creativity has helped me deal with fear.  When I focus on a project it takes me out of my busy mind for that time and a shift in my focus happens.  Whether I am making a beaded bracelet or spending time behind the lens of my camera.  I get caught up in the moment and loose all track of time.  I feel happy, calm, and inspired.  I have found it to be essential to my emotional well being.  Problem is I don't do it enough.  Sometimes I have a hard time getting started especially when my mind is running around lost.  But if I can get in the zone....who knows where it can take me.  

This past Christmas I made my own cards for the first time.  I used images from my photographs and handwrote my own sentiment.  It was the most fun I have ever had sending out cards.  Sharing my photography and being creative with it was great.  I plan on doing it again!  It inspired me to use my photos to make cards.  And it led me to FINALLY open my first Etsy shop Cathy Marie Creations I have started out with my photo cards and eventually plan to share some of my beaded jewelry.  It is exciting for me to put my creativity out there.  I hope you enjoy it!

You can check out my shop here.  You can also scroll down the right side of this blog and get a preview.

What is your favorite way to be creative?  How does your creativity help you?  Have you ever been on Etsy?  Are you a fan of handmade?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Boobie Bracelets. . . Are They Offensive?

I have referred to my breast's as "boob's" for years never thinking anything of it.  In my book Breastless in the City I used that word quite often.  For me it is just a way to lighten up things when talking about breast cancer.  I certainly didn't think it was an offensive term.  Apparently to some it is.  

Have you heard about the awareness bracelets that recently made the news and the school that banned them?  Keep A Breast is a non profit raising awareness about breast cancer and they are selling bracelets that say "I love boobies".  There is a middle school in Santa Clara, CA where some of the students are wearing these bracelets.  It is causing quite the ruckus.  The school administrators have banned wearing the bracelets even though they admit to being in support of the cause.  The female students were getting harrassed by the boys over the bracelets.  

Middle school is such a young age and I wonder  whether or not they even get the point of the bracelets or just find it humorous especially since the wording on the bracelets is poking humor at the issue.  Apparently the female students were getting harrassed by the boys over the bracelets.  Personally I am not offended by the bracelets.  I am not sure though if it warranted banning students from wearing them.  

What do you think?  Did you hear about this story?  Do you think the bracelets should have been banned?  Do you find them offensive?