Jan 31, 2014

Orchids and Journals of Anais Nin

This winter my orchid plant was dormant. A friend gave it to me last year,it was blooming and ever so lovely.  In the fall, the flowers dropped and all that was left were two green but barren sticks protruding from the ground.  I had contemplated throwing the plant away. Instead, I kept watering and feeding, thinking that maybe it is resting. Look at what has bloomed so unexpectedly!  I am thrilled. 

Don't you think that is how we are?  Sometimes we go for long periods of time without making any kind of progress, or so we think.  Then buds come out of those barren branches and our lives take a turn. Then we bloom like we have never before.  

I am currently reading Linotte, the first in a series of Anais Nin's journals.  She started writing in her notebook when she was 11 years old and had just arrived in the States. She knew from that age that she was meant to be a writer.  It was in her blood. She couldn't see herself working in any other career.  For a child, her writing was very good. She has a lot of witty sayings, of which, I have written in a small notebook that I carry every where. I am going to leave you with this:

I am a leaf that isn't on the right tree. I fly, I run, I search, but why keep looking on this tree when my happiness is hidden in another?

Jan 24, 2014

Ice Instruments: Music to chill by

This time of year can be miserable for those of us who dread winter. The lack of sunshine, bone chilling temperatures, and additional warm clothing can put out of good humor until spring. 

This week on NPR (National Public Radio), I heard a snippet of a story about ice instruments.  Norway put on a Ice Music Festival with instruments made completely of ice.  As I listened to what I could of the program, I was enamored with the possibility of making music out of something that seemed so unnatural. They called it the frozen sounds of winter. The thing about the whole process is the quality of the ice. Lakes produce the best ice and the man made variety will never do. Location can also be a problem as well. The temperature must be at zero (or below) or melting will occur, which could be disastrous for the instruments. I have to admit it was lovely to listen to. 

But why would someone want to sit outside in -15 degree temperatures to listen to music?  Can I buy the CD instead?

Jan 21, 2014

Photography, Books, Dreams, and Things

Not long ago, a man from FamilySearch.org met with a group that I am involved in about a project they want us to do for them (another visit tomorrow with the Big Whigs).  As you may or may not know, I am very interested in genealogy.  If I can do something to help others down their ancestral path, then I am all for it. Over the next couple of years, we will be involved with the folks from Utah to scan and upload information to their website plus it will also be transferred to an additional website so that people like you and me can research our family history for free. The book we are working on is well under way and should be completed this year too (we are crossing our fingers). There are only four more sections at the cemetery to photograph and then we will begin to put our complied information together.  I am very excited to be involved in such wonderful projects. 

Someone said to me over the weekend that we are chess pieces that are moved around for our greater good.  Things happen for a reason...This is when "Dreams become things". Dreams were never meant to stay in our heads but to become a reality.  I never dream't that my search, which started ever so many years ago, would take me to where I am now. 

When I was recently asked what was one of my major accomplishments was for my life,  I quickly piped up and said that becoming a DAR was something that I only dreamed of becoming in the last few years, which became a reality back in October.  I am going to keep dreaming. But more than that, I am going to make them come alive with good intentions and lots of determination. Prayer doesn't hurt either. 

Now, if I could just get to England for a visit then I would be extremely happy...

Jan 17, 2014

Aunt Aggie: 90 Years a Slave

Her mother was born free. She was snatched from her native land and brought to a place that was strange and the climate not to her liking. The ship docked in Virginia and all of the captives were unloaded like cattle to be sold. I don't know what year that was, but I read that it was before the Revolution.  

The Campbell's were rich and the government sold them a lot of land at a cheap price.  They needed help to develop the land.  Aggie was about 10 years old when she came to live with my 9th Great-Grandfather back in Virginia.when the Revolution began. The Campbell family lived in Virginia until 1796 and then made their way to Jefferson County, Tennessee with a land grant under their belt. Archibald Campbell died in 1801 and Aggie was passed on to James, Archibald's son.  When James passed away in 1826, Aggie went to live with Robert Fleming Campbell. In 1851, Robert and his family, with Aggie, moved to Dallas County, Texas. By this time, Aggie had children: Fay, Jim, and Archie.

Robert Fleming Campbell
Aunt Aggie witnessed another war. When the Civil War broke out her sons fought along side the rest of the soldiers for freedom. A freedom that they wanted more than life itself. Then came the Emancipation Proclamation.  She had been a slave for nearly 90 years.  She was finally free. Robert offered to care for her the rest of her life, but freedom was what they fought for. Just to taste it, like a forbidden fruit was all she wanted. Aggie's time wasn't long for this earth and she knew it. Along with Jake, her grandson, they left the farm to make their own way in the world. She is free at last...

Jan 1, 2014

I don't have that kind of mind

This past week, I had an "aha" moment.  I don't know about you, but I often wonder how people think.  Why they do the things that they do.

Relationships are hard. You don't have to marry someone from Africa to know that people are difficult to figure out, especially when it comes to the male/female relationship. Of all the bad things that happen in the world, I think that divorce is the worst. Nearly three years have gone by. Bewildered, I walked away not knowing what really happened. I often wondered what I could have done differently so that it would have lasted. I could blame his culture and religion along with it's followers, but what sense would that do? And I did do this for a long time. What was he thinking?  That is just it.  What was he thinking?  I have tried and tried to make sense of nonsense. I've spent too many hours pondering about things that are not meant for me to figure out. And yet, my mind kept going back to it. My focus went inward and I was in misery.

Art by Theophilis Smith
A friend of mine asked me how a murderer thinks? I was clueless. How would I know? I told her that I don't think like a murderer. My reasoning process is not the same. I cannot wrap my head around the concept of taking someone's life and it be okay or have no remorse for what I have done. I just don't have that kind of mind.  That's it!  I don't have that kind of mind.  I cannot understand because what happened would never occur to me to do to someone else.  I don't think that way. Afterwards, I felt a great sense of release. I have to unchain my mind from trying to make sense out of something that I don't have in me to do. It is not in my soul. In all honesty, it made me happy to finally see the light.  Everything passes, absolutely everything...sometimes it just isn't quick enough.