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And so it begins...



I have a secret. It sits safely nestled in a soft orange leather case at the bottom of my handbag. Every once in a while I catch of glimpse of it while rummaging for my keys and I smile. It feels a little self-indulgent enjoying something no one else knows about but is there just the same, like wearing your most beautiful lingerie under your everyday clothes. Actually, it goes beyond anything hedonistic because this beautiful commonplace object makes me feel joyful, blessed, grateful and inspired all at the same time. In fact, it happens to be the catalyst and muse for this very journal.

What is this secret, you may ask? What is that item sitting at the bottom of my handbag (besides those random bits and pieces of my life) that can bestow such contentment and pleasure?  Intrigued? Well, you ever so kind and generous readers, as this is my first post ever and I am a storyteller at heart, you will have to to be patient with me a little longer for the answers are in the story scribbling that follows. After all, what better way to start this journal than with the day and object that inspired it. And so folks, my Soul Scribbles begin...

Not too long ago, I was sitting in a restaurant enjoying the company of Dee and Kay, two of my dearest and closest friends. Now that we live two hours away from each other, we don't often get the chance to visit in person anymore. It also happened to be my birthday, and even though it was a busy time with graduation ceremonies, house guests and end of school year events, Dee and Kay insisted that we spend at least some part of that day together. And I was so very glad they did because after the year I just had, I truly needed to see those faces of theirs.

Feeling the warmth of the afternoon sun through the glassless window, I was grateful for their friendship and smiled. We've known each other for many years now, growing up together as young mothers right along with our own children who are in turn good friends themselves. We've shared kindnesses, tears and humour. We've watched our children grow from toddlers to teenagers, and as I sat back admiring how lovely they looked all dressed up for our special lunch, with Kay even wearing heels and a daring decolleté (not exactly something we would normally see this most practical girl wear), I couldn't help but imagine and look forward to the three of us still meeting up like this in our future golden years.

Being a part of each other's journeys has been a gift and a pleasure, even when at times those paths became less smooth and the 'Delicate Cycle' would stop working right in the middle of one of us doing 'Life's Laundry'. Good friends don't need an invitation if they sense something is wrong; they are at your side offering whatever support is needed. The really good ones also step in to make sure you don't disappear under that growing pile of 'living laundry'; they find you, help with the clean up and make you press the 'Reset' button.

That's exactly what Dee and Kay did for me this past year. Even from a distance their caring vigilance would not succumb to my stubbornness in wanting to hide away and be overwhelmed. They tied a lifeline around me and pulled and tugged and pulled some more until I came up for air. Now, as our lunch and chatter continued, I realized I was laughing; a lot. That sound had become foreign to me and I vaguely remembered it, but I liked it. That lifeline I had held onto so tightly suddenly became less taunt and I felt that I could finally begin to heal. For so long now I had been struggling with that messy, heartbreaking pile that life had so unexpectedly thrown over me that I didn't know who I was anymore and I so desperately wanted to be my old self again.

As if on cue, a gift was placed in front of me. I opened the box and found an adorable orange pen. I felt my heart jump and smile all at once. Those creative whispers that were murmuring away inside of me for so long suddenly became loud and clear. I instantly knew that the time had come to finally put those aspirations into action even if I was unsure about the process. There was just something about that colour that was so delightfully unexpected and inspiring that it instantly made me feel joyous and want to have fun again. That pen was urging me to find my old paint box and pastels and fill up canvases with colour, to take out a stack of paper and start to scribble away words. I wanted to go home and open up that drawer where my forgotten dreams had been pushed way too far back and one by one, I wanted to dust off them the self-doubt and believe in their potential again. That magnificent crazy orange pen was calling out to me and it said "Hey girl, it's been a while, but now that you're back, pack up all that knowledge you have learned earned this year, pack up all that potential you've forgotten about, put them in that bag called Possibilities and let's get going!" Sometimes inspiration and catalysts come in the strangest forms and they speak to you with such clarity and calling that all you can do is listen and yield to its summons.

Yet, the biggest revelation of the day came when Kay and Dee explained they had chosen to give me a special writing instrument and that particular colour because it reminded them of me. Me? I suddenly saw myself through their eyes and with much gratitude, I felt found. At that moment it dawned on me that although I had forgotten how to be me, although I had trouble finding that person I once could so easily describe as me believing her now lost and broken forever, those two never lost sight of her. Who else but those who know you so well, the ones who never give up on you are always able to still see the real you in spite of your pain, physical changes, or self-imposed exile? The simple fact is my friends never stopped seeing who I was; they were just waiting for me to recognize her once again.

So, you see folks, an orange pen is my secret and it has become my muse. Every time I look at it I am reminded that I am a writer and an artist and that I should never stop scribbling from my soul, because if I do it would be like holding my breath. It reminds me that authenticity, passion and compassion reside within and because of that I am fierce. It reminds me of the joy I find in living a perfectly imperfect life and how extraordinary celebrating the ordinary moments can be. It reminds me of how blessed I am, of what good friends I have and of how our stories can be messy, complicated and beautiful and because of that my journey is enriched. It reminds me that practicing courage, gratitude and forgiveness makes me free.  And lastly, though by no means least, it reminds me never to lose sight of myself or the knowledge that I am always able to press that reset button when the delicate cylce breaks down again. This is why I just can't help but smile a little when I catch a glimpse of that orange leather case in my handbag, even if I can't find those darn keys again.


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Reader Comments (30)

What a great story. Have fun with your new blog :)

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy Webster

Fantastic...wonderful! Good for you and well done your beautiful friends for bringing you back to yourself with such a practical everyday object. Thank you for this beautiful writing and look forward to more!

What a beautiful post - I love your way with words. It reminds me of a dear friend who also used the laundry machine analogy. I've observed my own creative cycles in the last year and I'm learning to be gentle, to not push the reset button too hard, but to be delicate when I need a gentle reset. What a lovely start! Cheers to friends and discovering our voices!

{{soul hugs}}
Kathryn, Collage Diva + fellow flyer

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn - Collage Diva

This story is absolutely lovely and I can relate so much! In this crazy and messy and beautiful life we do need to get lost in order to be found. Cheers to color and art and vibrancy and YOU! xo

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterleapandtwirlgirl

Brilliant...absolutely brillaint!!!

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbeemogirl

What a beautiful story and blog! Congrats to you for starting.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana Barbieri

Congrats on your big creative step of starting a blog. I chose to release my creativity after a bad time in my life- I can totally relate to your path!

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

Great way to start a blog.... I'l be popping back for more. Nice story.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercollette

Speachless!! I adore your story. It reminds me and my son Cristian who composes songs! I will send this link to him so he can be delighted, too. I am a great admirer of writers and rest assure I will follow your blog. It is like reading a little book. I am unleashing my fears to writer in my blog. My first language is Spanish and its a lot more difficult but I am trying. You are more than welcome to visit and give me som advise in writing!! Thank you so much for your FB friendship!
Keep following your dreams while you Enjoy the Ride through this amazing journey!!
♥♥♥ A heart from each one of my three sons....

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Oh my, what a delight this post is!!!
I'm glad you chose to fly high!

I love orange by the way!
Adriana xxx

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdriana/ Adee

This is such a beautiful first post! You story touched me dearly and made me misty. I am sooo happy for you and im doing that little happy dance with you! I know for sure i'll visit you often here with a cup of tea! I love your writing style and your words are just wonderful! Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjacqueline

welcome to blogland! what a fabulous start!

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy

Well done! I love the way you expressed the true feeling inside you and the fact that you are ready to share what you are feeling with those around you. As I am reading this post, I can perceive the emotions that were brought out. I hope one day that you would like to share your passion for "Soul Scribbling" with the world (or at least a few more people) and everybody will truly feel like they are in your shoes. I am truly proud of you zia! :)

adorable. I wish I had something of the storyteller in me! Beautiful blog too. what template did you use - ah, square space.... interesting!

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermoyra

Well if this is the first post, you can bet I'll be back to watch you grow. I wish I had your talent for writing.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarianne

Beautiful Blog!!!! Well done!!!! From one fellow flyer to another great first post!!!!! Keep it up and always remember to take a step back - breathe and believe - I'm proud of you!! -

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris Johnson

Congratulations! I'm so proud of you! I was confident that you could make this flight and now there is every reason to soar. . .

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPapillon

What a great story!!! I had heard you were very talented and now I can see why. I can't wait to read more. You really have a way with words. Congrats!!!!

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Wow! So much beauty in this post. What wonderful friends...I know what you mean about forgetting who you are and being surprised when others see what you don't in yourself. Kudos to you for being brave and vulnerable. You are a wonderful storyteller! I love the quote you left on my blog because it really flips your frame of reference and it is all about perspective, right? I'll be visiting often!

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie Schmitt

Thank you for your very beautiful blog. I enjoyed your post very much. I will be back!!!

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJava Venus

Wonderful post - I cannot wait to see where you take this blog - I love the name too!

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhope | paper relics

What a beautiful story! What fabulous friends! Is that image at the top of your page the orange pen itself? I have to admit, suddenly I want to run out and find an orange pen. :)

August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Wow! I simply adore your background - very Persephone books. Do you know them? They use endpapers that come from wallpaper of the same period as their books. And as they republish super books that fell into oblivion - like the wondrous Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day (and no I did not see the film!). Anyway, your blog is so beautiful and I love the orange pen story. It resonates. I was once given a pen by friends because it reminded them of me and it was dark brown with orange spots! Pens, and notepads are so important aren't they? I think you should sell notebooks with your glorious images as decoration on the cover. Good luck with your writing dreams. Jo

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJo Parfitt

Hey way to go girl!!! You've got IT !!!!!! Love your graphics, and your warm, expressive way with words! Keep it up and I'll keep checking in to see you. Oh... and have you opened up any mail recently?????? love and kisses, not to forget the big hugs also!!!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Nicely done! Keep on scribbling!

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHavatselet

You're an inspiration. Your words, your belief in yourself and in the power of friendship and love. Your blog is not only beautiful to the eye, its message warms the heart. Here's to you!

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermme. bamboo

What a great story and the photos. I also really really enjoy your blog - your blog title, your inspiration and your writing! Thanks for sharing.

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

You had me at the name of your blog <3 Beautifully written post. I was there alongside you for all of it. Congrats on starting your blog!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanette - olive & hope

i'm usually not someone who can stay focused enough to read long blog unless they have a ton of pictures, but yours was different. it sucked me in. next thing you know i had tissue wiping up all of my tears. you write beautifully (a talent i don't possess) and your website is stunning! thank you for stopping by my blog! it really makes me feel special. i will be back to see you again!

with heart,
rita maria

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita maria

What a lovely blog you have - and such a terrific way to start it off with this lovely post. Thank you so much for encouraging me on my blog. My favorite bit, "I felt found." Well, with your words in an email across the ocean to me, I too felt "found" as well. Cheers to us!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaryWig

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