Friday, February 27, 2015

Time ... Timing ...

Woke up this morning with a little tinge of worry ... about my day ... about the weird thing going on with my tire ... and the realization that I will be driving right by the scene of my wreck last June ... for the very first time.

It made me pause.  Actually, it stopped me dead in my tracks.

There was a moment of panic as I processed the thought.

"Ok, God.  So it's the end of the month ... just like before ... and I am rushing to get all of these things done ... and my tire is doing that weird thing ... AND ... I am going to be driving right by THAT spot ... where I took the plunge into the ravine ... the one that
I shouldn't have walked out of?!?"

And the whisper came ... "I am in control of YOUR time, MaryJane."

Reassuring at first ... but as the morning moves forward ... I find myself ... a little uneasy ... still.

My tires are brand new ... less than 60 days old. So there's no reason I should be having a tire issue.  But I am.

Shimmy and shake ... whenever I accelerate.  At times earlier this week, it has felt as if the rear left tire was going to simply fly off.

Slipped into a local tire place yesterday and was told they couldn't find any of the normal suspects for such a problem ... other than the tire on the left rear was worn badly along the edges ... causing a cupping effect ... that could definitely cause the vibrations.

 When I asked what would cause such a thing to happen with a brand new tire, he shook his head slowly and said he really didn't know.  Could be alignment but when he drove it, he didn't feel any pull.  Could be the tire wasn't balanced properly when it was put onto the car. He really wasn't sure. Anyway you slice it, it seems that the only fix is ... ANOTHER ... new tire.

He said that it wasn't hurting anything to drive on it ... except that it would just keep wearing ... and the shimmy-shaking would get worse.  He said he'd really like to help me but that he thought I should go back to where the tires came from ... since they were so new.

Made a call to that place. Plan to take it in on Monday ... after two long days of driving this weekend ... to catch up on all of the places I didn't get to go to over the last two weeks due to the snow.

Opened my email and my horoscope said ... Thankfully, you will have a good shot at reaching your goals as long as you take whatever extra time you need. You will only make yourself more frustrated if you push too hard because you could inadvertently agitate a hornet's nest of unwarranted worries. Be patient; it's smarter to chill out now and try again once the energy settles down. Timing is everything. 
Yes. I smiled.  It was a reminder from my best friend, God, Creator of the Universe, that He is always with me.  My Balstovitch ... he jumped off his pin back last night ... and landed somewhere in Heber Springs.  It seems that he doesn't want to come along for the ride ... today.

My God ... He will go before me ... He is always with me.

Timing. Is. Everything.
(c) February 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Replacing Light Bulbs

Driving.  All around.  From place to place to place.

And at every stop ... there was only one thing to do.  Look for the lights ... that weren't turned on.  Then check out the bulbs.

It was important that they ... the lights ... be turned on.  Very, very important.
There was a sense of urgency ... to the task.

Light ... after all ... is a form of energy that makes it possible to ... see things.

Sometime the lights were in the ceiling.  And other times they were lamps. On tables.
On the floor. On the wall.  Inside lights. Outside lights.  Lights to read by.  Lights to work by.  Lights to illuminate a path from one place to the next.

Each time I would encounter a light ... unlit ... I would frantically attempt to discover why ...
it wasn't shining.

Was it as simple as flipping the switch?  Could it be a cord unplugged?  Or was it the bulb?

That was my mission.  To locate the ... burned out ... bulbs.
And replace them.

If there was no beam ... no radiance ... I would unscrew the bulb and gently shake it.  Listening for the rattling sound of the broken filament against the glass.

Once identified ... I would quickly reach into my back pack ... and find a replacement bulb.

As I traveled from place to place ... in and out ... checking the lights, I was totally unaware of the backpack.  But as soon as I would discover the loss of light, the backpack brimming with bulbs
was readily at hand.

No matter the size, wattage or design, the exact one needed was there.  

Incandescent are the most common and are what traditionally comes to mind when one thinks of a light bulb.  They begin to glow when electrical current passes through a filament ... not really energy efficient ... but the best for high levels of brightness.

The government has now mandated that ALL incandescent bulbs must produce the same amount of brightness using less energy. ( US Energy and Independence Act of 2007). So instead of 100 watt bulbs ... they are 72 watt bulbs ... only they are now to be called 1500 lumen bulbs.
Guess that's to give the false impressions that there are no lapses in ... brightness.

Interesting ... to me ... that the government thinks it can regulate ... how bright my light shines.

Anyway ... in my dream ... all of the bulbs are old-fashion incandescent bulbs.
The ones that burn the brightest.

So I am driving about ... checking out the lights ...

Spot lights. Night lights. Plant lights. Lights beside sofas. Stake lights. Strings of lights. Globes. Lights on coffee tables.  Plain ole lights in the ceiling.

Some bulbs were tiny like Christmas lights ... others were big orbs found over bathroom mirrors ... occasionally they were decorative tear drop and flame shapes ... but most were those common ... every day ... ordinary light bulbs ... in that shape most often used to symbolize a ... great idea.

So what causes light bulbs to burn out?

Some common reasons include heat & humidity, changes in temperature, vibration,
rapid on-and-off switching, and not leaving the light on long enough when put into use.

In other words ... light bulbs ...burn out ... due to the normal wear-and-tear & demands
of every day life.

The dream was one of those that is intense in the moment.  I would wake up frantic ... and exhausted ... then rolling back over to continue the quest for the outages.  It was ... as if ... time was running out.  Like a video game, of sorts ... where my worth would be evaluated by the number of bulbs I replaced ... by the lights that were replenished ... not so much by anything I had to offer ... but simply because I took notice.

A few minutes and a new bulb ... from which the existing light would once again shine ...
that was all that was required of me.

It wasn't really obvious to me whether I was winning or losing.  I just knew that I had no choice but to take action ... to search for the missing lights.

To dream of a light bulb indicates movement into a new direction.

That was a week or so ago.

More recent nights ... have had me running through a tunnel ... in total darkness.  Something is chasing me ... but I can't see it ... due to the burned out lights. And I have no idea where the beginning or end is ... to the tunnel.

How deep is the dark?

I can hear IT following behind me .. it's pace always the same as mine.

If I am moving slowly ... it's moving slowly.  If I speed up, it speeds up.  When I am running and feeling out of breath, I can hear the thuds of steps and the panting ... the heavy breathing ... from it's exertion as well.

One night, I was awakened by the scary sounds I was making aloud ... even as I was sleeping.  Sounds like muffled screams.  I knew the moment I was awake and alert that I had been trying to scream ... but nothing would come out.

An unexplained scratch ... appeared behind my right ear.  Two thin red lines ... scabbing just enough to let me know that the wound is real.

I am wondering ... did the backpack somehow get lost in the chase?  Or will the bulbs be there .. within easy reach ... to restore the light ... should I allow myself to stop and make a stand ...
in the dark?

Do not be afraid, MJ!
The light isn't at the end of the tunnel ... it's wherever you are ... right now. 

(c) February 2015

Monday, November 10, 2014


Drop a pebble into the water.  It creates a ripple.
Drop a stone .. or a boulder .. into the water.  It creates a BIGGER ripple.
Try skimming a flat rock .. the result is a scatter shot of ripples.

What is a ripple, actually?

According to Webster, "ripple" is a verb and was first used in 1755.  It means
"to move in small waves" or "to pass or spread through or over someone or something". 
Near the bottom of the entry at it says that a ripple is
"a shallow stretch of rough water in a stream."


Heartbeats are ripples.  A friend's heartbeat creates waves that wash over your life.  Waves that rush in-and-out .. like the tides.  Waves that strew trash .. and treasure .. upon your beach.  Soul plunder.  Then draws back out to the sea .. carrying away bits and pieces of each of us.

Photo by OBX Sunrise - March 2013

Stormy & turbulent at times.  Calm & serenely rhythmic at other times.  The sun rises .. and the sun sets .. to the cadence of the tides. The ripples created by the heartbeats of our friends .. touch our lives ..

Time after time after time ..
from everlasting to everlasting.

I have a friend.  I hesitate to use the term
 best friend because that somehow implies that she has outclassed all of my other friends.  All of my friends are unique and bring their own special value to my life.

This friend, though, definitely sits around the best-of-the-best table in my heart.

Over the years .. it's been almost 25 .. our individual beaches have been scourged and scarred.  Life has been hard .. brutal .. unforgiving at times.  The heartbeat ripples .. the waves of our friendship .. have cascaded on to the battlefields of our beaches .. erasing the wounds etched so deep in the sand in an attempt to somehow make them permanent ... washing away the hurts .. leaving a clean slate .. a chance for a fresh start ... every single time.

If asked, she would tell you things about the effect of my ripples on her life.  How amazing it is to have me for a friend.  It's her story .. and she's sticking to it.  She believes it so that makes it the truth to her.

The real truth, though, is how her love has refreshed and nourished my soul.

Quirky. Smart. Fun. And funny. Beautiful. Caring. Generous. Forgiving. Genuine. Afraid. Trustworthy. Honest. Loyal. Supportive. Thoughtful. The beat goes on and on and on ..

... and did I say, beautiful?!?

Yeah. Beautiful inside and out.  Her heart-light shines so bright .. it's a beacon from the beach .. during the most perfect of storms.

A safe harbor.  That's what she has always provided for me.

Ripple-reading is a rare art.  It is a God thing .. and can't be faked or mastered on one's own.  My beautiful friend ... is a world-class ripple-reader.  At least in the world of MaryJane.

Instinctively she knows when the tides have sucked the life right out of me.  Leaving my beach barren .. my soul empty. Her ripples roll in .. as the tide turns .. covering me .. replenishing me .. every single time.

She has moved me in.  She has moved me out. She has even moved in from time to time.

She has cleaned up my messy house .. my messy life .. more times than I care to count.  When the wolves have been at the door .. she has ridden in .. like the cavalry .. staring my enemies down
with a look that said "To get to her, you have to come through me first! Bring it on!
I double-dog dare ya!"

I am not sure she is truly adventuresome at heart.  Change has never come easy for her.  Yet, she has always come willingly to ride shotgun .. into the uncharted territories that
I am prone to wander.

Very few people have seen my tears.  She has held me in her arms and her heart .. whenever the flood dam has broken. She has always allowed me to be weak .. vulnerable .. even though it may have shaken her world a little to discover that I fall apart in distress.

She has provided a safe place for me to hide out .. to hurt .. and to heal.

She has carefully gathered up the broken pieces of my heart when I cast them aside as if they had no value .. later helping me to re-arrange them when I was able to breathe again.

She has often chosen to channel my tears into the barren fields of others .. irrigating fresh starts and new growth .. in unexpected places. Then laughingly claiming that somehow her gift
has come from me.

There have been good times .. laughter .. accomplishments .. milestones .. scattered in our surf.  We have rode those waves together, too.  

Driftwood. Seaweed. Shells. Beach glass. Shipwrecks. Jellyfish. Even a beach brick or two .. or a hundred.  Our beaches have been littered by the good ... and the ugly.

My beautiful friend had a birthday.  It was yesterday.  Another of her friends sent her flowers.
I missed the boat.

Our ripples in recent years have been a slow ebbing-and-flowing .. a soothing constant caress that neither disturbs or distracts from the everydayness of the present.  Background music, if you will, waiting for life's next crescendo.

To be a go-to friend .. to one who is always the go-to friend .. isn't easy.  No doubt.
My life would not be complete without her in it.  To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what my life would be today without her strength, her faith, her confidence and her love.

Her ripples have weathered my storms .. sparkled in my sunshines .. have perfectly touched my life in all of it's hidden places. Her friendship has been one of the most enduring ..
and greatest blessings God has ever bestowed on me.

I simply wanted her to know that .. today .. every day .. always and forever.
(c) November 2014