Today’s Quote

I love this post with its gorgeous photo and wise quote. I love the excellent reminder about the beauty all around us if we have but the eyes to see and the heart to appreciate and be grateful. Thank you, Soul Gatherings!
With Love,
Russ

Soul Gatherings

sunrise

Let your anger set with the sun
and not rise again with it.

~ Irish proverb ~
_________________

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Enchantress

Here’s another excerpt from my current writing project, It Was Her Eyes. You can learn more about the story and the project at https://imaginingsofagratefulman.com

Imaginings of a Grateful Man

Enchantress

I noticed her the moment I walked into the guest bedroom of a friends’ home I was visiting for the first time. How could I not? She was stretched out on a long scarlet velvet chaise, lying on her side facing me with the most impossibly seductive look I’d ever seen. I couldn’t keep from staring at her.

“It’s her eyes.” The voice that tore me from my reverie was of my friend’s wife, Cheryl, who stood next to me. She repeated with a chuckle and a knowing smile, “It’s her eyes. They seem to follow you wherever you are in the room.” I nodded. Cheryl was partially right. It was her eyes, but not just because they seemed to follow us as we moved in the room. It was far more than that.

The enchantress we were discussing was the stunning focal point not just of the painting she was in, but also of the whole room. She faced the bed in which I’d soon be sleeping. The raven-haired beauty appeared to be about my age, but her eyes seemed so much older. She laid in an opulent room in what I imagined might be a grand mansion in Mexico or the U.S. near the border. Based on other clues in the painting I guessed that the period depicted was long ago, perhaps shortly after the U.S. Civil War.

I couldn’t keep from staring at her.

After my hostess bade me goodnight, I stood mesmerized by the painted woman, staring at the most intriguing eyes I’d ever seen. Beneath their irresistible come-hither invitation, it was as though I could see into the depths of her soul and could feel everything she felt. They spoke of lost innocence, regret, pain, and desperation.

With growing sadness, I sensed she had once been an innocent young girl with a vibrant, beautiful spirit, but was now trapped by circumstances beyond her control. I somehow knew her innocence had been stolen from her, and her spirit had been greatly diminished by a lifetime of hardship and ugliness compressed into her too few years.

Her eyes showed she was fiercely, desperately, clinging to her last vestiges of hope. But they held another, more painful message. She thought her battle was a lost cause, as though she’d sunk so low she was beyond saving, and would soon be beyond caring.

I wondered what had given her the strength to fight for so long.

Then I felt something else from those eyes. A desperate cry for help.

**

With Love,

Russ

PS While the story is fiction, the painting I describe is real and was in the guest bedroom of a home in which I visited some years ago. It is a powerful and evocative portrait of a beautiful, mysterious, young woman.

 

Posted in Believe, Fiction, My Written Works Misc., Paranormal/Supernatural, Uncategorized, Writing Project Updates | 8 Comments

Thomas and Humpback Whales

It was My Beloved’s birthday yesterday and along with our son Ben and his family and our daughter Stephanie we went to a beach a little south of Half Man Bay. We’d not been their before. I think it was called Dunes Beach. The weather was sunny and wonderfully cool.  The waves were large for our area and gorgeous. The beach wasn’t at all crowded. We got to to enjoy being with each other, and playing with our four year old grandson Thomas. As the Birthday Girl, My Beloved got to play all day with him, while his parents rested and napped. Parents of young children know what a rare and precious gift that can be. I got to enjoy it all while writing a key chapter for my latest book project, It Was Her Eyes.

Shortly after we arrived, I looked up to see a water spout fairly close to shore. I pointed it out to the others and soon we saw more and more of them and began seeing the the dark backs and relatively small dorsal fins of whales as they lifted them out of the water to dive shortly after blowing. By the shape and size of their dorsal fins we decided they were Humpback Whales. They were within about 60-120 yards of shore. They added magic and wonderment to an already spectacular day. The show lasted for perhaps three or four hours with a brief intermission. They would occasionally lift their heads out of the water as if to say, “Hi, are you enjoying the show?”

With Love,

Russ

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An Excerpt From My Latest Book

I thought you might enjoy reading an excerpt from my latest fiction writing project for grownups. The story is titled It Was Her Eyes. It is un-edited and likely will go through multiple more revisions, but several of you have said you enjoy experiencing my writing at various stages of it’s creation, so here goes:

**

I was fortunate the moon was so bright. I could avoid at least some of the major the obstacles in my path. It seemed my toes and the soles of my bare feet managed to find every sharp rock and prickly plant along the way, and whatever I didn’t step on, I tripped over. I cursed under my breath through chattering teeth, as my whole body shivered.

I took stock of my situation. I didn’t know where I was or how (or even if) I’d ever get home. I was in little more than my underwear, walking in the dark, in a place I’d never been, about 125 years before I’d even been born. I couldn’t be seen in my current state of undress without probably being shot or arrested, yet somehow I had to quickly get clothes, a horse, tackle, guns and ammo, food, and everything else I’d need for a two-week round-trip hard ride, then race against several ruthless men into unknown territory in a foreign country whose people spoke a language I couldn’t speak or understand. Worst of all, I’d just left an enchanting naked woman after making a promise to her that I had no way of knowing whether I had even the slightest chance I could keep. But if I failed, her sister and other young ladies were likely to suffer the same terrible fate as Isabella.

**

With Love,

Russ

Posted in Fiction, Fiction I've Written, Story Writing Adventures, Uncategorized, Writing Project Updates | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

Childhood Joys

My grandson Thomas saving the galaxy, tickling the paws of a giant  bear, and being buried up to his head at the beach by his daddy, plus a sculpture that we found at a Tyrolean restaurant we enjoy that to me does a good job portraying the joys of childhood. A bonus is we got to drive through a forest of giant redwoods to go from the beach to the restaurant perhaps twenty minutes away. It was a delightful day.

With Love,

Russ

 

 

Posted in Abundance, Family, Family "Fun", Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Another Journey Into the Unknown

I have just cast off on another journey into the unknown down the Creative River. I have no idea how long this journey may be, where I’ll end up, or even if I’ll be able to complete it, but the river calls to me, and much like the eyes of an enchanting woman in a painting I was once touched by, I must answer. The working title is, “It Was Her Eyes.”

If you’d like to learn more about where the story idea came from, what it’s about, etc, please check out my post at Imaginings of a Grateful Man:

https://imaginingsofagratefulman.com

“It Was Her Eyes”

With Love,

Russ

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Stargazing

Stargazing

Stargazing has always been one of my favorite pastimes! I especially enjoyed it as a child when we visited relatives in Oregon. They lived way out in the country. There were so many more stars to see without city glare. My cousin Earl and I watched them for hours in sleeping bags beneath a magnificent canopy of stars so magnificent they put diamonds to shame. We were entranced by their beauty and grandeur, and especially enthralled and delighted by “shooting stars.” We’d talk about everything and nothing, thinking great thoughts and asking universal questions, sometimes wondering if we were the first who’d ever spoken them, and dreaming aloud, unaware how blessed we were to be able to do all of those things with each other.

Gradually, when we no longer could keep our eyes open sleep arrived bringing another type of pleasant dreams.

Earl and I recently reconnected after many years. We now have conversations on the phone a couple of times per month that meld memories of two young boys with the stories of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We’re amazed that our stories now span four generations of children who stargaze and dream.

In honor of the role Earl played (and still plays) in my life and the memories we made together that still bring smiles to my face and joy to my heart 50 years later, I dedicated my most recent book to Earl and his wife Nancy.

With love,

Russ

Posted in Beauty, Children, Dreams, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments