The fairy tale begins deep in the magic woodland. The story unfolds in poetic form as The Little Sprout tries to find his path in life. What will he decide to do? What will he become? What would you do, if you were a sprout? Fully colorized, featuring art by Muse.
A woman’s heart is laid bare here. Motivation and inspiration abound, all written from personal experiences. A mysterious menagerie of fledgling poetry and intimate prose waltz from light-hearted romps to veils of darkness; to love’s salvation. Readers will be moved by the many facets of the Muse’s soul. Prepare for a journey, a metamorphosis where goodness reigns supreme, a true Enigmatic Evolution. The Muse asks that you “read well and judge lightly,” and hopes her readers will find within this book her unexpected gift.
At times, I have to do some errands for the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. It’s not that I like to do these errands, but I have learned this is one secret to getting along with her.
The errand she had for me was to go to the Mall and pick up something she had ordered. In my own way I tried to finagle out of that errand, but the more I finagled the more insistent she was. So, I decided to finagle no more.
As the pop song says, “I have a million reasons not to go, give me one reason to go.” I tried to play this on her and her response was, “Because I asked you to.”
You just cannot get any better than that. I know, because I have tried.
Since I do not go to the mall that often, I thought I would stop in at a coffee shop and have myself a cup of coffee and just chill out a little. Taking my coffee out in the main area of the mall, I sat in one of the lounge chairs and watched the people go by.
As a young person, my favorite author was Ernest Hemingway. In one of his books he says that the important thing for a writer is to, “listen, listen, listen.” I tried to practice that throughout my life so I thought here at the mall would be a good opportunity to do just that.
It was rather noisy, but I tried my best to listen. Some of the things I heard I wished I would not have heard, but that is the price you pay for listening.
In my situation, I could not hear much of a conversation, but the little that I did hear I tried to figure out what they were trying to say. I know I got some things wrong, but I laughed very discreetly at some things I heard.
Halfway through my coffee something struck me that I never thought of before.
So many young people and children were racing through the mall. I did not know there were that many children on planet Earth. They were running and laughing and whatever else they could think of.
I just sat back and watched. I tried to listen, but there was so much noise I really could not listen so I watched. Here these young people were having the time of their life. They were laughing and joking among themselves and just having a good time.
Occasionally I caught the joke and laughed to myself, but most of the jokes I did not understand. I guess that has to do with an age difference.
It was right after Halloween and so a lot of the gibberish in the mall had to do with the Halloween spirit. I thought several were dressed for Halloween, but realized that that is exactly what they wear every day.
I saw one young girl wearing blue jeans with so many holes that they really lack purpose. I was later to find out that you buy these blue jeans with all the holes in them. Moreover, the more holes they have, the more expensive they are.
When I was young I had blue jeans with lots of holes, but I earned every one of those holes.
My spirits were beginning to rise and I was enjoying my visit in the mall. Do not let that get out, I do not want anybody to know I was having a good time, particularly, you know who.
It seemed the more I watched, the more young people and children flooded the mall. And, the laughter rang from one end of the mall to the other with me in between.
As I was enjoying this little episode, a thought snuck into my mind. I must confess that it is a rare occasion when a thought actually comes to my mind. This time a thought did come to my mind.
What I wanted to know was, why were all of these kids happy? Why were they having so much fun?
Don’t they know how miserable the world is today? Don’t they know how sad and horrific things are on the outside? The hatred, the anger, the putrefaction of the world as we know it.
Quickly my smile turned upside down and I frowned.
It then came to me. These kids in the mall having a wonderful time were not all caught up with what is going on out in the world. Their world is a world of fun and excitement. It is only the “old geezers” that know about all of the terrible things going on in the world. The young only see the good.
In pondering this, I asked myself a very serious question. Why in the world did I grow up?
Why couldn’t I have stayed young and naïve and only focused on having a good time? If I had stayed young, I probably would not be so depressed by everything that is going on “out in the world.”
In pondering this, I thought of what David once said. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25).
I can appreciate what these young people see, but they really cannot appreciate what I have seen through the years. That is simply, God always takes care of his people.
Guest Article; Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com
smile~! show those pearly whites everywhere, a smile begets a smile. negative emotions are eased when smiles are present. hope exists in a smile. smiles are immediate ice breakers and help put others at ease. studies show individuals who read smile emoticons, subconsciously physically return the smile. proof positive smiles are contagious. :)
share~! use what you have, be it monetary or other, and give selflessly. don’t give with the intention of becoming a “i did that so you owe me” type of giver. let your sharing be an un-tethered gift. and remember, sharing your time, your heart and even your prayers can be the most important gift of all.
compliment~! who among us doesn’t treasure a compliment? it is the acknowledgment of value – a surefire way to make others understand you are truly looking at them and their accomplishments. this is not say constructive criticism cannot be given when required, but let’s be honest hearing “that really is an awful color on you” … what about, “i have always liked the way you set that (insert color here) dress ablaze, yes i’ll always remember you in that!”* *truth in a muse’s marriage, “the early years”. compliments are sincere while flattery is the feigning of truth. be sure your compliments are unmarred by fictitious pampering.
encourage~! lift up those around you who seem disenchanted, depressed or lackluster. encouragement can be made with cards, letters and (cringe) yes, even an email to someone you know who needs to hear a voice of kindness. advise if appropriate, but a resounding “i know you can” or “i have faith in you” works wonders to a discouraged heart.
courteous~! this is ever so easy to do. simple thank yous, yes sir (mam/miss), no sir (mam/miss), pardon me…and a myriad of little actions, such as holding a door or picking up someones dropped property..all take nearly no effort. people are often amazed when they are treated with good manners. try it, you’ll see.
eliminate~! purge yourself and your belongings. now, i don’t mean to the extent of a cheapo “hollywood 10 hr cleanse” nor am i suggesting you become devoid of all material objects (your home etc.) – i want to explore ridding oneself of burdens. lets do that together! is there something in our lives that feels weighty? is there a big STOP sign along our life’s path? are we surfing in the negative wake of negative people? if so, we need to break free! stamp out that which has turned us into emotional/physical hoarders. shining the light on whiners and debbie downers has an uncanny way of making the rats run for cover. by using your illuminating lamp of elimination, those around you will feel compelled to become sunbathers of positivism rather than night-crawlers of negativity.
appreciate~! oh goodness, does one ever tire of hearing how much they are appreciated? i really don’t think we can say it enough. too often we get wrapped up in how to say it differently, but there really is no need. imagine yourself being told by someone, “i appreciate you – i appreciate your time, your engagement – i appreciate your presence in my life”. the sincerity of appreciation goes (imho) deeper than a thank you. appreciation expresses your heart ties to an act or to an individual. voltaire stated this, “appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
inspire~ ! this could also be entitled motivate. look around your world, look at family, friends – no doubt there is one or more individuals who are feeling less than enthusiastic about, work, life or their future. being sympathetic and feeling empathy are key factors in any relationship, but there also comes a time when you need to lift another human being spirit ~ to hoist them onto a level footing (where they catch sight of that brass ring once more). from tangible gifts to words of wisdom, inspirational remedies are as varied as the maladies. inspiring that lost craving of life’s desire will, more often than not require a tactile or sensory input. remember, inspiration comes in the most quiet of whispers to the loudest of marches. whether you choose to be a songbird or a symphony, your one primary goal … light a spark!
ask~ ! don’t expect answers if you never ask the questions. seems divinely simple, but sadly many of us do not follow this very basic premise. we talk, we talk more, we keep on talking ~ never pausing to ask anyone’s opinions, thoughts or feelings. if we are truly wanting to impact the world in a better way, does it not seem plausible that we would want to inquire about the emotional and creative well being of those around us? how does it make you feel when someone you care about asks you “how are you feeling today?” … perhaps someone you admire inquires, “can you give me your thoughts on this?” you feel valuable. your thoughts matter. you have worth. personally, i follow this rule, ‘ask before i tell’. seeking wise counsel benefits us all.
repeat~ ! ask, inspire, appreciate, eliminate, be courteous, encourage, compliment, share, smile …. over and over ~ again and again. without fail. the world will be touched by you … it will be changed by you … and you shall be all the better for doing just that.
HAIR: The XVIII century fashion became very sophisticated and voluminous 3D hairstyles were common at Royal Court. Queen Marie-Antoinette played very important role in development of the new and gregarious hairstyles. Her vision with the aide of hairstylist Leonard Kuaferom, created some amazing masterpieces called “Sensitivity Explosion”, “Voluptuous”, “Secret Passion”. These highly evocative, blatantly romantic and sensual names further pushed the envelope of French court decadence.
Historical records note that making just one single wig for Queen Marie Antoinette took between one to ten hours of constant labor. Upon completion and use, the hair was not washed at all for months and was only combed with specially made tool resembling a metal hand. Why? Because of the sheer intrinsically exhausting time it took to create the coif. And to make matters worse, these behemoth concoctions were regularly greased with raw pork lard. Any woman sporting these oh so trendy “dos” would have had the added height of 3 feet upon their head. The weight varied as well since they selected a menagerie of tangibles to be woven into the deigns. The court often hosted themed galas. No well stationed woman dared not attempt to please and fascinate her peers.
Day to day activities were highly curtailed, movement kept for only the important tasks, receiving other visiting royals or social equals, partaking of tea and dancing. As one can imagine nighttime activities were no less stressful – sleeping normally was out of the question. Specially designed cushions and sleeping chairs were quite common. Armor of sorts was placed on the coiffed heads to protect the hair design’s integrity as well keeping out mice! (perhaps this is where the term “hair looks like a rat’s nest” first originated?) Due to the unusual shapes being requested (as each woman at court tried desperately to out coif the other), customized haberdashery excelled to a new level of artistry. These grandiose displays of excess gave birth to countless XVIII century cartoons and mockeries. Sadly Marie Antoinette represents the first victim of a fashion faux pas. Never flaunt all your assets. One never knows the ultimate cost – for poor Marie, it was her head.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen (2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793), an Archduchess of Austria, was the fifteenth and penultimate child of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor and Empress Maria Theresa. In April 1770, upon her marriage (at the age of 14 years and 5 months) to Louis-Auguste, heir to the throne of France, she became Dauphine of France. On 10 May 1774, when her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI, upon the death of his grandfather Louis XV, she became Queen of France and Navarre, title she held until September 1791, when, at that time of the French Revolution, she became Queen of the French, a title she held until 21 September 1792.
During the Revolution, after the government had placed the royal family under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in October 1789, several events linked to Marie Antoinette, in particular the June 1791 attempt to flee, and her role in the War of the First Coalition, had disastrous effects on French popular opinion. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the royal family to take refuge at the Assembly, and on 13 August the family was imprisoned in the Temple. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished. After a two-day trial begun on 14 October 1793, Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason, and executed by guillotine on Place de la Révolution (today place de la Concorde) on 16 October 1793.
Want More Romance? Check out Muse’s romantic art or books of poetry below ~
I have no clue what some of you are wearing at this very moment. You could be in your pink pajamas and fluffy slippers with head full of hair rollers. It could be that you are dressed to the nines, adorned in stilettos, lace and leather or perhaps you are sporting jeans and a sweatshirt!
Each of us has a comfort zone in life just as we have one in fashion. The question we need to ask ourselves is: How exactly did I determine my comfort zone? The answers could be various forms of “It’s right for me…I know what I like…Been there, done that, chose this” – However, if we give answers like, “I’ve always dressed this way…I don’t own anything else…or I dunno”, then let’s make a push today or tomorrow, to take a little step out beyond the norm. Beyond the comfort we think is our fortress. Not just in the fashion we wear, but in the actions we take to progress our lives forward into a successful one!
(Success is subjective, each of us determining we have obtained that goal, just as we determine comfort. That my dear readers is a blog post for another day. As always, the disclaimer, I am not a soothsayer, physician or theologian. Merely a muse who had a thought, and a quill who refused to be silenced.)