All posts by PixLexia's Old Moon Blog

An Old Moon clears the way for a new vibe. This blog is where I write about my many muses, photography, art, crafts, astrology, tarot and astrotheology.

My thoughts on this Erev Yom Kippur

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Is my name not already written in the book of life by the mere fact that I am alive? I was born into life, wasn’t I? Or is what I understand as life simply some other in-between state of being? One that is not quite alive yet not really dead. Which makes me question then what is death? Is death an end, or yet another state of becoming. Becoming what? Perhaps more alive? A state where life is beginning and simultaneously ending as it was where it began in the womb. Did it begin there?

The womb, that place of physical confinement and of transformation. A place I do not remember at all. Yet, it is how I got here. How every creature gets here. We all start our journey in a world that is much different than the one we are now experiencing. For me just to reach that womb there was a huge battle and I was the only survivor! All of the other members of my regiment did not make it. They perished. I’m sorry for them. I hope they forgive me just like I hope that anyone that I have hurt intentionally or unintentionally, anyone who has felt slighted by their interactions with me, can forgive me.

The truth of the matter is that struggle is an integral part of the process of becoming alive. Some magnetic force pulled and pushed me into life. Primal urges in my father’s groin ejaculated me into my mother’s womb, that later expelled me into a new world where I am now experiencing this thing called life. From the moment I became aware that I was alive, I encountered the concept of death. A dark menacing horrible creature that is always lying somewhere just under the surface of life gnawing at me and reminding me of my mortality.

Death is a shadow that accompanies us through life you see and we are always being threatened by this concept of death. This fear-monger thing that no one understands. The only thing known about it is that it ends everything in this world. I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t what already happened in the womb. Didn’t that world end, yet not really, things didn’t really end there, they were just getting started somewhere else. That world ended but I wound up in this world with the rest of you. We are all experiencing this thing called life here in this world. As we also all experienced the end of that world in our mother’s wombs and wound up here in this world. Together, here we are having some kind of mass joint experience called life. So, is death just birth pangs into another world? I wonder.

Didn’t all ancient writings and holy Scriptures say that we will be awakening into another world? Or, is this just a collective hope that we all hold because we don’t want this to be the end? Is there yet another existence awaiting us? I hope so. Not because being alive here in this reality isn’t enough. Because it continues to be a spectacular experience. Really! It is more about what is the point if it all ends here? What was the point of the struggle to get here? What is the benefit if whatever knowledge is gained does not translate into anything and it ends here? It is baffling to think this thing called life that yearns so passionately after itself reaches a point where it just stops and ends. Leading to nothing else. No further transformation. All change and replication just stopped. The metaphors seem to imply that at this juncture some sort of finished product is reached and is evaluated. If deemed worthy it then lives forever. I wonder where? Where is forever exactly? For the rejected the ride then ends. I don’t want to hold that concept in my mind. Physicist say that energy is never destroyed it just transforms.  So how can something composed of energy be written out of the book of life? How can it “end”? I don’t get this whole book of life thing. I think I’m alive but according to the book of life concept, I am only temporarily alive. And unless my name gets written in the book of life and sealed in it, I perish like the rest of my regiment at the beginning of this journey trying to reach the golden egg.

So I am thinking that life is just some weird incubation process. I guess if I had a memory from my time in the womb, I would’ve probably been totally freaked out when all of a sudden my world was disrupted and I was forcefully expelled out of the womb, that had been my home the only world I’d known or could remember knowing, and had the crap beat out of me in the process. Including having my oxygen supply cut off and my food supply shut down. I was crushed and totally freaked out when I arrived bloody and screaming into this world. Graciously I lost that memory! I think, or maybe it’s the underlying reason for some of my bizarre psychology. Oh, don’t even judge me you have your own head noise to deal with. Let’s just be honest here because this is the day of atonement. Which is all about purging, cleansing and forgiving. That’s what this is all about, cleansing the body, cleansing the mind, cleansing the spirit, cleansing the fear! Just cleaning it all out of you. Sacred texts say you can achieve this by fasting and praying. I think that prayer is a way of processing all the noise in your head so I think talking to yourself, or writing things out qualifies as prayer. Getting it all out is a rather cathartic experience. You feel better like after a good ugly cry.

I still don’t understand why my name didn’t get written into the metaphorical book of life at let’s say conception? Wasn’t that the beginning of my being “alive” story? Wasn’t I alive when I was that fragile embryonic life form still evolving into itself? What was I before I arrived in that womb?

And what story then does this book of life contain? If my name is added to a list of other names, then am I merely a character playing a role in someone’s story? Who is the author? Who assigned the roles to the characters in the book? Did the characters have a choice in the matter? Were they free to change their role or to opt in or out? This is where I am supposed to insert the concept of God because I no longer have a way to compute an answer, so I create a metaphor to explain the complexities of being alive to myself. A metaphor that will be a sort of self-soothing or coping mechanism.

I can also just believe in magic, wish on dandelions, or write it out. If indeed I do have a choice to opt in or out of this thing called life, then I opt in! I choose to live fully to the best of my ability and to carry on trusting the process. Ahhh, I am glad to get this all out of my head, and I will not even bring up the hard problem of consciousness!

May your cleansing be peaceful and healing and may your metamorphosis continue!

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Wise Words from a Grand Mother

Important rules to teach our daughters:

  1. Travel light through life, keep only what you need. Let go of what no longer serves you.
  2. Every thought you have is not a fact. Know the difference.
  3. Not everything you think should be shared.
  4. It’s okay to cry when you’re hurt. It is also okay to smash (some) things; but, wash your face, clean up your mess and get up off the floor. You don’t belong down there.
  5. If you are going to curse, be clever. If you’re going to curse in public, know your audience.
  6. Seek out the people and places that resonate with your soul.
  7. People will leave your life. It’s okay to let them go. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, you will heal.
  8. New people will enter your life. Be selective about who you let in.
  9. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  10. 5-second rule. It’s just dirt. There are worse things in a fast food cheeseburger.
  11. You are a woman, you do not need a man, but you can absolutely enjoy your life with a good one.
  12. Happiness is not a permanent state. Wholeness is. Don’t confuse these.
  13. Never measure how strong you are by how much pain you can endure.
  14. Ruts are a part of life, don’t stay stuck in one.
  15. A soak in a hot bath and a good night’s sleep are a cure for many things.
  16. Never walk through an alley alone.
  17. Be less sugar, more spice, and only as nice as you’re able to without, compromising yourself.
  18. Can’t is a cop-out. Totally unacceptable and doesn’t belong in your vocabulary.
  19. Hold your heroes to a high standard. Be your own hero.
  20. Face your fears and do not be held hostage by them.
  21. If you can’t smile with your eyes, don’t smile. Insincerity is nothing to aspire to.
  22. Never lie to yourself.
  23. Your body, your rules.
  24. If you have an opinion, you better know why.
  25. Practice your passions.
  26. Ask for what you want. The worst thing they can say is no.
  27. Wish on stars and dandelions, then get to work to make them happen.
  28. Stay as sweet as you are.
  29. Fall in love often. Particularly with ideas, art, music, literature, food and far-off places.
  30. Say Please, Thank You, and Pardon Me, whenever the situation warrants it.
  31. Reserve “I’m sorry” for when you truly are.
  32. Naps are for grown-ups, too.
  33. Question everything, except your own intuition.
  34. You have enough. You are enough.
  35. You are amazing! Don’t let anyone ever make you feel you are not. If someone does…walk away. You deserve better.
  36. No matter where you are, you can always come home.
  37. Be happy and remember your roots, family is EVERYTHING!
  38. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  39. Know what you value. Value yourself too.
  40. Be kind; treat others how you would like them to treat you.
  41. If in doubt, remember whose daughter and grand-daughter you are. Comb your hair, put on your lipstick, and straighten your crown!

I believe this was originally written by Pam Van Patton, my husband’s 1st ex-wife and mother of his daughter, Angie. This version includes a few of my own enhancements. Copy and post and credit Pam please.

We are the Workers!

I wrote these paragraphs last year when I posted the group pictures I took as we prepared to start our 2017 – 2018 school year. I am reposting these words again here because they express so well how I feel about this uniquely original working environment I am privileged to be a part of. We have a new and savvy leader, Jodi Cohen, who is bringing in a wave of new ideas and sharing innovative ways to think about the work we do. We love Jodi!
The lighting was awful, the camera was set on high grain from my last shoot, and several photogs snapped the shutter. Who cares? look at this group! Aren’t they amazing? I am always so affected by the size of this crowd. This year, my daughter Desiree joined the staff of AGB, along with a fresh new group of newly hired teachers. Welcome everyone! You are in for quite an adventure!!!
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August 1, 2018 Group Shot after a little breakfast staff meeting. There are now 83 of us and growing.
It’s a preschool! It’s a freaking preschool! How many times have I heard this from, frustrated parents, disgruntled co-workers, and outsiders who could never understand the dynamics of this place! it is a community. It is several communities within one larger group. There is one cohesive element that connects everyone here. It is a mutual desire to provide for ourselves, and for our loved ones a better quality of life. It is a place where many come, and those lucky enough to become grounded, stay for a while. In that “while”, lives take place.
Here we are brought together, by choice, by chance, or by fate. Together we celebrate and mourn. We witness struggles and personal challenges and we applaud personal achievements. Ours, and those belonging to the people into whose lives we have been placed, and who in turn sojourn through our own lives.  We are the workers. We are the ones on whose shoulders things larger than us are built. Within the architecture of the larger structure is where you find each one of us. Individuals living in a world of our own making, who have come together to do this work. It is not easy.
 I have often asked myself, “why do you do it?” Although it would be so admirable of me to say I do it for the greater good of someone, or some Nobel ideal, or as I hear teachers say, “I do it for the children,” I don’t do it for any of those reasons. I do it for myself. A very personal and selfish reason. I find the work I do fulfills me. And I find the people I work with enjoyable. And I find the children irresistible.
I have been enriched by my time working in this place in ways I have probably forgotten. Each day with its unique challenges has provided me lessons no institution of higher learning could equal.  I’ve witnessed humanity here from one social-economic spectrum to its extreme opposite.  I’ve observed that the wealthy do not escape loss, sorrow, or pain. And, the poor do not go without love, joy, and happiness.  Higher education does not always provide good workers, and the best workers are not always the ones with the highest education. The prettiest amongst us will eventually age and not always well. And the least attractive amongst us, often age quite well. Not everyone gets what they want, in the way they expect it, but sometimes that is a good thing because it allows life to surprise us. My work here has always surprised me.
Cheers to another year, and to us, we are the workers, and we do a great work! Thank you!

Our 4th of July bash!

Family, friends, food, spirits, children playing . . . and dessert, then later in the evening, back at home, the sounds and sights of fireworks over the lake.

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Chow time

Suzy and Joe, do it again! They open their home to another fabulous celebration. These two people are thoughtful and engaging and they’ve made their home all about making sure that whoever comes there to visit, finds a unique tucked away spot on the property to retreat to. There are plenty of outdoor seating areas, several Pergolas, and now a faux beach for the grandchildren, along with hammocks and swings. It’s always fun at Memaws!

Mingles and schmoozes on the swing

Giggles and smiles in the elf garden

Cousins

Oh Baby

Dessert

Happy 4th
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Fireworks

Good night!!

Black and White

I thought I had fallen out of love with the DF. The iPhone X with its fantastic cameras, its lean light-weight design, and the fact it is always with me, and therefore always available, stole my heart.  I don’t want to haul all the big camera lenses and the batteries, and, well you know, all the photography gear, to capture a few shots. But then, when I pull out the DF and click its shutter, I remember why I fell in love with it way back before the X was born.

Here are are a few shots of my Olive taken with my 300mm Nikon prime, and my 60 mm Nikon macro mounted on my Nikon DF. Shot in aperture mode for that nice bokeh effect, outdoor and indoor, ambient and natural light, high ISO, auto WB.