The River of Forgetfulness In honor of Virginia Woolf’s 136th Birthday.

River of Forgetfulness

The writer Virginia Woolf saw beyond the ordinary. She was authentic in her work, in describing the world around her. And her words became the palette in which she painted truth regarding women in the world during post World War I and before World War II.

In A Room of One’s Own, she has been asked to write on the subject of women and writing. A broad subject that gives her great pause in trying to capture the specifics within it.

Virginia writes great narrative in her approach to the subject, using the context of a woman in a man’s world, she juxtaposes education of men and women in her time:  the halls of education at Oxford University, where she tried to enter the library and was told her only entrance was as a guest of someone who worked or attended the University.

Virginia uses several chapters describing her visit around the Oxford University grounds.  She is a guest and dines noonday in a luxurious dining hall with sumptuous food. Later she  attends a nearby Women’s college for dinner where the plainest of food is served, simply because it is all the college can afford.
She goes on to compare the two learning institutions: the Women’s College spent years working hard and sacrificing to establish a modest school. Whereby Oxford had shovels full of money donated to build the grandest buildings and house the finest books and modes of learning for young men.

The brilliance of using this as a setting to approach the subject of Women and Writing, is just one of the real ways Virginia speaks to her audience.

Virginia was plagued with severe depression in her adult life. Today, she might be diagnosed with manic-depressive or bi-polar condition. She was in and out of hospitals and sanatoriums.

I wonder if her brilliantly layered words and meanings were symptomatic of a life gone inward? She was ahead of her time. She shone brightly and intelligently. She saw things others could not see.

At the age of 59, she wrote a loving note to her husband Leonard Woolf. She walked to the River Ouse near her home, placed heavy stones in her overcoat pockets and walked into the river.

I hope this poem can evoke some of my own feelings about Virginia Woolf, even if they seem misplaced or imaginings of my own.

The River of Forgetfulness

She remembered too much. She knew too much. She saw too much.

And the facts, the thoughts, and voices were too much. They blinded her with brilliance and brutality.

Nowhere to go but pen and paper, she found her relief.

It took will, it took courage to remain in her body, a vessel of truth and untruths. Keeping the voices at bay, trained with a watchful eye for an uprising.

What do you do with self-knowledge? With feelings so deep, so true you want to go down, down to the river of forgetfulness?

Perhaps ignorance would have helped. Perhaps denial is more pretend.
Perhaps it is the way one has to live in order to maintain sanity.

At times, I want to join you Virginia. I’ve remembered too much, I’ve known too much, and I’ve seen too much. I want to join you in the river of forgetfulness. I’m tired of shining in this dull, cloudy world.

I want to put stones in my pocket and wade into the dark, cool waters. Stones of sorrow, stones of my childhood, stones of my ambitions and lost dreams weigh me down. I can’t escape them.

So I take pen to paper. I find my courage. I take the stones out of my pocket and one by one lay them aside by the river.

The voices subside. Joy inches in like slivers of sunlight.

Did you struggle in the end, Virginia? As your stones dragged you under? Was your last breath trying to escape the river?  Did you question the voices at the very end?

Or did you surrender to the river of forgetfulness? I will remember you, Virginia. As I read your brave words, as I feed upon your deep thoughts.

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When Love Takes You In

home and love
When Love takes you in 

When Love Takes You in is an amazing love song written and sung by Steven Curtis Chapman.  I have included a link above to the music and the words below.  I chose this to write about today because it is a bittersweet song for my life in this current situation.

Currently, I have no home. I will have a home soon. I just don’t know where it will be. I don’t know if it is in Denver, where I have lived these last three years, or in Washington DC or in Dallas, Texas.

No. I am not a bag lady or a wandering gypsy. Though I have friends that like to call me adventurous.

Home means so many things to all of us. For me, home right now means three things:

  1. A physical place of my own where my belongings are situated in a comfortable and beautiful setting;
  2. A job where I belong and feel a part of something bigger than myself; and
  3. A love relationship where being with a man feels like home in every way.

I thought I had one of these-#3. I met someone who seemed so suited to me in so many ways. Now I realize that he’s not that person.  As I sit in a room that a dear friend in Denver is allowing me to stay in temporarily writing this, he is only a few miles down the road.

We had nurtured a relationship that I thought had great potential. But coming back into town changed things. I am grateful for the time with him. He brought me comfort in a time that I needed.

And the poignancy of this poem/song hits me in my solar plexus-hurting and yet, knowing that there is a special someone who when I meet, date and engage in a relationship with, it will feel like home. There have been nights of crying in my pillow, of dreaming of a real relationship.

I have some possible great job opportunities-but they may take me to a different place. I am confused right now on where I should live- where I want to live. Denver is my top choice. And yes, the man lives here, which means my heart wants to rush out of this town and start somewhere else.

I have to interrupt and say a SPECIAL THANK YOU!  I am so thankful and want to tell two incredible women thank you for their Love taking me in: Donna and Kristin. They have literally opened their hearts and homes for me during this time.
And for my other dear female friends who have been my encouragers of all the things I hold dear. You patiently hold my hands through this journey as I hope to Heaven I do with you. Some of you are my prayer partners, my counselors and most of all just love me for who I am. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Your Love has taken me in so many times I cannot even number: Mary, Joielle, Annemie, Cathy, Fran, and Lisa. You are my go to friends. I love you so much! Thank you.

It takes a lot of time to develop a place to live-to call a place home. I lived in a jewel of an apartment near downtown Denver that was hard to say goodbye to. I have found friends to meet for coffee, go on a walk or a hike with. And I have found a community of believers where I worship and feel as if the Spirit of God has enfolded me into His arms in the active sharing and loving of each other.

I was volunteering with a group of great people. We meet with a particular refugee family every other week.

I am finally getting my groove on.
But money and making it may take me to other places.

And so I sit in this veritable swingset of  life. Tossed around with feelings of homelessness in all areas. What do I hold onto during this time? Where can I find a solid home within my heart?

Love takes you in is about many things: It is about love between two people-who find each other and a home in each other’s heart.
I also believe Mr. Chapman is talking about the Love of God. And God’s Love never refuses one single soul. God’s Love is for everyone. And this is what I cling to right now and forever.
To find my home within the loving arms of God-here in this present time and in the afterlife is to truly live freely.
Meanwhile dear readers, pray for me, please. Pray that I will know what to do and where I am to go. What job to take and what city to live in and yes, the man I am to find a home with.
I hope for you, your present home is a place you share with others. And most of all, the home in your heart is filled with the Love of God.
“When Love Takes You In” By Steven Curtis Chapman
I know you’ve heard the stories
But they all sound too good to be true
You’ve heard about a place called home
But there doesn’t seem to be one for you
So one more night you cry yourself to sleep
And drift off to a distant dream

Where love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in

And somewhere while you’re sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart

And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever cause this love to lose its hold

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in it takes you in for good

When love takes you in
Posted in Moving and Transitions, Relationships and Love, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Virtue of Humor

He makes me laugh! His wit and humor strikes something deep within me, jiggles my insides, and gives me insight into his intelligence- how he sees the world. I’m in as much anticipation of how he will delight my funny bone as I am how he will tickle my sexual fancy.  A recent quote from a woman who finds her new love funny.

Humor is more than a laugh. And in a relationship, it can become a type of interchange between a couple that stands for certain expressions, words or events. They may be in a public place and her wink and a statement such as, “200 thousand leagues,” may bring a huge grin to his face as he quickly whisks her away from a boring dinner party they are attending.

Or sweet mispronunciations of their children’s favorite stuffed animal may always bring them back to a place of where they started as a couple and as parents.

Humor has been known for its healing properties. And in a relationship that will get plenty of doses of ups and downs, humor maybe the virtue that allows the relationship breathing room.

Humor is also a place to allow the other person space to catch up or to slow down the tempo of their day or  a partner’s intensity. It equalizes and sets what is really important into perspective. It serves as one way of approving the other person. Laughing at a person’s witty remark or funny joke gives them an audience, an encouragement of their own sense of fun and humor.

And Humor is a sign of a quick wit, a perspective. It can straighten a sour disposition sometimes. Some of the great humorists of the past are quoted continually: Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Steve Martin, Jim Carey and even Issac Asimov to name only a few.

Humor gives life to all of us. It is a moment of pure joy. Laughing in a marriage or partnership is necessary. It may be attending a comedy club, playing a game with your neighbors, laughing at kids cute phrases, and most of all not taking oneself too seriously.
If you can laugh at yourself and each other in a fond kind of love, the heart is lighter and the road is smoother.

I leave you with some quotes:

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a word I am saying- Oscar Wilde

Get your facts first and then you can distort them as you please- Mark Twain

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night -Steve Martin

Behind every great man is a woman, rolling her eyes- Jim Carey

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do-Issac Asimov

Humor many times may come at your own expense. And if it is funny enough, you willingly give away your pride in order to draw a laugh. My own latest story happened this evening:

My grandson, Otis turned 7, today, on February 7th. I made him a homemade card and placed cash inside of it. I also decorated the envelope. At the same time,  I wrote a thank you card to my sweet cousin to send in the mail. Both envelopes were sky blue.

As I ran out of the apartment, I grabbed Otis’ card to give to him. We had a short impromptu meeting at Chik Fil A. I picked up both Otis and his brother Ogden to meet their mother and stepfather at the restaurant.

In my haste and effort to get the boys out of the car, I dropped the card going into the restaurant. As we were opening gifts, I realized I did not have the card, ran outside and spied a blue envelope in the middle of the parking lot!

I ran to pick it up. As I did, I looked at the card and realized not only had I dropped the card, but I had the wrong card! It was my thank you note to my cousin, now with black tire marks all over the back of it. Otis’ birthday card was back on the table at the apartment.

I took it inside, explained to everyone what had happened! Otis burst out laughing! He thought is was so funny that his Lolly had not only grabbed the wrong card, but the one I now held in my hand  had tire marks all over it. We all went on about dropping things and even joked about me being careful getting the food because I might drop it on the ground.

Now this doesn’t sound very funny. But in this case, I promise you, we will expound on the silliness of Lolly for at least another couple of weeks. And by the way, on the way to the car, Otis dropped his brand new stuffed Mario character in almost the exact same place. Lolly ran to retrieve this as well.

Otis and I had a good laugh about that! I’m wondering if I should run over his card a few times before giving it to him. You know, just for a good laugh!

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The River of Forgetfulness In honor of Virginia Woolf’s 136th Birthday.

In honor of Virgina Woolf’s Birthday on January 25th.

Victoria Yeary

River of Forgetfulness

The writer Virginia Woolf saw beyond the ordinary. She was authentic in her work, in describing the world around her. And her words became the palette in which she painted truth regarding women in the world during post World War I and before World War II.

In A Room of One’s Own, she has been asked to write on the subject of women and writing. A broad subject that gives her great pause in trying to capture the specifics within it.

Virginia writes great narrative in her approach to the subject, using the context of a woman in a man’s world, she juxtaposes education of men and women in her time:  the halls of education at Oxford University, where she tried to enter the library and was told her only entrance was as a guest of someone who worked or attended the University.

Virginia uses several chapters describing her…

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Finding Christmas Joy in a Gingerbread Latte

No, you cannot find real Christmas joy in a gingerbread latte or a peppermint mocha. But just as many items and icons represent this important holiday, I do believe a Christmas latte shares the space.

Hot cocoa with marshmallows and gingerbread men. New year, concept of a still-life Christmas.

When I think of the biggest purveyor of holiday latte’s, I naturally think of the nation’s largest coffee house- Starbucks. I’m not a fan of SB. I prefer local coffee houses and local roasters. Yet, I love going to Starbucks around the Christmas Holidays.

There are certain locations if you visit just a day or two before Thanksgiving and Christmas is filled with the out of town family’s gathering there for a quick cup of mocha or gingerbread latte.

I’m usually alone, but seeing the family’s gather and sip their hot beverages gives me a good feeling. My children are spread out all over the states. It’s rare for us to be together. So, I go and see the joy of families together. No, it’s not creepy and I don’t go from location to location, lurking in the background. I just like being in convivial places at this time of year. And yes, I like a festive flavored latte!

My joy is found in other places during the holiday season: In the decorations, the music, the holiday festivities and most of all the true place of joy- the message of Christ. That joy runs deep within me. I can take it anywhere. And Christmas Eve service is always a treat.

I was planning a trip to Glenwood Springs and staying at the Hotel Colorado for Christmas Eve. It’s a large hotel built in the 1800’s with a grand lobby. Hotels are not built anymore with twin walk-in fireplaces at each end of a football field length lobby and wood paneled walls. And at this time of the year, they deck it out extravagantly! I cancelled this week because I am recovering from being ill.

It’s all good, though this is a great place of celebration and family’s being together. Next year we are planning a family Christmas together, perhaps there!

Meanwhile, I visit with friends, wrap and send packages and sip a gingerbread latte.  Merry Christmas to you all! The blessings of God be on you and your loved ones!

To my beautiful daughters:

I love you! Merry Christmas my gingers!



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Love and Sunsets

You hang in little spaces

like motes on an afternoon shaft of light.

Floating and yet, I cannot catch you

or find a surface big enough

where you will land to examine what or who you are.

A brief brilliance and you appear bigger,

almost solid to my eyes.

But float away you do, and I am left in a new haze.

One that feels strangely familiar and alien.

Can I not see clearly what is in front of me?

Can I not make shapes with meaning?

You are shapeless. You have no meaning, no definition.

For if you did, I would see and believe.

I would gather you up and take you home with me.

Close to my heart, close to my senses.

And yet you float, unattainable, unreachable,

as I gaze at your brilliance,

and wonder why such a thing of beauty is so quickly gone.


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Distance and Differences- a Way to Intimacy

Rainer Maria Wilke:    Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other against the sky.

I’m not sure more can be said than Rainier Wilke’s quote about distance (differences) and love. It is beautiful; it is deep; it is true!

Please read the passage again-carefully. I cannot speak for anyone, but for me, the real relationship of love exists in these infinite distances.

Our most basic human need is to be seen and valued. And it is hard to be valued and seen if we are too busy constructing an imaginary relationship with the person we are either going to meet or are living with.

Why do we create this illusion in the first place? What motivates us to write the long lists of what we want in a partner? And how can this set us up for a major disappointment?

Partly pragmatic and partly ignorance may be the reason. And a lot of fear. We build these ideas and ideals of relationship because we want something good for ourselves. It’s natural and biologically predestined that we seek love and partnership.

I had to get real with myself. I am afraid that the person I want to be in relationship won’t and can’t see me! Your fear may be another variation, but it can be traced back to an event or perception in your own life. A belief you hold about yourself or the world.

Tracing this back and being honest with ourselves and loving ourself is key to loving another. I want someone to value and see me. But if I cannot value and listen to my own voice, I will forever be looking outside myself to find it.  I have to be rooted in a love of my own and for me this love is rooted in God. But even my perception of God can be tainted. And this involves correcting a lot of misperceptions about what LOVE is.

Without getting too heady, I’ll return to Wilke’s quote. The scenario is such that if you as a person can love from within and without, then you begin to understand and exhibit a real love for another. This love can grow strong as you set aside your ideals and projections of what you need and just sit with the person as they are, you then begin real love.

Becoming a parent has a lot of the good juices of real love, but then we can mess it up trying to form our child too much in the way we want them to be. The balance of boundaries and discipline, along with support and a place for a child to mature and bloom is why parenting is a challenge. It challenges our own needs of throwing our needs and desires upon this beautiful child we brought into the world. At some point after parenting, we have to let go and see our children as individuals with distances and differences and honor them, even if it’s not a place we think they should be. We have to love them. Then we can begin to have an adult relationship and see them against the sky.

For romantic love to be real love is not so easy, but it gets easier when you stop putting your idea of what you need and expect that person to provide and give you, and see them! And value who they are in the moment! Then as Wilke says, you can see each other against the sky. The distances (or differences) no longer are fearful or cause you to expect and demand from this other human being. Instead, you love them and in return they have a space to love you-as big as the sky!

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XOXO Sad Love Songs

How can I be sitting somewhere and listen to a theme song from a movie and just feel the sadness oozing out of it? Is it because I have seen the movie? Is it because I attach the situation immediately to the movie, or is it merely the way a composer has arranged those notes that create a sad song, just like a happy song or a marching song?

There are too many to mention, but here are a few: the Shindler’s Theme Song from Shindler’s List, We Had One Day from One Day (sad movie), Karen’s Theme I & II from Out of Africa, My Heart will Go On from Titanic (Okay, this one actually  causes more a nauseous feeling than a sad one!), and the infamous and long-standing  theme song A Time for Us from Romeo and Juliette.

The music tells the story best. As the notes swoon across the page, the instruments play (usually piano and stringed instruments), and it causes our hearts to feel the sadness. I think it’s such a curious thing. Why? What is happening in my experience and in my mind that is creating in that moment sadness, which in all reality, is not even my sadness?

And why does my heart cling to sadness in my own life? With my own sad love song? Why do I sit in sadness from a loss of love? Let it wash over me continually like a sad love song?

Do I or other’s sit in the experience of loss because we are sad about no longer having the experience with said person or thing, or because we do not believe we will ever experience the good feeling emotion again?

This is a good stopping point for a disclaimer, a worthy note of the type of loss: A loss of a loved one through death (or divorce), be it your beautiful and loyal pet, a sibling or spouse or good friend, is another whole category of loss. I do not, in any way, want to diminish this type of loss.  Those are gut wrenching and take long moments of healing.

Is it the investment I made toward something of great value that has caused my heart to feel sad?

Would I feel the same toward a purchase of failed stock or property? I don’t think so. It might be more toward the emotions of regret, anger or guilt.

Emotions of the heart are so palpable, so tangible in a very intangible place within our psyche. And is the depth of the sadness equal to the time spent in a relationship, in the investment I made? Not necessarily.

I believe it has more to do with the authentic connection. It has happened-something akin to the lock and key analogy. In only a very few instances has it taken moments to make my heart open and feel this loving connection, where the gate was priorly locked.

I remember as a teenager, around 15 years old, meeting a boy older than me while camping in Colorado. It was at the height of James Taylor’s career with Sweet Baby James, and Carol King’s song, You’ve Got a Friend. This boy reminded me of James Taylor (which, as you may have surmised, I had a big celebrity crush on), and he had a guitar and sang James Taylor songs to me around the campfire!

We became pen pals for a while. I imagined we would meet again and be boyfriend and girlfriend. When he stopped writing, I was so sad-for so long. But this is a juvenile, idealized version of sadness. It has no real basis except that he sounded and looked a bit like my celebrity crush.

Now, as a full-grown, adult woman, how much of my perspective of loss to a romantic situation is attached to the idea and how much to the actual person?

We tend to idealize people who we have loved, especially if the person has passed away. It’s as if, all the unhealthy aspects of the relationship have melted away. I’ve seen my aunts and mother do this. The person is a saint! Who cares if the same person was emotionally unhealthy and brought damage to others while in human form?

Do we idealize our losses because we feel, and yes, sometimes know we will not recapture or have the experience of this person in our life again?

Which part of our Achy Breaky Heart is a true representation of the experience, the person? And what part is really a piece of ourselves, of our own psyche working out our inner truth which has nothing to do with an outside dynamic in the form of a relationship?

How do we give ourselves compassion to move on from our loss and sadness? How do learn where I really stand in the truth of the relationship. Was it the person or an idealized version of the person? My idea of romance and relationship?

In other words, what part of my loss toward the real, flesh and blood, beating heart and  soul person I shared time with, is a real loss for him or her? And what portion of this experience with this person is a mirror toward me? Toward my journey to be real and loving with who I am in this time?

That’s a tricky question. I can’t take the love, the loss, the person’s characteristics that I love and dump in a centrifuge, separating out the real and the ideal.

Just like I cannot separate the person, the time, and the loss into definable chunks and release. It may take moments, months or years. I believe honoring the person, the experience and the love is the only way, I can make peace with the sadness and with the loss.

And very important, I have to honor me. I have to love me as much and more as I loved that person and the experience I had with him or her. Because when all is said and done- who we invite into our lives is some aspect of who we are and what journey we are on in this world.

I’m going now, to listen to Dumbledore’s Farewell from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!  So sad!



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