Goodbyes are always hard

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Blogging about a brain injury, my life, my photography began in December of 2012. I didn’t know what to write, I just started after reading about getting exposure as an author. In June of 2013, the book, I Forget to Remember was released. Sales were soft. About the same time, the small WordPress blog was converted to its own website, I Forget to Remember. By September, there were over 200,000 hits to the website. My focus switched from brain impairment to inspiration and doors that were opened up to me because of my faith. At times, I didn’t even know how the page would end, I would just start typing as I saw the story unfold. Thanks to Gods Grace, my true path became very clear.

Thank you to all my readers past and present. The total readership reached over 68 countries worldwide. It is now March of 2015 and there are 468 written pages total(with music and photographs). My journey through this blog is coming to an end. I am now ready for the next stage of my journey. I know what I want, I know what I don’t want. It took me five years to get here. Actually twenty five.

I’ve learned to live with my deficits, not around them. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to offer. But I’ve also learned to let go of anyone who can’t accept me. I’m doing it for me.

Selfish? Maybe. Happy. Very.

To everyone who helped me along the way, thank you. To everyone I let go of. I’m sorry. I know you understand. And maybe I’ve inspired you. I hope so.

May the sun always be at your back, may you remember my words.

“Be the change that you want to see in the world”, Gandhi said, “In a gentle way you can shake the World.”

"I do not follow, I am Led"
“I do not follow, I am Led”

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I got my miracle

I’m in the south. But it doesn’t feel like the south. It has been cold. And so in my third year here, I can’t stick to my normal routine. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I sleep on a double air mattress. It’s a system I made up myself after traveling so long. I have a queen mattress and a single. The single works well for when I’m on the road the queen works well because it makes like a couch with the twin.

One day I stripped all the bedding. It was a beach day and so I thought I’d launder everything fresh. When I returned home that evening, I noticed the queen had deflated somewhat. That’s strange I thought.

After careful search, I could not find a leak. The blinds had even left open and that day it almost reached 80 degrees. Maybe it had expanded and caused a seam leak. I would inflate it again and search.

I only have a lighter inflator so I drag my queen air mattress to my van. Now mind you I’m on the second floor. Of an apartment complex. Carrying this mattress by myself.

To make a long story short, this went on for six days. Finally, on a Sunday I say I’m taking this mattress out leaning it against the van and in the sunlight I’m going to find this leak. There it was, a pinhole. I was so proud of myself as I patched it and thought my problems were over!

That night I returned home to find it was still leaking. Somewhere else. By now I feel like I’m sleeping in a waterbed. I’m kind of getting used to it. But becoming very frustrated by it.

Yesterday was very windy. It’s actually the day that same wind is blowing the huge storm up the Eastern seaboard. It’s cold and windy. A miserable day. As evening came and I was going out for a walk, I knew I couldn’t blow up the mattress and carry it in that wind. I’ll just put it in the van and wait til nightfall to blow it up.

I didn’t blow it up. I slept on one firm mattress. And slept very well. I dreamed about what I feared most and let it go. I’m actually still laying here, writing. I didn’t want to lose this moment. I want solid underneath me. I want no instability. I want to know what’s holding me up is strong. And I’m letting go of anything that requires me to fill it up everyday. So that it works for me.

The most beautiful air mattress story ever. Ask for miracles and you will receive them. Just not in the way you planned.

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I need a Miracle

Is playing in the background. One of my favorite faith songs. I don’t know why but I like faith more than Christian. I am a woman of faith. And it shows.

I’m dating but I dread it. The other day I’m on the phone speaking with a man who says I’m special. He asks what I do. I write and photograph about the light. Well, do you believe it? You must if that’s what you do.

I’m in the South now. I feel myself changing again as the warm breezes and relaxed lifestyle have me thinking, maybe I could live here. But as my regular readers know, the heat will make me a prisoner of air conditioning by June. As a nomad of sorts, I am flexible like they used to say in the airline industry, “you are now free to move about the cabin.”

I wake up each day knowing this is leading somewhere. Yesterday, I spent the day at the beach. At the beach in Florida there are mostly couples walking. As you lay there, you can hear bits of conversations. The predominant one yesterday was the extreme weather.

I’m at a park and the birds are starting to surround me. People are looking. It’s time to go. And then, suddenly, the biggest bird ever came in from across the ocean, slowly, right over my head. It was in that moment I realized how small I was. I need a miracle.

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Welcome to my World

Morning has broken. It keeps coming back to me this morning. When a song enters my head, a message is trying to get through.

I awoke after a great nights sleep. The night before I had tossed and turned and so yesterday seemed “off”. I knew what was bothering me and I was trying to shake it off. Unsuccessfully.

At 10:54 am this morning, Mercury went retrograde. Backwards. It will stay that way for three weeks. Mistakes. Miscommunications. Dropped calls. Dropped phones. I have a great love for all things sun and space, moon and stars. I question why the planets are there. I want to travel in space and photograph.

My world consists of Mercury retrograde all the time. Does it bother me? Not anymore. Morning has Broken.

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the word

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Lest you forget

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My mind is always formulating new ideas. I think it’s normal. That everybody’s mind does that. But I’ve come to realize they don’t.

Leonardo Davinci said, the knowledge of all things is possible. The first of his principles is curiosity. Be ever curious. He carried a notebook with him. Over 7000 words of ideas that were in his head.

Sometimes, I can’t tolerate those of a lesser mind. The I gently remind myself to be humble. It is through these principles I have realized the core of my being. Ideas through thought. Inventions through nature. And foresight through humility.

I studied the bible only to know what not to do. I started photographing nature because I constantly am distracted by nature. But only I can see it. You can witness it through my photography.

And as I was contemplating my car repair, general state of financial disrepair and the eccentricity of my mind I realized………..I, too, am like DaVinci. My mind reeled to how it would feel if the rich knew their money wouldn’t last. Would they too become “different?”

I have a new love, steam punk. I want to live it, breathe it, create a world of it. It started with a watch. Or was it a ring? I could live in a world of steam punk. No, I would rule the world of Steampunk. I started a hashtag #ifiruledtheworld.

My mind was spinning today. If only the wealthy knew how the poor were struggling. And I came up with this. Every seven years. Every seven years the wealthiest give all their money away. To the central system. Then the central system redistributes the money to the poorest. Like a steam punk watch.

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That’s what I love about Sundays

I’m in horse country. True horse country. Where I just stopped at one of my favorite places. I’m keeping it anonymous today. Because of the story.

It’s my New Years resolution of sorts. Make it less personal. Lets see if I can do it .

Im at my hotel this morning watching the weather when an ad comes on, if you took this drug and now have cancer…….I’m coming down the highway when an ad comes on, “you too can flip houses.” ………I’m sitting at my table when I overhear, “it’s creepy but it’s a part of the job.”………l

Later, as it happens a lot, the waitress asks me, what do you do? I share the light, I say. Through my photography. And I blog esoteric messages. Of God. As I travel. I notice the people I overheard look up. At me. I keep my head down.

I passed this exit on the Interstate. its raining, I want to keep moving. And then the town name comes up at the next exit. I veer off. Must be a reason I have to stop here.

As I walk in, the Southeast Outlook is right there in a stand. It’s a big church here. The article that catches my eye…….list of most popular bible verses for 2014. The number one pick, Romans 12:2, Be not of this world. Be not of this world.

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It’s like camping in a long tube

With a bunch of people you don’t know. I spent four hours on the Tarmac in San Jose, Costa Rica. The man in the seat next to me was talking to a five year old girl. About why we weren’t going anywhere. I was laughing hard.

We met by accident. Or was it fate. Our flight out of San Jose would be delayed. But before that, he was in line behind me at the ticket counter. He had a camera around his neck. So, being the photographer I am, I asked him a question. We politely chatted then went our separate ways.

Fast forward as the Hotel owner I was with, had to catch another flight. The camera guy shows up again as we realize we’re on the same flight. He says to the owner, I own a hotel too. We talk hotels.

We end up sitting next to each other on the plane. Where I spend the next four hours laughing and talking. Yes, he’s a photographer. A very big photographer.

We emailed today, this last day of 2014. Here we go again, a twist of fate? Or coincidence? I’m cleaning out my address book, getting rid of the old, making room for the new. I see his address and think, I haven’t talked to him in three years. I shoot him an email with my latest photography. He shoots me an email back, saying he was just thinking of me the other day.

And why am I saying all this? I can be honest and say that 2014 was miserable for me. A year I would say was a “3” on the scale of 1 to 10. But it was a growing, learning, letting go year. A year in which I realized I was not living fully for me. I was putting other people’s needs before my own.

Today, Im tossing, losing the old and preparing for the new, I toss my passport into the drawer. I won’t need this, I don’t know why I take it each time I travel. It is then, I hear from my friend. He’s at his hotel in Costa Rica.

So, for you, clear out the old. Get rid of the cobwebs. Prepare for the new. Everything happens for a reason. The moon and stars will line up for you if you ask. And sometimes, crazy events that are so random can become the next great adventure of your life.

I put the passport in my travel bag. Maybe not for Costa Rica, maybe for something else. If strange odd coincidences happen in your life, run with it. Just not with scissors.

Happy New Year

Some laughter now for you, Sean
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It comes from within

If I were to say, the kids don’t play outside anymore, I would be a hypocrite. I don’t play outside. I just spent hours scanning social media. And realized, I don’t expose too much of myself.

I don’t air grievances. I don’t show peeves. I don’t flaunt extremism. I’m pretty boring in the social world. But I’m pretty colorful in my head. Lets just say there was a man watching my feeds. He didn’t have a picture. His name was a synonym for something. When I viewed his page, it was blank. And yet he followed and commented and so many others. Like he was on the swing set with them.

It got me thinking. Are we more likely to expose our true selves when we don’t have to show who we really are? Or are we prone to expose too much when we feel “left out” on the playground of life?

I’ve learned to limit my exposure recently, but I’ve also learned I’m a great playmate on the playground of real life. Are you?

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How I killed the rabbit

Facebook, a dirty word. A brain killer, a very cool thing in the beginning. But in the end. Not so much.

So, how did I do it? It was my crack too. Those awkward moments waiting for your food to arrive. I’ll just check my newsfeed. Checking to see if others had found happiness, looking at the happy happy pictures feeling somewhat unsettled.

Anger, jealousy, wrath, sloth, all wrong all harmful to self.

So how’d I do it? Start slow. I had a really cool like page called mindbodygreen. Instead of looking at everyone’s posts I would share mindbodygreen to my feed with the privacy set to only me.. When I wanted to get on the newsfeed,instead I went my feed and all those articles (about great food, the environment, everything I’m really interested in) and would read those instead. Strangely, it was my way of being “on” facebook” but not looking at anyone else.

Then everyone became an acquaintance. Everyone. Which meant they would see what the public saw. No exceptions. It was at that moment, I knew everyone would see the same thing. It was a beautiful thing.

From there, over the next couple months, I saved the most important images to a file. I knew I had them in one place. I don’t know why I did this, the only thing coming to mind is if my crack addict facebook brain wanted to see something, I could go here and remember. If only briefly. The rest were deleted, one album at a time except for my professional work.

ALL my social media has become professional related. No exceptions. Every picture of me has my watermark and is suitable for media. If you’re looking at me, it’s to see my work.

How’s it feel? Pretty darn good. I feel “free.” When my food hasn’t arrived, I look around. Thank God that I have food in front of me. Not a screen. And then think of all those people I knew looking down. Wondering where the )$&@ I went. They know how to find me.

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Kill the rabbit

Do what you fear most. Once again, I’m out socializing with people who are looking down more than up. And they asked me out.

I have no friends. Officially, I have no friends. And I want to jump up and down. I thought about writing a quick note to each one who, when I hit unfriend, there was a twinge. Then I said to myself, no. Dawn. Let go.

It felt so good to let go. I think about my friends who had 1500 friends. Did you know you have to delete each one individually? And now I’m laughing. I’m back. I’m officially back.

When I first started studying the bible the one verse that really stuck was, be not of this world. Be not of this world.

Christmas is over. The landfills are filled. The money is spent. Be not of this world. How did you do? Kill the rabbit.

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Get followers

Watching the space channel. Traveling to Mars. Understanding there was humans way before you.

I’m packing again. Getting ready to go. But this time it seems different. People used to worry about me going. Now, it seems, they want to hitch a ride. Or question me about how I do it, exactly? how will I make it? What do I see?

The new movie Exodus is out. The Egyptian government won’t allow it. It does not correctly interpret the story of Moses. He was a prophet, not historically correct.

The people who truly know what I do don’t ask me anymore what’s going on in this world. They can see it themselves.

Where am I going? I don’t know. You’ll just have to keep reading. And I’ll just have to keep believing.

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The sands of Time

It’s not midnight yet. I promised a Christmas Day message. And then there was none.

You see, I’m a photographer. A pretty great photographer, actually. It started with a camera, a large family and, of course, the dog. Don’t forget the baby’s first American doll, the teens first snowboard, clothes and jackets and electric toothbrushes for the girls, drifting cars for the boys and mostly, a new diamond for Mom. Mom, who had waited twenty-two years, nine children and many countless, tireless days for this one moment, which was a total surprise from Dad.

The shifting sands of time.

My Christmas message is don’t let yourself become dependent on technology. Don’t look down at your devices when you should be looking up. Don’t assume that when you tap an icon, things will instantly appear, that when you tap out words of hurt or shame or anger that once you press send your responsibility is done. Or that the device in your hand has everything you need.

I just downloaded onto another computer some 4000 pictures that I have taken. When I did it, I became fearful that I would lose them. Today, I know where they’re at, but I feel free that I don’t have to watch over them anymore. I am no longer afraid.

I wonder how many others lost all the pictures they took this Christmas Day. Like I did.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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All that glitters

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I have so many choices. This year, I’m visiting and I notice the whole family has glitter stuck to them somewhere. She turns her head and I think, there’s a sparkly on her cheek.

The boys walk in. They would cringe if I nonchalantly say, hey, you have glitter on your face. But now it’s my turn.

In my last minutes Christmas shopping, because I don’t emphasize material over belief(I’ll explain later), I’m overwhelmed with all the choices for wrappings. Bags and bells, themes and colors, bows that glitter, ribbons that sing. I give in, as everyone else does, and choose the discount store.

So now I’m wrapping. It looks so pretty. But I’m covered in glitter. Have I given in too?

So, it’s time to explain. I believe…………

What do you believe? Something to think about as you see your own glitter this year. Now, I’ve gotta go. My friend, the mother of nine children, needs help. Wrapping.

Merry. Christmas

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I can’t go back

Last night we walked through the marketplace and the den of thieves. On our way to the manger. Experienced what it must have felt like for Mary and Joseph. There was no room at the Inn. It was the local church, reenacting the story, complete with Romans on horses, the donkey, camel(llama), the three wise men, and the star, baby Jesus.

The angel appeared on the rooftop, proclaiming the new Messiah. It was misty, the intense light making the angel appear even more real. Proclaiming that a great birth would take place. And change the world.

I returned home to find the Sydney siege happening. My heart was heavy. What has become of us? And then I think of me. What has become of me? What I am doing? What I must do. The readers I will let down. The twitter followers who expected brain impairment. But instead will now get inspiration, messages from the heavens as I see them and new ways of looking at your life here, today.

On the day Jesus was crucified, did God feel the pain? Or did he feel as I do now. It’s for the greater good. It hurts if I think of who I’ll let down. But then I remember. We can all be reborn in our lives. A new and glorious day. Merry Christmas, may each day bring you the light that I show you. Give thanks each night. And no matter what you believe, always look up. The greatest miracles of all are up.

Today’s song…..

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Jesus in the sky

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I want to see Jesus in the sky. She’s four now. Quiet most of the time. The silent one of the nine children. But she has the light. When she sings of Jesus, you can see her love for him radiating through her.

I’m back with my wonderful family. We’re watching Elf. The Christmas tree sparkles. The little ones remind me, put the Christ the Christmas. It’s a commercial, did I want to hear their new song? J-E-S-U-S. Most commercials get muted but this commercial about the octopus comes on and it’s ok to watch. The five year old wants to know where his Christmas list is. I help him spell octopus.

He then curls up next to me with his sister on the other side. and I remember a moment. I took a photo this year that even surprised me. I was in the drive thru. The message was, photograph the glass. I remember thinking the workers must think Im goofy. I did not see how the picture turned out until later.

There is no Santa, he says, more a question than a statement. Mom and Dad bring the presents. It’s a commercial. There is a Santa, I say. You know how you feel it right here in your heart when you sing of Jesus? He looks at me. He snuggles back in.

The movies back on. And I think back to when I showed the four year old on the other side of me, the picture from the drive thru. Two days later, I was showing pictures. She grabs my arm, almost jumping up and down, saying show us Jesus in the sky. She named it herself. Spirit.

Jesus in the sky

 
 
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The story of me

I’m down to 3%. Where’s the plug? I’m pouring wine, it’s my last night here. I’m letting go. And it’s bringing me to tears.

4300 pictures. Two ICloud identities. Brain impairment, self explanatory. That took me two days and 23$ in ITunes charges to realize. They’ll be there in 90 days.

The Iphone is backed up, in the Cloud, erased and ready. And backed up to my laptop. Some of those pictures can’t be duplicated. Ever.

The IPad was going to be synced tonight, the same procedure. Than I realized the ID is the old one. Would I lose everything? I started scrolling through the photo stream. And saw my life unfold. My photography, my friends, the memories and moments. So, as Sam Smiths new CD is playing, I’m so happy. I’ve been alone for 8 days. I’m sitting in front of the fireplace and the wine and tears flow, I know those memories will always be there. And I know what I want. For the first time in a long time.

Reference month two, or is it one or three ? You’ll have to find it. I write that I will lose all technology. But I will never lose the memories. As Shakespeare said, To thy own self be true. I can’t hold a camera and an apple at the same time.

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To Marilyn who never stopped believing in me, my witness, my friend. Forever grateful.

See some of my photos on my google+ profile Namaste
 
 
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Kids and Animals can

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If I walk into a room and there is “darkness” within someone, I can feel it. I’ll avoid eye contact. Pray to myself, ask why I’m there. Sometimes, I find, the person has been praying or asking to make the darkness go away. I am led to them. They ask, I start talking. They are amazed I know what no one knows. they thank me, often years later. Other ones, in denial, they know I feel them. And they avoid eye contact. They flee.

Some people who meet me can my presence right away. “There’s just something about you”, they’ll say. They “feel” me.

But its children and animals who “sense” me. My dear friend became a believer after watching me ask the bird to pose. I didn’t want believers, I had asked God and the Universe to show me if this was what I was supposed to do. The picture at the top of this website? Look at it. Closely. I was running the beach in Alabama. Having a Lt. Dan moment with God. It was cloudy. My friend was down the beach. Are you ready to go?, She said. She still couldn’t believe how the bird had responded to me.

Grown ups can’t. They judge and complain, criticize and condemn. It’s as if I’m looking down at them. Seeing what they can’t see. Nor choose to see. Believe to see. Understand to see. When they say or do to me what is not right, I walk away. Gently.

In the course of history, great people have gone through exactly what I write about above. Hemingway, Dali, Picasso, Einstein, lady Godiva, Geronimo and yes, Forrest Gump. Think about it.

Sometimes you have to start over to find yourself. Sometimes, you have to find yourself in order to start over. And the picture of me at the top of this website when I was having the Lt. Dan moment? I didn’t take it. But my phone did.

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I will lead where you follow

The messages always come to me in threes. Sometimes I wonder if it just has to be delivered three times for my brain to grasp it. Other times, I wonder if I’m just not listening.

It’s rainy today. No matter where I’m travelling, when it’s a rainy day, everything slows down. Everybody slows down.

I finally slowed down. Enough to realize that Adsense was putting bad ads on my blog. I need to cancel but I just haven’t had the time.

My follow button didn’t work……at all. It’s gone now. You can follow me on twitter if you don’t want to go to the website every day. The bird symbol isn’t what I wanted but it works for now. I haven’t been writing every day.

Are you going too fast? Are you making something that will last? Oh dear, hear it comes. Feeling Groovy. Are You?

Proverbs 16:9
Bring on the rain.

 
 
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Was I lost?

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I blinked my eyes twice as I struggled to wake up. I’m in the South where the heat envelopes you. The people here hope for clouds. Today I did too. Montel Williams is now following you on Twitter my feed said. God I hope so, I said to myself.

I start my day with yoga, try to connect, I don’t. I’m not with it today, something is bugging me. Is it the heat? Is it the uncertainty? Sometimes I just have to let go or else my brain will “lock” on it and Ill get nothing accomplished.

I’m turning in the complex when I suddenly veer back out into traffic. I’m going to se the President. Really. 10 miles away the President will be landing. What are the chances?

At McDonald’s, I introduce myself to what I think is a General. Did you look at his name tag, my daughter says? No. I didn’t know what to do. Then the trip to the visitors center where I get permission to take a picture except when I take it, the guard approaches quickly. They ask to see the pictures. I ask when the Presidents coming, he smiles, Sorry, no.

I sit on the lanai on this warm balmy night. Thinking of the President 10 miles away. And think, Montel, not today. Not today.

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Take a letter Maria

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It’s song morning Saturday. I’m just waking up. It’s Ten O’clock. I’ve missed the exotic birds, they get here early. It feels good to be out of my routine. “Stay with a routine, you can lead a fairly normal life” were their exact words.

Address it to my wife. I’m laughing now, I’ve just transposed the words. That’s happens with a brain impairment. I was at the Salvador Dali Museum this week for a free lecture series. In an amazing coincidence I met the speaker early. I didn’t know it and as we chatted (because I had misread the time), he told me he also had a brain impairment from a surgery. During the lecture, I realized I wasn’t in tune with the audience.

Tell her I won’t be coming home. How hard that is to say to anyone. Have you done it? I have. It’s hard. Friends, family, lovers all wanting answers. Where there are none. I tell them it’s ok. I’m gently saying goodbye.

For the first time in my life, I’m out of my routine. I’m completely letting go and seeing where the Universe takes me. My heart and mind are open. They are totally open. Like Hemingway. And Dali.

Got to start a new life.

 
 
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A special acknowledgement today to Marilyn, my publicist, who watched as another life moment unfolded. A series of events which led me to Ernest Hemingway. And my likeness to him. I couldn’t do all this without your love, support, patience and understanding of I do not follow, I am led. Many blessings great friend. many blessings

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I Remember to Forget

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