And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

The RLDS Seal of my childhood
New Community of Christ Seal

“I speak not for myself but for those without voice … those who have fought for their rights … their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.” ~ Malala Yousafzai

I grew up in a relatively obscure church with the unwieldy name of The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Whenever I was asked about my church affiliation, I cringed a little for two reasons; the name was so long, and everyone always assumed I was Mormon.

The church changed its name a few years back to Community of Christ, which, even though I no longer belong, made me happy. It describes their mission so much better than the original name.

I could go into a long history lesson about why the church originally adopted that long name, and how they are related to the Mormon church, but you can look that up for yourselves. The thing I want to write about is my love of the church seal pictured above.

Even though I chose to leave the church for wider spiritual horizons, the seal of the church, has always had a special significance for me. After I was baptized at eight years old, I believed that I was going to live to see the prophecy of Isaiah, which the seal symbolizes, come true. The lion WOULD lie down with the lamb and A LITTLE CHILD would lead us to peace. And I’d be there to see it all happen. Maybe even help it happen.

Here is where the inspiration for the seal came from: “The coming of the virtuous king.” Isaiah 11:6 – 9 The Jerusalem Bible

“The wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies down with the kid, calf and lion cub feed together with a little boy to lead them. The cow and the bear make friends, their young lie down together. The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra’s hole; into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand. They do no hurt, no harm, on all my holy mountain, for the country is filled with the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters swell the sea.”

I must have been dreaming about young people like Greta Thunberg, in fact, I must have been dreaming about all the recent events on the teeter totter we’ve been going through lately, because this morning when I awoke, I felt I was seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. The animals and young people of this time are leading the way to peace just as the Community of Christ seal shows.

Just for fun, before I even got out of bed, I went to YouTube and searched for unusual animal friendships. I’ve been seeing these kinds of videos with increasing frequency lately and I wanted to know if it was a trend, or if I was seeing isolated video stories.

I didn’t find a video about a lion/lamb friendship, but I found lots of other unusual friendships, including a tiger and a goat. If I’d wanted to I could have spent the day watching the videos that popped up, including unusual animal/human friendships. The list of videos was long. I would still have plenty more videos to watch for perhaps days to come if I wanted to.

But the idea for this post was really prompted by Greta Thunberg’s visit to the U.S. this week. She is one in a line of amazing young people who are shaking up the world with their demands for action on everything from taking care of the environment, to curbing gun violence, to cleaning up our oceans, to finding cures for cancer, to spreading love even in the face of terrorist control, to the little four or five year old boy who got his parents to agree to make sandwiches for the homeless in his community.

There are days when I’m exhausted by what pops up in my news feed. I want to crawl into bed, cover my head and sleep until the world has changed for the better. I’m not alone in feeling this way. I saw a news story this week that pointed out a trend of people experiencing bad news fatigue just like me. And yet, there are so many great things happening all around us if we take the time to look.

The idea that one way to heal our wounds by helping others is not a new one. A couple of weeks ago I showed the movie, Now Voyager in my dramatic structure class and was gratified when one of my students said, “I could watch that movie every day.” It’s a 1942 Bette Davis movie in which her character, Charlotte, has a nervous breakdown. She gets better, but just when she thinks she’s going to have a second one, she meets a young girl who reminds her of herself at that age. She decides to help the girl and that opens up a whole new world of love, joy, and service for Charlotte. Meeting and helping this girl completes her healing.

Though I get overwhelmed sometimes juggling teaching with writing and recording my audiobook, because I’m not a good mult-tasker, teaching is one way I can help bring about a peaceful future. The young people I meet are amazing. And I’m thrilled that I get to live to see us moving toward peace. I’m grateful for those young people who are brave enough to speak up, march, and do what they can to change the world for the better.

Maybe I’ll even march with them one day like the 90 something man who was arrested at the large rally held last week. He said he was thrilled that so many young people are rising up to change the world and he wanted to support them. It’s as if his heart is as young as theirs, even though his body isn’t. That’s inspiriting too.

Greta Thunberg
David Cameron meets with Malala Yousafzai at the Syria Conference

Welcome new followers. Thank you for your likes and comments on my posts. I hope you all have a restful and joyful weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Inspiration Comes in Small Doses

Caring Hands

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Sometimes I just need a positive story or two to lighten my spirits or help me get a new perspective. This week there were three that inspired me.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks online news network posted a personal video essay on YouTube this week that reminded me of something similar in my own life. The title of the post was “Sexism is Worse Than I Realized.” He relates a couple of personal encounters with men who stated that they voted for men in recent elections because they didn’t want to vote for a woman. In one case, the person was kicking himself now.

Cenk acknowledges that sexism is worse than he realized. He stated that he grew up in rather sheltered and privileged surroundings and that’s why he just assumed women were getting their due. But he uses poll numbers to support his case that they are not, to which he said, “Really, in 2019 we’re still wondering if a woman can run a country? Look at the guys we’ve had running the country. Especially the Republicans. You should be wondering if a guy can run a country.” He went on to encourage people, mostly women, to be deliberate and educated and vote for the candidates they think are best irregardless of their gender.

As I was listening to Cenk’s video, I remembered something about a time I was confronted with my own prejudices. I had just begun my Master’s in theatre at Portland State University and had met some openly gay guys there. I felt weird and didn’t know how to relate to them. I mentioned this to a young man Barry and I knew at church. He tilted his head at me as if to say Really? You feel that way? What he said to me was, “You talk to them like any other person you know. They aren’t that much different.” Well, of course, I felt dumb. That young man was right. Each person is much more than their sexual orientation, gender, background, behaviors, and prejudices. There is, after all, something inherent in each of us that comes from the same source.

That was a great lesson for me. I needed that little wake up call.

Just last night a couple of other stories reenforced my point of view. I was awake during the night with insomnia and was flipping through my news app. A story popped up that made me cry. Ellen DeGeneres’ show today, as I write this, features three boys who learned a great lesson. One of the boys, Micheal, was being bullied at school because he wore the same clothes day after day. Two other boys, Kristopher and Antwain befriended him. Kristopher admitted that he had also been laughing at Micheal, but after reflecting about the incident at home, he wanted to apologize and give him something. So, he and his friend gave Micheal some clothes. Meanwhile, someone caught the surprise on video and when it was posted it went viral. That was when Ellen invited them to the show.

But the boys were surprised when Will Smith showed up to praise them. “What you did felt small to you, but I promise you that is exactly how human beings are supposed to interact with one another. It’s not more complicated than that. Somebody is having a hard time and you help them. It’s that simple.” Then he proceeded to honor their kindness with gifts.

The final story that made me cry as I was attempting to get tired enough to go back to sleep was from CNN. It’s about a nurse and a biker club she helped and how they paid her back.

A year ago, Daryn Sturch was driving with her daughter when they came across a terrible accident involving several motorcyclists who were part of the Milwaukee Iron Biker Group. Some were severely injured and in need of immediate medical attention. Sturch attended to them until the paramedics arrived.

Over the year, she got connected with the group on social media in hopes of finding out how the injured were doing. The bikers thanked her for helping them on that terrible day and they formed friendships.

A year later, Sturch’s young daughter wanted to make some money by opening a lemonade stand, but unfortunately it got rained out. When the bikers found out about the child’s endeavor and what had happened, they encouraged her to open her stand again. On September 15, 30 bikers showed up to buy lemonade from Sturch’s daughter. Among them were some of those she helped the day of the accident. Sturch said, “I think it’s a perfect example of how just because you don’t look the same way or dress the same way or have the same hobbies or interests doesn’t mean we don’t have the same values inside us. We shouldn’t make assumptions about people we should just love each other.”

This last story reminded me of the time I was teaching drama at the local high school. The members of the International Thespian Society wanted to attend the convention held every year during the summer. We needed to do fund raising for such an undertaking. One of the students got the idea to approach the local Biker group. The students prepared a presentation and we were invited to pitch our idea. The group pledged a large amount of money to our trip if we would help them with one of their events. The students and I agreed. It was a wonderful day. We met so many people who looked different than we did, but who supported our love of theatre and the arts in general. It was a great lesson for all of us. Underneath all of the outer differences, we can find common ground.

This post turned out to be longer than I intended. I tried to find links for the Ellen show, and CNN posts, but they may be too new. In any case, I am encouraged by positive stories like the ones above. They are a testament to me that love is stronger than hate and that we can find common ground with anyone we meet if we only take the time to do so.

Have a fantastic weekend. Blessings.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Revelations and Realizations

Bending Time

It’s been a discombobulated day. I seem to be having lots of those lately. I think the universe is trying to see how dedicated I am to finishing my audiobook and my second novel, Time’s Echo.

Even though unexpected things keep getting thrown in my way, I have managed to do some work on Jenna’s story in Time’s Echo. It’s interesting how ideas come at unexpected times. Thank heaven for them. It’s a terrible feeling to be stuck.

Autumn is always a difficult time because I’ve had to suspend my personal work to prepare the classes and then get used to the new routine of teaching them. We’re in our third week of classes and I’m still getting used to the new schedule.

But this feeling of disorientation is more than just having to do the work that teaching requires.

The other day after I meditated, I was writing in my journal asking if there were any beliefs, attitudes, or habits that I needed to clean up and clear out and something rather nettlesome came out my pen. I had to acknowledge that this idea was correct. I tend to get bored in the middle of a project and all kinds of tantalizing new project ideas come to my mind. They’re shiny, new, and enticing and I’m tempted to drop what I’m doing and chase these new ideas. However, the message in my journal was, “stay the course.”

I’ve been thinking a great deal about that ever since. In one way, I have learned to keep slogging along even though I feel bogged down at some point along the way and not sure where my novel is headed. One completed novel has taught me the joys of continuing to put one word behind the others until I get a rough draft completed. Then the fun begins. Well, I think it’s fun, shaping the various elements I’ve written and arranging them into an interesting plot form. I tend to write in scene segments which then must be revised and assembled later.

As with The Space Between Time, I’ve had a more difficult time hooking into Jenna’s story in the present than I’ve had with Morgan’s in the past. I wish I knew why that was, but this week, new ideas have come to me. I feel renewed interest in what’s going to happen to her, which makes me more determined than ever to keep writing.

Something fun happened this week, which might have something to do with the new ideas for my novel. Barry and I watched the movie The Bookshop on Amazon Prime. We’d never heard of it before, but it had some British actors in it we like and so we took a chance.

The story takes place in the 1950s and is about a widow, Florence Green, with a small inheritance who moves to a small town on the British coast and proceeds to make her dream of opening a bookshop come true. She does this in spite of the objections of the townspeople led by Violet Gamart who has decided the town needs to use the old run down building Florence has spent six months purchasing and renovating, for an arts center instead.

The shop is a great success at first, which annoys Violet so much that she makes plans to be rid of Florence and the bookshop. She uses various legal tactics, but in addition she poisons everyone in the town against Florence, all except Christine, the young girl who comes to work in the shop in the afternoons. The very first day at work, Christine declares she hates reading, but as her friendship with Florence grows, she changes her mind.

Florence has another ally an older reclusive man, supposedly widowed, named Edmund Brundish. He’s the only great reader in the town. He sends requests via a young boy for Florence to choose books for him to read. The first one she sends him is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This begins their friendship, as Edmund asks for more books by Bradbury.

The thing that I found compelling about this story is how even in the worst of times, love can be shared with lasting positive effects. This is another one of those movie – book connections for me. The Bookshop is on my night stand waiting to be read. If I love the book, Penelope Fitzgerald may be one of my new favorite authors.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. If you are so inclined, invite a friend to read my posts.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

My Five Things

Northern Cardinal

This week’s podcast “What Should I Read Next” hosted by Anne Bogel was extremely thought provoking. Anne had Tara Anderson as her guest. Tara hosts the NPR podcast Five Things. Here is the description from the NPR site: “How do the objects we love define us? What can we learn from the things we treasure? And how can we discover a life story through those objects? Five Things, from 89.3 WFPL and Louisville Public Media, explores those questions and more.” As you might guess, I subscribed to that podcast right away.

I was grasped by the idea and began thinking about what five things I cherish. It was a little hard to identify things that I would be sad to live without. Years ago, when we were in the midst of the Monument Fire, I came to the conclusion that if the fire took everything we owned, I’d be okay even though there are things I would miss.

The first thing that came to my mind was my wedding ring set. Barry and I were poor college kids when we got engaged. We decided to go to Des Moines, Iowa, the closest big city, to select our rings. We put all three rings on lay-a-way. Each month we’d pool our money for the payment and I feel like that says a lot about our relationship. I love my ring. We selected a pear shaped diamond for the engagement ring and the wedding ring has two rubies and a diamond hugging the big stone. The only thing I wish now is that I’d chosen emeralds instead of rubies. Emerald is Barry’s birthstone. Maybe one day I’ll switch them out.

The second thing that came to mind was my autographed photo of Gregory Peck that I won in a silent auction at an International Thespian Festival. The photo hangs in my office right above a photo of my father. Gregory Peck is one of my favorite actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Part of the reason I love him so much is because there is a kind of goodness that shines through from his real personality to almost all the roles he played. And I love him because his most famous role, Atticus Finch, was very much like my own father.

The third thing is not just one item but a whole raft of original artwork on our walls and shelves by friends and acquaintances. None of the artwork is by anyone famous, but it gives me pleasure every time I look at each one. Two of the works are by Barry. One, “Toucan Snail”, we’ve tried to give to various family members at various times, but it always comes back to us. This makes me happy, because I love that painting. The other is a pointillist drawing called “Elepot”. It’s a coffee pot with an Elephant trunk for the spout and hoof foot, a human ear for the handle and an eye as the nob on the lid. I told Barry some years back that I was claiming it and he didn’t object.

The fourth thing, again, is not just one item, but all of the books we possess. Okay that includes all our movies and music we own as well. I know that one day soon I’ll have to go through and weed out books to get rid of, but that thought pains me. Even though I haven’t read all of the books we possess, The Great Ideas series for example, it’s somehow comforting and maybe a little weird that I feel the accumulated knowledge and experiences they hold enhances my daily life. It’s as if I’m supported by all the wisdom gained throughout the ages.

The final thing took a while for me to come up with. Again this is not one thing, and it’s not even mine. It’s nature and it belongs to everyone. We live in the country and I love going out to feed the birds every morning, then watching them out our back windows. I love watching all the wildlife, the deer, bobcats, javelina, and hearing the coyotes howl at night. There are times when I wish I was a great hiker and nature enthusiast, but just living in the country and watching the wildlife from my front or back porch is so nurturing that for now that is enough for me.

What are your five precious things? Are they items, or something more etherial or not tangible?

Welcome to my new followers. Thanks for all your thoughtful comments. I appreciate them. Have a fantastic weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

What is Love?

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

“Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience.” ~ M. Scott Peck

Lately I’ve been faced with the fact that I don’t understand all the aspects of love. About thirty years ago I read The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. A certain passage in the book confused me. He said that love is not a feeling. Wait. What? Then, as I recall he went on to write that love is commitment to accept people as they are, faults and all. It took me a long time to even partially understand what he meant. I don’t remember what started me thinking about this recently, probably some news story.

There are always people in our lives who are easy for us to love. But the true test of loving is caring for individuals we don’t understand, or even like. I want to love everyone unconditionally, but I find myself calling people names and then I remember, oh, yeah, they deserve my love too.

M. Scott Peck and other teachers have pointed out that we don’t have to like everyone we meet. But we do need to treat everyone with respect. We need to see past their behaviors. I’m not very good at that part of love. I call drivers who cut me off, or politicians, or people at work, idiots. I judge them for not acting or behaving the way I think they should. That’s not love.

The other day we got a message from my cousin in Vermont that his mom had died. She was my father’s sister and though I didn’t see her much throughout the years, when I did the encounters stuck with me. She was a quiet, contemplative person with a light that emanated from her being. She was kind and loving.

Twenty-three years ago, Barry and I took a side trip to Vermont to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin, as part of our trip around the world. People in town greeted my aunt and uncle with such warmth. That kind of response is only given to those who are highly esteemed. I want to be like that, leaving people feeling good.

Of course, I’ve encountered people who leave me feeling yucky. And though it is counterintuitive, those are the people who need love the most. My dad used to say that. I think that’s what M. Scott Peck was getting at. When I encounter those hard to love people, I feel an inner resistance. And it’s that resistance that I have begun to question. Why do I feel it, and how can I let it go so I can just love those hard to love individuals?

Maybe the resistance is a learned thing. We think we have to build walls around ourselves for protection. What would the world be like if we all tore down our walls and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. Whoa. That’s a bit of a scary, yet intriguing thought.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of internal shifting in my thinking and emotions. It’s a signal to me that perhaps I’m not the only one whose world view is being challenged. It’s exciting and unnerving at the same time. Lots of my long held beliefs are crumbling and falling away. The future is not as set as I thought it was. It’s time for some cosmic closet cleaning and personal recalibration.

I’m not sure where I’m going with these thoughts and emotions. I just wanted to note that I’m beginning to feel different about my fellow humans in recent weeks. It’s an exciting new state of being.

If you’re in the U.S. I hope you get to spend time with your loved ones this Labor Day weekend.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Love and blessings to you all.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Sometimes it’s Best to do Nothing!

The Duke and Isabel from a production of Measure for Measure.

“The sage acts by doing nothing.” ~ Tao Te Ching chapter 2

The fall semester has begun which means I’m busier than ever. It’s hard to believe that I’m beginning my twelfth year of teaching at the college. Where has the time gone?

Needless to say after all those years of teaching the same subject, I was getting burned out. I needed new ideas, a fresh perspective on how to engage with my students and help them understand the basics of theatre. Which is why, looking back I don’t really understand my decision to put extra work onto myself by directing a play. This was back in the spring of 2017. Remember THAT spring, the spring the Harvey Weinstein case broke leading to so many other revelations. The reverberations keep going. Ironically the play that kept nagging at me the previous fall was Measure for Measure, Shakespeare’s version of a MeToo situation.

To be honest, I was in over my head. I’d never directed a Shakespeare play before, not to mention the way the college had the performance class set up. There was not enough rehearsal time. I knew I was beating my head against a brick wall but something kept egging me on.

Then out of the blue, Dave Dahl contacts me. He’s a 25 year theatre professional, and he had done Measure for Measure seven times. What was even better, he’s a student of Shakespeare, and had a shortened version of the script. He wanted to help me with the production.

If that’s not serendipity, I don’t know what is!

The students and I felt blessed and grateful for Dave’s help. The play was a success. This began our professional collaboration. I asked Dave to be a guest artist and work with my acting students both semesters last year. Not only did the students love him, but I got that boost of new energy I’d been looking for.

As the year progressed, Dave and I talked about the fact that the area where we live is a kind of black hole for theatre. There are non-professional theatre troupes, but none of them have a permanent home. It’s a struggle for them to get funding, space to rehearse and perform, and even to get actors. But in the last few years there has been a new enthusiasm for the arts. It’s small, but growing. Dave and I wanted to help nurture this trend. So, we made plans and then went to my department chair to pitch our ideas, beginning with revamping the class schedule to make room for more rehearsal time for the performance class. Dave had enough education and experience to take over that class. A position was opened for him before the end of the spring semester, he applied, and then we waited. And waited.

The position closed sometime in July, but no word from the college. Then Dave got a rejection letter. I panicked and contacted my department chair. There was a mix-up. Dave resubmitted his paperwork, but it was one week before the beginning of the semester and I was wondering if I would end up directing another Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, with little time to prepare.

Fortunately play rehearsals are not scheduled to begin until October, but still, with one week before the beginning of the semester and no word about whether Dave was hired or not we were getting antsy.

I had done lots of work, plotting out rehearsals and performances, checking out the rooms needed. Spreading the word about the changes to the theatre offerings so we could do one play each semester. Barry created a flyer for auditions, which we distributed. Dave had worked all summer on cutting the play and the musical and technical aspects required to produce it. If I had to direct, I was way behind the curve.

The day of the associate faculty convocation came and still no word. I couldn’t meditate that morning, nor concentrate on my work. I was so agitated. Finally, I stopped and asked the ethers for help. This is the message I got, “Do nothing.” In my inbox that day, my daily inspirational message from Neale Donald Walsch was just that. Sometimes, his message reminded me, it’s best to sit back and allow the universe, or God, or Spirit, to do the work for you. This idea of non-action was not new to me. It comes from the Eastern faith traditions. I’ve used the technique before, but I certainly needed a reminder that day.

So, I comforted Dave and said, we should sit back and wait. My dean told me he’d look over Dave’s paperwork when he had time. I knew he was busy getting the semester off to a good start.

Yesterday, on the fourth day of the semester, Dave got word from the college that he is hired! The background checks and paperwork process has begun. Whew, are we ever grateful.

Before I met Dave, I was ready to quit teaching and just concentrate on writing. Meeting him has presented me with a new direction. I’m definitely not giving up writing, but in a way, it feels like I need to give one last effort for theatre in my town. I don’t know where it will lead, but I’m willing to help the theatre program at our college grow. Maybe our efforts, Dave’s and mine, will help the administration see the value of all the art offerings at the college. After all there is more to life than making money to live on. We all need some kind of creative outlet to make life worth living.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. Enjoy the end of summer.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Love is in the Air Everywhere

Wedding Photo

As I write this it is our wedding anniversary so I’ll keep this post brief. I want to spend as much time with my fella as possible.

Today it feels like love of all kinds is in the air everywhere, we just need to turn our attention away from the news and social media feeds focused on the negative. Since I decided to make this day all about love, I turned to one of my favorite feel good videos to begin my day.

The video is by Matt Harding from 2012. It’s one in a series of videos titled, “Where the Hell is Matt?” with Matt dancing and spreading love with people all around the world. Sorry if there are ads. But I hope it brightens your day.

Thanks for following, liking and commenting on my blog. Find someone to share the love with this weekend. It will chase away those news blues.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

The Work was Worth It!

All the Love and Support We Need

“Forgiveness isn’t just the absence of anger. I think it’s also the presence of self-love, when you actually begin to value yourself.” ~ Tara Westover

“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” ~ Tyra Banks.

When I have a shift in how I see myself, or the world, I find it difficult to put into words just how different I feel. However, I’ll attempt to share with you an experience I had recently.

First I need to give you some background information. I’m sure many of you know what it feels like to dislike, or even hate yourself. Things happen that we perceive as negative and our response is, “Well, of course that happened. Everything and everyone is against me.”

I’ve been working for forty or fifty years to learn self-love. It’s been a profound struggle. For what seemed like forever, I was sure that I’d never have what I wanted out of life. Whenever I had a goal I wanted to accomplish, there were blocks in my head as if God didn’t want me to be completely happy. The universe or God had my back in certain areas of my life, but not all. I was sure that the obstacles were in the world outside, never considering that they might be internal.

Then something profound happened. I was complaining to God in my journal and I asked the question, “What am I supposed to be learning from this?” Immediately I began to get answers. Slowly two things dawned on me. First that events that I saw as negative were put in my way to shake me out of belief systems that were definitely wrong. Second that I was the source of my pain and suffering, and my healing. The choice was up to me. The answers to any problem I might face were inside me and always at my finger tips.

I began to read books by teachers like, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Gregg Braden, Caroline Myss, Marianne Williamson, Riane Eisler, and many others. I read lots of ancient texts as well and that started me on a steep learning curve over a period of five or six years. Yay! I thought my work was finished. I drifted through life thinking I’d arrived at enlightenment. Boy was I wrong.

Some devastating events happened about fifteen years ago that shook me to my core and knocked me out of my smug complacency. There was a lot more work to do on myself. So, I went back to reading books by a new group of teachers, Elizabeth Gilbert and Brené Brown among them. I watched Oprah’s show Super Soul Sunday every Sunday and went back to my journal. The conclusion I came to was that I still didn’t love myself. I needed to clear out more really old beliefs, attitudes and perceptions that were deeply buried in my psyche.

The most profound lessons were about how to forgive all the people that I was still holding grudges against. And no matter what was happening, I needed to be grateful for the lessons. In fact, I needed to grateful for everything in my life, the big and small.

Over the last few years of deeper work, I’ve had moments of insight and have felt small inner shifts in understanding about who I really am and what my purpose in this lifetime is.

The other morning I awoke with these words in my head, “I’m proud to be a woman.” At first I thought this statement came to me because I’m doing lots of thinking about my latest novel. Morgan’s story, again, came rather easily. But writing Jenna’s has been difficult. Getting to the core of the personal changes she makes while trying to effect societal changes seemed too daunting. Having her say that she’s proud to be who she is was a huge breakthrough.

It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized the message was a personal one for me as well. Of course it was. Jenna is a reflection of me and I was just as changed by it as she will be.

The change was a shift in the way I felt internally. Almost all the blocks to loving myself have melted away. For the first time I can honestly say I love who I am. It’s a liberating feeling, one I never thought I’d come to enjoy.

I know some of you will think this is woo woo, but humans are changing as are our religious, social, financial, and political structures. If we look back at history, we can identify other times when humanity has gone through similar disruptive changes. People all over the world are feeling uneasy and uncertain about the future. Each of us react to these subtle changes in different ways none of which are good or bad. They grow out of who we are, and the lessons we came here to learn.

Since I now have a new confidence in who I am, I no longer feel afraid of the future. In fact, I’m excited to see what lessons I have yet to learn and what will happen next.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I appreciate all of you who follow my posts and hope that what I share will benefit you in some way. Blessings to you all.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

The Future is Female

“And though she may be broken, she is not defeated. She will rise unfettered, unbeaten, unimpeded.” ~ Sara Furlong Burr, When Time Stands Still

After I wrote last week’s post, I realized I have a lot more to say about movies and the impact they have on our intellectual and emotional lives.

When Barry and I watched Captain Marvel, twice the weekend of my last post, I realized something important. Over the last few years I’ve been reading many books written by women and watching movies and TV shows with female protagonists carving out a place for themselves in a man’s world. These stories are in a variety of genres, from different time periods, and situations. The women in these stories have one thing in common, they no longer fit into the good girl/bad girl boxes dictated by society and culture. It’s refreshing to read about and see characters on the screen who are well-rounded and who represent real women.

One of most used put downs leveled at women is that we are too emotional, as if that’s the worst offense in the world. In Captain Marvel, Vers, as Carol Danvers is known by the Kree, is rebuked constantly by her mentor Yon-Rogg for being too emotional. To be a good warrior, he claims, you have to suppress your emotions.

But here’s the thing, almost every woman knows that making the best decisions requires use of both our heads and our hearts. There is a powerful montage sequence in the movie that shows Carol Danvers standing up again and again after being knocked down. She’s angry at being told she can’t do things that are considered off limits for girls. She’s stubborn enough to do what she wants no matter what. Her character represents every woman who must overcome challenges and obstacles. There have been so many women through the ages who have not let anyone define them.

Even though her determination has made her tough, she’s also emotional. When she absorbs a tremendous amount of energy from an alien power source, she’s kidnapped and taken to the Kree home world. She has lost her memory and so is manipulated by her Kree mentor. Yon-Rogg wants to use her power to advance the Kree agenda. But when she crash lands on Earth during a mission, she begins to remember who she really is. She remembers that one of the best things about being human is that we’re at our best when we integrate both sides of our nature when it comes time to making important decisions.

After Carol remembers who she really is and what happened to her, she embraces her full humanity. She says, “I’ve been fighting with one hand tied behind my back. What happens when I’m finally set free?” At that point she shows Yon-Rogg just how powerful she is. She takes back her power when she says, “I have nothing to prove to you.”

There are so many female protagonists, Elizabeth Bennet, the Crawley sisters, Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen, Clare Fraser, and almost any Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn and Barbara Stanwyck movie ever made that show us how powerful and intelligent women are. They create fulfilling lives for themselves in spite of their flaws and the expectations of society.

What these fictional women show me is that something important is changing for women. I don’t know how this has come about, but I’m excited to see it happening. Women aren’t keeping silent any longer. They are not letting anyone dictate to them how to think, what to feel, or what they should do with their lives. It’s an exciting time that has been a long time coming.

I think I became a feminist because my mom worked throughout most of my childhood. She did it to supplement dad’s income so we could live in nice houses, have food on the table, and clothes to wear. It wore her out, but she did it, and we all pitched in with household chores. Because of my mom, I thought it was natural for moms to work outside the home just like dads did. And because my dad was not the macho guy who expected his wife to do everything for him, I learned what true partnership between a man and woman looked like.

I’m inspired by all the female characters, and real women who keep standing up for themselves. And I’m excited to see what the future will bring.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Welcome to my new followers. I hope all of you have a spectacular weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Lessons From Unusual Places

Red Shadow Sky
Red Shadow Sky Magic Wand Sunset Cloud Girl

“Sometimes you learn, grow and give far more when your back’s against the wall.” ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

I love movies! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that. I love them partly because watching and having nerdy conversations about them remind me of the great conversations I had with my dad about the ones we watched together. I learned a lot from those discussions.

I’ll watch a movie in almost any genre, but my favorites are the ones that make me feel good, give me a new perspective, or teach me something I can use.

This fall I’m going to be teaching my absolute favorite class of all time, dramatic structure. In the class we watch movies and analyze the stories and characters. And sometimes my students say things that blow me away. They point out things that I never thought about before.

My students always amaze me. They, or nieces and nephews, recommend movies, TV shows and books that I most likely would never consider watching or reading. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is just one example. Buffy is a kind of phenomenon. College classes have been taught about the lessons the show teaches.

When I take the advice of the young people in my life, I’m always pleasantly surprised by the depth of truth the stories they recommend tell. The characters might be in fantastic circumstances, or have unusual powers, but somehow the writers create characters with real human struggles. I love that!

This is nothing new. Storytellers have been teaching us things for centuries. There are plays from Ancient Greece that are still performed and analyzed today. Shakespeare’s plays are another example. My new friend, Dave Dahl, who is a theatre professional, said recently, “Shakespeare’s language may seem daunting, but the plays contain human emotion and that has never changed. That’s why we still perform them today.” That’s going to be true of many of the stories that are popular today.

For sometime, I’ve wanted to write a post about Captain America. He is my favorite superhero. Barry and I got hooked on superhero movies because or our youngest nephew. He’s a really intelligent kid who is already a master at analyzing the motivations of the characters in the movies he watches and thus in his real life too. Captain America is my favorite, I realized while writing this post, because he’s like my dad. He has a strong moral center that helps him when he’s faced with problems. He’s able to see what’s really going on in complicated situations as shown in Captain America: Civil War. Some of the other Avengers are manipulated by unscrupulous people with hidden agendas, but not Cap.

In story telling there are often key moments that cause everyone to reevaluate their beliefs and assumptions. This happens in real life too if we’re paying attention.

In the last two Avengers movies Thanos accomplishes his goal to wipe out half the population of the universe. He thinks he’s saving it by doing this, but the chilling thing is, he doesn’t care that he’s killing billions of beings. He doesn’t realize an act like that never brings peace.

The original Avengers are left to cope with their failure to stop Thanos. But two things happen. First, when Captain Marvel shows up in response to Nick Fury’s call for help. Rhodes asks her where she’s been, in essence accusing her of failing to prevent Thanos’ destruction. She replies by saying something like, “There are lots of other planets in the universe that needed my help. Earth has you guys.” Wow! She’s challenging them to take responsibility for what happened. That’s always painful. But she’s also challenging them to accept that they have extra-ordinary abilities and perhaps all hope is not lost.

Of course since this is a story, the second thing happens that allows the heroes to save the universe. Ant-man, previously thought to be dead, arrives with a possible solution for how to go back and defeat Thanos and set the universe right again. Well, at least, restore all those who were turned to dust. Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, has challenged the Avengers to find solutions to the big world problems once Thanos is defeated. In essence she’s saying Earth has us! We are the ones who can save the planet and ourselves.

I’ve been watching movies for a really long time. I can name any number of classic movies that surprise my students with how their themes speak to contemporary problems. It’s another of the reasons I love teaching dramatic structure. We like to think that we’ve advanced so much as a species. Then we watch a movie from the 1930s or 40s and see that we’re not so very different from our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents after all. Like Dave said, human emotions haven’t changed that much. But hopefully one day we will grow up into more compassionate, cooperative people.

I’d venture to say that’s one of the themes of the first batch of MCU movies. The superheroes learn to set aside their differences to find solutions for the huge problems they face rather than continue to assert that they are right and the others wrong.

It takes courage to admit that maybe we are wrong, that we are responsible for the mess in which we find ourselves. Alice Walker wrote the book, We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting for: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness. I’ll be reading that book because I need a push to be like all the characters in my favorite movies who had the courage to face and solve their problems. This will be a ongoing process. I have to remember that and not give up.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments and likes. Have a fantastic weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.