Saturday, April 18, 2009


With a huge sigh of relief, and grateful thanks to Patty ("Autumn's Meadow") who found it on bloglines, here is the post I lost (all re-typed 'cause Blogger won't let me cut and paste anymore):

I have mentioned here before that I felt like Persephone this past winter, spending the last five brutal months underground. Do you remember the story of Persephone?

In Greek mythology, Persephone was a young goddess, the daughter of the goddess Demeter and Zeus, king of the gods. One time when Persephone was playing in a flowery meadow with her companions, she was seized by Zeus' brother, Hades, and carted off to the underworld to be his bride. Her mother despaired at her disappearance and searched for her throughout the world.

When Demeter learned that Zeus had conspired in her daughter's abduction she was furious, and refused to let the earth bear fruit until Persephone was returned. Zeus consented, but because the girl had tasted of the food of the underworld - a handful of pomegranate seeds - she was forced to forever spend a part of each year with her husband in the underworld. Persephone's annual return to the earth each spring is marked by the flowering of the meadows and the growth of new grain.

Hades, of course, is another word for hell, and hellish is an apt adjective to describe my feelings this past winter. It was a time of depression and darkness. I was not merely cocooning; I was trapped in the cocoon, in the dark, as blind as a vole. I was shut down, going nowhere, merely existing, it seemed.

But I have discovered that my time underground was not totally fallow.

I have a question for you:

"What seeds have been planted in you, that have been laying asleep in the winter, have just moved on their own in your life? Can you sense an impending something in your life? Is there something that is yet to manifest above ground into physical reality, yet lies there just sprouting under the dark covering blanket of Earth inside you? How can you nurture this seedling in the coming days and months?"

~ Sig Lonegren

There was something lying dormant in me that did begin to sprout in late winter and now is a sturdy, strong seedling. I began an online writing project with a friend that has become one of my greatest pleasures. For now, this project is private, and it may remain ever thus.

This project involved a lot of research, both online and in reference books. When I emerged into the light of day this spring, I was surprised and proud to discover how much information I had absorbed during those seemingly dead days.

And, in my newly awakened state, I have discovered that my true calling is the written word, and not the visual arts. To that end, I am divesting myself of a lot of art supplies. I am making up a couple of Giveaway Grab Bags (or boxes, I should say) of art materials. Here's a just a sampling of what will be in each box: beads, ribbon, watercolors, embellishments, stencils, colored pencils, pastels, art papers, rubber stamps, lettering, glitter. This is nice stuff, not old junk.

Is there a dream, a talent, a poem or story, an aspiration - something inside you that was lying dormant and is now just emerging? I would love to hear about it. Post a comment here and I'll enter you in the drawing. Or, just leave a general comment telling me how much you'd love to receive a box of cool creative stuff! Please indicate which type of Material Girl you are: "Artsy Fartsy" or "Scrapper".


Hooray! The first flowers of the year! Yellow crocuses have been spotted in Bismarck, peeking through last autumn's dead leaves. With the help of three days of temperatures in the 60s and 70s F, spring is FINALLY here. The snow is gone, except for a few ice piles pushed up by plows in parking lots.

Although I have not been writing about the flooding situation, it - unlike the snow - has not gone away. Just a couple of days ago, every county but one in the entire state was under a flood watch.

The focus has shifted away from Bismarck and Fargo. Now, the city of Jamestown is besieged by the James River. The pretty little city of Valley City and the town of Lisbon are being ravaged by the Sheyenne River. Valley City State University has closed for the rest of the year. To the north, the Souris, which means mouse in French, has become The Mouse That Roared.

Locally, Apple Creek has turned from placid stream to torrent, and all roads to the city of Lincoln were closed. This little town five miles southeast of Bismarck is where my sister lives. She and the other residents were basically stranded for a time and still have to take long detours to get to Bismarck!

This week, I saw a sight I never thought I'd see. Interstate Highway 94 was closed, not due to a snowstorm (a common enough occurrence), but due to water washing over it!

Many, many of the state's secondary roads were washed out or weakened by the flood waters. Hundreds of baby calves died. One man drowned. The property damages will run in the millions of dollars. It will take a long time for our state - and our people - to recover from this.


JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Glad it is back - blogger just ate my first comment today.

I tried bloglines to find it for you last night but it had already been taken off my list.

It is as inspiring the second time around.

Sometimes It's Good said...

I'm glad you are finding your way to more creations even if it's on a different path. I still like to do both writing and artwork.
I'm glad that spring is finally coming to your area.
Hugs, Susan

Annie Jeffries said...

What an exciting and inspiring post you have given us, Julie. Reading of emerging self-knowledge in the midst of so much real difficulty had me riveted. Hugs, Annie

Janet said...

Once again you've inspired me. I thinking writing is definitely a talent you have and I'm so glad that you're discovering that and following through with it.

You caught my eye with one word regarding your giveaway - stencils!! I am so completely enthralled with spray painting right now, and I'm constantly on the search for stencils to use. I'm an artsy-fartsy kind of gal!!

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

I saw on my "blog roll" just a hint of the story of Persephone and then it was gone! Glad to have it back. My son (the one that went to Moab)loves the name "Persephone" and wanted to name their first child (whenever)but wifey says "no" - oh well.

And yes, I am an "artsy-fartsy" person and would love to be int eh drawing! I'm getting into Chinese brush painting (little by little) and have pretty much given up on scrapbooking (internet photos is soo much easier - and less costly!)

Have a great spring day! (I'm trying to sow seeds of kindness..especially when I feel un-kind !)

gma said...

You are going to be the most prolific blooming flower in the blog garden after the winter you endured LOL! Sprinkling you with sunshine and happiness.

Margaret's Ramblings said...

My heart goes out to those affected by the flooding. That and fire are so devastating.


Diana S said...

Yep, I've had a yearning to move toward polymer clay and all the creativity that comes from it. I've bought stamps to impress, glitters to brighter and powders to enhance. I would love to win one of your giveaways. I

Kim Campbell said...

I've had a yearning to do more sewing. To the point where I am researching sergers!

I have always been an artsy-fartsy gal.

Lila Rostenberg said...

Love your "Persephone" post! Persephone is one of my favorite and most personally meaningful myths.
Please enter me in your giveaway..."artsy fartsy" of course..


couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

great question!!!
Tonight, with wine I will send you all good wishes for your written dreams to become true.
You are a wonderful writer and researcher for sure.
Oh Julie is so good to know you are doing better with the Spring and the Winter taught you to endure and become better.
Things happen for a reason that's for sure!
i have my answer but it is still confusing, i need to write it to make it clear and visual, how about posting it in my blog sometime this coming week?
Stencils and embellisments for me! me me me!!!
pick me
pick me
Pick me


p.s. Thank you!
and i do have your post too but it seems you already recovered it too.

Sheila said...

I hear you Julie. A couple of years ago I realised I was not an artist, even though I had been good at it in school. I passed all my supplies on to my daughter and grandchildren.
I'm not sure I've been nurturing anything this long winter except resentment! All I can say is I'm glad it's over (almost) and I can get into my garden. I do seem to be gung ho to get that in order so perhaps that might be a part of it.
Your winter does seem to be hanging on and causing so much loss and sadness. I hope it will soon settle down and you are able to enjoy some sunshine.

grendelskin said...

Thank you for the inspiring post!
I'm trying to find my path after a long winter (years!) of plodding through work and child rearing. I too feel a growth spurt - whether it will result in tree or flower I don't yet know. I admire you for recognizing which direction your growth is leading, and following it to hopeful fruition.
Stitching is my current venue - I love playing with fabric, and I love to make things out of bits-and-bobs so I'm a Scrappy!

ikkinlala said...

I'm glad you've found a new project you love!

I can't think of anything in me that's just emerging right now (I wish I could), but I'd love a chance to win some creative stuff. I'm "Artsy Fartsy."

Ruthie Redden said...

such a beautiful post julie, i love your words, your seedling is sprouting strong!! i love the persephone story. my own cocoon has been wrapped about me for oh so many years, so my "emerging" is proving to be a slow, sometimes exhausting process. i am beginning (with the love & patience of a certain mr O)to slowly find myself & my arty side again, i have been in the dark for far too long. x x

Shopgirl said...

Anyone who reads your blog knows that your heart is in the story telling, your words seem to come like music. Sometimes we do have to stop everything to know our own hearts. I have often told myself, stop! It is so easy to do what gives others happiness while what gives us Joy gets left behind.
I am a crafter, that makes me happy...but deep where all things come from I love to write. But because I am not educated well, it is often hard to write what I feel. You have power in your words, and I am smiling to know your finding a path that you believe belongs to you. I believe that the story teller's are gifted. I love history, not the school book kind, the everyday things, the life of one person can be magical to me. So dear Friend, have fun.