Friday, May 22, 2009

NURTURING THE SOUL


My friend Gemma from "Wild Woman" (http://www.untamedwoman.blogspot.com/) recently interviewed me. Somewhat like a meme, this mini-interview was fun to do because Gemma individualized the questions for me. She asked me:

1-What are some ways you nurture yourself?

As an empty nester with a "self-sufficient" husband, there are not a lot of demands on my time after my work day is over. Therefore I do have time to nurture my soul, through reading, writing, creating collages, finding beautiful art for my blog, listening to music, playing with my dog and enjoying the natural world.

One cannot forget to nurture the body as well. During the week our meals are very simple, but during the weekends Dan and I try to share special meals served with a good, but inexpensive, red wine. Red wine is good for the heart! So is dark chocolate, and I knew it is good for nurturing the soul too. I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate, and when I feel low I treat myself to a 1/4 of a bar of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate.

2-What is your favorite quote or line from a poem? Why does that resonate with you?

"Ring the bells that still can ring/Forget your perfect offering/There is a crack in everything/That's how the light gets in." - "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen. This has been re-phrased in a popular e-mail as "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light."

I think the people I admire most in life might be called a little "cracked". Yes, bless them. They don't hide their quirky light under a bushel basket. They are not content to be a "rat in a cage" or a "another brick in the wall". I have been like that at times, although not as often as I would have liked. I'm reminded of the line Luke Wilson's character says to Sarah Jessica Parker's character in "The Family Stone": "You have a freak flag, you just don't fly it." I think we all should fly our freak flags more often - let ourselves be in the moment and dance, sing, be silly, wear hats, chase butterflies, act a bit crazy.

3-If you could live an imaginary life in a different century, where, when and what would you be?

I feel to the depths of my soul that I was born to wear long silk and velvet dresses and a cone-shaped "princess" hat with a veil, which puts me right at home in Medieval times (preferably in England). I also know in my bones that I would have been a high-born lady and not a peasant. However, I would not sit idly by in my tower with my embroidery. I would be a herbalist. I would have an apothecary where I would dry and grind herbs and create medicines, which I would use to treat all who came to me for healing.

4-You have one hour and $20.00 to spend in an office supply store what would you buy?

Oh, dear, $20.00 is not enough to buy any Photoshop-type software, so I would content myself with browsing in the paper and stationery area. There's some nice ivy-bordered paper I've had my eye on at Staples, and I would definitely pick up some parchment paper for a project I'm working on right now. I'm assuming that the $20 is given to me? Because I can't afford parchment paper at $15.00 a ream.

5-What brings you the greatest joy?

Aside from my family and friends, nature brings my greatest joy. Although I am a girl from the prairie, I feel most at home in forest, meadow and lake country (it must be an ancestral memory buried deep in my DNA). I have spent some of my happiest times in central Minnesota. I get excited when I see the "Prairie to Pines" sign soon after one crosses from Grand Forks, ND, into the Land of 10,000 Lakes. At Itasca State Park, near Bemidji, I have walked across the Mississippi River (its source is at Itasca, where it begins as a tiny stream one can walk across).

I have floated down that infant river on a pontoon, basking in the strengthening sun and contentedly listening to the red-wing blackbirds trill along the banks. I have hiked through the spring woods, marveling at the light green of the tamarack, or larch, the only deciduous conifer. I have been thrilled beyond measure at the sight of pink lady slipper orchids, white trilliums and marsh marigolds. I have camped on Star Island and heard the evening call of the loon broadcast over Cass Lake.
Many of these memorable times began with Memorial Weekend. This Memorial Weekend, as in the past 27 years, I am hundreds of miles away from Minnesota, but I am enjoying spring here too. The song goes "June is bustin' out all over", but right now May is bustin' out all over, with a city full of ethereal clouds of pink, white or magenta blossoms of plum, crabapple and apple trees.
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If you would like to have a tailor-made set of interview questions, leave me a comment with your e-mail address saying: “Interview Me”. I will e-mail you five questions of my choice and you can then answer the questions on your blog {with a link back to my blog}. If you participate, please post these "Individualized Meme" rules.

12 comments:

Annie said...

Wonderful interview - Dark Chocolate has my voice too.

Favorite lines are from an E.Dickinson short poem - Rowing in EdenAh, the Sea!Might I but moor--Tonight--In Thee!

I would like to be a master builder of cathedrals in the 13 century.

$20 can buy a lot of pretty colored pens

Greatest joy? It's all about family, baby.

Piecefulafternoon said...

What a lovely post - and so nice to learn even more about you - that is a clever idea.

Bimbimbie said...

Hello Julie I'm with you on the chocolate and nature*!* The others I will be mulling over the rest of the weekend now I'm sure. Smiles*!*

gemma said...

Wonderful answers Julie.
This was fun! Wine, chocolate, Leonard Cohen,pretty papers,
the natural world...you rock!
Waving my freak flag!!

lila said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview!
We have a lot in common, though your nature exploits are much farther north than mine! I am only a day hiker and prefer cabins or motels to a tent...though sleeping by a singing stream, maybe on a gravel bar is nice!

Janet said...

Love this interview! You gave some really good answers to the questions, too.

Kate said...

Julie,

Wonderful interview! Great questions and answers. I'll have some red wine with you.

Kate

Mary said...

Hi dear Julie - I've been gone too long and now catching up with those dear to me in blogland. Love this interview.

(Yes, Nina is one amazing woman and I have corresponded with her for some time. Her talents are fabulous - like you, I feel if I could only write and photograph the beauty of nature half as well as she does, I would be grateful. Her jewelry is awesome and I'm saving up to someday purchase a necklace which I'd be proud to wear).

Meanwhile, hope life is kind, and that you and your loved ones are well and enjoying Spring. I'm now posting on my wonderful trip home - oh Julie, the countryside was so gorgeous dressed for Spring, I loved every second and didn't want to leave!

Hope you will have time to stop by - I'm missing you.
Hugs - Mary.

Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

You are a lovely person, I can see. What a gift for you to just be;) I can't wait to go put that quote on my blog dear. Thanks for the morning wisdom! Blessings and light, Amy

LW said...

What a wonderful interview, I truly enjoyed reading your answers.
I agree we all should fly our flags more…


Louise

Utah Grammie said...

I'm so glad to hear my being "cracked" is letting int he light! LOL! Your answers are great and it does give us insight to your "self"- thanks for sharing that part of you!

Shopgirl said...

My computer decided for what ever reason to not let me into your blog...so when you came to see me, it was a sign that maybe I could come see you.
I love both posts, you are amazing. I read every word and wanted more.
I will keep an eye out for the book you are searching for. If I find it, I will send it to you.
We have a book store with many, many old books. I go in there often and sit forever looking at out of print books. I have been going there for years.
Arney is getting stronger and nicer everyday....I think> I will let him live.
Good night sweet Celtic Lady. Your, Mary