Happy New Year 2012!!


It’s exactly 12:06 am in my neck of the woods which means the year 2012 is 6 minutes old.  I have a lot of things I’ve reflected on over the past year, and hopes for this one, but those will wait until another time.

In keeping with the holiday, I’ve launched my 365 blog called The Wurd Turtle.  It’s sole purpose is to have fun with the words and phrases we use every day and maybe learn a little something about them.

The first post is “Auld Lang Syne”.  It’ll give you the history, the meaning and the lyrics for your turn of the calendar tonight.  Stop on by and be sure to subscribe.

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Interview with Paul Mueller of Windwalker Accessories


Scorpion necklace done in hematite, rutilated quartz and titanium.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Paul for several years and I’d like to share with you one of his many talents.  Paul creates insightful, meaningful and very special jewelry pieces.  These are not just beautiful.  They also are done with very loving, meaningful, and spiritual intentions and exacting attention to detail which can be custom made per the wishes of the wearer, or left to Paul’s keen insights.

Jean:  Hi Paul, thanks for sharing with my readers.  Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

Paul:  My name, is Paul F. Mueller III.  I also go by Nicodemai Windwalker, which is my artist’s name.  “Nicodemai” is the name that signifies my religious beliefs.  “Windwalker means traveller.  WIndwalker, is a surname given to me by my adopted mother, and coincidentally also the name we chose for our humble little shop.

I’ve always been an artist deep down from the time I got my first clarinet at age eight.  I knew that art was my calling.  Whether it has been drawing, playing music, or making things that are “pretty”, art has always been what I wanted to do.

Sadly, life doesn’t always work that way.  For the last 14 years I’ve been working on computers.  Building them and maintaining them.  A far cry from the happiness I get out of making a necklace and getting the feedback that it is treasured.

Recently though, at 33, life threw me some curve balls and I ended up with the opportunity to pursue my artistic side.   I haven’t stopped for a day since.  Creating, writing, drawing, making objects has become all-consuming.  It’s still an infant shop, but it’s mine and I truly love what I’m doing; making people happy with such a simple little trinket.  That’s what really matters, I think.  Finding something you enjoy doing, and if given the chance to do what YOU love, please, don’t let it slip through your fingers.

I have never felt such satisfaction, pride, or enjoyment in anything that I have done in my life.

Jean:  Well, I think you’re well on your way.  What is it that most inspires you, Paul, in making your creations?

Paul:  I’ll try not to sound like an insane person, but energy inspires me.  I’ve always been a creative person though, and that lends a big part to the things I make.  Mostly though, the happiness on a person’s face when they truly like what I do, is my biggest drive of them all.

I make things with a certain energy in mind.  Take for instance, the turtle necklace.  When making it, I focused on the turtle, what it represents, and how it lives.  The owner of that piece tells me it “feels like water”, and also that it feels “tranquil, and relaxing”.  Hearing that feedback, I believe I did exactly what it was I set out to do.  Capturing an energy.  Here’s a photo of that piece for you. 

Here’s a little more though to further explain my process.  I always start, in the case of a necklace, with the centerpiece.  I meditate, on what that represents.  I then choose stones that line up with that particular “theme” or energy.  Using the turtle as an example, I chose stones that carry the feeling of water and calm strength.  As I set the stones onto their cord, I focus that energy or feeling into the piece, stone by stone.  Once done with a piece i’m usually pretty drained, but I feel the results are more than worth a little of my energy being used exerted.

Jean:  Do you feel yourself drawn more often to certain stones than others?

Paul:  Yes.  I absolutely LOVE working with onyx.  It carries a very strong energy, and for the most part, is “neutral”.  Also, tigers eye because I find it absolutely GORGEOUS.  To be honest, I find beauty in most all of the stones I work with and I pay attention to what energies they possess.  Some stones are just not suited for some “themes” or energies.  For instance, if I was making a piece for a fire-signed person, stones that convey water are just out of the question.

Jean:  That makes sense.  Do you feel there is a purpose behind what you create?

Paul:   Yes, absolutely.  In the case of a custom ordered piece, I go to great lengths to try and make it as good a “fit” for the client as possible.

Jean:  You say you intend a spiritual purpose for the item and you can you somewhat define what the purpose is?

Paul:  Absolutely.  However, that really falls upon the wearer to be aware of those purposes.  I have a good example of that, but sadly no picture of it.  A recent client, a dear friend of mine, sent me a tourmaline shard ready to be set onto a custom “chain”.  She requested that the energy was specific for protections.  So after a little research, and knowing she is an Earth sign, I set to work, with jade and tigers eye.  Both Earth element stones, both for protection.  It came out beautifully.

Jean:  I sure wish you had a picture of it.  Would you mind sharing a few more pictures and the stories behind them?

Paul:  Sure, but I don’t normally take images of the custom pieces, as they aren’t available for the general public.  I like to keep the personal aspect private for work like that.  Here’s one, that was for my ex girlfriend of four and a half years.

Necklace: pentacle, onyx and tigers eye.

After I moved here, we were trying to keep things all nice and the way we were, but that didnt turn out so well.  She was new to her chosen “path”, so I took it upon myself to fashion her a protection piece, using a traditional symbol of our faith as the centerpiece; onyx for strength, tigers eye for protection and clarity.  She absolutely loves it, told me before our parting that it really helped her to keep calm and focused in her meditations.  It also helped her own energy be more balanced.

Here, we have an example of a piece, for a friend, who quite simply saw it and had to have it.  He wears it every day.

Necklace: ankh, onyx and dalmation jasper.

Jean: It’s beautiful

Paul: Thank you.

Jean:  What energies do you feel this piece projects?

Paul:  The ankh is one of the oldest symbols of protection out there.  Jasper aids in quick thinking and promotes organization and seeing projects through.  It’s funny that he was drawn to that piece, in a way.  I’ve known him for years and he can tend to start something and not finish them.  (chuckles)  I suppose here is where we can say that really, it’s all in how the wearer perceives things, in the sense that the applications could be, well, restricted only by understanding.

Jean:  That makes perfect sense.  What are the materials you prefer to work with, aside from the stones?

Paul:  For the cording, I use fine silver wire as I find it a wonderful conductor of energy.  For the clasping I also use silver as with the charms.  I’m partial to silver all ways around I guess.  I’ll work with gold though if requested.

Jean:  Historically, isn’t it true silver is thought to be more “pure”?

Paul:  Yes.  In fact at one point in history it was more valuable than gold.  Also, gold can’t “kill a werewolf”.  (joking there)

Jean:  (Laughs)  You’ve just completed a custom piece, I understand; a rosary in which you even did each link by hand.  Can you tell us a little about this?

Paul:  Wow that was an undertaking.  I used 398 hand linked silver rings, 60 blood stones set onto silver bars with “eyes” at each end so they could accept and be made into the chain and also set onto the bars by hand.  I did it in the traditional “style”, as requested, but was given liberty to add a little of my “pagan flair” as my client called it.  I asked his birthday and did a little research into his birthstones.  Happily, I found that the blood stone not only was one of his birthstones, but also a wonderful stone as metaphor for “the blood of the Christ”.  At that point the choice was rather obvious.

Jean:  You have to love that synchronicity.

Paul:  Oh absolutely. (Smiles)

Jean:  If someone is interested in having you make a piece for them, how would they contact you?

Paul:  My email address is :  mueller.paul25@yahoo.com

I’ll soon be building a website for the humble little shop as soon as I can pick some web development software that I like and will suit my needs.

Jean:  Great!  When you have a link, be sure to share it with me and we’ll post it here.  Thank you so much, Paul, for taking the time to share your work with my readers.  It’s definitely something special.

PaulI: Oh no, thank YOU, it really was my pleasure.

One last look at two more of Paul’s pieces:

Necklace: Dolphin, white and blue cats eye with sodalite.

Necklace: Owl, jasper and onyx.

A Favorite Quote by Audrey Hepburn

Quote


For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

Audrey Hepburn

The Sun and Moon


The sun opened his eyes and stretched his mighty arms with a yawn.  Awakened by the shy caress of the moon in her ritual passing, this morn he wanted to linger.

“My love, can you postpone your journey today for another hour or maybe two?” he asked.

The moon shined her pale face to him, questioningly.

“You know I can’t do that,” she smiled.  “All things require your punctuality, as they do mine.  And this you know just as you know I can never turn my face from you.”

He sighed.  He did.

She always had a way with words.

 MS Word total word count:  100

Footnote:

This story is my first attempt at participating in a Friday blogging game called “Drabbling.”  The rules are simple.  You must write a complete story of exactly 100 words.

Drabbling is the brainchild of Lenore who authors the blog Lenore Diane’s Thoughts Exactly.  As a writer, it’s an excellent exercise.  It’s a challenge!  I was invited to participate by Arindam of Being Arindam...

You’re welcome to join in the fun too if you’d like.  Just enter the tag  “Friday Drabble” in your tag line and use the hashtag #fridaydrabble on Twitter and post your entry on a Friday.  Thanks, Arindam and Lenore!

Copyright Jean Mishra 2011

The Game


A Brief Preface

I must preface this with a little bit of information.  Today is the birthday ofSri Ramana Maharshi (December 30, 1879 to April 14, 1950).  If you don’t know who he is, he is venerated around the world as a true seeker and Indian guru.  He maintained that the purest form of his teachings was through a powerful silence.  It was said to radiate from his presence and quiet the minds of those attuned to it.  He gave spoken teachings only for the benefit of those who could not understand his silence or couldn’t understand how to attain this state. His verbal teachings were said to flow from his direct experience of Atman as the only existing reality.  He recommended self-inquiry as a means to achieving that realization.

I’m marking this occasion because Ramana is the only spiritual teacher I’ve ever encountered who really spoke to something deep in me.  I can attribute part of that to the fact I’m just not a good follower.  I’ve always preferred to find my own way.  As a result of this mindset, I find myself blundering into things just when I’m truly ready to experience them.  So, in keeping with my ways, it was through synchronous events that I even learned of his existence a little over a year ago.  That discovery launched me into childhood memories long forgotten that would significantly deepen my own spiritual growth.  It reminded me of the game I used to play with myself as a child I called “Who am I?”

The Who Am I Game

The game was very simple.  I would sit and inquire of myself,

“Who am I?”

My mind would begin making its list:

  • You’re Jean
  • You’re a girl
  • You’re Arsene and Mildred’s daughter
  • You have long hair
  • You love horses
  • You have a penchant for potato chips
  • You love fish sandwiches
  • You live in Nebraska
  • You go to elementary school
  • Etc.

You get the picture.  Quite a tidy little list, but then the game took a twist.  The next question:

“You are all these things, but who is the one experiencing them?”

In my childish mind the question was more like, “Yes, but who am I behind those things?”  I knew what I meant and that’s what counted.

The True Nature

When the answer came it was a very strange experience.  It didn’t come in words.  Now that I’m older I understand why, but then I just accepted what came with the typical trusting innocence ever inherent in children.  My list would evanesce like meaningless smoke and go forgotten.  I was left with a very odd and expansive feeling accompanied by the certainty that this was who I really was; this was my true nature.

It’s not something that can be explained easily.  It defies the intellect to quantify and measure it.  The intellect is just an island floating in this infinite sea of the Self.  And an Island only knows itself and the waters lapping against its shores.  It can’t fathom the depth or the breadth of its sea home nor the sky above it.

But what happened in my experience was the experiencing of that vast sea and sky.  I became aware that the list was just clothing I wore, and that by its very nature would always change but this am-ness I was experiencing is, was, and always will be unchanging.  This is pretty heavy stuff for a kid.  I would then begin to feel like I was invading a private room I didn’t belong in and would quickly slip back into my “Jean clothes” none the worse for wear.

Remembering

As with many things, the passing of time and encroaching maturity pushed the game back into a little closet in my mind to make room for more important things in life.  The more-important-things that lead to anxiety, fatigue, stress, under-achieving, over-achieving, countless blunders and a few successes along the way didn’t leave room for anything else.

Then along came middle age and the proverbial house-cleaning of “those important things” that comes with it.  Some call this wisdom.  I call it being too tired of dragging all those important things around and weeding them out to make life more manageable.  Whatever it’s called, it left some room for air, and that meant room for opportunity; the opportunity for synchronicity and flow; the opportunity to remember.

So now we find ourselves back to the beginning of this story.  My husband off-handedly asked me one day if I had heard of the silent guru.  I told him I hadn’t and started the half-listening thing spouses do when I heard him say,

“He encourages meditating on the question ‘who am I?’”

I felt I’d been struck by a truck.  That one innocent remark threw open that long forgotten closet door in my mind and the game crept back out along with the experiences.  I play the game every day now and I’m finding the game doesn’t have an end.  I’m finding the bliss of this am-ness and the freedom it affords me to be much more than just a list.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2011

Candle Lighter Award Recipient!


Moonlightened Way has just been awarded The Candle Lighter Award for lighting hope in the blogosphere.  I’m so tickled and touched I don’t really know where to begin.

First, I want to thank Arindam for presenting me with this award.  Please visit his blog Being Arandam… and get to know him if you already haven’t.  He too was a recipient and after reading his blog, you’ll know why.  He writes straight from the heart with an honesty and freshness that illuminates the word inspiration.  I can only hope I’m as deserving of this award as he is.

What is The Candle Lighter Award?

The Candle Light Award

The Candle Lighter Award was created by blog author Kate Kresse.  Kate states:

“I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist.”

Part of her uplifting of others was the creation of this award.  Please visit her blog Believe Anyway.  You’ll find amazing things there.

The only rules for this award are that it’s given to those bloggers who contribute to the hope and inspiration of others and that it be passed to other deserving bloggers who do the same.  I will also be sharing the award with others.  You’ll be updated here when I do.

Receiving this Candle means more to me than I think Arindam could possibly know.  It’s been a life long journey and goal to reach out and inspire others, but being an introverted person made it difficult.  The internet has been my answer.  Here I can comfortably express myself and reach out to others without the usual anxiety introverts feel when attention is turned towards them.

It was only recently that I began this blog.  It’s my first attempt at blogging.  I’ve felt a little clumsy but this Candle is lighting my way to continue to fulfill it’s meaning by joining the ranks of its recipients in shining the light of hope and inspiration into the future.  Thank you again, Arindam.

The Four-Legged WTC Hero


I realize it’s been more than 10 years now since the World Trade Center tragedy.  Honestly, I don’t like remembering it.  I tend to avoid articles related to it, but as I was surfing I ran across a story I hadn’t heard before and one I couldn’t ignore.  Stories like this are always inspiring to me.  They not only encompass our humanity, but shine the light on just how loving, courageous and special our animal companions are too.

Omar Eduardo Rivera and Dorado

This is the story of Dorado, a then 4-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever seeing-eye dog for New York resident Omar Eduardo Rivera who worked as a computer technician on the 71st floor of the north tower.  When the tragedy struck several floors above him, Dorado was laying contentedly under his masters desk.  Mr. Rivera, who is blind, realized the gravity of the situation by the din of the chaos around him.  He held little hope to escape in time, so he unleashed his patient friend and turned him loose in hopes he could save himself.

Mr. Rivera described his ordeal to the Costa Contra Times as posted on Dogsinthenews.com:

“I stood up and I could hear how pieces of glass were flying around and falling. I could feel the smoke filling up my lungs and the heat was just unbearable.

“Not having any sight I knew I wouldn’t be able to run down the stairs and through all the obstacles like other people. I was resigned to dying and decided to free Dorado to give him a chance of escape. It wasn’t fair that we should both die in that hell.

“I thought I was lost forever—the noise and the heat were terrifying—but I had to give Dorado the chance of escape. So I unclipped his lead, ruffled his head, gave him a nudge and ordered Dorado to go.

“I hoped he would be able to quickly run down the stairs without me and get to safety. I thought he’d be so scared he’d run. Everything was in chaos. Glass was shattering around my head and people were rushing past down the stairs.”

At that point, Dorado was swept away by the rush of people fleeing down the stairs, and Mr. Rivera found himself on his own for several minutes amid the pandemonium. But then the unexpected occurred, in the form of a familiar, fuzzy nudge from knee-high.

Mr. Rivera explains, “He returned to my side a few minutes later and guided me down 70 flights and out into the street, it was amazing. It was then I knew for certain he loved me just as much as I loved him. He was prepared to die in the hope he might save my life.”

Inside the egress stairwell, they found some additional assistance from a co-worker. “I took hold of her arm. She went down on my right side and the dog on my left,” says Mr. Rivera.

The narrow stairwell was extremely crowded, and confusion exacerbated the situation. “People were pushing and shoving past me. Everywhere there was a sense of terror.”

But according to the man, order gradually prevailed: “…most people behaved quite prudently and grasped what was happening, so we walked down in an orderly fashion, but it was slow going. It was slow going because there were so many people struggling to get out but Dorado kept nudging me down step by step.”

It took Mr. Rivera, his coworker and Dorado more than an hour to descend those 70 floors.  Shortly after arriving on the street to safety, the north tower collapsed.

Says Mr. Rivera, “I owe my life to Dorado—my companion and best friend.”

 

“Green” Lavender Laundry Detergent You Can Make Yourself


If you’re environmentally concerned, or if you’re bothered by harsh chemicals and want to go natural and more harmonious in your home cleaning, I have something for you to try.  It’s a soapless laundry detergent you can make yourself.  You may not believe me, but it’s just as effective as any detergent I’ve purchased from a store.  The thing about it that amazed me the most was the fact it was gentler on my fabrics.  The faint residual aroma of lavender was a pleasant departure from chemical fragrances.

Now here’s the real hook…  it’ll cost you only pennies a load.  The ingredients are not hard to find and you can just refill the same container when you run out, so no plastics clogging up the landfills.  The ingredients go back essentially to harmless salts.

For the recipe and if you’d like more detailed information, you can read my article here.

Birds Present Musician With a New Look at Birdsong


I just read an amazing post on the blog Dear Kitty. Some Blog.  The blog post entitled “Music inspired by birds on wires” is about Jarbas Agnelli, musician, and a unique musical interpretation. You can follow that link directly to Dear Kitty’s blog and post where the story appears in full.

Being a birdwatcher and a bird lover, I found the title immediately intriguing.  What I discovered is that Jarbas Agnelli did a very remarkable thing.  He’s taken a unique perspective of something most would pass off as mundane and meaningless and uncovered a secret hidden in plain sight.  After seeing in a newspaper a photograph of birds sitting on electrical wires (below), he was inspired to translate their positions on the wire into musical notes.  A musical score was then produced without any changes being made to the original positions of the birds.  Here’s the video he made showing the original picture as well as the amazing musical score hidden within it.

Click here for video.

Birds on Wire by Jarbas Agnelli

Please do visit Dear Kitty. Some Blog’s blog.