Tangled in a Web of Manipulation

Today I feel a bit like this dragon fly. I sat on my deck and watched this lovely insect struggle.Caught in a web

It was enjoying the day, flitting around the garden as dragonflies do, when a nasty spider caught the red beauty in its web.

As I watched, the dragonfly became completely tangled. The spider watched from the edge, licking its lips.

waiting to devourI felt rather like the innocent dragonfly. I too have been caught in a web spun from lies and based on betrayal. I have written of this before and most of the time I enjoy my freedom and flit through my days quite happily.

Then I became ill.

I felt very alone during the long nights in the hospital room. When I came home, the phone calls from my ex-husband began in earnest. He told me of his concern for my well being. He told that once he was out of jail, he would take care of me. He told me how wonderful he is, how he has changed. He spun a web with strands of lies and promises. In my weakened and lonely state, I became caught in the web of his manipulating and contolling words.The calls came at least twice a day sometimes three or four times a day.hanging upside down

I took a couple of photos of the dragonfly, then I grasped the strands of web and placed the insect on the deck. It struggled and tried to fly but the strands of the web held it down.

.

rescued

I too struggled. Like the dragonfly, I needed a helping hand. I needed my friends to guide me out of the tangled web. Through talking it out, I came to realize the truth. I came to realize that I had to choose. I could remain in the web struggling or I could use my wings. I knew what I had to do. I had to choose freedom.

Finally the dragonfly flew a foot, then two and then it shook off the last of the silky strands and took to the air. It was free and did not look back.

Today I took flight.once more. I have learned that I must not look back. I have learned to consider whatever is good in my life and I have learned to keep my eyes off the bad. I do not want to dwell on the negative because those are the kind of thoughts that drag me down. I am able to see the promises he makes are all part of his sick and twisted mind. He continues to try and control me and, if I am not wary, I could fall for his promises and become tangled in his web once more. I have a choice: freedom or slavery to his perverted mind.

Like the dragonfly, I choose freedom. My wings are delicate. I do not want the edges to become ragged and torn. I know I must protect my new found wings if I want to keep on flying and enjoying my wonderful new life.wings

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Mysterious and magical, sometimes wild and exciting, other times peaceful, the sea is ever-changing.

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I have lived for a time on the Atlantic and grew up on the Pacific. I love the water, I love swimming and fishing and kayaking. I went Scuba diving in the Indian Ocean and played in the Caribean. I remember swimming in a school of jelly-fish as a youngster and scraping my knee on a barnacle.
But what I enjoy most is watching children as they experience the wonder of the sea. I love watching children as they find a sand dollar or a star fish. I enjoy watching them measure the length of a kelp that has washed ashore. I love to watch them in the waves. sand.  StephenCannon and Kaizen 2

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

On a recent road trip to the Yukon, I was happily hiking along the trail.

Carefree hiking, far away from all the stress of the world.

Carefree hiking on the Chilkoot Trail, far away from all the stress of the world.

I felt so happy and so carefree, I was skipping in sheer delight at being alive.

The trail took me through the forest.

The trail took me through the forest.

When suddenly…. around a corner, A cute little brown bear cub, just ten feet from me. I stopped and looked around and there, just off in the woods beside me, the mama grizzly and another cub. I realized the danger and I backed up quietly until I felt safe, then backtracked along the trail to a different trail.

I wanted to take more pictures, but wisdom reigned that afternoon and I thought it better to escape while I could.

I wanted to take more pictures, but wisdom won that afternoon and I thought it better to escape while I could.

This incident did not ruin my carefree enjoyment of the trip. In fact, I rather enjoyed my “close encounter” with Mama grizzly and her twins. I am just glad that there was no need for a newspaper report like this very scary story.

Am I Being Stalked?

I am sure it hunted me down, stalked me, waited for the opportune moment before the strike! Yesterday I was stung by a bee. Not once, but twice. the second sting coming hours after the first.Yellow Jacket

pollon

see the yellow pollen on his backside?

I know I always blame the bee, but it was actually a wasp. While bees are busy gathering pollen from the flowers in the garden, wasps are the predators. They feast on other insects, animals and me. I have heard that they feed insects, flies and even caterpillars to their young. Their bodies are sleeker and more streamlined for hunting for me down and attacking.

Wasps are the ones with the thin waistline, bees are the chubby hairy things. They do sting, but do not target humans.

bee

Is this a bee or a wasp? (I can’t tell) or another kind of bug?

I visited a friend and, as I walked along her path to the front door, a wasp (or bee) jumped on and took a ride on my shoulder. While I innocently sat chatting, the nasty killer stung me on the neck. I swiped at it, it fell to the floor where it met its demise.

Later on in the evening, after sitting on the deck and throwing the ball to the dog, I made a phone call to a friend. I was busy chatting again when I felt something crawling under my shirt. My dear friend must have thought I was being murdered. I threw the phone down and ripped off my shirt screaming “don’t you dare touch me” “get off me” “Help!” then a loud thump as I dropped a book on its head. (Mind you, she was still on the other end of the line when I picked up the phone again.)… hmmm … Some friend, she should have called the police, what if I was being attacked by something larger than a wasp… It’s ok E. I forgive you.

Are bees innocent? Have they got a bad name for no reason?

Are bees innocent? Have they got a bad name for no reason?

Do you think it is possible that the first wasp was able to signal his tribe? is it possible that they have my number and I am being hunted? Stalked by the world of wasps?

“I will get revenge.. You killed my brother.
Me and my brothers will get you!!!” We will hunt you down, you cannot hide from us.”

Am I Fit to Write?

SpiritSoulBody-3Fitness is all-encompassing. Our bodies are a miraculous machine but we need to do our part to keep it working properly. We need to care for ourselves, our body, soul and spirit.

When I think of fitness, I generally think of exercise but I have come to realize that fitness means so much more. If I want my body to perform to its max, I need to treat it the with care starting with the food I eat..

Eating the right foods has become a challenge. Generally I am trying to eat only “real’ food. I try to stay away from all those chemicals that I cannot pronounce. I avoid artificial colour and flavour as much as possible. It is not easy and I succumb to temptation and eat junk at times. Now there is another dilemma. Since 1994, we have been subjected to genetically engineered food often called GMO’s or Genetically Modified Organisms. In Canada and the USA there are no regulations requiring that foods containing GMO’s are labelled. Now we don’t know what we are eating.

According to  Eat Right Ontario‘s website:

“some genetically modified soybeans contain a gene that comes from soil bacteria. This gene helps the soybeans grow even when sprayed with herbicide. Some genetically modified corn has a gene that produces a toxin. This toxin kills an insect called the corn borer and allows the corn to grow without damage. These types of genetically modified foods are considered safe for humans to eat.”

Time will tell if these are safe.. Cigarettes were not considered a problem years ago and while the dangers of High Fructose Corn syrup have been identified, it remains in our food.

Many of today’s children have problems that were rare a generation or two ago. Autism, and all the ADHD and related disorders as well as a plethora of allergies are too common. (yes, we tend to label children more than in the past, when kids were either “trouble makers” or “slow”. What about allergies?… hmmm) Is it the food we eat? I am not an expert, nor am I suggesting anything, just wondering.

So what can I do? What can you do? We can join the many people trying to get better health standards in place but that takes time.

If I want to be healthier today. i need to make a commitment today.

images (2)Today I took another step on the road to total fitness.

  • Today I committed to care for my body and re-joined the gym.
  • I commit to spending at least an hour at the gym exercising at least three times a week
  • Today I will try to cut the packaged foods I consume and eat natural, mostly organic fruits and vegetables.
  • I will nourish my soul by spending time walking in the woods or sitting by the lake. I will paint and write and visit friends. I will smile and be thankful.
  • I will re-commit to my self-improvement plan 
  • I will meditate and pray because my spirit also needs nourishment.

The question is “Am I fit to write?”

Walking on the beach

Walking on the beach

I know my thinking is clearer and my concentration is better when I am healthy. On days when I do not exercise or at least go for a walk, I am sluggish. If I eat that doughnut or fill up on junk food, I have a hard time getting down to writing. If I do not spend time reading the Word and praying,I lose my joy and my enthusiasm for life diminishes. Total fitness and well-being are partners, synonyms. If I eat right but neglect exercise, I will not be as healthy as I could be. If I neglect my soul, I will not be emotionally fit. If I ignore spiritual matters, my soul will cry out searching for the meaning of life.

I challenge you to make one more change toward total fitness of your body soul and spirit.

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

The weekly Photo challenge sent me out to take two photos choosing different angles from the same spot. In the first example, I chose the same view and took the photo both vertical and horizontal. the others I chose to get down and either take it at ground level, or look up. Which angles in the sets do you prefer? Please take the poll. you can choose one from each set.

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Look through the slide show of just three photos

Please leave a comment and critique.

American News Changed This Canadian Girl

I entered the teenage years in the sixties and I remember three particular news events, three days that impacted me and influenced my thinking about life and the world. I am a Canadian and all three events happened in the United States, yet I felt each one personally.

November 22, 1963, the day of President Kennedy assassination, rocked my world. I was a typical teenager, living in my own little sphere, going to school and listening to music.  john john salutesThe school principal announced that Kennedy had been shot and that the school would be closing. We went home early that day. I remember how scared I felt, somehow vulnerable. I remember thinking that if a president could be killed, was I safe? Were any of us safe? My world expanded that day in November. I became aware of politics and crime and the evil influences that lurk among us. I watched the news with interest for the first time. I felt such compassion for his children. Who could ever forget Little John, John saluting his father’s coffin? We all cried with him.

Great_Alaska_Earthquake_Fourth_Ave_Anchorage

Anchorage Alaska

The following spring, on Good Friday, there was a massive earthquake in Alaska. It seemed that the earth opened up and tried to swallow parts of the city. I lived in British Columbia and we were all told to stay away from the water because a tidal wave was coming. For a few hours we waited, our ears tuned to the news. I remember trying to imagine what a wall of water would look like. I did not see the rise of the water, but a town not too far away, Port Alberni, sustained a lot of damage, and lives were lost.  This was the first natural disaster that touched me. This event opened my eyes to the power of nature. I learned that this earth we call home is fragile and volatile. I learned that disasters in one country have a global effect.

The third event that affected my thinking was the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Such an incredible event, watched around the world as the Eagle landed softly. life-lunar-landingThe next day, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module and spoke the now famous words “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” The universe opened up for me that day. The vastness of space seemed incredible to this small town teenager. I felt tiny and yet part of something cosmic.

Each of the three events broadened my thinking. My world grew larger and I became part of the global interconnection we all feel. I know I became a global citizen during that time.

The war in Vietnam escalated while I was a teenager. The protests and marches of the sixties were more significant to me because my awareness of the world had expanded. It is important that we all understand that a famine in Somalia is a world problem, that a Tsunami in Japan, an earthquake in Haiti or a war in Afghanistan or Vietnam affect people wherever they live, or at least they should. We are all part of a global community and we need to step in and help when the need arises.

I believe that we all have events that influenced and shaped us and possibly changed our outlook of the world. The tragedy of 911 was another such event. I feel we are also influenced by the music we listen to. I spent a lot of time listening to folk songs, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan. What do you remember? What influenced your thinking?

(images provided by Google images)

This post is part of the Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember, Other Posts in the challenge are:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

I Will Listen to the Signs Next Time.

The ominous sunset was a sign, a foreshadow of doom. But I had heard that old adage: ‘Red sky at night, a sailor’s delight” so I took a few photos and went to bed with a smile. Would it matter that I was on a road trip and not a cruise?

Time would tell…
ominous sunset

Our chosen route that day was the back roads from Likely to Barkerville.The Gold Rush Route over the mountain and through the pass.

In the cute little town of Likely, we crossed a river and found a strange sight: there in the middle of the rushing water… a stop sign.. curious indeed. Foreshadow maybe?

is this a sign? I mean, a warning? A foreshadow of trouble ahead?

We picked up a couple of things at a small store near the gas station. There on a bulletin board, my eyes fell on a little notice “road to Barkerville closed”. I asked an old guy sitting in a rocking chair about the sign. “Oh, thats an old sign, from last winter, it’s always closed in the winter. Probably forget to take it down.” What a relief.

A snake crossed my path as I walked to the car. I thought I heard it chuckle.

Hee Hee hee.. sucker..

Hee Hee hee.. sucker..

The sign just out of town did not worry me, “we are on an adventure” I laughed at the sign.

Wilderness road

The tree across the road did not worry me either and we easily moved it to the side.

The tree across the road did not worry me either and we easily moved it to the side.

Have you ever seen those signs; “Watch for Falling Rock?”  Well, there was no sign that day, just the fallen rock.  It was starting to get creepy. Was this a sign, a warning? a foreshadowing?rocks on road

Then the rain started. The road turned into a muddy, pothole filled mess.

The road was muddy and the sky grew dark.

The road was muddy and the sky grew dark.

We drove for an hour through the rain. No visible mountains, no other traffic, not one car. in fact, not another sign of life anywhere. I felt we were alone in the world. Even the birds were no where to be seen..

Just after the rain stopped, a mudslide stopped us. There was a tree sitting in the middle of the road. Not scary, but it did however get my attention. Another foreshadow of what was to come? Naw, this is the worst it can get.. right?

No problem, we squeezed past the tree on the narrow dirt road.

No problem, we squeezed past the tree on the narrow dirt road.

We were too far along to turn back now, only twenty five kilometers to Barkerville, I was releived and relaxed, threw some lively tunes on the radio and started singing along.

I had my eyes closed when he hit the brakes. I bolted upright, my eyes flew open. What was the matter?

The road was gone, washed down the mountain into the canyon far below!

where is the road

Half the road washed into the canyon, was this other half safe?

Safely past the washed out road, more trouble, bigger trouble.

Road block

The hard part was driving around the cement roadblock. The choices: drive on the mountain or the embankment.

I refused to stay in the car while he inched his way over the broken road, on the edge off the embankment. I stood by and watched.

It is funny the things that run through your mind as you watch a scene like this, off in the middle of the mountains, not a soul around….In the middle of worrying about him, I thought.. “Oh no.. What about me?” I knew at that moment I should have grabbed my survival kit, I should have grabbed some water and some snacks. and my phone! All I could think about was me. I thought, if he goes over,  I have to walk twenty or so kiloneters alone in these mountains. AND it is already getting late, it will be dark before I make it out.

“I NEED A FLASHLIGHT!!….  I screamed. but he didn’t hear me. I held my breath and prayed.

The good news is: he made it, I jumped back in the car just in time to see my reward for a harrowing day. Next time I see a foreshadow, a warning, I will pay attention…. maybe.

The hard part was driving around the cement roadblock. The choices: drive on the mountain  or the embankment.

Are You Stuck Behind a Wall?

Heartbreak and pain are good teachers.

It has been over a year since my world exploded. The trauma set me adrift in a storm, I was tossed about in a whirlwind of emotion and pain.  Even though I had done nothing wrong, I felt like I had failed at life.

Once the raw pain subsided, I was left with a dull ache in my heart and a lot of broken pieces. Looking back at that first few weeks, I know I was scared. My carefully planned future dissolved. Self-pity overwhelmed me. I did not know how to go on. I cried out to all who would listen:

“Poor me”  “Why me?” “It’s not fair”.

Unforgiveness became a stumbling block. I wanted revenge. I was tripping over the bricks of anger, shame and worry that had fallen on my path. wall

If I left the bricks on the road, they would pile up and become a wall blocking my way. I did not want to get stuck and be unable to move forward in life. I did not want to wallow in sorrow, bitterness and depression. I did not want to harden my heart.

I saw that wall starting to form. The way seemed dark and forboding.

I saw that wall starting to form. The way seemed dark and foreboding.

In the midst of my moaning, I heard that “still small voice”.

While I was still crying out in despair, I came to realize that I had a choice. I could continue to build a wall with bricks of unforgiveness and anger or I could build a bridge to a new future.

I chose to start working on a bridge. With much prayer, I started removing the bricks from my path The first step, for me was forgiveness. 

bridge of courageIt is not easy to forgive when the pain is deep. It is not easy to forgive someone who has hurt so many people.

I learned that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. By forgiving, I was not condoning his actions; it simply meant I would no longer seek restitution. I released the debt owed to me. I set myself free to take the next step toward my future.

It took courage to let go of the past and embrace a new road. Wallowing in the pit was easy but I am blessed to have friends who offered me their hand and helped me climb out of the pit.  I am blessed with friends who are walking the road with me and praying with me. I now have a new hope and lots of love.

My prayer is for any of you who find yourself stuck behind a wall of negative emotions. I pray you will find release with forgiveness as the key to breaking down the wall.

I have found that unforgiveness is the mortar that holds the bricks of anger and resentment together. It is time to free yourself. It is time to forgive and move into your destiny, your future.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”