Posted by: codecalla | October 18, 2019

There’s a Tiger on my Wall

There’s a tiger on my wall–well, more of a small diamond shaped mirror inscribed with a tiger.  He looks out and compels me to write, to focus, to push through the barriers that I create.  Ironic that I’m excellent at creating barriers when I want to create.

A few themes come to mind tonight…first is acknowledging that through all of my faults I am learning through experiences.  I find myself thrown about by events beyond my control and even the challenges of determinism vs. free will cannot always make inroads into my anxiety.

Another theme is combating the idea of laziness…that perhaps I’m just lazy and that’s why I am not completing anything–once again, casting blame upon myself for my lack of creation.  For the past few years I’ve been working 3, 4, and 5 jobs at once, so I know it’s not laziness.  It’s being overwhelmed.  And some have said laziness doesn’t exist as we define it–there’s something else going on…so there’s that.

Another theme that confronts me is tolerance.  At what point does a tolerant person set boundaries?  I consider myself tolerant, but I also have boundaries.  I find myself despairing in discordant times.  I myself prefer harmony, but how can we pretend to be harmonious in times of suffering?

I have lost three of my best companions in life–my beloved Dickens, Boo, and Lina, to diseases of old age in cats since 2016.  I have new companions, who I also feel are the best companions, but I still miss my beloveds.  October is a sad month for me, but I have felt the losses of past human loved ones ease with time–but October is once again a sad month of remembrance.  Sometimes I feel them reaching out to me with a laugh, a smile, or something that I think they’d enjoy.  So hopefully it will become a month of joy and happy remembrances.

Writing through loneliness helps concentrate the energy, I think.  What kind of energy do I want to put out there?  Healing, loving energy?  Joyful energy?  Compassionate energy?  Kindness?  I feel that I fail at these when I find myself angry at situations beyond my control.  Accepting the anger as part of me seems the pathway out of the dark woods.  So I am angry.  Accepting the grief that I hold within, as if a secret, is another key.  I am filled with sorrow.

There’s a tiger on my wall and he’s pushing me through the barriers–encouraging me to be courageous.  To do the things that scare me…so I will try.




Posted by: codecalla | January 24, 2018

Adventures Continue

Lately I’ve been reading scores of books via my e-reader, especially from library apps that make it easier to borrow.  One of my favorite apps is Overdrive, which syncs with my library and I can borrow at will and read from a comfortable position.  The stacks of books around my apartment get higher and higher, and the electronic book seems an easy fix for the moment.

I’ve recently taken up interest in quilting, getting a lesson from my aunt on sewing and piecing techniques.  The quilt that I started as a lesson is not yet finished, but that has more to do with getting strep throat than it does lack of interest.  I now have to rework the stacks of books and make room for a crafting area.  So I have been working on de-cluttering, which is difficult because I have stuff that I love and stuff that just gets in the way.  So it’s an effort to organize.

I’ve also recently taken a workshop on beading, and managed to weave a bracelet.  I think creative endeavors take the sting out of life’s obstacles and make it more interesting.  Rather than only be the sum of a paycheck, I am working my way through new skills.  I’m hopeful to find more constant work, and thus have more time to devote [without anxiety] to creative work.  Breaking through creative blocks [not lack of inspiration, but lack of concentration] is my current situation.

Peace and love to all.



Posted by: codecalla | November 19, 2017

Mini Adventures

Recently I’ve been working on mini-adventures, trying to shake off the dust of the everyday grind and find my creative sparks.  Or, I’m engaging in world class procrastination…what you will.

Today I embarked upon the adventure of watercolours.  Well, just a two hour class, really.  I have much to learn, young grasshopper self, heh.  With watercolours, it seems that the colours fade quickly and getting the right mix of colours is important.  Unfortunately, I find myself at a loss on the color wheel, because I haven’t memorized it.  More colours means more diversity and creativity, which is beautiful.  Also, brushes…how do I handle the brush to get an even color or stroke?  If I’m too forceful, it looks like a glob…so watercolour is challenging, but interesting.

So in the future, I will continue to try new things, keep working at those things I’m not good at and maybe, eventually, I will create something I love.  Until then…here are my attempts.  One is a predrawn sketch, and the other, my attempt at a colour wheel.

Posted by: codecalla | November 15, 2017


What does courage mean?  Does it mean facing our deepest fears and coming out unscathed?  Does it mean running away, and then turning back again?  Courage happens in the smallest acts.  For a writer, it means braving the loneliness of writing, listening to the characters’ voices, and making decisions or following their lead.

For now, my courage means moving forward, listening to the Muse, and trusting that my words, like arrows, will find their niche.

So I will string my bow, lift my arm, and try not to thwapp my forearm or cheek with the string as I release “my word hoard”–thank you, Beowulf.

Posted by: codecalla | November 10, 2017

Waste no Time

I’ve made decisions to do the things I want to do and not wait for the “perfect moment”.  So, I’ve been having more adventures and shake ups to my everyday routine.  One such shake up is learning to paint.  I’ve taken two painting sessions with a paint and sip event [no sipping for me, just painting], and plan for a few more.  I’ve also started movements on other things that a brilliant procrastinator like myself thinks of doing, but doesn’t.  Slowly, step by step, I’ll get to the important stuff.  Perhaps it was Longfellow’s poem Psalm of Life, or perhaps it’s the realization that sometimes you have to act to make things happen.



Posted by: codecalla | October 28, 2017


October is usually a sad time of year for me.  I’ve lost many loved ones during October.  Now is the time when the veil between the living and dead is lifted, when we are more aware of the finite limitations of the living world and the unlimited beyond.

If we followed the old festivals, which followed the patterns of the seasons, harvest, and natural living, we’d feel a closer connection to life.

Instead, we are encased in technological boxes, hardened by plastics, fuses, welds…if you can, take a moment and disconnect from the wired limits and view the boundless around you.  It can be terrifying, beautiful, sad, and breathtaking all at once.IMG_0876

Posted by: codecalla | October 20, 2017


How much more difficult is it to face the shadows within ourselves?  How much more difficult is it to accept that those negative feelings exist?  How much more freeing is it to recognize it and accept it?  Then, after accepting that those feelings exist, figuring out how to deal with them?  Instead of hating the self that feels negative emotions, love the self that feels.  Then ask why do I feel that particular way?  Is there anything I can do?

Acceptance and love are much more freeing than hatred and shame.  It’s like nature.  It just is.IMG_0883

Posted by: codecalla | February 25, 2017

Law does not Equal Justice

There is always a danger, when viewing laws or order as more important than people, for injustice to occur.  Arbitrarily making a decision without considering how it affects people will likely have negative outcomes.  Not always, but it is important to consider the consequences of decisions.

Justice is not necessarily legislation or the enforcement of laws.

What kind of country are we?  Voices rise up against the hatred, doubt, fear, and rage spewing forth from those who would be dictator-kings.  There are many more people embracing love and action.

Do not despair, for there are innumerable ways to help weather the tumultuous waves.

  1. Jewish cemeteries were desecrated and vandalized–within a day, money was raised for repair by concerned citizens [also a large part of the Muslim community] and many others offered their assistance
  2. National monuments were vandalized with graffiti–the National Park preservation service is repairing them and cleaning the monuments; police are investigating the graffiti, which they think is the work of one person.
  3. We are inundated with negative news stories 24/7.   Look for the promise of our humanity.  There are many things that we can get upset about, but we also have a great capacity for helping others.  Look for the small things, good things that you can accomplish in your area.  Look for organizations that may help in issues you care about and donate time, money, service, etc.
  4. There are people doing some bad things, but there are more people trying to help.  Don’t let the a**holes have a louder voice.  Hatred and anger do not change hearts, other than your own, by increasing your bitterness.  Focus on the good and try to do good.


Posted by: codecalla | December 20, 2016


The worry about this country and whether or not it’s falling apart and that people are divided is a false dichotomy.  People behave very differently in real life apart from online behaviors.  It’s only when people believe fervently what they read without question and then carry out their inclinations that we run into trouble.

America is filled with good people of all faiths, genders, ages, races, and political persuasions.  None of the hatred and vitriol that appear online, have I personally witnessed or experienced.  That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, or that there are not people who have been attacked after a particularly unpleasant election.  These things should be addressed and people should not inflict pain on others, nor gaslight them into believing they are not suffering an injustice.

America is bigger than an election.  It has a big heart.  This heart is what hurts when we see people in pain and try to help them.  This heart is what asks Americans to do what they can for their country without asking what can be done for them.  Is this a fantasy?  Is this the real life?  Is this a Queen song?

I think that the rhapsody of the American people will have different voices, hurts, troubles, and conflicts, but that we can still work together.  Get out of your head, your computer, your phone and look around you.  There is work that can be done close to you.  There are people who need help and things that can be changed, injustices that can be fought for everyone.  We can be kind, empathetic, and understanding.  We can choose strength over weakness–strength of character that chooses to forgive, rather than hold grudges.  Let this holiday season be one of warmth, love, kindness, and happiness, even if our year was tumultuous and painful.

Love and Blessings during this Holiday Season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.img_0520

Posted by: codecalla | October 29, 2016

16 years

For about 16 years I had the privilege of having Dickens as a companion.  I’m filled with grief, wandering around my apartment that feels empty because he is not here.  I have two girl kitties that need attention and love.  I’m trying to provide that, but apprehensive.  One of my cats, Lina, is a “senior” kitty, although younger than Boo and Dickens were.  Loss is difficult to face.

I’ve been fortunate to have kind friends, students, and family who have reached out.

For the last 9 years or so, I have paid close attention to Dickens and his health.  He had surgery, which was traumatic for both of us.  Now that that part of my attention is no longer required, I feel at a loss.  “I don’t know what to do.”

Crying has helped to a degree, but Dickens was my sweet boy.  It’s difficult to face the loss and loneliness his passing has left.  I’m thankful that he is no longer in pain and hopefully he’s being looked after by my loved ones who have also passed.

It’s not even been a week, and I have had to force myself through daily functions, work, and grading.  My heart is not in it, but I am thankful to have had the privilege of knowing him.

The loss of my sweet boy hurts, but he made my life much richer by being in it.

Dickens, my Shah, beautiful boy…I love you.

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