31 To him who keeps an orchis’ heart

Written late summer 1858 – this is the last poem of Fascicle I. And a lovely ode to a flower sends us on our way –

 

To him who keeps an Orchis’ heart –
The swamps are pink with June.

[Emily Dickinson]

I wasn’t sure what an orchis was, so I looked it up –

orchis orchid flower

In the orchid family – it looks to me like a mix between an orchid and a snapdragon. Often pink, sometimes purple.

Let this be inspiration to buy yourself some flowers today and keep a flower’s heart with you – it’s almost June, but there’s something about getting a blossom or a bouquet, even more so when it comes from yourself.

Peace and Love –

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29 All these my banners be

Late summer 1858, last sheet of Fascicle I.

 

All these my banners be.
I sow my – pageantry
In May –
It rises train by train –
Then sleeps in state again –
My chancel – all the plain
Today.

[Emily Dickinson]

The chancel is a part of a church reserved for choir and clergy. Nature is the community, the decoration, the noble looker on. I love the image of a little woman directing trees and flowers and grasses to grow and blossom, like a conductor.

Joy and peace –

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25 A sepal – a petal – and a thorn

This playful ditty was written in the late summer of 1858.

 

A sepal – petal – and a thorn
Opon a common summer’s morn –
A flask of Dew – A Bee or two –
A Breeze – a’caper in the trees –
And I’m a Rose!

[Emily Dickinson]

Whatever the weather may be, it’s a beautiful day to get a little drunk on nature!

Peace –

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24 Frequently the woods are pink

Written in summer 1858, copied into Fascicle I. An ode to Nature’s constancy and variety –

 

Frequently the woods are pink –
Frequently are brown.
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.
Oft a head is crested
I was wont to see –
And as oft a cranny
Where it used to be –
And the Earth – they tell me –
On it’s axis turned!
Wonderful Rotation!
By but twelve performed!

[Emily Dickinson]

Namaste –

 

4 I have a bird in spring

Hold on to your hats, friends, this is a good one. And how fitting for this time of year? Mhm. Written about 1854, age 23. Savor this one, let it soak into you, let yourself imagine all that this bird represents. Levels.

 

I have a Bird in spring
Which for myself doth sing –
The spring decoys.
And as the summer nears –
And as the Rose appears,
Robin is gone.

Yet do I not repine
Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown –

Learneth beyond the sea
Melody new for me
And will return.

Fast in a safer hand
Held in a truer Land
Are mine –
And though they now depart,
Tell I my doubting heart
They’re thine.

In a serener Bright,
In a more golden light
I see
Each little doubt and fear,
Each little discord here
Removed.

Then will I not repine,
Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown
Shall in a distant tree
Bright melody for me
Return.

[Emily Dickinson]

Love love love –

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Spring Pleats in Cold Weather

Spring is in the air! The days are getting longer, the sun shines higher in the sky, and the world feels like it’s smiling on me when I go outside. Even though temperatures here are still flirting with freezing, I’m ready. I feel the energy, the spark, the excitement of spring – this time when the world comes back to life, people leave their homes, and the outdoors become as comfortable as indoors.

I adore this time of year, and it’s making me want to gallivant around in multi-colored tank tops and sundresses. The weather won’t permit this, however, so I’m left to find a way. I want color. I want lighter materials. But I still have to be warm; this pleated skirt provides the perfect solution. I’ve had it for years, but pleats are hot right now, so I guess it’s better than ever.

pleated skirt style

I can still wear it with boots and my super warm tights if I need to, but it has the flirty, floaty spirit of spring time.

pleated skirt style

Originally a dress, I didn’t like the drape of it, so I tucked in the straps and made myself an adjustable waist.

pleated skirt dress hack style

I used to use safety pins, but I got sick of undoing and redoing them every time I took it on or off, so I found two buttons from another shirt I was getting rid of and a little black ribbon from one of those superfluous loops sewn into the shoulder of a shirt, whipped out my mini sewing kit, and sewed it all together.

dress to skirt style hack

I can tighten or loosen it depending on how I want it to hang and how much I’ve eaten or what time of day it is, which I love – I wish clothing companies made adjustable waist clothing for adults like they do for kids.

dress to skirt style hack

dress to skirt style hack

I wear it with the closure in the back because I like the way it hangs, but sometimes – in warmer weather especially – I’ll turn it to the side or over my hip. So versatile, I love it – I’ve even worn it as a dress over a bathing suit! The length is perfect – just in the middle of my calves. Green is one of my favorite colors, and this olive color goes with everything. Since it’s still cold, I’m rockin black, but once the flowers start blooming I’ll get crazy.

dress to skirt pleats style hack

If you want a pleated skirt of your own, go to Zara, H&M, Forever 21 – really I see these everywhere, it’s just a matter of finding one that suits you. Or, if you have a dress that isn’t quite right, try folding the top under and wearing it as a skirt – it might become your new favorite thing.

pleated skirt style

Love, calm, & care –

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Conquering Depression

I remember seeing those commercials that said, “Depression hurts. Symbalta can help.” It’s true that depression hurts, and it seems like more and more people are dealing with it as our culture encourages internet connection over human connection. I don’t know if Symbalta helps, but I do know that Abilify and an assortment of other pharmaceuticals did not help me. What did help was group therapy, connecting with other people and learning the skills of mindfulness and meditation. I hope this list will help you.

  1. Look. Listen. Take a moment to realize that you’re depressed. This sounds elementary, but there have been times when I’ve eaten a few too many cookies mindlessly, only to feel worse at the end and be forced to acknowledge what I was trying to avoid all along – that I feel like shit. So stay one step ahead of the game, and call yourself out. See how it feels.
  1. Remember the truth about yourself. Depression has a nasty way of clearing out everything good from your brain, lying to you and insisting that you’re not important and a slew of other negative ideas. Look in the mirror and say, “You are a worthwhile person. You matter. You are intelligent, kind, strong, etc.” Don’t say et cetera, or do and then recognize yourself as hilarious. Just keep speaking the truth to yourself. Because you are.
  1. Do something. Meditate for ten minutes. Dance around your room. Write in your journal. Draw a picture. Box. Play a song. Go outside. Breathe deeply. Remember that you’re alive, and choose to live.

There you go, three easy steps and you’ll never be depressed again! Obviously I’m joking, that’s impossible. And implementing this is not easy. But, with practice, it does get easier, and maybe you’re able to recognize depression in a day instead of in a month. Neuroplasticity is a real thing – your brain can be rewired. And it remembers good decisions, as long as you keep making them.

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A message from myself to myself – I wrote it and got it done in the summer of 2014.

Warning: you will slip up. I sure do. Why do you think I’m writing this? But have grace. Be kind. I have a tattoo on my wrist that says “be kind to yourself.” It’s literally tattooed onto my body and I still forget! Eventually I always remember, and it doesn’t take nearly as long as it used to. It can be difficult, but kindness is what we all deserve.

Mind that this list is by no means conclusive. I do plenty of things that I didn’t write here, and it’s imperative to find what works for you – everyone is different! But this is a strong start. Now meditate your way out of those end-of-winter blues. Spring is here.

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