Manna from Heaven?

Tonight I’ve been up to some random things. This image is a mixture of thoughts and ideas that I was having for the past couple of days.

First of all, I wanted to try a Hawaiian dancer because of the skirt, but then I decided I liked it without all of the lines that delineated the raffia. I thought this was more fun… it kind of reminds me of something you’d see on the Flintstones.

The leis around her neck is actually something I pieced together using a real photograph of a tiny segment of a leis I found online – and the flower in her hair was a real hibiscus. I don’t really care for the color mixtures here, but I’d already illustrated the woman and done her coloring, and I didn’t feel like going back to change it. If I ever try to repeat the process I’ll probably use a different colored leis.

Now for the part that’s really random. I started watching the show ‘The UnXplained’ and learned that it literally rains fish in Yoro, Honduras. Not just once, and not just once in a while, but about 4 times a year.

I realize that this woman is not from Honduras, but I thought it was more fun to use something tropical because – well – fish rain sounds kind of tropical to me. And weird.

But the thing that really got me was the fact that the people of Yoro don’t worry so much about how this happens (which, of course, I am still wondering) – but they celebrate the fish rain – and they eat it. It’s like free food, falling from the sky, for everyone!

It reminded me of the Biblical reference of ‘manna’ – some form of nourishment that fell from Heaven for the Israelites. While fish aren’t really manna, what’s important here is that the people of Yoro just appreciate the food, and they don’t waste their precious time trying to solve the mystery behind it.

I wanted my piece to reflect that, because it was kind of a lesson to me – to just appreciate the good things that happen, or even life in general… and stop trying to find answers all of the time.

I guess it’s human nature to complicate things by dissecting and analyzing them, but the story of the people of Yoro made me step back and realize… hey, just enjoy! Eat!

Anyway, that’s the story. And I think that whether the girl in my image is from Yoro, or Hawaii, or even Timbuctoo, she is smiling with gratitude and saying…

“Look! It’s raining fish! Heat up the grill because it’s time for a feast!”

That’s about all for now. Thank you for reading!

Until later,

Silver Linings

I thought that I’d take a break from my fictional story this afternoon, and write about something that has been on my mind lately (non-fiction). 

As many (or most) of you already know, I started this blog back in 2016 for the purpose of sharing the story of my journey into recovery, and my newfound belief in God.

Halfway into that same year, I was inspired by the work of several photographers on WordPress, and I started another new journey – I began to dabble in photography. In doing so, I began learning Photoshop, and I found that I enjoyed manipulating photographs – possibly even more than I did taking them. 

My story of recovery continued, as did my many photo-manipulations, and the blog stayed pretty much the same for several years. 

During that time, I started college as an adult – a very mature (old) adult – with a major in graphic design. While it turned out that this area of study was not really what I had anticipated, I rediscovered my interest in psychology, and I went that route instead.

I’ve written about all of this, and I don’t want to be redundant – as redundancy is a bit of the subject matter of this post – but that’s the story in case anyone hasn’t heard it before. (yawn)

Onto now. More recently, I took what I had learned (and am still learning), in illustration and a visual communication course, and began to dabble in THAT – which almost brings us up to speed.

During my community college years (hanging out with the young people), I also took a creative writing class. I’m not an avid reader, mind you, and I never really thought about writing much until I started sharing my story of recovery.

The main reason I wanted to try this class was to see if I could turn my real life story into fiction somehow, using symbolic archetypes, so that I wasn’t always saying the word “I.” 

Trust me, it gets old. I chuckle when I read those “How to Increase Traffic on Your Blog” posts that say “never talk about yourself.” That’s pretty hard when your blog is about your own personal journey!

What I also discovered is that once you tell your story, you either have to move on, or keep repeating things… and that is where the feelings of redundancy came in. It felt as though I was trying to find new ways to say the same thing. Not to mention the fact that you begin to feel “stuck in the past,” when the past is all you refer to.

Anyway, the most recent shift that’s taken place is the addition of fictional writings – and these are all written through trial and error… so no judging! Honestly, I’d love to call my blog “Learning to Write,” as that is kind of what I’m using the blog for these days, but if history repeats itself – this could change at any minute.

So, now I’m getting to my recent thoughts. I began to think that maybe it’s not exactly kosher to constantly change the purpose or the content of the blog. I mean, is that like a bait and switch tactic? I don’t know. But that has never been my intention.

Furthermore, since “the days of the virus,” I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what could help me – and possibly others – overcome the weirdness of this new life, and the strange emotions that surface. 

I think I hit the nail on the head the other day when I labeled mine “melancholy,” because that’s kind of what it feels like. Then again, it could just be because I turned 60 in all this madness – and it’s simply a developmental phase I’m going through. Who knows?

Anyway, as I pondered (overthought) all of this, I asked myself why I was enjoying writing fiction so much lately, and there was one simple answer. 


It felt like a slight AHA moment, but maybe I “imagined” that. Ha! Seriously though, what if the remedy that I’ve been looking for, the miracle cure that could help me – and possibly others – overcome the weirdness of this new life, and the strange emotions that surface, is “the use of imagination.”

Whether it be story or essay writing, poetry, art, illustration, photography, or… whatever, when we find that “something” that helps us open and nurture our imagination, we gain even more in the process.

I don’t know about you, but when I imagine a place that I’ve never been to, or a cast of characters that couldn’t possibly exist, I begin to feel something old and familiar creeping in, that thing that seemed to be missing – that I couldn’t quite put my finger on before… my sense of purpose.


That’s about all for now, and thank you for reading if you made it to here!

I figured I’d get my “thought sharing” out of the way so that I don’t bog down my next story excerpt with too much personal talk at the end. Although I still might… you just never know.

Anyway, I used a manipulated photograph that I shared back in 2018 for my featured image. I’m pretty sure it’s a variation of lights that I shot from a moving car. It seemed to represent “silver linings” pretty well.

And I think I may have found something that I was looking for in all of my (over)thinking recently… so it’s a silver lining indeed.

Until later,


Act as if it were impossible to fail.

Dorothea Brande

A phrase that is often heard in recovery is “fake it till you make it.” It’s also said another way, which is to “act as if.” In other words, if you are working toward a goal (sobriety, for example), act as if it has already happened. I think the theory behind this relates to the power of positive thoughts and manifestation.

Ironically, and speaking of manifestation, the day after I shared my thoughts about being on the lookout for “new life” in my post, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, my son announced that some baby birds had arrived in our backyard.

It was so exciting! When I went outside to check them out, one of the babies hopped clumsily behind a wood pallet in our vegetable garden. He seemed nervous (probably because we have a cat!), and he slowly made his way up our brick wall by grabbing hold of the mortar, and then briefly letting go to hop up to the next level. He had the makings of a good rock climber!

My mom and I watched as he came into view from behind the pallet, a little nervous ourselves, and we called out “fly birdie, fly!” When he was about halfway up, he let go of the wall and flapped his little wings as fast as he could, making his way to the trunk of the tree about five feet away where his parents were chirping loudly. There was definitely some turbulence in his flight, but he landed safely.

I started thinking about him, clinging to that wall the way that he did, and all I could imagine was that he was holding on in fear. He had to take a leap of faith in order to attempt that flight, and… in a sense… he was following the “fake it till you make it” rule. Would he fly or would he fail? He’d never know until he flapped those wings and tried. He had to “act as if” in order to find out.

Thinking about this little bird made me realize that “acting as if” might also refer to the simple act of “trying.” My middle son and I both have some deep-seated (and self-sabotaging) belief that in order to do something, we need to do it perfectly. We need to be an expert before we’ll even try. We even talked about this recently, and I think that both of us have held ourselves back from fulfilling a few of our dreams because of this mindset.

If I were that baby bird, for example, I’d peruse the local library looking for books on flying. Does the wind need to be in my favor? Which way should my wings be flapped… up and down, or down and up? And how do I land? These are the kinds of questions I would ask, and I’d look for the answers in books. Or by talking to experts. Or maybe by watching YouTube videos.

But, as that baby bird proved, sometimes you need to act as if. Fake it till you make it. Flap those wings as if you’ve flown a million times before… and see what happens. And he did.

About the Image

I’ve been working on my FLY image for a couple of days now. I’ve been wanting to try some new images that combine photographs and illustrations – so I used an old photo that I took from a Ferry in Texas, and I added a pair of wings that I made in illustrator. Then I sent it through several apps, including Photoshop, and added overlays, coloring, paint effects, and who knows what else.

Do I love what I produced? Not really. But as I stressed myself out and reworked the image again and again, I realized that it was the perfect example of “acting as if.”

I told myself “Just finish it. Believe it will work. Tomorrow will be a new day and there will be a new image to work on and this one won’t even matter.” So, I think I learned a little lesson from my thoughts.

It’s ok to just TRY.

Nothing will ever be perfect, but it can be perfectly complete. And it is.

That’s about all for tonight. Thank you for reading!

Until next time…
Peace & Love!