LUGGAGE Lady

Contemplations about Life, Love, & the Pursuit of Meaningful Existence…

Archive for the category “Writing”

A Butterfly’s Rousing Journey

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Butterflies know precisely when to leave the safety of their cocoons, gloriously unfurling an exquisite new form and fearlessly trusting those untested appendages. When I sprouted my post-college “wings” and headed starry-eyed to the City of Angels, I did so with slightly less gallantry. My mode of transport was an Olds Cutlass Sierra, and my trailblazer spunk came with a convenient disclaimer: If things didn’t pan out, I could skitter back to my midwestern “cocoon” — no questions asked. How different that departure might have felt had I known there was no return option? And what if my destination required me to abandon my comfort zone completely, trekking to a destination foreign in every way, with little more than the clothes on my back and a hope-laden heart?

How much would you sacrifice to seek freedom and opportunity?

For Shermin Nahid Kruse‘s parents, who emigrated from Iran to Canada in the late 80s, the answer was — everything. Today, their accomplished daughter attributes her success to a baba and maman who gave up livelihood, family, and country so she and her sisters could pursue dreams unencumbered by their homeland’s oppressive regime.

From the tender age of eleven, Shermin embraced her new environment with grit, grace, and adaptability. Now, in addition to a resume that leaves me wishing I could package and sell such ambition, she’s written a compelling book that interlaces mother and daughter perspectives of Iran before, during, and after the Islamic Revolution.

Her novel, Butterfly Stitching, makes one feel like a privileged friend, granted special access down a hidden corridor to a colorfully complex and otherwise inconceivable world. She skillfully drops her readers into tenacious Persian women’s shoes, swaying at once to the tight-knit cultural beat with our senses delightfully piqued. We shop at bustling markets, prepare and savor ethnic meals, host secret parties, dance to illegal music, recite forbidden poetry, paint heartrending emotion, suffer a passionless arranged marriage, find and lose true love — all while somehow maintaining positivity against a backdrop rife with fear, repression, betrayal, and bloodshed.

If you’re like me and routinely invent excuses for postponing goals, her rousing journey will replenish your soul’s gusto, transforming yesterday’s paper-thin excuses into possibilities. Thanks to this inspiring author and dear friend, I shall never utter the words “I can’t” again!

♥♥♥

What leap of faith have you taken to achieve your dreams? Tell me about it and possibly win a signed copy of Butterfly Stitching!

♥ LL

(Photo from our latest travels: The Dark Hedges in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland)

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Might We Dance Again?

IMG_7582  Pouring heart and soul upon the page

Unmasked for all to judge

At times, feeling inconsequential

Misunderstood

But you opened your arms

With unimaginable support

Erasing those fears

Swaying and twirling

Generously sharing your own inspiring insight

Our introspective dance drawing us close

Pouring heart and soul upon the page

In pursuit of meaningful existence

Hand-in-hand

Might we dance again?

♥♥💃♥♥ 

Oh, how I’ve missed my WordPress World!!!! Thank YOU ALL — from the depths of my wandering soul — for not abandoning Luggage Lady during my lengthy hiatus! I very much look forward to reading your beautifully uplifting, thought-provoking blogs once again. And for my cherished readers, it is my sincerest hope to publish something of value here at least once a month. 😘

 

For Salvaging My Dream…

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Pecking computer keys in the wee hours

Few aware she even writes

Hunkered in the shadows

Defining herself by “other things”

An artist?

Unworthy!

Just a floundering girl

Filling her document folder

Material swiftly abandoned

Homeless amidst

Shock and awe journalism media

Wavering attention spans

Preoccupation

Isolation gradually devouring

Until a one-dimensional figure

Staring idly

At pulsing cursor

Was the uninspired hull that remained…

***

Then I found YOU!

Generous souls

Benevolently lifting

Hailing

From every corner of the globe

Rejuvenating with spirited support

In this frenzy-paced world

YOU selflessly carve out a moment of your day

To read, offer feedback, and gracefully pass through with a loving nod

YOU hoist my bar higher each time

Whether near or far

Our Connection

Propels my heart

Fingers fluttering across keyboard

In creative rebirth

Delivered by your welcoming chorus

Yet I stand before you

Struggling to articulate…

How do I sufficiently thank

YOU

♥ CHERISHED READERS ♥

For Salvaging My Dream?

Hearts Shielded by Anonymity

 

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Someone recently told me, “There are two types in this world: friendly people and busy people.”

I was perplexed. Segregating two admirable traits appeared paradoxical. Keep in mind, I was raised by entrepreneurs whose mantra still is: “The harder you work, the luckier you become.” Of equal importance, was being kind and respectful to every single person along the way.

Clearly, I embarked upon adulthood sporting some rather thick rose-colored glasses. A hefty dosage of chilled reception would quickly dim their hue. At least now I had a tangible explanation. Apparently, the fundamental demands of existence left some folks — otherwise engaged. That wouldn’t stop me from throwing my heart in the ring.

Still, when basic attempts to connect with humanity falter, crawling into a dark cave can be tempting. I mean, who would even ponder putting themselves out there on a more intimate level? Whether seeking love or sharing an impassioned endeavor, baring one’s soul in anticipation of acknowledgment is a gut-wrenching pursuit.

Yet, as the days grow shorter, I wonder who teeters in their rockers mulling fewer regrets. Those who squinted into the blaze of indifference, risking ridicule by bravely belting out their songs? Or those who cautiously averted their gazes — hearts shielded by anonymity?

Reeling with Gratitude

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I confess: I’ve spent a lifetime playing it “safe.” Unless I could spy a clear-cut path to assured “success,” I shied away from “risky” opportunities. In regards to my writing, I surmised, better to be unread than to have my creativity slaughtered by critics!

Then, I met my husband and tried to wrap my mind around his life-story:

A high school oops given up for adoption…a ward of the state for seven months…adopted by a couple who would divorce by his seventh birthday…raised solely by his adoptive father who turned to the bottle to ease his solitude…beaten routinely…escaping to join the Air Force…only to return home and helplessly watch his only parent succumb to cancer…orphaned at twenty-three…after which he would track down biological parents who ultimately wanted nothing to do with him…

???!!……………………………………………………………….!!???

First off,  I could not fathom how a man forced to grow up with zero maternal love was capable of loving me so completely. Furthermore, how did a person raised under a banner of rejection and abuse achieve such sky-high dreams? I, a child blessed with a “Beaver Cleaver-type upbringing,” had known no such hardship. How could I begin to understand the anguish of not having a soul on this planet to call family?

I’m not qualified, I silently panicked! What could I offer — besides unwavering love?

I did the only other thing I felt capable of — I started writing a fictionalized version of his experience. What started out as an education about the lingering wounds of adoption, evolved into an endeavor that superseded fear. One I will never give up on until it is worthy of ALL who have walked — for whatever reason — in abandonment’s painful shoes.

Rehashing a manuscript, again and again, can leave one numb. Starting this blog inspired me to keep my writing fresh. Where I struggled in my fictional world, here I found salvation. But NEVER in my wildest dreams did I expect to find such an incredibly supportive community…

Reeling with gratitude, I can only bow my head and say — THANK YOU!

***

Special Thanks to:

Teacher as Transformer who nominated me for the Very Inspiring and Sunshine Blogger Awards. He is truly the teacher we all wished we had in our younger days. I am elated to have discovered him — better late than never!

Global Light Minds who nominated me for Blog of the Year. Wendy’s daily snippets are my number one inspirational indulgence. Follow her, you won’t be disappointed!

***

I wish to nominate the following blogs:

Eric M Vogt’s Blog — His intriguing background captured me from the git-go, but his amazing writing will change your world for the better…

Untetherednunbroken — Beautiful, eloquent, soul-stirring and so very real…

The Silent Muse — An incredibly prolific writer. My finger hurts from hitting the LIKE button so often…

Aarthi — I have no idea how she writes so consistently beautiful every single day…

MindRetrofit7 — Add another star already, Angel!

Global Light Minds — Add another star, Wendy!

Withering Words of Mind — Kent is new on the scene but certainly not new to the written word, what a magical find…

For all those I missed in this talented pool…or haven’t had the privilege of discovering yet, I can’t wait to read your delightful words!! XO

One Lovely Blog Award

I am humbled by the two beautiful writers who nominated me for this award:

Aarthi  & Mary Hennessey

Their blogs are works of art and truly inspiring…

* * *

Seven Random Things about Luggage Lady:

(1) My three siblings and I had tickets for AA flight #191 on May 25, 1979. But, at the last-minute, my parents relented to our pleas to miss a few days of school and meet up with them earlier, changing our itinerary to the same flight # on Wednesday the 23rd. The Friday departure crashed on takeoff…

(2) In my fantasy world, I’d sing like Alison Krauss…

(3) I’m a Libra, making me a crazy writer — always second-guessing…

(4) I have a degree in Speech Communications and am still terrified of public speaking…

(5) I’ve done three back-flips out of a perfectly good airplane…

(6) I capsized aboard a Hobie Cat when I worked for Club Med, resulting in emergency surgery and thirty-seven stitches in the Bahamas…

(7) The sight of an elderly couple clasping one another’s hand puts a lump in my throat…

* * *

I wish to nominate the following talented bloggers:

(1) wordsofnelle

(2) simplyblessed

(3) Global light Minds

(4) Teacher as Transformer

(5) Another Wandering Soul

(6) thelittletable

(7) Flight of a Magical Bird

(8) MindRetrofit7

(9) Venkataraman L.N.

(10) daydreamdaisies

(11) untetherednunbroken

I am so grateful for the amazing community of artists and kind readers I’ve had the privilege of crossing paths with here. A special thanks to my little brother at Live Action Digital who came up with my luggage lady handle and encouraged me — as only a fellow artist can…

A Positive Difference

 

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“To have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of each person with whom I interact.”

I stumbled across an old resume the other day and had to smile at this line typed beneath my “career objective.” Fortunately, I’m gainfully employed, but the words made me think.

How does one better the world? Chipper greetings? Common courtesies? Respect for all? Being a stalwart friend, coach, teacher, sibling, parent, mentor…? Donating to as many charities as financially feasible? Volunteering even when time is sparse? All of the above??

Sometimes, how to contribute to the greater good overwhelms. Small gestures are surely cumulative, but it’s easy to become daunted by the big picture when you’re standing in the middle.

I’m blessed beyond measure, yet I still struggle to realize my true potential. Why do I wallow in the quagmire of chasing status and stuff when I know both leave me unfulfilled? Because believing I possess anything worthy of making a viable difference is so difficult.

When seeking our best selves, Abraham Maslow boldly proclaimed: “What a man can be, he must be!”

Writing has been my lifelong passion, as humbling as it is energizing. What comes out as chattering jumble in person, benefits from the trusty delete button. On good days, I can hardly keep pace, pecking frantically at my keyboard. On others, my words are halted and crudely phrased. But I persevere because this is the “be” that I must.

I dream of touching hearts and inspiring minds, of evoking deep thought and gratitude. And I will never give up on my quest to generate a positive spark in this magical life experience.

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