Dearly Beloved

 

Dearly Beloved

Shakespeare
June 23, 2001-November 21, 2017

~*~

Dearly Beloved

Dedicated to those loved and lost

Dearly beloved …
How can you have gone?
One minute living your life,
The next ~ no life to live
And in my life
A gaping, lifeless, dark hole
Where once shone your living light.
Oh, how I miss you ~
Your touch, your presence, your grace.
Such tangible moments
A sorrow sore borne.

Alas, dearly beloved,
I must go on
Minute by minute living my life
In tribute to your wisdom, love and dignity.
Gradually filling the darkness again
With the light of
Your beloved memory ~
Your beauty, your essence, your face.
For such intangible comfort
I can scarce dream.
Dearly beloved ~ I miss you.

~*~

Thank you for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Elizabeth Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

 

Hair Everywhere

Menagerie

Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?

~*~

Animals have always been an important part of my life. I grew up with a variety of dogs and cats in the house, and was around horses for many of my formative years.

In fact, I cannot imagine my life without them.

Well, I can, because for a few years during my first marriage to a man who didn’t particularly care for animals (that should have been my first clue) I lived without animals. No cats to purr in my ear. No dogs to wipe their wet noses on my business clothes. No horses to whinny at me when I walked into the barn.

Our home was spotless, pet hair-free and dull. I was miserable.

When my mother gave me a kitten, Oskar, for my 32nd birthday, my husband was mortified. When we moved into our new home and I rescued a kitten, (Princess ~ so named because she came home the weekend Princess Diana died) to be a companion for Oskar, that caused even more grief.

Needless to say the marriage ended (for a variety of reasons) and I got custody of my precious feline friends who kept my emotional head above water during a really turbulent time.

And that can be said of all the animals I’ve inn my life. Through thick and thin they are there … all they ask in return is that I give them love, feed their tummies and keep a roof over their heads. They are amazing companions.

I love them dearly for all they are to me and my new husband.

Interesting story about this one … when we were dating the animals were smitten. It wasn’t uncommon to see him park himself on the couch and immediately be surrounded in little animals. I couldn’t get anywhere near him.  This was a sign to me that he was a keeper.

So now, we have a house sprinkled with dog and cat hair, and I smell of horses every single day.

I couldn’t be happier …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Writer

Daily Prompt: The Show Must Go On

If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!)

~*~

“Cut! … What do you mean I can’t be the writer? Isn’t that the role the lead performer … and that would be me … is playing in this epic tale of the lost alphabet?”

“Huh?”

“Look … the script clearly shows that the lead performer plays the role of a writer searching for a lost alphabet deep in the heart of … well, you know all that, but I wish you’d get your other facts straight. I’m playing the part of distinguished wordsmith, Avery Happirighter, so I do believe she must be able to write?”

“Yes, of course, but you’ve misread the prompt. You can’t be the writer of the movie, you are the writer in the movie.”

Write old change“But if I’m the writer in the movie don’t I have some say in how the story is going to unfold? I mean, I’m a writer in search of the lost alphabet. Isn’t that going to require some writing?

“Yes … but not of the story. The story is already written. You are merely acting the  lead role of the writer.”

“Sure … so I’m the writer.”

“Yes.”

“But you’ve just told me I’m not allowed to be the writer.”

“OF THE MOVIE!!! (sigh) … You’re the writer in the movie.”

“So that means I can write.”

“In the movie.”

“Why didn’t you just say so?”

“I did.”

“I don’t recall it.”

“A few sentences ago. Now please, can we get on with you being the writer … in the movie. … From the top … “

“What am I doing again?”

“Searching for the lost alphabet.”

“I thought I was supposed to be writing.”

“You are … a writer searching for a lost alphabet. You don’t actually write anything … at least not at the beginning.”

“So, why don’t you just cast me as the writer who hires an adventurer to seek the lost alphabet so I can keep writing. Is Harrison Ford available?”

~*~

I had fun with this …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Gelato Fantasy

  Daily Prompt: 32 Flavours

~*~

Gelato Fantasy

Vari-coloured gelato

Tempting every taste bud.

What to choose?

Wha’d ever you want!

It’s a vacation.

It’s Venizia …

On the Calle dei Fabri …

A minute from our hotel.

Gelato twice a day.

Molto bene!

Molto delizioso!

Nuff said!

Yummmmmm ….

~*~

Honestly … ice cream will never taste the same again.

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Never of Travel

Daily Prompt: No, Thanks

Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Where, and why not?

~*~

Never is a long time.

People change. Places change.

In the mid 1990s, with the Siege of Sarajevo raging, I might have said I “never” want to go to Sarajevo.

Rush hour from our hotel window at the Radon PlazaAnd yet, in 2009 I unexpectedly joined my husband on a business trip to this battle-scarred city and my experience of it, and Bosnia-Herzagovina in general, changed my life profoundly. I found a piece of myself there I’d no idea even existed. As a result, I have a fondness for that beautiful city that goes deeper than for many other places I’ve visited.

So, to say there are places I’d never want to visit is, to my mind at least, somewhat shortsighted. You just never know when fate or circumstance will take you somewhere you never thought you’d want to visit, and how marvellous the experience will be.

Having said all that, I might add that living with adrenal fatigue the past few years has made me acutely aware of my limitations when it comes to travel.

No adventure travel. Nowhere too exotic. Nowhere I can’t eat the food. Nowhere I can’t get a good night’s sleep.

My recovering nervous system can only handle so much.

So, instead of focusing on the “never” of travel I turn my attention to what’s possible.

Never is a long time. I prefer to think that at some point in the not too distant future my health will support travelling somewhere I might never have considered because of it.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Dream Made Real

Daily Prompt: Do or Die

~*~

The Greeting

~*~

When my horse entered my life nearly nine years ago I was at a low point. The mare I’d been part-boarding for two years had died of cancer three months before; I’d lost my job 12 months earlier and I was floundering. Fortunately, my astute partner (now husband) suggested it was, perhaps, time I had my own horse; that my long-held dream come true.

I was speechless. I’d ridden most of my life and always dreamed of having a horse to call my own. And now it was coming true?

Once I’d been assured it was, we started horse shopping ~ a crap shoot if ever there was one. Still, to narrow the search I wrote down a list of what constituted my dream horse. By candidate #4 I’d found my match.

It was one of those moments out of the blue. A complete stranger told me of a Hanoverian horse breeder she knew who had, according to the criteria I’d shared, the perfect horse for me.

“Don’t make a decision until you’ve looked at this boy,” she told me.

An appointment was made and days later we drove the two hours to meet him. He was everything I wanted: four years old, dark bay, over 16 hands, schooled in dressage, and had a great temperament. I rode him. We clicked. We checked back a week later. Still a good match. A pre-purchase exam was arranged. He passed with flying colours.

The dream made real, this horse was mine. I had stewardship over the one thing I’d ever wanted ~ a horse to call my own.

The confirmation he was the one for me? His registered name: “Shakespeare.” I’m a writer. He is my muse and equine therapist.

He stays where he is!

(299 words)

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

 

 

 

Water Philosophy in Brief

Weekly Writing Challenge: Ice, Water, Steam

(Stream of consciousness philosophizing going on here.
Read at your own risk. 😉 )

 

Mutable

Who I am is not who I was. And yet, without who I was I would not be who I am.

Ice is not without its essence ~ water.

Steam is not without its essence ~ water.

Perhaps, then, it could be argued that water is the soul of ice and steam, just as the essence of my Self is the soul of my art, my writing, my equestrian pursuits.

For without the essence of Self, these aspects of my life would not exist, just as ice and steam would not exist without their essence ~ water.

Hmmm … makes a girl think. 😉

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Baa … d

Sheep herd

~*~

Aren’t you going to write something?

I don’t know what to write about.

That’s awfully rich for someone with a head full of words. You keep telling me you see things to write about all the time, and yet you can’t put pen to paper?

I can’t explain it. It’s easier said than done. The words are there, but I can’t just conjure them into something of meaning. They need to find that meaning for themselves.

Nonsense! A pathetic excuse.

It’s not nonsense. For me, at least, words cannot be conjured. They simply need to find their place. But there’s so much going on in the field of my thought right now the words feel lost. Like sheep. They need a shepherd.

Shepherds guide their flock. I thought you just said that words need to find their own place.

They do … but they need some guidance, too. It’s complicated.

Aren’t you the shepherd of your words? Don’t you need to step into that maelstrom of wooly thought and create some order?

Ah … that’s baa … d. But you are, to some degree, correct. Word herding! I’ve never thought of it that way.

Of course you haven’t, or we wouldn’t be having this ridiculous conversation. Now, herd those words into that pen, for goodness sake, and get on with it. You’re beginning to sound more like a lost sheep than the guiding shepherd you claim to be.

Perhaps you are the writer, not I.

Give me that pen.

~*~

After a bit of a drought, a free writing exercise to get the sheep moving. 😉

Nonsense, indeed, but fun all the same.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

 

Peace Rose

 

Peace Rose

~*~

“The world is bent on destruction at the hands of those who would themselves destroy …”

Grandma Rose raised her tea cup to her lips and sipped. She seemed unperturbed by her words, while I sensed my rose-coloured glasses slipping.

“Fighting for peace is not the wise course, but those who know not how to love themselves can never demonstrate love, or offer true peace, to others. It is not possible.”

I felt hopeless. She’d lived her life while most of mine was still ahead of me. The world seemingly falling apart around me. Still, I could see her point. How many times had I witnessed the mask of love a-kilter on the faces of those who felt nothing but self-loathing? Their acts of redemption couched in resentment and frosted with anger. The glass half empty with a cracked smile on its face.

Fighting for peace ~ the greatest oxymoron of all.

“What is to be done?” I asked.

Grandma Rose raised herself up, replaced her tea cup to the coffee table, and focused her attention on me.

“Love yourself. Genuinely love yourself ~ warts and all. Look inside your soul. Whatever troubles you, address it, embrace it and love it away. Even those we consider unworthy just want to be loved. They act out for attention. They act out because they don’t understand the source of their pain. If people would just look inside to find, address and love away their suffering they would feel no need to cause suffering in others. Only when the people can find this place of peace in themselves will there be peace in the world.”

A sigh rose from the depths of my own suffering; a tear pooled in my eye. I knew she was right. I had learned a long time before that love begins at home ~ the home of my soul ~ and that it resonates and colours the lives of others according to my intention. Love begins with the inner journey ~ a painful journey I understood all too well. A journey that creates empathy and a liberating knowledge of self that disengages the power of pain and sets us on a course of love in its purest sense.

Grandma Rose, ever the philosopher, noted my discomfort and offered this consolation:

“When you ask the meaningful questions, my dear, it is my privilege to give you the meaningful answers. As my wisdom is born of the inner journey so will yours be. It is a hard road but one worth travelling. Remember, the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have have them do unto you.’ As long as you live by this treatise you will not go wrong … as long as you understand how you would like to be treated … and why.”

~*~

A free-writing exercise …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

 

Lost and Found … Part II

The pathMy heart leaps. What could this exotic woodland gypsy possibly mean?

She doesn’t stop to explain, but continues her slow march through an archway of Sumac and into the thicket with the noble Chiron by her side.

This twist in our encounter intrigues me. My power to resist squelched. Chiron has shot his golden arrow into my heart and hit a bullseye. I am hooked. Whatever medicine the Wounded Healer has to offer is worth my curiosity.

So, I follow.

The walk becomes a meditation. I don’t know where we are going. I lose all track of time becoming acutely and, perhaps, even primitively aware of my surroundings. Not in a fearful flight and fight way, but with a feeling of wonder. Shards of late afternoon sunlight flash warmly through the trees. Leaves and twigs crunch underfoot along the grassy trail leading I don’t know where. Squirrels scurry in the branches overhead while crows caw their eerie cries somewhere off in the distance.

And still I follow deeper into the woods, the legion of maples and ash and pines standing sentry-like, protective and true.  Finally, we enter a large circular clearing ~ a small meadow, perhaps ~ which appears almost as if carved out for a purpose. The gypsy and her noble companion stop in the centre of the circle and turn to face me. I stand my ground some 20 feet away. A shaft of light illuminates her countenance in an ethereal, angelic way I find astonishing. I sense empathy there. Tears well. I dam them.

Chiron stands quietly beside her, his tail relaxed and brushing away the flies that dare to alight upon his muscled rump. He, too, is aglow with an energy which, though it comforts me I find difficult to comprehend. I feel a lump in my throat, and then hear the gypsy speak.

“I am Erzebet. This is Chiron. What is your name?”

I hesitate. Confused. Why is she talking to me as if we’ve never spoken before?

She repeats.

“I am Erzebet. This is Chiron. What is your name?”

Still I hesitate.

She sees my confusion and responds.

“We are now in the Sacred Circle of Chiron, the Place of Hidden Wisdom. Out of respect it is customary to introduce ourselves to each other, and thus this sacred place, before we begin. Please … ” she repeats again, ” … I am Erzebet. This is Chiron. What is your name?”

I swallow once in an attempt to clear the lump from my throat. “Grace,” I finally choke out with a degree of reluctance and then repeat for clarity … “Grace.”

Erzebet nods.

“Greetings, beautiful Grace. You are welcome in this Sacred Circle where the healing powers of love and truth are gifted to you inasmuch as you are able to receive them.”

“Whose love? Whose truth?” I ask, confused.

Erzebet looks at me quizzically.

“Why yours … of course.”

She smiles and nods her head gently in my direction to acknowledge our connection and steps away from Chiron toward the edge of the circle.

For a moment confusion continues to reign. While the horse stands quietly but for the occasional toss of his head to disarm the flies my heart beats profoundly against my rib cage as though it might burst through. I gasp for breath.

“Breathe, dear Grace,” the beautiful gypsy bids as she glides calmly toward me in a cloud of lavender perfume. “You must breathe, deeply. In through your nose to the full capacity of your lungs and out through your mouth to a complete exhale. It is the first step to healing. Come … breathe with me.”

Erzebet stops a few feet away and begins to breathe in a way that compels me to follow her lead. Her intonation is that of a soothing chant. “In … through … your … nose … breathe … into … your … heart … release …” And as we proceed and after a few of these deep, clarifying breaths my body begins to fill with an unfamiliar warmth. My feet feel heavy and glued to Mother Earth. I am grounded. My eyes closed. Feeling.

“Send your awareness to your feeling,” the gypsy directs. “Where do you feel? What do you feel? What is it telling you?”

For a moment I’m unsure what she means. I hesitate and then offer, “My jaw feels tight for some reason.”

“Good. Now,” she continues, “this tightness in your jaw … it brings with it a message, yes?”

I shrug.

“Focus gently … this pressure in your jaw has a message. It is your heart’s desire for you, in this moment. Speak it … please.”

The notion of listening to my heart through my jaw seems strange at first. How is such a thing possible?

“Do not judge, dear Grace. Let the mind go so your heart may speak freely.”

With another deep breath I make the conscious effort to clear my head and focus on this tightness in my jaw. I am impatient, I can feel that too, but again, that is my mind getting in the way. Another breath, the prison of thought cleared, a moment of peace and then … dare I speak it?

“Go on, Grace … you have something to say, I think. Please, you are safe in this place. With me. With Chiron.”

Chiron is close behind me now. I feel the warmth of his breath against the back of my neck, comforting somehow, as I exhale deeply. “I want to be able to speak freely and without judgement … that is self-judgement.” Tears mist my eyes. I choke them back. Not even these are free.

“Thank you, Grace,” assures Erzebet. “Now … we meet with Chiron. He waits.”

~*~

You asked, I delivered … here is Part II of a free writing piece started last week courtesy of Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday.

For Part I click here.

Yes, it seems there will be a Part III.

Thanks for stopping by … and a sincere thank you to those of you who encouraged a next step in the story. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014