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Just a few of the many gifts dance has given me over the years:

  • Appreciation for the art of cultures and communities different from my own
  • Long-term friendships and collaborations with creative, talented, fun, interesting, and supportive people
  • A wild delight in glitter, sparkle, light, and shadow
  • A creative outlet
  • A reason to get up and move
  • Confidence
  • Immersive, embodied experience
  • Discipline

🤎💛🧡 🍂 🍁🧶🦊🌾🧡💛🤎

Scenes from a late September walk along the Mississippi River.

May you bask in the starshine and moonbeam of the eve’s radiance!

“The first thing I’ve got to do,” said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood “is to grow my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.”

–Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865

I woke up in a “six impossible things before breakfast” sort of mood today,

managing her flamingo

so I took myself on a playdate

to the Memphis Botanic Gardens to chase wonder.

oh my ears and whiskers

She wasn’t hard to catch.

I should like to be a queen best
Cephalanthus occidentalis

That little skipper…

When I look in her eyes she goes with me to a blossom world…I’m pickin’ up good vibrations….what elation…what a sensation…”

–Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys

[This post was inspired by Kathy at Lake Superior Spirit who is playing a fun game of “Photo Shorts.” Tag. You’re it!]

Overton Park Old Growth Forest

The Monday morning hustle shuffle plays on autorepeat: traffic jamming, horns blaring, cell phone ringing, signals crossing. In the heart of the city, hidden in plain sight of the human enterprise, lies a different venture. Off the paved and trodden trails, tune down, down, down the eyes, the ears, the flesh, to receive another broadcast: the pulsing song of the heart wood is playing.

[This post was inspired by Kathy at Lake Superior Spirit who is playing a fun game of “Photo Shorts.” Tag. You’re it!]

The last day of August, a field of sunflowers beckons with all heads nodding, “Come.” A detour occurs, as she on her way somewhere forgotten, steals a moment to walk the trail and look deeply into flower faces. Worker bees go on about their dirty jobs as white butterflies aerial dance over it all.

[This post was inspired by Kathy at Lake Superior Spirit who is playing a fun game of “Photo Shorts.” Tag. You’re it!]

A few sights on the walk through Holiday Wonders.

The magnolia grooves, dancing to the beat of the heartwoods. Her limbs sweep down to touch Earth before reaching back up to Sky.

The pines are dressed for a more formal social affair it seems. There’s much underground intermingling amongst them, or so I’ve heard.

The crepe myrtle sings an operatic solo.

Magic is made.

Enjoy the season!

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the Gratitude Journal of a Music Warlord

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The Adventures of a Discerning Bellydancer

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Mark Coakley

Author of "Hidden Harvest" and "Tip and Trade"