22 November 2008

winter terrain (or love for all season)

to my dear friend hallie, i wrote: i have been busy in the process of healing and mending relationships in light of these past weeks.

it's no wonder to me that peace has to be such a priority in the front of our minds. we must choose peace, moment by moment; gather gratitudes wherever we go; live on our knees, thankful for the ground we are given to walk upon. this is the place i want to live. this is the terrain of my heart.

so this is my winter terrain, or, more accurately, this is love for all season. this is praise and prayer. this is growth and stillness. these are, my friend, days that we will remember, if we chose to do so. if we live and breath this very day, aches and pains and delights and all.

i've been totally missing my moments of the soul this past week-BUT i have been working with my art instructor/"teacher" marilyn and delving into crafts and creativity on my own. meeting miss carol for a bit of sewing and craft cocktails this afternoon. i've got some ideas in the works, too. (even ones that are only manifesting themselves in my mind!) my love to you where you are and my hope for you that you find time for yourself to create, create, create, and give some love to others and send out some inspiration to those who are in need. isn't that each one of us??

18 November 2008


as* inspired* by* kate* marks*
and the words of rob breszny.
i need inspiration. delight. wonder. uplifting. strength. vision. encouragement. sunshine. hand holding. smiles. adventure. clarity. the call.

13 November 2008

the four ladies!

i am getting to spend the weekend in atlanta with my four lovely friends.
can i get an amen?
i am so very excited.

thank you for this chance to reunion with these ladies.
putting all my energies into a blessed and inspired time away.

so SO glad for what i have here in louisville.
so SO glad for the chance to dream in the midst of so much hope.
so So excited to be with the ladies!!!!
and so SO going to miss the paulper.
LOVE to all!
be back monday

12 November 2008

wake up. stay sleeping. sit with your train of thoughts.

at some point this morning i woke up feeling as though i wouldn't be able to go to sleep. i resisted the urge to hit the indiglo button on my alarm clock, instead i got up to pee because i'd drank a 16 ounces mug of hot delicious tea before bed. woke up, no lights, bathroom, got back in bed. sleep, steph, sleep. but no luck. so i stopped trying. i let my train of thoughts roll, eyes closed. mind totally working.

something i love about living in st matthews is that i can hear the train at night. when the whole world is silent and it's just my mind in the darkness, i can only hear the chatter in my own head. but the train that runs through the small part of town where i currently call home and is a steady reminder to me during those dark moments. tonight i let my mind go. i let it think about what it needed to think about.

i thought about traveling and dreaming and creating an existence that i love. i thought about st. augustine. i thought about heart piercing cards. i thought about quito. ea. friendships. distance. love. kindness displayed at random. irene. warmth during the winter. service. fine paper. gifts. i thought about loose ends i am desperate to tie up. i thought about indian food. (dakshin, the restaurant, mainly, and chaat) prayer. paris. and the day ahead.

i thought about how if we resist thinking about what we desire to think about, then all we do is end up thinking about thinking about something. let me describe:
take saint augustine. 4th century theologian. "confessions" ring a bell anyone? anyway, so i was remembering Doire and her constant meandering mind (as she says: "tangents) that was so teaching me for in regard to his work. i was thinking though, as much as he wrote about sexuality and not being attached to the flesh and on and on concerning this topic, his writing was deeply sensual and almost confusing and sexual.

when we work so hard to forget about something, to cut ourselves off from it, whether its little debbies or our life's work or our family or sex-- we actually just connect ourselves to it over and over again. with every thought to disconnect we connect again. count your blessings. seek wisdom in the work that is your life. distinct to who you are, your dreams, your desires, your wellness and your walk; take claim of that which you are working with and working through. "seek peace and pursue it"----that is a word to nourish your soul and spirit through all seasons. don't cut yourself off from your dreams and desires, work with them. knead out what you won't use and don't benefit from. make claim to what you love.

sit with it: hear its roar, in your darkness and in your light.

09 November 2008

enjoy the journey

I won't waste inspiration, promise! I always remind myself of that when something turns out different than I plan. "There is no waste in nature," so how could there be in the creative process (or for that matter in the process of our lives)?

myself slandering myself

[our whispers tell our stories.]

the person you believe you are is often created through the stories you tell (& hear) about yourself. i haven't had the best weekend in regards to myself slandering myself. it hasn't been good: the stories are defeating, the swords are swift & sharp, the wounds aren't healing. no nurse has soothed my aches, no elixir has healed me from within.

what? to? do?

dream. sleep-in. make pancakes. read blogs. drink wine. play with markers. scroll through old journals. grab your old planner and play "one year ago today." job search. hide and seek. hike. rest. wear your hoodie. wash your hair. take photos. sing.

it may not heal you to your bones, but what it will do is inspire you to travel on. wake up, again. put your shoes on, again. greet the day, again. surely, you are not too much. not too heavy. not too weird or too wide or too without. you are only being asked to believe: in today, in grace, in what the world offers to you. peace, friends. peace and love and contentment and stories that lift your spirits. xoxooox

08 November 2008

ancient journal notes & imagery that inspires

from 01. october. 2007
i am learning so much its incredible. mason taught me that i multi-task other people. gram 9-a taught me that i ought to be present, she said:
"you add just a little something special and fancy to life."
dreb wished i would stay: life is just so good with me there. meghan, stewy and elizabeth reminded me that it will be tough---tough to find a man who will rise up to the heights where i live, and who will challenge me there, calling me to rise. ash reminded me that i am my greatest coach, i know myself, my limits, my dreams--and only i can call myself to a greater existence. chris riley gave me a word of encouragement of course people desire me as a part of their plan, i am an asset! and i need to chose wisely what i give my attention to. mrs. kaye reminded me i have a home no matter where i am, and i have pure potential. virginia crutcher reminded me a way out of no way will be make for me. the paper source reminded me i have a gift: hiding, dormant, waiting to be called to life. m.a.c. reminded me beauty is skin deep, but you have to love your face! my mom reminds me to love others without ceasing---there is no limit to our ability to love and move onward at times, too. daddy dave hopes i am refreshed, filled with new energy for the tasks ahead. tanner loves me---yes!---he said so many times. gram 9-a shared a secret with me: hug & kiss people as often as you can. they love it and come more alive because of it. our bodies and souls are encouraged and touched by this small gesture. bell hooks sums it all up with this:
{as we leave behind the stuff of the past that is mere burden, the relationships that bind rather than set us free, as we experience a change of heart, we develop the inner strength necessary to journey on the path of love, to make our search for love be a grand life adventure and a profound spiritual quest}
and so with another end comes yet another beginning. a long awaited, much anticipated "oh i hope i've changed" spirit stirs from within...i've just witnessed and learned so very much, and i am ready to walk blindly, patiently, courageously forward.


xxxxoooo julie {photo by john nation}

don"t let these days pass you by. capture moments, let it floW.

05 November 2008

a horizon of hope

the day came and we captured it from start to finish!!!

off to bellarmine to vote:

my man who supported THE MAN from the beginning

casting his vote (and mine via absentee! YES! virginia went BLUE)

close to midnight: the announcement we'd been waiting for! YES WE CAN!

and the celebration begins...

the people of kentucky didn't bleed blue like they said they would, but obama and all of his supporters worked hard to get to the heart of the issues that are essential to the american people. last night was a heartening reminder that this entire country is indebted to public servants who work among us to achieve a greater good. thank you for your faithfulness to the cause, your continuous showing up, and thank you barack obama, our new brave leader. we welcome you with great applause. yes. we. can.

02 November 2008

first treasury feature

i was featured in my first treasury on etsy! that's really exciting!!! now-certainly wish i would've crossed pathes with it on the front page, but i'm keeping the faith that that day will come!

off on a run!
5k in two weeks and need to get moving!
love love
excited esteffi

01 November 2008

take command, take care.

simple things that you, even YOU, can do to save our lovely earth:
1. ride your bike.

2. recycle those obnoxious wire hangers. (i asked today at my dry cleaner and the woman helping me said: "oh yeah, bring 'em aLL in here, girl")
3. leftover yarn? wrap a present. recycled giftwrap? makes a wonderful card.

4. too many pictures laying around? grab an old piece of cardboard, tack them up there with everything else you can find. leaves. magazine rip-outs. old receipts. ta-da! inspiration board.
5. call your friends. do what you said you were going to do with them. crafts. cooking. collages. good crys. community is the core of relationships. stop putting off acting on good intentions for later. act now! march. sing. clean up. in YOUR community.
6. take a load of books to a used bookstore. that beautiful top that you love but squeezes your armpits? goodwill bag. (then actually drop the goodwill bag off at goodwill.) pull out your old watercolors and paint inside one of those books. send the painting to a friend. take command of your days through action.
take care of the earth the same way, too. it's november first two thousand eight.
changing the calendar. changing my life. one day at a time.