High Tide Low

img_2702“High Tide Low”

Wave after wave

The ocean sweeps the shoreline clean

Leaving nothing for scavengers like me…

Not a trinket or a shell

Or those ever elusive answers

I expect to come rolling in with the tide

But never do.

I’m left floundering

With questions again

As I sit and stare blankly ahead

At the breaking seacrests,

Pondering why I am

Reassured yet simultaneously confused.

There’s no footprints to follow

As my heart walks in one direction

And my brain in another,

Never converging on

The enigmatic path

To me.

– Written by Jill Ocone, 2/25/2017

My Theme for 2017

I don’t think I have ever looked forward to a new year with such excitement and anticipation before.  Man, am I full of over the moon silliness as I wait to greet 2017, just like I was as a child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve!

I think the reason is the word, scratch that, theme I’ve adopted for the upcoming year. It’s personal and powerful. It’s invigorating and exciting. And I find it so overwhelmingly awesome that I created a logo for it (sidebar: The logo was a vision in my dream the other night. Seriously, another breadcrumb from the great beyond!).

Take a look, then read all about the symbolism contained in my theme and logo that will guide me through 2017:

word

My SLOGAN for 2017: Onward, writer! I will march forth and write my novel and then some. I have created a personal writing schedule that is in harmony with my professional responsibilities and my health issues.  My goal is to finish my first novel draft by the end of Spring, then to use the summer to revise, edit, and hopefully find an agent or publishing house that might be interested in it, my first of many stories. I also have a vision/idea to emphasize the mantra that today is everything, but I need to focus first on completing my novel. My schedule and plan can be adapted as needed due to unforeseen circumstances, but I will not allow myself any excuses for not writing. It is, indeed, time to follow my dream and to march forward, pen in hand.

My ADVICE for 2017: Look around! I intend to take full stock in each and every moment, and to see what is both physically and symbolically present. I will continue to be open as life guides me through each day as I find the extraordinary in the ordinary. The song “Look Around” by Red Hot Chili Peppers will be the first song that I will listen to every morning, followed by Blackbird

The black bird with the pen is an allusion to the song Blackbird by The Beatles:

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Yes, I have waited for this moment my entire life. It’s time, and I will write with enthusiasm, focus, and vigor.
The heart with the three icons represents my heart and soul:
  • The top left Triskelion, or Celtic triple spiral, is the symbol of my spirit guide as I still yearn for her guidance while I continue to be her light. Interesting fact: This is the first symbol that appeared in a dream/vision over a year ago, much like my theme’s logo. While in Ireland, I spotted it all over the place, even inside the tomb at Newgrange. Suffice it to say that this symbol, which is more than 3,000 years old, is significant on numerous levels (past-present-future, spirit-mind-body and more).
  • The two waves in the top right represent my goal of learning to surf in 2017. I have always wanted to learn how to surf, and 2017 will be the year I cross this off my bucket list. I have created a schedule and a plan to physically prepare my body with exercises and strategies for surfing each week until mid-summer when I plan to take private lessons. I do have some obstacles to overcome, such as hating my eyes to be wet and muscle stiffness from Lupus, but my desire to surf is stronger than these obstacles. I plan to document my experience through words and photos, and I don’t care if people laugh at me. My connection to the sea is strong, and I want to surf, dammit!
  • The heart inside the heart is a reminder to keep my soul and my heart happy and at the forefront of every decision. I will balance my priorities of living, learning, loving, laughing, writing, and teaching the lessons that need to be taught while keeping what matters most in perspective and in my heart.

Finally, the ghosted CLOCK FACE is a reminder about how quickly time is passing by. I will stop wasting time on things that do not make my soul or heart happy, or things that divert my focus from my true purpose. With this practice in place since mid-December, so far, so good.

I plan to hold myself accountable for all of my 2017 goals by setting firm intentions and reflecting upon my progress at least twice a month, if not more.

I want to sing and dance as the seconds tick towards 2017 while screaming my excitement from the rooftops!

Welcome, 2017! I’m so excited to meet you!

Onward, writer…let’s do this!

Until next time,

Jill

 

 

Day 31 of 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016: Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ Challenge for 2016. It has been a pleasure seeing all of your written and photographic responses to each prompt. The challenge has brought me new friends and new inspirations.

If you enjoyed this challenge and are looking for an August Challenge, head on over to Susannah Conway’s homepage and learn about her August Love 2016 challenge, which starts tomorrow.  She is one of my favorite writers, and I look up to her very much.

I apologize for my lack of participation in this challenge  over the past 3 days. My Internet modem is not functioning, and I’m conserving data on my phone until the next billing cycle. 

However, I have been enjoying life with less technology. It’s more authentic and real. I like to think that my modem crapped out so that I could experience real life, rather than seeing what appears to be real life through a technological device, even if that “real life” is me, just sitting here, writing in solitude.

Come tomorrow, when a technician is scheduled to fix our connectivity issues, I vow to remember that real life is what is important, and that I can get by without wasting so much time scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. 

I hope you continue to follow SoulSEAker, because I look forward to documenting my “mission from the universe” in August, as I will be embarking on a pilgrimage to Dublin. Stay tuned my friend!

Thank you again for following me. I am thankful for you, because YOU are helping me find my voice. 

Have a splendid day, and ENJOY it my friend!

Day 20 of 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016: Shell

One of my favorite writers/authors is journalist Bob Greene. During the summer, some of my favorite books make their way into my reading rotation, four of which are by Greene.

One of his books is When We Get To Surf City: A Journey Through America In Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship and Dreams. In a nutshell, the book chronicles his time spent touring with the legendary Jan and Dean and Surf City All Stars during a few summers.

Greene perfectly encapsulated both the idea of holding on to each little piece of summer and the importance of living our life’s best moments. From pages 313-314:

Once someone told me that we should regard the best moments in our lives as pebbles in a jar. The assumption should be that the pebbles are finite – even if we can’t count them by looking into the jar, we should assume that one day they will run out. We should withdraw them with care, one by one, never doing it by rote or distractedly. If we withdraw them too rapidly, we are being greedy, and will hasten the day when they are gone; if we hoard them, if we are miserly in keeping them in the jar, then we will rob ourselves of the experiences the good things should give us.

So it is with summers. If all of life were summer, then our world would have no texture, no context. Summer would not taste the way it does if we thought it would last forever. There’s no perfect way to remove the pebbles, no foolproof timetable. The closest we can come to perfection is to know just how precious those pebbles are, and to value each one.

I know that Jan [Berry] did. More than anyone I think I have ever known, he never took a single one of those pebbles for granted. He withdrew each one of them from life’s jar with gratitude, and with love.

The plane lifted off. Savor every day, every summer night. (Greene, Bob. When We Get To Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship and Dreams. New York: St. Marten’s Press, 1998.)

When I want to really remember a moment, I will take a seashell or rock from where I am, write the date on it with a Sharpie when I get home, and put it in my seashell memory jar.  In addition to taking the pebbles out and using them, like Greene describes, I also add memories to my jar.

This is My Shell Jar, Full of Memories and Experiences

In my jar are dated treasures from walks with my nephew, a rock from Stonehenge, some pebbles from Ireland, a few shells from Florida and our own beaches, and more. Each one holds a special place in my heart.

I am eternally grateful for the shells and pebbles I have spent, the memories I have collected, and the shells and pebbles left in my jar.

My wish to you is that YOU savor every day and every summer night.  Use a shell, spend a pebble, then replace it with a memory.

Author’s note: This was originally posted in August of 2015. I updated it today, 7/20/16. 

Day 09 of 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016: Water

20160709a Blog Photo New Fonts

Crystal waves of

Aqua,

Turquoise,

Royal,

Still and then flowing,

Churning and then surging,

Erases the day’s debris

From the shore.

As night turns into morning,

The tide recedes

And returns

To calm.

The body of

Salt water,

The cure to whatever ails,

Christens a brand new day:

Each blue drop

a tiny part of the

Huge blue vastness

Brimming with

Wonder,

Life,

Rebirth.

 

“Water” by Jill Ocone, July 9, 2016

Day 03 of 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016 – Beach

The Beach
Taken in March 2016 in Melbourne Beach, Florida. This is the beach across the street from my inlaw’s Florida home.

The beach. I absolutely love the beach, and I know how fortunate I am to live in a place where the beach is one mile from my house.

However, I hate going to the beach. I bet you were surprised to read that! Let me explain…

I’m not someone who can sit on the beach for hours doing nothing. Lying on the beach surrounded by others in the hot sun listening to music I don’t like and ignorant conversation all day…no, that’s not for me. Plus, my brain cannot sit and do nothing either. I’ve had friends day, “But what about reading? You like to read, so why don’t you read at the beach?” Again, my brain isn’t wired like that. If I try to read at the beach, I become easily distracted with what’s going on around me. I turn into an observer, watching everything…even if there’s no people and I’m by myself, I just cannot concentrate on reading when I am at the beach. I’d rather watch the waves crash, or the gulls fly.

However, I like heading up to the beach in the mornings before the crowds and badge checkers to sit for a few minutes, to walk in search of a shell, or to write a bit in my journal (and even then, I cannot write too much because I’m distracted). I usually last about an hour or two at most, then I’ll go home to begin my day as the crowds arrive. Same for after hours…a quick walk on the beach before dinner is all I need to recharge and relax. My favorite time to go to the beach, believe it or not, is in September. Those who live in NJ I am sure will agree. September is the best beach weather month, and even though I’m back at work, I’ll go up for a few minutes before I head to school, until sunrise is too late. It’s the best way to start the day.

The beach is my therapist. It understands me, advises me, comforts me, and accepts me. It is filled with mystery. Time stops when I simply get lost while walking on the beach by myself. The ocean is strong, and at times, can be scary, but it always comes back to its calm.

The salt water is in my veins and in my soul, and the sand is my blanket of comfort.

Yeah, I love the beach.